Category Archives: Bible Interpretation
(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:
- Introduction to Rightly Dividing God’s Word of Truth
- Analyzing the Details of Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
- Introduction to the Examples of Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
- Jesus Speaking Spiritual Words – Example 1
- Jesus Speaking Spiritual Words – Example 2
- Jesus Speaking Spiritual Words – Example 3
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.
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.
I 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:
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).
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”.
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
We 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.
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.
Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight — Understanding God’s Methods of Hiding Information in the Bible! Pt 10
(Ver 1.3) This is Part 10 in a series of advanced Bible lessons on the complex methods that God has used to conceal spiritual information in the Bible for us to find. If you do not understand these concepts of how God hides spiritual information, then you have not read the internet very much. When I read the internet on any given Bible subject, I can find 15 different interpretations to almost every verse in the Bible. Everyone is convinced that they know the truth and they teach it like there is nothing else to learn. We know by the sheer numbers that God is not divided into 15 different interpretive meanings of the Bible. God did not create but one actual truth and we have not learned it or we would not be seeing so many attempts at what is the truth. Therefore, we can clearly understand that out of the 15 possibilities that you can read on the internet at least 14 and maybe even all 15 of them are very wrong. Jesus taught us “that if you continued in His word, then you would be His disciples and then you will come to know the truth and this truth would then set you free” (John 8:31-32). So if you are not continuing in the Bible to obtain to this level of knowing the truth, you have already determined in your mind that you are free and you therefore, should not be wasting your time reading my Bible lessons today. What I have been attempting to do in this series of lessons is to point out recognizable, patterns, techniques and methods of hiding the truth using a plain text system of encryption. I have already covered a lot of information that will not be repeated, so if you have not read these lessons from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start your reading with “Part 1”. I will also tell you that I go back and update previous lessons with new information so it might be good for you to go back and reread from the beginning just to get up to date with the latest information on each topic that I have already covered.
Technique 10: Changing the Definition of Common Words, Using Code Names
This is now the tenth technique for concealing the truth in the Bible that I have covered and it is intermixed randomly in several different books, chapters and verses and it is often very difficult to find and recognize unless you know what to look for. One of the key ways that God uses to conceal information in the Bible is to give you a statement using words that you think you know and can easily define, but then later when you read other parts of the Bible you discover that God has a very different perspective to what these words actually mean. This is a common practice used in modern language found in the everyday conversations of people. People use slang words that mean one thing in the dictionary and another completely different thing when heard in the context of the rest of the statement of whoever is speaking. For example, a popular rock star use to sing a song that claimed “I’m Bad”. If you used the popular dictionary definition of this word you would think that it meant he was wicked or evil. However, to the rock star it meant I’m good and I know it. This is a classic example of changing the definition of a known word to convey a new message. We have a whole bunch of people in the world who do this every day. They have invented a new “slanguage” of ways to communicate to each other that others do not understand. This is a highly tricky method of concealing information using words that are clearly readable on the surface but, unless you know that God does this, you will be in the dark on what you are reading and not even realize it.
In an earlier lesson I taught you about God calling multiple things by the same name and then I taught how God can call one thing by many multiple names and these are certainly very similar techniques to what I am teaching today. You see God can selectively change the definition of a word only in certain few verses and in other verses the word means something completely different. Take the word “Day” and try to come up with all of the possible definitions for this one word. This can be a 24 hour time period, a 12 hour time period, or an 8 hour work day, or just a coming time on the calendar or an era, or it can be a specific time of an event like the day we met and this can be past, present or future and it can mean a time of existence like the day of the dinosaur. These are common dictionary definitions of the word ‘day” found in the Bible. But, to God it can also be a specific 1000 year time period based upon God definition of a day found in 2 Peter 3:8. You can clearly see in this verse that God says that “a Day is” and whenever God does this He is about to change the definition of the word that you thought you knew all about. It is like a spy or a policeman with an undercover code name. When someone is undercover they are never called by their real names. They would always use a code name like “mother goose”, “desert eagle” or “Hawkeye”. You can recognize that this might be a code name or you might not know that is what it is, nevertheless you would not know the identity of the person based upon this code name alone. This is a common technique used by the U.S. Secret Service when they are protecting the president, the vice-president and their families. Everyone is given code names so that they can be easily identified internally, but this name can be changed if compromised and they are clearly using this technique to hide the information about who they are protecting. In all of these examples, you would have to have a key or a clue to unlock the identity and this is how God also hides information in the Bible using embedded clues for us to find. If you don’t believe me you should really read the Bible more closely. I always strongly suggest that people use a Bible software search program that allows you to look up every occurrence of each Hebrew and Greek word found in a scripture. In doing this you will soon discover if God gives you a definition of the word in another book, chapter or verse of the Bible that may not be what you thought it meant. Regardless of if there is a new definition or not you will find out what else God says about the subject and learn something potentially new.
So this new concept you are looking for in the Bible is not that complex, but yet it can be very hard to find. You are looking for verses that say “something” IS “some definition”, or “This IS” something and then some definition. Of course getting a definition for the word “IS” is not that easy either. As you listened to a president on TV a few years ago there seems to be many possible definition to this word, but to me it means something that resembles the likeness of something else. You might call it a synonym or a synonymous term. I will give you several more examples of this found in the Bible so do not panic and think that you have to figure it out all by yourself. I already told you about 2 Peter 3:8 where God gives us a very different definition to the word “Day”. However, you cannot apply this definition to every time you see this word in the Bible or you will get confused. There will be times when you can use it as a double reference and see if it reveals something new in a verse that you thought you previously understood, but yet it is sometimes challenging to make the transition into the spiritual meanings behind a verse that is describing a natural story. Take the days of creation in Genesis 1 and 2. God lists six days of creation and one day of rest in Genesis 1 and 2. If you try to take the 2 Peter 3:8 definition of a day and make God’s creation last 6000 years, then you would be hopelessly confused. What you must do is see that Genesis 1 and 2 is describing actual creation 24 hour time periods that have a double referenced meaning for a prophetic day of human history attached to it. God says “I make known the end from the beginning” (Isa 46:10). So we must realize that from the information given to us in Genesis, God is revealing the end. Since it has been nearly 6000 years since the creation of man on the planet, we can understand that this corresponds to the 6 days of creation that are spoken of in Genesis 1 using 2 Peter 3:8 definition of a day. Therefore, each day of Genesis 1 is a prophetic view into the coming 6 – 1000 year time periods of human history. When you can see this, then you are approaching the hidden meanings attached to them. It is very much like solving a very complex riddle or puzzle. God is the master concealer of information in the Bible and He has implemented some very tricky ways to conceal information in the Bible for us to find. If you are not a puzzle solver type of person, then you should not be studying the Bible. I talk about the prophetic viewpoint of the days of creation in other Bible lessons that I have already done, so I will not get into that again in this lesson today.
I will give a few more examples of this technique in the Bible and you might learn how it works when you read about them. Take the words “eternal life”. These words occur only around 30 times in the New Testament in about 12 New Testament books. If you looked up the definitions of the words in the dictionary you might find something like “the condition or state of being alive forever” or “the immortal state of never dying”. Most Bible scholars associate God’s life span to be eternal or infinite. We look at God as having no beginning and no end. Therefore, God possesses eternal life qualities. But, is this what God is saying in the Bible when He uses these words? Let’s look at a sample verse:
Rom 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
Here we have a very interesting scripture verse. It speaks of men who seek some things from God. At least that is what it appears to me to say. However, notice the end of the statement and see the words “immortality” and “eternal life”. What is the difference between these two things? They would seem to be synonymous terms for the same thing from my viewpoint. Immortality would mean never dying or no end of existence. I guess “eternal life” could be slightly different when referring to men or to God, but I won’t go there right now. All men and women on the planet have a beginning when they are born into this world. So do people exist prior to conception? Actually that is a really good question, but I believe that from what I have seen in the Bible that people have a set beginning at conception and prior to this they do not exist. If you know of scripture that states anything differently I would be happy to learn about them. So now we have the problem of determining when does or if it is possible for a human to ever cease to exist and I do not believe that this is possible based upon what I know about the Bible. A human is a spirit being who lives in a body and after that body is dead; the spirit then departs to be with the Lord if they are saved (2 Cor 5:8) or they are relocated to hell to await judgment. If you do not like that explanation you need to learn to read your Bible and see that this is what happened by the words of Jesus himself in Luke 16:22 where God tells us of two men who died and what happened to them after they were buried. Several very ignorant and spiritually blind people have tried to tell me that this is just a parable, but that is clear fallacy and a feeble attempt to explain away the truth. Jesus never mentions the name of a real man in any parable, if He did this He would become a liar. Let’s get back to “immortality” and “eternal life” and why God uses both of these in that verse in Romans 2:7.
Jud 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Here we have another verse containing the phrase “eternal life” and it appears that whatever this is comes from Jesus Christ. We are still guessing to determine the definition of these words and we are not any closer to a resolution so we must continue searching the Bible to see if God enlightens us to what we need to know about this subject. Fortunately I have already done this search and I found God’s definition of “eternal life” in this verse:
Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Here is God’s new definition using the classic “This IS” eternal life definition. If you can see what this verse says, it dramatically changes the definition of every other occurrence found in the New Testament of the phrase “eternal life”. Those that have eternal life are only those that know God. If you do not know God then you do not have eternal life. Of course both groups of people live forever somewhere, but they are in completely different locations within the spiritual realm. What we have discovered by searching the Bible is a clear redefinition of the words “eternal life” and these are not found in the dictionary definition anywhere. God is in effect changing our perspectives to how we saw these 30 occurrences in the New Testament that speak about eternal life. This is clearly a code name substitution method and a great example of how getting God’s definition to the words has revealed the truth to us. By getting God’s definition, I greatly increased my understanding of the verses that I thought I already understood.
I cannot give you every example, of this technique in the Bible, because I do not know them all. I will give you a table of some example code names and descriptions found in the Bible and you should go and look up the verses and read them to see how God is changing the classic definition of some common words and phrases. This is a prevalent method used by God to conceal truth in the Bible and surely you can see it if you study them carefully.
Bible Code Name
|Psalm 119:105||Lamp and Light||The Word of God|
|Proverbs 3:18||Tree of Life||Wisdom|
|Proverbs 6:23||Lamp||The Word of God|
|Proverbs 10:11||Well of Life||The mouth of the righteous man|
|Proverbs 11:30||Tree of Life||Fruit of the Righteous|
|Proverbs 12:18||Health||Tongue of the Wise|
|Proverbs 15:4||Tree of Life||Wholesome Tongue|
|Proverbs 16:22||Wellspring of Life||Understanding|
|Proverbs 18:10||Strong Tower||The Name of the Lord|
|Matthew 11:14||Elijah||John the Baptist the messenger of the Lord|
|Luke 11:29||evil generation||those who seek a sign|
|John 3:19||Condemnation/Judgment||men who loved darkness instead of the light|
|John 6:29||Work of God||Believe on Him who was Sent from God|
|John 6:40||Will of God||See the Son of God and Believe on Him|
|John 6:50||Bread of Heaven||Jesus who has come down from heaven|
|John 15:12||My Commandment||Love one another|
|John 17:3||Life Eternal||Know the true God|
|Romans 9:9||Word of Promise||Spoken to Sarah about her son|
|Romans 11:27||My Covenant||Take away their sins|
|1 Corinthians 11:25||This Cup||The new covenant in my blood|
|Galatians 4:25||Hagar||Mt Sinai and Jerusalem who are in Bondage|
|James 1:27||Pure Religion||Visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction|
|2 Peter 3:8||One Day||1000 Years|
|1 John 2:25||The Promise||Eternal Life|
|1 John 5:3||Love of God||Keep His Commandments|
|1 John 5:4||Victory||Being Born of God|
|2 John 1:6||Love||Walk in His Commandments|
|2 John 1:7||Deceiver||He who denies Christ is come in the flesh|
|John 11:13||Sleep||Jesus redefined sleep to be His viewpoint of death|
There are too many code names in the Bible for me to list them all. Jesus was given many code names that describe Him to us in many different hidden ways. Jesus is called “the Sun of Righteousness”, “the Word of God”, “Daystar”, “Bright and Morning Star”, “Alpha and Omega” and on and on I could go. Satan is called “the serpent”, “the dragon”, “the deceiver”, “the wicked one”, “the beast” and on and on I could go. These are all code name substitution techniques that conceal the identity of the one that they are referring to. By understanding this we begin to unlock some of the doors of the mysteries of God using the keys that He is teaching us how to use. Jesus told us “I give unto you the keys of the kingdom” (Mat 16:19); could these be some of the things that Jesus was referring to in Matthew 16:19? A data key always consists of words, letters, phrases or things that you use to unlock encoded information. For us to know the secrets of the Kingdom of God is the reason for why God put them in the Bible in the first place. God would have never hidden information if we were not intended to learn them before He comes back for us. I hope and pray that you have learned some valuable things from this series of lessons and I may write more about it later. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading in this series of lessons, please go to “Part 11” next.
Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight — Understanding God’s Methods of Hiding Information in the Bible! Pt 9
(Ver 1.2) This is Part 9 in a series of advanced Bible lessons on the complex methods that God has used to conceal spiritual information in the Bible for us to find. If you like solving challenging puzzles, riddles and mysteries then you should enjoy studying the Bible. The Bible is full of God’s hidden spiritual wisdom using words that we can plainly understand and I call this “Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight”. Not too many people have studied this subject primarily because they did not know that God had done this. But, by learning of the existence of these technical methods, what they are and how they work, we should greatly increase our ability to understand the truth of God’s Word. Hiding the truth using standard plain text writings is a very complex system to recognize and to understand and it clearly demonstrates the extreme intelligent design of a God who is capable of doing these things using the words placed in plain view where any man has the opportunity to break the encoded messages. Since I am a former computer programmer with over 25 years of experience and training I understand complex system design better than most laymen. I have worked on and developed some very large and extremely complex computer systems which would have been a challenge for anyone to learn. But, to introduce any new novice programmer to them it would have been overwhelming for them to try to learn and to understand them, much less to change or to maintain them without breaking the system. Now if you are not a computer programmer, you would be more than overwhelmed with trying to figure out how the system works externally, much less trying to figure out how it works internally at the code instruction level. This is why very few people understand the Bible when reading it. You see the Bible has an external message using words that anyone can read, but it also has an internal spiritual message that only Christians can come to understand. When I read the Bible, I can see God’s intelligent design using a series of complex system word components and concealing techniques that while He makes the words plainly readable, the underlying truth is completely hidden from the view of naturally minded men and women. You have to be extremely intelligent to design a system like this and I believe God definitely qualifies for the job. To me, learning about how God hides information in the Bible has furthered my beliefs that He is the author of this book. Hopefully as you read and study these techniques you will be able to recognize these methods also and learn how to decipher the hidden spiritual meanings behind the words that you are reading. I have covered a lot of subjects already in this series of lessons and I will not be repeating the information previously given in any detail. So, if you have not read this series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start your reading with “Part 1“.
Technique 9: Speaking in a Third Person Style of Writing about Yourself
This next technique for concealing the truth in the Bible is intermixed randomly in several different books, chapters and verses and it is often very difficult to find and recognize unless you know what to look for. I call it God writing or telling a story about Himself from a seemingly unknown, unnamed or anonymous third person view point or perspective. In other words in this style of writing God speaks about certain people, events or actions all the while referring to Himself as a nameless man who does something natural like sow a seed in a field, get a wife for his son, cut down a tree or some other physical action that portrays or reveals a greater hidden spiritual reality to us. Authors in our world who write fictional books utilize this technique frequently when telling a story. This writing style allows greater creativity and multiple viewpoints to be established and it greatly complicates the landscape when you want to conceal information. I believe that God uses the anonymous third person writing style predominantly all throughout the Bible. I want to start by teaching you examples of what it is, then how it works and finally give you some specific hidden examples of it in the Bible. Let’s start at the beginning and read in the Book of Genesis, chapter 1, verse 1 that is written as if Moses was a witness to the creation events.
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
As you can read in these first three verses of Genesis there is someone watching or observing what is happening during creation who is never named directly. The observer is clearly an anonymous hidden personality. God is named directly by name in this example, but God is not the first person speaker or observer. What you can see is someone else is watching what God says and then telling us about it. Since Moses was not there to witness creation, we can assume that God is describing the events and He uses Moses to record them. Therefore, God is using a third person perspective for the references to His personal point of view, but every name, place and event is mentioned is that of a real person place and thing that actually exists and happens. In other words God names, names and describes actual events that transpired without saying “I saw the darkness” and “I did this”. God is directly quoted saying words, but God is not speaking directly. The words are heard as if someone was there to watch God create the world. This is a very complex tricky way of telling you something without telling you something directly. The writing style conveys implied and hidden information that is not directly mentioned. I hope you understand this simple example that I just gave you because it does get more complicated than this as we go forward.
I want to stop here and make another point that is important for you to know about. Just because God uses this writing style in Genesis 1 does not mean that God does not also utilize other techniques of concealing information in this same chapter. For example, I have discovered that the book of Genesis is widely symbolic information especially in the first three chapters. This use of symbolism allows God to hide the true identity of Satan as being the deceiving serpent for instance. Satan is later revealed to be this ancient serpent in Revelation 12, but you would not really know that by just reading Genesis. So clearly the serpent was a symbolic hidden reference name to conceal the identity of Satan. Then there are hidden analogies found in Genesis that are clearly much greater complex spiritual truths that hide this information and makes it very hard to find. This is just a small part of the complexity of the Bible and a demonstration of the intelligence of the design of God’s Word. God can use multiple methods of hiding information in the same book, chapter or verse of the Bible and you have to become smart enough to recognize them all to get the real meaning. Today’s lesson is about technique number 9 and I’m not convinced that I am done writing about them all. So reading the first three chapters of Genesis you might encounter seven of the nine techniques used to conceal truth in the Bible intermixed. For example:
- Widely dispersed Truths: Gen 3:1 The serpent is not revealed until Revelation 12. Adam is first mentioned by name in Genesis 2, but he is also mentioned in the New Testament and many other places in the Bible.
- Symbolism: Genesis 1:16, The Greater Light to Rule the Day, revealed to be Jesus the Sun of Righteous in Malachi 4:2 and other scriptures. The serpent is clearly a symbolic reference in Genesis 3:1.
- Referring to the Same Thing Using Multiple Names or Titles: The woman in Genesis 1, 2 and 3 is called “Adam” or “man” in Gen 1:27, “help meet” in Gen 2:18, “woman” in Gen 2:22, “wife” in Gen 2:24, “Eve” in Gen 3:20, “Mother” in Gen 3:20.
- Calling Multiple Things by the Same Name: This is found in Genesis 2:20 where God names the man “Adam”. This name is also given to Jesus the Last Adam in 1 Cor 15:45.
- Types and Shadows: Adam and his wife are shadows of Jesus and his wife the Church. Just as Eve was the Body of Adam, so the Church is the Body of Christ.
- Telling a Story Without Any Explanations: There is clearly the story of creation in Genesis 1 without any explanation of how it was created or when it was created. Genesis 2, God creates the woman from the man, but never explains why.
- Third Person Writing Style: As I have pointed out you can see in Genesis 1 an unknown or unnamed witness to creation is narrating the events that occurred. This clearly has to be God’s point of view but it is not spoken of or revealed to us directly.
This is the complexity of understanding the Bible. If anybody told you that the Bible was easy to understand they lied to you intentionally or they were heavily deceived into thinking they knew more than they actually knew. In just the first three chapters there are clearly seven or eight different concealing techniques intermixed to make the truth unrecognizable to the casual reader. I did not attempt to list every example or to even explain them in any great detail. So you either saw them or you didn’t. I have learned that Bible study is like digging for gold; you might get lucky on the surface, but to really strike it rich you have to dig deep. You must dig very deep and study for countless hours to come to the knowledge of the truth or you have to read the blogs of someone who has done this already and you will save yourself a lot of valuable time. Let’s continue our study of the third person writing style and discover some other ways God has used this technique to conceal information in the Bible
Some modern day fictional writers have copied what God has done in writing about a seemingly unknown or an anonymous man when they are actually writing about themselves in hidden terms. This technique is very similar to when Jesus would speak to us in parables describing new complex spiritual things in a story about a man who had a field. Let me give you a quick review of a parable and how Jesus used it to describe Himself:
Mat 13:31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
Here we have a statement that God is speaking a parable about some powerful spiritual truths using natural recognizable descriptions of some things that were found easily on the earth. Most of the people that Jesus was speaking to understood farming concepts and where food came from and how it worked, however few to none of them understood how to transfer this information into the spiritual realm and determine what it meant. So here in this verse Jesus is speaking using the technique of parables that I have covered before using encoded symbolic descriptors about the Kingdom of Heaven. We therefore understand what to look for in the statement by knowing these two important facts. Remember that a parable is almost always given to us in a statement that says “something” is like “something else” and this alerts us into a mental transition on how we think about the statements that are given next. Here in this parable Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed a grain of mustard seed in his field. We know from this information that God is speaking of spiritual things using symbolism in a third person anonymous writing style. In this chapter it just so happens that Jesus is telling the story about an unnamed man and this is the reverse logic we found in the first Chapter of Genesis where we saw an unnamed person telling a story of what God says. However, this unnamed man in the parable is clearly God. Therefore, we must make the mental transformation to see the man who sows the seed to be a hidden reference to God and what He will do or has done. It further goes to say that God has a garden which is a place to plant seeds. We can understand that the field is symbolic, the seed is symbolic, “sowing” is symbolic as well as the man is symbolic and we must convert these into their spiritual meanings in order to understand the story correctly. If you have read my series of lessons on “Understanding Seeds” in the Bible you will better understand what is being taught. So I will not go through and attempt to re-explain all of the elements in the parable in this lesson. What I want you to see is my key point that God is speaking of Himself as being a symbolic unnamed man that sows a symbolic seed into His field and that these natural things reflect much greater hidden spiritual truths.
That last example wasn’t too hard to figure out since maybe you already understand the parable concepts that I taught earlier. However, what if God took away the information about this is a parable and that something is like something else and He only told you the story? Could you be smart enough to put it together and recognize what God is talking about? By removing this information it would dramatically make it more complex to figure out what is being taught. If you would allow me I’ll change this one verse and omit those introductory facts so can see how it might change it if God would have chosen to do this:
Mat 13:31 A man took a grain of mustard and sowed in his field:
You see without the key information given that this is a parable which is conveying spiritual things about the Kingdom of Heaven, how would you ever figure out what God is talking about? I think you would not be able to put the two realities together without this information even though the information can still be determined by using some logical assumptions. It just makes it significantly more difficult to come up with the correct interpretation if God would do this and guess what? God has done this numerous times in the Bible. Here is a good example of this found in a statement that Jesus makes in Matthew 19:
Mat 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
Mat 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Mat 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Here is Jesus speaking again of marriage and the fact that God created them male and female in the beginning. However, did you notice what Jesus said and how He said it? Be precise and pay very close attention to every word spoken. In verse 4 Jesus says “Have you not read” and then He says “that he which made them”. Who was he that made them? It was the speaker of the question, “he who made them” was Jesus. The creator God is doing the speaking and He calls Himself an anonymous pronoun of “he”. That is a prime example of an anonymous “third person” reference to Himself using the personal pronoun of “he”. Think with me and see what is happening here in this statement. God is not lying or fabricating information, He is just not revealing everything that He could have. Jesus could have said “I created them male and female”, but this would have gotten Him stoned for claiming to be God. God is using this style for several reasons, but you can see that it is very clever to speak this way. It gives the information that you want to provide without revealing things that you do not wish to reveal. Next, Jesus is basically quoting from Genesis 2:24 and this is a prime example of how God is writing something about a physical man who we can all relate to, named Adam and it directly applies to the spiritual man named Jesus (the Last Adam) also. Remember that in Matthew 13:31 Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is like a “man” who sows a grain of mustard seed in a field. I have concluded that the symbolic man being referred to is God. Therefore, if you read this verse in Matthew 19:5 you will see another unnamed “man” being spoken of. You can assume that Jesus is only speaking about Adam or you can open your eyes and see that Jesus is revealing more than you know right now. Because Jesus does not name the man, the man is open to being a greater spiritual truth. Jesus of course called himself the “son of man” frequently. So Jesus was definitely a “man”. Therefore, we can make the jump that Jesus could be talking about himself in this verse leaving His Father in heaven and coming to the earth. We also know from studying the Bible that Jesus will soon be formally married to His bride and you can read about that in Revelation 19:7. Therefore we can see very clearly how the church becomes the body of Christ since it is by the law of marriage given to us in Genesis 2:24 that make this possible. God clearly tells us that the two shall be joined to become one flesh (body). Finally, in verse 6 of Matthew 19, Jesus makes this statement “what God has joined together, let no man put asunder”. This statement is not a quote from Genesis 2:24 and we must conclude that Jesus is associating this statement with Genesis 2:24 for a purpose. God is using some more cleverly designed words to hide spiritual information in this verse. Here, God is speaking and He says what God has joined together meaning God joined someone together by the law of covenant marriage. Again if you only think that He is speaking of Adam you are limiting your perspective to a natural pattern that does not take into account the spiritual information being concealed in it. Then Jesus says “Let no man put asunder”. When Adam was created there were no other men on the planet to put them asunder, so you can obviously see that Jesus is not talking about Adam and Eve in this statement. Who is Jesus speaking of here? Wow, that is a very tough question to answer much less to see. You see Jesus has come to the earth and taken on the form of His creation in the body of a man, for what purpose? I personally believe that Jesus is the man that came to put asunder Satan from God. I know you do not have enough information or knowledge to affirm what I have just told you. We have to understand the law of marriage that Jesus is speaking of in Genesis 2:24 and see that when Jesus is joined to His bride, according to the law of marriage He must leave his Father and his mother and become one with His bride. So covenant marriage is a dividing force that creates a new spiritual family. The Son of God is in the process of creating a new spiritual family for God in order to eliminate the old family members of God which include Satan and his angels. These are new concepts for many people, but if you study your Bible you will see that they are true.
There are numerous examples in the Bible of this technique of writing indirectly about yourself that God uses and I will give you another classic example found in Isaiah 53. This chapter should be very familiar to you because it is often referred to in many circles to be all about Jesus. However, not one time is the name of Jesus directly mentioned and most of the references to Him are in a third person style of writing where a certain man is being described externally and anonymously. I am not going to go through every verse in this chapter, if you desire to you may stop and read the entire chapter to verify that the name of Jesus is never mentioned.
Isa 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
Isa 53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Isa 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Chapter 53 of Isaiah is a very complex chapter to study. The viewpoint of the writer seems to change from an unknown and unnamed group of people who are observing to the viewpoint of another unnamed individual at the end of the chapter. This would appear to create a shifting landscape to how we should interpret these verses. These are just a few sample verses found in this chapter of Isaiah. You can clearly see a nameless man is being spoken of. This is the common theme of the entire chapter regardless of the changing perspective. In the beginning of the chapter, a group of people are mentioned as the observers. There are numerous pronoun references of “our” and “we”. Nowhere in this chapter is there the name of this primary individual being spoken of or the observers who are watching so clearly you can see a technique of concealing information by omitting some key details.
We could assume that the observing people are the natural nation of Israel, but you might be able to see that this group could also be the spiritual people of God, the church. Throughout this chapter, God is using prophetic words about an anonymous man who will come to the earth in the future. God is using a technique of a third person descriptive story to talk about Himself in a hidden way. God inserts several clues that any Christian today would clearly recognize is Jesus, but to the scribes and the Pharisees they missed it and did not understand that they killed their Messiah. Jesus was the Lamb of God sacrificed for the sins of mankind. Jesus was hung on a cross among criminals on either side of Him. There are just too many descriptive words in this writing of Isaiah that makes it obvious to me, but I can see the one that I know personally and it is easier for me to recognize than for someone who does not know Him. As you continue down the reading in this chapter you see a change of perspective taking place. Now we have another viewpoint being given to us. This viewpoint seems to be a singular view point of a person being referred to as “I” and “My”. Changing perspective in the middle of a chapter is a tricky way to conceal information. It can be easily overlooked and even ignored when you casually read the words. We are never told who the observers are; we just have to recognize that the observer changed. These are complex puzzles to try to solve, but God has placed these things in the Bible for a purpose. If you look closely in the Old Testament you will find this writing technique repeated in a very effective way to conceal the truth. God speaks about somebody and prophesies events in their life, but never says who it is and never says who is observing it. Usually when this is done it is always a reference to God Himself in a hidden plain text technique. Also the hidden perspective can also be from God’s point of view and this is what you should look for first. As you read your Bible look for it and see it and you will better understand what you are reading.
These are some of techniques that God has taught me from the Bible and these are not all of them that I can talk about. We will talk about more of them sometime in the future. Keep studying your Bible and digging for the truth and we will all find it together.
If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons on understanding God’s spiritual hiding methods then please continue with “Part 10“.
