Author Archives: agapegeek

The Satanic Plan to Take Over America and the World – Part 2 – Strategy to Try to Silence the Church

Man_with_Mouth_Taped_Shut1(Ver 1.2) This is Part 2 in a very important Prophetic Bible lesson study series concerning the Satanic Agenda Designed to Attempt to Take Control of America as well as the Entire World. Today’s subject is focused on a very specific but significant part of the Satanic plan for Christians. Christians are being targeted in greater numbers today, much like we were when the church first began nearly 2000 years ago. It used to be widely taught in schools and universities that “those who fail to remember history are condemned to repeat it”. It is interesting that this was a quotation given by Winston Churchill in 1948. Since a great number of children in the world are not taught true history, our nations are living in the potential of great coming repetitions of the same past tragedies. There are too many young people that are unaware of major past events like World War II and the Holocaust. Students are certainly not taught about church history and the severe persecutions that they endured. But, as Christians we can clearly read about these coming recurrences of great trouble in the book of Revelation, Ezekiel, Daniel and others.

Today I will be teaching about Satan’s desire to silence the church. We will discover that Satan uses people of power in government as one of the primary methods to attempt to silence the church. If a Christian becomes uninvolved in the political system of a nation Satan has gained a great advantage at ending our voice. Today’s lesson will be split into 3 main sections with a short introduction and conclusion that can be read in succession or independently if desired. Here are the section titles:

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. THE CHRISTIAN INVOLVMENT WITH POLITICS
  3. PRAYING FOR OUR GOVERNMENT LEADERS
  4. SATAN’S REPEATED ATTEMPT TO SILENCE THE CHURCH
  5. CONCLUSION

If you are ready to begin, let’s get started.

 

INTRODUCTION

This Bible lesson series is not intended or purposefully designed to offend anyone, but I have been teaching the Bible long enough to know that this is what will occur with some truths no matter how much love is encapsulated within it. I’ve always been taught that it is not polite to discuss religion or politics at the Thanksgiving dinner table with your family. But these days it seems like if you don’t want to start a war and get a spit bath, we better just not bring up either subject to anyone at anytime. Isn’t that funny that this Bible lesson is about both topics.

Even people that call themselves Christians can easily be offended by the Truth of the Word of God that they do not know or understand. When Jesus walked the face of the earth, His spoken words of Truth offended His own neighbors and relatives (Mat 13:57, Mar 6:4), His Jewish leaders (Mat 15:12, John 8:52), His own disciples (John 6:61), and other people (Mat 15:12). This same pattern of offense continued to happen in the early church days of the Apostles Peter, James, John and Paul and has not ended. Let’s read one foundational confirming scripture that was written by the Apostle Paul:

Gal 4:16  Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

Speaking truth to people can be a perceived highly invasive force of opposition for those that are closed minded, resistant to change and satisfied with what they believe they currently know. We all need to evaluate our willingness and desire to want to hear and learn more truth and this begins with understanding that only God knows the entire truth. That means I don’t know it all as well as you don’t know it all, can we agree? Always remember what Jesus said in John 8:31-32 “if you continue in my Word, then you will be my disciples and then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free”. There are a lot of Christians today that must think that they are already completely free, but this would require them to know all the truth already. Do you know anyone like this?

The light of the Truth spoken in love is clearly hated by those that love darkness (John 3:19). God’s Word teaches us that the entrance of His Word brings people light to show us the way to life (Ps 119:105, John 5:24). However, a bright light of Truth is normally very upsetting to anyone that is in a deep spiritual sleep of moral corruption and deception. These types of Christians are called carnal because they are dominated by their fleshly nature instead of the Spirit (1 Cor 3:1). God commands these types of carnal Christians in Ephesians 5:14 to awaken out of their dark sleep. Please keep this warning in mind when reading this lesson. Besides the LORD, only the individual Christian can judge accurately if they are willing to learn more from God or choose to remain in their spiritual slumber. If this Bible lesson offends anyone, that could be a sign that Satan has already darkened their mind and taken them captive within his kingdom of darkness.

 

THE CHRISTIAN INVOLVMENT WITH POLITICS

I received a couple of criticizing comments on the first lesson that you can go and read if you like. It appears that there are some Christians that read the teaching of Part 1 in this Bible Series to be off limits when there are any current political applications of God’s truth which need to be addressed for today. I honestly believe that there are a significant number of Christians that are very ignorant of these subjects in the Bible and especially those Bible verses that are about politics. Please understand that in the Bible we will find a lot of God’s truth discussing politics, governments, kings, leaders, etc. Why would these subjects be unacceptable to teach on as it relates to modern politics, governments presidents, and right government leadership, etc.?   I believe Christians have bought into a lie of Satan if they believe they should not be taught in churches today about these very important subjects. Nothing should be off-limits if it is recorded in the Word of God.

This ignorance of the Word of God is a Satanic plan that he desires for all Christians to embrace so that they will not participate in exercising their God given authority over the political affairs of mankind. In the USA Satan has developed a masterful deception that he calls the “Separation of Church and State (Government)”. He came up with this politically correct name as a plan for removing the Church’s voice from the Government completely starting back in a Supreme Court Ruling in 1947. Satan does not want any DIVINE influence overruling his planned corruption for the coming one world government solution also popularly called the “New World Order” a term that originated after World War I coming from President Woodrow Wilson as he proposed a league of nations to help keep peace. But I first heard the term begin to be promoted heavily from a Republican President named George Bush on TV a little over 30 years ago.   These two Presidents were clearly being led by spirits that were not from God. But this is a plan of Satan to bring together the world under the deceptive promise of peace. If you notice I do my best to tell the truth about anyone regardless of the political party they are associated with. As I said in one reply to a criticizing comment, I am a Christian first and not a part of any political party system. I’ll stand with my God and His Bible over any political party.

Satan desires to remove God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, real church Christians and the church pulpit from any involvement in political events. This is one of the key strategies of Satan to take control of ALL governments first and then all the people in the world next. Don’t believe me? Please read Revelation chapter 13 to begin before you continue further. Perhaps we will get to cover this chapter in more depth later in this series or in another series.

Back in 1954 a US Senator named Lyndon B. Johnson who just happened to be a Democrat who later became the 36th President introduced an amendment for the US IRS taxation laws severely limiting the free speech of ALL church leaders and church organizations. This amendment stipulated that if you were a non-profit 501C3 designated tax-exempt organization, you were unable to endorse or oppose any political candidate. This amendment passed without any debate or opposition from either political party in the USA proving the presence of Satanic corruption was and still is embedded within both political parties. Of course, this was Satan’s plan and there are a lot of lawmakers listening to the wrong spiritual voices on both sides of the aisle.

For the past nearly 70 years pastors were preaching in fear of losing their tax-free non-profit designation if they taught anything about what God said about politics in a church. If the preacher endorsed one political candidate or party over any other that would be a clear violation of the US LAW. Wow, that is exactly what Satan wants, a SILENT church! This law was a clear violation of the right of “Free Speech” given to us by our Christian founding fathers in the U.S. Constitution. Thomas Jefferson would be rolling over in his grave if he knew how Christians have been removed from the US government. No one has challenged this silence law in court but if they did and the wrong activist judges were put into place, we would lose this right to voice our beliefs concerning right politics completely.

Recently there has been liberal cities that have started attacking church denominations, home groups and pastors. I heard of one church group that was meeting in a neighborhood home as a group and the city leaders passed laws to stop them meeting using zoning regulations. If only governments in the early church would have thought of this the early church would have never have been able to meet. One Church that I attended in Texas many years ago was attacked by the City Council. We were told that we MUST take down the big Red Cross on top of our Church building because it violated their sign ordinance. I agree that this Cross was a sign but not one that was covered by their law.

Maybe you heard one man running for US President recently threatening churches that he would remove their tax-exempt status if they did not remove their bias and hatred against a small unnamed group that promotes the adoption of 90+ gender designations and abominable sexual relations. This would require churches to permit men to use women’s restrooms and vice versa. This would force the acceptance of these types of sinful people into leadership positions to teach our children their message. These are just a few examples of how the extreme groups are trying to remove all church rights to our Bible beliefs in incremental measures.

A few very radical attorney generals have begun to request copies of every sermon that the preachers in their jurisdiction have preached to their people. They are looking for words spoken by the preachers that they can label as “hate speech” against unnamed false minorities or groups that they choose to label as a minority. Because of the vagueness of these laws almost any selected words could be turned out of context to be labeled as hate speech. These threats would close the doors of many churches and silence anyone that opposed people with a different opinion or belief.   Wow, this is happening right now. There is no way that this would have occurred 50+ years ago in America. I pray that you can see that opposition is growing significantly worse for people standing up with GOD’S TRUTH.

These are just some of the reasons why the Holy Spirit wants this lesson to be published. It is past time for churches and church leaders to stand up for the Truth of God found in the Bible and make sure they are helping teach their people to vote along God designed TRUTH principles, morals and values. Our God and the Bible have a lot to say about rulers, leaders, governments and politics. Let’s go over just a few for my non-political critics that believe I am biased when I teach this subject:

Mar 10:42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over (G757) the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.

I’ll begin with this verse because it is clearly about governments, rulers and politics. The Greek word G757 that was translated as “to rule over” is a political reference to leadership and order. Strong defines this word “to be first” in rank or political order. You see a good government with order is a designed plan of God on the earth because of the need to control and limit the vast numbers of evil people used by Satan.   Fifty days after God delivered the people of Israel from the corrupt rulership government of Egypt, He gives them the law to at least attempt to limit the spread of evil within His nation called by His name. Many years later God implements a system of justice using judges and these judges ruled the people for 450 years (Acts 13:20). But people rebelled and demanded a king and God gives them Saul. After Saul God anoints David to be Saul’s chosen replacement. Then came many other kings some fairly good with others ranging all the way to very evil.   There is a lot more that I could say about these verses, but I’ll try to cover it in a parallel set of verses found in Matthew:

Mat 20:25  But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
Mat 20:26  But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
Mat 20:27  And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Let me ask you a serious question to begin. Was Jesus biased when he taught us about the subject of politics? That is what He is doing in these two passages found in Mark and Matthew. Jesus is teaching about two opposing types of governments and leaders using examples and descriptions. I don’t believe Jesus was biased except for His dedication to His Father and His Word. If that causes anyone to think that He is biased, then so be it. I believe I am in good company.

If we read the previous context of Matthew 20, we will discover a mother of two sons coming to Jesus to ask him a special political favor. This type of request is exactly what happens in governments today. This woman believes that Jesus will soon establish a new kingdom and she asks for her sons to be given highly favorable positions of authority. Does any of this sound familiar with what we hear in the news today? The subject is clearly governments, authority and power and who should rule in a higher position over someone else. Even though there was no bribe or threat being made in this request to Jesus, she was taking a natural human low road to try to manipulate and control the outcome and achieve this power for her sons.   Wow, if this is not current headline news, I don’t know if you are awake.

What was Jesus’ response to this request for power? Start with verse 25 and learn the contrast between a world Satanic government system and God’s righteous Kingdom system design. Let’s review the world ordered system. Jesus tells them “the princes of the Gentiles (world rulers) exercise dominion over people”.   The key word here is “exercise dominion”. This is the “modus operandi” of any world government being ruled by Satan. If you are unfamiliar with the Latin term “modus operandi” it simply means a standard and accepted “method of operation”. Satan is a follower of concepts, patterns and repeats the same things over and over if it is working for him.

Ok, back to “exercise dominion”. This Greek word G2634 means “to lord against” someone and can be further defined as a power that exercises control to subjugate the people by implied “force” removing their rights and freedoms. Every government in the world operates this way normally but some to greater extremes like North Korea, China, Iran, etc. This is the plan of Satan for the USA and your nation also no matter where you live. When the USA passed the Johnson Amendment, it was the implementation of a designed pattern by Satan to silence the voice of God on the earth.

However, subjugation and control by force are NOT how Jesus and the Bible teaches us about the Kingdom of God or how Christians should react to a message concerning His government at all. Jesus outlines the Divine Order of His Government in Matthew 20:26-27.   Jesus said if you want to be “great” (the highest, the most powerful, the greatest) in the kingdom of God, become a “minister” and a “servant” to everyone they are over. The Greek word translated as “minister” is G1249 and means “become a lowly attendant that runs errands”. And the Greek word G1401 translated as “servant” in verse 27 informs us the greatest leader will be the one that is the “slave” to those that are under them. Wow, that does not sound like very many of our elected Politian’s, does it yours?

Would you agree, if God’s designed good Government principles were in operation in our governments it would be a far better world? We do have this system to look forward to during the millennium reign of Jesus in Revelation 20. But, for now we are going to have to pray and allow the Holy Spirit to help restrain the evil that is attempting to rise.   Please learn from this Bible instruction given by Jesus to know which type of people that we should be voting for in our elections.   What are your leaders doing in your city, county, state or nation? Are they focused upon themselves almost entirely, their power, their ability to get rich and life is all about them? If you say yes, then that should be a major issue! If your elected leader is not your servant working for you, to make your life safer and more prosperous please vote differently next time for someone new.

I’ll attempt to make some Bible Truth points about the government of the USA for Christians to consider. Did you know that almost every law passed to give any benefit to an American citizen is designed to cause your dependence upon the government to allow them to control you? Also note that few if any of these benefits are participated in by those that passed the law! Lawmakers have their own retirement, not Social Security. Lawmakers have their own healthcare, not Obama Care, not Medicare, and not Medicaid. If it is not good enough for them why is everyone accepting it? Ask your leaders why something that is promised to be good for you is not acceptable for them? There are a lot of other examples but, you should get the point. Ask yourself, “Who is the servant to who?” Also ask, “Is this benefit making me their dependent slave and a servant of the government? Are these government benefits given to us to obtain our votes so that they can be elected to gain power but with the hidden design for eventually our total dependence and control.

We should ALL be able to see that there are so many elected leaders from both political parties in our nation that do not fulfill their promises made to get them elected.   These are untruthful leaders that mislead us with deception on a pathway into coming destruction. I know not everyone in politics is totally corrupt. I understand that for a good honest elected official it can be very difficult to get positive changes put in place because of all the corruption that is already present. I know there is at least one person in Washington that has been a man of his words. Perhaps you know who I’m speaking of?

There were good people who were exceptions of corrupt politics also found in the Bible. In Acts 13:22 God writes about King David as being a man that was after His own heart. It is amazing to consider the significant imperfections of King David and yet God still spoke very good about him. God blesses the good leaders past or present that are trying to serve like Him despite their imperfections. For example, please read Acts 8:27-30 and see how God sent a prophet to a political man of very high authority from a foreign government because he was seeking after God and His truth with his whole heart. This man was an Ethiopian (a powerful foreign Gentile government official) who came to Jerusalem to worship and learn about the True God. God sent a prophet to help him understand His Word and to preach the Gospel to get him saved and baptized.  That is a great God picked example of a good government man that desired to learn truth, God will bless this type of leader. Let’s vote for these types.

 

PRAYING FOR OUR GOVERNMENT LEADERS

1Ti 2:1  I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
1Ti 2:2  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
1Ti 2:3  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

I believe that every born-again believer should be praying for our government leaders. Also, the church should be praying and asking God who we should vote for before every election. We learn from these verses in 1 Timothy that there are three types of prayer that should be offered up, 1) Supplication (a Petition) (G1162), 2) Worship/Prayer (G4335) and 3) Intercessory Prayers (G1783). There must be a reason why God directs us to pray these three different methods of prayer for these people. I cannot teach the subject of prayer in-depth today. But I will give us a quick review of these prayer types. The first type of prayer mentioned is Supplication. This type of prayer is a legal court type of prayer and it simply means to appeal to the Supreme Judge to present your petition before the Supreme Court of heaven. The next type of prayer was just labeled as “prayer” in the KJV translation and it infers a type of worship to God as being the Supreme Source of the answer we are asking Him for. This type of prayer applies to the Prayer of Faith according to Matthew 21:22 and Mark 11:24 where the same Greek word was mentioned directly or by the derivative root word.

The last type of prayer is called “Intercession”, and this is a very specific request of someone going before the throne of heaven on the behalf of someone else other than the one praying. In this case it could be the intercession for a specific named individual leader in the government. All these types of prayer can and should be applied to the words spoken to God about the government as the Spirit of God leads us.

What if there are wrong godless people that were already elected, what do we pray for them? Obviously, we should still pray for them. But, what specifically should we pray for? Praying and interceding for people in authority whether good or bad should be one of our greatest priorities if we want to preserve our freedoms, rights and a peaceful existence. If we omit this, I believe we are allowing Satan to achieve his will through wrong leaders to attempt to silence us and take control of us.

Another great lesson about how the church should pray for a government official doing evil to them is found in Acts 12. Please, stop and read the entire chapter. I did not place the verses in this lesson because of the length. In this chapter you should have found one evil king named Herod that killed James and put Peter into prison to also be killed because it pleased the people under the king’s rule. This is another great early church example of an evil and wrong godless government and what could easily and potentially happen again soon to us in the modern Church.  In fact, it could be happening in your nation right now, since I have had readers in over 250 nations of the world.

If we read Acts 12:1 we will find a few important words to learn. The first is G5495 which was translated as “hands”. This word is a symbolic reference to a man that had great power. Power is an addictive force that causes even once good intentioned people to become extremely evil. Power is a like a drug addiction. Once it has entangled a politician’s life, the need for more and more becomes Satan’s controlling force. There is a popular quotation that claims, “Absolute power, corrupts absolutely”. If you are observant you will see this is true. The next Greek word is G2559 and was translated as “vex”. This word literally means to injure and do evil against someone like the church. This word speaks to the motivation of Satan to bring fear upon them through the exercise of his power.

In Acts 12:2 we find two more key words to view. The first Greek word is G337 and it was translated as “killed”. This again speaks to Satan’s motivation to eliminate the church. This Greek word means to take people away violently by force. It can literally be translated as “murder”. Murder is not a legal action for a government to take, but Satan does not always have to follow the law. The next key Greek word in verse 2 is G3162 and it was translated as “sword”. This is a Greek word that can be used figuratively for a judicial Verdict used against someone. This is exactly what took place against James the brother of John in this chapter. As the local King, Herod rendered a unjust verdict against a good man without a moral legal case or valid charge against him. Herod committed murder with the legal appearance of justice because of his power, authority and position. This is happening in the world today still.

In Acts 12:3 we learn something else that is extremely important. The Greek word G701 was translated as “pleased” and it means the people were happy and agreeable with his verdict of death for John’s brother James. This is also a pattern of power. People in power normally try to do things that make their subjected people happy.  But most of these are don so that they don’t cost them anything to give away. Did you hear what I just said? If the murder of a man pleases people and makes them agreeable, your ability to remain in power continues until enough people get fed up with the lies and revolt. Because it pleased his people this further motivated Herod to go and take Peter and put him in prison to kill him next.

Notice in Acts 12:5 that the church was in prayer for Peter. This is the exact same Greek Word G5335 that was used in 1 Timothy 2:1 for one of our 3 prayer types for our government leaders. Therefore, that is exactly what we should be doing right now. But then notice how God answered their prayers. While we are never specifically told what they prayed for or said to God, we can potentially learn from how God answered the prayer to apply how maybe we are praying differently than they did. I pray that we are on the same spiritual page of understanding.

First, God’s answer of their prayers sent an angel to get Peter out of prison in the middle of the night before he could have  been killed the next day (Acts 12:6). I believe that this was an example of God’s justice to an unjust imprisonment. I believe that whatever the people in the church prayed it brought about a change in natural justice by His higher courts of spiritual justice. Next, we read about something radical that happened. What happened to the unjust, unfair, evil king that was coming against God’s righteous people to please most of his followers? Did you see it? In verse 21, Herod is sitting on his throne in his fine royal robe giving a speech to the people and the people are claiming that he is a god. The next thing that happens is potentially the work of the same angel of the LORD that freed Peter. Whoever the angel is he strikes the evil king Herod down dead and worms ate his body. I think this must have been a different type of prayer meeting the church was conducting than what we have been praying based upon the divine answers given. Remember this is the church age when this occurs. This occur during the 2000-year time of God’s Divine Grace. Also remember the N.T. says 2 Peter 2:9 that “God is not willing that any should perish but all come to repentance”. Wow king Herod dropping dead appears to contradict a lot of the extreme Grace message, doesn’t it? There are no contradictions in the Word of God. The only contradiction is based upon our lack of understanding of the entire Truth.

No, Grace, Fair Judgment and Justice can co-exist and does every day in heaven. I do not have the time to teach this subject in the amount of detail that it deserves in this lesson. I pray that I will be able to teach this more in the future. I will wind down this topic with this thought, Peter wrote about God’s desire for man to come to repentance to change their evil ways. We also know that God has infinite knowledge of the future knowing the end from the beginning. God knew if the continuation of the life of Herod would only bring unjust persecution and deaths to His bride or if Herod would eventually repent in the future. Therefore, a prayer from the saints in the church for His justice may have resulted in the death of Herod, God knowing that he would never repent. It is possible that these church prayer warriors could have been petitioning God for Justice and for God to avenge them of the injustice being done. What are a lot of Christians asking God for today? Are you praying and asking God to only bless your enemy? Could that be resulting in more severe and unjust consequences for the church? Let me give you a prayer example that Jesus taught us. I believe this is important and should be considered in our modern prayer discussion:

Luk 18:1  And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Luk 18:2  Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
Luk 18:3  And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge (G1556) me of mine adversary (G476).
Luk 18:4  And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
Luk 18:5  Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
Luk 18:6  And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
Luk 18:7  And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them
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?

We know from verse 1 that this parable is about prayer and appears to be a type of prayer that not too many Christians are praying in the church today. I believe in this parable that God uses a contrast comparison in the parable to 1) a “Christian” praying to the “Just God who is the Supreme Judge” for a judgment against their adversary and this is contrasted with the opposite types of 2) the parable “widow woman” asking an “unjust human judge” for vengeance against her adversary.   The only common thread between the two opposing examples is that both plead to a court for justice and get their answer. Do you see it?

I’m going to go to the last verse next to help confirm that this is a prayer for the modern Church. We know that this parable is speaking of the New Covenant people in the church age because Jesus asks, “Nevertheless shall he (Jesus) find faith on the earth when I return”. Both translated words “He” in verse 8 should be capitalized. We know these “He” words, the first refers to “God the Father” who is also referred to as the “righteous judge” and the second “He” refers to the “Son of Man” also known as Jesus (God the Son). The “them” in this verse refers to saved Christian prayer warriors because only saved Christians have the potential to possess the type of faith that Jesus is coming back for and expecting to find on the earth at the termination of the church age. Ephesians 2:8 says by grace are we saved through faith…”. Ephesians 2:8 and Luke 18:8 have the same Greek Word G4102 translated as “faith”. Therefore, we know the type of faith that Jesus is seeking of is only found in the church saved Bible believer.

We know this parable is a contrast comparison of a good judge verses an evil judge because we can read verses 6 and 7. We know that in verse 6 there is a symbolic unjust judge. We know in verse 7 he is compared with the Supreme Just God. That makes the parable a contrasting comparison and not two judges of the same type, morals and character. Notice what Jesus said in verse 8 about how God will answer a prayer from a Christian that is asking for Him to avenge them of their adversary. Then remember, God is just, God is fair, God is all knowing, and God is all powerful and we are informed that He will avenge us speedily. Wow, isn’t God awesome? Let’s back up in the parable to a few other key words that need to be brought into our discussion.

One key word given here in this type of prayer is G1557. This word was translated into English as “avenge”. This word literally means a request for a verdict that gives our adversary “punishment that is inflicted upon them as vengeance for their wrong criminal unlawful acts” done to the one asking for the verdict. This Greek word literally means LORD GIVE ME JUSTICE for the wrong done to me. Wow, that is just a little different than how we normally pray, isn’t it? My main point is that this type of prayer is a valid type of New Covenant prayer for Christians even in the Church age of Grace since Jesus has not yet come to get us and take us out of this world. Therefore, since Jesus has not come to the earth looking for faith, we can pray this prayer example now.

Another key word found in this message from Jesus is the Greek word G476. G476 was translated as the English word “adversary”. This is a very important name and title for Satan in the N.T. This Greek word literally means “our spiritual opponent in a lawsuit”. It is only used 4 times in the N.T. and I believe every reference is to a legal matter in a court setting. It is also noteworthy that 1 Peter 5:8 written to Christians from God clearly defines who our adversary is and calls him the “devil” (Satan). Because we know this now it should dramatically change our method of praying for unjust evil situations on the earth.

Finally, please do not misunderstand what I am trying to say. According to Ephesians 6:12 we are not in a physical battle. We also know from Romans 12:19 that Christians do not attempt to get personal vengeance against anyone because God says this is His responsibility. Therefore, I believe that it means that we are normally not going to pray for God to kill any human. Ephesians 6:12 informs us that our spiritual battle is with Satan and spirits in the unseen realm. These spiritual beings are the source for all human conflicts of evil opposing good. Therefore, when we pray for God to avenge us of our adversaries, I believe the prayer is not directed at the natural people being used for evil even though God has the choice to answer this way if He sovereignly chooses.

My wife and I have recently started praying differently for God’s justice to be leveled against the workers of iniquity in our government. We learn from Psalm 89:14 that Justice and Judgment are the foundation principles of God’s throne. Therefore, we pray that God’s will (Justice and Judgements) that are done in heaven be carried out here on the earth as Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6:10.   We pray and petition heaven for justice for the people of God that are being persecuted, lied about, unjustly condemned, imprisoned and killed by governments to be given fair justice. Please be radical and join us in this corporate type of request for justice if you believe the Lord is leading you to do the same. Please don’t just pray this because I asked, this is between you and the LORD only.

Ok, I probably offended a lot of people that call themselves a Christian already. But that is OK, people did not call me to teach the Bible, and I do not teach the Bible to satisfy anyone but God to who I will give an account and be judged for what I have said. If you are not happy with what I believe the LORD has given to me to say, please go seek and read whatever your eyes desire to see. God promised that we will each individually find whatever we desire and are specifically asking, seeking and knocking for (Mat 7:7). However, in this promise God does not promise that what we will be seeking to find will be the truth. God only promised if you seek evil you will find evil, if you seek good you find good, if you seek lies you will find lies and if you seek truth you will find truth. I pray that you are understanding.

I would strongly suggest that our prayers to God begin by asking Him to reveal His truth whatever it is to us. Pray and ask God to open our eyes and ears to understand His truth. Then we must expect Him to answer.  I’ll leave this section discussion with a reference to this type of prayer being prayed in the book of Revelation by people that were left on the earth after the rapture occurred. These people became radically saved and were severely persecuted by Satan even unto death:

Rev 6:9  And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
Rev 6:10  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

Is it possible that this type of prayer was what was prayed at the beginning of the church when James was killed unjustly, and Peter was about to be killed unjustly? In fact, remember this is the time when Stephen was also unjustly killed in Acts 7 and many church members were being imprisoned unjustly by Saul of Taurus. Why not plead the blood of Jesus for the injustice being done and cry out for heavenly justice? Can you tell me what is wrong with that type of prayer based upon what we have learned so far? That is enough about a potential new way to pray. Let’s move on to a new subject of our political discussion.

 

SATAN’S REPEATED ATTEMPTS TO SILENCE THE CHURCH

It was Satan’s plan in the early church to shut the mouths of those that taught the truth about Jesus. If this message of truth got out to ALL the world, Satan could potentially lose his powerful control of mankind. Therefore, he is highly motivated to stop the spread of the message of Jesus to the world. This plan was recorded in the Bible and documented in early church writings. These strategies have not ceased to occur even today. We can observe this in so many nations of the world. Open Christianity has been outlawed in nation after nation. Bibles have been outlawed and not allowed to be taken into many nations. It has almost become a crime to mention the Bible in any public school in America to chilren. Why is this? What threat does a peaceful and loving real Bible believing Christian with their Bible present to Satan? Think about that! What harm is given to anyone by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Satan is obviously very fearful of this message of love, grace and forgiveness and he is using people with power to try to silence it with laws, threats and violence. There are numerous nations where Christians are literally imprisoned because of their faith. There are also many other nations where they are literally slaughtered. Almost none of this is reported by the current news media. I wonder why? What spirit do you believe these news organizations are being led by?

These physical, mental, emotional and legal attacks used to potentially silence Christian people come from many religious and non-religious people in authority. We can read in the Bible that even those in the government specifically came against Christians and this movement is growing today.   Many times, these attempts of evil were based upon false accusations before unjust, unbalanced and unfair kangaroo courts. Perhaps some may not understand what a kangaroo court represents. This is a court setting held by a group of people in power in order to place someone on trial to find them as a fixed “guilty” especially without any appropriate evidence. In other words, the verdict was already predetermined before the trial began. The trial and predetermined outcome was just the faked appearance of justice for the punishment phase also predetermined.  Wow, this is happening right now in our Congress. Using these methods of unlawful convictions, the threats of imprisonment and even death are legitimatized by an unjust legal verdict removing the need for evidence or the due process of law. People in the early church were being convicted based upon hearsay and false testimony (Mar 14:56). These tactics have not changed from the early days of the church. We can observe this going on today right in front of our eyes.

It is increasing today that threats of evil come against anyone that will stand-up for the truth and whatever is honest, right, just and good. We can clearly see this in the world today if we do not have our heads figuratively buried in the sand. One group of growing extremism is calling those that do not agree with them very accusatory false names like “liars”, “haters”, “bigots”, “racists”, “Fascists”, “Nazis”, “Russian Agents or Spies” and other misguided untruthful accusatory names designed to destroy their character and reputation. But God warns us about this tactic many times in His Word.  Jesus said in Matthew 10:25, “If they have called the Master of the House, Beelzebub, how much more them of His household”.

We will in this part of the study dig deeper into detail on one chapter of the Bible (Acts 4) and then I will give an overview comparison of this to another chapter (Rev 2) example of how Satan repeats the same plans over and over against Christians. Acts 4 contains some of the most relevant tactics of Satan that are still being used in modern times. We will be able to observe how the Holy Spirit recorded events at the beginning of the church that are still repeating today at the end of the church. Almost everything in human history goes in repetitious cycles. Let’s observe one of the first recorded persecutions of the disciples of Jesus after He arose from the dead and ascended into heaven. We will be focused upon chapter 4 of the Book of Acts.

But before we go into a verse by verse detail, it is advisable for us to go back and read chapter 3 first, in order to find the context of chapter 4. When we do this, we learn how Peter and John were seen entering the Jewish temple in Jerusalem through a gate called “Beautiful” where a lame man sat daily. Everyone knew this lame man because he was there begging constantly for years since he was young. The lame man looks upon Peter and John expecting a coin gift and Peter says, “silver and gold we have none today, but what I have I give you in the name of Jesus get up and walk”. That was my paraphrase. The lame man received his strength to walk and went leaping into the temple praising God greatly. Wouldn’t you do the same? It is obvious that this got the attention of a lot of people and Peter begins to preach Jesus to everyone. Many even believed the message. Now we get to chapter 4 and the work of Satan in the mind of the religious leaders and rulers of the people that were also present.

Act 4:1  And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them

Acts 4:1 begins by describing the governing class of ruling elite politicians that entered the temple where the Jesus Bible lesson was being given out by Peter. This group of individuals were ranked in varying degrees of power and divided by varying degrees of bias based upon different beliefs. This sounds very much like the US Congress and Senate to me. For example, we have the High priest that was of the most powerful ranking official class to be present. This we could analogized to be like the Speaker of the House or the Senate Majority leader. Then we have sublevels of authorities of members of the synagogue mentioned below the High Priest named as “captains”. These were high ranking governor like individuals in the temple that could be analogized to be like the powerful committee chairs in the House of Representatives and the Senate. I hope you understand the comparisons being given. I did not write the book of Acts; I’m only reporting the truths that still applies and are parallel truths seen today in one government. Your government if you are from another nation probably has similar power levels of organization. Please, understand that I am NOT saying the US House and Senate is a Jewish Synagogue. I am only comparing the organization levels given by God to what still exists today.

Then notice the fact that there is one type of major political party that was directly named to be present called the “Sadducees”. I labeled this group to be analogous to a political party because that is exactly how it fits in the discussion of the Bible. This group of men followed common leaders, teachings and beliefs that were separate and opposed to another type of political group of leaders, beliefs and teachings called the “Pharisees”. We can read in Acts 23:6 how Paul uses the differences between these two belief groups as a basis for his legal defense. These truths are very parallel to what we have in the United States with our two dominate political parties called the “Democrats” and the “Republicans”.

The differences in Sadducee and Pharisee beliefs could be labeled as their “party platform”. A “party platform” is nothing but a list of beliefs, values and actions that a group publishes for people to garner support from likeminded people currently in or not in their organization. The Sadducees had a set of beliefs that are documented in the Bible and the Pharisees beliefs are also listed in the Bible. If you go on the internet you can read the Democrat Party Platform and the Republican Party Platform, and I highly recommend that you do this before you vote for anyone. These opposed belief statements from the Bible are parallels of truths to modern times. It is outstandingly amazing if you go and read and study this in the Bible.  By voting for a political party you are aligning yourself with their moral standards and beliefs.  This makes you one of them by association and this is what happened in the Bible with the Sadducees and the Pharisees. Which side people selected to be on was their own personal choice.

Act 4:2  Being grieved (G1278) that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead

Verse 2 says these elite leaders were in “anguish” with what was happening in their temple. Isn’t that amazing that they were not super excited about the great miracle that God had just performed? This miracle could be seen with their own eyes and by everyone that entered the temple for years! No, this Greek word translated as “anguished” means they were “worried”. What could they be so worried about? This is still the identical motivation of elite leaders today. These men were very apprehensive about potentially losing their position of power, respect and authority. They know that a miracle occurred, but they also knew that they personally had not done anything to make it happen. So now they realized that they were not going to receive the honor or the praise for it being done. Do you remember that Herod in Acts 12 did not give God the glory when people said he was a god? Aren’t these Jewish leaders in Acts 4 doing the same thing? Why weren’t they struck dead? I notice there was no prayers going up to heaven in this chapter, but that is enough of that subject for now.

Therefore, I believe that these Jewish leaders in Acts 4 thought a new leader named Jesus may take away their position of influence and power. Worry is a fear-based emotion of a potential shift of their power to be taken away from them and given to the name of “Jesus” that was being taught and believed upon by people that concerned them the most. Remember all these new believers in Jesus were previously dependent upon the Jewish leaders for their religious provisions. But now they were looking to Jesus. This is exactly what is happening in our world of politics today. There are people on both sides of every political system living in constant fear that they will lose their powerful position if people like or can get more from someone else that is better than what they can provide.

Here is something else that was greatly bothering the mentioned political party of the “Sadducees”. These people did not believe in the resurrection from the dead. Peter was teaching something that contradicted their teachings and this demeaned, degraded, humiliated their beliefs, teachings and positions. Peter said Jesus of Nazareth that they had killed was raised from the dead and by His name was this lame man made whole. Can you see the analogy being applied to today’s politics?

Many Christians today, are teaching what some politicians think is a revolting message that when a woman is pregnant that this is not a blob of lifeless tissues, but rather he or she is a living and developing human child that is a separate and a new life apart from the mother’s life. The mother is just the container vessel and supplier of nourishment for the developing new boy or girl. This truth offends people who believe they can kill this child right up until and now after they are born. The same types of God Bible truth subjects that were offending people back then in the early church are still very offensive to people now.

Act 4:3  And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold (G5084) unto the next day: for it was now eventide

We are up to verse 3 now. Immediately after hearing what was being taught about Jesus and how this lame man was healed Peter and John were seized by force and put immediately in prison without a trial or any legal due process. Wow, wow and wow again. Could this be happening again today in the USA? Did you hear what one political party said lately? A few of them were asking who could we get to go into the White House and put our President in jail? It doesn’t seem to matter that there was no crime, no trial or no legal due process. They just said go throw him in jail because we don’t agree with what he is saying and doing, and he must be doing something illegal. Can you read the Bible and tell me this is not a parallel of events happening again with the exact same desired outcome being expressed because of a differing belief system? I pray that we all wake up very soon. I believe that our God wrote these things in the Bible for such a times as this. Let’s read verses 4 through 7 next.

Act 4:4  Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
Act 4:5  And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers (G758), and elders, and scribes,
Act 4:6  And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.
Act 4:7  And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? 

Verse 4 through verse 7 are the beginnings of the mock trial designed to search for a crime to condemn the good men of GOD! The trial looks so good and honest on the surface. The main problem is that there are nearly 5000 people that believed the teachings of Peter and John and these ruling class elite leaders must be very careful what they do and how they do it. Whatever is done by these rulers must take on an outward appearance of being legitimate, just, legal, fair and right. Otherwise there could be a revolt against them to cause a rapid loss of their power. That sounds so familiar.

Verses 4 and 5 list the judges by name. Do you think I should do that today? I try not to use names to be less offensive, but God does not do this. I think wise and informed Christians know what God is talking about in this lesson. The unnamed key players in today’s modern mock trial are looking for a crime to remove their hated elected leader very similar to Peter and John two of the founding fathers of the Church of Jesus Christ. Is any of this news being accurately reported on in the unnamed news organizations?

Verse 7 informs us the prisoners were brought out of the jail and set before the judges and the questioning begins to find something to accuse them of. Like I said before, this is nothing but an attempt in Acts 4 to investigate in order to search for any possible accusation that could be leaked to the press and spread to the people to justify the death of Peter and John. Peter and John were asked a very direct question of their authority to do this miracle. There is an implication that they were out of line and possibly abusing this authority.   The parallels are amazing. Now Peter is permitted to testify and answer the question.

Act 4:8  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers (G758) of the people, and elders of Israel,
Act 4:9  If we this day be examined (G350) of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
Act 4:10  Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
Act 4:11  This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
Act 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Act 4:13  Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. 

In verse 8 we read that Peter was filled with the Spirit of God and is permitted to answer in his defense. Let’s move to verse 9. Peter reveals that they are being “examined” for doing something “good” to a lame man.   This Greek word G350 translated as “examined” means to be “interrogated”, “investigated” and even “judged” for doing something miraculous to a man that gave praise to God for his miracle.

I’m going to readdress the motivation of the leaders. I already believe that they were acting in the fear of losing their power, but what else could they lose? If Jesus could heal, save and forgive people they were no longer needed. Peter very clearly says that he was being asked by what means the lame man was healed and this implies the rulers were very concerned that the common people of that day could view this good act as not coming from them and this made them look unneeded. Again, this is like a loss of their power and an end to control of the people under their rule. If people look to politicians or even religious leaders as their savior, source and supply for their human needs, they are under their control. But if these people looked to Jesus or anyone else as their source and supply for their needs to be met then their power is removed.  Do you understand the comparison to what is happening now within the USA politics? Which political party wants to give away everything for free? How does all of this modern free stuff correspond to the Word of God and the promises made to Christians? If Christians only depend upon God, politicians become unnecessary.

Verses 9 through 12 contain the description of Peter preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ to the leaders of Israel. However, this message was not received as Good News because it threatened their powerful position of prestige.   If only political leaders then and now would be humble enough to give someone else the glory for them doing something good to or for someone else, what a more heavenly like place, we would live in.

Notice what verse 13 says. Verse 13 begins with “When they saw the boldness of Peter”.   This Greek word G3984 is amazing. This Greek word is defined by Strong as “all out spokenness”, which in other words means to not be intimidated by the power of the leaders to speak bluntly, boldly and very frank to them. It implies Peter was speaking with great confidence to very educated leaders while they knew he was not educated to their levels. Wow, again and again. Is this what is happening today? We have a President that is without fear, very bold, very blunt and to the point and is not afraid of any charge being attempted against him by educated men who most went to big law schools. I know he is not Peter, but the parallels here in the Bible are not given to us by a coincidence.

We know from reading this account the religious elite leaders looked down on Peter and John as being inferior outsiders. We can clearly see the superior attitude being displayed by them throwing Peter and John into their prison. Now think about what is happening in Washington D.C. today. We have a lot of highly educated leaders that believe they are above the President in status because he has never been elected to anything before, didn’t study and get a big law degree and is not a part of their secret club. They are clearly very fearful of a man that does not play the system and is not dependent upon powerful controlling interests given to control him. Remember when a man offered Peter money for the ability to lay his hands-on people to give them the Holy Ghost? What did Peter say to the man? Peter simply said, “Your money perish with you…” (Acts 8:20). That does not sound very politically correct or Presidential does it? Does it even sound like a Grace Teacher today? I don’t think so. These words of Peter would have been a highly offensive tweet in today’s standards.

If you are offended by the comparisons being made here, I am not going to apologize for it, because they did not come from me. I believe that it was the Holy Spirit that gave me this lesson that you should be concerned with. Stop, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show you the truth.   He will do it if you listen to Him.

Act 4:14  And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
Act 4:15  But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,
Act 4:16  Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny
(G720) it.
Act 4:17  But that it spread (G1268) no further among the people, let us straitly threaten (G546) them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.

I find verse 14 an amazing fact of Bible truth. When the unsaved world is faced with a real known miracle standing right in front of them with many witnesses to confirm the miracle, there is not much they can say publicly against it. The truth makes people either be silent or they can change the subject to detract from the good done by someone using distracting untruths. This is what is happening in our political world. One political party cannot admit the good that someone has done for the nation, so they detract from that with other subjects that make him look bad.

Let’s move to verse 15 now. Notice when a public statement is not good to be mentioned because of the advantage it gives to the one that did good, they are forced to leave and begin to plot behind their backs in private to come up with Satan’s next steps to take. This is also happening in the House of Representatives in recent months. It is a game that they believe we are stupid enough to believe. Of course, there are a large number that do agree with it.

We are given limited insight into the elite ruler’s private conversations and planning session in verses 16 and 17. They begin by asking the same question that is being asked today about our President “What can we do to these men?” Wow, things have just not changed. Remember I have said this before, but God’s Word teaches us “The thing that has been is that which shall be again; and that which was done is that which shall be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecc 1:9). Almost all human history repeats itself in patterns again and again. Why is this? Primarily because of a spiritual being that has been here on the earth since the first man was placed in the garden. Satan knows exactly what will work because most humans are unaware of what has already occurred in previous generations.

In verse 17 the leaders come to the final decision in the next phase of Satan’s plan. This was a secret agreement that they will all in unison threaten these good men and command them not to speak any more about this name. This is a very common tactic of Satan led extremism in the USA and probably where you live. If an extremist cannot win the argument with truth, reason and logic, then the only means at their disposal becomes loud orders and violent threats for any non-compliance in the future. If anyone speaks the truth but it does not agree with the popular beliefs of the ruling majority, power is wielded against the speakers to administer threats against them.

This Greek word (G546) that was translated as “straightly threaten” literally means to be “a menace” towards someone.   To be a menace simply means to be a person that is likely to harm another by threatening danger and injury to them. Remember who was talking to them! These menaces were the people that had recently condemned Jesus to die on the cross and He was guilty of absolutely nothing. Do you think they should be taken seriously? Peter and John certainly knew who they were speaking to.

Let’s move on now to how the plan of Satan was carried out. We will also be proving that this was the devil that was carrying out his plan through these ruling elite men:

Act 4:18  And they called them, and commanded (G3853) them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus

In verse 18 the accused men of God are brought before the kangaroo high court again to hear what was privately decided concerning them. After entering the court room, they are immediately commanded NOT TO SPEAK at all in the name of Jesus. The Greek word translated as “commanded” in verse 18 is a very fascinating confirmation of the devil’s work being involved here against Christian voices. This Greek word is G3853 (parangelos) that is derived from the combination of G3844 (para) and G32 (angelos). The first Greek root word G3844 means to be “near” or “beside” as in someone or something that is standing beside someone else. Now ask this question who is being stood by and what or who is it that is standing near them? The next root Greek key word will reveal this “who is standing near” to the rulers is G32 (angelos). This Greek word is normally translated as “angel” in the N.T. and it means a messenger. We all should know that there are both good and evil “angelos” in the Bible.   Wow, this knowledge should turn on some light bulbs in our brains if we know a few related Bible verses.   For example, 2 Corinthians 11:14 teaches us, “Satan is transformed into an angel (G32=angelos) of light”. Now we must understand who is doing the speaking here to figure out who this angelos is standing beside! The answer to who this angel is standing by we can find is the leaders and rulers of the Jewish synagogue that are judging in a legal trial against Peter and John. Let me give you another very key and important set of Bible verses that confirms what is happening in Acts 4:

Rev 2:9 I know your affliction and distress and pressing trouble and your poverty–but you are rich! and how you are abused and reviled and slandered by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
Rev 2:10 Fear nothing that you are about to suffer. [Dismiss your dread and your fears!] Behold, the devil is indeed about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested and proved and critically appraised, and for ten days you will have affliction. Be loyally faithful unto death [even if you must die for it], and I will give you the crown of life.

Jesus speaking to Christians in the church of Smyrna are being commended for enduring the trials being placed upon them, by who? Notice the six identical components found in Acts 4 to the story being revealed to us in Revelation 2. There are 1) Christians in both, 2) there is persecution/tribulation done against Christians in both, 3) there is prison in both examples, 4) there are Jewish leaders directly stated as judges in Acts 4 and implied to be judges implementing the tribulations in Revelation 2, 5) there is a synagogue where these mock trials are occurring in both and 6) there is a direct reference to Satan being the angelos (G32) of evil in both. Do you think this is a coincidence? Most intelligent Bible scholars will say there is no such thing as “coincidences” in the Bible, there are only “God designed incidents” given for us to discover. Praise the LORD! This information appears to confirm the repetition of the same strategies of evil against good people in both chapters.

Who were these Jewish men in Acts 4 imprisoning and placing on trial? They are speaking directly to Peter and John (two of the Christian foundations of the church). We know the church of Smyrna are just believers in the same church. Therefore, we understand who the good people are because they are on God’s side (Peter, John, church). What was the message of the Jewish men in Acts 4? Was the message a good work and word from God about God?   Obviously NOT, since the Jews were demanding “never preach in the name of Jesus anymore to any man”. It is very clear to me that the Jews in Acts 4 were being used by the wrong messenger (angelos) who was bringing them a warning from Satan telling them to shut up about teaching the name of Jesus. Can we agree that Acts 4 is an early attempt of Satan to silence the Church and it is a very similar pattern to what Jesus said about the church in Revelation 2?

Are not these plans, schemes and tactics happening after the death burial, resurrection and ascension of the LORD Jesus? Hasn’t Satan already been defeated? Yet, Christians are still being persecuted and tribulation is still a part of the people’s life in the church!   Is it possible for this to reoccur again today? Not only is it possible it is happening. This is amazing, this is exactly what is happening today in our world. We can learn from this story that this is one of the primary tactics of how Satan is working in modern times. Let’s finish our chapter in Acts 4:

Act 4:19  But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
Act 4:20  For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
Act 4:21  So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.

Back to Acts 4:19, Peter and John answer back the command to be silent with a very bold declaration. They said, “Whether it be right in the eyes of God to listen to your words more than unto God, you judge”. Wow, what wisdom God gave these men to speak to judges that were supposed to be fair to them and do what is right based upon God’s law. Then they continued with, “For we cannot, but speak the things which we have seen and heard”. In other words, they said “We can’t lie or be silent just because you say to”. I’m not going to compare the wisdom of our President to the wisdom of these two Spirit filled men named, Peter and John. But, the boldness of the president to speak what he sees and hears is amazingly similar against the other political party’s attempt to silence him and remove him from office by force. Our president is far from a perfect man but thank God that He still uses people like that to accomplish His purpose. You can find it over and over and over in the Bible. If God could not use imperfect people, I would NOT be able to teach the Bible, because I have made a lot of mistakes in my life.

I have never seen any president accomplish more positive things in the face of overwhelming resistance, rebellion and injustice in my life. If you don’t agree, that is your choice. I would recommend that you research the accomplishments before you pick up stones to throw at him. No other president has placed more conservative judges in the federal courts than he has. No other modern president has done as much for the nation of Israel as he has. No other president has done as much for saving unborn indefensible children than he has. Also, this president has given an order against the Johnson Amendment to be ignored. Therefore, Christian leaders are free to preach political truths without the fear of losing their non-profit status. That is God, believe it or not. Even if you are a little baby Christian these accomplishments are enough to give God praise for.

By verse 21, Peter and John were finished tweeting their response to Satan (that was just a joke but I’m sure it offended someone). Please lighten up and put down your stones. See some humor in what is being taught here it will help it go down better. Anger only cause hatred, strife and division. But we can see in verse 21 that Satan was not done tweeting back at them and he had more threats of violence that will be carried out if they do not learn to agree, conform, shut up and obey. The Greek word translated as “threatened” is the same word G4324 we looked at earlier and it still means “to menace”. That is a demonic characteristic if I have ever heard one. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy…”. That verse is a perfect description of what a menace does to a human.

 

CONCLUSION

There is so much more to learn from the Bible on this subject of God and politics as it relates to power that is used by Satan to try to silence God’s people. I would recommend that you go through the Gospels accounts of the trial of Jesus to see the strategies of how Satan plotted to constantly try to trap Jesus into saying something that could be used to accuse him. Then discover the plan to capture Jesus in the secret of night and take him before a fake court trial with witnesses that could not agree. Then there are the hearings before the Roman Governor Pilate to be executed. Learn how the crowd put pressure on the Governor to kill Jesus even allowing a bad man named Barabbas to be freed. Please go read this story because it could happen again to someone you know.

There are also many more chapters in Acts that God gave to us about the strategies that Satan is trying to reuse today to silence the Church. I would recommend that you go read each one where there is a mock trial that takes place, any unjust imprisonment of a teacher of the Word of God, look for anytime when someone is stoned or killed and look up the words that are selected by God in Greek dictionaries like Strong’s. There is so much written on this subject of Satan working through political leaders to come against righteous believers that we can’t cover it all in one Bible lesson. But that is all I am going to teach on this subject for now.

I thank you for taking the time to read and study the Bible with me today. I pray for my readers and ask God to bless you with the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the knowledge of Christ Jesus. I thank you if you do the same for me and my family. I welcome your comments and prayers. God Bless you and keep you until next time.

The Satanic Plan to Attempt to Take Control of America and the World – Part 1 – Introduction

Satan_Plan1(Ver 1.0) This Part 1 in a Bible lesson series concerning the Satanic Strategy and Plan Designed to attempt to take over full control of America and the Entire World. Hopefully you have studied the Bible enough to know that Satan is working hard on planet earth to create death and destruction (Jn 10:10). If you have ever read the book of Revelation, there are many references where Satan is displaying rage and fury while attempting to control everyone to be forced into receiving the mark of the beast. It is here on the earth where Satan rules the kingdom of darkness (Mat 12:26, Col 1:13). Satan is called the “god of this present world system” in 2 Corinthians 4:4. In this verse we are clearly informed that he has blinded the minds of every human that does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God sent into the world in the flesh to save them. In Revelation 12:9 this same spiritual enemy is said to have “deceived” the entire world with implied untruthful words spoken into our minds revealed to us in 2 Corinthians 10:5. Here in these two verses (2 Cor 4:4, Rev 12:9) we discover two major strategies for the Satanic agenda to take over the world that we need to become aware of. First, there is his goal in 1 Corinthians 4:4 that states Satan is causing significant human mental and spiritual blindness in the minds and hearts of humans so that they will not be able to receive God’s truth to get saved. For instance, if you don’t believe in Satan, demons, devils, spirits, angels, heaven, hell, God and Jesus then Satan has already caused a significant part of your mind to become veiled concerning spiritual realities of truth.

Then we can apply the light of Revelation 12:9 and 2 Corinthians 10:5 to begin to discover one significant way that Satan causes mental and spiritual blindness to occur. This inability to see and understand truth is accomplished by spreading enticing words of deception, temptation, distraction into our hearts to feed our carnal human natural desires enough to confuse us from seeing and receiving the truth. If Satan can deceive us in our mind with entertaining and distracting thoughts, then he has us on a wide pathway leading to our destruction (Mat 7:13). Therefore, God commands us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 to cast down every imagination and high thing (evil spirit) that attempts to exalt itself against the knowledge of God and bring into captivity every thought (G3540) to the obedience of Christ. There is a spiritual battle taking place in our mind almost every minute of the day for the supremacy of our thought life and beliefs.

 

INTRODUCTION TO THE REALITY OF A SATAN PLAN

I just gave you several verses in the opening which teach us Satan is operating with a planned agenda of evil. But, let’s begin this part of our subject introduction by reading one of the first direct reference to Satan in the Bible. We need to know that one of the first times Satan is mentioned in Bible book order is found in Genesis 3. However, that does not mean that this is the first time Satan was written about in the Bible. The Book of Job is the oldest known written book of the Bible and Satan was clearly written about in this book. Also note that in Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel we can find references written about Satan way after the Book of Job and the Law of Moses but these writings reveal Satan long before Adam ever existed on the earth.   Therefore, understand my intended direction is only to go to the first recorded human relationship and interaction with Satan in Biblical book order. Genesis 3 contains God’s reference to Satan with direct human interaction and influence after creation of our present world system. We will begin our section reading in Genesis 3:1:

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

I want to focus on only the first part of this verse. The Holy Spirit directs Moses to describe a being named the “serpent”. This is a symbolic title description for Satan.  But Satan was hidden in a symbolic reference and we are not informed of the “true identity” of this being until reading about him again in Revelation 12.   In Revelation 12:3 the Holy Spirit directed the Apostle John to record what appears to be a new symbolic being which was described to be the “great red dragon”. We could assume that this was a new living being that was described but, God provides us the revelation and symbolic definitions in Revelation 12:9 to teach us this larger symbolic dragon being is really the devil also called Satan. Then immediately in the same verse all this new information is then linked to the beginning to teach us that this dragon also represents the “old serpent” of Genesis 3. This is a God inspired revelation and definition and it teaches us significant truths about our enemy. The serpent, the dragon, the devil and Satan are all the same spiritual being using different titles, symbols, descriptions and names. This is just one way that God hides the truth in plain sight for us to search and find.

What we learn from these two symbolic representations (old serpent, great red dragon) is the existence of a major transformation across a span of time from the beginning of man’s history on the Earth until the near end of man’s existence in the present age. This change occurred over 6000 years and was from one much smaller old serpent symbolic version of Satan in the beginning (Genesis) who has now grown in significant implied size, power and ability becoming a great red dragon symbolic version of Satan by the end of man in Revelation. Wow, that is very important information to learn about your enemy.

Now, notice the Hebrew word H6175 that was translated in the KJV as “subtil” in Genesis 3:1. This word describes the symbolic serpent we found out to be Satan. This Hebrew word H6175 means “to be cunning or crafty”. This Hebrew word is describing an intelligent being that is very intentionally negative and evil towards humans from the very beginning of creation.   Let me give you some synonyms from the English that relate to this description of Satan being subtle.  Satan can synonymously be referred to as a being that is cunning, crafty, devious, sneaky, sly, tricky, calculating, shifty, wily and even mean.

These are not positive qualities and they describe the antithesis of the character of our God.   However, all these negative descriptions characterize a spiritual being of high intelligence with the mental ability to devise a plan for a purposed goal and outcome of evil deception. In fact, if you continue to read Genesis 3 and other parts of the Bible, you will find that Satan accomplished his plan. For example, we learn of Satan’s success by reading in Luke 4:5-6 where Satan offers all of the kingdoms of this world as a temptation for Jesus if He would just worship him. In these verses Satan claimed all these world kingdoms were given to him. How can this be since, it was Adam that was given dominion of the earth in Genesis 1:26. This could only be true if there was a change of ownership that was transferred from Adam to Satan during this early history of man. Remember 2 Corinthians 4:4 still calls Satan the “god of this world” even after the LORD Jesus was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven. That sounds like Satan believes that he is in control of a large portion of this world to me. However, I do not believe Satan rules over Christians, but that is only if we submit to God and resist the devil (James 4:7) so that we don’t cooperate with Satan’s plan.

Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 

There are significant number of people that teach and believe Satan either does not exist or is not a factor for us as Christians to be concerned about today as a saved believer in the cross, death, burial and resurrection of the LORD Jesus. However, that is not what the Bible reveals to us. Please read the context of this verse in Ephesians 6. God is revealing that Christians are in a spiritual battle with Satan and need to clothe themselves with His spiritual armor to be able to keep standing against his attacks. We learn from this that Satan is still attacking us. I included this verse in our lesson because it is written to the church and God informs us that Satan (the old serpent) who tricked Eve in Genesis is still implementing the same plan to try and trick Christians.   The key word that needs to be understood is G3180 that is translated as “wiles” in this verse.   “Wile” is defined as a devious or cunning strategy employed in manipulating or persuading someone to do what one wants them to do. This is a synonymous term for someone being “subtle”.

What does this sound like you? It should be obvious that Satan is implementing the same tricks today to deceive us as he did with Eve the first woman and Adam the first man. Now, factor in the knowledge of Revelation 12 where this old small symbolic Satan has become significantly greater in size with an implied increase in power, strength and ability and apply this to what he could be capable of doing today in the world. This knowledge should motivate us to want to learn more about this unseen being in order to not be misled like Eve was in the garden by his sneaky plan. If you do not think you can be tricked by this subtle Satan now because you are a saved Christian, I would strongly suggest that you read Paul’s warning to the saved Church:

2Co 11:3  But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds (G3540) should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Wow, reading this should also cause us to want to learn about our enemy and his ability and plan to deceive every Christian if he is able to trick us into believing wrong. Look at the description and wording being given. God says the “serpent beguiled Eve”. Beguiled literally means seduced and deceived and this is exactly what Satan did and you can read it clearly in Genesis 3:13 by Eve’s own admission. We begin to learn how Satan accomplishes this deception by a God revelation given to Paul.   Please, go back and read the verse again.

Did you notice where the trickery takes place in this verse in 2 Corinthians 11:3? According to the Holy Spirit Eve was tricked in her mind and Paul feared that those in the church that he was teaching would fall into the exact identical trap. Then notice this word translated as “minds” is a Greek Word that is translated as “devices” in 2 Corinthians 2:11.  Let’s back up to the first time this Greek word is used in the New Testament to a verse written on the same subject in the same book to the same people in the church. Read about what this word was originally referring to:

2Co 2:11  Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices (G3540).

Paul wrote extensively about this subject to the church at Corinth and told them that we should not be ignorant (meaning unaware, uninformed or unfamiliar) of Satan’s devices (G3540). This Greek word G3540 is used only 6 times in the entire New Testament with the majority found 5 times in this book. The Greek word G3540 which was translated as “devices” in this verse literally means “a perception”. One definition of the word “perception” is a way of regarding, understanding or interpreting information, and can also be referred to as a mental impression. We can easily learn that this is God speaking of a mental ability.

This Greek word G3540 comes from G3539 a word that means “to exercise the mind”. By implication this Greek word is speaking of the human mind’s ability to understand a subject. In fact, this Greek word was most often translated in the KJV Bible as “minds” in four N.T. verses where it was selected for use by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we have 4 times it was translated as “minds” and once as “devices” so far. But in the sixth verse where it is found in 2 Corinthians 10:5 the Greek word G3540 was specifically translated as a “thought” of the human mind. I quoted this verse in the opening paragraph of this lesson for this reason. Therefore, the word “devices” in 2 Corinthians 2:11 could very easily say “we are not ignorant of his thoughts or his mind” instead of “his devices”.

It appears to me from gaining this knowledge that Christians must become aware that we are engaged in a constant internal spiritual battle for the control of our mind and more specifically our thoughts. I believe that this thought war is one of Satan’s primary tactics used to deceive and distract a human. When he is successful, we will learn that it is even possible for him to eventually conquer and control them. It is critical to know, understand and discern that not every thought that we think in our mind comes from us. In fact, a thought can originate from several sources. First, there are our own personal thoughts and we can choose to think about anything we want. Then there are thoughts that come from the Spirit of God and these need to be recognized and embraced. But there are also thoughts that can come from other spiritual beings including good angels, bad angels, Satan, devils, demons, etc. How are you going to know the difference? You can’t unless you know the Bible.

Also note that Satan can use a thought and make it sound like it was something that came from us. Therefore, we can learn how Satan can be so tricky, cunning and subtle. Satan is not usually going to come into your mind and say, “This is Satan, go kill yourself”. No, he is smarter than that and will make us think “life is not worth living, I wish I was dead”. Wow, that makes us sound like we are the one that is crazy doesn’t it? Where do you think that human mental and emotional depression comes from? You could be feeling very depressed by Satan’s thoughts standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon and the thought just comes that says, “I should just jump and end it all now”.

Other thoughts from Satan might be “I was just born this way”, “I really love or I can’t live without alcohol, drugs, food, sex, etc., ….”, “I just can’t help myself”, “I am so ugly”, “I am so fat”, “I just can’t live without him or her”, “I can’t do anything right”, etc. Further, notice that 2 Corinthians 2:11 says that Satan can gain a significant advantage over any Christian through this mental distraction and deception process. Let’s review a verse that I mentioned earlier because it has the exact same Greek word that was translated as “devices”.

2Co 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds (G3540) of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

We learn from reading related subject study verses like this one in 2 Corinthians 4:4 that Satan possesses a very strong mental ability to utilize intelligent strategies against a human mind to cause people to see things that are not true to believe they are true and then see things that are true as though they are not true. That is what this verse says. People are taught the glorious Gospel Truth in church, TV, radio, by people in person and then Satan tricks them into not believing in Jesus as Savior and Messiah to be lost and go to hell. This is obviously his plan and strategy for every human. Let me give you some other English synonyms for the English word “devices” that we read about in 2 Corinthians 2:11. An enemy’s devises can be viewed as his ideas, thoughts, plan, plot, scheme, subversion, insurrection, rebellion, formulation, preparation and design used against humans. These words are all intentional activities attempting to cause a human to be tricked into becoming ineffective against Satan and ultimately completely controlled.

I believe firmly that Satan gives humans subtle thoughts to accomplish his evil plans. If people cooperate with these thoughts his plan is accomplished. I also want to teach that these thoughts are used in the minds other people, even Christians to turn against someone else to cause division, anger, strife, hatred and on and on until it reaches murder. Deception can come through Satan’s influence of another human speaking directly to them using their voice to speak to you. You can see this is also a very effective trick of our enemy.   If Satan can capture the mind of someone that we look up to, respect, and want to listen to then we are given him an open door into our mind. This is happening today in many public schools, colleges and universities to our children. They are being fed intermixed poisonous lies with random truths as if they are all teaching only truths.

This is very important information to learn the strategy of your enemy and to know who your enemy is really. We all have a lot to learn.

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

We can see clearly that Christians are not in a physical war with anyone on the earth. However, we should not be ignorant and should know that there are a lot of evil people on the planet doing a lot of mean things to other people and trying to deceive us. We learn from Ephesians 6:12 we are in warfare against, principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness and spiritual wickedness in heavenly places. This list is one reference to the existence of the spiritual rank of authority within Satan’s kingdom of darkness. It is for this reason, I said that thoughts to influence us personally to do evil or other people to do evil against us can come from all these different spiritual sources.

What I am attempting to teach is Satan is not stupid and in fact his mental ability is far beyond our natural human reasoning without renewing our minds (Rom 12:2) with God’s superior knowledge, understanding and wisdom to help us. Remember how old you are? Now, remember how old Satan is implied to be? He was just called “the old serpent” in Revelation 12. We also can calculate that Adam lived nearly 6000 years ago. Therefore, Satan has been deceiving humans for nearly 6000 years and you have just begun to learn how he operates. Who do you think is smarter? Unless we are in very close relationship with the Spirit of God and His Word, Satan is easily winning the battle in our mind.

Also remember that we further learn from 2 Corinthians 2:11 that Satan’s intellectual abilities can gain an “advantage” over a Christian because of their implied ignorance or lack of understanding of God’s Word. The term “advantage” simply means Satan has the winning edge in the battle. For example, in the sport of tennis if your opponent obtains “advantage” over you and then can win the next point they are legally awarded the game. This is a very interesting application to our mental war with the devil. We do not want to give Satan the advantage to set us up for defeat by agreeing with his mind and his thoughts. We want the advantage over him by eliminating our ignorance of his strategy. We only get this by gaining the knowledge of God’s Word and being led by His Spirit constantly. The moment we get back into the flesh we are most susceptible to defeat.

Being ignorant of our enemy is a very dangerous state of existence according to the Bible. In Hosea 4:6 God informs us “My people (including Christians) are destroyed for a lack of knowledge, because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you…”. If we do not make the effort to learn about our evil spiritual enemy, how his abilities can be used to deceive us or destroy us, how spiritual thoughts work to influence our choices, what Jesus has given to us, who we are in Christ and etc. then we are candidates to be easily conquered . Any wise military commander recognizes that the more they know and understands about their enemy they can use this to gain an advantage. Christians need to know the enemy’s tactics, their strengths, their weaknesses, their strategies and plans to operate against God’s children.

Believe it or not Christians are in a constant spiritual warfare with an unseen spiritual enemy (2 Cor 10:4, Eph 6:13-18). We know that Jesus has won the ultimate victory (Col 2:15), yet Satan is still exercising great influence over the planet and appears to be implementing an ultimate plan to try to take over the planet Earth and heaven completely. If Christians are not aware of Satan’s schemes, systems, organization, devices and plans there is little going to slow Satan from appearing to be very successful.

 

HOW SATAN IS IMPLEMENTING HIS PLAN TODAY

I have observed in the last 50+ years the moral decay of the USA and the world. All we need to do is to observe trends in the media, TV, movies, books and now the internet. What was once hidden secret sins, are now openly promoted and protected as a prideful normal and acceptable behavior. Evil has grown significantly more influential in numbers and ability within Satan’s kingdom of darkness. We have seen the rise of lawlessness and rebellious behavior in so many people, the increase of disloyalty, the surge of self-indulgencies with acceptance of legal drug abuse, alcoholism, gambling, lotteries and other habitual forms of Satanic control. These sins are filling up the cups of iniquity to an overflowing measure in our streets.

We have observed many Christians in the last 50+ years widely and passively allowing this evil plan to happen by not praying, speaking out or participating in voting or running for political offices of authority! One wise person said, “The only thing necessary for evil to prevail, is for the good people to do nothing”. Wow, this has been happening all over the world.

Here in the United States, the un-elected 9 members of the US. Supreme Court have been allowed to make laws that the US Constitution does not give them the right to enact. Only the US Congress and the elected officials in the states, the counties and the cities working for the people that voted for them, have the legal authority and the right to make any law. Therefore, if a law is enacted that is in opposition to the truth of God’s Word, we should be rapidly changing our lawmaker selection. These activist judges have changed the course of the United States and placed us on a pathway to destruction by forcing the acceptance of the Satanic agenda. Here are just a few examples:

  • The allowance and acceptance to increase federal government power and control from unelected permanently hired bureaucrats.
  • the forced elimination of God, prayer and the Bible from being taught to our children in public schools,
  • the forced acceptance of murdering our children in the womb
  • the forced acceptance of Godless marriages in every state removing the Biblical definition of a God defined true marriage between a man and a woman.

These are just 4 major examples of Satan’s plan that has already been implemented through US court rulings. There are more that have not been fully implemented yet that I did not mention.   How can the votes of 5 unelected judges with no accountability to anyone, overrule God, the Bible, the will of the “majority” of the people and force them to accept the immoral ways of a minority of the people?

Through the years of recent history, we have observed the rapid moral decay of our elected government officials. Many of these people lie to our faces believing that we are stupid enough to accept their promises as truth. However, there are a lot of people today that do believe the lies. Notice, what is different about my Bible lesson from the other ways people are working today. I am not naming names of people and I am not accusing anyone specifically to be responsible for this other than Satan.

If you are unaware of the freedoms that we were originally given to us in the USA, then you are probably unaware of how these freedoms are slowly being removed as a basic human right. I am a very firm believer that Satan must take these rights away in order to gain the control of people. Here are some of the main rights that will vanish quickly if Christians do not pray and elect right people in the government.

  1. Freedom to speak (preach, teach) the Gospel in private or public including radio, TV, internet, books, CD’s, etc.
  2. Freedom to speak any conservative or Bible Truth in public or on the internet without consequences of being blocked or removed from the platform
  3. Freedom to speak anything that is not in agreement with the coming Satanic One World Government Agenda
  4. Freedom to stand for God’s definition of a normal marriage being between only one male in union with one female for life.
  5. Freedom to embrace the scientific truth of fact that human gender is determined from the contribution of the father’s sperm X or Y chromosome being joined with the X chromosome of the female egg contribution. An all XX is a female and an XY is a male. God and science teaches us that the human that was birthed does not determine this gender choice.
  6. Freedom to share about the Bible and Jesus to someone not a Christian
  7. Freedom to assemble peacefully in a Church or public setting
  8. Freedom to defend oneself from evil and the enemies in the world
  9. Presumed Innocence of all alleged charges and accusations
  10. Right to a fair trial for any alleged accusation before being found guilty
  11. Right to unbiased legal assistance
  12. Equal Justice under the Law for every alleged criminal act and not selected agendas items against those that are not in agreement with their beliefs

All these freedoms and others must be ended for the Satanic agenda to control every person on the earth. Then there are other agenda items that must be fully initiated in order to complete the control of every human:

  1. Planned Elimination of Absolute and Scientific Empirical Truth for the establishment of unfounded, untruthful and unprovable lies and theories, i.e. Evolution, etc.
  2. Planned Elimination of national sovereignty and national borders to accommodate a supposed greater one new world order of central global control strategy and solution
  3. Planned Elimination of all defensible firearms completely except in the government for power and control
  4. Planned Elimination of printed money and all coins to promote a supposed safer non-monetary electronic system of buying and selling
  5. Planned Elimination of all open and independent food sources, other than governmentally controlled sources
  6. Planned Elimination of private farms, businesses, manufacturing, etc., with the government owning and controlling every food producing area
  7. Panned Elimination of all power sources not approved and owned by the government
  8. Planned Elimination of all private and public non-approved transportation not owned and controlled by the government

Think about what it is that you freely enjoy today that allows you to be independent from the government and observe how this freedom is being eroded away from you through some proposed agenda and alleged issue. We have people today telling us we can’t eat beef because this is potentially causing greenhouse gases destroying our world. We have this same charge being used to say we all must give up our motorcycles, cars, trucks, buses and airplanes because they emit too many harmful gases and we are all going to die if we don’t.

There are also other Satanic Strategies that are on the agenda to be implemented and are happening right now in part in the USA and the entire world.

  1. Planned Control of approved, accepted language terms and words by forcing new corrected word definitions within every conversation. For example, it is no longer called “abortion” because it has been relabeled as “women’s healthcare” choices. This makes what was evil sound more tolerant and acceptable. We are also told we can’t call anyone a he, she, him or her only them or they so there is no longer any offensive gender reference attached to our descriptions.
  2. The planned Insulting, defaming and slandering of the good character of anyone that is not in agreement with the Satanic agenda is happening all over in the world
  3. Making it a crime to oppose the devious stated good purpose and plan of the wise government which will become punishable by jail, prison or even death is on the rise
  4. Most Satanic Governmental control strategies are based upon making the entire human population totally dependent upon them for their source of finances, their ability to spend their finances, their healthcare, their food supply and the ability to buy food and our dependence upon our protection from the evil people of the world to name a few.

There are literally many other Satanic Agenda items that can be observed happening now in our world and many of these are prophesied to happen in the Bible. That is what this Bible study series s going to attempt to address. If you did not read an item that you see happening in the present world and feel that it is very important to note, please leave us a comment and share it with others. Let’s look over just one example of Bible verses spoken by the LORD Jesus that concern this subject of what will be happening right before He returns, and we should be able to observe some of the specific things that I just listed. We will be reading in Luke 21 today for our introduction to the topic:

Mat 24:3  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
Mat 24:4  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Mat 24:5  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:6  And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Mat 24:7  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
Mat 24:8  All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Mat 24:9  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
Mat 24:10  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
Mat 24:11  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:12  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Mat 24:13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Mat 24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

These things that I underlined are just a few of the prophesied evils that Satan will initiate. Always remember these things are designed to replace faith with fear which can lead a good Christian to be deceived. Jesus starts the description of events with a warning for His followers not to be deceived. Jesus informs us that many false Christs and prophets will arise with deceiving messages. If a Christian does not know their Bible very well, they can easily be tricked. I pray that you will always verify anything that anyone teaches you by your own personal Bible study to verify that what is said is what God said and that includes anything you read from me.

I have observed a few of these false Christs and false prophets. They do exist. I can name two extreme religious leaders right off the top of my head. There was Jim Jones in Jamestown Guyana in 1978 who caused around 900 of his followers to drink poison and die and then there was David Koresh who claimed to be the last prophet living in Waco Texas in 1993 that caused many of his followers to die in fire while being assaulted by the government. If you are going to go to your death by following any physical man on the earth, you have been deceived. If you are going to be killed by following our LORD Jesus Christ, that is a totally different situation. Make sure you know who you are following and who is killing you. It should not be someone on the earth claiming to be your Christian leader, teacher, prophet or Messiah. If it is, that is Satan deceiving you.

Jesus in verse 6 says there will be wars and rumors of wars. In the last 100 years we have observed many wars. Most have ended and others appear to go on indefinitely. The current war on terror that the USA has been involved with is a type of never-ending war against evil. No matter how many evil terrorists we kill, the devil in those dead terrorists just go into new people and keep the evil going.   We should understand what God said to us in Ephesian 6:12 “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but with principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and wickedness in high places”.

Jesus in verses 9 and 10 informs us of a rise to hatred and we can certainly observe this all over the globe. I have never seen it at this level in my lifetime and it appears to be increasing. I have seen groups better to be called “gangs” on the news, beat isolated people that were not attacking the gang but rather just standing to document and observe the acts. I have seen 8 or 10 people beating just one unarmed human being for no good reason. This is hatred being exalted to control and silence others that are observing.

 

CONCLUSION

Ok, I’m not going to go through every verse of Jesus’ statements in Matthew today in this lesson. I just wanted to give you a taste of what the Bible says about the times that we are living in. I pray that this interests you. I also pray that it does not cause you to fear what is happening. I also pray that it does not offend you like Jesus said it would when the severe persecution grows stronger as it is happening right now. In the next lesson in this series, if the Lord is willing, I plan to get into specific Satanic agenda items that can be observed from Bible occurrences, prophecies and by simply watching the news. The first subject planned is Satan’s Desire to Silence the Church believers.  I can see this rising slowly ever since the 1950’s.  I believe that Satan knows that he must silence the church or his plan will not succeed.   If he can keep us from sharing our testimony with others, preaching the Gospel and praying for the situations going on in the government and the world today, he has won.

