Category Archives: Understanding

UNDERSTANDING THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER – PART 5 – AN ESSENTIAL SOIL TYPE OVERVIEW

Parable_of_sower_5(Ver 1.1) This is Part 5 in the Bible Study series of the most significant Parable in the Bible.  Jesus said if you do not understand this parable, how then will you understand any parable (Mk 4:13)?  That makes this parable on a greater level or a higher plain of importance than all the others.  Of course, all of them are still important to us.   If you have not studied this subject from the beginning, I would highly recommend that you begin with “Part 1” first.  We will be unable to go over every detail previously provided in this series.  For example, in earlier lessons we obtained an excellent overview of the sower, the seed and the fruit.  These were three positive symbols given to us in the parable by Jesus.  In these lessons we should have learned that the Seed represents primarily God’s spoken Word, but that there was also an implied negative counterpart to it that comes from Satan.  This negative seed type will result in distractions and deceptions that we can label as “weeds”.  Spiritual “weeds” originated from the curse spoken to Adam in Genesis 3:18 when God said the soil would produce “thorns” and “thistles”.  Today we will learn more about what these represent.

Finally, we learned about fruit in our last lesson.  This subject is the positive intended outcome for God’s incredibly positive Word when planted in good soil.  I am convinced that “fruit” is God’s spiritual goal and plan for every human who will cooperate and receive His Word into their heart.  I am also convinced that fruit represents requirements or specifications for salvation.  This brings us to today’s subject of the soil.  The soil represents the unseen heart of a human.  However, this invisible heart is NOT the physical blood pumping organ that keeps our human body alive.  No, the heart of a human is the unseen captive eternal spirit being on the inside of our body.  Our human spirit becomes one with the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:17) after we receive the Word of God, believe, and confess Jesus as our Lord.  There was more to our lessons than that, but that was a quick review.  We will now continue with this subject and the specific topic of “soil” and “soil types”.

INTRODUCTION TO THE SOIL

I would like to begin this study of the “soil” with an overview of the soil types found in the Parable of the Sower.  Soil represents the heart also called the spirit of a human.  This is the internal unseen spiritual part of the triune composition of every human (1 Th 5:23).  Our heart element is the human portion that will never cease to exist (Lk 16:22-23).  We should also understand that Jesus gave us 4 specific divisions of spirit/soil types in the Parable of the Sower.  It is also important to note that this parable occurs in 3 Gospels Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8.  All accounts of the parable agree, but with some specific details only being mentioned in one parable.  This is a major reason why we should read every one given to combine them into an accumulated list of facts to conclude every truth that was taught.  It is very much like a crime that occurs with three different witnesses that observe the event from three different angles of perspective.  Each witness testimony must be true from each individual perspective but when it is balanced together the combined agreement of testimony provides the most accurate overall information of what happened.  Here are the main 4 soil types as described by Jesus:

  1. Way Side (Mat 13:4, Mk 4:4, Luk 8:5)
  2. Stony Ground (Mat 13:5, Mk 4:5, Luk 8:6)
  3. Thorny Ground (Mat 13:7, Mk 4:7, Luk 8:7)
  4. Good Ground (Mat 13:8, Mk 4:8, Luk 8:8)

We are going to go through each soil type individually picking out the details of Greek Words to help us understand what Jesus said.  We will list every descriptive explanatory verse from Matthew, Mark and Luke to learn from.  Let us get started with the wayside soil.

#1 – WAYSIDE SOIL OVERVIEW

highway of dirtThe first type of soil mentioned by Jesus is called the “way side” soil.  This soil type comes from the Greek word G3598 that literally means a “road” or “highway”.  That is an informative descriptive term with widespread implications attached to it.  Any well-traveled road in Bible days was a soil that was compacted from constant chariots, carts, and human foot traffic as well as other animal hoofs (horses, donkeys, and camels) loaded with people or goods.  The soil would be so compressed that scattering seed upon it would do no real good.  The seed would rest on the top of the packed surface and would be easily eaten by any birds that were nearby.  Let us review the three explanations that Jesus provided to help us understand what this soil type represents:

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

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

Luk 8:12  Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 

Can we notice the symbolism?  This ground type is called “Wayside”.  Remember this is the Greek word G3598 that means a “road”.  How would this symbol correspond to a human heart/spirit?  What does it mean when someone or something is being walked on symbolically in the Bible?  This condition of being walked upon normally indicates a person or a nation that has been defeated, conquered, overcome, and beaten in a battle.  God told Joshua in the book of Joshua chapter 1 “Everywhere the sole of your feet shall tread, I have given you”.  God was representing to Joshua that wherever he chose to begin walking by faith in the promised land, he would be victorious over those people that were occupying it.  God used the symbolism of “treading” upon to describe this victory. Tread is an action verb that means to walk with your feet as in “step on”.

In the Parable of the Sower the wayside soil represents a human heart that has been hardened by Satan to not be able to hear and understand the Gospel.  We see this plainly stated in Matthew 13:19. In this verse God declares this soil type heard the Word of God but since they did not understand it, it was easily stolen by Satan.  This soil type indicates this person can be easily distracted, deceived, and defeated by Satan.  This is implied because of the reference to the “birds of the air” that represent the devils in the world.  Unclean and evil spirits can easily come to trick the wayside soil’s mind to prevent the seed from being sown.

Notice that in Luke 8:12 the primary objective of the Word being sown is to cause the human to believe it for their personal salvation.  In contrast, the primary objective for the devil’s work is to deceive the soil to not believe the Word so that they will not be saved.  This corresponds with 2 Corinthians 4:4 where God informs us “Whom the God of this world blinds the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel (Seeds) of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them”.  Pay close attention to presence of a spiritual battle of two opposing kingdoms.  One is of darkness (blindness from Satan) and the other is of the light (from God).  Now recall Psalm 119:130 that says, “the entrance of thy Word bringeth light and understanding to the simple”.  God’s plan is to help people receive and understand the Word and Satan’s focus is to make sure that this does not occur.

This “Wayside” soil type represents the only human heart that is incapable of being saved as it is because of the darkness covering their minds.  The inability of the Light of God’s Word to enter their minds causes this lack of understanding and this results in their continued captivity to the darkness.  This is exactly why Satan removed the Bible from public schools in the USA in the 1960s.  As a result of the elimination of God’s truth being taught in public-school the brains of ignorant children have grown up creating an easy age of deception.  Anything sounds good and true when it is not compared to the actual truth.  This blindness will remain unless parents teach the truth of the Bible at home.  I personally believe that this Wayside soil type was never saved through hearing the Word of God, nor can be.  But that does not mean this person cannot be changed to become a different soil type through prayer and a process of seed planting.  Let us review what we have just learned:

  1. The objective of God giving us His Word is for our salvation through hearing and believing.
  2. The objective of Satan stealing the Word is so that humans will not believe and be saved.
  3. One strategy for humans not to be saved is for the Word of God to never be heard.
  4. Another strategy for humans to not be saved is for the Words not to be understood.
  5. Wayside soil humans are already hard hearted defeated captives of the kingdom of darkness.

We will talk more about this soil type later when we get into some examples.  Let us move on to soil type #2.

#2 – STONY GROUND OVERVIEW

white stones and green grass on the wild stony ground

Mat 13:20  But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it

Mat 13:21  Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended

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

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

Luk 8:13  They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation (G3986) fall away.

The stony ground is the next soil type described by Jesus.  Jesus refers to this soil as a type of intermixed hardness of stone under the surface with an implied thin layer of softness of one human heart on the outside.  But clearly Jesus claims that the presence of the hard rocks and stones does not allow for the development of adequate roots from the seed to grow deep enough to endure the heat of being a Christian.  Jesus said when the sun comes up and shines on this growing seed, it lacks sufficient moisture, withers, fades, and is too weak and dies. Luke 8:13 describes the heat of the sun to be a time of temptation.  Literally this word represents a satanically inspired testing time to see if someone really believes the Word of God that was spoken to them.  However, Matthew describes it in a much clearer manner in Matthew 13:21. Here Matthew teaches us that the heat of the sun represents “tribulation” and “persecution”.  “Tribulation” represents satanically inspired “pressure”, “stress”, “worries”, etc.  The word “persecution” literally represents human “sufferings”, “oppressions”, “harassments”, “intimidations”, “discriminations” and can even be physical and mental “tortures” for believing in Jesus and letting others know about the same message that was sown in them.

Notice that Jesus said in Matthew and Luke that this soil type received the Word of God with “Joy”.  Jesus said in Mark this soil type had significant “gladness” after what they heard what was taught from the Word of God.  This is particularly important because the Word of God is called the Gospel, and this simply means “good news”.  The Word of God should make us extremely happy.  Why should we be happy?  The Good News is based upon Jesus paying the price for our sins dying on a cross, being raised from the dead and giving us His righteousness in exchange so that we do not have to go to hell.  Wow, that makes me happy!

I think everyone that has ever been saved has experienced persecution and satanic testing at one time or the other.  Notice this soil type indicates that the person began the Christian walk with joy at the beginning of the process of generating fruit.  But did not endure through the pressure of persecution to become fruitful.  This clearly teaches us this soil type was on the path to being saved but chose to not remain saved because of the pressures of friends, relatives, or other worldly people.  Jesus indicates strongly that this soil type heard the Word of God, believed it, and was saved for a short time but then turned away because of Satanic attacks and tests.

I want to quickly address two important facts of truth that were mentioned by Jesus in this soil type.  Jesus clearly teaches us that producing “roots” before we produce “fruits” is essential to the process of our salvation.  How is this accomplished?  Also, Jesus clearly said there is a stone and a rock that can be found that causes us not to remain saved.  How can we get these rock elements out of our hearts? Let us address removing the stone first.  We will turn to 1 Peter chapter 2 and read starting in verse 6:

1Pe 2:6  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded

1Pe 2:7  Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 

1Pe 2:8  And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 

Jesus is clearly observed to be compared with a stone.  This is an analogous typology that represents a potentially greater spiritual truth.  We clearly find the presence of believing the Word of God in this discussion.  Therefore, it is right in line with what we are studying and read in the stony ground explanations.  Notice the Holy Spirit teaches us that whoever remains in faith by believing in Him (Jesus) will not be confounded.  What does the Greek word G2617 translated as “confounded” mean?  Strong defines this word to mean “to shame down”.  Thayer says it means to “put to shame” or to “make ashamed”.  Uh oh!  We are catching on to some of the reasons why people fall away after believing the Good News with a joyful heart.  Remember this concept because it is important.  Feeling a sense of shame after believing the Word of God is what Satan will try to get a Christian to do by using persecution and pressures of the world.  It can also be the fact that some of the Words that were heard were not understood enough or at all.  We will see this later in an example.

“Persecution” is a major stratagem of Satan.  Many weak newly born-again believing Christians will not be able to withstand against the outward peer pressures when someone comes and calls them a stupid idiot for believing in an old book of fables and fantasies.  Of course, the Bible is not either of those, but that does not mean the devil is not going to try to convince someone that it is, with his lies.  I want us to also focus on the Greek word G4625 that is translated as “offence” in verse 8.  This word represents the inner-working mechanism of a trap that causes someone to become ensnared and trapped again, back into captivity that they were previously released and freed from after believing in Jesus.  Wow, this sounds important. Please recall what Jesus said that He came to do in Luke 4:18. In this verse Jesus said, “God had sent Him to preach deliverance to the captives”.  Preaching is sowing seeds and these seeds if they are believed, will release people from a spiritual prison that they did not even know they were in.   Satan will attempt to persecute new believers to get them to return to their past lifestyle and way of living in darkness.

Ok, we need to keep moving with the subject of producing roots.  Hopefully you learned that persecutions does come in this life and these are designed to try to get us to turn away from, believing, knowing and growing in the Truth of the Word of God.  What are roots and how do we cooperate with allowing them to grow.  I do want to emphasize that the first step after receiving and believing the Word of God is for us not to become offended at the words of other people that do not know the truth in the Bible.  But there is more to it than this.  We also need to pray and ask God to give us boldness to be able to share His Word with others free from any shame that could result by others rejecting it or laughing at it.  Getting rid of “stones” that cause the roots to fail will help us move closer to a fruit bearing season  Let’s move to root development next..

We must continue in the Word of God to allow God’s seed to be watered.  Without continued watering any natural or spiritual plant seed will wither and not continue to grow.  Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:6 “I planted, and Apollos watered, but God gave the increase”.  The word “increase” simply means God produced the “spiritual growth and maturity” through the continued entrance of every word of God spoken into our ears. We also learn from Ephesians 5:26 that the Word of God represents His Water.  Therefore, the continued watering of the Word of God, is an essential part of our spiritual growth to produce roots and fruits.   Let us review another part of the root subject by reading in Ephesians 3:17:

Eph 3:17  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love

Eph 3:18  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 

Eph 3:19  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Ok, did you see the connections from the parable of the Sower?  We have the main subject of soil by the reference to the human heart.  We have the factor of faith remaining in the human heart by a human choice.  We also have the subject of deep developing unseen roots in the human heart that are connected to continued believing.  Remember what roots do for a seed and the developing plant that comes from the seed.  The roots provide essential nourishment for the plant production of eventual fruit when the plant becomes mature.  By continual hearing of the Word of God our faith grows stronger and the unseen roots are the symbol for this strength.  As we have seen essential nourishment of plants is water and that represents the never-ending flow of the Word of God.

Remember what Psalm 1 teaches us.  God says in Psalms 1, “blessed is the man that does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly”.  Counsel represents words of advice, guidance, and direction.  These words being referred to are obviously not the Words of God.  Then in verse 2 God says, “This man’s delight is in the law of the LORD”.  These are the wise words of God.  So, we have a battle of words being revealed to us.  There are two sources of words to choose from and continuing with the Word of God exclusively is the wise choice to make us strong.

Then in verse 3 God says this man is like a tree planted by the rivers (of water/His Word) that brings forth his fruit in season”.  Wow, we have some great connections being made by the Holy Spirit to the Parable of the Sower.  A tree feeds from the river because of the well-established root system.  The river represents the Word of God.  The continual supply of the Word of God will produce “fruit”, and this is the goal of salvation that God’s Word is designed for.  We have just discovered another trait of fruit failure.  This comes from Christians not developing good changed habits of putting God and His Word as their number one priority after first believing.  It would seem to imply that because of continued bad habits people are hardened in a part of their heart to become easily offended.  Ok, let us quickly review the major points of the stony ground.

  1. Stony Ground received and believed the Seed of God at first.
  2. Their hearts were initially filled with Joy and Gladness and began the process of producing roots and fruits.
  3. But when persecution, trials and tests came upon them to test their faith, they became offended and ashamed of the Word of God unable to stand strong and defend the Truth.
  4. The stony ground could not endure the test of Satan and fell away being dry leaving to go back into their previous way of life because of a lack of Water from the Word of God.
  5. The stony ground was initially saved but left the faith because of Satan’s attacks, temptations, tests, trials.
  6. Stony ground was not able to develop new habits that will result in new thinking, that will result eventually in new actions.

I pray that this was helpful in your understanding this Stony soil type.  We will review some of these types later in the examples.  But, for now let us move to the Thorny Ground overview.

#3 – THORNY GROUND OVERVIEW

THORNS1

Mat 13:22  He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care (G3308) of this world, and the deceitfulness (G539) of riches, choke (G4846) the word, and he becometh unfruitful (G175).

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

Mar 4:19  And the cares (G3308) of this world, and the deceitfulness (G539) of riches (G4149), and the lusts (G1939) of other things entering in, choke (G4846) the word, and it becometh unfruitful (G175).

Luk 8:14  And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches (G4149) and pleasures (G2237) of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection (G5052)

Ok, soil type 3 is called the “thorny ground”. Jesus teaches us that this thorny ground human was also able to receive the Word of God like the previous stony ground and it is implied that they believed it and were in the process of bringing forth fruit.  Also notice that it is implied that this soil type does not have hard places of offences or shame.  Jesus further implies this truth in Matthew 13:23 when the seed in this soil type begins the process of first taking root and then the next moving into the process of growth to initiate them producing fruit.  We know this because the Greek word G1096 that was translated as “becometh” before the word unfruitful implies the process of being fruitful must have been initiated, in order for it to be terminated and chocked out by the thorns that were growing in the same soil simultaneously.

What then were these thorns?  Jesus taught us that the thorns represented “worldly cares” and “deceitfulness of riches” in Matthew 13:23. And in Mark 4:19 Jesus adds the “lusts of other things” to the list of thorny issues.  Lust is a Greek word that means to set our heart on something that has the appearance of good in our sight but has evil motives and intentions resulting in our future destruction.  Luke 8:14 reveals the choking thorns to be the previously mentioned “cares” and “riches” and these are added to a new concept called the “pleasures” of this present life. This is a remarkably similar concept to “lusts” that do not satisfy us.

Let us start this with understanding the word “cares”. “Cares” is the Greek word G3308 and it represents the concept of “distraction” or “isolation”.  If Satan can distract a Christian with something that is not necessary and important but appears desirable, then he has their focus removed from what God desired them to see in His Word.  If that does not work, another strategy is to separate a Christian from obtaining support and encouragement from other Christians.  Both are tricks that can be used to cause a Christian’s fruits to be choked out.  But Christians can apply 1 Peter 5:7 and allow God to take all our cares that are attempting to distract or isolate us when we choose to cast them upon Him.  We allow Him to carry them and solve them.  We do this while we don’t even worry about them.

“Pleasures” is the Greek word G2237 that means “sensual delight and desires”.  This is a truly clear reference to a person that is walking in the flesh and not in the spirit. These wrong desires and lusts based upon the five physical senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound) appear to take control of the human heart to not allow God’s good seed to produce mature fruit.

The Greek word G5052 was translated as “fruit to perfection” but it literally means “to ripen fruit”. This Greek word that means “to ripen” was combined with the absolute negative G3756 word that declares no ripe fruit was produced.  God is teaching us that because of the presence of thorns (pleasures and lusts) distracting the believer from the Word of God, the human fruit of salvation begins but is never completed.   What other distracting and choking thorns apply to you?  What is taking your time away from the Word of God to focus most of your time on a 5 physical sense item in life?

Thorns could represent a lot of things in the human world.  But these could include a person that desires and lusts for wealth, fortune, fame, power, control, a celebrity status, stardom, recognition, casual physical sexual relations, highs from drugs or alcohol, maybe it is even cooking and eating too much, or dieting, etc.   There are many tricks of the devil used to entice a human away from God, His Word, and His salvation.  Let us go over a list of key points that we have observed about the thorny ground.

  1. The Thorny ground received the Word of God and is implied to have believed it to begin the process of producing fruit for their salvation.
  2. There are no mentions of being hardened by symbolic stones in this soil type and it is implied by this omission that Satan could not offend them to turn them away from God’s Word by using “persecution”.
  3. Therefore, Satan tried a new tactic and strategy to divert the believer away from God. Satan places enticing elements of fortune and fame before them and these elements tend to become a greater and greater distraction from being watered by the Word of God daily.
  4. The end-result of this soil type is a barren bush that has no matured ripe edible fruit. The thorn plants growing in the same soil has become their dominate desire and has completely choked out any possibility of “fruit”.
  5. Therefore, the thorny ground represents another unsaved human spirit.

We will see some examples of this soil type later in the Bible Study.   Let us now move to the good soil overview.

#4 – GOOD SOIL OVERVIEW

Crops grow on fertile farm land panoramic before harvest

Mat 13:23  But he that received seed into the good (G2570) ground is he that heareth (G191) the word, and understandeth (G4920) it; which also beareth fruit (G2592), and bringeth forth (G4160), some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

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

Luk 8:15  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience

Finally, soil type 4 called the “good ground” is the only human heart condition that produces the precious fruit that God is seeking (James 5:7).   I would like to go through a few of the key words selected by the Holy Spirit to describe this soil type.  The first is G191 that was translated as “heareth”.  This word literally means “to give audience”.  This is the deliberate choice of human participation to listen closely to what is being said.  If I go to church and while the preacher is speaking, I am looking at my phone to see who wants to do something after church, am I giving audience to the speaker.  It would be like someone paying $300 for ticket to a concert and they spend the whole evening outside the arena at the food and drink line.  When something else takes our priority over what is really the most important subject of the evening that is a wrong human choice.

One of our main subjects in this Bible study on the Parable of the Sower, is the Word of God called “Seed”.   This should be our number one desire whenever we can give audience to hear it.  Notice this topic specifies there are personal decisions and choices made to participate. This is important to know.  The next Greek word is G4920 and it was translated as “understandeth”.  This word means “to put together”.  It comes from another Greek word “G4862 that literally means to be in “union” with.  Wow, this is important even if we do not fully understand it.  To be in union is marriage covenant terminology.  It would be like Adam “knew” his wife and they had a son (Gen 4:1).  Having and participating in gaining knowledge and understanding of the Word of God contributes to the presence of a covenant relationship.  Finally, the Greek word G4920 translated as “understand” contains the implication “to act piously”.  In other words, after we understand the Word of God, we are supposed to be wise enough to apply it and do it.  Wow! Notice what Jesus said in this verse:

Mat 7:24  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine (Seeds), and doeth them (Act on them), I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

It would appear, that just hearing and beginning to learn the Word of God is only an initial part of the process for bearing fruit unto salvation.  This could be another factor for why some Christians only produce a 30-fold return.  These 30-fold soils may only be applying a small part of the Bible while ignoring other parts.  God is teaching us that we must “act piously” to continue the spiritual growth process.  This simply means that we should become wise enough to do what the Word of God tells us to do.  Never forget what Jesus says to some people, “Not everyone that says to me LORD LORD will enter into the kingdom heaven, but only he that does the will of the Father shall enter” (Mat 7:21).   How do we know the will of the Father?  We read His Word and do it.

The next Greek word in Matthew 13:23 is G2592.  This word was translated as “beareth fruit”.  It is defined by Strong as “to be fertile”.  There is an implied application that this is our responsibility of choice to make our self “to be fertile”.  I believe humans have a lot more accountability than we care to acknowledge in this fruit bearing process.

Let us move to the next Greek word G4160.  This Greek word was translated as “bringeth forth” in the KJV Bible.  But it is defined by Strong as “to make or do”.  In other words, this is another Greek word that is assigning human responsibility in the fruit producing process.  It represents a verb of human preference, choice, and action.  Jesus used this same word in Matthew 4:19 when He spoke to the future disciples in their boats and said, “Follow me and I will make (G4160) you fishers of men”.  Clearly, we can see Jesus’ commitment of personal responsibility to teach them to become a human fisherman.  But we can better understand that Jesus was not going to force them to do this and they needed to cooperate and begin to take steps to follow.  No, Jesus ask them to come, but it was their choice to follow.  This is exactly what the Parable of the Sower is teachings.  Jesus wanted to save us, so He chose to spread His Seed/Words in our ears so we could permit them to enter our hearts.  Then we are required to cooperate to listen to begin the process of receiving them and after believing them to begin the seed growth process by doing them.  The first soil type failed completely in this process.  The second and third soil types failed later during the ongoing process to not bring forth fruit.  But Jesus is talking about the good soil, these people have decided to be a faithful follower of Jesus and His Words to “bring forth” the fruit He desired.

This good soil type desires to hear the words of God, values the Word of God sown more than any other thing found in the world and overcomes every Satanic persecution and distraction to remove it from their heart.  This type of ground chooses to be well watered by participating in every opportunity where the Word of God is being spoken and focuses on absorbing and understanding every Word of God that was spoken.  What Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:6, “I planted, and Apollos watered, but God gave the increase he was very clearly cooperating with the God designed process of salvation by planting God’s Word in their hearts and then Apollos continued the maturing growth process of the fruit by watering the initial seeds with more of the Word of God.  But the people that were listening had to be cooperating with this divine process by intensely listening with an open mind to hear and understand (Acts 17:11).  These are the types of good soil that produced fruit.   Fruitful people primarily concentrate on the Word more than anything or anyone else in the room that could disturb them.  These people do not get consumed or entangled with the short-term pleasures of sin in this world and they continue in the Word of God until they produce as much fruit for salvation as is possible.

It is particularly important to notice that Jesus taught us that some in the good soil type produced 100-fold, while others fell shorter at 60-fold and then finally others fell even shorter at producing only a 30-fold return of fruit to seed and water ratio.  This simply proves that not every Christian is going to produce the fruit level that God intended or desired for them to deliver to Him.  But we must ask and answer why this variation of fruit occurs.  Is it God’s choice, Satan’s work or a human choice that causes many to have no fruit and some to have varying levels from 30 to 100 times fruit production?  I believe we can find the answer confirmed in another parable that Jesus taught us:

Joh 15:5  I (Jesus the Word) am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me (human choice), and I in him (a divine choice), the same bringeth forth much fruit (30 fold 60 fold or 100 fold): for without me (Jesus the Word) ye can do nothing

Joh 15:6  If a man abide not in me (human negative choice), he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire (hell), and they are burned

Joh 15:7  If ye abide in me (human positive choice), and my words abide in you (human choice), ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you

We can see how Jesus claims to be a symbolic vine and His implied believers in Him are described to be His symbolic branches.  We can clearly see how these branches wither and die if they choose to not remain in Him.  The factor of human choice is mentioned directly 4 times in these three verses.  We can further see that there is an implication based upon verse 7 of John 15 that it is the amount of the Word of God that we let come in us and remain in us that will determine the level of fruit production.  Jesus is the living Word of God (Rev 19:13).  But I believe God is saying we are to keep His written Word in us every chance we get.  We can see this in other places in the Bible that confirm this truth (PS 1).  Therefore, I believe the key to no fruit, little fruit or much fruit is the amount of time that we spend in the Word of God.  Finally, notice this amount of Word remaining in us, is also a contributing factor for God answering our prayers.  But that is another topic.

Let us list some of the key points given to us by Jesus in the explanation of the good soil:

  1. The Good Soil Always Produces Fruit in season.
  2. Based upon previous soil types this fruit that is initiated endures to become matured fruit.
  3. This fruit is produced because they first heard the Word of God.
  4. This person chose to receive the Word (let it enter their minds and heart while ignoring every distraction)
  5. Keep the Word (regard the Word as Valuable and Important enough to try to remember it)
  6. Aggressively pursues to understand the Word of God.
  7. Ignores all persecution to continue in the Word of God.
  8. Exalts the Word of God far above any other natural or physical desire or pleasure.
  9. Chooses to “bring-forth” fruit with “patience” over an extended period of time.
  10. Continues in the Word of God to allow it to transform and renew their mind to water the seed that has been planted.

Let us move on to the subject of the human heart/spirit for a better understanding of soil types.

THE HUMAN SOIL/SPIRIT FIRST CONCEPTS

first_wordI would like in this Bible study to move next in the subject of the “soil” to God’s first mention of the word “heart” in the Bible.  This is one great, common, and fundamental technique of sound Bible interpretation and understanding God’s design of His Word.  It is very much like when a baby is born and the parents eagerly await the first word of their baby.  Will it be “mama” or “dada” or “big truck”.  God implemented this design on purpose to help us understand every major subject of the Bible.  We will use this established law of “First Mention” to discover some very important basics to the subject of the “heart” of man.  We will do this by searching for this word “heart” in our Bible program and then going to the verse where it is mentioned and read the context.  We will find that this word is first used by God in Genesis chapter 6 and reading with verses 5 and 6:

Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart (H3820) was only evil continually

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

This chapter of Genesis can be considered widely controversial to many Bible teachers and students.  God placed some things in this chapter that are exceedingly difficult for people today to accept.  The time frame of this chapter was shortly before the flood of Noah.  We read in verse 5 one part for the need for God’s judgment to practically destroy the entire earth and to start fresh with just 8 people that survived.  Notice in verse 5, that God was observing His human creation on the earth and He remarked that they were greatly wicked.   Many will assume that this was the physical acts of their flesh and I believe that was the external lack of positive fruits that could be observed.  But I believe God was more interested in what was happening in their internal spiritual condition first.  God teaches us that He sees things not as man sees them but since He is a Spirit, He judges’ a human spirit first.  Let us review an evidence of this truth:

1Sa 16:7  But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart (H3824).

We learn something especially important by reading 1 Samuel 16:7. God speaks to the prophet while he is looking on the outward qualities of the man standing before him.  God’s prophet was judging in his heart based upon the man’s outward appearance.  But God clearly tells us this is not His focus or His priority.  It is very clearly stated that God judges a human based upon their unseen heart.  Ok, we have just learned that the unseen part of the man is God’s principal focus.  All three verses that we have read so far have the key word “heart” (H3824 and H3820).  By the way H3820 is a form of the word H3824 so there is a direct connection.  Let us get back to Genesis 6 now.

In Genesis 6:5 we learn that God was genuinely concerned that man’s heart had become very wicked.   I would like to point out that the Hebrew word H120 that is translated as “man” can also be transliterated as “Adam”.  It is the same Hebrew Word.  But here God is not speaking of one Adam as an individual but rather as all humans collectively comprised of every descendant that came from Adam’s body. That would include people today.  Keep that in mind.  God then teaches us that these Adam descendants were very wicked.  Wicked is a Hebrew word (H7451) that means “bad or evil” in the sense of natural behavior or moral intent and desires.  God then begins to describe the initiating process for this wickedness.   God says that man’s wickedness originated from an internal spiritual process dealing with the human “imagination”.

What is imagination? And do people today still use this divine gift of imagination?  Perhaps you have been to Disney World.  They thrive on making a fortune taking advantage of their human imaginations.  Perhaps you have heard of Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Little Mermaid, and on and on.  Obviously, human imagination is still thriving in our world also.  This should give you some idea that imagination is alive and well in the modern age. But what is it exactly?

Here is where we begin to go much deeper into a complex subject.  Imagination can be either good or evil or positive or negative.  The Hebrew word H3336 that is translated as “imagination” literally means “a form”.  This Hebrew word comes from H3335 that literally means “to squeeze into a form” or “mold into a shape”.  This represents a process concept that can be visualized very well from the observable actions of a potter that is molding a shapeless useless lump of soft clay into a lovely pot which is useful.  A potter is normally using and applying their imagination to change a lump of useless stuff into something especially beneficial.  That concept of imagination represents creativity and design.   No exquisitely designed vase has ever “evolved” from a lump of clay of its own will power over a very long period of time.

God uses the Hebrew word H3335 in Genesis 2:7 when He formed the body of man from the dust of the ground.  Wow, I pray you are paying attention.  Remember God says in Genesis 1 everything that He created was good and was summarized to be collectively “very good” in Genesis 1:31.  But, before this we know that man was “made” in the image and likeness of God in Genesis 1:26. Therefore, we learn that God must have transferred a portion of His divine ability into humans to design and make non-functional things into useful objects. Exercising this ability can be considered human imagination being applied on a lesser level than the God kind of awesome imagination.  This human imaginative ability had to be a divine pattern of intelligent design.  A human that can manufacture good objects had to come originally from God the utmost imaginative intelligent designer and creator. However, man in Genesis 6 was not using this God given gift of their imagination for creating anything good.  No, we are told that all of man’s thoughts were coming up with designs and plans for only evil.  That is a major problem that required God’s attention.

Finally, Genesis 6:6 God gives us some new information that He has a heart.  God uses the identical Hebrew word H3820 translated as “heart” in verse 5 describing man’s heart to refer to His divine heart.  Therefore, we learn where man obtained their spirit from.  In verse 6 God’s heart is grieved for the current state of man’s heart being so evil.  Uh oh!  Did not God create humans in the state of good at the beginning?  Didn’t He use His omnipotent power to create them the exact way that He desired?  We just learned that man was created in a described state of “very good”.  But, now 5 chapters later in Genesis 6 God is very regretful that He even made them.  Does this sound familiar?  Do you remember what God said about Satan when He was created?  Reread Ezekiel 28:15 where God says, “You were perfect in the day you were created until iniquity was found in you”.   That is a remarkably similar description to what just happened to Adam’s lineage almost 1500 years later in Genesis 6.

What we are learning is the concept of “freewill”.  Apparently, God’s created angels and human both had been created with the ability to make their own independent decisions to do as they please even though they had everything that they already needed to be happy.  It was Satan’s choice to rebel even though it was not morally permissible or acceptable in the eyes of God to do so.  It was this way with God’s human creation also.  It is still this way in humans today.  Every person has the freewill to make whatever choices they wish either good or evil daily.  Adam and Eve had everything they needed including fellowship with their Creator but they too rebelled.  This concept of “freewill choice” will play a major role in us understanding the heart of man in the Parable of the Sower.  We have already seen this in Parable but now let us examine some relevant Bible examples to prove it further.

examples

EXAMPLE 1: SOIL TYPE 1 AND SOIL TYPE 4 COMPARISON

I would like us to go through a few Bible examples of these important soil types that the LORD has taught us about in this subject.  I love to use the Bible to understand the Bible.  God’s design of His Word is so immensely amazing. He has designed this book masterfully as a well-integrated set of truths using positive and negative examples for us to learn from.  For example, He teaches us a simple parable of sowing seed and that represents a great beginning, but then He places living models and patterns of these basic truths right in front of our eyes to confirm what was metaphorically taught in the parable.   We are going to begin this section by reading a story of Jesus teaching and healing a lame man.  In this story please look for the presence of at least two different soil types (humans) that Jesus (the Sower) is sowing His Father’s Words.  Notice how each of their hearts received the Word and then notice their responses and attitudes:

Mar 2:1  And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house

Mar 2:2  And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached (Sowed) the word (Seed of God) unto them (All Soil Types/hearts).

Luk 5:17  And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching (sowing Seeds from the Word of God), that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by (Soil Type 1), which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power (G1411) of the Lord was present to heal them (EVERY SOIL TYPE)

Luk 5:18  And, behold, men (Soil Type 4) brought in a bed a man (also Soil Type B) which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. 

Luk 5:19  And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus

Luk 5:20  And when he saw their faith (Soil Type 4), he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. 

Luk 5:21  And the scribes and the Pharisees (Soil Type 1) began to reason (In their Minds), saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone

Luk 5:22  But when Jesus perceived their thoughts (Negative Words of Unbelief in the Minds of Soil 1), he answering said unto them, What reason (Negative Judgments Based Upon Your Ignorance), ye in your hearts (Soil 1 spirits)

Luk 5:23  Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? 

Luk 5:24  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, he said unto the sick of the palsy, I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house

Luk 5:25  And immediately he (Soil 4) rose up before them (Soil 1), and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God

Luk 5:26  And they (Soil 1) were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.

Mar 2:12 And immediately he (Soil 4) arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all (Soil 1); insomuch that they (Soil 1) were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

Many times, in the Bible God uses direct comparisons of opposite beliefs, attitudes, motivations, desires, reactions and results to teach and confirm to us very profound truths.  In this story of a lame paralyzed man that could not walk, is found one of these examples of opposing soils types.  You probably noticed that I included a few verses from the story found in Mark to fill in details that were not included in Luke.  Please note that I do not plan to teach every verse.  I pray you read it over closely and paid attention to the underlined words and my added explanations in the parentheses to help identify a few of the important differences between these two soil types that I called Soil 1 and Soil 4.

What was the number one difference between these two types of soil?  Perhaps you noticed in Luke 5:17 that the Power of the LORD was present to heal everyone but only 1 lame man received anything from Jesus!  Please do not let that bypass your focused attention.  What was the reason for Jesus not healing everyone?  It should become obvious that it was the positive faith combined with their attitudes of purpose and determination within their hearts of the men in Soil Type 4 that were radically different from the negative attitudes found within the Soil Type 1 hearts.

The house where Jesus was teaching was jammed packed with people of Soil Type 1.  They were sitting everywhere and even blocking all the doors and windows.  On the surface this would appear to be a positive desire to hear the Words of God spoken by Jesus.  But we learn from other scriptures that many of the Sadducees and Pharisees desired to trap and trick Jesus into saying something that could be used against him in a kangaroo court (Mar 12:13, Luk 11:54, Luk 20:20).  We know the end of the story by reading the Gospels.  Jesus was taken before the Roman government and the demand for His execution was not going to be denied.  Therefore, we begin to understand what type of soil these religious leaders sitting with Jesus in the house represent.

Notice the especially important contrast of the 5 men we called Soil Type 4 on the top of the roof of the house. They possessed determination and confidence that Jesus was their answer to the lame man’s problem.  Pay close attention to verse 5.  This verse claims that Jesus saw their (the 5 men of Soil Type 4) faith.  What is faith?  I pray you have read the Bible Study Series called “Understanding Bible Faith”.  Romans 10:17 is where we learn how faith comes to every human.  According to this verse in Romans, God reveals that these 5 Soil Type 4 men, have already heard the Word of God from Jesus and have believed His Seeds planted in their hearts.  This is dramatically an opposite of the religious men sitting in the house and blocking the doors to not allow any others soil types to come in.

It should now be plain that these men on the inside of the house Soil Type 1 were the Wayside Soil type.  These were men that had a hardened surface of pride, that would not allow the Word of God to penetrate their hearts.  It was this trampled-on soil type that was easy for Satan to steal the Word Seeds up quickly before entering their hearts.  But, notice how Satan did this sly work.  Satan used their own thoughts and said to their minds “who is this that blasphemes, who can forgive sins except God”.  Do you understand that most of Satan’s thoughts that are placed in your mind are given to you as if you had thought of them?  This is a masterful trick of deception.  People are most easily tricked when a thought is believed to be from their own mind spoken in the first person about them self or someone else.  Satan’s thoughts are almost always spoken in the human mind as if it was our own personal thought.  That was a gift from the Holy Spirit and worth reading this entire lesson if you won’t forget it.

These men inside the house were simply distracted from believing this man named Jesus was more than a man, that had just forgiven a lame man’s sins and healed him.  In fact Jesus was the creator God in the flesh standing in front of them in a human form (John 1:1-14).  No one present in the house before the lame man was able to think correctly and choose to have an open mind to receiving the truth.  These religious men did not know enough and did not want to learn.  They did not know Jesus was born in Bethlehem the city of David (Micah 5:2).  They did not know His mother’s lineage was directly from King David (2 Sam 7:13, Luke 3:31).  They also did not know He was born of a woman that was a virgin who had never had physical sex with any male and according to Isaiah 7:14 this made Him God as well as a human son of David simultaneously.  By fulfilling just these 3 prophecies Jesus is proven to be a human child of Mary and the Son of God.  Therefore, according to Hosea 4:6, God says His people are destroyed for their ignorance and because they have no desire to learn the truth.  Finally, another reason other than pride, desire and ignorance is based upon their prejudicial beliefs.  Human beliefs based upon our personal preconceived information absent of the real facts is a major blindness that causes people’s eyes to be unable to receive the truth. It was only the lame man that received the healing through Jesus, even though the Bible clearly says, “the power of God was present to heal them all”.

Here is what I take away from this example of these two soil types.  Most of the people that were present listening to Jesus were unable to be saved because they refused to listen and see (receive) truth from the correct perspective.  Most of these men were educated and sophisticated religious types of leaders with roles of power and influence.  They also believed things mostly based upon their five physical senses.  We know this from reading Luke 5:26 and Mark 2:12. These two verses claim that they left Jesus being amazed saying, “we have seen strange things” and “we have never seen it done like this before”.  This confirms they only were looking at natural things and ignoring the spiritual words being spoken to them.

But, the five men that had faith from hearing the Word of God went away rejoicing and giving all the glory to God having received the healing that was always there. These 5 men with faith that I called Soil Type 4, they represent Jesus’ “Good Soil” and they were on the way to being saved.

Joh 5:34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. 

The Greek word that is translated as “saved” in this verse is “sojo” G4982.  Mostly it is translated as “save” or “saved” but it also means “healed” or “made whole”.  According to the last statement in John 5:34 Jesus claimed that His words that were being sowed into the human lives on the earth, they were designed by God to “save” us.  We get a further confirmation of this truth by reading what Paul wrote to the Roman church:

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power (G1411) of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Notice what God says in this verse.  The Gospel of Christ is the “power” of God which has the potential to produce human “salvation”, but only to those that believe it.  In other words, God’s Word is sovereignly powerful to save anyone, if they choose to receive it, believe it and act on it.    The Greek word translated as “power” in Romans 1:16 is the exact same word selected by God in Luke 5:17 to describe the “power of the Lord” that was available to heal everyone present.  This is not a coincidence.

We are gaining significant understanding that soil types have a role to play in the powerful Word of God seed sowing salvation process.  God clearly teaches us these concepts by giving us 4 soil types and only 1 good seed type being sown by one good sower.  Jesus was sowing seeds to the Jews first while walking the land of Israel.  But, after His death, burial, and resurrection, the Word of God Seed for salvation began to be spread to Gentiles.  Natural seeds work like Spiritual Word seeds.  The concepts are significantly similar in operation by God’s design.  A natural seed that remains in a packet unopened represents a preacher that keeps their mouths shut to never share their seeds inside them with anyone.

We know that everyone present in Luke 5 and Mark 2 when Jesus healed the lame man could have been healed by the same “Power of God” by receiving, believing and acting upon the same Words that were being spoken by Jesus.  This firmly convinces me that it is the human’s choice what type of soil we want to be. I do understand that it takes the Holy Spirit’s drawing of humans to also be saved (John 6:44).  But that does not mean God only draws to Him some to be saved and not others. This also does not mean that the Words (Power of God) are being spoken only to a few and not to everyone present at the same time.  That type of belief would be a doctrine of “bias” and “favoritism”. Many religious people put all the responsibility of who is saved and who is not only on God’s sovereign choice.  This belief eliminates a man’s responsibilities of choice and freewill to believe or not to believe like John 3:16 claims.  “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.

Can we begin to see how the choices to what we hear and believe and how we hear can result in our spiritual, mental, and physical outcomes?  I know speaking personally of my own experiences of making good and bad choices, I have either succeeded or failed to receive what God wanted for me for years because of my beliefs or unbelief.  Let us go on to a new example of two other soil types found in the Bible.

EXAMPLE 2: SOIL TYPE 3 AND SOIL TYPE 4 COMPARISON

To begin we will read from the book of Luke and chapter 10:

Luk 10:38  Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha (Soil 3) received him into her house

Luk 10:39  And she had a sister called Mary (Soil 4), which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word

Luk 10:40  But Martha was cumbered (G4049) about much serving (G1248), and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me

Luk 10:41  And Jesus (the Sower) answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful (G3309) and troubled (G5182) about many things

Luk 10:42  But one thing (G1520) is needful (G5532): and Mary (Soil 4) hath chosen (G1586) that good part (G3310), which shall not be taken away from her.