(Ver 1.3) This is “Part 11” in a series of Bible lesson about “How God Hides Spiritual Truth in the Words of Natural Truths”. If you would like to begin reading from the start please select “Part 1“. Today is a lesson on Understanding that there are many Hidden Spiritual Secrets of God in the Old Testament. I have written on this subject before, but God won’t let me get away from it. He keeps bringing it back up again and again for a reason. I guess there are still so many people in the world who need to learn this, that He wants to keep bringing it back up until they get it completely. What we find in every in-depth Bible study is that there are many subjects in the Old Testament that are clearly hidden and only revealed by God to those in the New Covenant. This is the number one reason why the natural Jewish people did not see or understand their God given Holy Book of the Law or the books written by their prophets. The cause for this inability to understand the truth comes from the the basic design of God’s Word. God has written to the Jews a highly complex book of hidden spiritual information using some natural words, rules, instructions and the historical stories of some natural people and places. I can see these realities looking at them from a New Testament perspective, but they cannot observe them from their Old Testament point of view. I call this technique of God’s writing “Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight” and today I am going to discuss a number of these hidden subjects concealed within the words of the Old Testament.
Mat 13:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
It is very clear from my Bible study that God has an immense number of hidden subjects in the Old Testament. Of course if you did not know this, your attempt at understanding the O.T. would be severely hampered. Not knowing how the Old Testament was designed, written and constructed with these hidden and concealed pieces of spiritual information means that you are attempting to interpret and understand the Bible using only your mental capacity and that is clearly not talented enough to achieve the necessary level of intelligence, maturity and wisdom to overcome God’s ability to conceal these things from you. It would be like you attempting to crack a 128 bit encryption with your calculator and if you understand code systems you know this is virtually impossible to do anyway using a large scale computer. In other words God is so much smarter than you, that without His help to understand what has been written is why we see so many confused people in the world today searching for the truth. So here is a list of some of the hidden subjects in the Old Testament books:
- Jesus, the Personal Appearance of God on the Earth in the flesh.
- Why Jesus Came to the Earth.
- The Death of Jesus.
- Spiritual things like Fruit, Gifts
- God’s Spiritual Family
- The Kingdom of God
- The Creation of the Church and the New Covenant
- The fact that there were Hidden Secrets was clearly a Secret
These are just a few of the hidden subjects of the Old Testament that God has revealed to us in the New Testament. I have written several blogs on many of these subjects and if you have read them and understood them, then you know that God is pretty smart. I plan on doing more of these topics that I have not touched on before in the future so hang in there and keep reading my blogs. You will be glad that you did as we continue.
THE HIDDEN JESUS
Let’s go through the list of subjects and briefly touch on them for an introduction. Jesus of course is described on almost every page of the Old Testament, but using very complex hidden methods of concealment. These can range from multiple names, titles and descriptions, symbolism, analogies which are hidden allegorical natural stories and even indirect prophetic statements where He is not directly named. For example, Jesus can be called an “angel”, (Gen 48:16), “Shiloh” (Gen 49:10) or “Rose of Sharon” (Song 2:1) or “Branch of Righteousness” (Jer 23:5) or “Sun of Righteousness” (Mal 4:2) to name a few hidden names of Jesus in the O.T. If you want to see more names of Jesus you can go to my list “Names, Titles, Symbols of Jesus”. There are probably more hidden references to Jesus in the Old Testament than any other hidden subject. This is mainly because He is the most important subject for you to know. I have another Bible lesson on “The Hidden Jesus in Genesis” and this may help you to see more of the techniques that God has used to conceal Himself in His Word. If you have not read my series on “God’s Methods of Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight” then you should definitely do that very soon.
THE HIDDEN REASON FOR JESUS
Why did Jesus come to the earth? There are so many hidden reasons for why Jesus came to the earth that there is no way I can get into them all in this brief synopsis. To provide salvation for us is one of the key reasons for God’s personal appearance on the earth, but definitely not the only reason that Jesus came. I think I wrote a lesson called “The Top 10 Reasons Jesus Came to the Earth” and you should probably check that out if you have not read it already. When you begin to realize that God is multi-dimensional and able to accomplish multiple things in one planned work then you start to realize the extreme intelligence of God. Too many people think one-dimensionally and only accomplish one task at one time using a single threaded approach to life. This is like computers of old, which were sequentially threaded devices that could only do one instruction at a time. However, in today’s modern computer world with multi-processor capabilities it is much easier to visualize the mind of God who clearly is speaking to millions of people on the earth simultaneously. That is pretty awesome stuff if you asked me. I will challenge you to go through the Old Testament and find the concealed reasons why Jesus was prophesied to come to the earth. It is a fascinating Bible study to do.
We know from reading 1 Corinthians 2:8 that Satan did not know that the death of Jesus on the cross was his greatest mistake. Had Jesus not been slain and shed His blood, the world’s situation would be exactly the same as before Jesus came into the world and that was not a good situation to be in. We can clearly see that Jesus coming into the world to die was a hidden secret from God. We can further explore this information in many other verses of the Bible. I like the words of Ruth where she revealed to us that it was only “death that was a separating force” that could divide her from her mother-in-law Naomi. God uses His death on the cross to separate Himself from the evil one named Satan. This is not a widely taught subject, because I believe it is a new subject revealed in the last days by God.
THE HIDDEN SATAN
In reading the Old Testament there is seldom any direct reference of the spiritual being named Satan. When he is mentioned it is widely using some symbolic title like the “serpent” in Genesis 3:1. Other times God speaks of an individual like the “Prince of Persia” (Dan 10:13) and this is Satan. Still other times there is the “King of Tyrus” in Ezekiel 28:12 and this is widely believed to be a hidden reference to Satan. If you would like to read more “Names, Titles, Symbols of Satan” then you should go and do that. Why does God hide our enemy in the text of the Old Testament writings? It is a fascinating concept to consider. Why does God hide any information in the Bible? From my view point, there is no reason to describe Satan in great detail since in the Old Testament the human race could not do anything about him. Satan is called the “god of this world” in the N.T. (2 Cor 4:4). Therefore we realize that as the god of this world Satan had ultimate control or influence over many of the things that transpired here. I know that goes against the theology of a lot of confused individuals who believe that God is in control of everything that happens, but that is just too bad because the Bible teaches us some quite different realities. I believe that Satan was hidden from plain view for the safety and protection of the people in the O.T. If people would had known about him in greater detail, probably many more people would have made him their god. In addition to this other than being in the protection of obedience to God’s word there was nothing that any human on earth could do about Satan. It was not until Jesus died that Christians were again given authority over Satan as you can read in Luke 10:19.
THE HIDDEN SUBJECT OF FAITH
Faith is a subject that was definitely hidden in the Old Testament very well. In the Old Testament God honored the people’s faith and allowed many people to perish because they had no faith. You can clearly see this in the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness. They sent 12 spies into the Promise Land to check it out and they come back and only 2 had a good faith filled report. The majority came back with the evil report of doubt and unbelief. Everyone that did not believe the good report died in the wilderness over the course of time, but these two men named Joshua and Caleb led the younger generation into the Promise Land by faith. You can read about what happened in this Old Testament story in the book of Hebrews chapters 3 and 4, where God said the children of Israel failed to mix their faith with God’s promise so they did not enter into His rest. Faith is therefore a dominate New Testament revealed truth that was not made known to those in the Old Testament. Galatians 3:23 clearly teaches us that faith was a revealed New Covenant reality. This literally means that faith was previously hidden to those under the law. If you would like to read my latest series on “Understanding Bible Faith” then please do that. In this series I talk about the Genesis or beginning of faith and I teach you that faith existed eternally. Therefore the subject of faith was a factor in the Old Testament the same as it is a predominate factor for the New Testament. Being concealed in the Old Testament does not mean it cannot be found for those that are truly seeking to know and find it. I challenge you to do this and you will be enlightened beyond word’s descriptions.
FINDING THE HIDDEN SECRETS OF GOD
There are just so many hidden subjects in the Bible that I cannot fully speak to all of them in this introduction. What I wanted to do was to get you interested in searching your Bible for hidden information. Learn to open your eyes to spiritual things and then read your Old Testament using new ways to look at this old natural information. It will amaze you if you believe it and allow God to teach you these things. Remember when the early church was first started, the only Words of God that they had were the writings of Moses and the Old Testament prophets? So Peter and the other apostles were limited to teaching the church only from these O.T. books. Keep this in mind when you read from them and see if you can see what they used to teach Jesus, salvation and all the other hidden subjects.
Act 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
Paul preaches using only the Old Testament and He starts churches in many cities where he later writes them letters from prison. We know that churches in Ephesus, Galatia, Rome and Corinth were started this way. Until Paul was thrown into prison the only Bible the church had were the Old Testament writings. They then had to be able to see that Jesus was there along with many of the New Testament concepts that have been since written about and expanded in the New Testament.
Act 18:28 For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.
You should be able to do the same thing that Apollos did here in Acts 18. You should be smart enough to learn every verse that you can in the Old Testament so that you can show Jews their Messiah is Jesus. If you have a legal mind and can speak like a lawyer you will be able to convince many of the Jews that Messiah has come. But, do not go and speak like an ignorant fool to someone who knows more than you do. You are going to have to study and become more informed than they are.
Act 8:30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
I’ll wrap this Bible lesson up with a short story of how God will cause some amazing supernatural things to occur when a man is hungry to know the truth. In Acts 8 is a story where we hear a question from Phillip that is still relevant today. A man from Africa was reading the book of Isaiah and Phillip ran to him and asked him a very basic question. If it was easy to understand what you were reading then it would be unnecessary and even stupid to ask someone this question. However, it is very obvious to me that understanding what you read in the O.T. is the ultimate goal, but that this does not automatically happen just because you read it. In doing this advanced Bible Study blog, I have met many men and women who know how to read these verses, but I have met few who can see what they mean. Having the eyes of your understanding enlightened to see the truth, this is what God desires to do today.
Act 8:31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
This Ethiopian man was an extremely intelligent individual and possessed great wisdom based upon his answer to Phillip’s question. I have had far less intelligent men and women write me ignorant comments. This foreigner Gentile man came all the way from his country to Jerusalem to read God’s words written by the prophet Isaiah. I believe God notices people who are hungry and thirsty for the truth and this is why Phillip was sent to him. I believe that God will help any man or woman who truly desires to know Him in this way. The man displayed a key quality for learning and it was called being open minded to hear about what you do not understand. If only more of my reader’s had this quality they would benefit the same as this man did.
Act 8:32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
Act 8:33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
Act 8:34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
Do you see the heart of this man? He had so many admirable qualities that caused God to do supernatural things to get him the answers to his questions. First off the man was humble and this opened the door for God to do mighty things. Next, the man was hungry for the truth no matter what it was. Then this man was open to hear the truth and this allowed him to hear with his spirit. Finally, after hearing the truth spoken to him from a complete stranger, this man believed it and was saved. Wow, what a powerful story that God has given to us of how salvation works. Here we have a story of how a foreign man saw a hidden Jesus in Isaiah and that allowed God to send another man to him to help him understand the truth. This is an extremely valuable lesson for what to do and what God will do in response. Begin to understand that the Bible has many complex hidden mysteries and then seek to know them. Allow God to answer your questions however He wants. It may be Him sending you someone with the answer to knock on your door. It may be a complete stranger that you do not know. It could be a blog on the internet. God can use anyone, anywhere but you are going to have to be ready to respond.
So we have looked at a lot of different scriptures today. We talked about God’s hidden subjects and the fact that they still exist in the Bible today. If you do not believe that, then you should go read Revelation and tell me what it all means. I’ve studied Revelation for many years and I’m a long way from knowing everything that is written there. In fact if you search the internet you cannot find two people who completely believe everything the same 100 per cent. I believe that God is revealing this information before He returns for us. But, we are going to have to be like the Ethiopian and be open to hear and learn the truth. Ask questions and allow the answers to come from God. Learn the hidden information in the Bible and see them for the spiritual truth that they are. God Bless you until next time.
If you would like to continue reading in this series, please go to “Part 12” next.
(Ver 1.1) Today I will discuss the importance of being scripturally balanced while simultaneously being radically sold out for God. There are many people in the world who are only partially sold out to God and they place severe limitations and constraints upon themselves and their relationship with God. Baptists are guilty of this, Methodists are guilty of this, Catholics are guilty of this, and even Pentecostals are guilty of this mistake. I do not believe there is a Christian denomination that exists that does not have people who are guilty of this sin of placing limitations upon what God wants to do in the earth today. There has been in the last 50 years the upswing and growth of churches in America that are called or labeled as being “Faith” based churches. Many denominational churches have frowned on then, looked down on the people in these other churches and have openly criticized them and given them derogatory names and labels. I have heard them called “the name it and claim it bunch”, “the blab it and grab it church” and on and on I could go. Such actions of so called Christians are usually done out of ignorance and I do not fault them for being ignorant and behaving in ungodly ways. The net result of these attacks causes more harm to themselves than it does to harm those who are called the names. I noticed that Jesus was taunted and called names even while hanging on the cross for their sins and Jesus said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. Wow, what an example Jesus gave to us of unconditional forgiveness.
What I am going to do is give you a small list of some of the subjects found in the Bible and then ask you some basic questions about them and how they relate to each other. You should notice by reading this small list of subjects exactly where you are strong in your knowledge of the Bible and where you are weak in your knowledge of the Bible. But, if you think that you are strong in every area then you should make yourself God and you should not be wasting your time reading my insignificant Bible lessons.
Here we have a very basic set of theological subjects and words found in the Bible and they are each a separate distinct theme that can be studied individually and independently from the others. However, there are also countless other subjects found in the Bible that I did not even begin to mention. Then there are scripture dependencies, inter-relationships and cross-relationships between these subjects that exist and must also be taken into account in order to understand any of the subjects fully. Here begins the greatest downfall of why we have so many denominations in the world today. One church group learns a little bit about one subject and either totally ignores the other subjects or think they are not relevant to what they know about this one subject that they teach so strongly. By embracing only a single truth exclusively as being the complete truth, you in effect shut your minds to what else God wants to teach you. So whenever God teaches another church something new about a different subject the other churches immediately reject the new church’s teachings as being heretical because it does not fit with what they teach and believe. What people do is think they know more than they actually know and this results in them not learning anything new that God wants to teach them. Wow, what a bunch of arrogant idiots the church has been. Let’s take the Baptists who I love dearly because they love to preach the grace and salvation of God to everyone but, then they typically as a group ignore how that it takes faith to even get someone saved. So they reject the Faith churches as being heretical false teachings, like faith is not even mentioned in the Bible. I could go on and on about how one church does this to another because they are a little bit different on what they emphasized, but please forgive me if you are a Baptist so that I do not do what I just described. I know that there is plenty of good Baptist that exists in the world so I’m not teaching against being a Baptist.
So what exactly am I teaching today? Part of the message has to do with being open to new things, but then my main point is actually more important than that and it is that you should be balanced in your approach to learning and studying the Bible. God may show you something new in the Bible that no church teaches so do not restrict Him from doing this if He so chooses. This is how people put limits on what God can do in the earth today. They close their spiritual eyes and squint when they read the Bible and only allow God to say what they want to hear. If a Bible verse does not line up with what they currently believe then they usually just ignore it. What you should do when you read your Bible and you see something that does not line up with what you currently believe to be the truth, is to spend time asking God to show you the real truth and allow Him to resolve the conflict.
In my list of topics that I gave you earlier, which one is the greatest one to know? Which one is the most important spiritually speaking? Which ones should you study first? Which ones can you omit? Here are a series of highly subjective questions that if you asked 20 different people you would get 20 different answers. That is the problem we face today in the church. Everyone has a different opinion to what is important to know and they simply ignore the other subjects found in the Bible. I really do not believe that this is the way that God intended it to be. That is why I am teaching a Bible lesson on being balanced. In this lesson I want to emphasize the importance of at the least learning a little bit about everything and then continuing to grow in the knowledge of every subject using a balanced approach. In this way you do not narrow your focus to a select few subjects and get stuck in a ditch that grows deeper so that you are unable to get out of it. This is a common ploy of deception used by the enemy; he will attempt to get someone off track and stuck in a particular rut so that they can see nothing else. I run into people on the internet like this all the time.
I have had numerous people attack me as a liar and a deceiver because they see verses in the Old Testament Bible that says God is in complete control and since He is a sovereign being we have no choices to ever make to be saved. It is just a predetermined choice of God whether you are saved or not saved. These people are guilty of being radically unbalanced in their interpretation of God’s Holy Word. They see only verses that they want to see and ignore those that I gave them that conflict with their beliefs found in the New Testament. Instead of praying and asking God to show them the truth like I have done, they already have determined what the truth is and categorically reject all others. Wow, that is a dangerous attitude to take. God is not stupid, you know and He is perfectly capable of speaking to you and showing you the truth if you ask Him to. But, do not ask Him to prove that you are right about anything, only ask Him to show you the truth and then when He does, if it is not what you thought was the truth, you now have a problem that you must choose to change or remain with your wrong beliefs.
I try to remain balanced in my Bible study and my Bible lessons. I do not try to emphasize any one subject over another and I do not ignore conflicts. When I am presented a conflict like the verses that “Predestination” enthusiasts like to grasp hold of so tightly, I go and pray and ask God to help resolve the conflict. I then in faith go and study my Bible to see what I can find on the subjects and then I remain open for the Spirit of God to speak inside of me and reveal what I am reading in His Word. This is just not that difficult to do, but I doubt that very many Christians actually have learned how to do this. The Bible clearly tells us that the Spirit of Truth inside of us will be our teacher and guide. So learning to hear from God is essential to being a balanced Christian.
So that was just my introduction to becoming a Balanced Christian. I’m sorry it took me that many words to introduce a simple subject. But, I guess that I’m technically still not done. Let’s begin by defining what it means to be balanced. In ancient days, men created scales in order to measure the weight of items. This was a two sided device that you place your item on side that you want to weigh and then you place set weights on the other side until the two sides are level and thus balanced equally. This is a very simple concept but yet it speaks volumes to us when applied to a spiritual reality. Let’s review some scriptures that speak of being balanced using this scale system:
Deu 25:15 But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Lev 19:36 Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.
Pro 16:11 A just weight and balance are the LORD’S: all the weights of the bag are his work.
Pro 11:1 A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.
Here in these verses found in the Law of Moses and Proverbs God commands the Children of Israel that they must be fair and just. This is called honesty in some circles but it goes way beyond that also. The term just weights are given as a definitive commandment from God. The term “balance” is also reflective in this message of being equal on two opposing sides. What unjust crooked men would do is to use false weights that favored their personal gain over the lives of those who they were doing business with. They would always cheat just a little bit at a time so that they do not get caught and are found guilty of being a liar and are killed. You can read the opposite of the approach of being well balanced and just in verses like Hosea 12:7, Amos 8:5 and Micah 6:11 where God condemns deceitful men who use false measurements and unbalanced scales to cheat people out of the truth. What we learn from these natural examples is some very strong spiritual lessons to Bible interpretation. For example, if we only study the subject of grace and ignore the subject of faith then we become unbalanced. So being scripturally balanced appears to be a priority to God based upon a few scriptures that we have read so far.
Can you see how to apply these lessons of the balance scale to spiritual things and Bible study? Here is the challenge that we are faced with today; applying the Word of God concerning natural things to our treatment of things that we do not see in the spiritual realm. Let me give you another example of how people can become unbalanced and not even realize it. You see earlier I mentioned that the Spirit of God is our teacher and guide to all truth (John 16:13). This is a verse of scripture that I have heard some people read and tell me that this is why I do not need to go to church and hear a preacher teach me anything. They think that God will teach them everything that they need to know and unfortunately for them this is not what God said He will do at all. Here is the example of taking a truth found in the Bible and exalting it to be the only truth and that is their downfall. You see you can find other Bible verse that directly contradict this information for example here is one:
1Co 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
So here we have a verse that directly contradicts with the fact that God is not a universal teacher and that He does not give everyone the same knowledge, gifts and abilities. This verse very clearly tell us that only some and probably only a few are apostles and only a few are prophets and only a few are teachers, etc. Why wouldn’t God make everyone a prophet? Why wouldn’t God make everyone a teacher? I think church services would be highly confusing if everyone got up to teach at the same time or already knew everything that was to be said. You see we are getting into an extremely complex set of questions because the Bible clearly says that God does not show favoritism or partiality towards anyone but, yet we do see that God only selects a certain number of people to be teachers in the church and this makes our life very complex. For example, God did not pick everyone in the nation of Israel to deliver Israel from the Egyptians. God selected only Moses to lead them out and this was God’s doing. Why would God select a few people to teach the Bible to the church and then tell us that the Spirit of Truth will teach us all inside of us? It would appear to be a contradiction, yet it could be just our wrong view of the Bible causing us to see it like it is not. You could take either one of these positions and think that you were following the truth by ignoring the other fact. You could only go to church and expect your pastor to teach you everything you should know or you could stay at home and expect the Spirit of God to teach you everything that you need to know. Either way you would be scripturally unbalanced and fall into deception. What we learn is that the real truth is a balance between the both of these positions and not just one side of the scale.
I’ll give you one more example of being unbalanced. Very often men want to put God into a religious box and see Him only as the All Powerful Omnipotent being who destroyed the world in Noah’s flood. Most of the time these men are focused on scriptures of judgment and power demonstrations and they ignore verses that are contrary to what they have selectively chosen to believe. This is a prime example of being scripturally unbalanced and putting all of your eggs in the God the Judge basket. You see if you actually studied the Bible in a balanced fashion you would see a God that is revealed as a much gentler, kinder, loving being. Remember when Jesus took the time to wash the feet of all of His disciples? Why would the omnipotent God bow to the level of a servant or slave and do this? I’m sure that this boggles the minds of the men who believe in only an all-powerful judge. You might look at Matthew 20:28 where Jesus tells us that He came into the world not to be ministered to, but to minister to others. This is a directly contrasted God to the one that is found in many of the Old Testament verses that exhibit His awesome power. Here we have another example of two possible extreme positions that can clearly be taken as the only truth. We can find many people who believe in the omnipotent judge who comes with wrath in His eyes and we can find many who believe only in a God who is a humble loving shepherd to His sheep. However, there must be a balance between these two positions that states He is both of these simultaneously and that He loves his children while He judges his enemies. This is an example of being scripturally balanced and not taking one position over the other. This is a great example of how you should be reading and studying your Bible every day. Come to realize that there is more than one truth in the Bible that can be found. Then come to realize that the actual truth is a balance between them all. I hope and pray that you enjoyed this lesson and have learned something that is valuable to use in your everyday life. God Bless!
Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight — Understanding God’s Methods of Hiding Information in the Bible! Pt 8
(Ver 1.3) This is Part 8 in a series of lessons on the methods that God has used to conceal information in the Bible for us to find. By studying these methods we will greatly increase our ability to understand the truth of God’s Word. So far I have covered seven different methods of hiding information without using standard modern encryption methods that make the text completely unreadable. You see the intelligence of God and the spiritual nature of God both are contributing factors to how God is able to accomplish hiding complex information using words that are clearly readable by every man. It is very much like how God created animals in our world that have the natural ability to conceal themselves using their surroundings and blending into their backgrounds. If you have not read this series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“.
Technique 8: Telling a Story without Giving Any Details or Explanations
This next technique for concealing truth in the Bible is found extensively throughout the Old Testament. When you realize that nothing in the Bible is found there by chance or accident, you suddenly begin to understand that every story has a purpose whether you comprehend it or not. God did not put any stories in the Bible just to fill up the pages because He couldn’t think of anything else to say. In other words even if there is a strange story of a daughter having sex with her father Lot after she gets him drunk in Genesis to give him children then it is there for a reason and we just don’t normally understand what it is because we are only thinking naturally and not spiritually. All that we can do is just read the story until God reveals to us what it means. God usually does this by showing us other verses in the Bible that clear up the reasons for it being there by shedding additional spiritual light on to the natural subjects found in the story. This is a very tricky method of hiding information in the Bible in plain sight. You can find this technique on almost every page of the O.T. Genesis starts it, and then Exodus continues it. As you progress through the Bible you find it repeated in Kings and Chronicles, along with Samuel, Joshua, Ester, Ruth, Daniel and etc. These books all contain natural historical stories of real people in real places doing real things at specific times for specific reasons. God chose these stories to show us and teach us some very valuable greater spiritual truths but he never told us that directly in the story. What we understand is that out of the entire history of man on this planet, God specifically selected these specific stories as being significant for us to know and to understand. However, God never tells us why they are there nor does He explain what these people did to get mentioned in His book for eternal notoriety. That is until you see the “why” revealed in the New Testament.
1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Here in this verse God gives us one of the clues that I talked about in the last lesson in this series to some degree about types and shadows. What we soon realize is that there are overlapping truths being progressively revealed to us by God. Today’s subject about hidden meanings is related to the last lesson of hidden types and shadows, but today’s lesson changes it slightly to reveal a new distinction in the subject. Here in this verse in 1 Corinthians, God informs us that the things that are written in the O.T. were written as “examples” for us to learn from. God is of course speaking of natural things in natural stories that teach us about spiritual truths that have been hidden from our reading abilities until we have been given the spiritual eyes to see them and to understand them internally and not just mentally. The Greek word translated as “ensamples” here is a word that means “to stamp”. This is representative of a process that occurs when they stamp out money or coins. Using engraved templates or plates they stamp out a coin using extremely high pressure to form the words and pictures that are easily recognizable when viewed. That concept is exactly what God is saying to us in this verse about things that are written in the O.T. God is saying that those natural things that were written originate from a spiritual pattern that cannot be observed by physical senses. In other words we have never seen the engravings that make the coins that we have in our pockets but we can see the coins. We can still know and understand that they are directly related in a one for one comparison by close examination.
I am going to give you a prime example of what I am talking about. Faith is a subject that is vastly hidden in the Old Testament, but one that is widely spoken of in the N.T. The word faith only occurs 2 times in the KJV of the Bible in the O.T, yet when you read Hebrews chapter 11 and see that God says that many of the stories found in the O.T. Bible are only there because that named person had faith. Then you should begin to see what I am trying to teach you today. Nowhere in the O.T. is this stated. Therefore, this is a key method being revealed to us of one way that God has conceived to hide information in the Bible for us to find. Because the reader of the O.T. did not understand the spiritual principles and laws of faith the acts are clearly missed by the reader.
If you go and read Galatians 3:23 you can see that God says that “faith” was a hidden subject that was later to be revealed after Jesus was raised from the dead. If you did not know it, faith is a spiritual subject found in the entire Bible. Why would God have to hide a spiritual subject in the Old Testament and then reveal it later in the New Testament? That is a very good question to figure out the answer to. I believe the answer is because God had a spiritual enemy named Satan who He had to keep from knowing too much and to soon. I would highly recommend that you take a minute and go and read chapter 11 of Hebrews very closely and then come back to this lesson. What we see in this chapter is that God lists approximately 16 people from the O.T. by direct name and many others are inferred by associated indirect references. Here is my list of the direct named references of people from the O.T. with faith found in Hebrews 11:
You can quickly look down this list and see the names of several famous people and recognize them to be O.T. Bible stories of renowned character and great exploits. God is revealing to us here in this chapter of Hebrews why they are mentioned in the Bible at all and God says it is because of their faith. God is revealing to us that there was a determining factor to their success on the earth and that this determining factor was their “faith”. Knowing this information should actually dramatically change your perspectives when you go back and read their stories found in the O.T. When you read these O.T. Bible stories you should now begin to see how that “faith” plays a major role in what the Bible says that they accomplished. But, now you will also have to stop and get God’s definition for what faith is and then go back and reread the stories to see how they used their faith to please God to get their names written in His eternal book. Most of these stories reveal some very profound concepts of faith in action. However you would not have known this until God tells you about it in Hebrews 11. Of course if you never see what Hebrews 11 says then you would remain ignorant to the truth. Therefore, this is a direct pattern to other subjects that can be found in the Bible also. You can apply this principle to your study of any subject in the Bible to see how the O.T. stories give us examples of them each.
For instance what about the subject of spoken words? Can you find out what someone said in the O.T. and then find out what happened to them? Sure you can. What about the subject of “love” can you learn how that God says love is the fulfillment of all of the law and how these men and women in the Bible used God’s definition to get mentioned in the Bible? Sure you can! This is a great revelation hint to finding the hidden truth in the Bible. I hope you enjoyed this lesson and learned something from it. God Bless you until next time.
If you would like to continue reading this series of lesson on how God has concealed information in the Bible you can go to “Part 9“.