God Bless you and thank you for reading these Bible Study lessons. If you would share them with your friends on Social Media that would be a blessing to me and to them. Thank you for being a blessing. I love you and Jesus loves us all and He is coming very soon, believe it or not.

If you would like to continue Reading in this series click on “Part 2” now.

Understanding the Parable of the Sower Part 4 – The Fruit

grapes-2656259_960_720(ver 1.0) This is now Part 4 in the essential Bible study series that is dedicated to helping everyone to better understand the Parable of the Sower.  If you have not read this series from the beginning, I would strongly suggest that you go back and start reading with “Part 1” first. If you have already read from the beginning, I hope that you have enjoyed following this series. I believe this information has some of the greatest foundational truths about how the kingdom of God operates and why some people are saved, and others are not. Won’t it be sad for someone to have had the opportunity to hear the truth but not value it enough to receive God’s seed into their heart. I believe that this will be the reason why God says in the book of Revelation that He will wipe away all tears from our eyes (Rev 21:4). If someone you knew rejected God’s Word and chooses to go to hell versus believing the Good News that you tried to tell them about, how would you react? I will probably be weeping at judgment day.

I recently attempted to witness to a Jewish lady on her death bed in a nursing home. I had known this kind lady for approximately a year. We would visit this nursing home once a week and bring Jesus and the Bible to anyone that would listen, hear and believe. I tried to mention Jesus to her more than once. But she never opened her heart to receive the truth that Jesus was her Messiah. On her death bed, I told her very plainly “Jesus loves you and doesn’t want you or anyone else to die and go to hell”. That is certainly a true statement, but she was just still very hard hearted and unwilling to listen. I prayed for her and left her room feeling very sad.  It was only a couple days later that I heard she passed away. That grieved my heart even more and I could only hope that she gave her heart to Jesus after I had left speaking to her. No one can make anyone else see the truth or force them to receive the “seed” to be born again. We can only do our best to plant the seed by speaking it in love and praying for them.

Today’s subject of “fruit” is as deep as the previous subject in the series on “seeds”. There is a direct law of continuous co-existence given by God in Genesis 8:22 between seeds the cause and fruits the results. God teaches us in this verse that “as long as the earth remains seedtime (sowing seeds) and harvest (reaping fruit) will never cease”. Also, in Genesis 1:11 God states another law that any certain fruit originates from only the same certain seed of the exact kind and it continues to say that we only obtain that certain seed to produce these certain types of fruits from the fruit itself of the exact same kind.   It is a great unexplainable mystery of Divine creation to atheists and evolutionists.

 

Introduction to “FRUIT”

This is truly an amazing subject. The importance of learning, knowing and understanding this Parable is the key to so many of our basic successes in life and for us learning any other parable in the Bible. The antithesis of that statement is not learning, knowing or understanding this Parable is probably one of the main reasons why Satan is so easily able to take the Word from our heart to win the spiritual battle that we are in. As we learned in previous lessons the “Seed” of the Parable is the Word of God. We should also know that God’s Word is always pure (PS 119:140) and honest (Jo 17:17) and is designed by the LORD to produce the same good results in all people. The result of bringing forth this fruit is what we can call receiving “eternal life” (Mat 4:4). But we also learned that the positive element of God’s Seed has a counter negative type of seed (evil words of lies and deception) that are trying to produce Satan’s evil nature and outcome of “eternal death” in every person. This is just an example of the law of Genesis being restated. God is Good and His Seed is good and the Fruit from His Seed is also good.   Please allow me to provide a verse that is a confirmation for God’s “fruit” representing the good element of receiving “eternal life”:

Pro 11:30  The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

This is a verse that is of great significance. Remember the Tree of Life was one of two main trees that God placed in the center of the Garden of Eden. God did not forbid Adam to eat from this good tree of life; this implies that it was His intention for man to never die. We can find that this is how it will end up in the last chapter of Revelation. But eating this fruit of eternal life opportunity changed when Adam ate from the tree of death (knowledge of good and evil). I hope and pray you are understanding what the LORD is teaching us here.  It appears from reading Genesis that after Adam sinned and before Adam or Eve could eat from the tree of life, an angel was placed around it with a flaming sword to guard the way to it (Gen 3:24).

Notice what this verse in Proverbs 11 says. It speaks of the fruit of a very specific subset of people called “righteous”. The adjective of righteous limits who has the right to produce and eat of this fruit. The righteous represent only saved Christians that have been redeemed from the kingdom of darkness by the shed blood of Jesus Christ (Rom 5:19). Notice the implied truth that all people have some type of fruit, but those that are unrighteous cannot have the fruit of life. Therefore, based on the antithesis truth that can be extracted, this teaches us that “the fruit of the unrighteous is a tree of death”.  This means that these made righteous were previously unrighteous people with this fruit of eternal death. But they have now been reborn (John 3:7) into a new potential dimension of spiritual existence to produce the fruit of life. Here in Proverbs 11:30 saved people are being called a “tree with never ending life” because of the associated presence of this righteous “fruit”. Based upon this knowledge there are other additional implied but unstated direct truths that can be derived from reading this verse.

For example, there had to be a “seed” that produced the tree that produced the fruit. This is a profound and applicable truth connected with the Parable of the Sower. It also matches the principles given to us in the Parable of the Wheat and Tares when God informs us of the existence of two opposing seeds that are sown in the same soil to produce two opposing types of good and evil fruits. These two types of fruit were allowed to grow together in the same environment in order to cause the good wheat to not be pulled up when forcing out the bad tares. Finally, I will say that this verse in Proverbs further implies that a righteous person must have this specific fruit or without it they have no lasting life. This too is a very profound parallel to our study of the Parable of the Sower.

As you should be able to realize, the subject of “Fruit” is a very essential topic in the Parable of the Sower. It is a classic example of God’s created law of “cause and effect”. The “fruit” represents the end effect of the originating seed cause. Without the good seed (Word of God) there would not exist any good fruit of life.  This is a very profound statement to consider. Please let me ask you a question. Why did Satan ban the Bible from Public Schools in the USA in 1962? He did this so that there would come a generation of children that would not hear God’s Word to produce life. Since that very bad Supreme Court decision the USA began to have mass shootings at schools, universities, movies, shopping centers and other events where helpless undefended people gathered. The seeds of death breeds the fruits of death and they become greater and greater in numbers. People today ask why are these things happening? They believe the solution to end the evil is to remove the guns and that is exactly what Satan wants to happen next to make everyone unable to defend themselves. But the ONLY solution to the evil fruit of death is to teach the Word of God to change hearts to bring forth life producing fruits of righteousness. That is the only real solution, believe it or not. Satan hates this truth and does not want you to share it with others, but please do it anyway.

What does the Symbolic Fruit in the Parable represent? Does it only represent eternal life and salvation? I will say that if we believe that the symbolic “fruit” in this Parable of the Sower only represents one definition such as “eternal life”, I believe that we would be missing some very important additional items that the LORD desires for us to know about the subject. For example, many people believe that the “fruit” in the Parable of the Sower only represents “salvation”. But others in the church believe the “fruit” only represents the “fruits of the spirit” which are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance found in Galatians 5:22-23. But, in studying this subject, I believe the LORD showed me that this symbolic “fruit” in the Parable represents 1 general meaning we can label as Salvation or Eternal Life and at the least 3 additional qualities simultaneously.

Fruit of the Righteous = Salvation/Eternal Life & Arises from a Combined 3 Variable Fruit Types:

  1. Fruit of the Womb/Sowing Seeds in Others
  2. Fruit of our labor for Christ Jesus
  3. Fruits of the Spirit

It could be stated like a mathematical equation FRUIT OF LIFE = A FRUITFUL WOMB + OUR FRUITFUL LABOR + A FRUITFUL SPIRIT. All these last 3 types of fruits can vary from 0 to a very large number depending upon human desire, dedication and commitment. The existence of these three types of variable fruit types would also help us understand how some saved Christians could produce only 30 times, while others 60 times and still others 100 times. I hope we can explore this in more detail in this lesson, but if not, I will do another lesson just on this topic, the LORD willing.

 

LEARNING FROM THE BIBLE DEFINITIONS OF FRUIT

Any serious Bible student should always be interested in digging deeper into the meanings of the original language words selected by God to describe every subject and “fruit” is no exception. In this section of the lesson I plan to focus on two primary key Greek words. The first is G2590 and second is G2592. G2590 occurs 66 times in the N.T. in 56 verses. It was translated in the KJV Bible as the plural “fruits” 10 times in 10 verses with the majority of the other verses as just “fruit”. This word is used by God in the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:8, Mark 4:7-8 and Luke 8:8. I would like to go through every verse where God used this word in the Bible but, the lesson size would be extended far too long. I would suggest that you do this detail study on your own. Using a good Bible software program on your computer go search for the words G2590 and G2592 and read all the verses as well as the context of each. Then write down whatever stands out because this is usually the Holy Spirit speaking to you about these verses. If you do not have a good Bible software program on your computer, I recommend “eSword” because it is a completely free download for most Windows compatible PC’s or you can get it for around $10 for an Apple based computer.   This is not a advertisement for this program; I am just suggesting it based upon my experiences of using it for almost 20 years.

The second key Greek word found in the Parable of the Sower that is very important to the subject of fruit is G2592 and it was translated as “beareth fruit” in Matthew 13:23 and “bring forth fruit” in Mark 4:20 and Luke 8:15. We will dive deeper into this Greek word soon, but first let’s place our attention on the word G2590 translated as “fruit” and read the Strong’s definition to learn something that I believe is amazing:

G2590

Probably from the base of G726; fruit (as plucked), literally or figuratively: – fruit.

This is a very interesting word. The literal definition of this Greek word is “fruit”. But it is specifically related to an example of “fruit” that was plucked by force from a tree. This meaning is very profound when applied to people. The word “plucked” can be defined as “take hold of something (a person for example) and quickly remove it from its place”. It can be furthered defined as “to quickly or suddenly remove someone from a dangerous or unpleasant situation”. Wow, what does that sound like to you? I call it God’s purposeful definition for the “rapture”.   You see if you notice in the definition Strong indicates that this word G2590 must have come from the base of another Greek word G726. If you look up this word’s definition it means “to seize by force” and can be translated many times as “catch away”, “catch up”, “pluck”, “pull” or “take by force”. G726 is the word used by God through Paul to describe the rapture event in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 where it is written “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (G726) together with them in the clouds to meet the LORD”.

The Greek word G726 is transliterated as “harpazo”. There are a lot of people that call themselves Christians that refuse to believe in this rapture event that is theologically sound. That is very sad to me since just because the literal word “rapture” was not in existence at the translation of the original KJV Bible does not mean the word definition and concept is not clearly found in the original text using other words. What I would suggest is that everyone study this subject in more depth with an open mind before criticizing those people that teach about the “rapture” calling them false teachers or worse.

I would highly recommend that you go and search your Bible program for the word G726 and you should find 13 verses. In at least 4 verses it is directly speaking of people being taken up and away from the present location on the earth by a supernatural force not by their request.

What am I trying to say with this G2590 word definition message? I think you are smart enough to understand the message from what has just been revealed. It should be obvious that a person having “fruit” is connected with them being “raptured”. Now, rapture is not my message, it is the LORD’s message and I am just a messenger. It is the Author of the Bible that selected and connected the word “G2590” translated as “fruit” to G726 defined as “a forced departure”. What I conclude from this information is that when the rapture occurs suddenly, only those Christians with real spiritual fruit will be taken up. This makes it sound very important for us to learn and know what this “fruit” represents. Can we agree?

What I have discovered from my Bible study is that it is only the presence of the real God kind of “fruit” that is an indicator of human salvation. If we go and read Matthew 7:15-20 we find the LORD’s description of two kinds of fruit, one good and one evil. Jesus asks, “Do men gather grapes from thorns?” “Or figs of thistles?” Grapes and figs are symbolic good fruit describing good people and thorns and thistles are both symbolic bad/evil fruit describing bad/evil people. Jesus states very clearly “By their fruit you will know them”. I think this is very important in understanding the Parable of the Sower fruit.

Therefore, I believe that it is very important for us to judge our self to see if we are producing only “God’s good kind of fruit”.   What I would like to do is go through some new scriptures that teach us this truth. These are all words spoken by Jesus on the same subject of producing fruit, but they are given using a slightly different parallel analogy. Please read these words slowly and carefully. Notice the words that are underlined:

Joh 15:1  I am (Jesus, the 2nd Personality in the Trinity) the true vine, and my Father (the 1st Personality in the Trinity) is the husbandman (Garden Owner/Worker).
Joh 15:2  Every branch (Christian) in me that beareth (G5342) not fruit (G2590) he taketh away: and every (Christian) branch that beareth (G5342) fruit (G2590), he purgeth (G2508) it, that it may bring forth more (G4119) fruit (G2590).
Joh 15:3  Now ye are clean (G2513) through the word (G3056/logos/the Seed) which I have spoken unto you.
Joh 15:4  Abide (continue, stay, remain) in me, and I in you. As the branch (Christian) cannot bear fruit (G2590) of itself, except it abide in the vine (Jesus/Word); no more can ye, except ye abide (continue, stay, remain) in me (the Word).
Joh 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth (continues, stays, remains) in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit (G2590): for without me ye can do nothing.
Joh 15:6  If a man (Christian) abide (continue, stays, remains) not in me (the Word), he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men (angels) gather them, and cast them into the fire (hell), and they are burned (in hell).
Joh 15:7  If ye abide (continues, stays, remains) in me (Word), and my words (Seeds) abide (continues, stays, remains) in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Joh 15:8  Herein is my Father (the Garden Owner) glorified, that ye bear much fruit (G2590); so shall ye be my disciples.

As you probably know the words in parenthesis are not in the original translation. I placed these explanations of what Jesus was speaking of to help us better understand the truths being stated. I also placed certain Greek words in parenthesis to identify the important definitions that we may need to look up and study.

Jesus begins in verse 1 with the declaration of “He is the True Vine”. This is a symbolic definition connecting Jesus to be the spiritual reference to the TRUE Vine. He was informing us that He is a human’s only source of real spiritual life and any others who claim to offer true life the same is a false pathway that produces death. The next statement is another spiritual definition of His Father to be a symbolic “husbandman”. This Greek word literally means “a Farmer”. A farmer is someone that works the land or soil to produce a fruitful crop. We have a lot of parallel truths being given to us in this description that matches the symbols found in the “Parable of the Sower” but with slightly different symbolic details being given to us.

In verse 2 we are introduced to a new detail called a “branch” of Jesus the True Vine. This is a powerful concept being described. Have you ever done a study of your “family tree”? You see in a natural family tree diagram you are symbolically connecting your ancestry to be like a tree with a lot of branches that sprang out of a trunk to produce some fruit. Wow, this is what the LORD is teaching using a vine with branches. Jesus is describing the same type of natural family tree paradigm with lots of spiritual family members using a vine analogy.  In 1 Corinthians 6:17 God tells us that “whoever is joined with the LORD is one spirit”. Remember in this John 15 story we are being taught spiritual concepts through the applications of natural truths. When we become Christians, we became symbolic branches that are attached to Jesus our Vine, living on the inside of us and we are now one with the Vine (Jesus).

How does a vine and its branches work and what does it mean spiritually? In the natural a vine originates from a seed and develops roots that produces the main head vine that receives moisture from the soil and carries it though the entire vine structure to all the branches so that they can produce fruit. I believe in this discussion the Holy Spirit and the Word of God are represented by the moisture coming from the root proceeding through the head vine (Jesus) to feed us the branches (Christians). We know this because in verse 3 Jesus reveals that we in the church called branches are made clean (G2513) by the Words of God spoken to us.   We can better understand this concept by reading Ephesians 5:26 where Christ is stated to be moving to cause His church to become a sanctified and cleansed (G2511) bride by the washing of the water by His Word.

Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Eph 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse (G2511) it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 

The Greek word G2511 used in Ephesians 5:26 is defined as “to make clean”. It can also be translated as “purify”, “purge” or “cleanse”. It is normally referring to a present tense work of cleansing. In other words, it is not normally used as the past tense of someone that has already been cleansed (made clean). What is it that Jesus is cleansing from the Church? That is a great question that desperately needs our understanding. Many in the church today ask, “Aren’t we all supposed to be completely forgiven with all our sins (past, present and future) completely covered by the Blood of Jesus so that God calls us righteous?” The answer to that is yes, that is all true, BUT we all still sin and that is a major issue that God wants to address in us to make us pure. NO sin is acceptable to God and our unconfessed sin still has consequences. However, according to 1 John 1:9 “God is faithful and just to forgive all of our sin and cleanse (G2511) us from all unrighteousness, IF we confess and ask him to forgive us”.

1Jn 1:8  If we say that we (the Church Bride) have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1Jn 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Despite what some preachers teach, these verses in 1 John 1 are written to real saved Christians. We are instructed by the LORD to confess our sins in order to be forgiven for them. Let me type the antithesis truth of this statement so that we can see what happens if we do not do the first part of the verse. “If we do NOT confess our sins, He will not be faithful or just to forgive us our sins, nor will He cleanse us from all of our unrighteousness”. That is a very strong unstated truth whether we want to believe it or not. One very popular unnamed preacher that I heard recently said “We should confess our sins (present tense) because He has already forgiven us (past tense). I’m sorry but, that is illogical thinking. I do something wrong and sin against God and then come to Him and ask for forgiveness but He does nothing because it was already done 2000 years ago?” What if I did that to my wife? I hurt her very badly with some unkind words and then say I’m sorry.” Is she going to be like this preacher said and tell me “that is ok, I already forgave you when we first got married”? I don’t think so. No, asking for someone for forgiveness and receiving their forgiveness all present tense now should be a normal ongoing part of any healthy relationship, natural or spiritual.

Notice the terminology in verse 27 of Ephesians 5. God is speaking of a clothing issue. This is like a bride with a wedding dress. Does any bride wanting to be beautiful for her future husband want her dress to be stained, spotted, torn or wrinkled when meeting her husband at the altar? She doesn’t if she is in her right mind. This is a picture of the bride Church that is used by God in this verse. What church member wants to stand before the Holy Sinless Lord Jesus and be unclean, impure and stained with sin in their garment? You better not! If you don’t care there is a major issue of deception taking place somewhere. You see Ephesians 5:27 says God desires us to be Holy. That means without sin spots. I’m going to give you another scripture about this condition as we continue.

If you look at the definition of G2511 used in Ephesians 5:26 and 1 John 1:9 you will find that it comes from the Greek word G2513 and this is the exact word used in John 15:3 when Jesus said “Now you are clean (G2513) through the words that I have spoken to you”. Notice the difference between G2513 and G2511. G2511 is a past tense completed work “now you are clean” and G2513 is a continuing future tense work of a cleansing in progress. The John 15:3 G2511 is like saying I already had my bath with the Word of God. But the Ephesians 5:26 reference is like I just got dirty again in sin and G2513 appears to be that He is washing me again in response with His Word. In other words, Ephesians 5:26 and 1 John 1:9 both describes a present tense work of God in progress of us being washed and represents someone that is NOT yet fully clean (without sin). This information about cleansing the church of our sins matches the description of cutting off the unfruitful branch or pruning the fruitful branches in John 15:2 that we are about to discuss next.

Notice the facts that are given to us in verse 2 of John 15. There are two opposing types of branches being spoken of, one type has no fruit because of an unstated or implied factor of sin and the other type of branch has some fruit of varying levels that have need to be increased. The unfruitful branch is eventually cut off from the Vine (Jesus) and that is amazing. That should awaken you if you think you are a Christian and do not have any visible fruit. This truth places the responsibility of producing fruit primarily on the branch’s cooperation and participation to abide (continue, remain, stay) in the Vine. It also teaches us that it is possible not to continue in the Vine to cause zero fruit production and this causes us to be cut off from our source of eternal life. That knowledge should literally scare you. I know that people do not like this kind of preaching, but it is still the truth.

I am going to introduce you to another scary set of verses about church members being cut off. Please open your Bibles and go to Revelation chapter 3 and read verses 1 through 6. Jesus is speaking to the church in Sardis and these words apply to the church in your city also. In verse 3 Jesus commands them to repent. A lot of churches do not teach this part of the Bible because they focus only on an unbalanced Grace extreme. But Jesus says in verse 4 there are a “few” who have not defiled their garments. What is that speaking of if not sin? Jesus is utilizing a symbolic clothing condition of being unspotted for those in the church that possess purity, holiness and are without sin. You see a clean white garment is what a virgin bride wears to her wedding to be joined to her husband like we have been discussing. This is how Jesus wants us to be when He comes for us. If you read Revelation 19 and 20 you will find His people that were taken to heaven and that come back with Him to the earth will be clothed in pure white linen. I pray that this is being received. Let’s move quickly to the branch type that is producing fruit in small levels.

What caused the fruit possibility to begin to spring forth in the fruitful branch type of John 15? We learn this answer several times in this John 15 passage that it is the branches’ choice to “abide” in the Vine in unison with the additional choice to allow the Vine to abide in us.   Abide is a Greek word G3306 that is defined as “to stay” and that represents the human right of choice for decision-making ability, where exercising our will power, self-determination and self-control to hold fast to the True Vine source of life. This literally means we can make the very stupid choice if we are deceived to do so to let go of the True Vine and wither and die. Remember the Bible very clearly says that “Those that are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God”. This is just another way of asking “Are you listening to the Spirit of God speaking inside of you?” Or you could ask “Are you listening and obeying the Word of God that you are reading and studying every day?” Either way, if the answer is Yes, that is great step to producing fruit, but if the answer is no to either question it is only a matter of time until our branch might be cut off. Let’s talk quickly about “pruning”.

Notice that the fruitful branch type that abides in the Vine is “purged” so that it will produce even more fruit. Wow again, because this verse informs us that a little bit of fruit is a good start and allows us to stay connected in the Vine, but this informs us that maximizing our fruit production is what God desires. Do you see the parallels to the Parable of the Sower? The Greek Word translated as “purgeth” in John 15:2 is the Greek word G2508 and it means “to cleanse”. Weren’t we just talking about cleansing our life from sin and washing our garment clean? This Greek word G2508 also comes from the Greek word G2511 translated as “clean” in verse 3 of John 15. We have a direct connection to being clean as God’s goal and we learn this work of the Word of God washing us inside will cause us to reduce our sin and increase our fruit. That is just how God designed it to work. Let’s go over quickly the Parable of the Sower apply what we just learned.

In the Parable of the Sower we have three soils that produce no lasting fruit and they are not saved. In the first soil type it did not even begin the seed growth process. In the second soil type it started to produce roots and the early vine but withered and died before it had any fruit, does that sound familiar?. In the third soil type the seed was established, roots grown, a vine produced and it began to produce fruit from branches but the fruit was choked out by a greater abundance of weeds and thus they did not achieve eternal life and died. We have ONLY one soil type that produces lasting fruit some 30 times, some 60 times and finally others 100 times. It appears to me that those that are producing the most fruit have been pruned and clipped by God the most effectively to remove the choking sin. Of course, that statement places the total responsibility on God to why some have 30-, 60- or 100-fold return and that just can’t be truthful since that would make God a respecter of person. Therefore, this means that it must be how the Christian responds to the pruning that causes it to become effective to produce more fruit. What is pruning? I’ll give you a couple of verses that I believe will help explain it:

1Co 11:31  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
1Co 11:32  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world

God is the ultimate Supreme Judge. This informs us that He will judge Christians if we do not judge our self, first. God says He does this to help us NOT to be condemned with the WORLD! The world represents the 3 types of soil that produces NO FRUIT. The judged people in this verse are those that are getting sin pruned off their lives so that they can produce even more fruit. Wow, God is awesome. Did you understand what is going on here? Sin like we talked about before, is in everyone in the world because ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Those in the first three soil types are dominated and controlled by their lusts and sin to not produce any fruit. But Christians that produce at least a little fruit are corrected to remove more sin so that new fruit can spring forth faster. But, this is only accomplished by the Christian reading and studying the Word of God and then applying what is learned. I just said some very important things and I pray you received it.

I’m not going to go through every verse in John 15 for the sake of time. I would recommend that you go through it and notice the impact of the Word of God and those that remain in the Bible learning more to become clean and those that do not remain in the Bible and get cut off and burned in hell. All of this is applicable to the Parable of the Sower and why some people are saved, and others are lost.

We need to move on quickly to our second Greek word G2592 that was translated as “beareth fruit” in Matthew 13:23 and “bring forth fruit” in Mark 4:20 and Luke 8:15. I want to do this by first providing the three main verses in Matthew, Mark and Luke where Jesus explained what was represented in the symbolic good soil that produces “fruit”. Please read these Jesus interpretations and compare the similarities and differences very closely:

Mat 13:23  But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit (G2592), and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Mar 4:20  And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit (G2592), some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
Luk 8:15  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit (G2592) with patience.

These are all very important verses of truth. Jesus is teaching the explanation for the “good ground” from three slightly different perspectives of detail. In this lesson I am not going to teach the subject of the “Good Soil”. But I do want to focus on the aspect of “Producing Fruit” which is found in all three explanations. The primary Greek word that is used in all three explanations is G2592. Let’s review the Strong’s definition for this word.

G2592

From G2593; to be fertile (literally or figuratively): – be (bear, bring forth) fruit (-ful).

We are taught that this translated phrase “to bring forth fruit” comes from the Greek word G2593 and that root word literally means “to be fertile”.   Fertile in relationship with soil means to be capable of producing abundant levels of vegetation or crops. However, that is not all the possible relationships to what “fertile” can be applied. In the relationship to humans, animals and some plants fertile has the definition to mean “able to conceive a child or a seed”. In relationship to a “seed”, fertile means “capable of becoming a new distinct type of the same kind”.   When used in relationship to the human mind, fertile means “the ability to produce many new and inventive ideas”. Wow, I believe all of these are applicable to our subject discussion on being “fruitful” from the planting of God’s Word in our heart.

This Greek word G2592 is only found 8 times in the New Testament. Four times it was spoken by Jesus with 3 usages in the Parable of the Sower and once in the Parable of the Growing Seed found in Mark 4:26-29. The Parable of the Growing Seed is an awesome discussion given by Jesus concerning a more detailed description of how fruit is produced and the stages it goes through over time. One of the main points of the Parable is how the entire process takes a significant amount of time to develop any mature fruit. Keep this in mind if you just got saved. There is a high degree of likelihood that instant fruit is not going to occur in your life.

If we search our Bibles for the Greek word G2592 we find that the only other times this Greek word is found (other than the Gospel Parables) is when Paul used it twice in Romans 7 and twice in Colossians 1. Both are important passages to our discussion so I will go over them as the LORD leads:

Rom 7:4  Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit (G2592) unto God.
Rom 7:5  For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit (G2592) unto death.

This is a vastly misunderstood context of verses found in this chapter. In the beginning of this chapter Paul is writing to a very specific sub-set of the whole all-inclusive church class of members. He says in verse 1 “I am speaking to those that know the law”.   This simply means that God through Paul is speaking to those natural Jewish people that were in the old covenant and knew (a marriage covenant term) the Torah (law). Paul then goes on in verse 1 through 3 to explain how the law (Torah) says that a wife that is joined to her husband in covenant marriage is bound to that covenant until her husband is dead otherwise, if she leaves him and marries another she commits adultery. This was the bad news being presented first. We must understand that the natural nation of Israel was in a marriage covenant with Almighty God (Jer 31:32). This meant by stated law they were not able to enter into a covenant legally with anyone else including Jesus. But now, in verse 4, God through Paul writes to give these Jewish people some good news. Because Jesus died on the cross, they were legally free from the bondage of that Old Covenant and the law to enter the New Covenant marriage with the risen from the dead LORD and Savior Jesus Christ (Messiah). He then tells them that this was accomplished by God so that they could now bring forth good fruit (G2592) unto God for salvation. This is the key word that we are interested in that was used by Jesus to describe saved people in the Parable of the Sower named the good soil.

We know verse 4 is speaking of God’s “good life producing fruit” because we can clearly read in verse 5 to learn how these natural Jewish people previously “brought forth fruit” (G2592) the opposite type of fruit leading to death. This negative fruit of death was the consequence of them living in the flesh and being controlled by their lustful desires under the law. This is just another confirmation to teach us that there are two kinds of fruit one was grapes and figs and the other was thorns and thistles.

I want you to understand that these two opposing types of fruit that can be produced by any human even a Christian. One type is operating in the Spirit and brings forth the fruit of “life” and the other type is someone operating in the “flesh” bringing forth the fruit of death. The Parable of the Sower is specifically speaking of producing the spirit life fruit type in the “good soil” but the other 3 soil types related very specifically to operating in the flesh and sin produces the consequences of the death fruit type. Notice that the Greek word G2592 is used in both verses of Romans 5 and they were each translated as “bring forth fruit”.   Let’s move on with the other primary reference concerning “bringing forth fruit” found in Colossians 1:5-10.

Col 1:5  For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Col 1:6  Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit (G2592), as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
Col 1:7  As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
Col 1:8  Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
Col 1:9  For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
Col 1:10  That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful (G2592) in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

There are so many truths to learn from these six verses that I cannot teach them all. But, notice the words that I underlined beginning in verse 5. In this verse Paul is writing about a people that heard the Word of God and this is equivalent to receiving God’s Seed. This automatically connects us to the Parable of the Sower. Verse 6 then compares these people to others in the world that have also heard the Gospel. This appears to represent the great commission that the LORD gave to us all in Mark 16:15 when Jesus said “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel, to them that believe and are baptized they will be saved and to them that believe not they shall be damned.” That is a very strong statement that places the responsibility for hearing and believing on the combined work of a sower sowing good seeds (Word of God) and a listener that pays attention in order to receive these seeds (words) and to believe them. It also sharply creates a dividing line of severe separation between two radically different types of people. God designed His Seed to be heard and then believed by everyone. God’s Seed is intended and planned for success in everyone. But the success is still clearly dependent upon the listener to believe or to not believe and that is our individual freewill choice.

Let’s review some of the implied Parable of the Sower elements being connected in these verses. Clearly there must be the seed (Word of God) planter preaching the Word of Truth to produce “fruit” in people. Verse 7 identifies one Seed sower by name calling him Epaphras. Then notice in verse 8 that this man Epaphras had spoken to Paul about the people’s “love” in the spirit which is a direct connection to the “fruit of the spirit” mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. Therefore, these people being spoken of represent “good soil”. Finally, in verse 10 God brings in a new connection of a different type of “fruit” that should also exist in these people through knowing the will of God. In this verse Paul clearly writes that there should exist an additional type of “fruit” that comes from Christians doing “good” works (His Will). Wow, I think that is very awesome. We have just observed three types of fruit spoken of in one connecting passage. There was the fruit of the spirit, the fruit of good works and the implied fruit of the womb that produces salvation in others by spreading the seed.

The reason these verses are included that we have been studying are because God connects them to the Parable of the Sower by specific Word Selection.   Because these Greek words are only used in the Parable of the Sower (Mat 13, Mark 4 & Luke 8), Romans 7 and Colossians 1 we must conclude that these are all related to the same subject. I am a very firm believer that the Bible interprets and explains itself. One way God interprets His word is by us looking up His usage of specific Words from one verse in other verses in the Bible. By doing this we gain a much clearer and balanced knowledge of the whole subject.

CONCLUSION

I have gone much longer than I wanted. I think I’m over 6000 words. There is so much information on the subject of “Fruit” in the Bible that there could have been a 12 Part series. We did not discuss every type of fruit in the Bible. We did not discuss the negative type of fruit in detail. We did not cover all the scriptures about fruit in the New Testament much less the Old Testament. Perhaps the LORD will direct me to teach this more in the future.

Do you understand how a natural seed works completely to explain how it brings forth fruit? Most of us cannot in great detail! How then can we fully understand how the spoken Word of God can enter a human heart to change them from eternal death to eternal life? But we know that it works because we can see evidence in the lives of people throughout the Bible and here in the present world. Paul a confessed murderer became the most prolific New Covenant Bible writer and teacher in the Church’s early days. Peter a known liar who denied knowing Jesus three times becomes a radically bold preacher of the Truth to the Jewish people and was even crucified to confirm his faith. Peter never denied Jesus again.  That is just two examples of radical transformation given from a God of second and third chances. Perhaps you have been radically changed also. If so, please leave your testimony at the end of this lesson. But I’ll end the lesson with this verse:

Jas 5:7  Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

Our God is patiently waiting for His fruit to grow mature in our lives. As soon as it occurs, I believe He will be coming for us and I do not believe that it will be very long before this happens. God calls this fruit “precious” and that means we are very valuable to Him. Please yield to the Holy Spirit with me and allow Him to prune the sin off our lives so that we all may produce more fruit for His glory.  It would be a very unhappy time if when He comes to catch us away by force that we did not have any valuable fruit that He was looking to harvest. I pray that we take this message to heart and judge our own sin before we are judged.

I did not cover this subject of “Fruit” completely.  The Lord willing I will add more lessons on this subject in the future.  Thank you and God Bless you as you continue to grow in the Grace and the knowledge of Him.

Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight – Part 12 – Rightly Dividing Spiritual Truth from Natural Truth

rightly-divide(ver 1.1) This is Part 12 in a very important Bible lesson series on Understanding How God Hides the Spiritual Truth in His Word in Plain Sight within words of Natural Truth. If you have not read the entire series I would recommend that you go back and begin with “Part 1“.  But, this lesson will be a blessing by itself also.  Today we are going to focus in on the specific requirement of “Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth” in the Bible (2 Tim 2:15). Any serious Bible student must come to understand that there are differences between plain sight natural Bible truths and the hidden spiritual Bible truths written within them. Most Bible readers can easily find the natural truths by simply reading the plain text of the verses.  For example, Abraham was called out of his homeland to live in a land that God would show him.   Jacob had 12 sons from 4 different women.   Moses delivered the children of Israel from the bondage of Egypt after 430 years.   These are all plain literal natural facts of truth.  However, the spiritual truths hidden in the exact same natural true stories are many times not easily connected to allow our human minds to see them much less understand them.

Today we will be focused on the specific subject of “Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth”. What it means, why we are told to do it and how it is extremely useful to finding God’s spiritual truth. I pray this peaks your curiosity and interest. We will be moving through this lesson using the follow outline:

  1. Introduction to Rightly Dividing God’s Word of Truth
  2. Analyzing the Details of Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
  3. Introduction to the Examples of Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
  4. Jesus Speaking Spiritual Words – Example 1
  5. Jesus Speaking Spiritual Words – Example 2
  6. Jesus Speaking Spiritual Words – Example 3
  7. Conclusion

I will warn you at the beginning that this is a significantly long and very in-depth Bible teaching. We will go into a lot of scriptural detail about this subject. We also go into how the Holy Spirit teaches me to go through the scripture to learn His truth. This lesson may be a greater benefit if you break it down and study it in smaller sections. But, please study it however is best for the way the LORD teaches you. If you are ready to potentially see a new perspective on a challenging subject, then let’s get started.

 

INTRODUCTION TO
RIGHTLY DIVIDING GOD’S WORD OF TRUTH

This Bible study series has been dedicated to teaching the methods of how God hid spiritual truth in the plain sight of every Bible reader or listener and how that it was and is still so easily misunderstood even today.   God’s Word teaches us a new paradigm that there are varying levels of truth. For example God explains to us how natural truth can be overruled by our knowledge of a greater spiritual truth. For example, 2 Corinthians 5:2 God speaks and commands us “to walk by faith and not by sight”. This is a very clear example of two levels of truth. Walking by faith is a spiritual level of truth that will cause us to triumph over our natural level of facts, truths and circumstances (1 Jn 5:4) if we choose to obey and believe.

Remember back in Genesis 2 when God said to Adam “Don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for in the day you eat you shall surely die”. As we can read God spoke a truth to Adam that must be followed in order to live. That was one plainly spoken commandment of a warning truth given to Adam. Technically it is called a law in Romans 8:2. In this verse God declares to us “for the law of spirit and life in Christ Jesus sets me/us free from the law of sin and death”. Here we have two laws but one is of a much higher level of truth.

This truth of Romans 8:2 is further confirmed in 1 Corinthians 15:45 where God declares a fact that there are two men named Adam; one a natural man that caused us all to die and one who is Christ Jesus that can cause us all to live. Why are there two Adams? We learn this fact from reading Romans 5:14 that taught us that the first Adam was a type, model and pattern of Jesus the last Adam to come. Again we have the stated reality of a naturally understandable story of truth that contains hidden patterns of a much greater overcoming spiritual reality in the future. What we observe from this dual Adam truth is the fact that Jesus who is named to be the spiritual last Adam implements a spiritual law of life that triumphs over the first natural Adam’s initiation of a lesser natural law of sin and death. Can you begin to see the reality of God creating two simultaneous truths? I believe this is one of the primary introductory reasons why we are commanded to rightly divide the Word of Truth (2 Tim 2:15). We have not been fully introduced to this verse in 2 Timothy 2:15 but we will get into it very soon. Wow, I hope this was not too deep of an introduction to the subject of rightly dividing the Word of Truth and what it means.

We must begin to learn to look for the greater spiritual truths, recognize them, extract them from natural truths and set a goal to understand them. I do not believe this means that we make up a spiritual truth in any way. Because, I believe that this process of finding spiritual truth begins by getting born again through the progress of repenting for our sins, believing in Jesus to be the risen Son of God, confessing Him as our personal Lord and allowing the Spirit of God to come inside us to lead us by His Spirit. The next step is to begin to read and study God’s Word daily with the Holy Spirit’s help. If you are not saved then please stop and pray to ask Jesus to forgive you and be your LORD and Savior. This begins the process of becoming a spirit aware (spiritual awake) human being and it is an essential requirement for understanding anything in the Word of God (Eph 5:14).

If you are already saved, stop right now and pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth (John 16:13) and also pray for God to give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ Jesus (Eph 1:17). Pray this every day for the next few months and then open your Bible after each prayer every day and expect His Holy Spirit to begin to teach your spirit. Finally, in this process of learning to “rightly divide the Word of Truth” learn to understand that the Bible is a book with two parallel truth realities. First, know that the Bible is a book of great historical value, relevance and accuracy containing all of human history from the beginning to the prophetical ending that has not yet occurred. Now combine this book of natural truths containing real people, real events occurring in real places and learn that it also reveals to us hidden information of unseen and many times unknown spiritual beings great and small. Learn to know that this Great History Book of Truth is a parallel spiritual Book of Truth written by the Supreme All-Knowing Spirit to us His spiritual children (the church). It is essential to begin thinking this way because a single Bible story can have both natural truths of historical value combined with hidden past, present or future spiritual truths of greater importance like we just read about in the life of two Adams.

I believe very firmly that the Bible was God breathed and then it was written down by Holy Spirit led human men that were directed by Him to record it word for word (2 Tim 3:16). This Most Intelligent God in His merciful love gave us the Bible to read about, learn and understand Him. Yet in His wisdom, the Bible was designed in a manner where it concealed and hid Him and His spiritual truth in order to keep them from Satan and from humans that did not want to know Him. This method of hiding allows Him to reveal Himself and His truth to only His children at the right time when we choose to cooperate, search and find Him and them with ALL OF OUR HEART.

Heb 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Please understand Hebrews 11:6 is one of the most important verses in the Bible. Why? You may ask? Because this verse explains that we are required to live by faith in order to please Him. This verse also teaches us that it is a requirement to believe God exists and rewards those that seek Him in order to find Him. Wow, this is one of the main reasons why God and His spiritual truth is hidden in the Bible. If you are an atheist you are never going to find God because you do not believe He exists. That is so very sad to me.

Rom 16:25  Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

1Co 2:7  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

Gal 1:11  But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
Gal 1:12  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

I received a very concerning comment recently from a reader regarding another spiritual Bible lesson I wrote recently about “The Book of Life”.   This commenter endeavored to inform me that what I was teaching was heretically wrong and inaccurate and that we should NEVER attempt to divide God’s Word. They tried to convince me that it was not necessary or even permitted to divide any of God’s words that were written or spoken in order for us to find and understand the whole truth that they contain. However, this rebuke denies the truths of Romans 16:25, Corinthian 2:7 and Galatians 1:11-12. Paul was claiming in the verses above that the truth that he learned was revealed to him by God and Paul was attempting to teach this mystery to the church. All of this reference to a revelation means there was an uncovering that occurred to understand it. The Greek word G602 translated as “revelation” means to disclose and it comes from the Greek word G601 “to uncover”. This will be repeated again in this lesson, please don’t let it slip from your mind.

I personally believe that this person that left me a comment did not understand the concept of what I believe “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” to represent. My belief of the definition of “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” is searching, finding and discovering the differences between the plain visible natural and the hidden spiritual truths that are found within the exact same words. I have learned from the Spirit of God teaching me that there is the existence of simultaneous truth contained within the same written information. I understand that this may be a completely new concept and may turn off a lot of Christians that are spiritually new. That is a risk I take but, if you will be patient and keep reading, I believe the light will increase and grow brighter and a spiritual awaking will take place and you will say “Why didn’t I see that before now?”

My commenter made it sound like we should either ignore the verse that teaches us to divide God’s word rightly or attempt to explain it away to mean something other than what it literally instructs us to do. They chose to do the later and explain that it means something that it does not literally say. They believed that “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” was a figurative symbolic meaning that meant to teach verses accurately as truth. But, this does not line up with the scriptures that we just read about written from Paul and many other verses that we will read and learn very soon. Let’s read the verse in question and begin to study it for ourselves in this introduction. We will get into the detail of this verse later in the next section. Please read:

2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

I’ll attempt to give my commenter the benefit of a doubt that they did not fully understand what God meant by “rightly dividing the word of truth”. God is NOT saying for anyone to eliminate any of His words. God is NOT teaching that anyone should change any of the words. God is NOT teaching that we should ignore any of the words either. No, these are not what God is teaching by saying that His Word needs to be rightly divided. What I believe God is saying is that every verse of scripture has the potential for two separate and distinct parallel truths as was just introduced. I believe that one is a natural literal truth also called a human viewpoint and the other was a hidden spiritual truth also called a God or Divine viewpoint. As I have attempted to say before, this hidden spiritual truth can be revealed by the Spirit of God at His will to anyone at any time.

Haven’t you ever read a verse in the Bible that you have read potentially hundreds and hundreds of times and all of a sudden you say “WOW, I never saw that before”?   If you have then you know exactly what I am trying to say about “rightly dividing the Word of Truth”. The unseen truth was always there right in front of your eyes but the Spirit of God all of sudden made the words come alive, pop out and you saw something brand new that you had never imagined before. If you have never had this happen when reading the Bible that is a major problem and I would stop, pray and ask God why this has never happened. Perhaps if you do what I suggested earlier and pray Ephesians 1:17 over yourself then it will begin to happen and you too will see what the LORD can speak and show to those that are searching. I will praise God that He has done this to me more times than I can count. I am reading a verse or listening to the Bible on MP3 and all of sudden something just comes alive and I can even almost fall on the floor in amazement. I pray that you will find this experience very soon. If you will allow God to work this way you will never be the same about reading and studying the Bible. There is by far more in the Bible that we do not know or understand than what we think we do know and understand at this moment.

I believe my commenter was attempting to convince me that Bible teachers and even students should only look up the words found in the verse using a concordance like Strong’s and an original language dictionary like Vine’s to understand what was actually said by God. I will need to stop here and say I agree with this method and I follow it consistently. But, I believe that this commenter was implying by giving me this instruction that there was NO other information sources or methods that God could use to reveal His meanings including His Spirit speaking directly to us to reveal something that is needed at that moment. I just refuse to put God in a limited box of books, rules, resources or methods. I believe we should be open to hear God from whatever method He wants to teach and speak to us, either personally or through someone else that He has already answered the questions that we asked Him to show us. I don’t know how many people that have come to my Bible Teaching Website and told me they prayed and asked God for an answer to their question and they found it on my website and thanked me. That is not me, it was the Holy Spirit and He alone deserves the glory, thanks and praise.

My commenter’s limited method of Bible study assumes that there are no new hidden meanings to any of the Words that God spoken in the Bible that hasn’t already been revealed. They also appear to imply that these men that wrote these limited books (commentaries, concordances and dictionaries) had all of the information that is required to fully understand all of the verses in the whole Bible. This type of attitude denies man’s limitation to fully comprehend and remember everything and God’s omniscient ability to teach us more of what He knows. God has the ability to speak something brand new to us at any moment. Do you believe God is silent today? If yes, why does the Bible say “My Sheep hear my voice”. Are you His sheep? If you believe you are then, ask why aren’t you hearing His voice? Do you believe that God has fully revealed everything about Himself or His Word to anyone yet? If you do then ask why does Jesus say “If you continue in my Word, then you will be my disciple and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free”.

Please allow me to ask some other questions. Do you personally know and understand the entire Bible? Do you know any human that personally knows and understands the entire Bible? I’ll be the first to say that I only know God to be omniscient (all knowing) and He is the only one that I believe knows and understands the entire Bible. I believe that the things that He has taught me personally are few compared to what there is still yet to learn. He is still teaching me new things every day. I believe that there is an infinite amount of information contained in Him and in His Holy Bible. If we studied the Bible continually except when we were sleeping we would still never come close to knowing and understanding everything that God knows about this book. One of my main points is that why would we limit our Bible studying methods to only a few basic reference books created by a few imperfect human men that didn’t know everything? Can’t God give us new revelation of His Truth some other ways? Let’s get into the Bible now and read what God said about our ability to find the truth and His timing to reveal it:

Dan 12:4  But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

This verse can be viewed as one of the foundational verses of the entire lesson series. Please consider this truth that according to Daniel 12:4 God declared that His Words found in this book of the Bible would be “shut up”. God then goes further to say that this entire book would be “sealed” until the time of the end when many humans will go to and fro across the earth. God further describes the timing for the unsealing occurrence to be when there is a noticeable “increase in human knowledge”.   This is an awesome statement. God teaches us a significant amount of information in this verse. First, the Hebrew word H5640 translated as “shut up” means to “keep secret or hidden. Within this Hebrew word definition God informs us that there are potentially many things written here in these words that you can’t see until the prophesied time at the end of the age. Wow, that should shake your foundation of Biblical knowledge. This truth alone confirms that there is coming a time of unveiling and uncovering of hidden words that have been in plain view for everyone to read for thousands of years.

Also note that the prophesied time is clearly given when many will be traveling to and fro and knowledge is dramatically increasing. These are two things that have never happened before until the last 100 years of human history. The invention of space crafts, trains, planes and automobiles fulfills the first requirement and the invention of smart phones, tablets, computers and the internet clearly fulfills the second requirement. Please wake up and see this prophecy is being fulfilled only right now! This verse very clearly states that the previous understanding of these written words must change from what was understood 125 years ago and before.

The Hebrew word H2856 translated as “seal” just further confirms the Hebrew word H5640 translated as “shut up”. Both are synonyms terms meaning “to cover”.   Ask this question “How then is it possible for God to cover by shutting up and sealing words that are clearly written down in a known language that has not changed in thousands of years? “ Were these words written in coded form? Were these words unreadable? Were these words hidden or restricted from anyone reading them? The answer to these questions are all “NO!” Therefore there must be another reasonable and logical explanation to how truths are being hidden by God in plain view words. The answer to this mystery is learning how God implemented Spiritual Truth hiding techniques that allowed Him to open them up and take the coverings off of the natural words that are and were always clearly readable. This is why I call this Bible study series “Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight”.

I wish to make an additional point upfront in this lesson that you may or may not be aware of. The Strong’s Concordance and the Vine’s Dictionary are NOT DIVINELY INSPIRED WRITTEN WORDS! The Strong’s Concordance was first published in 1890 over 125 years ago. Uh oh that was way before the invention of the airplane and the computer. The Vine’s Expository Dictionary of NT Words was first published in 1940 over 75 years ago and this too is before the full emergence of knowledge increase during the end time age fulfillment.

The birth of the early computer was around 1943. The introduction of the personal computer was not to occur until after 1977 when early storage devices were being introduced for everyone to potentially own and use one. I think I bought my first PC with a hard drive in the late 1980’s and it only contained about 20 megabytes of storage. But, again the technology was so early that the power and reliability of these PCs, software and hard drives were very failure prone. Then there was no internet widely available until after 1990 for the average computer geek like me. In fact the internet we see today did not explode until the later years of the 1990’s. If we get closer to the root it was 1998 when Google was founded and began to place large amounts of data for anyone to search, find and read that information and knowledge increase very exponentially to begin to fulfill the Daniel 12:4 requirements. Therefore please understand while I love both the Strong’s and Vine’s books and others like them as helpful Bible study tools, only the original Hebrew and Greek Bible Text Scripture writing was God breathed (2 Tim 3:16) and since neither were written when the Daniel 12:4 prophecy timeline fulfillment there must be new revealed information being given by God that they do not contain.

I’ll go even further to say that there is NO Bible translation that is totally free from errors. Bible translations are books written in an imperfect world, written down and being translated by limited knowledge imperfect humans. I have found what appear to be several glaring mistakes that are based upon religious human opinions that originate widely from manmade religious doctrines of churches. Therefore, all Bible translations, commentaries, concordances and dictionaries contain some imperfect human bias, yet God can still speak to us through any of them.   Therefore, I’m not saying not to use any of them at all, but I am saying not to accept everything that is written in them automatically.  No do what 2 Timothy 2:15 says and choose to work hard and “STUDY” the Bible. And like Acts 17:11 instructs us, become an open minded spiritual Word student that is a diligent, dedicated and thoughtful “WORKMAN” that needs not to be ashamed because we are verifying every word of truth being taught to us.   Let’s read another verse that further helps to confirm that God’s Spiritual Truth was hidden:

Joh 5:39  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

We should be able to see that these words spoken by the LORD Jesus have tremendous implications attached to them. Jesus was speaking directly to religious men that read the scriptures continually day after day, month after month and year after year. When they read the O.T. they could see that these were scriptures with words that described 1) creation, 2) the stories of all of their natural ancestral history originating with Adam, continuing with Noah and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, etc. and 3) the laws that were given to them through Moses. I know there are other things in their writings but can we all agree on these basic literal natural truths?

But, it is obvious by reading the Gospels that these religious leaders being spoken to by Jesus never saw Jesus in any of the divinely inspired words after all of their time of reading them and hearing them read! I mean think about it! These natural religious men knew the Hebrew language extensively, spoke the Hebrew language, wrote in the Hebrew language and read the Hebrew language. None of these men had to look up any words in any translation dictionaries, commentaries or other books to learn what they said. Can you see this? Why then was Jesus asking them to search to see something that they had never seen before in their own original Hebrew language divinely inspired writings?

How could there be anything new that they had never seen before in this original Hebrew language?   Are you thinking and attempting to answer the questions that I just asked? What made these written Hebrew Words say something about Jesus that could not be seen easily and had to be searched for? Wow, I think that is amazing truth. There had to be someone (and I believe it was God) that concealed Jesus in the writings by His design in order for Jesus not to be seen easily and which required someone to search for Him! Is Jesus the TRUTH? According to John 14:6 Jesus personally claimed to be the TRUTH. Therefore, Jesus was claiming that THE TRUTH (JESUS) was hidden in their Hebrew writings and in order to find Him (The Truth) they needed to search for Him (The Truth). This is a basic Bible concept and unless you embrace it you can be easily deceived by Satan.

The Greek word translated as “search” is G2045 and it means “to seek” and figuratively to “investigate”. This implies the effort of labor to find something that is also implied to be taken, lost or hidden. We learn from this word to become a “Sherlock Holmes” type of Word detective.  If you have ever misplaced your wallet, purse or your car keys and have had to look, seek and search to find them then you have done exactly what Jesus in this verse is stating. Why was it required to “search” the scriptures again to find Him (The Truth)?   This is truly a mystery to naturally thinking humans who think we can see Him without effort by just looking up word definitions. It did not work for men who actually knew the language of Hebrew so what makes you think it will work for you?   Let’s examine another verse:

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

The verse spoken by Jesus in John 5:39 matches with what we can read here in Proverbs 25:2 perfectly. If you read it closely God says in Proverbs 25:2 “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the honor of kings to search the matter out”. What we learn from John 5:39 spoken by Jesus who also spoke and read in Hebrew can literally mean that He was hidden in the stories of real living historical human beings, their true life events and the words of their law. The only way that this is possible is if the natural real words of truth were designed by God the author to cover over a hidden double meaning containing the equal or greater spiritual words of truth about Jesus. If we don’t know that this is true we will never understand the Bible no matter how much we look up definitions in a dictionary.

Let us read and study a view of some of the Proverbs 25:2 details. The Hebrew Words translated as “hide” is H5641 and it literally means “to conceal something by covering” it. Wow, that is an amazingly essential truth concept! Now notice the Hebrew word H2713 that was translated as “search out”. This Hebrew word literally means to “penetrate”. One great definition of the word “penetrate” means to “succeed in understanding or gaining insight into something complex or mysterious”. Wow that is exactly what God is trying to teach us to do today. Remember Paul claimed to be teaching a “mystery” that was “uncovered” to him!  God places covering protections over His words for us to go underneath the covers to discover the intended hidden spiritual truths.

I’m not done yet with this verse in Proverbs. The next Hebrew Word that I want us to focus upon is the one that was translated as “matter” at the end of the verse. By not looking up H1697 we are going to miss the real meaning of what was being concealed for kings to search for. This Hebrew word that was poorly translated literally means “Word”. It is used this way in other O.T. verses where it can say “Behold, the Word (H1697) of the LORD came…” (Gen 15:4). Is the Bible the Word of the LORD? If we do not believe that it is, we have been deceived. God is very plainly stating that He speaks His Words in a covered up form for humans to penetrate and uncover in order to understand.

However, I am still not done yet with this verse. If we go through every Hebrew word we will find the translators made other misleading translations. For example, the English word “thing” that was included in the statement about the glory of God to conceal is the exact same Hebrew word that was translated as “matter” and still means “Word”. This is amazing if you wake up and see the truth being stated.

The next important facts that need to be linked into our study are the two words translated as “glory” and “honor”. These two English words originate from the exact same Hebrew word (H3519). Why they were translated differently is for some unknown illogical reason that I cannot explain fully. I believe things like this are potential major problems found within all Bible translations. Of course I understand subject transition within the context. One usage of the Hebrew word is used in context to describe God and one usage of the same Hebrew word is used to describe God’s creation man. But, why does it make sense in this subject context to change God’s description to “glory” and man’s description to “honor”? Does a man not have a very similar image quality of God his creator? Was not man made in the “image” and “likeness” of God in Genesis?

You see if we study the Hebrew word “H3519” we will find that it occurs in 189 verses. It is first used in the Bible to describe a man named Jacob in Genesis 31:1. Here it is used to describe Jacob taking glory away from Laban. That is interesting since the translators actually translated it this time as “glory” and not as “honor”. In other places in the Bible it was used to describe the “glory” of the LORD. There are around 41 verses where the word was translated as “honor”. If you read in Malachi 1:6 the word “honor” is used as a question from the LORD asking “where is my honor?” Why were translators so very inconsistent when it was translated to describe God or man one way or the other?

If you look up the definitions of the two English words they are very synonymous like terms but they still carry slight differences. Glory is defined as “high renown won by great achievements”. That is certainly a very valid quality describing God. Glory can also mean “magnificence or great beauty” and that too aligns with descriptions of God. But, glory can also be used to describe “praise, worship and thanksgiving offered to God”.     The English word “honor” is defined as giving someone “great respect and esteem”. Well that certainly describes a quality of God also. However, the word honor is used mostly when describing humans and the word “glory” is used mostly to describe God. But, like I said there are exceptions to both of these rules.   This is just a small sampling of why I struggle with many English translations. We could literally spend days on this detail studying every verse where this Hebrew word was selected by God and attempt to clarify why one was translated one way and not the other.

I’m going to go through another problem just to teach another point on Bible study techniques. If you search the Strong’s dictionary with your computer you will find that the word “honor” is found literally in 12 different Hebrew word definitions. Perhaps you didn’t understand what I just said so I’m going to say it again differently. There are12 different Strong Hebrew words that can be translated as the word “honor”. In many of these Hebrew words there is also included the word “glory” in the definition. Why didn’t God use one of these words instead of H3519? I sure would like to understand this more. But, I know I am losing a lot of people with this level of detail so we will move on.

The main point being given here is that by reading only the English translation we may potentially fail to learn God’s intended purpose of His message. God is much smarter than us. If He selects a word in a verse there is a purpose, a design and a meaning behind it. He could have selected a different word if He wanted to say something other than what He said.

My concluding statement for Proverbs 25:2 is that I believe that it should read “It is the Glory of God to conceal (place under the covers) His Words, but the glory of kings (to penetrate the covers) to search out His words”. You are free to disagree if you like but that is what I believe the words say and what the LORD showed me. If you are a greater Hebrew expert I would appreciate learning your wisdom in this translation matter, so please leave me a comment.

That was a very long introduction to the subject of “Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth” and why God’s words must be separated between plainly written natural truths and hidden spiritual truths. Let’s continue our study with learning greater detail of the verse in question.

 

ANALYZING the DETAILS of
RIGHTLY DIVIDING the WORD of TRUTH

Let’s dive much deeper in the Word of God to learn and better understand what “rightly divide” means in 2 Timothy 2:15. We will begin by reading the verse from the KJV Bible:

2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Get_DetailsI want to begin by focusing in on the key Greek word G3718 that I believe was correctly translated as “rightly divide” when it was connected with “the Word of Truth”. It is very important to understand that this is the only time this Greek word is used in the entire Bible text. This makes a correct interpretation of its usage significantly more challenging. Since we are unable to view other usages and their application and usage.  Therefore, we must dig deeper into other possible connections to better comprehend God’s truth. In order to learn what this Greek word was intended to mean and how God desired us to see it used in the sentence we are going to read the definition first and learn what root words that it was derived from and dig to learn how they are used in other verses. Let us read the actual Strong’s definition:

G3718

From a compound of G3717 and the base of G5114; to make a straight cut, that is, (figuratively) to dissect (expound) correctly (the divine message): – rightly divide.

 

This is our main keyword focused upon in this verse 2 Tim 2:15 and it was translated as “rightly divide”. This is the controversial phrase that some read in definitions to mean “to handle accurately and deliver correctly”. While that can be a figurative meaning according to Strong’s and Vine’s, that is NOT what the literal Greek Word means at all. There is a basic rule of interpretation that I like to apply in many cases of interpreting Bible verses.   I’ll give you the rule, please read it and consider what is stated:

“When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise.” –Dr. David L. Cooper (1886-1965), founder of The Biblical Research Society

Did you understand this golden rule of correct Bible interpretation? I believe it does apply to our study. This will become clearer as we continue the study of the word definitions given to us by Strong’s. I would like to point out from this stated rule of interpretation we are advised to take the word literally unless we cannot do this based upon 2 mitigating factors that cause our literal interpretation to fail or come short. These determining factors are based upon what does the context say and how was it used in other passages of the Bible. We will probably not be able to fully discuss context but you are welcome to read it and form your own decision.  But, from what I observed every word spoken in this chapter should be taken literally. I also want to point out that this is a Greek word that is only used in this one verse. Therefore there are no other verses of the entire N.T. to compare its usage with.

I want to say that I read many modern translations of this verse. Many modern translations of the Bible depart from literal word meanings to change the message to an interpretative belief of what they think that the message was intended to say. The choice of translation of this Greek Word was about 50/50. Some Bibles translated it in a figurative interpretation as “handling accurately”, “teaching correctly” or similar phrasing and others translated it as the literal Greek meaning of “rightly divide” or one version even said “cutting in a straight line”.

I am a lover of “Literal Bible Translations” if you did not realize this yet. I believe with all of my heart that God chose specific words with direct meanings in every verse by design.   Because of His superior intellect and omniscient all-knowing knowledge of every word and their meanings I believe we should first attempt to believe that He knew what He wanted to say and meant it. Therefore, when the literal word means something specifically then we should do the best to see if that was what He wanted us to know first. Only if that literal definition absolutely does not make sense do we then attempt to look for a “figurative” application from the literal word definition.

I’ll give you a quick example. We have in Revelation 12:1 a pregnant woman clothed with the sun, standing on the moon crowned with a crown containing 12 stars.   That is the literal definition description of the verse, but clearly that cannot be taken literally. It just can’t be understood as being literal because it is physically impossible.  Therefore we are now free to research the figurative symbolic meanings of each of these stated truths 1) a woman, 2) the sun, 3) the moon, 4) a crown and 5) the stars. I pray you understand these very valid rules of interpretations.

Due to the time factor and an ever expanding lesson length, I just can’t go into the full detail of every verse in context. But, I will try to address the preceding verse to address the message content and information direction and flow.

2Ti 2:14  Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

I am also not going to go into great detail on this preceding contextual verse but, we should be able to clearly read that it is about preaching and sharing the Word of God with others. I want to begin with the first and last statements to confirm this is about ministering the Bible to disciples of the Word. It should be obvious that the verse begins with “put them in remembrance”. This indicates two truths that 1) they have heard it before and 2) someone is preaching so that they can be reminded of it again. Therefore what is being referenced is a message from God that is not a new teaching of the Word. The verse then ends with “the subverting of the hearers”. The word translated as “hearers” indicate there is an audience listening to the implied preacher or teacher of the Word of God.   The Greek translated as “subverting” means “to turn upside down”. Clearly this is a warning not to do what is stated in the middle part of the instruction.

What is the middle instruction? The middle is about “they strive not about words to no profit”. This appears to go along with what is stated in the next verse about “rightly divide the Word”.   It also appears to be in harmony with what we will learn shortly  about meaningless carnal non-working spoken words versus words that produce results.   Keep this in mind as you continue to read and we will address this subject in more detail.

I believe this statement requesting us not to strive (fight, argue, debate, etc.) to mean there are right ways and wrong ways to view the exact same Words of God so that if we just argue and debate about what they mean then it is a waste of a lot of our time. If there are words that can be argued and debated then there are at least two different perspective views, definitions or meanings of the words that must be considered and “divided correctly” to be understood. Do you understand my logic here? This is just basic common sense to me. Let’s get back to our detail study on the Greek word G3718 which was translated as “rightly divide” in the KJV Bible.

We have talked about several important things since we last read the definition of G3718 translated as “rightly divide” so please go back up a few paragraphs and reread it again. This is a really good definition with at least one potential challenge that I just introduced you to. Strong begins by providing us the “literal Greek Word meaning” first and this is great. But, then he gives us a potential alternative “figurative meaning” and this is where it becomes more challenging since we have no other scriptures to compare it with. I personally struggle many times with making one word in the entire verse or chapter a “symbolic” or “figurative” representation of truth when every other word appears to be a literal meaning. It seems to me that this type of interpretation may cause the Bible become very independent from God, opinionated and scattered with personal human bias.

The Greek word (G3718) literally means “to make a straight cut”. I believe this is like cutting a loaf of bread into slices using a very sharp knife. I use this analogy because the Word of God is likened to be bread in Matthew 4:4.   Bread cannot be consumed whole if it is as large of a loaf of bread as the Bible is. Therefore, the fact that Jesus compared the Word of God to be like bread implied that it needed to be cut into smaller easier to swallow and digestible pieces in order to enter inside us and do its work. I thought that was a great suggestion that I just tried to make. Please don’t attempt to swallow the entire Bible at once to understand it instantly. Take in the Bible basics one subject at a time and then only after you understand these move to the more challenging subjects. There was no extra charge for that bit of wisdom. Ha ha!

We also learn that this Greek word comes from a combination of two other Greek words G3717 and G5114. So now we need to go through their definitions and occurrences in the Bible to better understand the word G3718 (rightly divide).

G3717

Probably from the base of G3735; right (as rising), that is, (perpendicularly) erect (figuratively honest), or (horizontally) level or direct: – straight, upright.

The first Greek word G3717 is defined to be “right as rising and perpendicularly erect” and it was translated as “upright” or “straight” in the English language. It can mean someone who was previously horizontally reclining and rises to become perpendicularly erect as in standing up straight on their feet.   It is used this exact way in Acts 14:10 where Paul looks at a reclining lame man and commands him to stand upright on his feet and he was healed.   Therefore we learn the idea of someone “rising” to be straight up on their feet.   In Hebrews 12:13 God used this word as “And make straight paths for your feet…”. This Greek word is only used twice in the N.T. and was translated literally as standing up vertically once and figuratively as walking horizontally in a “straight” line the next time.   Therefore it can be literal or figurative in usage and be valid, but I do not believe that this provides us much light to which one it is supposed to be viewed as in 2 Timothy 2:15.

Ok, I want to introduce another potential comparison and likeness here based upon the definition of G3717. Remember the literal definition is to be “right as rising”.  This Greek word comes from the base of another word that means “to rise”.  What does the sun do every morning? We say it rises. At noon day the sun is as high or erect in the sky as it will get and then it begins to descend and set. The rising of the sun is exactly the same concept being related in the Greek word G3717.

I find that concept fascinating based upon my knowledge of other verses in the Bible about the sun. For example, Jesus is described to be the figurative rising sun in Malachi 4:2 and 2 Peter 1:19. I think we should read both of these verses:

Mal 4:2  But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

2Pe 1:19  We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

Ok, why did I include these verses? Did you notice that these verses apply to Christian people that were awaiting the spiritual rising (dawn) of the spiritual day star (Sun) also known as Jesus in their spiritual heart? Could this play a role in us “rightly dividing the Word of Truth”? I believe with all of my heart that it does. You see in the N.T. we learn that unsaved people live in darkness without the Spirit of Jesus (1 Peter 2:9). By inviting Jesus to come into our hearts (spirits) God is permitted to shine His light of Jesus and this Sun will begin to arise.   We as the real Christians of the LORD that fear the LORD should all now be in the condition of no longer being in darkness (not understanding the Word) and should now all be found in growing stages of hopefully increasing light (understanding God’s Word). Maybe you still don’t see it?

I believe God is teaching us this is how we grow spiritually to become someone that is able to “rightly divide the Word of Truth”. You see no new-born Christian is able to rightly divide very much of the Bible much less the entire Word correctly because the Day Star has just begun to dawn (give light/understanding) in their heart. In other words their spiritual day light of awakening has just begun to be activated. A more mature Christian hopefully knows more of the Bible through study and has a greater rising amount of light (understanding) of God’s word in their hearts and can possibly even explain parts of the Bible to others. I pray this is making sense. You see Paul reveals this concept to us by stating this to the church:

Heb 5:12  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat

Heb 5:13  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

This is a very similar analogy given to us by God of rightly dividing the Word of Truth using a different word analogy description. The author teaches us using a comparison of natural human growth to be like that of spiritual growth. In this analogy we are informed concerning people that should be spiritually mature enough to be teachers but still need to be taught the basics of God’s Word. God informs us that this like babies sucking breast milk that need to grow mature enough to eventually learn to feed them self.

Milk Bible lessons are for the very carnal Bible basics that a spiritual baby and child should be able to begin to understand. Meat Bible lessons are the more advanced spiritual information that only a maturing Christian skilled with the basics is intended to be capable of receiving. Notice the Greek word G552 in this verse translated as “unskillful” It is clear that God is talking about someone who does not understand the Word of righteousness. This Greek word G552 literally means to be “ignorant” of spiritual things and it comes from the combination of the words G1 and G3984. G1 combined with G3984 makes the combined Greek word G552 the negative of the word G3984. But what does G3984 mean? The Greek word G3984 means literally to “pierce”. Uh oh? I think we have talked about this before. So the opposite of “to pierce” means “covered or unable to be pierced”. Do you realize the awesome connections being made here? How do you pierce something? It takes a sharp knife, sword or cutting instrument like a scalpel to get beneath the outer layer cover.

I didn’t create these analogies they were what God said in His Word that we just read. God uses more than one way to describe the same spiritual truth so that we can eventually understand it. God has been using a clear sword analogy that when used correctly pierces to uncover the truth and a rising sun analogy that that begins dimly but then increases in brightness as it continues to arise to find the truth. It amazes me how much of the naturally created universe all around us reveals hidden spiritual principles of hidden spiritual things in God.

The ability to rightly divide is a process that is a process of spiritual growth that is supposed to be learned from continuous study of God’s Word. It is clear to me that no Christian can do this perfectly since no one is fully mature and knows everything. It is also clear to me that we can all get better at rightly dividing the Word of Truth as we continue to learn more of God’s actual spiritual truth.

Do remember what Psalm 119:130 says? God in Psalm 119:130 informs us “the entrance of thy Word brings light”. Also the Hebrew word translated as “entrance” in this verse means “opening”. Do you recall what we learned from Proverbs 25:2? I’ll say it again to connect it with what we are learning now. “It is the glory of God to conceal (cover over) His words and the glory of kings to search (penetrate or pierce the cover of ) His words. Penetrating and piercing are synonymous terms that causes an opening to be produced. Wow, I hope you are getting the connections. How do you get beneath the cover? You allow God to help you find or make the opening.

Let’s go back to our study on G3718 from 2 Tim 2:15 and move on to the second Greek word G5114 that was joined in union with G3717 to form the English translation “rightly dividing”.

G5114

to cut; more comprehensive or decisive than G2875, as if by a single stroke; whereas that implies repeated blows, like hacking); more keen: – sharper.

The Greek Word G5114 that was combined with “rising” or “to stand straight up” word (G3717) literally means “to make a decisive single cut”. It is not the same as the Greek word G2875 mentioned in the definition that also means to “cut” but this word is cutting something utilizing repeated blows as in hacking or chopping a big tree down with an axe. I watched a World War II report of Japanese prisoner of war camp survivors for Memorial Day. On this program a former prisoner of war told of his horrifying experiences of how the prison commandant would randomly select prisoners to be executed. He would tie their hands and make them kneel and then get his very sharp sword out and cut their heads off with one powerful straight swing. This act was demonstrating what this Greek word G5114 meant. It only required one sharp blow to remove the head from the body. Sorry if that was too graphic but that is what the Greek word literally means.

This is a Greek word that is only used one time in the entire N.T. and it is only found in Hebrews 4:12 and was translated there as “sharper” as an implied sword. Clearly in this verse G5114 is being compared with the concept of other “double-edged swords” that are not the Word of God. Let’ us read the verse and dig:

Heb 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

This verse contains an amazing amount of spiritual information. Notice the primary subject of the beginning statement is the “Word of God”. Isn’t that a coincident? No, it is not! God’s Word does not contain coincidences of chance occurrences or accidental happenstance.   The Word of God was masterfully and amazingly designed to give us all a chance at learning the deepest spiritual truth without forcing us. In other words the design of the Word of God was to provide enough information to allow us to search and find the greater spiritual truth but consistently allowing/permitting us to reject the truth by our own freewill choice of not believing it.

The following statement going past the introduction subject “Word of God” is a description of what it is. The word that was translated as “quick” simply means “alive” and “living”. This definition implies that there are other types of words in existence that oppose God’s word that are “dead”. Dead or non-living words are what we were born into in this natural world. But, I am not going into that in this lesson, but this is what I was referring to earlier as “non-working spoken words” and we will learn how this fits in with the next Greek word description next.

Then the next Greek word translated as “powerful” is G1756 and it literally means “active”, “effectual” or “operative”. In fact this word comes from two root words of G1722 and G2041. G1722 means “to be moving” and G21722 means to be “working”. Wow, this is really deep and I can’t go into everything. But, this means God’s word is capable of accomplishing what it was sent to do. Perhaps you remember Isaiah 55:11? In this verse God is speaking about His Word “declaring that it will not return to him void but says it will accomplish what it was sent to do”.

Perhaps you also remember Psalm 107:20 where God said “He sent His word and healed them and delivered them from their destruction”. I pray that you receive this for what it is saying. God’s Word works and does what He sent it for. However, this description implies that there are words spoken not from God that are non-working and ineffective. Again this is another way of saying “dead”. We confirm this truth by reading Matthew 12:43 when Jesus says “Every idle word that men shall speak they shall give an account of them in the day of judgment”. Wow, the Greek word translated as “idle” literally means to be a “non-working” word. This could certainly imply “dead”, “non-productive”, “non-active”, etc.

We could probably write a book on just this verse alone. But, one of the main points is that there are at least two types of realities being compared in this verse. One type is an inferior natural reality and one is a greater spiritual reality that overrules the natural. If you question that last statements accuracy just read the rest of the verse. First, is the Word of God coming from His mouth and is named to be “sharper” and is compared to any other double-edged sword (mouth). Next, there is the dividing of the 1) “soul” and “spirit” in conjunction with the 2) “joints” and “marrow”. Notice that the soul and spirit are found in the spiritual realm followed by the lesser “joints” and “marrow” found in the natural realm. This is God’s way of giving us clues to how to rightly divide the Word of Truth. He is saying His word rightly “pierced” will cut away every other opposing non-living word.

It is NOT a coincidence that the LORD GOD placed these words in this verse about His Word. G5114 translated as “sharper” but literally means “to cut”. The Greek word G1338 translated as “piercing” and it literally means “to penetrate”. The Greek word G3311 which was translated as “dividing asunder” and literally means “a separation” and it comes from the root word that means “to make a difference by parting”. Then there is the Greek Word G3162 that was translated as “sword” but literally means “a knife” which represents a cutting instrument. I mean come on and see what God is doing here. God just connected in His word 2 verses with His selection of words chosen to reveal a process of cutting, division, dividing between spiritual things and natural things? Do you think that we need to apply this to 2 Timothy 2:15?   I certainly believe we do.

Here is where we begin to confirm that natural human words are inferior non-working wrongly spoken words. It is these types of words that are at war against the Spirit and Word of God. I pray you are receiving what I am teaching. Read Romans 8:7 and this may help. In Romans 8:7 God says “The carnal mind is enmity against God”. Where do inferior non-working words come from? The answer is from carnal thinking people. I try to tell people this often, not everything that you think should be spoken (Mat 6:31). According to the Bible our minds must be renewed with the Word of God (Rom 12:2). This renewal is a process of transformation that removes carnal natural dominance from our thinking mind that drives our wrong words and actions and replaces it over time with God’s spiritual Word and ways.

If you are not “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” it is because of carnal thinking. This is the main reason why unsaved people don’t get very much of anything from reading the Bible. This is the main reason why newly born baby Christians get very little from the Word of God. The greater the lack of knowledge of the real truth in the Bible permits Satan to keep his blinders on the parts of your mind and thinking that God is trying to teach you.