Here are two more of the basic four soil types being taught to us from one real life true Bible example.  We will call these the MARY (Type 4) and the Martha (Type 3) soils.  I am sure you can already begin to see which of the 4 soil types each woman represents from the Parable of the Sower.  We will deal with the positive Mary Soil Type 4 first.  She was described by Jesus in verse 42.  This verse contains two great Greek Words that need to be understood to appreciate the Parable of the Sower.

The first Greek word was G1586 and it was translated as “chosen”.  This word clearly teaches us that it is the human’s right and freedom to choose to listen to the Words of God being spoken or not to listen to the words of God.  Mary was intensely listening and paying attention to every word coming out of the mouth of Jesus.  Mary made Jesus and His Word her number one priority. We understand this by the Greek word G3310 that was translated as “part”.  This word informs us of Mary’s choice to be with Jesus instead of doing other things of less significance.  The Greek word G3310 shows us Mary was “participating” with receiving the Words of Jesus and Martha was not.  Mary made it her number one main concern to listen intently with her whole undistracted heart and Marth did not.  We understand this by the Greek word G1520 that was translated as “one thing”.  One thing means there were no other things on her mind.  In other words, Mary was only thinking of what Jesus said and not what she was going to eat for lunch or whatever else could distract her.  Wow, this is important.

Remember the focus of thoughts from the last soil type example of the religious rulers?  They appear to be focused on what Jesus said to accuse Him of blasphemy.  But Mary was listening with no wrong motives and was open to hear whatever was spoken even if she did not fully understand it all immediately, or agree with it, or receive it completely.

Mary “chooses” to be a type of good soil by focusing on Jesus and His words and making it her focused precedence without prejudicial judgments.  Also notice that she took a place of humility at His feet listening very closely to every Word that was being sown into heart.  Humility is a key to receiving anything from God and this attitude was the opposite of the position taken by the religious leaders in the house at Capernaum.  Mary clearly gave Jesus more of her selfless priority than anything else that she could have been doing to work, cook or serve him.  All these works can be good unless they cause us to become distracted from knowing and hearing from Jesus.  That is especially important to learn.  What we focus upon and place our priority upon in our mind will determine what type of soil we choose to become.  Also, the humbleness of our heart will allow the Word to enter while the pride of what we think we know already will close our mind from receiving.

Obviously, Martha was a representative type of a negative non-fruit producing soil.  She was very distracted by worldly priorities of doing good works of service for Jesus instead of sitting at His feet to make Him her priority.  These choices that Martha made choked out the Words of Jesus that were being spoken to everyone in the house.  The Martha Soil Type 3 fits the thorny ground soil type very well.  Jesus clearly said she had “cares” that caused her to think that hearing from Jesus was not as an important focus as her works of service for Him. What was the primary difference that caused the Marry soil Type 4 to be wiser than the Martha Soil Type 3? They were both sisters living in the same house.

Here is where some Bible teachers would attempt to claim that this was God’s sovereign selection or election.   One woman named Mary was created to be saved and the other named Martha was not chosen.  But that cannot be true.  Humans love the sovereign God belief that everything in life that happens to them was His choice.  This removes the responsibility for their bad choices and places them upon the shoulders of God to blame Him alone.  It is the classic blame shifting we read about in Genesis 3.  Adam said it was this woman that you gave me.  Eve said it was this serpent that deceived me.  This is a major deception of the enemy.  Satan likes humans to believe they have no responsibility for their own bad choices.  However, using God’s evidence given to us from the Bible proves this is NOT TRUE.

No, here we have an example of two soil types that were determined by their own individual priorities, desires, and choices.  One woman named Martha cared more about doing some worldly good serving things than listening to the Word of God.   Maybe you know people like this in your church?  They are great volunteers and servants but if you asked them about the Bible, they might have difficulty to know what it says or means.  Wow, does that mean we should not serve or do good works?  Absolutely not!   This only means the soil type should make the Word of God and fellowshipping with Jesus their number 1 priority above serving.  When God is speaking, we should shut up, stop what we are doing and listen.  We should change our focus off the world and make Him our goal.

Let us ask the question what would have happened if Martha had made the same choice as Mary?  Do you believe that Jesus would have let everyone in the house go hungry?  I remember when Jesus fed 5000 once and 3000 another time after everyone listened without complaining of their hunger.  These large numbers of people were further examples of the good soil type.  They were hungrier in their spirit for His Words than they were for any natural food in their stomachs.  What did Jesus finally do?  I know you remember that He fed them from a small amount and after this they had a lot of food left over.  God was able to multiply a small amount of natural substance to feed them all.  Let us move into another example of the thorny soil.

EXAMPLE 3: A DIFFERENT PATTERN OF SOIL TYPE 3

Mar 10:17  And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running (SOIL 3), and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life

Mar 10:18  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 

Mar 10:19  Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother

Mar 10:20  And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth

Mar 10:21  Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me

Mar 10:22  And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions

Mar 10:23  And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God

Mar 10:24  And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

This is an incredibly significant example of how a man’s desires for his natural possessions and wealth overruled his desires for God’s Kingdom.  We can tell by the way the man approached Jesus, that he was humble, honest, and sincere.  He had a significant desire to know the truth.  He even knew a lot of the Bible commands and trusted in his service to obey them.  But when the truth was presented in love to him by Jesus it caused a new problematic change in his focus and attitude.  Suddenly the rich man took his eyes off Jesus and in his mind reflected on everything that he had accumulated to exalt them more than his desire for eternal life.  Jesus was deeply saddened by this man’s reaction and bad choice.  The rich man was also saddened but still turned away from following Jesus and longer.  This was not a wise choice.  In contrast we can read about Moses who was raised in Egypt by Pharaoh’s daughters and he obtained everything that the world could possibly offer, fortune, fame, a life of luxury and power, etc.  But, according to Hebrews 11:25:

Heb 11:25  Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

According to God’s Word Moses made the right wise choice to suffer affliction rather than to enjoy temporary pleasures for a short season of his life.  The eternal rewards of making wise choices like Mary and Moses will pay off with far greater benefits than living life here on earth to get only get rich..

EXAMPLE 4: A BIBLE PATTERN OF SOIL TYPE 2

Joh 6:51  I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world

Joh 6:52  The Jews (Soil Type 1) therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat

Joh 6:53  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you

Joh 6:54  Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day

Joh 6:55  For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed

Joh 6:56  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him

Joh 6:57  As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me

Joh 6:58  This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever

Joh 6:59  These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. 

Joh 6:60  Many therefore of his disciples (Soil 2), when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it

Joh 6:61  When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples (Soil 2) murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you

Joh 6:62  What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 

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

Joh 6:64  But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 

Joh 6:65  And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. 

Joh 6:66  From that time many of his disciples (Soil 2) went back, and walked no more with him

 This is a long set of verses that center on the primary subject of “How to receive Eternal Life”.  Jesus is speaking about spiritual truths that are difficult to understand for unsaved and naturally minded Christians.  It is noticeably clear that Jesus is the Sower in this story. He is there in the synagogue teaching God’s Words.  This is clearly the “Seed” of God being spread verbally from His mouth.  If the soil (people present) received it, it would allow the fruit growing process to start or continue.  However, there are two major problems revealed in this passage taking place in the hearts of a lot of the people that were listening.  First, they did not understand that He was speaking of Spiritual things called “Bread” also known as “Words” and they were only thinking of physical natural bread.  They were also “ignorant that His flesh did come from heaven sent to them by the Word of God (John 1:1-14).  God did this by sending His Word to the heart of Mary who received it, believed it and conceived it to produce the male child Jesus in her womb (Luke 1:38).  Therefore, we have a factor of ignorance and a lack of understanding that caused a significant problem.  Let us look at the next problem.

Problem number two was revealed by Jesus in John 6:61. Here Jesus asks them “Does this offend you?”   This Greek word translated as “offend” is G4624 and it comes from G4625 that we have looked at earlier that means “to set a trap” in order to capture or recapture a free and living creature.  The Greek word G4624 means “to trip or cause to stumble”.  This is a fully accurate description of one of Satan’s key strategies to stop people from being saved.  Many of Christ’s followers admitted they did not understand what He was talking about in John 6:60. They said, “This is a hard saying, who can hear it”.  They were saying, “Who can participate with these words?”  It was the wrong thinking of these disciples that caused their offence in their heart.

John 6:66 is the final confirmation of which soil type these disciples that could not participate with the Word of God.  This verse says, “from this day they turned back and walked no longer with Jesus”.  These were obvious personal choices that they made to begin to “walk with Jesus” and to “walk no more with Him”.  It was the Words that Jesus spoke that caused them to make both decisions.  With the first words that they heard, they must have received and believed them with gladness.  But the later words in this example were suddenly offensive to cause them to be turned away.  What made them offensive?  We should have just learned it was their lack of understanding and their choice to not continue to participate to learn what they meant.  This was a great specific example of Soil Type 2 called the “Stony Ground”.  Jesus’ words became a stumbling block of offence and Satan used it masterfully to get them to all turn away.

CONCLUSION

We could go through example after example in the Bible of the four types of soil given to us in this Parable of the Sower, but I will leave that to you.  I would highly recommend that while you are reading the Bible, pay close attention to why some received, believed, and were saved and why others that heard the same words were not.  There are always reasons given in almost every reference.  Just look up the Greek words that are used to describe each situation and individual.  Notice what was said and how it was heard.  Was it taken as it was intended or was it misunderstood as something totally different like we read about in John 6 about Jesus’ body being Bread from Heaven?

I hope and pray that this lesson was a blessing to you.  I really am blessed to write them and give them to you to read, study and learn.  Also, I am blessed to hear your comments and questions.  I pray that everyone will be ready to meet Jesus, because I believe He is coming soon.  God Bless you all until the next lesson.

Ten Reasons Based Upon the Book of Revelation to Believe in the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church

Rapture Of The Church1(Ver 1.1) This is now Part 7 in the important Bible study series concerning the “Rapture” also called the “Catching Away” of the Church.  We have not studied together in this lesson series for a long time.  But I felt led to share some new thoughts on this subject.  I believe in the light of everything that has been occurring in the world recently with the coronavirus pandemic this subject should gain an increased value for our focus and awareness.  Personally, I believe we are rapidly approaching the end of the church age. There are too many signs that are happening in rapid succession for us not to realize Jesus is coming back to get us very soon.  Today’s subject is focused upon the catching away of the Church by Jesus Christ.  The Church is His Bride, His Body and His Building (Temple) and we should be looking forward to His soon appearance coming in the air to take us up to heaven.

I will warn you that this is another long Bible lesson.  Therefore, you may want to read and study it in sections.  There are approximately 13 section topics.  There are three foundational sections to begin the lesson, followed by ten reasons from the Book of Revelation to believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. Each section could be divided into a single day devotional if that is how you would like to study it.  Others might just like to read the entire lesson like a book.  However you choose to study, please be blessed as we learn to understand the awesome Word of God!

 

THE BLESSED HOPE IN TIMES OF EVIL

We will begin with a truth written by the Apostle Paul to a Pastor named Titus.  Paul was an encourager.  Paul had endured extreme persecution like few have ever had to endure.  Yet, Paul remained optimistic and positive throughout his life.  What caused this hopeful optimism?

Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

hope_titus_2_13Christians are experiencing and observing such a rise of evil in the entire world.  But in the center of every evil, like Paul we can remain optimistic to expect Jesus could come and get us at any moment.  What kind of evil had Paul been going through serving Jesus that caused Him to be so cheerful and positive writing to Pastor Titus?  We can read in 1 Corinthians 11 that Pau had been given 39 stripes on his back, 5 times by Roman guards.  Three times Paul had been beaten with iron rods.  Paul was stoned at least once and dragged outside the city being left as dead.  Three times he was sailing in a ship that was shipwrecked.  Paul had to tread water for a long night and day in at least one of these shipwrecks.  Paul was threatened by robbers repeatedly.  Paul informs us that he had been in the condition of severe hunger and thirst frequently.  He also described experiencing extreme conditions of cold and being without clothes.  Paul wrote about all of this while in prison chained to guards.  These were not all the listed trials and troubles that Paul endured, but these words were written to help us to be encouraged to endure.

How many of us today have come close to what Paul had to go through?  Isn’t it amazing how encouraging Paul was despite all the evils that had been done to him?  Notice in Titus 2:13 how Paul encouraged Titus nearly 2000 years ago.  Paul instructs Titus to place his confidences in an unusual concept that was called the “blessed hope”.  Paul defines this as the appearance of Jesus Christ our Savior.  What does this mean to you?

Please allow me to tell what it means to me.  “Looking for” is the Greek word G4327 that means “to wait patiently with confidence”.   “Blessed” is the Greek word G3107 that means “to be supremely blest and happy”.  “Hope” is the Greek word G1680 that means “confidently expecting”.  “Appearing” is the Greek word G2015 that means “to come into visible manifestation”.  And “Savior” is the Greek word G4990 that means “a deliverer”.  So, what is a deliverer?  A “deliverer” is the person that provides something that has been promised and is now expected to arrive at any moment to fulfill the commitment.  Wow, why is this important?  This is what the verse means to me:

Paitiently waiting for the great God Jesus Christ, my supreme blessing with all of my confidence expecting His glorious promised personal appearance to rescue me at any moment!

I_will_come

That is exactly what I believe God is saying to us in this verse.  But can we confirm what was the promise given to us by the LORD Jesus that will be delivered, honored and fulfilled soon?  I believe we can.  Here is one essential promise made by the LORD Jesus that will be fulfilled to the church very soon to answer our blessed hope:

Joh 14:3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 

Jesus, our bridegroom tells us that he must go up to His father’s house to prepare a place for us.  Before He goes, He promises us (His bride) that He will return for us.  And then when He returns, He will “receive” us up to be where He is.  Jesus does three things and tells us that we are the focus of what He will do three times.

1.    I go (ascension into heaven)
2.    And prepare a place (at my Father’s house) For you
3.    I will come again (at the trumpet sound) For you
4.    And receive (rapture, take) You
5.    So that where I am (in heaven) There you will be also

Where is Jesus right now?  According to New Testament Jesus went up to heaven (Acts 1:9).  Now notice the word translated as “receive”.  This is the Greek word G3880 and it is a compound word containing G2983 that literally means “to take” as in “to get hold of”.  This verb implies a divinely forced departure and that sounds a lot like the rapture to me.  Now remember what the angels told the church leaders while they were watching Jesus go up:

Act 1:11  Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

joyful-hope1No matter what you are experiencing today in the world, after reading this entire Bible lesson you should have this same confident joyful expectation of His soon appearance to take us up to be where He is away from all of this evil in our world today.  Let us all divert our eyes off of the temporary troubles, trials and tests of this world to focus them on the eternal things and Jesus Christ.  Let us move to the next reason to believe Jesus is coming soon.

 

 

SHOULD THE RAPTURE
TAKE CHRISTIANS BY TOTAL SURPRISE?

1Th 5:2  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1Th 5:3  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
1Th 5:4  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

surprise-faceWe have been experiencing a crisis in 2020 that literally has engulfed the entire planet very suddenly and unexpectedly.  People on earth have been dramatically affected in one way or the other.  The number of reported deaths from this plague seem to still be growing all around us.  I believe we are witnessing a significant warning sign of things that are prophesied to happen during the tribulation.  Major unexpected disastrous events and lawlessness will continue to arise with greater intensity and frequency. There will be plagues, famines, earthquakes, volcanos, droughts, floods, tsunamis, hail, tornados, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons, meteors, etc.   These will be occurring more frequently leading up to and during the tribulation.  Here in 1 Thessalonians, Paul is writing to Christians in the church (you and I) and he says this time of tribulation will not come upon Christians like a thief as it will the rest of the world.  This is because Christians should be aware of the Bible prophecies that inform us of the general timing of this end.

Christians should be wiser than the unbelieving world and be able to observe the indicators that are occurring around us (Mat 16:13).  Christians must desire God’s illumination, receive His light, understand His light, love His light, and walk in His light in order to recognize these world events and to not be deceived by Satan’s attempt at darkening our minds.

I do not believe the church will leave this world as a beaten and defeated bride.  But I believe that we must be ready and expectant of Jesus’ return at any moment.  I pray we can agree and look forward to His soon return.  This Bible study will stand by itself if you would like to read it alone.  But, if you have not read this series from the beginning, you may want to go back and start with “Part 1”.  Let us get into our lesson on the catching away of the church and why we can believe and have confidence that this will happen before the Revelation description of the tribulation event begins.

 

INTRODUCTION:
AS IT WAS IN THE DAYS OF LOT!

sodoma and gomorraToday’s lesson will focus on ten key reasons from the Book of Revelation that the Rapture is a precursor (indicator, pointer, forerunner) event to the Tribulation and not an event that occurs during or even after the tribulation.  I believe that we the people in Christ can come to the firm belief that a “catching away” of the church must occur before the seven years of God’s judgment and world tribulation can commence.

I know there are other good people that believe differently.   I have heard several Bible teachers that claim the church is going through the tribulation either partially (mid-trib) or fully (post-trib).  But those beliefs just do not balance with what the LORD has shown a lot of other Bible scholars.  Even if you do not believe every reason that is given in this lesson, please at least keep an open mind and go and study what is stated here to see if this is what the Bible actually says.

Please allow me to provide a simple overview of basic end time eschatology as I understand it from my studies.  Jesus Christ is the Bridegroom (Mat 9:15, Mar 2:19) that has gone up into heaven to His Father’s house (John 14:2) to prepare a place (John 14:3) for His bride (the church, 2 Cor 11:2, Eph 5:32). Suddenly without warning He is going to come back for us (1 Cor 15:52), and the church is required to make herself ready (Rev 19:7) for His unexpected appearing (Mat 25:10).  Shortly after the catching away of the church the antichrist is revealed to the world (2 Th 2:3) and tribulation is initiated (Mar 13:19).  This time of tribulation will continue a total of 2520 days, which is equivalent to 84 months (Rev 11:2 + Rev 13:5), which is equivalent to 7 years.  While this judgment of the people on the earth is taking place (Rev 6:17), the wedding supper of the LAMB happens in heaven simultaneously (Rev 19:9).  Then Jesus riding on a white horse returns to the earth with the church saints riding behind Him to rid the earth of all evil (Rev 19:14).  Satan, the beast and the false prophets with all those that have taken his mark are cast into hell for 1000 years (Rev 19:20, Rev 20:2) while Jesus and His Saints rule a new kingdom of peace upon the earth.  Satan is then released from hell to deceive anyone that he can (Rev 20:7-8).  Satan with his new followers are finally defeated.  The Great White Throne Judgment of all unbelievers takes place (Rev 20:11) with a permanent end to the surface earth dwelling of all evil being thrown into hell (Rev 20:15).  This completes God’s recorded judgement of evil.   And then the earth and the heavens will be burned with fire (2 Pet 3:7) and a new heaven and new earth is established (Rev 21:1).  That was a lot of general overview information of end time events lacking many details.

But some believe that even though Jesus knows about the judgement that is coming upon the earth during the tribulation, He is going to permit His future bride (aka His body) to stay here on the earth to be raped, beaten, or even killed by a brutal evil world ruler.  They claim that “This will be used to test the bride before He can come save her”.  What loving husband who is knowledgeable and who could save His bride from His own judgments upon the unjust world would sit idly and allow this to happen to her?  Would any loving and caring husband who judges evil righteously do nothing to save His already justified and forgiven clean future wife?  What kind of sadistic husband would this make our God and Jesus our covenant husband?

These are incredibly good questions to consider.  Is God Love? Yes (1 John 4:16). Does Jesus Love His Bride? Yes! (Eph 5:25). If a sane natural husband would not permit this to happen to his future wife before the wedding, why would an infinitely greater supernatural God who is all knowing and all powerful not be far more gracious and kind?

Do you remember what Abraham asked God when he was negotiating for the life of his nephew Lot?  Abraham asked God “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”  Wow, do we NOT know that this statement still applies today to the subject of the church bride and the tribulation?  Abraham asked God in Genesis 18:24 and 25 these questions:

Gen 18:24  Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
Gen 18:25  That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? 

What wisdom Abraham displays before our LORD.  Abraham is pleading his legal case before the supreme court of heaven and says to our JUDGE “To slay the righteous with the wicked, that be far from thee to do, shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”.  Wow again!  Yet we have Christian ministers even on TV that claim God will not do right and will commit or at least permit this kind of evil on His bride during the tribulation.  What kind of God are we serving today?  Is there a perverted justice system in heaven now?  Has the Judge now changed to be a different kind of God than Abraham’s God?  If our God has changed, then Malachi 3:6 is a lie.  Malachi 3:6 says very clearly “I am the LORD and I change not”.  Also, according to Jesus, we need to learn God’s commentary on this story of Lot.  He says something that is truly relevant to our discussion of the rapture:

Luk 17:28  Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
Luk 17:29  But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Luk 17:30  Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

According to the words of Jesus our LORD and Savior, He claims “as it was in the days of Lot, so shall it be when He will be again revealed to the earth”.  Jesus very clearly states the righteous were first taken out of the city before ANY judgments of God would begin.  This is a noticeably historical clear pattern of the righteous being removed the judgement of evil people.  This means this must be what occurs in any similar future situation before the judgment and demise of the unrighteous in the tribulation.  I believe that is an excellent foundational reason to believe in a “Pre-Tribulation” rapture and we have not even started to read and study in Revelation.

Let us go and explore some more good reasons found in the book of Revelation to believe in this Pre-Judgment catching away by force (G726=Harpazo) of God’s righteous saints.

 

REASON #1
CHURCH NOT MENTIONED BY NAME AFTER CHAPTER 3

missing_word_1The church is explicitly mentioned by name 19 times in the Book of Revelation.  Eighteen times the Greek word G1577 transliterated as “ekklesia” occurs in 18 verses of chapters 1, 2 and 3.  This word literally means “a called-out people”.  But suddenly this called out woman named the church is not referred to by name again until chapter 22 five verses before the end of the entire book. Therefore, the church is mentioned directly before the tribulation and directly after the tribulation at the end by name but never during the tribulation.  Ask yourself this basic question.  What happened to the church after Chapter 3 until chapter 22?  Why is the Holy Spirit suddenly no longer speaking directly about the “ekklesia” after chapter 3 by name?  Is this a hidden clue and indication for what happened to the church?  I believe this is exactly what is happening by God’s design.

I believe this is very important and we must remember there are 18 direct named references to the church on the earth (called “ekklesia”) in the first 3 chapters of Revelation and then not again until the end of the book after tribulation is completed. Could this be a sign and a hidden clue for what will happen to us? I believe it is.

Also remember that there are 7 specifically named churches by physical location given to us in chapters 2 and 3.  All the other references are general “church” or “churches” references.  I believe that the direct mention of this name is a revelation that confirms the church is physically present on the earth before the tribulation commences but not after.

There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus was speaking to physical born-again people in these 7 letters to the churches.  But beginning in chapter 4 a dramatic change takes place and none of these names or locations are referred to again.  Not the 1) “ekklesia” in general or, 2) not the specific local church in Ephesus (Rev 2:1), 3) not the specific church in Smyrna (Rev 2:8), 4) not the specific church in Pergamum (Rev 2:12), 5) not the specific church in Thyatira (Rev 2:18), 6) not the specific church in Sardis (Rev 3:1), 7) not the specific church in Philadelphia (Rev 3:7) and finally 8) not the specific church in Laodicea (Rev 3:14).  What must have occurred in the future prophecy starting in Revelation 4:1, for there to be no further direct physical mention of the church on the earth in the book of Revelation?

Ok, we are going to explore something new that also applies to our study.  If we search the Bible, we will not find the literal name “church” in the Old Testament either.  Why is the church name not found anywhere in the Old Testament?  However, maybe you have read O.T. verses and can see that many of these do apply to the modern church.  In fact, we should know that we can find many O.T. quotations in the New Testament that the Holy Spirit used to explain church principles, concepts and doctrines.  But the church is never directly named in the O.T.  This seems to indicate that the church was hidden and concealed in the O.T. and I believe this too is a pattern for why the church is not mentioned directly by name during the tribulation.

The only logical explanation that I have found for there to be no direct mention of the “ekklesia” after Revelation 3, is that the church has been taken up and off the earth into heaven by a divine forced sudden departure.  This lack of mention of the church appears to be an indicator for the sudden exit from within the natural realm to now be only seen within the hidden spiritual realm.  The lack of any further mention in Revelation provides us the foundation to believe we are hidden and concealed from natural human view and can only be seen by those in the spiritual dimension.  Let us get back to Lot and end this introduction.

A pre-tribulation rapture fits perfectly with the pattern described to happen to Lot being taken out of Sodom first by angels.  We could say Lot was saved by angels using a pre-fire and brimstone taking out.  In other words, if Lot had been removed out of the fire by angels during the middle of the fire and brimstone falling none of them would have survived.  Nor could Lot and his family be taken out after the end of the fire and brimstone judgment because survival would not have saved them.  I hope we are seeing something new in this that we have never seen before.

Therefore, these parallels from what has happened to Lot in the past teaches us that the church must be removed prior to the tribulation.  If this does not occur the pattern for what has occurred in the past does not align correctly with what must occur in the rapture of the church in our future (Ecclesiastes 1:9). I believe the church will be taken up into heaven by angels to be raised into an elevated new spiritual perspective.  If we read the story of Lot after the angels removed them from the city of Sodom, they were also told not to stay in the plain to be destroyed but rather “to go up” into the mountains.  Within typology “going up” into a mountain is like going up in a rapture event (Gen 19:17).  They were also told never to look back at the destruction.  I believe this is another of the direct parallel typology for us in the church while in heaven not being able to see the judgement that will be occurring on the earth.  Finally, in Genesis 19:22 the angel informs Lot that the destruction of Sodom cannot begin until they have fully departed.  All of this is types and shadows of things that will happen to us.

We will end this important foundational section with one final point.  The Greek word G1577 “ekklesia” is formed by combining two Greek words.  The first is “ek” G1537 and this was often times translated as “out”.  This word represents a prepositional term that means “origin” as in the point where motion or action proceeds.  I hope that did not pass you by.  We need to understand that a rapture is a “motion event”, moving us from point A on the earth to point B up in heaven.  The second Greek word “kaleo” G2564 literally means “to call aloud”.  It comes from another Greek root word G2753 “to incite by word”.  Two synonyms for incite could be to 1) “initiate” or 2) “cause” something to happen by speaking.  This is like a king giving a command and expecting it to be carried out immediately.  Is this name an accident or a divine design?  I believe it is the later.  We have just learned that the literal name of the church “ekklesia” signifies a rapture event.  That just cannot be a chance occurrence.  God is teaching us that our name “church” represents someone (God) giving a royal command to take us out of this world.

God’s word is filled with intentional connected design patterns.  And all this information is one of the most profound revelations that teaches the church has been physically removed from the earth and has gone up into heaven to be hidden with our Bridegroom after the end of chapter 3 of Revelation.

 

REASON #2
WHAT THE SPIRIT SAYS DIRECTLY TO THE CHURCHES
ENDS IN THE LAST VERSE OF CHAPTER 3

Rev 3:22  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

stoptalkingThere are 7 verses in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation where John writes a command to the churches.  We can read this spoken command in Revelation 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:29, 3:6, 3:13 and 3:22.  This phrase always starts with “He that has an ear, let him hear”.  Who are these people that are supposed to hear? We find out the answer by continuing to read the end of the verse command.  “What the Spirit says to the churches” is how these verses all ended.  Therefore, we in the church are required to hear what the Spirit is saying to us here on the earth right here and now. Some people who believe they are Christians do not believe the Spirit of God ever speaks to them.  According to these verses He is speaking if we choose to tune our ears to listen and hear Him.  That sounds like it is a personal choice to listen.  It also implies God is speaking and trying to get us to hear even if we are not listening.  Why are we going over these verses and why are they important to us learning about a pretribulation rapture?  Great questions, I am so glad you asked.

Think about how the book of Revelation was laid out and designed by the Holy Spirit.  There is not one word given that is there by random chance.  Many Bible teachers and scholars believe that the list of 7 churches selected by Jesus to write to in Revelation 2 and 3, fit the pattern description of the entire 2000-year church age.  If Jesus had listed the churches in any other order or selected any different church, the pattern would not match according to these teachers and scholars.  While this is not firm evidence it is a significant matter to consider.  If this selected church pattern is true, it would cause us to easily believe that the church age has ended after chapter 3 and what follows is a different dispensation of time outside of God’s ordered period of Grace.

Think with me and consider this fact from Romans 5:20 where God declares “where sin abounds, Grace does much more abound”.  Where in reading the book of Revelation, does it ever appear that Grace is abounding to hold back the judgment of evil?  Can we see the potential conflict, if the church remains on the earth during this 7-year time?  Please do not misunderstand what was just said.  There are elements of divine grace being displayed many times in Revelation, but these are provided during a time of the simultaneous descriptions of divine destructive judgements like we read about in the story of Lot.  Did Lot have to hide in the city while the fire fell?  Did God have to put a divine umbrella over Lot before or while the fire fell?  No, the LORD took him and his family completely out of the city and then judgement started.

If the church is present during the book of Revelation judgments of God, that would appear to nullify verses found in Romans 5 and 6 and 2 Corinthians 8:7 and other that claim the Church is under God’s Grace. Let us continue and read another verse that will assist us in solving the issue of God’s grace versus His judgments and where the church is during this time of judgment:

Rev 13:9  If any man have an ear, let him hear. 

Here is another one of the main points that we need to see and understand.  The phrase “He that hath an ear, let him hear” occurs a total of 8 times in the Book of Revelation.  It occurs once in each of the letters to the seven churches where God includes the ending phrase “what the Spirit of God says to the churches”.  But there is a similar phrase that is used by God in Revelation 13:9 where the complete phrase has been modified significantly.  Let us analyze the two phrases to find the exact changes taking place by the Holy Spirit’s choice.  I will give Revelation 3:22 with all the Greek words first from the KJV.  Then we will see Revelation 13:9 from the KJV with all Greek words and then we will read from the NASB with all the Greek Words:

REV 3:22 He who has(G2192) an ear(G3775), let him hear(G191) what the Spirit says to the churches. (KJV)

(KJV)REV 13:9 If any man(G1536) have(G2192) an ear,(G3775) let him hear.(G191) (KJV)

REV 13:9 If(G1487) anyone(G5100) has(G2192_ an ear(G3775), let him hear(G191_ (NASB)

In Revelation 13:9 God adds at the beginning of the phrase a new word that means “whosoever”, “anyone” or “any man”. Then He completely removes the ending phrase “what the Spirit says to the churches” at the conclusion of the verse.  This is a radical change to who this verse is being written and spoken to.  It completely shifts the target audience that is instructed to listen and hear and converts the phrase to a conditional announcement with “If” in front of it.

In Revelation 13: 9 of the KJV God added one new Greek word G1536 and it is a composite of two other Greek words G1487 and G5100.  G1487 occurs in over 300 verses and it is most often translated as “if”.  If is a word that introduces conditionality to the next statement that follows.  Conditionality simply means there are requirements for one or more instructions to be met.  Wow, this was NOT the message given to the churches in the 7 church letters of Revelation 2 and 3 that had no conditions.

G5100 is the next compound word of G1536 and it is a word that is often translated as “any man”.  The Strong’s definition says it means “any” or “some”.  God appears to be asking “if any man” as in, “is there anyone that can still hear what I am trying to say on the earth?  This is what I believe, is God’s plea for a human still living on the earth to seek His love, mercy, and grace to be saved.

Revelation 13:9 informs us that God is no longer speaking direct words to His saved church and has shifted His message to anyone else on earth that still desires to want to listen to Him.  This clearly implies that the church is not present on the earth to hear these pleas but, it does indicate God is still available to save if any desire to hear Him.

What is God teaching us with this?  It must be the fact of truth that the churches are no longer physically present on the earth to be spoken to during this 7-year time of tribulation.  That is the only logical explanation of this clue that makes any common sense.  The only people that could possibly hear what the Spirit was saying on the earth during Revelation 13 would be those that needed to hear and wanted to listen to potentially get saved by believing in Jesus.  I believe this is the only valid interpretation for the shift of the intended audience from the exact same phrase “has an ear let him hear” being repeated 8 times in the book of Revelation.  I pray that everyone will see and agree.

There is truth in every verse of the Bible but often it is overlooked because of our lack of understanding of God’s designed requirement for us to search for it (Prov 25:2).  I do want to make a quick final point in this section.  I believe some people will get saved during the tribulation.  We can see indications of this in Revelation 7 when God speaks of 144,000 being sealed from 12 named tribes.  There are also other verses that indicate this like Revelation 20:4 describing people who had their heads chopped off for having the testimony of Jesus Christ.  Salvation will still be made available for anyone who has not taken the mark of the beast (Rev 19:20, Rev 20:4).    Let us move to reason 3.

 

REASON #3
JUDGMENT BEGINS AT THE HOUSE OF THE LORD

judgment_begins_house_of_GodToo many Christians today emphasize the Grace of God without balancing the Justice and Judgment of God.  We are living at the end of God’s Church Age of Grace.  However, the Bible clearly teaches that there are still consequences for Christian sin in the church today (Gal 6:7, Rom 6:23 1 Jn 5:16, Jas 1:15, Rom 6:16, etc.).  A lot of people ignore these verses and that is sad.  I could list many others for you, but I will focus on only a couple of scriptural examples that stand out in contrast to the extreme unbalanced Grace message.  Acts chapter five reveals 2 Christians named Ananias and Sapphira that fell down dead in a long church service being preached by Peter.  Extreme Grace teachers attempt to explain this away as two people that were not saved.  That make this God’s judgement upon unbelievers and we should read Revelation to know this judgment will not occur until these 7 years.  But if that were true and God judged sinners and liars in the world today, then everyone that ever lied or sinned would be dead and no one be available to get saved.  This unfounded interpretation that these two were not saved Christians would mean God would be unjust if He did not judge everyone that committed the same sin with the same verdict of immediate death.

No, these two people had to be saved, born again people that made a huge mistake while a gift of the Holy Spirit (a Word of Knowledge) was in manifestation.  I believe that Judgment fell on them as an example to other saved Christians in the church to not repeat the error.  As a result, a great “fear” of God came upon everyone that witnessed this judgment or heard about it.  This should include you and I also.  You see a fear coming on the church would not result from a sinner’s death.  If you do not believe this interpretation is correct that I just gave you, please keep reading to find out what Peter wrote about it in his letter to the churches.  I will go into that after one more example.

Another judgment of a saved Christian in the church of Corinth took place in 1 Corinthians 5.  Paul was not present in the flesh but still heard about a man that had taken his father’s wife so that he was committing fornication with his stepmother.  Paul was writing about this to the church as a warning for us in the church to not commit the same immorality.  Paul said I have turned him over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh that his soul might be saved (1 Cor 5:5).  Paul was speaking about a Christian man that was being judged for his sin while alive on the earth.  Paul claimed that he was going to die young before his old age as a consequence for his sin.  This is how God in the church age of grace operates.  If you go and read and study 2 Corinthians, you may learn that this young man changed and repented and did not die young.  This is a great example of how 1 John 1:9 works in the age of grace.  Sin can be confessed to Jesus and God is faithful and just to forgive us.

Yes, God does show us grace.  But God still says that sin has consequences if not confessed.  Ok, this information is potentially offensive to a lot of Christians.  I do not want to offend anyone.  But like Peter and Paul taught us we in the church must be warned.  Let us review a particularly important verse that applies to what this section is about.  This verse applies directly to the example we reviewed in Acts 5 because the Apostle Peter was present then and this is what he wrote about judgment falling on the unsaved world.  Uh oh, I mean the church.  Read this verse very carefully and see how it applied to Acts 5 and 1 Corinthians 5:

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

God is warning the church through the Apostle Peter that the time to be judged for our willful intentional sins has already commenced during this age of Grace.  God is simply saying Christians should not be like the world.  We should not be doing what the world is doing. According to this verse the world will not be judged during this age of grace, but the church will be judged for doing what they do.  Wow, this is important.  We all need to analyze what the world is doing and make sure we are not following them.  Christians should be following the direction of the Holy Spirit and the Bible.

Notice what Peter wrote.  He divided people into two categories.  Those in the house of God and those not in it.  Therefore, we know that God’s judgment begins in the house and family of God long before it is initiated to those that are not in God’s family.  In fact, Peter implies that if it is hard for believers in Christ to be saved, how much harder will it be for those that do not obey at the end of age during the tribulation.  Wow, again.    Let us read another verse that comes to us from the next letter written by Peter.

2Pe 2:9  The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 

Here is another verse that compares God’s different types of dealings between the righteous opposed to the unrighteous.  This verse again confirms that the righteous will not be judged and punished with the unrighteous people.  Did you notice the timing of the unrighteous judgment?  Peter wrote and called it the “day of judgment”.  That phrase is used 9 times in the New Testament from Matthew to Jude to describe God’s time of judgment during the tribulation.  Some might try to say this is the Great White Throne Judgment after the tribulation has ended, but that is a very limiting and restrictive definition of the phrase “a day”.  A day can many times represent more than a 12-hour period of daylight.  Figuratively a day can represent an entire period of time even up to a period of 7 days of years (one week of years).

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

Notice we have a revealed angel that we will talk more about later in another reason.  But he is going about the earth to preach the gospel to Christians.  Whops, that was a sarcastic slip.  No He was present on the earth to preach the gospel to “those that dwell on the earth”.  This is a frequent term used in  Revelation for people that are not saved.  This angel is preaching to every nation, race, and language of unsaved people.  That statement tells me the church is not here on the earth to hear this message.  Let us read the next verse:

Rev 14:7  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

Notice what this angel, says to the people that are left here dwelling on the earth during the tribulation.  This supernatural being flying in the air about the earth uses the exact same Greek word G2920 that we read about in 2 Peter for “judgment” day.  Here we have a more narrowed viewpoint on the timing for God’s judgment to be limited to an “hour”.  I believe this still represents a greater expanse of time than just 60 literal minutes.  I believe this is also a figurative expression connoting a longer time but a time that is significantly shorter than a day that we read about in Peter’s letter.

Notice that this angel during the tribulation claims the “judgment of the LORD has come” to the earth.  That makes it sound like it is something new.  But this is the same type of judgment that we were told which first started at the House of God way back when Peter wrote this in his letter nearly 2000 years ago.  The only difference what is happening in the church today and what will happen in the tribulation then is the fact that the future judgment in the tribulation is only against the unrighteous (unsaved).

We just went through a lot of information that was not found in the book of Revelation to help us understand what the book of Revelation is saying.  God is informing the church that we will be judged long before this end time 7-year tribulation judgment of the unsaved world begins.  This is just another presentation of the evidence of God’s truth in His Word to say, “the righteous church will not be judged at the same time as the unrighteous world”.  That belief would be unjust and would not align with Lot’s removal from Sodom.  However, as we have seen that does not mean that we in the church will never be judged.  It only means God is working on His bride now here on the earth to help clean us up so that we can be ready for his catching away.

I would highly recommend that you go and reread chapters 2 and 3 of the Book of Revelation.  These 2 chapters contain the 7 letters written to the physical churches on the earth. Notice in the letters how Jesus speaks of what is good in the churches and what is not.  If any changes are required to cause them to fulfill their purpose and call, Jesus is very direct in warning them to repent.  For example, check out what Jesus says in this verse to a church:

Rev 3:19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

I am amazed at some modern extreme grace teachers who claim Christians never have the need of any repentance.   Jesus very clearly teaches us that if He loves us, He will rebuke and chasten us.  When Jesus does this to anyone, we need to listen, hear and obey to do what He says and be very quick to repent.

 

REASON #4
JESUS PROMISED US WE CAN BE SAVED
FROM THE TEMPTATION TO COME ON ALL THE WORLD

Rev 3:10  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

I_will_come

We have looked at this verse before in a previous lesson, but it is so incredibly good that we will review it quickly as another confirmation from the book of Revelation for our belief in a pre-trib rapture.  This verse was written to the specific church of Philadelphia in Revelation chapter 3.  But it technically applies to every church as does each of the letters because of the statement “what the Spirit says to the churches (plural)”.  Notice what Jesus just said to this church in Philadelphia!  This is a very profound promise.  Jesus says because you have kept the Word of my patience, I will also keep you from the hour of temptation that will come to try them that dwell upon the earth. Remember we learned in the last section that “them that dwell on the earth” is a phrase that refers to unsaved earth inhabitants.  That information alone separates the church from the unsaved to be treated differently.

We learned in Part 5 of the series that God is not the tempter or tester of humans.  I will not repeat all the verses that were provided to prove that statement.  Here we understand Jesus is speaking of saving us from a coming time in the future and we can begin to read about this in Revelation 6:

Rev 6:15  And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath (G3709) of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand

These verses describe a horrific time to be alive on the earth.  It includes everyone physically alive by the description of every bondsman and every free man.  That leaves no one out.  What do these people cry?  They are crying for the mountains that they are hiding in to fall on them.  Why would anyone that is sane want such a thing to occur?  The answer is given to us in verse 16.  They say, “Hide us from the face of Him that sits on the throne”.  We could think that this is our Almighty God in general or God the Father in particular.  But, the focus of who is sitting on the throne is narrowed to the “LAMB” by the Holy Spirit’s choice.  Uh oh?  Isn’t He the One the church is in covenant with?  Isn’t He the Bridegroom of the church?  It appears to me that “wrath” coming down from heaven, from the LAMB and occurring in the first 42 months of the tribulation proves His church bride is not present on the earth to be judged with the unrighteous.