(Ver 1.1) I was watching the news on TV and there was a policeman speaking about a crime that had just occurred. He was on the news asking for people who were near the crime scene to come forward. He then made this statement, “People don’t know what they know”. In other words he was saying you might have been a witness to the crime and not realized that you were because you did not know it was a crime. Maybe you happened upon the crime right after it happened and saw the culprits walking or running away from it. Maybe you saw a car drive away from the scene and this is the key that will unlock the identities of the guilty parties. He was clearly saying that someone saw something and that if they would come forward with this information it might be very important to solving the case. When he said that statement, God spoke to me and said this is the way the Bible is. People will read something in the Bible and not realize how important it is because they do not understand what it says and how it relates to other subjects in the Bible. I wrote a very similar lesson a long time ago called “People Generally Don’t Know What They Don’t Know”. If you did not read that article you should go back and review the concepts given. They are very profound revelations. Today’s subject while being very similar to this concept is also diametrically opposed to it. In the first lesson you have the concept of not knowing the bridge is out and driving off of the missing expanse in the dark to your death. If you would have just known that the bridge was out, then you would have been spared the tragic outcome. This is a concept found in the prophet Hosea. In this verse God reveals some very significant Bible truths to us:
Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
It would appear to me from this verse that “Knowledge” is the key to not being destroyed in this world. While this could apply to natural knowledge, this verse is speaking of spiritual things as being what is important to know. The Law of God at the time of this writing represented the Words of God. The Words of God are what is important for us to know. Knowledge of the Word of God is the opposite of Ignorance of the Word of God. A Lack of Knowledge is totally related to your current ignorance level. So in the one case God says people perish from this world because they do not esteem the Word of God and count it as valuable to know. They in effect kill themselves because they have rejected the truth. This in effect, is not knowing what you do not know. But, we also have the lesson today, which is very similar in nature. You might know a little bit, but not understand the importance or significance of that knowledge because you lack the knowledge of how important it is to know or to share with others. In the case of the policeman on the news someone held the missing link to identify the perpetrators but did not know that they had it.
Take for example, the virgin birth of Jesus. There have actually been churches who have taught that the virgin birth is not important to know to be saved. However, if Jesus was not born of a vrigin then He was just a man like me. If you have read my lessons on “Understanding the Virgin Birth” then you already know this is not true. To listen to an ignorant preacher who teaches something is not important in the Bible, is a very foolish thing to do. You should never let any preacher do your Bible study for you, and that includes me! If you hear me say something from the Bible then go and read your Bible and study it for yourself to see if it is true or not. It is only the Bible that you have seen for yourself that will do you any good in life. Your pastor’s Bible knowledge will not do you any good when Satan comes and attacks you. If you are a Christian then the Spirit of God is also inside of you and if I say something wrong the Spirit of God inside of you will bear witness that I am wrong. So you will have two witnesses that will always agree to show you the reality of every truth in the Bible. The Bible says the Word of God and the Spirit of God will always agree and bear witness to the truth (1 John 5:7).
So today’s Bible lesson is not a long or complex something to do or understand. It is actually a very simple concept of seeing what you have seen and then going back and figuring out if it was important. I do this all the time when I study the Bible. I constantly review my past Bible readings and notes for things that I may have learned but not fully understood. I then use these little facts to build a greater knowledge of the truth when reading today’s Bible studies. I think I have said this before, but it bears repeating for those to remember, that truth always builds upon truth. When building a house of truth if your house is built upon false teachings then these are weaknesses that will cause your house to topple like a house of cards. If you build your foundation on the rock of the Word of God, then your foundation is firm and unshakeable. God’s Word is Truth, Jesus is Truth, but yet the Bible is written in a complex spiritual way that forces us to divide the truth correctly. I wish I could say this was easy, but after over 20 years of studying the Bible, I am only a little bit closer to understanding everything that the Bible says. So learn the lessons given today about recognizing that what you don’t know is important. Then go and continue in your Bible studies to learn more.
(Ver 1.0) I’m sorry but, I have been on vacation for close to a week. I have been in the mountains for a time of rest or some in Europe call it a holiday. I like to try to follow the examples that Jesus demonstrated and I noticed in the Gospels that He would spend a lot of time in the mountains or on a mountain top. So we went to a mountain cabin and enjoyed some time away at 4000 feet above sea level as a change from our usual weekly routine. It was very nice up there since it is fall here the U.S. and the leaves were changing to the dramatic reds and bright yellows and it was very beautiful. I find it humorous that some say that they go higher to be closer to God, but I can’t speak for you but, God is inside of me and He goes wherever I go and one of the best ways that I know of to get closer to Him is for me to learn more about Him in the Bible. Oh, well that is not my subject for today so I’ll leave it alone and talk about a subject that I have blogged on before. This is a very important subject found in the Bible and it helps us to explain many of the challenges we are faced with in the church today. This subject helps us to explain why there are literally thousands of church denominations in the world and why some believe so radically different than others. So I today am going to talk more about the hidden mystery of the Word of God. Do you like to solve puzzles? To me the more difficult the challenge the more interested I am in trying to solve it. This doesn’t mean that I am the most intelligent or the highest I.Q. person in the world; I just like to solve problems. But, maybe that is just me as a problem solver type personality that comes from my computer programming experiences. As a computer programmer, I was constantly challenged with difficult problems to come up with solutions for writing computer programs. If you did not know it, computer programming is simply a computer programmer’s attempt to solve a very specific definable and repeatable problem. Sometimes they are creating new solutions and sometimes they are just inventing fixes for existing problems. Problem solving is a Godly principle that makes us different from the rest of creation. Humans generally want to learn and are curious to want to know things and how they work. People also generally like a challenge and whether it is just doing a simple puzzle or solving a complex riddle we like the sense of accomplishment that comes with solving these types of enigmas. Did you know that God is a problem solver? If we are made in the image and likeness of God then we have His problem solving ability built within us in a lesser degree.
Problem solving can either be positive or negative. If you create a code system it is different than if you figure out how to break the code. However, both of these actions are creative problem solving abilities from a different perspective. You can see this in a computer hacker’s mentality. People are constantly trying to invent a code and that just becomes a greater challenge for someone else to try to break into it. So let’s shift gears and talk about the Bible code system. God has actually come up with an ingenious system of the ultimate encoded word system that conveys many spiritual truths using natural ideas, words, symbols, types and terms in the Bible. An enigma is of course a strange word that some may not understand what it means. It means a perplexing or mysterious coded puzzle; something that is difficult to understand and almost impossible to explain on the surface. Did you know this is how God designed and wrote the Bible? God purposely designed the words in the Bible to hide a vast amount of spiritual information that we in the church still fight over daily trying to figure out what they all mean. Why do we fight over this information so much? It is primarily because too many men and women want to take natural things spoken of and try to interpret these words with their own natural human understanding. This method will not work and will only results in confusion since God is not writing at a man’s natural level. I guess I should rephrase that statement, I believe that God is writing about highly complex spiritual things at the level that a natural man cannot understand. So natural people do not understand spiritual things until their spiritual eyes of their understanding have been opened to see it by the Spirit of God. This is one of God’s guarantees of making His Word known at the exact right time that He wants it to be known. Did you know that God has thrown down a challenge for all humans on the earth? I guess technically it is not a challenge to every human, only those who want to know the truth. There are many, many people in the earth who are not interested in the truth; they are too consumed with their version of reality to care about what is really true. So you must decide today which category of people you fall into. Are you one that wants to know the truth? If so then here is God’s challenge to you and I in this verse:
Pro 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
You can clearly see that God has purposely hidden and concealed information in the Bible for us to find before He comes back to the earth. Are you diligently looking for it already? What does it mean to “search out a matter”? It means you have to “WORK” to find it. It also means it is not easily found. It also means you don’t know it already. Uh oh? That goes over really big with a lot of religious theologians who think their doctorate degrees give them an advantage over the rest of us. I believe these concepts of God hiding information in the Bible for us to find with all of my heart. Jesus when He walked the face of the planet close to 2000 years ago told us that if we would continue to study the Word of God that we would eventually come to know this truth that God has hidden for us (John 8:32). Verses like these two that I just mentioned tell me that we do not know all of the things that God has hidden yet. Here is another statement that Jesus made that had direct bearing on our subject today:
Luk 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
You can clearly see that Jesus is speaking of hidden and concealed secret heavenly information. This has to be valuable spiritual knowledge for us to know before we go to be with the Lord. This has to be something that will help us now in our spiritual battle against Satan. You may recall that I did a blog on “Understanding Spiritual Warfare”. In this lesson I told you that the battle was over the Word of God. Satan is doing everything that he can to keep you from knowing what God wants you to find out. Satan thinks if he can stop you from finding the truth, he has a chance of survival and I think that is a partial truth. Fortunately for us we have God on our side who is our guide and teacher, so we cannot fail. Here in Luke 8:17 Jesus said everything that God has concealed will be made known. The deep spiritual secrets of God will be revealed so that we can understand them. I strongly believe that the time is very short for us to find these hidden truths but, that God is also doing things in the earth to help us to see and know these hidden truths, like the invention of computers. I am convinced that computers are a tool given to us by God for His good and His purpose of learning and spreading the truth to the world.
When I was a computer programmer many years ago I remember a time that I was faced with a difficult challenge. It seems one of our system’s programs was missing the source code and therefore we could not make any significant changes to this program. You might not understand computer programming, you always first start coding and create a source language file and this is compiled into the machine’s object language code and this is what the computer uses to execute the instructions that you wrote it to do. Programmers never write programs using the machine’s language anymore like they did with very early computers. Today’s computer programming languages are much higher level than machine language. A single line of program code can be compiled into a whole bunch of machine instructions. Back to my story, we lost the source code to a key part of our system. But we were fine without the source code as long as we did not want to make any major modifications to the programmed operations that we previously used to create the executable. I’m going to show my age a little bit here and tell you we use to do something called “ZAP” the object code to make minor modifications to it. You could change the machine’s operation by changing instructions or addresses or eliminating the instructions all together with NO OPERATION replacement codes. So I would do this to our IBM main frame operating system so that it would not roll over the date when midnight came along, for example. You see IBM didn’t give us their source code so if we wanted to change it from rolling over the date we had to change the executable machine codes and that is what I did. It amazes me what we could get away with back then. If auditors would have been smart enough to understand the power that we had they would have had a cow! Today is of course a little bit better and different more secure world to some degree. So back to my story about losing the source code, this was a challenge to me and I was bent on solving it. So I took the object code and reverse engineered it back to the original source code as best as I could make it out to be. Of course I had learned a few things about the programming standards that were in place so that made it easier to reverse engineer it back to the original source code. This of course would be a much more difficult operation in our modern world, since most programmers only use very high level object oriented languages that are not as easy to create source from the executable programs.
So why did I tell you a story about old time computer programming and solving problems? God taught me so much from my computer programmer experiences that applies to the Word of God that it is incredible. You see God knows computers better than we know computers. I am convinced that God gave man computers for a purpose of the end times. Therefore, God knew that we would have computers in these final days before He returns and we could use them and their principles in our attempts at understanding the Bible. So I believe that God used computer laws and principles to help hide information in the Bible. One principle that I have blogged on before is that there are established spiritual laws that govern everything that God does. I called this a “Rules Based Approach” to Bible interpretation. God implemented and created the laws that govern correct Bible Interpretation and we are required to first discover them and then to follow them in order to understand what is written correctly. Another computer design principle used in any valid application development is called “Application Standards”. These are generally speaking repeatable patterns that occur in a uniform fashion or approach that can always be counted on to be followed. We live in a world full of standards. They make standard bolts and nuts, the large portion of the world has adopted weights and measurement standards around the metric system, there are also standard bar code systems that are used in our grocery stores to help speed out check out and other inventory control systems and we could go on and on about standards and that they are around us everywhere. In my early programming we had “Naming Standards” and other standards that are probably too technical to talk about in a Bible study that goes out to many who are not that computer literate. However, the concept of standards is a design concept that is also encapsulated or employed by God in the Bible. For example, there is the Bible concept of Types and Shadows found predominately in the Old Testament stories and the Gospels. These are real stories of real people, places and things in the world that exhibit a view into a spiritual reality that we cannot observe with our natural eyes. The Bible is full of repeatable patterns in many aspects and dimensions. Take the concept of “seeds” if you have not read my blog on “Understanding Seeds” you should. Seeds are repeatable standard found within the Bible that applies across the board to many aspects including complex spiritual things that you did not know of.
So if you are a computer programmer, today I challenge you to begin to study the Bible using computer science laws and knowledge. Examine the Bible using object oriented concepts of encapsulation, inheritance and abstraction. Take your computer knowledge and apply it using God’s methods and knowing God understands computers better than you do. See if you cannot find new things by using this new approach to Bible study. If you are not a computer programmer fear not, do not be downcast or feel inferior, I believe that God will use what you have and what you know to get you to see new things also, maybe even things that I do not see.
Today’s lesson was a reminder to you that God’s word contains many, many hidden spiritual secrets. That is the most important thing that you need to take away with you today. Then you need to figure out how God has hidden these things in the Bible. God did not use an unreadable code system like governments do to try to guard secrets, so that means that God used some very difficult different methods to conceal the truth in plain sight. I started writing a series of blogs of “Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight” which reveal some of the techniques used by God in hiding information in the Bible. If you have not read this series I would suggest that you go and read them as an introduction to some very basic techniques used by God. These are not a complete list, so do not expect them to tell you every secret utilized. If I knew them all I would already know everything that I need to solve every Bible debate that exists today and no one is at that point yet. However, I am a firm believer that before Jesus returns the church will make herself ready and will become one in harmony like Jesus prayed and asked to happen. If you are interested in making this happen then stay in the Word of God and continue to study to find the truth. God Bless!
(Ver 1.5) This is Part 2 in a series of lessons on understanding truth in the Bible. If you have not read from the beginning I would suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1” first. I have had way too many people try to tell me that the Bible is the truth, but yet none of these people can agree what it is that the Bible says. Isn’t that a problem to you? We have one group of people who profess only we know the truth ad another group who believes the opposite who say only they know the truth. This makes it very difficult for you to convince anyone that is not a Christian that the Bible is true and that they should become a Christian. Of course this is what Satan wants to happen and that is why he works so hard at confusing Christians and potential Christians. Truth is a very complex subject and an extremely advanced subject for any Bible study. Truth is such a complicated concept simply because there is no one but, God who knows it all. That leaves the rest of us in a state of varying degrees of ignorance and nobody likes to admit they are ignorant of anything. So as a result we have churches standing up in pride saying only we have all the truth and the rest of you are just a bunch of heretics.
There are many Christians who profess that the Bible contains God’s “Absolute Truth”. This is technically not a true statement if we base it upon a complete dictionary definition of the word “absolute”. The term absolute dictates both “complete” and “perfect” truth. But we should realize that God knows many other truths that were not yet recorded or made known to us. Instead of calling it absolute truth I would prefer to call it “ultimate” truth and I will try to explain this more clearly as I continue in the lesson. The Bible is clearly the only source for any ultimate spiritual Truth from God. Even if the Spirit of God speaks to someone a truth it will never contradict what He has given to us in the Bible already. I believe this and I preach it. I will also define the term “ultimate truth” as being truth that never changes or a truth that can not be overruled by the knowledge of any new truths. But the stated existence of even “Ultimate Truth” would also imply that there are other types of truths that are not at this level or truths that could be trumped by new knowledge. This would mean there could exist levels of potentially changing truths depending upon human perspective, understanding or even knowledge and you need to understand this. I believe that our perspective of truth changes even when God’s truth stays constant and that both of these occur at the same time. God’s truth will never change but our knowledge will change or at least it should.
Then there are those who look into the Bible and claim that every word in the plain textual natural meaning is the complete truth that needs to be known and they imply that that there is no other hidden spiritual truths within the plain text that can be found. Others say that everything written in the book is 100% the truth. But, I do not believe that is completely accurate according to what the Bible itself teaches us. Some people will automatically think that I am preaching some kind of heresy to say that the entire Bible is not 100% truth. But, they fail to understand the complexity of God’s Word so they make wrong assumptions and say things out of religious ignorance and I forgive them. You see I certainly do believe that the Bible is God’s inspired word and that it does contain the truth, but this truth is not all that easily visible on the surface only readings of the Bible that most Christians do. You see the Bible clearly describes to us numerous times that this book contains spiritual parables, proverbs, mysteries, secrets, puzzles, riddles, hidden wisdom, and many things that are not clearly self-evident without God showing us what they say and what they mean. That is why we have over 22,000 different Christian denominations in the world today and everybody thinks they know what is important.
So the first thing that you should learn about truth is that you do not know it. I guess I should qualify that statement and say you do not know it “all”, because you might know a very small part of it. I personally believe the amount of the truth that we all know combined when compared to God’s knowledge of the truth is like a thimble full of water being compared to all of the water in the oceans of the world. I mean come on, you do not know the number of hairs on top of your head and God knows the number of hairs on top of over 6 billion people in the world today. We all know just little bits and parts of the complete whole truth and too many times we think that we know way more than we do. According to the Bible, God is the infinite holder of all knowledge and all truth. But, the Bible also says that God’s ways are not our ways and that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts (Isa 55:9), and this is one of the human’s greatest problem and weakness. So if we know anything that is actually a part of God’s truth it is usually a result of God’s grace giving us insight and revelation into this information. Without God opening your understanding you will fail to see or know the truth. One of our biggest problems as human beings involves the fact that we are not God, but try to act like Him on many occasions. Do you understand that statement? Since only God knows everything, we are extremely limited to know only what He has revealed by His grace. Fortunately for us, God has revealed a lot of valuable information to us in His Word for us to know in these last days. But that still does not mean we know everything by far. Here are my foundational scriptures for today’s Bible lesson:
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.
In this statement by Jesus concerning us knowing the truth are some valuable clues of us understanding this subject of what truth is. First off it says or at least implies that you do not yet know all of the truth and I will talk more about that soon. The basis of this statement almost implies that we can never know all of the truth, but at the same time it seems to imply that we will at some given point in time come to know what the revealed truth is by God’s grace. It is almost a paradoxical puzzle being presented to us. According to this verse, in order to know the truth, we must continue in the Word of God. To continue in the word implies an ongoing or even a never ending process of learning, or so it would seem. But by continuing in the Word of God we are further implied to come to an end or reach a level that God called “Know the Truth”. Have you arrived at this level of “Know the Truth”? If you think you have you have probably been deceived. The reason that I say that is because this verse says that this “knowledge of the truth” will set you and I free? Are you free? What does it mean to be free? Free from what or who? Those are extremely good questions and more difficult to answer than you might think. According to Jesus and the Bible, you are not 100% free right now! Meaning you are limited or controlled by something that is holding you captive today. What is this speaking of? I personally believe it is our ignorance that is holding us captive and when we learn what God has hidden for us to learn we will then understand what we need to do to become free. I would venture to challenge you to do some Bible study and find out what you need to be freed from. The reason that I say that is that no one ever escapes to freedom from captivity who does not first know that they are captives. What I learn from this verse is that Jesus teaches us that there will come a time when we learn and understand enough that will cause us to be free from someone or something and we will be able to clearly see when this happens. So if you think that you are already free you do not know that you are a captive. If you think that you have arrived at this “know the truth” level what are still doing here in this world?
So I alluded to a statement that there were different types of truth in my introduction. I believe that there are many types of truth in the world and that this truth changes based upon two things that I will attempt to introduce you to today. For example, 150 years ago it was impossible for man to fly and that was the known truth. However, today people fly everyday all over the world and that is the new or changed known truth. What changed to make this new truth of flying available to everyone? Does anyone in the world today still believe we can’t fly? It was our knowledge that changed. The real truth never changed, the real truth was that man could always fly. It was just what we thought was the truth because of our ignorance or lack of information forced us to believe the wrong truth. However, 150 years ago it was true, but today that view is not true. Do you understand these things that I’m telling you? Since our knowledge has increased in this area we have learned that the laws of aerodynamics overrule the laws of gravity and this allows us to fly. 150 years ago we only understood gravity and this was only a small part of the truth and we based all of our beliefs of the truth upon our limited knowledge. We never invented aerodynamics, so the laws of aerodynamics are not new, we just didn’t understand them and how to use them 150 years ago. So it was our ignorance of these existing laws of truth that kept us from flying 150 years ago and nothing else. Do you understand this? This is actually very important information to see and to apply to what you learn and know from the Bible. This is a prime example of how studying the Bible is today and why some people believe this way and others believes the complete opposite. There is always an absolute truth, but based upon your current level of knowledge you may not understand it and therefore still don’t believe that people can fly. There are way too many Christians like this in the world today.
God is so much smarter than we are that He can write things in a book over 2000 years ago that we do not clearly understood and yet the words are right there in front of us this whole time. I have just demonstrated to you that knowledge matters to determine what the truth is. Another example that I could give you is that men and women in the world today are more like 4 year old children when compared to God’s infinite knowledge level. If a college professor came to teach a 4 year old child some advanced calculus would the 4 year old grasp any of it? This is another major problem with modern Christianity found in the world today. Their spiritual maturity level is not sufficiently increased so that God can teach them anything about what is the real truth. So I mentioned the fact that there are different types of truth in the world and I will talk briefly about that. There are changing truths, inter-related truths, dependent truths, independent truths and universal truths to name some that I have discovered while studying the Bible. I’ve already discussed the changing truth concept based upon our level of knowledge so let’s talk about another factor that helps us to determine truth.
Let’s take a look at the concept of gold. Gold has great value in our world and that is a truth based on the way we see it. But, the actual value of gold is not known because it is viewed as an ever changing commodity that is manipulated by the markets of the gold traders on the earth. So the true value of gold is an unknown quantity and probably impossible to determine in our world. Why, because the quantity of available gold is tightly controlled and the prices are artificially manipulated to be high. I would dare to say that God knows the true value of gold but unless God revealed this, it would be only our best guess. However, I have read in the Bible that God paves His streets in heaven with gold, so that would mean that since we paved our streets on the earth with asphalt that God views gold to be His asphalt. So God’s perspective on gold is entirely different than our perspective on gold and this is why the Bible is so entirely difficult to understand. Gold must be so abundant in heaven that it is used for paving roads and here on earth it is viewed as a rare commodity. So your view of the truth is totally dependent upon your knowledge level and then your perspective of the subject being studied. I just showed you an example of how God’s perspective on something is vastly different than ours, so let’s adjust to see things like God sees them. Knowledge and perspective are two things that are critical to understand when studying the Bible. My current level of knowledge of the Bible may be more or less than your current level knowledge of the Bible, but my perspective of the Bible can be more accurate if I choose to see things the way God sees them. I have known many people who knew the Bible much better than I did, but understood practically none of it because they had the wrong perspectives. They viewed things naturally instead of seeing with God’s spiritual perspective. Therefore, correct Bible interpretation is dependent upon your level of knowledge and your perspective of the verses being studied. What happens if you do not agree with my beliefs? Nothing, but this just proves that at least one of us is wrong and possibly both of us are wrong and only God is right based upon what I have just taught you. As we continue to study in the Word of God we should be converging to the top of a spiritual pyramid type organizational or knowledge chart. We should be coming closer together to the agreement of what is the truth and the knowledge of the truth, to reach the upper point that God called “know the truth” pinacle point.
In my last blog about heaven I talked about the city called Jerusalem in the Bible. Let me ask you a new question about this city. Since most people do not know that there are three different cities called Jerusalem in the Bible, how can one man teach about Jerusalem from the Bible when they do not know this information? Does it matter what we teach if we are void of some of the key facts on the subject? Does it change the real Bible truth because someone teaches something that they think is the truth, but is not? You see you might believe something with all of your heart and you might be totally wrong because you do not know a couple of key scriptures that will solve your ignorance problem. You see that is the problem facing every Bible teacher, our ignorance forces us to teach a subject based upon our current level of knowledge and our current perspective. But, the mistake some Bible teachers make is when they teach at the level that they know like it is the complete truth and everyone else is totally wrong. You see the Bible contains more than one truth and all of the truth must fit together correctly. The Bible also has numerous hidden truths and these must be revealed by God in order to understand other truths. You cannot ignore one truth to teach another truth, all though people do this all the time. I’ve used this example before; I have heard more than one preacher read how the church is the body of Christ in the Bible. I believe these verses whole heartedly, but then they jump to wrong conclusions and say that means we are not the bride of Christ. Their ignorance causes them to criticize those who teach things contrary to what they believe. They say that if Christ has a bride we have a bride since we are the body of Christ and that is very wrong. What these men of God lack is knowledge of how the church became the body of Christ and this would solve their problem and their view of the actual truth. To them what they teach is the truth or they would not be a Christian. However, ignorance and knowledge levels play a huge role in us knowing the real truth. This is the basis for the majority of all of the problems faced within the church today; those who do not know much teach like they know everything and they cause nothing but vast confusion.
What have we learned today? The primary thing should be that “absolute truth” doesn’t change. But, our view of the truth changes as we change based upon the two primary factors that I have taught you about today. As your knowledge increases of the Bible, your understanding of the Bible should also be increasing. If your understanding of the Bible is not increasing, then check up on your perspective on the subjects that you are studying in the Bible. Could it be that you are seeing things in the Bible from your perspective and not God’s perspective? You should be smart enough to be able to judge yourself and determine if you are doing the right things that I have just discussed. It is only by the church of God making the right adjustments that God can accomplish what He has planned for us. I am a firm believer that before Jesus returns for us that the church will become one unit in one accord, victorious overcomers over Satan our enemy. This I believe is the clue to Jesus statement of “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”. There must come a point in time when we know the truth, in order to experience this freedom that Jesus described. This is what I am working towards; this is my goal for you and me today. Continue learning the Bible and continue growing in the knowledge of Him who is faithful and true and I will be back with more of the knowledge of God in my next Blog.
(Ver 1.2) This is now “Part 2” of the lesson series concerning modern computer concepts found in the Bible. In the first lesson I talked about how computers are rules based systems. Nothing exists by chance or by random within a computer by design. Every component of a computer system interacts with the other parts using strict rules and guidelines. What I have been doing is attempting to show how these same principle conform to God’s design of the Bible. Therefore I desire to teach computer concepts and show you how to apply them in your relationship with God and to increase your understanding of His Word. I believe that God understands computers far better than we do and I also believe that He knew that we would have computers in these last days before He comes back to the earth. I strongly believe that God created these amazing machines for us to learn with and to share the Gospel with others and that is why I take the time to write things that some of you may not fully understand if you are not a computer programmer also. I have learned that computer programmers have a different approach to Bible study, usually more logical because we are forced by our jobs to think this way. It is not necessarily a better way to think, but it is certainly very different. In my last computer related post I talked about “Rules Based Systems”. This is a vast complex subject that applies to the Bible and interpreting the Bible correctly in very direct ways. If you would like to read this lesson first before continuing with today’s lesson, you can go and start with “Part 1”.
In today’s lesson I want to discuss some very basic computer concepts and show how they also apply to the Bible. A computer in its simplest form is a binary machine. What may you ask is a binary machine? This is a machine that relies entirely on one of two numbers, either a 0 (zero) or a 1 (one). At the most rudimentary levels of every computer that is all there is; just two numbers. The computer is therefore solely dependent upon the simplest of all number systems the binary number system. You see the most rudimentary element of a computer is a single “bit” of information and this “bit” can either be off or on (zero or one). Computers of course are tremendously more complex by the sheer numbers of these “bits” that exist within a modern computer, but that is not my subject today. What I want to do is focus on Binary concepts in relationship to the Bible. The Bible is very much like a complex computer system. It is probably the most complex book that you will ever attempt to understand, but many of the concepts given in it can be reduced to a simple binary number system choice. Today I want you to focus on what is a Bible binary system? Here are some definitions of a “Binary System” from the internet:
- The number representation system, used in computers, with only two digits, 0 and 1
- A system of arithmetic used with computers, also called base 2, that is based on the digits 0 and 1.
- A system in which information can be expressed by combinations of the digits 0 and 1 (corresponding to “on” and “off” in computers).
Fortunately for most programmers today, we are not required to program a computer at the bit or binary machine level. If you have ever done this you know how complex it can be. We do not even use the computer machine’s language to program a computer anymore, because we have higher level languages that are translated to the machine level. While some of today’s computer languages can still manipulate information at the binary level, most do not normally do this. So why am I talking about binary systems in a Bible study Blog? That is probably the biggest question that you have right now. While not everything in the Bible can be simplified to a binary state, many things in the Bible can. For example, God says this:
Deu 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
If you do not yet understand binary concepts, you probably just read over this verse and missed the basics that God is trying to get you to see. In this verse found in Deuteronomy God places before all people a choice. A choice involves making a selection between two or more things. In this case there are just two choices that can be selected and this is a binary decision. One choice is “Life” and the other is “Death”. This is a very basic binary concept; we could say that life is the number 1 (one) and death the number 0 (zero). This is the way all computers work. It is based upon a simple light switch on or off idea. You flip the switch on you get light, you turn the switch the other way and you get darkness. It is the most basic choice in life that you can make. Another binary concept found in this verse is “blessings” = 1 and curses = 0. So God suggests that we choose life and blessings and that sounds much better to me too. There are a number of binary concepts like this found throughout the Bible. Starting in Genesis 1, there is the mention of Light and Darkness. Light = 1 and Darkness = 0. Day and Night are the same concepts in different words. Here is the binary concept in this verse:
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.