If you choose to pursue the truth of the Word of God with all of your heart and refuse to premit the plans of the enemy to steal it from you, then you will be on the path to victory. Start reading the Bible daily. But, not just that “speak the word of God as you read”. This verbal sword coming out of your mouth will eventually cut through Satan’s blindness covering your heart. It is the penetration of the Word of God into your spirit that will put God’s Word and power into effect to produce life, health, fruit, blessings, etc.

I have come to the belief that this term translated as “Rightly Dividing” is a literal truth. I have seen enough evidence that supports this belief to understand how important that it is to allow the Spirit of God and the Word of God to be viewed and understood from His viewpoint. We will be moving into Bible examples of this and there are so many that it is impossible to include them all in this lesson.

I probably lost a lot of readers with all of this attention to detail. Many of the carnally minded people reading the lesson have no real clue what I am talking about and why it is important. If you are one of these that believe this is worthless nonsense but you are still hungry to learn the truth, please don’t throw this in the trash. Just keep reading it and studying it over and over and over until it registers (pierces, cuts and penetrates into your heart).

 

INTRODUCTION TO RIGHTLY DIVIDING
GOD’S WORD EXAMPLES

Examples1We are going to be introduced to the fact that there are literally many examples given to us in the Bible that were provided by God to demonstrate the great need for the principles of people hearing the Word of God being spoken and still not understanding it correctly because they did not “rightly divide” what was spoken to them.   Again what I mean by that statement is that they did not attempt to adjust and turn away from their human point of view to see what God’s point of view was for the words that were said. Let’s begin with this section with this verse:

Mat 11:15  He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

There are at least 11 times in the Gospels where it is recorded that Jesus spoke these exact words or very similar to people on the earth. There are 5 times in Matthew, 4 times in Mark and 2 times in Luke. These words were spoken to mostly to unsaved Jewish people in the Gospels but they are repeated again in Revelation with Jesus speaking directly to the saved people in the churches. This teaches us that the problem still existed even after salvation’s new birth. That was very important what I just said, so please don’t ignore it.

Why would Jesus speak these easily understandable words to people that all obviously had the physical ears to hear Him?  If we take the statement literally Jesus appears to be either ignorant or stupid and I know He is neither. Therefore, we must realize that we are the ones that need enlightenment to understand these words correctly.   Jesus must be speaking of something that is by far of greater value than just having natural ears to hear naturally spoken words. It could be that He is speaking of paying attention, listening closely and trying to understand and I believe these are all applicable ways to interpret the statement. In other words all of that can be true even though it was not directly stated in the message. This would be one human attempt to explain it as a “figurative” interpretation of the words.

It is interesting to note that there are only 3 different Greek words in the entire verse. These are G2192, G3775 and G191. G191 translated as “hear” is twice at the end of the verse.   The first Greek word G2192 is popularly translated as “has, had, hath, have, etc.”. The second Greek word G 3775 literally means “ears” but Strong points out that these ears can be either physical or mental. I’d like to suggest that there is another ear type found or at least implied within the spiritual realm. For example, Luke 16 when Jesus tells us of the rich man that dies and goes to hell where he still speaks and hears the words spoken to him by Abraham and neither had a physical body. Wow, that should change a lot of religious thinking. The last word G191 repeated in succession literally means “to hear” but again Strong adds an alternative word meaning to be a figurative mental capacity to “understand”. Even men like Strong who studied the Bible 125 years ago could understand that one word can mean multiple things simultaneously and it was up to us to determine the correct meaning with the LORD’s help of course.

What I am confirming again is the potential for spiritual word meanings to occur in the Bible simultaneously with natural word meanings. I have found that there is a higher spiritual way to look at most of the statements of Jesus in the Bible. When we shift to think more in line with God then I believe that this is a wiser attempt to view the words spiritually instead of just using our natural human understanding of the words. Please do not misunderstand what I am saying. We can take anything to an extreme position of error including over spiritualizing every verse and every word. That is not what I am teaching you. What I am trying to say is to just be open if the Spirit of God desires to reveal something spiritual that you may not be aware of yet.

When Jesus Christ was the speaker men not knowing who Jesus really was, thought that He was just speaking like they did every day to their friends. We must understand that Jesus was God in the flesh (John 1:1-14). Then we must understand that God is a Spirit (John 4:24). Our Creator the Spirit of God was manifested in the flesh to die for our sins. If we know and believe this then we must understand that He is a much higher spiritual thinker and speaker than we could possibly imagine (Isa 55:9).

I am a very firm believer from many years of Bible study that in the Gospels when Jesus was speaking to people and answering their natural questions that He was normally speaking way over their carnal thinking brain and answering them with a greater spiritual understanding that they could not comprehend fully. Most of the time the disciples heard all of the words but did not take them into their mind or spirit the way they were spoken but rather they heard them the way they were thinking that He was speaking. This is why I believe that Jesus told His disciples repeatedly “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear”. Why was this? Jesus actually told us that this was prophesied to occur:

Mat 13:14  And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

Here is the prophecy given by Isaiah the prophet concerning the people that were alive during the days when Jesus was physically present on the earth. However, I still see this happening everywhere even in churches. How is this possible that Words can be spoken and some perceive and understand and others do not? God seems to give us some clues to understanding what is going on in the Bible. For example read this verse:

Act 28:27  For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

From reading this prophecy it appears that it is a human choice how we want to listen. God declares “Their eyes they have closed”. The Spirit of the LORD is teaching us that humans have a choice. Remember what the LORD said in Deuteronomy 30:19? “I have set before you; life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life that you and your seed may live”.   God has given to men a right to decide and many people have made the wrong choices. I know I did in my life and you probably have also. When we finally come to our senses like the prodigal son and turn back to our loving Father God our life can begin to change and our mind can be renewed. However, Jesus still warned us that many will never turn:

Joh 3:19  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

We can choose to love the light or the darkness. Those who love the darkness will be unable to see or understand the spiritual light of God’s Word. Psalms affirms this:

Psa 119:130  The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

God is giving us some significant clues why the spiritual truth of the light of His word is not able to be seen by many humans and even Christians.   Choose to love Light. Ask God for Light. Ask Him to increase your ability to see and understand His light. Pray and ask Him to help you not close your eyes to His light. It is a choice that we make daily to desire to know the truth.

This is the introduction to the lesson example topic for today. Next I am going to go through some specific Bible examples of why this principle of “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” was required even when Jesus was physically present and is still applicable to us that read the same words today. There are many great examples of this provided in the life of Jesus speaking spiritual things to natural thinking people who could not or more correctly chose incorrectly to not seek to understand Him because they loved darkness and evil more. We are not going to be able to go through every example found in the Gospels. But we will see enough when Jesus spoke spiritual words that were misunderstood by people with natural human ears and eyes to confirm that they are true.

I want you to understand that when Jesus is speaking He does not explain that He is speaking in spiritual terms.  Most of the times He just answers a question like the listeners were supposed to understand the answer. We will be reading more than one great example where Jesus is speaking in far greater hidden spiritual terminology while those that heard what he said were thinking in a much lower state of human natural literal thinking and reasoning and missing the entire vital spiritual message.   I plan to go through enough examples to prove that this is far more common than you can imagine. In doing this I hope that I am able to teach at the least some serious Bible disciples, how to begin to look at scriptures from a higher spiritual dimension.

 

Jesus Speaking Spiritual Words – Example 1

Joh 2:19  Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 

Joh 2:20  Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 

Joh 2:21  But he spake of the temple of his body.

This is an awesome and very obvious example of how Jesus was speaking in spiritual expressions and speaking of unseen spiritual realities while the humans that were listening were only thinking and hearing literal natural truths. This is a very clear example of “Wrongly dividing the Word of Truth”. I pray that you do see it? To me this is so obvious. But, I know to those that originally heard the words they didn’t have a clue what was being said. In this discussion we are given two opposing viewpoints that are not the same levels or dimensions of truth.  However please notice that both viewpoints were true at the same time!

We can clearly see that there was a human definition for a temple that represented a large stone building that took 46 years to build and this natural truth was countered with Jesus’ definition of “His Body” that defined a spiritual temple that He spoke of. The revelation of this statement is more than profound. Jesus was claiming to be the spiritual temple of the Most High God. BY making this statement He professed that He was God. But, if Jesus was speaking of the 46 year stone temple like they thought He was, He would be perceived to them that heard Him to be a foolish crazy man. Verse 41 confirms this truth concept found in the Bible very clearly. This verse informs us that Jesus used a radically different and higher spiritual definition for what a “temple” represented to Him. Wow, wow, wow!!!!

Please notice that verse 21 was NOT spoken by Jesus to the Jewish leaders. They were kept in the dark to what was actually being spoken of. This information of verse 41 was written about Him here in the Book of John many years after Jesus had died, was buried and ascended back into heaven. This is a vital concept of great spiritual significance. This was a personal demonstration of what God had given to these people in all of their Holy Scriptures. God was hiding spiritual information in plain sight to anyone that desired to understand it but they were unable to grasp it because of their love for the darkness.

I love this example. It is a revelation of how God in the flesh (Jesus) thought and spoke in spiritual expressions that were in sharp contrast with natural human thinking and speaking expressions. This is a very direct example of why we should not take every statement recorded in the Bible using literal definitions found in human books and dictionaries. I have taught this repeatedly in so many Bible lessons that there are spiritual truths that are a higher priority than the natural ways of receiving them. God’s definitions of the His chosen Word will always triumph over the human dictionary definition. If you don’t know the divine definition, this is where we must “study to show ourselves approved, not to be ashamed”.

I know these men that were listening to Jesus were not born-again or spirit-filled believers in Him. I know this is a requirement for receiving anything spiritual from the Bible (1 Cor 2:14). But, I have had more negative comments on my spiritual Bible lessons from people who honestly believe that they are saved but do not see the spiritual truth staring them right in the face. These types of people are referred to in the Bible as potential “baby Christians” (1 Cor 3:1). Paul wrote to one church and told them “I could not minister unto you in spiritual word, because you thought carnally as new babes in Christ”. That was my paraphrase of the verse, but it does represent the statement being made very accurately.  Here is the actual KJV Bible translation of 1 Corinthians 3:1:

1Co 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

It is extremely clear to me that the Apostle Paul understood the differences between natural carnal thoughts and words and spiritual thoughts and words. I believe from this verse that Paul demonstrates to us that it was his greatest desire to preach and teach everyone these spiritual things that the LORD Jesus had revealed to him. It is also extremely obvious from this verse that even a saved Christian can still be very naturally thought dominated.

 

Jesus’ Spiritual Word Example 2

Joh 11:1  Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 

Joh 11:2  (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) 

Joh 11:3  Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. 

Joh 11:4  When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby

Joh 11:5  Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 

Joh 11:6  When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. Joh 11:5  Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 

Joh 11:6  When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. 

Joh 11:7  Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. 

Joh 11:8  His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? 

Joh 11:9  Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world

Joh 11:10  But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him

Joh 11:11  These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep

Joh 11:12  Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. 

Joh 11:13  Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. 

Joh 11:14  Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. 

 

Wow, this is such an amazing example of Jesus thinking and speaking in a very high spiritual dimension and the disciples thinking and speaking in a significantly lower natural dimension.   Did you see it?  I felt like it was extremely obvious. I underlined all of the spiritual words spoken by Jesus and left the natural words spoken without an underline. I’m not going to go through every verse to explain them all, but I will do an overview. Jesus is hiding away from where Lazarus lived because the Jews had desired to stone him near there. Lazarus falls sick and was nearing death when his sisters sent for Jesus to come and help him. But, Jesus stays where he was for two more days and then goes to where Mary, Martha and Lazarus were located. By that time Lazarus had died and had been buried for four days.

Now, review the recorded words of Jesus being spoken and notice that Jesus was predominately focused upon spiritual things. He did not lower himself to a human point of view until verse 14 in order to help them understand what was really happening from their perspective in the natural realm.

Beginning in verse 4 is where we first find a spiritual point of view in the recorded conversation. Jesus speaking to the disciples says “This sickness is not unto death…”. Well either Jesus lied or He was speaking of a different kind of death than what we normally think of, because we find later in verse 21 that Martha said about her brother Lazarus that he is clearly dead. In verse 39 Jesus is told by Martha that he had been dead four days.   Yet in the middle of these two verses Jesus says this:

Joh 11:26  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Ok, you must see it, right? Jesus is clearly not speaking at the same level of understanding with these human people that were listening to Him and certainly Jesus is not a liar. Jesus’ definition view of the word “death” must be dramatically different than what was on everyone else’s mind including Strong.  Strong defines this word translated G2288 as “death”.  To give him credit he does say that this word can be a literal or figurative meaning.  But, he does not attempt to give us the meaning of what a figurative death might represent.  Uh oh?

Go back to verse 11 and see another example. In this statement Jesus tells his disciples that Lazarus is only sleeping and that he will go to awaken him. His disciples’ response was “if he just sleeps he will do well”. But verse 13 explains the communication difficulty that was taking place. Go back and read verse 13 again to see it more clearly. This verse clearly says when Jesus was speaking of “sleep” that it was defined to be “physical death”.

This is so very important to know that Jesus is not a liar (Heb 6:18). Jesus was just speaking about spiritual things using naturally understandable words that had human meanings and because of their spiritual unawareness they totally missed His point of view. Jesus knew that even if Lazarus was physically dead that he would not be spiritually dead. Because Lazarus believed in Jesus he would never die (spiritual definition to be separate from God) like Jesus said later to Martha. So Jesus clearly tells the people to roll away the grave stone so that He could “awaken” him from his “sleep” like he said He would do for the Glory of God.

The spiritual words in all of these underlined words of Jesus are amazing truths spoken from a divine perspective. If you want to know how Jesus thinks and speaks dominated from a God perspective, go and study the words “day”, “light”, “see”, “walk”, “stumble” “night” “dead”, “die”, “sleep”, “awake” to name a few words that have very obvious spiritual meanings with different corresponding natural meanings.   Most of the time the natural meanings are true at the same time as the spiritual meaning and we see this very clearly in verses 9 and 10 when Jesus was speaking of 12 hours, day light and night. These words have great spiritual meanings with parallel natural significance. But, verses 4 and 11 are clearly speaking of only spiritual truth from a spiritual point of view. But, then in verses 7 and 14 these words spoken by Jesus were only valid from a natural human point of view and cannot be taken as spiritual. Wow, we have 3 types of words spoken by the LORD Jesus and knowing what He is speaking of at each requires us to “Rightly Divide His Spoken Word of Truth”..

This chapter of John is another great example of how easy it is for humans and even saved Christians to misunderstand the Word of God. Any person reading the Bible can completely miss the spiritual side of the conversation by thinking completely in terms of their own natural education and experiences.

 

Jesus’ Spiritual Word Example 3

Joh 8:23  And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. 

Joh 8:24  I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
Joh 8:25  Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning

Joh 8:26  I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him

Joh 8:27  They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.

You should be able to see what is happening by now. Here is another example of a spiritual speaking man named Jesus communicating with naturally thinking humans that could not comprehend the meaning of His words.   Jesus is declaring very significant spiritual truths about spiritual facts that are far greater truths than their natural truths and they could not perceive them. These religious men that were listening are being warned in verse 24 that they were going to die if they did not believe in Him. Remember what we just learned about Lazarus. Jesus is not speaking of a natural death since everyone is going to die naturally if Jesus tarries. No, Jesus was speaking of eternal spiritual death defined as a permanent separation from God in hell if they chose not to believe on the Son of God. They immediately ask him, who are you? But, Jesus continues to answer their natural question using spiritual terms again stating spiritual truths that were not received by their carnal minds.

Please don’t be a hard hearted religious person that refuses to see the truth. This pattern is given to us in the Bible over and over and over so that we can learn from their wrong examples to not follow after them.

 

CONCLUSION

These have been only a very few examples of how natural thinking people wrongly divide the words that were being spoken to them to misunderstand a higher way of learning and knowing the greater spiritual truth of God’s Word. There are many, many other examples of this in the Gospels. For example you can go read a Bible lesson that I wrote a long time ago on “Jesus Heals a Blind Man in John Chapter 9”. The disciples asked Jesus a natural thinking question and Jesus answered and focused on the much higher spiritual truths in His answer. While the disciples focused upon a man’s natural blindness, Jesus was thinking of the man’s spiritual blindness.

What we should have learned today is that there are two types of truth found in the Bible in almost every verse. There is the existence of historical facts of truth, with real people that lived and did things some good and some evil. There are laws given from God and written down by Moses on Mt Sinai. There are prophetical things that are declared to happen before they happen. In all of these things Jesus said He was hidden in order that we could search for Him to see Him. This is where we must begin to allow the Holy Spirit to unveil Him and take the covers off of the natural truths. We are required to penetrate beneath the covers to find the spiritual truth that God wanted us to all to find.

How are you thinking when you read the Bible? Every Christian that I know of can struggle with this same challenge. If you are a completely carnal thinking person, you are probably not saved and didn’t get one thing from this Bible lesson. There are saved Christians that are at many differing levels of spiritual maturity and can see some spiritual things in the Bible from a growing and rising level of spiritual awareness. This is one of the main goals of this website. I desire to help us all to grow into the unity of the faith in Jesus Christ.

I believe that Jesus understood while walking the face of the earth that He was dealing with natural humans that thought wrong. But, I also believe that Jesus desired to teach them to come up to His higher level of spiritual thinking, speaking and living. I pray that this was one of the main points that you took away from reading this Bible lesson. I believe with all of my heart that rightly dividing the Word of Truth is someone that can perceive the spiritual understanding from the natural words that are found within the Word of God. Please don’t be like those that chose to not understand what Jesus was speaking of. If you don’t see it quickly pray and ask God to help you see it.  Ask God questions about what this word, verse or chapter means.  Learn to seek to come up to a greater level of spiritual awareness, understanding and knowledge of Christ Jesus in the Bible. I’ll leave you with another outstanding true spiritual thought:

To be born once you will die twice,
but to be born twice you will only die once.

I thank you for reading and studying the Bible with me and I love you all very much. God Bless you.  Also please leave me a comment and let me know what you think of this Bible lesson.  Thank you.

Understanding Bible Division Part 3 – The Book of Life

book_of_life1

(ver 1.1) This is Part 3 in a Bible study series dedicated to the subject of understanding Biblical Division. In this lesson we will be focused on the subject of “The Book of Life” also known as “The Book of the Living. We have already explored a great amount of vital foundational information in this series. Therefore, if you have not read from the beginning I would highly recommend that you go back and start with “Part 1”. However, I will say that I believe that the information found in this lesson will stand alone concerning the subject of the “Book of Life”. If you came across this lesson by searching the internet on this subject, it would be fine to begin your reading with this lesson. Please just keep in mind that I included this Bible lesson subject on the “Book of Life” in a greater series that is based upon Biblical Division.

Earlier in this series I taught on the truths that Jesus spoke of concerning division which the Bible claims was one of God’s first acts of the creation of our present world in Genesis 1. It very clearly states on day 1 of creation when God said “let there be light” that He was dividing the day from the night (light from darkness). I later showed how Jesus said in Luke 12:51 that division was one of His primary motivations and reasons for coming to the earth in the flesh. This information was a vital foundation to learn and embrace on the subject. Then I taught on further statements of division that Jesus taught to us in the Gospels. Many of these were in symbolic parable form but the truths behind them are still very profound.

According to Jesus not everyone that thinks that they are saved and going to heaven are going to make it. This type of statement that I just made gets a lot of people upset with me. I have had some of the most negative comments because someone believes in a false doctrine of “Universal Salvation”. In this false teaching the sovereignty and power of God overrules all human responsibility to receive salvation by faith and forces everyone into salvation, including Satan himself. That is exactly what Satan wants everyone to believe. This false belief causes people to be easily tricked into doing nothing for God including receiving salvation by “His grace through our faith” (Eph 2:8).

In part 2 of the series we covered several parables that Jesus spoke directly about the act of division including 1) separating the sheep from goats, 2) separation of the wheat from tares and 3) God separating the good fish catch from bad taken out of the waters in the same net. There are others that we may get into later in the series like the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, the wise man who built his house on the rock versus the foolish man building on sand, and the parable of the wedding feast to name a few. There are so many lessons on division taught by Jesus for us to learn about this vital subject, how could anyone miss it and believe everyone is going to be with the LORD forever? But, that is how deception works. Review this warning from Paul written about the days we are living in:

2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

I think the numbers of people who do not desire to hear God’s rightly divided balanced Bible truths are increasing (2 Tim 4:3) as the Bible warns. I believe that it easy to observe how the darkness of the present world is growing increasingly darker and darker resulting in greater and greater spiritual deception (Luke 21:8). The wickedness and perversion that we can clearly see all around us appears to be out of control (2 Tim 3:2). It is obvious to me that this darkness is even creeping into the Church.

But, I do not wish to focus only on the evil work of the enemy in people (Eph 2:2) because we should also be able to see how God is increasing the spiritual light of His knowledge and revelation within His people (2 Peter 1:19). Praise the LORD! I am a very firm believer that the kingdom of darkness will grow darker while the Kingdom of Light will increase in His glorious brightness. If you do not believe in the existence of two separate kingdoms you need to dig deeper into your Bible and ask God to show you.  I will warn you up front that this is a long Bible study. It might be good for you to break it into sections. First, I plan to introduce the overall concepts of the “Book of Life” in this introduction. Then I will follow this section by the revealing of God’s definition for “eternal life”. Next, I plan to be ending the lesson with the supporting detail verses in the final sections. That is the overall lesson plan today and I pray that you are ready to receive. Here are the sections being addressed today:

  1. INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF LIFE
  2. THE INTRODUCTION TO ETERNAL LIFE
  3. GOD’S DEFINITION OF LIFE ETERNAL
  4. THE BOOK OF THE LIVING
  5. BOOK OF LIFE – CONCLUSION

Are you read to learn?  Get your Bible, your concordance and your dictionaries and follow along closely or just use your computer with all of these tools on it as I do.

 

INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF LIFE

Today, we will continue to learn about God’s prophesied division of the living being separated from the dead.  I personally believe that this is one of the most important Bible lesson on this website. I hope and pray that it motivates all readers to make sure that their names are written in the Book of Life and is never erased.

We will discover according to the Bible all of humanity beginning with Adam until his last human born descendant at the end of this age (1 Cor 15:22) will be divided into two detached groups of people with continuing eternal existence but, within separated spiritual realms of life or death existence. We will see clearly how the first group that I will call “the living” or those that received “eternal life” by faith in Jesus Christ (John 20:31, Rom 6:2) will be completely separated from the second group of those people that make the choice to not believe in Jesus Christ (Mk 16:16). The second group I will name as “the eternal dead” simply because that is the legal and logical opposite name of the term “eternal life” used many times in the Bible (Mat 25:46, John 3:15, John 5:24). But, technically speaking a more Biblically accurate name for this group of non-living individuals should be called the “eternally damned” (Mar 3:29). That name places the proper emphasis of “eternal existence”, “mental awareness” combined with characteristic of “never ending agonizing punishment”. Wow! I do not think there are enough people that believe this truth in the world and there are even a lot of people in churches that choose to not believe in an afterlife and hell.

Please allow me to teach concerning a very real story that Jesus gave to us that will very clearly illustrate this point of separation, division and eternal comfort versus never ending punishment. We are going to read the story of a real unnamed rich man and another real man named Lazarus that lived at the same time found starting in Luke 16:19. Please read it carefully with an open mind to receive the facts being given to us:

Luk 16:19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
Luk 16:20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
Luk 16:21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores.
Luk 16:22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried,
Luk 16:23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.
Luk 16:24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’
Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.
Luk 16:26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’
Luk 16:27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house–
Luk 16:28 for I have five brothers–so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’
Luk 16:29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’
Luk 16:30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
Luk 16:31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'”

I’ll start by teaching that whenever verses conflict with a previous belief, the conflicting verses must either be explained away, ignored or our belief must be changed to align and conform to the Word of God. Which would you think is the right choice? Many people that believe a false narrative where every human will be saved simply explain these words of Jesus away as being just a parable that teaches a moral lesson. However, that would be wrong! Jesus never gives the names of any real actual people in any parable. The introduction of a factually named individual forces the statement to be a true or a false account about that named person. Since it is impossible for God to lie (Heb 6:18), we are obligated to conclude that Jesus did not deceive us and what is stated to have had happened to Lazarus as well as to Abraham must have actually happened or we must call Jesus a liar. Therefore, if Jesus was a liar we can’t trust anything that He taught us, can we? This is the logic behind why I believe this story is a real factual account of things that actually happened to individuals that lived before Jesus did and who still exist today in one of two divided realms of spiritual existence.

I am not going to teach this entire true story in this lesson on the Book of Life. But, I want you to observe the primary truths being spoken from the lips of our Creator. He describes two real men that lived on the earth together at the same time. Also both men lived potentially hundreds of years after Abraham died. We technically do not know the actual date but it has to be after Abraham’s physical death and before the day the story was being related to people on the earth.

One unnamed man was rich and lived very well his entire life on the earth. The other man named Lazarus was extremely poor with great physical ailments who sat desiring even crumbs from the rich man’s table to eat. Wow, these are two radically different types of natural people in the world. Both men died within a short time of each other with their bodies being buried, but their spirits were carried away to two different places that could not be traveled between because of a “great gulf” that separated them and confined them to be apart. Also it is vital to notice that Lazarus after he died was carried to be with Abraham and the rich man was not.

The rich man is revealed to be in anguish in a great flame wanting to be given just a drop of water to cool his tongue. Lazarus is stated to be in a different state of comfort not experiencing any pain or anguish. Remember this is NOT A PARABLE! This is a real live true story of real people that Jesus observed. This was also before Jesus had been crucified and therefore, the reason why both groups were closer together in the under regions of the earth within sight of each other. Righteous people today that die go immediately to heaven to be with the LORD (2 Cor 5:8). I am just not going to teach everything that we need to know about this story, it would take a lot of time and I have more information in other lessons on this website.

What Jesus is introducing in this story is a factual spiritual reality that takes place after physical death. Human spirits leave their bodies and go to one of two very different locations. The righteous now go up to the place of the living in heaven to be with Jesus and the unrighteous leave earth and go down and go where the rich man is still to this day. The righteous people we will find are those that have their names written in the “Book of Life” and the unrighteous, do not. How can we verify this statement of truth? I’ll give you a scripture that will place us on the path of learning the truth about the living group:

Mat 22:32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.”

In this statement given by Jesus to answer a question that was testing him about his knowledge of human spirits at the resurrection, Jesus provides us an amazing declaration of truth. Jesus is quoting from the book of Exodus 3:16 where God spoke to Moses about being the God of their father’s Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But Jesus adds the explanation and correct interpretation of the verse in Exodus to his quotation saying “that God is not the God of the dead but of the “living”. This is a revelation and a lesson in correct Bible interpretation from the mouth of God that made every person that was listening to him to be amazed at His wisdom and knowledge. Jesus just taught us that there were two different groups, one called the living and the other the dead in this verse.

When Jesus was speaking this statement he is indicating very clearly that each of these named men that were thought to be dead men (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) were all very alive at that moment and in the same spiritual location where Lazarus was being described to be carried to. Therefore, all of these people are being called members of a “mathematical set” named collectively as “the living”. This statement further points us to the fact that all of their names must have been written in the “Book of Life” since they were living after physical death. Wow, that is awesome.

I will quickly talk about mathematical basics because God created their design for a purpose to help us understand more advanced spiritual realities. A “set” is defined in mathematical terms as being a “collection of distinct objects that is considered to be a greater combined object simultaneously”. It is very much like every cell in your human body is an individual separate unit/object but collectively they are named together as the greater complete object called “your human body” at the same time. This is exactly what Jesus is teaching in this verse. Jesus states Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are all individual separate members in a much larger collection of human beings called the “living”. Let’s review a picture of the message lesson we just found and learned in Luke 16:

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Living_vs_Damned1

This is a picture diagrammed overview of the basic information that we just learned from the LORD Jesus in the story of the rich man and Lazarus. This story further points us to the fact that the unnamed rich man was not a part of the “living” member set of humans and was now forever to be in torment in the “eternally damned” member group. I am amazed at the fact that God does not name the rich man in hell. I believe that this is the mercy of God to not place his relatives and descendants in painful torment. It also causes us all to think if one of our relatives could be in hell right now asking for someone to be sent to me or you asking us not to come to this place of torment. This is truly so very important to learn and to embrace. Which group do you want to be in? It is completely up to you.

 

THE INTRODUCTION TO ETERNAL LIFE

I believe that the Spirit of God will be speaking to us in both direct and literal spiritual terms in this Bible lesson. In order to comprehend any spiritual Bible subject correctly humans must rise to a higher spiritual way of thinking and seeing the divinely spoken Words. After all, we should know that the Bible says these word are God inspired (God breathed) (2 Tim 3:16). According to God’s inspired word, no carnal/natural thinking human can possibly understand the Bible (1 Cor 2:14). Since God is a Spirit (Jo 4:24) and His ways and thoughts are far above lowly human ways and thoughts (Isa 55:8) we are challenged to grow up spiritually. Of course I’m not diminishing God’s awesome ability to come down to our level of thinking through His mercy when we are mere spiritual infants. But, I still believe that our God desires us to mature spiritually and expects us to know more Word today than we knew when we first received our salvation (1 Peter 2:2, 1 Cor 3:2).

We have had too many Bible teachers that attempt to understand the Bible through mere human reasoning and definitions and this will never work. One of the key ways of determining God’s spiritual truth is to use God’s spiritual definitions of the words being studied. This is what we are going to do now in this section by searching for God’s spiritual definition for what “Eternal Life” represents in His eyes. We might be surprised to find that this God definition does not match our human dictionary definition. Are we prepared to rise to a higher way of spiritual thinking? If so, let’s proceed.

First, it is important to know that ALL created spiritual beings (humans and angels) will NEVER DIE (MAT 25:36, MK 3:29, 2 PET 2:4, REV 20:10); as in cease to exist or even go into a suspended state of spiritual sleep or mental unawareness. We have already learned this true fact of spiritual life after natural death simultaneously being mentally aware very clearly in the previous section introduction of Luke 16. But, I am going to quickly go over some concept verses that are always given to me by someone to counter what I teach about spiritual life that are found in the Old Testament. These people misinterpret natural truth to be spiritual truth and are guilty of mixing spiritual apples with natural oranges to call them all a message of fruit truth. I hope I didn’t lose anyone with that analogy. Please let me give you an example verse that is wrongly divided to say something that it does not say:

Ecc 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

What I am trying to say is that there are verses like this that are used to claim that dead people do not know anything after they are physically dead. However, that is not what this verse says. Notice the beginning of the statement. God is speaking of a living and moving human body that the spirit inside them knows that their body is going to die someday. You know that right? Are you alive? If you are reading this you are. What if you were physically dead laying in a casket or a grave and I sat a smart phone, tablet or computer screen in front of you? Would you be able to read the screen? The correct answer is absolutely not. Therefore, would your dead body know how to read and understand any natural things after you died? Again, the correct answer is absolutely not. That is what this verse is talking about. God gives a natural truth from a natural human perspective that does not contradict to speak against what we know in the afterlife in any way. These types of verses are not conflicting truths to Luke 16. Their two bodies of these dead men were in the ground knowing nothing, could do nothing, say nothing, move nothing, etc. But, their spirits could still do all of these even without their bodies. Please Wake UP and see the truths of the Bible that do not conflict when rightly divided.

A carnal thinking individual will reason largely in natural terms based upon natural human experiences and natural educational teachings. This is a great mistake when reading spiritual truth. If we attempt to define “death” as seen to God the same as “death” as seen to the human point of view we will be 100% wrong. For example, human “death” can be defined as a permanent cessation of vital signs and senses required to be alive. This would include but would not be limited to mental awareness, feelings, emotional response, a heartbeat, a pulse, respiration, etc. However, that is not what death represents to God many times in the Bible. I will say that many times in the Bible this physical description and definition of “death” is called “sleep”. But that is only a label from a human point of view because the body of any dead persons just looks like they are sleeping. Let’s read additional statements of Jesus that can be easily misunderstood about life and death:

Joh 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
Joh 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Here are some very strange words when viewed from only the human definition of “death”. Jesus speaks some things here that appear to conflict with other Bible verses. For example, if we know Hebrew 9:27 God says “It is appointed to man once to die…”. Yet, Jesus said if you believe in me you will never die. Both verses use the exact same Greek word G599 translated as “die”. Now this is a problem unless these words have either differing definitions or differing perspectives or viewpoints. Could it be like what I said earlier that one is from a divine heavenly viewpoint and the other from a natural human viewpoint? I believe very firmly that this must be the truth in order for there to be no conflict in the two inspired verse statements. I believe this is why God commands us to “rightly divide the Word of Truth”. Both are true statements one from a natural definition/viewpoint versus the other from a spiritual definition/viewpoint. I pray that you are receiving this and understanding this.

I will ask you to pay close attention to the statement that Jesus made. He says very clearly that if you do not want to ever die, you better believe in Him. To never die is another synonymous way of claiming to possess eternal life. Therefore we must understand what this concept of “eternal life” is defined to be in order to understand this verse correctly. But, the other verse in Hebrews is clearly a verse that is literally speaking of physical death. The verse in John speaks of spiritual death and the other verse in Hebrews is speaking of the natural human body death experience that EVERYONE will experiences regardless of whether or not you believe in Jesus. The only two men in the Bible that are exceptions to that last statement are Elijah and Enoch and both of these men were carried away from the earth without ever physically experiencing death (at least yet to experience it). Of course people that will be taken in the rapture will also miss out on experiencing physical and spiritual death. This discussion of the types of death and the types of life is where we are going next in this section. Let’s look at a very important verse of truth to consider in our study of “eternal life”:

Jas 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

I am only going to focus on the beginning fact of truth and not mention the comparison that is being made to faith without works. God very clearly inspired the writer to tell us that a human body without a spirit being inside is “dead”. That compares to the definition of natural death that we just read. This is a body that does not breath, does not have a heartbeat, does have a pulse, is not moving, is not feeling anything, is not aware of the circumstances and cannot respond. But, God says very plainly that this is a body that has no “spirit” in it. This is exactly what happened to the rich man and to Lazarus in Luke 16. Both men’s bodies died when their spirits left and they were found to be in hell and Abraham’s bossom still living as spirits. These spirit beings had responses, feelings, emotions, could talk, communicate, think and reason. Only the physical senses were left with their physical body. This teaches us very clearly that “spirits” are alive.

We are about to discover that God simply defines “(spiritual) death” as a state of human existence that never fully desired and committed to know Him on the earth in their past natural life and this is combined with a no possibility of ever knowing Him throughout their afterlife in eternity. This describes the rich man in Luke 16 perfectly. Conversely God defines “(spiritual) eternal life” as a state of human existence that desired and committed to know Him in their natural life on the earth combined with a never ending continuing desire to grow in knowing Him in the eternal future. This is a more difficult definition to associate with the man Lazarus, because we are not told about his heart and spiritual practices of hearing the Bible taught in his life on earth. We are only informed of his extreme poverty and him being in great physical need and suffering. We have to deduce the rest based upon our knowledge of scriptures.

There is a third group of people that are uniquely implied to exist as a part of the previous other two groups. This group of people came to a saving “knowledge” of Jesus Christ personally in their past natural life on the earth but then before their natural death they turned back away from following Him to be forever damned to NEVER know Him further. Jesus spoke about these types of people and said something very powerful and concerning:

Mar 14:21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

Wow, this is such a powerful message of warning. Jesus was specifically talking about the man named Judas Iscariot in this verse but the warning message is also for anyone that follows after the same Judas pattern. You see Judas walked closely with Jesus for three and half years, heard all of the Words taught by Jesus and saw all of the miracles that He did. Judas even did miracles himself being sent out by Jesus. Yet this man desired wealth in this life and turned away to follow after Satan to betray Jesus. This exact same thing can happen to any born-again real saved Christian, believe it or not. There is more than one verse in the NT that will describe this situation but this is not my main subject today. I will point you to a few verses to help someone today. Please read about this situation concerning a Christian knowing God but turning back to Satan to be lost. For example, read in 1 John 5:16 to help verify what I just said about a Christian saved brother who has eternal life but is still able to sin a sin unto “death” (damnation).

1 Jn 5:16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.

This is an amazing verse of truth. There are two types of sins being compared. According to God, a Christian brother could commit either of these broad categories of sin. But, God says DO NOT PRAY for the brother that chooses to commit a “sin unto death” because He will not give them life. Both terms “death” and “life” are from God’s point of view definitions that we are about to study.

The second Bible example of human people that were saved but have turned back to be damned is found in 2 Peter 2. This chapter is a prime confirmation of the division that occurs between the unrighteous and righteous angels and humans of this world. For example verse 4 informs us that God did not spare the angels that sinned and through them into hell locked in chains. I believe this is referring to Genesis 6 when the “sons of God” took the “daughters of men (Adam)” to procreate a race of giants on the earth.

Verse 5 speaks directly about God saving Noah out of the reprobate evil world where all of them were destroyed but Noah and his family were declared to be righteous and spared. In Mathew 12:24 Jesus is quoted to say “that like it was in the days of Noah so it will also be in the coming of the Son of Man”. This simply means the righteous are treated much differently than the unrighteous. Righteous people will be saved and the unrighteous damned. There are other examples of division in this chapter but, I want to get to these two verses of warning written about Christians that were saved:

2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
2Pe 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

This verse 21 statement sounds very similar to what Jesus taught us on the man named Judas. These Christians being described found the “Way” (Jesus Christ) and had escaped the polluted trap of sin in this world. God goes on to say they have come to the “knowledge” of Jesus Christ which is a key covenant relationship terminology that we will find soon is the main part of the definition of having “Eternal Life”. But, now these people being mentioned have turned back to become connected into the evil trap of sin and Satan. Wow, that is a very strong warning statement not to be ignored. God then very clearly states that their ending outcome will be worse than their beginning sinful life and that it would have been better if they had never known Jesus at all. Wow, Wow and Wow! I’m going to give you one other great scriptural verification for the fact that a saved Christian can depart and be forever lost:

Heb 6:4 FOR IT IS IMPOSSIBLE for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
Heb 6:6 IF THEY SHALL FALL AWAY, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

There is absolutely no way that this passage is not speaking about real saved Christians. I know I just used a double negative and that forces us to change it to a positive statement like “This verse is absolutely speaking about real saved Christians. I repeat important points a lot. This sometimes annoys some readers but I believe it helps others. If it annoys you please just try to consider someone else other than yourself. We are all different and need to show each other a lot of mercy.

So many people claim that in these types of verses that we just read, they are only speaking about people who were only Christian in name only and have not really been fully saved, but that is not what this says at all. Notice in verse 4 these people were once enlightened (2 Peter 1:19) meaning brought out of the darkness of Satan into the Light of Jesus. They have tasted of the heavenly gift meaning salvation (Eph 2:8). Then they were made to be partakers of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 1:17) meaning one Spirit w/ Christ. Then God says they have tasted of the Good Word (1 Peter 2:2) meaning they desire the milk of the Word that they may grow spiritually. Finally they have tasted of the powers of the world to come (Rom 8:11) meaning they may have performed miracles by the Spirit of God. All of these qualities describe a real saved Christian.

Verse 6 should be the real warning message to ALL saved Christians that have received Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins through His shed blood on the cross. This verse warns us that it is IMPOSSIBLE for any Christian IF they “fall away” which simply means to make the choice to depart from the narrow path that leads to eternal life to ever be saved again. The reason for this is given that this person would put the one time work of Jesus’ forgiveness on the cross to open shame. God is teaching us that saved people can still turn back either out of deception, stupidity, ignorance, lust, desire or probably many other reasons to fall away from being saved with no way back to repentance. This is when their names will be forever erased from the Book of Life.

Take note of another very concerning teaching from the LORD Jesus. He said these words to people who clearly believed that they were saved and felt secure in their beliefs and works for God:

Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

I included these verses in Part 2 of the series. But these are so important that I wanted to go over them again for emphasis. I believe these statements should be viewed as some of the most fearful words that ever came out of the LORD Jesus’ mouth. Jesus is speaking a direct warning to believers about a coming day of judgment when the book of life will be used to judge us and He very clearly says some people will say “I called you LORD”. They will continue by saying “I did this and I did that in your NAME”. These people clearly thought they were eternally secure in their own efforts and works for God. But, Jesus turns and tells them “DEPART FROM ME, I NEVER KNEW YOU”. WOW, WOW, and WOW! This is exactly why I want to make sure I have a right understanding in my Bible beliefs and I hope you feel the same way after studying this Bible lesson series. Let’s move on with the vital important definition of “Eternal Life” from God’s point of view.

 

GOD’S DEFINITION OF LIFE ETERNAL

We are now going to confirm GOD’s definition of “life eternal”. Please read this definition of “life eternal” given to us by the lips of the LORD Jesus:

Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

This verse contains scriptural and spiritual truth that is essential to learn. We could teach a whole book just on this verse by digging very deeply into it. This verse states significant truth given directly to us in plain sight as well as hidden, antithesis and implied truths that must be searched for, found, considered and applied. God very clearly states that “Life Eternal” is defined to be those people that “know Him and Jesus Christ that He sent”. That statement teaches us that everyone lives but only those with “eternal life” know the real God. It implies that those that “do not know Him” are in the spiritually dead/damned category of eternal existence.

Do you understand the concept of “implied unstated” or “implied unstated antithesis” truths from scripture? These are equally as true as the plain stated truth but, they are just not directly stated. For example, if I said to you “I live north of town” you know by implied antithesis truth that I do not live south, east or west. This is simple basic logic and reasoning. There are so many unstated Bible truths to learn from utilizing this technique, if we choose to look for them. There is another logical method of understanding scripture called “implied unstated” truth. These are inferred ideas and concepts that are not directly mentioned in the passage but, can be understood to be a part of the message by subject inference.

Consider one implied unstated truth from Jesus in this verse. Jesus is implying in this verse that it is a direct human will and right of choice to make the decision to desire to “know” God. This knowledge should throw all extreme theological predestination beliefs directly in the trash. Jesus implies that this human right and freedom of choice to know Him is based upon a divinely given “freewill” right. Jesus implies that a human must desire and make the commitment and effort to seek after knowing the True God. If you need additional scripture confirmation to show that man has the right to choose, please search your Bible for the word “whosoever”. Most verses with the word “whosoever” implies human choice and the right to make that choice. For example, Jesus said “whosoever looks at a woman…”, “whosoever shall put away his wife…”, and “whosoever believes in me…”. These are all verses that show a right to choose with responsibilities and consequences for choice that we made.

But, there are other implied rights of choice. You see I could at first want and desire to go to school and take a class to learn the German language but when I get there, sign up and begin the process I could totally turn around and make the complete opposite choice to not learn it and to even leave the class. I could also want to learn how to play football and go out to join the team but then when I find all of the hard work that is necessary to be good at it I can quit and leave that also. These are all choices that I can make. So it is with knowing God.

This fact of truth further implies that there must also be many other gods not called the True God that can also be desired and sought after. Clearly Jesus is implying that it is our human right to choose to know Him that will initiate a process to place us on a narrow path to obtain this defined “eternal life”. Let’s quickly verify this statement with the source verse:

Mat 7:14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Ok, do you see the parallels between John 17:3 and Matthew 7:14? In Matthew 7:14, Jesus recommends all humans to seek to find the one narrow pathway that leads to “life”. This is a clear example of human choice and the right to make that choice. This verse also comes after a warning to choose to not enter into the “wide gate” that leads to “destruction” (damnation). It is very clearly stated to be a binary human choice! If you don’t understand “binary” that means that there is only one right narrow way of choice to obtain “life” and all other wrong choices are gathered into the set called the “wrong wide way” that leads many people to eternal death (separation from God).

If you are reading this and have not made this choice to find the narrow path to life, it would be a great time to do it. However, notice there are more unstated implied truths in this statement also. If someone can choose to enter into the wrong wide path, they have the right to turn around to find their way back to the right narrow path. The antithesis truth is also true. Anyone choosing to enter the narrow pathway to find life can at any time be deceived to turn around to find their way back into the wide pathway leading to death. Wow, this is profound. Please do not let it slip from your mind ever. This knowledge will definitely help you to stay on the right path way.

Our name written in the “Book of Life” will insure our eternal security at judgment day and it clearly establishes the fact that we initiated the process somewhere in our past to desire to “know” God (a desire, choice and act of our freewill) and as a result we became “known” by Him. This right choice placed us on the narrow pathway leading us to life eternal.

Do you believe that you can never be deceived to turn away from desiring and seeking to know God? I mean think about it. Think back when you were first born again and saved and compare that to now and ask are you still as excited and joyous about it as now? Do you read your Bible more now or back then? Do you pray as much or more now as back then? Do you go to church as much now as back then? If the answer to any of these is no you are slipping away from your desire to know Him more.

If you believe you can never lose or as I call it be deceived and walk away from your salvation and you are right and I’m wrong then I have absolutely nothing to lose for believing the way that I do. I could change and believe your way and no longer need to guard myself from falling into deception. I could do absolutely nothing for the LORD including read the Bible, teach the Bible or pray to the LORD for you and have no great penalty since I would be guaranteed to make it to heaven. What I do or do not do wouldn’t mean anything. What motivation would I have to better myself or for improving my character and moral convictions? Why would I even need to ever pray to God? Why would I need to even read the Bible? Why would I need to witness to anyone? Why would I need to go to church? Why would I need to hear and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit? And why would you also?

But, if I’m right and you are you are wrong and any Christian can be deceived to turn away from the Grace of God and stop believing in Christ for whatever reason or wrong desire, what would be the consequences for you to hold firm to your beliefs that you or Satan can do nothing to cause you not to be saved? Do you get my point? I have nothing to lose and you have everything possibly to lose. Me being wrong is of no consequence to me or to you if you are right. But, if I am right and you are wrong in your beliefs of eternal security it could be of major significance if Satan was able to trick you into doing just one thing that could cause you to be lost forever. I mean please think with me!

I am going to use a common natural example of truth to help us understand the reality of taking your eyes off of our desire to seek for truth. What if I am driving my car and I get a text on my phone and my curiosity causes me to look at it and the reading of the message causes me to become even more distracted to answer the message immediately and an 18 wheel truck pulls out in front of me while I’m going 70mph and suddenly I die! Was the message of distraction worth the cost? This example is exactly what is happening with some Christians today. They get a message of deception from a really great preacher and they buy into it so easily because this is what their mind and flesh really desires to hear. But, this distraction causes them to not look into the Bible for themselves to see if it is true or not and the next thing they know Satan has pulled his big spiritual truck in front of them and bam it’s too late.

May I ask you to please try to understand the great spiritual advantage that Satan would gain over anyone, if they believe that there is absolutely nothing that he can ever do to deceive them, defeat them and cause them to fall or turn away from Grace? How would anyone with such a belief ever be able to see the lie or trick of deception that was coming at them? How would anyone with that belief not be so blinded and distracted to even look for the deception seen though their very limited Bible knowledge windshield? I believe that this belief of unlimited security would make it so much easier for a deception to occur that could cause someone’s name to be omitted/erased from the book of life that we will be learning about today. What would be the consequence of someone’s name not being found in the Book of Life? We will soon learn that it means eternal separation from God and His family.

I would personally rather error on the safe side of being alert and vigilant while looking out for any distraction of deception in order to guard against Satan’s text messages of possible death. Rather than err on the side of possible pleasurable distracted damnation and die by a trick message sent from the enemy. Do you remember what God warned Christians in 1 Peter 5:8?

1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Why are there any warnings written to Christians in the Bible if there was nothing that Satan could do to hurt, harm, trick or deceive them? Why would God suggest that we keep our eyes looking down the road through the windshield of His Word if there was no other distraction that could take our life? Being sober and being alert to any satanic possibility of deception or trickery is the same as not being drunk, sleeping or distracted when you are driving an automobile. Being eaten as a meal by a hungry lion is the exact same as a big truck pulling out in front of you while you are distracted by what appears to be a great text message. I hope and pray you are getting this warning message along with the analogy of truth being taught here today.

We have just been introduced to God’s definition of “Eternal Life”. God says desiring to know Him is part of the initiating life producing process. This further implies that you believe in Him. Remember Hebrew 11:6 “He who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him”. I pray that you have begun this journey into the narrow path of seeking to KNOW Him. This is the only pathway that does not lead to “eternal damnation”. Let’s keep learning more and move deeper concerning the existence of a book called the “Book of the Living”.

 

THE BOOK OF THE LIVING

There are only a limited number of verses in the entire Bible that God has used to reveal the truth about the existence of this very important book called the “Book of Life”. I have found at least 3 to 5 verses in the O.T. that point us to the existence of this book of the living. I found at least 7 verses in the N.T. referencing the “book of life”. The vast majority of the N.T. “Book of Life” references are written about in the book of Revelation. We should already know that Revelation is the final described conclusion of God’s present created age. The book of Revelation describes clearly things that will shortly take place including rapture, antichrist, tribulation, judgment and a division between all of the righteous (clean) spirits being separated from all of the unrighteous (unclean) spirits. This book takes place in a period of seven years followed by the return of Christ to earth with the saints to rule on the earth for 1000 years the symbolic 7th day of creation called God’s Day of Rest in Genesis 2. It is important to keep the timing in mind later when e read about the Book of Life in Revelation.

What does the existence of the Book of Life mean? I believe that it literally informs us that God keeps very detailed good records. It also means that God is very legal minded. I believe that God does everything in a lawful righteous manner such that no devil could ever accuse Him of being unjust. I do not believe that the existence of this book is for God’s sole usage to remember what has happened on the earth. No, in fact we should learn from our study that the existence of this book provides evidence that God already knows everyone that will ever live on the earth (Jer 1:5). I am a very firm believer that God is omniscient meaning all knowing (Isa 46:10).

We will begin our detail study of the “Book of Life” in this section with this verse found in the Book of Psalms:

Psa 69:28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

This verse has a lot of basic truths in it that are essential to our subject of “division”. God inspires the writer David to speak of a book that has the implied recorded names of all spiritual living beings, past, present and the future to come. This is an amazing thing to think about. I said that it implies the existence of every natural human being’s name in it because David asks God to not include the unrighteous names with the righteous names. David is more direct in his request by asking God to “erase” their names meaning they must clearly all be there in order for any one name of an unrighteous being to be erased. This information is truly amazing.

I believe we will see that the Bible indicates this truth of erasing names from this Book of Life in more than one place. This indicates that God knew and desired everyone in the world to be saved (John 3:16, 2 Peter 3:9) from Adam to the last human born. This further means that these “unrighteous people” can have their names erased by not repenting and believing in the LORD Jesus (John 3:16). Wow, I think that is a chosen hidden warning to everyone including saved Christians.

There are three key Hebrew words that I wish to focus on in this verse. The first is H5612 that was translated as “book”. This Hebrew word literally means “writing”. Therefore it can be used for any collection of writings that are formed together to be called a “book” as it is done frequently in the O.T. Knowing this we can conclude God is speaking of a literal book when referring to the “Book of Life”. The next Hebrew word is H2416 that was translated as “living” and it literally means “alive”. This Hebrew word can also be used as “life”. God uses this Word in the Bible to describe natural living plants, animals, birds, fish and humans it appears that it can be extended to also refer to a spiritual application.

The next Hebrew word to focus on is H4229 that was translated as “blotted out” in this verse. This Hebrew word implies “erasing written lettering by rubbing them out”. This concept infers that something was previously written down in order for it to be erased. Do you ever remember the old fashioned days of typewriters? We used to use a product called “White Out” to remove our typed mistakes. By painting a white substance over the mistake and letting it dry the paper would once again appear as if it was clean. I’m not saying God makes mistakes whatsoever. I am just saying people’s right or wrong choices will determine if their name remains in this book. I believe that God is a faith filled optimist and desires everyone to be saved so He records the name of every person. However, when the door is closed for any further opportunity to repent and receive forgiveness that person’s name must be removed from the book in order to conform to divine justice. Let’s look at another O.T. verse:

Exo 32:33 And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

Here is a very similar Old Testament reference of names being blotted out of a book. Even though the word “life” or “living” is not included in the verse, it is definitely implied to be the same book by God’s common subject parallels, references and associations. God very clearly states that those that “sinned against Him”, their name will be blotted (erased) from the book. The names of the sinner had to be first written down in order to be removed. I understand that these verses and statements will possibly shake up many people. But, I believe very sincerely that every miscarried baby and aborted child had their names already recorded in the “Book of Life”. These children when killed or upon their death have not reached the legal age of accountability but due to the fairness of God, I believe that He takes them all to heaven as being righteous. If this offends you I’m not going to apologize for this belief. We will eventually all find out later after we go and see for ourselves. Let’s keep studying this verse.

Also notice the word “whosoever” in this verse because I believe that it is important to relate us again to John 3:16 and other verses that I previously used as reference verses for freewill human choice. In John 3:16, God says “God so loved the world (all sinners) that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus), that whosoever believes in Him should not perish (be damned) but have eternal life”. We are connecting so many dots of the puzzle together. It would appear to me that one primary sin against God is choosing not to believe in His Only-Begotten Son”. I believe very firmly that this factor of unbelief in Jesus is potentially the main reasons why someone’s name will be blotted out of the Book of the Living! Let’s move our study to a new verse found in the New Testament:

Luk 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

This is a very interesting statement. If you choose to read the context you should notice that Jesus was speaking to the 70 disciples that he sent out to prepare people for his physical coming into their cities. Jesus gave all of these 70 men the authority to heal the sick and to cast out devils. Then when they returned from these city trips they give Jesus the report and are excited that devils were subject to them. But, Jesus instructed them to focus and rejoice on a much higher spiritual truth that their names were written in heaven. This statement implies that there are potentially names that will NOT be written in this book. This statement aligns with the O.T. verses that unrighteous names will be erased.

Have you ever noticed what Jesus said in this statement? It is an amazing statement since it was spoken before He had died on the cross to forgive or save anyone! Jesus states very clearly that while He was living physically as a man on the earth, that their names were already written in a book in heaven. This appears to confirm what I taught before. First, I DO believe that this reference being made to a book in heaven is to the “Book of Life”. I know it does not say that directly but we can infer it indirectly by the statement. Why would a man rejoice? Would anyone be happy if this was a list of unrighteous and unsaved names? I really do not think so.

I have read where some Bible teachers claim that a saved person’s name is only written in heaven after they are saved to receive Jesus as their LORD. However, that belief just does not align with what we are reading in the Bible. These 70 unsaved men that Jesus was speaking to are told clearly to rejoice by faith that their names were already written down in heaven without seeing the book or their names written in it. That is called “faith”. It is like shouting before the walls fall down around Jericho!

This further aligns with the statement that someone’s name can also be erased if they choose to turn and no longer follow Jesus. We will see more references of this as we continue. Let’s move to the Book of Revelation next:

Rev 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Here are some very, very important words spoken from the lips of Jesus that were written down to be read by people in a saved church. Most people that do not believe that a saved Christian’s name can be erased from the Book of Life must not have seen what is plainly stated or they are willingly and on purpose attempting to explain it away to justify their erroneous belief like I spoke of earlier in the lesson. Like I said earlier, if a verse in the Bible does not reconcile or balance with your current beliefs, don’t change the Bible, change your belief. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you why there is a potential conflict and show you how to resolve to change my belief to be in agreement with Him.

Please notice what Jesus said. Jesus said “Some NAMES in the church have “NOT defiled” their garments and walk with me in white”. Jesus then said “these are worthy”. But, in this truth there are those that had clean garments on at one time but have now defiled them by their implied sin. We should really read every verse in context starting at verse 1 to get the full impact of the statements of comparison being made. It is a very clear warning written to “saved Christian people” in the church that at one time had on clean white garments. Jesus is warning all Christians to watch, stay ready, hold fast and repent for their sins in order to remain clean and be ready for His coming.

The main point of these two verses in this lesson is the statement of warning concerning Christian names that can still be blotted out of the “Book of Life” because of their defilement and uncleanliness. This is just more very convincing evidence that no one’s name is safe to remain forever written down in the Book of Life, not even saved Christians.

I would like to stop here and address another false teaching that is going around the church. There has been introduced by some teachers that hold fast to the doctrinal belief of “Once Saved Always Saved” that is used to explain away the erasure of names from the “Book of Life”. Some preachers try to explain that there are two books in heaven called the “Book of Life”. One book are names of people that do not actually receive Jesus as their savior but possibly go to church to look like Christians on the outside to be religious. Therefore, these people are “NOT REAL CHRSTIANS”. This helps them to explain why their names can be erased from the “Book of Life”.

Then they claim that there is another book in the Bible is called the “LAMB’S Book of Life” that Real Christian names are recorded in and these names can never be erased. This belief helps to justify the false doctrine of “Eternal Election” and “Eternal Security” that they so desperately desire to believe in to allow them to live anyway they want on the earth and not to have any fear of consequences that they could drift apart from salvation. But, notice in these verses written to Christians Jesus that is repeatedly called the “Lamb of God” is speaking directly to real saved people about a book He called the “Book of Life”. This has to be His book for Him to warn His people that their names if they defile their garments with impurities can cause that their names could still be erased.

No there are NOT two books of Life in heaven! There is NOT one book of secure names and the other of unsecure names. There is only one book with this title and the Lamb is found to be the owner. What is it that Jesus said to these people? He warned them that they had to overcome and stay clean. Overcome what? Jesus implies it is Satan and Sin which are synonymous terms. Let’s look at another verse in Revelation:

Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Ok, this is another verse with a different perspective being given on the same subject. This verse is speaking specifically about the lost damned people that remain on the earth during the time of Great Tribulation. These people have taken the Mark of the Beast and this mark causes the door to slam on their ability to be saved. This covenant union with Satan will cause every opportunity of salvation to end and thus their names written from the foundation of the earth are now gone from the Book of Life. This is another warning to people NOT to take the Mark. If anyone misses the rapture and can still read this blog this is the time to do everything in your power to not die and go to hell forever.

 

BOOK OF LIFE – CONCLUSION

This is not that complicated yet people want to change the Bible to make it fit their doctrine of belief instead of changing their doctrine of belief t make it fit the Bible. I’m going to start to conclude this lesson with these two verses written in chapter 20 of Revelation:

Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Again we see further confirmation of a division between the living and the dead (damned). Everyone whose names are not found (meaning they were erased as previously stated) will be cast with Satan into the eternal lake of fire. This is the same place that was being described by Luke concerning the rich man being in torment. This is not a good place to exist for eternity yet many will be tricked and deceived by Satan to be there. Do you remember the story of Judas who betrayed Jesus earlier in the lesson? I believe that there is an unstated proportional “regret” factor based upon your level of knowledge and experience in this world that will become an activating agent for greater regret that will cause greater eternal “weeping and gnashing of teeth” that Jesus described would be found present in hell.

Luk 13:28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

If you are a Christian or an unsaved person that is being tempted by Satan to seek worldly fame or fortune and do not run from this temptation very fast back into the arms of Jesus, I believe verses like this are a great warning. It is not worth a few short years of pleasure to spend an eternity in hell in regret. Here is another confirming witness to this truth:

Heb 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
Heb 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

These are my ending verses of warning written about Moses. God clearly says the very limited pleasure found in this world is not worth the never ending painful consequences of being separated from Him. Psalms 84:10 says better is one day in your house than a thousand elsewhere. Moses made the wise choice and later we would see that he was standing on the mountain with Elijah talking with Jesus (Mat 17:3). Moses decided by an act of his own free will to align with God’s Word, purpose, plan and will for his life. A man with short sightedness would not have made the right same choice. A man narrowmindedness or hardheartedness would not have made that same choice either.

book_of_life_question

Life is full of choices, I have not made all the right choices and probably you have done the same. But, we all have a new day every day to change and make a better choice than yesterday. We all in need of daily course corrections with the help of the Holy Spirit inside us. I am doing the best that I can with God’s help to make changes, corrections and right choices that keep my name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and I pray that you will desire to do the same.

If you enjoyed this Bible lesson and gained some spiritual insight please share it with a friend to help bless them. I could have written a lot more on this subject and I would encourage you to continue to dig deeper to find out what else the LORD says about it. Thank you for reading and studying the Bible with me and I pray God’s blessings on each and every one of you.

Understanding the Parable of the Sower Part 3 – The Seed

seed of life(Ver 1.1) This is now Part 3 in the Bible lesson series focused on the subject of Understanding the Parable of the Sower.  We have already covered the basic introduction and one of the essential positive elements called the Sower.   Today we will be continuing to increase in learning concerning the second very positive parable element named the Seed.  I certainly believe that this “seed” element can easily be called the greatest and most important element in the parable.  Without it none of the other symbolic elements would have any purpose.  However, it is difficult to determine the greatest element of importance in this parable because of God’s design of how many of the symbolic elements work together in unison to produce His desired end positive product called “fruit”.  For example, the vital symbolic seed is ineffective without the existence and the participation of both the sower and the right soil.  The sower is completely unproductive without the correct and proper applied seed to be sown in the correct timing and type of soil.  Of course the soil is completely worthless (dead) unless it is prepared to be good ground without all of the enemy elements (birds, stones & weeds) that work diligently to fight the awesome seed from producing the positive fruit.  We will primarily be focused upon the seed in this lesson.  But, like the last lesson we will still need to cross into other subject boundaries in order to understand the overall concepts given. If you have not read the entire series from the beginning I would highly recommend that you go back and begin the series with “Part 1” first.

This is an amazing Bible subject.  We could spend a lot oftime writing books and books on it.  However, that is not reasonable for a blog Bible study.  There are many people who want only a couple of paragraphs on any subject and if it is too long they just won’t read it.  There are also those like me that enjoy reading and studying the Bible and can’t get enough to read.  Whichever one you are I pray you will at least give it your best effort.  I will try not to write too much or too little on the subject of the seed.  I pray that I will cover what the Holy Spirit desires me to teach.  Let’s begin.

 

INTRODUCTION

In the last lesson I asked some good basic fundamental questions about any Bible study subject.  Answering the basics of who, what, when, where and why found in the subject will help us to gain understanding of the fundamentals found in the topic.  Today we will be again looking into finding the answers to these questions concerning the symbolic “seed” element.  I may keep referring to this element “seed” as being symbolic but nothing could be further from the truth.  I have discovered that this “seed” element is actually a naturally created substance of truth that reveals a far greater spiritual reality.  This spiritual seed that I am referring to is by far superior to the natural seed type but both truths contain many of the exact same parallel characteristics.  Here are just a few basic natural seed sowing truths that are exactly analogous with the spiritual process being described in the Parable of the Sower:

  1. Selecting the Right Seed is one basic requirement for a good desired outcome
  2. Selecting the Right Environment (location, weather, timing, etc.) for the seed to be productive is absolutely imperative for the good outcome
  3. Planting the correct seed at the exact and correct time in good prepared ground is required to be successful
  4. Managing the growth process and protecting the seed to keep out the crop enemies that destroy the process is also a requirement for a productive good outcome

Hopefully we will begin to see how these truths run parallel in the natural and the spiritual processes.  We already addressed the “who” question concerning the sowing of the Good Seed in the last lesson.  It should be easy to logically reason that it’s totally up to this sower “what seed’ is planted.  We should have learned in the first lesson, that the sower was originally Jesus. However, when Jesus was here He still worked with the Holy Spirit’s leading to know what to plant, where to plant and when to plant.  That took Jesus through steps 1, 2 and 3 of the natural parallel truths between the natural and the spiritual.  But, Jesus also actually tried to perform step 4 to manage the growth process for those that would permit him.  For example, Jesus saw how Satan had demanded to sift Peter like wheat (Luke 22:31) and then warned Peter and informed him that he had prayed that his faith would not fail (Luke 22:32).  This was Jesus attempting to manage the seed that was already sown into the heart of Peter.  Perhaps we will talk more about this part of the subject later in another lesson.

After Jesus, the seed sowing spreading process was transferred to those that God used to originally spread the gospel in the book of Acts and this process has now produced a growing church that includes us now that are called to be believers, disciples and Christ followers.  It is truly an amazing process of multiplication through one seed.  Do not ever underestimate the power of planting one successful seed!  One seed can produce a tree that produces a whole lot of fruit for many years.  Each piece of fruit contains many more seeds that can be further planted in other soils to produce more trees to produce more fruit to produce more seed and on and on the process grows.  It is actually impossible for humans to number or measure the end process outcome of one successful seed.  This is exactly why God promised Abraham this:

Gen 15:5  And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy (ONE) seed be.

 

This is a mind boggling statement.  God promised Abraham a production level of fruit that is uncountable from just the planting of one successful seed and this One Seed was revealed to be Jesus Christ in Gal 3:16.  In this verse and chapter Paul writes that the statement was not naming seeds as many but only one seed that was given to us to be the promised Son to come.  This incredible promise that God made to Abraham was concerning one future spiritual seed crop of fruit.  I believe with all of my heart that this promise was describing the process given to us in the Parable of the Sower.  Jesus the Seed/Word of God incarnate came to the earth as a man to speak/plant God’s Words in human hearts to cause them to become trees of righteousness that produce fruit that permit the continued spread of seeds from their fruit to produce more trees of righteousness that produce more fruit that spread more seeds and on and on we could go.  Let’s review a few quick verses that teach us about this coming concept:

Psa 92:12  The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

Pro 11:30  The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

Isa 61:3  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

 

Did you notice the theme of these three witnesses in the Bible?  They are all about “righteous” trees.  These all had to come from the planted Word of God seed.  These all produce fruit trees that produce fruit and more seeds to spread.   I really love Proverbs 11:30 because this literally teaches us that the spreading of seed is contained within a soul winning process that produces life.  We will be talking about this more very soon.

We should have been introduced to the answer of “what is the Good seed” question in our last lesson.  We should remember that the Good Seed was a natural symbolic representation of a far greater parallel spiritual reality of the Word of God.   We learned that the Good Seed sown by the Sower to produce “fruit” was specifically said to be the God’s spoken Word.  That knowledge will be expanded today to better understand new questions like “What was and still is the main purpose for sowing God’s Good Seed?”  “When is the Good seed effective or productive?”  “When is the Good seed ineffective or unproductive?”  “Why is this seed even important or necessary to the process of producing fruit?”  “Why does the Good seed work sometimes and at other times it does not produce any lasting fruit.”  “Why does the Good seed produce varying levels or amounts of fruitfulness in good soil?”  We may not be able to cover every answer in detail in this lesson but we will attempt to cover these answers in more detail later as we dig deeper into the subject of “soil types”.

Before we dive deeper into the subject of the seed, I would like for us to review some of the basic fundamentals of the subject of Bible faith.  I believe that understanding the subject of Bible faith is essential to understanding the Parable of the sower.  Without an understanding of Bible faith and how it comes and how it works, a complete understanding of Seed Sowing is difficult.  I believe that we will better understand this statement as we continue through the lesson series.

 

A FAITH FUNDAMENTALS REVIEW

I would like to begin this lesson with a short review of just a couple of the fundamental truths concerning the subject of “Bible Faith”.  I believe this review will help us to see some of the key parallels of subject of faith found in the “Parable of the Sower”.  The intimate knowledge of faith will especially help us as we study the subjects of the seed and the fruit.  If you have read the Bible series on “Understanding Bible Faith” you should have learned that real Bible Faith is a spiritual substance that God describes is observable, quantifiable and measurable (Part 3).   Jesus observed some people with a level of zero also known as “no” faith (Mk 4:40) and then commented on others with “little” also known as weak, tiny or small faith amounts (Mat 16:8).  Jesus also observed others with increasing levels of faith (Mt 9:28) to even a couple with stated “great” also known as big or large faith amounts (Mt 8:10, Mt 15:28).  Stephen mentioned in Acts 6:5 was declared to be “full” also known as packed or covered over or complete with faith.  Therefore, the implication to these revealed truths is that a human must possess some type of unseen faith container that permits God to be able to measure and quantify their faith levels from it being an empty bucket all the way to it being a full or overflowing container.

What is this quality that God can see and measure and how can we cooperate with Him to allow it to become filled?  Or do we even have a choice in the amount of faith that we can have at any time?  Of course, I believe with all of my heart that we do have the very clear choice, responsibility and a very significant role in the determination that helps God define the amount of faith contained in our spiritual heart container.  We will hopefully learn more about this as we continue in the lesson.

Please keep these facts concerning the variable nature of the amount of faith a person possesses in the forefront of your mind as we move later into the subject of fruit.  Remember that we were introduced already in lesson 1 that the amount of fruit produced in the life of a human is also variable, quantifiable and measureable as either a). 0% level b). 30 % return, c). 60% return d). all the way to 100 times production in 4 different types of soil.  I believe these two faith and fruit variable factors are important parallels of truth.  This knowledge will help us to better understand why some have no fruit and others in variations of increasing levels.

The next key Bible Faith verse that is infinitely important to learn for us understanding the “Parable of the Sower” is found in the book of Romans.  This verse very clearly reveals to us how our faith container (heart/spirit) can either be empty or full or somewhere in between based upon the amount that we choose to hear the Word of God.  Let’s read the verse and see what God says about how faith comes:

Rom 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

We should be able to learn from this verse how the Bible Faith spiritual filling up process begins, continues or can even end by a human choice of hearing or not hearing the Word of God being spoken audibly.  This truth represents a very significant and powerful perspective describing how the God designed faith process for human salvation begins, continues or also potentially ends.  I know that this verse alone does not plainly mention that it is a hearing process for salvation but, it is certainly an implied application based upon the verse context and the application of other Faith subject verses.

Consider the truth that if Bible faith can come to a human then it certainly must have an implied beginning.  In other words, if a human has never heard the Word of God preached they would not have any faith for salvation!

Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 

Rom 10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

 

These two verses are found in the context of Romans 10:17 and we can clearly see how God defines and applies the process of word of God planting to be a requirement for salvation to occur.  The progression is clearly stated for a human requirement to hear from a preacher.  We learned in the last lesson on the “sower” that a preacher of God’s Word is simply a word seed sower.  Thus we have an emerging direct connection to the Parable of the Sower already.  These verses in this chapter are amazing parallels to our subject study.  This salvation process describes a sower that is sowing seed into a human heart soil by the sower speaking and the soil people hearing.  Then this planted seed produces an implied plant that grows to produce levels of faith for salvation that bears and this corresponds to having spiritual fruit.  I just gave away a lot of what we will be talking about in this lesson series.

Based upon this knowledge it must be the freewill choice of a human to participate in this process of salvation through their cooperation to hear and listen to God’s spoken Word that will cause faith to even begin to accumulate in their hearts.  Furthermore, if faith can “come” (begin) or be in a “filling up” state by our right choices the implication is given to us by reverse antithesis truths that faith can also “leave” or be “emptied” by our own wrong choices.  It further implies that it is even possible for “faith” to not exist at all in our heart if the Word of God was NOT HEARD or NOT VALUED or NOT LISTENDED TO, or NOT UNDERSTOOD.  It is evident to me that if faith has a beginning (an empty 0% state) that it must also have an implied ending (full state) along with an implied middle time period of increasing or decreasing filling.  I pray that you can see this and agree.

Joh 8:31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 

Joh 8:32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

 

I also believe completely that the amount faith in a person’s “Bible Faith” container will only grow or increase to be filled by continuing to hear the Word of God over and over. The fact that Romans 10:17 includes the Greek Word G189 translated as “hearing” twice together joined with the Greek word G1161 translated as the word “and” implies a required repetition or continuation of hearing and not just a one-time experience of having heard.  The Greek Particle G1161 translated as “and” is a connecting word in this verse that further embraces the concept that the hearing of the Word of God is not a “One Time” action of an isolated choice.  We will hopefully soon see other verses in this lesson later that help confirm the fact that hearing God’s Word represents a lifetime commitment.

I take away from this verse in Romans that it means that we must be hearing and hearing and hearing and hearing and hearing and hearing and I could type forever and not get the point across strongly enough.  I believe viewing Bible faith in this way alone defines it to be a repeated step process for filling us up with “faith”.  I also view the filling process of faith to be like an automobile gas tank that when filled provides power for the engine to move it forward.  But, just because the gas tank was filled to capacity once does not mean that it will still be full in a week or more time of going forward.  You see even in the book of Acts the disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost in Acts 2 and this filling process occurred again in Acts 4.  Why would it be necessary for God to keep filling the same vessels again and again?  I believe part of the answer is because we are imperfect vessels.  We can hear something great today and totally forget about it tomorrow.

Why did some people in the Bible have so little faith and what caused some others to have up to very significant levels of faith, when they all potentially had the same opportunity to hear Jesus speak the same Word?  If everyone can hear the exact same Word of God to get filled with faith, it is a bit challenging to think why faith levels can be missing in some completely or at dissimilar levels in some others or even be increased to being at great or the full level in still others.  I mean think about what that is teaching us.  If it was God’s fault that some don’t have faith and others do, then that would make God a respecter of persons and we should know this cannot be (Rom 2:11).  I just refuse to believe that God causes diverse faith amounts by His sovereign choice in humans based upon my knowledge of scriptures that teaches otherwise.

It is exactly the same in the natural.  The Ford Motor Company builds automobiles but they are not responsible for filling up the gas tank to cause the power to be released.  This is the driver’s responsibility.  God created humans but is He now totally responsible for filling you with His Spirit, His Word or His power?  I don’t believe that is true.  Therefore, the responsibility for the level of faith must be placed on the human side of the God created Faith project and process.  There must be some human factor after hearing God’s Word that determines how much of a level of faith a human can receive or possess in our spiritual container.  I think Jesus gives us one important clue to answering this question about “how faith levels can vary so much” in this verse:

Mar 4:9  And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

 

I believe sincerely that one major determining factor for us having Bible faith is definitely based upon how we choose to listen to and hear the Word of God.  What are we focused upon or thinking about when the Word of God is being spoken or taught to us?  What levels of importance and priority do we give to hearing God’s Word?  Are there any distractions that easily take us away from giving our full attention while hearing the Word of God and on and on we could go asking other similar questions.

It is really not difficult to sit in a church service and observe people and see how they listen.  Many are paying close attention, reading along in their Bibles and taking notes to not let it be forgotten.  These people place great value in what is being said.  That must be a major contributing factor in the amount of growth in their faith level.  Others are listening halfhearted and are easily distracted by any noise of commotion that someone makes around them.  These types of listeners are clearly placing a greatly diminished level f importance on what was said and the Words spoken are easily lost.  Others are not listening at all and are reading messages on their cell phones or even playing games or flirting with their neighbor.  This attitude towards the Word of God makes sitting in the service under the sound of the Word of God entirely worthless.  The spoken Word of God can be a chosen priority or be just a background noise. We can all choose how we value the Word of God.  We can all choose the ranking position and precedence that we give the Word of God.  What we focus on and how we focus will be one of the most significant determining factors to learn what level of faith we will obtain from hearing God’s Word and His Seed spoken.