We must see this because this is essential.  The LAMB of God is pouring out His justice upon the earth and all its people.  But He is our covenant making and covenant keeping faithful Husband.  Does this sound right for Him to be pouring out wrath upon us with the world?  What is He mad and angry with us about?  I just do not understand why someone would claim the bride of the LAMB would be treated the same as the unsaved world.  Let us confirm this with scripture:

1Th 5:9  For God hath not appointed us (the church) to wrath (G3709), but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ (the LAMB),

Either God is a liar (NOT), or the church cannot be on the earth when Jesus our sacrifice LAMB pours out His wrath.  The exact same Greek word G3709 for wrath is used here in 1 Thessalonians as was selected by the Holy Spirit in Revelation 6:16 describing the wrath of the LAMB.  So, either Jesus Christ is not the LAMB (NOT), or the church is not in the flesh on the earth during these 7 years.  Which one do you believe is the truth?  Notice the Greek word translated as “salvation” in 1 Thessalonians is G4991 and this word could be translated as “rescue” or “safety”.  It comes from another Greek word G4990 that is used for titles of the LORD Jesus and it was translated as “Savior” and “Deliverer”.  We were introduced to this word in the first section of the lesson.  This word translated as “salvation” informs us that we will be removed from the place of danger and hurt like Lot was rescued and taken to safety prior to the destruction of Sodom.  Ok, Let us look at another verse that describes Jesus as “Savior” and confirm that we belong to Him.

Php 3:20  For our citizenship is in Heaven, from which also we are looking for the Savior (G4990), the Lord Jesus Christ,

Are you looking for your “Deliverer”?  Are you expecting your “Savior” to come and get you?  Are we expecting a “Rescue” out of the coming judgment wrath of the LAMB on this earth or are we expecting to be judged with the unrighteous?   Those are great questions to ask and answer while we still can.  I believe He is coming sooner than we think.

I would highly recommend that you go back and read “Part 5” in the series for more details on this subject of the church being saved from the tribulation to come.  This belief and interpretation will align very well with the patterns that we have found describing Lot being taken out of the city before the judgment fell on the ungodly.  God will NOT judge the righteous with the unrighteous.  That behavior would violate HIS character and nature and would cause Him to be unjust.  Since the judgement and penalty of our sins have been taken out on Jesus Christ on the cross, we will be spared from any future tribulation judgments.  To judge the church again would represent “double-jeopardy”.  God’s justice system demands that He does what is right and not judge the righteous with the evil people that have not accepted Jesus as Savior.  I will end this section with one more confirming verse:

Joh 3:36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. 

Notice what Jesus says here.  There are two different types of people being compared.  One is called “believers” and other is called “unbelievers”.  The believing group has “eternal life” and the unbelievers do not.  Now notice the mention of our subject of “wrath”.  This is the same Greek word as the previous verses.  The Holy Spirit writes very clearly that it is ONLY the unbelievers that will have the wrath of God abiding on them.  This is just another way of teaching us the church cannot be present when God’s wrath is being poured out.  Remember this is Jesus speaking to us.  Are you a believer?  If you are not yet a believer, you can become one right now.  Let us move to the next reason.

 

REASON #5
COME UP HITHER!
come_up_here1

Rev 4:1  After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

This is one of the strongest reasons for believing in a pretribulation rapture.  I believe this is a major factor for trusting in the LORD to rescue His church before the tribulation of God’s judgment.  Recall the design of the book of Revelation that was mentioned before.  The book begins in chapter 1 with the revealing of Jesus and is then followed by His praises, directions, and admonitions spoken directly to His churches in chapters 2 and 3.  After this , suddenly the references to the physical church on the earth stop.  The church by no further direct references can be said to disappear from the book until the end.  Wow, I believe this is a great general overview for the pattern of the entire church age.  Let us see if this fits with the life of Jesus on the earth.

Jesus was born and revealed to the world in a manger in Bethlehem.  After this He grew up in Nazareth in wisdom and age, was baptized by John when he was 30, and then he went about teaching, preaching, and healing everyone that would come to Him.  After this, He died, arose from the grave and after 40 days went up to heaven.  Does this seem to be a similar pattern for the church and the book of Revelation? Yes, I believe it does. Now let us see what God says by analyzing some of the details of Revelation 4:1, to learn how it could possibly fit into the pattern of the church age.  Let us read the beginning of verse 1 in chapter 4:

Rev 4:1  After this ….

Notice how Revelation chapter 4 begins by God’s design.   Verse 1 opens with the phrase “After this…”.  I want us to focus and ask the question about the first two words of the verse asking “After WHAT?”  This phrase “after this” indicates something that had previously happened has been terminated and something new is about to be initiated.  “After this” represents a progressive sequenced order of events.  This is like I did in the paragraph above describing the life of Jesus on the earth.  What has just happened before this statement?  Remember there are no chapter and verse divisions in the original writing.  The answer is Jesus was just speaking to His church and suddenly stopped.  These two words imply heavily what is about to happen next occurs only after Jesus has finished with His “church”.  This implies that the church age is done, finished, and completed.  The age of Grace has ceased.  Uh oh!  These two words appear to represent an important transition.  Let’s continue to the next phrase.

Rev 4:1  After this I looked,….

I just want to focus quickly on the word “I looked”.  This is G1492 and it means became aware, I saw, or I observed something.  It is generally used in the past tense.  It implies in this verse that John had observed something new that had not previously been seen or known to him.  We also get this impression by noticing the next word in the phrase:

Rev 4:1  After this I looked, and, behold….

Now notice the word translated as “behold”.  This is the Greek word G2400 that is used in 213 verses of the N.T.  It is a word that denotes a measure of surprise or awe.  Perhaps you noticed that I like to use the word “Wow” in my Bible lessons to express the same amount of emphasis and wonder.  In many of God’s usages of this Greek word we can clearly see the immediate supernatural involvement of God or angels sent by divine direction to do something that is unexpected, new, and amazing.  This word usage in Revelation 4:1 appears to imply that God is about to cause a departure from normal human affairs to do something supernaturally spectacular.  I would recommend that you go read through these verses to get the concept being described.  The idea being given to us by God in these combined initial phrases in Revelation 4:1 appears to say something sudden and unexpected is about to divinely occur at the end of and after the Church age.  I wonder what that could be?  Let us continue to read and find out:

Rev 4:1 …a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither,…
Rev 4:2  And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

Notice what just happened unexpectedly.  God provides us a description of five-steps in a process:

1). a door in heaven will be opened,
2). a voice like a trumpet sounds
3). shouts “Come up here”
4). immediately John was in the spiritual realm
5). Having been “taken up” to stand before the throne of Jesus.

Wow, that is amazing! Why is all of this mentioned directly before beginning the description of the seven years of tribulation? Does any of these words help us in the church to understand God’s timing of events?  I believe it does and that this literal past event that happened to John close to 2000 years ago, represents a prophecy of the soon coming event we call the “rapture” of the church.  God does this repeatedly in the Bible.  He uses one historic real and specific event to be a type, or we could call it a pattern of a greater future spiritual event that has not yet occurred.  Asking good questions is essential to understanding the Bible.  Therefore, let us ask some more good questions.

Why did God do this catching up of John?  Was it necessary for God to give John this vision of what would be happening later at the end of the church age in heaven?  Obviously, it was not necessary.  For example, we can read about Peter receiving a spiritual vision of future a future event on the earth, while he was praying on a rooftop in Acts 10:9-10.  There is no mention of Peter being taken up to heaven during this message from God. We need to understand the difference between these two visions within the early church leaders. Peter’s vision was given from the church’s perspective on the earth in the physical realm.  But John’s vision was given to him from the perspective of the church being transformed into the spiritual realm standing in heaven with Jesus personally.  Wow, that sounds important to know.

Also, I do not recall any O.T. prophet that was caught up into heaven to be shown what was going to happen to Israel in the future and then returning to the earth to write about it?  Moses going up on a mountain to meet with God is the closest event like this that I know of.  Can we see how John’s vision is a major change of how God had dealt with prophets many times before?  I believe that is a significant clue.  I will admit that Paul was caught up into the third heaven in 2 Cor 12:2-4. I believe that this was a confirming pattern of human experience for a future rapture event that could suddenly occurs to the church.  In fact, these verses use the exact same Greek word G726 (harpazo) that that we have been looking at in this series.  I believe 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 was given to us as a proof text to the fact that raptures have occurred in the past as well as it provides us evidence that they can and will happen again in the future.  But I still believe that Paul’s experience was for a different divine purpose and experience than John’s in Revelation 4:1. I believe this because Paul was not permitted to write much about his experiences in any detail.  I believe John’s experience of being taken up was for revealing God’s detailed plan for the timing of the rapture more than to just prove that a sudden going up could occur.  We all have a choice to believe this or not, but I choose to believe it this way.

God’s placement of this catching up of John is at the perfect location in the book of Revelation to reveal a pretribulation rapture.  I believe I have said this before but please notice that this catching away event occurs immediately after Jesus had finished dealing with the churches and before the beginning of the tribulation.  I believe that there cannot be any better placement within the book of Revelation that God could more clearly represent a “pre-tribulation” catching away of the church without just openly stating it in the plain text.

Please stop looking for every truth to be plainly stated.  That is NOT how God wrote the Bible.  Jesus proved this by informing the Jewish people to “search their scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life, but these are they that testify of me” (John 5:39).  We can see from this one statement that the truth of Jesus was hidden and had to be searched out to find Him.

Rev 4:1  After this …. must be hereafter.

Ok we need to notice how the beginning and ending phrases of verse 1 match.  Notice these were translated as “After this” and “must be hereafter”.  The ending phrase “be hereafter” is identical to the beginning phrase “after this” in the original Greek.  Both phrases come from two Greek words G3326 (meta) and G5023 (tauta).  This phrase occurs several times in the Bible and it is often translated as “after this”, “after that” or “after these things”.  This phrase teaches us the truth concerning a series of events limited within the fourth dimension of time that must occur in a precise determined order.  We can learn that something new or different is about to happen that has followed something else that just concluded.  In other words what will happen next is something fresh that occurs after what has past, and these previous things are now implied to have ended.

I am going to ask again to make sure no one missed it.  What are the things that have ended that God was just talking about in chapter 2 and 3?  The easy answer from what we read must be God’s dealing with the church on the earth has ended.  That makes great logical sense to me.  Then at the end of the verse God uses “meta tauta” again to say, “after this event”.  What event did God just do to John?  God took John up in a rapture into heaven to stand before the throne of Jesus.  Therefore, what comes after this rapture by God’s design, begins to teach us of something brand new that has never previously occurred to this extent or in this order. These words and the combining of them with named precise events are describing the separate distinct and ordered pattern of events in succession that must occur.  I believe this is the plan of God.

  1. Jesus deals with the Churches
  2. After this the Church Age Ends
  3. Followed by the Rapture of the Church
  4. Followed by the 7 years of Tribulation and Judgment of Israel and the world

Let us review some other important descriptive facts found in Revelation 4:1 to add to our consideration of why this verse represents the church rapture.  If we read verse 1 carefully it appears to parallel the pattern description of the rapture found in 1 Thessalonians 4 because of God’s specific word usage and selection.  Read this verse in 1 Thessalonians 4 and see if you can agree there is a divine connection between these two verse event descriptions:

1Th 4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump (G4536) of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (harpazo) together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 

God uses the exact same Greek word translated as “trumpet” both in Revelation 4:1 and here.  This Greek word is G4536 and it is only found in 11 verses in the entire N.T.  It occurs 4 times after Revelation 4:1 in chapters 8 and 9 dealing with 7 angels with 7 trumpets.  These are called the trumpet judgements.  After these verses, this Greek word is NOT used in any other verse of Revelation.  Uh oh?  I thought a great number of people believed in a mid or post-tribulation rapture?   Why would there be only a mention of a trumpet rapture event before the tribulation begins describing someone going up into heaven?  I think that should be a potential problem for believing in anything but a pretribulation catching away of the church.  We could talk a lot more about this, but we will move on to another connection to consider.

Notice the fact that in conjunction with a trumpet being mentioned a shout occurs.  1 Thessalonians does not mention the shout phrase but it does say clearly it occurs.  Now notice in Revelation 4:1 the actual shout is given “COME UP HERE!” but we are told it is a shout.  That appears to confirm another very profound parallel to the same descriptions.  Let us move quickly now to a rapture reference found in 1 Corinthians:

1Co 15:51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump (G4536): for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 

Notice the profound process being described here by the Holy Spirit.  God writes this is a mystery.  This teaches us that the message has been and potentially still is hidden. We all understand this because there is still such a great debate occurring in the church with us wondering when the rapture will occur.   Notice what Paul writes. Paul says not everyone will die a natural death.  But we shall be changed.  Changed is a Greek word that means made different and we know this is speaking of becoming incorruptible and immortal by reading the context.  Then the Holy Spirit says in a moment or a twinkling of the eye this change will take place.  The Greek word G823 (atomos) means something that is indivisible.  That is a description of such fast rapid event that we cannot even fully imagine it.

Notice the word selection of the Holy Spirit to select and use the exact same word found in Revelation 4:1 for “trumpet”.  This word was translated as “trump” in Thessalonians, but it is the same Greek word we just read here. God is connecting these verses by designed divine word choice.  Also note that this reference to the G4536 trumpet in Revelation 4:1 is the last trumpet blast used to call up people into heaven used by God.  That would appear to match what we are reading here in verse 52 of 1 Cor 15 saying the “last trump”.  The Greek word G2078 translated as “last” is not used this way in the book of Revelation at all.  It occurs 7 times in Revelation, twice to describe last plagues and 5 times to describe Jesus Christ as the “first and last”.

What I am trying to say is that Revelation 4:1 appears to be the “LAST” trumpet to call up anyone in the book of Revelation.  The other trumpet references appear to be judgments being released on the earth.  This information just appears to help confirm the timing of the rapture to occur before the tribulation begins.  Can we begin to see these parallels?  I do not believe this is an accident.  I believe all of this is a divinely designed pattern of repetition given to us by God to teach us.  Let us move on to the next reason.

 

REASON #6
CHURCH IS REWARDED IN HEAVEN
AT THE BEMA SEAT DURING THE TRIBULATION

1Co 3:12  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward (G3408).
1Co 3:15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Receive_a_crown1According to the New Testament there is coming a judging of the works of Christians.  While works cannot ever save us, they do appear to cause us to be rewarded after this life is over.  The Greek word G3708 that was translated as “reward” literally means “pay for service”.  God is teaching us that we will receive a payment for what was done for His glory on this earth to fulfill His will.  Many theologians view this rewarding like a prize for running our race of life well on this earth as Paul wrote of in 1 Corinthians 9:24. That could be a part of it.  But these verses also speak of human works that will be burned up and consumed as if they did not matter to the reality of our eternal reward.  For example, many people are doing nice religious things, but I believe they are in vain to just make them look important. A lot of Christians do not ask or want to know what the will of God is to hear His plan for their life.  It is like the old joke, Jesus is Coming, look busy!  Ok I will give you a list of a few of these earthly types of works that will cause a heavenly reward.

  1. We Endure Persecution or False Accusation While Rejoicing (Mat 5:11-12)
  2. When We Love Others that Hate Us (Mat 5:46)
  3. When We Give to Others or the LORD in Secret (Mat 6:1)
  4. When We Pray Privately Hidden from Public View (Mat 6:5)
  5. When We Fast Secretly Not Making It Known Outwardly (Mat 6:16)

There are a lot of other examples given to us in the Bible.  None of these are normal human behavior that comes naturally.  I believe these works are totally different than the types of works we do in the natural and must be learned and acquired by repetition.  People go to work at a company and want to be acknowledged and praised by everyone.  Natural humans are proud of their accomplishments, promotions and enjoy the recognition of other people.  But, God’s reward system for what we will receive in heaven is far different.

When does this judgement of fire for rewards occur?  There are some who believe it occurs after the tribulation.  There are two main judgements described in the book of Revelation.  The final judgment occurs in Revelation 20:11 and it is called the Great White Throne Judgment (GWTJ).  This is the judgement that occurs for all unbelievers that have rejected God’s gift of salvation.  Their names are not recorded in the book of life (Rev 20:12).  This GWT Judgment is for the spiritually dead and not for the spiritually living.

We also should know that there is a judgment for believers.  This is called the Bema Seat Judgment (BSJ).  This judgment is for believers in Christ Jesus only.  These believers are the symbolic “wheat” and “sheep” that are gathered to be saved.  They are compared with the rejected tares and the goats in the parables that Jesus taught on about the division of people on the earth (Mat 13:25-31, Mat 25:32-33).  The righteous are described to be on His right hand and the unrighteous were on His left hand and these are the ones that will be judged in the GWT Judgment and then cast into hell.  It appears that we should all seek and learn how to be in those that are on His right hand.  So, let us analyze if there is any indication from scripture when this Bema judgement occurs.  Here is an especially important verse to learn:

Rev 11:18  And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward (G3708) unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

God describes the church being judged, during the tribulation here in Revelation 11:18. It would be logical for Christians to conclude that the church must already be present in heaven for this described event to occur.  How do we know we are there?  We can use the words given and search for them in the N.T. to see if the church is ever called by these names and titles or described with these characteristics.  For example, the Greek word G40 which was translated as “saints”.  This word is referred to multiple times in the New Testament and it is used to describe Christians.  Paul uses this word in almost every letter written to church members as a title and description of their character.  I would recommend you do a search and read these verses. But I will list a few to get you started.  Read Romans 16:15, 1 Corinthians 1:2, 6:2, 2 Corinthians 1:1, Ephesians 1:1, 3:8, Philippians 1:1, Colossians 1:2 to name a few that confirm how church members are called “saints”.

Next notice the key word G3708 that is again translated as “reward”.  This word alone connects us directly to what God described in 1 Corinthians 3.  Here are the “rewards of payment” for our labors on the earth being given out to His servants and saints.  The Greek word G1401 translated as “servants” is used in Acts 16:17 by a demon possessed woman screaming near Paul and other Christians.  She cried, “these are servants of the Most High God who show us the way to salvation”.  I can imagine that she was saying it in a mocking way and not in a complimentary promotional way.  But nonetheless she has labeled them correctly as servants of Jesus the exact same word used to describe those being rewarded in heaven in Revelation 11.

Paul calls himself a servant in Romans 1:1 and Galatians 1:10. I believe we can see the connection between Christians being labeled as “servants” and “saints”.  Finally, the last phrase that should seal the truth that God is speaking of the church rewards is G5399.  This Greek word G5399 means to “fear or revere as in awe”.  It describes a person with a respectful attitude for God’s omnipotence (power). G5399 is the opposite of people who take God’s name in vain swearing or cursing Him.

G5399 is used directly in Acts 10:2 to describe Cornelius the centurion that was sent and angel messenger from God to go and get Peter.  Servants of Cornelius came to the house where Peter was receiving a vision of God instructing him about the people that were coming to see him and why.  Peter followed them and went to Cornelius house.  Peter preached Jesus to Cornelius and his family and they were the first Gentiles saved in the book of Acts.  Therefore, we know God is speaking of people who honor and believe in Him and are saved.  Christians are commanded to fear God in Colossians 3:22 and 1 Peter 2:17 to provide just two confirmations of how the church should be in awe of God.

Ok, I am going to go over quickly another important factor on this subject of timing.  This Bema Seat Judgment appears to be referenced somewhere near or after mid-trib.  The beginning of chapter 11 to verse 18 describes the event of God sending two witnesses that stand in the streets of Jerusalem prophesying the Word of God to everyone still on the earth.  We will talk more about this later in reasons #6 and 7.  But understand that the two witnesses preaching spans the entire first half of the tribulation.  Therefore, chapter 11 represents a new overview from a different perspective during the same time found in the description of chapters 4 through 10.  God simply singled out a specific event which overlaps with the entire 42-month first half tribulation period.  What I am trying to say is that when the tribulation begins God sends two witnesses and they remain through all of the events reported previously in chapters 4 through 10 when they are killed, and their bodies lay in the street for 3 ½ days and then they are raised from the dead to stand up and then they slowly are caught up into heaven after God says “Come Up Here”.  This calling up to heaven is remarkably like what we read about in Revelation 4:1 for John’s catching up.  However, this description uses the Greek word G305 which implies a slow ascent that can be visible to any human that is looking on them as they go up.  Also, notice in chapter 11 there is no mention of any trumpet.  Therefore, this event is not the “harpazo” for a sudden unseen disappearing.  This event just does not match with the description of the rapture as we have seen.  We just cannot say with great confidence that this going up slowly of the two witnesses represents a type of the rapture of the church.  We will see this more clearly as we continue to study.

Therefore, we can conclude that somewhere in the middle of the tribulation it appears Christians will be rewarded for their works done on the earth.  This does imply that our works were completed and that we are present in heaven to receive them.  Some will try to stretch these 2 witnesses going up to heaven to represent the church is raptured at mid-trib but there are too many issues that do align with scriptures to cause that belief to be accurate.

 

 

REASON #7
RAPTURE OF CHURCH TO HAPPEN SUDDENLY

Pleasant_surprise_comingThis reason is an extremely basic common-sense explanation for a good belief in a pre-tribulation rapture event using the type and pattern of John’s sudden unexpected rapture in Revelation 4:1 as our representative. Did John expect to be shouted up into heaven in Revelation 4:1?  If He did it does not say it. No, I believe Revelation 4:1 was a sudden unexpected departure from earth.  We should know that John wrote the book of Revelation at close to the age of 92 while a prisoner of Rome on the penal colony located on the Isle of Patmos.  It was while he was a prisoner that this vision of the future was given to him.  While we might expect John was anticipating removal from the island, I don’t believe he was expecting it to be a direct trip to heaven without seeing physical death first.

This concept of sudden unexpected removal is based entirely upon the dominate belief from basic church doctrine called “Imminence”.  That is a word that we do not use very often in modern conversations or hear preached often from many pulpits.  This basic doctrine teaches us that Jesus’ coming in the air to catch away the church is not dependent upon any other Biblical event that must happen first.  Imminence means Jesus’ coming is close, near and could happen at any unexpected moment.  This means it could literally happen while you are reading this Bible lesson.  Did the Apostle John the writer of Revelation, believe in the doctrine of Imminence?  I believe if you read what he wrote you will say that he did:

Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

John begins the book of Revelation with a reminder that this prophecy will be fulfilled in a time that is very near.  This Greek word G1451 that was translated as “at hand” literally means “it is near”.   If it was close 2000 years ago can you imagine how close it is now?  That was the beginning of the book of Revelation and at the end Jesus gives us a further confirmation:

Rev 22:20  He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

The Greek word G5035 was translated as quickly and it is defined as “shortly, without delay, suddenly and soon”.  Therefore, the book of Revelation begins and ends with the warning of this prophecy coming upon the world quickly and unexpectedly.  It is also important to understand the rapture of the church is NOT the 2nd coming of Christ.  These are two separated events that occur 7 years apart.  In the rapture Jesus does not set foot on the earth and the church is called up to meet Him in the air.  This is also not a yo-yo rapture trip where we are called up to quickly come back down to rule during the millennium.  No, the rapture event is the only prophesied event that is not dependent upon anything, the 2nd coming is completely dependent upon many other prophesies that must be fulfilled first.

If we do not believe in “imminence”, that could be a major problem that distorts our belief of Revelation.  This non-belief in imminence would also allow Christians to live any lifestyle they want or desire without the fear of God.  If everyone knew when the rapture would occur, we could all just fall on our knees and repent a few seconds, hours, or days before and then expect to be taken up to be with Christ.  But if we do not know when it will occur there is no other way but for us to focus and stay ready, prayed up to be following the Holy Spirit every second because He could come when we did not expect Him.

Mat 24:36  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Mat 24:37  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:38  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
Mat 24:39  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:40  Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Mat 24:41  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Mat 24:42  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come

This is only one passage that confirms the Church “Doctrine of Imminence”.  But it is always one of the clearest references to being ready, that I know of.  This passage of scripture should not be overlooked concerning the rapture of the church.  Notice Jesus said He did not even know when He would return exactly.  This makes me laugh at all the preachers and teachers that try to calculate dates and times.  You may recall a few years ago a man that I will not name predicted May 21, 2011 as the return of Jesus day.  Wow, that day came and went, and this man looked very foolish to many that were paying attention.  His belief denied the existence of the “Doctrine of Imminence”.  According to this man all the days between his day of prophecy and that specific calendar date had to pass before Jesus could come.  Do you understand the basic “Doctrine of Imminence” better now?  Can you see how this will fit within our knowledge of the outline of the book of Revelation?

four_horsemen_1Please go and read the entire book of Revelation again from beginning to end.  God gives us the description of the entire seven-year tribulation period in graphic detail using an ordered sequence of events.  In Revelation 6 we begin to see Jesus opening a scroll with seven seals in heaven.  Each seal in the numbered order is broken and each triggers an event occurrence that is not good for the people left on the earth.  During this opening there are also four horsemen described, one white, one red, one black and one green.  Each is released in the specific order to bring on other specific events of judgments on the earth. All of this is required to happen in the first half of the tribulation.

Now, remember what we read in Revelation 11?  We read two witnesses had to preach for exactly 42 months and then they were called up into heaven and then the Bema Seat Judgment commences.  But this knowledge defeats the belief of mid-trib and post-trib raptures because they both fail the “Imminence” test.  If mid or post-trib was when the rapture occurred, we would all watch the two witnesses for 42 months, see them get killed, lay in the streets for 3 ½ days then we would know that we needed to repent and get right with God to be taken up and judged.  We could literally almost set the date of departure and judgment.  God gives us the precise number of days the two witnesses preach.  This is 1260 days.  Just get your calendar and start marking the days. But that is like the preacher saying Jesus is coming on May 21, 2011.  That does not work with the solid “Doctrine of Imminence”.  The conflict completely disqualifies a mid-trib or post-trib rapture.

When we read the entire book of Revelation.  We need to notice in Revelation 7:1 that God gives the identical phrase “meta” + “taupa” again?  This teaches us God’s standard of a specific ordered sequence of events is still taking place throughout the first half of the tribulation. Next in chapter 8 after the seventh seal was opened and 7 angels were given 7 trumpets, and this begins another set of judgements upon the earth.  These also are given to us in the order that they will literally occur.  There is considerable hardship and death described in the book of Revelation and it will be a time like no other in the history of mankind.  Finally, we get to Revelation 16 and the 7 bowls of God’s wrath that will be poured out again in ordered sequence.  The term “meta” + “taupe” (after this) occurs in Revelation 7:1, 7:9, 9:12, 15:5, 18:1, 19:1 and 20:3.  All of these references describe events that occur in chronological order within the seven year time frame called the tribulation.

We could map out and link together one event after another from all this information and many have done this.  Using this specific timeline of events we may not be able to place the mid-trib or post-trib rapture of the church to an exact minute or second, but we could get it close enough to know when we needed to get ready for Him to come.  But before this, we just need to sit back, hide and wait for Him.  I think that is a major problem with NOT believing in an unexpected imminent appearance of Christ to take us out of the world.  Can you see how believing in a mid-trib or post-trib catching away becomes dependent upon so many specific events occurring within the dependent given order?  If these events listed in Revelation have not occurred, we could just sit by and wait for them to happen and then get all ready.  Only a pre-tribulation rapture which could occur at any given moment in time makes any sense to believe in.

Perhaps you still do not believe in a sudden unexpected departure?  I would recommend that you go and read the parable story of the 10 Virgins in Matthew 25.  Because this is another example of an unexpectant imminent rapture event.  In this parable a man that is a type of Jesus suddenly comes to his bride and only half of them are prepared to meet Him with full burning lamps, and only they enter into the open door before it is closed.  This is a perfect example of a rapture based upon the parable typology and the traditional accounts of the Jewish wedding ceremony.  This coming of the bridegroom happens while the other virgins went away to get ready by buying lamp oil for the groom’s (Jesus) sudden coming at midnight.  Ok, lamps are symbols of the church.  Oil in the lamps are a symbol of being full of the Holy Spirit.  However, when the foolish virgins return to the wedding the door is locked, and they are no longer able to enter the wedding feast.  Even when they knock, Jesus says depart I never knew you.  Wow, that is a perfect example and pattern of a door in heaven suddenly opening and only John going up to enter into it.

The traditional Jewish wedding is the same process.  The man sees a woman that he is interested in and approaches her to make the proposal.  Gifts and payments are made to her family.  A marriage contract is entered into and the groom goes away to prepare a place for his wife.  The woman prepares herself to be ready because at any unexpected moment he may come to take her into the wedding feast at his father’s house.  This Jewish wedding feast continues for 7 days or one week.  This is the reason why, in John chapter 2 Jesus was called upon to turn water into wine by Mary because they had run out of the wine that was supposed to last all week.  This was a very quick overview of the traditional Jewish wedding, but it fits the marriage of Jesus and His bride perfectly.  There are so many N.T. verse that confirm this and I’ll give you a homework assignment to go and find them all.

Remember what Jesus taught us in Matthew 24 about only one being taken and the other left as they both slept.  Or one was taken and one left from the two that were grinding at a mill.  Or one was taken and one left as they were working in a field.  Again, these examples are a 50% parallel reaffirming the 5 wise virgins and 5 foolish virgins’ percentage.  I am not making any predictions, but it is possible that only 50% of people who say they are Christians could be taken and the others may be left on the earth.  Also notice how these people that were taken were on two sides of the planet and everyone that was qualified was taken simultaneously whether sleeping in darkness or working in the daylight.  Finally, notice that there is NO way that any of this description fits anything that is happening during the 7-years of tribulation.  Everyone being described by Jesus is living life doing normal everyday activities like it was during Noah’s day before the sudden destructive flood of judgment.

This is another reason why I know this coronavirus is a quickly passing pandemic.  I do not see how everything we have just read that was spoken by the LORD Jesus or is found in the book of Revelation could fit anything but a pre-tribulation rapture event based upon the “Doctrine of Imminence”.  The sound doctrine of imminence nullifies the pattern a MID-TRIBULATION or a POST-TRIBULATION catching away event because of the stated events that must first occur that everyone will see in plain sight.  So, if anyone is a mid-trib or a post-trib believer it must be a very sad day because it is impossible for Jesus to come back today!

 

REASON #8
WHY SEND TWO WITNESSES?

Rev 11:3  And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

two_witnesses_of_revelation_1Here is another great reason why I believe the church must be raptured up to heaven before the beginning of the seven years of tribulation.  God sends two witnesses that some believe are Enoch and Elijah and others believe they are Moses and Elijah.  But whoever they are they appear in the streets of Jerusalem for exactly three and half years, also known as forty-two months, or it can even be known as 1260 days.  These are all the same way to describe the first half of the 7 years of tribulation.  God very clearly informs us in Revelation chapter 11 that He will send two witnesses to the city of Jerusalem in order to prophecy to the world.

Now may I suggest that we all think about what is being revealed by God in this verse?  What was the great commission given to the church right before Jesus ascended into heaven?  Didn’t Jesus command the church to go into all the world and preach the gospel (Mar 16:15)?  It appears to me that the only logical reason that God would need to send His two witnesses back to the earth from heaven would be because the church is no longer on the earth to preach to anyone on the earth.  Wow, I do not know how anything else could possibly be true.  Did the church suddenly all get murdered?  Did the church all go into silence and hiding in bunkers?  What else can it be?  Think about it!  For 42 months these two witnesses are declaring the Word of God to the people of Jerusalem and the earth.  Suddenly they are killed, and their bodies lie in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 ½ days and then what happens?  The world sees them be raised from the dead and then they go back up slowly into heaven.  If the church is still present on the earth, then the word of God is still being preached but if not, then what happens in the book of Revelation next after the two witnesses? Does the gospel of Jesus just stop?  We will find our answer in Revelation 14:

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

Why would God almighty have an angel preach the Gospel if the people in the church were still on the earth?  This just does not make any logical sense.  The only reasonable explanation for this need to preach from two witnesses or an angel must be because the church would not be here on the earth to do what Jesus commanded us to do.  That is what I believe.  So, we have just learned of two different types of preachers that are found on the earth during the tribulation besides the church.  There were the two witnesses that preach the first 42 months and there is the angel preaching to humans somewhere in the last 42 months.  This is profoundly amazing.  The church must be gone!  Praise the LORD!

 

 

REASON #9
THE BOOK OF REVELATION IS THE JEWISH 70TH WEEK

To correctly interpret the book of Revelation there is a dependency to first understand the book of Daniel.  The book of Daniel was written years before Jesus’ first physical entrance on the earth.  But these words were hidden and sealed from understanding until the time of the end (Dan 12:9).  However, the book of Revelation we are told was not sealed because the time was near at hand (Rev 22:10). Therefore, the book of Revelation helps us to unveil the book of Daniel and vice versa.  Too many Bible students fail to go back to understand the Book of Daniel.  In chapter 9 of Daniel it contains key information that informs us of important details of the tribulation period in Revelation.  Daniel teaches us that this period of time during the tribulation is a length of seven years and that it is primarily focused upon God’s dealing with the natural people of the nation of Israel.  Knowing this information provides us a good foundation for why the church is not explicitly mentioned by name after chapter 3.  This also helps us to understand that the “rapture” of the church must have already occurred.

Let us talk very briefly about why these two books are intimately connected.  One distinct connection are the references to a beast with 10 horns.  We see this in Daniel chapter 7 and in Revelation chapters 13 and 17.  The horns we are told represent kings but that is not important for this lesson.

There are several direct connections but one that is significant is the connection of the term “Time”, “Times” and “Half a Time” (aka dividing of time).  This phrasing is an incredibly unique terminology that I have only found in the books of Daniel and Revelation.  Most scholars that I have heard teach on this subject, agree that this phrase is speaking of 1 Year + 2 Years + half a Year.  Adding those together we get 3 ½ years total.  That matches perfectly with the references to 1260 days (Rev 11:3, 12:6) and 42 months (Rev 11:2, 13:5) and 3 ½ years (Rev 12:14) all found in Revelation.  We can also read this specific phrase “time”, “times” and “dividing time” in Daniel 7:25 and in Daniel 12:7 where we find “time”, times” and “a half” and this matches Revelation 12:14.

Rev 12:14  And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. 

Now let us read one of the key verses that is required for understanding the seven-year tribulation we can also labeled as God’s last week dealing with nation of natural Israel:

Dan 9:24  Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people (natural Israel) and upon thy holy city (Jerusalem), to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

There are a lot of Bible scholars and teachers that agree this verse is speaking of seventy weeks of years and not seventy weeks of days.  A Week is a representation for the number 7.  Therefore, if we multiply 70 times 7, we arrive at 490 years of total time that God is referring to for the nation of Israel.  However, these 490 years do not occur in consecutive order.  You see in verses 25 God begins to describe that there will be 7 weeks of years before the city of Jerusalem will be rebuilt.  Next will follow 62 weeks of years (=434) and then Messiah will appear in the city Jerusalem.  In fact, someone has done this calculation and found that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey on the exact day when these 469 years were fulfilled.  Now let us look at the specific tribulation week that we are concerned with in Revelation.  It is being described by Daniel in chapter 9 and verse 27:

Dan 9:27  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. 

This verse is concerning a prince called the anti-Christ.   Most educated Bible scholars agree this verse is teaching events that occur within the 7 years of tribulation using the term “one week”.  We are told that this man will make a covenant with the Jewish people on the earth and this is presumed to be a peace treaty of some type.  But, according to this verse in the middle of this 7 years (3 ½) he appears to break the covenant and bring desolation upon the earth.  I am unable to go into every detail in this very quick overview format of the book of Revelation.  Therefore let’s wrap this section up.

Please just understand the connections being made and how Daniel was a book written about God’s dealing with the natural nation of Israel for a total of 490 years.  I believe that this information helps us to understand why the church on the earth is not mentioned after chapter 3 by direct name.  I believe since God is dealing with natural Israel primarily in this book of Revelation the church must have been taken into heaven before this week of years can begin.  We know this because we have just seen that God sends two witnesses to stand up and preach in the city of Jerusalem for 3 ½ years.  Now remember what happens to them at the end of these 42 months.  These two witnesses are suddenly killed, and their bodies lay in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 ½ days and then they are raised back to life.  This seems to correspond to what we just read in the book of Daniel about the anti-Christ breaking the peace covenant and this is when the “Great Tribulation” breaks out and angels are then revealed to be preaching the gospel.  Wow, this sounds like we are now understanding more of why the church is not mentioned after chapter 3.  Let us go to the final reason in this lesson for why I believe the church has been raptured from the earth while these 7 years are taking place.

 

REASON #10
THE CHURCH MUST RETURN TO THE EARTH WITH CHRIST
AT THE END OF THE TRIBULATION
HOW AND WHEN DID WE GET THERE?

This reason is another common-sense revelation.  This reason for believing in a PRE-TRIBULATION rapture is based upon what was given to us in Revelation chapter 19 and then what is implied but was not explicitly stated to how it occurred.  We will begin reading in verse 6 and then go through verse 14.  The passages begin by describing the church in heaven at the marriage supper of the lamb in verses 6 through 10.  Then this is immediately followed in verses 11 through 14 with Jesus coming back to the earth with the church riding behind Him to rule and reign with a rod of iron for 1000 years.

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

Rev 19:6  And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Rev 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
Rev 19:8  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
Rev 19:9  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
Rev 19:10  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. 

The Rider on a White Horse

Rev 19:11  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. Rev 19:12  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
Rev 19:13  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Rev 19:14  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean

OK, we just cannot go through every verse and every word found in the Greek because it would take too long.  Focus on verse 7 to begin.  We have the marriage of the Lamb and the mention of His wife having made herself ready.  This corresponds very well with Jesus’ description of the bridegroom coming suddenly to the five wise virgin that had made themselves prepared and ready for His coming.  It also corresponds to Ephesians chapter 5 in discussing husbands and wives where God speaking of this as being a great mystery concerning Christ and the church.  In Ephesians 5:26-27 Paul writes of Christ sanctifying and cleansing His bride with a washing of the water of the Word of God.  I cannot teach that subject fully either.  You can go and read about the bride of Christ in other series on this website.  Notice how this woman is described in Revelation.  She is clothed in fine white linen in verse 8.  Then notice these people are clothed in the exact same garments that are coming back riding on white horses with Jesus in verse 14.

I believe verse 11 is also relevant to take note of.  Verse 11 teaches that heaven must be opened for Jesus and the church to return.  That sound like the parallel to the 5 foolish virgins knocking on the door after it was locked shut and Jesus saying, “depart I never knew you” (Mat 25:12).  I would recommend you read and study the subject of weddings in the Bible.  The wedding feast is also described in a parable given in Matthew 12:1-14.  We don’t have time to read and study that either but know this is message spoken to Jews about a King (God the Father) inviting the Jews to come to the wedding of His Son (Jesus) and they did not come so He commanded His servants to go and invite others (Gentiles) to come into the wedding feast that had been prepared.  In this parable one man comes into the wedding without the proper wedding attire and he is promptly discovered, questioned and cast out to regret not having the proper wedding clothes.

If these people being described in Revelation are wearing the proper wedding garments we can easily believe they are the church and we are coming back to the earth with Jesus after this wedding feast.  Therefore, how and when did the church go up to be with Him in heaven?    We had to be there in heaven for longer than a quick snack and rapid return?  In other words, a POST-TRIBULATION sudden taking up and an immediate coming back down just cannot fit what many teach.  In fact, a MID-TRIBULATION 3 ½ year pattern of going up and coming back does not fit the wedding feasts Bible pattern either.  Let’s quickly establish verses that teach the church is coming back with Jesus to rule:

1Th 3:13  To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

God clearly describes the church will be returning to the earth with Jesus in this verse.   Holiness is a pattern description for a pure bride wearing white and clean garments that we were reading about in Revelation 19.  Also, it is interesting to see the word “all” describing His saints.  This Greek word means the whole.  There is another New Testament prophecy concerning this return to the earth found in the book of Jude:

Jud 1:14  And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
Jud 1:15  To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 

I believe these verses are describing the exact Revelation 19 return to the earth of Jesus and His church, but only in greater detail. It is remarkably interesting to note that we are coming with Him to judge the ungodly sinners.  This is just further confirmation that the church is not present on the earth to be judged with them.

When did the church get to heaven to return to the earth with Jesus in Revelation 19?  I cannot find a catching away in the mid-tribulation theory found in Revelation.  I certainly cannot agree with a post-tribulation catching up of the church to be immediately returned either.  Neither of these beliefs match the typology of Noah’s flood or Lot’s taking out of Sodom.  In both examples the righteous were taken out before any of the judgment of the wicked began.

The only legitimate answer that fits typology and and patterns found in ancient Jewish wedding feasts is the pre-tribulation catching away of the bride.  In the ancient Jewish wedding ceremony several things occur in a specific order.  I will list this so that we can see how they match the pre-tribulation rapture.

  1. The Groom approaches the Bride and proposes marriage
  2. Gifts are given to the bride’s family
  3. A legal contract agreement is accepted by both husband and wife
  4. The bridegroom promises to go to his father’s house to prepare a place for his new wife.
  5. He leaves her and does not see her until the father instructs him he is ready to go and get her.
  6. He leaves the father’s house to go and get his bride
  7. The bride never knows when he will return for her so she must be constantly ready and expecting him with eager anticipation.
  8. The bridegroom sends his servant ahead of him to announce his appearance.
  9. The bride rushes out to meet him and they immediately depart for the father’s house.
  10. A wedding feast then commences at the father’s house.
  11. This wedding feast normally lasts for 7 days where they eat and drink and celebrate the marriage has come.
  12. Now the bride and the bridegroom leave the father’s house to enter into their new house to be together forever.

This was just a fast overview of the process.  But, please notice the parallels that are given to Christ and the church.

 

CONCLUSION

The only balanced timing for the church rapture event that matches all of the patterns given to us in scripture is found in Revelation 4:1 (pre-tribulation).   God provides us a profound clue to the timing by using John being caught up into heaven before he was shown the future events transpiring in the tribulation.  This was a divine pattern for the “PRE-TRIBULATION” rapture.  I have become convinced that this is only event time that matches typology taught by Jesus in Matthew 24, the doctrine of Imminence, God’s dealing with Israel during the 70th week and the end of the church age of God’s divine Grace.  We have just read 10 direct and indirect reasons that help us establish an incredibly good solid foundation for the belief in the PRE-TRIBULATION rapture!  We could have found others.  For example, we did not speak of the Jewish wedding pattern.  Weddings in Jesus’ days on the earth were usually a 7-day feast celebration with food and wine.  This is why, Jesus was asked to turn water into wine in John 2 by Mary.  Jesus turns 6 very large containers full of water into wine because there were more days to celebrate than the day He performed the miracle.  Seven days is a week, right?  Why does God call this a week of years in Daniel?  Is this another clue to our covenant marriage event occurring in heaven?  Could it be that our Covenant Wedding feast will be celebrated for the entire week of tribulation on the earth?  I believe it will.