The Binary theme in God’s Word is used extensively throughout the Bible. You might also remember in Genesis 2 God put two trees in the Garden, one the Tree of Life and the other the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. What we can see from these trees is that they represent a choice. God says do not eat from one or you will die, which implies the other is good to eat from. These are very simple concepts given yet they have far reaching consequences based upon what you choose in this life as you can recognize from Adam’s poor choice to eat from the wrong tree. What I find interesting about God is that He never forces you to solve a complex riddle to be saved for example. God simply says here is my Son Jesus Christ sacrificed for your sins, make Him your Lord and believe I raised Him from the dead and live. Don’t believe and die and go to hell. These are the basis of a simple binary choice but with very, very severe consequences to making the wrong choice. A binary number can only be 0 or 1, off or on. So they are directly opposed opposites. You cannot be in both categories simultaneously. It is a universal truth that you are either in one or the other states of existence. It is a classic division of opposition. Zeros are always the opposites of Ones. Light is the complete opposite to darkness and you do not have both at once. Back when I was an Assembler programmer I used binary bits as flags to the state of something. If set to “off” the state would be false, “on” the state would be true. That is probably too much computer terminology for many of my readers, but it is useful to describe what God has presented us in the Bible. I pray that you understand the simplicity found in the Bible. Here is a list of some of the Binary States that I have found as common themes in the Bible:
|Kingdom of Satan||Kingdom of Heaven|
|Wide Path||Narrow Path|
That of course is not a complete list, just introductions to some things that you can clearly see are taught in the Bible that represents a clear binary choice from every man or woman. So I believe that the Bible is a highly complex book of information which also contains very simple binary choices being presented to everyone. You just don’t have to understand the whole Bible to become saved! It is more a simple choice or acceptance of some of the basic Bible information, called the Gospel. Too many Christians want to say that people are not saved because they do not believe exactly like we do. All that does is prove your ignorance of the Bible. You assume that you are God and that you know everything when you preach with this attitude and you are sadly mistaken. God will demonstrate your ignorance on judgment day if you are not very careful. Do not cause other Christians to stumble because they do not believe what you do. I try to teach this way, but I have had many religious spirited people attack me for what I say sometimes. I have decided not to post negative critical comments on my blog anymore. I read them, see if I can learn anything from them, and sometimes respond privately or in a follow-up post on my blog. It is very difficult to help people who criticize other people because they think that they know everything already. However, since they do not know everything that I know, or have experienced everything that I have experienced, they really should not try to judge me. You can learn from Moses and the children of Israel in the wilderness. What did they do right and what did they do wrong? God only met with Moses on the mountain top and the others were not in on the private conversations unless Moses shared them. The people one time gave up on God and Moses because Moses was gone too long for them. They started to build idols and worship other false gods. Why was this? Was it a lack of Patience? Was it a lack of knowledge? I mean it could have been several problems combined. They obviously mumbled and complained and probably criticized God and Moses while he was gone. What was the net result of all of their opposition? Most of them died in the wilderness and never saw the promise land. So what is different today with some Christians mumbling and complaining about other Christians today? What do you think the result will be for those who do this? Do you think it will be the same as the children of Israel in the wilderness? I guess I should get back on the subject that I’m supposed to be on.
Maybe I’ll wrap this up for today. I do not want to overwhelm you with new concepts. When I say that the Bible is like a large complex computer system most people will not understand my analogy. However, I know it is true. Within this complex spiritual book of information God has placed a series of simple Binary choices before all mankind. These are the basics of life; the simplest choices can make the greatest differences in our life. By choosing life, blessings, light, salvation and Jesus you have gone through a binary selection and made the right choice. It is a simple choice that turns you from one state to another and I pray that you choose wisely. God Bless you today as you learn to choose!
(Ver 1.3) This Part 1 in a series of lessons on modern computer concepts that are found in the Bible. If I learned anything from being a computer programmer for over 20 years, I learned that everything in this life has very strict rules or it is useless. In this life you do not get to do everything that you can do just because you can do them. You do not get to drive on any side of the street that you want to. You do not get to drive through any intersection as fast as you want to when you want to. You do not get to do many things because rules exist to keep you from hurting yourself and others. This is the basis of the majority of the problems in this world today. The problems of the world are caused by people who do stuff to other people just because they have the ability or power to do them. It comes from a self-centered ME mentality! The world is all about ME! What I need, what I want, what feels good to ME! People then use their attitudes of Me to take what they need or want from others without thinking about what they are doing to the ones that they are hurting. If everyone takes this attitude, then only the strongest survive to live. This attitude of ME is a self-centered absence of the feelings of the God kind of “LOVE” for anyone else. As long as people care more about themselves than they do about others, they will remain apart from the life of God. Today I want to talk about a computer programming concept called “Rules Based Systems” in relationship to what God and the Bible say about the concepts of them or the absence from them. Why are rules important to live by? Why do rules exist? The Bible is a highly complex book of spiritual information and it cannot be interpreted correctly without knowing God’s rules for interpretation. I’ll start by giving you a definition of this term from the internet:
rule-based systems are used as a way to store and manipulate knowledge to interpret information in a useful way.
I believe that God taught me about rules based systems as I learned computer programming. A rules based system is one that adheres to a strict set of laws in order to work correctly. When I first started learning computer programming in High School, I started with the Basic programming language. I also played with another early computer language called FORTRAN. Then I started working for a company and going to night school to learn mainframe programming. I learned Mainframe Assembler and COBOL and became an expert in both of these languages. This was of course way before there were any PC’s in the world. What I learned from programming languages, is that they have very strict rules that must be followed, or guess what they do not work. You create your program and then compile your program and get nothing but a long list of errors back. This is not fun, when this happens, but it happened a lot until I learned to follow the rules more closely. As I became more detailed oriented, I learned to pay attention to the little things that use to be where I made most of my mistakes. I would just automatically learn to look for them and try not to repeat them. I do not think that I ever got so good that I wrote a new program that complied cleanly the first time, but I did get much better. So why am I describing my work experience to you? Because it helps me more with Bible interpretation and understanding the Bible that you can imagine.
Did you notice two key words in the definition of what a rules based system was? The two key words are “knowledge” and the “interpretation” of the knowledge. A rules based system helps us to process vast amounts of information and then come up with the correct interpretations of that information. So what is the Bible? The Bible is the Spiritual knowledge of God written down in a book for us to read. However, the Bible is widely interpreted in many different ways resulting in contrasting and conflicting points of view. That is probably the major problem in the church today. Everybody has their own opinion to what the Bible means. Why is that? It is because of a complete disregard to the rules of Bible interpretation. Some people know one rule and they sometimes follow it and then sometimes they do not. They are very inconsistent. Other people know of no rules and they are all over the board with their interpretations. Only a few know more than one rule to Bible Interpretation and try to adhere to them consistently.
While I read and studied the Bible, I started to recognize patterns of a rules based system. Since God does not give us a list of the rules in any one place in the Bible, the correct understanding of the Bible must start with figuring out what are the rules that God has established for us to follow. You see I know that every computer language has their own individual set of rules to follow. However, I also learned that many of these rules cross languages and apply to other languages. Even though each language was uniquely defined, the application of the rules applied across the board. So in order to even begin to understand the Bible, you must first establish God’s rules for interpretation and not your rules. This is the first step of understanding God and the Bible.
Do you realize that God follows the rules that He has established? That is the beauties of God; He is a highly intelligent being. His ability is so far beyond our most powerful computer. I see the world around us and I recognize an intelligently designed world full of natural laws, systems and sub-systems. This is the basis of any large complex computer programming system also. Anything with an intelligent design has organization and rules. So why do people not recognize that the Bible is also an intelligently designed rules based system? Obviously they do not understand the importance of rules and following them. If you are a Christian you should be following rules in everything that you do. Following rules does not save you; it just helps you live the life that God intended for you on this earth. Christians who do not follow rules are no different than unsaved people who rob banks because they want money or rape women because it feels good to them. I know that is an extreme examples of bad Bible interpretations, but yet I feel that strongly about the subject. I do not mean to reduce rape and robbery to minor offenses, I hope you understand the point and forgive the analogy.
So what ire my main points today?
- Start by Recognizing that the Bible is a Rules Based System.
- Then find out what the rules are!
- Next follow the rules with all diligence!
When I was computer operator, on the top of our mainframe CPU, there was a big sign that said “THINK”. Wow, if more people would do that one word! To think before you act or speak is a widely ignored talent of many people in the world today. I have many blogs on the subject of Bible Interpretation, I hope you that you will go and read them and then learn to follow them. Life is a rules based system of existence. This is the intelligent design of God. If you learn the rules and follow them there will be great benefits to being a doer of the word of God and not just a hearer only. By learning the rules and following rules I believe that the Body of Christ will finally come into agreement to what the Bible says. So I challenge you today to apply what you’ve read today. By learning rules and living within their guidelines you make the Bible useful as God had intended it to be. You take the words of an intelligent God and you can finally begin to understand them. There is no greater benefit than knowing the real God.
If you would like to continue reading in this series you may go to “Part 2” now.
(Ver 1.1) God is asking you a question today, are you hungry yet? Too many times we in the world live in a state of contentment. Totally satisfied with who we are, what we know, what we have and where we are and being completely oblivious to wanting anything more in life. I am not talking about wanting more stuff, a bigger house or a new car or things like that. I am talking about being satisfied with what you think you know about the truth of God’s Word. We have vast numbers of church denominations in the world that are happy and content with everything they think that they know. They think they have arrived at a spiritual state of there not being anymore or any higher state of knowledge. I guess Christians like these have been deceived into believing they know as much as God. When in truth, they know little to nothing about God. People who sit in dead churches, eating stale bread of the doctrines of man and theological theories of seminaries are starving spiritually and they do not understand why. If you were in the middle of a desert where there was no fresh water around and you lived there so long that you were about to die, would you be smart enough to move? Clearly many Christians are not that smart. They live and die in a church that teaches nothing relevant, nothing new, nothing refreshing, nothing that satisfies the people’s spiritual thirst. People have become content with nothing and not knowing and thus live their life deceived.
Joh 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
Jesus himself speaking, says that He is the “bread of life”. Bread is a staple and a basic food group requirement. The spiritual lessons of bread are vast in the Bible and you should spend a long time learning about them. Jesus tells us that because He is the “bread of life” those who come to him will never go hungry. Jesus is speaking figuratively, symbolically and spiritually and not naturally. Those churches that teach the full truth of Jesus will give people something that feeds them spiritually. Jesus while he walked the earth taught some radically different things in a manner that people never heard before. Jesus taught these truths with authority and power. Jesus said some very difficult things that most churches ignore. There are some churches that only want to concentrate on salvation and getting people saved and ignore the rest of the Bible. While this is an important part of the message of Christ, it is not the complete message. Once you get people saved, then what? Are they supposed to go through life defeated?
Did you realize that eating is not something people do once in their lives and they are done with it? That is the attitude of many Christians and that is not right. Eating is a continual process, something we do multiple times a day, every day. Morning, noon and night we eat physical food. Is spiritual food suppose to be different? Did God give us these natural things to teach us about the Spiritual things? Too many times Christians want a to go to church on Sunday for a cold spiritual snack and they think that will carry them spiritually for the rest of the week. What you should do is read and study the Bible just as much as you spend time eating natural food. In this way you will be as strong spiritually as you are physically. Plus there is some great news, you can’t get too spiritually fat! It is impossible to eat too much spiritually. There is no extreme where you can have too much of the Word of God. In fact it is really much different than people think. In the book of Joshua, God told Joshua to mediate day and night on the Law of God and by doing this God said He would be successful in life.
Luk 6:25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
So Jesus says something that is a warning to those that think that they are satisfied with what they know and what they have already learned. Because they think they are full now, they will soon become spiritually hungry. What does that tell you? It tells me not to be satisfied no matter how much I know and that we should make an effort to plan our next spiritual meal. Do not think that you know more than you do? Have you made yourself wise in your own eyes? Are you proud of what you can do, or what you have done? Do you place your confidence in your own ability and knowledge to solve your every problem? These are common traps of the enemy. Get people thinking like a teenager who thinks they know more than their parents.
Mat 13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
If you read the context of this verse you will discover that Jesus is not talking about natural things, but clearly about spiritual things. The disciples had asked Jesus why do you speak to them in parables? Jesus said it is not for them to “know the mysteries of Kingdom of Heaven”. But, to you it is given. So Jesus makes a direct division between two different groups of people. Those who can see spiritually and those who cannot see spiritually. Are they both spiritually hungry? I would say yes, they are both in need of the same spiritual food from God. But, Jesus says not everyone will get it. What is he talking about? Jesus is saying that those who think they know everything will lose even what they think they already know. But, to those who are truly hungry for the truth, more truth will be given to them. That is exactly why there are so many people blogging on the internet who do not know anything, but yet they blog like they do. These are empty heads speaking empty words to people with empty spirits and nobody is ever satisfied or grows spiritually. Get hungry for the truth and the truth will find you. Be diligent to seek the Knowledge of the Truth and God will cause it to move in your direction and overflow your cup of knowledge with good things that only God can show you.
Are You Hungry YET?
(Ver 2.4) People generally do not like to follow rules. If the speed limit is 35 they like to push it 41 or 42 and see if they get away with it. Life is full of rules and we should begin to realize that these laws have benefits and reasons for existence. Laws should be viewed as positive things in the world. You live by them every day, they govern what you do and if you violate them, you pay the consequences. Without laws we would live in a world of chaos. There are natural laws, scientific laws, laws of gravity, laws of aerodynamics, laws of governments and these all provide structure to our world. When we abide with them and cooperate with them, we usually live in a world that is safer and generally a better place to exist. So do people not realize that the spiritual laws in the Bible are also given to us for these same reasons. By learning about the spiritual laws of God in the Bible we can better understand what the Bible means. By ignoring these spiritual laws, we have what we have a lot of today, we have a church of chaos, disagreement, contention, arguing, controversy, and the lack of agreement and harmony.
Without people following the laws of Bible interpretation, we have hundreds of possible interpretations available about what the Bible means. I’ve got bad news for most people, not every Bible interpretation is the truth. A lot of the teaching in the church is just someone’s opinion of what they think the Bible says and this is not how God intended it to be. If God was interested in your opinion, he would have asked you to write the Bible. Your opinion is not worth a dime, in the eyes of God. Your intelligence is so far below that of God, that it is probably humorous to God to hear what you have to say and what you think is right.
NO PRIVATE INTERPRETATIONS
So what are these laws of Bible interpretation that we should learn to follow? I hope you understand the importance of laws, for I will not expand that part of the discussion any further. Up until now I have just introduced you to some basic concepts of the usefulness of laws. Now I will talk about a couple of the major rules of correct Bible interpretation that not too many are following. The first law of Bible interpretation should be one that everyone knows, because I think it is the most important to know and use. I’ve already touched on it a little bit in the introduction and it has to do with keeping your opinion out of your interpretations. An interpretation represents a biased opinion of the facts given. People cannot interpret the Bible without putting what they know and have experienced into it. Your personal experiences, your prejudices, your upbringing, even the words of your pastor are all factors into how you view the Bible. What you see in the Bible is always slanted by the many complex factors of influece and these are sometimes very difficult for people to get out of their minds in order to see clearly what God is saying.
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
God writes this as being something that we should know first. That makes it sound very important for us to know. Some do not know how God writes the Bible and therefore come to the wrong conclusions. God can hide the most important things in obscure verses deep in the middle of the Bible. I wish I could give you a good reason why God does some of the things that He does, but I’m not God and I do understand all of them, by far. I just do the best that I can with what I have learned so far, and you should do the same. Anyway, this verse in 2 Peter tells us very clearly that the Bible is not open to our private interpretations. In other words, God is not interested in your opinion or what you think that it means. If people would learn this one simple rule, it would help them tremendously. You see in the word “private” carries the meaning of “self”. That means that people are putting their own spin on what God has said. Instead of learning what God says about the subject, they want to ignore God’s words for what they think is correct.
What we learn from this verse in 2 Peter is that the Bible interprets itself. What does that mean? It simply means that God is smarter than you and I, and He has given us His own explanations on what He has said in the Bible. While this sounds good on the surface, it is also a challenge to us. Finding God’s explanations and definitions are not always as easy as you would like to think. It involves an effort and a level of work to study the Bible and find out what God has said. God could have made the Bible easier to understand, but He didn’t, so we work with what He has given us. We bow to His greater wisdom on the subject and submit to His design. If you do not do this you will continue to be lost in your mindless reality and you will miss what God has for you. So learn this first rule and it will change your perspective greatly. It will also cause you to ignore what other people think the Bible means. That alone is worth a fortune of your time and Bible study effort. People on the internet who do not give Bible verses, I very quickly just turn off and do not read. It sure saves a lot of time not to have to listen to the opinions of ignorant people.
Another aspect of what a private interpretation is, can be the use of any other book or source other than just reading the Bible. You see I talked to a guy on the internet the other day and he gave me his interpretation for some prophetic scriptures in the Old and New Testaments. His major problem was the fact that his interpretation was dependent upon information from history books, internet calendars and way too many sources that did not include God or the Bible. That is an obvious example of interpreting the Bible in error. Once you set foot outside of the Word of God you are treading on Satan’s realm and domain of deception. Another example of error is interpretations that name modern individuals, entities, governments, organizations or whatever else you care to interpret into the Bible. I have heard repeatedly the reference to the Pope being the antichrist and this is crazy speculation and a clear example of a private interpretation. The pope did not exist when the Bible was written, but Satan did exist.
Some like to read that God knows the end from the beginning and therefore in Revelation He can tell us of caoming things that do not yet exist like the Pope. While this is certainly possible we must still attempt to interpret the Bible with the Bible and the Pope interpretation is a major conflict with many other verses in the Bible that teach us something differently. Understand that the Bible does not contradict itself in the proper correct understanding of the words written. In other words one verse is not going to conflict with another vese so we must balance the correct interpretation between both truths given. First, God says there is nothing new under the sun (Ecc 1:9). The thing that has been is the thing that shall be again. That right there tells me that the Pope is not God’s enemy and to declare him the anti-Christ is in opposition to God’s Word that there is nothing new. Then there is this verse in the N.T. that says “While we look not at the things that are seen, because the things that are seen are temprorary and the things that not seen are eternal” (2 Cor 4:18). God is basically telling us if we are looking for natural signs and ignoring the spiritual world you are going to miss it. Can you see the Pope? If you can see the pope then the pope is not what we should be focused on. What God is teaching us in this verse is that we should change our focus and not be fixated on the external things and try to perceive the spirit behind the external visible person. Ok, do not misunderstand what I am saying. We do live in a natural world but we should be dominated with the Spiritual things of God and not the flesh. If the anti-Christ comes in the flesh, people are only going to be able to discern him with their spiritual awareness and not by looking at the outward appearance that will easily deceive many.
Therefore learn to change your perspective to God’s point of view and see scriptures and things in the spiritual realm first and then you will understand what is happening in the natural realm. Correct bible interpretation is not easy, but it is achievable by simply learning the rules and this was only one small aspect of the subject and it is impossible to cover it fully in this one lesson.
IN THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES
The next thing that I would like to discuss is often misused and ignored. This law is a law found in the Bible and one that God has clearly spelled out. However, I guess people do not apply it to Bible study and Bible interpretation. Did you know everything in the Bible is not plainly laid out? God gives us some very valuable information in some very minor scriptures. For example, the virgin birth of Christ, which is a basic foundational Christian theological position and critical to the identity of Jesus, is only mentioned a couple of times in vague references. You would think that God would talk about this more clearly and give us many more verses that told us about this, but yet He does not. I was reading a blog the other day and this very deceived man was speaking about “homosexuality” not being mentioned in the Bible clearly so therefore he concluded that it was not important to God and that he could still be a Christian and a homosexual at the same time. What people do not understand is that it only takes two verses in the Bible to say the same thing and that means it is an established truth of the Bible. Because this man only found two or three verses against homosexuality, he came to the wrong conclusion and said it is OK to stay in sin. This is what God says:
2Co 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
Did you see what God says in this verse? God says that if you can find at the least two references in the Bible to the same subject, then that establishes the truth that you should live by. This is a basic truth that our courts and legal system needs to abide by. If it is just the word of one against the other, then you will have a very hard time figuring out what the truth is. But, if you can find two witnesses who agree, then that establishes the basis of the truth. So we learn that we cannot just go read a single Bible verse and try to make it say something that it does not say. We are required by God’s design to get a corresponding and collaborating witness to every truth. Knowing this fact will change almost everything found in many church doctrines. That means the people who try to teach snake handling in churches have a major problem with what they teach. They do err in their interpretation of the Bible by selectively preaching a single verse out of context. I’ll go even further than that today risking offending someone in the Catholic church. The Bible does not teach we need a Pope. Peter was not the first pope that they claim that he was. They take one verse out of context and try to make a man-made doctrine to establish the office of the pope and this is a dangerous way to treat God and the Bible. You can make the Bible say anything that you want it to. There is proof of this in every denominatio of the church. However, if people would only read and study the Bible using the rules of God to understand what is written we would all benefit and come closer to a unified set of beliefs. Learn to search your Bible for at least two verses to establish the truth and this will help you tremendously in how you view the truth.
These are just two of the most important basic spiritual laws of correct Bible interpretation that you need to learn and put into daily practice. Once you finally do this, you will begin to see that there is a major difference between God’s Bible truth from what some people are trying to convince you is the truth. There is a conept from our history that applies to today’s lesson on God’s laws. The Law of aerodynamis always existed from the time of Adam, but no man knew or understood it so we did not benefit from it. Do you see the application that I am getting at and the importance of knowing about God’s laws? People who do not know that spiritual laws exist can never follow them or utilize them to their advantage to understand God’s Word. However, once you discover them and learn to use them they have great potential for the same dramatic change in our lives as the invention of the airplane. Just a short time ago no one knew how to fly and today it is a common occurrence that everyone participates in. This is why I am teaching this subject today so that we can all benefit and begin to use God’s laws to understand the Bible. Thanks for reading my Bible lesson on the Laws of correct Bible interpretation. God Bless!
(Ver 1.4) In today’s Bible lesson I will discuss some of the common mistakes thattoo many people fall into when attempting to read and understand the Bible. If you can grasp these concepts it will help you tremendously in understanding the true meanings found in the Bible. I will give you a list of six or seven things that people tend to do that results in erroneous interpretations. By avoiding these common tricks, traps and pitfalls that the enemy Satan uses to distract, deceive and confuse us, we can help to avoid being tricked into the common pitfalls of deception and then we can continue to strive to walk in the paths of rightly diveded truths to learn what God desires for us to know today.
NO PRIVATE INTERPETATIONS
This is probably the number one pitfall to erroneous Bible teaching. It is absolutely esstential to let the Bible interpret itself. In the Bible, God tells us that no verse of prophecy is open to any private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20). God was smart enough to include explanations and interpretations to everything that He wanted you to know about a subject in the same book. So when you are reading through the book of Revelation for example, use the Bible to figure out what God is talking about. If you conclude that a reference is somehow a modern day empire and attempt to classify it as being the Roman Catholic church or the Pope, you are applying a private interpretation to the Word of God. Stick with the Bible and what God says and you will never be wrong. Come up with your own reasoning and logical explanations and you will be wrong 100 times out of 100 attempts. I’ll give you one more example that I’ve heard teachers attempt from Revelation. In the later part of the book there is a reference to a city surrounded by 7 mountains. This city is called the Great Whore of Babylon and many Bible teachers have attempted to associate it with Rome since it has seven prominent mountains. However, this again is a private interpretation, there is no Bible verses that I have found that say the city is Rome or that describe the region around Rome. So we have a problem, don’t we. When I searched the scriptures I was shocked to find 7 mountains mentioned in a specific region of the world, surrounding a specific named city. Since I don’t want to stir up a huge controversy in this blog, I’ll let you do the research yourself and see if you can find the same thing. I won’t tell you the name of the city, so good luck in your search.
THE BIBLE IS NOT TOTALLY SEQUENTIAL NOT IS IT IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
We know that the book of Genesis contains a lot of God’s account of creation , Noah’s flood, the rise of Abraham and the nation of Israel. We further know that the book of Revelation contains prophetic verses of the coming of the end of the age. All of the books in between these two while they are generally in time sequence, they can contain information that can be all over the board and anywhere in that timeline past, present or future. This is why Jesus told the Jews to search the scripture to find Him. If everything was obivously laid out, it would not be necessary to search to find anything in the Bible. There are verses in the New Testament that speak about both Adam and Eve and describe valuable information about the first man and woman and the fall of man. These are clearly out of time sequence with Genesis, but yet they give us some extremely valuable additional information that we must use to correctly interpret the verses in Genesis. If you only read the book of Genesis for the creation account, you will miss out on many of the details that explain key facts, events, participants and times. You have to understand that teaching the Bible involves researching your subject topographically. By examining the Bible by subject you gain a broader understanding of what God wants you to know. Not realizing that the Bible contains a widely dispersed random patterns of information on every subject, will cause you to miss a lot of the key points that you needed to know. Use key word searches to look for related verses. Many times God will purposely use the same exact Hebrew or Greek word to reveal to you related verses of scriptures. Other times, God will use completely different words or terminology to make it harder to find related scriptures. Let me give you one quick example about Abraham. His name is found 160 times in the Old Testament and 70 times in the New Testament. It is very obvious to me that if you want to study about Abraham you need to read all of these verses and see what God says about the man every where. If you only read Genesis and left out the other verses then you would miss around half of the total information given to you about Abraham in the Bible. Just know and understand that the information is spread out over the entire content of the Bible and not isolated to any specific one place.
JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS AND MAKING WRONG ASSUMPTIONS
Jumping to a wrong conclusion or making an incorrect assumption is one of the most prevalent errors that ministers and laymen make when studying the Bible. The Bible calls this private interpretation of the word of God. It is so easy to do, but yet it results in the spread of lies and confusion. Obviously confusion is what the enemy wants. Let me give you an example again of jumping to a conclusion or making an assumption. In the 12th chapter of Revelation we have a woman described as being pregnant with a male child. I know I’ve used this example before, but it is a classic example of what not to do. The conclusion has been made repeatedly that this woman is Israel because they assume the male child is Jesus Christ. Logically it doesn’t make sense that a symbolic woman is giving birth to a physical man Jesus Christ. I would say if the woman is symbolic, then the child is also symbolic. This is an example of both types of errors being exhibited from a single chapter and only a few verses. You know if someone could back that woman and child up with other scriptures showing their true identities I wouldn’t have a problem with what they were teaching. But, since they never give any verses to backup what they teach I categorically reject that as C.R.A.P. (Christian Reasoning Applied Poorly)! Please forgive my language and frustration. Most teaching on the book of Revelation that I’ve listened to is littered with private interpretations, assumptions and erroneous conclusions. People should stick with the Bible and leave their opinions out of the message and we would all benefit greatly.
USING MAN’S DEFINITION OF BIBLE WORDS INSTEAD OF GOD’S
God has given to us specific information in the Bible and once you see it and understand it, the true spiritual meanings can change Bible word definitions dramatically. What we must attempt to do in correct Bible interpretation, is to always seek God’s definitions for the words and subjects that we are studying. One huge mistake that many Bible students make is to look up words in Webster’s dictionary and think they know everything that a Bible verse is talking about using a man’s definitions of the words. Often times we read a Bible verse and think we know every word that is given to us and therefore we conclude that we understand everything that is being taught. What we do not realize is that God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Unless you have completely renewed your mind you are normally thinking naturally. God most of the time is writing to us in spiritual terms, using some natural and some spiritual words interchangeably. The Bible is so much more complex than you can imagine and one way to insure correct interpretation of the Bible is to always look up God’s definitions of every word and subject that you encounter in a Bible verse.
TAKING “A” TRUTH AND TRYING TO MAKE IT “THE” TRUTH
Here is another prime example of a common error of incorrect Bible interpretation in action. While private interpretation is probably the number one problem with a lot of Bible teaching, this one is probably number two on my list of things to avoid. I’ve seen people do this so many times across the board in every denomination. So what does it mean to take a truth and make it the truth? It basically involves jumping to a conclusion again that is true in and of itself. But that truth is not the complete truth on the subject. Some people want to take a well known Bible fact and attempt to say it is this way and no other way. The mistake is made that they ignore all other viewpoints on the subject in favor of the one they like the best. To be fair to most, I would say the problem is rooted in the fact that they just haven’t seen or even aware that other views exist because they are so focused on the one thing that they do know. It doesn’t discount what they know as being in error, unless they say that every other point of view is wrong and only we are right. This is predominantly the root of every denominational war through the centuries. We are right and everyone else is wrong. I’ve got bad news for you only God is right and everyone else is at the least a little bit wrong.
I once heard it put into an analogy of climbing a mountain. If you are on the north side of the mountain you have one view, the south side a different view, the east side a different view, the west side as yet another view. Everyone is trying to say only our view is correct and yours must be in error. People we are climbing the same mountain, understand and know there are different ways to view the same thing.
I use this example, but I don’t name names of who said it. If you know who said it, please ask him to forgive me. I heard a teacher say the church is the body of Christ and not the bride. Search the scripture and you won’t find anything that says we are the bride of Christ. What an idiotic statement of arrogance and ignorance. I wrote a blog series explaining how the church became the body of Christ so I won’t attempt to repeat that lesson here. What we have though is an example of someone taking a truth and trying to make it the entire complete truth. You see I don’t have a problem with the church being the body of Christ, I can see all of the scriptures that tells us, that is what we are. But, I asked another question and that is, how did the church become the body of Christ and I found the answer explained in the Bible quite literally and explicitly. So most people who make this mistake of taking a truth and trying to make it the truth, have probably not asked enough questions.