This Bible lesson series will hopefully help us to see a potential different perspective on answering these questions on how faith applies to understanding the “Parable of the Sower”.  I believe that the LORD wants to teach us that having faith is not a one sided formula or God only responsibility but rather more like a divinely designed project and process requiring our freewill choice to become a devoted person in cooperation to participate in the planting and growing development.  Let’s move on and grow in the “seed” study.

 

 

UNDERSTANDING THE SEED POSITIVE ELEMENT

There is literally so very much that I can teach on this one element alone that it is impossible to cover it all in a single lesson.  We will begin the study of the seed by reconfirming what the symbolic seed in the parable represents.  We were introduced to this element in the last lesson and even learned that the seed represented speaking God’s Word which we said was Good Seed.  The Good seed was then compared to the evil seed as words coming from Satan.  Let’s read our basic seed verse from Mark:

Mar 4:14  The sower soweth the word.

 

Let’s get past the preliminary subject introduction and setup to now direct our full attention on the extremely consistent & positive element that Jesus called the “Seed”.  Technically speaking the word “seed” was not found in the verses of the sower written in Mark 4.  But the word “seed” (G4703) is clearly used in the Luke 8 parable explanation more than once.  Also, Jesus’ selection of the word “sower” in Mark 4:3 clearly implies the participation of “seed” even though it is not specifically stated.  We should already clearly understand that this symbolic seed sowing represents a preacher speaking audible words.  We can see this truth in the definition again in the above Mark 4:14.  However, we will dig deeper into this confirmation to relieve any doubts.

In Matthew 13:19 the soil hearer is stated to be listening to the “word of the kingdom”.  This general reference could be words spoken from any kingdom being earthly, heavenly, natural or spiritual but we can comprehend logically that it is meant to be referring to the Kingdom of God based upon these are the recorded words of the speaker Jesus.  Jesus of course should be viewed to represent God’s Spiritual Kingdom.  In John 18:36 Jesus again speaking to someone asking him about his kingdom said clearly “My kingdom is not of this world”.  We gain from this statement three profoundly essential facts.  First, Jesus has a Kingdom, second it is not of this natural world and third therefore it must be a spiritual kingdom.  Keep these truths in your mind as we continue to study the subject of words/seeds and their origins.  This knowledge will certainly help answer the “where” the seeds came from further.

Luk 8:11  Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

 

Recall that in Mark 4:14 we saw another general/generic reference that the seed is stated to just represent “the word”.  This vague type of reference implies any spoken words can be viewed as seeds as we learned in our last lesson.  But, in Luke 8:11 Jesus clearly states that the seed represents “God’s Word”.  The Greek word translated as “God” in this statement is G2315 and is transliterated as “theos”.  This Greek word is found in over 1100 verses and less than 1% of the time do they refer to any being other than our Omnipotent Creator.  It appears self-revealing that Jesus was referring to God’s spoken word is the seed sown in this verse in Luke’s explanation of the Parable of the Sower.

This information helps us to understand and confirm “who” MUST be speaking words in the attempt to plant Good seeds in human hearts to produce fruit.  I know that I keep calling God’s Word Good Seed but that is backed up scripturally and is not just my opinion.  For example, Hebrews 6:5 informs us very clearly that God’s word is good and this was a written warning to Christian people not to turn away from it.  I also believe that we should take note again of the Greek word G2098 which was translated as “the gospel” because it literally means “good news”.  There are so many verses with this Greek word in it which refers to God’s Word that it is impossible to deny that God’s Word and Good News are very synonymous terms.  Therefore, we can easily conclude that God’s Word is equivalent to Good Seed and I pray that you can agree.

We should remember the difference between “good seed words” and “evil seed words” in the last lesson in the series.  And we should know that the God seed words spoken are always revealed to be a God designed plan to produce ONLY HIS GOOD FRUIT.  In other words, the spoken Word of God seed can never produce weeds (evil fruit) just from learning the information found in the parable of the sower descriptions or explanations.  God’s Seed can truly only be GOOD seed that produces GOOD fruit and the evil seed can only produce evil fruit which potentially causes the Good Seed to fail.  This is in fact the true created nature of every seed.  For example, an apple seed can only produce an apple tree.  An orange seed can only produce an orange tree.  On and on we go.  This is the stated law of Genesis 1.  God informed us that every seed type of any create entity can only produce another one of the same kind.  God said this clearly 5 times in Genesis 1.  Please go read it if you don’t remember.

What we have just established is a basic truth of seeds.  Except for perverted seeds through controlled manipulation every pure naturally create seed type that has existed will always produce another variety of the exact same type of being.  Therefore we learn that God is good (Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19) and whatever that He produces from His good seed/word must also be good of His same type and nature.  We learn this again from Genesis 1 very clearly.  At least 6 times once in every day of creation God said (spoke seed) and then observed the outcome and said it was either “good” or “very good”.  Wow that speaks literal volumes of key information to understanding the Good Seed in the parable of the sower.    Furthermore, this exact same good truth is also true in the antithesis speaking of God’s enemy Satan.  Satan is evil (1 Jn 2:13-14, 1 Jn 3:12, 1 Jn 5:18) and whatever he produces from his spoken seed/word must also be evil and of the same exact same type, kind and nature.

It is certainly possible for both types of spoken word seed to be sown into any single human heart and even co-exist as we will explore when we study the subject of soils.  We will be primarily focused upon God’s “Good Seed” in this lesson. But, I may still briefly address the antithesis evil seed type that produces weeds also.  Let’s now explore further what this Good God Seed actually represents in the Bible and we will do this by starting to understand the original Greek words related to the Parable message of sowing.

Mark 4:14 stated very clearly that the symbolic seed type found in the Parable of the Sower represents the “word”.  This Greek word translated as “word” is G3056.  This Greek word is included in every explanation of the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:19, Mark 4:14 and Luke 8:11.  Also G3056 occurs in around 313 other verses of the New Testament.  This makes it a very popular and important N.T. word.  The transliteration of this Greek word is “logos”.  I have already referred to the transliteration “theos” before, but if you do not understand what a transliteration is I will attempt to explain it quickly.

A transliteration simply occurs when someone changes a word from one language into a new language using only the corresponding alphabet letters in an attempt to produce as similar of pronunciation sound as possible.  In a transliteration there is no concern for conveying the original word meaning of the original language’s name or word.  If we cared about this we would translate the word from one language into a word with the closest meaning and definition in the new language without any regard to the sounds of the two words.  Language transliterations emphasize sound alike words and language translations emphasize identical meaning.  Normally speaking and thinking, I believe transliterations have limited usefulness.  However, that does not mean they are not used in our Bible translations.

For example, transliterations are a very common technique used in many Bible translations especially with the names of people or places referenced in the Bible.  For instance, the name Jesus in the N.T. is a Greek to English transliteration originating from the name “Iesous” in the Greek language which was also transliterated from the original Hebrew name Jeshohua (Joshua).    I just gave you an example of two transliterations that occurred from three different languages to get us to the name “Jesus” that many English speaking people use today to name our LORD and SAVIOR.  This process of transliteration does not make any of the names wrong nor does it make one name superior, more important or more relevant than the others.  They are all the same name just written and pronounced in different languages using letters from the language’s alphabet being spoken and God understands them all and answers to them all when called by or spoken to using that name.  Let’s get back to the Greek to English transliteration word “logos”.

Logos is one of the most popular New Testament words used in reference to God’s written and spoken Word.  It is used more than once in reference to God’s Old Testament Word written by the prophets. It is clearly used to describe the Words of Jesus like those found in this Parable and others. Even angels were said to speak “logos” words to several people with messages from God. However, logos can also be used for other human spoken words.  Logos words can even be someone speaking words not of a divine nature and therefore logos spoken words can either be good or evil words.  This just further verifies that a spoken seed type can be of either good or evil.  If you search your Bible for H3056 to find all of the occurrences of this word’s usage you will discover that what I just said is easily confirmed.  I’ll give you a couple of scriptures that can verify this truth and to help prove the point:

Mat 12:37  For by thy words (logos) thou shalt be justified, and by thy words (logos) thou shalt be condemned.

 

In this verse Jesus is speaking to you and me.  He is warning us all that every human will either be justified or condemned by our own personal spoken “logos”.  It is infinitely clear to me from reading this verse that this means humans can choose to say right words (logos) or wrong words (logos), good words (logos) or evil words (logos).  Jesus clearly states that human beings speak one of these types of logos by their own personal choice and freewill.  Let’s explore that “logos” represents two types of seed in the Bible.  We will look at another example verse to confirm that “logos” spoken words can also be negative and fear based:

Mar 5:36  As soon as Jesus heard the word (logos) that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.

 

This is one verse in a longer narrative.  In this story a ruler in the synagogue came to Jesus for help with his daughter who was on her death bed very sick.  Jesus was delayed in going to his house to heal her by another woman with an issue of blood that also came by faith to get healed.  Faith always gets God’s attention.  This is actually one of the primary qualities that He is looking for in every human.   We should all remember that in Hebrew 11:6 God states that it is impossible to please Him without having faith.  This is how we know that the ruler of the synagogue pleased Him or he would not have set out to go to his house.  We’ll get into this more very soon.  However, notice what this verse says.  The Greek word G3056 “logos” is used here for a negative report that came from the ruler’s house.  These men with the negative message said “Don’t bother the master any further for your daughter is dead”.  God calls these spoken words a “logos” message.  What was the designed purpose of the negative seed message?  Jesus addresses it very clearly by asking the ruler to “fear NOT” but rather continue in faith and believe.

Wow, this is some amazing information about “logos” seeds that are found in spoken words.  Jesus countered the negative logos seed with a positive instruction to continue the ruler’s believing.  Jesus did not allow the bad news seed to overrule the previously spoken faith word seeds.  The ruler clearly had a choice to make in who he would believe.  He was wise and kept quiet and his daughter was raised from the dead.  We will be looking into this factor of believing good seeds and ignoring the negative bad seeds later.  This is such an important connecting concept to understanding the Parable of the Sower and how seeds work.

I am not going to teach the entire story about the ruler that came to Jesus with faith.  But, I do want you to understand that this ruler had to have heard someone telling him about Jesus and His ability to heal people that caused him to seek Him.  Someone sowed a seed into the ruler’s heart and this caused an action/reaction to take place.  Satan killed the girl before the answer fully came and then he sent human messengers that brought the negative seeds designed to overrule the positive message that was previously sown into his heart but Jesus helped him to keep in faith and to shut his mouth not to agree with the bad news seed and circumstances.  Can you imagine the battle of thoughts that were racing through the ruler’s mind after hearing the bad seed sown?  Jesus was clearly not fazed by the negative seeds.  This is a major factor for understanding how spoken words work and what type of spiritual battle we have every day.

We should hopefully be able to see that logos words can be used to produce either faith (believing positively) or for fear (believing negatively).  Both of these types of “logos” represent seeds that will produce a type of fruit outcome.  Only the good faith based logos will be a good resulting fruit.  The negative seed type of logos will only produce the opposite of faith type of the force called “fear”.  This is exactly why I believe the Parable of the Sower is a representation of a spiritual battle of words between two opposing spiritual forces.  Jesus immediately countered the negative seed planting attempt designed to remove every faith life producing seed from the ruler’s heart with His encouraging seed of redirection back to faith.  We could probably spend a lot of time on this subject but we are getting into soils and types of human reactions to the words that are being spoken to them by the enemies.  Let’s keep researching the word “logos”.

The literal definition of this Greek word H3056 “logos” from Strong’s Concordance is “something spoken”.  This definition appears to state that any human with a brain, mouth and working vocal cords is capable of emitting a “logos” (word spoken) to anyone.  This Greek word was translated as some of the following English words: utterance, speech, word, mouth, preaching, question, communication and account (not to list them all).  However, they all appear to mean the same general action of spoken words coming from a mouth.

In the previous lesson in the series which was focused upon “the sower” there were verses given that stated how others besides Jesus were sowers of seed.  But, I like to have a lot of witnesses to affirm the truth.  Let’s look at another scripture that relates to future sown seed and sowers as well as the key purpose for God using people for sowing His Word in human hearts:

Joh 17:20  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word (logos);

 

Here in this verse is a part of the prayer that the LORD Jesus was praying for both the church saved believers and for those that were unsaved non-believers.  This verse represents further confirmation that seed sowing was meant to continue indefinitely even after Jesus was taken up and back into heaven.  Notice that Jesus very clearly states that people after him will be sharing “logos” seeds with people and He very clearly says it is for the purpose to get them to believe in Him.  There are three main facts that can be derived from this single verse that are relevant to our Parable of the Sower lesson:

  1. Christian disciples following Jesus can still speak the LOGOS seed (Word of God) into the hearts of other people.
  2. The main purpose for speaking the LOGOS seed (Word of God) is to produce a belief (faith) in Jesus Christ.
  3. It is because of someone choosing to hear the spoken LOGOS seed (Word of God) that Faith can be produced internally for salvation to begin the process of making fruit.

I pray that you will agree that the primary purpose of sowing God’s word/seed is to produce faith for salvation.  I believe that “salvation” is definitely the principal definition for what the successful “fruit” represents in this parable.  No fruit simply means no lasting salvation occurred.

So far we have been focused on the “logos” seed type.  But, there is another Greek word that needs to be made known in this seed subject discussion.  This Greek word “for spoken words” is the Greek word G4487.  The Greek word G4487 also means something spoken but we need to begin to grasp the difference and the similarities between rhema and logos seed types in order to understand why some soil types produce fruit and others do not.  I certainly believe that both Greek Words H3056 (logos) and H4487 (rhema) are “SEED” types and represent God’s Word Spoken as we will soon discover.  Let’s reread a verse that we covered in the Faith Fundamentals review section of the lesson:

Rom 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

This verse defines the basis of how Bible faith comes to enter into a human heart and this is where we begin to make an important connection to understanding the Parable of the Sower.  You see, both the Parable of the Sower and this verse in Romans are clearly stated to be about the spoken Word of God.  Therefore, they must both be directly related to our study topic based upon God’s design of an identical direct subject matter.

We will very soon discover that Romans chapter 10 was written to describe another very important view into the basic process of human salvation through faith by hearing the spoken Word of God.  The Parable of the Sower is stated to be about the subject of speaking the Words of God to humans in order to produce “fruit”.  Based upon mathematical laws of truth created by God almighty if “Spoken God Words planted in human hearts can produce faith for salvation” found in Romans 10 and “Spoken God Words planted in human hearts can produce fruit” in the Parable of the Sower then “the resulting fruit” must correspond or be equal with “the resulting faith for salvation”.  This is based upon basic laws of physics also.  These are called “Cause and Effect” principles.  Because the Word of God can cause both results of fruit and faith for salvation they can be viewed to be very much alike or akin to each other.

I pray that you are getting into what this is teaching us.  We are using basic rules of interpretation that are very important and sound.  These are commonly used techniques in practically every Bible lesson that has been taught on this blog.  They are based upon laws and logic that were created by God, not me.  I believe that when we discover the fundamental laws of right interpretation it reduces or eliminates human opinions of interpretation.

But, you might question that each of these two scripture references use a different Greek word, doesn’t that change the direct relationship?  It could, but I believe the answer in this case is no.  I have discovered that God sometimes uses synonymous terms to increase our subject knowledge.  God uses synonyms very consistently to connect subjects together.  I believe that He does this in an intentional technique to cause us to search for the truth in a deeper way.  For example, why wouldn’t God want the whole Bible written in the same language?  It sure would be simpler if He had not changed languages from Hebrew in the Old Testament to Greek in the New Testament.  God automatically caused a challenge to be created by this language change.  Now we have subjects written in Hebrew that must be connected correctly to subjects written in the Greek.  Are any of these subjects meant to be joined?  I believe firmly that they are.

I believe that God changing one word in two verses can provide a different perspective that opens an entirely new aspect of a subject.  I believe God’s usage of “rhema” does not mean that Romans 10:17 is a completely different or new subject; but rather I believe that “rhema” only means that Romans is a narrowed more specific application or revelation of the broader “logos” subject.  It could be very analogous to the general subject of screws.  There are a wide variety of “screws” manufactured and sold in a hardware store.  If I asked you to go to the store and buy us some screws to fix a project that we were working on, you would probably get us the wrong kind simply because I was not very specific in the type of screw to buy.  I should be much more specific and say please go to the store and get us some inch and quarter stainless steel flat Phillip head wood screws.  Now you know exactly what we need for the project and all the other screw types have been eliminated.

In other words I believe the Parable of the Sower is God stating that FRUIT is potentially found in “any” human heart by the entrance of the general Word (logos) of God.  But, in Romans 10:17 God is specifically stating that a specific man’s “FAITH for salvation” is produced by the entrance of the very narrow specific and personal RHEMA application of God’s Word into their human heart.  I believe the Rhema seed is a more in-depth and personal revelation of a specific type of the Word of God seed.  This was very much like my example of the specific and personal “screw” type for our fix it project.  Any screw might work but only one type would truly do the personal and specific job correctly.  Let’s get into researching the differences between these two Greek words for “spoken words” also known as “spoken seed”.

I believe that there is a direct connection from the “logos” found in the parable to Romans 10:17 “so then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”.  Both are definitely teaching the exact same concept concerning God’s Word being spoken audibly and then being heard by humans.  Perhaps you have already done a deep study on these two Greek words before.  I believe that they both are essential to understanding the New Testament, faith, salvation and the Parable of the Sower.  You are welcome to share what you have discovered about these Greek Words with me and with other readers if you would like in a comment.

I would love to go into every element about the differences between “rhema” and “logos” but that would take an entire book.  I will try to summarize what I believe is important for this lesson in a few short paragraphs.  I believe the Logos Word of God is more of a general seed type that can be spoken to all humans.  Thus “logos” (seed) can appear in book form or sermon/spoken form which can be made available to anyone who chooses to read it or hear and listen to it.  But, it appears to me from several scriptures that the “rhema” Word of God represents more of a personal seed type that can actually even activate “faith” for spiritual life.

For example, Luke 4:4 when Jesus was tempted by Satan to change “stones” into “bread”, Jesus said “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word/rhema seed of God”.  God connects a human having spiritual “life” to receiving a special specific seed type called the “rhema” Word of God.  This Word type (rhema) is compared to be like a natural food/bread and it is also implied to be very direct and personal only given to a specific individual or specified group.  In other words someone feeding on God’s Word by hearing it personally does not cause any benefit to anyone else.  Only the eater’s personal hunger can be satisfied while everyone else not feeding or hearing remains empty and therefore gains no benefit to cause life to be produced in them.  Rhema appears to be a personal message spoken for a very special intentional designed purpose of producing or sustaining personal and individual life.  I’ll give some more examples to help clarify this belief:

Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words (rhema) that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Joh 6:68  But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words (rhema) of eternal life.

Act 5:20  “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words (rhema) of this life.”

 

Here are three verses that contain the Greek word “rhema” used in conjunction with the Greek word G2222 (zoe) that is translated as “life”.  The Greek word “zoe” represents a very specific type of spiritual life associated with God Almighty.  All three verses convey the same basic truth that the “rhema” seed can produce life eternal in human hearts. First, John 6:63 is Jesus claiming that His spoken “rhema” words are a personal “life” (zoe) producing force.  This appears to be related to the Parable of the Sower since His Seed Words (logos) planted in hearts potentially produce new life called “fruit” in some people.  What makes it work in some and in others it does not produce?  Could it be some did not take the logos seeds and make it personal rhema seed words?  I believe that is true and we will find other confirmations as we continue.

Next, in John 6 verse 68 after Jesus asks the disciples if they wish to leave him also, they reply “Only you have the “rhema” of life.  They appear in this wise answer to be making His Word (logos) seeds personal rhema to them.  They spoke this while others in the hearing audience disregarded the spoken words, the disciples exemplify a much different attitude towards what was being spoken.  This is so very important in understanding why some people produce “fruit” and others do not.

Finally, in Acts 5:20 an angel releases Peter and other disciples from prison and then commands them to go speak to the people the rhema of this life.  Wow, this is really good stuff if you can begin to put it together with the Parable of the Sower.  You see the rhema seed that causes this spiritual type of “zoe” life comes from the logos seed that was originally spoken in the parable.  Something has occurred that we will get into more later that I believe changes the seed type from only being general “logos” seed to a specific personal life producing “rhema” seed.  I’ll introduce one additional verse that will begin to confirm our understanding of this seed transformation process.

Joh 5:24  “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word (logos) and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life (zoe), and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life (zoe).

 

According to Jesus believing in God through hearing the spoken logos seed appears to be a major part of allowing God’s connecting force that produces successful eternal life (zoe).   You see in this verse it references the same logos seed G3056 that begins the process of sowing seeds.  But, then Jesus connects the logos spoken to a requirement of human belief in God in order to be transformed out of the status of “everlasting death” into a new greater state of “everlasting life (zoe).  Wow, this is great news for some and really bad news for some others.  It places the entire responsibility of producing spiritual life on a human choice to believe and in the right attitude.  To believe or not to believe, that is my choice and your choice.

We are going to go into this more when we begin to focus on the soil types in this series.  But, I wanted us to begin to make the connections.  The “fruit” in the Parable of the sower from one viewpoint represents people obtaining new spiritual “eternal life” that they did not possess before they received the “seed” and “believed”.  Without “logos” seed being placed in the soil people were a dormant spirit and a spiritually dead piece of property that belonged to Satan.  But God the Seed producer sowed logos seed into human hearts and these spiritually dead people have the ability to receive it and believe it to begin the process of beginning a new life of being saved out of Satan’s kingdom.  Of course the fruit can also represent other additional spiritual truths simultaneously but this is certainly one that is essential to be understood.  We will continue to dig deeper into this subject with a verse from Matthew spoken by Jesus:

Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word (Rhema) that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

 

Jesus makes an amazing statement in this verse.  He is quoting a verse from Deuteronomy 8:3.  I found this fascinating.  Think with me if you will.  Jesus is speaking the Word of God, yes?  This is clearly the words that were written by the Prophet Moses in the Book of the Law.  Therefore, Jesus must be quoting God’s “logos” written words.  But, there is a major change taking place by His word selection to teach that this was also a reference to “Rhema” words.

In this statement Jesus takes literal natural bread which is very important for natural survival in this life and compares it to a far greater and superior substance inferring it to be like spiritual bread that produces spiritual life.  This spiritual bread is called the Rhema Word of God spoken to us personally and received individually.  This concept is very similar to the Old Testament type of manna (Exo 16:15) that came down to the children of Israel in the wilderness.  The children of Israel were commanded daily to go out and take enough mana home to eat for that day and they then were required to go back tomorrow and repeat the same steps.  This is an amazing natural pattern for Christians to follow in the spiritual realm today.  Reading and studying God’s Word logos daily is us feeding our spirits on a force of power that brings to us spirit life (zoe).

This is actually an amazing truth to apply to the entire Parable of the Sower.  Those that will produce new spiritual life/fruit will be those that continue in the Word of God daily.  Those that do not produce any fruit will be those that hear the Word once or twice and forget it.   We will get into this more later when we talk about the subjects of soils and the fruit.  But, let’s continue to examine a few more verses that reveal the importance of transforming a logos seed word written or spoken to everyone into a rhema seed word that is personal.

Luk 1:38  And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word (rhema). And the angel departed from her.

 

Again here is a quick confirmation that Words can be received as a special personal revelation.  In verse 31 that I did not give you the angel tells Mary that she will conceive a son and this was also a logos prophecy written by God’s prophet in Isaiah 7:14.  But, notice how this general and basic logos word written to everyone is being transformed into a personal rehma unveiling of truth to just one woman and then notice what occurs from it.

Do you understand the concept of what a “revelation” represents?   A revelation in simple terms is basically the unveiling of a previously hidden message that was unable to be seen or understood clearly before it was revealed.  The virgin birth of the Messiah was long before written down in a general logos form for every reader to receive, but no one really got it and it was completely unproductive to fulfill its purpose.  It took this hidden God breathed logos word being spoken/planted at the right time to the right person in the right way in order for it to bring forth the right fruit.

Mary is receiving a God revelation spoken from an angel of an intense personal nature.  Notice that the seed message is not to anyone else but to her alone.   This makes it extremely individual and special.  The message is also being brought to her in the symbolic form of a seed from God that will produce a new life on the inside of her “IF” she chooses to cooperate, believe and receive it.  If we read the context we should discover a very important reason why this “seed” message from God represented a personal revelation that was successfully received to produce fruit.  I do not have the time today to explain that last statement.  But, it is true.  We will hopefully dig into this part in the lesson on “fruit” to come.

After the angel told Mary that she would have a son, she asked him a very important question about how this would be possible seeing that she has never known a man.  Obviously Mary understood how babies were made.  The term “known” is a nice way of saying I am a virgin and virgins don’t have children.  The angel of course explains how this will be possible and Mary says “Be it unto me according to your “Rhema”.  Wow, this is so awesome. She obviously believed the God seed spoken to her and received this rhema seed into her spirit and the rest is history.  These are very important concepts being spoken of about why some seed bring fruit success and others bring only fruit failure.  Believing is one major factor for fruit success and understanding what was spoken is another.

Let’s take a look at a different opposing view of some people in the Bible that choose not to believe and not to understand a spoken Rhema Word from God that was delivered to them.  Notice in these verses how the clear role of their lack of understanding caused the seed failure to occur:

Mar 9:31  For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. 

Mar 9:32  But they understood not that saying (Rhema), and were afraid to ask him.

 

Ok, in these two verses Jesus is speaking directly to his disciples and giving them a chance to understand a revelation of what is about to happen to him on the cross and his subsequent resurrection after 3 days.  Verse 31 is clearly Jesus giving them some LOGOS seed even if it is not plainly stated that this is what it represents.  But, notice in verse 32 God clearly states that the disciples did not understand the Rhema words that were being spoken (revealed) to them.  Jesus is again uncovering a great hidden mystery to them personally.  He has just taken the lid off of the most significant reason why He (GOD) had entered into this natural world in the likeness of human flesh.  Yet these 12 men had no clue what was just opened to them personally because they did not choose to understand the Rhema word’s meaning.  Instead they allowed a spirit of fear (from Satan) to take the seed away from their hearts.  I have just crossed again into the introduction of the subject of the “wayside ground” element found in the parable and why this “tread on firmly packed soil” type did not produce any fruit.  We can begin to see that it was Satan that came immediately as symbolic birds to eat the seed to cause it to be ineffective.

The disciples in these two verses are an amazing parallel example of how easy it is for Satan to steal away the Good God Seed that is being planted from a human.  But, this time the crop failure occurred because they failed to ask Jesus to explain how this could be.  They acted unlike a much wiser woman named Mary when she asked the angel  how.  I believe that a human must possess the passionate desire to understand God’s words spoken to them more than to remember or memorize words that have no personal meaning or application.

Understanding a personal spoken “Rhema” revelation from God appears to me to be a very important factor for obtaining faith and for producing fruit.  It also appears to me that God is teaching us a very significant difference between general logos and the specific personal rhema Word seed types.  Logos words are for everyone and anyone that choose to hear and ask to understand them and rhema words are specifically personal spoken words for one or only a few to also ask right wise questions.  Logos words are generally given to produce faith for any listener that will take hold of the Seed and chooses to make it a rhema for them personally.  And sometimes rhema words are targeted at specific individuals for a specific purpose at a very specific time.  Always remember that no faith or no fruit occurs when the hearer did not fully understand what was spoken to them.  Let’s look quickly at Matthew’s explanation of the parable of the sower describing “way side” soil that I just taught about for further confirmation to this truth:

Mat 13:19  When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

 

Here in this verse of Matthew Jesus explains a very significant part of the “way side” soil type’s failure to produce “fruit”.  It appears to me by the facts given that when a person hears the “logos” Word of God it is the easiest for Satan to steal it away from their heart and mind because of their choice to not “understand” what was spoken.   We just learned that asking the right question can help overcome this lack of understanding.  This same concept is true for any learning experience.  A child in school can hear the teacher tell them about the subject but cannot make them understand it.  For example, I struggled with algebra at first when I was in school.  But, I chose to keep at it until it clicked on like a light bulb and this is when I really learned how to apply it.

Wow, this is really important to know.  I believe that if a person hears the Word of God Logos or Rhema and does not understand them, then they better start asking God, the Bible teacher or someone with wisdom to help them and make the choice not to give up until the light bulb comes on.   I further believe that when they do this they begin a process of making the Word Logos Seed spoken to them a personal Rhema word and not just a general statement of unimportance.

 

UNDERSTANDING BASIC SPIRITUAL SEED QUALITIES

I have gone a long time on this subject of the seed but I believe we should continue into a different point of view of it using a new Greek Word.  The Greek word that is often translated as “seed” in the Bible is G4690.  The transliteration of this Greek word is “sperma”.  Yes, we get the English word sperm from this Greek word.   The male sperm is a natural seed that is planted in a sexual union in the body of the wife to produce new natural human life.  One perspective in the Bible describes this process as the two (male and female) becoming one flesh. I hope you can agree with this because the one male sperm cell (seed) joins with the one female egg cell (soil) and this union becomes an entirely new living person.

Another perspective in the Bible calls this sexual reproductive process as having “knowledge” of that person.  I just spoke of this in the previous section when describing Mary having not “known” a man.  Both of these realities of natural truth apply to the Parable of the Sower.  Both descriptions are direct parallels to the spiritual concepts found in the Parable of the Sower.  The same principles in the natural and the spiritual process came about by God’s design.  Let’s move into reading the first verse in this section.  This verse will begin to help us to understand why some seeds produce fruit and others do not:

1Jn 3:9  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed (G4690) remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

 

I am going to begin this section of the lesson on “seed” with this strange verse for us to read and study and then connect to the Parable of the Sower.  This verse unveils some basic vital secrets that teach us why some seed work and produce new life in the symbolic soil and why some seed do not work to produce new life.  I do want to emphasize repeatedly that the end result of the seed is to produce new life.  A new life production is the goal either in the sexual union or the Parable of the Sower.  If there is no “new life” then the spreading of the seed does not achieve God’s designed purpose.

Notice the terminology being revealed to us in this verse in 1st John.  According to what we can clearly read God’s Seed potentially causes births the same as a human male’s seed can cause births.  However, the “God kind of birth” is now a spiritual birth process for salvation.  We certainly learned that God sent His word/seed to Mary through an angel and she became physically pregnant with the baby Jesus.  We know that Jesus was born from this natural woman as a natural human male child even though his Father was the Holy God.  Therefore we know that God’s word can produce a natural child if He desires.  However, John chapter 3 describes a greater birth process that the Word of God can also produce.   Jesus speaking to a man named Nicodemus and tells him “Except a man be born again he cannot enter the kingdom of God”.  Jesus provides a spiritual law for the human entrance into God’s kingdom.  Let’s quickly explore another verse concerning the Word of God:

1Pe 1:23  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word (logos) of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

 

Here is another confirmation of God’s primary goal of His Seed (Word).  According to Peter through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we are born again not of corruptible seed (the human male sperm) but by the incorruptible (everlasting, ever living, immortal) seed called the Word (logos) of God.  This is an amazing statement.  The Greek word in this verse for seed is G4701 that literally means “a sowing”.  The implied meaning of this word is an action that initiates “parentage”, “fatherhood”, “paternity”, “maternity”, “motherhood” or “parenthood”.  Wow, did you get that?  In natural terms this is a sexual relationship between husband and wife that produces children.  Likewise, in spiritual terms it is the implied receiving of the Word of God that also produce a spiritual birth and a new child of God. I pray that you are receiving this.  God is describing the intended purpose for giving us the knowledge of His Word (logos).

It is interesting to note that this Greek word G4701 used in 1 Peter 1:23 is only used one time in the entire Bible, but this word is derived from the Greek word G4687 that was directly used in the Parable of the Sower to describe the sowing seed process.  No doubt we are on the right track to understand what Seed represents and its designed sovereign purpose.  All of this may sound pretty tough to understand for some but Jesus explains how this is possible.

Joh 3:3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:4  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Joh
3:5  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Joh
3:6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Joh 3:7  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

 

Starting in John 3:3, Jesus begins to uncover the mystery of how a naturally born human can be born again without reentering their natural mother’s womb.  He says “Unless a man is born of water (the natural mother birth process) and then be born of the Spirit (a spiritual mother birth process) he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God”.  Jesus just described a dual birth requirement for being saved.  The first was completely natural and the second is totally spiritual.  One is a natural male sperm and natural female egg union and the other is the word (seed) of God being united with the human heart (soil).

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (zoe)

Continuing to read in John 3:16, Jesus says “ For God so loved the world that He gave his ONLY begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.  The Greek word translated as “only begotten” simply means there was only one natural birth that occurred or will occur to be called “His Son”.  According to the Bible no other naturally born children are coming from God.  However, this does not mean there are no spiritual children resulting from the hearing and believing of His Word.

This is very significant information.  Believing in God and His Son sent gives us a pathway to the never ending “zoe” life.  This again is confirmation for the reason that every human born on this planet must choose to receive His Seed into their heart (soil) to allow it to produce a new spiritual birth and a new spiritual life.  I just love the Word of God.

 

Conclusion

I am going to end this lesson here.   We could continue on the subject of the seed for a very long time.  There is just so much to learn about it.  I truly have only scratched the surface.  I hope you have learned something new to help you in your understanding of the Parable of the Sower and the purpose of us telling others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ in order to plant God’s Seed into their hearts.  This seed is designed by God to create new spiritual children of His kind.  This spiritual seed planting activity has enemies and is not successful every time.  But, this does not mean we stop trying.

If the Lord is willing, I may continue this series with a study of the fruit next.  I believe this is the lasting goal of the seed and we have already seen that it points us to the Saving Grace of God.  The fruit is the last potential positive element found in the parable.  As I stated before the soil can be either good or evil making it changeable and variable.  I love you all and appreciate your participation in this website.  Please share it with a friend and help spread the Seeds of the Kingdom.  God Bless you.

If you would like to continue studying in this series, please click “Part 4” now.

 

Christmas and the Gospel Message

cross-christmas-ornament-on-tree(Ver 1.1) I am praying that all of my friends, subscribers and readers have an extremely blessed Christ Centered time of Celebration for the Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ this year of 2018.  We too often lose the primary focus for the reason for this time of year.  We give God the praise and the glory for what He has done for us in Jesus Christ coming to the earth throughout the entire year, But, I just want to give Him a well-deserved special emphasis of praise for being born here on this planet nearly 2000 years ago.

Today I want to share a quick lesson on Christmas.  One of the main reasons that I am writing this lesson is to help eliminate a type of religious ignorance for why Christians should celebrate the Birth of Jesus on December 25 every year.  No, we do not know that He was born on this date.  No one can prove that He was born then or not born then, but that is really not the reason we celebrate.  If you would like to celebrate on a different day or not at all that is your choice.  But, as a body of believers I commend the person that set a specific time for celebration of this glorious event.  Even though this day has been commercialized and fought over to be removed we should walk in love and be happy to share Christ with others through His great Grace and love.

Someone was trying to tell me in one of my recent Bible lessons that I was wrong by saying Jesus went around the earth in person preaching the Gospel to people.  They further tried to say that since Jesus had not yet been crucified and died to pay the penalty for our sins the Gospel was clearly not available to be preached to anyone.  I believe that it is sad for anyone to think this way.  That is not what the Bible says at all.  Today I am going to share how the Gospel was preached 2000 years ago when Jesus walked the face of the earth and before He died.  Then we will explore how God shared this news even way beyond Jesus came and how it was preached to people over 4000 years ago.

 

The Gospel in the Old Testament

We will begin with a verse that is written in the Book of Galatians that reveals the Gospel was preached to Abraham 2000 years before Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem.  Please read this verse and learn what God calls the Gospel:

Gal 3:8  And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

 

The Greek word that I wish to focus on is the word G4283.   It was translated as “preached before the Gospel” in this verse. This Greek word is a compound of two other Greek words G2097 and G4253.   The first word to consider is G2097 and this is the Greek word that literally means to announce good news and it is often translated as the Gospel in the New Testament.  The second Greek word G4253 that is being connected to this present tense Gospel preaching or announcement of good news verb is one that simply means “fore” or “before” in time relationship to the present. God is very clearly stating that the “Gospel was preached before” to a man named Abraham specifically.  Wow, I didn’t think Jesus had died yet but still God says this was the Gospel being preached.  How can this be?  What was it that God said was the Gospel?

God answers these questions by informing us “That He would justify the heathen through faith”.  The Greek word G1484 that was translated as “heathen” simply means “a race”, “a nation” and “Gentiles”.  God is declaring the method of salvation by faith for ALL HUMANS way back to Abraham and Jesus was not even born, lived, died or raised from the dead.  Isn’t that amazing?  God is looking down the corridor of time forward to something that was to be accomplished in the future and preaching it like it was already a done deal.  Praise God!

  • GOD Preached the Gospel Good News to People that Jesus was Coming before He came.

 

The Gospel in the Birth of Christ Jesus

Many people know the Christmas Story but I’ll provide some new details that may have been overlooked about the Gospel being declared in time of His birth.  We will begin by reading in Luke 2 starting at verse 10.  Before this verse we should already know that Jesus had been born in a manager in the small town of Bethlehem.  An angel was sent to shepherds a short distance from the manager with a powerful message.  Let’s read it:

Luk 2:10  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 

Luk 2:11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 

Luk 2:12  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 

Luk 2:13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 

Luk 2:14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

 

Isn’t God awesome?  A messenger angel was sent to shepherds to tell them of the birth of the future sacrifice LAMB of GOD!   Please notice the words written in verse 10 “Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings”.  Guess what the Greek word is that was translated as “Good Tidings”.  This is again the Greek Word G2097 that is often translated as the Gospel.  Who did the angels say that this Gospel message was for?   The angel said it was for “ALL PEOPLE”.  Isn’t that the beginning of the same Gospel that was spoken to Abraham?  The angel continues the Gospel by saying “In the city of David is born a savior which is Christ the LORD”.  Christ is the Hebrew word Messiah and it simply means anointed one.  LORD is a key Hebrew word because this is JEHOVAH a name for the God of all creation.  The angel was announcing to all mankind that God had come to the earth in the flesh and this was the GOSPEL!  It was too Good to be True News.  The angels in the heavens immediately break out in joyous celebration speaking praises to God and blessings of peace and goodwill to all men.  Wow, I am in awe of God’s love for us to do this for me.

  • When Jesus was born God preached the Gospel Good News that He was here.

 

Jesus Preaches in the Flesh the Gospel on Earth

I could give more scriptures to this lesson but it is my desire to keep it short and to the point.  Did Jesus, when He walked the face of the earth in the flesh before He died preach the Gospel to people?  The Bible says that He did.  Let’s turn in our Bibles to Luke 8 this time and begin to read in verse 1:

Luk 8:1  And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,

The KJV translators had another problem with determining the correct word to be included in this verse.  They choose “glad tidings” but again this is the Greek Word 2097 that is most often translated as “the Gospel”.  Therefore we learn from the word chosen by God in the scriptures that Jesus preached the Gospel before He died.  What I find amazing about this is that in this verse Jesus is described to go to EVERY city and village to preach the Gospel to the people living on the earth before He had died, was raised from the dead and ascended back into heaven.  Jesus in person was announcing such great news to them that they clearly did not understand it as many today also fail to believe in Him.

  • God Preached and declared the Gospel Good News in Person that He was the promised one that everyone was looking for to come.

 

Conclusion

The death of Jesus on a cross followed by His resurrection from the dead 3 days later could have never occurred except that He was first born into this world.  God initiated a process by declaring what would happen before it happened and then worked through human people on the earth to bring it to pass.  Abraham cooperated, David cooperated, Mary cooperated, Joseph cooperated and many, many others.  Jesus came to die and pay the penalty for all of our sins but to accomplish this He had to be born of a virgin and live 33 ½ years on the earth and then cooperate to lay down His life in such a great display of humility that I struggle to understand fully how He loved us that much to do that.

I pray again that you will be blessed this Christmas and go and spend time in His Word understanding How much He loved us to do what He did by being born in Bethlehem to be laid in a feeding trough.  I love you all and I appreciate your time in reading this blog of Bible studies.  Spend time with your loved ones to celebrate Jesus and tell them about the God that came to die for them.  God Bless you all.

Understanding the Parable of the Sower Part 2 – The Sower

Planting-seeds2(Ver 1.1)  This is Part 2 in a series of very essential basic Bible lessons concerning the subject of Understanding the Parable of the Sower.  The first lesson was simply the introduction to the subject and it contained an overall perspective of the information taught by the LORD Jesus.  In that lesson we read the parable given to us in the Book of Mark.  We followed this by reading the explanation of the Parable in the same chapter given from the lips of Jesus to his disciples.  From this information we derived a list of the main named elements.  There were 8 in my list 1) a sower, 2) seed 3) soil, 4) enemy birds, 5) enemy stones, 6) enemy sun heat, 7) enemy thorns and 8) fruit.   I then called the sower, seed & the fruit to represent positive good elements and the 4 enemy elements to be recognized as negative evil elements opposing the good.  That only leaves the soil and I called this the variable element that will change.  I hope and pray that you were able to read this because this information will not all be repeated in today’s lesson.  If you have not read from the beginning of the series I would highly recommend that you go back and start with “Part1”.   We will begin the subject again with this outstanding foundational claim spoken by the LORD Jesus:

Mar 4:13  And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

From this statement in Mark 4:13 we should begin to understand that if we do not know and understand this parable that no other parable understanding will be entirely possible.  Today we will be diving deeper into one of the fundamental positive elements taught by the LORD Jesus.  Our key subject today will be focused on the key positive essential element called the “Sower”.  This is an extremely indispensable part of the parable as evident by the name of the story being called “The Parable of the Sower”.  I believe this topic will be a blessing to us to learn.

 

INTRODUCTION TO THE SOWER

I believe Jesus was teaching his disciples a natural story about a significantly higher spiritual subject using an indirect third party viewpoint perspective.  Jesus actually used this technique of speaking frequently.  In this teaching we will soon learn that Jesus is given to be the ultimate sower example to follow.   I believe that Jesus is the pattern that  truly saved disciples must attempt to grow up to become.  The “Sower” is certainly one of the greatest elements at the time this parable was originally taught.  Without the work of a sower the seed is unable to produce and really could be considered dormant.  It is as if I owned a farm and had a barn that was full of seed but yet my fields were bare because I had failed to plant them.

 Mat 13:18  Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

 According to the LORD Jesus He named this lesson the “Parable of the Sower”.   Therefore we all should agree with Him that this is the name.  This name implies the importance of this type of worker.  In this lesson today we will be focused upon answering the basics of “Who”, “What”, When”, “Where” and “Why” of the specific “sower” subject.  For example, “Who is this stated worker?”  “What is their intended purpose?”   “When does the work occur, begin or stop?”  “Where can the work take place?”  “Why is this work necessary or important?”   There are literally so many questions that we could ask that I could not write them all down or even attempt to answer them all in one lesson.  However, we will attempt to answer the major questions even though the answers may be expanded into other lessons because many of the subjects being discussed cross over into other subject element boundaries.

 

WHO IS THE SOWER IN THE PARABLE?

The Greek word translated as “sower” in this verse is G4687.  This Greek word according to the Strong’s Dictionary reference literally means to “scatter” seed and that simply means to “sow” seed.   This Greek word is found in 42 N.T. verses.  It was translated in a number of forms of the root word “sow”.  For example, “sower”, “sown”, “sowed” and “soweth” are just some of the most popular translated English words.  However, this Greek word was also translated as “received seed” in several verses.  Both definitions are technically true simultaneously and both are directly related to the subject of seed scattering.  Seed scattering is the dual release of seed as well as the catching process.  Both actions occur based upon the single active work of a sower.   Notice that it is not the sower’s responsibility to catch the seed but only to throw it or place it where he would like for it to go.

It is very much like someone throwing a small rock into a pond.  The single motion of tossing and releasing the rock into the water automatically causes the water to receive the rock and react with the laws of physics to cause waves extending from the entry point.  This is in effect what is occurring with seed scattering paradigm with some differences.  Also note that one seed throwing action causes the release of power to potentially cause other designed laws to become effective.  Let’s look at another verse that was spoken by Jesus in the book of Mark concerning this subject of the “sower” to understand what kind of sower is being spoken of in this Parable:

Mar 4:14  The sower soweth the word.

In this verse both the translated words “sower” and “soweth” are the exact same Greek word G4687.  This information simply confirms further that the scattering concept being discussed is about someone throwing word seeds out and someone listening to take the power.  This power can represent words that make it possible for new potential life producing results that previously had never occurred before.  This is how the natural process works but notice that Jesus is speaking spiritually to what seeds represent in the parable.  Jesus is clearly not speaking in literal natural terms and He explains His lesson is spoken in the “figurative” spiritual application.

Jesus is teaching an amazing spiritual concept using a more easily understood natural description.  According to this verse spoken by Jesus in the book of Mark, a “Sower” (the described seed scattering worker) is defined to be literally anyone that is speaking “words” to implied listeners.  This verse provides us the spiritual definition of what “seed” represents.   We will be discussing “seeds” in the next lesson in the series, God willing.  But, according to Jesus ALL spoken words are potentially a type of a seed.  That is an amazing claim if you take the time to think about.  Jesus is literally implying that we all should think to our self before speaking.  Ask is what I am saying to others the result that I wish to plant and grow in them?  What kind of seed am I speaking to people?  I know a lot of people will not believe this, but it is true none the less.

Jesus does not actually define who the sower represents directly in this verse nor does he answer the “who” question in any of the other parable explanations found in Matthew or Luke.  But, I do believe very strongly that Jesus was speaking this parable of Himself and His work using the external third person point of view.  Jesus actually did this frequently in many of the things that He talked to people about.  It is actually a very common method of speaking or writing.  Many people do this and it if you go through and read the Gospels with this in mind you should be able to easily see it.

This verse in Mark 4:14 has some far reaching impacts of implied meanings even beyond the direct context.  In the first lesson I introduced the concept of this Parable of the Sower to be a spiritual battle of spiritual words.  I believe this so deeply that I pray that you will join me in this understanding very soon.  What this verse implies is that anyone speaking audible words that are either good or evil is potentially planting seeds within the lives of human minds and hearts that choose to hear, listen, pay attention and understand.  If you do not yet see this up till now, please don’t throw it in the trash until you read some other verses on the subject.

What I believe is that we should begin to understand that this sowing principle is how human life operates from the beginning birth to the ending death cycle.  If you have ever had children and watched them grow up, you must certainly agree with this concept of seed planting being Words that can positively teach, direct, help, guide, encourage, praise and correct a child to get them headed in the right direction for the rest of their life.  No child comes out of the womb speaking complete understandable sentences.   We are required to speak seeds into them for literally many months before the first meaningful seed planted will be returned to us.  But, finally they say “mama” or “dada” or whatever you taught them to say.  These are examples of positive seed plantings.  It is truly an amazing process of a good life.  But, we can also speak negative, mean, angry or evil words that will also have the same effect in reverse being returned to us from their mouths.  That is certainly not a positive of fruitful outcome.

Of course the main emphasis in this parable is focused primarily upon “Good Seeds” spoken by the “Good LORD Jesus” spread to all humans in order to produce “Good” fruit” in return.  But, the antithesis of this Good truth return objective is still true also and I’ll introduce a new parable very quickly by giving you an additional part of a direct related story spoken by Jesus on the subject of sowing.

 

OVERVIEW OF the PARABLE of the WEEDS

Mat 13:24  Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 

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

This parable was spoken by Jesus in the same context of the Parable of the Sower directly after the explanation in Chapter 13.  Notice the fact that again this parable is spoken in the external “third person point of view”.  But, we will soon discover that this reference in verse 24 to just “a man” that sowed good seed is a directly defined reference about Jesus.  Also we need to notice that this verse contains the exact same Greek word G4687 that was used in the parable of the sower.  This makes this parable related by both the laws of contextual reference and the more direct named word selection and subject matter reference.

It is also very important to take note of two other Greek words that follow the Greek word G4687 in verse 24 and these were translated as “good seed”.  This is really amazing truth after you learn it.  The Greek word G2570 that is translated as “good” literally means “valuable” and “virtuous”.  Wow I hope you are seeing the type of seed being described here.  This Greek word is a qualifying adjective that severely limits the type of “seed” being described.  I personally believe that this Greek word describes God’s Word Seed perfectly.  The usage of God’s limitation of “Good” also implies by the law of antithesis truth that there must also exist “evil seed” and that the two are extreme opposites.

Then we need to notice the next word translated as “seed” as being the Greek word G4690.  The English transliteration of this Greek word is “sperma” and yes we get the English word “sperm” from this Greek word.  Natural human sperm is just one type of “seed” listed in the Bible.  Therefore a human male was designed by God to be a natural sower of seed into a female.  This process of producing natural human life is also called bearing fruit and we will probably talk more about this when we get to that part of the subject lesson.

But, this Greek word G4690 translated as “seed” comes directly from the “Sower” Greek word G4687.  In other words without a “sower” speaking words there would be no “seed” word to be planted.  It really is teaching us that seed sowing is literally dependent upon the existence of sowers.  Do you believe that the seed word originating from a sower is an accident or is found by chance random occurrence?   I do not.  I believe that this is a statement of designed truth concerning who produces “Good” seed and how this process works in us.  I believe that God’s Word is His Seed that produces His Life in us to be born again spiritually and we are going into this much deeper later in this lesson series when we discuss the seed and the fruit.

This new parable story spoken by Jesus is often called the “Parable of the Weeds”.  According to Jesus the Kingdom of heaven seed represents “Good Seed” that produces symbolic “wheat” that is harvestable and the “tares” represents evil seeds sown by an enemy into the same ground.  You see in verse 25 Jesus speaks of two very important factors.  One is the Greek word G2190 that was translated as “enemy”.  This Greek word literally means “to hate”.  That word represents the opposite description of God who is described to be “love” (agape, G26) in 1 John 4:8.  Hate and love are antithesis opposing definitions of forces of power.  These are clear descriptions of two opposing extremes.  God is Love and the enemy being spoken of is Satan who is “hate”.  Satan hates you and me and he hates God.

Next we need to notice the Greek word G4687 that is translated as “sowed” in verse 25.  This is again the exact same Greek word translated as “sower” in the Parable of the sower and “sowed good seed” in verse 24.  They are all connected directly together.  We are beginning to put some major pieces of the puzzle together to understand the Parable of the Sower and the Parable of the Weeds.  Both are concerning the subject of sowing words.  There are stated “Good” words that produce harvestable symbolic “wheat” in the Parable of the Weeds and the implied “virtuous” words of God that produce symbolic “fruit” in the Parable of the Sower.  God is giving us a very detailed look into the enemy in both parables and how Satan operates.

Here in both Parables is found amazing parallels of truth using similar representations.  I am not going to go into this parable in much further detail today.  I mainly wanted to show the divine connection to why “weeds” appear was because of the stated work of a hateful spiritual enemy called the devil.  God is introducing us to the fact that there is a described spiritual battle for humans and their end is determined by whose words these humans value.  Some will become children of Satan by valuing his lies of deception and some will become children of God by valuing His Virtuous TRUTH.  We will move into this more later.  But, I do want you show you that Jesus claimed that He was this stated man that sowed the Good Seed mentioned in verse 24:

Mat 13:37  He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;

When this Parable was first taught to the disciples and the natural people of Israel, Jesus was the named “Sower” mentioned in the Parable.  When we read further in his explanation of the Parable of the Weeds in verse 37, we discover plainly that the “Good seed” originated from the spoken words given by the “Son of man” (Jesus).  There are over one hundred verses in the Bible that refer to Jesus as the “Son of man”.  I will not give you them all here because you can easily go and search them for yourself.   There are so many confirmations that there is no refuting that this refers to Jesus.  This teaches us that any “good seed (sperma)” will originate from God and Jesus.

We understand that a natural sower is defined to be someone that sows (plants) seeds by scattering them in or on the natural ground (soil).  But according to what we just learned from Jesus a Spiritual Sower is someone that scatters good or evil “Words” on or in the ears, minds & hearts of humans.  We must understand that Jesus was only sowing “Good” (valuable and virtuous) words.  We will learn the good type of Word in next lesson concerning “seeds” that Jesus spoke the “Word of God” (Luke 8:11).   It makes logical sense to me that Jesus was speaking only God’s Words.  However, we can confirm this when we search further in the Bible to learn that Jesus actually claimed to be a spokesman for His Father.   Verify this claim here in John:

Joh 12:49  For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

Jesus claimed in this verse that the “Seeds” or “Words” that He spoke including those that were found in the Parable of the Sower must have come directly from His Father in heaven by a divine command.  In fact we should learn from this statement that every word spoken by Jesus in our Bibles were direct words from the Almighty God.  This makes these Words directly inspired and divinely essential messages.  There were no imperfections or untruths that could be found in them (Tit 1:2).  These “Seeds” had to have an extremely important purpose.  We will be diving into this subject in the next lesson when we further discuss in more detail the “Seed”.

 

ARE THERE ANY SOWERS TODAY?

We all should know that Jesus died and was raised from the dead and ascended back to heaven where He currently sits at the right hand of the Almighty awaiting the time of His return.  Therefore, we need to ask a new question since we know that Jesus is not physically present on the earth to sow more seeds in any new humans born in the last 2000+ years, did this Parable end?  Did the death of Jesus mean that sowing of seeds into humans has ceased?  There are some denominations that have beliefs like this, but they usually do not extend them to seed sowing for some reason.  But, should we just assume that the seed sowing process of the Parable of the Sower stopped or does it still continue today?  We actually need verses to fix our beliefs on, in order to answer this question to remove any doubts.  But, we can learn and know the answer from reading further in the New Testament that any man or woman speaking, teaching, or preaching the Word of God can also be named to be a seed planter aka a “sower”.  For example, notice this verse written by the Apostle Paul written to the Corinthian Church:

1Co 3:5  Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man

1Co 3:6  I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase

1Co 3:7  So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

These verses here contain some amazing truths.  Notice what is claimed by the Apostle Paul?  Paul informs the church that he was a minister and that his work performed to them was to “plant” seeds (verse 6).   The Greek word G1249 in verse 5 translated as “ministers” is not a high claimed position of great authority in the church.  This word literally can be translated as a servant, or someone that runs errand, or even as a “waiter” of tables for those that are present eating.  Paul is an extremely humble man that is not claiming to be anyone special or important in any of these statements.  If Paul felt this way who wrote 2/3 of the New Testament, how can any of us ever think we are any better?

Why am I bringing these verses into our lesson on the Parable of the Sower?  I would pray that it is already very obvious.  Paul is repeating a significant number of positive elements found in the Parable of the Sower here in these three verses.  Paul in these statements is focused on how seed planting successes occurs and who gets the honor and the praise for any of it.  Paul is teaching us about his contribution and participation in the common elements of “being a sower”, “possessing seed”, “sowing seed” into “soil” in order to produce “fruit”.  They may not all be mentioned directly but they are understood to be present by the direct mention of the words “planting” and “increase”.

The Greek word G5452 that was translated as “planted” literally means “to set out in the earth”.  In other words this Greek word G5452 means “to implant” seed in the natural realm which must represent the parallel spiritual reality of imparting God’s Word in the human heart (symbolic soil).  Earth in this Greek definition G5452 is a clear synonymous reference to the successful and fruitful soil type that we have yet to discuss in detail.  The Strong’s definition goes further to state that this word figuratively means to “instill doctrine” into humans.  Therefore we are definitely on the right track to speaking words to people.

The Greek word G837 translated as “increase” in verse 6 literally means “to cause to grow”.  I introduced in the first lesson that “fruit” represented “salvation” and “spiritual fruit”.  But we have not discussed this yet either.  But that is exactly what Paul infers by verse 5 stating what he preached caused these people in the church to believe and believing God’s Word is the foundation of Bible faith and salvation.  We will discuss later that faith is a basic requirement for salvation and there are many verses that will confirm this truth such as John 3:16, Romans 10:9-10 and Ephesians 2:8.

Then Paul adds a new unstated element not found in the Parable of the Sower called “watering” or “water”.  If you have read all of the Bible lessons on this blog, you will already know that the same Word of God represents multiple facets of essential life producing forces called “seed”, “water” and “light” and these are the basic requirements that must be combined with the soil to produce new “fruitful life”.  We will be going into much greater detail later when we speak about other elements after the “sower”.  But, let’s first move to two further verses in the Paul letter to the Corinthians:

1Co 3:8  Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 

1Co 3:9  For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

The Greek word that I wish to focus on first in these three verses is G1091 that was translated as “husbandry” in verse 9.  This word literally means “a farm”.  This should be another obvious connection to the Parable of the Sower using God’s law of selection of synonymous terminology.  A farm is usually defined as an area of land that is used to produce and grow crops for harvest.  Humans are literally called to be the spiritual ground that grows spiritual fruit from the implanted spiritual Words of God.  But, yet this does not occur automatically or magically or forcefully.   We will be discussing this aspect of the discussion later in the elements of “soil” and “fruit”.

These verses found in Corinthians are just one major proof text that God desired everyone in the church to become His “farm land to produce His fruit” as well as simultaneously growing up spiritually to become His “seed planters” or “seed waterers”.   We may not all be called into the office of “Apostle”, “Prophet”, “Evangelist” or “Pastor” or “Teacher”, but we are all still called servants of God.  Notice again in verse 5 the ending statement.  Paul claims they were minister servants of the LORD and then claims this responsibility was given to “EVERY MAN”.  Then in verse 9 God calls the church body to be His “co-laborers”.  This word literally means we must cooperate and coordinate our efforts with His planned work for our lives.  These are just more ways to proclaim the great commission given from the LORD Jesus to everyone in the church:

Mar 16:15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Go into the entire world, and sow seeds in the entire world by proclaiming out loud of His exceedingly Great News.  Jesus is commissioning all of His people to become “sowing servants” of His Word.  If we are just receivers collecting His Words and not spreading the seed to others then we are being disobedient barn storage facilities.  The Greek word G2784 translated as “preach” in this verse literally means someone who is like a town crier that brings good news to the people of a city.  Clearly this is a “seed” planter that is attempting to follow after the LORD Jesus’ patterned example found in the Parable of the Sower.  What is the purpose of being a seed planter for God?  If we read the next verse we will learn God’s designed goal:

Mar 16:16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

We are being introduced to God’s primary purpose for speaking His Word to people in the world.  According to Jesus it was God’s design for His Words to be believed by a human faith choice and then this belief would place us onto a course or pathway whereby we could be saved.  We actually read this in 1 Corinthians 3:5 also.  We learn the fact of salvation is dependent upon our beliefs in God’s Word by reading verses like this as well as Ephesians 2:8 and even John 3:16.  Whoever believes God Word to the end is the one that receives the free gift of His Great Grace.

But, then comes the bad news if any human does not choose to believe His Words spoken by His sowers, they are damned.  Wow, that is so strong.  What a significant warning.  What a great responsibility that we are given.  Is it possible if someone does not state the right words in the right way at the right time with the correct attitude and motive that the responsibility for why some are not saved could be on the sower’s hands?  That is something that I believe we must take into consideration.  I believe that we all must be led by the Spirit of God in everything that we do including sowing seeds.

Perhaps you have already deduced that sowing seeds is why I do a Bible study Blog on the internet.  This blog is an attempt to spread God’s “seed” to every nation on planet earth.  By the immense Grace of God these Bible lessons have gone into over 250 different nations already.  That would be an extremely difficult physical effort for anyone to travel to reach each one personally.  I praise God for using an insignificant man like me to spread His Word and I pray that you will also join me in becoming a “seed of God sower”.

 

CONCLUSION

I will end this section on the “sower” with this stated truth.  When the LORD Jesus was teaching the Good News while Sowing Seeds into the hearts of people on the earth in His physical body during His short 3 ½ years of ministry, this was the closest to perfection that was possible for the Parable to have successful crops of fruit.  However, we also know from reading the Gospels that most of the people that heard Him teach and preach these “Seeds” were possibly the same ones that killed Him on a cross.   Think about it.  There were only 120 believers in the 50 days from His death in the upper room in Acts 2 awaiting the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  We know that when Jesus was on the earth that he sometimes taught to over 5000 people at one time and over 4000 at another time.  He traveled wide and far throughout the region to preach the Word of God to people. Where were all of these thousands of people that heard the “Seed”?  I think that is amazing.

This truth only proves that imperfect humans today that are attempting to follow Jesus’ example of sowing should not expect to make everyone accept what they are teaching them as “Good News”.  The servant is never greater than the master Jesus said.  If they persecuted me Jesus said, they will certainly persecute you also.  Believe me I know this for sure.  Some people are such very nice Christians that say good things about my lessons even if they disagree with something, and others sound like demon possessed people and say the meanest things.  Just learn from Jesus and don’t let the praise of anyone or the condemnation of anyone else be the motivating source for preaching or teaching God’s Word.  Remember what Paul said, it is not the sower of the seed or the one that waters that is anything, but rather it is God that that causes the increase of the fruit to grow that is important.  Okay we answered some basic questions about the sower today so we will review:

  1. WHO?   Jesus was the initial Primary Sower Example.
  2. WHO?   But, Christians today have the same responsibility to sow seeds.
  3. WHAT? Being a Sower is simply sharing God’s Word with someone.
  4. WHAT? The reason we sow God’s seed is to get someone saved from a certain eternal death in hell.
  5. WHEN?  It is implied that the time to sow is now.
  6. WHERE? It is implied whenever the opportunity presents itself.

In the next lesson in the series we will move into the very positive subject of understanding the “Seed”.  I know we could have covered a lot more information in this subject of understanding the sower. If you have any specific questions on this part of the subject I would welcome them.  I pray that you have enjoyed this lesson but I believe the next lesson will even be better.   God Bless you.

If you would like to continue to study in this series please go to “Part 3“.

 

2018 – Please Vote!!! But FIRST PRAY and ASK Jesus Who He Would Like You to Vote For!

(Ver 1.0)  This is a plea to my United States readers and subscribers.  If you live in another nation this may not apply to you.  It is past time for U.S. Christians to wake up and get motivated and involved in the God given responsibilities that He has provided to us in our nation by voting.  Voting is a Constitutional right and a privilege in the United States of America that is not available to the majority of the over 7 billion people on planet earth.  So many nations have no say in who leads them and makes the laws.  For example, any communist nation or socialist nation if they even hold elections are not real elections and are fixed for the power of the ruling class’ agenda.  But, here in America we have a government for the people and by the people and we are allowed the right to choose who makes our laws.  But, one man said it this way and it applies to voting “the only thing that is necessary for Satan and evil to win is for GOOD CHRISTIANS to do NOTHING”.

Please do not take this privilege lightly or for granted.  Every election should be as important as a Presidential election year.  Tomorrow is NOT a presidential election year and the number of participants in the election usually drops very significantly.  That makes your vote tomorrow even more important than in a larger election.    Your vote matters and it will count significantly more than you can possibly imagine if you choose to align and agree with voting according to God’s Truth, Morals and Values found in the Bible.

The indifference and passivity of the real blood bought saved Christian Church member MUST come to an end.  We MUST not remain silent anymore or we will continue to allow Satan to win and to shove his agenda down us and over us.  Satan has almost eliminated all Christian morals and values in our public education system because Christians have either not voted or did not vote correctly in alignment with Bible Truth, either way Satan has been winning.  Public prayer has been eliminated and the Bible has been banned by Satan’s design from the influence of young impressionable minds.  Girls are not taught to know they are girls to act like ladies and boys are not taught to know they are boys and to act like gentlemen.  Please help stop this insanity for you and your children’s sake.

Practically every University of old was founded by Christians to teach people the Bible, but now real Bible Truth and Christianity is rare to be found taught in any of them.  We are in a tremendous unseen spiritual warfare.  Satan causes the distraction of being busy with minor unimportant things and other cares of this life to cause Christians to look the other way at the evils rapidly taking over our nation and voting to change them.  Our children’s future will be doomed if we do not cooperate to participate with God and His WORD and go and vote with Him!  Teach YOUR children through a living example to demonstrate your unwavering commitment to show them the importance and priority an election should be given by going and voting.  This will help us ALL now and them in the future.  Then discuss with your Children why you voted and who you voted for.    Train up a child in the way that they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it.

This election taking place on November 6, 2018 will either be a victory for Satan if Christians remain apathetic or for Jesus if His Body obeys Him and acts according to agree with His Word.  I am a very firm believer that God will judge every Christian for “if they voted” and “how they voted”.  Please vote as an informed Christian and not a guessing Christian.  Please go and read both the Republican and Democratic Platforms.  These are each party’s stance, beliefs and goals for our nation’s future course and direction.  Please determine which platform aligns the closest to God’s Word and Truth found in the BIBLE.  It is only with us agreeing with God and the Bible that we have any assurance of being saved as a Christian.  I ask ALL Christians to pray first before voting to ask Him who He would like you to vote for.  Seek God’s wisdom, guidance and direction and then submit to His wise LORDSHIP and leadership to obey. 

I do not believe that God will command or force anyone who to vote for.  That would be wrong and a clear violation of our freewill to choose good or evil.  Like Adam in the beginning God set before him a choice and then gave him the right to make the wrong choice.  His wrong choice had major consequences for all of us still today.  This principle is still true today.  All of our wrong choices up till now and those that we may choose to make tomorrow will potentially have the same lasting consequences for all of our children in the tomorrows to come.  This is why we MUST find the right people to vote for with God’s Word as our basis to vote.

I’ll end this encouragement to go and vote with this information.  My wife and I voted for all Republicans.  We chose this by careful prayer and Bible study.  We understand that the Republican platform more closely aligns with God’s Word than the opposition party of the Democrats.  We understood that even if Republicans were not perfect we had to choose who it was that was closer alignment with God’s values.  For example, the Republican platform supports more closely the “Right of Human Life” including unborn babies and the Democrats do not.  Democrats support the murder of an unborn child even up to the day before a child is born.  Many of these terminated children being killed by doctors in the womb could survive if brought out of the womb and modern medical technology was used for the good of life instead of their death.  I can’t support that.

Democrats have aligned themselves with the removal of all of God and Bible references from Public Schools, Government buildings and meetings and even our military.  Almost anything that promotes God, Jesus or the Bible is off limits to Democrats and to the people that they govern.  Democrats have aligned very strongly with the redefinition of a Biblical Family being between one husband and one wife.  I can’t support that either.  Our last Democrat President allowed the United Nations to condemn Israel one of our closest allies without using the U.S. veto power to overrule it.  This spoke volumes to me.  Democrats are moving to a socialist agenda very, very rapidly and I could go on and on and on about the major issues that I see that are in direct conflict with sound Bible principles of morality and values.  I pray that you will do your research and then make the right choice to vote with God.

I pray that I did not offend you but if I did, I will not apologize for speaking the truth in love.  The apostle Paul had the same problem.  In Galatians 4:16 he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit “I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?”  We all need to become more like the Apostle Paul.  Ask other Christian friends and relatives to go and vote and then tell them the reason why you did and who you voted for.  Provide everyone Bible reasons why you voted how you did and not your opinion.  Be an encourager, a blessing and choose to speak the truth in love despite the threat of losing them as friend.  Finally, if you are going to leave me a hateful comment about this blog, I may or may not read it.  But, I will definitely not post it on my website.  May God bless you, guide you and lead you to vote His will and His way.  I love you all.

Understanding the Parable of the Sower, Introduction – Part 1

 

planting-seeds

(Ver 1.1)  This is Part 1 in a series of very essential basic Bible lessons concerning the subject of Understanding the Parable of the Sower.  This may be a very familiar subject to many Christians but this assumed familiarity could cause some to not open their heart and mind to receive from God something fresh.  A spirit of pride caused by an assumed broad knowledge of a subject will too often cause some to not accept exactly what was new that God wanted to teach.  However, I believe that many of the fundamental concepts found in this Bible lesson series should be a delight for most Christians to receive, learn and apply.  We do appreciate your prayers and the time reading these Bible lessons.  We hope they are a blessing and we pray for all our readers. We will begin the subject study with this outstanding claim by the LORD Jesus:

Mar 4:13  And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

 

We will be diving deep into some of the fundamental principles that were taught by the LORD Jesus from this parable.  Many of these are deep spiritual truths that are not easily found even though they were given to us in a simple natural parable form.   According to Mark 4:13, Jesus claimed that to know and understand this parable was the most important parable there is.  It is significantly stated by Jesus in this verse that if we do not know and understand this parable then grasping even the basics of any other parable would probably be futile.  This is why I believe the LORD wanted us to study this subject today.  Today will be the first basic lesson and subject introduction in the series.  Then we will break down the spiritual elements in more depth in subsequent lessons.  Let’s get started.

 

INTRODUCTIION:

From an in-depth study of this subject it has become evident that the Parable of the Sower is a direct lesson on how and why some humans obtain “faith” for “eternal salvation” and why many others fail to receive.  I have concluded that there are two disparate types of people being described in this parable.  There were those at the end of the parable that obtained “faith for salvation” and produced spiritual fruit and then there were those at the beginning and middle of the parable that either never had faith to be saved or abandoned their faith to produce no lasting spiritual fruit.  Those that produced lasting “fruit” live and those that do not produce lasting “fruit” eventually die and go to hell.  The entire process of faith, salvation, human choices and how each work together to produce fruit is God’s design of the seed sowing process.   It is also revealed that this process of seed sowing has revealed enemies that assisted in the process to cause wrong human choice for a crop failure.  These truths are all summarized in this parable.

Bible faith is one of the central and primary themes of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation.  I believe that it is essential that we all learn and understand as much as we can about what has been revealed to us by God on this vital subject of Bible Faith.   We know from reading Hebrews 11: 6 that if we do not have any faith it is absolutely impossible to please God.  We also learn from reading Ephesians 2:8 that we are only saved by God’s grace through our faith.  Based upon just these two verses alone, God makes it sound like that if we do not have faith we are in serious trouble.  This to me is why we need to study the subject of “Bible Faith”.  I am mentioning this first to inform all readers that understanding Bible Faith is one key to understanding this Parable.  If you have not read the series on this website about this subject I would strongly recommend that you do so by clicking “Understanding Bible Faith Part 1”.

I believe that every human has the God given right to choose to participate in the “God kind of faith” (Mk 11:22) fully, partially or regrettably to choose not to partake whatsoever.  Humans even have the God given right to choose to initially participate and then to turn back to choose to walk away from God’s plan for their life.  I can hear people say, “faith is not that important and is only mentioned a very few times in the Bible”.  If we do a search on the English word “faith”, it occurs only twice in the KJV Old Testament with it then being found in 229 verses in the KJV New Testament.  Clearly the emphasis of faith was increased significantly by the LORD to His people in the New Covenant.  There are 788,258 words found in the KJV Bible and I will admit that there are so many other words and subjects in the Bible mentioned more frequently than faith.  “LORD” is mentioned 7365, “God” is mentioned 4293, Israel 2509, and we could go on and on with many other words.  I found these numbers off of a website and I did not attempt to verify them so please don’t use them as the Gospel.  I was only attempting to make a point that many other words and subjects have a greater mention besides faith.  But, yet I still believe that this subject and topic of “Faith” is one of the top 3 themes that every Christian must learn after being saved.

I can still hear people say “I just can’t find faith in very many chapters of my Bible”.  What I have learned from years of Bible study is that we must search for whatever we want to find (Mat 7:7).  If we are not looking for faith we will never find faith.  But, I believe that if we learn to change our focus on the known features, characteristics and values of faith then we will be able to find faith almost everywhere.  What I am trying to say is that just because a verse, passage, chapter or book does not contain the actual word “faith’ does not mean the subject is not found there.  Too many Christians are reading the Bible with wrong thought perspectives and would truly be amazed what is found in the Bible by learning to view the words on the page more like God designed them to be “as spiritual truth”.  This is literally a very true Bible study methodology for any subject.

I desire in this introduction just to help us shift our focus.  Just because the “Parable of the Sower” never mentions the word “Faith” does not mean that it is not directly all about the subject.  I desire to teach the concepts of how a familiar set of verses that are often used to teach other subjects can contain a vast amount of truth on the subject of “faith” if we are willing to rethink to change our perspectives.  In this series, I plan to visit many verses that do not mention faith directly in both the Old and New Testaments in order to show how God can use them to actually teach us key hidden “faith” principles.   We will also explore related verses in other parts of the Bible that greatly assist us in understanding concepts not directly mentioned in the Parable.

We will be using this information to focus on how to understand the “Parable of the Sower”.  In this lesson series we will hopefully learn to search and find relationships in this parable to the subject of faith, salvation, right and wrong words, right and wrong human choices and the spiritual battle of good versus evil for all human lives.  I trust God to help me do this and to help you to also open your heart and mind to receive it and then for you to become an Acts 17:11 noble Berean and go and verify what was taught in your personal Bible study time.  Please, please, please, do not take my word for anything if you do not see it in your own Bible.

 

INTRODUCTION TO GOD’S PROCESS OF SALVATION AND FAITH
IN THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER

As I have previously mentioned, I would like for us to rethink the Parable of the Sower in the light of it being one of God’s revealed processes and projects to activate faith in humans for their eternal spiritual salvation.  It has become very clear to me through Bible study that Jesus’ taught us a great spiritual representation of how human salvation by His extraordinary Grace through our humble cooperative faith works using a natural seed planting and farming truth many call the “Parable of the Sower”.  Every parable ever taught by Jesus in the Bible was a natural truth that helps us to understand a far superior spiritual unseen and unknown truth.  I have grown into the belief that this greater spiritual truth taught by Jesus in this parable is concerning primarily God’s extended grace and mercy for human salvation through their freewill choice to believe in His Word.

I further believe that this parable represents a description of how people are either saved or lost through a spiritual war of words (good vs. evil) that will take place in the human mind and heart.  I also believe that this hidden unseen spiritual warfare helps to influence the decisions that a person makes concerning their salvation depending upon which spirit they choose to yield to.  A person’s focused choices of importance, priority, value and worth towards God’s spoken Word will determine their eternal destiny after this natural life ends.  Does this sound interesting to study?  I hope and pray it does.