I pray you were blessed and are willing to go read and study these verses for yourself to confirm if this is what the Holy Spirit is saying to you.  If you believe there are any challenges to what was written here, then please share them in a comment.  If the Holy Spirit bears witness with your spirit, this is truthful, then please leave that as a comment.  God bless you and let us all know that Jesus is coming soon!

 

~WHAT WOULD HAPPEN, IF I DIED TODAY?~

Today, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Savior or you do not have the full confidence that you KNOW what would happen if you died suddenly, it is time to get your life in order.  I believe NOW is time to resolve your fear of an uncertain eternal destination after this life ends and before it is too late.  Some might think I’m not a bad person and have not committed any bad crimes, but God says our righteousness is like filthy rags compared to His standard of Holiness.  By default, without making a choice we are all headed to a lake of fire that burns very intensely to be separated from a loving God that already forgave us.  That is a very sad reality.    One wise man has said NO ONE is ready to live, until they are ready to die.  Please go to “Salvation” and read and pray the prayer to receive the free gift of forgiveness & eternal life.  This will be the greatest decision that you will ever make.  Thank you and God bless you.

 

 

 

Corona Who? Part 4 – Taking God’s Medicine

Exif JPEG(Ver 1.1) This is Part 4 in the Bible Study series about the current world crisis called “Coronavirus” or “COVID-19”.  If you would like to read the entire series, please go to “Part 1“.  This is a situation that has been occurring like no other that I have ever seen.  We have governments in over 150 nations placing people into quarantine to stop it from spreading.  This has caused great fear and panic in many people.  To a Christian we should not fear death.  We learn from reading Hebrews 2:15 that unsaved people are in the bondage of this fear.  I believe this is because of the uncertainly of what happens to them after they die. If anyone is not saved, I can tell you plainly the Bible says your fear is justified.

But that is not my subject today.  The LORD wanted me to put this out a few days ago and I pray I’m not too late to help someone going through what the enemy Satan is trying to do in all our lives.  The Bible declares God’s Word to be the source of LIFE ETERNAL (Salvation).  But also in the same redemptive work of Jesus, He gives to us healing and health.  Throughout the Bible this TRUTH is communicated.  We are required to take HIS Word like we would take a pill that the doctor gave to us.  If you went to a doctor and he recommended a pill that he thought would help you get better, what would you do?  I personally would pray over the matter with God and if I had peace, I would take the medicine.

The Bible says God’s Word is HIS medicine for our spirit, soul and body.  The Hebrew word H7965 is transliterated as “SHALOM” and is often translated as “peace”.  However, this word is ALL-INCLUSIVE, and it means peace, safety, health, welfare, prosperity and even happiness. A very similar Greek N.T. word is G4982 “SOZO” and it is often translated as “saved” or “made whole”.  This Greek word again is “ALL-INCLUSIVE”.  N.T. salvation includes our spirit, soul and body.  This should help us to understand why the WORD of GOD is so important.  This should also help to encourage us to read the WORD of GOD about our situations that we are facing “out loud” every day and even multiple times a day when fear tries to overcome us.

Remember God told Joshua in Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart from out of your mouth, but you shall mediate therein day and night.  Then you observe to do it according to all that is written therein.  For then you shall make your way prosperous and then you will have good success”.  Wow, what a concept!  The Hebrew word translated as “meditate” literally means “to mutter” continually.  What God is saying when My Word gets into your heart to change your thinking, believing, speaking and actions you cannot be defeated by your enemy.

I have been taking God’s medicine daily ever since this evil suddenly came to light.  I regret not doing this as faithfully before it came.  I trust with the LORD’s help I will do a better job in the future not to let this habit slip. I believe this was just God’s way of waking me up.  Therefore, please join with me if you believe the Power of the Word of God and take God’s medicine with me daily up to 3 times a time or more.  If a doctor gives you a prescription please don’t stop taking that, just add the Greater medicine God’s Word to it.  Here are just a few of God’s medicine verses that I believe the LORD wanted me to say out loud daily.  I changed the words in the verses to make them personal to me.  I like to take make the Bible a personal love letter to me from God.  This is the way I believe God intended and designed it to be.

 

GOD’S MEDICINE – TAKE 3 TIMES A DAY

 

We will begin with Galatians 3:13 a very important verse of truth for every Christian:

Gal 3:13  Christ has redeemed ME from the curse of the law, being made a curse for ME: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree:

(What was the curse of the law?  We can find that answer in Deuteronomy 28:15-68.  But the verse 61 is the key to fighting and taking a stand against the coronavirus:)

Deu 28:61  Also every sickness (diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc), and every plague (Coronavirus, etc.), which is NOT written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon those that are disobedient, until they be destroyed. 

Isa 53:4  Surely he hath borne MY griefs (Sickness & Disease), and carried MY sorrows (Pain): yet we did esteem HIM stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
Isa 53:5 But HE was wounded for MY transgressions, he was bruised for MY iniquities: the chastisement of MY peace was upon HIM; and with HIS stripes I am healed.

Mat 8:17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isiah the prophet, saying, Himself took MY infirmities, and bare MY sicknesses.

1Pe 2:24 Who HIS own self bare MY sins in HIS own body on the tree, that I, being dead to sins, will live unto righteousness: by whose stripes I was healed.

Psa 107:20 He sent HIS word, and healed ME, and delivered ME from MY destructions.

Exo 15:26  And said, If I will diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD MY God, and wilt do that which is right in HIS sight, and will give ear to HIS commandments, and keep all HIS statutes, HE will put none of these diseases upon ME, which HE has brought upon the Egyptians: for HE is the LORD that healeth ME.

Psa 103:2  Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all HIS benefits:
Psa 103:3  Who forgives all MY iniquities; who healeth all MY diseases;

 

Pro 4:20  Because I am His child, I attend to HIS words; I incline MY ears unto HIS sayings.
Pro 4:21  I WILL NOT let them not depart from MY eyes; I will keep them in the midst of MY heart.
Pro 4:22  For they are life unto ME because I find them, and health to all MY flesh.

 

Pro 17:22 A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones.  (Laugh every day this will help build your immunity against every disease)

 

Exo 23:25 And I WILL serve the LORD MY God, and HE will bless MY bread, and MY water; and HE will take sickness away from the midst of ME.

 

Psa 91:1  Because I dwell in the secret place of the most High I will abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Psa 91:2  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in HIM will I trust.
Psa 91:3  Surely HE shall deliver ME from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
Psa 91:4  MY GOD shall cover ME with HIS feathers, and under HIS wings shalt I trust: HIS truth shall be MY shield and buckler.
Psa 91:5  I shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Psa 91:6  Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
Psa 91:7  A thousand shall fall at MY side, and ten thousand at MY right hand; but it shall not come near ME.
Psa 91:8  Only with MY eyes shalt I behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Psa 91:9  Because I have made the LORD, MY refuge, even the most High, MY habitation;
Psa 91:10  There shall no evil befall ME, neither shall ANY plague come nigh MY dwelling.
Psa 91:11  For MY GOD shall give HIS angels charge over ME, to keep ME in all thy ways.
Psa 91:12  They shall bear ME up in their hands, lest I dash MY foot against a stone.
Psa 91:13  I shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shall I trample under MY feet.
Psa 91:14  Because I have set my love upon HIM, therefore will HE deliver ME: HE will set ME on high, because I have known HIS name.
Psa 91:15  I shall call upon HIM, and HE will answer ME: HE will be with ME in trouble; HE will deliver ME, and honour ME.
Psa 91:16  With long life will HE satisfy ME, and show me HIS salvation.

 

CONCLUSION

Remember to read and speak God’s medicine daily as many times as you can.  God’s medicine has NO ill side effects.  God’s medicine only produces life spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically.   If you think the conditions are getting worse take it more often.  Command the devil’s symptoms to leave.  Say “No devil you can’t put that on me, I’m redeemed”.

Thank you for reading and studying the Bible with us.  I believe that we in the church are going to come through this with a major victory.  Please join with me and many other Christians this week of Easter to pray and come against this foul satanic enemy called “coronavirus”.  According to Philippians 2:9-10 God informs us that Jesus was given the greatest name in heaven and under heaven on the earth.  So that every other named thing must bow their knee to the name of Jesus!  Therefore we in the church are going to come against this named enemy and command it to bow to the name of Jesus.  According to Luke 10:19, we in the church have been given this authority over our enemy.    But this given authority is useless if not being spoken and exercised.  Everyday from now until Easter I will be commanding the named virus “Corona” to come into obedience to the authority of the Word of God.  I overcome you by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of my Testimony.  “Bow your knee in Jesus name and be gone from my city, state, & nation, etc.”  Please ask all your Christian friends and relatives to join us in this stand with the Word of God, the Name of Jesus and the Blood of Jesus!  Thank you and God bless you all.  If you have any specific prayer needs or requests, you are welcome to post them for us and every reader to pray with you.  If you have other Bible verses that you love please leave them in a comment.  Thank you!

 

~WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DIED TODAY?~

Today, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Savior or you do not have the confidence to KNOW what would happen if you died suddenly it is time to get your life in order.  I believe NOW is time to resolve your uncertain eternal destination after this life ends and before it is too late.  Some might think I’m not a bad person and have not committed any bad crimes, but God says our righteousness is like filthy rags compared to His standard of Holiness.  By default, without making a choice we are all headed to a lake of fire that burns very intensely to be separated from a loving God that already forgave us.  That is a very sad reality.    One wise man has said NO ONE is ready to live, until they are ready to die.  Please go to “Salvation” and read and pray the prayer to receive the free gift of forgiveness & eternal life.  This will be the greatest decision that you will ever make.  Thank you and God bless you.

 

 

 

Corona Who? Part 3 – God’s Victorious Church

victory_in_Jesus(Ver 1.1) This Part 3 in the series of Bible lessons written during the Coronavirus Pandemic.  People in the world today are being overwhelmed with a flood of negative words producing a spirit of fear.  This spirit is also called Satan and he has been using the world’s news media as his mouthpiece to spread his evil terrorist agenda.  At first the media denied the existence of coronavirus, then they denied the significance of the virus and now they are denying the source of the virus and blaming the President.  Leaders in China (the source of the virus) have initiated a propaganda campaign to blame the U.S. military as planting the virus in China and the media cooperates with them.  This is the classic distraction technique of Satan.  What Satan is guilty of he points to it being God so that humans blame and fear God to not come to Him to be saved.  For example, remember when Satan said this to Eve, “Has God said?”  Then Satan speaks “You shall not surely die”.  Then he said, “for God knows when you eat of the tree you will be like God knowing good and evil” (Gen 3).  In other words, Satan pointed the blame to God as being the one that was not truthful.  Satan seems to imply that God didn’t want them to become like Him.  When in reality they were already made in His likeness.  This satanic deception resulted in human rebellion from God and turned them into being afraid of God.  It was like they forgot that God was the one that was the source and supply of their every blessing.    This is a great deception that is still being followed and imitated today concerning the coronavirus.

If you have not read this series from the beginning, you are welcome to go and read from “Part 1” first and then “Part 2” next.  However, this Bible lesson by itself should be a blessing to you.  If you are blessed by this encouraging message, please share it with your friends and family.  Also press the “Like” button and leave an encouraging comment to share with others.  Thank you in advance and may God’s blessings fill your heart and mind with hope as we study about “God’s Victorious Church”.

 

INTRODUCTION

This series is called “Corona Who” for some good reasons.  We talked about one aspect in the last lesson when the “sons of Sceba” were casting out demons from one infected possessed man.  The spirit in this infected man said to these foolish young men “Paul I know, Jesus I know but WHO are you?”  That is an amazing spiritual question.  In the spirit realm there is some people and things that are known and some that are not known.  Jesus made a very similar statement when He came to a place called Gadara.  He encountered a demon possessed man and asked, “What is your name?” (Mark 5:9).   This story is a great Bible study but that is not my main subject.  The primary point for mentioning it, is that Jesus asked the devils their name.  They answered “Legion, because we are many”.  Why didn’t Jesus already know that?  Why did Jesus even need to ask the question?   I believe it was to teach us an important concept.

Do you recall what Jesus said in Matthew 7:23 to some people that claimed that they knew Him and had even done great works for Him?   How could demons in one example in Acts say they know Jesus but Jesus in other examples need to ask them their name?  Obviously, Jesus did not know them even if they thought they knew Him.  Wow, that is important.

Remember what Jesus said to these people in Matthew 7?  Jesus said, “Depart from me for I never knew you”.  To know someone intimately and personally is a claim of a covenant relationship.  Jesus was saying to these legions of demons in an indirect way “I don’t know you because there is no covenant with you to me”.  Wow, that is a lot to think about.  Do you believe Jesus knows the coronavirus or the spirit behind this evil?  I personally believe they both have no covenant relationship with Him and He would just say “Depart I never knew you”.  As a Christian, we have a New Covenant with Jesus.  But we better be known by Him when we think we know Him.  Therefore, if we are known by Jesus, we should not know the coronavirus.  We should be saying “Corona Who?”.    Let’s get deeper into the lesson.

 

GOD’S VICTORIOUS CHURCH

Rom 16:20  And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.

This is a very encouraging word from God written to us in the church, at the end of the book of Romans.  What does this verse mean?  Probably not much if you don’t understand the promise source in the Word of God.  Paul was referring to a prophecy given in Genesis 3 being spoken to Satan.  Perhaps you have read and studied the other lessons on this website about this matter.  I hope you have.  But, God spoke in Genesis 3:15 “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed and it (her seed) will bruise your head and you shall bruise his (technically in the Hebrew “her”) heal.  I don’t have time to explain this verse as in other lessons.  But, know this prophesied hatred (enmity) is between us in the church (the bride, wife, woman, body of Christ) and Satan.  We can clearly begin to understand that this verse in Genesis 3 is written about the church based upon this verse in Roman 16:20 being written to the bride and body of Christ.  Both verses are speaking of the identical subjects.

What does the bruising of an enemy under our feet mean?  It must be defined to be “when an enemy (in our case Satan) will be overcome and defeated”.  God told Joshua in Joshua 1:3 “Everywhere the sole of your foot shall tread I have given you”.  This land that was given to Joshua was still filled with big enemies that could of killed them and they still had to be overcome.  Even though the victory was given to them they were required to believe, participate and cooperate to possess what was promised.  This is the exact same for us in the church for this promise treading under in Romans 16.  We are faced with a lot of invisible enemies including one called the great wall of “Coronavirus”.  We are not to be afraid of taking on this enemy.  However, we are to do as they did and seek God’s face for direction and instruction.  Perhaps God is saying something new to the church today.  Pray and ask for His guidance and wisdom to know what He wants us to do during this time to win this battle.

This verse in Romans 16, further warns the church people that will bruise Satan’s head, that they will also have their foot/heel bruised in the process of obtaining the victory.  Anything that causes a bruise is usually something that is associated with a strike to that part of the body to cause the pain.  Don’t think that Satan is just going to lay there helplessly waiting for us to bruise his head.  He is going to resist the defeat with all his power.   Jesus never promised that the church believer would experience zero troubles and tribulations (Jn 16:33).  I think most of us can testify to this truth who have been saved very long.  The more we do for God’s Kingdom, the greater the resistance appears to come out of nowhere.   I heard one minister say when God promotes us to a new level there will come greater levels of devils to resist us.  We are in a spiritual fight.  But we are prophesied to be victorious.  Is God a Liar?  No, He is not.  He even gives us His personal armor to help us (Eph 6).  In fact Romans 16 says the God of Peace will do this and Ephesians 6 informs us that He equips our feet with the shoes of peace.  Wow, praise God.  Peace should be on our feet during this battle.  Are you standing in peace?  If not, put on His shoes.

When is this bruising of Satan’s head supposed to happen?  This is a great hidden mystery.  God clearly said when Paul wrote this letter to the Romans that it had not happened yet and that it would occur shortly.  These two Greek words G1722 and G5034 that are translated as “shortly” here are also used in Revelation chapter 1 verse 1.  Here God says “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servant things which must shortly come to pass”.  God appears to be making a connection to the book of Revelation and the end of the church age.  This can surely become confusing to humans who have no reference to what eternity represents.  Humans are limited to the dimensions of space and time, but God is not.  To us 2000 years is a very long time to wait for something to happen, but to God this is only about two days according to 2 Peter 3:8.  If I said to you “I’ll see you in a couple (two) days would you think that is a long time?  I mean if I lived next door to you that might be different than if I lived in Arizona and you lived in Florida.  It might take me two days to drive to where you are and then your perspective would change dramatically.  We need to begin to see more things from God’s perspective.  Even if the Coronavirus lasted one year of human time that would only be 86.4 seconds to God.  Wow, I find that very interesting.

2Co 4:17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

There will be times of pressure, affliction, tribulation and persecution in this world for Christians but, God informs us that this is nothing compared to eternal life in His presence.  But God calls this a passing moment of light trouble, meaning it should not be regarded as significant.  Remember, us getting a bruise on our foot is far better than Satan’s bruise upon his head.

 

COCLUSION

If you have not read the Bible series on the “True Identity of the Woman in Revelation 12” I would highly recommend you do so.  I believe the LORD has taught me that this woman in Revelation 12 represents the victorious, overcoming and raptured church.  She is clothed in the Sun and standing on the moon under her feet with a victorious crown on her head.  That is a description of the Bride of Christ.  The woman is clothed with the Sun and that represents a people being clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ (Mal 4:2).  Standing on the moon is the symbolic representation of bruising our enemy Satan under our feet (Rom 16:20).  Satan is described to be the ruler of the darkness of this world (Eph 6:12) and God says in the Bible in Genesis, Psalms and the N.T. that the moon rules the dark night (Gen 1:18).  I believe with all my heart that the church will be “caught up” very soon as an overcoming bride, not a defeated or beaten wife.

The main point of this Bible lesson is that Satan and his coronavirus are already defeated foes.   God has already given to us the victory.  But, that does not make Satan and coronavirus powerless.  It does make them defeated and under our feet.  Jesus and His bride/body are more than conquerors over Satan (Rom 8:37).  Let us give thanks to God who always causes His church in Christ Jesus to triumph (2 Cor 2:14).  But just as Joshua and the people of Israel had a choice to live in fear of the giants dying in the wilderness and to not possess the victory so the church must make the same decision today.

Let’s try to begin to see this present life more from God’s point of view.  What we think is the end of the world today may seem insignificant to what could occur tomorrow or in eternity.  Please do not think that I am making this to be as a nothing event.  There have been a lot of people in a short time that have died.  If anyone has lost a family member or friend during this crisis, we are all praying for you.  I hope everyone that died knew Jesus Christ and were known by Him.  If they did and He did, they are in a far better place according to 2 Corinthians 5:8.  Let’s stand against this unseen enemy and put them under our feet.  Let’s use any spare time to pray and ask God how we can reach someone that needs to know God.  Live today like it was your last day on earth.  Thank you and God bless you.  If you need any specific prayer, please leave it as a comment.   Jesus is LORD over Satan and over coronavirus!

If you like to continue reading in the series please go to “Part 4“.

 

~WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DIED TODAY?~

Today, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Savior or you do not have the confidence to KNOW what would happen if you died suddenly it is time to get your life in order.  I believe NOW is time to resolve your uncertain eternal destination after this life ends and before it is too late.  Some might think I’m not a bad person and have not committed any bad crimes, but God says our righteousness is like filthy rags compared to His standard of Holiness.  By default, without making a choice we are all headed to a lake of fire that burns very intensely to be separated from a loving God that already forgave us.  That is a very sad reality.    One wise man has said NO ONE is ready to live, until they are ready to die.  Please go to “Salvation” and read and pray the prayer to receive the free gift of forgiveness & eternal life.  This will be the greatest decision that you will ever make.  Thank you and God bless you.

 

Corona Who? Part 2 – Balancing Taking Commonsense Precautions with Applying Faith in God and the Word of God

balance-scale101(Ver 1.1) This Part 2 in a series of Bible lessons concerning the current state of concern called the Coronavirus Pandemic.  This is an unseen enemy that is affecting a lot of the world with fear.  I have never seen anything exactly like this in my lifetime.  I believe most will agree.  There have been many thousands that have died so far.  Shelves at stores are empty of many of the basics and essentials.  People have been ordered to remain in their homes except for important needs.  This sounds very similar to the coming times described in the Book of Revelation.  But I do not believe we are there.  I believe this is only the beginning of the birth pains described in Matthew 24:7. Jesus taught us very clearly that things like this would come before the end.  Don’t be surprised as these types of events continue to grow in intensity as the sorrows come closer and closer to the end.

 

INTRODUCTION TO ONE EXTREME ATTITUDE
IGNORING THE POWER OF THE ENEMY

This lesson concerns the issue of extreme positions dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.  There are many younger people in the world that think that they are invincible against the virus to believe that it will have no effect on them or anyone else that they encounter.  This is truly a non-realistic selfish type of thinking.  When I was young, I was no doubt the same way.  We all think very little of the consequences of our actions or the consequences of bad choices that result in pain, suffering or death.  This attitude is very foolish and not based upon the Truth of the Bible or even basic human common sense.   This is an extreme egotistical and self-centered lack of love with no concern for anyone else but themselves (2 Tim 3:1-2).

The reason that I called this Bible study “Corona Who” was because of what God reveals to us in Acts 19:15. In this story there were seven sons of Sceva that attempted to cast our a devil from a man saying “We adjure in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches”.  Obviously, these young sons believed they were invincible and nothing bad could happen to them whatsoever.  That same attitude is being displayed today.  However, God’s Word proves that this was NOT the case.  The devil said to these seven sons, “Jesus I know, Paul I know but who are you?”  It appears to me like the seven young men in Acts 19 did not consider the power of their unseen enemy that they were faced with.  This lack of fear and respect for an unseen enemy is the same as young people today.  There is nothing new under the sun!

The devil in this one possessed (infected) man overcame all seven of them, even ripping off their clothes so that they fled and ran away in terror naked. Wow, the parallels to our world is very profound, to say the least.  This was just an introductory side subject to the main subject of other extreme attitudes found in the world today concerning coronavirus.  I do want to say this introduction to the lesson concerns a few mostly unsaved, unbelieving people of the world.  But real and mature Christians should be different.  So, let’s change our perspective.

 

A COMMONSENSE ONLY ATTITUDE VERSUS A FAITH ONLY ATTITUDE

The main subject of this lesson is intended for Christians.  I write many of these lessons to help me first and then to share with others second.  How should a Christian react to a pandemic virus or plague?  We already talked about do not fear it in Part 1.  If you have not read that short lesson, I would highly recommend that you begin there first.

I believe the Holy Spirit instructed me to only fear Him.  He is the only one that could kill my body and my soul.  No epidemic can take my soul unless I blame God for it to curse God and die like Job’s wife suggested.  But, what about faith?  There are a lot of people searching and finding scriptures in the Bible to stand upon in the face of this pandemic evil.  I think that is great and I admit I do that.  For example, Psalm 91 is a very appropriate and applicable set of divine promises to quote daily and believe.

Psa 91:1  He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty

Psa 91:2  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust

Psa 91:3  Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence

Psa 91:4  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler

Psa 91:5  Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day

Psa 91:6  Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday

Psa 91:7  A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee

Psa 91:8  Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked

Psa 91:9  Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation

Psa 91:10  There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling

Psa 91:11  For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways

Psa 91:12  They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone

Psa 91:13  Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet

Psa 91:14  Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name

Psa 91:15  He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him

Psa 91:16  With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation

 

This is an awesome set of promises made to the people of God.  I like to read these out loud as often as I am able.  Especially during major situations like we are facing. However, it is very important to note that the promised positive outcomes are conditional if we are meeting the requirements to receive them.  We are required to dwell in the secret place of the LORD.  We are required to say to the Lord “You are my refuge and fortress, You are my God in who I trust”.  We are required not to be afraid.  In other words, to remain in faith. We are required to set our love upon Him only.  We are required to know Him by “Name”.  We are required to “Call on Him”.  Just note that God’s love is always unconditional, but every promise must be possessed by faith.

Just because we believe God promises us protection does that mean we can ignore the governmental authorities and their warnings?  I don’t know about you, but I pray daily for our President asking the Almighty and All Knowing God to give our President wisdom to do his job.  If you do the same and believe that God hears and answers these prayers, then why would you or I defy his recommendations to remain inside our homes and limit human social contact with others for a period?  Would following his word be us disobeying God or His Word?

If we read 1 Timothy chapter 2 verses 1 and 2 God appears to answer this dilemma.  In verse 1 we are instructed to pray for all people.  Then in verse 2 God specifically says for us to pray for those that are in authority in our governments.  Here in verse 2 God provides us the reason for the prayers “so that we may live a quiet and peaceful life”.  I believe that speaks volumes to me.  If the government is trying to help us live peacefully and quiet and eliminate our unseen enemy, let’s cooperate.  That is my opinion based upon what we will further study today.  Let’s move on to the main subject for Christians fighting against an unseen enemy.

 

A Proposed Balanced Church Reaction
to What is Happening in the World

I’d like to propose a viewpoint from scripture of a possible way to balance what the church’s attitude and response to this situation coronavirus might be.  I’d like you to read it and make up your own mind, if it is what the LORD is saying to you today.  There are a lot of people on TV and the internet that may not agree and that is OK.  If the LORD leads you to them and they agree with what the Holy Spirit is saying to you then do that.  Trust in the Holy Spirit on the inside to guide you and not any human.

What should we be doing in the church today?  Of course, beyond not living in fear we should all be praying and asking our Lord for wisdom and guidance.  Also agree with the Bible and know that God did not send this on the world.  Yes, He allowed it to occur.  But, usually these evil acts of Satan are granted permission because of human sins coming to fullness (Rev 17:4).  I don’t have time to explain or teach that part of the subject.  Please understand that this coronavirus is not God’s wrath.  We are under grace until the end of the church age occurs (Luke 21:24).  Then the tribulation will bring forth the full wrath and judgments of God.  Can we agree that coronavirus is not God’s fault?  I sure hope and pray we can.  Let’s now observe what is happening in the church today to compare extreme opposing and unbalanced views.

In the church today, there are people who would claim that we are foolish to close or limit church services just because the government says to do so.  We can easily come up with logical reasons why we should not obey.  However, I believe that response and attitude is what the devil wants the church to do.  If churches started to defy and resist governmental leadership and authority to not limit the numbers, and if anyone got sick and died as a result of that encounter, that pastor and church could be held legally and criminally liable and negligent.  This would give the government the beginning rights to shut down every church service permanently.  Having the government bring charges against you is not living a quiet and peaceful life.  No that sounds like we could become like living in a China or North Korea where many churches must meet secretly and they are thrown into reeducation camps if they are caught.  Therefore, I am of the belief that churches should agree or at least respect leaders and follow recommended guidelines for keeping people safe.  Also remember that not everyone in a church has the same level of faith as the pastor.  The pastor might be risking the life of a new baby convert thinking they should be able to resist the devil the same as they do.  That is just not how it works in the Kingdom of God.

I believe that there are at least two extreme Christian positions of error in this fight against Coronavirus found today in the church.   1). There can be people who ONLY have faith in the Word of God and ignore the government directions and these do not normally take any commonsense precautions against the coronavirus.   Or 2). there can be people that ONLY obey the government using natural precautions while totally ignoring the Word of God.  I believe that both extreme approaches and attitudes are not what the Bible teaches us to do.  I believe based upon what we will learn today we should be doing both.  Let me introduce you to a wrong example of taking just some of the Word of God and omitting God given common sense:

There are a few people in the world that call themselves Christians and do some very foolish things.  One group takes a bunch of poisonous snakes into their church services and picks them up to prove that they are being protected by God’s Word to not be bitten and die.  They base this belief on a literal reading of Mark 16:18.  A lot of these people have been successful, but some have died attempting this.  I assume that those that were bitten and died must not have been a true Christian?  No, the Bible does not teach that we should be handling snakes in church to prove we are saved.  These people stand on what they think the Word says and totally abandon their God given common sense.  What a dangerous religious mindset!  This is just foolishness and we can prove it by the Bible.  Can we begin to see where the Holy Spirit is taking us?

Do you recall what happened to Jesus after He was baptized by John?  Was Jesus the Son of God (Acts 8:37) and God in the flesh (John 1:1-14)?  Yes, He was.  What was Jesus’ approach to doing something foolish to prove He was God’s Son and God would protect Him?  We can read about this in Luke 4 during His temptation after a 40 day fast:

Luk 4:9  And he (Satan) brought him (Jesus) to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: 

Luk 4:10  For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: 

Luk 4:11  And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 

Luk 4:12  And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 

Can we see the application in this test of Jesus to what some people are doing handling snakes and what we all are facing today in the world with coronavirus?  In these passages, Satan uses scripture and quotes it to Jesus after telling Him to jump off the top of the temple.  Where did this verse come from that was quoted to Jesus?  You probably already know it came from Psalm 91.  We just read it at the beginning of the lesson.  It is one of the same verses that I am reading today.  I pray it is one of the same verses that you are quoting today also.

What was Jesus’ reaction and attitude towards this awesome promise of God?  Wow, this really is important for us to see.  Jesus did not say “You are right and I’ll jump” thinking God will protect Him with His angels.  No, Jesus applied common sense and the Word of God combined.  Jesus knew about the law of gravity that He created and said, “It is also written, I shall not test the LORD my God”.  Are we potentially testing our LORD God when we quote Psalm 91 believing God will just automatically protect us without applying common sense that He should have also given to us?  What else is written in the Bible that we need to quote to Satan?  I believe that is a great question to consider.  Please let’s not ignore the rest of the Bible for a verse that we think is all we need to know.

If the Holy Spirit instructs us and leads us to go and lay hands on someone with coronavirus to heal them, know that is a lot different than us just presumptively walking down a street to get take out at a restaurant with potential coronavirus personally serving us.  One is an act of obedience and the other is just satisfying a carnal appetite.  I knew a pastor that was led by the Holy Spirit to drive home a different way than what he normally did, but he reasoned and thought it was too much time to go that way.  His not being led by the Holy Spirit almost cost him his life in a significant car accident.  God tries to lead us not to be in some places and just quoting a verse thinking He will protects us is very foolish.  There are times for obedience in faith and there are times of the application of our God given common sense.  There is probably a lot more that could be said here but I will end.

Thank you for reading these Bible lessons.  Thank you also for sharing this Bible lesson with your friends and relatives.  Leave us a comment and share what the Lord has been saying to you.  If you don’t agree with this, please feel free to share that also.  Let’s please continue to pray for each other.  Let’s also be led by the Holy Spirit.  Let’s also read and quote the Word of God to the devil.  The Word of God is our sword of the Spirit.  But, also trust God’s given common sense to follow the leadership directions of our elected leaders federal and state.  God Bless you always.  I love you.  I am praying everyone will be safe.

If you would like to continue reading, please select “Part 3“.

 

~WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DIED TODAY?~

Today, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Savior or you do not have the confidence to KNOW what would happen if you died suddenly it is time to get your life in order.  I believe NOW is time to resolve your uncertain eternal destination after this life ends and before it is too late.  Some might think I’m not a bad person and have not committed any bad crimes, but God says our righteousness is like filthy rags compared to His standard of Holiness.  By default, without making a choice we are all headed to a lake of fire that burns very intensely to be separated from a loving God that already forgave us.  That is a very sad reality.    One wise man has said NO ONE is ready to live, until they are ready to die.  Please go to “Salvation” and read and pray the prayer to receive the free gift of forgiveness & eternal life.  This will be the greatest decision that you will ever make.  Thank you and God bless you.

 

Corona Who? Who or What is Our Primary Focus?

FOCUS_1

(Ver 1.1) God Bless you today. This is Part 1 in a series of messages addressing a need for hope & encouragement in the days of potential coronavirus  stress.  Thank you for reading and sharing your comments. It seems that almost everyone in the world is focused upon only one thing. Human normalcy of a daily scheduled routine existence has escaped many of us. Many have lost their jobs and income. These types of loses seem minor compared to others that have lost their life on this earth. The News media is consumed with one story. A solitary focused upon an agenda that is opposed to God. The underlying motivation of the message is focused upon producing fear in everyone. But, the Word of God says in 2 Timothy 1:7 that “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love and of a sound mind”. Therefore, the media message does not speak for God whatsoever. Recognizing the source of the message will help me redirect my focus upon God. I hope that helps you also.

I know that, I personally can easily become consumed with watching the developments of this pandemic on the news. This is clearly Satan’s attempt to keep me from the Word of God. Perhaps you recall the Parable of the Sower. The enemy came immediately after the Word of God was sown to eat it up to stop it from producing fruit. How is Satan able to do this? It is not like we think. Because everything that is happening occurs in the spiritual realm of my mind. Things today are changing so rapidly. What is happening today in the news reminds me of a scripture from the book of Isaiah that describes Satan’s methods to try to overcome me:

Isa 59:19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

This verse starts by speaking of a people that fear the name of the LORD. This is a good fear and not related to the type of Satan’s fear being produced from the Coronavirus reports. This corona-virus is nothing but an alternative form of “terror”. This “terror” does not come from people blowing themselves up or chopping your head off, no this is a different type of “terror” from an unseen, invisible with the naked eye source. But the result is still the same. The news media is feeding this terrorism for ratings and money. Let’s know that!

Look at this verse’s ending statement. God speaks of the enemy coming in like a flood. That is an amazing statement and it describes the news media today very clearly. Spoken words are symbolized in the Bible as a type of “water”. Fast moving waters are described symbolically as representing many spoken words. This type of analogy is like a flowing river or a flood. For example, Jesus said in John 7:38, “He who believes in me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”. These waters are good types of words that Jesus spoke of. But in Isaiah 59:19 these are not positive life producing words being called a flood. The flood of words being spoken of here are only words that produce fear, anxiety, panic, worry, doubt and insecurity. The intended result of these types of rapidly flowing words are used by Satan to produce death the opposite of what Jesus said should be coming out of a believer’s mouth.

The message from God to me is to not stop listening to the news completely but rather to change my priority to focus on the Name of the LORD and fear Him alone. When I fear God more than what can kill me here on this earth, I will begin to see things from a new perspective. Here is a verse that should be considered during this time of uncertainty:

Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

This is truly a profound statement. Corona-virus can kill some people’s body, but not their soul (spirit, mind, will and emotions). Satan is trying His best to get me to take my eyes off the Word of God. How about you? My prayer today is that I not let Satan’s distraction of a flood of negative words in the news to get me down. I pray that for all of you also. I plan on spending more time reading and studying the Word of God than I do watching the news. In the next lesson, the LORD willing, I will try to continue this series by helping to balance taking natural common sense precautions with standing firm upon the Word of God’s Truth. Thank you for reading and please leave a comment. God Bless you.

If you would like to read the next lesson please click “Part 2“.

~WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DIED TODAY?~

Today, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Savior or you do not have the confidence to KNOW what would happen if you died suddenly it is time to get your life in order.  I believe NOW is time to resolve your uncertain eternal destination after this life ends and before it is too late.  Some might think I’m not a bad person and have not committed any bad crimes, but God says our righteousness is like filthy rags compared to His standard of Holiness.  By default, without making a choice we are all headed to a lake of fire that burns very intensely to be separated from a loving God that already forgave us.  That is a very sad reality.    One wise man has said NO ONE is ready to live, until they are ready to die.  Please go to “Salvation” and read and pray the prayer to receive the free gift of forgiveness & eternal life.  This will be the greatest decision that you will ever make.  Thank you and God bless you.

 

 

My Reason to Celebrate Christmas

Merry Christmas – 2019

Jesus_the_Reason(Ver 1.2) Merry Christmas to all my faithful readers. I’d like to speak a blessing over every faithful Bible lesson reader and Bible student that takes the time to study and learn God’s Word with an open mind and then the determination to confirm if what was taught here was really what is found in your own Bible.   As I have said many other times, please don’t take my word for anything. I desire for any positive benefit for what is taught on this website to be for the glory of God only. Today in this Christmas season I want to express  my personal reasoning why I choose to give thanks at Christmas to God for saving me. Here is a list of Biblical Facts that should cause us all to be Thankful for the existence of a Christmas Day:

  1. God Saved Us from the Death Penalty of Our Sin (Rom 6:23).
  2. He Accomplished this through the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross (1 Peter 2:24).
  3. But this Salvation work would Not have been possible if it were Not for His Birth, First in a Manager in Bethlehem.

I usually get comments when I publish a Christmas blessing, from people trying to inform me that we don’t know when Jesus was officially born and we should all understand how our modern observance of Christmas has become so commercialized and is based upon so many pagan traditional practices of humans. We all should understand how a “Santa” could become a representative type, form or variation of the name “Satan”.  Just as the Easter bunny and eggs are a pagan distraction from the death burial and resurrection of Jesus. Based upon these and several other distractions, I am usually informed that no real Christian should participate in this pagan type of false holiday and celebration. We must understand that this is just Satan’s attempt to totally remove the holiday celebrations entirely from our memory. I agree that we could easily slip into patterns of poor judgement during these celebrations very easily.  But, I still believe that we should always attempt to place Jesus Christ as the center focus for these Days of Holiday Celebration.  Jesus Christ is the only reason for these days.

I believe that Christmas should not be primarily about us getting gifts and it should not even be about us giving gifts. While giving and receiving can be a part of the modern event celebration, we should celebrate these Holiday events as a remembrance and a memorial for what God has done for all of us. This is a common pattern initiated by the Lord in the Old Covenant. For example, God instructed His people to keep a certain feast of unleavened bread day in Exodus 13:9-10 yearly. In this command God said that they should observe this day every year as a memorial (H2146) and a sign (H226) for all the people. Wow, it sounds like remembering God’s special days were important not for God, but for us who easily forget what He has done for us over time.

I believe that we should Celebrate the Christmas Holiday yearly the same as was commanded for Israel to observe God’s special feast days annually. But, our focus should primarily be on the event and not the traditions of man. I believe that we should first start Christmas day with a prayer before opening presents and it would also be wise to read the accounts in the Bible about the divine birth event before we begin the day of celebration with any other practice such as gift giving.  We can even bring into our gift giving, God’s ultimate gift given to us through Jesus Christ (John 3:16).

I am continually growing spiritually to view Christmas to be a personal celebration and a personal remembrance of the promised hope that was prophesied to come by Jehovah God. These Bible prophecies promised us a savior to come and these consisted of God coming into the world as a child in the flesh (Isa 9:6) to die on a cross to redeem us from our sins (Gal 3:13) through His shed blood (Heb 9:22). If Jesus, the incarnate Word of God that was made flesh (Jn 1:1-14) had not legally come personally into the world as a human baby boy (Isa 7:14) there could have been no future salvation through His death (Heb 2:14) and we would all be headed to hell with Satan.

Thank God for His Love, His Wisdom, His Mercy, His Grace and His Holiness to become a perfect unblemished Sacrifice Lamb (John 1:29) without sin (Heb 4:15) became our sin and who was willing to die for all of humanity hanging naked nailed to a tree so that we could be made the righteousness of God (1 Peter 2:24) in Him. God our creator accomplished our salvation by choosing to become an intimate part of His creation (Isa 7:14, Mat 1:23) to personally pay the very high price with His Blood (Isa 52:3) and this was necessary and fair to satisfy His justice standards for the legal penalty and payment of our eternally separating sin. Through His personal blood payment (Mat 26:28), God provided a pathway out of our bondage and condemnation from our sins to be fully reconciled (Col 1:20) into a potential for a continual personal relationship with Him. In order to accomplish all of this the Bible says these things had to be fulfilled:

  1. A Virgin had to conceive a Male Child (Isa 7:14, Mat 1:23)
  2. The conceived Male Child had to be born in Bethlehem (Mic 5:2, Mat 2:1)
  3. This Male Child Had to be God in the Flesh (Mic 5:2, Isa 7:14, Mat 1:23, John 1:1-14)

Without these truths there is no salvation. If we believe none of this was necessary or true or important to keep and remember then I do not know who we are placing our faith for our salvation. There is NO OTHER ENTRANCE into the presence of Jehovah God (John 14:6) other than through Jesus Christ. I pray that you will join me in Celebrating NOT just the promised Savior’s birth but the fulfillment of that promise JESUS CHRIST God in the flesh that died for our sins. This is why I am eternally grateful and love to celebrate Christmas.  God Bless you in this time before the very soon return of the LORD to take us up to heaven. Be blessed and have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  But please let us all remember Jesus during this time.

Understanding the Parable of the Sower Part 4 – The Fruit

grapes-2656259_960_720(ver 1.1) This is now Part 4 in the essential Bible study series that is dedicated to helping everyone to better understand the Parable of the Sower.  If you have not read this series from the beginning, I would strongly suggest that you go back and start reading with “Part 1” first. If you have already read from the beginning, I hope that you have enjoyed following this series. I believe this information has some of the greatest foundational truths about how the kingdom of God operates and why some people are saved, and others are not. Won’t it be sad for someone to have had the opportunity to hear the truth but not value it enough to receive God’s seed into their heart. I believe that this will be the reason why God says in the book of Revelation that He will wipe away all tears from our eyes (Rev 21:4). If someone you knew rejected God’s Word and chooses to go to hell versus believing the Good News that you tried to tell them about, how would you react? I will probably be weeping at judgment day.

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

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

 

Introduction to “FRUIT”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

LEARNING FROM THE BIBLE DEFINITIONS OF FRUIT

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

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

G2590

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

G2592

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

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

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

If you would like to continue reading this series please go to  “Part 5“.

Understanding the Parable of the Sower Part 3 – The Seed

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

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

 

INTRODUCTION

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

A FAITH FUNDAMENTALS REVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

UNDERSTANDING THE SEED POSITIVE ELEMENT

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

Mar 4:14  The sower soweth the word.

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

UNDERSTANDING BASIC SPIRITUAL SEED QUALITIES

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Conclusion

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

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

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

 

Christmas and the Gospel Message

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

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

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

 

The Gospel in the Old Testament

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

The Gospel in the Birth of Christ Jesus

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Jesus Preaches in the Flesh the Gospel on Earth

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

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

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

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

 

Conclusion

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

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

Understanding the Parable of the Sower Part 2 – The Sower

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

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

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

 

INTRODUCTION TO THE SOWER

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

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

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

 

WHO IS THE SOWER IN THE PARABLE?