So taking a truth and attempting to make it the truth is based upon an accumulation of other errors and mistakes that people make of which could be one or more of the following:
- Jumping to Conclusions.
- Making Wrong Assumptions.
- Using Man’s Definitions instead of God’s.
- Not asking the right Questions.
- Insufficient Knowledge. Not knowing enough of the facts (or all of the facts if that is possible)
- Not having sufficient understanding of the subject
What we all need to realize is that there is more than one truth in the Bible. These truths fit together and work in conjunction with other truths. We should all be striving to understand as much as we can about what the Bible says. We should all strive to correctly divide the Word of Truth. We should also all give others who make mistakes some extended effort of forgiveness. Jesus while hanging on the cross said Father forgive them for they know not what they do. People today are the same as they were back then and they still do a lot of stupid things and think they are so right in doing them.
THINKING YOU KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT ANYTHING
This obviously goes back to people having the wrong attitude and approach to Bible study. I’ve seen some people that are extremely arrogant in what they say and think. While some might try to confuse confidence with arrogance there is a difference. You can be confident in what you believe and still be humble enough to admit you might have been wrong. No man is God and knows everything. If you have studied the Bible for 50 years and think you have arrived and know everything that you need to know you have been deceived:
Gal 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
Compared to what God knows, what you and I know would not fill a thimble. Any man or woman that has a teenager type attitude of thinking very highly of themselves and their knowledge has already deceived themselves.
INTERPRETING VERSES OUT OF CONTEXT
This is what I think I mean by this. I once had a minister say that the Bible says “Judas went and hung himself”. Then he quoted a part of another verse that said “Go and do likewise”. This was a humorous attempt to show a mistake many have made with Bible interpretation. People many times attempt to take two or more unrelated verses or just part of them and put them together and make them say something that they never really said. Sometimes I watch late night comics and during the presidential election they would take the words of a candidate making a speech and re-edit them and put them together so that when played all together they would say something that is completely false and sometimes funny. Well preachers and teachers have been guilty of doing this and using it to promote some false teaching that God never came close to endorsing. Find out who the verse was originally written to. Find out why it was written. Figure out if the verse has any implied references, double references, symbolic references, etc and only after going through logical reasoning can you actually justify putting together two verses and organize them correctly. Remember Bible study is like a puzzle, and the pieces of the puzzle must fit together correctly and always show the right big picture which is most always Jesus Christ.
(Ver 2.0) Is the Word of God encoded with hidden mysteries and meanings? Has the Word of God been spiritually encrypted so that we cannot see it naturally or understand it with our unsaved minds? I often times observe other bloggers and other websites just to see what they are writing about. It is amazing what many people think is important to write about and what they have determined to be the truth. It obviously causes me to ask God a very direct question. Why don’t people see what you have written in the Bible the same way? How is it that we can have so many differing opinions to what it all means? Some see one thing in a verse and others see the complete opposite from the exact same verse. The words didn’t change, they read the same for both readers. It looks like to me it was just a matter of what they wanted to see that determined what they got out of the verse. It must be that someone or both of the readers were just wrong. Every opinion cannot be RIGHT! It just doesn’t make any sense does it? Why can’t God get over His message so that we can all agree on at least some or most of what it says? Do you think this is beyond God’s capability to do something like this? Or is it just man’s inability to see and understand? Could it be that God has purposefully encrypted the information to make it unreadable until the appointed time for Him to reveal it? This is actually what I believe! God has encoded information in plain sight using many very tricky techniques. I have already blogged on many of these techniques giving you the basic concepts of how God implemented them. If you have not read any of these blog I would suggest that you go an familiarize yourself with some of these techniques. By understanding the concepts I believe you will better be able to understand the word of God. However, today I want to explore Biblical evidence for this spiritual encryption system of God. Does the Bible indicate that there are hidden truths in it? Concealed information? Of course there are many verses that lead us to believe this, if you are looking for them:
Dan 2:28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king….
This verse in Daniel reveals to us the nature of God’s character. It speaks to God’s methods of operation and to God’s ways of doing what He does. If God is a revealer of secrets, like this verse says, then it would demand that secrets existed. This is just basic logic and reasoning. To understand that God has encoded secrets within the Bible allows Him to reveal them to the kings of earth. That is you and I if you did not know it! This is what the king in Daniel said as a reply to the information that was revealed to him:
Dan 2:47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.
All it took was for God to reveal a truth and this king saw that Daniel’s God was the True Living God. Do you realize that God can do that again if He wants to? I believe that God is revealing the Bible in these last days to show us that He is God. But how did God do this in Daniel’s day? God used a man to present the information and nobody saw God, nobody could prove it came from God, nobody could verify the accuracy, nobody could go to a Bible expert to confirm it. Isn’t that an interesting concept? It sounds like the people that God was speaking to had to take some things by faith. They had to believe in a God that they had never seen or experienced. God simply used one man to reveal a secret and that changed the heart of the king. I pray that you are understanding this concept.
Pro 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
Here we have a critical confirming verse that God has hidden or concealed information for the kings of the earth to search out. Anything that is hidden means that it is not clearly visible, it could be camouflaged to blend in with its surroundings or it could be completely covered by something else. To hide your money in the backyard would be an example of someone who did not want it taken or stolen until they wanted to use it. So God has a purpose in hiding information for us, the kings of the earth to find. To search out a matter implies work, an effort of either digging into or studying the Bible with some level of physical work or mental effort. If you just read the Bible with a shallow surface understanding of the words, you are missing the good stuff that God wanted you to find.
Not everything in the Bible is hidden, however not everything in the Bible is clearly understandable either. We have a challenge presented to us from God to determine what is what and what it all means. If you think it is easy, you are mistaken. The words are very complex and intricately embedded with meaning that is not clearly seen.
Deu 30:11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
Here in this verse God says what I just said is not hidden from you. It also implies that there could be other things that are hidden from us. The verse ends in the statement that it is also not far off. This is a relation to distance and time. If something is a far off, it could take time to reach it. Since this verse is not a far off, we might could conclude that there are other verses that are potentially a far off, meaning they will be revealed only at the proper time whenever we reach that point. God has designed specific appointed times for certain events to occur. The coming of Christ into the world was at the “fullness of time” (Gal 4:4). This means that after the completion of the time period allotted, Christ came. Then there is Daniel 12:4 that tells us in the time of the end that knowledge shall increase dramatically. We can clearly see this can be taken of natural knowledge, but I firmly believe it also applies to the Knowledge of God’s Word!
Isa 48:6 Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.
This verse in Isaiah speaks about a point in time and how God had showed them “new things”. These “new things” were said to be hidden secrets and yet even after God showed them to the people it says they still did not understand them. Did you know that is my greatest challenge I face on my blog. How do I speak about new things that I found in the Bible and get anyone to understand them? It is much harder than you might think. People have a natural tendency to reject anything new or different, even if it came from God. Why do you think Paul and the other apostles were in prison and beaten and persecuted to the extent that they were? It was because they were teaching something totally new. Even though it came from the same source as what the Jewish leaders read daily in their temples, the message was new and different, so they concluded that it must have been wrong. Isn’t that what they thought? The Jewish leaders of their day were clearly right in their minds, but completely wrong in their hearts. That is a dangerous position to take and many Christians do it every day. To think that God cannot send you another man with a new message from the Bible is clearly a rejection of God and His message. You cannot reject one without rejecting the other.
Mat 10:26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
This verse has vast implications written all over it. Being that this is God speaking, I take this statement very seriously. To me it would seem to indicate that God will reveal the things that He has hidden to us before He returns for us. However, you can take it to mean that God will also reveal them after He has returned and taken us up to heaven. That is one of the tricky methods that God has used to make things not easily understandable. To not reveal all of the information in one location that you need to know to make the determination of exactly when this will occur. We can be assured that it will occur, but when is something we will have to find in the Bible.
Col 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
Using this verse it would seem to indicate that Jesus was speaking about a time that is before His impending return. This verse in Colossians you can see that there is a term that relates to “now” as being the proper time. Now would not be later, would it? God seems to tell us that they mysteries which have been hidden for a very long time is now been given to the “saints” to understand. Did you know if you are a Christian, that you are one of these saints? Some churches like to vote to make people “saints” and if they satisfy their definition of a “saint” then you become one by their transformation of a title. However, God’s system is quite different than man’s system. If you are born again and saved, you qualify to be a saint. Therefore, you are the one that this hidden information is to be revealed to.
1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our7 glory:
Here again in the verse in 1 Corinthians, we can clearly see that these hidden things are now being revealed to the church. God had a hidden plan from before the world began and this plan is now being revealed in the time of the church. This plan is called the hidden wisdom of God. This sounds like some very important stuff to know. If we could understand the wisdom of God, we would not make as many mistakes and could potentially derive great benefit from this information. It starts with gaining knowledge, but then it hinges on understanding these facts that you learn. Finally, wisdom is the ability to correctly apply what you have learned so that you make right choices and decisions.
2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
So the Gospel is still hidden to those who refuse to believe the truth. This implies that the spiritual encryption system that God has implemented is still in effect until we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. This also could mean this is why there are so many denominations in the world today. The church is in varying stages of spiritual growth and development and not everyone sees these hidden things at the same time.
Mat 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
Jesus again speaking in a prayer to His Father, informs us of some other factors of who this information is still hidden from. Jesus clearly says that those in the world that exalt themselves and their wisdom will never know the secrets of the Kingdom of God. These are two distinct words that you should go lookup the definitions to. These are key factors why many people in the earth do not understand the Bible. The word “prudent”, means to “act piously” and to be wise in your own eyes. That sounds like they put on a show of how great they are. This can apply to Christians as well as to unsaved people in the world. Jesus did not qualify the statement, He only said that they would be revealed to those that have become like little children. Children are not usually arrogant are they? Children are usually hungry for knowledge and want to learn. Children are usually those that look to their parents for everything that they need. They are not self-sufficient, or able to care for themselves. So the opposite to small children would be those that think they know everything. Those who think they can take care of themselves. Those who think they need no advice or guidance. These are those that are wise in their own minds and thus are unable to comprehend the wisdom of God. I would suggest that you figure out where you fit in these verses that I have given you today. Since I am not your judge, I cannot judge you. I do not know where you are at. Only you can judge yourself or wait until God passes judgment. I hope you enjoyed this lesson on God’s spiritual encryption of the Bible. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading about the methods that God has used to encode information into the Bible, please go to “Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight Part 1“.
(Ver 1.2) This is Part 2 in a series of lessons on the subject of Bible Knowledge. If you would like to start reading with “Part 1” please do that. What is true Bible knowledge? How do we this get correct Bible knowledge? How does knowlege differ from understanding? Is wisdom the same as knowledge? These are basic Bible concepts that are probably better covered by the teachings of other ministers of God. But, I thought I would include a synopsis in order to help those who are not aware of the differences between these three related subjects. They are certainly related and they each overlap with the other, but yet they are still unique in what they represent to God. I think many times people look at Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom and just lump them all together as being different words for the same thing. Nothing could really be further from the truth than to say they are the same thing. So let’s explore the subject briefly in the Bible and see what we can learn. The book of Proverbs actually has a lot to say on this subject and I will start with a great example:
Pro 2:1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
Pro 2:2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
Pro 2:3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
Pro 2:4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
Pro 2:5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
Pro 2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
You see if God thought all three of these were the same thing He wouldn’t have included each of them in these verses as different and separate qualities. What we can clearly see is an interrelated set of dependencies called knowledge, understanding and wisdom. Each of these three elements are mentioned separately and yet joined together in a common set of themes. Instead of going through these verses individually, let’s take each word and analyze what they are and see what God says to us.
So let’s start with Knowledge! Knowledge is the basis for the other two, understanding and wisdom. Without knowledge you can not have or obtain to the other two. So if we used an analogy of a ladder, knowledge would represent the first rung on the ladder. Some might want to jump to the top of the ladder, but in order to get to the top safely and correctly you must start with stepping on the first rung, knowledge. So what is knowledge? In the most basic form you could say that knowledge is the accumulation and familiarization of facts. A fact represents a statement of truth. You can learn from fiction, but the Bible is not fiction and that is not what I am talking about. A fact is a true event, a true person, a true concept, a true law, a true whatever. For example, when you learned the multiplication table in grade school as a child you accumulated mathematical facts of numbers. One times One is One. One times Two is Two. Two times Two is Four. These are all mathematical facts or truths. If you memorized them, you gained knowledge of these mathematical truths. At the same time you learned the fact that 2 x 3 = 6, you also gained implied knowledge of the mathematical concept of multiplication. Learning the Bible is the exact same applied logic as learning the multiplication table. I should probably expound on the meaning and application of logic in Bible interpretation, but I think that would go over the head of a lot of my readers. Since I was a computer programmer for many years, I used logic in the application of my everyday tasks at work. If you’ve never tried to write a complex computer application, I don’t know how to tell you something that you could possibly relate to easily. Correct Bible interpretation is a logical operation or task. As you read the Bible verse by verse and chapter by chapter you begin to accumulate knowledge. Bible facts such as people, places, things, concepts, laws and such. By gaining the knowledge of facts you are experiencing the accumulated process of learning.
So knowledge is the accumulation of both explicit and implicit facts. However, knowledge is also much deeper and has many other implied Biblical meanings. In the book of Hosea the 4th chapter and the 6th verse says:
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.
Here we have God speaking directly through his prophet saying “My People are destroyed (brought to nothing, rendered harmless, ineffective, defeated, perish, to be cut down, there voice is silenced) for a lack of knowledge (knowing). Wow, that is about as strong of a statement as you can get. While this is stated directly to Israel, the implication is given to us that we (the church), His New Covenant people can be brought down the same way. The world says what you don’t know can’t hurt you and that is certainly a lie from the devil. God says what you don’t know will kill you and cause you to fail. This Hebrew word H1847 translated as knowledge comes from another Hebrew root word H3045. This word also has huge implications that I think you should know about. This word is used many times in the Old Testament in a form that says “And Adam “Knew” his wife and they had a son.” To know your wife is a sexual act between a husband and wife. This is often times referred to as carnal knowledge. So gaining knowledge is akin to sex between a husband and a wife. This is obviously what the Bible says and not something I just made up, you can go study if for yourself. The implications are huge here again. God wants you to “know” Him spiritually. He wants you to “know” His word. If you know God’s word you know God. So reading and studying the Bible ought to be a time of spiritual intimacy between you and God. Knowing this, it should change a lot of your attitudes toward reading the Bible. In this verse in Hosea it also shows us a concept that is called “forget”. To “forget” something means that you once knew it, but now you have let it slip. To forget something means it has become unimportant to you. This is a very important part of knowledge and knowing something to keep and maintain a high and important place in your mind and in your spirit. If it was important enough to learn, it is important enough to hold on to.
We have not fully covered the subject of knowledge, but let’s progress up another rung of the ladder to understanding. In the book of Proverbs God tells us this:
Pro 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
This verse starts by stating that wisdom is the highest rung on the ladder, the principal thing that we are all hoping to gain from studying God’s Word is said to be wisdom. But,, it then declares with all your getting make sure that you also get understanding. Generally speaking, “understanding” is the correct organization and ordering of associated facts and truths. It is very much like putting a complex Jig Saw Puzzle together. When the pieces of the puzzle fit together correctly you can see the big picture correctly and when they are forced together incorrectly you have nothing, but a big mess that does not make any sense to anyone. What we can see in this verse is the reference to all three key subjects. God is telling us all to “Get Something” and that something is His knowledge. God still tells us that Wisdom is the ultimate goal of all of our getting, however to get to wisdom, we first need to achieve understanding by first gaining accumulating facts.
To see an example of how Jesus applied these three elements during His ministry on the earth, we can look at Jesus teaching his disciples reading the story of the parable of the sower in Mark 4:1. Jesus goes through the parable in a public setting giving to everyone the same basic knowledgeable facts, but in private he tells the 12 the meaning of all of the symbolic objects in the parable (Mk 4:10). The soil was the heart of man, the seeds were the Words of God, the birds of the air was Satan, etc. By explaining the parable to them he correctly put together the associated truths and facts so that they could have a clear understanding of how the Kingdom of God operates. We can begin to see why understanding is so critical, without understanding all you have is a religion and religious people with a bunch of random religious facts. This was an example of the Jewish leadership of Jesus’ day. These men knew a lot of facts written in their law, but understood practically none of them. Too many so called Christian are just people with some knowledge of some random facts. They do not understand how they fit together, or how they work, or why they are in the Bible, how they relate to God, how they relate to them, why they are important to know and on and on I could go. The Bible is so much more complex than you just reading a verse and you thinking that you got it and know everything you need to know. So getting understanding is a critical piece of the bigger puzzle. But it is still just one step in the ladder’s wrung. Start by learning the facts and then grow to understand what each of them mean and how they relate together. Continue to grow and understand how they apply to you specifically. Only by understanding who you are in Christ, why Jesus died on the cross, who Jesus was, and all of the other important subjects in the Bible will you ever be able to achieve to know a level of the wisdom of God. So let’s move on up the ladder.
So the final rung on the ladder is wisdom. As we learned earlier it is the principal thing that we are trying to gain from studying the Bible. What exactly is wisdom? I would say wisdom in it’s simplest terms is the practical application of correct knowledge and understanding. Knowing what to do, when to do it and with who to do it, that is the revealed ability to make wise choices. Wisdom certainly involves other aspects and there are men of God who teach very in depth on the subject of wisdom so I will not venture to repeat what they can teach you more efficiently and effectively. But, by correctly knowing God’s word and understanding it, God will give you the wisdom to make right choices in your life. Wisdom is a gift from God and it comes from knowing God personally. In James 1:5, God says if any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to every man liberally. This verse teaches us that not every man has wisdom but then informs us where true wisdom can come from if we desire to have it. So making the right choices in life is possible with God as your source and your guide. Knowing who to marry. Knowing what job to take. Knowing what city to live in. Knowing what house to buy. Knowing what roads to drive on. These are all things that God can show you. By His Spirit, God guides His people to make wise choices. However, all of these wise choices start by knowing God’s Word first. By knowing God’s Word, it builds your character, and guides your moral convictions. By making wise decisions morally you are better able to make wise choices socially and financially. The wisdom of God allows you to put together good choices in life and allows you to be a better and a more successful human being.
Can you see how knowledge, understanding and wisdom fit into correct Bible interpretation and why they are so important? The correct interpretation of the Bible so hinges upon these three qualities that it is imperative that you have a full grasp of the concepts and methods of learning and studying the Bible correctly. Your knowledge and understanding of God and His Word will always affect your decision making. That is why God said my people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. Thank you for reading and studying the Bible and my God bless you as you grown in the knowledge of Him.
(Ver 1.4) This is Part 1 on the subject of God’s Knowledge in the Bible. I always try to teach how important it is in correct Bible interpretation to be open to new ideas, thoughts and to things that maybe you haven’t ever heard or considered before. Why do you think that this type of noble attitude might be important to have while studying the Bible? I think if for no other reason, it is based upon the factor of human ignorance and that we are not God who knows it all. We as ignorant humans still have a lot left to learn from our God. If you think that you know it all, or at least that you already know all that you need to know, you are already potentially deceived into believing a lie. Satan I believe wants you to think that you are smarter than you really are. Whenever this deception occurs you are then not going to make the effort to seek to know the truth of God’s Word. Satan wants you ignorant of the truth. You are easily defeated as an ignorant Christian. However, God also gives us another very good reason for having a positive attitude and he tells us something that is very profound in the book of Daniel:
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 is a great witness to the fact that God has concealed the meaning of this book until the “time of the end”. To “shut up” means to hide, keep secret or conceal. This is a common methodology of God found throughout the Bible. God has hidden information for us to find. This information is revealed by the Spirit of God at the proper time. For some scriptures it was during the time of the Apostles and Paul when God revealed vast amounts of new revelation. But, it is also for our time based upon this verse in Daniel, that we live in right now. If you didn’t know it, we are in the time of the end, and guess what it is almost over. Many of you can look around and see how fast technology is advancing. But, the net revelation of this verse, to me speaks of both natural and spiritual things. We of course in the last 20 to 30 years can see the explosion of computers and the internet. As a result of this technology, man’s knowledge has grown astronomically. But, God not to be out done by man is also doing something new. He is revealing the Word of God like never before on a scale that is difficult to comprehend fully. I believe that if you are reading Bible commentaries that are 100 years old or older then you are reading information that has been updated and expanded so much that it sometimes doesn’t resemble the outdated theology. It doesn’t mean they were wrong, it just means God has shed more light on it and revealed a more complete meaning of the verses.
Pro 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
Here is a promise from the Old Testament that God said he would pour out His Spirit and by doing so, the result is a new revealing of His word to His people. I believe that this is a prophetic verse that we can take hold of and claim for ourselves today. This also reminds me of some other verses in the Bible about the harvest.
Jer 5:24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the later, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.
Natural rain involves water falling from heaven physically, but God is speaking of a spiritual rain in this verse. Spiritual rain is the water from heaven where Jesus is right now and this rain could be a new understanding of His Word.
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.
In the book of James, it basically quotes from Jeremiah the same reference, but this time it puts it into the context of the return of Jesus Christ. God is looking for the precious fruit of the earth and that is not apples, oranges and bananas. The reference and implied meaning of this verse is that when the Apostles and Paul wrote the New Testament that was the early rain. God poured out His spirit and men increased in spiritual knowledge like never before. Paul wrote 2/3 of the New Testament after being filled with the Holy Spirit and God revealing to him the meaning of many of the Old Testament scriptures. However, God did not reveal to Paul the meaning of Daniel, did he? Have you read anything in Paul’s writings that directly mention Daniel? I have not, however I do believe that Paul wrote many things that do help us to understand this book that we have yet to see and understand. You see in this verse in James, God also speaks of a later rain. The early rain is a reference to a beginning of the rainy season. The later rain could be implied the end of the rainy season. I do not think that means there are new books of the Bible to come, I believe that it has to be a new understanding of what has already been given to us by God. I believe that God has been pouring out His Spirit for the last 100 years and as a result, knowledge and understanding of God’s Word has greatly increased.
You can see this implied reference from Daniel 12:4 where the writer is told to seal up the book until the time of the end. Did you ever notice that there is no obvious encryption code found in the book of Daniel or any other book of the Bible? How is it that God can write things in a known language and the reader not understand what it means for hundreds or even thousands of years. Have you really ever thought about this and asked how God accomplished this task. Now is certainly the time of the end and therefore something should be transpiring to open up this book so that our understanding can be greatly increased. If now is the time of the end like I believe it is, then we ought to be learning new things at an exponential rate. If now is the time of the end there needs to be stuff happening to let us know it. We should be able to look around at the prophecies and see them being fulfilled all around us. Have you seen it happening? I have seen it almost everyday. We will only be privy to it if you are open to change and new ideas that God will be revealing very soon. Either decide to be ready for it or be prepared to miss it, for it will happen very soon and ver fast.
If you would like to continue reading in ths series about “Bible Knowlege” you may go to “Part 2“.
Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight — Understanding God’s Methods of Hiding Information in the Bible! Pt 7
(Ver 1.1) This is now part seven of a series of advanced Bible study lessons on the methods that God has used to conceal truth and information in the Bible for us to find. By studying these methods we will greatly increase our ability to understand the truth of God’s Word. I have covered a lot important concepts and information in these lessons that will not be repated. If you have not read this series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“.
Technique 7: Types and Shadows
The next technique for concealing truth is what I call the usage of “Types and Shadows”. Types and shadows are very interesting patterns that God has used and are very prevalent in the Old Testament especially. A type or a shadow is many times a recognizable representation of a New Testament spiritual truth. Types and Shadows can be found within individuals, groups, events, Jewish feasts and festivals and even places. Types can be referred to as an archetype or archetypal. Here is one definition for this word:
archetypal – representing or constituting an original type after which other similar things are patterned. Archetypal Patterns.
This term describes something that is a pattern of something else that is to come. In other words there is a recognizable resemblance of the past thing from knowing or seeing the future thing. I hope you got that last statement, because it was significant. The idea that you must know the new in order to recognize the pattern in the old is the primary reasons why the Jewish people don’t see Christ the Messiah all over the Old Testament and we do. Because they don’t know the new, they don’t see the old patterns that reflect and describe the new.
Here are some scriptures that describes the usage of types and shadows by God in the Old Testament:
Heb 8:4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:
Heb 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
These verses inform us of God’s instructions given to Moses through the law. God says these things that Moses had written about were shadows of things which already existed in Heaven. That is an informative verse and demonstrates the principle of types and shadows. Two specific words in this two verses stood out and these are the words “shadows” and “patterns”. That is exactly what I am talking about. These natural types or shadows are given to Moses by God, to provide a view of something that is not seen in the spiritual realm. God showed Moses what to build on earth using the patterns of the things that already existed in heaven. These things can be looked at in one of two ways. They can be viewed as a way of revealing that which existed in heaven or they could also be viewed as something that concealed the things in heaven. Because we have never seen these things in heaven we would not really know by looking at the earthly things what they represented, would we? Let’s examine another New Testament verse that also deals with the subject of types and shadows:
Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
God provides a short list of some things that can be found in the Old Testament and declares that these things are types and shadows of things that were to come in Jesus Christ. The principle is again that God gave us things in the law that were recorded to provide insight into something that was going to come in the spiritual realm. The thing that was to come was greater than the thing given to be a type. It’s like if I’m walking in the sunshine and I cast a shadow on the ground. You might be able to look at just the shadow and tell a lot about me, but there are a lot of the details omitted in the shadow representation. Only by looking correctly at the real can you fully comprehend the shadow. There lies a problem with people reading just the Old Testament in isolation, they are looking at shadows and it is many times very difficult to determine what something is by just looking only at the shadow.
The term shadow is a term that implies the light has been blocked by something. In other words a natural shadow on the ground is caused because some object is blocking the light. The absence of light causes shadows. In the natural realm the light can be from the sun or from another light source like a lamp. In the spiritual realm God is the Light! Who is blocking God from shining into the minds of people on the earth like the Jewish people who do not know Jesus? The Bible says that “the god of this world has blinded the minds of them that believe not”. This verse is of course speaking of Satan as being in control of our current world system. But the term “blindness” means the inability to see light. This applies physically and spiritually equally.
There are types and shadows from Genesis chapter 1 until Malachi. If you are a serious student of the Word of God you will also realize that the Gospels are all predominantly Old Testament. I think sometimes people forget this, but Jesus did not implement the new covenant until his resurrection. Knowing this fact we can see further types and shadows in the life and ministry of Jesus. For example, in the life of Jesus, he walked up to a fig tree and cursed it and it died overnight. Maybe you didn’t realize it, but Jesus didn’t get angry and do anything on a whim or by accident. This action of cursing the fig tree was symbolic and a type of something else that was a much greater truth. Since this is not my subject I will not attempt to explain it for the sake of time.
I guess I should try to point out that a pattern found in the Old Testament might be very similar to an analogy that I previously discussed in the topic of symbolism. Sometimes types can be real people that point us to spiritual truth. But a type or pattern can also be a holiday, like the Feast of Passover. The Passover Feast can be viewed as a type of Jesus the lamb of God being sacrificed and Him shedding his blood. Then there is story of Moses in the wilderness who puts a serpent on a pole and everyone that looks upon it is made whole. Again this is a type and a shadow of Christ’s work on the cross. Christ became sin that we might become the righteousness of God. There are many patterns given within the law of Moses and I cannot begin to try to include them all in this blog.
Heb 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
This verse in Hebrews actually describes types and shadows very accurately. The law of the Old Testament contains many shadows of the good things to come. Of course it then tells us that these things are not the clear image of the real item. After all they are just shadows. God informs us the real thing that was coming is the New Covenant. The things given in the Old were purely given to point you to the real. That is why the nation of Israel is in so much deception. They have embrace the shadows and have chosen to purposely ignore the real.
There are so many other examples that I could give you right here, that I’ll just pick one example, that is found in the book of Ruth. Ruth was a Moabite or gentile woman, whose Jewish husband died. We can see a man called Boaz who is called the kinsman redeemer of Ruth. Ruth moves back to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law, where she meets Boaz and eventually marries him. Without going into a lot of details of this story the major types and shadows are as follows, Ruth represents the church, Boaz represents Jesus Christ and Naomi represents the Nation of Israel. A type and a shadow is never a perfect image of the true image portrayed. Like a real shadow on the ground it always points you to the real image that is causing or making the shadow. The shadow should be an outlined representation of the real without all of the detailed features of the true image. This of course is sometimes difficult to see or recognize at first until you figure out what the shadow is pointing you to. But once you see it then it becomes much clearer what everything means. There are many other types and shadows in the book of Ruth and I didn’t give you all of them because it would certainly complicate your world without a much more in-depth teaching and understanding.
So I’ll end this blog on that note. We have now gone through seven different techniques that God has utilized to hide information in the Bible for us to find. That of course is not every method that there is and hopefully I can continue to discuss some more in my next blog. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons you can go to “Part 8“.
Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight — Understanding God’s Methods of Hiding Information in the Bible! Pt 6
(Ver 1.2) This is part six of a series of advanced Bible lessons on the methods that God has designed and implemented to conceal spiritual truth and information in the Bible for us to find. By studying these methods we will greatly increase our ability to understand the spiritual truth of God’s Word. Some might ask why is important to know this? I believe that the Bible will only be understood correctly, by understanding how things are hidden in the Bible. God is making known these hidden things today and if you didn’t know that there were hidden things to find and how these things were hidden you would really not be able to understand how to study the Bible. Here is a prophecy that Jesus made to us:
Mat 10:26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
This is a prophetic statement of the end times that we live in. God is saying that the things that He has hidden in His Word will be understood by the church. The true believers will participate in this knowledge. Those who are known by God and who know God will see the revelation shine forth. Those who walk in the darkness will not perceive it and will fail to comprehend what is happening. Satan will do everything that he can to deceive you into a lie, but if you are wise you will overcome. This revelation will cause the true believers to unite and become one in mind, one in purpose and one in spirit, and this will allow them to make themselves ready for the coming of the Lamb of God.
Isa 42:9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.
This is one of the Standard Operating Methodologies of God. God declare something will happen before it happens. However, these things that are prophesied are not very self apparent or self revealing. In other words they are hidden to allow God to reveal them at the right time. If you understand what God is doing before He returns you will be able to participate.
In my last lesson on this subject I talked specifically about how God can call one thing by multiple names, titles and descriptions and how difficult that makes it to find related verses in the Bible. Linking two completely different names in the Bible to be references to the same spiritual individual subject is one of the most prevalent methods that God uses throughout the Bible. Today, I want to discuss the opposite to that technique and introduce you to a new paradigm. If you have not read this series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“.
Technique 6: Calling Multiple Things by the Same Name
There are so many different methods of concealing truths that sometimes I wonder how we have learned anything from the Bible. Obviously if it were not for the Spirit of God showing us how to read it and study it we would all still be hopelessly lost. So I want to tell you something else that is extremely important in the correct interpretation of the Bible and this one will probably be somewhat controversial because it might be totally new to you. I’ve studied the Bible a lot for many years and this is one of the things that God showed me that certainly has helped me to better understand the Bible, so I hope it will help you also.
This method of concealing information is based upon a trick of calling multiple things, people, places or objects by the same name, so that if you hear someone say it you won’t really know which one they are talking about. This is really a common problem that we face every day in our usage of the English language and many times we are forced to decipher what is being said by the context of a particular word or by even knowing who it is that is speaking. Wow, that was an incredible statement that God had me type and it helps to explain many challenges that we face today in a wide variety of Bible interpretations found on the planet. Two people can say the exact same words and they mean something differently because of who they are and how they said it. You see an English word can have multiple meanings and can be used in a wide variety of ways and even in slang. You must automatically decode the meaning of the words based upon the speaker, the intent and the usage. Believe it or not, this is a clever way that God has used to encode information into the Bible for us to figure out.
Let me give you a quick example, if I told you to look at my fruit, what comes to your mind? Maybe you would think I had a basket of apples or oranges. But Jesus said you will know them by their fruit? So how did that change the definition and what you are now thinking about when I say look at my fruit. You see the difference and the difficulty of attempting to think naturally versus thinking spiritually. What I did was show you a common approach found in the Bible. God speaks of fruit in verses found from Genesis to Revelation. How do you know which kind of fruit He is referring to, or could it be that He is referring to both of them sometimes simultaneously? It is a very challenging puzzle to consider.
Let me go into another example of what I am talking about, the concept of calling different things by the same name in the Bible. The term “heaven” is used multiple times in the Bible. If you have studied the Bible very much, you must have noticed that the Bible refers to at least three different areas or realms and they are all referred to as “heaven”. You can see this in the New Testament when Paul writes about being caught up to the third heaven. Obviously if he went and visited the third heaven there must be a first heaven and a second heaven. Looking through the Bible you will find that one heaven is the atmosphere around our planet where birds soar, the wind blows and clouds form. Then another dimension called heaven would be the area of outer space where stars, planets and other celestial objects exist. Finally, we know that there also exists a spiritual place or city that contains the throne of God. A place full of angelic beings and those that have departed to be with the LORD. This last one is definitely a spiritual reality and location. But we can see that there are three completely different areas all called by the exact same name and this makes our job of reading and studying the Bible that much more complex.
I’ll attempt to give you another example, but this one will be tricky. I noticed this when reading the Bible that the city named Jerusalem was mentioned a lot. From the Old Testament nation of Israel to the New Testament ministry of Jesus all the way to the book of Revelation. In fact by my Bible program’s search it found 767 verses that contained the word “Jerusalem” from Joshua to Revelation. Jerusalem is certainly one of the central themes of the Bible. But here is the secret, pay close attention to what I am about to tell you because it will be very important. There is more than one city named Jerusalem in the Bible. In fact I have found three different cities all called Jerusalem. I’m not talking about a conquering nation coming into Israel and destroying the earthly city Jerusalem and then it being rebuilt into a newer version of the same city. I’m talking about three separate and distinct cities that all potentially exist right now in time in different locations. So when we read a verse that says “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” The first question that you should ask yourself would be “Which One?”.
You see there is the earthly city Jerusalem in the nation of Israel located in the middle east and this is the main city that everyone always associates with the name Jerusalem. But we can also see in Revelation chapters 3 and 21, a new city called Jerusalem and this one is certainly not the same city as the one in the middle east today. So that is definitely number two. Then in the Epistles we can read about a third city called the “Heavenly Jerusalem” (Hebrews 12:22) or as it is also called “the Jerusalem that is above” (Galatians 4:26). This is certainly new information to many so I anticipate that I will get some opposition, because they haven’t seen it and don’t understand it yet. Oh well? You know I don’t expect you to believe something just because I said it, I do expect you to study things for yourself and find out if they are true or not. You see the implications being given to us by this revelation is that the earthly city Jerusalem represents the Old Covenant relationship of God and natural Israel. The New Jerusalem is said to be the bride of Christ and corresponds to the New Covenant relationship of Jesus and the church. Then there is the heavenly Jerusalem which I would guess some have said was the same as the New Jerusalem, but that does not fit the scriptures. You see in Galatians 4:26 it describes the “Heavenly Jerusalem” to clearly be the spiritual mother of the church and therefore we can imply that it says that she is not the church. The implication is that of a mature woman capable of child bearing. The church is called the New Jerusalem in Revelation 3, so we know that the heavenly Jerusalem must have existed prior to the spiritual birth of the church in order for her to give birth to us. It is only logical.
There are a number of clearly implied references and associations of these three cities. First, they are all cities and they all represent women. They are all implied to be women so there is also an implication that they all have children. They are all implied to be related to a covenant relationship with God. Three women, three cities, three covenants. I don’t have time to explain everything here in this blog. My goal is to make you familiar with a technique that God has shown me that He has used to conceal information in His book, the Bible.
What do we know about Moses, God said in his Word that he gave Moses instruction to pattern things after those things that were already in heaven. Moses built an arch of the covenant and created a temple, priests and garments that were all patterns of things that already existed in heaven. What was God doing? He was establishing a city, a covenant and a temple on the earth that revealed another one that already existed in heaven. This one was in heaven was a very old city and had to exist prior to the church. In the allegory given to us in Galatians 4, we can see that this heavenly city was a type of Sarah who was a very old lady when she had Isaac, the promised child. But it says the earthly city Jerusalem was a type of Hagar who is in bondage with her children. What does the Bible say, it says to cast out the bond woman, for her son will not be heir with the children of the free woman. This is very strong words and speak volumes of information about the current state of Israel and the middle east city of Jerusalem.
I can certainly say that if God referred to three different cities, all with the same name that would certainly make things significantly more complicated to figure out what He was talking about. Do you agree? First, just learn the concept and method and then go and see how it is applied in the Bible. If there are three cities called Jerusalem, that implies three different nations called Israel. The number of parallels and duplicates of earthly and heavenly things are very huge. Then God tells us that there is coming a new heaven and a new earth. That implies these Old things will pass away and vanish. But that also confirms why God tells us that there will be a New Jerusalem to take the place of the other two cities. There are so many examples like this in the Bible if you look for them you will find them. This process always starts by you realizing that they exist and for you knowing what to look for.
I’ll give you another example of what I am talking about to help you see it more clearly. A” day” can be interpreted to be a literal 24 hour time period where the earth revolves around one complete cycle and we sleep and then we get up and go to work. This 24 hour time period is just the first definition of the word and here is a scriptural example of this word being used in this manner:
1Co 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
Then the word “day” can be interpreted to mean a 12 hour time period that the sun shines into and this period is in direct contrast to “night” another 12 hour time period. So now we have the same word but used to mean a 12 hour time period instead of a natural 24 hour time period. Here is an example of this word being used like that in the Bible:
2Ti 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
I hope that you are already seeing the potential conflicts in correctly interpreting the word “day” in the Bible. But, we certainly are not through with all of the possible ways to use the word “day” in the scriptures. Let’s look at another example:
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
What does this word “day” mean in Hebrews 10:25? I think that it means a coming event. But it could also mean other things. There is the complexity of correctly interpreting the Bible. You see here is another problem with correct Bible interpretation; many, many times it is imperative to get God’s definition for a word in order to correctly apply it and understand what is being said to us in the Bible. Here is an example of what I am talking about. God gives us His definition for a “day” in this verse:
2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
You see a problem now exists. After learning God’s definition of a word, you need to try to apply God’s definition to every other occurrence in the Bible of the word “day” and see if it fits or works to help you understand the spiritual side of the verse. This is a very tricky method of hiding information in the Bible. Take for example, the Genesis 1 account of the creation of our world. If you notice it describes a 6 day period of work by God. But, you can also learn by applying God’s definition to what 6 days imply to us in prophetic terms. God actually lays out the plan of man and salvation and redemption in the first chapter of Genesis. By noting what God did on what day and applying it using God’s definition of a day you can see several major spiritual truths being hidden in these verses. There is a prophetic verse in the Bible that says “I make known the end from the beginning”. So by studying the beginning we ought to be able to see and understand the end. I’ll give you a quick example, on day 4 God divides day and night and caused the sun to rule the day and the moon to rule the night. This is a prophetic view into Christ being born on the 4th day of human history or around 4000 years after Adam. Do you understand that Jesus is the Sun and Satan is the moon? Any way I have gone long enough in this blog so I hope that you are understanding the concepts being given. You might not understand everything that I write about in these blogs, but try to get a hold of the concepts and then apply them when you are studying the Bible. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons, please go to “Part 7“.
Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight — Understanding God’s Methods of Hiding Information in the Bible! Pt 5
(Ver 1.3) This is part five of a series of advanced Bible study lessons on the methods that God has used to conceal information in the Bible for us to find. By studying, learning and understanding these methods we will greatly increase our ability to understand the real truth of God’s Word. We have already discussed that God uses various methods of hiding information of which I have first mentioned has consisted of Him spreading the information out randomly over the entire Bible in an unorganized pattern which causes it to be difficult for us to find all of the verses on any related subjects. I like to call this the truth seed scattering method of hiding truth. It is very much like a farmer out in his field planting seeds to produce a single crop. The seeds fall in random order but they all grow together in unison to make up the unified crop to harvest. That is exactly like the Word of God was designed. You can find subjects throughout the Bible and they must all be considered equally when interpreting the Bible. Other methods we have talked about are God’s usage of figurative language, God’s usage of symbolism and symbolic representations and God’s usage of parables. If you have not read these lessons from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“.
Technique 5: Referring to the Same Thing Using Multiple Names, Titles or Descriptions
Another very common method of hiding information in the Bible is something that God uses very often and it is literally a very tricky method of hiding information. You see if God wanted to tell you something and He wanted to make it harder to find, one method might be that He could depict it using different descriptions, terms, titles or names. God could be talking about the exact same thing, but this makes it significantly more difficult to associate and put the pieces together correctly. What if your Bible study subject was about “the words that people speak” or just “spoken words”. Have you ever thought how you would attempt to find every verse in the Bible that refers to this one subject so that you could potentially gain a thorough knowledge on it? You would have to search the Bible for “word”, “words”, “speech”, “speeches”, “spoken”, “spoke”, “speak”, “speaker”, “say”, “saying”, “sayings”, “tell”, “told”, “console”, “consoled”, “council”, “commune”, “communicate”, “converse”, “demand”, “demanded”, “demands”, “command”, “commanded”, “commandment”, “commands”, “talk”, “talks”, “talker”, “voice”, “voices”, “breath”, “mouth”, “lips”, “tongue”, “tongues”, “whisper”, “whispers”, “whispered”, “question”, “questions”, “questioned”, “ask”, “asked”, “asks”, “inquire”, “inquiring”, “inquired”, “request”, “requests’, “requested”, “utter”, “uttered”, “utters”, “babble”, “utterance”, “declare”, “declared”, “declares”, “inspire”, “inspired”, “inspiration”, “encourage”, “encouragement”, “correct”, “corrected”, “correction”, “scorn”, “sarcasm”, “mockery”, “cynicism”, “irony”, “ironic”, “sound”, “sounds”, just to name a few of the obvious ones. How many other words am I leaving out that can be taken as “spoken words”? What about the truth, a lie, or lies, or lying? What about someone who prays or is praying, or has prayed, isn’t that speaking words to God? This is the root of the problem, there are so many other synonymous words that I did not include and then there are also some not so obvious ones that are very difficult to find. For example, what about a babbling brook or a flame of fire? What about a reference to a fountain, a rudder, a bit or a bridle? What about the fruit of your lips? Jesus said “out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water.” That is a not so obvious reference to something coming out of their mouths and it must be their spoken words. This verse does not mention words directly nor even have a direct reference to the area of the mouth, but yet it speaks about something coming out of an area of the body that normally you put stuff into, to feed your body. That is very tricky, if you ask me. Then the Bible describes Jesus as the man with the sharp two-edged sword coming out of his mouth, and again that is a symbolic reference talking about His spoken words. Words are described in terms of a weapon that cuts two ways. That is some very powerful information on the subject of spoken words, yet how would you find it and recognize the significance?
I do hope you grasp what I’m saying for it is very important that you do. There are so many ways to describe and speak about any subject that it makes it very difficult to think of them all, much less to find all of them in the Bible. You would have to read the Bible from cover to cover on every Bible study, paying very close attention to every word to see if it is related to the subject you are searching for. Even then many of the references could be symbolic, figurative, or some other reference that makes it difficult to recognize with just a surface reading.
So let’s talk about the “devil” or Satan. How many different Bible verses can you come up with that describe this spiritual being in not so obvious terms. I can think of a bunch so I’ll give you a few examples to get you started in thinking of new ways to recognize this technique used in the Bible. Satan is called the “serpent”, the “dragon”, the “deceiver”, the “accuser”, the “prince of this world”, the “god of this world”, the “thief”, the “enemy”, the “ruler of the darkness”, “Lucifer”, “Beelzebub”, the “moon”, and I probably could go on and on. Wouldn’t it have been easier, if God had always called Satan by the name “Satan” and then we would have been able to understand when He was talking about him in a more precise and clear manner? Of course it would! But nobody said the Bible was simple! God intentionally designed every word of the Bible to conceal and reveal information.
By calling one thing by a multitude of different names or titles, you make it significantly more difficult to find and understand them. But God can also give new implied information in using this technique. For example, one of the first times that Satan is mentioned in the Bible, he is called “the serpent” (Genesis 3). But, in Revelation 12 he is called “the dragon”. We are also clearly told in Revelation 12 that the dragon was the ancient serpent. Therefore, both are symbolic references to the same spiritual entity. However, you can infer from these two references some qualities that have transpired or have developed in the course of time over the last 6000 years. Satan who was called the serpent was a much smaller and insignificant spiritual being in Genesis. As a symbolic serpent he was a manageable force. But, now as a great red dragon in Revelation he has implied growth and strength which also infers a much greater power. In other words, Satan is a much larger formidable spiritual opponent in Revelation than he was in Genesis. This information was given to us indirectly by God using two different symbolic references for the same spiritual being called Satan. If you would like to read my lesson on the “Names, Titles, Descriptions and Symbols of Satan” found in the Bible it would be worth your time to go and check it out.
I’ll give you one more example, since this subject is so vitally important to correct Bible interpretation. God calls the sun by multiple names and descriptions. If you just searched the Bible for the obvious word “sun” you would miss some of the most important verses in the Bible on the subject. By only searching for the obvious “sun”, you will miss the not so obvious ways to describe the sun. The very first reference in the Bible of the “sun” is found in Genesis 1 on the 4th day of creation and God calls the sun the “greater light” in Genesis 1:16. The “Greater Light” is the prophetic symbolic ruler of the day and of course represents a symbolic type of Jesus Christ who was to come to the earth on the 4th day (4000 years) of human history. Then in 2 Peter 1:19 God calls the sun the “Day Star“. If you understand astronomy you understand our sun is nothing but our closest star that lights our days. This is a physical reality that symbolizes a spiritual reality. In this verse in 2 Peter, Jesus is again called the Sun that rises in the hearts of men. Finally, in Revelation 22:16 the sun is given another completely different name and is called the “Bright and Morning Star“. Again this is literally speaking about the sun. This verse in Revelation is Jesus speaking directly to us and claiming to be the Sun of Righteousness found in Malachi. Then in 1 John 2:8 we find a symbolic sun being referred to as the “true light“. That is radically important to the subject of the sun, but a reference that would be very hard to find. So if you just searched the Bible for the term “sun”, you missed three or four of the most important verses on the subject. To adequately satisfy the subject you would need to start with the obvious references of the “sun”, “day”, “daylight”, “light”, “morning”, “dawn” and then be smart enough to look for the not so obvious ones like “star”.
Another technique that I haven’t spoken of yet is opposite or antithesis truths. To understand “day” you might also have to understand “night”. To understand the “Sun” you might also need to understand the “moon”. To understand “light” you might also need to understand “darkness”. Many times in the Bible a subject is covered by speaking about what it is not. Light is not darkness so when God tells you about “darkness” you can infer some meaning to what light is. It can get very complicated and I know you will get it if you start to look for it. I also just gave you a small sample of the names of Jesus found in the Bible, if you would like you can go to “Names, Titles, Descriptions and Symbols of Jesus” found in the Bible and begin to recognize how many ways there are to describe one person. It is almost overwhelming.
Begin to recognize that there are literally dozens of ways to describe the same thing. God can be talking about the same thing in multiple verses, but calling them by different names. All this does is make it more difficult and challenging for us to figure it all out. I do hope you get it! This is a very prevalent and widespread technique used by God to conceal information in the Bible. Why, because you probably didn’t realize that there were so many multiple ways of naming something. Things, events, people, and places in the Bible are often referred to using different titles and names based upon different descriptive qualities and attributes. I can’t tell you how important it is that you grasp this concept and know this technique of hiding information in the Bible. Using this knowledge alone will cause you to learn more than you can imagine.
If you would like to continue reading this series, please continue to “Part 6“.
Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight — Understanding God’s Methods of Hiding Information in the Bible! Pt 4
(Ver 2.2) This is part four of a series of lessons on methods that God has used to conceal information in the Bible for us to find. By studying these methods we will greatly increase our ability to understand the truth of God’s Word. I have been attempting to go through the techniques that God has used to conceal spiritual information using definitions, terms and descriptions that are not complicated or laced with educated phraseology that is intended to be studied only by the elect doctorate types. I am using plain language and common terms that hopefully anyone can understand. If you did not read this series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“. I have covered a lot of good information and it will not be repeated in the same level of detail.
Technique 4: The Use of Parables
Eze 17:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Eze 17:2 Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel;
Another widely used technique found in the Bible is the designed use of parables. God purposely uses parables in the Bible to conceal and reveal spiritual truth to us. According to the Bible a parable is a sort of riddle or a puzzle. You may have noticed while reading the Gospels that Jesus taught a lot in parables. Many times parables would give powerful spiritual truths using the terms of natural things like, seeds, farms, fields, wheat, tares, leaven, weddings, a bride, a groom, etc. Jesus actually fulfilled prophecy by teaching in parables. You can clearly see in this next verse that God prophesied something very profound about the words that Jesus would speak to us:
Mat 13:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
To speak things that have been kept secret since the world was established, is the key reason for why Jesus spoke in parables to us. We can clearly understand that these parables must hold some very complex secret information within them, but yet people do not still appreciate their value, because they do not fully comprehend their meanings. There are over 40 different parables that Jesus used to teach people with in the Gospels. Some parables are repeated in multiple books of the Bible and some parables only occur in one book of the Bible. How many of these do you know and understand? I will give you a list of parables later in this lesson, and you should spend time studying them because they hold some of the greatest spiritual secrets of the Bible within them. The words of the prophet referred to in Matthew 13:35 are recorded from the book of Psalms and we should go back and read this verse for confirmation:
Psa 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:
We can see some powerful truth in this verse of prophecy. It says in speaking of Jesus that He would open his mouth and speak in parables. A parable is defined to be “mental superiority”. This word says that it uses “metaphors” and “similes” to convey an implied hidden message. There is one word in this verse that describes this type of speaking and it is the Hebrew word H2420 which is translated as “dark saying”, and this word has the following definition in the Strong’s.
From H2330; a puzzle; hence a trick, conundrum, sententious maxim: – dark saying (sentence, speech), hard question, proverb, riddle.
That is a truly amazing definition and is certainly very relevant to the subject of God hiding the truth in plain sight. You see these parables describe spiritual truths in a puzzle or riddle form. This means that you might be able to see some of the truths on the surface but the really deep stuff is hidden from our natural view and human understanding. This makes the usage of parables a very tricky method of concealing information in the Bible.
Pro 1:6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
One time Jesus said to his disciples, to you it has been given to understand, but to them I speak in parables (Mark 4:11). So obviously this was a technique that both concealed and revealed spiritual truths. A parable is always something that is “like” something else. It is a reference to a natural thing that has deep spiritual truths attached to it. I do not know how many parables there are in the entire Bible. I do know there are a lot of them. Here is a quick example of a parable:
Mat 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
So you can observe some similarities between symbolic references and parables. Both are techniques that use natural things to describe spiritual realities. A symbol can be a single word used in a story to conceal a single spiritual reality and a parable is usually a story that conveys and relates several spiritual truths together. In this verse in Matthew Jesus is speaking about the kingdom of heaven and tells the people that heaven is like a fisherman’s net that is cast into the sea and it brings out every kind of fish that it can pull up. Since Jesus was speaking to a nation of people that understood fishing and fishing methods this was an interesting puzzle word picture for them to think about. How can the kingdom of heaven be like a fisherman’s net? It was a puzzle and a very descriptive reality of what was going to happen in the spiritual realm in the near future. There are several elements in this one verse parable. We have the sea, the fisherman, a boat, the fish and the net and each of these must represent some key to the correct meaning of the story. The sea must represent the world that we live in; the fish must represent the people who are saved out of the world. The net must be the Word of God. The fisherman must be the preachers and the angels of God. God was telling the people that the new kingdom of God would consist of every nation and every kind of people in the world. God was telling them that there is not favoritism with Him and He loves everyone the same. There are many hidden inferred meanings within this parable and it is a great subject to study to learn about spiritual things. This was truly a puzzle to their natural thinking religious minds and the people of Israel clearly did not understand what God was saying to them.
So we have talked a little bit about what a parable is, but let’s address what a parable is not so that we can clearly understand the difference. A parable is never a story of a specific named individual, place or actual event within history. That would be an allegory. An allegory if you recall is an actual story that occurred in human history that also has a spiritual meaning attached to it. Some ignorant people have tried to make Jesus’ story of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16 to be a parable and even go so far to try to say hell is not a real place, but it is only symbolic of a spiritual place of torment. I don’t know how people can be so easily deceived, but it takes all kinds, I guess. However what you must understand is that Jesus is not a liar, if He tells you a story of someone specifically named Lazarus this is not symbolism and this is not a parable. Lazarus must have existed as a real historical man. It would be a physical lie to tell you of something or someone with a name that did not specifically exist or actually happen and try to pass it off as symbolism. Jesus never says “hell” is like a rich man and a beggar in this chapter of Luke. But, if Jesus said, the Kingdom of God is like a ….” and gave you a natural example without naming names or specific places, dates or events, then it would be a legitimate parable and a legal method of communicating without telling a lie. The Bible clearly says that it is impossible for God to lie (Heb 6:18). Be smart and learn the difference between a lie and a parable. Parables do not contain the names of any real people. A real parable is only a story of nameless and anonymous things that can relate to a spiritual reality.
There are very few examples of Jesus explaining a parable’s meaning to us. However, we can see that He does give us some examples of correct interpretation for us to follow. Jesus taught that of all the parables that He gave to us, the parable of the sower was the most important one for us to understand and he talks about this in 3 gospels (Matthew 13:3, Mark 4:3, Luke 8:5). God uses several key farming elements to describe spiritual things to us. There is a farmer who sows seed. There is seed and there are 7 different types of soil that the seed falls in. There are also seed enemies, like birds of the air and weeds. Everything in this parable has deep spiritual meanings attached to them. Jesus taught us that the Word of God was the seed. Jesus taught us that the soil represented the hearts of men and women in the earth. The birds of the air were demons and spiritual forces that come to steal the Word of God from the hearts of men. If you have never studied this parable, then you should do so immediately. Jesus said it is the key to understand every parable. I only went through a few examples and their explanations. I have covered this subject in other lessons if you want to learn more. I’ll end the discussion of parables with this verse found in Ecclesiastes:
Ecc 12:9 And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.
You see this verse speaks of a wise man of God who teaches God’s people truth and diligently seeks it out. The verse ends in the term to “set in order” the words found in the puzzle. The word translated here as “proverbs” is the same Hebrew word for “parable”. There is a clear implication that there is a puzzle and a riddle to solve and someone is responsible for solving it. One of the ways that God hides things in the Bible is by using parables and proverbs, dark sayings that have hidden meanings. These are stories and descriptive words of natural things that describe powerful concealed spiritual truths. Parables often times involve metaphors and metaphoric expressions. These are usually used in communications that convey new ideas by using objects and things that the listener is already familiar with. We can also understand that if you are not familiar with “farming” then Jesus using a farming metaphor to describe the kingdom of God will not help you to understand what is being taught until you do become familiar with the natural process of farming. Therefore, parables conceal and reveal information simultaneously.
There are so many parables throughout the Bible and you must locate them and then correctly interpret them. To quote a famous movie line “Are you the one or should we look for another?”. God bless you until next time when I continue talking about other methods that God has used in hiding information in the Bible.
Parables in the Gospels
|Matthew 7:6||Parable of the Pearl and Swine|
|Matthew 7:24; Luke 6:48;||Parable of the Wise Man Who Built His House|
|Matthew 11:16-17; Luke 7:32;||Parable of Children Sitting in the Markets|
|Matthew 13:3; Mark 4:3; Luke 8:5||Parable of the Sower|
|Matthew 13:24;||Parable of the Wheat and Tares|
|Matthew 13:31; Mark 4:31; Luke 13:19||Parable of the Mustard Seed|
|Matthew 13:33; Luke 13:20-21||Parable of the Leavened Bread|
|Matthew 13:44;||Parable of the Treasure in a Field|
|Matthew 13:45||Parable of Merchant Seeking Pearls|
|Matthew 13:47;||Parable of the Fisherman’s Net|
|Matthew 13:55;||Parable of the Householder’s Treasure|
|Matthew 18:23;||Parable of the King’s Servants|
|Matthew 20:1;||Parable of the Hired Workers|
|Matthew 21:33; Mark 12:1; Luke 20:9||Parable of the Vineyard Leased Out|
|Matthew 22:2||Parable of the marriage of the King’s Son|
|Matthew 23:27;||Parable of the Whited Sepulchers|
|Matthew 24:32; Mark 13:28; Luke 21:29;||Parable of the Fig Tree|
|Matthew 25:10;||Parable of the Ten Virgins|
|Matthew 25:14;||Parable of the Talents and Servants|
|Mark 3:24;||Parable of a Kingdom Divided|
|Mark 3:27;||Parable of the Strong Man’s House|
|Mark 4:26||Parable of the Man who Casts Seed into the Ground|
|Mark 13:34||Parable of the Man taking a Far Journey|
|Mark 13:34||Parable of the New and Old Cloths|
|Luke 5:37||Parable of the New Wine In Old Wine Skins|
|Luke 5:39||Parable of the New and Old Wine|
|Luke 6:39||Parable of the Blind Leading the Blind|
|Luke 10:30-36;||Parable of the Good Samaritan|
|Luke 12:16||Parable of the Rich Man who Laid Up Treasure for Himself|
|Luke 12:36||Parable of the Men who Wait for their Lord to return|
|Luke 13:6||Parable of the Fig Tree without Fruit|
|Luke 13:35||Parable of the Shut Door|
|Luke 14:8||Parable of the Wedding Seating Arrangement|
|Luke 14:12||Parable of the Feast and the Poor|
|Luke 14:16||Parable of the Great Supper|
|Luke 14:28||Parable of the Cost of the Tower|
|Luke 14:31||Parable of the King Going to Battle|
|Luke 14:34||Parable of the Salt that Lost Its Flavor|
|Luke 15:4||Parable of the Lost Sheep|
|Luke 15:8||Parable of the Woman with 10 Pieces of Silver|
|Luke 15:11||Parable of the Prodigal Son|
|Luke 16:1||Parable of the Rich Man and Steward Who Wasted Mammon|
|Luke 17:7||Parable of the Servant in the Field|
|Luke 18:2||Parable of the Judge and the Widow Woman|
|Luke 18:10||Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee|
|Luke 19:13||Parable of the Rich Man with 10 Servants & 10 pounds|
|John 10:1||Parable of the Sheepfold and the Gate|
|John 10:7||Parable of the Sheep Door|
|John 10:11||Parable of the Good Shepherd|
If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons, please continue with “Part 5“.
Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight — Understanding God’s Methods of Hiding Information in the Bible! Pt 3
(Ver 2.1) This is part three of a series of lessons on advanced studies concerning the methods that God has used to conceal information in the Bible for us to find. By studying these methods we will greatly increase our ability to understand the truth of God’s Word. The first technique I discussed was “Widely Dispersed Information”. This is the method of spreading out and not covering a complete subject in any one location of the Bible. Next, I talked about “Symbolic and Allegorical References”. These are very common practices of calling spiritual things by natural names, descriptions and titles and not telling you that is what is occurring. So we have gone through two fairly complex methods of hiding information in the Bible, and today I want to shift gears and slow down and show you something more basic, but yet still very effective. Today, I want to talk about another common method called “Figure of Speech”. If you did not read this series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“.
Technique 3: Figures of Speech
Like in other writings of the English language, the Bible often times uses language and phrasing which is known as “figures of speech”. Figures of speech are words that usually cannot be taken literally. A figure of speech is one technique that can be used to conceal or hide the truth or true meaning of a verse of scripture while using words that clearly describe something to you in very expressive terms.. Here is a definition for a figure of speech that I found on the internet:
A figure of speech is a use of a word that diverges from its normal meaning, or a phrase with a specialized meaning not based on the literal meaning of the words in it such as a metaphor, simile, or personification. Figures of speech often provide emphasis, freshness of expression, or clarity. However, clarity may also suffer from their use, as any figure of speech introduces an ambiguity between literal and figurative interpretation. A figure of speech is sometimes called a rhetoric or a locution.
As you can see from this definition the usage of “figures of speech” can bring clarity or they can introduce ambiguity to the interpretation and I have seen both of these. I have often times heard preachers try to take a verse of scripture that uses this technique of “figure of speech” and attempt to make it a literal truth found in the Bible. It was obvious to me that they were wrong, but obviously they did not see it that way at all. So I think that I should try to give you some examples of this type of writing found in the Bible that to me is obvious not to be taken literally. For example, the Bible describes events where God tells Israel that if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, they shall be “thorns in your side” (Numbers 33:55, Joshua 23:13). God was not speaking in literal terms, was He? God did not mean that these people would literally be a natural thorn in their natural flesh. The people of Israel would not be walking around with sticks and thorns poking out of their robes or their clothing made from the people found in the land. That would be an incredibly bad interpretation of the Bible to try to take this literally. Here is a sample of one of these verses from the Old Testament:
Num 33:55 But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.
God uses two figures of speech in this verse found in Numbers. We see a reference being made to pricks in their eyes and thorns in their sides. Neither of these can be taken literally, because they are purely “figures of speech”. This is just another literary technique that God has implemented in the Bible to make things a little bit more difficult for us to read and to understand. What God is referring to here, is a people that would become a spiritual hindrance and a distraction from them obeying the Law of God. These people would become stumbling blocks of potential temptations that would introduce them to other gods, idols, religions and things that were presented to deceive them. God knew the dangers and warned the people about something using figurative wording from what they could understand. Almost everyone in the world has had a time when they got stuck by a thorn and this is a very unpleasant experience physically. God is saying that this is what will happen to them in the spiritual realm if they do not do what God said to do. If you have ever had a thorn under your fingernail you can understand that this is a pain that you are better off not ever having this to occur. This is the idea that God is trying to convey by writing to the people using this technique. This usage consists of the fact that a word or phrase is used differently than the ordinary way that it is normally used within a context that is only done to create an added emphasis. Therefore, when God declares people to be thorns and pricks, He is not speaking literally. Figures of speech always represents departures from the given laws of normal language in order to communicate an emphasized point.
People today use figures of speech in their everyday conversations all the time. I often times hear someone say something like “She is a real pain in the neck.” That is a figure of speech and it means something else other than a literal pain in their flesh. Do you understand figures of speech? Have you ever been guilty of using a figure of speech? We can clearly see the usage of “figures of speech” throughout the Bible and we have to be smart enough to recognize them and treat them accordingly and to interpret them correctly. In my example that I have given you there is another similar occurrence in the New Testament where Paul wrote about a thorn in his flesh that was given to him.
2Co 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
I’ve heard so many confused individuals who try to imply that Paul was sick, crippled, and blind or that he had some other physical imperfection based upon this clear usage of a figure of speech. People please wake up and realize the difference between literal words and figurative language. Paul is clearly speaking in the same terms that God spoke to Israel in Numbers. This is a figurative explanation for a spiritual reality. Paul tells us what his “thorn” was, when he says it was a “messenger of Satan”. That sounds like a spiritual force and not a physical imperfection. If you take a figure of speech and attempt to make it literally true, you cause confusion to occur. You can promote a lie or a fabrication of a misinterpretation and that is a key problem occurring in the Body of Christ today. What you must do, is first understand the concepts behind “figures of speech” and then be smart enough to recognize them when you are reading through your Bible.
There are many different literary styles and techniques and God has used them all in the Book that He has given to us. As a part of studying the Bible we are required to be smart enough to read a verse and analyze it correctly in order to truly understand what is being said. One of these techniques that causes people trouble is what is known as this “figure of speech”. I do not claim to have done an exhaustive or comprehensive study on the usage of this technique; I merely wanted to introduce you to it so that you become aware of it as you read and study your Bible. Become intimately aware of God’s techniques and writing styles. Try to discover the methods that God has used to conceal information in the Bible and this will help the church to become united with one mind.
Php 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
God bless you and continue to prosper you through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. I will hopefully endeavor to expand this subject in my next blog.
If you would like to continue to read this series, please continue with “Part 4“.
Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight — Understanding God’s Methods of Hiding Information in the Bible! Pt 2
(Ver 2.1) This is part two of a series of lessons on methods that God has used to conceal information in the Bible for us to find. By studying these methods we will greatly increase our ability to understand the truth of God’s Word. Today I want to talk about a subject that I have taught on before, but this is so important and you should be able to see why I feel that it fits with this series to do again. If you did not read from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“.
Technique 2: Symbolism and Symbolic References
Another technique in the Bible widely utilized by God is the usage of symbolism. Symbolism is usually an interesting coded message. Biblical symbols often times describe spiritual things in the terms of natural things, events or people. God uses symbols of things that we can naturally see and understand to describe and point us to the things that we cannot see in the spiritual realm. Daniel and Revelation are both covered with symbolic references and are probably the books of the Bible that come to people’s mind when describing this subject. In Revelation we have a harlot, the great dragon, a beast, the serpent, the sun, the moon and the stars, a woman, a city, a bride as well as many other symbolic references. Why did God use this type of writing? It is interesting to see how this writing style makes it so challenging for us to figure out what God is talking about. Most people who just read the verses in Revelation without studying them are very confused and do not understand very much about what is being said. So interpreting symbolic references correctly is critical to understanding these references in the Bible. So how do we interpret symbolic references correctly? I believe that we must use other interpretation rules that I have not really discussed yet. One of these rules is that we let the Bible interpret itself. Another rule is, we use the law of first mention to help determine the definition. Still another rule is that we look at other descriptions and related dependent symbols to help point us to the true identity of the main symbol. Often times by figuring out a descriptive symbolic reference first, it will help us discover the bigger symbolic reference. For example, if you want to identify the symbolic woman in Revelation 12 you must first start by correctly identifying the “sun” that she is wearing and the “moon” that she is standing upon. By correctly discovering the identity of the sun and the moon we can only then correctly identify the woman. The error that most people make is that they assume that the woman is Israel and then try to make the other symbols fit their erroneous assumed interpretation. But, I learned by the help of God that this is not the correct approach to take.
I mentioned Daniel and Revelation as being heavily symbolic books. But there are symbolic references in almost every book of the Bible. For example, Genesis contains heavy symbolism in the first three chapters of the book and I will briefly go into a few examples to help you to start to look for and recognize them. You see the first three chapters are largely all symbolic references with some real events and people mixed in among the symbols. There are 6 days of creation and the 7th day God rests. If you read your Bible carefully you will discover these 6 days are all symbolic. The division of waters from land is a symbolic event. The division of day from might is a symbolic event. The Sun that rules the day and the moon that rules the night are both symbolic references to spiritual truths. The mention of fruit and trees are strongly symbolic. The serpent in the garden is symbolic coded reference to a hidden spiritual being. The woman is symbolic; the seed of the woman is symbolic. The marriage of the first woman and the first man is also a symbolic event. I could go on and on, but I hope you get the message.
But, please do not misunderstand me. I’m not saying these symbols did not occur in Genesis. Adam is a real man. Eve is a real woman. Dividing the waters was a real event. On and on I could continue to go. What I am trying to say is that there are parallels of truth in almost every statement. One truth is a natural truth and the other truth is almost always a greater spiritual truth. Anyone can see the natural, but the spiritual truths are the messages that were hidden from our plain sight. Let’ look at a new example of this next.
Let’s look at another important Bible reference which describes a different type of symbolism. But this time it speaks of another usage of symbolism that is called “allegory”. Allegory is always a Bible story with two meanings. The first meaning of the story is the literal description of the subjects given. The second meaning of the story is a symbolic reference to a much greater spiritual truth. Notice what God said in the book of Galatians:
Gal 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Gal 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
You see from these verses God specifically shows us how he has used allegory in the story of Abraham to demonstrate a much larger spiritual truth. In these verses in Galatians 4, we are told that the story of Abraham having two sons is a story that contains an allegory. We are then told that the two women Sarah and Hagar represent two covenants. Sarah is called the freewoman, and Hagar the slave woman who is in bondage. Hagar represents the earthly Jerusalem and the Old Covenant wife of God. Therefore we know that Abraham represents God in this scenario. We are told that Sarah represents the heavenly Jerusalem who is called the spiritual mother of the church. There are certainly many other spiritual truths to learn from these verses, but I will not elaborate further in this blog. So an allegory is an extended metaphor in which actual people, places, objects, and actions in a story are equated to meanings and truths that lie outside of the realm of the story. In other words an allegory is a real story in which the people, places, and things represent spiritual concepts, individuals and moral qualities that we cannot see or perceive with our natural senses. We can see from this great example that God gives us a view of something that is of extraordinary value through an actual event and the people in a story that happened in human history without telling us this in the story.
You see there is absolutely nothing found in the book of Genesis that tells you the story of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar is a picture of God and his spiritual family, but when you read in Galatians 4 you discover that God has encoded this information within the story in a hidden format. Remember point 1 was widely dispersed truth and now point 2 is about symbolism and allegory. Therefore we can clearly see how God combined two different methods together to hide a greater spiritual truth. Do you understand these concepts?
This is a very important lesson key for correct Bible interpretation. These are very prevalent methods that God has created and used in concealing spiritual truths in the Bible. The story of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar is not the only allegory in the Bible. It is however, the only one that God tells you about so that He can give you a clue into how He has hidden information for you to search and to find. God uses real historical true stories with real people and places to reveal some very powerful spiritual truths that have been hidden in the Bible for thousands of years. The book of Ruth is heavily allegorical information. The book of Genesis has significant amounts of allegorical information throughout it. The books of Exodus and Numbers are widely interspersed with allegorical content. I do not understand how God is able to do this; I just know that He did it. God obviously is not bound by time and He could see human history before it happens. To say that God caused it to happen this way would violate man’s right to choose and his right to freewill; so I do not believe that God manipulated people to get things to happen the way he wanted them to happen. But, that is my opinion.
Please understand the difference between symbolism and allegory. A symbol is a reference to something that you might understand, but it might not actually exist in the natural realm. For example, in Revelation a prevalent symbol of Satan is a dragon and I have never seen one of these in the world, but I understand what they are because of books, movies and cultures like those that are found in China where they parade a large dragon figure down the middle of the street. So a dragon is a fictional character representation of the real spiritual being called Satan using a coded name. An allegory is quite the opposite, because it is always a real Bible story where each character named in the story represents something else in the spiritual realm. An “allegory” is always real historical people and “symbols” can be either real or fictional representations for real spiritual things. They are both very similar while being totally different at the same time. They both convey a truth that is well hidden on the surface only reading that most people do when they read their Bible.
The usage of symbolic references is widespread and can be found in almost every book of the Bible. Especially the books that contain prophetic scriptures where the prophesies concern the coming future events, people, things or places. Of course practically every book of the Bible contains some prophetic verses and you should be aware of that also. Because of God’s usage of allegory where any story found can represent a greater future spiritual story you will have to read every story in the Bible with new ways of looking for how does this potentially fit into what is going to happen in the future.
You see there are scriptures in the Bible that declares “the thing that has been, is that which shall be and the things that were done is that which shall be done again” (Ecc 1:9). In other words God said history will repeat itself. What happened naturally in the Bible is that which will happen in the spirit realm. This kind of information causes you to look at things in the Bible with some totally new perspectives; if it does not do this then you are clearly spiritually blind. Surely you can see the importance of learning how God has hidden information in the Bible and I pray that you will benefit as I have from knowing this.
If you would like to continue reading this series, please continue with “Part 3“.
Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight – Understanding God’s Methods of Hiding Information in the Bible! Pt 1
(Ver 1.5) This is Part 1 in a series of basic important Bible lessons that deals with the question “Why is the Bible so Hard to Understand?” Many of us have certainly discovered by reading and studying the Bible, that everything that is presented in the Bible, is not always clearly perceived or self evident. In other words, everything in the Bible is not easily understood using natural human reasoning or logic. I am personally convinced that the Bible contains many outstanding truths, even though the Body of Christ hasn’t been able up to this point, to agree on a lot of them. I can at least hope that you too can see and understand the challenge that we all face in studying the Bible. Based just upon the number of Christian denominations in the world you can see that God has chosen to conceal Himself not only from the people in the world, but He has also chosen to hide Himself in His Word to give the church, the opportunity to search for Him and to discover Him. By searching for the truth we come to know Him who is the Truth (John 14:6). We can conclude that God, if He wanted to remain a mystery forever and keep men in the dark all that He would have to do is to stay silent and not speak to us. But we can clearly see by the Bible alone that He has given to us, that He has not chosen to do that. Let’s briefly establish the fact that God has hidden information in the Bible.
Pro 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
To make something known implies something was first hidden from plain view. To make God’s Words known implies that what we read in the Bible we need God’s help to understand. There is an implied unveiling process in this act. There is an intentional act of uncovering also implied. To “reveal” that which was hidden. The Bible is God’s Words written down by chosen men. These words are not encrypted in a modern coded system of unreadable text. Yet these words according to the Bible must be revealed in order to be understood.
Eph 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
In Ephesians we are told that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was a mystery. Even Jesus confirmed this reality when he told the Jews to search the scriptures because these were words that testified about him (John 5:39). If they had to search to find Jesus it is very clear that Jesus was hidden in the words that were written in the O.T. As we have seen the Jews did not understand the scriptures and did not embrace the Gospel of Jesus. We can clearly see that while Paul and the other apostles used the Old Testament as the basis for their message, very few of the Jewish leadership understood it. So was it hidden from them only? Or did they just choose not to see it?
Rom 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
In this letter to the church, God declares that which was being preached came as a result of a revelation being given. A revelation is a revealing of that which was hidden from plain view. It was written in their language, but they did not see it or perceive it. Why is that so important to understand?
Here is an Old Testament reference that describes the nature and character of God. This verse declares that it is to God’s glory to conceal or hide information. But in the same sentence it also declares that “kings” are intended to search it out? Who is the King of kings? Jesus is the King of kings. Who are these “kings” that Jesus is King of? Who are these kings that need to do this searching for this hidden information? I believe we are these “kings”. So I have given you several scriptures that all point you to hidden information in the Bible. There are certainly many other scriptures that I could have included and you can find them if you search.
There are a large number of reasons that I believe God has hidden information in the Bible. One reason is to conceal the information from His enemies. Another reason is to give man a choice in what they believe. Still another reason for hiding information is to allow God to reveal the information at the right time to the right people. There are certainly other reasons for God doing this, but as long as you see and understand that He has done it, you will at least be far ahead of a lot of other Christians in the world that do not understand this.
So knowing God has concealed spiritual truths within His Word, we should be smart enough to recognize some of the techniques that God has used to hide these truths. I call this concealing or hiding the truth in plain view. Every word in the Bible is clearly readable by anyone that picks the book up, but every word is also equally hard to understand because of the methods and techniques that God has selected to record His words in a book format. It is much like a game of hide and seek where everyone that you are looking for is out in the open in plain view, but many of them are wearing camouflage and have blended into their surroundings so that you don’t see them clearly. They are there right in front of you, yet you walk right by them. So it is with the Bible, just because we can see all of the words and read them, it is clear to me that we need to follow some very strict rules in order to understand what they say, correctly. Satan can read the same words that we can and he didn’t understand them and he is doing everything in his power to make sure that you don’t understand them either. If Satan would have understood what was written, he would not have crucified Jesus.
In reading Proverbs 25:2, it reveals to us one of God’s intentions and purposes for giving us the Bible. This verse specifically informs us that it is God’s Glory to conceal information. This Hebrew word translated as “conceal” means to keep secret, or to hide from plain view.. When you conceal something that means it is not clearly visible or self apparent. The US army often times camouflages themselves and their equipment to conceal them from or cause themselves not to be seen by the enemy. If a government in our world wanted to conceal information from their enemies they would have probably created a code or an encryption system that would in effect make the textual message unreadable to others. In this way the encoded message is only readable to the intended person to whom the message is sent using the decryption method and the key that would unlock the true meaning. While many have done crypto analysis of Old Testament scriptures and have seemed to have discovered encoded messages, I am not talking about this method of hiding information. While I do not discount these or attempt to preach against them in any way, this is not the information that is hidden in plain sight that I am talking about. Being a computer programmer I understand the complexity behind creating a readable textual message with embedded ELS coded messages. Without a very, very powerful computer it would be impossible to find them, much less try to create them. The Bible Codes are to me just an additional proof that God exists and He has written something for us, to us that only He could have done. To those who don’t believe in God, it is a sign that someday they will understand.
So what I want to do in this blog series, is to explore some of the primary ways that I have discovered how God has hidden Himself in plain view for us to find. By studying some of these methods we can use them to unlock more of the truth and to see and know Him better. So did God encode things in the Bible for us to discover? You might still not understand code concepts, and that is OK. I’m not here to teach you computer algorithms. What I want you to see is some general concepts and methods that God has implemented in the Bible to hide information and truth. By understanding these concepts we can then apply them to our Bible study and hopefully learn whatever God wants us to know before Jesus comes back for us very soon.
Earlier I mentioned a common trait of codes and encryption. This has to do with knowing the key that unlocks the code. The key is the electronic word, phrase, numbers, symbols, or combination of all of these that we use to unlock the encrypted information. That is what we are going to explore in this series of lessons. I want to show you some keys. By understanding the methods that God has used to hide information it will give us the keys that we need to unlock it and to understand it. Jesus makes this statement:
Mat 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven:
I know I pulled a part of a verse to make a point, but take this information and understand the concept given. Jesus tells us that there are keys to the kingdom of heaven. That implies there are hidden or locked things within the kingdom that are not readily available to all. What Jesus is doing is giving us a simple concept lesson and He is telling us that it is our responsibility to open the doors that these keys are associated with. You never hand someone a key, either a physical key that unlocks a lock or an electronic key to unlock a code and not expect them to use it. Are you grasping the concept? So let’s explore some of the key methods that God uses to hide information in the Bible.
Technique 1: Widely Dispersed Truths
One method that God uses frequently to hide truths in His Word, is to spread out the information so that a subject is not completely covered in any one location of the Bible. The Bible is a significantly large book with a lot of words and subjects within it. Finding specific related scriptures is not always as easy as you might think. By spreading the information out in a widely dispersed random pattern, it become exponentially more difficult to grasp the correct meaning of anything. Spreading out information in the Bible is just one of the many techniques that God has used to hide things for us to find. One advantage that we have today over previous generations, is the proliferation of computers within our society. By using a computer’s database indexing and search engine capabilities, we are blessed with a tool that makes it much easier to explore the Word of God and to find truths that are spread out over 783,137 words in the King James Bible. If you don’t study the Bible using a computer you should, it will help you tremendously once you get over the initial learning curve of using a computer to read and study the Bible. What we discover in our search is there are scriptures everywhere in the Bible that speak to, or comment directly on other passages in the Bible. In other words we have the commentary of the author, the Holy Spirit given to us on any given subject. God did not leave us in the dark, he just made it a little challenging to find. I also made mention that the commentary and related information may appear in any random order. Information can be given on any subject in any book of the Bible. This certainly is a very tricky method of hiding information.
Let’s take creation and the story of Adam and Eve. If you search the Bible you will soon discover that both Adam and Eve are referred to in other books of the Bible by name. These are God’s direct commentary on the Genesis story given to Moses. But by studying these verses we can gain a significant amount of insight into the original story. But of course that is not all the information, we would have to search for all of the subjects found in creation, like: man, woman, temptation, sin, serpent, gardens, fruit, seeds, trees, and all of the other subjects that are mentioned in the book. By omitting these facts from our study of the subject we are lacking vital clues to what God intended for us to understand. This example is just a simple sample of a much larger truth that God has spread out the information so that while it is in plain sight, it is not easily found, related or understood. This is one of the most important lessons from this blog that you should take away and learn to put into practice. Don’t read a single verse and attempt to say I understand that, without researching and looking for the related passages and God’s commentary on the subject.
Think with me and consider the hidden reference to the serpent in Genesis chapter 3. I have heard people say that this is not Satan while others say it is Satan. However, there is absolutely no way to know this by only reading this chapter of Genesis. If you read the Bible cover to cover, it would take you a long time to finally find the answer to who this serpent is. This infromation is not revealed until Revelation chapter 12. God finally sees fit to reveal the identity of the hidden serpent in the last book of the Bible. This is a clear example of a widely dispersed truth. Where God introduces you to a subject in the 3rd chapter of Genesis, but does not reveal the identity of the being until the 12th chapter of Revelation. I hope you are beginning to understand these tricky concepts that God has implemented in the Bible.
Widely dispersed truths are an essential part of finding the hidden information in the Bible. You see the Old Testament is a large set of books that Jesus told the Jews to search, for he said these are they that testify about Him (John 5:39). But if you read the Old Testament you will not find one chapter called the story of Jesus. While there are hundreds of prophetic verses of the coming messiah, not one said you will call his name “Jesus”. Yet if you have eyes that see, you can find Jesus on almost every page of the Old Testament in some form or reference. Some are more easily found than others, but none are in plain view and self apparent. The Bible is a complex tricky book written with complex and tricky techniques that record truths in a manner that is not easily recognizable. We have just touched on this subject in this blog and talked about one of these methods. By putting little pieces of information here and little pieces of information elsewhere in a large random order you can certainly understand that this would make it very challenging for us to find anything of value. This one technique alone would make the Bible very difficult to understand, but God has many other techniques of hiding information that we will get into later.
If you would like to continue reading this series, please go to Part 2.
(Ver 1.1) Why is it that there are so many varying opinions on what the Bible means? How can I see one thing in the Bible and you fail to see it? If we could somehow solve this dilemma we would all have to get into harmony and finally become one in Christ Jesus. Jesus prays this prayer to the Father concerning His bride and these are His words:
Joh 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
Jesus informs us that He and the Father were one in the same. Jesus said if you have seen me you have seen the Father (John 14:9). Jesus was claiming He was God. But now Jesus is praying and He makes a specific new request. He asks that all of those that are given to Him should also become one. Has this happened? Will it ever happen? Does Jesus get His prayers answered? That is some interesting things to consider. Looking around in the world today it certainly does not appear that the Body of Christ is one. What does it mean to you to be one? To me it means someone that is unified in purpose. The disciples after Jesus ascended were said to be in one accord while tarrying in the upper room in Jerusalem. I would have to say this is what Jesus was praying for, but what happened to this show of unity between believers? Is it just a problem of sheer numbers? Could 120 get into unity but 2 billion not do the same? Has God shrunk in size or ability? What does it mean to be in “one accord”? According to Strong’s this word means to be unanimous, to be of the same mind. Everyone doing the same thing for the same reasons and motivation. That so far does not resemble any of the church that I have seen in recent years. I have noticed some glimpses of partnerships and unity, but there certainly needs to more effort in unifying the Body.
So what is the main problem? Why does one denomination embrace speaking in tongues and one preach it is of the devil. Those kind of differences are clearly a huge issue to unification. One group of people see and perceive the truth and the other group chooses not to see it. What is the solution? Where do we start to amend? How can we resolve these differences? How can we become reconciled to become one bride who has made herself ready? I believe we can at least start by understanding the problem. By seeing what the Bible says the problem is we can hopefully avoid repeating a failing pattern. But of course even this involves seeing and understanding and therefore we are really back to the original problem. Unless God does something to help us overcome this problem we will not. But that was my opinion of the situation.
Here is a scripture from the book of Acts that describes the situation that they faced while teaching the truth of the God’s Word to the people in the nation of Israel. Paul tried to reach his own people, but encountered great resistance and opposition. Was what Paul was teaching the truth? Did it come directly from God? Was this the same God that gave these Jewish people their law? Was this the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? So why was this new message so easily dismissed as being false and not from God? It would appear that by studying their reaction and reasoning we might see some patterns that could be avoided in our daily routines. After all is God still the same today? Does God still teach or reveal anything new? So in the book of Acts Paul is speaking and says the following about the nation of Israel:
Act 28:26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
Act 28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
You read these verses and it describes a people in a sad condition. These were people who had normal natural senses of sight and hearing, but they are described to be a people who were not using them to learn and understand. God is actually implying that we have a spiritual set of eyes and ears that need to be open and receptive. These people are described as their hearts being “waxed gross”. Here is the definition for this word in the Strong’s:
From a derivative of G4078 (meaning thick); to thicken, that is, (by implication) to fatten (figuratively stupefy or render callous): – wax gross.
It is a fascinating word that has a widely applicable association with the human spirit. It is really a symbolic reference given to us of a spiritual state that we are unable to see. To make thick or to fatten something implies a hardening process. If you think in modern medical terms and cholesterol and the ill effects that it has on the human body, then you can kind of see what this is referring to. The thickening of the arteries and blood vessels in the body with cholesterol causes the walls to become thick and eventually clogged. The results of this is a major physical problem and even death. Believe it or not this is describing a spiritual clogging and thickening process that will also result in another type of death. This word has a figurative meaning of being stupid or acting foolishly. That also applies to the spiritual realm and we all need desperately to learn this lesson. Finally another meaning of the word is to become callous. We can understand this term by looking at the process of creating natural calluses. By working with a specific tool for example long enough you repeatedly wear a specific surface of your skin. This worn area can develop blisters and eventually calluses so that the area is much less sensitive to feeling. This is another lesson to apply to spiritual principles. How can a spirit being become calloused against the truth?
Let’s analyze how people learn. The Bible tells us that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom 10:17). This verse is a simple lesson in learning. People hear what their teacher says and either accept it or reject it. By rejecting the truth you cause a spiritual callous to begin to form. Your heart becomes thicker in that area and the next time you hear the truth it is easier for you to reject it since you have less feeling in that area. People’s heart eventually can become so hard in areas that they have absolutely no feeling when presented the truth of God’s Word. This is why the Bible speaks of God taking out the “stony” heart and putting in a heart of “flesh” (Eze 11:19). People have allowed their spirits to harden against certain things and even the truth and as a result have become very difficult to reach.
So learning starts with hearing. What is hearing and how does it work? Can we hear anything? Jesus taught us that we must be careful what we hear (Mark 4:24). Then Jesus told us to take heed how you hear (Luke 8:18). Jesus is saying there are two factors to consider about what we listen to. God says it matters what we hear and how we hear it. In other words don’t listen to every teaching from every religion and think that you are helping yourself to grow spiritually. All you end up doing is confusing your spirit, clouding your mind and deceiving yourself. No, hearing starts with listening to the Word of God and to those teachers anointed to teach it. If you can’t tell who those are then just study and read the Bible.
Learning starts with hearing or reading out loud to yourself. But there is certainly more to learning the Bible than just reading or hearing. The only part of the Bible that is going to do you any good is the part that you come to “know”. To “know” in the Bible is an important word that means an intimate relationship with. In the Old Testament it is often times used as “Adam knew his wife and they had a son”. You can see that to “know” a subject implies a deep understanding of it. The verse in Acts tells us that if the people would have heard and they would have understood what was being said in their “heart” or “spirit”, then they would have been converted and God could have saved them. However, since they closed their own eyes and refused to see, they were cut off. So understanding the Bible is the next key element to being saved. I believe this is the next key to unity also. If we can gain understanding from God we will be of one mind and then we will have a singleness of purpose.