It amazes me that Jesus taught all of these hidden spiritual truths being described in a natural farming concept and process.  The natural and the spiritual processes represent two parallel realities of truths.  Growing natural food and growing spiritual faith for salvation (aka fruit) were taught to us by Jesus to represent a common paradigm.  This to me is so amazing.  The truth has been hiding in plain sight for the entire duration of human history on this earth.  This truly displays the Omniscience and Wisdom of God.

Even though Jesus was speaking and teaching in natural terms created from the beginning, He was really not teaching us about natural farming.  As I just stated humans have known this natural process of farming for literally many thousands of years.  Through these basic principles of life found in simple to understand naturally created methods of farming, we can now begin to understand how spiritual life occurs or in many cases does not occur.  Let’s now read the “Parable of the Sower” to refresh our memory.  But also, please read the Parable with a notepad and a pencil or pen so that you can list the main items that you find as important and those that may jump out at you as you read.

Mar 4:3  Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: 

Mar 4:4  And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. 

Mar 4:5  And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: 

Mar 4:6  But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 

Mar 4:7  And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. 

Mar 4:8  And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. 

Mar 4:9  And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

 

Jesus used such a very simplistic natural farming design and process to explain to us the incredibly vital interrelated subjects of God’s Word, the devil, words, faith, salvation, listening, hearing, understanding, salvation enemies and making right choices to name only a few basic concepts that I have observed.  These are just a few of the most critical and highest spiritual truths that I have found so far in the Parable.  I know you may not see all of these by just skimming the parable in a rapid surface reading.  In fact I believe it is practically impossible to know what the parable is really about by only reading the parable.  I view the parable as a type of riddle or puzzle being presented for curious humans to dig into to solve.

I believe that there are far too many Christians that have not given this living natural example the priority and emphasis that it deserves.  I believe that it is essential for every Christian to learn this parable as soon as possible after being born again in order to help them to begin to mature and grow spiritually.  Reading the parable you should have noticed some of the main components being mentioned as I asked you to do.  I found at least 10 symbolic references that I want us to focus upon.  I’ll list them for your consideration and you can compare my list with your list:

  1. A Sower
  2. Seed
  3. 4-6 Types of Soil (Depending upon viewpoint)
  4. 3 different Soils that produce no fruit or no enduring fruit
  5. 1-3 Soils with increasing levels of fruit production (30%, 60%, or 100%)
  6. Enemy Birds
  7. Enemy Stones
  8. Enemy Sun Heat
  9. Enemy Thorns or Weeds
  10. Fruit

Wow, this list is so vital to understand in-depth.  However, I will be unable to give a complete study of every symbol in this first lesson.  But, we will try to explore these items in increasing depth later in the series.  Today we will only try to introduce the important spiritual symbols given by Jesus.  Before we get into this discussion please review the explanation of the parable from Jesus.  Use your notepad and your pencil to find what Jesus said the key elements represent and then list what each of them symbolically represented next to their corresponding symbol:

Mar 4:10  And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. 

Mar 4:11  And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 

Mar 4:12  That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. 

Mar 4:13  And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? 

Mar 4:14  The sower soweth the word. 

Mar 4:15  And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. 

Mar 4:16  And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 

Mar 4:17  And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. 

Mar 4:18  And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 

Mar 4:19  And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. 

Mar 4:20  And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. 

 

This explanation from Jesus of the Parable is also absolutely awesome.  We should obviously understand that Jesus knew and understood what every symbol represented and how all the positive elements worked together to cause the plan of God to succeed and how all the negative elements worked to cause the plan of God to fail.  I hope that you can agree that it should be obvious to us that some symbolic elements worked favorably together to produce a good fruit crop while other symbolic elements fought against the planned process for a positive outcome in order to keep the fruit seed and fruit crop from succeeding.  This is the introduction to the spiritual battle that is taking place in the unseen spiritual realm.  It is a spiritual war for human lives.  I pray that you are paying close attention to what was just said, because this is very important in the rest of this revealed truth.

In verse 11 Jesus revealed to us that these combined natural elements fashioned into a symbolic parable form represented a divine mystery.  The Greek word translated as “mystery” is G3466 and it literally means “to shut the mouth in order to keep a secret”.  All God had to do was not speak to humans and we all would be very ignorant concerning any truth of spiritual realities.  But, God was now beginning to open His mouth through Jesus to explain these many hidden secrets.   At the time when Jesus was physically on the earth He was the only one speaking to a limited few humans at that time.  But, since these words were written in a book form we today can also benefit by studying and applying them.

We must also notice what else Jesus said in verse 11.  He told His disciples that at that time He did not desire to give everyone the secret’s explanation that He had spoken the parable to.  He said “Unto you it is given but unto them that are on the outside I speak only in parables”.  That is still a basic principle that is true today.  Just because most everyone can find a Bible and can read the Bible does not mean that any of it is understandable to them.  We confirm this principle from reading 1 Corinthians 2:14 that informed us those spiritual things of God are not received by a natural man because they are spiritually discerned.   Spiritually asleep people (Eph 5:14) are usually unable to feed on deep spiritual things of the Spirit.  Here now is my list of some of the major points that I found listed and what I believe that they are revealed to represent:

Symbol

Meaning

1.      Sower A Spiritual Bible Preacher or Teacher (Specifically Jesus in this parable when it was spoken the first time, it later became any real Bible teacher)
2.      Seed Seed=Symbolic Spiritual Spoken Words from God
3.      Soil Heart (aka the spirit) of a human, God’s Spiritual Garden
4.      Enemy Birds Spiritual opponent called Satan, devils & demons that Blind Human Minds using words in the form of thoughts
5.      Enemy Stones The wrong hard hearted choice to not do the Word that was heard (Sown into their heart)
6.      Enemy Sun Heat Tormenting Words of Persecution sent because the Word of God was Believed.  Persecution pressures many to make the wrong choices to returning to a life of sin
7.      Enemy Thorns Satanic Worldly Distractions &Temptations of the flesh and mind
8.      Fruit God’s goal for His Seed sown (a spiritual harvest – representing the fruits of the spirit and human salvation)

 

I regret that I am unable to go into a great level of detail for every Parable Element in this list today.  I will attempt to cover every element found here in this list later in subsequent lessons in the series.  I would also recommend that you go and read the explanations of the Parable in the books of Matthew and Luke because these contain additional information that the book of Mark does not include.  I will be referring to some of these other writer’s explanations in this series but I will not be giving the entire verses in this lesson in order to decrease the length.

In my list I have focused on what I considered to be 3 dependably positive elements, 4 consistently negative elements and one element that I will list into a variable, changeable or unstable category.  The 3 positive elements listed in the parable were the sower, the seed and a good fruitful outcome that was produced from the combined sower and seed elements.  The success of these 3 consistently positive elements (seed, sower and fruit) represents a successful “faith” process and project taking place in a human heart (soil). The 4 potential consistently negative elements were described as enemies to the positive elements and these were called 1) birds, 2) stones, 3) heat and 4) thorns.  The single element that I considered to be the lone variable or a changeable element is the soil (heart of man).   The soil is clearly the most frequently mentioned item of the parable being spoken of at least 4 times.  I believe that this makes the soil one of God’s major focused items in the entire description.  I will also say that the consistently positive and negative elements are all spiritual.  The soil changeable element can either be carnal or spiritual dependent upon right or wrong choices made from thoughts selected.

I’m going to end this lesson with this introduction to the subject.  I pray that this has at least raised your interest into learning more.  In the next lesson in the series we will move into a greater detailed description of each element named beginning with the “Seed” symbolic element first.   Thank you for reading and studying the Bible with us.  We are humbled to know that there are people that spend their valuable time on this website.  May  God continue to lead you, guide you, direct you and bless you.

If you would like to continue to the next lesson in the series please click “Part2“.

Praying for You ALL to be Blessed this CHRISTMAS 2017!!!

JESUS_the_Best_Christmas_Gift

Thanking God for His Glorious GIFT to the World!

We are so very blessed to have so many readers and subscribers who LOVE the Bible this much to study with us on AGAPEGEEK.  We will be praying for you all this coming 2018 year.  We also appreciate your prayers for us also.  Thank you to every prayer partner.  God has continued to bless us because of your prayers.

HAVE A VERY BLESSED CHRISTMAS!

From the AGAPEGEEK Website

 

 

Understanding the Divine Spiritual Laws and Court System of Heaven – Part 2

Judge Gavel

(Ver 1.3) This is Part 2 in a series of very advanced spiritual Bible lessons on what I believe is a critical and important subject that has been popularly overlooked by so many Bible teachers and students.  The more that I have studied this subject the more that I have become absolutely convinced that this is a required Bible theme to learn about.  After learning this subject we then must learn how to balance it with other vital spiritual Bible subjects like Faith, Love and Grace to name just 3 other major Bible themes.   If you have not read “Part 1” I would recommend that you go back and read this lesson before continuing here.

Too many times in the church a pastor receives a revelation from God on a particular subject and too often they take it way beyond the base revelation to an extreme position of error. This is what I often call “Taking A Truth and Making it THE Only Truth or THE Highest or Most Important Truth without a Regard to any Other Truths in the Bible”.   Any Bible truth can be exalted into an extreme position either to the left or to the right of the balanced middle and this will usually cause the belief to become an unbalanced deception.  It is happening in many churches today with the Grace truth.  Too many modern Bible teachers have taken the awesome truth of God’s revealed Grace and simply ignored the other central themes of God’s Holiness and Judgment to name just two that must be balanced with His Grace correctly.

In today’s Bible lesson we will be introduced to the major theme of “Judgment” from the perspective of the Heavenly Court system.  Grace and Judgment are both central themes found from Genesis to Revelation.  We can see these subject threads woven together in practically every book.  For example, in Genesis 6:8 God says Noah found His Grace.  But, within the same context the world was found to be so wicked that God was sorry that He ever created man on the earth (Gen 6:6) and He judged the earth with a great flood.  The subjects of Grace and Judgment are found intertwined so closely together that it should absolutely amaze us.

In this lesson we will be looking at this subject of Judgment from the viewpoint of New Testament writers like Paul and Peter. Both wrote about grace but they also included a balanced message of God’s judgment even in the same context.  I would be a fool to ignore the subject of divine judgment just because I like the subject of Grace much more.  You see our flesh loves the grace message but our spirit should understand that there is still judgment available for sin.  Grace is not the freedom to sin with no consequences, but should rather be viewed as a position  of humble thankfulness that I was saved from committing sin.

The battle between doing right and doing wrong occurs in our minds.  Satan tempts us with thoughts to sin and God convicts us through our spirit.  This battle can be called the human conscious.  However, the human conscious should be viewed to be the Holy Spirit trying to help us think correctly, and then to say and do what is true, good and right.     I, like other Christians am in a war between these two realities.  It is my goal and priority to let my born-again spirit overrule my flesh desires but sometimes it is more of a challenge than at other times.  I pray that you understand what I am talking about.

I believe the LORD showed me that this lesson series on God’s Divine Spiritual Laws and Court System in Heaven must be read, understood and balanced rightly with today’s extreme Grace teaching that tries to teach us many things that do not touch on what is being stated in the verses that will be clearly covered in this series.

God teaches us very plainly in Hosea 4:6 that His people are destroyed (by Satan) because of their ignorance and stubborn refusal to learn the truth.  He is so clear in John 8:32 that it is only by the dedicated continuation in studying the Bible that we will ever learn the actual truth and only then can this truth that we know correctly set us free from the things that the enemy uses to keep us in captivity and bondage.

Therefore, we should learn that what we do not know is being used against us by our legal opponent and adversary Satan to gain an advantage over us while we live here on this planet (2 Cor 2:11). I pray that you will continue to read these lessons with an open and receptive mind avoiding any prejudicial preconceived ideas, thoughts or conclusions towards what is being taught.  I believe with all my heart that it is the Holy Spirit’s direction for this information to go forth and be spread to all believers.  Pray first before continuing and ask the Holy Spirit to bear witness with the truth and to reveal anything that may be only a man’s opinion on any verse, topic or subject. 

We are commanded by God to study and to rightly divide the Word of Truth (2 Tim 2:15).  But, only the Holy Spirit can lead us into all truth (Ps 25:5, John 16:13).  So put your full confidence in Him and not me or anyone else on the earth.  Let’s begin Part 2 with a quick review of the first lesson in which I have added some additional supporting evidence that was not included in the first lesson.

Lesson 1 Review with New Additional Thoughts

1Pe 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Rev 12:10  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

In the first lesson in the series we should have learned at least two primary essential Bible truths. The first truth came from the Lord recorded by Peter to us in 1 Peter 5:8 and the second came to us from John written in Revelation 12:10. We also learned from two very important Greek words.  The first Greek word G476 was translated as “adversary” and this word meant an “opponent in a lawsuit or a court of law”.  The second Greek word was G2725 and was translated as an “accuser” and it is defined as a “person who brings a complaint of law to court against someone else that allegedly commits a crime”.  Both were very accurate technical descriptions of Satan who God informed us in Revelation 12:10 brings up charges of accusations against us as brothers and sisters in Christ every single day and night.  The term “day and night” in Revelation 12:10 must represent a continuous repeated daily action of Satan.  These two words are used like this several times in the New Testament and this is the correct way to interpret them.

Always remember that Satan is God’s enemy and our enemy and please never believe that he has no right, power or ability to win a law case over you because he is very tricky and has been around much longer than you and knows so much more than you can imagine. We are in a legal fight for our lives and we must understand that doing nothing to fight or win permits Satan almost automatic victory.

In 1 Peter 5:8 Christians not the world are warned that we have an “adversary” who is named the “devil” and he is plainly defined to be our legal opponent in the court of heavenly law.  It is worth noting again that this Greek word translated as “adversary” is only used 4 times in the N.T. and every time it is mentioned it refers to a court case between legal opponents.  This was certainly no accident and God is informing us in a very pure direct easy to understand way that this is how He is using this word in 1 Peter 5:8 also.  There can be no other logical conclusion that Satan is anything else but a spiritual individual that is bringing up charges before God to gain an advantage over us in order to devour us.  If you don’t believe me please hang in there and read all the verses that we will cover today and then tell me if you still believe the same.

We should have learned from reading 1 Peter 5:8 that our adversary the devil (Satan) is described to be going about the whole earth to find someone (primarily a Christian since it was written to us) to devour. I would ask any reader this question to consider, what is Satan seeking (looking for) that permits him to devour some but not others?  It would appear to me based upon Job chapter 1 that God places a hedge of protection in order to keep Satan out.  Why would it be necessary for a hedge of protection to be present if Satan could do nothing to Job unless he had permission?  I find that to be an amazing question.  If Satan could only harm someone if granted permission as is taught by many Bible teachers there would be no need for any hedge round about Job.  It is fascinating to me to see in Job 1 that Satan accuses God of doing this unjustly and accuses Job of fearing God for no cause.  There were at least two accusations brought before God’s court and we need to see this.

However, it is very important to learn from 1 Peter 5:8 that Satan cannot devour everyone. Therefore, there must be something that a Christian does or does not do that permits Satan’s admittance into their lives.  Also by antithesis reasoning there must be something that a Christian can do to keep Satan from killing, stealing and destroying their lives.  I believe the determining factor is our sin and we will learn why as we continue in this study.

I have concluded from significant study of the book of Job that Job opened the door in the hedge and we will certainly be getting into this part of the subject as we continue the Bible study series.  Please expect to receive revelation from the Holy Spirit on what we all need to do to keep Satan as far away from us as is possible in this world.  Let’s continue to explore another new thought.

I believe that it is also critical to learn the definition of the title “devil” used by the LORD in 1 Peter 5:8. We should learn these details in order to more fully comprehend the impact of the warning being spoken of by the LORD.  I believe the title being used in every verse reveals a great deal about Satan’s specific character, plans and methods of operation.  The Greek word G1228 that is translated as “devil” literally means an “accuser”.  This title speaks volumes of information to us.  It teaches us that Satan and his followers are speaking malicious accusation against us as related in Revelation 12:10 both day and night.  Who do you believe they are doing this to?  Of course we learned in Job 1 before the law was given Revelation 12 long after Jesus was resurrected from the dead that these accusations have been taken up before God the supreme judge in Heaven.  I pray that you will agree that spiritual trials will continue until the middle of the tribulation where all of sudden Satan is finally cast down never to return.

You may remember in Lesson 1 that God connected this verse statement of truth found in 1 Peter 5:8 directly to the activity found in the book of Job using very similar synonymous truths. I believe this was not an accident or chance occurrence and that it confirms that Satan came before the throne of God to hold a court trial of the man Job.  I also firmly believe that this connection confirms that these same court trials were occurring even after the death, burial and resurrection of the LORD Jesus in the early church day when Peter wrote this epistle.  I believe 1 Peter 5:8 was a part of God’s commentary of the O.T. story of Job that helps us interpret what happened in the book more accurately.  Always remember a basic rule of interpretation that the God who wrote the Bible is smarter than both you and I and He will always assist us in the correct interpretation His own writings.

I would recommend that you go and reread Job 1 and 2 again and again from this new legal trial perspective. For example, we should have learned in Job 1:6 that Satan had come into heaven before the presence of God Almighty to present his legal case for obtaining access into Job’s blessed and protected life.  We should be able to know that this was an accusatory trial case being presented to God since the spiritual being described is revealed to us by the name “Satan” in Job chapters 1 and 2 nearly 14 times.   God’s usage of this name proves to us by the name’s definition that this being was present before God as an “opponent” and an “adversary” present to accuse Job.  We should be able to easily see how the name “Satan” in Job and the description “adversary” in 1 Peter 5:8 are married together.  One is a Hebrew transliteration (Job) and the other is just a translated Greek word (1 Peter 5).  But, both mean the exact same thing.

Again names and titles in the Bible have great significance. None are there by unplanned chance.  For example, one of the first direct titles mentioned of Satan found in the Bible is seen in Genesis 3:1.  Here, Satan is called by a symbolic description of “serpent”.  The title used by God in Genesis 3:1 is a totally different type of informative description.  Serpent is in no manner like the other names used in other verses like Satan, devil, accuser or adversary.  This teaches us that Satan was not present in the garden to accuse, but to do something else that he is also good at.

If you look up the definition of “serpent” in the Strong’s Concordance you will find it comes from a Hebrew root word H517 that can describe someone who came to Eve’s mind to whisper a magic spell.  Wow, that is deeper than many may possibly comprehend.  Serpent literally meant someone who was attempting to magically foretell the future to Eve.  My main point here is that God reveals what Satan does or is doing to us by his symbols, names and titles.  We need to learn this principle and use it to help us understand spiritually what is then happening in the context. Let’s get back to our lesson 1 review.

It is critical to see how God asks Satan where he had come from in Job 1:7.  Because God is the omniscient author of the entire Bible He knows the right questions to ask to teach us what is happening.  It is this wise question and true answer of Satan that provides the joining evidence that we need to learn from.  Satan replies to God’s question very truthfully by saying he had just come from walking up and down on the face of the earth which is the amazing parallel admission of confirmation of the truth that we had learned about Satan in 1 Peter 5:8.  This Hebrew word in Job 1:7 which was translated as “going to and fro” literally means that Satan had just come from traveling all around the earth and was there in heaven for an implied purpose.  We learned Satan’s motivation for this movement from earth to heaven in God’s commentary description in 1 Peter 5:8.  Satan was only searching the earth so that he could locate one of God’s people on the planet that he could devour.  This is exactly what Satan does to Job, is it not?  If we believe anything has changed from Job to Peter we would be mistaken.  Satan was doing the exact same thing in Job’s day as he was doing in Peter’s day and even all the way to the current church now.  We are in the exact same church as Peter was writing to therefore, please don’t write off these words as unimportant or as not applying to you.

This direct connected satanic activity description between Job 1:7, 1 Peter 5:8 to Revelation 12:10 is no inadvertent assembly of synonymous truth. God has designed the Bible with tremendous amounts of hidden connected verses and these help us to understand correctly the information that He planned to reveal to us in these last days.  I pray that you are learning how God does this so that we do not have to lean onto our own weak human reasoning as so many have.

We then should have learned from Job 1 that it was only after the appearance of Satan before God’s throne of judgment that Satan was given access to come back to the earth to devour (kill, steal and to destroy) Job, his family and his possessions. It is so very clear to me that Satan won this access legally and justly to Job’s life in God’s heavenly court system.

I believe that God is the Supreme Judge of everyone but, I also believe His character is amazingly far above our human comprehension. We cannot ever compare God to any human judge on the earth.  I have never seen any human judge that knows everything and never make any errors.  No, I believe that God is perfect and does not make any mistakes in judgment and that He is a completely fair and just to humans in every spiritual court case.  Therefore, if judgment is pronounced on any man there was a valid cause and reason and we will learn more of this as we continue the series.

I also believe that God is compassionate and merciful in His judgments. Let’s explore this part of the topic briefly.  Job is not directly mentioned very many times in the Bible but this next verse is another divine commentary on the court trial and verdict that was rendered in this law case found in the book of Job.

Jas 5:11  Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

According to God’s Holy Word commentary He showed Job great mercy in His judgment. I know it might not seem that was true by our reading the book, but He did.  For example, we can clearly read in Job 1:12 how God restricted Satan from touching or taking the physical life of Job personally.  That limitation was a display of His infinite and great mercy.  The entire duration of the trial of Job did not last a significant amount of time especially in light of God’s view of time and eternity.  God actually restored and blessed Job at the end of the book more than was taken by Satan away from him at the beginning of the book.  So again we see God’s infinite forgiveness, grace and mercy at work.  Let’s go back to James 5:11 and continue reading further.

The Greek word that was translated as “the end” in this verse in James is G5056. This is a very fascinating word to understand.  One of the primary meanings of the Greek word is “the point aimed at as the limit”.  It is absolutely critical to know that Satan’s attack usually have a termination point where it will end.  I said usually because it does depend upon if we learn the lesson of Job and stop doing what we were doing to let Satan in our life to devour us.  If we repent like Job did and close the open door of attack the blessings of God can and will return.

In one other definition of G5056 it can also represent “the price that was paid as a fine or tax”. Wow that is an important legal description of judgment from a trial if you do not know it.  Job paid a very heavy price for his sin, but yet I believe that we can read and see that he was able to get his life back on track by repenting at the end of the book before God in Job 42:6.  We should clearly learn from this book that if we do the same we can also recover from what we have done to allow Satan’s access into our lives.  I believe that knowledge should encourage and inspire us and give us hope.

I know that many will try writing this teaching of Job off by explaining it away as an act of the Sovereign God giving Satan His permission to teach Job a lesson.  Others will say this is the Old Testament and we are not now under that law or that covenant.  But I cannot agree with those reasonings using any Biblical rational form of belief since God is a loving good God (1 John 4:8, Romans 2:4) and I believe does not work with Satan to correct His people.   

Then you must also understand that Job was not at all under the Mosaic law or the Old Covenant since his life story occurred before either existed. What we are learning are three examples of spiritual judgment from heavenly court trials.   Job was before the Old Covenant and law, Peter was in the Old Covenant and under the law and then in 1 Peter 5:8 we in the church are the New Covenant people.  We will very soon learn more about these legal activities occurring in the New Covenant as we continue in today’s lesson.

I believe in every realm of the Bible that there must have been some human action, words, motivation, emotion or other negative sin committed by Job or others that unlocked the door within God’s hedge of protection in order for Satan to come into their lives to legally devour them.  As we learned again from 1 Peter 5:8 that “Satan is going about seeking for someone whom he may devour” and from this we should be able to logically deduct by strong implication that there MUST be something that we do that allows permits or grants Satan this access.

In the first lesson, I listed at least two reasons that I believe the Lord showed me that opened the access door for evil to enter into Job’s life and I also believe there were other reasons stated that I did not mention. These two door opening sins were first Job’s fear and second his pride that caused him to try to judge God and his friends.  Both of these are huge and they still occur in church members today.  We could write a lot on these two subjects but I do not have the time today. Perhaps the Lord will lead me to write a more detailed lesson just on the trial of Job someday.

In our second key study verse from lesson 1 we read what the Spirit of God said to us in Revelation chapter 12. Here we learned about how in the future when this chapter is prophesied to occur how Satan the “accuser” of the brethren (the Church) will finally be thrown down to the earth to never again be allowed entrance into heaven to accuse us.  This clearly taught us that Satan had been authorized to do this legal accusation in the past human history and he must still be accusing the people of God on the earth even now since Revelation chapters 4 through 12 have not been fulfilled.  Therefore, these court battles in heaven will continue according to God’s Word right up until the middle of the 7 year tribulation period.  Time is running out on Satan’s access and I believe personally that he is working especially hard at holding as many trials as he can to gain access to devour Christian people remaining on the earth.

I pray that you will at least study these things to see if they are true for yourself (Acts 17:11).  Let’s move forward into some more New Covenant verses to learn from on this subject.  These fresh perspectives on legal things found in the New Covenant will help build a firm foundation for our knowledge on this important spiritual subject.  They will confirm that even though we are in the church age of Grace that we are still living in a time where legal trials are still occurring.

 

New Testament Spiritual Court Confirmations

In today’s lesson, I would like to expand the topic of spiritual court systems and trials to other New Testament Bible verses that will benefit our study to support this truth from the present day New Covenant saved Christian perspective and viewpoint. As I have just tried to say, I want us to learn beyond any shadow of doubt that these heavenly trials are taking place even as I write and type the lesson and as you may be reading this lesson.   This would imply that it is even possible that you or I may be on trial presently in heaven and we probably would not know about it until Satan came to execute the sentence.  Remember in the examples that I gave in lesson 1 that Job knew nothing of Satan’s attack and he even attributed everything negative that happened to him as being caused by God’s work.  Do you remember in Job 1:21 where Job said that it is God that gave and God has taken away?  However, Job was very ignorant of God, His truth, His Character His ways and His enemies and when we are ignorant of what is really happening in the spiritual realm we can very easily fall into the same trap to accuse God for what Satan is doing to us.

Even Peter was totally unaware of the fact that Satan had demanded to sift him like wheat until Jesus directly warned Peter and even prayed for him that his “faith” would not fail during this time of trial. That is a great point to learn from.  The objective of every satanic attack is Satan’s attempt to get your faith to waiver enough for you to fall away from following after the LORD.  Peter learned a tremendous revelation from this legal trial experience and if you read his letters written to us in the church you will find this was very true.  We have already read in 1 Peter 5:8 about our legal adversary but we will back up in the letter to the previous chapter to learn more.  Let’s observe two of the most important confirming verses that will reveal and ratify this truth of the existence of heavenly trials being carried out in the church now.

1Pe 4:17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

1Pe 4:18  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

 

Can you see the words written to us in the church by Peter given according to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? We will begin by observing the initial time reference of the recorded statement.  It appears to me to be plainly a present tense “now at the time of writing” statement.  According to proper grammatical framing whatever is written directly that follows this introductory time frame must be applied directly to the reader then and by forward association to us the modern reader now.   This makes the next statements active until there is a verse that we encounter that reveals the end of the validity of the stated truth being discussed by God.  Let’s read what was occurring to them at that time and by forward implication is occurring now to us also.

The immediate statement following the identification of the timing is about the legal court issue of “judgment”. God informs us that “judgment” will begin with us in the church and again the time being stated was clearly present tense “now” as Peter wrote the letter.  This means that this stated “judgment” written about was to believers in Peter’s day of life on the earth while alive and could not be referring to a “future” judgment after they were dead even though there are other judgments in the Bible that people will face after death.  I hope you understand that there are repeated judgments listed in the Bible.  Just because we are judged once now does not mean we cannot be judged again later and vice versa.

Both of these verses were well written relevant warnings to believers. It is very plainly stated about judgment originating with forgiven saved believers in Christ.  Notice how in verse 17 that God presents us with a sharp contrast between believers and non-believers and it cannot be any clearer.  Then in verse 18 there is a restated direct warning to every Christian that they are just “barely” saved.  We could talk about that truth for a long time and we probably should but it is really not the main thought line of this lesson.

I know for sure that we now live in the prophesied church age of God’s Grace (1 Peter 1:10).  I know for sure that God’s Grace saved us through faith (Eph 2:8).  But, I also know verses like 1 Peter 4:17 and 18 that speak additional truths and these must be aligned correctly with God’s saving grace and forgiveness message.  I just can’t teach this enough.  It is so very important to learn.

What do these verses in first Peter say to us? Do you think they do not apply to you now?  I know with 100% certainty they apply to me and were written to me.  I would strongly recommend that you find out if they were written to you also because if they were not then you may not be a real Christ follower.

God wrote to you and I (the righteous and saved) and He informs us very clearly that we may be just “scarcely” saved. This Greek word that was translated as “scarcely” is G3433 and it means “with difficulty”, “hardly” or “scarcely”.  Some synonyms of scarcely are “barely”, “narrowly” or “by a small margin”.  Some other idioms for this word would be to be saved by “the skin of your teeth” or to be saved “by a whisker”.  This Greek word can also mean “with a lot of significant work” we are saved.  Wow, have you heard that taught in any church lately?  No, I don’t think so.  I know I don’t hear it personally being taught but this is what God said.  In fact I hear the opposite being taught in churches and on TV.

You see the antonym or antithesis truth of this Greek word G3433 translated as “barely” is to be saved “fully”, “entirely”, “completely” or “totally”. That is the very popular message being spoken of by many extreme Grace Teachers and even other churches who teach a salvation without any further challenges, struggles, or any other human choices to be made in order to remain a Christian.  That is just not what the Bible actually says.  Please do not misunderstand what I say here.  We are not saved by our works.  Salvation is ONLY through our faith in God’s finished work of Grace found only in Jesus Christ.  But, that does not mean we will never be judged for doing wrong things here on the earth after salvation.  Peter clearly is telling us that “judgment” for sin begins with us right now.

We could literally talk a very long time on these two verses in 1 Peter 4 but I pray that we  receive what Peter says by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Remember that Peter is also speaking from his own personal direct experience along with God’s inspiration.  Remember we have seen how that Peter was judged and demanded to be sifted like wheat.  Then we will soon see another example where Peter was present where Christians were judged.

This Greek word G2917 that was translated as “judgment” is the key word that reinforces the truth of a trial system in heaven occurring.  This Greek word is defined as “a decision” that has been rendered by an implied Judge with proper authority (God) to make a ruling.  The decision can either be for us (in our favor) or against us (in the favor of Satan the accuser).  The implied cause of this decision (judgment) is given for the crimes (sins) that have been committed by Christians.  This same Greek word can also mean that we could be “condemned” or it is even translated as “damned” in other N.T. verses.  We certainly don’t hear these words mentioned in many of our Grace churches do we?  Since we all have been guilty of committing sins we can understand a little better why Peter said that we are just “barely” saved, can’t we?

 

Acts 5 – Another Example of N.T. Judgment #1

Did you ever read Acts chapter 5?  Remember that it was Peter that was the man that wrote the words of 1 Peter 5:8 and 4:17-18 for us.   Peter is also the man found to be preaching in the book of Acts chapter 5 to saved people of the church when another believer named Ananias comes into the service late to bring his offering to the Lord.  However, this man held back some of the money in secret and only gave a part of the money using deception saying that this was all of the money obtained.  That was a lie.  Immediately the same Peter that we are studying about was inspired by the Holy Spirit of a judgment against Ananias by giving Peter a word of knowledge.  Peter asks the man Ananias “Why has Satan filled your heart to LIE to the Holy Ghost?”  And immediately Ananias drops dead in the middle of church and his body is carried out and the church service just continues like nothing happened.  I seriously believe that a spiritual trial occurred in heaven and a verdict of guilty was determined and the sentence was carried out immediately.  You of course can explain it away and believe whet ever you like about these truths.  I have heard one popular unnamed TV extreme Grace Preacher say that Ananias wasn’t really a true Christian and this is why he was killed.  But, that cannot be the truth based upon what we just read in 1 Peter 4:17.  It is my goal to use the Bible to interpret the Bible and 1 Peter 4:17 stated that judgment begins in the church not in the unsaved world..

You will also notice in Acts 5 that this event is repeated again for his wife Sapphira. Please go and reread the story again from a court room trial perspective where a judgment and verdict is rendered and carried out.   The saved Christian wife does the exact same sin as her husband and she also drops dead in the middle of church after being confronted by Peter and the Holy Spirit.  Wow, after all of this occurs in the church a “great fear” fell on the people in church.  It may be that these types of things will occur in the last days also before Jesus returns.  We should really learn from them rather than repeat them.

Act 5:11  And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

“Fear” in this verse is the Greek word G5401 and it means a person who is in a state of “terror”.  Why would there be any GREAT fear in the heart of saved Christians if two unsaved people just suddenly dropped dead in the church? Why not weeping?   Why not sorrow?  Why not compassion?  Fear would only be justified for one reason.  The only way fear could be appropriately found in Christian believers would be because they knew Ananias and Sapphira were also Christians and judgment just fell on them so it could happen to them in the exact same way.    Do you understand this?

It is very foolish for Christians to try to believe these two individuals that were judged by God were anything but Christians. The belief that a loving God would condemn two unsaved people to immediate death and eternal punishment in hell is ludicrous.  If God did this in the age of Grace He would have to do it to everyone that is not saved because they all sin.   Jesus said very plainly in John 3:17 that God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.  Please let that verse found in John sink into your heart and grow very deep roots.

I hear too many preachers try to accuse God of judging lost sinners while forgetting that God loves them enough to wait for them to get saved (James 5:7).  Why wouldn’t God’s love be the same for Ananias and Shapphira if they were unsaved Christians?  I believe God so loved the unsaved world that He gave His only begotten son so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

We are going to read several more verses in today’s lesson about this subject. I would strongly recommend that you not stop reading because of what has been taught so far.  God is only trying to change our perspective so we can see some potentially new truths in the Bible.  All of this so far is to help us think in a fresh and a new way on things in the Bible that we have never seen in this light before.  This is really good stuff that will help us fight the enemy’s temptations and accusations that will be coming to us all.

 

New Testament Judgment #2

We have already observed where Peter said Judgment will begin with the Church. We then just read through Acts 5 for example #1 of an actual judgment that occurred to two Christians.  We are now going to turn in the Bible to a verse written by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11.  In this verse we are going to be reviewing the implied topic of the heavenly court system to obtain further confirmation that judgment will begin now in the church.  Please read this very carefully and accept the fact of truth that this was written directly to you and I personally as Christians:

1Co 11:31  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

This is an amazing truth that is too often ignored by everyone reading and teaching from the Bible. It is addressed to “we” and that is a plural pronoun that even includes the “Apostle Paul” the writer, as well as you and I the readers.  It always amazes me when a Bible teacher misses the fact that Paul included himself in statements like these.  If Paul needed to do this and he wrote 2/3 of the New Testament, how much more do you think we should do this?  What was it that Paul needed to do along with us?  Paul says very plainly that IF I JUDGE MYSELF, then and only then I will NOT be judged.  Wow, that is as insightful as it could get for a lot of Christians.  Paul is declaring very simply that a spiritual heavenly trial could have occurred for him if he did not judge his own intentions, emotions, motives, actions and words.

There are two different Greek words spoken of in this verse that we miss totally if we do not look up the original language definitions. The first Greek word translated as “judge” is speaking of our human responsibility and it is not the act of a judge in a court.  This Greek word is G1252 and it literally means that we need to separate ourselves thoroughly and completely from sin.  This is a human right of choice found and encountered every day of our saved existence.  We can do what the world does, live like the world, speak like the world, dress like the world or we can come out from the world and choose to be separate and different than they are.  This is our choice.  We can choose to either obey God or if we don’t what does God say will happen?  God says very clearly that we will be judged for doing what the world does.

Let’s observe the second word in the verse translated as “judged”. This Greek word is G2919 and it does mean that a judge will make a decision over us to possibly condemn or punish us.  Don’t take my word for it, go look up the word for yourself and learn.

The Greek Word translated as “should not” is G3756 in verse 31 is much stronger in this stated original Greek language than you can imagine. It literally means the “absolute negative”.  It should be translated in this statement as “we are never judged” IF we judge our own self.  This is revelation #1 for us to keep from being judged.  It is also the #1 reason why Christians are judged.  How many Christians think before they speak?  How many Christians really think hard about what they are going to do before they do it?  How many Christians are going to bars and night clubs acting and looking like the world?  I know there are some Christians who are doing better at being separated from the world’s way of doing things than others.  But, this is just a small part of the subject of judging yourself first in order for Satan not to bring a case before God about you!  If we read the next verse that follows verse 31 God will help clarify the reasoning why He must judge Christians even after all of our sins were forgiven in Christ:

1Co 11:32  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Notice the initial wording of the sentence. God begins the statement by speaking a fact of truth about “when we are judged” (G2916).  He does not say “IF WE ARE JUDGED”.  No it will occur, God leaves no doubt.  Then God gives us the #1 reason for this discipline.  The God of all knowledge says we must be chastened of the LORD so that we won’t fall into the exact same “condemnation” that the world will be judged with after we die.  There are two judgments being spoken of.  One in the future is called the “Great White Throne” judgment (Rev 20:11-12) where those that are not written in the book of life will be judged one at a time standing before God.  The other judgment that occurs before this is the one that is occurring in the Church age of Grace.  This judgment occurs when we sin willfully like the world and God needs to bring correction.  This is exactly what happened in Acts 5 believe it or not.

We as Christians can choose to judge ourselves now and choose to be different than the world now so that we can skip this after life judgment. If Ananias and Shapphira would have judged themselves before going into the church service they would not have been struck down dead.  I will try to talk more about this as we go on in the series.  Lets read some of the preceding context verses of 1 Corinthians 11 in order to learn more on this subject of judgment for those who did not judge themselves:

1Co 11:29  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 

1Co 11:30  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

If we read this context carefully we will confidently confirm that this was written to Christians about Christians concerning spiritual court trial cases that were taking place even when Paul was writing this letter to the church. We should be able to see in verses 29 and 30 how that some in the Corinthian church were found guilty of both spiritual and natural sins.  In verse 29 they had been found guilty of eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ unworthily and disrespectfully.  It appears from the previous context that this church came and possibly got drunk from too much wine and ate too much bread as if they were gluttons.  Paul informs us very clearly that for this reason the result came that many of them (Christians) in the church were either sick or dead because of these abuses.  In other words, I believe that Satan had brought the judgment of the LORD against them and oppressed some of these Christians with physical illness that put them in a weakened physical state or Satan had actually been granted permission to take some Christian’s lives.  Wow, that is some very amazing truth to apply to our subject of study.

It is so very obvious to me that because of specific sin in the church that some judgments were passed in heaven in order to allow or permit Satan to come down to devour them to make some of them ill and others of them dead. This is exactly what happened to Job.  This is exactly what happened to Ananias and Sapphira.  This clearly informs us that judgment was passed before they knew of this and that only after Paul wrote to them in order to warn them how to fix it was it learned what the real problem was to begin with.  I personally believe that Paul was given a word of knowledge for this church and Paul tells them very plainly that if they would only begin to judge themselves to do things differently than the world that they would never be judged.

Wow, Wow and Wow!!!   Who was it that judged them?  Who was it that accused them before the judge?  Who was it that gained an advantage over them to take them out of this world or make them sick?  I hope you can already see the answers are plain.  God had to pass judgment because they had not judged themselves.  The judgment had to have been initiated by the accuser of the brethren and that is only Satan or at least it should be.  I hope and pray that you as a Christian would not pick up a stone to throw at your brother.  Please never do this.  Don’t act like Satan, but rather choose to act like Christ who said to the woman caught in adultery “Woman where are your accusers?  Neither do I condemn you, go your way and sin no more”.  What an amazing example lesson to learn from.

CONCLUSION

I think I have gone long enough in this lesson. We can certainly learn so much more from these chapters in Acts 5 and 1 Corinthians 11 than I was able to go into in today’s lesson.  The Lord has provided us all great and very significant meaty spiritual food for thought.  We all should take these words of God to heart and meditate on them for a long time.  Please study for yourself and verify exactly that what is being said in this series is what the loving God of the Bible actually says as a warning to Christians.  God has provided at least two major witnesses to every truth being taught.

Thank you for reading and taking your time to study these advanced Bible lessons. I am truly humbled that God would use anyone as imperfect as me to teach anyone anything.  The goodness of God is truly overwhelming me every day of my life.  I love the LORD and trust Him to help mold me and you into the highest pattern of Christ Jesus.  I pray that you are blessed with every spiritual blessing of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ Jesus.  Amen.

If you would like to continue reading this series about making Jesus Your Personal Advocate Now, click here “Part 3“.

 

Understanding the Divine Spiritual Laws and Court System of Heaven

Judge Gavel(Ver 1.4) This is  Part 1 in a series of advanced spiritual Bible lessons on the revealed subject of God’s Divine Spiritual Laws, Systems and Legal Proceedings.  Are there spiritual laws found in heaven?  Is there a heavenly courtroom?  Are there trials that have taken place in this heavenly realm?  If yes, who is the judge?  Who is the one that brings charges and against who are the charges addressed at?  There are so many things to learn from the Bible that we will not abe able to answer every question in one Bible study.  To attempt to do so would do each answer an injustice.

It has always been my priority to teach what God has given to me for free and give it to others without any charge.  If you knew my heart you would understand that I don’t only want to teach you what God has given to me, but I also desire to teach you a better way to study and learn from His glorious Word.  Hopefully, the LORD has used me to teach you how to fish for yourself and not just for me to feed you a fish for a single day.

Like many other lessons that I believe the Lord has given to me, today’s Bible lesson should be viewed as a very advanced spiritual topic intended for Christ followers that are fully committed to grow to become a spiritually mature student of God’s Word able to partake of spiritual meat.  Please judge if you meet this requirement before continuing to read this lesson further.  It is one of my greatest heart’s desires to not offend or cause any newborn or spiritually immature Christian to stumble or fall causing them to depart from the LORD.  I believe that the Apostle Paul wrote with this same quality when he said I would have liked to feed you meat but you were unable to receive it and therefore I could only give you milk.  Ok that was my paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 3:2.  But, I believe the hidden heart of Paul’s message contained in that verse is that of one of his greatest desires for his students to grow up spiritually.  I believe Paul desired people to grow up so that they were able to receive a much stronger spiritual message of truth.  Then I believe Paul wanted for each of them to go and spread his message from the word of God to others with the same love for people.  Please judge for yourself before you continue.

INTRODUCTION

We in the United States have three branches of Government. These three are a Legislative Branch, an Executive Branch and a Judicial Branch.  This was the idea framed by our founding fathers of our nation and they were mostly Christians that I believe modeled their government beliefs on God’s Bible principles.  I believe this was not by chance or accident but rather by divine design.  I believe God placed His hand on their efforts and blessed them to know things way beyond their natural ability.

In this lesson we are going to focus upon God’s Judicial Branch found in heaven and how the earthly U.S. court system is a pattern of that which God originally designed. Maybe you did not realize that God’s heavenly spiritual government (Kingdom) had a Judicial Branch?  If you have read the Bible, I am really not sure how this fact has escaped you but if you search for it you will find that it is very true from Genesis to Revelation.  For example, in the Bible the LORD God reveals Himself as the Most High Righteous Judge in so many verses.  A named existence of a Heavenly Superior Divine Judge implies very strongly that there also must be found present laws, a courtroom, some legal proceedings and rules, lawsuits, trials, a plaintiff or a prosecuting attorney, a defense attorney and a defendant.  I will prove to you using the Bible that these all exist in a form or pattern using the Bible.  I will also teach you that there are innumerable court cases that are taking place every day including today right this moment while you are reading about them.  Wow, that should at least peak your interest a little bit to desire to learn more about God’s revealed truth.

If you have read very much of the Bible you should already know who the Heavenly Judge is and that is certainly the LORD God and Jesus Christ according to Genesis 18:25, Acts 10:42 and Hebrews 12:23 to list just three of many confirming witnesses of truth.  But, there are also so many new implied questions that need to be answered.   Who is the plaintiff or prosecuting attorney bringing the charges and cases against someone in God’s Court System?  I’ll tell you right now it is Satan and I will prove this later in the lesson.  Who is the defendant being charged or sued?  I’ll tell you up front again that you are the one being charged by Satan and I will prove this with scriptures also.  We will also begin to learn about the charges being made to God by Satan.  This should interest you because we will learn that it is our human wrong actions here on the earth that open the door for Satan to bring a lawsuit against us.

Is there a defense attorney in this trial?  If so, who is the defense lawyer in the case?  I’ll tell you right now we have access to a legal defense team ever since the LORD Jesus Christ died and was resurrected from the dead.  You can be introduced to this part of the message by reading an older Bible lesson that I wrote called “Understanding How to Make Jesus Your Legal Advocate Right Now”.

I’m sure you must be asking “How can there ever be a spiritual case of law being brought into a heavenly trial to be heard by God for a Christian if Jesus has truly paid for every sin that we have ever committed or could ever commit in the future?” Many would say “I thought we were not under law but under grace therefore can there really be a spiritual trial now before we die?” Others ask the question “I thought the only judgment was after we die according to Hebrews 9:27?”  We know from reading the end of Revelation that there will be a Great White throne Judgment but I believe that there are also other named judgments that will occur after death and even now before death. If there is a judgment that can take place before we die, “What could be the charge brought against a forgiven saved Christian?”   These are complex deep questions to answer and God gives us the revelations in the Bible if we dig for them and find them.  Seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you and ask and it will be answered (Mat 7:7).

This Bible lesson is a response to a question raised by a good reader doing their homework. They asked the question concerning a message being taught within certain churches that appear to conflict with what is taught in other areas of the Bible.  The controversy comes from a modern extreme Grace teaching that is being taught that since Jesus paid for all of our sins, past, present and future there are no longer any consequences for committing any sin or any need to ask for any future forgiveness of a sin.  In other words sin is presented to be harmless without any negative penalties.  In fact at least one very popular grace preacher teaches we do not even need to ask for forgiveness for any sin and they explain away 1 John 1:9 using illogical natural human reasoning to be written to only unbelievers.  But this is certainly not what the Lord has taught me about a better way of Bible interpretation and more specifically sin.  This Bible study series will address this topic using several ignored scriptures that must be balanced with the doctrine being misrepresented by some extreme unnamed grace teachers.

You see I do certainly believe that Jesus died once for all sin that has ever been committed, is being perpetrated today and will occur tomorrow. We know this truth from verses like Romans 6:10, 2 Corinthians 5:14 and Hebrews 10:10 to name a few foundational truths on this subject of the comprehensive power of the blood sacrifice of the Lord Jesus.  I will say it again for emphasis, I am a very firm believer that there was one sacrifice for every human sin and no further sacrifice was or is necessary.  However, we cannot ignore other verses that declare very plainly that the sin of even Christians can still have some major potential consequences.  Please do not misunderstand what I am teaching.  I am not saying every little sin we commit can cause something significantly bad to occur nor am I teaching that a Christian can lose their salvation by committing a sin.   But, I am definitely teaching that Satan is looking at each of our lives very closely to gain an access and entry into our lives to kill, steal or destroy us (John 10:10).  That is exactly what we will learn next.

SATAN IS SEARCHING FOR A LEGAL WAY IN

There is another part of the extreme Grace message that must be addressed immediately. While it is true that Satan was defeated by the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, it does not mean that he is not presently trying everything in his power (and he is still very powerful) to get you to fall away from Jesus or not produce any savable fruit to be harvested by Jesus.  We need to study the parable of the sower and I wrote about this awhile back so I will not repeat it all here again.  Just understand that every soil type in the parable “heard” the word of God and only one group produced any harvestable fruit.  Satan successfully destroyed the harvest in every other soil type.  Satan desires access into our lives after we hear the Gospel and are saved by believing, accepting and confessing Jesus as our LORD (Romans 10:9-10).  There must be some insight given by God that shows us what grants Satan access to be victorious over some and not over others.  We could talk about this a long time but we need to get to one of the foundational verses for the lesson:

1Pe 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

We are starting with a verse that was written directly to “saved born-again” Christians. I take this verse personally as an inspired word of warning written to me and so should you.  It is so very clear to me that Satan desires to devour every Christian but can’t.  What is it that allows Satan access to attack some Christians and not others?  If you do not believe you can do anything to grant or permit the devil access into your life to devour, you have definitely been deceived by an extreme grace teacher.  It would be very stupid for the LORD God to inspire Bible writers to warn us about something that could not occur and God is not stupid!

I am now going to begin to introduce you to God’s heavenly court system. There are four main participants in every court case.  Those that are the accused can also be known as a defendant, the defense attorney may be present, the prosecutor also known as the plaintiff and then the Judge.  Many know of these truths better than others.  But, these are the basic main participants of every trial in this natural world and these are all parallel truths for the divine heavenly court cases going on today also.

Notice what I just said. I said this is happening everyday of your life here on the earth.  I say this because I believe that every day Satan is looking (seeking, searching and plotting to gain access) using a legal charge to accuse and condemn us with.  I want to go back to 1 Peter 5:8 and give you one of the key words that will help us verify one of the key principles that I am teaching.  The primary word is “adversary”.  This Greek word is G476 and it literally means “your opponent in a court trial”.  According to this verse Satan is bringing a legal lawsuit before God on a daily basis in order to gain access to someone (even a Christian) to devour them.  What this verse implies is that God must judge the “access demand” to be just in order for Satan’s entry to be legal.  Wow, that does not sit well with a lot of modern extreme grace teachers.  But, I’m sorry it is what the Bible says, not me.

This Greek word G476 translated as “adversary” occurs in the New Testament only in four verses and it is always applicable to a legal battle between two opponents in a court of law. You may look up these verses to verify these truths by reading verses in Matthew 5:25, Luke 12:58 and Luke 18:3.  In every case there is a stated defendant, an adversary and a judge.  While there is no legal counsel it may be assumed or implied based upon our knowledge of how natural court cases transpire.  We will look deeper to verify the identities of the spiritual participants in God’s heavenly court cases very shortly.  But, please understand that God’s word selection of G476 establishes a direct word and subject association  to a court trial case that must also be occurring in 1 Peter 5:8  and this is a very critical lesson to learn and apply in a better way of Bible interpretation.  See how a word selected by God is used in other verses and it will help to establish the definition in the verse in question.

Based upon 1 Peter 5:8 we can learn by implied reference who the defendant is and who the plaintiff is. Since the verse was a written warning to us in the church, that makes Christians the direct implied defendant being charged. We then can certainly see very plainly that since the devil is stated to be our “adversary” we know clearly that he is the one bringing the case before the Judge.  Therefore, the case is being brought up before the implied Judge (God) by Satan in order to accuse us and gain access to attack us.

Let’s get another verse to help us verify this truth. After all God instructs us to use the mouth of two or three witnesses to establish every truth which is another best practice to correctly interpret the Bible.  Again this truth must be occurring in a judicial spiritual courtroom before God the Spiritual Judge.  I believe that God will always require at least two witnesses to establish every case truth.  Please turn in your Bibles and read the following verse found in the Book of Revelation:

Rev 12:10  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

Wow, this verse is of such great significance to our Bible subject that I cannot emphasize it strongly enough. I would like to begin by stating the fact that this verse is a future prophecy that has not yet occurred.  We know this by the fact that God tells the author John in Revelation 4:1 to come up to heaven in order to be shown things that will occur in the future.  I am a firm believer that everything in Revelation 4 to the end of the book is future prophetic statements that have not yet occurred.  I also believe that they are written in Chronological order of occurrence.  Therefore, since Revelation 4 through 11 has not occurred Revelation 12 has also not occurred.

What does this verse say? We must really read the context in order to discover the true identity of one of the central figures being named and discussed in this verse.  We can read back a few verses in Revelation 12: 7 to begin to learn that Satan is also called the ancient serpent and the great dragon as figuratively speaking titles.  Satan has also just been cast down out of heaven after a significant spiritual war.  Let’s read these verses to verify where Satan will be cast out of.  Turn in your Bible and begin reading with verse 7 to get the more complete revelation of what is going to occur very soon:

Rev 12:7  And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 

Rev 12:8  And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 

Rev 12:9  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Here are the future prophesied facts given to us by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. First, a spiritual war will occur.  It is definitely a spiritual battle and not a natural conflict.  Second, the participants of the war are spiritual beings.  There is Michael and his angels defending heaven against the dragon (Satan) and his angels attacking heaven.  Third, Satan and his angels lose the battle.  Fourth, God states that Satan has ONLY NOW lost his place (right and ability) to enter back into heaven ever again in verse 8.  What does this teach us?  Verses 7 and 8 are teaching us by implied truth that before this event occurs Satan HAD FULL ACCESS and the ability to come and go from and to heaven any time that he wanted.  Why do you think this was granted?  I personally believe it is because of two main factors.  The first factor is that God is just and that God must honor His Word.    I believe we are about to learn more by a deeper study that the access granted was for the purpose of putting God’s people aka. Christians on trial.

We now should know that Satan had access into heaven very clearly from the statements found in verses 7 through 10. Now, look at what Satan is called in verse 10.  Satan is referred directly by the Word of God to be the “accuser”.  In fact the name Satan literally means “adversary”.   Remember that “adversary” means “your legal opponent in a law case” and this firmly connects us back to 1 Peter 5:8.  The Greek word translated as “accuser” is a very synonymous legal title to “adversary”.  An accuser (Greek word G2725) is literally defined by Strong’s as someone that brings a compliant of law before a judge to gain an advantage over an opponent.  I added the last part of that definition simply because that is what is being implied by the definition.  Why would Satan come up to heaven before the LORD GOD’s court to accuse a “brother” in Christ?   It would be extremely wise to give that question a lot of thought before answering quickly.

I believe God is telling us from verse 10 of Revelation 12 that Satan came up to heaven before Him both night and day to bring up complaints and charges against the people of God. We learn this truth by applying the key word “Brethren” to make it personal to Christians in the family of Jesus Christ.  The Greek word translated as “brethren” is found over 300 times in the N.T.  It can be used for natural or spiritual brothers.  But, we use the context to understand that it must be “spiritual brothers” because everything else in the chapter appears to use natural symbols to point us to spiritual truths.  I can see this and I pray you can also.  You can search your Bible for G80 to learn how Paul and other N.T. writers applied this term “brethren” to the church family members.

Brethren here in this verse 10 must also be interpreted as those that are still living here on the earth since Satan was just thrown down form the spiritual realm of heaven back to the earth in a great fury of rage to wage war against those still not in heaven. I understand that there will be a lot of people that call themselves Christians that will not agree with what the Lord is teaching us here today.  But, I’m not responsible to make anyone believe the Bible.  All that any teacher can do is to present the facts given and then let the reader decide what they wish to believe for themselves.

While we are on verse 10 of Revelation 12 we must see and learn the second legal word term being mentioned. This term is the Greek word G2723 that was translated as “accused”.   Let me review the part of the verse statement that I wish to emphasize.  God says here “which accused them before God day and night”.  Wow, this is critical to understand.  This Greek word G2723 literally means “to be a plaintiff” in a court case.  This word plainly means to bring a charge of offence/crime against a defendant.  This is clearly describing spiritual court cases that were taking place 24 hours a day where God was the stated judge, Christians were the stated defendants and Satan was the stated plaintiff bringing the charges.  All of this legal activity stops after Revelation 12.  According to Revelation 12 these spiritual court cases do not cease until half of the tribulation’s seven years have gone by.  That literally verifies to us that they are happening right now as you are reading this lesson believe it or not.

BIBLE EXAMPLES OF SPIRITUAL TRIALS

I will end this lesson today with three examples of spiritual trials that have taken place. The first one is a trial that occurred before Jesus was ever born on the earth.  I am talking about a trial that is found in the oldest book of the Bible, the book of Job.  The story of Job probably occurred way over 4000 years ago.  My best guess would be sometime after Noah and before Abraham.

I am not going to go through every verse that I could, but I would recommend that you go and reread Job chapter 1 using the information we have learned in this lesson so far to verify that this is an example of a literal court case being waged against Job a righteous man.  In fact it would be good to read the entire book of Job looking at it from a legal court perspective.

This case is being brought before God by Satan who is bringing charges up against him to the Judge.  We learn by reading Job 1:6 that the trial definitely takes place in heaven as we have learned he had access to heaven from reading Revelation 12.  Satan appears before God and the omniscient Judge asks him two questions.  The first question in verse 7 is where have you come from?  You know God knows the answer but he asks the question for our benefit to connect us directly with vital information found in 1 Peter 5:8.  Remember what this verse said?  Satan answers the question truthfully and states he has just come from going to and fro in the earth.  Do you now see the direct connection to 1 Peter 5:8?  Your adversary the devil (Satan) goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.  God is giving us direct connected insight into Job’s court case by connecting us with a verse that helps us to understand the legal procedure taking place in heaven.

The second question asked by God to Satan was “Have you considered my servant Job”.  Omniscient God understands that Job was why Satan came up to heaven to start this court case.  Satan then asks God a question “Does Job fear God for nothing?”  This is the beginning of Satan’s introductory opening statement for his case against Job.  Any way I am not going to go through this all in depth in this lesson .  But, please understand and apply what we have learned from 1 Peter 5;8 and Revelation 12.  “Your adversary the devil goes about the earth like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” and “Satan accused them before God night and day”.

We also learn from reading and studying Job that God informs Satan that he has access to devour Job (all that he has is in your power Job 1:12) and this is what proves that Satan won that court case.  Satan obviously has found someone that is able to be devoured.

Satan then goes about Job’s life and kills, steals and destroys a great portion of his family and possessions.  It was a very clear victorious court case won by the devil over a righteous man on the earth.

But, what won the case for Satan?  I will let you into a couple of significant clues to why the court case was easily won by Satan.  There are at least two major things that Job did to open the door in the hedge of protection that God had placed around him.  First, it says in Job 3:25 that Job said “the thing that I greatly feared has come upon me”.  This verse informs us of the presence of “fear” in Job’s heart and it was this spirit of fear that helps open the door for Satan to win a case against him.  Fear is the opposite spiritual force of faith and without faith it is absolutely impossible to please God (Heb 11:6).  Therefore, fear is not a connecting force to God but it must be considered an attracting force of Satan.

The second mistake Job made was pride.  The Bible says that God resists the proud but gives grace unto the humble (James 4:6).  If you read the book of Job you will find that Job was found guilty of judging God and judging others (his friends) without sufficient knowledge to do either.  We should be able to understand that judging others and God is a clear sign of pride.  Job spoke many things that he was later rebuke by God for saying.

We learn these truths by reading the rest of the book of Job where he is speaking to his friends and later when God speaks to him.  Notice in Job 38:2 that God asks Job a question “Who is this that darkens counsel with words without knowledge?”  Here is a very good verse that informs us of another legal term.  A “Counselor” can be applied to a person of law or legal advice in a courtroom trial.  Perhaps you have seen this before.  What I am trying to say here is that words spoken in judgment of others without full knowledge can be an access point for Satan to win a judgment against you.

I have said enough about Job to get you started.  Now, let’s go read another example court case that transpired only about 2000 years ago.

The second spiritual trial that I want to point out from the Bible occurs while Jesus walked the face of the earth in the flesh with His 12 disciples about 2000 years ago. We will begin reading in Luke 22 and verse 31:

Luk 22:31  And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

Reading only the English language translation we miss so very much of the stated truth. Jesus is talking directly to Peter and calls him by name twice to emphasize the critical importance of the next statement to follow.  Satan as we learned from Revelation 12 and 1 Peter 5 was the direct adversary seeking access by legal complaint against the human Peter in this case.  Therefore, we understand that Satan is the plaintiff in this statement of Jesus.  The key word that must be examined with deeper understanding is the Greek word G1809 and it is incorrectly translated as “desired” in this verse.  While it is true that Satan desires to get to us all but that is not what the Greek word that was selected and written was intended to have been spoken by Jesus.  This Greek word literally means “to demand for trial”.  Jesus is warning Peter that he has done something that Satan believes gives him access to sift him like wheat.  Perhaps you should do a little research about how wheat is sifted.  Sifting of wheat is definitely not a nonviolent or peaceful act.  Anyone sifting wheat represents someone using their power, ability and force over the wheat being sifted to remove some good from the bad.  It would be good to learn more about this but that is not my primary subject.  I just want us to focus on the legal issues that must have occurred to give Satan the right to “demand” by a trial to have access to Peter’s life.  But, we later learn after this verse that Jesus (Peter’s implied attorney) prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail.  This does not mean that the sifting would not take place it only means Jesus asked the Father to help Peter come through the trial’s verdict being rendered.  It would be great to go and study more about what Peter may have done to be sifted but I don’t really have the time in this lesson.

A MODERN DAY TRIAL

I am not able to go into every sin that a person can commit in order to be bought into spiritual court by Satan the accuser but I will end this part of the lesson with a third true life firsthand experience of this reality that I experienced a few years ago. This testimony concerns the life of my father.  I learned of it by living it and hearing from others about it and I trust the testimony of those witnesses that have shared it with me.  My father was a pastor for several years.  I grew up attending his churches and hearing him preach his sermons.

My father was going to his second Bible school to learn and expand his knowledge of God and the Bible by attending good classes with great teachers. In his second year of this Bible school attendance in the first semester, he was sitting and taking notes when suddenly the man of God giving the lesson stopped and looked right at my father.  God was giving the instructor a vision of a great dark cloud resting above the head of my father.  The instructor knew from experience what this meant.  He knew it was a death cloud that was warning my father that he would die soon.  The Bible instructor called my father to the front of the class before all the other students.  He put his hand on him and rebuked death and prayed for him.  But, the instructor then asked my father to come see him privately so that he could share what else the LORD had given to him in his warning.  I was not present when all of this occurred but my mother was in the class and she is one of the primary witnesses to the story and my mother was not a liar.  She recounted this testimony after my father died.

I guess you already know that my father did not ever go and see the Bible teacher in private to hear the rest of the warning message from the LORD. A couple of months later my father had a stroke and was carried unconscious in an ambulance to a local hospital.  My brother was home when all of this happened and he can testify to the truth of this part of the story.  My father died a few days later after being transported.  He never regained consciousness.  He died like the Bible teacher warned he would.

The Bible teacher performed the funeral for my father and after the funeral my mother learned the rest of the message directly from the teacher that prayed for him. The Bible teacher informed my mother that God had told him to warn my father about his love walk with people.  I should rather say that it was a lack of his love that concerned him more.  Jesus gave us in the church a new commandment of LOVE and this is one way that Satan gained access into killing my father through his disobedience.  I believe very firmly that because my father was not walking in love towards others that Satan brought him up on trial.  I believe very firmly based upon spiritual laws that God tried to warn my father by even giving someone a vision of what was about to happen even before it happened.  Like the prophet that warned the king in the Old Testament to get his house in order for you shall surely die, the same occurred for my father.  However, the king in the Old Testament repented and prayed and he was granted more years on the earth.  I believe this was what was happening with my father also.  If he had repented and changed he might have lived a much longer life.

But, my father did not cooperate or may not have believed the warning or may have even wanted to go ahead and die.  We don’t know the reason why he did nothing to prevent Satan’s attack.  But that is what happened to him.  The thief came into his life and killed my father just as John 10:10 states.

There was also another door that my parents opened to allow Satan access into their lives in this spiritual court case. After they were first married and before I was born, they went to a fair where they were just having fun.  They ran across a fortune teller/palm reader tent and went in to play Satan’s deceptive game in ignorance.  The fortune teller informed my mother that she had a long life line and would live a long time on the earth, but when she looked at my father’s hand she told him he would die young.  I believe this foolish act set spiritual laws into motion and gave Satan a plot and a plan to bring up before God in my father’s trial.  Had my father not gone into the fortune teller based upon his knowledge of God’s word this may have changed his life significantly.  Had he rebuked the words spoken over him this may have also changed his life significantly.  But doing nothing is certainly the worst option that anyone can choose.  My mother informed me of all this after my father had died.

My father was barely 44 years old when he died. My mother lived to the age of 80 and the palm reader’s words both came true.  Become aware of the things that can open the door for Satan before it is too late.  Dabbling in the occult, fortune tellers, Ouija boards and the like, I believe opens the door for Satan to bring you before God’s court system.  Spiritual laws are put into motion by words spoken by us, over us or about us.  I believe that if we do not renounce them and rebuke them they will become seeds that grow and produce thorns and thistles in our lives.

CONCLUSION

Psa 43:1  Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.

This was only a basic overview and introduction of a much deeper subject. There are many other things to learn on this subject of God’s divine justice system.  I do appreciate your time in reading and studying the Bible on this website.  There are many other lessons that can be freely accessed by searching or clicking on topics and dates.  May God bless and keep you until the return of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ.

If you would like to continue reading in this series you may click here for “Part 2“.

Lessons of Love and Forgiveness from a Testimony

(Ver 1.1) Today I believe that I am led to share a testimony from a friend.  I personally believe the Bible very strongly.  I believe the Bible is the inspired spoken word of an Almighty God that has been written down by human men for our spiritual benefit to learn and grow from it.  God’s word says in Ecclesiastes 1:9 that there is nothing new under the sun.  This verse informs me very clearly that history repeats itself.  What has been will be again.  And this lesson also teaches us that if we do not learn what has happened to others we can very easily fall into the same trap of Satan our self.  I believe that any one of us should say “if not for the grace of God there go I” when reading about what others have done or not done.  I ask you to read this testimony with an open mind but also with a heart of love, mercy and forgiveness.  I know there will be some that will feel superior and self-righteous while reading this like the Pharisee in Luke 18:11 that prayed and said “I thank you God that I am not as other men” and named sins that others were guilty of like a true hypocrite would.  However, this self-righteous Pharisee was condemned by Jesus for his attitude and his words and I believe that it would be very wise for us all to not to choose to do the same.  Please allow me to give you the foundational Bible verse for this short lesson:

2Co 2:10  To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; 

2Co 2:11  Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

 

In verse 11 is found the primary focused warning written to Christians concerning for us to not be ignorant of Satan’s traps, plans and pursuits. But, the context of this statement is clearly about our forgiveness and more specifically about us forgiving other men for what they have done.  According to the inspired word of God in Mark 11:25, if we do not forgive what others have done, God will not forgive us either of our sins.  I believe this teaches us that there is a divine spiritual law of reciprocal activity. I believe that how we treat others will be how God will treat us and this is His divine reciprocal choice. Therefore, if we forgive others we will be forgiven and if we do not forgive others we are in serious trouble. Please learn to forgive others, it is an absolute necessity.

Before we read the testimony I would like us to learn another very important truth from this verse 11.  This verse plainly states that if we do not forgive others it will open the door for our enemy Satan to come in and attack us.  This truth is very similar to what occurred in the life of Job but Job’s sin was different than what is being spoken of here in Verse 11.  Here in verse 11 God informs us that Satan is able to take advantage over any Christian if we allow Him to do so by our wrong actions of implied un-forgiveness.   Perhaps soon the Lord will lead me to write a more complete Study on the subject of how we open the door for the enemy but that is really not the main subject today.

Let’s read the testimony and learn what the enemy did to one of our dear brothers in Christ.  Try to think about what is said from his perspective and not your own personal viewpoint like a Pharisee.

 

LOST & FOUND

 

This is my testimony:

“I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch, like me.

Through many dangers toils and snares, I have already come.

How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.”

(lyrics, from the song, Amazing Grace)

 

In the safe recesses of my memory is that time so many years ago cuddling on my mother’s lap while she read to me the classic children story, “The Little Engine that Could,” by Watty Piper. I would have her read it every night if my way prevailed, and sometimes mom would read it two times in one sitting: “Again, again,” my young voice pled.  It was such a monumental struggle for that little engine to pull those cars full of toys up that mountain for delivery to the children on the other side. That captivating thought flooded my mind: “I think I can, I think I can.”  Despite its size, the little engine triumphantly pulls the train up that mountain. Would it? Could it? The image was real and I sensed even then that life at times could be a challenge and a true struggle.  As a mere child of four, I began to grasp this lesson that life may at times be a struggle reaching the other side to that place of joy and victory.

Two decades later, in my early twenties, I found myself singing in a Christian band. Often we sang this somewhat country classic, “Life is Like a Mountain Railway.” In this song the lyrics warn, “…we must make the run successful from the cradle to the grave.  Watch the curves that fill the tunnel, never falter never fail; keep your hands upon the throttle and your eyes upon the rail. Blessed Savior there to guide us, Till we reach that blissful shore, And the angels there to join us, In God’s grace…, forevermore…” I see a thread and theme from early life. Many years from those moments that single message of struggle I have surely known. Yet, the Savior of my soul has never left or forsaken me, though at times I had strayed, wandered, and taken my eyes off the rails, He has always kept His eyes upon me.

I learned early the fallacy of believing that once you confess Jesus as your personal Lord, and personally accept His sacrificial crucifixion, that life will be an effortless and pain-free endeavor. No, it has not been that. I learned a phrase when acquiring my pilot license. This phrase was a seasoned pilot’s definition of flying: “Flying,” he said, “are hours of boredom, broken up by moments of sheer terror!” Christian life might be like that too.

Another analogy which helps explains how I experience life as a Christian is to recall the two years spent in a war zone. A variation to the old pilots’ thoughts was an enemy strategy of deliberately leading us into a state of lethargy. Days would go by, weeks, and maybe a month and his presence seemed to vanish. There would be little or no confrontations. The enemy would lay low, hide, retreat, allowing the thought to develop in us that he was either beaten or uninterested. Slipping into relative peacefulness you never saw hell dropping on top of you. In the middle of a fitful sleep, the sky would explode with light and fire, concussions of rockets knocking you from your bunk. Noises of confusion as people ran yelling orders, weapons rattling as everyone scrambled for orientation, the smell of sulfurs and fears all combined in that dark. For days following such attacks, we would again become hyper vigilant to movement, sounds, and imaginations. You had to realize that the enemy was unpredictable and ruthless. No matter the seeming peaceful state you enjoyed, in a war zone you had to always remain prepared.

Clearly, a harsh reality was to know that though many people loved you at home, there were well-armed people very close by who hated you for simply being you. This was a hard concept to embrace emotionally – that another living person actually would kill you without any regret or regard. Over the two years in that place I had to be reminded on many occasions this was a war zone and blood could be spilt at any moment. Today I am reminded that Christians may struggle with the idea someone hates them and labors to harm them. We mostly tend to see ourselves as lovable, kind, sensitive, and peaceable; why would anyone hate you or desire your ruin?

I became a Christian one year after I was discharge from the U.S. Army. Although I’d never known the true Gospel or the acceptance of Jesus’ personal gift to me, memories of childhood are full of a consciousness of God’s existence and even His presence. I believed in God, I simply didn’t know His Word or just how deep and profound was my need for His righteousness and acceptance. By His plan I was led to hear the Gospel of Jesus preached, and my heart opened to ‘hear’ the Truth. With a faith, only gained as a gift, I was willing and able to call out and ask for forgiveness and acceptance, embracing Jesus’ sacrifice and the provision of His eternal life indwelling me daily. At twenty-one, my feet and heart were set on a new course. The Word of God was coming alive in me, a passion and gratefulness washed over me. I was free from guilt, free from wandering in the darkness of life and given a purpose and qualification to pursue my Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus, with the help and power of the Holy Spirit. I began to run.

After becoming ‘saved’ my resume,’ so to speak, began to grow and included a number of wonderful activities and accomplishments. I’d become the president of the Christian Fellowship in college, and the co-founder of a contemporary Christian band and theatrical ministry travelling much of New England proclaiming the good news on college campuses, coffee houses, park concerts and churches. Out of that ministry came a radio ministry which I hosted for five years. Eventually I was trained and prepared to launch out on a new church ministry. The church began with approximately twelve dedicated people as we began ministering in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Over the following fifteen years our family at home increased, and the church too grew in new members and growing outreaches. In some ways it all seemed quite successful, with lots of effective outreaches, joys, and progress – perhaps as men judge progress. Though it was understood struggles could and did come, most things were manageable and the enemy seemed at bay and easily contained. In hindsight, and with further spiritual growth, I think too much of our methods for handling conflict were undertaken in fleshly and carnal ways, depending on our human capabilities and gifting. I had thought I was prepared and equipped for a prosperous Christian life and ministry, I don’t believe I ever would have imagined the viciousness and true spiritual battles yet to be faced in life. Though I’d studied ‘spiritual warfare’ through reading books, hearing sermons, and of course studying the Bible, the battles to come would compound beyond my imagination.

Certainly in those years simple and relatively ineffective skirmishes had to be faced. However, the first and most devastating battle and conflict came when my wife and I endured the still birth of our full term baby son, Jedidiah. The agony of losing him was unimaginable. The enemy made a move, he had a foothold. Between guilt, anger, uncertainty, hurt, loss, and unending questions living in my mind, this attack wounded deeply. In further hindsight, it was a harbinger of intense battles yet to be waged.

The toll of poor choices, such as putting other interests before our marital union, including but not limited to inattention, alienation of affections, over commitments to many so-called important activities, including ‘Christian work,’ led to the degeneration and finally dissolution of marriage. While the marriage was failing the church suffered greatly. Eventually, as people began to leave, the ministry came to a close. Not only had the battle raged externally, the inward condition was too troubled to continue reaching out to others. This seemed total devastation, and life began a further downward spiral. I sincerely began to doubt if “I could.” One might wonder if the battles were over.

No, it was far from over. Doubts flooded my soul; how could God let these things happen? How far away from God’s will had I been? Could I ever really hear God’s will and know how to follow? Had I been so unfaithful God simply did not desire my fellowship any longer? I was in a wilderness, it was hard to hear, hard to feel, sometimes hard to care. I questioned my prayer, honestly thinking perhaps I had committed an unpardonable sin (I realize today how this sounds, yet then it was overwhelming). Feeling and believing myself unworthy, with a strong sense of failure, satan was relentless. He knew I was one struggling to stay off the mat, like a fighter pummeled. Perhaps I was heading for the final knock-out. Surely it appeared faith to believe God loved me was being knocked out of me under a relentless flurry of strikes. Not only was I not able to love myself, surely God no longer cared either. Satanic influence was overwhelming. A sad consequence was running from God’s Word. What I began to see in Scripture was condemnation and judgment of so many failures. My mind was being blinded, my eyes shutting under the force of so many punches.

My behaviors reflected this loss. I became reclusive. I was afraid to speak the truth – even to myself. Little did I know, but an incident which occurred a year after the marriage ended, would soon be used as a complete knock-out punch. Not only had I been rejected by a wife, I surely must be rejected by God. Desperate for companionship and acceptance I was now susceptible to even more poor choices. What began as an innocent moment of consolation with a vulnerable woman, lapsed into inappropriate intimacy. This was but a momentary mutual action, and one which did not consummate in other than brief petting, however, it would be more than enough for Satan to throw the haymaker and accuse me of behavior which never took place. Seven years later the story had escalated and false accusations were brought against me. I was accused and convicted of an indecent assault.