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

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

Mar 4:14  The sower soweth the word.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

OVERVIEW OF the PARABLE of the WEEDS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ARE THERE ANY SOWERS TODAY?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

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

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

 

Understanding the Parable of the Sower, Introduction – Part 1

 

planting-seeds

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

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

 

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

 

INTRODUCTIION:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mar 4:14  The sower soweth the word. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Symbol

Meaning

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

JESUS_the_Best_Christmas_Gift

Thanking God for His Glorious GIFT to the World!

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

HAVE A VERY BLESSED CHRISTMAS!

From the AGAPEGEEK Website

 

 

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

Judge Gavel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lesson 1 Review with New Additional Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

New Testament Spiritual Court Confirmations

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

New Testament Judgment #2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONCLUSION

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

Thank you for reading and taking your time to study these advanced Bible lessons. I am truly humbled that God would use anyone as imperfect as me to teach anyone anything.  The goodness of God is truly overwhelming me every day of my life.  I love the LORD and trust Him to help mold me and you into the highest pattern of Christ Jesus.  I pray that you are blessed with every spiritual blessing of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ Jesus.  Amen.

If you would like to continue reading this series about making Jesus Your Personal Advocate Now, click here “Part 3“.

 

Understanding the Divine Spiritual Laws and Court System of Heaven

Judge Gavel(Ver 1.4) This is  Part 1 in a series of advanced spiritual Bible lessons on the revealed subject of God’s Divine Spiritual Laws, Systems and Legal Proceedings.  Are there spiritual laws found in heaven?  Is there a heavenly courtroom?  Are there trials that have taken place in this heavenly realm?  If yes, who is the judge?  Who is the one that brings charges and against who are the charges addressed at?  There are so many things to learn from the Bible that we will not abe able to answer every question in one Bible study.  To attempt to do so would do each answer an injustice.

It has always been my priority to teach what God has given to me for free and give it to others without any charge.  If you knew my heart you would understand that I don’t only want to teach you what God has given to me, but I also desire to teach you a better way to study and learn from His glorious Word.  Hopefully, the LORD has used me to teach you how to fish for yourself and not just for me to feed you a fish for a single day.

Like many other lessons that I believe the Lord has given to me, today’s Bible lesson should be viewed as a very advanced spiritual topic intended for Christ followers that are fully committed to grow to become a spiritually mature student of God’s Word able to partake of spiritual meat.  Please judge if you meet this requirement before continuing to read this lesson further.  It is one of my greatest heart’s desires to not offend or cause any newborn or spiritually immature Christian to stumble or fall causing them to depart from the LORD.  I believe that the Apostle Paul wrote with this same quality when he said I would have liked to feed you meat but you were unable to receive it and therefore I could only give you milk.  Ok that was my paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 3:2.  But, I believe the hidden heart of Paul’s message contained in that verse is that of one of his greatest desires for his students to grow up spiritually.  I believe Paul desired people to grow up so that they were able to receive a much stronger spiritual message of truth.  Then I believe Paul wanted for each of them to go and spread his message from the word of God to others with the same love for people.  Please judge for yourself before you continue.

INTRODUCTION

We in the United States have three branches of Government. These three are a Legislative Branch, an Executive Branch and a Judicial Branch.  This was the idea framed by our founding fathers of our nation and they were mostly Christians that I believe modeled their government beliefs on God’s Bible principles.  I believe this was not by chance or accident but rather by divine design.  I believe God placed His hand on their efforts and blessed them to know things way beyond their natural ability.

In this lesson we are going to focus upon God’s Judicial Branch found in heaven and how the earthly U.S. court system is a pattern of that which God originally designed. Maybe you did not realize that God’s heavenly spiritual government (Kingdom) had a Judicial Branch?  If you have read the Bible, I am really not sure how this fact has escaped you but if you search for it you will find that it is very true from Genesis to Revelation.  For example, in the Bible the LORD God reveals Himself as the Most High Righteous Judge in so many verses.  A named existence of a Heavenly Superior Divine Judge implies very strongly that there also must be found present laws, a courtroom, some legal proceedings and rules, lawsuits, trials, a plaintiff or a prosecuting attorney, a defense attorney and a defendant.  I will prove to you using the Bible that these all exist in a form or pattern using the Bible.  I will also teach you that there are innumerable court cases that are taking place every day including today right this moment while you are reading about them.  Wow, that should at least peak your interest a little bit to desire to learn more about God’s revealed truth.

If you have read very much of the Bible you should already know who the Heavenly Judge is and that is certainly the LORD God and Jesus Christ according to Genesis 18:25, Acts 10:42 and Hebrews 12:23 to list just three of many confirming witnesses of truth.  But, there are also so many new implied questions that need to be answered.   Who is the plaintiff or prosecuting attorney bringing the charges and cases against someone in God’s Court System?  I’ll tell you right now it is Satan and I will prove this later in the lesson.  Who is the defendant being charged or sued?  I’ll tell you up front again that you are the one being charged by Satan and I will prove this with scriptures also.  We will also begin to learn about the charges being made to God by Satan.  This should interest you because we will learn that it is our human wrong actions here on the earth that open the door for Satan to bring a lawsuit against us.

Is there a defense attorney in this trial?  If so, who is the defense lawyer in the case?  I’ll tell you right now we have access to a legal defense team ever since the LORD Jesus Christ died and was resurrected from the dead.  You can be introduced to this part of the message by reading an older Bible lesson that I wrote called “Understanding How to Make Jesus Your Legal Advocate Right Now”.

I’m sure you must be asking “How can there ever be a spiritual case of law being brought into a heavenly trial to be heard by God for a Christian if Jesus has truly paid for every sin that we have ever committed or could ever commit in the future?” Many would say “I thought we were not under law but under grace therefore can there really be a spiritual trial now before we die?” Others ask the question “I thought the only judgment was after we die according to Hebrews 9:27?”  We know from reading the end of Revelation that there will be a Great White throne Judgment but I believe that there are also other named judgments that will occur after death and even now before death. If there is a judgment that can take place before we die, “What could be the charge brought against a forgiven saved Christian?”   These are complex deep questions to answer and God gives us the revelations in the Bible if we dig for them and find them.  Seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you and ask and it will be answered (Mat 7:7).

This Bible lesson is a response to a question raised by a good reader doing their homework. They asked the question concerning a message being taught within certain churches that appear to conflict with what is taught in other areas of the Bible.  The controversy comes from a modern extreme Grace teaching that is being taught that since Jesus paid for all of our sins, past, present and future there are no longer any consequences for committing any sin or any need to ask for any future forgiveness of a sin.  In other words sin is presented to be harmless without any negative penalties.  In fact at least one very popular grace preacher teaches we do not even need to ask for forgiveness for any sin and they explain away 1 John 1:9 using illogical natural human reasoning to be written to only unbelievers.  But this is certainly not what the Lord has taught me about a better way of Bible interpretation and more specifically sin.  This Bible study series will address this topic using several ignored scriptures that must be balanced with the doctrine being misrepresented by some extreme unnamed grace teachers.

You see I do certainly believe that Jesus died once for all sin that has ever been committed, is being perpetrated today and will occur tomorrow. We know this truth from verses like Romans 6:10, 2 Corinthians 5:14 and Hebrews 10:10 to name a few foundational truths on this subject of the comprehensive power of the blood sacrifice of the Lord Jesus.  I will say it again for emphasis, I am a very firm believer that there was one sacrifice for every human sin and no further sacrifice was or is necessary.  However, we cannot ignore other verses that declare very plainly that the sin of even Christians can still have some major potential consequences.  Please do not misunderstand what I am teaching.  I am not saying every little sin we commit can cause something significantly bad to occur nor am I teaching that a Christian can lose their salvation by committing a sin.   But, I am definitely teaching that Satan is looking at each of our lives very closely to gain an access and entry into our lives to kill, steal or destroy us (John 10:10).  That is exactly what we will learn next.

SATAN IS SEARCHING FOR A LEGAL WAY IN

There is another part of the extreme Grace message that must be addressed immediately. While it is true that Satan was defeated by the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, it does not mean that he is not presently trying everything in his power (and he is still very powerful) to get you to fall away from Jesus or not produce any savable fruit to be harvested by Jesus.  We need to study the parable of the sower and I wrote about this awhile back so I will not repeat it all here again.  Just understand that every soil type in the parable “heard” the word of God and only one group produced any harvestable fruit.  Satan successfully destroyed the harvest in every other soil type.  Satan desires access into our lives after we hear the Gospel and are saved by believing, accepting and confessing Jesus as our LORD (Romans 10:9-10).  There must be some insight given by God that shows us what grants Satan access to be victorious over some and not over others.  We could talk about this a long time but we need to get to one of the foundational verses for the lesson:

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

We are starting with a verse that was written directly to “saved born-again” Christians. I take this verse personally as an inspired word of warning written to me and so should you.  It is so very clear to me that Satan desires to devour every Christian but can’t.  What is it that allows Satan access to attack some Christians and not others?  If you do not believe you can do anything to grant or permit the devil access into your life to devour, you have definitely been deceived by an extreme grace teacher.  It would be very stupid for the LORD God to inspire Bible writers to warn us about something that could not occur and God is not stupid!

I am now going to begin to introduce you to God’s heavenly court system. There are four main participants in every court case.  Those that are the accused can also be known as a defendant, the defense attorney may be present, the prosecutor also known as the plaintiff and then the Judge.  Many know of these truths better than others.  But, these are the basic main participants of every trial in this natural world and these are all parallel truths for the divine heavenly court cases going on today also.

Notice what I just said. I said this is happening everyday of your life here on the earth.  I say this because I believe that every day Satan is looking (seeking, searching and plotting to gain access) using a legal charge to accuse and condemn us with.  I want to go back to 1 Peter 5:8 and give you one of the key words that will help us verify one of the key principles that I am teaching.  The primary word is “adversary”.  This Greek word is G476 and it literally means “your opponent in a court trial”.  According to this verse Satan is bringing a legal lawsuit before God on a daily basis in order to gain access to someone (even a Christian) to devour them.  What this verse implies is that God must judge the “access demand” to be just in order for Satan’s entry to be legal.  Wow, that does not sit well with a lot of modern extreme grace teachers.  But, I’m sorry it is what the Bible says, not me.

This Greek word G476 translated as “adversary” occurs in the New Testament only in four verses and it is always applicable to a legal battle between two opponents in a court of law. You may look up these verses to verify these truths by reading verses in Matthew 5:25, Luke 12:58 and Luke 18:3.  In every case there is a stated defendant, an adversary and a judge.  While there is no legal counsel it may be assumed or implied based upon our knowledge of how natural court cases transpire.  We will look deeper to verify the identities of the spiritual participants in God’s heavenly court cases very shortly.  But, please understand that God’s word selection of G476 establishes a direct word and subject association  to a court trial case that must also be occurring in 1 Peter 5:8  and this is a very critical lesson to learn and apply in a better way of Bible interpretation.  See how a word selected by God is used in other verses and it will help to establish the definition in the verse in question.

Based upon 1 Peter 5:8 we can learn by implied reference who the defendant is and who the plaintiff is. Since the verse was a written warning to us in the church, that makes Christians the direct implied defendant being charged. We then can certainly see very plainly that since the devil is stated to be our “adversary” we know clearly that he is the one bringing the case before the Judge.  Therefore, the case is being brought up before the implied Judge (God) by Satan in order to accuse us and gain access to attack us.

Let’s get another verse to help us verify this truth. After all God instructs us to use the mouth of two or three witnesses to establish every truth which is another best practice to correctly interpret the Bible.  Again this truth must be occurring in a judicial spiritual courtroom before God the Spiritual Judge.  I believe that God will always require at least two witnesses to establish every case truth.  Please turn in your Bibles and read the following verse found in the Book of Revelation:

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

Wow, this verse is of such great significance to our Bible subject that I cannot emphasize it strongly enough. I would like to begin by stating the fact that this verse is a future prophecy that has not yet occurred.  We know this by the fact that God tells the author John in Revelation 4:1 to come up to heaven in order to be shown things that will occur in the future.  I am a firm believer that everything in Revelation 4 to the end of the book is future prophetic statements that have not yet occurred.  I also believe that they are written in Chronological order of occurrence.  Therefore, since Revelation 4 through 11 has not occurred Revelation 12 has also not occurred.

What does this verse say? We must really read the context in order to discover the true identity of one of the central figures being named and discussed in this verse.  We can read back a few verses in Revelation 12: 7 to begin to learn that Satan is also called the ancient serpent and the great dragon as figuratively speaking titles.  Satan has also just been cast down out of heaven after a significant spiritual war.  Let’s read these verses to verify where Satan will be cast out of.  Turn in your Bible and begin reading with verse 7 to get the more complete revelation of what is going to occur very soon:

Rev 12:7  And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 

Rev 12:8  And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 

Rev 12:9  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Here are the future prophesied facts given to us by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. First, a spiritual war will occur.  It is definitely a spiritual battle and not a natural conflict.  Second, the participants of the war are spiritual beings.  There is Michael and his angels defending heaven against the dragon (Satan) and his angels attacking heaven.  Third, Satan and his angels lose the battle.  Fourth, God states that Satan has ONLY NOW lost his place (right and ability) to enter back into heaven ever again in verse 8.  What does this teach us?  Verses 7 and 8 are teaching us by implied truth that before this event occurs Satan HAD FULL ACCESS and the ability to come and go from and to heaven any time that he wanted.  Why do you think this was granted?  I personally believe it is because of two main factors.  The first factor is that God is just and that God must honor His Word.    I believe we are about to learn more by a deeper study that the access granted was for the purpose of putting God’s people aka. Christians on trial.

We now should know that Satan had access into heaven very clearly from the statements found in verses 7 through 10. Now, look at what Satan is called in verse 10.  Satan is referred directly by the Word of God to be the “accuser”.  In fact the name Satan literally means “adversary”.   Remember that “adversary” means “your legal opponent in a law case” and this firmly connects us back to 1 Peter 5:8.  The Greek word translated as “accuser” is a very synonymous legal title to “adversary”.  An accuser (Greek word G2725) is literally defined by Strong’s as someone that brings a compliant of law before a judge to gain an advantage over an opponent.  I added the last part of that definition simply because that is what is being implied by the definition.  Why would Satan come up to heaven before the LORD GOD’s court to accuse a “brother” in Christ?   It would be extremely wise to give that question a lot of thought before answering quickly.

I believe God is telling us from verse 10 of Revelation 12 that Satan came up to heaven before Him both night and day to bring up complaints and charges against the people of God. We learn this truth by applying the key word “Brethren” to make it personal to Christians in the family of Jesus Christ.  The Greek word translated as “brethren” is found over 300 times in the N.T.  It can be used for natural or spiritual brothers.  But, we use the context to understand that it must be “spiritual brothers” because everything else in the chapter appears to use natural symbols to point us to spiritual truths.  I can see this and I pray you can also.  You can search your Bible for G80 to learn how Paul and other N.T. writers applied this term “brethren” to the church family members.

Brethren here in this verse 10 must also be interpreted as those that are still living here on the earth since Satan was just thrown down form the spiritual realm of heaven back to the earth in a great fury of rage to wage war against those still not in heaven. I understand that there will be a lot of people that call themselves Christians that will not agree with what the Lord is teaching us here today.  But, I’m not responsible to make anyone believe the Bible.  All that any teacher can do is to present the facts given and then let the reader decide what they wish to believe for themselves.

While we are on verse 10 of Revelation 12 we must see and learn the second legal word term being mentioned. This term is the Greek word G2723 that was translated as “accused”.   Let me review the part of the verse statement that I wish to emphasize.  God says here “which accused them before God day and night”.  Wow, this is critical to understand.  This Greek word G2723 literally means “to be a plaintiff” in a court case.  This word plainly means to bring a charge of offence/crime against a defendant.  This is clearly describing spiritual court cases that were taking place 24 hours a day where God was the stated judge, Christians were the stated defendants and Satan was the stated plaintiff bringing the charges.  All of this legal activity stops after Revelation 12.  According to Revelation 12 these spiritual court cases do not cease until half of the tribulation’s seven years have gone by.  That literally verifies to us that they are happening right now as you are reading this lesson believe it or not.

BIBLE EXAMPLES OF SPIRITUAL TRIALS

I will end this lesson today with three examples of spiritual trials that have taken place. The first one is a trial that occurred before Jesus was ever born on the earth.  I am talking about a trial that is found in the oldest book of the Bible, the book of Job.  The story of Job probably occurred way over 4000 years ago.  My best guess would be sometime after Noah and before Abraham.

I am not going to go through every verse that I could, but I would recommend that you go and reread Job chapter 1 using the information we have learned in this lesson so far to verify that this is an example of a literal court case being waged against Job a righteous man.  In fact it would be good to read the entire book of Job looking at it from a legal court perspective.

This case is being brought before God by Satan who is bringing charges up against him to the Judge.  We learn by reading Job 1:6 that the trial definitely takes place in heaven as we have learned he had access to heaven from reading Revelation 12.  Satan appears before God and the omniscient Judge asks him two questions.  The first question in verse 7 is where have you come from?  You know God knows the answer but he asks the question for our benefit to connect us directly with vital information found in 1 Peter 5:8.  Remember what this verse said?  Satan answers the question truthfully and states he has just come from going to and fro in the earth.  Do you now see the direct connection to 1 Peter 5:8?  Your adversary the devil (Satan) goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.  God is giving us direct connected insight into Job’s court case by connecting us with a verse that helps us to understand the legal procedure taking place in heaven.

The second question asked by God to Satan was “Have you considered my servant Job”.  Omniscient God understands that Job was why Satan came up to heaven to start this court case.  Satan then asks God a question “Does Job fear God for nothing?”  This is the beginning of Satan’s introductory opening statement for his case against Job.  Any way I am not going to go through this all in depth in this lesson .  But, please understand and apply what we have learned from 1 Peter 5;8 and Revelation 12.  “Your adversary the devil goes about the earth like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” and “Satan accused them before God night and day”.

We also learn from reading and studying Job that God informs Satan that he has access to devour Job (all that he has is in your power Job 1:12) and this is what proves that Satan won that court case.  Satan obviously has found someone that is able to be devoured.

Satan then goes about Job’s life and kills, steals and destroys a great portion of his family and possessions.  It was a very clear victorious court case won by the devil over a righteous man on the earth.

But, what won the case for Satan?  I will let you into a couple of significant clues to why the court case was easily won by Satan.  There are at least two major things that Job did to open the door in the hedge of protection that God had placed around him.  First, it says in Job 3:25 that Job said “the thing that I greatly feared has come upon me”.  This verse informs us of the presence of “fear” in Job’s heart and it was this spirit of fear that helps open the door for Satan to win a case against him.  Fear is the opposite spiritual force of faith and without faith it is absolutely impossible to please God (Heb 11:6).  Therefore, fear is not a connecting force to God but it must be considered an attracting force of Satan.

The second mistake Job made was pride.  The Bible says that God resists the proud but gives grace unto the humble (James 4:6).  If you read the book of Job you will find that Job was found guilty of judging God and judging others (his friends) without sufficient knowledge to do either.  We should be able to understand that judging others and God is a clear sign of pride.  Job spoke many things that he was later rebuke by God for saying.

We learn these truths by reading the rest of the book of Job where he is speaking to his friends and later when God speaks to him.  Notice in Job 38:2 that God asks Job a question “Who is this that darkens counsel with words without knowledge?”  Here is a very good verse that informs us of another legal term.  A “Counselor” can be applied to a person of law or legal advice in a courtroom trial.  Perhaps you have seen this before.  What I am trying to say here is that words spoken in judgment of others without full knowledge can be an access point for Satan to win a judgment against you.

I have said enough about Job to get you started.  Now, let’s go read another example court case that transpired only about 2000 years ago.

The second spiritual trial that I want to point out from the Bible occurs while Jesus walked the face of the earth in the flesh with His 12 disciples about 2000 years ago. We will begin reading in Luke 22 and verse 31:

Luk 22:31  And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

Reading only the English language translation we miss so very much of the stated truth. Jesus is talking directly to Peter and calls him by name twice to emphasize the critical importance of the next statement to follow.  Satan as we learned from Revelation 12 and 1 Peter 5 was the direct adversary seeking access by legal complaint against the human Peter in this case.  Therefore, we understand that Satan is the plaintiff in this statement of Jesus.  The key word that must be examined with deeper understanding is the Greek word G1809 and it is incorrectly translated as “desired” in this verse.  While it is true that Satan desires to get to us all but that is not what the Greek word that was selected and written was intended to have been spoken by Jesus.  This Greek word literally means “to demand for trial”.  Jesus is warning Peter that he has done something that Satan believes gives him access to sift him like wheat.  Perhaps you should do a little research about how wheat is sifted.  Sifting of wheat is definitely not a nonviolent or peaceful act.  Anyone sifting wheat represents someone using their power, ability and force over the wheat being sifted to remove some good from the bad.  It would be good to learn more about this but that is not my primary subject.  I just want us to focus on the legal issues that must have occurred to give Satan the right to “demand” by a trial to have access to Peter’s life.  But, we later learn after this verse that Jesus (Peter’s implied attorney) prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail.  This does not mean that the sifting would not take place it only means Jesus asked the Father to help Peter come through the trial’s verdict being rendered.  It would be great to go and study more about what Peter may have done to be sifted but I don’t really have the time in this lesson.

A MODERN DAY TRIAL

I am not able to go into every sin that a person can commit in order to be bought into spiritual court by Satan the accuser but I will end this part of the lesson with a third true life firsthand experience of this reality that I experienced a few years ago. This testimony concerns the life of my father.  I learned of it by living it and hearing from others about it and I trust the testimony of those witnesses that have shared it with me.  My father was a pastor for several years.  I grew up attending his churches and hearing him preach his sermons.

My father was going to his second Bible school to learn and expand his knowledge of God and the Bible by attending good classes with great teachers. In his second year of this Bible school attendance in the first semester, he was sitting and taking notes when suddenly the man of God giving the lesson stopped and looked right at my father.  God was giving the instructor a vision of a great dark cloud resting above the head of my father.  The instructor knew from experience what this meant.  He knew it was a death cloud that was warning my father that he would die soon.  The Bible instructor called my father to the front of the class before all the other students.  He put his hand on him and rebuked death and prayed for him.  But, the instructor then asked my father to come see him privately so that he could share what else the LORD had given to him in his warning.  I was not present when all of this occurred but my mother was in the class and she is one of the primary witnesses to the story and my mother was not a liar.  She recounted this testimony after my father died.

I guess you already know that my father did not ever go and see the Bible teacher in private to hear the rest of the warning message from the LORD. A couple of months later my father had a stroke and was carried unconscious in an ambulance to a local hospital.  My brother was home when all of this happened and he can testify to the truth of this part of the story.  My father died a few days later after being transported.  He never regained consciousness.  He died like the Bible teacher warned he would.

The Bible teacher performed the funeral for my father and after the funeral my mother learned the rest of the message directly from the teacher that prayed for him. The Bible teacher informed my mother that God had told him to warn my father about his love walk with people.  I should rather say that it was a lack of his love that concerned him more.  Jesus gave us in the church a new commandment of LOVE and this is one way that Satan gained access into killing my father through his disobedience.  I believe very firmly that because my father was not walking in love towards others that Satan brought him up on trial.  I believe very firmly based upon spiritual laws that God tried to warn my father by even giving someone a vision of what was about to happen even before it happened.  Like the prophet that warned the king in the Old Testament to get his house in order for you shall surely die, the same occurred for my father.  However, the king in the Old Testament repented and prayed and he was granted more years on the earth.  I believe this was what was happening with my father also.  If he had repented and changed he might have lived a much longer life.

But, my father did not cooperate or may not have believed the warning or may have even wanted to go ahead and die.  We don’t know the reason why he did nothing to prevent Satan’s attack.  But that is what happened to him.  The thief came into his life and killed my father just as John 10:10 states.

There was also another door that my parents opened to allow Satan access into their lives in this spiritual court case. After they were first married and before I was born, they went to a fair where they were just having fun.  They ran across a fortune teller/palm reader tent and went in to play Satan’s deceptive game in ignorance.  The fortune teller informed my mother that she had a long life line and would live a long time on the earth, but when she looked at my father’s hand she told him he would die young.  I believe this foolish act set spiritual laws into motion and gave Satan a plot and a plan to bring up before God in my father’s trial.  Had my father not gone into the fortune teller based upon his knowledge of God’s word this may have changed his life significantly.  Had he rebuked the words spoken over him this may have also changed his life significantly.  But doing nothing is certainly the worst option that anyone can choose.  My mother informed me of all this after my father had died.

My father was barely 44 years old when he died. My mother lived to the age of 80 and the palm reader’s words both came true.  Become aware of the things that can open the door for Satan before it is too late.  Dabbling in the occult, fortune tellers, Ouija boards and the like, I believe opens the door for Satan to bring you before God’s court system.  Spiritual laws are put into motion by words spoken by us, over us or about us.  I believe that if we do not renounce them and rebuke them they will become seeds that grow and produce thorns and thistles in our lives.

CONCLUSION

Psa 43:1  Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.

This was only a basic overview and introduction of a much deeper subject. There are many other things to learn on this subject of God’s divine justice system.  I do appreciate your time in reading and studying the Bible on this website.  There are many other lessons that can be freely accessed by searching or clicking on topics and dates.  May God bless and keep you until the return of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ.

If you would like to continue reading in this series you may click here for “Part 2“.

Jesus Motivates Us to Move to a Higher AGAPE Love Walk!

the-greatest-is-AGAPE-love-e1406073920848-608x404(Ver 1.1) I was studying the Bible recently and was led across something that I believe was very good for us all to learn from.  I believe the Holy Spirit pointed this out so that we could learn a potential new perspective on a familiar story that we have all probably heard taught more than once.  This will be a Bible basics subject lesson on one of the most important subjects found in the Bible called love.  Uh oh?  I may have just lost a bunch of readers.  How boring that is, you might think.  You might say to me “I don’t have any problem with my love walk!”  At least that is probably what you think right now.  However, I believe the subject of love is the central theme of the entire Bible and a vastly misunderstood subject.  I believe no other subject comes close to its importance in the Bible and I pray that you will agree.

INTRODUCTION TO LOVE

You may already know that there is more than one Greek word in the New Testament that is translated into the English word “love”. I believe that is a significant problem.  If we don’t spend the time in digging deeper to know the original language words and definitions we will probably miss the most important message that God was trying to teach us.  I believe words matter more than we can imagine, especially God’s words.  I believe the chosen words of God are not by accident, chance or placed into the Bible by random human selection or influence.  God is a highly intelligent being beyond our normal human capability to understand.  Therefore, when God selects two different Greek words for “love” and uses them both in the same verse setting that must mean something very important even if we don’t yet understand what  is.  I pray that you will agree and even if you don’t yet agree I pray that you will at least be open minded enough to continue reading.

I recently read a Bible commenter’s opinion on this subject of the Greek word choices being made in the New Testament. This person believed that each human writer influenced the text and word selection for the love word choice.  They implied that the every Greek love word was synonymously interchangeable and one word could easily be replaced with another without changing the meaning of the verse.  But, I could not disagree any more.  This type of logic removes God’s participation in the word selection process almost completely.  You see I am a firm believer in this next verse that we must use as a foundation to base all of our Bible beliefs on.  I recommend that we all memorize this verse and never let it slip away from our minds:

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

“All” is one of the key words to focus on first. This verse clearly informs us that it concerns and applies to the whole Bible and every word that it contains.  In the Bible that would include every Hebrew and Greek Word of the original text that produced the translated 783,137 English KJV words.  However, I must disqualify the translated words.  I do not believe that any of the translated words were God inspired.  There are just way too many subjective translator opinions and errors imbedded to be found to conclude it is perfect like I believe the original text is.  I am not saying that we must all learn Greek and Hebrew in order to understand anything in the Bible.  But, I am saying that we all need to become a Berean type of Bible student like is found in Acts 17:11.  These Berean Christians were commended in the Bible for digging deep to confirm whatever is taught by men to be the truth is actually what God stated in the Holy scriptures.  I pray again that you understand how important this is.  Otherwise, we may just fall for any wind of doctrine that sounds the best and ignore what God actually said.

Today’s mini Bible lesson concerns two Greek words primarily that are both translated as “love” in the New Testament. These two Greek words in review are “Agapao” G25 and “Phileo” G5368.  You should be able to notice that these words are obviously two significantly different words based upon appearance, spelling and pronunciation alone and we have not yet attempted to learn the definitions.  We will dig into these love types much deeper as we continue the lesson.

JESUS TEACHES A HIGHER LOVE

Our Bible lesson is found in the book of John chapter 21. It occurs after the events of the death of Jesus on a Roman cross, the burial of His body in a tomb for 3 days and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead.  I believe that this event that we can study today was Jesus attempting to restore and help Peter to grow into a higher level of confident love following his denial 3 times of Jesus Christ just a few days earlier.  We will begin reading about this event beginning in verse 15 of John 21 and then we will continue reading down until verse 17.  Please read all of the verses carefully as the subject overview and then I will begin to break them down to help reveal a hidden message not easily found in the English translation:

Joh 21:15  So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 

Joh 21:16  He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 

Joh 21:17  He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

What did you get out of this reading? Did anything draw your attention from what I originally introduced you to before reading the verses?  Maybe nothing jumped out at you.  That is OK, but maybe the Holy Spirit pointed out something new for you to see and that is really great.  I believe that is God’s way.  He can use the same verse(s) to speak an infinite number of things to each and every person differently.  Let’s go through the verses one at time now and learn what we can see by digging deeper into them rather than a surface only reading, as I like to call it.  Let’s reread verse 15 first:

Joh 21:15  So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 

Jesus suddenly focuses on one disciple named Peter and asks him a very direct and personal question concerning their relationship. I believe Jesus did this on purpose and by design to help strengthen and encourage Peter’s faith.  You might recall in Luke 22:31 the writer Luke gives us some related very important information.  In Luke 22:31 Jesus informs Peter that Satan had desired to sift him like wheat.  But, then Jesus informs Peter that He had prayed that his faith would not fail.  Also later in this chapter of Luke Jesus informs Peter that he will deny him 3 times before the cock crows the night that He would be betrayed.  I believe that Peter is being told these things so that he might be prepared for them and then afterwards that he would also understand that Jesus is fully the Christ as Peter declared in Matthew 16:16.  Remember when Jesus asked Peter “Who do you say that I am?” and Peter answered to Him saying “You are the Christ the Son of God”.

I firmly believe that Peter like the rest of the disciples struggled tremendously after seeing Jesus taken prisoner, beaten and then crucified on a cross to die. This had to be a major blow to their beliefs in Him.  Once His body was laid in the tomb and the rock was rolled over it and sealed with guards posted in front of it, they had to at least think that they had made a great mistake in following this man.  I just can’t imagine the full impact of the challenges to their faith that they were facing during this time of extreme circumstances.  Give it some thought and see how you may have reacted.  What would you have done after seeing all of this?  I know we can read the Bible now and we may think that we may have been able to stand stronger than they did but I really don’t believe that is true.

No matter how great you believe your faith in Jesus Christ is now, Satan will come to you and try to shake your foundation of faith just like he did with Peter. This is what happened to Peter and I believe that Jesus did all He could do to prepare Peter’s heart for these events.  For example, in John 21:15 Jesus begins a lesson of assurance by asking Peter a basic very personal question.  Jesus asked Peter “Do you love me more than these?”  I believe that Jesus is simply asking “Are you sure that you love me Peter?” It is interesting that Jesus also adds a comparison of Peter’s love level with the other disciples’ love level.  The question contains the key word “more” and this is added by Jesus to teach Peter and us that a love amount can vary in measure, intensity, type and capacity.  Jesus was teaching us that our love level for Him may not be as great as other’s love level yet and that we may need to grow more in our love.  By this question, Jesus is implying we can all grow up in a higher level of love.  Can you see this?

Here is another very important point to make when studying any text in the Bible. We must understand that there were no punctuation marks in the original Greek text that I know of.  No periods, no commas, no exclamation marks, no question marks as we know in the English language.  Therefore, we should be able to understand that the tone of voice being spoken in could potentially be different than we believe changing the entire meaning of the words being spoken.

For example, if Jesus yelled “LOVEST ME MORE THAN THESE!!!” Would a screaming angry and mad Jesus change how we viewed the question?  It would definitely do that for me.  However, that type of Jesus personality screaming at Peter would contradict with His revealed character and nature found in many scriptures verses that reveal Him to be a man of great and intense love, mercy and compassion.  Therefore, this statement cannot be an angry Jesus questioning the loyalty of Peter simply because He knew Peter denied Him.  No, I believe that the words were spoken very softly and graciously to Peter in a great loving and compassionate tone of voice that grabbed the heart of Peter’s attention immediately.  I believe Peter could also see the great concern in the Master’s eyes and perceive the great kindness in the heart of Jesus.

Here is where I want to introduce you to the first Greek word G25 that was translated as “lovest” in the question directed at Peter.   This Greek word represents the highest type of “Agape” divine love.  This category of love is the highest form of any type of love listed in the Bible.  It is always an underserved, unearned and unconditional love type that is being extended to another person regardless of what occurs or how they act towards the person showing it.  I believe this is the most important and highest type of love in the Bible.  This is why my blog is called “AgapeGeek”.  I simply desire to teach the Bible in a way that displays God’s love to every reader.  I hope you understand the basic concepts of the God kind of Agape love.  If you don’t please ask any specific question and I will attempt to explain it with the Lord’s help.

Ok, Jesus asked Peter if he loved “Agapao” Him more than these. The answer to this simple question should have been either “yes” or “no”. However, Peter must have ignored the love word because he does not answer the question correctly at all.  Of course you won’t see this by just reading the English translation.  Only if we dig much deeper into the Greek words can we begin to understand the problem that Jesus was dealing with.

In the English Peter appears to answer correctly by saying “Yes, Lord you know that I love you”.  But, Peter changed the Greek word “love” type from the G25 “agapao” category of love to the much lower and less committed G5368 “phileo” human category of love and that was not what Jesus asked, was it?  You see the “phileo” category of love is merely a fond type of relationship that we can have with a good human friend.  This is a love category on a much subordinate carnal level of conditional feelings.  In other words if a friend said or did something wrong or mean to us, this might change our liking of fondness level or feelings for them.  However, the “agape” G26 type of love that Jesus was asking about would continue on unmoved despite the friend’s wrong actions or words.

I believe I can begin to feel the Lord Jesus heart drop at hearing Peter’s answered response.   I believe there becomes a greater level of sadness upon each of the following question attempts to get Peter to change his answer to raise his love walk with Jesus.  You did notice that Jesus asked Peter the same question 3 times, didn’t you?  Why is Jesus being so repetitious?  As we continue to study this discussion further we should be able to see that Peter becomes a little more sad after each question.  I believe the “phileo” love that Peter claimed that he possessed was certainly being tested and I believe that Jesus was teaching Peter to try to come up higher to the “agapao” type of love that He originally asked.  Let’s read the second verse question:

Joh 21:16  He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Here is another almost identical question and response session as was read in verse 15. However, Jesus asks Peter, do you “agapao” me but drops the “more than these” part of the question.  Why did Jesus omit the “more than these”?  I believe to show Peter to focus on his “agape” love and not anyone else.  And Peter again answers “Lord you know that I “phileo” you.  I believe another difference in this Q&A session from the previous one is the tone of Jesus’ and Peter’s voices being adjusted.  I believe Jesus asked His question with much greater, love, compassion and even some added sadness and disappointment and I believe that Peter answered with even a greater level of grief and frustration not understanding yet why it was asked again.  This is what I believe makes the most sense in the story, but I know this is my personal interpretation and you can believe otherwise if you choose.

I still ask myself and God why the omission of the “more than these” as part of the question. The only answer to that question that I have been able to determine is the fact that Jesus is giving Peter a much greater emphasis to the specific Greek word “agapao” type of love.  I even believe that Jesus is making an implied statement that maybe no one “agapao” loved Him yet.  But this might be wrong since John was one of the disciples there and he is often referred to as the “love” disciple since he wrote more about the subject than all of the others combined.  Now let’s read the last time the question is asked and observe what changes now:

Joh 21:17  He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Reading the English translation it appears that almost nothing changed. So God is either wasting a lot of words and Peter’s time asking him the same question or we are just missing the point and I believe it is us missing the point.  You see Jesus changed the question dramatically the third time He asks and He used a totally different Greek word this time.  Why would Jesus do this and what was the reason for the modification?  If we dig deeper into the Greek language again we will learn that in the third question Jesus dramatically lowers the love level asked to Peter to a level of “phileo”, Peter’s previous two responses. I believe that Jesus changes His tone of voice to a much greater sound of sadness and hurt.  I believe completely that Jesus was saying this paraphrase “oh Peter, what do you mean that you are only my friend?”

I believe we can begin to see Peter’s change of heart in this attempt of Jesus to get him to love Him on the highest unconditional level. The KJV Bible translates Peter’s feelings as an emotion of “grief”.  The Greek word G3076 that is translated as “grieved” literally means that Peter was greatly saddened by Jesus asking Him 3 times.  However, I believe this is not completely accurate simply because Jesus did not ask Peter the same question the same way, 3 different times.  Either Peter is clueless to what Jesus was attempting to ask him or I am.   Please ask yourself this question and see if you can think of a reason why Jesus comes down to a much inferior love type in the final question.

WHY DID JESUS WANT PETER TO AGAPE HIM?

Please allow me to give you a solid foundation for why I believe that Jesus is attempting to teach Peter about his “phileo” love to change it into an “agapeo” love. We will begin this section with a verse spoken by Jesus before His death on the cross and subsequent ressurtion.  Let’s turn our Bibles to John chapter 14 and read:

Joh 14:15  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

You see Jesus taught this truth to us that if we “agape” (G26) Him, we will keep His commandments and this certainly implies that we will not let them slip away from our hearts and minds.   If the words of Jesus are first in our minds this will help us so that can continue to do them even in the tough times of persecution and other life challenges. This is why I believe that Jesus asks Peter what appears to be 3 different times in the English KJV translation what appears to be the same question.  I believe Jesus was teaching Peter the difference between just a human friend kind of love that can fail and the God kind of love that will never fail.  The God kind of love will obey Him and the friend kind of love may not obey when the going gets too tough and hard.  I believe Jesus was teaching us all that the road ahead is going to get very rocky and rough and we will need to raise our “love” level up much higher in order to endure it to keep doing what Jesus wants us to do for Him.

Joh 21:18  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 

Joh 21:19  This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. 

We should be able to understand more clearly what Jesus was trying to emphasize to Peter by reading the rest of the story in verses 18 and 19. Reading these verses we learn quickly that Jesus changes from the right now do you love me to the future tense of years to come.  This informs me that the “Agape” love is what is going to be needed to endure the life that Peter was going to experience.  If you read early church history you should find that Peter is crucified upside down on a cross.  Wow what a horrible death that was.  Not to mention the times he spent in jails and chains for preaching the gospel.  If Peter had not raised his love walk to the love level of Agape I do not believe Peter would have been able to succeed in following Christ’s example fully.

All we need to do is to read Acts chapter 2 to find out how quickly the “love” level was raised to God’s Agape type of love in Peter’s life. Remember that Peter goes from denying Jesus 3 time only 50 days earlier to now preaching about Him in public to thousands.  Can you see how this is a fulfillment of the command of Jesus to “Feed my Sheep”?  I can see it very clearly.  This act of preaching was a demonstration of Peter’s divine love and it displays such an amazing transformation from his previous “phileo” level of love commitment to Jesus.

I believe that this is a lesson for each Christ follower.  We do not fully know what will happen to us tomorrow but we can prepare for even the worst possible events by embracing the God kind of Agape Love.  I pray this short Bible lesson was a great blessing to you and an encouraging word from the Lord to raise your love walk with Him.  May God bless you always.

Understanding Persecution: Beware the Rise of the Spirit of Saul – Part 2

persecution1(Ver 1.1) This is Part 2 in a series of advanced Bible study lessons concerning the increasing growth of the persecution of the church today.  I believe sincerely that this was a message that the Spirit of God spoke to me recently in the middle of the night.  This message of warning I believe was very clearly given.  Therefore, I feel led to pray for every reader to grow in spiritual discernment to be able to perceive this persecution that is already beginning to happen all around us and to stand strong in their faith in the face of it.  If you have not read this series of lessons from the beginning I would highly recommend that you go back and start with “Part 1” first.

Please realize that this Bible study subject is intended and I believe that it was designed by the Lord for mature spiritual Christians primarily. It may potentially address many advanced new spiritual topics that may offend, or cause fear or confuse a new or immature Christian.  It is my greatest heart’s desire above teaching what I believe that the LORD gives me to share, to never intentionally offend or cause fear to occur in any new Christian which cause them to fall away from seeking to learn more.  I believe very sincerely that it is essential for any Bible message being taught to not introduce a spirit of fear into any Christian’s heart (2 Tim 1:7).  I believe this even when the message concerns a coming increased level of hatred towards Christians that may occur.  When reading this message, fear should not be the end result.  If it is then I have failed.  Therefore, please perform a self-evaluation, praying first asking the Lord to lead you if you should continue to read and study this subject before continuing.  Thank you.

 

INTRODUCTION

In the first lesson God introduced the subject matter using a message revealed within the life of a man named “Saul” of Tarsus. Saul of Tarsus was a very religious zealot that believed he was doing well by persecuting and killing Christians when in actuality he was being deceived and used by Satan to do evil.  We can learn this from reading Saul’s own subsequent writings to us in the church where he describes to us that he was just the human flesh and blood game piece being played, influenced and manipulated by the evil unseen spiritual force called Satan.

As you should recall, Part 1 introduced the subject of persecution from the viewpoint of 4 different perspectives. One perspective was that of the human persecutor Saul.  Another perspective was from God’s viewpoint and another was from the observation of the one in the church being persecuted.  Finally, the last perspective was from Satan.  Satan’s viewpoint represented his beliefs based upon his versions of truth and reality.  However, I was only able to touch that part of the discussion very briefly.