Pro 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
We are commanded to get wisdom and understanding from God’s Word. God’s Word contains all of the knowledge that we need to live. Wisdom and Understanding are two benefits of knowing God’s Word intimately. If you asked me why do I need to study the Bible, this would be my answer, “to get wisdom and understanding”. We have too many people on the internet that have neither of these qualities, yet they cloud our network with words of confusion. By introducing you to their opinions and personal interpretations to God’s Word they cause more harm than they do any good. This is what we are faced with, this is what we are challenged to do. We are commanded to get wisdom and understanding, so if a website or a blog is not helping you to achieve either of these goals I would recommend that you not waste your time in reading them. May God give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ Jesus. May your eyes be able to see and perceive the deep spiritual things of God. May your ears hear from the Spirit of God so that you can clearly understand. May you understand with your heart and be converted and be healed.
Today I want to blog on a subject of mistakes people make while trying to interpret and understand the Bible. There are many mistakes people make and this is just one of them that I have seen. It has very deep roots and is very prevalent in the church. There are probably no Christians today that have not been guilty of this mistake to some extent.
Here is another prime example of error in action. While private Bible interpretation is probably the number one problem with most Bible teaching, this one is probably number two on my list. I’ve seen people do this so many times across the board in every denomination. So what does it mean to take a truth and make it the truth? It basically involves jumping to wrong conclusions. Again the truth that you know is true. But that truth is not the complete truth on the subject. Some people want to take a well known Bible fact and attempt to say it is this way and no other way. The mistake is made that they ignore all other viewpoints on the subject in favor of the one they like the best. To be fair to most, I would say the problem is rooted in the fact that they just haven’t seen or even become aware that other views exist, because they are so focused on the one thing that they do know. It doesn’t discount what they know as being in error, unless they say that every other point of view is wrong and only we are right. This is predominantly the root of every denominational war throughout the centuries. We are right and everyone else is wrong. I’ve got bad news for you, only God is right and everyone else is at the least a little bit wrong. The sooner you learn that, the sooner we will all grow up and mature and become the children of God that He desires.
I once heard it put into an analogy of climbing a mountain. Studying the Bible is like climbing the highest mountain in the world. It is a huge challenge and very few if any have reached the top. However, we are all climbing the same mountain, but we all have different views off of the mountain. If you are on the north side of the mountain you have one view, the south side a different view, the east side a different view, the west side as yet another view. Everyone is trying to say only our view is correct and yours must be in error. People we are climbing the same mountain, understand and know there are different ways to view the same thing. Our viewpoints are based upon what we have seen in the Bible and the things that we haven’t seen is probably just because we are not on that part of the mountain. Of course I am speaking in very figurative terms in this discussion but I hope that you understand the meaning. I use to really like to go on vacation to Colorado and I would always try to pick a high mountain to climb. Sometimes I would take a flag to leave on top of the mountain. This was just a sign that we made it. I hope you are climbing this Bible mountain and will learn this climbing lesson.
I use this example, but I don’t name names of who said it. If you know who said it, please ask him to forgive me. I heard a well known Bible teacher say the church is the body of Christ and not the bride. He said, search the scripture and you won’t find anything that says we are the bride of Christ. What an idiotic statement of arrogance and ignorance. I’ve already wrote a blog series explaining how the church became the body of Christ so I won’t attempt to repeat that lesson here. What we have though is an example of someone taking a truth and trying to make it the entire complete truth. You see I don’t have a problem with the church being the body of Christ, I can see all of scriptures that tells us that is what we are. But, I asked another question and that is, how did the church become the body of Christ and I found the answer explained in the Bible quite literally and explicitly. So most people who make this mistake of taking a truth and trying to make it the truth, have probably not asked enough questions. They simply read a Bible verse and jump on that band wagon and think they found out something that no one else knows. Sometimes that can be true, but most of the time, it only means that we have discovered a part of the truth and we still need to dig further down to learn more. God’s Word is in ever increasing depths of complexity. Many times we discover something very simple on the surface and not realize that there is more to it underneath the surface. We can call this the iceberg analogy. What we can see above the water is usually attached to so much more that we cannot see below the surface. This is a very important concept to grasp in understanding the Bible.
So taking a truth and attempting to make it the truth is based upon an accumulation of other errors and mistakes people make of which could be one or more of the following:
- Jumping to Conclusions
- Making Wrong Assumptions
- Not asking the right Questions
- Insufficient Knowledge. Not knowing enough of the facts (or all of the facts if that is possible)
- Not having sufficient understanding of the subject
What we all need to realize is that there is more than one truth in the Bible. These truths fit together and work in conjunction with all other truths. We should all be striving to understand as much as we can about what the Bible says. We should all strive to correctly divide the Word of Truth. We should also all give others who make mistakes some extended effort of forgiveness. Jesus while hanging on the cross said Father forgive them for they know not what they do. People today are the same as they were back then and they still do a lot of stupid things out of ignorane and think they are so right in doing them.
(Ver 1.1) I received a comment on one of my blogs a while back asking if I was a Bible expert. I replied by asking for a definition of what he thought a Bible expert was. So far I haven’t gotten an answer to my question. You see it appeared by the arrangement of his question that this individual was not going to believe what I wrote, if he could not find an expert that also said what I was writing about. In other words it looked like to me that he was looking for a man to be his source for what he believed. I can only assume that if he found an “expert” based upon some unnamed criteria as to what makes one an expert, that he would suddenly accept something new to be the truth. I do not know about you but I feel that is a very dangerous position to take. You see anybody can say they are an expert. However, I do understand being cautious about accepting something that someone has written on a blog. If you do not know this person, their character, their background and their intention for writing the blog then you could be easily deceived into believing something that is not true.
So what do you do? Are there any Bible experts? What exactly is an expert? I guess since I didn’t get an answer to my question I can look in the dictionary and can get someone’s definition for what they consider to be an expert. So let’s start there.
Expert: A person with a high degree of skill in or knowledge of a certain subject
According to this definition this could apply to anybody about anything. It is obviously a general definition that goes across many boundaries. It also sounds very subjective. Do you understand what I mean by that? Something is subjective if it depends upon the perspective or opinion of someone else to whether or not anyone could be considered an expert. Yo Yo Ma could be considered an expert cellist. I guess this would be my opinion of the man based upon listening to him play the cello. However, since I do not play the cello does my opinion count for anything. Now there are other things like in certain sport fields like archery and target shooting, that people can be measured to determine if they are experts. Based upon the number of perfect shots that they pull off and judging the result from looking at their targets. This is not a subjective designation for being an expert. Bowling is another example, if you can bowl a consistent perfect game and never miss you would automatically qualify to be called an expert bowler. However, there is a huge difference in a subjective designation and a non-subjective designation that is quantifiable and measureable.
When you say somebody is a Bible expert, what are you saying? Let’s see if we can quantify it or measure it. You should understand that God is what I would call the ultimate Bible expert. Only God knows everything the Bible says and exactly what everything in it means. So if we would place God on the upper end of our scale as the ultimate Bible expert, where would you fall on the scale? Where would any man fall on the scale? I believe firmly that there are some men and women who know more than other people on this planet, but I would never call any of them experts as God is an expert. That also means I do not consider myself to be an expert. If I said I was an expert I would be saying I have confidence in my ability to figure out everything that I read in the scriptures. That would in fact make me no different than the man who wrote and asked if I was an expert. I would be placing too much emphasis on my skills and giving no credit to God who has given me the information that I blog in the first place.
I know men who are in their 80’s and who have studied the Bible and ministered for over 50 years. But I also know that as much as they know, they do not know everything. Sure I have learned from them and I do not say there is nothing that they cannot offer me. But, I have learned that God can show me a single verse in the Bible and ask me a simple question and I learned more from that one question than I could ever learn from the 80 year old man in a much shorter period of time. If you think that God doesn’t do that you would be wrong. If you think God doesn’t do that for you, you would be wrong again. I have studied the Bible in great depth for the last approximate 25 years. I cannot even count the number of hours that I have spent exploring the Book and asking God questions. In that time God has spoken some very direct things to me and revealed some awesome things that I have not told anybody. Some of it is coming out in my blogs, simply because I can’t help it. You have to teach what you know, that is just a basic principle of life.
So am I an expert? You be the judge if you want to, I know I am not. I am just a man who knows an expert God. I know I write a lot of things that are radically different than anything you will find in any Bible commentary or seminary. However, consider the source, if everybody got everything they taught from a seminary how would God ever introduce you to anything new? You might be amazed to find out that God does not always work through man’s organized systems. Why didn’t God recruit Jesus’ disciples from the priests, the scribes, the Pharisees, etc., the religious leaders of the day Too many times men have established set procedures and traditions that keep God from doing anything to help them. So what does God do? You would be amazed at how God uses the most unlikely candidates to bring out a new message. If you read your Bible and look you will see God selected a group of men, some fishermen, some business men, a doctor, a lawyer, every kind of profession God would surround himself with. God chose a shepherd to be the King of Israel. You can go on and on with who God used in the Bible and ask yourself, would any of these men have been your top candidate for the job? So is God any different today? I’ll ask you again, has God changed? Does He do things differently than He did in the past? Does God still use the foolish things to confound the wisdom of men?
What are you suppose to do? Do you believe something based upon the source qualifications of an individual or do you simply just read the Bible for yourself and see if it says what is being taught? I have written about this next scripture in several of my blogs and I’ll repeat it today because it applies to our subject. What did the early church do? Is this a pattern that we should be following? If you think about the situation of the early church you can learn a significant lesson. Here we have a group of people who do not have an organized seminary or theological group of experts to consult. These people were handed something that was completely new to them, a totally radical change to anything that they had ever heard before. They were taught about things that they had never imagined or even heard taught by anybody on the planet, especially the Jewish religious leadership of the day. These people faced an extremely important decision and probably the most important eternal decision that they would ever face. This is really no different than what you are facing right now. So you can learn this lesson and apply it or you can choose to ignore it and do what you want to.
Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Paul and the other disciples were travelling about the countryside preaching the Word of God. They brought such a new radical teaching that I am sure it was immediately rejected by a lot of people just because it was completely new. However, this verse in Acts describes a group of people that God calls very noble. You could imply this also means brave and courageous. These people we are told, kept an open mind to the new things that were being taught them by Paul and the other disciples. Being open minded is an essential quality to a successful Christian growth process. But that is not where the verse ends, that was just the key essential ingredient that allowed them to be more noble. If you read the verse, we are given the key to Bible understanding in determining what we should believe and what we should reject. This verse says these more noble people heard what was being spoken and then they looked in the scriptures to see it for themselves. In other words they based their beliefs upon a personal knowing of what they saw in the verses and not based upon what an expert man was telling them to believe. Did you hear what I just said? Paul was probably the most expert man of his day and knew more about the scriptures than anyone else. But Paul never said believe what I say, because I’m an expert and you are not. Paul always pointed people to the scriptures and the Word of God. The Bible should be your only source for what you ultimately believe. You should never take the words of any man, even experts without finding out for yourself what the Bible really says. If this lesson applied to the early church it still applies to us today. We are still in the same church that they were in. We are still in the same body of Christ that they started, and what we believe must be based upon what God has spoken and not any man.
Having said all of that I should also tell you that God does use teachers to help you learn. God many times will pick one man, like a Paul and give him information and revelation from the scriptures to teach to His children. So God has anointed some men and women as pastors and teachers and He has given many of them specialties in specific areas of Bible knowledge. But, if they are not showing you Bible verses for you to see for yourself and for you to study, you should run away from them very, very fast. Stop looking for an expert to follow and follow God and your Bible. Use your relationship with God, the author of the Bible to help guide you into the truth that you need to learn today. Don’t try to make me or anyone else do your Bible studying for you. If you are depending on what I know for what you believe you will soon be deceived, if you are not already. I believe what I believe because I have studied it out in the scriptures for endless hours and I am confident in what I teach as being the truth because of this intimate and personal scriptural knowledge. You of course do not know everything that I know and cannot have the same confidence in anything that I say. I also understand that concept fully, and I hope that you do to. As we continue to follow God’s leadership through his Holy Spirit who indwells us, we will continue to grow in spiritual strength and faith and finally become the mature Christian that God is seeking.
So do I think that I am an expert, No! Are there really any experts in the world? None that I know of! After all what is there that we can measure that determines a Bible expert? Is it a title from a seminary or university? Is it a duration of a time of study? Does studying the Bible for 10 years make you an expert? How about 50 years of studying the Bible does that make you an expert? I hope that you see the problem with man’s qualification system. Make God your expert, and use the Bible as your source of knowledge and beliefs. Listen to God’s anointed teachers and then check out every word that they teach using your Bible and you’ll continue to grow spiritually with the rest of us. This is God’s system and design for getting people to see and understand the Bible. I have a responsibility and you have a responsibility. It is an equal partnership working with God and He will bring the increase from our labors.
(Ver 1.4) We can certainly learn many things by observing our judicial court system, legal court proceedings and jury trial systems. Our court system, while not perfect is based upon some significant established Biblical principles. God has implemented a legal system in the Old Testament that is relevant to today’s topic of correct Bible Interpretation. In the Old Testament law God said that if anyone was guilty of breaking the law they were to be tried in a legal court. One of the requirements found in the O.T. was that any prosecution of a human must be accomplished using 2 or 3 witnesses to the offense and that all of these witnesses must agree with each other. It is a concept that can be found in our modern courts today. If you read God’s original Law in the Old Testament you will find this principle given to us by God. For example, in Numbers 35:30, God speaks of the trial of a murderer and He requires more than one witness in order to put the accused murderer to death. This is just a very common sense approach that keeps a single person from getting mad at another to accuse them of murder and then they are put to death when they actually never committed the crime. If there is only one witness, then it is essentially one man’s word against another. In those cases it is practically impossible to determine who is telling the truth and who is not. This law is repeated by God in Deuteronomy 17:6 that further states and confirms the need for 2 or 3 witnesses for anybody to be put to death.
Here is one of the basic foundational laws of Bible interpretation that is absolutely critical to understanding the Bible correctly. God built in a self-protection system that is very important for every Bible student to follow. If you have ever listened to a variety of preachers and teachers of the Bible, you probably noticed that very few of them actually agree on anything. In fact it is actually very easy to make the Bible say whatever you want it to say. You can pull things out of context and you can easily make the Bible say something that it doesn’t say. Ignorant people, churches, denominations and even intellectual theologians have all proved this reality. But here is what God says about that, in the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established (2 Cor 13:1). This means you can’t take a single verse or a part of the verse and say that is what the Bible says. You are required to provide the collaborating, cooperating and corresponding testimony of at the least a second witness. Here is an example of what I’m talking about. There has been a group of individuals that call themselves Christians, that have read a Bible verse from Mark that they say instructs them to handle snakes in their church services. As a result many have been bitten and some have even died. That is a prime example of taking one verse out of context and attempting to make it a crazy doctrine. Don’t be stupid and fall into similar traps and pitfalls. Learn to correctly divide the Word of God before you start following someone’s stupidity. Snakes are widely spoken of in the Bible and many times they are a symbolic reference to a spiritual evil force that we cannot see. So people have taken a single verse literally and as a result have fallen into error. I’m sorry but that is dumb.
So the goal to correct Bible interpretation is to find at least two scriptures that say the same thing, even though they might say it using different words. Sometimes you can find a scripture from the Old Testament that is quoted in the New Testament. That certainly qualifies as two witnesses. That is the easiest way to confirm a truth in the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses. But, you sometimes don’t have the luxury of a direct quote however, and you have to be smart enough to recognize when a verse with a little bit different wording conveys the same thought or idea on the subject in discussion. Here is a prime example of what I’m talking about. In the book of Revelation chapter 12 there is a symbolic woman clothed with a symbolic sun. In order to figure out who the woman is you have to first figure out who or what the sun is. You see the identity of one is totally dependent on the identity of the other. Does that make sense? Logically the Bible is organized into subjects that can be easily identified because they use the exact same Hebrew or Greek word to covey the subject. However, sometimes it becomes more difficult and this is another technique that God has used to conceal the truth in the Bible and this is to refer to the same object or noun using different names, terms, titles, descriptions, symbols or characteristics. It is still the same object, just called something totally different. Let me briefly enlighten you on the identity of the sun in Revelation 12. I would have to write a huge book to go into this in as much depth as it really needs to be explored, but I will not attempt to include everything I know right here. I’ve actually already written several blogs on the subject that contain more details. The sun is representative of Jesus Christ. How do I now that? If as I discussed in earlier blogs that the Bible interprets itself, then we should be able to find the identity of the sun in other scriptures in the Bible. Well in Malachi 4:2 the Bible speaks of the “Sun of Righteousness” rising with healing in his wings. Who do you think that is? This is of course just another symbolic reference, but this time in an Old Testament minor prophetic book that refers to Jesus Christ. This would be the first and most direct witness to this truth. But we still need at least one more witness. So now it become more challenging. But since I’ve already done the research and figured it out, I’ll take you to the next witness. There is a verse in Revelation 22:16 that further confirms the subject in the mouth of two witnesses that names Jesus Christ as the bright and “morning star”. What is “the Morning Star”? Some think that it is a nearby planet reference, but of course it is the Sun, our closest star to our planet that seems to rise every morning. Morning Star is the Sun using a different name. A totally different way to name the exact same thing, yet they both refer directly to the same physical object. For a third witness of the identity of the Sun we can find it in 2 Peter 1:19 “…until the day dawn and the day star arise in your hearts.” That was just the end of the verse, but it speaks about Jesus who is the Sun of Righteousness. You see the name “Day Star” is still another term for the Sun. The sun is our closest star and usually the only one we are able to see during the daylight hours. We can easliy conclude that the Day Star would represent a reference to our Sun. I hope you get the point and understand this valuable concept, if you are searching the Bible for a truth make sure that you find at the minimum two confirming witnesses to help you interpret the meaning correctly, otherwise throw it out. Whatever someone teaches from the Bible, if they do not follow this important rule, refuse to accept what they teach. This one thing will help you more than anything else that I know to correctly divide the Word of God. Follow God’s spiritual protection system for correct Bible interpretation and you will never be on shakey ground. If you want to understand the Bible correctly, then you must follow the rules that God has given to us or you will remain lost in your ignorance. Learn that there are rules to correct Bible interpretation, learn what these rules are and then live by them and you will benefit tremendously in learning about God and the truth. God Bless you and thanks of reading my Bible lesson on correct Bible Interpretation.
Reading and studying the Bible is like learning to swim. If you don’t know how to swim, it is a very, very good idea not to jump in to waters that go over your head. Waters can be a type of the subjects found in the Bible. Some subjects are shallow and easier to grasp. While other subjects can be very complex and these represent the deep waters. For example, I use to never go into the book of Revelation and try to study that book, because it was so far over my head. Over the years I have learned a lot more and using what God has taught me I can now venture into these deep waters of the book of Revelation. Does that mean I understand everything in the book of Revelation? Definitely NOT! It only means that I have learned enough to start learning more. I have heard stories of many people who say that their dad threw them into the deep end of the pool and said learn to swim or drown. Of course you would realize that if they had drown he would have gone to jail for murder. Physically speaking it is not a good idea to learn to swim in the ocean. There are too many waves, currents and tides will cause you to more than likely die in your attempts to learn how to swim. These are all physical things that relate us to spiritual things that we face every day in our growth with God. We can learn some very valuable lessons that will help us tremendously if we apply these principles correctly.
Start by evaluating where you are now in your spiritual growth. Are you new in Christianity? If yes, then it is not good to try to study advanced deep subjects found in the Bible. Most of my blogs are very advanced and very deep. I deal with many complex subjects that many don’t have a clue on what they really mean. As a result I would strongly suggest that if you are not an advanced Bible student, that you not read my blogs. Go away and study the basics, and after a few years of studying the Bible on the basic foundational Christian concepts, then come back to the advanced stuff. I generally do not spend a lot of time trying to teach basic concepts of salvation, sin, good and evil, just to name a few of these basic topics.
This is what God said on the subject of getting in over your head when Paul wrote to the church in Corinth:
1Co 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
Paul tells the church in Corinth they were not ready for the deep spiritual things of God because he said they were just baby Christians. God relates spiritual growth to physical growth of new born babies. When a baby is newly born you can’t give them a piece of corn on the cob and say here is your dinner. Why is that important to note? God relates some subjects in the Bible to be advanced topics that babies can’t grasp and use. These topics are not good for them in fact. Because they are not ready for the complex foods in God’s Word, they should avoid them. Otherwise, they could spiritually choke on them and this could cause them spiritual harm instead of helping them to grow up spiritually. God goes on in the next verse to differentiate between two distinct types of spiritual food:
1Co 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
We can see that these two contrasting views of God’s spiritual food are equated as being either milk or meat, liquid or solid. Just like you wouldn’t give a baby a steak off of the grill to eat, you don’t give baby Christians spiritual steak either. Steak or meat is equated to the more complex subjects found in the Bible. The milk is representative of the simple or basic subjects that we should all have intimate knowledge of to build a firm spiritual foundation upon. These are tremendously valuable lessons to learn and fully grasp. We must understand the basic subjects before we ever attempt to swallow the advanced subjects. To many times I read blogs and books that I can clearly see the author doesn’t know the basics, so how can they attempt to try to get anyone to see anything advanced. If you don’t understand the basics you will never understand the advanced topics. In fact to a baby Christian, the advanced topic is dangerous.
Learn the lesson of swimming. Before you get in over your head make sure you are familiar with the shallow basic concepts found in the Bible. The deep things of God will come much easier and you will not spiritually drown because you panicked in waters that were over your head. But, here is another aspect to consider. Most babies don’t know they are babies. Because babies don’t understand the dangers of deep waters they will many times wander into them and not be able to get out. Many children have died because they were unsupervised and fell into the water and could not get out. If you are a mature Christian or at least a maturing Christian, keep this in mind when talking to others who are new to the faith in Christ. Help to guide the new Christians into the right paths of study. That is exactly why I recommended many not read my blog. If you are a new Christian you will be much more comfortable with someone’s ministry that is geared at your level of spiritual development. That is in fact a lesson from life, children must go through kindergarten before they go to high school or even 1st Grade. There is a progressive learning experience that you must develop in. Most immature Christians will reject what I teach, simply because I’m not at their level. If a 1st grader sat in a college level Algebra class, they wouldn’t get anything out of it.
I’ll try to end this blog with another contrasting bit of information of how to determine your level of spiritual growth. God gives us some very specific clues to judging ourselves based upon the next scripture in 1 Corinthians:
1Co 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
God contrasts those who are focused on carnal and natural things with those who are focused on spiritual things. Baby Christians tend to be focused on natural things that occur in the world, while spiritually maturing Christians look beyond these natural things and focus in on the things of God only found in His Word. The difference is where they place their emphasis and focus. This verse in 1 Corinthians said these people were jealous of one another. They were fighting and bickering about stupid things that didn’t matter. If you read people’s blogs you can see examples of this type of behavior everywhere. Trivial stuff is promoted to a level of importance that is worthless to our spiritual growth. People fight over what they think is right and ignore what God said. Then there are naturalist who want the church to focus on saving the environment, the planet, the trees, or the whales. Too many times people are focused on things that God cares very little about. If people would see what God cares about, there would not be any abortions.
1Co 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
God asks a very simple question here and makes a spiritual point that is beyond most people’s understanding. We have broad examples of this verse in our world today. One says, I am a Catholic. One says I am a Baptist. Another one says I am a Methodist, or whatever. Everyone echoing the same thought process that Paul confronted in Corinth. If you think your church is the only true church and everyone else is going to hell, you are deceived into believing a lie. The church of Jesus Christ is not a denomination. There is only One Body of Christ, there is only One Bride of Christ and these two are one in the same. There are legitimate and true Christians in every division of the body, but there are also false teachers and deceivers in every denomination out there. How will you know the difference? Jesus said you will know them by their fruit. Watch their natural life over time and see if they live according to the Bible. Judge what they say and do by what you know and understand in the Bible. You must focus in on the Bible and learn it and use it and only it to control what you think and do. The Bible contains the only truth that you will ever find on this planet. As you continue in the Word of God you will grow spiritually and become more spiritually mature. As you continue to feed your spirit using God’s spiritual food you will see that many good fruits will begin to spring forth and start to dominate your life. It is time for us to grow up spiritually:
Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Paul in this verse written to the church, informs them that there are many basic things that they should be moving beyond. God describes to us a process of growth as well as the goal of spiritual maturity. “Perfection” is just a word that means to become mature. Not a child anymore, not acting like a child, not dressing like a child, not doing childish things. The process of spiritual growth is patterned after natural growth. Eating properly and getting spiritual exercise will go a long way to helping you grow spiritually.
These are all valuable spiritual lessons for us to apply to our understanding of the Bible. I hope that you at least grasped the concepts and that you will continue to grow in the knowledge of the One True Living God.
(Ver 1.1) In searching for the hidden qualities of the character of God I have discovered one of these to be significantly applicable to Bible Interpretation. While God created a very diverse number and types of people with various talents, abilities, personalities and physical qualities we were all made in the image and likeness of God. When unsaved people see Christians in the world they should be able to see the qualities of the Father being reflected outwardly so that they can come to know these hidden qualities of Him also. So while studying the Bible I discovered that God cares a lot about the details. I know some people only look at the big picture and they are happy with staying at the 1000 foot view of the scriptures. Others I’ve found like are like me and like to get the Word of God and look at it through a microscope so that they can fully understand every little detail. I get very frustrated sometimes when I listen to preachers who preach at the 1000 foot view level. I constantly say to myself, that is not what God said. I think overall it is what God said, but it is the fine little details that were omitted to potentially give the wrong impression of what God said. I don’t think it is wrong to stay at the 1000 feet level, it’s just not for me. You see when I read the scripture that told me God knows the number of hairs on my head, I very quickly realized that God cares about and pays very close attention to the most minute and trivial details of every area of our life. If God is truly detail oriented to an extreme and I would say that He is, then this should help us in our understanding of the Bible if we can apply a certain similar approach to reading and studying the Bible. I believe that it would immediately help you, if you just become aware of how God operates. Just by knowing that God cares about the smallest of details will help you change your focus to potentially have a greater understanding of the Word of God, even though that might not totally fit your personality.
My wife and I were eating out at a restaurant a while back and we looked the menu over and placed our orders. If it didn’t matter what we ate or what we liked, then why did the restaurant send us a waitress asking us what we wanted? You see I have been to a restaurant before where there was not choices of food. You went in and sat down and they started bringing out the food and you either ate what they gave you or you you went somewhere else. But, normally there are choices given to you at every restaraunt and you choose what you want to eat and how you want it cooked and on and on I could go. I think sometimes people miss out on understanding the basics of life. Any way we placed our order and asked for things to be prepared a certain way. We ordered something like a burger with mustard, lettuce and tomato. So here is the beginning of a huge potential problem, we were concerned with the details and someone either in the food service or preparation phase was not. Oh sure we got the 1000 foot view of the burger delivered to us, but because someone either assumed incorrectly or didn’t hear the details that were given we ended up with a product that was wrong. Does it matter if your customer got something they didn’t order even though it was still pretty good and edible? Sometimes customers are allergic to certain things like pickles and tell the server no pickles. It they ate this it might make them sick or even kill them. Is that OK? Is it important for food service and food preparation staff to be careful to follow exact directions for someone’s personal safety? If you don’t think so, you have a major problem. You see if it matters how physical food is prepared it also matters how spiritual food is prepared and served. There is no difference between the concept of both of these food sources. The details matter a tremendous amount in both the preparation and the delivery of the Word of God.
When I worked as a computer programmer I was very fortunate that God taught me to pay close attention to all of the details. When you write computer software the details matter a great deal. You can write a large routine correctly and it can even look like it ought to work perfectly for what it was designed to do. However, if you leave out even a single character like a semi-colon or a period it could change the logic so that it does not function correctly at all. In my early years of mainframe computer programming I wrote a lot of code in a computer language called COBOL. The simple omission of a period in COBOL could cause huge problems and be extremely difficult to debug and correct. Later on in work, I learned C++ and the omission of a semi-colon could also cause a similar major problem. You see a principle here from software construction that the omission of even a seemingly insignificant little detail matters. The omission of a single character can effect the outcome and actually make the rest of the code useless. This principle actually applies to Bible interpretation whether you realize it or not. You might not have followed my comments on writing software and you might find it hard to relate to my analogy, but I hope you at least understand the general concepts that I gave you.
You know what happens when you become detail oriented? You start looking at every word using a style or method that promotes a much closer observation and analysis. Knowing the details. doesn’t change the big picture, but it does enhance your ability to understand it and to teach it. Attempt to rise to God’s level of detail analysis. See the details like God intended you to see them. Get into the details and it will change your perspective on the Word of God and cause you to learn things like never before. I believe this and I practice it daily. God bless you to do the same.