The day I heard the judge pronounce a prison sentence, I certainly knew my life was finally and perhaps mercifully over. I was so alone and afraid. Clearly God must now despise me. I must have been cast out. I had some defect which I may have been unaware and which meant God could not love me. Did I bring this on myself? Nothing was clear. Would clarity ever come to me?

Within the first twenty-four hours of prison, perhaps that which I feared most seemed to face me. I was being confronted by a large African man in a prison cell block, accompanied by a Spanish speaking Porte Rican. The previous twenty-four hours found me plunging into a deep abyss of darkness, fear, anxiety, and despair believing that I would never know God’s love or care again. This seemed the ultimate abandonment, the bottom, a profound loss of hope and self abhorrence; it was a dreadful aloneness. What would become of me? What would my grandchildren think? What about my children, how could they manage this horror?

And there he was, towering over me, a huge man, speaking to me in such a thick African accent I could barely understand. His question, “Are you okay?” “Are you okay?” over and over he asked. He was blocking me and I couldn’t see anything but this giant and threatening looking man. Finally I said, “No, I am not okay!” And then as he looked at me, with what I now know were deeply compassionate eyes, the most amazing sounds came from him. He began to minister wonderful, loving words to me, expressing that God knows where I am, and that He is here with me, that He has never left me or forsaken me. He began to share that through all of this, God had a big plan for me, and He was going to use this to shape me anew….

And then his voice seemed to slip away and I no longer actually heard his continued speaking or the terrible sounds of the cell block. Rather, I seemed to leave that cell block and went someplace in my spirit that was quite, safe and peaceful. There I faced the Holy Spirit One on one. Though my questions were not directly addressed, I knew He was aware, and what He did was fill me with peace, with confidence, and with the assurance of His love and clearly His acceptance and compassionate comfort. Though I realized the answers I needed so desperately wouldn’t happen then, I knew an assurance of His control coming alive in me again. I actually knew the reality was that “all things work together for those who love Him…” Though burdened with guilt, doubts, and a sense of abandonment, and feeling profoundly lost during this season of battle, I now knew He was not going to let me go! I knew more and more would be revealed as I trusted in Him once again, fully and without apprehension or insecurity.

The suffering did not end completely that night, but the awareness I was really no longer in chains, no longer a prisoner to what I could only imagine to be failure, guilt, shame, and to letting my Lord down, began to flood my life, and has continued to this very day. And then, as if awakening from a dream, the awareness of my terrible surroundings came in to focus again and I spoke once more to this man, his name I learned was Adam. I simply said, “I am okay now!” Though still facing many unknowns, there was within a new courage, a sure hope and that certain assurance He was with me through it all.

Is it biblical as a Christian to be touched a second time, a third time, again and again? This is a question you may ask yourself. When we speak of salvation is it a one-time event, or is this an ongoing saving? Though I’ve walked through a deep and dark valley, I have found the battle is won and our Lord’s grace is sufficient for me. What I have found is that “Greater is He which is in me than he that is in the world.” What I have found is that “What (satan) intends for evil, God intends for good.” What I have found is that “When I am truly weak, He is truly strong.” What I have found is that when others forsake and bare false witness, with harsh judgment, He embraces and accepts and walks with you. What I have found is that He has a balm of healing and restoration in which He brings double, triple, and unknown levels of restoration, hope, confidence and love. All of these testify that when He saves you it is an everlasting salvation and one which Satan cannot snatch, though he may expend wicked energies and efforts to destroy us at any opportunity.

I have found we really do live in a world of spiritual battles, and unless we stand prepared to engage, with God’s Word, with unwavering faith and without doubt, anyone can stumble, anyone can fall. And there are many biblical warnings that we should never stand proud in ourselves believing we could never fall or let the Lord down. I have found the evil one is paying close attention and he is crouched at the door. But, I have found that though a child of God fall, our Father will not walk past and look elsewhere. He will stoop to our lowest place and with the heart of the Good Samaritan, He will bind our wounds, He will bring us to a safe place, and He will pay whatever the price to see we are rewarded our place with Him in His everlasting Kingdom of love and peace.   And finally, for now, I have found that the Callings of God are without repentance (without a change of His heart), and that “what He began in us He is faithful to bring to pass.”

 

CONCLUSION

We all have failed and come short of the Glory of God. If you have never failed then you are free to cast the first stone at my friend. But for me I will not be picking up any stones. Love will always restore a brother and help a brother that is turned around and is making the effort to do what is right. There was only one sinless man on the earth and His name was Jesus Christ. He did not come into the world to condemn the world and this was the main lesson from John 8:11 and John 3:17.

Gal 6:1  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

We could spend days on this verse alone. We all too often look at another man’s faults while ignoring our own.  The problem with this verse is that it is extremely conditional.  Only a few people that I have seen in my life qualify to ever be called truly “spiritual”.  It would take me more time to explain this truth than I also have today.  I will simply inform you that I do not yet feel that I qualify to be at this level of this category.  I am human as well as my friend.  I have made mistakes and have been in the flesh sometime too often.  It is my heart’s desire to become more spiritual and I pray that it will be yours as well.

My main point from Galatians 6:1 is that we should be on a pathway that helps to restore people back into the fellowship with Christ. If anyone that calls themselves a Christian and is not trying to build up a brother that has fallen then I believe that they are either extremely carnal Christians or I doubt seriously that they are a Christian at all.

I would like to end this mini lesson with the warning that is given to us in Galatians 6:1. Here we find a similar bit of wise counsel that we read first in 2 Corinthians 2:11.  Remember when Paul said Satan could get an advantage over us?  That is the similar advice being transferred to us in this statement “lest we also be tempted”.  The implied words not being directly related to us is that if we don’t forgive someone for what they have done and then pursue (make an effort) to restore them back to the LORD, we our self could be carried away by the same trap of deception.  I find that very powerful and more than just a suggestion to follow after.

I pray that this testimony has been an encouragement to someone.  Perhaps you have fallen in a similar way.  It is not too late for you to turn your life around as my friend did.

If you have a comment about this lesson, you are free to share it. However, if you are going to be mean spirited and unforgiving, I will warn you that I will probably not publish your comment.  Also, if you have a good testimony like my friend about how God has worked and changed you, I would love for you to share that.

My friend that wrote his testimony is doing well.  God has helped him tremendously and blessed him. He reads his Bible, and studies it.  He goes to church.  He prays for me and others.  He has been a great encouragement to me.  I believe that the Spirit of God led my new friend to contact me and get to know me.  I am very happy to call him my friend and I praise God for a new brother in Christ that I will hopefully meet here or in heaven soon.

Thank you for reading and studying the Bible with me on this website. I am always amazed at the love and grace of God that permits me to do this for Him.   May God bless you and keep you.

 

 

Jesus Motivates Us to Move to a Higher AGAPE Love Walk!

the-greatest-is-AGAPE-love-e1406073920848-608x404(Ver 1.1) I was studying the Bible recently and was led across something that I believe was very good for us all to learn from.  I believe the Holy Spirit pointed this out so that we could learn a potential new perspective on a familiar story that we have all probably heard taught more than once.  This will be a Bible basics subject lesson on one of the most important subjects found in the Bible called love.  Uh oh?  I may have just lost a bunch of readers.  How boring that is, you might think.  You might say to me “I don’t have any problem with my love walk!”  At least that is probably what you think right now.  However, I believe the subject of love is the central theme of the entire Bible and a vastly misunderstood subject.  I believe no other subject comes close to its importance in the Bible and I pray that you will agree.

INTRODUCTION TO LOVE

You may already know that there is more than one Greek word in the New Testament that is translated into the English word “love”. I believe that is a significant problem.  If we don’t spend the time in digging deeper to know the original language words and definitions we will probably miss the most important message that God was trying to teach us.  I believe words matter more than we can imagine, especially God’s words.  I believe the chosen words of God are not by accident, chance or placed into the Bible by random human selection or influence.  God is a highly intelligent being beyond our normal human capability to understand.  Therefore, when God selects two different Greek words for “love” and uses them both in the same verse setting that must mean something very important even if we don’t yet understand what  is.  I pray that you will agree and even if you don’t yet agree I pray that you will at least be open minded enough to continue reading.

I recently read a Bible commenter’s opinion on this subject of the Greek word choices being made in the New Testament. This person believed that each human writer influenced the text and word selection for the love word choice.  They implied that the every Greek love word was synonymously interchangeable and one word could easily be replaced with another without changing the meaning of the verse.  But, I could not disagree any more.  This type of logic removes God’s participation in the word selection process almost completely.  You see I am a firm believer in this next verse that we must use as a foundation to base all of our Bible beliefs on.  I recommend that we all memorize this verse and never let it slip away from our minds:

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

“All” is one of the key words to focus on first. This verse clearly informs us that it concerns and applies to the whole Bible and every word that it contains.  In the Bible that would include every Hebrew and Greek Word of the original text that produced the translated 783,137 English KJV words.  However, I must disqualify the translated words.  I do not believe that any of the translated words were God inspired.  There are just way too many subjective translator opinions and errors imbedded to be found to conclude it is perfect like I believe the original text is.  I am not saying that we must all learn Greek and Hebrew in order to understand anything in the Bible.  But, I am saying that we all need to become a Berean type of Bible student like is found in Acts 17:11.  These Berean Christians were commended in the Bible for digging deep to confirm whatever is taught by men to be the truth is actually what God stated in the Holy scriptures.  I pray again that you understand how important this is.  Otherwise, we may just fall for any wind of doctrine that sounds the best and ignore what God actually said.

Today’s mini Bible lesson concerns two Greek words primarily that are both translated as “love” in the New Testament. These two Greek words in review are “Agapao” G25 and “Phileo” G5368.  You should be able to notice that these words are obviously two significantly different words based upon appearance, spelling and pronunciation alone and we have not yet attempted to learn the definitions.  We will dig into these love types much deeper as we continue the lesson.

JESUS TEACHES A HIGHER LOVE

Our Bible lesson is found in the book of John chapter 21. It occurs after the events of the death of Jesus on a Roman cross, the burial of His body in a tomb for 3 days and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead.  I believe that this event that we can study today was Jesus attempting to restore and help Peter to grow into a higher level of confident love following his denial 3 times of Jesus Christ just a few days earlier.  We will begin reading about this event beginning in verse 15 of John 21 and then we will continue reading down until verse 17.  Please read all of the verses carefully as the subject overview and then I will begin to break them down to help reveal a hidden message not easily found in the English translation:

Joh 21:15  So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 

Joh 21:16  He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 

Joh 21:17  He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

What did you get out of this reading? Did anything draw your attention from what I originally introduced you to before reading the verses?  Maybe nothing jumped out at you.  That is OK, but maybe the Holy Spirit pointed out something new for you to see and that is really great.  I believe that is God’s way.  He can use the same verse(s) to speak an infinite number of things to each and every person differently.  Let’s go through the verses one at time now and learn what we can see by digging deeper into them rather than a surface only reading, as I like to call it.  Let’s reread verse 15 first:

Joh 21:15  So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 

Jesus suddenly focuses on one disciple named Peter and asks him a very direct and personal question concerning their relationship. I believe Jesus did this on purpose and by design to help strengthen and encourage Peter’s faith.  You might recall in Luke 22:31 the writer Luke gives us some related very important information.  In Luke 22:31 Jesus informs Peter that Satan had desired to sift him like wheat.  But, then Jesus informs Peter that He had prayed that his faith would not fail.  Also later in this chapter of Luke Jesus informs Peter that he will deny him 3 times before the cock crows the night that He would be betrayed.  I believe that Peter is being told these things so that he might be prepared for them and then afterwards that he would also understand that Jesus is fully the Christ as Peter declared in Matthew 16:16.  Remember when Jesus asked Peter “Who do you say that I am?” and Peter answered to Him saying “You are the Christ the Son of God”.

I firmly believe that Peter like the rest of the disciples struggled tremendously after seeing Jesus taken prisoner, beaten and then crucified on a cross to die. This had to be a major blow to their beliefs in Him.  Once His body was laid in the tomb and the rock was rolled over it and sealed with guards posted in front of it, they had to at least think that they had made a great mistake in following this man.  I just can’t imagine the full impact of the challenges to their faith that they were facing during this time of extreme circumstances.  Give it some thought and see how you may have reacted.  What would you have done after seeing all of this?  I know we can read the Bible now and we may think that we may have been able to stand stronger than they did but I really don’t believe that is true.

No matter how great you believe your faith in Jesus Christ is now, Satan will come to you and try to shake your foundation of faith just like he did with Peter. This is what happened to Peter and I believe that Jesus did all He could do to prepare Peter’s heart for these events.  For example, in John 21:15 Jesus begins a lesson of assurance by asking Peter a basic very personal question.  Jesus asked Peter “Do you love me more than these?”  I believe that Jesus is simply asking “Are you sure that you love me Peter?” It is interesting that Jesus also adds a comparison of Peter’s love level with the other disciples’ love level.  The question contains the key word “more” and this is added by Jesus to teach Peter and us that a love amount can vary in measure, intensity, type and capacity.  Jesus was teaching us that our love level for Him may not be as great as other’s love level yet and that we may need to grow more in our love.  By this question, Jesus is implying we can all grow up in a higher level of love.  Can you see this?

Here is another very important point to make when studying any text in the Bible. We must understand that there were no punctuation marks in the original Greek text that I know of.  No periods, no commas, no exclamation marks, no question marks as we know in the English language.  Therefore, we should be able to understand that the tone of voice being spoken in could potentially be different than we believe changing the entire meaning of the words being spoken.

For example, if Jesus yelled “LOVEST ME MORE THAN THESE!!!” Would a screaming angry and mad Jesus change how we viewed the question?  It would definitely do that for me.  However, that type of Jesus personality screaming at Peter would contradict with His revealed character and nature found in many scriptures verses that reveal Him to be a man of great and intense love, mercy and compassion.  Therefore, this statement cannot be an angry Jesus questioning the loyalty of Peter simply because He knew Peter denied Him.  No, I believe that the words were spoken very softly and graciously to Peter in a great loving and compassionate tone of voice that grabbed the heart of Peter’s attention immediately.  I believe Peter could also see the great concern in the Master’s eyes and perceive the great kindness in the heart of Jesus.

Here is where I want to introduce you to the first Greek word G25 that was translated as “lovest” in the question directed at Peter.   This Greek word represents the highest type of “Agape” divine love.  This category of love is the highest form of any type of love listed in the Bible.  It is always an underserved, unearned and unconditional love type that is being extended to another person regardless of what occurs or how they act towards the person showing it.  I believe this is the most important and highest type of love in the Bible.  This is why my blog is called “AgapeGeek”.  I simply desire to teach the Bible in a way that displays God’s love to every reader.  I hope you understand the basic concepts of the God kind of Agape love.  If you don’t please ask any specific question and I will attempt to explain it with the Lord’s help.

Ok, Jesus asked Peter if he loved “Agapao” Him more than these. The answer to this simple question should have been either “yes” or “no”. However, Peter must have ignored the love word because he does not answer the question correctly at all.  Of course you won’t see this by just reading the English translation.  Only if we dig much deeper into the Greek words can we begin to understand the problem that Jesus was dealing with.

In the English Peter appears to answer correctly by saying “Yes, Lord you know that I love you”.  But, Peter changed the Greek word “love” type from the G25 “agapao” category of love to the much lower and less committed G5368 “phileo” human category of love and that was not what Jesus asked, was it?  You see the “phileo” category of love is merely a fond type of relationship that we can have with a good human friend.  This is a love category on a much subordinate carnal level of conditional feelings.  In other words if a friend said or did something wrong or mean to us, this might change our liking of fondness level or feelings for them.  However, the “agape” G26 type of love that Jesus was asking about would continue on unmoved despite the friend’s wrong actions or words.

I believe I can begin to feel the Lord Jesus heart drop at hearing Peter’s answered response.   I believe there becomes a greater level of sadness upon each of the following question attempts to get Peter to change his answer to raise his love walk with Jesus.  You did notice that Jesus asked Peter the same question 3 times, didn’t you?  Why is Jesus being so repetitious?  As we continue to study this discussion further we should be able to see that Peter becomes a little more sad after each question.  I believe the “phileo” love that Peter claimed that he possessed was certainly being tested and I believe that Jesus was teaching Peter to try to come up higher to the “agapao” type of love that He originally asked.  Let’s read the second verse question:

Joh 21:16  He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Here is another almost identical question and response session as was read in verse 15. However, Jesus asks Peter, do you “agapao” me but drops the “more than these” part of the question.  Why did Jesus omit the “more than these”?  I believe to show Peter to focus on his “agape” love and not anyone else.  And Peter again answers “Lord you know that I “phileo” you.  I believe another difference in this Q&A session from the previous one is the tone of Jesus’ and Peter’s voices being adjusted.  I believe Jesus asked His question with much greater, love, compassion and even some added sadness and disappointment and I believe that Peter answered with even a greater level of grief and frustration not understanding yet why it was asked again.  This is what I believe makes the most sense in the story, but I know this is my personal interpretation and you can believe otherwise if you choose.

I still ask myself and God why the omission of the “more than these” as part of the question. The only answer to that question that I have been able to determine is the fact that Jesus is giving Peter a much greater emphasis to the specific Greek word “agapao” type of love.  I even believe that Jesus is making an implied statement that maybe no one “agapao” loved Him yet.  But this might be wrong since John was one of the disciples there and he is often referred to as the “love” disciple since he wrote more about the subject than all of the others combined.  Now let’s read the last time the question is asked and observe what changes now:

Joh 21:17  He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Reading the English translation it appears that almost nothing changed. So God is either wasting a lot of words and Peter’s time asking him the same question or we are just missing the point and I believe it is us missing the point.  You see Jesus changed the question dramatically the third time He asks and He used a totally different Greek word this time.  Why would Jesus do this and what was the reason for the modification?  If we dig deeper into the Greek language again we will learn that in the third question Jesus dramatically lowers the love level asked to Peter to a level of “phileo”, Peter’s previous two responses. I believe that Jesus changes His tone of voice to a much greater sound of sadness and hurt.  I believe completely that Jesus was saying this paraphrase “oh Peter, what do you mean that you are only my friend?”

I believe we can begin to see Peter’s change of heart in this attempt of Jesus to get him to love Him on the highest unconditional level. The KJV Bible translates Peter’s feelings as an emotion of “grief”.  The Greek word G3076 that is translated as “grieved” literally means that Peter was greatly saddened by Jesus asking Him 3 times.  However, I believe this is not completely accurate simply because Jesus did not ask Peter the same question the same way, 3 different times.  Either Peter is clueless to what Jesus was attempting to ask him or I am.   Please ask yourself this question and see if you can think of a reason why Jesus comes down to a much inferior love type in the final question.

WHY DID JESUS WANT PETER TO AGAPE HIM?

Please allow me to give you a solid foundation for why I believe that Jesus is attempting to teach Peter about his “phileo” love to change it into an “agapeo” love. We will begin this section with a verse spoken by Jesus before His death on the cross and subsequent ressurtion.  Let’s turn our Bibles to John chapter 14 and read:

Joh 14:15  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

You see Jesus taught this truth to us that if we “agape” (G26) Him, we will keep His commandments and this certainly implies that we will not let them slip away from our hearts and minds.   If the words of Jesus are first in our minds this will help us so that can continue to do them even in the tough times of persecution and other life challenges. This is why I believe that Jesus asks Peter what appears to be 3 different times in the English KJV translation what appears to be the same question.  I believe Jesus was teaching Peter the difference between just a human friend kind of love that can fail and the God kind of love that will never fail.  The God kind of love will obey Him and the friend kind of love may not obey when the going gets too tough and hard.  I believe Jesus was teaching us all that the road ahead is going to get very rocky and rough and we will need to raise our “love” level up much higher in order to endure it to keep doing what Jesus wants us to do for Him.

Joh 21:18  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 

Joh 21:19  This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. 

We should be able to understand more clearly what Jesus was trying to emphasize to Peter by reading the rest of the story in verses 18 and 19. Reading these verses we learn quickly that Jesus changes from the right now do you love me to the future tense of years to come.  This informs me that the “Agape” love is what is going to be needed to endure the life that Peter was going to experience.  If you read early church history you should find that Peter is crucified upside down on a cross.  Wow what a horrible death that was.  Not to mention the times he spent in jails and chains for preaching the gospel.  If Peter had not raised his love walk to the love level of Agape I do not believe Peter would have been able to succeed in following Christ’s example fully.

All we need to do is to read Acts chapter 2 to find out how quickly the “love” level was raised to God’s Agape type of love in Peter’s life. Remember that Peter goes from denying Jesus 3 time only 50 days earlier to now preaching about Him in public to thousands.  Can you see how this is a fulfillment of the command of Jesus to “Feed my Sheep”?  I can see it very clearly.  This act of preaching was a demonstration of Peter’s divine love and it displays such an amazing transformation from his previous “phileo” level of love commitment to Jesus.

I believe that this is a lesson for each Christ follower.  We do not fully know what will happen to us tomorrow but we can prepare for even the worst possible events by embracing the God kind of Agape Love.  I pray this short Bible lesson was a great blessing to you and an encouraging word from the Lord to raise your love walk with Him.  May God bless you always.

Understanding Bible Division: Part 2 – Jesus Teaches Us on the Coming Division

brick-wall-barrier-figures-both-sides(Ver 1.0) This is Part 2 in a series of advanced spiritual Bible studies about a subject of significant proportions and value that is rarely being taught.  Because of a lack of teaching on  the subject of division, many false beliefs have tried to creep into the church.  One such belief is known by some as the doctrine of “Universal Salvation”.  Within this false belief people think incorrectly that just because God is not willing for any to perish according to 2 Peter 3:9 and because God is sovereign they believe that no one will ever go to hell or be forever separated from Him.  However, that is not what the Bible actually teaches us when it is divided correctly.  Please understand that Satan is fighting this divine message of division with his great and convincing powers of deception.  He is doing his utmost best to not let Christians or the world know that there remains a default separation of eternal fiery torment that people must choose to avoid.  It is only by this one way of escape named Jesus Christ that they can be saved.  They must  make Jesus Christ their own personal LORD and SAVIOR or they will be eternally separated from God to be with Satan.  I’ll talk more about this later.

Division Series Foundational Verse

It has been awhile since I was able to continue this series so I will review the lesson series foundational scripture verse. I pray that you took the time to read Part 1 already.  I am sorry, but I am unable to attempt to cover everything that was taught in the first lesson here again.  I believe that God gave to me the foundational basis of these Biblical division lessons and this verse comes from the mouth of Jesus spoken to us in Luke 12:51.  Here in this statement Jesus reveals a hidden prophetic reason for His personal appearance in the flesh here on the earth.  Please read the statement carefully and even go back and reread the context if you like.

Luk 12:51  Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

Jesus states very clearly that He has not come into the world to bring peace. Then Jesus also said very clearly that “division” was then and I believe still is now one of the primary reasons for His first coming.  Please notice that this division is stated by the associated combined statement to be the antithesis of “peace”.  I believe that this disunity with peace was one of His crucial reasons for appearing here in the flesh on the earth.  Do you believe Jesus knew what He was saying when He spoke these words?  Do you believe Jesus was speaking the truth?  If He was not speaking literally the truth here then this raises doubtful questions about every other word that was written that He spoke also.  I personally am going to believe Him.  Others can make their own choice.

This statement of Jesus was truly a very mysterious declaration of truth. This goes against many Christian’s theological reasoning and thinking.  On the surface this statement appears to contradict with several verses that I went over in lesson 1.  Another potential contradictory verse came to my mind is found in John 3:16.  Jesus said in John 3:16 that “God so loved the world (in its entirety) that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”.

If we just read the first part of John 3:16 and ignore the last adjoining conditional statement we may think that Jesus’ plan to divide the world in Luke 12:51 is a strong contradiction to God so loved us to save the entire lost world. But, Jesus attaches a major condition in order to obtain this salvation for all humans and He informs us that we MUST believe in Him in order to not be eternally lost.

Does everyone in the world believe in Jesus? The answer is an obvious NO!  Once you understand that being saved or lost is a human conditional belief in Jesus and who He is and what He did for us then possibly you can begin to understand why Jesus said He came to divide the nations of earth and not to unite them all in peace.  Let’s continue in this lesson with some new statements from Jesus that are clearly related to the statement of Luke 12:51.

 

Jesus WILL Divide the Sheep from the Goats

Today we will carry on this vital Bible study series with a few additional direct teachings of Jesus that support the belief that His appearing on the earth was to bring division based upon our personal belief in Him. I personally believe the following words written in red ink in the KJV Bible are some of the most clear and direct words of a coming prophesied division that we can find in the Bible.  Please read these words very slowly and carefully and pay attention to what is being communicated and notice the timing of these events.

Mat 25:31  When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

Mat 25:32  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 

Mat 25:33  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 

Mat 25:34  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 

Mat 25:35  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 

Mat 25:36  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 

Mat 25:37  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 

Mat 25:38  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 

Mat 25:39  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 

Mat 25:40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 

Mat 25:41  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 

Mat 25:42  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 

Mat 25:43  I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 

Mat 25:44  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 

Mat 25:45  Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 

Mat 25:46  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Starting with verse 31 we should be able to begin to understand the timing for the prophetic statements that are being made by Jesus in verses 32 through 46. Jesus was then and still is now informing us what will occur at His second coming to the earth.  This will be a future event that is probably much sooner than we can imagine.   I want you to first notice in verse 31 that Jesus said that He will be bringing with Him all of the Holy angels to assist Him in this event.  Wow, that is amazing information that implies to us that there must be other “unholy” angels that are not included in the number.  We can understand this plainly by the addition of the adjective “holy” since this is a limiting qualifier that reduces the scope of the total angel group class (the noun) that is being spoken of.  It would be the exact same as if Jesus said he would bring with him “all the red angels” eliminating the blue angels, green angels, yellow angels, etc.   The inclusion of the word “all” means “every” and none are excluded and this simply informs us that there are No holy angels that are omitted.  This is the first statement of division being made in this subject discussion.  There will be 2/3 of the angels called holy that will remain with the LORD and the other 1/3 angels that will not be with Him we can call the “unholy” angels and we learn this information by reading about them in Revelation 12:4.

The holy angels that are for the LORD Jesus in verse 32 will then gather all of the people of the nations of the earth together for the final judgment of each individual. This is plainly stated but it cannot be viewed as a confirmation to the false belief of “universal salvation” because not everyone in these nations will be saved as we will read.  Only those that qualify by their correct beliefs in Jesus will be saved.  All others will perish just as we read in John 3:16.  However, perish does not mean that they will cease to exist.  That belief would contradict too many other verses that I do not have time to teach on in this lesson.

One of the key words found in verse 32 was translated into English as “separate”. This is a direct reference to our Bible study subject of division.  We are unmistakably informed by Jesus that He will be the one that will divide the people of every nation just as we read in Luke 12:51 that He said He came to do.  This Greek word G873 translated as “separate” literally means to set apart by a boundary.  Synonyms can be “divide” and “sever” and it comes from two Greek root words that mean to “partition off”.  Jesus is teaching us that there is a coming portioned boundary or a wall of separation between two very different groups of people and we are about to find out who these are in the next verses.

Notice at the end of verse 32 in Matthew 25 that Jesus tells us of Him separating people like a shepherd removes his sheep from his goats. One of the key words for correct interpretation in this separation is the word “like”.  This clearly informs us that Jesus is about to begin speaking about literal spiritual truths using figurative natural symbols.  However in this interpretation process knowing what is figurative and what is literal is what becomes important.  Know how to rightly divide the spiritual truth using the natural symbols is a major part of the subject of division but not my main topic today.  Please just note that most of the next nouns being referred to will be symbolic but the verbs I believe are very literal.

Jesus said “like” a shepherd separates his sheep from his goats is the action that is about to take place. I found that statement so very interesting and it raised a lot of questions in my mind.  For example, is it necessary to separate sheep from goats?  Why would a shepherd do this?  How would a shepherd do this?  These are just a few of the questions that were raised by the statement.

Verse 33 informs us that Jesus will set the sheep at His right hand and the goats at His left hand. I found this to be a very interesting concept to try to grasp and I asked another questions can sheep and goats even live together in the natural?  If yes, then why would it be necessary for sheep and goats to be separated by natural shepherds?

Do sheep and goats fight each other or is there some other created reason that sheep and goats should be separated?  I did some research and discovered that the mineral “copper” is the primary reason for any natural need of separation and division.  Feeding copper to sheep kills them but copper is a nutritional necessity for all goats.  Without copper in a goat diet they will die.  Therefore, goats must have copper to live and sheep absolutely must not because it will kill them.  Could any of this information have spiritual meaning and significance to our Bible study subject?  I believe it does.

There is a unique quality of copper given to us in the Bible that I will only touch on in this lesson briefly. The English word copper is translated from the Hebrew word H5178 in the Old Testament and this word is most often translated as “brass”.  However, this is even more interesting because it is also translated as the English word “filthiness”.  There is a very powerful hidden message being given to us by the LORD Jesus in the separation of the sheep from the goats lesson.  The sheep represent pure beings without any filth being found present in them and the separated goats represent beings that must have filth in their lives in order to live.  Sheep living in continued filth will die but remaining pure without partaking of the copper filth diet (sin) they will live.  I found that to be truly amazing.  I believe the Lord led me to this to teach us the basic need for separation and division between these two groups.  Filth represents sin and cannot remain in those standing on His right hand representing symbolic sheep.  But, those standing on His left hand representing symbolic “goats” seem to indicate that sin will never depart from them.

Matthew 25:34 tells us that those (symbolic sheep) on His right hand will be called “blessed” and they alone are invited to enter into the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world. In sharp contrast in Matthew 25:41 those on His left hand (symbolic goats) will be called “cursed” and commanded to depart from His sight into everlasting fire prepared for Satan and his angels.  This is further confirmation that there are two prepared destinations determined for two kinds of people and two kinds of angels.  The angels with God were called holy earlier and these combined angels with the goats are both joined with Satan to go to hell.  Hell is the destination location where sin and filth is associated.  Wow, that is really some very powerful words of revelation from Jesus.

Jesus ends the lesson in verse 46 of Matthew 25 with two very diverse ending locations for these opposing groups. Those sheep that will be called righteous have received eternal life while those goats that depart and go into eternal punishment we know are unrighteous.  I am not going to go into every verse of this teaching to show why sheep are rewarded and goats are punished.  You can do that for yourself or ask specific questions if you like in a comment.

Please take away from this lesson that there is a major division of separation that will be taking place.  Both the sheep and goats live together for a time and it is a personal choice which one you are.  Those that are goats that will be separated in the future to be on His left hand should be warned now to choose the free gift of eternal life as soon as they can before it is too late.  Let’s continue to a new parallel teaching from Jesus.

 

Dividing the Wheat from the Tares

There is more than one message of division found in the Bible being spoken from the direct lips of Jesus. In fact this message is a central theme given by God from Genesis to Revelation.  We can read this message repeatedly in almost every book of the Bible in some form.  I believe that division was the plan of God before He even created our present world.  Adam’s sin did not take God by surprise.  I believe that God always has an answer prepared before there is any known stated problem.  I want to continue this lesson today with another very direct and plain message of division given to us by Jesus in the book of Matthew.  We will begin reading in chapter 13 and verse 24:

 

Mat 13:24  Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 

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

Mat 13:26  But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 

Mat 13:27  So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 

Mat 13:28  He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 

Mat 13:29  But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 

Mat 13:30  Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

 

This is another message of divine spiritual importance given to us by God using symbolic figurative natural language to describe supernatural realities. The basic rule of interpretation for this parable is similar to the sheep and goats message.  The nouns should generally be viewed as symbolic while the verbs should generally be taken as literal acts done to or by those that are represented by the symbolic nouns.  It must be understood that this parable is stated to also be a likeness of the truth and not the complete truth in detail.  That does not mean it is not true.  But it does mean the timing of the events and specifics of the events are not al plainly stated.  This higher spiritual message represents a natural message given to us on a much lower human level.  God does this so that we can possibly understand it more easily than if He described the spiritual events from His superior divine intelligence viewpoint.

Maybe, you are not fully grasping what I was trying to teach. But, I hope and pray that you are.  Let’s talk about this idea and concept in a bit more detail.  The Greek word translated as “likened” in verse 24 is G3666. This Greek word is used to make a comparison between two separate realities, truths, people, etc.  It is used 15 times in 15 different verses.  The majority of the time it is translated in a form of ‘like”.  For example, someone could say “oranges” are like “tangerines” and if someone had an experience of tasting, smelling and feeling a tangerine and never had an orange.  This comparison knowledge gives the tangerine person a step up on understanding unknown oranges.  However, the tangerine person also learns that oranges are not tangerines while they more easily comprehend that they contain some amazing similarities of experience, quality and type.  This is exactly like what Jesus was teaching us also.    Jesus is simply saying that the Kingdom of Heaven is very similar to and closely resembles a natural wheat and tare harvest cycle from the beginning to the ending process in many distinct ways.  However, always remember that it is not an exact match just as a tangerine is not an exact rendition or a replacement for an orange.

Since the spiritual realm cannot be comprehended or confirmed by the five natural human senses of touch, taste, smell, sight or sound, it is a very complex task for any human to understand it. This is why God informs us in Romans 1:20 that His secret hidden qualities of His power and supremacy were clearly given to us to understand by things that He had created in our world all around us.  Jesus reveals this truth repeatedly by using natural parables of sheep and goats and wheat and tares which represent likeness of the real.  I believe that this clearly demonstrates God extreme intelligence and it truly amazes me.  Let’s go through a list some of the key symbolic nouns found in this wheat and tare parable to help us understand the major spiritual players being described.

Symbolic Noun

Spiritual Reality

Supporting Verses

Man God/Jesus (Son of Man) Mat 13:37; Mat 13:41
Good Seed Word of God and People that Believe it Luke 8:11
Field Hearts of people in the world Luke 8:15; Mat 18:38
Enemy Satan Luke 8:12
Tare Seeds Evil words producing evil people (children of Satan) Mat 13:39
Wheat Saved people producing fruit (children of God) Luke 8:15
Tares Lost people children of Satan Mat 13:38
Harvest End of the Age Mat 13:39
Reapers Holy Angels Mat 13:39
Barn Heaven Mat 13:43

 

This is a great parable containing very significant hidden spiritual information that was not revealed clearly to any human or even angels before Jesus came to the earth to teach it to us. God is the symbolic man that owns the field.  The field represents the world of people and more specifically their hidden spiritual heart.  John 3:16 said God so loved the “world” so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die for them all so that they might be saved if they believe.  Sorry but that was just my paraphrase of a very important verse that I can’t stop telling you about.

I believe that the “good seed” sown into the field that produces the fruitful wheat is always the “Word of God” according to the Mark 4 parable of the sower.  I also believe the good seed wheat crop that is taken at “harvest” time to be placed in the field owner’s barn (heaven) is specifically saved Christians that believed in Jesus.  Harvest is revealed to be the end of this age and the reapers that bring in the harvest represent the holy angels again.

There is a very clear distinction given to us by Jesus between righteous people (wheat) and unrighteous people (tares). God makes a division of separated difference between those that are “good” and those that are not good.  Wheat represents the good people and the tares represent the evil people.  However, we know from both observation and parable teaching that the wheat and tares reside in the same world growing up together. What we learn from this parable is that the children of God will be eternally separated from the children of the devil.  The children of Satan will be burned by fire which represents their eternal destination within hell.  Those called wheat that have been saved will be gathered into a place of separated safety and peace.

There are some basic keys of spiritual knowledge given to us in this stated parable. For example, to the untrained (unsaved) eye both the wheat and the tares growing together can appear very similar.  However, the tare plant when closely examined represents just a fake looking real wheat plant.  The tares have a dark black seed on the inside and this represents the kingdom of darkness that fills their human heart.  Ripe tares stand up proudly and arrogantly while the ripe wheat plant bows humbly to their maker in the wind.  You can do other research to learn more about these differences if you like.

I think I should point out a few potential major problems with taking everything literal in this parable. For example, there is a stated man that owns a field.  This man is named to be Jesus.  But only the natural man Jesus walking the earth ever slept.  The spiritual God never sleeps nor slumbers according to verses like Psalm 121:4.  Since God is omniscient and omnipresent it is impossible for any enemy to plant bad seeds in His field without Him knowing fully about it.  However, Jesus chose to make this information apart of the parable to help us to know something.  I believe this information shows us that God did not stop the evil sower by divine choice but rather permitted him to come into the world to sow his seed.  There would just be too many scriptural contradictions to believe otherwise.

Here is another reality that I struggled with in the telling of this parable. Have you considered the order of mention for the described sequence of events? Jesus describes the owner of the field that sowed the good seed is Himself saying the owner was the “Son of Man”.  Jesus also said that the field received the good seed first and then the evil seed sower named Satan came afterwards.

We know from reading the Bible that Jesus does not appear physically on the earth until approximately 4000 years after Adam was created on the planet. Satan is first mentioned in Genesis 3 as the serpent that deceived them.  This was clearly way before the personal appearance of Jesus (Son of Man) to sow good seeds.  I struggled for awhile to believe that the good seed was planted before the evil seed that produced the tares.  To resolve this in my mind I believe the Lord showed me the solution and I will cover this very quickly:

Gen 2:8  And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

Notice what this verse appears to say in Genesis 2. The LORD God planted a garden…”.  That is exactly what the parable we are reading describes to us.  This is clearly before Genesis 3 and the introduction of the bad seed sower.  This sower can only be the pre-incarnate Jesus that is planting the good seed.  I hope you understand that this Genesis 2 planting was only “GOOD” seed sown by the LORD God?  The only interpretation that can be viewed to make this correct is that Jesus was with God and was God as it is clearly laid out to us in John 1:1 and then later He became a man in the flesh as declared in John 1:14.  I’m apologize if I don’t spend more time explaining this truth, but I believe that would take a significant time to cover.

This parable can be viewed as complicated very easily. I wish I could spend time to dig deeper into it.  If you have any specific questions that rise up in your spirit, please let me know about them and I will trust the Lord to help me to answer them.  Let’s move on quickly to another parable message from Jesus on the subject of division.

 

Dividing the Catch Caught from the Sea

Jesus repeatedly teaches us about the subject of a coming great division from many different perspectives. All of these perspectives were given to us using basic natural patterns of symbolic terms that the everyday common man could easily understand.  As you should recall we’ve already seen the subject of division taught to us from a rancher/shepherd perspective.  In this lesson the shepherd was tending his combined flock of both goats and sheep.  However, only the sheep being placed on His right hand are saved and the goats on the left hand are lost. We have also seen the exact same type of division principle occurring in a distinct farming example where there will be the separating of the good grains of wheat from the inedible crop of tares.  Again the wheat is saved and the tares are lost.  Now Jesus is going to teach us again on the subject of division from the common level of many of His chosen disciple followers.  Four of the twelve or one third of the disciples were fishermen.  Therefore, this next parable should have definitely made both common and logical sense to them.  Let’s read 4 verses found again in Matthew 13 and pay close attention to the similar symbolic concepts being communicated on:

Mat 13:47  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: 

Mat 13:48  Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. 

Mat 13:49  So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, 

Mat 13:50  And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I found this parable very interesting. Jesus chose Peter, Andrew, James and John to follow him and they were all very experienced fishermen that did this type of work being described day after day for years.  They would all get into their boats and launch out into the sea every work day.  Then they would then throw their nets into the sea and draw it back up into the boats for their catch.  After hauling the nets back up into the boats they would have to separate all of their good catch selecting each out individually from their bad or unclean catch.  Every fish that was judged to be good was put into vessels to be separated completely from those that were deemed not to be good for anything.  This dividing effort took place after close examination of each fish one by one.  All that were determined to not be worth keeping were thrown away.  Wow, how can we all not see the truth?

The parallels of truth being given are truly amazing between all of these parables. Even though each parable used different noun types to teach the truth the verbs types are practically identical or very synonymous.   Notice how in each setting the good and the evil live within the same setting and environment.  Notice how in each setting workers and servants are laboring to bring in the good and the bad and then are used to separate them completely and permanently.  Notice how the good is always saved and the bad is always burned.

One of the key subject words in this fishing catch description is found in Matthew 13:49 and it was translated as the English word “sever”. This Greek word translated as “sever” is G873 and is the exact same Greek word as was found in Matthew 25:13 in the discussion of the parable of the sheep being “separated” from goats.  God directly connects these two passages by His divine word selection and this confirms that we are studying the exact same subject and event.

The Bible clearly teaches us that in the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word of truth be established. Jesus has just given us three very profound witnesses of truth using three different natural examples of division taking place all prophesying of a future spiritual division.  In every example the end result is identical.  In every example the good and evil co-existed together in the same worldly environment until the time of the “end of the age” came and then there is a judgment that is made and an eternal separation occurs.  There is almost no room for mistaken understanding, misinterpretation or misalignment of the truth in any of these parables.  I believe that Jesus not only gives us the parables to teach us the subject of division that He said He came to do in Luke 12:51, but I also believe that He consistently explains each to leave no doubt to their meanings.  It is only by ignoring the truth that we should remain ignorant on this subject.

There are more lessons, parables and verses on the critical subject of division that came directly from the mouth of Jesus, but I did not get to teach on all of these today. Take for example the parable of the 10 virgins.  All came together to meet the bridegroom, who represents Jesus symbolically.  This is the exact same message of coexistence as in every other previous parable.  Then separation occurs with only 5 virgins entering behind the door and the other 5 foolish virgins were shut out completely.  This is just the exact same division subject and an identical wall of separation being communicated from a new and different natural perspective.

Each time a new example is given by Jesus there can be new truths complimentarily added to enhance our understanding of the basic foundation of divisional truth.   However, none of these new truths will ever change the foundational truth of division.  I pray that you are grasping these concepts and receiving their truth.

I’ll end this part of the Bible lesson series on division with this warning from the Lord Jesus. Jesus makes a statement in Matthew 7 that should put a great deal of righteous fear into our thinking process.  This verse is about the subject of division even though the word does not appear in the statement.  Please read the verse and learn what is said:

Mat 7:21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Jesus clearly warns us “Not everyone that calls Him Lord will enter into the kingdom of heaven”. It would appear that calling Jesus LORD, even though it is a major part of the way to get to heaven it still does not guarantee our entry.  It would appear to me that entry is conditional upon us doing the will of the Father also.  This is a plain statement of division.  This statement is speaking of people who will be positioned on the left hand of the LORD called goats, tares, unclean fish or foolish virgins.  They will be told to depart from Him because He never knew them.

 

Conclusion

There is coming a great division between the righteous and the unrighteous, the just and the unjust, the good and the evil, the saved and the unsaved, the wise and the foolish and the clean and the unclean. It was stated by Jesus that this was one of the primary reasons for His appearance here on the earth.  The division began spiritually when Jesus from the Kingdom of God paid the great price of our redemption purchasing us from Satan and the kingdom of darkness with His blood.  The death of Jesus on a wooden cross was the sealed fate of separation of good from evil.  Jesus then rose from the dead to become the only doorway to salvation.  By entering into this door you can be included in the narrow path that Jesus said only few would find to enter.  Jesus warned very clearly in Matthew 7:13 that wide is the pathway that leads to destruction and many are there that will fall for this trick of Satan to be lead astray.  You have an enemy named Satan that has come to kill, steal and destroy as many as will allow him access either willingly or by deception.

I hope and pray that you have enjoyed this lesson and have learned at least something that you can share with others. The Lord willing, I will attempt to do at least one more lesson in this series sometime in the future.  The coming end of the age could be here before we all know it.  We should learn as much as we can to warn others before it is too late for them.  God bless you and thank you for your prayers of support.  I do greatly appreciate them.

If you would like to continue reading and studying the Bible in this series, please click “Part 3” for the next lesson.  Thank you!

Understanding Persecution: Beware the Rise of the Spirit of Saul – Part 2

persecution1(Ver 1.1) This is Part 2 in a series of advanced Bible study lessons concerning the increasing growth of the persecution of the church today.  I believe sincerely that this was a message that the Spirit of God spoke to me recently in the middle of the night.  This message of warning I believe was very clearly given.  Therefore, I feel led to pray for every reader to grow in spiritual discernment to be able to perceive this persecution that is already beginning to happen all around us and to stand strong in their faith in the face of it.  If you have not read this series of lessons from the beginning I would highly recommend that you go back and start with “Part 1” first.

Please realize that this Bible study subject is intended and I believe that it was designed by the Lord for mature spiritual Christians primarily. It may potentially address many advanced new spiritual topics that may offend, or cause fear or confuse a new or immature Christian.  It is my greatest heart’s desire above teaching what I believe that the LORD gives me to share, to never intentionally offend or cause fear to occur in any new Christian which cause them to fall away from seeking to learn more.  I believe very sincerely that it is essential for any Bible message being taught to not introduce a spirit of fear into any Christian’s heart (2 Tim 1:7).  I believe this even when the message concerns a coming increased level of hatred towards Christians that may occur.  When reading this message, fear should not be the end result.  If it is then I have failed.  Therefore, please perform a self-evaluation, praying first asking the Lord to lead you if you should continue to read and study this subject before continuing.  Thank you.

 

INTRODUCTION

In the first lesson God introduced the subject matter using a message revealed within the life of a man named “Saul” of Tarsus. Saul of Tarsus was a very religious zealot that believed he was doing well by persecuting and killing Christians when in actuality he was being deceived and used by Satan to do evil.  We can learn this from reading Saul’s own subsequent writings to us in the church where he describes to us that he was just the human flesh and blood game piece being played, influenced and manipulated by the evil unseen spiritual force called Satan.

As you should recall, Part 1 introduced the subject of persecution from the viewpoint of 4 different perspectives. One perspective was that of the human persecutor Saul.  Another perspective was from God’s viewpoint and another was from the observation of the one in the church being persecuted.  Finally, the last perspective was from Satan.  Satan’s viewpoint represented his beliefs based upon his versions of truth and reality.  However, I was only able to touch that part of the discussion very briefly.

Today I want to focus more in-depth on the actual spiritual enemy’s perspective and the reasoning given to us in the Bible behind why Satan is so highly motivated to persecute the church. I believe if we can understand why our enemy desires to hurt us we will better know how to resist, withstand and even overcome the attacks.

But let’s first be reminded of a good definition of what “persecution” is from the dictionary.

Persecution: hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs.

Persecution is the act of someone causing hurt, harm, injury or even death to another human simply because of a strong disagreement or differences between someone’s appearance, associations or beliefs. Persecution can be physical, mental or emotional and even all of the above at once.  You must also know that the roots of all persecution originate from seeds of evil planted from the kingdom of darkness and we will soon learn why these occur.  That was only a very brief overview of what was covered in Part 1.  Therefore, let’s get started on a new lesson about the subject of “persecution”.

 

SECTION 1: OBTAINING A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF WHO THE SPIRIT OF SAUL REPRESENTS

It may have been difficult for a few readers to understand the stated concept of the warning that I believe was given to us by the LORD concerning “beware, the rise of the spirit of Saul”. Is it possible that this was a direct reference to the external spiritual being named Satan?  This “spirit of Saul” statement could possibly be a reference to at least three different possible interpretations.  Think with me logically for a moment.  First, this reference could be the actual human spirit of Saul himself returning to the earth as we read about Samuel returning to the earth in 1 Samuel 28 to speak with the first Saul king of Israel.  If you have studied the Bible you should already understand that man was created by God as a tri-part being; 1) man is a spirit that possesses 2) a soul (a mind, will and emotions) and this spirit lives in 3) a physical body (1 Th 5:23).  That is one possible logical interpretation.

Second, a “spirit of Saul” statement could be referring to just the rise of a hostile attitude towards Christians without being related to any one person of direct responsibility. Please review this one dictionary definition of the word “spirit”:

spirit: those qualities regarded as forming the definitive or typical elements in the character of a person, nation, or group or in the thought and attitudes of a particular period.

Using this definition we could take the character, thoughts or attitudes of anyone on the earth similar to the man named Saul and say that is what is returning to the earth today and I believe that would be correct to a great extent. However, we must ask is there something or someone that is driving these things to reoccur today?   Is there anyone that can be identified to be directly responsible for the evil?  I believe the answer is yes.  I based this belief upon two important characteristics 1) the TRUTH OF THE BIBLE and 2) God’s created laws of physics.

I would be foolish to attempt to teach the laws of physics in a Bible lesson on persecution. But you may be wise to extend some effort to study this subject to learn more about the subject of causality. This basic principle of physics teaches us for every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction.  In other words even basic common sense teaches us that nothing good or evil happens without an originating cause.  Simply speaking we should understand that cars do not assemble themselves.  If you can see a car, you must logically assume a designer and creator of that car.

I believe this principle of causality is also the basis for the subject of persecution also. Persecution does not occur by accident or random chance.  It must be directly caused by a being capable to desire it, design it, initiate it and control it for an intended purpose.  This brings us to the third possible interpretation for the “spirit of Saul”.

The third possible interpretation for a “spirit of Saul” statement could be a direct reference to an independent external supernatural spiritual being influencing the natural man Saul. I believe very firmly that this was the way that it is being used by the Holy Spirit in the message.  In fact I believe it was an indirect reference to Satan and can be no other possible spiritual being.  If you also believe this is true then you just might wish to skip the remainder of this section of the lesson because it is going to be designed to provide other Biblical confirmations of that subject matter only.  The section following this confirmation in the Bible lesson will continue to get into new material on the subject of “persecution”.  You are free to move directly down to the next section if you feel led by the Spirit of God to do so now.

I will do my best to provide a couple of quick examples of this type of stated truth for the “spirit of Saul” utilizing additional associated subjects and related references in the Bible. Each new reference type given should help us establish the basic concept that the “spirit of Saul” can legally be referring us to a completely different independent responsible spirit other than the human spirit of the man being directly named.

The Bible contains multiple repeated patterns that can assist us to prove basic spiritual concepts. We can find these and use the occurrence of each Bible reality to support our understanding of possible types and examples which are similar.  For example, please read this next equally patterned verse that I believe was revealed to me by the Lord very carefully and see what God is saying about a spirit and two natural men named Elijah and Elisha:

2Ki 2:15 And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.

Here in this reference of the “spirit of Elijah” is found the exact same form of the principle and pattern as what was given within the “spirit of Saul” statement. However, in this revealed pattern there is a major difference in the transferred type of spirit that was now resting upon this man Elisha originally resting on Elijah.  The major difference is between good and evil.  Elijah and Elisha were men of God that do things that are good and Saul was a man guilty of doing evil.  This represents an antithesis truth comparison. Both are related patterns upon opposite ends of a truth spectrum.

I believe that this shifted spirit being transferred from Elijah to Elisha must be the good Holy Spirit. I believe very firmly that the Hebrew word H7307 which was translated as “spirit” in this verse should have been translated as the capitalized word “Spirit”. Translators capitalized this word as “Spirit” in over 30 other O.T. verses.  Therefore, it is a very legitimate way to use the word when it is recognized to be referring to God’s divine Holy Spirit.

This lower case translation as “spirit” just causes significant confusion and it conflicts with other verses found in the Bible. For example, I have found no verses in the Bible that reveal that a man’s human spirit can be transferred to or ever exist inside the body of a completely different named human being. We can easily observe this truth from reading a literal true story that Jesus taught to us.  For example go and read in Luke chapter 16 where Jesus tells us of the natural deaths of two actual men, one an unnamed rich man and the other a poor beggar named Lazarus.  Upon the death of each man, both human spirits depart their dead bodies and leave the earth immediately being carried away by the angels to two different locations under the earth’s surface.  Knowing this truth alone makes it impossible for the literal stated “spirit of Elijah” to represent Elijah’s actual human spirit.  The “spirit of Elijah” cannot come back or even stay on the earth to rest upon another human body named Elisha. That would be a very false teaching likened to “reincarnation”.

Also remember a related story found in Luke chapter 9 when Jesus was transfigured on the mountain top and both Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus talking. It is worthy to note that the Bible does not say that this was Elisha’s appearance.  Therefore the spirit of Elijah must be separate from Elisha in 2 Kings and afterwards in Luke 9.  It would be very logical to think that this is the way it was then and still is now.  We can further confirm this truth seeing the departure of Elijah’s body and his spirit when he was taken away from the sight of Elisha being separated by a fiery chariot in 2 King 2:11.

2Ki 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

The fact that both Elijah and Elisha appear together in repeated verses found in 1 Kings 19, 2 Kings 2 and 3 prove that both men are human and possess independent human spirits. The fact that Elijah is stated to depart the earth further proves that Elijah is no longer here to rest on Elisha.  Therefore, this referenced “spirit of Elijah” in 2 Kings 2:15 cannot be a literal interpretation for Elijah himself to remain here on the earth.

There are just too many implied controversies and conflicts given to us for us to believe that the human spirit of Elijah could possibly be transferred up and away from the earth but still remain here on the earth to rest upon the human spirit of Elisha. I’ll say it again in a different way, there is just absolutely no way that this belief of a human spirit transfer can fit any type of knowledge or understanding of central truth found in the Bible.  Therefore, God must be speaking of a different spirit that was transferred from Elijah to Elisha and this Spirit must be the Holy Spirit.  Let’s look at another related contextual verse to help us understand this more clearly:

2Ki 2:9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.

Here is a great new mini lesson to help verify that the “spirit of Elijah” in 2 Kings 2:15 must be translated as the “Spirit on Elijah” in order to not conflict with contextual Bible truth. First, notice that Elijah says “He is about to be taken away”.  That statement would be a clear lie if his spirit remained on the earth to rest upon Elisha.  Do you understand this?  A man is his spirit and a man is not his physical body.  The physical body is simply the house that the man’s spirit lives within.  Remember what Paul wrote us in 2 Corinthians 5:8 “to be absent from the body is to present with the Lord”.  Wow, I hope you can put this verse together to see the truth with the “spirit of Elijah”.

Also, notice that there is a potential major conflict found on the surface by Elisha’s request to Elijah.   Elisha asks for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.  Again I believe this word should be capitalized as “Elijah’s Spirit” to be seen correctly as God’s Holy Spirit that was resting upon Elijah.  You see God’s Spirit resting upon Elijah was just the unseen reality that Elijah possessed personally.  Then notice what Elisha asks for more specifically.  Elisha asks for a “double portion” of this spirit and again this can only be a double portion of God’s Spirit.

I have found no Bible references that infer that a man’s human spirit can increase in any measured capacity, quantity or status other than to grow in qualities like faith, strength and wisdom. I believe from years of Bible study that the human child that is formed in the womb of a woman has been given a fully formed and complete human spirit from God.  I believe that this human spirit is in its full presence and measured capacity.  I do believe that this spirit grows in knowledge, understanding and wisdom but I believe that this is not the increased size of the human spirit. Therefore, I believe that any stated increased “double portion” of Elijah’s human spirit presents another major Bible conflict.  However, if we translate and interpret this Old Testament request in this verse using revealed knowledge of the N.T. we will quickly learn the truth.  For example, read this:

Joh 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

As you read the context of this verse you can clearly see that this verse is speaking of Jesus. God declared in His written Holy Word that Jesus had been given the “Spirit of God” in complete fullness without any limitations or reduced amounts of capability to measure.  The Greek word G3358 translated in this verse as “measure” literally means “a limited or reduced portion of the complete or total” and by God placing the negative G3756 translated as “not” before this word it changes the meaning to say to us that there can be no reduced limits to the Spirit that was given to Jesus.  We could literally say God’s Spirit was given to Jesus in the fullest possible measured capacity.  Therefore, Jesus had the total possible amount of God’s Holy Spirit resting upon Him.  I hope and pray that you can see this truth because the unstated implications are also amazing.

This statement of truth about Jesus implies that every other human here on the earth can only possess the Holy Spirit in some much “lesser amount” or “reduced or limited portion” than what Jesus had. This truth teaches us so very much.  For example if you believe that you have all of the Spirit of God that you can possibly have just because you were born-again then you are very deceived.  There is always more of God that is available to come upon you, if you just ask for Him to come and receive Him by faith.

This means when Elisha asks Elijah for a double portion of his “Spirit”, Elisha could only be legally asking for a greater portioned amount of God’s Spirit than what was present on Elijah at that time. The increased amount of double of what Elijah had resting upon him was what was requested.  I hope you understood this basic logical truth.  I believe very clearly that God’s Spirit is the only single spirit that can be given and transferred to and from any human to another in greater amounts.  However, this does get more complicated by the fact found in the Words of Jesus when He declares that a demon can exit out of man and then return with 7 other demons that are more evil than himself (Mat 12:45).

I’ll end this small part of the confirmation by proving the Holy Spirit can “rest” on humans. This will help us further support the claim that the spirit of Elijah must be the Holy Spirit and no other.  And this fact will assistus to better understand how the “spirit of Saul” can also be transferred to rest upon other humans also.  In Acts 2:3 when the Holy Spirit falls upon the 120 in the upper room God declares that His Spirit “Sat” upon each of them.  That term “sat” is simply a synonymous way to say God’s Spirit “rested” on each human spirit present in a limited amount.  This was the exact same spiritual concept being studied in 2 Kings.

Num 11:25 And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.

We can use one of the basic interpretation principles called the “law of first mention” and find that the Spirit of God rested on other people in the O.T.  For example this truth is found in Numbers 11:25-26 where God clearly states using the exact same Hebrew word translated as “rest” as we have been observing in reference to Elisha. In these verses in Numbers God rested upon Moses and this same Spirit was then also transferred and given to rest upon the 70 elders that were called to help Moses govern and manage the people of the LORD.  That makes it very plain to me what God was speaking of in 2 Kings 2:15.

I’ve spent more than enough time on this rabbit trail study proving that the “spirit of Elijah” can only be correctly understood to be “God’s Spirit resting on Elijah” and it could only be His Spirit that can legally be transferred in an increased portion to rest on Elisha. These truths helps to support the claim that the “spirit of Saul” can also legally be understood to be Satan’s spirit upon Saul that is being transferred from one human (Saul) to another.

I will conclude this section of our persecution lesson with one further confirmation to how Satan can use multiple humans to bring persecution upon Christ and Christians. This will help us to see how one spiritual being can be transferred from human to human.  We will read four verses found in the book Luke.  I’m sure you have seen these before but they do teach us plainly about the root “spirit” that is truly behind persecution:

Luk 22:2 And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.

Luk 22:3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

Luk 22:4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

Luk 22:5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.

Please note in verse 2 that God says the religious leaders in Israel sought to kill Jesus. Also note that in John 10:10 Jesus claimed that Satan was the one that came to the earth to kill, steal and destroy.  I find that very interesting, don’t you?  It would appear to me that Satan had already entered into the hearts of these religious men in order for them to want to kill Jesus. Please recall who Jesus claimed was behind these rulers by reading these words spoken in John 8:

Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

You see Jesus informs these religious leaders that they desired to kill Him and that this was the desire give to them from their father. Who did Jesus say was their father?  Was it God?  No it was not!  Jesus was saying they were “of” their father the devil (aka Satan).  Wow, that is very strong language.  The root of murder according to Jesus is of the devil because he is stated to be the murderer from the beginning of the world.

Jesus was warning these religious human men concerning who birthed and controlled their 1) desires, 2) intentions, 3) thoughts and 4) their actions. But, these religious zealots completely ignored His warnings.  I believe that it is quite possible that one of our main subject’s Saul was standing in their presence when these words were spoken.  Wow, can you imagine that?

Go back and reread Luke 22:3 again. It is very clearly stated that Satan entered into Judas before Judas ever betrayed Jesus to the Jews.  Note the important concept being taught to us.  The spirit of Satan was not on or in Judas but then he came from somewhere or someone else to now be found present in Judas.  This statement reveals the very important concept that is being taught about spiritual transference.  The Holy Spirit, demons, devils and even Satan can be transferred from one human to another human as we have clearly observed in scripture.

The religious rulers of Israel were thrilled with this man Judas coming to help them trap, take prisoner, persecute and kill Jesus. This is no different than what Satan did through the man Saul to persecute and kill those in the church later after the death of Judas and the ascension of Jesus.  What I am saying is that the same spirit of Satan that came upon these religious leaders, Judas and Saul must be the same spirit that is now coming upon people in our world today to spread the same evil upon the church.

This is such valuable information to learn from. It teaches us the root cause behind the observed effect of church persecution is spiritual in origin and nature.  Judas went out and killed himself because of his great error in judgement to give into Satan and yet this did not end the persecution of believers.  Therefore, Judas cannot be the root cause of the persecution to Christ or Christians.  Judas was only a simple pawn chess piece that could be used to attack Christ and then be sacrificed and thrown away in a human garbage pile.  Satan could easily find another human to fulfill his further evil work on the earth.  Please see what Paul wrote about this unseen work of Satan:

Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Paul states very clearly “what is” the root cause source of evil in this world. Paul is a very wise and learned man from things he learned from the Lord Jesus and his personal life experiences.  Paul says there is a prince of the air that has the power and ability to work in men and women on the earth that willfully disobey the Word of God.

1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

We could spend a lot of time just on this verse but I want to point out just a few key points found in this great truth statement. Satan is walking the earth just as we are informed he does in the first chapter of the book of Job.  The Greek word G666 which was translated as “devour” is a very interesting word to study.  This word literally means to swallow up as in gulping down a large glass of a beverage.  This is what Satan is trying to do to everyone in the world today.  Satan is an equal opportunity destroyer and it does not matter if you are saved or not saved.  He is looking for someone to drink in and use.  However this is only possible for people that open the door for him to come in to consume them.

Spiritual transference and influence is still true today in our world. Human terrorists are not our real root problem.  One terrorist blows himself up to kill people and then Satan has many other men, women and children to step into their role to be the next murderer.  I hope and pray that you will embrace these truths and take them to heart to see how persecution and the transfer of spirits work.   Let’s change the focus and learn more about why Satan wants to persecute you.

 

SECTION 2: ONE OF SATAN’S PRIMARY MOTIVATIONS FOR PERSECUTION

At the end of the first lesson in the series, I included a few verses from Revelation 12 that described how as the time of the end shortens, Satan’s fury and hatred increases. I believe this fury is growing exponentially as the end becomes nearer.  I also believe that this rage will continue to rise until after he is thrown down to the earth the final time having lost his soon coming war in heaven with God’s holy angels.  I believe these verses describe to us a spiritual being in tremendous panic mode.  Let’s reread a little to refresh our memory:

Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

Rev 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

Prior to these two verses in Revelation chapter 12, Satan (the symbolic dragon) was stated to have swept down with his dragon’s tail one third of the angels (the symbolic stars). These evil angels have fallen to the earth with Satan from heaven and that is not good news for the people left remaining on the earth.  But, here in verses 7 and 8 we learn some very important information concerning Satan.  First, think with me and ask why would a created being of inferior powers and ability choose to come against his all-knowing and all-powerful creator?  Doesn’t Satan have any fear of God?  I believe sincerely that Satan has tremendous fear of God.  But, I also believe that he considers that he has no choice except to fight against God in order to try to survive what is prophesied to come.  Satan knows so very clearly by reading the end of the Bible that he is going to be cast into hell very soon where he will have to spend all of eternity in punishment, anguish and torment.

Remember that Satan has been in heaven, led worship around the throne of God and has lived the best life and seen such superior things which were far better than anything we could possibly imagine here on the earth. Satan was created a model of perfection, created in a realm of perfection with the perfect association to the creator God who was and is perfect.  Why he chose to willfully and purposely rebel against a good and loving God is certainly an amazing mystery to most of us Christians.  Let’s review Satan’s end:

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

As you can plainly read in Revelation, Satan has a very dismal prophesied future. This is exactly why I believe Satan is highly motivated to try to find any way possible to not go there.  Do not forget that when Satan was created, he was an example of perfection from God’s best and highest order of His creation.  Satan continued as the model of “perfection” right up until the time that “sin’ was found in him through his pride (Eze 28:15).  I believe that it was Satan’s pride that caused him to think more highly than he ought to think of himself and I believe that it is now his survival instinct that causes him to fight diligently against God and His great power here on earth and in heaven.

I hope that you understand these truths because Satan definitely does. Everything that a Christian is destined for in eternity with the Almighty God, Satan has already experienced and I believe he is not happy to say the least to lose it all.  Let’s take a quick little exploration trip down a new rabbit trail on the subject concerning demons and devils to better understand Satan’s knowledge.  Please, read with me in Matthew 8:

Mat 8:28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.

Mat 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

Jesus traveling through the countryside encounters men that were possessed by devils. Please notice what the devils shriek when they see the LORD JESUS coming at them. We can clearly see from their statements that these devils know exactly who Jesus is and even call Him the “Son of God”.  Being the “Son of God” was certainly the truth and one of His primary given names.   Did you know that devils know and can speak the truth at times? Please notice the beginning of the question asked to Jesus “What have we to do with you?”  That was a question displaying their great fear of Jesus.  This statements ends with still another fearful question that begins with “Have you come to torment us before the time?”  Wow, what great fear these devils exhibit!  Can you agree?

Reading the devil’s questions we see that these spirit beings in a human know the truth that there is coming a future “set time” that will begin their eternal never ending torment. They also speak this truth long before the book of Revelation was ever written.  We also learn by their questions that the timing for this torment described in the future written Revelation 20 was not during the first appearing of Jesus the Son of God upon the earth.  This extraordinary knowledge of truth was way beyond that of any human comprehension on the earth at that time except for Jesus’ knowledge.  Jesus never denies these statements of truth nor does He contradict them.  They are completely agreed with due to the silence of Jesus.  Let’s review the facts of truth just given:

  • Devils have a very great fear of being tormented.
  • Demons, devils and evil spirits know that there is an appointed time of eternal torment.
  • The timing of eternal punishment and torment is stated to be in the future.

 

All of these three observed truths declare that every devil possesses a very great fear of God and of the coming time of never ending retribution. Did you know that devils and demons possessed this very tremendous terror of God and His power even back at the appearance of Jesus the first time on the earth?  If the lower levels of devils feared God’s future plans for them way back then how much more do you think their leader Satan and all of them fear these never changing plans right now?  I believe that this fear is even greater today than it ever was back then.

Jas 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Notice what the half-brother of Jesus reveals to us in his awesome letter to the church. James commends us in the church for having a holy belief in the one true God.  Then James implies by his adjoining statement that this belief should cause a righteous fear of God to similarly be present in us.  We can conclude this, because, James says that we are doing well to possess this belief in one God since the devils “also” believe and they tremble in fear.  What I am introducing in this section of the Understanding Persecution lesson is what I believe is Satan’s number one reason for persecuting the church and it is called “FEAR”.  Satan fears the omnipotent God more than I can describe in this lesson and it is primarily this great terror that causes his excessive hatred and rage against us in the church today. Please take this summary statement to heart and never forget it:

  • Fear is the driving motivational evil force for everything wicked that Satan does to the church using persecution.

 

 

SECTION 3: INTRODUCTION TO SATAN’S NUMBER ONE GOAL  FOR PERSECUTING THE CHURCH

Wow, if it is true that Satan is primarily motivated by the fear of God to commit persecution, what is his primary goal and objective for persecuting, killing and destroying Christians on the earth for the last 2000 years? What benefits to Satan could this evil work of persecution potentially gain him?   I believe that is a great question to answer and understand.  And I believe the answer has not changed ever since Satan killed Abel in Genesis.

Always, remember that Satan has been in the death business since the world began (Heb 2:14).  He wants us in the church dead and not only us but also the entire nation of Israel.  Why is that?  If Satan is already defeated as we learn in the New Testament, why is he still fighting so hard to kill everyone that God has selected?  Why does the religion of Islam call Christians in America the great Satan and the nation of Israel the little Satan? It sounds to me like Satan is afraid of us both and even our existences here on the earth.  Both of these nations must possess something that Satan fears as much as God.  What could this be?

Again we know from reading the words of Jesus in John 10:10 that Satan came into the world illegally to literally 1) kill, 2) steal and 3) destroy us while Jesus explained that His purpose for coming into the world was the antithesis to give us life and that life more abundantly.  These were and are still two opposing forces that are fighting against each other to prevail.  Satan should be viewed as our enemy trying to bring us to death but Jesus the greater one came as our provider of life more abundant.  Satan is certainly evil and Jesus is so exceedingly good.

We should now know from just reading this lesson that these three evil acts of Satan were and still are “fear of God” motivated. Therefore, I’ll ask again, what possible profit does Satan potentially gain from killing Christians, stealing from Christians and destroying Christian and their works?  This will become the focus of this section and we will let God’s Word answer these very important questions.

There is a really simple answer to the introduction of this section’s questions if we think about it and begin to ask some additional direct questions. Of course asking the right direct questions would certainly help us.  How about beginning by asking this question, “How did you become a Christian?”  I believe that if we can correctly answer that question that we will begin to travel down the right pathway to finding the truth about what is Satan’s primary benefit for the persecution of God’s people.  I’ll start this section with a familiar Bible verse found in 2 Corinthians:

2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

God contrasts two truths and one is given to be greater than the other. These are seen things verses unseen things and the unseen things must be viewed to take priority over the sense realm things.  The unseen things are clearly spiritual in nature.  If you are really a Christian that has been born again, you possess two very powerful unseen spiritual realities that Satan fears tremendously.  Every real Christian believer has these two unseen internal truths that speak to declare Satan’s greatest fear.  What are these two unseen internal and never ending unseen spiritual qualities that any real Christian possesses? These two unseen realities in us that Satan hates and fears the most are 1) the Spirit of God and 2) the Word of God.

1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

After becoming a Christian the Spirit of God dwells directly in us. That is why Satan fears you and wants to remove you from his worldly domain of darkness.  If there were no Christians in the world today restraining and resisting Satan what would be the moral condition of the world today?  I hate to imagine what would be happening based upon what is happening all around us already.

1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

If you were born again, it happened because you received the Word of God into your spirit. It is the presence of this powerful incorruptible Word (seed) that is one of the major factors that Satan fears you.  This is so important that I can’t say it enough.  The Word of God and the Spirit of God are one and if you are a real Christian you have both in you in some measured portion which can be increased and even grow but I don’t have time to teach that today.  Let’s review a verse very quickly to see why the Word of God in you is so scary to Satan.

Rom 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

Wow, I love this verse of Godly truth. This verse represents a foundation for the second unseen reality that Satan hates about you as a Christian.  The Word of God should be in the mouth of every believer and we should be able to see that it is only this Word of Faith being in our mouth that represents our offensive weapon against Satan according to Ephesians 6:17.  Every time Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus spoke the Word of Faith to him “It is written” and after three attempts to get Jesus to fail Satan left him in defeat.  I believe very sincerely that this removal of the Word of God from your heart and from your mouth is the number one goal for all evil persecution.  If Satan can eliminate the Word of God from your heart with external threats and pressures from this world you will become no threat to Satan.

For the exact same motivation of fear that Satan attacks the all-powerful God in heaven in Revelation 12, he is coming against any real saved born again Christian now in the church. I believe that Satan is highly driven trying to save himself from going to hell as I have previously demonstrated and that this foolish behavior will continue to increase as the time for the end of this age is growing shorter.  I also believe that Satan’s chances for success are zero.  Yet I believe strongly that he will definitely still try to fight to win in order to attempt to change his inevitable outcome in whatever way that he believes he can do to help him the most.  If you do not believe Satan is still fighting to win over you and over God, then you may be very deceived.  Verses like Ephesians 6:11-12, James 4:7, 1 Timothy 6:12, 2 Timothy 4:7, and 1 Peter 5:9 to name a few all prove that every Christian is still in a spiritual battle until Satan is completely removed from this world.

As we learned earlier, Satan is not omnipresent nor is he omniscient. Satan does not come close to knowing what God knows or even understanding why God has done many things the way that He has done them.  God clearly uses seemingly foolish strategies in the eyes of Satan to defeat him (1 Cor 1:27).  Satan never understood why Jesus came down from heaven to the earth to become a human man.  The devils clearly thought it was to torment them before the time appointed.  I believe that Satan and his devils were all in terror when Jesus began to cast them out of people here on the earth using His anointed power. 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”.  You see until Jesus came down to the earth, every devil practically had complete free reign to do as they pleased to humans if humans were tricked to open the door to let them in.  Jesus turned the world of the devils upside down so that they didn’t know what to expect next or what to do with Jesus to stop this major change to their long existence on the earth.  God reveals this to us in this truth:

1Co 2:7  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

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.

These two verses confirm the reality that Satan and all of his devils don’t know much about God’s ways. These two verses inform us that God had a very secret plan found within sending Jesus to the earth.  This plan literally included the voluntary death of Jesus on the cross and God says if Satan would have known this no devil would have allowed this to occur because I believe it sealed their doomed fate and destiny.

What did I say earlier was one of the things that we possessed now that Satan is in great fear of?   Remember one item was the “Word of God” as it is being mentioned in verse 7 of 2 Corinthians 2.  I believe this is the planned motivating goal of Satan.  He believes that if he can stop us from gaining any more knowledge of God’s Word that this will possibly extend, delay or even end the future plan of God to put them into hell.  However, we still have the Word of God that we can read further and learn more from:

Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

We should be able to easily learn from reading these verses that this death that Jesus experienced on the cross caused the triumphant defeat and the downfall of Satan and all of his unseen spiritual rulers of this world. This should be very excellent news for those that are still being persecuted by Satan today and those in the days to come.  It also should raise new questions in your mind.  For example, if Satan is a defeated enemy why does he still exist here on the earth and how is it that he still has any power or ability to persecute anyone?  I wish I had time to try to explain that completely, but I do not in this lesson.  In order to understand Satan’s goal for committing persecution we need to dive much deeper into the subject of the incorruptible word of God’s seed that I just introduced into the lesson.   We will do this by analyzing some familiar verses next.

 

SECTION 4: UNDERSTANDING PERSECUTION IN THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER

In a previous section I said Satan feared two truths, the 1). Spirit of God and the 2) Word of God in the heart of every born again believer. Then I taught that this fear was the primary motivation for all Christian persecution.  Now, I’m going to continue to confirm and expand this fact in this part of the lesson to help us better understand it. We will be turning to the most important parable found in the Gospels in order to better comprehend the reason(s) why the church is being persecuted.  This essential parable that I am referring to is often called the “Parable of the Sower” but we must begin to understand that it contains so much more information than just a simple message of a man coming to plant some seeds in what appears to be random types of ground.