Today I want to focus more in-depth on the actual spiritual enemy’s perspective and the reasoning given to us in the Bible behind why Satan is so highly motivated to persecute the church. I believe if we can understand why our enemy desires to hurt us we will better know how to resist, withstand and even overcome the attacks.

But let’s first be reminded of a good definition of what “persecution” is from the dictionary.

Persecution: hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs.

Persecution is the act of someone causing hurt, harm, injury or even death to another human simply because of a strong disagreement or differences between someone’s appearance, associations or beliefs. Persecution can be physical, mental or emotional and even all of the above at once.  You must also know that the roots of all persecution originate from seeds of evil planted from the kingdom of darkness and we will soon learn why these occur.  That was only a very brief overview of what was covered in Part 1.  Therefore, let’s get started on a new lesson about the subject of “persecution”.

 

SECTION 1: OBTAINING A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF WHO THE SPIRIT OF SAUL REPRESENTS

It may have been difficult for a few readers to understand the stated concept of the warning that I believe was given to us by the LORD concerning “beware, the rise of the spirit of Saul”. Is it possible that this was a direct reference to the external spiritual being named Satan?  This “spirit of Saul” statement could possibly be a reference to at least three different possible interpretations.  Think with me logically for a moment.  First, this reference could be the actual human spirit of Saul himself returning to the earth as we read about Samuel returning to the earth in 1 Samuel 28 to speak with the first Saul king of Israel.  If you have studied the Bible you should already understand that man was created by God as a tri-part being; 1) man is a spirit that possesses 2) a soul (a mind, will and emotions) and this spirit lives in 3) a physical body (1 Th 5:23).  That is one possible logical interpretation.

Second, a “spirit of Saul” statement could be referring to just the rise of a hostile attitude towards Christians without being related to any one person of direct responsibility. Please review this one dictionary definition of the word “spirit”:

spirit: those qualities regarded as forming the definitive or typical elements in the character of a person, nation, or group or in the thought and attitudes of a particular period.

Using this definition we could take the character, thoughts or attitudes of anyone on the earth similar to the man named Saul and say that is what is returning to the earth today and I believe that would be correct to a great extent. However, we must ask is there something or someone that is driving these things to reoccur today?   Is there anyone that can be identified to be directly responsible for the evil?  I believe the answer is yes.  I based this belief upon two important characteristics 1) the TRUTH OF THE BIBLE and 2) God’s created laws of physics.

I would be foolish to attempt to teach the laws of physics in a Bible lesson on persecution. But you may be wise to extend some effort to study this subject to learn more about the subject of causality. This basic principle of physics teaches us for every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction.  In other words even basic common sense teaches us that nothing good or evil happens without an originating cause.  Simply speaking we should understand that cars do not assemble themselves.  If you can see a car, you must logically assume a designer and creator of that car.

I believe this principle of causality is also the basis for the subject of persecution also. Persecution does not occur by accident or random chance.  It must be directly caused by a being capable to desire it, design it, initiate it and control it for an intended purpose.  This brings us to the third possible interpretation for the “spirit of Saul”.

The third possible interpretation for a “spirit of Saul” statement could be a direct reference to an independent external supernatural spiritual being influencing the natural man Saul. I believe very firmly that this was the way that it is being used by the Holy Spirit in the message.  In fact I believe it was an indirect reference to Satan and can be no other possible spiritual being.  If you also believe this is true then you just might wish to skip the remainder of this section of the lesson because it is going to be designed to provide other Biblical confirmations of that subject matter only.  The section following this confirmation in the Bible lesson will continue to get into new material on the subject of “persecution”.  You are free to move directly down to the next section if you feel led by the Spirit of God to do so now.

I will do my best to provide a couple of quick examples of this type of stated truth for the “spirit of Saul” utilizing additional associated subjects and related references in the Bible. Each new reference type given should help us establish the basic concept that the “spirit of Saul” can legally be referring us to a completely different independent responsible spirit other than the human spirit of the man being directly named.

The Bible contains multiple repeated patterns that can assist us to prove basic spiritual concepts. We can find these and use the occurrence of each Bible reality to support our understanding of possible types and examples which are similar.  For example, please read this next equally patterned verse that I believe was revealed to me by the Lord very carefully and see what God is saying about a spirit and two natural men named Elijah and Elisha:

2Ki 2:15 And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.

Here in this reference of the “spirit of Elijah” is found the exact same form of the principle and pattern as what was given within the “spirit of Saul” statement. However, in this revealed pattern there is a major difference in the transferred type of spirit that was now resting upon this man Elisha originally resting on Elijah.  The major difference is between good and evil.  Elijah and Elisha were men of God that do things that are good and Saul was a man guilty of doing evil.  This represents an antithesis truth comparison. Both are related patterns upon opposite ends of a truth spectrum.

I believe that this shifted spirit being transferred from Elijah to Elisha must be the good Holy Spirit. I believe very firmly that the Hebrew word H7307 which was translated as “spirit” in this verse should have been translated as the capitalized word “Spirit”. Translators capitalized this word as “Spirit” in over 30 other O.T. verses.  Therefore, it is a very legitimate way to use the word when it is recognized to be referring to God’s divine Holy Spirit.

This lower case translation as “spirit” just causes significant confusion and it conflicts with other verses found in the Bible. For example, I have found no verses in the Bible that reveal that a man’s human spirit can be transferred to or ever exist inside the body of a completely different named human being. We can easily observe this truth from reading a literal true story that Jesus taught to us.  For example go and read in Luke chapter 16 where Jesus tells us of the natural deaths of two actual men, one an unnamed rich man and the other a poor beggar named Lazarus.  Upon the death of each man, both human spirits depart their dead bodies and leave the earth immediately being carried away by the angels to two different locations under the earth’s surface.  Knowing this truth alone makes it impossible for the literal stated “spirit of Elijah” to represent Elijah’s actual human spirit.  The “spirit of Elijah” cannot come back or even stay on the earth to rest upon another human body named Elisha. That would be a very false teaching likened to “reincarnation”.

Also remember a related story found in Luke chapter 9 when Jesus was transfigured on the mountain top and both Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus talking. It is worthy to note that the Bible does not say that this was Elisha’s appearance.  Therefore the spirit of Elijah must be separate from Elisha in 2 Kings and afterwards in Luke 9.  It would be very logical to think that this is the way it was then and still is now.  We can further confirm this truth seeing the departure of Elijah’s body and his spirit when he was taken away from the sight of Elisha being separated by a fiery chariot in 2 King 2:11.

2Ki 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

The fact that both Elijah and Elisha appear together in repeated verses found in 1 Kings 19, 2 Kings 2 and 3 prove that both men are human and possess independent human spirits. The fact that Elijah is stated to depart the earth further proves that Elijah is no longer here to rest on Elisha.  Therefore, this referenced “spirit of Elijah” in 2 Kings 2:15 cannot be a literal interpretation for Elijah himself to remain here on the earth.

There are just too many implied controversies and conflicts given to us for us to believe that the human spirit of Elijah could possibly be transferred up and away from the earth but still remain here on the earth to rest upon the human spirit of Elisha. I’ll say it again in a different way, there is just absolutely no way that this belief of a human spirit transfer can fit any type of knowledge or understanding of central truth found in the Bible.  Therefore, God must be speaking of a different spirit that was transferred from Elijah to Elisha and this Spirit must be the Holy Spirit.  Let’s look at another related contextual verse to help us understand this more clearly:

2Ki 2:9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.

Here is a great new mini lesson to help verify that the “spirit of Elijah” in 2 Kings 2:15 must be translated as the “Spirit on Elijah” in order to not conflict with contextual Bible truth. First, notice that Elijah says “He is about to be taken away”.  That statement would be a clear lie if his spirit remained on the earth to rest upon Elisha.  Do you understand this?  A man is his spirit and a man is not his physical body.  The physical body is simply the house that the man’s spirit lives within.  Remember what Paul wrote us in 2 Corinthians 5:8 “to be absent from the body is to present with the Lord”.  Wow, I hope you can put this verse together to see the truth with the “spirit of Elijah”.

Also, notice that there is a potential major conflict found on the surface by Elisha’s request to Elijah.   Elisha asks for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.  Again I believe this word should be capitalized as “Elijah’s Spirit” to be seen correctly as God’s Holy Spirit that was resting upon Elijah.  You see God’s Spirit resting upon Elijah was just the unseen reality that Elijah possessed personally.  Then notice what Elisha asks for more specifically.  Elisha asks for a “double portion” of this spirit and again this can only be a double portion of God’s Spirit.

I have found no Bible references that infer that a man’s human spirit can increase in any measured capacity, quantity or status other than to grow in qualities like faith, strength and wisdom. I believe from years of Bible study that the human child that is formed in the womb of a woman has been given a fully formed and complete human spirit from God.  I believe that this human spirit is in its full presence and measured capacity.  I do believe that this spirit grows in knowledge, understanding and wisdom but I believe that this is not the increased size of the human spirit. Therefore, I believe that any stated increased “double portion” of Elijah’s human spirit presents another major Bible conflict.  However, if we translate and interpret this Old Testament request in this verse using revealed knowledge of the N.T. we will quickly learn the truth.  For example, read this:

Joh 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

As you read the context of this verse you can clearly see that this verse is speaking of Jesus. God declared in His written Holy Word that Jesus had been given the “Spirit of God” in complete fullness without any limitations or reduced amounts of capability to measure.  The Greek word G3358 translated in this verse as “measure” literally means “a limited or reduced portion of the complete or total” and by God placing the negative G3756 translated as “not” before this word it changes the meaning to say to us that there can be no reduced limits to the Spirit that was given to Jesus.  We could literally say God’s Spirit was given to Jesus in the fullest possible measured capacity.  Therefore, Jesus had the total possible amount of God’s Holy Spirit resting upon Him.  I hope and pray that you can see this truth because the unstated implications are also amazing.

This statement of truth about Jesus implies that every other human here on the earth can only possess the Holy Spirit in some much “lesser amount” or “reduced or limited portion” than what Jesus had. This truth teaches us so very much.  For example if you believe that you have all of the Spirit of God that you can possibly have just because you were born-again then you are very deceived.  There is always more of God that is available to come upon you, if you just ask for Him to come and receive Him by faith.

This means when Elisha asks Elijah for a double portion of his “Spirit”, Elisha could only be legally asking for a greater portioned amount of God’s Spirit than what was present on Elijah at that time. The increased amount of double of what Elijah had resting upon him was what was requested.  I hope you understood this basic logical truth.  I believe very clearly that God’s Spirit is the only single spirit that can be given and transferred to and from any human to another in greater amounts.  However, this does get more complicated by the fact found in the Words of Jesus when He declares that a demon can exit out of man and then return with 7 other demons that are more evil than himself (Mat 12:45).

I’ll end this small part of the confirmation by proving the Holy Spirit can “rest” on humans. This will help us further support the claim that the spirit of Elijah must be the Holy Spirit and no other.  And this fact will assistus to better understand how the “spirit of Saul” can also be transferred to rest upon other humans also.  In Acts 2:3 when the Holy Spirit falls upon the 120 in the upper room God declares that His Spirit “Sat” upon each of them.  That term “sat” is simply a synonymous way to say God’s Spirit “rested” on each human spirit present in a limited amount.  This was the exact same spiritual concept being studied in 2 Kings.

Num 11:25 And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.

We can use one of the basic interpretation principles called the “law of first mention” and find that the Spirit of God rested on other people in the O.T.  For example this truth is found in Numbers 11:25-26 where God clearly states using the exact same Hebrew word translated as “rest” as we have been observing in reference to Elisha. In these verses in Numbers God rested upon Moses and this same Spirit was then also transferred and given to rest upon the 70 elders that were called to help Moses govern and manage the people of the LORD.  That makes it very plain to me what God was speaking of in 2 Kings 2:15.

I’ve spent more than enough time on this rabbit trail study proving that the “spirit of Elijah” can only be correctly understood to be “God’s Spirit resting on Elijah” and it could only be His Spirit that can legally be transferred in an increased portion to rest on Elisha. These truths helps to support the claim that the “spirit of Saul” can also legally be understood to be Satan’s spirit upon Saul that is being transferred from one human (Saul) to another.

I will conclude this section of our persecution lesson with one further confirmation to how Satan can use multiple humans to bring persecution upon Christ and Christians. This will help us to see how one spiritual being can be transferred from human to human.  We will read four verses found in the book Luke.  I’m sure you have seen these before but they do teach us plainly about the root “spirit” that is truly behind persecution:

Luk 22:2 And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.

Luk 22:3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

Luk 22:4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

Luk 22:5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.

Please note in verse 2 that God says the religious leaders in Israel sought to kill Jesus. Also note that in John 10:10 Jesus claimed that Satan was the one that came to the earth to kill, steal and destroy.  I find that very interesting, don’t you?  It would appear to me that Satan had already entered into the hearts of these religious men in order for them to want to kill Jesus. Please recall who Jesus claimed was behind these rulers by reading these words spoken in John 8:

Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

You see Jesus informs these religious leaders that they desired to kill Him and that this was the desire give to them from their father. Who did Jesus say was their father?  Was it God?  No it was not!  Jesus was saying they were “of” their father the devil (aka Satan).  Wow, that is very strong language.  The root of murder according to Jesus is of the devil because he is stated to be the murderer from the beginning of the world.

Jesus was warning these religious human men concerning who birthed and controlled their 1) desires, 2) intentions, 3) thoughts and 4) their actions. But, these religious zealots completely ignored His warnings.  I believe that it is quite possible that one of our main subject’s Saul was standing in their presence when these words were spoken.  Wow, can you imagine that?

Go back and reread Luke 22:3 again. It is very clearly stated that Satan entered into Judas before Judas ever betrayed Jesus to the Jews.  Note the important concept being taught to us.  The spirit of Satan was not on or in Judas but then he came from somewhere or someone else to now be found present in Judas.  This statement reveals the very important concept that is being taught about spiritual transference.  The Holy Spirit, demons, devils and even Satan can be transferred from one human to another human as we have clearly observed in scripture.

The religious rulers of Israel were thrilled with this man Judas coming to help them trap, take prisoner, persecute and kill Jesus. This is no different than what Satan did through the man Saul to persecute and kill those in the church later after the death of Judas and the ascension of Jesus.  What I am saying is that the same spirit of Satan that came upon these religious leaders, Judas and Saul must be the same spirit that is now coming upon people in our world today to spread the same evil upon the church.

This is such valuable information to learn from. It teaches us the root cause behind the observed effect of church persecution is spiritual in origin and nature.  Judas went out and killed himself because of his great error in judgement to give into Satan and yet this did not end the persecution of believers.  Therefore, Judas cannot be the root cause of the persecution to Christ or Christians.  Judas was only a simple pawn chess piece that could be used to attack Christ and then be sacrificed and thrown away in a human garbage pile.  Satan could easily find another human to fulfill his further evil work on the earth.  Please see what Paul wrote about this unseen work of Satan:

Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Paul states very clearly “what is” the root cause source of evil in this world. Paul is a very wise and learned man from things he learned from the Lord Jesus and his personal life experiences.  Paul says there is a prince of the air that has the power and ability to work in men and women on the earth that willfully disobey the Word of God.

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

We could spend a lot of time just on this verse but I want to point out just a few key points found in this great truth statement. Satan is walking the earth just as we are informed he does in the first chapter of the book of Job.  The Greek word G666 which was translated as “devour” is a very interesting word to study.  This word literally means to swallow up as in gulping down a large glass of a beverage.  This is what Satan is trying to do to everyone in the world today.  Satan is an equal opportunity destroyer and it does not matter if you are saved or not saved.  He is looking for someone to drink in and use.  However this is only possible for people that open the door for him to come in to consume them.

Spiritual transference and influence is still true today in our world. Human terrorists are not our real root problem.  One terrorist blows himself up to kill people and then Satan has many other men, women and children to step into their role to be the next murderer.  I hope and pray that you will embrace these truths and take them to heart to see how persecution and the transfer of spirits work.   Let’s change the focus and learn more about why Satan wants to persecute you.

 

SECTION 2: ONE OF SATAN’S PRIMARY MOTIVATIONS FOR PERSECUTION

At the end of the first lesson in the series, I included a few verses from Revelation 12 that described how as the time of the end shortens, Satan’s fury and hatred increases. I believe this fury is growing exponentially as the end becomes nearer.  I also believe that this rage will continue to rise until after he is thrown down to the earth the final time having lost his soon coming war in heaven with God’s holy angels.  I believe these verses describe to us a spiritual being in tremendous panic mode.  Let’s reread a little to refresh our memory:

Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

Rev 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

Prior to these two verses in Revelation chapter 12, Satan (the symbolic dragon) was stated to have swept down with his dragon’s tail one third of the angels (the symbolic stars). These evil angels have fallen to the earth with Satan from heaven and that is not good news for the people left remaining on the earth.  But, here in verses 7 and 8 we learn some very important information concerning Satan.  First, think with me and ask why would a created being of inferior powers and ability choose to come against his all-knowing and all-powerful creator?  Doesn’t Satan have any fear of God?  I believe sincerely that Satan has tremendous fear of God.  But, I also believe that he considers that he has no choice except to fight against God in order to try to survive what is prophesied to come.  Satan knows so very clearly by reading the end of the Bible that he is going to be cast into hell very soon where he will have to spend all of eternity in punishment, anguish and torment.

Remember that Satan has been in heaven, led worship around the throne of God and has lived the best life and seen such superior things which were far better than anything we could possibly imagine here on the earth. Satan was created a model of perfection, created in a realm of perfection with the perfect association to the creator God who was and is perfect.  Why he chose to willfully and purposely rebel against a good and loving God is certainly an amazing mystery to most of us Christians.  Let’s review Satan’s end:

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

As you can plainly read in Revelation, Satan has a very dismal prophesied future. This is exactly why I believe Satan is highly motivated to try to find any way possible to not go there.  Do not forget that when Satan was created, he was an example of perfection from God’s best and highest order of His creation.  Satan continued as the model of “perfection” right up until the time that “sin’ was found in him through his pride (Eze 28:15).  I believe that it was Satan’s pride that caused him to think more highly than he ought to think of himself and I believe that it is now his survival instinct that causes him to fight diligently against God and His great power here on earth and in heaven.

I hope that you understand these truths because Satan definitely does. Everything that a Christian is destined for in eternity with the Almighty God, Satan has already experienced and I believe he is not happy to say the least to lose it all.  Let’s take a quick little exploration trip down a new rabbit trail on the subject concerning demons and devils to better understand Satan’s knowledge.  Please, read with me in Matthew 8:

Mat 8:28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.

Mat 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

Jesus traveling through the countryside encounters men that were possessed by devils. Please notice what the devils shriek when they see the LORD JESUS coming at them. We can clearly see from their statements that these devils know exactly who Jesus is and even call Him the “Son of God”.  Being the “Son of God” was certainly the truth and one of His primary given names.   Did you know that devils know and can speak the truth at times? Please notice the beginning of the question asked to Jesus “What have we to do with you?”  That was a question displaying their great fear of Jesus.  This statements ends with still another fearful question that begins with “Have you come to torment us before the time?”  Wow, what great fear these devils exhibit!  Can you agree?

Reading the devil’s questions we see that these spirit beings in a human know the truth that there is coming a future “set time” that will begin their eternal never ending torment. They also speak this truth long before the book of Revelation was ever written.  We also learn by their questions that the timing for this torment described in the future written Revelation 20 was not during the first appearing of Jesus the Son of God upon the earth.  This extraordinary knowledge of truth was way beyond that of any human comprehension on the earth at that time except for Jesus’ knowledge.  Jesus never denies these statements of truth nor does He contradict them.  They are completely agreed with due to the silence of Jesus.  Let’s review the facts of truth just given:

  • Devils have a very great fear of being tormented.
  • Demons, devils and evil spirits know that there is an appointed time of eternal torment.
  • The timing of eternal punishment and torment is stated to be in the future.

 

All of these three observed truths declare that every devil possesses a very great fear of God and of the coming time of never ending retribution. Did you know that devils and demons possessed this very tremendous terror of God and His power even back at the appearance of Jesus the first time on the earth?  If the lower levels of devils feared God’s future plans for them way back then how much more do you think their leader Satan and all of them fear these never changing plans right now?  I believe that this fear is even greater today than it ever was back then.

Jas 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Notice what the half-brother of Jesus reveals to us in his awesome letter to the church. James commends us in the church for having a holy belief in the one true God.  Then James implies by his adjoining statement that this belief should cause a righteous fear of God to similarly be present in us.  We can conclude this, because, James says that we are doing well to possess this belief in one God since the devils “also” believe and they tremble in fear.  What I am introducing in this section of the Understanding Persecution lesson is what I believe is Satan’s number one reason for persecuting the church and it is called “FEAR”.  Satan fears the omnipotent God more than I can describe in this lesson and it is primarily this great terror that causes his excessive hatred and rage against us in the church today. Please take this summary statement to heart and never forget it:

  • Fear is the driving motivational evil force for everything wicked that Satan does to the church using persecution.

 

 

SECTION 3: INTRODUCTION TO SATAN’S NUMBER ONE GOAL  FOR PERSECUTING THE CHURCH

Wow, if it is true that Satan is primarily motivated by the fear of God to commit persecution, what is his primary goal and objective for persecuting, killing and destroying Christians on the earth for the last 2000 years? What benefits to Satan could this evil work of persecution potentially gain him?   I believe that is a great question to answer and understand.  And I believe the answer has not changed ever since Satan killed Abel in Genesis.

Always, remember that Satan has been in the death business since the world began (Heb 2:14).  He wants us in the church dead and not only us but also the entire nation of Israel.  Why is that?  If Satan is already defeated as we learn in the New Testament, why is he still fighting so hard to kill everyone that God has selected?  Why does the religion of Islam call Christians in America the great Satan and the nation of Israel the little Satan? It sounds to me like Satan is afraid of us both and even our existences here on the earth.  Both of these nations must possess something that Satan fears as much as God.  What could this be?

Again we know from reading the words of Jesus in John 10:10 that Satan came into the world illegally to literally 1) kill, 2) steal and 3) destroy us while Jesus explained that His purpose for coming into the world was the antithesis to give us life and that life more abundantly.  These were and are still two opposing forces that are fighting against each other to prevail.  Satan should be viewed as our enemy trying to bring us to death but Jesus the greater one came as our provider of life more abundant.  Satan is certainly evil and Jesus is so exceedingly good.

We should now know from just reading this lesson that these three evil acts of Satan were and still are “fear of God” motivated. Therefore, I’ll ask again, what possible profit does Satan potentially gain from killing Christians, stealing from Christians and destroying Christian and their works?  This will become the focus of this section and we will let God’s Word answer these very important questions.

There is a really simple answer to the introduction of this section’s questions if we think about it and begin to ask some additional direct questions. Of course asking the right direct questions would certainly help us.  How about beginning by asking this question, “How did you become a Christian?”  I believe that if we can correctly answer that question that we will begin to travel down the right pathway to finding the truth about what is Satan’s primary benefit for the persecution of God’s people.  I’ll start this section with a familiar Bible verse found in 2 Corinthians:

2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

God contrasts two truths and one is given to be greater than the other. These are seen things verses unseen things and the unseen things must be viewed to take priority over the sense realm things.  The unseen things are clearly spiritual in nature.  If you are really a Christian that has been born again, you possess two very powerful unseen spiritual realities that Satan fears tremendously.  Every real Christian believer has these two unseen internal truths that speak to declare Satan’s greatest fear.  What are these two unseen internal and never ending unseen spiritual qualities that any real Christian possesses? These two unseen realities in us that Satan hates and fears the most are 1) the Spirit of God and 2) the Word of God.

1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

After becoming a Christian the Spirit of God dwells directly in us. That is why Satan fears you and wants to remove you from his worldly domain of darkness.  If there were no Christians in the world today restraining and resisting Satan what would be the moral condition of the world today?  I hate to imagine what would be happening based upon what is happening all around us already.

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

If you were born again, it happened because you received the Word of God into your spirit. It is the presence of this powerful incorruptible Word (seed) that is one of the major factors that Satan fears you.  This is so important that I can’t say it enough.  The Word of God and the Spirit of God are one and if you are a real Christian you have both in you in some measured portion which can be increased and even grow but I don’t have time to teach that today.  Let’s review a verse very quickly to see why the Word of God in you is so scary to Satan.

Rom 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

Wow, I love this verse of Godly truth. This verse represents a foundation for the second unseen reality that Satan hates about you as a Christian.  The Word of God should be in the mouth of every believer and we should be able to see that it is only this Word of Faith being in our mouth that represents our offensive weapon against Satan according to Ephesians 6:17.  Every time Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus spoke the Word of Faith to him “It is written” and after three attempts to get Jesus to fail Satan left him in defeat.  I believe very sincerely that this removal of the Word of God from your heart and from your mouth is the number one goal for all evil persecution.  If Satan can eliminate the Word of God from your heart with external threats and pressures from this world you will become no threat to Satan.

For the exact same motivation of fear that Satan attacks the all-powerful God in heaven in Revelation 12, he is coming against any real saved born again Christian now in the church. I believe that Satan is highly driven trying to save himself from going to hell as I have previously demonstrated and that this foolish behavior will continue to increase as the time for the end of this age is growing shorter.  I also believe that Satan’s chances for success are zero.  Yet I believe strongly that he will definitely still try to fight to win in order to attempt to change his inevitable outcome in whatever way that he believes he can do to help him the most.  If you do not believe Satan is still fighting to win over you and over God, then you may be very deceived.  Verses like Ephesians 6:11-12, James 4:7, 1 Timothy 6:12, 2 Timothy 4:7, and 1 Peter 5:9 to name a few all prove that every Christian is still in a spiritual battle until Satan is completely removed from this world.

As we learned earlier, Satan is not omnipresent nor is he omniscient. Satan does not come close to knowing what God knows or even understanding why God has done many things the way that He has done them.  God clearly uses seemingly foolish strategies in the eyes of Satan to defeat him (1 Cor 1:27).  Satan never understood why Jesus came down from heaven to the earth to become a human man.  The devils clearly thought it was to torment them before the time appointed.  I believe that Satan and his devils were all in terror when Jesus began to cast them out of people here on the earth using His anointed power. Acts 10:38 says “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and Power who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil”.  You see until Jesus came down to the earth, every devil practically had complete free reign to do as they pleased to humans if humans were tricked to open the door to let them in.  Jesus turned the world of the devils upside down so that they didn’t know what to expect next or what to do with Jesus to stop this major change to their long existence on the earth.  God reveals this to us in this truth:

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

1Co 2:8  Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

These two verses confirm the reality that Satan and all of his devils don’t know much about God’s ways. These two verses inform us that God had a very secret plan found within sending Jesus to the earth.  This plan literally included the voluntary death of Jesus on the cross and God says if Satan would have known this no devil would have allowed this to occur because I believe it sealed their doomed fate and destiny.

What did I say earlier was one of the things that we possessed now that Satan is in great fear of?   Remember one item was the “Word of God” as it is being mentioned in verse 7 of 2 Corinthians 2.  I believe this is the planned motivating goal of Satan.  He believes that if he can stop us from gaining any more knowledge of God’s Word that this will possibly extend, delay or even end the future plan of God to put them into hell.  However, we still have the Word of God that we can read further and learn more from:

Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

We should be able to easily learn from reading these verses that this death that Jesus experienced on the cross caused the triumphant defeat and the downfall of Satan and all of his unseen spiritual rulers of this world. This should be very excellent news for those that are still being persecuted by Satan today and those in the days to come.  It also should raise new questions in your mind.  For example, if Satan is a defeated enemy why does he still exist here on the earth and how is it that he still has any power or ability to persecute anyone?  I wish I had time to try to explain that completely, but I do not in this lesson.  In order to understand Satan’s goal for committing persecution we need to dive much deeper into the subject of the incorruptible word of God’s seed that I just introduced into the lesson.   We will do this by analyzing some familiar verses next.

 

SECTION 4: UNDERSTANDING PERSECUTION IN THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER

In a previous section I said Satan feared two truths, the 1). Spirit of God and the 2) Word of God in the heart of every born again believer. Then I taught that this fear was the primary motivation for all Christian persecution.  Now, I’m going to continue to confirm and expand this fact in this part of the lesson to help us better understand it. We will be turning to the most important parable found in the Gospels in order to better comprehend the reason(s) why the church is being persecuted.  This essential parable that I am referring to is often called the “Parable of the Sower” but we must begin to understand that it contains so much more information than just a simple message of a man coming to plant some seeds in what appears to be random types of ground.

We will soon discover by using a new look that this seed parable also contains our four perspectives concerning persecution. These were, 1) God’s perspective, 2) Satan’s perspective, and both the 3) persecuted church and the 4) persecutor’s viewpoint.  I will not include every verse of this parable in order to attempt to shorten the lesson today, but I would recommend that you go and reread all of the verses for yourself to refresh your memory to confirm what is being taught.

I will inform you upfront in this section that it contains some potentially brand new ideas that I believe the Holy Spirit just gave me concerning this parable. While I was studying the subject I believe that the Lord showed me how this parable fits my life in more ways than I thought.  I believe the Holy Spirit said to me in my spirit that this parable represents the ONLY true pathway to becoming a real saved mature born again believer.  I believe this is described from the beginning of our salvation all the way to the best possible end result of our salvation of producing a 100 fold spiritual fruit return on God’s investment in our hearts.  I will also inform you that this parable teaches us at least 6 things that Satan does to every hearer of the Gospel in order to keep that person from becoming a saved overcoming threat to his kingdom.

Let’s examine a very quick overview of the parable. In this parable a “sower” came to the earth spreading seed on 6 different types of ground (soil, hearts).  Three types of ground (soil, hearts) produced no lasting fruit for a harvest and three types of ground (soil, hearts) produced increasing levels of lasting harvestable fruit.  We should know from the explanation of the parable given by Jesus that the main seed being sown in heart to produce fruit represents the “Word of God”.  That is very important to know since I believe this is what Satan fears.  We should also know that the original man that sowed the good seed was sent down from heaven and His name was Jesus.  We can further understand that the soil represents 6 different distinct states of the internal unseen spiritual human heart.  Now, we should be able to logically deduce from just this amount of basic information alone that the end result of the seed (Word of God) sown is spiritual fruit and without this being found present it is impossible for us to be saved according to the Bible.  I’ll repeat this very important verse for further emphasis:

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

Jesus declared in John 3:7 “You must be born again” in order to enter the Kingdom of God.  Did you notice what God says about His seed here in this verse of first Peter?  God’s seed is confirmed by the inspired writings of Peter to be God’s Word and it is ONLY this successfully sown incorruptible good seed in a man’s heart that causes him to be born again.  I believe this is a good time for us to get into the divinely created natural birth process in order to better understand this concept of being born again.  God’s process of being “born again” spiritually is a direct parallel concept to the created natural process of being born in the natural human way.

Rom 1:20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

God gives us great wisdom in the New Testament concerning how to understand hidden and unseen spiritual truths. God clearly says for us to look at naturally created patterns of things to see and understand hidden spiritual concepts we do not see or understand.  This is why we are going to go briefly through the parallel process of human reproduction.

I will not be excessively graphic in this description because most of you should already know how human babies are made. However, for those few that don’t, the natural process takes two opposite humans to produce one new baby.  These two human requirements are always one male seed provider and one female seed receiver.  The human male always possesses the necessary seed for human conception and must sow it just as the sower of God’s word (a male named Jesus) possessed the spiritual seed that must be planted in a spiritual woman to cause a spiritual birth to potentially occur.  Both seeds (the natural and the spiritual) are implanted internally just in two very different ways for two very different intended destinations and results.  However, both successful seed processes produce the same end result called “fruit”.

Luk 1:42  And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

In the natural woman’s womb there is found an “egg” normally produced monthly that can be potentially implanted by the sown male’s seed. This natural sowing process to produce the human baby fruit as we just read in Luke 1:42 is a very real parallel to the parable of the sower that informs us not every seed that was sown takes root or produces fruit.  Both the spiritual seeds and the natural seeds have enemies that can try to prevent the seed sown from bearing any fruit. Some human couples take great lengths of time to produce a child in the natural and so it is with the spiritual re-birth process.  Some humans live all of their lives and get born again on their death beds if they are blessed to hear the gospel and receive it.  Just as having sex does not guarantee human fruit, so it is with hearing the Word of God.  There are so many that hear the truth of the Gospel and simply die and go to hell, not receiving it.

The womb of the woman is a direct parallel representation of the human heart (spirit). The female womb is an ever changing environment that goes in cycles of lesser degrees and greater degrees of fertilization and so it is with the human heart.  A human’s heart may be very tender and fertile to receive the word of God today but tomorrow it may be completely hardened because of life’s ever changing circumstances.

In the natural the male is always the sower of seed and it is only this seed successfully sown at the perfect timing that will potentially produce any fruit of a child. However, even as the parable indicates, there can be problems that cause the termination of the pregnancy and no child/fruit is delivered.  I’m sure some readers know this reality by great trial of experience.

That was only a very rapid overview of a naturally created and inspired process that was designed to be a view into the spiritual birth process. I pray that you will accept this as we continue to learn more and I encourage you to give this process some more thought and write me a good comment at the end of this lesson to share it with others.

As in the parallel of human reproduction, the “Parable of the Sower” reveals much more than just the planned attempt at producing good fruit. There is and always will be an enemy in this realm that will try to prevent the spiritual rebirth from taking place.  Satan does this in at least 6 different ways in the parable of the Sower.  If you allow Satan to steal the seed sown from your heart, there will be no new spiritual birth that will occur to produce any lasting or saving spiritual fruit.  Therefore, it is simple to see if there is no lasting Seed of God in the human heart, there will be no end result of any eternal salvation fruit.

The Holy Spirit reminded me as I was writing this lesson that I have personally been almost every type of the 6 different soil conditions mentioned in this parable by my own freewill choices. I believe that if you are a real born again Christian, then you have chosen to be most of these soil types also and endured to make the necessary changes and adjustments to go further.  I did not say you had to go through every soil type.  I believe you may have been blessed to bypass one or more soil types that do not produce fruit.  However, that does not mean you bypassed the attacks of Satan to try to steal the seed from your heart affecting those soil types.  Please, just begin to understand that it is the human’s choice which soil type that he or she wants to be.

For example, the Holy Spirit reminded me that I was the one that chose to be hard hearted pathway soil that allowed Satan to easily steal the Word of God that was sown in my heart as a very young man. The Holy Spirit then reminded me that it was my choice later in life that allowed the Word of God to come in on my shallow stony heart when I did receive God’s seed with gladness.  However, when Satan came as he does to every seed of God listener I became offended and turned away from God and produced no fruit.  As a result I failed to move into salvation to produce fruit.  God then reminded me of the phase of my life when I chose to receive the Word of God being more tenderhearted but I again allowed Satan’s evil seed to also enter in through the cares of this world to choke out the good seed and again there was still no Godly fruit produced for salvation.

I am now by my own determined choice, in a more lasting “fruitful” stage of my life having made the personal selections to not allow my poor past mistakes to keep me apart from producing any harvestable spiritual fruit. I am not saying that I am perfect now or that I have yet arrived at the one hundred fold return level of fruitful production but I believe that I am on the way to get there.  I hope this short testimony gives you a brand new perspective on what the parable of the sower represents and further helps you to evaluate where you might choose to be in this parable being described today.  I would be very excited to read your testimony of your path to salvation if you would care to share it in a comment.  It would be my great pleasure to read how you overcame the struggles and attacks of the enemy in any soil type.  Let’s start reading the “Parable of the Sower” in Mark chapter 4:

Mar 4:14  The sower soweth the word.

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

Ok, heart condition 1 was called the “way side soil” and this soil type represents a very hard compacted trampled on heart condition which does not allow the Word of God to even enter into it to take any root. Therefore, there is no salvation that can take place for this type of person.  In this soil type the seed (the Word of God) is very easily stolen away by the enemy of God (Satan) because there can be no understanding of any of the Word that was heard.  I’ll say this again using a few different words.  The reasons given for the ease of seed theft is first, a hard-hearted condition by a personal choice which caused a second condition of no real hearing or understanding of the Word of God to be able to enter into it.  I very firmly believe that this “way side” soil condition represents a person that has never been saved even if they went to church over and over and over. I believe that this soil type is like a man having sexual relations with his wife but the sperm sown never reached anywhere close to the egg inside her because it is blocked by some contraceptive device or substance or even by some physical condition that does not allow the seed to be implanted.

Like I said earlier, this way side soil type represented me in the early years of my life. I was raised in church but I was not really interested in hearing any of the Word of God that was being spoken.  I let the words go in one ear and immediately exit out the other ear being closed minded and uninterested.  I placed no value upon the Word and treated it with disdained unimportance.  There was no priority of importance or value given to the message and therefore the seed being sown was very easily stolen from my hard hearted condition.

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

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

The second soil condition is called “stony ground” and this was me when I was in my teens and early 20’s. My heart had started to have a very small amount of softness on the surface to receive only some basic concepts of the Word of God but, because I lacked any deep understanding and maturity I simply fell away when Satan persecuted or afflicted me with any pressure.   The main difference between the second type of soil and that of the first is that this soil has just a very small amount of loose soil (tenderness) that allows the seed to enter into it slightly.  But, because of no great ability of the seed to go deeper into the heart it simply dries up and dies unborn.  I believe this soil type can represent a woman that has a pregnancy occur but soon experiences a miscarriage because of some unforeseen circumstances from a natural enemy.  Perhaps you have experienced this and if so I am sorry for your loss.

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

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

The third condition of the soil is called “thorny ground”. I believe that this was me in my late 20’s and 30’s.  I was easily distracted by the cares of this life and the pursuit of worldly things and these personal choices allowed these thorn seeds to also enter in my hear to grow and develop and their presence choked out God’s planted seed in my heart again to produce no fruit.  I believe this can be many, many things.  For example, reading fiction books instead of the Bible allows evil seed to come into the heart.  Watching worldly movies also can bring into a heart evil seeds that choke out God’s Word.  Desiring fame, riches, cars, houses, boats, etc. can all allow evil seeds into a heart that produce no fruit.

I will remind you again that this entire parable concerns the primary subject of human salvation also called being born again. It describes the process entirely from the beginning steps all the way to either a successful completion to produce some spiritual fruit or there is the other side likened to a crop failure where no lasting fruit is produced.  It also reveals there are spiritual enemies and plans to abort the entire process and all of their techniques are intended to terminate God’s designed saving process.  Real spiritual salvation always begins with the impartation of God’s good spiritual seed called the Gospel and ends with at least some real lasting spiritual fruit being produced.  Those that produced no fruit were not saved and those that produce even a little bit of lasting fruit are saved.  Remember that Jesus said “You will know them (saved or unsaved) by their fruits” (Mat 7:16).

According to the interpretation of this natural parable the sower’s goal is to plant spiritual seed that produces spiritual fruit and He does this by speaking the Word of God into all types of human hearts every chance that He has. The seed that is sown is clearly for an intended good return.  Therefore, without hearing the Word of God there is no hope for our salvation and Satan knows this.  Wow, we now are finally beginning to really understand the primary goal for human persecution.  Satan is doing everything in his power to get God’s seed out of our hearts so that there is no fruit produced.

I would like for us to pay close attention to verse 15 of Mark 4 again. Here in this verse Jesus said when the sower’s word falls upon the “way side” type of soil that Satan comes immediately after the word was sown (heard) in order to take away the “Word of God that was planted in their hearts”.  I’ll let you in on another secret.  We must understand that this technique of Satan happens for every type of soil, not just the “way side” soil type.  Jesus was only teaching us how easy it is to successfully steal away the seed that was sown in this soil type.   But, please believe me when I say that Satan will use any and every one of his techniques to attempt to get God’s spiritual crop to fail at anytime.

Please allow me to stop and explain the parable further using some additional depth. We should be able to see that there are only two constants in the parable that never change.  These two unchangeable realities are the “Seed” Word of God and the God that spoke the “Seed”.  Everything else in the parable represents a variable substance or in other words a temporary or changeable reality.  For example, Satan changed from a good being to an evil being. However, based upon the Bible, I do not believe that Satan can change back to be good being again.

Two other major variables given in this parable are the “soil types” and the 1) techniques used to steal away the 2) Word sown from the soil. The sower in this parable certainly has changed from Jesus to you and I, but we are all technically still the body of Christ.  We can also assume that the human “persecutor” being used by Satan can change but a persecutor is just another hard hearted soil type that is clearly stated to potentially change by their own personal human choices.  For example we have already seen the man Saul become converted to become a sower of God’s Seed named Paul.

I’ve already touched on this subject of the changing soil types, but let’s go deeper still into this part of the discussion. Who determines what type of soil that you are?  Does God predetermine your soil type before you were conceived in the womb or maybe during the time you were growing in your mother’s womb?  If you believe yes, that type of faith is very wrong.  This type of false belief is based upon an erroneous extreme sovereign God predestination doctrine that preaches nothing happens expect it be the will, purpose and plan of God.  In this type of extreme belief the human plays absolutely no role in being saved or being lost because that was all prearranged by God’s sovereign choice, power and divine will.  However, that is not the truth but rather a deception of Satan’s design.  I’ll tell you plainly again that it is you and only you that chooses to believe to be saved and you are also the only one that determines what soil type that you are represented to be from your childhood to the right now present time.  Here is just one confirmation to what I just taught:

Luk 10:40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

Luk 10:41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

Luk 10:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

I inserted these verses to help confirm the soil type is the human’s choice. Jesus clearly places all responsibility for listening and hearing the Word of God that He spoke upon the listener.  Mary made the clear right choice and Martha was distracted and burdened by making the very clear wrong choice.  Mary represented good ground by her wise selection and Martha in this story represents “thorny ground” because she was loaded down with the cares of this world that choked out everything that was being spoken in her house.  Wow, that is very powerful.