We will soon discover by using a new look that this seed parable also contains our four perspectives concerning persecution. These were, 1) God’s perspective, 2) Satan’s perspective, and both the 3) persecuted church and the 4) persecutor’s viewpoint.  I will not include every verse of this parable in order to attempt to shorten the lesson today, but I would recommend that you go and reread all of the verses for yourself to refresh your memory to confirm what is being taught.

I will inform you upfront in this section that it contains some potentially brand new ideas that I believe the Holy Spirit just gave me concerning this parable. While I was studying the subject I believe that the Lord showed me how this parable fits my life in more ways than I thought.  I believe the Holy Spirit said to me in my spirit that this parable represents the ONLY true pathway to becoming a real saved mature born again believer.  I believe this is described from the beginning of our salvation all the way to the best possible end result of our salvation of producing a 100 fold spiritual fruit return on God’s investment in our hearts.  I will also inform you that this parable teaches us at least 6 things that Satan does to every hearer of the Gospel in order to keep that person from becoming a saved overcoming threat to his kingdom.

Let’s examine a very quick overview of the parable. In this parable a “sower” came to the earth spreading seed on 6 different types of ground (soil, hearts).  Three types of ground (soil, hearts) produced no lasting fruit for a harvest and three types of ground (soil, hearts) produced increasing levels of lasting harvestable fruit.  We should know from the explanation of the parable given by Jesus that the main seed being sown in heart to produce fruit represents the “Word of God”.  That is very important to know since I believe this is what Satan fears.  We should also know that the original man that sowed the good seed was sent down from heaven and His name was Jesus.  We can further understand that the soil represents 6 different distinct states of the internal unseen spiritual human heart.  Now, we should be able to logically deduce from just this amount of basic information alone that the end result of the seed (Word of God) sown is spiritual fruit and without this being found present it is impossible for us to be saved according to the Bible.  I’ll repeat this very important verse for further emphasis:

1Pe 1:23  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Jesus declared in John 3:7 “You must be born again” in order to enter the Kingdom of God.  Did you notice what God says about His seed here in this verse of first Peter?  God’s seed is confirmed by the inspired writings of Peter to be God’s Word and it is ONLY this successfully sown incorruptible good seed in a man’s heart that causes him to be born again.  I believe this is a good time for us to get into the divinely created natural birth process in order to better understand this concept of being born again.  God’s process of being “born again” spiritually is a direct parallel concept to the created natural process of being born in the natural human way.

Rom 1:20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

God gives us great wisdom in the New Testament concerning how to understand hidden and unseen spiritual truths. God clearly says for us to look at naturally created patterns of things to see and understand hidden spiritual concepts we do not see or understand.  This is why we are going to go briefly through the parallel process of human reproduction.

I will not be excessively graphic in this description because most of you should already know how human babies are made. However, for those few that don’t, the natural process takes two opposite humans to produce one new baby.  These two human requirements are always one male seed provider and one female seed receiver.  The human male always possesses the necessary seed for human conception and must sow it just as the sower of God’s word (a male named Jesus) possessed the spiritual seed that must be planted in a spiritual woman to cause a spiritual birth to potentially occur.  Both seeds (the natural and the spiritual) are implanted internally just in two very different ways for two very different intended destinations and results.  However, both successful seed processes produce the same end result called “fruit”.

Luk 1:42  And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

In the natural woman’s womb there is found an “egg” normally produced monthly that can be potentially implanted by the sown male’s seed. This natural sowing process to produce the human baby fruit as we just read in Luke 1:42 is a very real parallel to the parable of the sower that informs us not every seed that was sown takes root or produces fruit.  Both the spiritual seeds and the natural seeds have enemies that can try to prevent the seed sown from bearing any fruit. Some human couples take great lengths of time to produce a child in the natural and so it is with the spiritual re-birth process.  Some humans live all of their lives and get born again on their death beds if they are blessed to hear the gospel and receive it.  Just as having sex does not guarantee human fruit, so it is with hearing the Word of God.  There are so many that hear the truth of the Gospel and simply die and go to hell, not receiving it.

The womb of the woman is a direct parallel representation of the human heart (spirit). The female womb is an ever changing environment that goes in cycles of lesser degrees and greater degrees of fertilization and so it is with the human heart.  A human’s heart may be very tender and fertile to receive the word of God today but tomorrow it may be completely hardened because of life’s ever changing circumstances.

In the natural the male is always the sower of seed and it is only this seed successfully sown at the perfect timing that will potentially produce any fruit of a child. However, even as the parable indicates, there can be problems that cause the termination of the pregnancy and no child/fruit is delivered.  I’m sure some readers know this reality by great trial of experience.

That was only a very rapid overview of a naturally created and inspired process that was designed to be a view into the spiritual birth process. I pray that you will accept this as we continue to learn more and I encourage you to give this process some more thought and write me a good comment at the end of this lesson to share it with others.

As in the parallel of human reproduction, the “Parable of the Sower” reveals much more than just the planned attempt at producing good fruit. There is and always will be an enemy in this realm that will try to prevent the spiritual rebirth from taking place.  Satan does this in at least 6 different ways in the parable of the Sower.  If you allow Satan to steal the seed sown from your heart, there will be no new spiritual birth that will occur to produce any lasting or saving spiritual fruit.  Therefore, it is simple to see if there is no lasting Seed of God in the human heart, there will be no end result of any eternal salvation fruit.

The Holy Spirit reminded me as I was writing this lesson that I have personally been almost every type of the 6 different soil conditions mentioned in this parable by my own freewill choices. I believe that if you are a real born again Christian, then you have chosen to be most of these soil types also and endured to make the necessary changes and adjustments to go further.  I did not say you had to go through every soil type.  I believe you may have been blessed to bypass one or more soil types that do not produce fruit.  However, that does not mean you bypassed the attacks of Satan to try to steal the seed from your heart affecting those soil types.  Please, just begin to understand that it is the human’s choice which soil type that he or she wants to be.

For example, the Holy Spirit reminded me that I was the one that chose to be hard hearted pathway soil that allowed Satan to easily steal the Word of God that was sown in my heart as a very young man. The Holy Spirit then reminded me that it was my choice later in life that allowed the Word of God to come in on my shallow stony heart when I did receive God’s seed with gladness.  However, when Satan came as he does to every seed of God listener I became offended and turned away from God and produced no fruit.  As a result I failed to move into salvation to produce fruit.  God then reminded me of the phase of my life when I chose to receive the Word of God being more tenderhearted but I again allowed Satan’s evil seed to also enter in through the cares of this world to choke out the good seed and again there was still no Godly fruit produced for salvation.

I am now by my own determined choice, in a more lasting “fruitful” stage of my life having made the personal selections to not allow my poor past mistakes to keep me apart from producing any harvestable spiritual fruit. I am not saying that I am perfect now or that I have yet arrived at the one hundred fold return level of fruitful production but I believe that I am on the way to get there.  I hope this short testimony gives you a brand new perspective on what the parable of the sower represents and further helps you to evaluate where you might choose to be in this parable being described today.  I would be very excited to read your testimony of your path to salvation if you would care to share it in a comment.  It would be my great pleasure to read how you overcame the struggles and attacks of the enemy in any soil type.  Let’s start reading the “Parable of the Sower” in Mark chapter 4:

Mar 4:14  The sower soweth the word.

Mar 4:15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

Ok, heart condition 1 was called the “way side soil” and this soil type represents a very hard compacted trampled on heart condition which does not allow the Word of God to even enter into it to take any root. Therefore, there is no salvation that can take place for this type of person.  In this soil type the seed (the Word of God) is very easily stolen away by the enemy of God (Satan) because there can be no understanding of any of the Word that was heard.  I’ll say this again using a few different words.  The reasons given for the ease of seed theft is first, a hard-hearted condition by a personal choice which caused a second condition of no real hearing or understanding of the Word of God to be able to enter into it.  I very firmly believe that this “way side” soil condition represents a person that has never been saved even if they went to church over and over and over. I believe that this soil type is like a man having sexual relations with his wife but the sperm sown never reached anywhere close to the egg inside her because it is blocked by some contraceptive device or substance or even by some physical condition that does not allow the seed to be implanted.

Like I said earlier, this way side soil type represented me in the early years of my life. I was raised in church but I was not really interested in hearing any of the Word of God that was being spoken.  I let the words go in one ear and immediately exit out the other ear being closed minded and uninterested.  I placed no value upon the Word and treated it with disdained unimportance.  There was no priority of importance or value given to the message and therefore the seed being sown was very easily stolen from my hard hearted condition.

Mar 4:16  And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

Mar 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

The second soil condition is called “stony ground” and this was me when I was in my teens and early 20’s. My heart had started to have a very small amount of softness on the surface to receive only some basic concepts of the Word of God but, because I lacked any deep understanding and maturity I simply fell away when Satan persecuted or afflicted me with any pressure.   The main difference between the second type of soil and that of the first is that this soil has just a very small amount of loose soil (tenderness) that allows the seed to enter into it slightly.  But, because of no great ability of the seed to go deeper into the heart it simply dries up and dies unborn.  I believe this soil type can represent a woman that has a pregnancy occur but soon experiences a miscarriage because of some unforeseen circumstances from a natural enemy.  Perhaps you have experienced this and if so I am sorry for your loss.

Mar 4:18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,

Mar 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

The third condition of the soil is called “thorny ground”. I believe that this was me in my late 20’s and 30’s.  I was easily distracted by the cares of this life and the pursuit of worldly things and these personal choices allowed these thorn seeds to also enter in my hear to grow and develop and their presence choked out God’s planted seed in my heart again to produce no fruit.  I believe this can be many, many things.  For example, reading fiction books instead of the Bible allows evil seed to come into the heart.  Watching worldly movies also can bring into a heart evil seeds that choke out God’s Word.  Desiring fame, riches, cars, houses, boats, etc. can all allow evil seeds into a heart that produce no fruit.

I will remind you again that this entire parable concerns the primary subject of human salvation also called being born again. It describes the process entirely from the beginning steps all the way to either a successful completion to produce some spiritual fruit or there is the other side likened to a crop failure where no lasting fruit is produced.  It also reveals there are spiritual enemies and plans to abort the entire process and all of their techniques are intended to terminate God’s designed saving process.  Real spiritual salvation always begins with the impartation of God’s good spiritual seed called the Gospel and ends with at least some real lasting spiritual fruit being produced.  Those that produced no fruit were not saved and those that produce even a little bit of lasting fruit are saved.  Remember that Jesus said “You will know them (saved or unsaved) by their fruits” (Mat 7:16).

According to the interpretation of this natural parable the sower’s goal is to plant spiritual seed that produces spiritual fruit and He does this by speaking the Word of God into all types of human hearts every chance that He has. The seed that is sown is clearly for an intended good return.  Therefore, without hearing the Word of God there is no hope for our salvation and Satan knows this.  Wow, we now are finally beginning to really understand the primary goal for human persecution.  Satan is doing everything in his power to get God’s seed out of our hearts so that there is no fruit produced.

I would like for us to pay close attention to verse 15 of Mark 4 again. Here in this verse Jesus said when the sower’s word falls upon the “way side” type of soil that Satan comes immediately after the word was sown (heard) in order to take away the “Word of God that was planted in their hearts”.  I’ll let you in on another secret.  We must understand that this technique of Satan happens for every type of soil, not just the “way side” soil type.  Jesus was only teaching us how easy it is to successfully steal away the seed that was sown in this soil type.   But, please believe me when I say that Satan will use any and every one of his techniques to attempt to get God’s spiritual crop to fail at anytime.

Please allow me to stop and explain the parable further using some additional depth. We should be able to see that there are only two constants in the parable that never change.  These two unchangeable realities are the “Seed” Word of God and the God that spoke the “Seed”.  Everything else in the parable represents a variable substance or in other words a temporary or changeable reality.  For example, Satan changed from a good being to an evil being. However, based upon the Bible, I do not believe that Satan can change back to be good being again.

Two other major variables given in this parable are the “soil types” and the 1) techniques used to steal away the 2) Word sown from the soil. The sower in this parable certainly has changed from Jesus to you and I, but we are all technically still the body of Christ.  We can also assume that the human “persecutor” being used by Satan can change but a persecutor is just another hard hearted soil type that is clearly stated to potentially change by their own personal human choices.  For example we have already seen the man Saul become converted to become a sower of God’s Seed named Paul.

I’ve already touched on this subject of the changing soil types, but let’s go deeper still into this part of the discussion. Who determines what type of soil that you are?  Does God predetermine your soil type before you were conceived in the womb or maybe during the time you were growing in your mother’s womb?  If you believe yes, that type of faith is very wrong.  This type of false belief is based upon an erroneous extreme sovereign God predestination doctrine that preaches nothing happens expect it be the will, purpose and plan of God.  In this type of extreme belief the human plays absolutely no role in being saved or being lost because that was all prearranged by God’s sovereign choice, power and divine will.  However, that is not the truth but rather a deception of Satan’s design.  I’ll tell you plainly again that it is you and only you that chooses to believe to be saved and you are also the only one that determines what soil type that you are represented to be from your childhood to the right now present time.  Here is just one confirmation to what I just taught:

Luk 10:40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

Luk 10:41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

Luk 10:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

I inserted these verses to help confirm the soil type is the human’s choice. Jesus clearly places all responsibility for listening and hearing the Word of God that He spoke upon the listener.  Mary made the clear right choice and Martha was distracted and burdened by making the very clear wrong choice.  Mary represented good ground by her wise selection and Martha in this story represents “thorny ground” because she was loaded down with the cares of this world that choked out everything that was being spoken in her house.  Wow, that is very powerful.

You can be as hard hearted as you can possibly be and yet you can also choose to change immediately to become as tender hearted as God wants you to become if you will ask and allow God to help you to change.  This was a perfect description of Saul.  Saul encountered Jesus and from that moment forward he never looked back on who or what he had chosen to be in the past, except to regret his previous bad choices. I would highly recommend that we all choose to become the best “good ground” that produces much fruit by applying God’s Grace and Word through our faith in Him and His Word.  Let’s reread some previous verses from the lips of Jesus again:

Mar 4:16  And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

Mar 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

Here again are the very essential verses concerning our primary lesson subject on persecution. As I previously stated this is often called the “Parable of the Sower” but technically remember that it is the story of the successful or unsuccessful salvation process.  God is using an exact matched discussion for the 4 different viewpoints that we have been studying about in this series on persecution.  In this parable there is the “sower” and this viewpoint represents God Almighty’s perspective.  It is God’s Word that is being directly sown into the hearts of all people on the earth by it being spoken to them.  What was God’s objective for sowing His Word?  The Word of God was given to mankind by God in order for them to produce fruit and the existence of this fruit is the primary recognized pattern that proves someone is a true Christian (Mat 7:20).

From God’s perspective He desires to sow His Word into the hearts of all people in order that they might be saved. Notice that I said that they “might” be saved.  Even though God is not willing that anyone perish (2 Peter 3:9), God does not force His Word of truth or salvation upon anyone.   Even though God desires every man, woman and child to be saved it is up to every person to choose to be a Mary type or a Martha type of hearer, deciding what type of soil that they want to be.

Satan is your stated enemy because of God’s sown Word found in your human heart and Satan causes persecution to come because of the Word of God. Maybe you have never realized this before but Satan does not fear you without God’s Seed in your heart.  But, when the Word of God (the Seed) and the Spirit of God is found within your heart Satan has a major problem.  It is the Word of God in your heart that Satan fears because it and it alone has the power to put Satan to flight.  But, only if you know it, understand it and are willing to use it against him by speaking it, does he fear you.   This is still the given number one reason found in the entire N.T. for every demonic attack on Christ followers.  If Satan can take God’s Word from your heart you are “ABSOLUTELY NO THREAT” to him.

There are definitely unstated and implied symbolic human “persecutors” in this parable of the sower as related indirectly in verse 17 of Mark 4. The unstated persecutors are like the man “Saul” we have been learning from.  This type of man was one of the hard hearted types of soil that failed to allow the Seed of God into his heart to produce any fruits of salvation.  Saul definitely qualified as a man that the Word of God fell on by the “way side” and Satan did come into his heart to take the seed immediately upon hearing it by using thoughts, ideas and suggestions of deception to distract him from seeing any truth.  I hope you understand this principle because it will be what Satan does to you also if you are not yet saved reading this lesson.

Just because “persecution” was only mentioned in one type of soil called the “stony ground” please do not get the erroneous idea that you will never be persecuted if you are choosing to be some other type of soil such as the “way side” or “good ground”. That would be very foolish to think that way.  Like I taught before, Jesus was only pointing out when “persecution” could be the most effective on this one type of rocky ground.  But, I believe that if you have heard and choose to continue to hear the Word of God, you should expect “persecution” from Satan to come almost immediately after hearing any new Words of God.  I firmly believe that persecution will be inevitable and will not cease in this age to those that live Godly (2 Tim 3:12).

We have only briefly touched on the subject of persecution using the 4 different revealed perspectives found within the “Parable of the Sower”. God’s perspective in this parable is certainly to save and empower all of humanity by planting within us His Holy Word.  Satan’s perspective was found to be fear motivated and this causes him to try to get the Word of God out of the hearts of all humans to render God’s powerful seed ineffective.  Satan accomplishes this using many given plans and devices including affliction and persecution.  The third perspective given is called the soil and this represents the human where the seed tries to fall to enter in after being heard.  This man has the choice to become saved and fruitful by enduring the enemy’s attack plans or to remain unsaved by allowing the enemy to steal the valuable seed from his heart.  The final indirect perspective was from human people being used to take the word from your heart as a pawn of Satan.  Wow, I hope you are receiving all of this great information because I believe that this section of the lesson was really good and essential information for every Christian.

 

SECTION 6: PERSECUTION TO THE CHURCH IS INEVITABLE

Just living a Godly and Holy lifestyle will bring you the reality of persecution, God guarantees it in His Word. Whenever you do not look like those in the world, talk like them, curse like them, drink like them, party like them, take drugs like them, have sex like them, etc. it make you stand out as being strangely different and even abnormal to them.  It just takes one person of light going against the entire flow of the dark world to get the full focused attention of persecution.

Joh 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

In the entire life of Jesus, he did absolutely nothing deserving of ridicule, persecution and death, yet all of these happened to him. He was completely sinless in His life on the earth and yet it was this lifestyle that was hated by most of the religious leaders of the nation of Israel.  According to the words of Jesus, we should be no different than Him.   They persecuted Him beyond human comprehension and all of this persecution was unjust. I am definitely not greater than Jesus and therefore, Jesus guarantees me to be persecuted.  He does you also if you are His.

Mat 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

According to Jesus, not everyone is qualified to be persecuted because many are not saved even though they say they are a Christian. If you are not being persecuted, I would ask yourself why not?  What am I doing or not doing before a person of the world that makes me fit into their model of normal?  Notice what verse 11 says.  Jesus says you are blessed “WHEN” men persecute you.  He did not say “IF”.

I believe that it could very difficult to feel that you are blessed when someone is beating you, torturing you and putting you into prison for no good reason. It would be completely different if we were guilty of a crime.  The thief hanging on the cross spoke to the other one and declared that they were getting what they deserved but Jesus was not.  However, Jesus is still giving us some real positive encouragement to endure in verse 10.  He is declaring to us that we can stand through it all, if we look at the big eternal picture and can see that this life is a very short insignificant period of time.

Rev 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

I’ll end this section with this one verse found in Revelation. This is Jesus speaking again to the church.  He tells them very plainly they will suffer persecution to the extent of jail and even death.  Then Jesus says very clearly if you endure it there is a righteous reward in doing so and this is what we speak of briefly in section 7 of this lesson.  However, in conclusion I want you to see what Jesus said in Revelation 2:10.  Jesus is plainly informing us of the root cause of persecution.  Jesus clearly says it is coming from the devil even though Jesus is speaking indirectly of natural men and natural prison buildings that are used by Satan.  Wow, that is very important confirmation to the root cause of all “persecution”.

 

SECTION 7: THE CORRECT PERSECUTION CHRISTIAN REACTION

A Christian’s reaction to being persecuted could be many different possible personal choices. We could choose to be very angry and to even resist and fight back.  That is what most people in the world would certainly do.  However, that is definitely not what the higher Christian examples in the Bible teach us to do.  I’m going to end today’s lesson with two very quick examples of the correct Christian response to being persecuted.  I believe that if we are able to follow these two great examples, we will be significantly rewarded by the Lord in the life eternal to come as we just read in Revelation 2:10.

Luk 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Jesus was our model of perfection that all Christian standards should be following after. While He hung on the cross He said something that goes against all human logic and reasoning.  Jesus said “Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing”.  This statement proves two incredible things to us.  First it proves that Jesus knew that it was NOT these people that did this to him and second he also knew that they were doing it all unconsciously being led to do it by the unseen spirit of Satan.  This truth completely supports the beginning foundation of the lesson series on persecution.  Remember when we learned that we (Christians) are not wrestling against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph 6:12).

Christians often believe so very wrong. Many Christians believe that Jesus lived an unobtainable life example that was far out of their reach to achieve.  However, that is just not the truth.  According to the writings of Paul in Romans 8:11 a Christian has the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead living on the inside of them.  This was God’s plan of salvation to come on the inside of every Christian to help them to live Christ’s example.  We are not doing it all alone.  We have a helper according to Jesus in John 16:7.  Wow, that is great news.

The second example in today’s lesson is that of a normal man like you and I that we talked about in the first lesson. His name was Stephen.  Hopefully you will recall that it was Stephen that was stoned to death as Saul watched and consented gleefully to his death:

Act 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Stephen was not Jesus. Stephen was not even one of the original 12 disciples of Jesus.  In fact Stephen literally came from the ranks of just basic Christian disciples like most of us.  Sure Acts 6 says Stephen was chosen by the 12 to administer some affairs of the church along with six other men, but that does mean he was better than you or I.

Stephen did absolutely nothing deserving death and here he was being stoned. What was the reaction of Stephen to his unjust violent and painful persecution of death?  Hopefully you can see that it was practically identical to that of Jesus’ reaction?  How was this possible?  How could a Christian disciple possibly ask and pray “Lord, do not hold this sin against these people” while he was being stoned?  This type of reaction defies all human natural thinking.

The first time Stephen is ever mentioned in the entire Bible is Acts 6:15. There is no record that he ever walked with Jesus or even saw Him in the flesh as Jesus ministered personally here on the earth for three and half years.  So who was this unknown man that had the power to follow exactly after the pattern of Jesus’ forgiving example?  Wow, I believe Stephen could just possibly be one of the men that got saved when Peter stood up and preached the Gospel in Acts 2.  It was probably a year or less from Acts 2 when Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit until he as stoned to death.  That was a very short time of being a Christian to endure such a death.

I firmly believe that God put the example of Stephen in the Bible to prove that if he could respond correctly to persecution then anyone could do it. This includes me, you and anyone else that will get saved from now till Jesus returns for us.  Do you think you will be able to do this same response when you are persecuted?  Can you follow the example of Jesus and Stephen?  The answer is yes, but will you choose to do so?  You will if you are committed to Christ.

What is the number one factor for choosing the correct reaction to persecution? I believe the answer to that question is love.  Jesus certainly had this great love and I believe Stephen had it also.  It takes a great amount of love to forgive someone while they are killing you.  If you don’t have this love, you can get it by asking Jesus to come into your heart, right now.  I believe that this is absolutely the only way to do respond correctly during persecution.  If you are not saved and believe you can die like this, please ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior right now.  It will be the best decision you have ever made and ever will make.  Please leave me a comment if you have enjoyed this lesson.  God bless you and thank you for reading this Bible lesson.

Understanding Persecution: Part 1 Beware the Rise of the Spirit of Saul

persecution-1

Persecution

(Ver 1.1)  What a strange title for a Bible study? What could this possibly mean to us here in this modern world?  Who was Saul?  What is this spirit of Saul reference?  I was recently awakened in the middle of the night at exactly 3 AM and suddenly these words arose up in my spirit saying “Beware the rise of the spirit of Saul”.  Then Bible verses came to my memory about this actual historical man named Saul and this Bible lesson is the result of my middle of the night awakening.  I believe this message was from God speaking to us all a warning according to His stated works in John 16:13.  I believe God was informing us of a coming resurgence of an old spiritual force that persecuted the early church and I believe it will become as “great as” or even greater than what the early church encountered and endured.  I believe that it is obvious that this is the increasing trend and movement found within the present unsaved world, all those living in darkness (Eph 2:2).

Modern unsaved people living in the world today are identical to all others that came before them. They are all opening a door to allow the repeat of a pattern of ignorance that causes them to not comprehend the difference between that which is called “good” or that which is called “evil”.  In them there is no understanding or acknowledgement of who or what represents the true God of good or who or what represents the false deceiving god of evil (Satan).  That which God called evil in His Word is being tremendously magnified and exalted by the unsaved world to be called normal and good and everything that God called “good” is being called evil at the same time (Isa 5:20). Anyone that speaks against what is called evil by God is being persecuted and called a bigoted intolerant hate monger.  What a sad condition the world has fallen into and I believe by observation that it is getting worse.

Today Christians that are simply speaking the truth in love warning those that are on the way to hell are being labeled as evil. This must break the heart of God greatly and we will see an example of this in the lesson.  If you knew that the highway that you were traveling on had a major bridge on it and that it had just collapsed, would you not try to stop everyone that was about to fall to their death because of the deep drop off?  The drivers of the cars on the road at night are about to die because of their ignorance and inability to see the truth.  Wouldn’t you warn them?  That is what every mature believing Christian is faced with today.  We can shut up and be silent or we can cry out and try to save them.  It is our choice but any warning given may be ridiculed and laughed at by those being warned because probably most will not believe it.

Jesus gave us many warnings about these end times before His return to the earth. One warning to us was very clear when He said “As it was in the days of Noah and of Lot so shall it also be again in the days right before the coming of the Son of Man” (Luke 17:26-30).  I am very sure that this statement describes the exact days that we live in right now.  It is by no chance or accident that Jesus (God in the Flesh) chose these two biblical events to describe the times directly before His return (2 Peter 2:5-6).  However, that is really not what this Bible lesson message is concerning directly.  The message of Noah’s flood and Sodom’s destruction is however an indirect applicable truth to this lesson of warning about the subject of coming persecution.  Noah was laughed at and the angels in Sodom were commanded to come out and have sex with the men.  How appropriate are these two witnesses of truth?

 

Introduction to the Spirit of Saul

Let us now get to God’s basic message concerning the “spirit of Saul” warning spoken to me. The main subject of today’s lesson is concerning the theme of persecution.  We will be looking at this subject from at least three or four different perspectives.  The first perspective is that of the persecutor.  The second perspective is that of the Almighty God.    The third perspective of persecution will be driven from the one being persecuted and these are Christians.   And the final perspective introduced today is that of the enemy Satan..

  1.  The Persecutor’s Perspective
  2. Almighty God’s Perspective
  3. The Persecuted Church’s Perspective
  4. Satan’s Perspective

We will similarly be addressing basic definitions and questions concerning this very important and timely subject. We will also look for scriptural answers in the Bible for why persecution occurs and who is ultimately behind it all.  As part of the study we will briefly introduce why God allows persecution to occur and see what His attitude and response was in the past and could be again today since we know God does not change (Malachi 3:6).  As a final part of the Christian perspective discussion in today’s lesson we will introduce how a Christian’s expectations should already be preset before this persecution occurs to them.  Please don’t be surprise when God warns us that persecution will occur if we are living for God and obeying His Word and boldly declaring His truth in love to the lost and dying world.

2Ti 3:12  Yea, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

God promises us that we will be persecuted if we are living for Him and following after Christ’s example.  It would be wise based upon these words to check if you are being persecuted.  If you are not I would then check to see if you are following Jesus.  In Luke chapter 21 Jesus informs us of the coming end of the age describing wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes and famines that are already occurring and then in verse 12 Jesus said before the end of all these things you will be persecuted.  Jesus’ warning to us in the Gospels is just another witness to the message that I heard from God personally.

Bible basics teach us that humans are designed by our creator God as a triune being made in the image of the Almighty God. A human is a freewill spirit being that possesses a soul (a mind, a will and our emotions) that lives in mortal human body (1 Thes 5:23).  However, this spirit of Saul warning was not a warning that the natural man Saul written about in the Bible will return to the earth because that would violate scriptures and make God a liar (Heb 9:27). Therefore, we need to learn more about what the message could mean by rightly dividing the Word of Truth (2 Tim 2:15). We will however, briefly study the life of Saul to learn from it the persecutor’s perspective and I will begin by reading a verse concerning the stoning death of Stephen in the early church description found in Acts 7.

Act 7:58  And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.

Please allow me to provide a very quick overview of the context of this verse so we can better understand this part of the message. The context actually begins back in chapter 6 and it is a story concerning a Christian man named Stephen.  He was ministering to people and doing many signs, wonders and miracles the same as Jesus did before him here on the earth.  It is important to know that Stephen was not one of the original 12 disciples of Jesus yet he did the same types of miraculous works as Jesus did.  I find that fact very important and fascinating as many in the church today teach miracles passed away with the death of the 12 disciples.  Oh well?  Oh Lord, please help us all to see the truth.

These supernatural miraculous works done by God through Stephen were not well received because of the accompanying message being preached concerning salvation only through faith in Jesus Christ who was recently condemned to death by a similar type of court with made up evidence that Stephen stood before. Men from the synagogue accused Stephen of blasphemy and soon he was on trial before the leadership of the Jewish synagogue.  It is during this trial that Stephen gives a great overview of the Old Testament and how it applies to the gospel message of Jesus Christ.  However, this message was not well received either.  The Jewish leaders refused to listen and stopped up their ears and then took up stones to kill Stephen.  Stephen sees a vision of heaven while being stoned of Jesus standing at the right hand of God as they hurl their deadly stones.  That brings us now to verse 58 which was just quoted.

This verse 58 is the first time that the name “Saul” is mentioned in the N.T. The Hebrew name Saul occurs approximately 26 times in the book of Acts alone.  This N.T. Saul is the exact same Hebrew name as the first king of the O.T. nation of Israel.  By the number of mentions in the book of Acts we can easily see that the man Saul was a very prominent figure to learn about and learn from.  We learn from reading the N.T. that Saul was a young devout religious man and a very self-righteous zealot man during this time of the birth of the church in the first 8 chapters of Acts.  We can learn more about the background of this man named Saul by reading in his writings because he wrote nearly 2/3 of the N.T.:

Php 3:4  Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:

Php 3:5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;

Php 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

Reading here Saul/Paul claims to be of a very noble stock of the natural nation of Israel. He was circumcised according to Mosaic Law on the 8th day after his birth.  He was by no doubt raised in a very strict home that observed all of the Jewish Holy days, laws and Sabbaths.  He also must have spent a very significant time in reading the Law of Moses growing up in the strict order to become a Pharisee.  I can speculate that Saul must have thought very highly of himself, during this time and he must have been very proud of his learned position of authority.  However, if we read in Proverbs 16:18 we see a verse that Saul appears to have possibly ignored.  This verse says “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall”.

We can learn while studying his life that Saul spent a great amount of his time persecuting, hunting down, imprisoning and even killing any of those that confessed faith in Jesus Christ. However, was this natural man named Saul the actual main source of the problem of the persecution to the church?  Could there have been a greater force of influential power behind this evil man persuading and even controlling his thoughts and actions?  I believe according to the future writings of this man named Saul there was certainly a much greater spiritual force that helped influence him to do all this evil to other people on the earth.  Let’s read one verse to confirm this reality:

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

What we must glean in the beginning of this lesson is that physical natural people that are persecuting us are not our real problem even though it looks like it on the visible surface. Saul/Paul in this verse teaches us that Christians are not at odds with anyone of the divinely created flesh and blood design order.  However, he does reveal very clearly earlier in this chapter that we are at war and he names the enemy here in verse 12 of Ephesians 6 to be hidden unseen spiritual forces and the evil invisible rulers of this present world that rule the kingdom of darkness.  This truth will become considerably more important as we continue this lesson to learn how we should react to persecution.  This information helps to better comprehend who and what the “spirit of Saul” is referring to in the warning.  I am completely convinced that the “spirit of Saul” reference on the rise in our world is a reference to Satan our adversary and all of his demonic followers.  Let’s review what we should have just learned in this section:

  • People Persecute Other People
  • We Will Be Persecuted if We Live Right
  • We are at War
  • It Appears That Humans are Our Enemies
  • But, Our Actual Enemy is Not a Human
  • We are at War With Unseen Spiritual Beings
  • These Invisible Spiritual Beings Influence Humans To Do Evil

 

 

Persecuting the Church Today is still the same as Personally Persecuting Jesus

If the naturally born Hebrew man named Saul was not the real problem being spoken of by the LORD, why would God say “Beware the return of the spirit of Saul” to us? The answer to that question is because as we should have learned that unseen spirit beings are at the root of every seen evil event occurring in the world.  I am convinced that the natural man Saul was not who the early church was wresting against based upon what he later wrote in Ephesians 6.  However, why would a man do something so evil and suddenly then change and not do it anymore?  That is a really good and important question.  I believe the answer to that is that the natural man Saul was unmistakably a very deceived man who bought into and believed in so many lies given to him from the real enemy Satan.  I believe the natural man Saul was doing what he thought was right in his own blinded mind (2 Cor 4:4) and was performing what he thought was pleasing towards God even though what he was doing against Christians on the earth was very wrong and taken very personally by Jesus.  Let’s continue reading additional truth in the book of Acts about the death of Stephen:

Act 7:56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

These are some of the last recorded words spoken by Stephen the first martyr of the early church to his murderers and they reveal how their wrong actions were being received by the LORD Jesus. Please notice when reading this verse that in Colossians 3:1, Paul teaches us that the LORD Jesus ascended into heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God in heaven but here in this recorded vision of heaven Jesus is intentionally standing up on his feet observing the wrong being done to his servant Stephen.  Wow this verse speaks literal volumes to me.  Jesus showed such great love and concern for what is happening to Stephen that He makes the personal choice to stand up from His seated position of rest and authority to welcome Stephen into His spiritual realm presence.  I believe that this position of Jesus standing teaches us that Jesus wanted to do more to stop it from occurring but did not again by choice.   You might remember that later Paul formerly Saul would teach us “to be absent from the body is to be present with the LORD” (2 Cor 5:8). Therefore, when Stephen was killed, his spirit immediately departed his physical body to be in the presence of Jesus where Jesus was personally standing up to observe and welcome him into heaven.

Since the murder of Stephen there have been countless numbers of other Christ followers that have been killed and have gone to be with the LORD simply because of their beliefs in Jesus. No actual crime was necessary for either Stephen or any other saint to be persecuted with evil acts.  We should learn from “how was Stephen persecuted” in order to know what to expect again today.  If you read the context of the chapter you will find that leaders gathered false witnesses to accuse Stephen (Acts 6:13-14).   These false accusers used the semblance of law and order to justify their evil done to others.  They were clearly disobeying their laws by speaking their lies and perjuring themselves before man and God but in their minds they were justified to do so.  I recently learned this is taking place in people in Islam.  They are taught that it is permitted for them to lie to others in the world in order to promote the greater cause of spreading Islam.  This is clearly of demonic influence since the Bible teaches Christians that “all liars will have their part in the lake of fire” (Rev 21:8).

This is what is coming now to Christians here in this world whether you believe it or not. It is already occurring in many nations of the world right now.  Terrorists kill many people just because they are Christian.  Islamic governments and their extremist religious people of that nation are persecuting, imprisoning, torturing and killing Christians daily.  Communist nations also throw into prisons people who are reading their Bibles and being a Christian that walks in love trying to save others from hell.  Who could have seen all of this coming?  I believe only Jesus and this is why the warning is being given to us today.  Let’s please continue reading in the book of Acts:

Act 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Act 8:2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.

Act 8:3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

Act 8:4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

The Greek word G4909 that was translated as “consented” in Acts 8:1 is a word that means Saul was “very pleased” by the murder of Stephen. In fact this Greek word implies that Saul took great pleasure in watching Stephen die.  The zealot Saul after the death of Stephen then takes out after other Christians to do the same with them.   Saul is very intent upon forcing his will and reason upon everyone that is preaching Jesus to be the only way.  This is a very common motivation for persecution.  The demand is frequently made to Christians to deny the Lord Jesus Christ, convert or die.

Look at Acts 8:3 and notice what begins to happen to the Church of Jesus Christ.   Both men and women were taken to prison just for being a professing Christian.  Also notice in this chapter the complete removal of basic human rights of privacy by the people committing these evil acts.   Acts 8:3 tells us clearly that there was a house to house search for Christians done by Saul.  This is exactly what is about to happen and even has started to shine on the horizon here in America.  For example, there have been Christian people who refused to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples because of their beliefs in God, Jesus, the TRUTH of the Bible and they have spent time in jail.  I believe the house to house search for Christians will also come as the world continues to slip into greater realms of deceived darkness.  It already has taken place in other nations.

Act 9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

Act 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

Act 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

Act 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

Act 9:5  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Saul continued speaking his great threats of violence directed at and towards all Christians. He began moving out of the city of Jerusalem to other nearby regions.  Notice that the persecution taking place was with the authority of the law givers and administrators.  Wow, is this not happening now?  Law givers and judges in America are making so many decisions that violate the Truth of the Word of God that it is literally shocking to me.  Evil now is prevailing by the misguided interpretation of the law and the wrong definition of what is good vs. evil.  Watch for laws to continue to come to support this evil behavior.  Watch for the removal of basic human rights that have been guaranteed up until this point in time.

Saul was on the road to a city named Damascus in these verses of chapter 9 of Acts to bring about more evil in the name of good.  However, things this time didn’t go so well for Saul’s way when the LORD interrupted his journey with a very personal touch and a very strong message of truth.  Instantly a great light shown down from heaven and a powerful voice came down clearly saying to Saul alone “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me”.  As in the death of Stephen again we can recognize how Jesus was taking personal notice of what was being done to Christians by this natural man named Saul.  We can learn a very important lesson from these awesome words of truth.  The first thing that we should have just learned from reading these verses is that coming against any Christian for any negative reason is the exact same thing as coming against the risen divine LORD Jesus Christ.  The second thing that we should have just learned from this is that Jesus takes these acts of evil personally. Why does Jesus take persecuting a Christian the same as persecuting Him?  Saul/Paul clearly writes to us later in the New Testament and informs us in 1 Corinthians 12:7 that “Christians here in this world are the body of Christ”.  Natural people who choose to persecute Christians must learn and realize before it is too late that it is not wise to come against Jesus’ body here on the earth.  Jesus Christ is a far greater Spiritual Force than the spiritual force that is tricking them to do this evil (1 Jn 4:4).   Wow, I do not believe that very many people understand this truth yet.

I will go further and also say that this revealed truth is true regardless of your salvation state, being either saved or unsaved. If you are not a Christian and you are persecuting a Christian mentally, physically, emotionally, legally or verbally you are coming against the greatest spiritual force of power which is much greater than you can possibly imagine.  My point is that this same message of warning is true for a Christian that comes against other Christians as it is for an unbeliever to come against a believer.  This is still true even though you may believe that you are totally right and they are totally teaching false doctrines that you do not believe in.  Let’s review a summary of the major points in this section of the lesson:

Persecutor’s Perspective

  1. Persecutors believe they are doing “good” in their own minds.
  2. Persecutors are very pleased when they are victorious over and even cause the death of a Christian.
  3. Persecutors are deceived people that believe they are good and Christians are evil.
  4. Persecutors obviously do not believe, know or understand that they are deceived.
  5. Persecutors will use the law to back their agenda of persecution.
  6. Persecutors love to force their will and beliefs upon others.
  7. Persecutors feel justified to do evil because their rule of law is in agreement with them.
  8. Persecutors will use lies and break laws if there is a greater good for the expansion of their beliefs to occur.
  9. Persecutor’s goals are the complete removal of all Christian freedoms and privacy and eventually the end of all Christians.

God’s Perspective

  1. God takes note and watches all persecution that occurs to the Church.
  2. God takes all human persecution of the church personally.
  3. God says to persecutors coming against the church “Why are you persecuting me?”

Christian Perspective

  1. A Christian is the Body of Christ on the earth.
  2. Anyone persecuting a Christian is persecuting the LORD personally.
  3. A Christian when killed by persecution goes to be with the LORD instantly.
  4. Christians will be persecuted falsely without doing any evil.

 

THE CONVERSION OF SAUL THE PERSECUTOR

God showed the evil man Saul some very great mercy by appearing to him on the road to Damascus. Paul the former Saul will forever be grateful for the exceeding great compassion given to him.  While I believe it is within God’s power and ability for the Lord Jesus to do this with everyone that persecutes His body, I do not believe that He will and I may try to talk about this later but if not you will have to wait for another opportunity for me to try to explain why the Lord may not come down to save you from every evil doer on the planet personally.  We should have learned this truth when reading about the death of Stephen.

Act 9:5  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Act 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

I personally believe from understanding Romans 10:9-10 that Saul became a Christian falling on his knees on the road to Damascus.  I hope you understand how you and I became a Christian.  To be saved we must believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that God raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead after being crucified and buried 3 days and we must then confess Him as our LORD and Saul certainly did both of these while on the road to Damascus.  We can confirm this belief simply by reading Acts 9:17 when God sends a disciple named Ananias to Saul for him to receive his sight and to be filled with the Spirit of God.  Upon entering the house where Saul was waiting, Ananias calls the man Saul his spiritual brother and this is only possible and true if Saul has already received the Spirit of God being born again on the road to Damascus.   Therefore, Saul became exactly what he was fighting against and persecuting and that was very fortunate for him.

1Co 15:8  And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

God gives us another quick confirmation for what was just taught concerning Saul’s salvation on the road to Damascus written directly from the hand of Paul. Here in this chapter and verse Paul tells us about several others seeing Jesus personally  after His resurrection.   Then Saul says that he also saw him providing us an incredible revelation that he was then reborn “abnormally” during this encounter.  Saul was speaking of his spiritual rebirth (John 3:3) but I do not have the time to explain all of this more fully in this lesson.  Please just accept the facts that 1) Jesus appears to Saul, 2) Saul asks who he was, 3) Jesus identifies Himself, and 4) Saul then believes what he heard and acknowledges Him as his LORD and that was the definition of an abnormal spiritual rebirth.

We are extremely blessed to have Saul the former evil persecutor of Christians become a Christ follower.   After his salvation, Saul was given such great revelation from Jesus Christ of the Truth.  Saul would go on in his life of Christian ministry to write approximately 2/3 of the New Testament.  I believe that without Saul’s conversion that we would not have all of the information that we needed for us to be victorious Christians.  I know that this salvation of a persecutor seems to be off the mainline subject but I believe it is very important to know as a Christian. Let’s look at some writings of Saul/Paul and learn from him what he thought of this great transformation that he experienced:

1Ti 1:12  And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

1Ti 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

1Ti 1:14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

We can learn the most valuable information concerning a persecutor’s perspective by reading the N.T. since Paul was a former persecutor and he writes about it. As we can read in verse 12, Paul is so very thankful.  Here is a man that has now realized that he was headed for an eternal existence of pain and suffering in hell but now suddenly has been given the free gift of eternal life, a purpose and a new destiny. I can identify with Saul’s heartfelt change.  I know I am also eternally grateful for the free gift of God’s salvation and I know I don’t deserve it and neither did Saul.  We are all sinners (Rom 3:23) and deserve hell but God paid the penalty price for our sins (2 Cor 5:21).  Thank you Jesus!

Paul lists just a few of his guilty sins in verse 13 that he was personally participating in while persecuting Christians. Let’s go through these to better understand the dramatic change that took place in the heart of Saul.  The first sin listed was Saul calling himself a “blasphemer” and this is a Greek word that reveals significant amounts of new information that we should learn from.  According to the Strong’s definition of G989 translated as “blasphemer” it means to be scurrilous towards someone.  This word scurrilous has the following dictionary definition:

 Scurrilous : making or spreading scandalous claims about someone with the intention of damaging their reputation

This is exactly what Saul was doing to the early church. He used the words of his mouth to slander, accuse, condemn and judge the church falsely.  But even though Saul thought he was fighting against evil human people that were deceived, Jesus informed Saul that He was blaspheming against God personally.  This is pretty amazing information and I pray that it will hopefully cause someone to shut their mouth when speaking against Christians.

However, this Greek word G989 has some deeper more specific meanings for sinning against God with the words coming out of our mouths. Remember what Acts 8:1 and Acts 9:1 said that we looked at earlier?  Acts 8:1 used the word that was translated as “consented”.  This implies that Saul consented to words of others spoken against Stephen in addition to the actual murder of Stephen.  Saul did both of these willingly, physically, emotionally, mentally as well as verbally as both a willing direct instigator and participant and as an indirect accessory that watched others cast the stones.  These represent sins of both commission and omission.

Acts 9:1 is much clearer when it informed us that Saul spoke direct “threats” against Jesus and His body and this is a strong example of what blasphemy is defined to be in the Bible. I personally believe that a man or woman on the earth that speaks against a preacher or prophet of God or even just against one of God’s children is risking great consequences and danger if they do not repent like Saul did and change.  Jesus will certainly take all of these words personally either now in this world or later at judgment day.  Words have power and words have consequences.

The second sin that Paul lists is being a “persecutor” of the church, which is the body of Christ. This Greek word translated as “persecutor” means someone who is in pursuit of another.  However, this type of pursuit can not be for the good of the individual(s) being pursued as revealed to us by God in the passages we read about Saul in Acts chapters 7, 8 and 9.  Let’s quickly examine some synonyms for the word “persecute”.  Persecute is the same as words like “oppress”, “abuse”, “accuse”, “condemn”, “ill-treatment”, “torment”, “torture”, “martyr” and others could be added and we get this idea of truth because these are exactly what Saul did to the Christian members in the early church.   It is very important to note that Saul thought that what he was doing was what was right and good in the eyes of God and the government leadership of that day.

The third sin listed by Paul in verse 13 is “injurious” and this again is synonymous with the word persecute. Being injurious was a further explanation for what great evil sin he was guilty of.  I believe this word literally means physical injuries were taking place upon men and women in the name of good.  However, this word can also mean a verbal assault as well as a physical assault.  I am convinced that doing any Christian hurt and harm physically, mentally or emotionally is equivalent to the abuse and persecution of Jesus Christ that the Jews did to Him personally when they crucified Him on the cross in the eyes of God.

If we continue to read past Saul’s list of sins in verse 13 we will observe Saul’s stated appreciation for the Lord’s mercy being provided to him. Saul informs us that he received mercy instead of what he should have been given.  Wow, that is the amazing love of God being displayed to a very deceived and evil man.

Did you also notice in this written passage that Saul declared why he was given this great mercy from God? Why was this unthinkable mercy available to Saul even after all he had done?  Why was the judgment of the Almighty God not immediately given to Saul?  Why instead was mercy given? Paul tells us the answers in verse 13 that God’s mercy was available to him because of his own great “ignorance” of the truth.

This revelation of mercy based upon ignorance reveals so very much to us about God, people who persecute the church and about the Christian people who are being persecuted. According to God’s inspired Holy Word written through Paul, his ignorance and his unbelief were two of the main reasons that the church was then being persecuted and I believe these are the two main reasons the church is still going to be persecuted today.

Even though Saul was a very learned and educated man, he was extremely ignorant of the truth that really mattered. Yet Saul did not know how ignorant he was while he was sinning killing Stephen.  Please understand that no one that is ever deceived believes that they are deceived.  This is impossible simply because of the existence of their ignorance of the truth.  That is everyone’s problem “we simply don’t know what we don’t know yet”.   That is the mysterious advantage of the deceiver Satan.  Satan uses the weapon of human ignorance to destroy us (Hosea 4:6).  Satan can present enough lies with some basic mixed truth to allow a human to think that they are doing good for God when they are actually doing the evil plan that Satan desires them to do.  Satan is a revealed master deceiver (Rev 12:9)

Persecutors justify their evil actions in their minds overruling the evidence for clear evil acts with the belief that they are doing a greater good for a higher power of authority. Recently here in North Carolina, USA we have been in the news around the world because our state passed a law that disallowed men from going into women’s restrooms and women from going into men’s restrooms.  This law was designed to protect innocent children from predators. Yet, North Carolina has been accused of being biased, prejudiced, intolerant, discriminatory, bigoted and even hate filled towards a select few people who demand the right to go into any restroom that they sexually currently “identify” with.  Wow, where has truth gone?  Absolute truth, reason and morality have certainly passed highly over the minds of everyone that has been protesting against the law.  All of these deceived people are extremely ignorant of God’s truth.  We should ask ourselves a simple basic question, if truth is based simply upon how someone thinks and feels today; how and when will truth all change when they think and feel differently tomorrow?  Where do we ever draw the line of absolute?  It sounds like a constant moving target.  If we change the line of truth drawn today that was established then tomorrow it will become even more distant away from the standard of truth tomorrow.  I could teach an entire series on this but this is not the subject and I will not go there today.

Saul did such significant evil and justified it because he believed he was knowledgeable, correct and backed by the law. Saul was greatly deceived into believing in their popular religious human traditions. Satan filled the mind of Saul with replacement knowledge that sounded good to him.  However, it was still Saul’s ignorance of the actual truth that caused him to carry out the will and plan of Satan.  Once Saul came to the saving knowledge of the truth, suddenly the thoughts he had as a persecutor were gone.  Wow, that is good news for persecutor’s today.  There remains hope for everyone to be saved.

Just as Satan influenced and controlled the unsaved people like Saul nearly two thousand years ago to persecute the church, this is the same warning being given to us today. The spirit of Saul (Satan) is still at work in people today and these deceived people will rise up and begin to persecute the church with increasing enthusiasm before Jesus returns.  It has already started and we can clearly learn this from the Spirit of God’s message of warning or we can remain an ostrich Christian and bury our heads in the sand and choose to ignore it pretending it is not happening. I would recommend that we do not ignore it or pretend that it is not happening already.

I personally expect some very negative comments for the truth that I published today. You will receive the same soon if you are speaking the truth to anyone in the world today concerning their life style personal choices.  The spirit of Saul is alive and well on the planet.

Hos 4:6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

Did you know that God allows people to be ignorant, wrong and to even do evil and sin? This truth has always been an extreme mystery in the minds of many Christians “Why doesn’t God stop all of this evil?”  This would take another series of lesson’s to explain this to you today.  Therefore, I will leave that to another day also.  But we must at least first begin to understand that God does allow evil to occur in the world and is not the one that is causing it to occur and we can simply learn this truth by reading the story of the stoning of Stephen in Acts.  Jesus was found standing at the right hand of God observing the evil being done and did nothing to cause it or to stop it.  Wow, that boggles the mind of many religious people in the world.  I believe that God’s passive observation made it appear to Saul that he was doing what God desires and that He is for them and it temporarily reinforces their wrong behavior.  However, the wages of their sin will still overcome them and they will be judged for what they have done on the earth according to the truth found in the Bible.  The main point in this paragraph is that God will allow this persecution to continue so we better learn it is coming.

I have talked briefly about the persecutor’s reasoning and justification for persecuting the church as well as the superior divine perspective on the persecution situation to allow it to occur. Now in conclusion I want to speak to the church’s reaction to this coming persecution.  What was the reaction to this evil in the early church and what will probably happen in these end times?  I believe that the early church’s reaction was both natural and supernatural.

Act 8:4  Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.

Reread Acts 8:4. God reveals to us all the two fold reaction to the great havoc being perpetrated upon the church.  First notice the fact that it did not stop the Gospel from being preached.  It did however cause the people to scatter.  What does scatter mean?  This Greek word is a based upon a farming concept of “sowing” seed.  This is a great revelation since it is concerning the “Word” of God being spread to the entire world.  Remember when Jesus taught the parable of the Sower in Mark 4?  The sower sowed the Word of God.  The seed being sown was God’s Word and this is the only thing possible today in the world that can save people and turn them from hell.

The end result of persecution in the early church was a greater spread of the Word of God, an explosion of salvations in many new locations and this is exactly what will happen today in the end of the church age.

The Greek word translated as “preaching” in this verse is a word that means “to announce good news” to someone. What kind of person would still be trying their best to preach the good news of God’s salvation to anyone that was or still is trying to imprison and kill them?  The normal human tendency or reaction against persecution is for us to fight back, or to defend oneself or even to run away and hide in a cave to not be found.  I have seen people plan and do all of these in this modern world.  Which would you do?  Wow, that is a very great question to consider.  If you are a Christian would you be able to do nothing but be forgiving and loving to the persecutor and turn your other cheek? Consider the warning and then make a good choice now before being faced with it.

Persecutor’s Perspective

  • Persecutors believe they are doing what pleases God and their lawgivers.
  • Persecutors don’t believe they are sinning.
  • Persecutors believe their words spoken against Christians are good.
  • Persecutor’s goals are to damage the reputation of God and Christians.
  • Persecutors believe causing physical injury to Christians is good.
  • Persecutors believe they know the truth and are not ignorant.
  • Persecutors believe others are deceived and they are not.
  • Persecutors believe there is no God to answer to or Satan influencing them.

 

God’s Perspective

  • God sees all of the sins of everyone including persecutors.
  • A persecutor can be saved and change their evil ways.
  • God says speaking against a Christian is equivalent to “blasphemy”.
  • God says killing a Christian is the same as nailing Jesus to the cross.
  • God will show mercy to any sinner including murderous persecutors.
  • God tells us that persecutors are extremely ignorant of the truth.

 

Christian Perspective

  • A Christian has gained saving knowledge of the truth.
  • A Christian was shown great mercy by God and is thankful for it.
  • A Christian desires to share this saving knowledge of Jesus with others even though it costs them their own life.
  • A real and maturing Christian begins seeing things happening in the world from God’s perspective.

 

 

CONCLUSION

In conclusion I want us to see a future prophecy concerning the coming persecution of the church. Revelation chapter 4 and verse 1 God calls for John to come up to heaven so that he can be shown things that will happen in the future and this includes this prophetic chapter of Revelation 12.  Let’s read just verse 12 and 13 concerning our main subject study to learn Satan’s motivating factor for increasing persecution upon the church during the end time.

Rev 12:12  Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

Rev 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

This chapter in Revelation 12 totally fascinates me. I could spend a long time trying to convince you who the woman in this chapter symbolically represents but I have already tried to do this in another lesson series.  I will summarize briefly that lesson series by saying this woman being described can only fit the pattern of the church that is being persecuted by Satan.  We learn this easily by the symbolism that she is clothed with at the beginning of the chapter and by the statements within the chapter.  For example read verse 11:

Rev 12:11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

This is the immediate preceding contextual verse and it can only apply to those that are in the church. I have heard this verse quoted in many church services and they are applying these words to themselves and their struggles in this life with the devil.  It is the Word of God and the Blood of Jesus that were given to us by Jesus in the church to insure us we will overcome Satan.  If you have not read the Revelation 12 series of lessons I would strongly recommend that you do so.   I do not have the time to repeat every detailed verse.

Let’s go back quickly to verse 12 and review the message from God. This is clearly a warning from God given to the inhabitants of the earth through the apostle John.  In this verse Satan has been cast down from heaven after a great spiritual warfare and according to this prophecy he is in a furious way committing murder on the earth.  If you look up and study the Greek word that is translated as “wrath” it comes from a root word that can mean to slaughter, kill or sacrifice someone.  This sounds a lot like what Saul was doing doesn’t it?  This simply confirms what we learned earlier.  It was the spirit of Satan influencing and controlling Saul through his ignorance that caused the persecution of the church to begin on the earth.

As it was in the beginning of the church age so shall it also be at the end of the church age. Persecution is the key word found in verse 13 of Revelation 12.  Satan in this verse is still persecuting the same woman that he was persecuting using Saul that we read about in Acts.  We in the church are not a different woman; we just have newly grown members within the same body of Christ. If you are confused about what I just said I would strongly recommend you read the Bible lesson that I wrote a long time ago about “How the Church Became the Body of Christ”.

During this end-time persecution it will also be Satan using new ignorant people with the exact same spirit behind it all. If you look up the Greek word in verse 13 translated as “persecute” it is G1377 which was also the word spoken to Saul while on the road to Damascus by Jesus “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”   God connects the two verses with His word selection and the message is very plain to me that God is speaking of the same subject being done to the same church body.

Today’s lesson was just a basic introduction to the broad subject of “persecution” and the spirit of Saul that is behind it. I believe God awakened me in the night to bring this message of warning to those that would receive it and learn from it.  There is a rising of evil on the earth taking place.  The enemy’s rage is increasing as the end of the age draws closer.  How you react to it may just determine where you spend eternity.  A Christian that withdraws and conforms to the world view may be greatly disappointed with their choice.  However, standing up for the truth of God’s Word and proclaiming it boldly will certainly cause us to be persecuted.   I will conclude today’s Bible message with these words from my Lord Jesus:

Mat 5:10  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Mat 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

I wanted to talk more about Satan’s perspective for persecution today but I will try my best (the LORD willing) to cover this part of the topic in the next lesson Part 2.

Thank you for reading and studying the Bible with me. I hope this word of warning given by the Lord Jesus will be taken to heart and it will help you to prepare for what is certainly coming.   God bless you all very much and thank you for your prayers for me as I will continue to pray for you also.

If you would like to continue to read the next lesson in this series please click here “PART 2

Understanding Bible Division — Introduction to Division a Divine Hidden Plan — Part 1

House Divided(Ver 1.3)  This is Part 1 of a brand new advanced Bible study series concerning the seldom mentioned or taught Bible subject entitled “Biblical Division”.  I have personally never heard anyone teach on this subject in the church but this is what God is directing me to share today on the internet to all those that are willing to receive the message.  However, I will warn everyone upfront like in many of my other Bible studies that this is a very advanced Bible Study series and it is intended primarily for only spiritually mature Christians to attempt to learn from.  This lesson series represents a very unconventional spiritual meat topic presentation and it may not easily be chewed (be received) well by many of my milk drinking younger or spiritually new born Christian brothers and sisters in Christ.  I do so hope and pray that you understand what I mean.

Biblical division is definitely a brand new topic to most Christians which has rarely been studied, known or understood.  Therefore this subject could be potentially judged controversial or even easily offensive and rejected by a non-serious Christian disciple.  People in general are usually closed minded to an unknown or a first heard Bible topic never encountered before.  For example, men like Martin Luther brought forth radical new teachings that departed from the normal traditional dominate Church doctrines of the 1500’s.  His thoughts and views were fundamentally fresh to most and very dissimilar to anything at that time period that was popularly taught and accepted.  Martin Luther was a Bible professor in Germany and he condemned the Catholic Church for their corrupt practices of selling indulgences (forgiveness of sins).  His writings were viewed as the catalyst for the Protestant church.  However, these seemingly new views have been determined to be very sound theological scriptural teachings and they have now been widely adopted to conform more to what Jesus and the early church actually taught.  Martin Luther was still branded a heretic by the religious church leadership and excommunicated from their church.  We can clearly learn from this example that religious deception in the church can occur even as it did in the popular church of Martin Luther’s day.

Even today, we must know that not everything that is taught by a modern church is always completely accurate.  The only way to prove any subject’s truthfulness is to let the Bible and the Holy Spirit on the inside of us; become our final authority.  That is exactly what I want you to do today as you read these lessons.  Please get your Bible out and then pray and ask God to open the eyes of your understanding to see what He wants you to see.  Prove everything that is stated with your own Bible research and personal relationship with Almighty God.  Never and I do mean never believe me or anything that I teach or anyone else teaches unless you can see it in the Bible with sufficient evidence and the Holy Spirit on the inside of you confirming that it is true.  The Word of God and the Spirit of God will always agree.  Please learn to verify everything and assume or accept nothing just because someone teaches it.  Don’t be a David Koresh or Jim Jones type of blind faith follower.  Let God be your guide and not any man.  It could be a matter of life or death.

While this subject of Biblical Division is a new revelation to most of you today it is actually a very old concept that existed with God from the beginning.  It is only becoming new to us today because God is revealing something that has seldom been studied much less noticed or mentioned in any modern church.  Of course the reason why it has not been mentioned is probably one of two reasons.  First, some Bible teachers have not made the subject of division a real priority to search for or search out to discover it in the Bible.  Second, some Bible teachers may have seen the subject while reading in the Bible before but did not consider it important enough to spend time on and therefore made no effort to understand what it could mean.  Either way the root cause for “Biblical Division” not being taught is human ignorance.   No one can teach what they do not yet know and have learned.  I hope that this Bible lesson on the internet will spur interest to learn what God has done.

Therefore I ask that each of you judge yourself before continuing to read in these advanced Bible study lessons.  I certainly do not want to offend anyone with any spiritual meaty lesson that I publish.  But, I do wish to help everyone grow and mature spiritually in the faith of Jesus Christ.  Thank you in advance for using your own sound judgment to being led by His Spirit to know how to proceed.  Let’s get started with the subject of Biblical Division.

INTRODUCTION TO DIVISION

bread_slicing1What is division?   Division is defined in one dictionary as the “action of separating something into two or more parts”.  In other words division is a deliberate and intentional act of taking one item that represents a whole and complete named entity and changing it by the thoughtful application of power, force and effort into 2 or more separate and distinct disjointed pieces. This would be very much like a baker slicing their whole and complete freshly baked loaf of bread and cutting it into separate and smaller edible slices.   Or division could be viewed like the cook taking their whole baked fresh apple pie and cutting and serving it in 8 individual slices for their guests to eat.  Therefore we learn from these examples that division always represents the creation of new individual pieces consisting of a reduced size or nature where each is less than the original greater whole portion before it was split.  It is also very important to note that each new divided part is of the same substance as before but just in a reduced portion.  Do you see and understand this?  This is exactly what division represents in the Bible.   There is absolutely no difference.  Here are four main points that you should have just learned from this basic definition:

  1. Division of One Substance
  2. Separation into New Individual Parts
  3. Reduction of Size from the Original Whole
  4. All New Parts are of Like Substance

Does this subject of division, separation and reduction have anything to do with anything found in the Bible, you might be asking?  That is a very excellent question to consider.  But God’s answer to that question will always include “division plays a very main role in the Bible even if we do not yet understand how it fits into God’s overall designed plan”.  That answer is very incomplete and just begs us to ask more questions.  We will soon discover that the subject of division has a very significant and strategic role while also being potentially hidden within the Bible.  However we must learn that the subject of division is covered by God from the beginning book cover to the ending book cover and we just have not always seen it very clearly.  I will tell you at the beginning of this lesson that God’s plan from the start of creation was not only to save man but also to divide man.  Also know that God will divide other spiritual and natural entities in the Bible that we will discuss later.

Perhaps you may not believe me when I claim that the subject of division plays a very major role throughout the Bible.  That is very wise of you to follow what I asked you before to do.  Remember I said don’t follow blindly.  So I’ll introduce you to this Bible subject using the Bible interpretation law of first mention.  Where, is the subject of division first mentioned in the Bible?  If you initiate your reading from the very beginning of the Bible you will only need to go forward three verses in order to find the subject. The very first verse containing a directly revealed, intentional and deliberate act of division by God occurs within the recorded creation event of the Day 1 creation of our world and you will find it in Genesis 1:4.  This first named division in verse 4 represents a divine sovereign display of His power and His will and it further embodies an act of God’s supreme intelligence, wisdom and ability.  Let’s take a quick look at this in case you have never seen this concept being mentioned so early before in the Bible:

Gen 1:3  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Gen 1:4  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Gen 1:5  And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

These three verses describe Day 1 of the 7 day creation event of our present world.  Six days God worked and the seventh day He rested (Gen 2:1-2).  How do we define work? Work represents an activity of mental or physical energy or power designed to achieve a specific purpose for a positive end result.  This is entirely what God was doing during the Genesis Day 1 description.  Did you notice what type of “work” God performed on this given Day 1?  God speaks “Light Be” and then “Light was”.  At this time of declaration darkness had already covered the earth in verse 2 so we know that God did not create any darkness on this day.  We know from Genesis 1:2 that darkness pre-existed Day 1 of the creation work thus stating the need for light’s existence in the earth’s current situation.  I need you to pay attention to what I am trying to say because this will become more important later in the series.  Darkness existed prior to Day 1 and God uses His power to make the light to shine on the earth in Day 1 to counter the pre-existing presence of darkness.

God then declares in verse 5 the reason for the introduction of light to our planet.  God had spoken the light to shine on the earth in order to “divide” the light from the existing darkness.  Next in verse 5, God gives each of these division results a new and separate distinct name calling them “day” and “night”.  Wow, this could really get very spiritually deep if I was going to attempt to teach all of the given implications found in these verses but I will save it for another lesson later.  Remember what we just learned, that the act of “dividing” light from darkness by God and naming the day and night was all called His own work by His own definition.  This divine work was the exact same concept as the baker cutting his loaf of bread or pie into new separate pieces.  There is no conceptual difference in the type of work being described by God here in Genesis.

What did God accomplish on Day 1?   Without the introduction of light on the earth there could have been no concept of time here.   In fact until God named Day and Night the earth had no way to measure time.  A day (the period of light) consists of 12 hours and a night (the period of darkness) consists of 12 hours which when combined represent one 24 hour period of time also called a day.  One day as you should know is a 24 hour period of time corresponding to one rotation of the earth.  This represents a single cycle of what God created to occur repeatedly.   It is very interesting to note we would have no concept or understanding of God’s work if He had not named the Day and Night and then called it Day 1.

While all of this is what I believe a literal reality, I believe God did this to teach us a greater symbolic spiritual truth.  But I do not have the time to go into this.  All I need you to do is to grasp that God’s Day 1 work was something that represents a constructive progress step to accomplish God’s plan for a good outcome for us.

Have we not just learned that even God’s “dividing” work can achieve a positive purpose and end-result?  Keep this in your mind that this divine work of dividing introduced to us by God here in Genesis 1 is good.  Then think of it as being like a parallel when a baker slices their loaf of bread to eat.  Isn’t the slice of bread much better than the entire loaf when you just want a sandwich?  Can we begin to now learn a little bit about the impact, value and positive purpose of God’s designed work to divide light from darkness from just this one single Day 1 creation reference?  Division appears to me to be very important just based upon this limited understanding so far.  Ask yourself “Why was it so important for God to divide at the very beginning of His 6 days of creative work?”    We will learn more about this as we progress to understand this subject better.

I just want us to begin to realize how much we potentially do not yet know or understand about the subject of division in the Bible.  Before I proceed deeper let’s at least examine the Hebrew word that was translated as “divided” in verse 4 of Genesis 1.  This word is H914 and it represents a base Hebrew root word that has the following Strong’s definition:

H914

A primitive root; to divide (in various senses literally or figuratively, separatedistinguishdifferselect, etc.): – (make, put) difference, divide (asunder), (make) separate (self, -ation), sever (out), X utterly.

This Hebrew word’s definition is in tremendous harmonious alignment with the English dictionary definition of “division’ that we examined earlier.  As you can read, this Hebrew word means “to divide asunder”, “make separate” and I also want you to see the phrase “sever out”.  All of these phrases are valid parts of our Bible subject study today even if we don’t yet fully understand them all right now.  However, even if we do not yet understand them completely, please do not let them slip from your minds.  Let me give you the list of important points from this Hebrew word definition:

  1. Divide Asunder
  2. Make Separate
  3. Sever Out

To conclude this short subject introduction I will tell you that there are actually at the very minimum 5 major named “divisions” that take place within the very first two chapters of the book of Beginnings also called Genesis and we will look at these in greater detail later in the lesson series.   What we just need to understand right now is that these divisions took place during God’s work within creation and therefore each of these divisions must have had a positive divine purpose for us to learn from.  Let’s review some of the major things that you should have learned about division:

  1. Division concerns one Substance Being Cut Apart
  2. After Division Occurs there are New Individual Pieces
  3. That which was Divided is a Smaller Portion of the Original Whole
  4. All New Parts are of Like Original Substance
  5. Division is Work
  6. God’s Work on Day 1 was to Divide by Speaking
  7. New Divided Parts can be Named

Since we have covered the basic introductions to division and its definition let’s start building a foundation for the subject now.

BUILDING THE DIVISION FOUNDATION

?????????????????????????A foundation represents the part of a building process that all of the other following parts are raised or built upon.  A foundation is the underpinning of the structure and the groundwork of the entire rest of the building process.  Nothing can be created structurally sound without a very firm foundation and so it is with Bible study subjects.  In the first section of the lesson I already gave you basic foundation definitions and those were very important.    But, let me stop right here and provide the main foundation Bible verse that these definitions apply to for the entire series of Bible lessons on this subject of Bible division.  Let’s turn to the book of Luke and chapter 12 to begin our construction process to read the foundational verse for the subject of Bible division spoken directly from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ:

Luk 12:51  Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

This is my LORD Jesus speaking to me and He literally makes a very shocking and a very controversial statement here in this verse.  We must first understand who is speaking.  Jesus was literally God incarnate.   He is called by the Hebrew name “Emanuel” which meant “God with us”.  Whatever Jesus said were words that God spoke personally and directly to all of mankind.  Therefore God was teaching us about one of the key reasons for His personal appearance upon the earth and it is a very outrageous declaration to say the least.  He tells us in this verse “to bring peace on earth” was never His appearance objective but rather He had come into this world to divide it.  This announcement from the Lord is a potential major conflict to several other Bible verses and this should raise new questions in our minds.  For example let’s review some of the potential conflicts:

Luk 2:14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

We should be able to begin to see from this angelic announcement the rising conflict.  At the birth of the Lord Jesus in the city of David called Bethlehem the angels appear to shepherds tending their flocks and they bring them the great news of God’s appearance on the earth.  As part of this announcement they declare that there should be peace on earth because of His appearance.  However, that is definitely not what Jesus said He came to bring.  Both verses contain the same Greek word G1515 that is translated as “peace”.  So they both are related by God’s word selection.  But there is still the problem of an apparent conflict.  Let’s read another verse:

Isa 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

There are several Bible verses that appear to conflict with the Lord’s statement in Luke, but especially this one verse found in Isaiah 9:6 where Jesus is clearly called the coming “Prince of Peace”.  Isaiah informs us of a prophesied future “Prince of Peace” that will come to the earth and this was certainly an important title describing Jesus.  However, Jesus who was this Prince of Peace claimed that to bring peace on earth was not His objective at His initial appearance on earth in Luke 12:51.   Whoops I just gave you an important clue in that last statement.  I hope you did not miss it.

At least 5 times in the New Testament (Rom 15:33, Rom 16:20, Php 4:9, 1 Th 5:23, Heb 13:20) our God is called the “God of Peace”.  Wow, how should we even begin to understand how to resolve these statements of God being peace and Him saying I did not come to the earth to bring any peace?  How can the Prince of Peace and the God of Peace not appear here physically on the earth to bring us peace?  How do we resolve this conflict?

I think I have already given you the clue if you were paying attention for the resolution of the conflict of peace.  The answer that will become more prevalent is based upon timing.  Everything that occurs in the plan of God has a set time of appearance.  At the first coming of Jesus on the earth there can be no hope for any peace based upon the statement made by Him in Luke 12:51.  However, that does not mean that He cannot bring peace later to the earth at a future time and I don’t have the space in this lesson to go into any great detail to when this coming peace will occur.  But I want us to understand that when Jesus came to the earth the people of the city of Jerusalem were expecting a natural King but they only saw a spiritual King that did not come to rule them at that time on the earth.  It was not God’s timing to rule on the earth during His first appearance.  This truth of reality teaches us how to learn more about God’s timing for peace and I hope this will help us all to understand how to resolve what Jesus was saying in Luke 12:51 more clearly.  Here are the main three points that you should have learned in this foundation:

  1. Jesus Came to the Earth to Divide
  2. And Not to Bring Peace
  3. But No Peace Now Does Not Mean There Can Be No Peace Ever

Luke 12:51 is my foundational Bible division verse concerning the complete subject of Bible division.  Jesus very clearly teaches us that to divide was one of the main purposes for His arrival on the earth.   We will now continue this lesson by attempting to understand what Jesus said He did not come to do.  Jesus said He did not come to bring peace.  So what is peace?  I think we need to know more about what Jesus said He did not come to bring us.  So let’s find out.

WHAT IS PEACE?

peaceful-still-watersAs we continue learning we need to understand as much as we can about what Jesus said that He did not come to do during His initial earthly appearance.  Jesus informs us very clearly in Luke 12:51 that He did not come to bring peace during this specified time.  Therefore, we need to ask the question “What is peace?”  Peace in one English dictionary means “cessation from war”.  A cessation of war means there is no longer any aggression, no fighting, no conflict, and no longer any hostilities one towards another.  Peace can also mean “a place or state without any disturbance”.  Some synonyms of peacefulness could be calmness, tranquility, serenity or quietness and Jesus told us that these were not the purpose for His arrival.  We can learn what peace represents in order to better comprehend why Jesus came to the earth.   It should become apparent that if Jesus did not come to bring us peace then the opposite of peace was His goal.  Can we agree?  Let’s review the quick list of what peace represented:

  1. PEACE = No Wars, No Conflicts, No Fighting, No Hostility
  2. PEACE = Calmness
  3. PEACE = Tranquility
  4. PEACE = Quietness

If Jesus did not come to bring peace then I believe very firmly that He must have come to do the opposite.  What is the opposite of peace based upon just these 4 definitions?   Jesus must have come to bring a war, a storm of agitation or even a raging wave and force of noise to the earth.  I believe all of those that I just stated are true.  However, we also need to understand that according to Jesus the opposite of peace appears to be the stated purpose of “division”.  Division by the definition of the Lord Jesus is the opposite of peace.  Once we consider what division represents it becomes very clear that it is truly the antithesis of any state of undisturbed peace.  Please keep thinking on these concepts of what peace “is” and “is not” as we continue to learn why Jesus said He appeared on the earth.  Based upon the definitions of peace we can begin to see Jesus came to bring us the opposite and these would be:

  1. War
  2. Agitation
  3. Turbulence
  4. Noise

I’ll say this again; Jesus speaking in Luke clearly claims that one of His chief purposes for being here on the earth was not to bring anyone or anything peace, calm, quiet or tranquility during His first appearance.  Then Jesus claims that one of His actual purposes for being here was to “divide” or bring “division” to something or even someone unnamed here on the earth.  What exactly was this on the earth that Jesus came to disturb, to bring unrest to, to disquiet it and to interrupt it with a wave of force of noise and power to cause or effect a division to occur?

war-3We have just briefly covered the subject of peace exploring some synonyms and some antonyms in this section of the lesson.  But I believe that I introduced you to some new things to consider.  We should have learned that God came to disrupt whatever was considered normal here on the earth.  We should have learned that God came to divide the status quo and cause what God desired to occur.  We know this because we learned division is a positive work of God and God’s work will always bring about positive results with a purpose.  So we should have learned God’s appearance was to bring war on the earth and not any peace.  Any war is an act of force between enemies against each other.  War is a very clear separation by force and power and a strong division between factions and it will always result in a reduction of the former whole.  We should be able to see that war fits very well into the definition of “division”.

  1. Who is Jesus at war with?
  2. What does Jesus intend to divide with His appearance on the earth?
  3. What will be the positive result for this division after it has occurred?

Learning how to answer these questions will be what this lesson series will now be focused upon.  However we still need to increase our foundational understanding for the subject of division and we will do that by looking at the subject of “disunion”.

WHAT IS DISUNION?

Let’ review the Greek word translated as “division” that was used by God in Luke 12:51.  This Greek word was translated as “division” in this verse.  This is a very unique Geek word.  In fact this Greek word is only found one time in the entire Bible here in Luke 12:51.  This Greek word is G1267 and here is the Strong’s definition:

G1267 – From G1266; disunion (of opinion and conduct): – division.

The Greek word G1267 translated as “division” in this verse in Luke 12:51 literally means something has been divided.  It also literally means “disunion” (of opinion and conduct).  Wow, that is a new amazing and very essential declaration that Jesus is trying to teach us concerning His positive purpose to divide here on the earth.  A state of “disunion” is clearly the opposite of a state of “union”.  A union is a representation of two or more entities becoming one single entity with unified authority.  Therefore disunion is like the one loaf of bread becoming many individual slices of bread that was mentioned earlier.   Disunion conforms to what we have learned about division up until this point of the lesson.

Disunion is a word that literally means the breaking up of a federation or union.  Disunion comes from a lack of unity and agreement.  Whenever even one person in a group is not in full agreement there can result a state of disharmony, discord and conflict.  Disagreement is the root cause for much disunion.  I wish to introduce you to two new potential reasons for Jesus appearance on the earth to divide using Strong’s definition.  First, Jesus was saying I came to divide the opinions or “beliefs” of men on the earth.  Second He was further saying that He came to divide the conduct of men here on the earth.  Either of these acts of God would bring about a war like state of disunity.  That is so very important what I just said.  We will definitely be talking about that a lot more in this lesson later.  But we need to look more into the subject of “disunions” first.

Let’s talk about the concept of “disunions”.  The word “disunion” means to break up something that was a whole or complete named entity into smaller distinct separate pieces.  For example the disunion of an earthly sovereign federation will result in the division of that nation into smaller nations.   Take for instance the disunion of the U.S.S.R. that took place back in 1991. Do you remember what U.S.S.R. stood for?  The U.S.S.R. stood for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The U.S.S.R was one sovereign named union containing states that were broken apart to form the new D.S.S.R = “Disunion of Soviet Socialist Republic”.   Of course that was just a joke but what resulted from the disunion were several new separate smaller sovereign states.   The united nation of the U.S.S.R. clearly qualified to be a candidate for division and disunion.  Down throughout human history there have been many nations, empires and kingdoms that have risen to only become divided, conquered and fall.  Nation and kingdom partitioning is a very constant and prevalent example of divisions and disunions. Could this concept be related to something that Jesus was referring to that He came to do?  We will soon find out that it is exactly what He came to do but let us look at another prevalent type of natural disunion first.

The natural case of divorce from the divinely created institution of marriage also represents a form of very prevalent natural disharmony, disruption and disunion occurring in our world too frequently.  A divorce is the dividing into individual pieces and the separation from God’s defined condition of being in the state that God called a “One Flesh” union (Gen 2:24).  Marriage represents the “union” of two individuals (1 male and 1 female) into one new family unit but divorce is the clear antithesis state called disunion.  Divorce occurs when the one named married family entity becomes two separated, partitioned and disjointed individuals that can no longer be considered a sovereign family covenant union.  If Bob and Sally Jones get a divorce the Jones Household and family has become disjointed in disunity and can no longer even exist.  This will always result in two lesser named entities lacking completeness and wholeness.

I have only briefly introduced you to two types of “disunions” and “divisions” so far in this section.  One is that of a natural sovereign nation being divided and the other is the concept of a natural sovereign family being divided up by acts of force or power.   Both are differing levels of sovereign authority.  Both can be divided by force and power.  Viewing them to be a positive work is another dilemma since neither sound like positive end results and I would definitely agree with that for now looking only at things from a purely natural perspective.  But there are other ways that we need to consider and I will talk about them soon enough.

Let’s continue our Greek word study and move down a level to the root word.  The Greek word G1267 that means “disunion” comes from another Greek root word G1266 which means “to partition thoroughly”.  This just keeps getting better and better, deeper and deeper and more and more complex doesn’t it?  To partition means “to divide something”, “to split apart something” or “to break up something” using a stated or implied wall of separation.  Partitioning is an understood act of constructive building through a display of intelligence combined with a force of power to create the divide.  This concept of partitioning is further based upon a rule of authority hierarchy.  Those which are building the partition are of much greater authority than that which is being affected by the division.  What I just said was so important I want you to see it again:

PARTITIONING = an Understood Act of Constructive Building through a Display of Intelligence Combined with the Application of Force or Power to Create A Divide.

For example, a criminal after conviction is divided or partitioned from the mainstream population by a greater force of authority and placed behind a separating barrier which can be named or labeled as partitions or the prison walls of separation.  Within our society the greater government authority created these partitioning walls of separation.  The separating walls of the prison will keep the prisoners in but also will keep all others in the general population out.  We can certainly see some potential positive aspects of division in this example.  Therefore, we should learn that division is defined as an act of separating one whole and greater item (the general population) into smaller or lesser items (prisoners and free people).  Using my quick example, our population is being separated by an act of law and authority into those that are free and those that are incarcerated. This is just a natural concept that helps us in understanding the spiritual Bible concept more clearly and God’s stated plan of division.

What was Jesus partitioning through His physical appearance here on the earth?  What walls were being constructed by His appearance on the earth?   I’ll begin to answer these questions in the next section.  The information covered in this section  should begin to give you some major clues to why Jesus came to earth.  Jesus has built a dividing wall partition with His appearance on the earth.  Let’s review the list of points we learned in this section:

  1. Disunion is a Force of Disagreement Dividing Two or More Groups
  2. Disunion is the Division of a Single Kingdom
  3. Disunion is like the Division of a Whole Family
  4. Division is the Separation of Two Entities using a Partition or Wall of Separation

There were other good points made in this section but these are the ones that need to be carried forward into the next section.  We will now take a look at God’s plan of division and how it was prophesied to be implemented by the coming Lord of Glory.

GOD’S PLAN OF DISUNION/DIVISION

In the last section I talked about the disunion of a natural nation, empire or a kingdom as well as well as the disunion of a natural family.  Both of these types of disunion that were going to be implemented by God’s design and plan in order to protect the righteous from the unrighteous.  God came to the earth in the form of a man in order to divide His kingdom and to divide His family.  God does this primarily to separate and partition that which was good from that which was judged as evil.   I believe this is an excellent time to introduce you to a prophecy that applies directly to what God was doing in Jesus.  Please turn to the book of Malachi and read what the LORD says:

Mal 3:16  Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

Mal 3:17  And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

Mal 3:18  Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

These are verses prophesying a coming division.  Did you see it?  These are the works of the LORD that were coming through Christ Jesus.  God is going to separate the righteous from the wicked.  He is going to make it known (able to discern between) those that serve Him and those that do not.   The Hebrew word H996 that was translated “between” in verse 18 reveals to us this story.   This word means to make a “distinction” between two or more things.  It is a comparative stipulation that is used as a preposition to describe those that are named after the statement.  This Hebrew word H996 comes from the root word H995 which means “to separate” mentally.  To separate mentally is just another synonymous phrase of division that means God will divide them with a partition of thought so we can understand that there is a difference between them in our minds.  The ability to distinguish between good and evil and right and wrong is a mental partitioning process.   God actually warns us about this in the Bible:

Isa 5:20  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

We can clearly see these happening even in the world today if we observe the actions of people closely.  It has become increasingly difficult for people to “discern” between good and evil.  The lines have shifted to allow what we use to believe was evil to become good and vice-versa. God is warning all those on the earth that cannot discern between two opposites in this verse.   God says you are in trouble if you call good evil or evil good.  That is exactly what is transpiring in our world today.  It is everywhere on TV, in movies and on the internet.  Good is being called evil and evil is clearly being promoted to be good and normal.  God is teaching us about one of the walls of separation that will and is dividing us all.

The blurring of distinct lines of good and evil today is the devil’s plan to undo what God has already accomplished in Christ Jesus.  Satan wants us to not be able to recognize between good and evil and that is what is happening in this world.  Satan would like to get Christians to regress and become passive to accept sin, evil and etc.  I still believe that God’s plan will prevail in those that desire to follow Him as Malachi predicts.  Real Christians will know what is right and good and what is wrong and evil even if the world does not.

light-vs-dark (1)I want to stop here and teach you why things are named by God.  God gives things, people and places names to show that they are different.  Giving objects and people names are a form of the process of division.   When your child is born you name your son or daughter to give them distinction.  This new name separates them from the other children and makes them unique.  Do you remember what God did in Genesis 1:3-5 on day 1 of creation?  God spoke to introduce the light into the world which was then separated from the darkness and after God did this He named the light “day” and the darkness He called “night”.  Did you notice that in the verse in Isaiah 5:20  God also mentioned light and darkness?   Is that a coincidence?   No, it certainly is not.  Light represents good and darkness represents evil symbolically throughout the Bible.  This is God’s way of connecting the dots for us to learn His plan.  God was going to separate good from evil from the very beginning of creation.  Can you begin to see this?

This concept is exactly what God was doing here in these Malachi verses also.  God says there will be one separate group called the “Righteous” and another group called the “Wicked”.  Those are the names of distinction and separation given by divine appointment and purpose.  These represent the dividing lines between two groups of beings.  This certainly includes mankind but it also must include angelic heavenly beings also.

Wow, I just introduced so much potentially new information to you so fast that I pray that you understood it all.   We could go through other prophecies of division but I am trying to keep this lesson as concise as possible to not overwhelm anyone with too much information.  I hope to cover this subject in much more detail as the series continues.  So please be patient and kind and believe with me that God will say everything that needs to be said in His right timing.  Let’s recap what we should have learned from this section quickly.

God is going to build:

  1. A Mental Wall of Partition for Discernment in People
  2. A Wall Between the Righteous and the Unrighteous
  3. A Wall Between the Good and the Evil
  4. A Wall to Perceive Between Right and Wrong
  5. A Wall of Separation Between the Light and the Darkness

We could literally talk for many hours on these subjects but I just want you to begin learning the basics for and of division now.  I think today I am going to only go into one more introductory topic to help point us to future lessons.

CONFIRMING JESUS’ PURPOSE FOR DIVISION

I have already introduced you to the concept that God came to earth to divide His kingdom and to divide His family but we need further scriptural confirmation to assist in these statements and beliefs.  Both a nation and a family dissolution are very clear examples of types of extremely prevalent earthly natural disunions.  However, both of these natural examples of disunion have direct application to what Jesus said that He came to do here on the earth believe it or not.   Let’s look at a new verse that Jesus spoke about this direct subject of division to help us to confirm the reality of one of God’s primary purposes for sending Jesus into our world was to divide His kingdom and family.

Jesus actually talks about this subject of division much more than many realize.  It is very clear to me from learning this subject now that Jesus understood His reason for coming into the world far better than anyone else at that time including Satan and all his angels and demons.  We will now turn back to the book of Luke again and read a verse found in close context with our initial foundation division verse found in Luke 12:51.  Please, turn back to chapter 11 and begin to read in verse 17:

Luk 11:17  But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.

Jesus begins the statement with the word “Every”.  “Every” is the Greek word G3956 that literally means “every”.  I am just being funny with that last statement but that is exactly what the Greek word means.  The Greek word G3956 means “every”, “any”, “all” and “the whole”.  Therefore, G3956 is an all-inclusive adjective describing the noun “kingdom” that leaves no kingdom out of the statement.  Do you understand that?  There cannot be any “kingdom” in existence either past, present or future that is omitted from this statement of truth given to us by the Lord Jesus.  I cannot say that more plainly and this is such a very important concept to learn.  Jesus is not a liar and He would have phrased the statement differently if there were any kingdoms that could be excluded from being mentioned.  I do hope you understand what God is saying by His selective use of the word “EVERY”.

So we learn immediately from the mouth of Jesus that “any” or “every” kingdom named or unnamed directly or indirectly will fall if it is divided against itself.  Therefore we learn from the Bible what we already know from human history that any kingdom can be divided into two or more smaller pieces and even cease to exist completely.  For example the Roman Empire ceased to exist.  The Persian Empire has ceased to exist.  The Babylonian Empire has ceased to exist, and etc.   Today division of nations is still a very prevalent topic with the nation of Israel.  Peace talks are dominated with the division of Israel into two nations giving their land to a new nation called Palestine.   Satan is using God’s law of division to try to eliminate Israel and you should know that.

Did you know that this statement from Jesus absolutely must include the “Kingdom of God” and the “Kingdom of Heaven”?  You probably never thought of that, did you?  Does that sound offensive to you for me to imply that the omnipotent God’s kingdom can be divided, fall and possibly cease to exist? Please understand that I did not say it.  I just gained that knowledge from what Jesus said because He included these two kingdom references in the statement by selecting and speaking the word “EVERY” in union with the noun “KINGDOM”.  Wow, I think there could be a lot of upset religious people not very happy with this lesson after reading that but this statement is still true.

Do you remember that I talked about a whole pie being cut into pieces?  Let’s change the pie to a Kingdom and ask if it can be divided in the same way?  Jesus is speaking about a whole kingdom pie that will be divided if it is fighting against itself and He tells us that it will become desolate (a dry empty place) if it is experiencing any condition of discord, disharmony or even disagreement.  What happens to a pie after it has been cut and divided against itself?  It is usually dished out and served and the pie dish has been left an empty dry mess of crumbs.  That is what Jesus is describing that will happen to any kingdom that is divided also.  There is an old proverb that says “United we stand but divided we fall” and that is an accurate phrasing of what Jesus just taught us about God’s Kingdom.

These truths are precisely the reason that I mentioned the U.S.S.R. previously.  The U.S.S.R. was a very good example of a modern kingdom that has been divided against itself.  This whole nation was split into several smaller nations even now which are still fighting among themselves.  There was even recently reported heavy fighting in the Ukraine and Russia was blamed to be fueling the discord.  Note the fact what Jesus said again.  Jesus said “Do you think that I came to bring peace?  I say No but rather division”.  That was my paraphrase of the original key verse statement but it does represent an accurate message of the original.  No nation or kingdom that experiences division can or will experience any peace after it has been divided.  Now ask yourself what Kingdom is Jesus from?  Where did Jesus come down from to enter into the earth?  These are basic fundamental questions that you should be able to answer in your sleep.  Jesus came down from the Kingdom of God and from the Kingdom of Heaven in order that He might divide them with war and I believe this very firmly.

Now consider the second part of the statement made by Jesus concerning division in Luke 11:17.  Jesus declares that a house divided will also fall.  This Greek word translated as “house” means a dwelling where a family resides.  This is why I talked about the concept of divorce earlier also.   A divorce represents the destruction of a sovereign family unit.  The result of the family division is a whole entity that no longer exists or we could say a family unit that has been brought to the state of non-existence.  This is exactly why Jesus was making this statement in Luke because it concerns His purpose for coming to the earth.

We should be able to find out by close Bible study that Jesus has come down from the Kingdom of Heaven directly from the spiritual family of God to bring about a division to both realities.   We can begin to learn this truth simply by reading verses like John 6:50-51 where He describes His flesh as the bread that came down from heaven.   In these words are found the concept of the loaf of freshly baked bread that I presented earlier.  His body was broken and we must eat of it in order to live.  All those that do not eat of this bread will die.  That is a very clear division of separation being inferred.  There are many other verses but I will help you with one about the family of God next for you to know that God has a family that can be divided.

If you study the Bible by searching for the word “house” you will find more than enough verses that will confirm what we need to know about the existence of God’s spiritual family.  For example, in John 14:2 you will find Jesus talking about His Father’s house.  He claims there are many mansions in this location.  The Greek word in this verse is G3613 and it comes directly from the Greek word G3624 that Jesus spoke of in Luke 11:17 about a house divided.  Both words were translated as house and both words mean a literal family dwelling place.   I can give many other references but I do not want to take the time in this lesson introduction.  Just begin to realize that God has a spiritual family and this family can and has been divided by the plan, will and the work of God through Jesus Christ.

If this is true what Jesus is teaching us then the implication of both of these divisions will dictate God’s need for a new spiritual family and a new spiritual kingdom since both will be brought to the level of non-existence as Jesus has prophesied.  I hope you realize that Jesus was a prophet also and spoke what would come to pass in many of His recorded statements in the Gospels.  I warned you that this Bible lesson would take us into some really deep waters which may go over the heads of some weaker carnal Christians.  If this describes you please just stop reading and go to a different Bible lesson.  So let’s review the main points from this section of the lesson.  We learned these Bible facts:

  1. Every Divided Kingdom Will Be Made Desolate
  2. Every Divided Family Will Fall
  3. God Has a Kingdom Which Can Be Divided
  4. God Has a Family that Can Also Fall

All of these Bible facts of Truth point us in the direction for God’s personal appearance on the earth to divide.   These help us tremendously to understand a very complex hidden Bible subject.

CONCLUSION

I hope and pray that you have learned at least a little more on this subject of Biblical Division than you ever knew before.  I know there was a lot of new information given but I also know that there is a whole lot more to learn.  I would recommend that you go back and at least reread the main points from each section of the lesson. This will help us put the pieces of the division puzzle together correctly.  I will be continuing in this series with more confirming scriptures to help us believe in God’s Word.  Thank you for taking your time to read and study the Bible with me.  I do value your time greatly and I do not wish to waste any of it.  If you would care to leave me a comment or question I would appreciate it.  Also please share this website with your friends and relatives so everyone can learn more about the Lord and the soon coming King Jesus Christ.  God Bless you.

Click now if you would like to continue reading “Part 2“.

Bible Basics: Jesus Asks “Who Do You Say That I Am?” Part 2 – Believing in the Name of Jesus is a Requirement NOW!

whoami2(Ver 1.2)  This is Part 2 of a very fundamental and rudimentary but essential Bible Subject for every Christian to study, learn, understand and be able to share in an instant with all others in the world!  What is that vital subject you ask?  The subject that I am referring to is “Who is Jesus to you?”   If you did not read from the beginning I would strongly recommend that you go back to “Part 1” to begin reading the series because all of that information will not be repeated again and it was very important for your understanding of who Jesus should be to you.   The first lesson was a focused approach to understanding the significance of some of the most important revealed “Names” of Jesus in the Bible.  If you read the first lesson you know that I introduced you to 3 of these primary names of Jesus found in the New Testament.  There are of course several other revealed names and titles of Jesus that I did not mention.  Later in the series we will explore more of these names but I will mention at least two other direct names today in this lesson.

I hope after reading Part 1 that you at least have a better comprehension for the importance of these 3 Bible names of Jesus that were covered.  These names were 1) Jesus, 2) Emmanuel and 3) The Word of God.  All three names connected us directly to a personal divine appearance on the earth of the creator Lord God coming from heaven in the form of a man like us.  In today’s lesson we will expand the subject of these 3 names by adding two new names “Lord” and “King” and we will begin to address the question of what benefit is there for believing in these names of Jesus?  Were there any benefits in the early Church?  Are there any benefits to these names in the modern church?  Why is it important for us to even believe in the names of Jesus?  What occurs if we do not believe in Jesus being God in the flesh or in His revealed names?  We will soon be learning what the Bible says about what will happen if we believe in His name and what will happen if we do not.  Wow that sounds imperative to know.

In many of my Bible studies I place an added emphasis upon how to study the Bible.  Today’s lesson will be more of this type of double teaching effort.  I want to provide the reader with valuable spiritual information but at the same time I desire to teach a few of the rules and methods for how the information was obtained.  In this way I am teaching the reader more about “how to fish for information” than simply just offering them a “onetime fish meal of information”.  Of course the number one rule for every Bible study method is for us to be led by the Spirit of God and listen for His guidance as we study the Bible by faith.  Following this rule will insure that we are on the right path to not deviate from the way of finding the truth.  The Spirit of God is Truth (John 14:17) and we are told that He will guide us into all Truth (John 16:13).

INTRODUCTION TO THE NAME OF THE LORD

Let’s begin this Bible study using the important Bible study technique called “The Law of First Mention.  Today’s Bible study’s primary focus is upon the importance of knowing, understanding and believing in the name of Jesus.  So we will go back into the O.T. to find the name of God that is found within this name Jesus.  Perhaps you do not understand what the law of first mention represents.  I found through years of Bible study that the law of first mention is a very useful study technique to learn from and use.  This study law introduces us to the subject where God first mentions what we are interested in learning.  I have found consistently that God places key information in every initial subject reference that is critical to understanding almost every other subject reference in the rest of the Bible.  Since we learned in lesson 1 that the original language Hebrew name of Jesus was comprised of two Hebrew root words “Jehovah and Saves” we will focus in on the O.T. references to the name of God, Jehovah.  The first time this name Jehovah is used by God in the O.T. is found in Genesis 2.  Let us read the verse and learn what God introduces us to in this first subject mention:

Gen 2:4  These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,

Did you notice that this verse connects the name Jehovah directly to the God of creation and the creation event itself?  In Genesis 1 the name of God primarily mentioned is H430 Elohim which is normally translated as “God”.  However in this verse in Genesis 2 Jehovah and Elohim are joined and used in conjunction together as a connecting force for equality, for clarification and for further definition.  I believe this simply teaches us that Jehovah is Elohim and Elohim is Jehovah.  Why is this important?  It is only important because in the New Testament in John 1 we saw another direct reference to GOD and to the creation event that must be included with Genesis 2:4 in order to be understood more thoroughly.  Let’s review the first three verses of John 1:

Joh 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Joh 1:2  The same was in the beginning with God.

Joh 1:3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1 are parallel creation event verses connected together by God’s design.  God in the book of John further clarifies and bring newly defined light and revelation to the subject of creation and the Creator.   God is being declared equivalent to the Word in these verses and we are clearly informed that the Word created everything that was made.  We can now go back and reread Genesis 1 and find that this is exactly what happened.  God spoke His Word and the created things came forth and produce life.

In these verses in John the name of God is the Greek word “Theos” and this is the equivalent of the Hebrew name of God “Elohim” by direct association.  Notice, in Genesis 1:1 God says “In the beginning God (Elohim)…” and in John 1:1 God says “In the beginning God (Theos)…”.   I know technically it says “In the Beginning was the Word” but later in the verse God tells us the Word was God (Theos) and that is a basic Algebraic law at work that says if A = B and B = C then A = C.  Therefore I hope you understand why it is legal to say Elohim and Theos are equivalent but I will offer additional evidence as I continue in the lesson and probably repeat what I have said for the benefit of everyone.

One of the things that I want to teach in this lesson is that anytime God quotes even a portion of a verse from the O.T. in the N.T., He is connecting the words across a language boundary.   I hope you understand the importance of knowing this.  This technique of word structure, definition and equivalency is part of God’s internal technical design of the entire Bible.  God used this technique of quotation to help us and teach us the way through the complexity introduced by His usage between two main separations of languages found within the original Bible manuscripts.  The O.T. was written in predominately Hebrew and the N.T. was written in exclusively the Greek language.  So how do we resolve this major language separation when studying any subject in both the Old and the New Testaments?  We do it by finding and using God’s laws designed for us to follow.  Following God’s laws of how to cross language boundaries provide us very specific rules and boundary limits to avoid an “anything goes approach to Bible interpretation”.  Without following God’s established rules there is only a random unstructured chaos approach to interpretation taking place based upon human reasoning and that will usually fail us 100 times out of 100 attempts.  That is exactly why there are thousands of different Christian denominations in the world today.  Too many people are ignoring God’s rules and inventing their own ways to understand the Bible.

What we learn from this divinely designed language connection technique is that the Greek word Theos (G2316) is the equivalent word found within the Hebrew as the word Elohim (H430).  Do you understand this?  What I am saying is, if we were translating the O.T. original Hebrew language into the Greek language we would make the Hebrew word Elohim read as “Theos” because this is exactly what God did in the Bible and we should follow His example.  Conversely if we were translating the N.T. into Hebrew the Greek word “Theos” would be translated into “Elohim” because of God’s choice and not mine.  This is not that complicated but it is still a very essential concept to learn for correct Bible understanding and interpretation.    We can further confirm this truth of the word equivalence between the Hebrew Elohim and the Greek Theos by looking at several verses but I will give only one other verse to keep the lesson shorter:

Mat 4:7  Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

This is an excellent verse to expand our knowledge from.  Jesus is quoting a commonly known O.T. verse in this statement within the Gospel account.  Here in Matthew God directly connects two very key Greek words together that we need to know.  The first Greek word is G2316 (Theos) which was translated as God and is the same word found in John 1:1 that we just looked at.  But now we can also see the second Greek word being connected to God (Theos) is G2962 (Kurios) which is translated as Lord in this verse.  This is the exact same word and name connection that God made in Genesis 2:4 if you recall.  The “Lord God” is in fact the name that I am looking for to further understand.  Now let’s go and review the original Hebrew statement being quoted by Jesus to learn the original Hebrew language words:

Deu 6:16  Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.

Here again are the two key words LORD and God that are being researched having been connected by God’s design to the New Testament in the Matthew 4:7 quotation.  The Hebrew word H430 that was translated into English as “God” is Elohim and the Hebrew word H3068 that was translated as “LORD” in English is Jehovah.  We now have a very direct confirmation that the Hebrew word Jehovah is directly linked and is equivalent to the Greek word Kurios and the Hebrew word Elohim is directly linked and is equivalent to the Greek word Theos in all of scripture.  Do you understand why I could just say this?  If not there are more than enough verses quoted in the N.T. that you could go through to prove this statement if you want to do the work.  This is a very critical part of correct Bible study to find these types of details.  This should leave no room for doubt that we are on the right track learning about who is named LORD in both the O.T. and the N.T.  I do hope that you are beginning to understand where I am going.

Now let’s go back to John 1 and review again.  In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God (Theos = Elohim) and the Word was God (Theos = Elohim).  I just inserted the Greek and Hebrew equivalent words in this verse to help bring clarification to what God is speaking of.  John 1:1 is very clearly telling us that the Word is God (Theos = Elohim) and it further teaches us in verse 2 that the Word was with God in the beginning.   The terms “with God” and “is God” sound like conflicting statements but these are only possible because of the triune nature of God Almighty (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

Then in verse 3 God (Theos = Elohim) speaks clearly that all things that were made by God (Theos = Elohim) and everything that was made was made by the Word.  Wow that is awesome information to teach us something very new and profound.  Go back and review Genesis 2:4 again to make the connection.  Genesis 2:4 said “Jehovah Elohim” created the heavens and the earth.  Do you see the direct connection being made to who Jehovah was?   Can you see that the “Word = God” in John 1 is the exact same God as the “Jehovah = God” in Genesis 2:4?  Both are speaking of who created our world.  I believe overwhelmingly that the LORD GOD is the same as the WORD GOD and they are equivalent and I will prove that statement further as I continue in the lesson.

Let’s review some of the basic mathematical laws again to help us understand the Bible more clearly.  The Bible was authored by the same God that created math so it just makes logical sense for us to apply the same laws of God’s math design to God’s application of His Word.  Do you remember what I said earlier?   I said that God Theos = God Elohin by God’s usage of quoted O.T. verses found in the N.T.  I then said LORD Kurios = LORD Jehovah using the same type God’s N.T. quoted examples.  Now using John 1 we learn how God connects the “Word” was equal to “God” which was equal to “Theos” which was equal to “Elohim”.  I think this may be going over the head of many of my readers but that does not mean that I should not be teaching it.  Now using the divinely connected verses of Deuteronomy 6:17 and Matthew 4:7 we learned that Jehovah Elohim (Hebrew) = LORD God (English) = Kurios Theos (Greek).  I think I need to say this again because it is so very important for you to embrace, using O.T. quoted verse words in the New Testament we now know that Jehovah Elohim = Kurious Theos = LORD God.  I am just laying a very important foundation for more knowledge that is coming.

Ok if I haven’t left you behind so far I want to go a bit deeper.  Recall from lesson 1 that Joshua was the original Hebrew name of Jesus.  Never, never forget that Jesus was born a Jew and spoke the Hebrew language and not the Greek language.  Jesus said very plainly that He was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel (Mat 15:24).  When people met Jesus on the road they called Him “Yeshua” (Hebrew) = Joshua (English transliteration) = Jesus (Greek to English transliteration).  This Hebrew name came down from heaven and was given to Him by an angel of the LORD GOD.  As I have stated more than once we should know that the name Joshua was the Hebrew word H3091 and this meant “Jehovah Saved” which comes from two root words H3068 Jehovah and H3467 yasha being joined together.  We have just learned that Jehovah (Hebrew) = Kurios (Greek).  Therefore we can by the mathematical law of equivalency say Jesus’ name was the same as Kurios Saved because that would be the legal name using the Greek language equivalent.  Why is this important?  We will soon find out very quickly as we continue.   I hope and pray that you are interested in learning because this is only going to get better.

I have already established who the Word of God was stated to be in Lesson 1 of this series.  The Word of God was a given name for Jesus revealed by God to us in the N.T. (Revelation 19:3). I have just emphasized that the name of Jesus was a Hebrew name originally and it is comprised of two key words Jehovah Saves.  We are discovering further confirmation that Jesus was Jehovah come to save His people just as He was prophesied to do.  So let’s now move on to further study that subject in the next section of the lesson to go even deeper.

CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD

Psa 20:9  Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call.

This is my opening key verse to this entire section of the lesson.  Please, notice what God says.  The verse begins with “Save Lord”.  Uh oh do you remember what that means in Hebrew?  Opening in this verse are found the two key Hebrew root words that comprise the name of Joshua and Jesus.  These words that were translated correctly as “save” and “LORD” are H3467 and H3068.  Wow this is pretty good stuff if you are paying attention.  I’ll say it again “these are the exact two Hebrew words that make up the name of Jesus” and this verse in the Bible calls Him the King that saves the people that call upon Him.  Save us Lord (JEHOVAH) is the cry being made by the people in this verse.  These were people on the earth crying out for the LORD to save them.   So let me ask you who came to save them?  Who is your savior today?  Is it not Jesus?  I know Jesus saved me for sure, but I cannot speak for you.

We are told that they are crying out and calling for a king to save them.  I’ll ask you again, “Who is this king that will save them”?  Wow again, because if you know the N.T. just a little bit you know that Jesus is called the “King of kings” in Revelation 19:16 another divinely appointed name and title.  I told you earlier that we were going to learn a new Name of Jesus today and that was it.  Jesus is the KING of kings which clearly qualifies Him to be called upon according to this verse.  Now know and believe that Jesus is this King and make the connection being made to Jesus our Savior and Lord in Psalms 20:9.  Jehovah Saves = Joshua/Jesus and the people are calling upon this King named Jehovah for their salvation.  Could it really be that Jesus is this prophesied King that will come to save us who call upon the Lord/JEHOVAH?  I believe beyond a shadow of doubt that it is Him and we will certainly see many more verses in this lesson that will affirm that this King is Jesus.

What I am trying to teach over and over in this lesson until we all get it is that Jehovah is Jesus and Jesus is the Jehovah God that has saved us when we believe in Him and call upon His name.  Now let’s shift our focus slightly to a different first mention in the O.T. concerning those that “called on the name of JEHOVAH”.  In this part of the section we will look at when men first began to call on the name of the Lord in the Old Testament.  This is accomplished by a simple Bible text search within a good Bible search software program like “eSword”.  If you do the search you will find the first mention of the words “name of the Lord” to be in Gen 4:26:

Gen 4:26  And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.

Seth is the third named son of Adam and Eve.  Seth has a son and names him Enos.  Enos is the same as the Hebrew word H582 that means “mortal” and I find that fact very interesting when observed by what God connects within the context of this verse to this name Enos being given.  Enos was born approximately 235 years after Adam’s creation.  You may recall by reading earlier in the context of Genesis 4 that Adam and Eve had a son named “Cain” first and then they had another son named “Abel”.  The older brother Cain murders his younger brother Abel and this is the first direct mention of any natural human death occurring in our world in the Bible.  I’ll say it again that this natural death of Abel entering into the world was the first recorded occurrence of human mortality to actually be observed by any other human on the earth.  God plainly prophesied and warned Adam that death would come if he sinned and disobeyed God’s command.   It was truly the sinful disobedience of Adam that allowed death to enter into the world according to Romans 5:12.  I personally believe that it was the observed death of Abel the first human’s blood to be shed upon the earth that caused this verse in Genesis 4:26 to come to pass.

I believe that as soon as men and women on the earth began to realize the great impact and consequences of human sin they began to call upon the name of the Lord/Jehovah.  Why do you think that people would feel the need to call on the name of the Lord in Genesis 4:26?  What were they calling Him for? That is a very great question to ponder.  What benefit was there to calling on the name Jehovah at this time or anytime?  Was there actually any profit for doing this?  I firmly believe that there was then and still is now.  Let’s look at an example of one O.T. stated benefit for calling upon the name of the Lord:

Psa 99:6  Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.

Notice that Moses, Aaron and Samuel all called on the God named Jehovah.   Let me ask you this question, if you are calling on the name of Buddha will the LORD God named Jehovah answer?  If you are calling on the name of Hare Krishna will the LORD Jehovah answer?  What about the name of the sun god Ra or the mythological god named Zeus?  What if you called upon the name Allah?  Will the LORD Jehovah answer to any of these names?  Let’s look at a great Bible example of why it is so very important to call upon the right name and the right God:

1Ki 18:24  And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

Wow this verse is pretty awesome.   Elijah challenges the priests of the false gods and tells them to call upon the name of their gods and he would call upon the name of Jehovah the true living God just like Moses, Aaron and Samuel did and the God that answered by fire would be God.  That was an overwhelming display of faith in the name of Jehovah by Elijah.  If you read the rest of the chapter you will find who heard, who answered and who prevailed in this challenge and it was the God named Jehovah.  Was there any advantage gained by Elijah for him to call upon Jehovah?  It is very self-evident that there was a great benefit found in this example for Elijah’s faith and wise choice to call upon Jehovah.

This is just a very basic fact of truth being taught.  If you called me by the name of John when my real name was Ron, please understand that I will probably not answer you.  If you want a response from anyone you should probably know their name. If you want someone to answer you, it is wise to call them by their name.  These are very simple truths yet extremely important to know.  We could say that this “call on the right name and He will answer knowledge” is just “common sense” but yet this human quality seems to be an escaping virtue to possess these days for so many.  God gives us examples in Psalms 99:6 of a few select men that called upon His name.  These men were Moses, Aaron and Samuel and they are said to have all called upon the name of Jehovah and it tells us clearly that they received a response from Him.  That is the first astounding benefit revealed by God in this lesson for believing in His name and calling upon the name of the Lord.  God teaches us that if we call upon His name then He will hear us and He will answer because He is no respecter of persons.  Therefore, if your LORD is Jesus then call upon Jesus and see if He hears and answers the same as Jehovah did in these examples.  I believe that we have already established with scripture that Jesus was Jehovah in the flesh in lesson 1 but we re exploring more evidence in this lesson to remove all doubt.

CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD BENEFITS

I introduced you to just one of the benefits to calling upon the name of the Lord in the previous section. This section will continue the lesson with more of the stated benefits for believing in the name of the correct Lord and calling upon His name.  I want to begin this section of the lesson with a verse for you to read and then ask you a question to why it is important.  Please read over this verse carefully noting what is stated and then you begin to ask yourself questions from what you believe that God has given to you to know:

Act 4:18  And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.

Notice the Apostles were teaching others about Jesus and this made the Jews very angry.  But more specifically notice that the apostles were teaching directly about the “name of Jesus”.  Wow that sounds important to me.  Why would it even be necessary for the apostles to teach in the name of Jesus?  Could there have been any directly stated or even implied benefits that were attached to this name that needed to be made known to the others that heard?  Could the others that heard the name of Jesus being taught also gain any benefits from hearing about His name?  Why would Satan not want the “name of Jesus” to be spread to others? According to this verse there must be some great significance for teaching in the name of Jesus that the enemy wants to silence.  This name of Jesus sounds very important to me and I hope you will agree.  This is exactly why I am spending so much time teaching on the name of Jesus.

We are studying the reasons why the belief in the name of Jesus and calling on His name is very essential.  We have discovered that when we call upon the name of the Lord, He says that He hears us and that He will answer.   We can learn some very key facts to know about the name of the Lord Jesus if we open our spiritual eyes to see and receive them.  The word benefit is defined as “an advantage or a profit gained from something given or obtained”.  The something in this case given is for us “to believe in the name of Jesus” and then “to call upon this name of Jesus”.  The profit and advantage gained from doing these two simple things may be far greater than you can possibly imagine right now.  Before I go further I’ll state the antithesis truth of what I just said.  The opposite truth states that the losses and disadvantages that are faced by not believing in the name of the Lord and not calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus could be infinitely consequential to your life.  Let’s get started with learning some of the essential benefits and advantages for learning the name of the LORD:

Psa 116:12  What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?

Psa 116:13  I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.

Here are two great subject verses.  The Hebrew word in verse 12 translated as benefits means to “bestow on” or to “deal bountifully” with someone.  That reveals to us that God by His freewill and sovereign choice has placed His infinite divine grace and favor upon those that call upon His name.  But many will try to say that these verses are not about Jesus so why are you including it here?  However that is really not true.  Almost everything in the Old Testament points us to Jesus even if you do not see it at first.  I teach that Jesus is the central themed subject of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

Verse 12 teaches us that we cannot earn or repay what God is prophesied to do for us in this verse or now has done for us after Christ has come.  However, this undeserved gift is truly a New Testament Grace concept.  What is God talking about here that cannot be repaid?  Verse 13 gives us a glimpse into what one of these coming benefits is.  Salvation is the stated primary subject benefit for believing and calling on the name of the LORD.  However, this “cup of salvation” must be taken by the one that it is being offered to.  God does not force anyone to drink from this saving cup. This cup is what God has offered to every man, woman and child on the earth.  God has extended the cup of salvation to each of us in this life.  If we choose to take it we will be saved.  How does this work?  God tells you in the last part of verse 13.   We must call upon the name of the LORD.  Again that sounds critical to know.   Could that be the reason why the Apostles in Acts were teaching the people about the name of Jesus?

The key name of God found in verses 12 and 13 are translated as LORD which is the Hebrew word H3068 again referred to in English transliteration as “Jehovah”.  The Hebrew word Jehovah is included by God in over 5500 verses of the O.T.   Jehovah is also a root word of the name of the English transliterated name of Jesus as I have previously taught several times now.  What we need to do is to learn if there are any other supporting God given connections of Jesus being Jehovah.  So let’s establish truth using the Bible and the Spirit of God to guide us.  Consider this important subject verse next:

Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Here in this chapter’s context is found the primary subjects of human salvation in conjunction with the belief and placing our faith in the name of Jesus in order to be saved.  Did you notice what this verse said?  God tells us that whoever shall choose to make a decision and call on the name of the LORD they and they alone will be saved.  Who is this LORD?  I believe if you are intelligent you will know that this LORD is speaking of only Jesus Christ.

Now please know and understand that this verse in Romans 10:13 is a direct quotation of another Old Testament verse about Jehovah found in Joel 2:32.  Wow, that is just an amazing coincidence that God through the inspired writer Paul would use an obscure O.T. verse to teach us that the N.T. man named Jesus is the same LORD as O.T. named Jehovah.  You see the Hebrew word that is translated as LORD in Joel 2:32 is Jehovah (H3068) the exact word found in over 5500 verses of the Old Testament and the Greek word in Romans 10:13 that is translated as Lord is Kurios (G2932) the same word we have been learning is the equivalent language match.  Again these two verses in Romans and Joel further establish that the Greek word G2932 and the Hebrew word H3068 are equivalent words about the same subject just across a language division boundary.  Are you getting it yet?  I hope so.

I hope and pray that you are beginning to learn why this is so important.  God is teaching us that the O.T. Jehovah (LORD) is the same as the N.T. Lord Jesus using the direct law of inspired quotation.  They must both be the same person called by one name “LORD” in two different languages.  God is teaching us that it was Him, the Jehovah/Lord God that became Jesus and walked among us to save us.  Why can’t people see this?  People do not see the truth because the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:4 their minds have been blinded by the god of this world (Satan).  Satan is still trying to stop people like me from teaching on the name of Jesus and who He is.  There is truly nothing new under the sun.

There are so very many people who call themselves saved Christians and ignore the Bible.  They do not believe that Jesus was God come in the flesh and I believe this endangers their salvation tremendously.  These types of people take their selective verses and attempt to prove Jesus was just a man, just a prophet or even just an angel sent down from heaven.  This type of belief leaves God’s direct participation and contribution in our salvation process completely out of the picture.  It would further make Jesus an impersonal created unwilling participant and would certainly deny His deity.  In other words some believe that God sent or created someone else instead of coming Himself to save us.  That type of belief denies the name of Jesus to be meaningful.  Wow that is such a huge deception being pulled over the spiritual eyes of people.  Let’s move to two other verse witnesses that Jesus Himself spoke:

Luk 6:46  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Joh 13:13  You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.

In the first verse Jesus asks “Why do you call me Lord (Kurios) and do not do what I say?”  In the second verse Jesus says “You call me teacher and Lord (Kurios) and you speak well because I am (He)”.  However, remember again the basic fact that Jesus was a Jew and spoke Hebrew, so He was not speaking the Greek language when He said these statements even though it was recorded in the Greek language for us to read.  This means from our previous study that Jesus said Luke 6:46 “Why call you me “Jehovah” “Jehovah” and do not do what I say?” and in John 13:13 He said “You call me teacher and JEHOVAH and You are correct I am”.  Wow, Wow and Wow!  Are you receiving who Jesus claimed to be?  Get what Jesus is saying.  Think like a Hebrew for a few moments!  Put yourself in the audience when Jesus made these statements and you will soon understand why many picked up stones to kill Him.

Jesus is directly claiming to be God Almighty in the flesh with both of these statements.  Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus ever dispute being the Jehovah LORD.  Nowhere does Jesus ever deny being God Jehovah incarnate.  In fact the completely opposite is actually found true.  Jesus repeatedly alluded to the fact that He had come down from heaven and that He and His Father were ONE (John 10:30).  Yet so many people refuse to see the truth and they choose to buy into a lie of Satan so easily.  Here is another additional witness to insure the accuracy of Jesus being Jehovah:

Act 2:21  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Let every word of truth be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses the Bible teaches.  God again quotes the prophet Joel here in this verse in Acts.  This verse is a duplication of Roman’s 10:13 statement.  The Apostle Peter after being filled with the Holy Ghost stands up and preaches to the multitude that was found present to hear him.  If you read the context you will find that He is speaking directly of Jesus as being this “Lord” that Joel prophesied about coming.  Wow again, is that not just a little bit crazy?  I’m being humorous by asking that question.  No, Peter was not crazy.  Peter was a Jewish man also and he was quoting a Hebrew verse about Jehovah claiming that it was written about Jesus.  Therefore, Peter claimed that Jesus was Jehovah come down to the earth and was teaching this to anyone that hears it.

We just read that Jesus Himself claimed to be Jehovah.  Then if men like Peter believed Jesus was Jehovah and Paul believed Jesus was Jehovah why don’t you?   We would have to follow a completely different and false Gospel in order to believe in a salvation process that did not come from the God Jehovah personally being present on the earth to die for our sins.   I would strongly suggest that you go and reread Roman 10 and Acts 2 again and again to see how God used the Joel prophecy to describe Jesus as being LORD (Jehovah).  This is exactly what was being proclaimed by the early church believe it or not.  I am going to take this divine message even deeper to help you to learn the truth.  You are probably familiar with this verse but hopefully new light will shine upon it so that you will see it differently:

Rom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Paul a Jew writes that “if you will confess (call, speak, say) with your mouth the LORD Jesus….you will be saved”.  The Greek word translated as “LORD” in this verse is the same G2962 Kurios that we have learned is the equivalent to the Hebrew Jehovah.  Now change this one word Lord in the sentence and reread the verse:

Rom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth JEHOVAH is Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

I made three minor but legitimate changes to the KJV Bible verse.  I took away “the”, added “is” and change Lord to the Equivalent Hebrew word “JEHOVAH”.  All of this was legal.  I will confirm this with using the amplified translation:

Rom 10:9  Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord (JEHOVAH) and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Notice how the amplified translated the original Greek.  I added the word (JEHOVAH) to bring clarity because this was the original Hebrew equivalent word.  The amplified Bible said for us to say “Jesus is LORD” and by the law of Algebraic equivalence we know that we can or should say “Jesus is Jehovah”.  BY believing who Jesus was and making this statement we are declaring Jesus to be Jehovah our God and this verse says when we do that we will be saved.  This harmonizes precisely with the verses we just looked at in Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13 and Acts 2:21.

What we are learning is that our New Covenant salvation is found in believing that Jesus is the God Jehovah.  Before we end this section we will observe an additional essential reference for this part of the benefits to the name of Jesus subject study:

Act 4:10  Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

Act 4:11  This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

Act 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Here in these verses we find the primary reason for believing in the name of Jesus and calling upon His name.  Peter very clearly teaches us that there is no other name under heaven given among men where we can even think to be saved.  Wow, wow and wow!!!    Here we again get confirmation that the name of Jesus is an absolute necessity for being saved.  This implies that we must know who this name was given to and what He represents.  What makes this name different than anyone else’s name on the earth?  Why would Satan want us to not teach about this name, learn or know this name?  Anyone telling you that Jesus was not God is from Satan and you have a choice to believe them or not.  I am telling you plainly that Jesus was God using more than enough verses from the Bible to establish the truth and you have the same choice to believe what I say from the Bible or not.

We should learn that salvation is the primary need to learn, know and believe in the name of Jesus, but there is also another quick reference given to us in verse 10 that should be mentioned.  If you read the context you will find why Peter is speaking about Jesus and His name.  Peter had just used his faith in the name of Jesus to cause a lame man at the temple gate to walk.  It was this name of Jesus that Peter said made the man whole.  The Greek word translated as whole means to be healed and made complete.  That teaches us that salvation is much more than just God taking our spirits to heaven after we die.  No the Greek word translated as salvation is “sozo” and it means to be made whole spiritually, mentally and physically.   Go back in Acts and read verse 9 where Peter is telling the elders “by what means this man was made whole”.  The Greek word “whole” in this verse is G4928 “sozo” and it means “to save, deliver or protect”.  This word is used in the N.T. in a varied and wide all-inclusive process.  The name of Jesus saves us in so many ways that most of us have not yet realized or believed.  I’m really not going to get into this part of the meaning of salvation any further in this lesson.  I have other lessons that will expand upon this if you are interested.

What we must conclude from just these few verses that I have gone through so far today is that Jesus was Jehovah come down to save, deliver and protect us by our faith in His name and saying He is our Jehovah (LORD).  That is what the name Jesus means and that was what has occurred and is offered to you if you choose to believe it and receive it.  Therefore, our salvation is the most important reason for believing in and calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus.  This truth was clearly established in Romans 10:13 and Acts 2:21.  We are commanded to call upon His name and God says we will be saved.  Satan will fight you over this and try with all his power to get you not to believe this because this will take you out of his kingdom of darkness and he will no longer be your lord.  I seriously hope and pray that you understand what is being said here because the antithesis truth not directly stated is that if you do not believe or call upon the name of Jesus you will not be saved and go to hell.

DIVINE SIGNIFICANCE FOR THE NAME OF JESUS

I am going to conclude this name of Jesus Bible lesson with a final message of warning.  This warning comes directly from God’s Word and not from my imagination.  I am just the messenger that is delivering the warning.  Paul is writing to the church in these next few verses and we should take special heed to what is stated especially in the light of what we have learned so far about Jesus is Lord/Jehovah.  Turn to Philippians chapter 2 and read with me:

Php 2:5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Php 2:6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Php 2:7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Php 2:8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Php 2:9  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Php 2:10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Php 2:11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

According to God people can bow their knees to the name of the LORD Jesus right now by their choice or they will be forced to bow later without a choice.  There are no other options given to us.  It is and always will be a right now decision by an act of freewill humble submission and surrender or later by an act of superior force.  You need to spend a lot of time reading these verses and understanding what is being revealed about Jesus conforms to everything that I have taught up until this point and then realize who God claimed Himself to be in His written Holy Word.  Verses 5 through 8 teach us about God coming down from heaven and taking on the form of a human male.  He humbles Himself to be a servant in order to die on a cross for our sins.  Verse 9 is referring to God raising Jesus from the dead to ascend back into heaven being given a much superior name above every other name.

Read down to verse 11 and notice who Jesus is written by God’s design to be again.  God tells us in this verse that every tongue will confess that “Jesus is LORD”.  Who is this LORD?  Always remember that the Greek word translated as “LORD” is G2962 Kurios the exact same word that we learned earlier that was equivalent to the Hebrew word H3068 JEHOVAH by God’s definition?  If God inspired the writer Paul to write this message in his native Hebrew language instead of the Greek, what would it have said?  Remember the writer Paul was a native Jew by his own admission.   Paul would have thought thoughts primarily in the Hebrew language.  Therefore, reread the statement inserting the Hebrew word equivalent, “every tongue will confess that JESUS CHRIST IS JEHOVAH”.  Wow that is a very strong word of warning for us to believe in right now.  I really do not understand why people do not think when they read the Bible.  The truth is staring them right in the face but it is hidden from their view by wrong thinking.  Please confess that Jesus is Jehovah right now because later you will be forced to say it but it will be too late.

CONCLUSION

We have only begun to touch on this very major subject of believing that Jesus is Jehovah and calling upon the name of Jesus to be saved.  I have only introduced you to a very small portion of the importance of the name of Jesus. However, we have seen more than enough reasons and evidence to confirm the significance of why it is vitally essential to know Jesus by name and who He was as Jehovah incarnate.   I have also taught on why we all need to believe and call upon this name in order to be saved using multiple verse confirmations.  We have learned a few reasons to know what is gained from believing in the name of Jesus and by calling upon Him by name.  It is very clear from Bible research that the early church taught on this subject of the name of Jesus everywhere they encountered people that needed to be saved. If the early church placed such great emphasis on Jesus being Jehovah why should we not do the exact same?   I will list a few benefits for doing this now again for a quick synopsis overview:

  1. When we believe on Him we will call and when we do not believe we will not call.
  2. When we call upon Him, He will hear us.
  3. When He hears us, God says that He will answer.
  4. All who believe and call on the name of the LORD Jesus will be saved.
  5. Salvation is found in absolutely no other name but the name of Jesus.
  6. I’ll say it again, there is no other name given to men whereby we may be saved.
  7. Never forget to tell people that Jesus is Jehovah.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this Bible lesson.  I do pray that it opened your eyes to see some things that you have never considered before about Jesus and God’s Word.  I hope and pray that this lesson will give sufficient evidence to convince any doubters to confess Jesus is Jehovah now.  If you have the opportunity to share my website with your friends and family I would be so grateful for your help spread the Word of God to others.  Thank you all and God Bless you until next time.

Praising the Lord. One Million Views on Agapegeek!

praise (1)(1.0).  This is just a very quick and short praise report concerning the gracious works of the Lord God on this website.  We have just today surpassed 1 million views on this Bible Study blog.   People from at least 214 different nations of the world have been led by the Spirit of God to read and study the Bible with us by His design.  God’s amazing grace and love for us along with the uncompromising Truth of His Word has been the declared primary focus for the posts here on this website.  People come from the four corners of the globe to read and to learn about Jesus and to grow spiritually mature.  If you have been a reader and a subscriber to these Bible lessons, we do so greatly appreciate all of your faithfulness and dedication to God’s Word so very much.  Please continue to pray for us so that we may continue to grow, expand and help all those that desire to learn and know more about God.  Help us spread the message of Love to the world by telling others about this website.  Share the Bible studies on social media and using email to your friends and family.  God bless each and everyone of you all very, very, very much and be in PRAISE to GOD with us for all that He has done and is doing!!!   GLORY TO GOD!!!  — Agapegeek ❤

BIBLE ANSWERS: How Can the Bible Be Called a Personal Love Letter Written to Me?

bible-answers2(Ver 1.1)  Today’s Bible lesson contains a response from the Spirit of God to answer a very important question asked by a loyal Agapegeek reader.  My reader asked me why I could call the Bible a personal love letter written from God to you and me.  I have mentioned this concept more than once in other Bible lessons.  I have suggested to peoplet that they read the Bible like it was”a personal love letter from God written to them”.  I firmly believe that if each of us would just change or adjust our perspective of the Bible slightly to see it differently from where we may have seen it before that it would be of great benefit for us to help us learn the truth.  What if we read the Bible as if it was a private love correspondence written from a very dear boyfriend or girlfriend?  How would this attitude change your expectations of the words on the page?  Would you consider the word’s of the Bible more meaningful or to be significantly changed by God’s great love for you?  I really do believe that you would.

I grew up in the age before email and text messaging.  In that age to reach someone of any distance you had to write a letter to them.  Yes, I know the telephone was there and that could be used to convey a lot of the same or even better information with feelings by hearing their voice directly.  But long distance calling was expensive so the best way to normally talk to someone in any length was to write a letter to your love.   While God could certainly boom out His message directly from heaven for everyone to hear, He too has chosen to reach out to us using a written form of messaging.  This raises two questions immediately in my mind and these were 1). for what purpose was the Holy Bible written and 2). what were God’s thoughts for us when it was written?  The intent of the Bible could have been anywhere from an attitude of anger, rage and hate on one side of the pendulum to being from a calm, peaceful and loving attitude towards us on the other side.  Which one was it?

Many people read the Bible as if it was written only by a powerful angry God of judgment and punishment for all of their sins and the evils that they have done in this world.  But I am not one of those and I believe the Bible came from a God with a personal caring attention and a specific communication style of love directed at at all of those that would take the time to read what He said!  I believe that we should each receive the Bible like it was an important special delivery love letter written from the most distant place called heaven from the most special person in our lives and see it as Him speaking directly sweet, kind and loving words written to us.  Look at the Bible as God making well intended promises about what He will do for us and to us when He comes for us because of His great love for us.

My reader said that God’s Spirit on the inside of him witnessed with his spirit that this type of Godly loving attitude of message content was a correct perspective to receiving the Bible.  He also felt that it was a true saying that I wrote about in my Bible lessons when I said we should read it like a love letter from God.  But, yet he still needed scriptural evidence and proof for the defense of this statement to confirm his belief.  In other words how could he defend this stated belief if someone asked him why he believed His Bible was a supernatural personal love letter written to him from God?  What an excellent question and what an admirable quality of Christian character to possess.  For someone to be so open minded and in tune with the Spirit of God but at the same time wanting to verify whatever is taught with the backing of the Bible caused him to be like one of the noble Berean types of Christians found in Acts 17:11.  I hope and pray that you are the same way.  Therefore let’s obtain foundation evidence from the Bible for a belief that God wrote the Bible as a personal love letter.

 

WHY WE NEED TO KNOW THE ANSWER

 Let’s open this Bible study with a directly related discussion to why we need to be able to answer when someone asks us a question about the Bible concerning why we believe the way we do about what is written in it.  What I want you to learn in this initial section is why it is important to learn, know and remember the sound Bible truths in order to respond to the questions of people desiring to understand the foundation basis of our beliefs and faith in Jesus Christ. We will begin reading form the book of Colossians:

Col 4:3  Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

Col 4:4  That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.

Col 4:5  Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

Col 4:6  Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

This is such an excellent set of verses.  Paul writes to the church of Colossae.  This information should immediately raise the question in your mind “why am I reading a letter written nearly 2000 years ago to someone else originally like it was applicable to me?  This is what many intellectual deceived people will conclude.  I have also heard religious people that graduate from unnamed seminaries use this argument to explain away verses that did not conform to their traditions.  However that is a lie from Satan.  This letter was written to the Church of Jesus Christ and that is me because I’m in the same body of Christ and they were. There is no new body of Christ today from back them.  I hope that you understand that.

Paul writes both a request for prayer as well as to give them instructions on our important subject question do we need to defend our faith to non-believers?  Paul asks for them to pray that God would open a door for him to be able to preach the mystery of Christ to the lost.  Paul expounds clearly and plainly that God’s word contains divine mysteries that are not easily understood by carnal minded unsaved people.  Therefore Paul then asks them to pray that God would show him what to speak so that he could walk in divine wisdom toward them that were unsaved.  This is an excellent prayer for me if you would have the time to do that.  I know if you are witnessing to people it would be a good prayer for you also.  Let’s continue to go through some more of the information found in these verses written to us in the church.

Paul is talking about speaking the right words for the specific situations for those coming opportunities that God was going to present to him through the open doors being prayed for.  Can you understand what Paul needed and why it is even necessary to ask God for this to help others get saved?  Think with me for a moment.  Every man is different.  Each individual being different will respond to only certain personal words.  One answer to one man will be rejected by another.   This is why we need God to help us because only He knows the right words to speak for every person we encounter.

What if someone that is unsaved comes to you and asks you why do you believe in Jesus?  Do you have an answer?  Wow, I think many do not.  Now let me ask you something related to what Paul prayed.  Do you have the answer that they will receive?  Someone coming to you and asking why you believe in Jesus is really no different than if someone comes to you and asks you why are you reading the Bible?  I believe that one possible good answer to that question would be “I read the Bible because this is God’s love letter that He wrote to me personally”.   However this answer may just bring up another direct question about why you said that?  Will you be able to answer that question also?  What kind of proof or evidence do you have to present to anyone in the court of human personal interaction to defend your statement?  I hope and pray that is the reason that you are reading this Bible lesson to find out.

Col 4:6  Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Look at verse 6 again because this is the main point that I wanted you to see in this introduction.  God says through Paul for our speech (words spoken to the unsaved world) to always be done with God’s Grace (full of grace, spoken in grace, led by grace and even done with and for grace).  Then God says to let your words be seasoned with salt.  Wow now we are getting into more difficult symbolism.  We could spend days talking about the subject of salt but that is not my main subject today.  Therefore let’s move to the last statement in verse 6.

In the last statement in verse 6 God says if we let our words be as the seasoning and preserving salt filled with grace this will cause us to be able to answer any man’s question the way that we should.   What God is saying is you better expect questions concerning your faith and beliefs to come from unsaved people and then you also better expect to give them answers to those questions right away.  Are you ready to do that?

1Pe 3:15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Today the question asked to me was “Why I believe the Bible is written to me personally as a divine love letter from the Almighty God”.  Let’s get into the subject of why the Bible can be considered a divine love letter written to you and I from the most intelligent and all powerful being that you can imagine named God.

 

WHY SHOULD WE CALL THE BIBLE A LOVE LETTER?

 I’ll begin this section of the subject study by using a very basic important fact presented to us in the Bible about how God identifies to us His character as being love.  This basic foundational fact should be one of the truths that every Christian learns directly after being saved.  Knowing God’s true character and nature will help us to know how to understand the entire rest of Bible.  We should always balance God’s revealed character of love with His stated works and actions.  I will say that this is a complex question to answer and sometimes Bible answers to basic questions are not as easy as reading only one verse but I will still try to answer the question as best as I can in this presentation of message delivery.  Let’s start with seeing this very important basic Bible truth of God’s character found directly in the first epistle of John:

1Jn 4:8  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

1Jn 4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

Notice the declaration of divine character being presented to the church in these two verses that “God is LOVE”!  The Greek word translated as “God” in these verses is G2316 and this Greek word can be transliterated as “THEOS”.   THEOS is one of the dominate N.T. names of God and is found in 1172 verses.  THEOS is LOVE is one of the most vital statements of God’s makeup, character, personality and nature found in the entire Bible.  Love is stated to define who and what God is and this declaration must be the revealed source for His other great qualities such as His morals, His compassion, His mercy and His grace.  God wraps all of His other Bible described attributes in the one word named Love.  This word translated as “love” is the Greek word “AGAPE” (G26) and we all need to learn this word.  According to John 3:16 AGAPE means to give grace, mercy and compassion to someone when it is not desired, deserved, earned or even appreciated.  I am not going to explain that statement further so if you can’t read John 3:16 and see that this is a true statement you need to spend a great deal of time studying on this verse before you continue in this lesson.

God’s (THEOS) divine love (AGAPE) is nowhere close to a normal human type of expressed love.  The God kind of love is unconditional.  God loves us because this is His character and nature and not because of anything that we can do for Him or to Him to earn it.   I would like to make a point that God does not have love because these verses say very clearly that God is love.  There is a huge difference between being something and having something. For example if I had gold that is completely different than saying that I am gold.   Humans fall in love and fall out of love and this is not an example of God’s love (AGAPE).  God is never going to stop loving you because you did something wrong, made a mistake or even told Him that you did not love Him.  Wow, that is difficult to even comprehend.

What we observe from these two statements in 1 John 4:8 and 4:16 is that there is a definite mathematical law that what one (GOD THEOS) is the other (LOVE AGAPE) is.  Each are declared to be the equivalent representative of the other only using a different description, name, title or label.  Wow, that was a very powerful statement of truth.  What I am saying is when you see “AGAPE” you should see “THEOS” and when you see “THEOS” you should see “AGAPE”.  There is no difference between the two by God’s definition.  Remember that this is God’s definition and not mine.  God teaches us that they both are stated to be mathematically equivalent.    This truth is like saying “GOD/THEOS” = “LOVE/AGAPE” in mathematical notation terms.  Let’s check out another verse that claims God is love:

2Co 13:11  Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

Here we have further confirmation that God is love.  I like to give more than one verse to prove the statements that I make because God declares in the mouth or two or three witnesses from the Bible let every word be established.   Here is God writing through Paul to say “the God of LOVE”.  It would be perfectly fine to say “the God (THEOS) who is love (AGAPE) and peace will be with you”.   Wow, I just love the Bible.  This is simply teaching us because we have God on the inside of us we have LOVE present.  We cannot or at least should not deny that God (THEOS) is stated to be love (AGAPE).

Ok we have just learned and now should know that God and love are stated to be equivalent and so whatever God does should be concluded to be based upon HIS dominant descriptive quality of Him being LOVE.  Do you understand this logic so far?  Therefore, based upon 1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:16 and 2 Corinthians 13:8 we have a new mathematical rule to use that states wherever GOD (THEOS) is found LOVE (AGAPE) can be found also by the mathematical law of algebraic substitution.  Using these mathematical commutative laws it is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged to say GOD (THEOS) = LOVE (AGAPE) and therefore LOVE (AGAPE) = GOD (THEOS) and we can use either titled name form to describe Him or point others to Him.  Do you understand this very basic mathematical truth reality?  If you do then please read this verse next carefully with this in new information in the forefront of your mind:

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Now change the single most important focused subject word “God” (THEOS) found in this verse to the equivalent of “Love” (AGAPE) using the mathematical laws of substitutionary equivalency and reread the sentence:

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of LOVE (AGAPE), and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Now we should be able to begin to easily understand why I could say that God’s Holy Word was a personal Love Letter written to you and me.    Based upon this knowledge, one of the primary reasons for the purpose of the Bible being given to us is because of GOD/LOVE.  Then God explains in this verse because of His love His Word is beneficial to teach us (doctrine).  This literally means God’s Word instructs us like children helping us to grow up.  The next benefit for God’s word is “reproof” and this is a Greek word that means to give us “proof” or “evidence”.  Uh oh that is exactly what we all need to answer any question.  We are finding the proof that the Bible is God’s love letter simply by studying and learning what He says.  This is us again coming to God’s Word like 2 year old children asking their loving parent why, why and why.  Next the Bible is then stated to benefit us by “correcting” us.  This simply means a confirming repetition of the previous statements that God is turning us away from the ways that are not good for us using His loving Word.  This is exactly the role of a loving parent given to their child in a caring and loving relationship.  The final statement is a Greek word translated as “instruction” which declares the same loving purpose for the Word of God meaning “tutorage”.  God is simply saying My Word will train you in the way you should be going as a wise loving parent will do for any of their children with great love.

What we have just observed is a Loving Heavenly Father that gives us His word in Love and for AGAPE instruction, training and evidence.  This should be changing your perspective of the Bible dramatically by now if you are His child and want to grow spiritually.

 

HOW CAN ALL OF THE WORD OF GOD BE PERSONAL TO ME?

 Jer_29_11We have just gone through a simple quick introduction to the subject of why the Bible is a written love letter from God.  But we still need to connect why the entire Bible should be considered personally written to you and I?  In other words if the Old Testament was originally written to the natural nation of Israel, how do any of these previous Old Testament words apply to us today in the New Testament church?  I will answer that question by saying Old Testament verses do relate and apply to us if we know how to use them.  But let’s begin by taking a specific O.T. example to consider.  We will go back to a verse that is often used by modern church preachers.  This verse is found in the book of Jeremiah.  Yet it this old verse is often quoted to be for us now in the church.

Jer 29:11  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

First consider the verse using the knowledge gained from the second section in the lesson on the subject of GOD = LOVE.  Is this verse in Jeremiah 29:11 a love based statement?  I believe it is very clear that it is AGAPE based.  The LORD is speaking in this statement and He declares that He has good plans for the intended reader of this text.  It further says that God has good thoughts of peace towards these people also.   Sounds like a loving father to me, how about you?   If you read the context you will see in verse 1 of this chapter that these words were written to the remnant of Israel that was taken captive into Babylon.  This is clearly not me or you, is it?  So how does this type of verse apply to us in the church?  That is the great question.  Do verses like Jeremiah 29:11 have anything to do with you and I today?

Do you remember that we just learned from 2 Timothy 3:16 that “ALL SCRIPTURE” was given by inspiration of God for our instruction and this statement was written directly to the church and I am certainly in the church.  This verse in 2 Timothy immediately teaches us that even the Old Testament contains inspired words that are at the least important and beneficial for us to learn from.   Do you understand this so far?  Do you agree with this concept so far?

When the church was first established based upon the description given to us in the book of Acts, the disciples preached the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of that day using only the Old Testament writings.  Therefore the O.T. verses were the only divinely inspired Words of God that could be used to verify doctrinal information that they possessed or were presented.  The Old Testament was the only proof and evidence that was present to confirm everything that was being taught by the disciples.  If you read Acts 17:11 as I previously mentioned it declared the more noble Berean Christians searched these O.T. scriptures daily to verify what was being taught by Peter, James, John, Paul and etc.  This should help us to begin to understand the significance of why even the Old Testament is so important to learn and correctly understand for us in the modern church.  It is vital to remember that the Old Testament verses were given by the same inspiration of AGAPE that the New Testament verses were given by.  There is absolutely only one Bible written by only one author and He is the God called LOVE and this fact will sustain us to arrive at the truth if we continue to study and learn.

Christians today often still struggle to understand how a verse written to the Old Testament natural nation of Israel could be applicable to them.  Therefore, let’s examine some verses in the New Testament that help us to understand why they do apply to us.  We will begin by reading a verse found in 2 Corinthians:

2Co 1:20  For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

 Here is where life could begin to get complicated for many Bible readers.  This is a verse of Holy Scripture that teaches all of us in the church that “EVERY” promise made by God applies to us even if they were made by God during the Old Covenant.   That statement is also a complicated concept that passes over the head of Christians.  They tend to over analyze and see many O.T. promise verses as being only made to the people of natural Israel but that is not what this verse said.  Every is an all-inclusive statement omitting none of them.  That means if God made a promise it is ours by the definition of 2 Corinthians 1:20.   However there is a qualification given in order to be included in this statement.  Did you see it in the verse?  We must pay attention to every detail or we will fall into error easily.

The qualification for God’s promises to be made manifest was given to only those that were “IN HIM”.  I’ll say it again “All the promises of God are given to those that are in Him”.  All the promises of God are Amen (so be it) to ONLY those that are “in Him”.  What does that mean?   This simply teaches us a principle that is not widely taught in the church but I will try to explain this without going into great detail in this lesson.  I’ll begin by asking you “Are you in Him?”  The “Him” is of course referring to Christ Jesus!    You are either “In Him” if you are saved or you are “separated and apart from Him” if not saved.  That is the basic simple truth.

So why is it important for us to be in Jesus Christ?  Wow that is an amazing question to find the answer if you really think about it?  Who was Jesus Christ?  We should already know that Jesus was the Son of God the second person of the Godhead and trinity.  But, we should also know that He was the Son of Man (Adam) and a descendant of Abraham.  The genealogy of Jesus given by divine inspiration in Luke 3 proves to us the natural family lineage of Jesus as direct descendant of the natural nation of Israel.  This makes Jesus our qualifying partner.  Jesus was and is the reason we can possess the Old Testament promises of God written to natural Israel.  There are over 100 verses in the New Testament that informs us that we are in Christ Jesus.  Because we are said to be in Jesus Christ, we have what He has.  What Jesus possesses we possess.  It is very simple and yet so very profound.  Let’s explore some additional New Testament verses to help confirm what is being taught:

Gal 3:9  So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Here is another potentially confusing verse.  They which “be” of faith is speaking of “you and I” if you are saved by God’s grace through your faith (Eph 2:8).  Are you of faith?  I know I am of the faith!  Then it says if you are of faith then you are blessed along with and the same as faithful Abraham.  Why would this be a true statement?  Many of us in the church are probably not a natural descendant of Abraham.  So how can we have the same blessings as Abraham?  Let’s continue down to another verse in Galatians to learn more:

 Gal 3:14  That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Oh, this verse is beginning to speak more directly of me because I’m definitely a Gentile man.  Notice that the blessings of Abraham will come upon the Gentiles through the Lord Jesus Christ.  Now we have two keys to the puzzle.  There was the mention of faith in verse 9 and mention of Gentiles being blessed through Christ Jesus in verse 14.  What we are doing is gathering puzzle pieces to learn how the spiritual things of God were accomplished and how they apply to us by faith.  But there is much more to learn and we are missing the main puzzle piece still.  Let’s continue to read down into verse 16:

Gal 3:16  Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Notice what this verse says because this is a very essential New Testament truth ignored by many.  God through the Apostle Paul writes to us that all of the promises made to Abraham were made to him and to his seed.  But here is where the clarification comes from God that it was not all of the people that were born from Abraham but rather only one seed being Jesus Christ.   Do you understand this?  God promised the blessing to only Abraham and to only Jesus the seed of Abraham.  That is an amazing statement of truth being given by revelation to Paul.  Seed is a word that can be singular or plural without any modification.  It is only by the choice of the speaker which one it is.  Since God is the speaker we need to conform to which one He said it was and not what we thought or learned from a man.  Do you understand that principle?

Why did I just go through all of these verses in Galatians to teach you these basic Bible facts?  It is simply because since we are “IN CHRIST” we have everything that He has been given by God.  Every blessing that was promised to Christ belongs to me and to you also if you are in Christ.  I’ll say it one more time “What was given to Jesus has been given to us by our faith in Him”.   I will only go over one other puzzle piece in this chapter for the conclusion of this part of the section:

Gal 3:29  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

If you are Christ’s then God declares that you are Abraham’s seed and an heir according to the promise given to Abraham and his seed.  Wow again an awesome statement.  This is just further confirmation that whatever God promised to Abraham in the Old Testament was given to Christ and because we are “IN CHRIST” we have also become the seed of Abraham.  Are you receiving this message from God?  The primary reason I am going through these verses is to teach you why statements made to the natural seed can and will still apply to us in the church today.  Most of the church today are not natural seeds of Abraham but because Jesus was a natural seed that the promise was made to then we have obtained the blessing also.  This is one of the primary reasons why most of the blessing verses written to natural Israel can and will apply to us today in the church.

Do you remember how we got here?  I began teaching this section declaring the truth of 2 Corinthians 1:20 that teach us that “all of the promises of God are in Him Yes and Amen in Christ Jesus”.  What we have accomplished is the placing together of many pieces to present a greater and more complete pictured truth.  Each individual picture piece represents a truth that when joined together correctly present a view into something that is truly much more significant for us to know.   I’ll end this section of the lesson with only one other verse concerning the promises of God:

Heb 8:6  But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

This verse is again speaking of Jesus.  The works of God through Christ Jesus are so much greater than most of us really know or understand.  What God has done through Jesus and given to us because of His death, burial and resurrection is far beyond the human imagination.  All of God’s promises of blessings given to natural Israel have been given to us plus a whole lot more.  The promises of God in the New Covenant must be greater than all of those given in the Old Covenant or no one could call them better.  This is just another reason why it is legal for us in the church to go back into the Old Testament and use any of those words of blessing from God in our lives.  Whatever we can find spoken and written down by God through one of His prophets will be the minimum that we should possess.  In other words we can claim by our faith in Jesus because we are IN HIM and we now have better promises that trump those of the Old Testament.

 

CONCLUSION

 I hope and pray that you enjoyed this very basic but very essential Bible lesson answering the question “How can the entire Bible be considered a personal love letter from God written to me?”  This lesson should provide us a firm foundation for why the verses of blessing that were written to the natural nation of Israel can be applied and taken as a promise from God to us today in the church.  I began this lesson teaching the basic character trait that GOD/THEOS = LOVE/AGAPE.  I then took this truth and applied it to the Bible being given and inspired by GOD/THEOS who is LOVE/AGAPE.  We substituted AGAPE for THEOS in the verse of 2 Timothy and this taught us that the Bible was LOVE inspired written down by men of God for us to learn from.  We went through the fact that there are over 100+ verses in the Bible that tell us those that are saved are “IN CHRIST”.  These verses benefit us because we were given the promises of God made to Abraham by our faith the same as Jesus because we are “IN HIM”.

If you have any questions or comments about anything that was written down here I would be very glad to read them and to respond to them as time and the Lord permits.  Please share this website with you friends and family to help the Word of God’s truth be spread to everyone for free on this planet.  The more God can reach and help people the faster that Jesus can come back and take us out of this world.  I’m personally looking forward to Jesus coming very soon.  Redeem the time because the time is short.  Stand firm in the faith of Jesus Christ and tell everyone you can about His saving grace.  Thank you and may God continue to richly bless you to grow spiritually.

Predestination Revisited! – Part 4 — God’s Invitation to the Wedding