You can be as hard hearted as you can possibly be and yet you can also choose to change immediately to become as tender hearted as God wants you to become if you will ask and allow God to help you to change.  This was a perfect description of Saul.  Saul encountered Jesus and from that moment forward he never looked back on who or what he had chosen to be in the past, except to regret his previous bad choices. I would highly recommend that we all choose to become the best “good ground” that produces much fruit by applying God’s Grace and Word through our faith in Him and His Word.  Let’s reread some previous verses from the lips of Jesus again:

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

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

Here again are the very essential verses concerning our primary lesson subject on persecution. As I previously stated this is often called the “Parable of the Sower” but technically remember that it is the story of the successful or unsuccessful salvation process.  God is using an exact matched discussion for the 4 different viewpoints that we have been studying about in this series on persecution.  In this parable there is the “sower” and this viewpoint represents God Almighty’s perspective.  It is God’s Word that is being directly sown into the hearts of all people on the earth by it being spoken to them.  What was God’s objective for sowing His Word?  The Word of God was given to mankind by God in order for them to produce fruit and the existence of this fruit is the primary recognized pattern that proves someone is a true Christian (Mat 7:20).

From God’s perspective He desires to sow His Word into the hearts of all people in order that they might be saved. Notice that I said that they “might” be saved.  Even though God is not willing that anyone perish (2 Peter 3:9), God does not force His Word of truth or salvation upon anyone.   Even though God desires every man, woman and child to be saved it is up to every person to choose to be a Mary type or a Martha type of hearer, deciding what type of soil that they want to be.

Satan is your stated enemy because of God’s sown Word found in your human heart and Satan causes persecution to come because of the Word of God. Maybe you have never realized this before but Satan does not fear you without God’s Seed in your heart.  But, when the Word of God (the Seed) and the Spirit of God is found within your heart Satan has a major problem.  It is the Word of God in your heart that Satan fears because it and it alone has the power to put Satan to flight.  But, only if you know it, understand it and are willing to use it against him by speaking it, does he fear you.   This is still the given number one reason found in the entire N.T. for every demonic attack on Christ followers.  If Satan can take God’s Word from your heart you are “ABSOLUTELY NO THREAT” to him.

There are definitely unstated and implied symbolic human “persecutors” in this parable of the sower as related indirectly in verse 17 of Mark 4. The unstated persecutors are like the man “Saul” we have been learning from.  This type of man was one of the hard hearted types of soil that failed to allow the Seed of God into his heart to produce any fruits of salvation.  Saul definitely qualified as a man that the Word of God fell on by the “way side” and Satan did come into his heart to take the seed immediately upon hearing it by using thoughts, ideas and suggestions of deception to distract him from seeing any truth.  I hope you understand this principle because it will be what Satan does to you also if you are not yet saved reading this lesson.

Just because “persecution” was only mentioned in one type of soil called the “stony ground” please do not get the erroneous idea that you will never be persecuted if you are choosing to be some other type of soil such as the “way side” or “good ground”. That would be very foolish to think that way.  Like I taught before, Jesus was only pointing out when “persecution” could be the most effective on this one type of rocky ground.  But, I believe that if you have heard and choose to continue to hear the Word of God, you should expect “persecution” from Satan to come almost immediately after hearing any new Words of God.  I firmly believe that persecution will be inevitable and will not cease in this age to those that live Godly (2 Tim 3:12).

We have only briefly touched on the subject of persecution using the 4 different revealed perspectives found within the “Parable of the Sower”. God’s perspective in this parable is certainly to save and empower all of humanity by planting within us His Holy Word.  Satan’s perspective was found to be fear motivated and this causes him to try to get the Word of God out of the hearts of all humans to render God’s powerful seed ineffective.  Satan accomplishes this using many given plans and devices including affliction and persecution.  The third perspective given is called the soil and this represents the human where the seed tries to fall to enter in after being heard.  This man has the choice to become saved and fruitful by enduring the enemy’s attack plans or to remain unsaved by allowing the enemy to steal the valuable seed from his heart.  The final indirect perspective was from human people being used to take the word from your heart as a pawn of Satan.  Wow, I hope you are receiving all of this great information because I believe that this section of the lesson was really good and essential information for every Christian.

 

SECTION 6: PERSECUTION TO THE CHURCH IS INEVITABLE

Just living a Godly and Holy lifestyle will bring you the reality of persecution, God guarantees it in His Word. Whenever you do not look like those in the world, talk like them, curse like them, drink like them, party like them, take drugs like them, have sex like them, etc. it make you stand out as being strangely different and even abnormal to them.  It just takes one person of light going against the entire flow of the dark world to get the full focused attention of persecution.

Joh 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

In the entire life of Jesus, he did absolutely nothing deserving of ridicule, persecution and death, yet all of these happened to him. He was completely sinless in His life on the earth and yet it was this lifestyle that was hated by most of the religious leaders of the nation of Israel.  According to the words of Jesus, we should be no different than Him.   They persecuted Him beyond human comprehension and all of this persecution was unjust. I am definitely not greater than Jesus and therefore, Jesus guarantees me to be persecuted.  He does you also if you are His.

Mat 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

According to Jesus, not everyone is qualified to be persecuted because many are not saved even though they say they are a Christian. If you are not being persecuted, I would ask yourself why not?  What am I doing or not doing before a person of the world that makes me fit into their model of normal?  Notice what verse 11 says.  Jesus says you are blessed “WHEN” men persecute you.  He did not say “IF”.

I believe that it could very difficult to feel that you are blessed when someone is beating you, torturing you and putting you into prison for no good reason. It would be completely different if we were guilty of a crime.  The thief hanging on the cross spoke to the other one and declared that they were getting what they deserved but Jesus was not.  However, Jesus is still giving us some real positive encouragement to endure in verse 10.  He is declaring to us that we can stand through it all, if we look at the big eternal picture and can see that this life is a very short insignificant period of time.

Rev 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

I’ll end this section with this one verse found in Revelation. This is Jesus speaking again to the church.  He tells them very plainly they will suffer persecution to the extent of jail and even death.  Then Jesus says very clearly if you endure it there is a righteous reward in doing so and this is what we speak of briefly in section 7 of this lesson.  However, in conclusion I want you to see what Jesus said in Revelation 2:10.  Jesus is plainly informing us of the root cause of persecution.  Jesus clearly says it is coming from the devil even though Jesus is speaking indirectly of natural men and natural prison buildings that are used by Satan.  Wow, that is very important confirmation to the root cause of all “persecution”.

 

SECTION 7: THE CORRECT PERSECUTION CHRISTIAN REACTION

A Christian’s reaction to being persecuted could be many different possible personal choices. We could choose to be very angry and to even resist and fight back.  That is what most people in the world would certainly do.  However, that is definitely not what the higher Christian examples in the Bible teach us to do.  I’m going to end today’s lesson with two very quick examples of the correct Christian response to being persecuted.  I believe that if we are able to follow these two great examples, we will be significantly rewarded by the Lord in the life eternal to come as we just read in Revelation 2:10.

Luk 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Jesus was our model of perfection that all Christian standards should be following after. While He hung on the cross He said something that goes against all human logic and reasoning.  Jesus said “Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing”.  This statement proves two incredible things to us.  First it proves that Jesus knew that it was NOT these people that did this to him and second he also knew that they were doing it all unconsciously being led to do it by the unseen spirit of Satan.  This truth completely supports the beginning foundation of the lesson series on persecution.  Remember when we learned that we (Christians) are not wrestling against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph 6:12).

Christians often believe so very wrong. Many Christians believe that Jesus lived an unobtainable life example that was far out of their reach to achieve.  However, that is just not the truth.  According to the writings of Paul in Romans 8:11 a Christian has the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead living on the inside of them.  This was God’s plan of salvation to come on the inside of every Christian to help them to live Christ’s example.  We are not doing it all alone.  We have a helper according to Jesus in John 16:7.  Wow, that is great news.

The second example in today’s lesson is that of a normal man like you and I that we talked about in the first lesson. His name was Stephen.  Hopefully you will recall that it was Stephen that was stoned to death as Saul watched and consented gleefully to his death:

Act 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Stephen was not Jesus. Stephen was not even one of the original 12 disciples of Jesus.  In fact Stephen literally came from the ranks of just basic Christian disciples like most of us.  Sure Acts 6 says Stephen was chosen by the 12 to administer some affairs of the church along with six other men, but that does mean he was better than you or I.

Stephen did absolutely nothing deserving death and here he was being stoned. What was the reaction of Stephen to his unjust violent and painful persecution of death?  Hopefully you can see that it was practically identical to that of Jesus’ reaction?  How was this possible?  How could a Christian disciple possibly ask and pray “Lord, do not hold this sin against these people” while he was being stoned?  This type of reaction defies all human natural thinking.

The first time Stephen is ever mentioned in the entire Bible is Acts 6:15. There is no record that he ever walked with Jesus or even saw Him in the flesh as Jesus ministered personally here on the earth for three and half years.  So who was this unknown man that had the power to follow exactly after the pattern of Jesus’ forgiving example?  Wow, I believe Stephen could just possibly be one of the men that got saved when Peter stood up and preached the Gospel in Acts 2.  It was probably a year or less from Acts 2 when Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit until he as stoned to death.  That was a very short time of being a Christian to endure such a death.

I firmly believe that God put the example of Stephen in the Bible to prove that if he could respond correctly to persecution then anyone could do it. This includes me, you and anyone else that will get saved from now till Jesus returns for us.  Do you think you will be able to do this same response when you are persecuted?  Can you follow the example of Jesus and Stephen?  The answer is yes, but will you choose to do so?  You will if you are committed to Christ.

What is the number one factor for choosing the correct reaction to persecution? I believe the answer to that question is love.  Jesus certainly had this great love and I believe Stephen had it also.  It takes a great amount of love to forgive someone while they are killing you.  If you don’t have this love, you can get it by asking Jesus to come into your heart, right now.  I believe that this is absolutely the only way to do respond correctly during persecution.  If you are not saved and believe you can die like this, please ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior right now.  It will be the best decision you have ever made and ever will make.  Please leave me a comment if you have enjoyed this lesson.  God bless you and thank you for reading this Bible lesson.

Understanding Persecution: Part 1 Beware the Rise of the Spirit of Saul

persecution-1

Persecution

(Ver 1.1)  What a strange title for a Bible study? What could this possibly mean to us here in this modern world?  Who was Saul?  What is this spirit of Saul reference?  I was recently awakened in the middle of the night at exactly 3 AM and suddenly these words arose up in my spirit saying “Beware the rise of the spirit of Saul”.  Then Bible verses came to my memory about this actual historical man named Saul and this Bible lesson is the result of my middle of the night awakening.  I believe this message was from God speaking to us all a warning according to His stated works in John 16:13.  I believe God was informing us of a coming resurgence of an old spiritual force that persecuted the early church and I believe it will become as “great as” or even greater than what the early church encountered and endured.  I believe that it is obvious that this is the increasing trend and movement found within the present unsaved world, all those living in darkness (Eph 2:2).

Modern unsaved people living in the world today are identical to all others that came before them. They are all opening a door to allow the repeat of a pattern of ignorance that causes them to not comprehend the difference between that which is called “good” or that which is called “evil”.  In them there is no understanding or acknowledgement of who or what represents the true God of good or who or what represents the false deceiving god of evil (Satan).  That which God called evil in His Word is being tremendously magnified and exalted by the unsaved world to be called normal and good and everything that God called “good” is being called evil at the same time (Isa 5:20). Anyone that speaks against what is called evil by God is being persecuted and called a bigoted intolerant hate monger.  What a sad condition the world has fallen into and I believe by observation that it is getting worse.

Today Christians that are simply speaking the truth in love warning those that are on the way to hell are being labeled as evil. This must break the heart of God greatly and we will see an example of this in the lesson.  If you knew that the highway that you were traveling on had a major bridge on it and that it had just collapsed, would you not try to stop everyone that was about to fall to their death because of the deep drop off?  The drivers of the cars on the road at night are about to die because of their ignorance and inability to see the truth.  Wouldn’t you warn them?  That is what every mature believing Christian is faced with today.  We can shut up and be silent or we can cry out and try to save them.  It is our choice but any warning given may be ridiculed and laughed at by those being warned because probably most will not believe it.

Jesus gave us many warnings about these end times before His return to the earth. One warning to us was very clear when He said “As it was in the days of Noah and of Lot so shall it also be again in the days right before the coming of the Son of Man” (Luke 17:26-30).  I am very sure that this statement describes the exact days that we live in right now.  It is by no chance or accident that Jesus (God in the Flesh) chose these two biblical events to describe the times directly before His return (2 Peter 2:5-6).  However, that is really not what this Bible lesson message is concerning directly.  The message of Noah’s flood and Sodom’s destruction is however an indirect applicable truth to this lesson of warning about the subject of coming persecution.  Noah was laughed at and the angels in Sodom were commanded to come out and have sex with the men.  How appropriate are these two witnesses of truth?

 

Introduction to the Spirit of Saul

Let us now get to God’s basic message concerning the “spirit of Saul” warning spoken to me. The main subject of today’s lesson is concerning the theme of persecution.  We will be looking at this subject from at least three or four different perspectives.  The first perspective is that of the persecutor.  The second perspective is that of the Almighty God.    The third perspective of persecution will be driven from the one being persecuted and these are Christians.   And the final perspective introduced today is that of the enemy Satan..

  1.  The Persecutor’s Perspective
  2. Almighty God’s Perspective
  3. The Persecuted Church’s Perspective
  4. Satan’s Perspective

We will similarly be addressing basic definitions and questions concerning this very important and timely subject. We will also look for scriptural answers in the Bible for why persecution occurs and who is ultimately behind it all.  As part of the study we will briefly introduce why God allows persecution to occur and see what His attitude and response was in the past and could be again today since we know God does not change (Malachi 3:6).  As a final part of the Christian perspective discussion in today’s lesson we will introduce how a Christian’s expectations should already be preset before this persecution occurs to them.  Please don’t be surprise when God warns us that persecution will occur if we are living for God and obeying His Word and boldly declaring His truth in love to the lost and dying world.

2Ti 3:12  Yea, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

God promises us that we will be persecuted if we are living for Him and following after Christ’s example.  It would be wise based upon these words to check if you are being persecuted.  If you are not I would then check to see if you are following Jesus.  In Luke chapter 21 Jesus informs us of the coming end of the age describing wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes and famines that are already occurring and then in verse 12 Jesus said before the end of all these things you will be persecuted.  Jesus’ warning to us in the Gospels is just another witness to the message that I heard from God personally.

Bible basics teach us that humans are designed by our creator God as a triune being made in the image of the Almighty God. A human is a freewill spirit being that possesses a soul (a mind, a will and our emotions) that lives in mortal human body (1 Thes 5:23).  However, this spirit of Saul warning was not a warning that the natural man Saul written about in the Bible will return to the earth because that would violate scriptures and make God a liar (Heb 9:27). Therefore, we need to learn more about what the message could mean by rightly dividing the Word of Truth (2 Tim 2:15). We will however, briefly study the life of Saul to learn from it the persecutor’s perspective and I will begin by reading a verse concerning the stoning death of Stephen in the early church description found in Acts 7.

Act 7:58  And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.

Please allow me to provide a very quick overview of the context of this verse so we can better understand this part of the message. The context actually begins back in chapter 6 and it is a story concerning a Christian man named Stephen.  He was ministering to people and doing many signs, wonders and miracles the same as Jesus did before him here on the earth.  It is important to know that Stephen was not one of the original 12 disciples of Jesus yet he did the same types of miraculous works as Jesus did.  I find that fact very important and fascinating as many in the church today teach miracles passed away with the death of the 12 disciples.  Oh well?  Oh Lord, please help us all to see the truth.

These supernatural miraculous works done by God through Stephen were not well received because of the accompanying message being preached concerning salvation only through faith in Jesus Christ who was recently condemned to death by a similar type of court with made up evidence that Stephen stood before. Men from the synagogue accused Stephen of blasphemy and soon he was on trial before the leadership of the Jewish synagogue.  It is during this trial that Stephen gives a great overview of the Old Testament and how it applies to the gospel message of Jesus Christ.  However, this message was not well received either.  The Jewish leaders refused to listen and stopped up their ears and then took up stones to kill Stephen.  Stephen sees a vision of heaven while being stoned of Jesus standing at the right hand of God as they hurl their deadly stones.  That brings us now to verse 58 which was just quoted.

This verse 58 is the first time that the name “Saul” is mentioned in the N.T. The Hebrew name Saul occurs approximately 26 times in the book of Acts alone.  This N.T. Saul is the exact same Hebrew name as the first king of the O.T. nation of Israel.  By the number of mentions in the book of Acts we can easily see that the man Saul was a very prominent figure to learn about and learn from.  We learn from reading the N.T. that Saul was a young devout religious man and a very self-righteous zealot man during this time of the birth of the church in the first 8 chapters of Acts.  We can learn more about the background of this man named Saul by reading in his writings because he wrote nearly 2/3 of the N.T.:

Php 3:4  Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:

Php 3:5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;

Php 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

Reading here Saul/Paul claims to be of a very noble stock of the natural nation of Israel. He was circumcised according to Mosaic Law on the 8th day after his birth.  He was by no doubt raised in a very strict home that observed all of the Jewish Holy days, laws and Sabbaths.  He also must have spent a very significant time in reading the Law of Moses growing up in the strict order to become a Pharisee.  I can speculate that Saul must have thought very highly of himself, during this time and he must have been very proud of his learned position of authority.  However, if we read in Proverbs 16:18 we see a verse that Saul appears to have possibly ignored.  This verse says “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall”.

We can learn while studying his life that Saul spent a great amount of his time persecuting, hunting down, imprisoning and even killing any of those that confessed faith in Jesus Christ. However, was this natural man named Saul the actual main source of the problem of the persecution to the church?  Could there have been a greater force of influential power behind this evil man persuading and even controlling his thoughts and actions?  I believe according to the future writings of this man named Saul there was certainly a much greater spiritual force that helped influence him to do all this evil to other people on the earth.  Let’s read one verse to confirm this reality:

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

What we must glean in the beginning of this lesson is that physical natural people that are persecuting us are not our real problem even though it looks like it on the visible surface. Saul/Paul in this verse teaches us that Christians are not at odds with anyone of the divinely created flesh and blood design order.  However, he does reveal very clearly earlier in this chapter that we are at war and he names the enemy here in verse 12 of Ephesians 6 to be hidden unseen spiritual forces and the evil invisible rulers of this present world that rule the kingdom of darkness.  This truth will become considerably more important as we continue this lesson to learn how we should react to persecution.  This information helps to better comprehend who and what the “spirit of Saul” is referring to in the warning.  I am completely convinced that the “spirit of Saul” reference on the rise in our world is a reference to Satan our adversary and all of his demonic followers.  Let’s review what we should have just learned in this section:

  • People Persecute Other People
  • We Will Be Persecuted if We Live Right
  • We are at War
  • It Appears That Humans are Our Enemies
  • But, Our Actual Enemy is Not a Human
  • We are at War With Unseen Spiritual Beings
  • These Invisible Spiritual Beings Influence Humans To Do Evil

 

 

Persecuting the Church Today is still the same as Personally Persecuting Jesus

If the naturally born Hebrew man named Saul was not the real problem being spoken of by the LORD, why would God say “Beware the return of the spirit of Saul” to us? The answer to that question is because as we should have learned that unseen spirit beings are at the root of every seen evil event occurring in the world.  I am convinced that the natural man Saul was not who the early church was wresting against based upon what he later wrote in Ephesians 6.  However, why would a man do something so evil and suddenly then change and not do it anymore?  That is a really good and important question.  I believe the answer to that is that the natural man Saul was unmistakably a very deceived man who bought into and believed in so many lies given to him from the real enemy Satan.  I believe the natural man Saul was doing what he thought was right in his own blinded mind (2 Cor 4:4) and was performing what he thought was pleasing towards God even though what he was doing against Christians on the earth was very wrong and taken very personally by Jesus.  Let’s continue reading additional truth in the book of Acts about the death of Stephen:

Act 7:56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

These are some of the last recorded words spoken by Stephen the first martyr of the early church to his murderers and they reveal how their wrong actions were being received by the LORD Jesus. Please notice when reading this verse that in Colossians 3:1, Paul teaches us that the LORD Jesus ascended into heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God in heaven but here in this recorded vision of heaven Jesus is intentionally standing up on his feet observing the wrong being done to his servant Stephen.  Wow this verse speaks literal volumes to me.  Jesus showed such great love and concern for what is happening to Stephen that He makes the personal choice to stand up from His seated position of rest and authority to welcome Stephen into His spiritual realm presence.  I believe that this position of Jesus standing teaches us that Jesus wanted to do more to stop it from occurring but did not again by choice.   You might remember that later Paul formerly Saul would teach us “to be absent from the body is to be present with the LORD” (2 Cor 5:8). Therefore, when Stephen was killed, his spirit immediately departed his physical body to be in the presence of Jesus where Jesus was personally standing up to observe and welcome him into heaven.

Since the murder of Stephen there have been countless numbers of other Christ followers that have been killed and have gone to be with the LORD simply because of their beliefs in Jesus. No actual crime was necessary for either Stephen or any other saint to be persecuted with evil acts.  We should learn from “how was Stephen persecuted” in order to know what to expect again today.  If you read the context of the chapter you will find that leaders gathered false witnesses to accuse Stephen (Acts 6:13-14).   These false accusers used the semblance of law and order to justify their evil done to others.  They were clearly disobeying their laws by speaking their lies and perjuring themselves before man and God but in their minds they were justified to do so.  I recently learned this is taking place in people in Islam.  They are taught that it is permitted for them to lie to others in the world in order to promote the greater cause of spreading Islam.  This is clearly of demonic influence since the Bible teaches Christians that “all liars will have their part in the lake of fire” (Rev 21:8).

This is what is coming now to Christians here in this world whether you believe it or not. It is already occurring in many nations of the world right now.  Terrorists kill many people just because they are Christian.  Islamic governments and their extremist religious people of that nation are persecuting, imprisoning, torturing and killing Christians daily.  Communist nations also throw into prisons people who are reading their Bibles and being a Christian that walks in love trying to save others from hell.  Who could have seen all of this coming?  I believe only Jesus and this is why the warning is being given to us today.  Let’s please continue reading in the book of Acts:

Act 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Act 8:2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.

Act 8:3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

Act 8:4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

The Greek word G4909 that was translated as “consented” in Acts 8:1 is a word that means Saul was “very pleased” by the murder of Stephen. In fact this Greek word implies that Saul took great pleasure in watching Stephen die.  The zealot Saul after the death of Stephen then takes out after other Christians to do the same with them.   Saul is very intent upon forcing his will and reason upon everyone that is preaching Jesus to be the only way.  This is a very common motivation for persecution.  The demand is frequently made to Christians to deny the Lord Jesus Christ, convert or die.

Look at Acts 8:3 and notice what begins to happen to the Church of Jesus Christ.   Both men and women were taken to prison just for being a professing Christian.  Also notice in this chapter the complete removal of basic human rights of privacy by the people committing these evil acts.   Acts 8:3 tells us clearly that there was a house to house search for Christians done by Saul.  This is exactly what is about to happen and even has started to shine on the horizon here in America.  For example, there have been Christian people who refused to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples because of their beliefs in God, Jesus, the TRUTH of the Bible and they have spent time in jail.  I believe the house to house search for Christians will also come as the world continues to slip into greater realms of deceived darkness.  It already has taken place in other nations.

Act 9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

Act 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

Act 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

Act 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

Act 9:5  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Saul continued speaking his great threats of violence directed at and towards all Christians. He began moving out of the city of Jerusalem to other nearby regions.  Notice that the persecution taking place was with the authority of the law givers and administrators.  Wow, is this not happening now?  Law givers and judges in America are making so many decisions that violate the Truth of the Word of God that it is literally shocking to me.  Evil now is prevailing by the misguided interpretation of the law and the wrong definition of what is good vs. evil.  Watch for laws to continue to come to support this evil behavior.  Watch for the removal of basic human rights that have been guaranteed up until this point in time.

Saul was on the road to a city named Damascus in these verses of chapter 9 of Acts to bring about more evil in the name of good.  However, things this time didn’t go so well for Saul’s way when the LORD interrupted his journey with a very personal touch and a very strong message of truth.  Instantly a great light shown down from heaven and a powerful voice came down clearly saying to Saul alone “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me”.  As in the death of Stephen again we can recognize how Jesus was taking personal notice of what was being done to Christians by this natural man named Saul.  We can learn a very important lesson from these awesome words of truth.  The first thing that we should have just learned from reading these verses is that coming against any Christian for any negative reason is the exact same thing as coming against the risen divine LORD Jesus Christ.  The second thing that we should have just learned from this is that Jesus takes these acts of evil personally. Why does Jesus take persecuting a Christian the same as persecuting Him?  Saul/Paul clearly writes to us later in the New Testament and informs us in 1 Corinthians 12:7 that “Christians here in this world are the body of Christ”.  Natural people who choose to persecute Christians must learn and realize before it is too late that it is not wise to come against Jesus’ body here on the earth.  Jesus Christ is a far greater Spiritual Force than the spiritual force that is tricking them to do this evil (1 Jn 4:4).   Wow, I do not believe that very many people understand this truth yet.

I will go further and also say that this revealed truth is true regardless of your salvation state, being either saved or unsaved. If you are not a Christian and you are persecuting a Christian mentally, physically, emotionally, legally or verbally you are coming against the greatest spiritual force of power which is much greater than you can possibly imagine.  My point is that this same message of warning is true for a Christian that comes against other Christians as it is for an unbeliever to come against a believer.  This is still true even though you may believe that you are totally right and they are totally teaching false doctrines that you do not believe in.  Let’s review a summary of the major points in this section of the lesson:

Persecutor’s Perspective

  1. Persecutors believe they are doing “good” in their own minds.
  2. Persecutors are very pleased when they are victorious over and even cause the death of a Christian.
  3. Persecutors are deceived people that believe they are good and Christians are evil.
  4. Persecutors obviously do not believe, know or understand that they are deceived.
  5. Persecutors will use the law to back their agenda of persecution.
  6. Persecutors love to force their will and beliefs upon others.
  7. Persecutors feel justified to do evil because their rule of law is in agreement with them.
  8. Persecutors will use lies and break laws if there is a greater good for the expansion of their beliefs to occur.
  9. Persecutor’s goals are the complete removal of all Christian freedoms and privacy and eventually the end of all Christians.

God’s Perspective

  1. God takes note and watches all persecution that occurs to the Church.
  2. God takes all human persecution of the church personally.
  3. God says to persecutors coming against the church “Why are you persecuting me?”

Christian Perspective

  1. A Christian is the Body of Christ on the earth.
  2. Anyone persecuting a Christian is persecuting the LORD personally.
  3. A Christian when killed by persecution goes to be with the LORD instantly.
  4. Christians will be persecuted falsely without doing any evil.

 

THE CONVERSION OF SAUL THE PERSECUTOR

God showed the evil man Saul some very great mercy by appearing to him on the road to Damascus. Paul the former Saul will forever be grateful for the exceeding great compassion given to him.  While I believe it is within God’s power and ability for the Lord Jesus to do this with everyone that persecutes His body, I do not believe that He will and I may try to talk about this later but if not you will have to wait for another opportunity for me to try to explain why the Lord may not come down to save you from every evil doer on the planet personally.  We should have learned this truth when reading about the death of Stephen.

Act 9:5  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Act 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

I personally believe from understanding Romans 10:9-10 that Saul became a Christian falling on his knees on the road to Damascus.  I hope you understand how you and I became a Christian.  To be saved we must believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that God raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead after being crucified and buried 3 days and we must then confess Him as our LORD and Saul certainly did both of these while on the road to Damascus.  We can confirm this belief simply by reading Acts 9:17 when God sends a disciple named Ananias to Saul for him to receive his sight and to be filled with the Spirit of God.  Upon entering the house where Saul was waiting, Ananias calls the man Saul his spiritual brother and this is only possible and true if Saul has already received the Spirit of God being born again on the road to Damascus.   Therefore, Saul became exactly what he was fighting against and persecuting and that was very fortunate for him.

1Co 15:8  And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

God gives us another quick confirmation for what was just taught concerning Saul’s salvation on the road to Damascus written directly from the hand of Paul. Here in this chapter and verse Paul tells us about several others seeing Jesus personally  after His resurrection.   Then Saul says that he also saw him providing us an incredible revelation that he was then reborn “abnormally” during this encounter.  Saul was speaking of his spiritual rebirth (John 3:3) but I do not have the time to explain all of this more fully in this lesson.  Please just accept the facts that 1) Jesus appears to Saul, 2) Saul asks who he was, 3) Jesus identifies Himself, and 4) Saul then believes what he heard and acknowledges Him as his LORD and that was the definition of an abnormal spiritual rebirth.

We are extremely blessed to have Saul the former evil persecutor of Christians become a Christ follower.   After his salvation, Saul was given such great revelation from Jesus Christ of the Truth.  Saul would go on in his life of Christian ministry to write approximately 2/3 of the New Testament.  I believe that without Saul’s conversion that we would not have all of the information that we needed for us to be victorious Christians.  I know that this salvation of a persecutor seems to be off the mainline subject but I believe it is very important to know as a Christian. Let’s look at some writings of Saul/Paul and learn from him what he thought of this great transformation that he experienced:

1Ti 1:12  And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

1Ti 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

1Ti 1:14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

We can learn the most valuable information concerning a persecutor’s perspective by reading the N.T. since Paul was a former persecutor and he writes about it. As we can read in verse 12, Paul is so very thankful.  Here is a man that has now realized that he was headed for an eternal existence of pain and suffering in hell but now suddenly has been given the free gift of eternal life, a purpose and a new destiny. I can identify with Saul’s heartfelt change.  I know I am also eternally grateful for the free gift of God’s salvation and I know I don’t deserve it and neither did Saul.  We are all sinners (Rom 3:23) and deserve hell but God paid the penalty price for our sins (2 Cor 5:21).  Thank you Jesus!

Paul lists just a few of his guilty sins in verse 13 that he was personally participating in while persecuting Christians. Let’s go through these to better understand the dramatic change that took place in the heart of Saul.  The first sin listed was Saul calling himself a “blasphemer” and this is a Greek word that reveals significant amounts of new information that we should learn from.  According to the Strong’s definition of G989 translated as “blasphemer” it means to be scurrilous towards someone.  This word scurrilous has the following dictionary definition:

 Scurrilous : making or spreading scandalous claims about someone with the intention of damaging their reputation

This is exactly what Saul was doing to the early church. He used the words of his mouth to slander, accuse, condemn and judge the church falsely.  But even though Saul thought he was fighting against evil human people that were deceived, Jesus informed Saul that He was blaspheming against God personally.  This is pretty amazing information and I pray that it will hopefully cause someone to shut their mouth when speaking against Christians.

However, this Greek word G989 has some deeper more specific meanings for sinning against God with the words coming out of our mouths. Remember what Acts 8:1 and Acts 9:1 said that we looked at earlier?  Acts 8:1 used the word that was translated as “consented”.  This implies that Saul consented to words of others spoken against Stephen in addition to the actual murder of Stephen.  Saul did both of these willingly, physically, emotionally, mentally as well as verbally as both a willing direct instigator and participant and as an indirect accessory that watched others cast the stones.  These represent sins of both commission and omission.

Acts 9:1 is much clearer when it informed us that Saul spoke direct “threats” against Jesus and His body and this is a strong example of what blasphemy is defined to be in the Bible. I personally believe that a man or woman on the earth that speaks against a preacher or prophet of God or even just against one of God’s children is risking great consequences and danger if they do not repent like Saul did and change.  Jesus will certainly take all of these words personally either now in this world or later at judgment day.  Words have power and words have consequences.

The second sin that Paul lists is being a “persecutor” of the church, which is the body of Christ. This Greek word translated as “persecutor” means someone who is in pursuit of another.  However, this type of pursuit can not be for the good of the individual(s) being pursued as revealed to us by God in the passages we read about Saul in Acts chapters 7, 8 and 9.  Let’s quickly examine some synonyms for the word “persecute”.  Persecute is the same as words like “oppress”, “abuse”, “accuse”, “condemn”, “ill-treatment”, “torment”, “torture”, “martyr” and others could be added and we get this idea of truth because these are exactly what Saul did to the Christian members in the early church.   It is very important to note that Saul thought that what he was doing was what was right and good in the eyes of God and the government leadership of that day.

The third sin listed by Paul in verse 13 is “injurious” and this again is synonymous with the word persecute. Being injurious was a further explanation for what great evil sin he was guilty of.  I believe this word literally means physical injuries were taking place upon men and women in the name of good.  However, this word can also mean a verbal assault as well as a physical assault.  I am convinced that doing any Christian hurt and harm physically, mentally or emotionally is equivalent to the abuse and persecution of Jesus Christ that the Jews did to Him personally when they crucified Him on the cross in the eyes of God.

If we continue to read past Saul’s list of sins in verse 13 we will observe Saul’s stated appreciation for the Lord’s mercy being provided to him. Saul informs us that he received mercy instead of what he should have been given.  Wow, that is the amazing love of God being displayed to a very deceived and evil man.

Did you also notice in this written passage that Saul declared why he was given this great mercy from God? Why was this unthinkable mercy available to Saul even after all he had done?  Why was the judgment of the Almighty God not immediately given to Saul?  Why instead was mercy given? Paul tells us the answers in verse 13 that God’s mercy was available to him because of his own great “ignorance” of the truth.

This revelation of mercy based upon ignorance reveals so very much to us about God, people who persecute the church and about the Christian people who are being persecuted. According to God’s inspired Holy Word written through Paul, his ignorance and his unbelief were two of the main reasons that the church was then being persecuted and I believe these are the two main reasons the church is still going to be persecuted today.

Even though Saul was a very learned and educated man, he was extremely ignorant of the truth that really mattered. Yet Saul did not know how ignorant he was while he was sinning killing Stephen.  Please understand that no one that is ever deceived believes that they are deceived.  This is impossible simply because of the existence of their ignorance of the truth.  That is everyone’s problem “we simply don’t know what we don’t know yet”.   That is the mysterious advantage of the deceiver Satan.  Satan uses the weapon of human ignorance to destroy us (Hosea 4:6).  Satan can present enough lies with some basic mixed truth to allow a human to think that they are doing good for God when they are actually doing the evil plan that Satan desires them to do.  Satan is a revealed master deceiver (Rev 12:9)

Persecutors justify their evil actions in their minds overruling the evidence for clear evil acts with the belief that they are doing a greater good for a higher power of authority. Recently here in North Carolina, USA we have been in the news around the world because our state passed a law that disallowed men from going into women’s restrooms and women from going into men’s restrooms.  This law was designed to protect innocent children from predators. Yet, North Carolina has been accused of being biased, prejudiced, intolerant, discriminatory, bigoted and even hate filled towards a select few people who demand the right to go into any restroom that they sexually currently “identify” with.  Wow, where has truth gone?  Absolute truth, reason and morality have certainly passed highly over the minds of everyone that has been protesting against the law.  All of these deceived people are extremely ignorant of God’s truth.  We should ask ourselves a simple basic question, if truth is based simply upon how someone thinks and feels today; how and when will truth all change when they think and feel differently tomorrow?  Where do we ever draw the line of absolute?  It sounds like a constant moving target.  If we change the line of truth drawn today that was established then tomorrow it will become even more distant away from the standard of truth tomorrow.  I could teach an entire series on this but this is not the subject and I will not go there today.

Saul did such significant evil and justified it because he believed he was knowledgeable, correct and backed by the law. Saul was greatly deceived into believing in their popular religious human traditions. Satan filled the mind of Saul with replacement knowledge that sounded good to him.  However, it was still Saul’s ignorance of the actual truth that caused him to carry out the will and plan of Satan.  Once Saul came to the saving knowledge of the truth, suddenly the thoughts he had as a persecutor were gone.  Wow, that is good news for persecutor’s today.  There remains hope for everyone to be saved.

Just as Satan influenced and controlled the unsaved people like Saul nearly two thousand years ago to persecute the church, this is the same warning being given to us today. The spirit of Saul (Satan) is still at work in people today and these deceived people will rise up and begin to persecute the church with increasing enthusiasm before Jesus returns.  It has already started and we can clearly learn this from the Spirit of God’s message of warning or we can remain an ostrich Christian and bury our heads in the sand and choose to ignore it pretending it is not happening. I would recommend that we do not ignore it or pretend that it is not happening already.

I personally expect some very negative comments for the truth that I published today. You will receive the same soon if you are speaking the truth to anyone in the world today concerning their life style personal choices.  The spirit of Saul is alive and well on the planet.

Hos 4:6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

Did you know that God allows people to be ignorant, wrong and to even do evil and sin? This truth has always been an extreme mystery in the minds of many Christians “Why doesn’t God stop all of this evil?”  This would take another series of lesson’s to explain this to you today.  Therefore, I will leave that to another day also.  But we must at least first begin to understand that God does allow evil to occur in the world and is not the one that is causing it to occur and we can simply learn this truth by reading the story of the stoning of Stephen in Acts.  Jesus was found standing at the right hand of God observing the evil being done and did nothing to cause it or to stop it.  Wow, that boggles the mind of many religious people in the world.  I believe that God’s passive observation made it appear to Saul that he was doing what God desires and that He is for them and it temporarily reinforces their wrong behavior.  However, the wages of their sin will still overcome them and they will be judged for what they have done on the earth according to the truth found in the Bible.  The main point in this paragraph is that God will allow this persecution to continue so we better learn it is coming.

I have talked briefly about the persecutor’s reasoning and justification for persecuting the church as well as the superior divine perspective on the persecution situation to allow it to occur. Now in conclusion I want to speak to the church’s reaction to this coming persecution.  What was the reaction to this evil in the early church and what will probably happen in these end times?  I believe that the early church’s reaction was both natural and supernatural.

Act 8:4  Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.

Reread Acts 8:4. God reveals to us all the two fold reaction to the great havoc being perpetrated upon the church.  First notice the fact that it did not stop the Gospel from being preached.  It did however cause the people to scatter.  What does scatter mean?  This Greek word is a based upon a farming concept of “sowing” seed.  This is a great revelation since it is concerning the “Word” of God being spread to the entire world.  Remember when Jesus taught the parable of the Sower in Mark 4?  The sower sowed the Word of God.  The seed being sown was God’s Word and this is the only thing possible today in the world that can save people and turn them from hell.

The end result of persecution in the early church was a greater spread of the Word of God, an explosion of salvations in many new locations and this is exactly what will happen today in the end of the church age.

The Greek word translated as “preaching” in this verse is a word that means “to announce good news” to someone. What kind of person would still be trying their best to preach the good news of God’s salvation to anyone that was or still is trying to imprison and kill them?  The normal human tendency or reaction against persecution is for us to fight back, or to defend oneself or even to run away and hide in a cave to not be found.  I have seen people plan and do all of these in this modern world.  Which would you do?  Wow, that is a very great question to consider.  If you are a Christian would you be able to do nothing but be forgiving and loving to the persecutor and turn your other cheek? Consider the warning and then make a good choice now before being faced with it.

Persecutor’s Perspective

  • Persecutors believe they are doing what pleases God and their lawgivers.
  • Persecutors don’t believe they are sinning.
  • Persecutors believe their words spoken against Christians are good.
  • Persecutor’s goals are to damage the reputation of God and Christians.
  • Persecutors believe causing physical injury to Christians is good.
  • Persecutors believe they know the truth and are not ignorant.
  • Persecutors believe others are deceived and they are not.
  • Persecutors believe there is no God to answer to or Satan influencing them.

 

God’s Perspective

  • God sees all of the sins of everyone including persecutors.
  • A persecutor can be saved and change their evil ways.
  • God says speaking against a Christian is equivalent to “blasphemy”.
  • God says killing a Christian is the same as nailing Jesus to the cross.
  • God will show mercy to any sinner including murderous persecutors.
  • God tells us that persecutors are extremely ignorant of the truth.

 

Christian Perspective

  • A Christian has gained saving knowledge of the truth.
  • A Christian was shown great mercy by God and is thankful for it.
  • A Christian desires to share this saving knowledge of Jesus with others even though it costs them their own life.
  • A real and maturing Christian begins seeing things happening in the world from God’s perspective.

 

 

CONCLUSION

In conclusion I want us to see a future prophecy concerning the coming persecution of the church. Revelation chapter 4 and verse 1 God calls for John to come up to heaven so that he can be shown things that will happen in the future and this includes this prophetic chapter of Revelation 12.  Let’s read just verse 12 and 13 concerning our main subject study to learn Satan’s motivating factor for increasing persecution upon the church during the end time.

Rev 12:12  Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

Rev 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

This chapter in Revelation 12 totally fascinates me. I could spend a long time trying to convince you who the woman in this chapter symbolically represents but I have already tried to do this in another lesson series.  I will summarize briefly that lesson series by saying this woman being described can only fit the pattern of the church that is being persecuted by Satan.  We learn this easily by the symbolism that she is clothed with at the beginning of the chapter and by the statements within the chapter.  For example read verse 11:

Rev 12:11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

This is the immediate preceding contextual verse and it can only apply to those that are in the church. I have heard this verse quoted in many church services and they are applying these words to themselves and their struggles in this life with the devil.  It is the Word of God and the Blood of Jesus that were given to us by Jesus in the church to insure us we will overcome Satan.  If you have not read the Revelation 12 series of lessons I would strongly recommend that you do so.   I do not have the time to repeat every detailed verse.

Let’s go back quickly to verse 12 and review the message from God. This is clearly a warning from God given to the inhabitants of the earth through the apostle John.  In this verse Satan has been cast down from heaven after a great spiritual warfare and according to this prophecy he is in a furious way committing murder on the earth.  If you look up and study the Greek word that is translated as “wrath” it comes from a root word that can mean to slaughter, kill or sacrifice someone.  This sounds a lot like what Saul was doing doesn’t it?  This simply confirms what we learned earlier.  It was the spirit of Satan influencing and controlling Saul through his ignorance that caused the persecution of the church to begin on the earth.

As it was in the beginning of the church age so shall it also be at the end of the church age. Persecution is the key word found in verse 13 of Revelation 12.  Satan in this verse is still persecuting the same woman that he was persecuting using Saul that we read about in Acts.  We in the church are not a different woman; we just have newly grown members within the same body of Christ. If you are confused about what I just said I would strongly recommend you read the Bible lesson that I wrote a long time ago about “How the Church Became the Body of Christ”.

During this end-time persecution it will also be Satan using new ignorant people with the exact same spirit behind it all. If you look up the Greek word in verse 13 translated as “persecute” it is G1377 which was also the word spoken to Saul while on the road to Damascus by Jesus “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”   God connects the two verses with His word selection and the message is very plain to me that God is speaking of the same subject being done to the same church body.

Today’s lesson was just a basic introduction to the broad subject of “persecution” and the spirit of Saul that is behind it. I believe God awakened me in the night to bring this message of warning to those that would receive it and learn from it.  There is a rising of evil on the earth taking place.  The enemy’s rage is increasing as the end of the age draws closer.  How you react to it may just determine where you spend eternity.  A Christian that withdraws and conforms to the world view may be greatly disappointed with their choice.  However, standing up for the truth of God’s Word and proclaiming it boldly will certainly cause us to be persecuted.   I will conclude today’s Bible message with these words from my Lord Jesus:

Mat 5:10  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Mat 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

I wanted to talk more about Satan’s perspective for persecution today but I will try my best (the LORD willing) to cover this part of the topic in the next lesson Part 2.

Thank you for reading and studying the Bible with me. I hope this word of warning given by the Lord Jesus will be taken to heart and it will help you to prepare for what is certainly coming.   God bless you all very much and thank you for your prayers for me as I will continue to pray for you also.

If you would like to continue to read the next lesson in this series please click here “PART 2

Understanding Bible Division — Introduction to Division a Divine Hidden Plan — Part 1

House Divided(Ver 1.3)  This is Part 1 of a brand new advanced Bible study series concerning the seldom mentioned or taught Bible subject entitled “Biblical Division”.  I have personally never heard anyone teach on this subject in the church but this is what God is directing me to share today on the internet to all those that are willing to receive the message.  However, I will warn everyone upfront like in many of my other Bible studies that this is a very advanced Bible Study series and it is intended primarily for only spiritually mature Christians to attempt to learn from.  This lesson series represents a very unconventional spiritual meat topic presentation and it may not easily be chewed (be received) well by many of my milk drinking younger or spiritually new born Christian brothers and sisters in Christ.  I do so hope and pray that you understand what I mean.

Biblical division is definitely a brand new topic to most Christians which has rarely been studied, known or understood.  Therefore this subject could be potentially judged controversial or even easily offensive and rejected by a non-serious Christian disciple.  People in general are usually closed minded to an unknown or a first heard Bible topic never encountered before.  For example, men like Martin Luther brought forth radical new teachings that departed from the normal traditional dominate Church doctrines of the 1500’s.  His thoughts and views were fundamentally fresh to most and very dissimilar to anything at that time period that was popularly taught and accepted.  Martin Luther was a Bible professor in Germany and he condemned the Catholic Church for their corrupt practices of selling indulgences (forgiveness of sins).  His writings were viewed as the catalyst for the Protestant church.  However, these seemingly new views have been determined to be very sound theological scriptural teachings and they have now been widely adopted to conform more to what Jesus and the early church actually taught.  Martin Luther was still branded a heretic by the religious church leadership and excommunicated from their church.  We can clearly learn from this example that religious deception in the church can occur even as it did in the popular church of Martin Luther’s day.

Even today, we must know that not everything that is taught by a modern church is always completely accurate.  The only way to prove any subject’s truthfulness is to let the Bible and the Holy Spirit on the inside of us; become our final authority.  That is exactly what I want you to do today as you read these lessons.  Please get your Bible out and then pray and ask God to open the eyes of your understanding to see what He wants you to see.  Prove everything that is stated with your own Bible research and personal relationship with Almighty God.  Never and I do mean never believe me or anything that I teach or anyone else teaches unless you can see it in the Bible with sufficient evidence and the Holy Spirit on the inside of you confirming that it is true.  The Word of God and the Spirit of God will always agree.  Please learn to verify everything and assume or accept nothing just because someone teaches it.  Don’t be a David Koresh or Jim Jones type of blind faith follower.  Let God be your guide and not any man.  It could be a matter of life or death.

While this subject of Biblical Division is a new revelation to most of you today it is actually a very old concept that existed with God from the beginning.  It is only becoming new to us today because God is revealing something that has seldom been studied much less noticed or mentioned in any modern church.  Of course the reason why it has not been mentioned is probably one of two reasons.  First, some Bible teachers have not made the subject of division a real priority to search for or search out to discover it in the Bible.  Second, some Bible teachers may have seen the subject while reading in the Bible before but did not consider it important enough to spend time on and therefore made no effort to understand what it could mean.  Either way the root cause for “Biblical Division” not being taught is human ignorance.   No one can teach what they do not yet know and have learned.  I hope that this Bible lesson on the internet will spur interest to learn what God has done.

Therefore I ask that each of you judge yourself before continuing to read in these advanced Bible study lessons.  I certainly do not want to offend anyone with any spiritual meaty lesson that I publish.  But, I do wish to help everyone grow and mature spiritually in the faith of Jesus Christ.  Thank you in advance for using your own sound judgment to being led by His Spirit to know how to proceed.  Let’s get started with the subject of Biblical Division.

INTRODUCTION TO DIVISION

bread_slicing1What is division?   Division is defined in one dictionary as the “action of separating something into two or more parts”.  In other words division is a deliberate and intentional act of taking one item that represents a whole and complete named entity and changing it by the thoughtful application of power, force and effort into 2 or more separate and distinct disjointed pieces. This would be very much like a baker slicing their whole and complete freshly baked loaf of bread and cutting it into separate and smaller edible slices.   Or division could be viewed like the cook taking their whole baked fresh apple pie and cutting and serving it in 8 individual slices for their guests to eat.  Therefore we learn from these examples that division always represents the creation of new individual pieces consisting of a reduced size or nature where each is less than the original greater whole portion before it was split.  It is also very important to note that each new divided part is of the same substance as before but just in a reduced portion.  Do you see and understand this?  This is exactly what division represents in the Bible.   There is absolutely no difference.  Here are four main points that you should have just learned from this basic definition:

  1. Division of One Substance
  2. Separation into New Individual Parts
  3. Reduction of Size from the Original Whole
  4. All New Parts are of Like Substance

Does this subject of division, separation and reduction have anything to do with anything found in the Bible, you might be asking?  That is a very excellent question to consider.  But God’s answer to that question will always include “division plays a very main role in the Bible even if we do not yet understand how it fits into God’s overall designed plan”.  That answer is very incomplete and just begs us to ask more questions.  We will soon discover that the subject of division has a very significant and strategic role while also being potentially hidden within the Bible.  However we must learn that the subject of division is covered by God from the beginning book cover to the ending book cover and we just have not always seen it very clearly.  I will tell you at the beginning of this lesson that God’s plan from the start of creation was not only to save man but also to divide man.  Also know that God will divide other spiritual and natural entities in the Bible that we will discuss later.

Perhaps you may not believe me when I claim that the subject of division plays a very major role throughout the Bible.  That is very wise of you to follow what I asked you before to do.  Remember I said don’t follow blindly.  So I’ll introduce you to this Bible subject using the Bible interpretation law of first mention.  Where, is the subject of division first mentioned in the Bible?  If you initiate your reading from the very beginning of the Bible you will only need to go forward three verses in order to find the subject. The very first verse containing a directly revealed, intentional and deliberate act of division by God occurs within the recorded creation event of the Day 1 creation of our world and you will find it in Genesis 1:4.  This first named division in verse 4 represents a divine sovereign display of His power and His will and it further embodies an act of God’s supreme intelligence, wisdom and ability.  Let’s take a quick look at this in case you have never seen this concept being mentioned so early before in the Bible:

Gen 1:3  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Gen 1:4  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Gen 1:5  And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

These three verses describe Day 1 of the 7 day creation event of our present world.  Six days God worked and the seventh day He rested (Gen 2:1-2).  How do we define work? Work represents an activity of mental or physical energy or power designed to achieve a specific purpose for a positive end result.  This is entirely what God was doing during the Genesis Day 1 description.  Did you notice what type of “work” God performed on this given Day 1?  God speaks “Light Be” and then “Light was”.  At this time of declaration darkness had already covered the earth in verse 2 so we know that God did not create any darkness on this day.  We know from Genesis 1:2 that darkness pre-existed Day 1 of the creation work thus stating the need for light’s existence in the earth’s current situation.  I need you to pay attention to what I am trying to say because this will become more important later in the series.  Darkness existed prior to Day 1 and God uses His power to make the light to shine on the earth in Day 1 to counter the pre-existing presence of darkness.

God then declares in verse 5 the reason for the introduction of light to our planet.  God had spoken the light to shine on the earth in order to “divide” the light from the existing darkness.  Next in verse 5, God gives each of these division results a new and separate distinct name calling them “day” and “night”.  Wow, this could really get very spiritually deep if I was going to attempt to teach all of the given implications found in these verses but I will save it for another lesson later.  Remember what we just learned, that the act of “dividing” light from darkness by God and naming the day and night was all called His own work by His own definition.  This divine work was the exact same concept as the baker cutting his loaf of bread or pie into new separate pieces.  There is no conceptual difference in the type of work being described by God here in Genesis.

What did God accomplish on Day 1?   Without the introduction of light on the earth there could have been no concept of time here.   In fact until God named Day and Night the earth had no way to measure time.  A day (the period of light) consists of 12 hours and a night (the period of darkness) consists of 12 hours which when combined represent one 24 hour period of time also called a day.  One day as you should know is a 24 hour period of time corresponding to one rotation of the earth.  This represents a single cycle of what God created to occur repeatedly.   It is very interesting to note we would have no concept or understanding of God’s work if He had not named the Day and Night and then called it Day 1.

While all of this is what I believe a literal reality, I believe God did this to teach us a greater symbolic spiritual truth.  But I do not have the time to go into this.  All I need you to do is to grasp that God’s Day 1 work was something that represents a constructive progress step to accomplish God’s plan for a good outcome for us.

Have we not just learned that even God’s “dividing” work can achieve a positive purpose and end-result?  Keep this in your mind that this divine work of dividing introduced to us by God here in Genesis 1 is good.  Then think of it as being like a parallel when a baker slices their loaf of bread to eat.  Isn’t the slice of bread much better than the entire loaf when you just want a sandwich?  Can we begin to now learn a little bit about the impact, value and positive purpose of God’s designed work to divide light from darkness from just this one single Day 1 creation reference?  Division appears to me to be very important just based upon this limited understanding so far.  Ask yourself “Why was it so important for God to divide at the very beginning of His 6 days of creative work?”    We will learn more about this as we progress to understand this subject better.

I just want us to begin to realize how much we potentially do not yet know or understand about the subject of division in the Bible.  Before I proceed deeper let’s at least examine the Hebrew word that was translated as “divided” in verse 4 of Genesis 1.  This word is H914 and it represents a base Hebrew root word that has the following Strong’s definition:

H914

A primitive root; to divide (in various senses literally or figuratively, separatedistinguishdifferselect, etc.): – (make, put) difference, divide (asunder), (make) separate (self, -ation), sever (out), X utterly.

This Hebrew word’s definition is in tremendous harmonious alignment with the English dictionary definition of “division’ that we examined earlier.  As you can read, this Hebrew word means “to divide asunder”, “make separate” and I also want you to see the phrase “sever out”.  All of these phrases are valid parts of our Bible subject study today even if we don’t yet fully understand them all right now.  However, even if we do not yet understand them completely, please do not let them slip from your minds.  Let me give you the list of important points from this Hebrew word definition:

  1. Divide Asunder
  2. Make Separate
  3. Sever Out

To conclude this short subject introduction I will tell you that there are actually at the very minimum 5 major named “divisions” that take place within the very first two chapters of the book of Beginnings also called Genesis and we will look at these in greater detail later in the lesson series.   What we just need to understand right now is that these divisions took place during God’s work within creation and therefore each of these divisions must have had a positive divine purpose for us to learn from.  Let’s review some of the major things that you should have learned about division:

  1. Division concerns one Substance Being Cut Apart
  2. After Division Occurs there are New Individual Pieces
  3. That which was Divided is a Smaller Portion of the Original Whole
  4. All New Parts are of Like Original Substance
  5. Division is Work
  6. God’s Work on Day 1 was to Divide by Speaking
  7. New Divided Parts can be Named

Since we have covered the basic introductions to division and its definition let’s start building a foundation for the subject now.

BUILDING THE DIVISION FOUNDATION

?????????????????????????A foundation represents the part of a building process that all of the other following parts are raised or built upon.  A foundation is the underpinning of the structure and the groundwork of the entire rest of the building process.  Nothing can be created structurally sound without a very firm foundation and so it is with Bible study subjects.  In the first section of the lesson I already gave you basic foundation definitions and those were very important.    But, let me stop right here and provide the main foundation Bible verse that these definitions apply to for the entire series of Bible lessons on this subject of Bible division.  Let’s turn to the book of Luke and chapter 12 to begin our construction process to read the foundational verse for the subject of Bible division spoken directly from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ:

Luk 12:51  Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

This is my LORD Jesus speaking to me and He literally makes a very shocking and a very controversial statement here in this verse.  We must first understand who is speaking.  Jesus was literally God incarnate.   He is called by the Hebrew name “Emanuel” which meant “God with us”.  Whatever Jesus said were words that God spoke personally and directly to all of mankind.  Therefore God was teaching us about one of the key reasons for His personal appearance upon the earth and it is a very outrageous declaration to say the least.  He tells us in this verse “to bring peace on earth” was never His appearance objective but rather He had come into this world to divide it.  This announcement from the Lord is a potential major conflict to several other Bible verses and this should raise new questions in our minds.  For example let’s review some of the potential conflicts:

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

We should be able to begin to see from this angelic announcement the rising conflict.  At the birth of the Lord Jesus in the city of David called Bethlehem the angels appear to shepherds tending their flocks and they bring them the great news of God’s appearance on the earth.  As part of this announcement they declare that there should be peace on earth because of His appearance.  However, that is definitely not what Jesus said He came to bring.  Both verses contain the same Greek word G1515 that is translated as “peace”.  So they both are related by God’s word selection.  But there is still the problem of an apparent conflict.  Let’s read another verse:

Isa 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

There are several Bible verses that appear to conflict with the Lord’s statement in Luke, but especially this one verse found in Isaiah 9:6 where Jesus is clearly called the coming “Prince of Peace”.  Isaiah informs us of a prophesied future “Prince of Peace” that will come to the earth and this was certainly an important title describing Jesus.  However, Jesus who was this Prince of Peace claimed that to bring peace on earth was not His objective at His initial appearance on earth in Luke 12:51.   Whoops I just gave you an important clue in that last statement.  I hope you did not miss it.

At least 5 times in the New Testament (Rom 15:33, Rom 16:20, Php 4:9, 1 Th 5:23, Heb 13:20) our God is called the “God of Peace”.  Wow, how should we even begin to understand how to resolve these statements of God being peace and Him saying I did not come to the earth to bring any peace?  How can the Prince of Peace and the God of Peace not appear here physically on the earth to bring us peace?  How do we resolve this conflict?

I think I have already given you the clue if you were paying attention for the resolution of the conflict of peace.  The answer that will become more prevalent is based upon timing.  Everything that occurs in the plan of God has a set time of appearance.  At the first coming of Jesus on the earth there can be no hope for any peace based upon the statement made by Him in Luke 12:51.  However, that does not mean that He cannot bring peace later to the earth at a future time and I don’t have the space in this lesson to go into any great detail to when this coming peace will occur.  But I want us to understand that when Jesus came to the earth the people of the city of Jerusalem were expecting a natural King but they only saw a spiritual King that did not come to rule them at that time on the earth.  It was not God’s timing to rule on the earth during His first appearance.  This truth of reality teaches us how to learn more about God’s timing for peace and I hope this will help us all to understand how to resolve what Jesus was saying in Luke 12:51 more clearly.  Here are the main three points that you should have learned in this foundation:

  1. Jesus Came to the Earth to Divide
  2. And Not to Bring Peace
  3. But No Peace Now Does Not Mean There Can Be No Peace Ever

Luke 12:51 is my foundational Bible division verse concerning the complete subject of Bible division.  Jesus very clearly teaches us that to divide was one of the main purposes for His arrival on the earth.   We will now continue this lesson by attempting to understand what Jesus said He did not come to do.  Jesus said He did not come to bring peace.  So what is peace?  I think we need to know more about what Jesus said He did not come to bring us.  So let’s find out.

WHAT IS PEACE?

peaceful-still-watersAs we continue learning we need to understand as much as we can about what Jesus said that He did not come to do during His initial earthly appearance.  Jesus informs us very clearly in Luke 12:51 that He did not come to bring peace during this specified time.  Therefore, we need to ask the question “What is peace?”  Peace in one English dictionary means “cessation from war”.  A cessation of war means there is no longer any aggression, no fighting, no conflict, and no longer any hostilities one towards another.  Peace can also mean “a place or state without any disturbance”.  Some synonyms of peacefulness could be calmness, tranquility, serenity or quietness and Jesus told us that these were not the purpose for His arrival.  We can learn what peace represents in order to better comprehend why Jesus came to the earth.   It should become apparent that if Jesus did not come to bring us peace then the opposite of peace was His goal.  Can we agree?  Let’s review the quick list of what peace represented:

  1. PEACE = No Wars, No Conflicts, No Fighting, No Hostility
  2. PEACE = Calmness
  3. PEACE = Tranquility
  4. PEACE = Quietness

If Jesus did not come to bring peace then I believe very firmly that He must have come to do the opposite.  What is the opposite of peace based upon just these 4 definitions?   Jesus must have come to bring a war, a storm of agitation or even a raging wave and force of noise to the earth.  I believe all of those that I just stated are true.  However, we also need to understand that according to Jesus the opposite of peace appears to be the stated purpose of “division”.  Division by the definition of the Lord Jesus is the opposite of peace.  Once we consider what division represents it becomes very clear that it is truly the antithesis of any state of undisturbed peace.  Please keep thinking on these concepts of what peace “is” and “is not” as we continue to learn why Jesus said He appeared on the earth.  Based upon the definitions of peace we can begin to see Jesus came to bring us the opposite and these would be:

  1. War
  2. Agitation
  3. Turbulence
  4. Noise

I’ll say this again; Jesus speaking in Luke clearly claims that one of His chief purposes for being here on the earth was not to bring anyone or anything peace, calm, quiet or tranquility during His first appearance.  Then Jesus claims that one of His actual purposes for being here was to “divide” or bring “division” to something or even someone unnamed here on the earth.  What exactly was this on the earth that Jesus came to disturb, to bring unrest to, to disquiet it and to interrupt it with a wave of force of noise and power to cause or effect a division to occur?

war-3We have just briefly covered the subject of peace exploring some synonyms and some antonyms in this section of the lesson.  But I believe that I introduced you to some new things to consider.  We should have learned that God came to disrupt whatever was considered normal here on the earth.  We should have learned that God came to divide the status quo and cause what God desired to occur.  We know this because we learned division is a positive work of God and God’s work will always bring about positive results with a purpose.  So we should have learned God’s appearance was to bring war on the earth and not any peace.  Any war is an act of force between enemies against each other.  War is a very clear separation by force and power and a strong division between factions and it will always result in a reduction of the former whole.  We should be able to see that war fits very well into the definition of “division”.

  1. Who is Jesus at war with?
  2. What does Jesus intend to divide with His appearance on the earth?
  3. What will be the positive result for this division after it has occurred?

Learning how to answer these questions will be what this lesson series will now be focused upon.  However we still need to increase our foundational understanding for the subject of division and we will do that by looking at the subject of “disunion”.

WHAT IS DISUNION?

Let’ review the Greek word translated as “division” that was used by God in Luke 12:51.  This Greek word was translated as “division” in this verse.  This is a very unique Geek word.  In fact this Greek word is only found one time in the entire Bible here in Luke 12:51.  This Greek word is G1267 and here is the Strong’s definition:

G1267 – From G1266; disunion (of opinion and conduct): – division.

The Greek word G1267 translated as “division” in this verse in Luke 12:51 literally means something has been divided.  It also literally means “disunion” (of opinion and conduct).  Wow, that is a new amazing and very essential declaration that Jesus is trying to teach us concerning His positive purpose to divide here on the earth.  A state of “disunion” is clearly the opposite of a state of “union”.  A union is a representation of two or more entities becoming one single entity with unified authority.  Therefore disunion is like the one loaf of bread becoming many individual slices of bread that was mentioned earlier.   Disunion conforms to what we have learned about division up until this point of the lesson.

Disunion is a word that literally means the breaking up of a federation or union.  Disunion comes from a lack of unity and agreement.  Whenever even one person in a group is not in full agreement there can result a state of disharmony, discord and conflict.  Disagreement is the root cause for much disunion.  I wish to introduce you to two new potential reasons for Jesus appearance on the earth to divide using Strong’s definition.  First, Jesus was saying I came to divide the opinions or “beliefs” of men on the earth.  Second He was further saying that He came to divide the conduct of men here on the earth.  Either of these acts of God would bring about a war like state of disunity.  That is so very important what I just said.  We will definitely be talking about that a lot more in this lesson later.  But we need to look more into the subject of “disunions” first.

Let’s talk about the concept of “disunions”.  The word “disunion” means to break up something that was a whole or complete named entity into smaller distinct separate pieces.  For example the disunion of an earthly sovereign federation will result in the division of that nation into smaller nations.   Take for instance the disunion of the U.S.S.R. that took place back in 1991. Do you remember what U.S.S.R. stood for?  The U.S.S.R. stood for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The U.S.S.R was one sovereign named union containing states that were broken apart to form the new D.S.S.R = “Disunion of Soviet Socialist Republic”.   Of course that was just a joke but what resulted from the disunion were several new separate smaller sovereign states.   The united nation of the U.S.S.R. clearly qualified to be a candidate for division and disunion.  Down throughout human history there have been many nations, empires and kingdoms that have risen to only become divided, conquered and fall.  Nation and kingdom partitioning is a very constant and prevalent example of divisions and disunions. Could this concept be related to something that Jesus was referring to that He came to do?  We will soon find out that it is exactly what He came to do but let us look at another prevalent type of natural disunion first.

The natural case of divorce from the divinely created institution of marriage also represents a form of very prevalent natural disharmony, disruption and disunion occurring in our world too frequently.  A divorce is the dividing into individual pieces and the separation from God’s defined condition of being in the state that God called a “One Flesh” union (Gen 2:24).  Marriage represents the “union” of two individuals (1 male and 1 female) into one new family unit but divorce is the clear antithesis state called disunion.  Divorce occurs when the one named married family entity becomes two separated, partitioned and disjointed individuals that can no longer be considered a sovereign family covenant union.  If Bob and Sally Jones get a divorce the Jones Household and family has become disjointed in disunity and can no longer even exist.  This will always result in two lesser named entities lacking completeness and wholeness.

I have only briefly introduced you to two types of “disunions” and “divisions” so far in this section.  One is that of a natural sovereign nation being divided and the other is the concept of a natural sovereign family being divided up by acts of force or power.   Both are differing levels of sovereign authority.  Both can be divided by force and power.  Viewing them to be a positive work is another dilemma since neither sound like positive end results and I would definitely agree with that for now looking only at things from a purely natural perspective.  But there are other ways that we need to consider and I will talk about them soon enough.

Let’s continue our Greek word study and move down a level to the root word.  The Greek word G1267 that means “disunion” comes from another Greek root word G1266 which means “to partition thoroughly”.  This just keeps getting better and better, deeper and deeper and more and more complex doesn’t it?  To partition means “to divide something”, “to split apart something” or “to break up something” using a stated or implied wall of separation.  Partitioning is an understood act of constructive building through a display of intelligence combined with a force of power to create the divide.  This concept of partitioning is further based upon a rule of authority hierarchy.  Those which are building the partition are of much greater authority than that which is being affected by the division.  What I just said was so important I want you to see it again:

PARTITIONING = an Understood Act of Constructive Building through a Display of Intelligence Combined with the Application of Force or Power to Create A Divide.

For example, a criminal after conviction is divided or partitioned from the mainstream population by a greater force of authority and placed behind a separating barrier which can be named or labeled as partitions or the prison walls of separation.  Within our society the greater government authority created these partitioning walls of separation.  The separating walls of the prison will keep the prisoners in but also will keep all others in the general population out.  We can certainly see some potential positive aspects of division in this example.  Therefore, we should learn that division is defined as an act of separating one whole and greater item (the general population) into smaller or lesser items (prisoners and free people).  Using my quick example, our population is being separated by an act of law and authority into those that are free and those that are incarcerated. This is just a natural concept that helps us in understanding the spiritual Bible concept more clearly and God’s stated plan of division.

What was Jesus partitioning through His physical appearance here on the earth?  What walls were being constructed by His appearance on the earth?   I’ll begin to answer these questions in the next section.  The information covered in this section  should begin to give you some major clues to why Jesus came to earth.  Jesus has built a dividing wall partition with His appearance on the earth.  Let’s review the list of points we learned in this section:

  1. Disunion is a Force of Disagreement Dividing Two or More Groups
  2. Disunion is the Division of a Single Kingdom
  3. Disunion is like the Division of a Whole Family
  4. Division is the Separation of Two Entities using a Partition or Wall of Separation

There were other good points made in this section but these are the ones that need to be carried forward into the next section.  We will now take a look at God’s plan of division and how it was prophesied to be implemented by the coming Lord of Glory.

GOD’S PLAN OF DISUNION/DIVISION

In the last section I talked about the disunion of a natural nation, empire or a kingdom as well as well as the disunion of a natural family.  Both of these types of disunion that were going to be implemented by God’s design and plan in order to protect the righteous from the unrighteous.  God came to the earth in the form of a man in order to divide His kingdom and to divide His family.  God does this primarily to separate and partition that which was good from that which was judged as evil.   I believe this is an excellent time to introduce you to a prophecy that applies directly to what God was doing in Jesus.  Please turn to the book of Malachi and read what the LORD says:

Mal 3:16  Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

Mal 3:17  And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

Mal 3:18  Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

These are verses prophesying a coming division.  Did you see it?  These are the works of the LORD that were coming through Christ Jesus.  God is going to separate the righteous from the wicked.  He is going to make it known (able to discern between) those that serve Him and those that do not.   The Hebrew word H996 that was translated “between” in verse 18 reveals to us this story.   This word means to make a “distinction” between two or more things.  It is a comparative stipulation that is used as a preposition to describe those that are named after the statement.  This Hebrew word H996 comes from the root word H995 which means “to separate” mentally.  To separate mentally is just another synonymous phrase of division that means God will divide them with a partition of thought so we can understand that there is a difference between them in our minds.  The ability to distinguish between good and evil and right and wrong is a mental partitioning process.   God actually warns us about this in the Bible:

Isa 5:20  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

We can clearly see these happening even in the world today if we observe the actions of people closely.  It has become increasingly difficult for people to “discern” between good and evil.  The lines have shifted to allow what we use to believe was evil to become good and vice-versa. God is warning all those on the earth that cannot discern between two opposites in this verse.   God says you are in trouble if you call good evil or evil good.  That is exactly what is transpiring in our world today.  It is everywhere on TV, in movies and on the internet.  Good is being called evil and evil is clearly being promoted to be good and normal.  God is teaching us about one of the walls of separation that will and is dividing us all.

The blurring of distinct lines of good and evil today is the devil’s plan to undo what God has already accomplished in Christ Jesus.  Satan wants us to not be able to recognize between good and evil and that is what is happening in this world.  Satan would like to get Christians to regress and become passive to accept sin, evil and etc.  I still believe that God’s plan will prevail in those that desire to follow Him as Malachi predicts.  Real Christians will know what is right and good and what is wrong and evil even if the world does not.

light-vs-dark (1)I want to stop here and teach you why things are named by God.  God gives things, people and places names to show that they are different.  Giving objects and people names are a form of the process of division.   When your child is born you name your son or daughter to give them distinction.  This new name separates them from the other children and makes them unique.  Do you remember what God did in Genesis 1:3-5 on day 1 of creation?  God spoke to introduce the light into the world which was then separated from the darkness and after God did this He named the light “day” and the darkness He called “night”.  Did you notice that in the verse in Isaiah 5:20  God also mentioned light and darkness?   Is that a coincidence?   No, it certainly is not.  Light represents good and darkness represents evil symbolically throughout the Bible.  This is God’s way of connecting the dots for us to learn His plan.  God was going to separate good from evil from the very beginning of creation.  Can you begin to see this?

This concept is exactly what God was doing here in these Malachi verses also.  God says there will be one separate group called the “Righteous” and another group called the “Wicked”.  Those are the names of distinction and separation given by divine appointment and purpose.  These represent the dividing lines between two groups of beings.  This certainly includes mankind but it also must include angelic heavenly beings also.

Wow, I just introduced so much potentially new information to you so fast that I pray that you understood it all.   We could go through other prophecies of division but I am trying to keep this lesson as concise as possible to not overwhelm anyone with too much information.  I hope to cover this subject in much more detail as the series continues.  So please be patient and kind and believe with me that God will say everything that needs to be said in His right timing.  Let’s recap what we should have learned from this section quickly.

God is going to build:

  1. A Mental Wall of Partition for Discernment in People
  2. A Wall Between the Righteous and the Unrighteous
  3. A Wall Between the Good and the Evil
  4. A Wall to Perceive Between Right and Wrong
  5. A Wall of Separation Between the Light and the Darkness

We could literally talk for many hours on these subjects but I just want you to begin learning the basics for and of division now.  I think today I am going to only go into one more introductory topic to help point us to future lessons.

CONFIRMING JESUS’ PURPOSE FOR DIVISION

I have already introduced you to the concept that God came to earth to divide His kingdom and to divide His family but we need further scriptural confirmation to assist in these statements and beliefs.  Both a nation and a family dissolution are very clear examples of types of extremely prevalent earthly natural disunions.  However, both of these natural examples of disunion have direct application to what Jesus said that He came to do here on the earth believe it or not.   Let’s look at a new verse that Jesus spoke about this direct subject of division to help us to confirm the reality of one of God’s primary purposes for sending Jesus into our world was to divide His kingdom and family.

Jesus actually talks about this subject of division much more than many realize.  It is very clear to me from learning this subject now that Jesus understood His reason for coming into the world far better than anyone else at that time including Satan and all his angels and demons.  We will now turn back to the book of Luke again and read a verse found in close context with our initial foundation division verse found in Luke 12:51.  Please, turn back to chapter 11 and begin to read in verse 17:

Luk 11:17  But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.

Jesus begins the statement with the word “Every”.  “Every” is the Greek word G3956 that literally means “every”.  I am just being funny with that last statement but that is exactly what the Greek word means.  The Greek word G3956 means “every”, “any”, “all” and “the whole”.  Therefore, G3956 is an all-inclusive adjective describing the noun “kingdom” that leaves no kingdom out of the statement.  Do you understand that?  There cannot be any “kingdom” in existence either past, present or future that is omitted from this statement of truth given to us by the Lord Jesus.  I cannot say that more plainly and this is such a very important concept to learn.  Jesus is not a liar and He would have phrased the statement differently if there were any kingdoms that could be excluded from being mentioned.  I do hope you understand what God is saying by His selective use of the word “EVERY”.

So we learn immediately from the mouth of Jesus that “any” or “every” kingdom named or unnamed directly or indirectly will fall if it is divided against itself.  Therefore we learn from the Bible what we already know from human history that any kingdom can be divided into two or more smaller pieces and even cease to exist completely.  For example the Roman Empire ceased to exist.  The Persian Empire has ceased to exist.  The Babylonian Empire has ceased to exist, and etc.   Today division of nations is still a very prevalent topic with the nation of Israel.  Peace talks are dominated with the division of Israel into two nations giving their land to a new nation called Palestine.   Satan is using God’s law of division to try to eliminate Israel and you should know that.

Did you know that this statement from Jesus absolutely must include the “Kingdom of God” and the “Kingdom of Heaven”?  You probably never thought of that, did you?  Does that sound offensive to you for me to imply that the omnipotent God’s kingdom can be divided, fall and possibly cease to exist? Please understand that I did not say it.  I just gained that knowledge from what Jesus said because He included these two kingdom references in the statement by selecting and speaking the word “EVERY” in union with the noun “KINGDOM”.  Wow, I think there could be a lot of upset religious people not very happy with this lesson after reading that but this statement is still true.

Do you remember that I talked about a whole pie being cut into pieces?  Let’s change the pie to a Kingdom and ask if it can be divided in the same way?  Jesus is speaking about a whole kingdom pie that will be divided if it is fighting against itself and He tells us that it will become desolate (a dry empty place) if it is experiencing any condition of discord, disharmony or even disagreement.  What happens to a pie after it has been cut and divided against itself?  It is usually dished out and served and the pie dish has been left an empty dry mess of crumbs.  That is what Jesus is describing that will happen to any kingdom that is divided also.  There is an old proverb that says “United we stand but divided we fall” and that is an accurate phrasing of what Jesus just taught us about God’s Kingdom.

These truths are precisely the reason that I mentioned the U.S.S.R. previously.  The U.S.S.R. was a very good example of a modern kingdom that has been divided against itself.  This whole nation was split into several smaller nations even now which are still fighting among themselves.  There was even recently reported heavy fighting in the Ukraine and Russia was blamed to be fueling the discord.  Note the fact what Jesus said again.  Jesus said “Do you think that I came to bring peace?  I say No but rather division”.  That was my paraphrase of the original key verse statement but it does represent an accurate message of the original.  No nation or kingdom that experiences division can or will experience any peace after it has been divided.  Now ask yourself what Kingdom is Jesus from?  Where did Jesus come down from to enter into the earth?  These are basic fundamental questions that you should be able to answer in your sleep.  Jesus came down from the Kingdom of God and from the Kingdom of Heaven in order that He might divide them with war and I believe this very firmly.

Now consider the second part of the statement made by Jesus concerning division in Luke 11:17.  Jesus declares that a house divided will also fall.  This Greek word translated as “house” means a dwelling where a family resides.  This is why I talked about the concept of divorce earlier also.   A divorce represents the destruction of a sovereign family unit.  The result of the family division is a whole entity that no longer exists or we could say a family unit that has been brought to the state of non-existence.  This is exactly why Jesus was making this statement in Luke because it concerns His purpose for coming to the earth.

We should be able to find out by close Bible study that Jesus has come down from the Kingdom of Heaven directly from the spiritual family of God to bring about a division to both realities.   We can begin to learn this truth simply by reading verses like John 6:50-51 where He describes His flesh as the bread that came down from heaven.   In these words are found the concept of the loaf of freshly baked bread that I presented earlier.  His body was broken and we must eat of it in order to live.  All those that do not eat of this bread will die.  That is a very clear division of separation being inferred.  There are many other verses but I will help you with one about the family of God next for you to know that God has a family that can be divided.

If you study the Bible by searching for the word “house” you will find more than enough verses that will confirm what we need to know about the existence of God’s spiritual family.  For example, in John 14:2 you will find Jesus talking about His Father’s house.  He claims there are many mansions in this location.  The Greek word in this verse is G3613 and it comes directly from the Greek word G3624 that Jesus spoke of in Luke 11:17 about a house divided.  Both words were translated as house and both words mean a literal family dwelling place.   I can give many other references but I do not want to take the time in this lesson introduction.  Just begin to realize that God has a spiritual family and this family can and has been divided by the plan, will and the work of God through Jesus Christ.

If this is true what Jesus is teaching us then the implication of both of these divisions will dictate God’s need for a new spiritual family and a new spiritual kingdom since both will be brought to the level of non-existence as Jesus has prophesied.  I hope you realize that Jesus was a prophet also and spoke what would come to pass in many of His recorded statements in the Gospels.  I warned you that this Bible lesson would take us into some really deep waters which may go over the heads of some weaker carnal Christians.  If this describes you please just stop reading and go to a different Bible lesson.  So let’s review the main points from this section of the lesson.  We learned these Bible facts:

  1. Every Divided Kingdom Will Be Made Desolate
  2. Every Divided Family Will Fall
  3. God Has a Kingdom Which Can Be Divided
  4. God Has a Family that Can Also Fall

All of these Bible facts of Truth point us in the direction for God’s personal appearance on the earth to divide.   These help us tremendously to understand a very complex hidden Bible subject.

CONCLUSION

I hope and pray that you have learned at least a little more on this subject of Biblical Division than you ever knew before.  I know there was a lot of new information given but I also know that there is a whole lot more to learn.  I would recommend that you go back and at least reread the main points from each section of the lesson. This will help us put the pieces of the division puzzle together correctly.  I will be continuing in this series with more confirming scriptures to help us believe in God’s Word.  Thank you for taking your time to read and study the Bible with me.  I do value your time greatly and I do not wish to waste any of it.  If you would care to leave me a comment or question I would appreciate it.  Also please share this website with your friends and relatives so everyone can learn more about the Lord and the soon coming King Jesus Christ.  God Bless you.

Click now if you would like to continue reading “Part 2“.

Bible Basics: Jesus Asks “Who Do You Say That I Am?” Part 2 – Believing in the Name of Jesus is a Requirement NOW!

whoami2(Ver 1.2)  This is Part 2 of a very fundamental and rudimentary but essential Bible Subject for every Christian to study, learn, understand and be able to share in an instant with all others in the world!  What is that vital subject you ask?  The subject that I am referring to is “Who is Jesus to you?”   If you did not read from the beginning I would strongly recommend that you go back to “Part 1” to begin reading the series because all of that information will not be repeated again and it was very important for your understanding of who Jesus should be to you.   The first lesson was a focused approach to understanding the significance of some of the most important revealed “Names” of Jesus in the Bible.  If you read the first lesson you know that I introduced you to 3 of these primary names of Jesus found in the New Testament.  There are of course several other revealed names and titles of Jesus that I did not mention.  Later in the series we will explore more of these names but I will mention at least two other direct names today in this lesson.

I hope after reading Part 1 that you at least have a better comprehension for the importance of these 3 Bible names of Jesus that were covered.  These names were 1) Jesus, 2) Emmanuel and 3) The Word of God.  All three names connected us directly to a personal divine appearance on the earth of the creator Lord God coming from heaven in the form of a man like us.  In today’s lesson we will expand the subject of these 3 names by adding two new names “Lord” and “King” and we will begin to address the question of what benefit is there for believing in these names of Jesus?  Were there any benefits in the early Church?  Are there any benefits to these names in the modern church?  Why is it important for us to even believe in the names of Jesus?  What occurs if we do not believe in Jesus being God in the flesh or in His revealed names?  We will soon be learning what the Bible says about what will happen if we believe in His name and what will happen if we do not.  Wow that sounds imperative to know.

In many of my Bible studies I place an added emphasis upon how to study the Bible.  Today’s lesson will be more of this type of double teaching effort.  I want to provide the reader with valuable spiritual information but at the same time I desire to teach a few of the rules and methods for how the information was obtained.  In this way I am teaching the reader more about “how to fish for information” than simply just offering them a “onetime fish meal of information”.  Of course the number one rule for every Bible study method is for us to be led by the Spirit of God and listen for His guidance as we study the Bible by faith.  Following this rule will insure that we are on the right path to not deviate from the way of finding the truth.  The Spirit of God is Truth (John 14:17) and we are told that He will guide us into all Truth (John 16:13).

INTRODUCTION TO THE NAME OF THE LORD

Let’s begin this Bible study using the important Bible study technique called “The Law of First Mention.  Today’s Bible study’s primary focus is upon the importance of knowing, understanding and believing in the name of Jesus.  So we will go back into the O.T. to find the name of God that is found within this name Jesus.  Perhaps you do not understand what the law of first mention represents.  I found through years of Bible study that the law of first mention is a very useful study technique to learn from and use.  This study law introduces us to the subject where God first mentions what we are interested in learning.  I have found consistently that God places key information in every initial subject reference that is critical to understanding almost every other subject reference in the rest of the Bible.  Since we learned in lesson 1 that the original language Hebrew name of Jesus was comprised of two Hebrew root words “Jehovah and Saves” we will focus in on the O.T. references to the name of God, Jehovah.  The first time this name Jehovah is used by God in the O.T. is found in Genesis 2.  Let us read the verse and learn what God introduces us to in this first subject mention:

Gen 2:4  These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,

Did you notice that this verse connects the name Jehovah directly to the God of creation and the creation event itself?  In Genesis 1 the name of God primarily mentioned is H430 Elohim which is normally translated as “God”.  However in this verse in Genesis 2 Jehovah and Elohim are joined and used in conjunction together as a connecting force for equality, for clarification and for further definition.  I believe this simply teaches us that Jehovah is Elohim and Elohim is Jehovah.  Why is this important?  It is only important because in the New Testament in John 1 we saw another direct reference to GOD and to the creation event that must be included with Genesis 2:4 in order to be understood more thoroughly.  Let’s review the first three verses of John 1:

Joh 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Joh 1:2  The same was in the beginning with God.

Joh 1:3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1 are parallel creation event verses connected together by God’s design.  God in the book of John further clarifies and bring newly defined light and revelation to the subject of creation and the Creator.   God is being declared equivalent to the Word in these verses and we are clearly informed that the Word created everything that was made.  We can now go back and reread Genesis 1 and find that this is exactly what happened.  God spoke His Word and the created things came forth and produce life.

In these verses in John the name of God is the Greek word “Theos” and this is the equivalent of the Hebrew name of God “Elohim” by direct association.  Notice, in Genesis 1:1 God says “In the beginning God (Elohim)…” and in John 1:1 God says “In the beginning God (Theos)…”.   I know technically it says “In the Beginning was the Word” but later in the verse God tells us the Word was God (Theos) and that is a basic Algebraic law at work that says if A = B and B = C then A = C.  Therefore I hope you understand why it is legal to say Elohim and Theos are equivalent but I will offer additional evidence as I continue in the lesson and probably repeat what I have said for the benefit of everyone.

One of the things that I want to teach in this lesson is that anytime God quotes even a portion of a verse from the O.T. in the N.T., He is connecting the words across a language boundary.   I hope you understand the importance of knowing this.  This technique of word structure, definition and equivalency is part of God’s internal technical design of the entire Bible.  God used this technique of quotation to help us and teach us the way through the complexity introduced by His usage between two main separations of languages found within the original Bible manuscripts.  The O.T. was written in predominately Hebrew and the N.T. was written in exclusively the Greek language.  So how do we resolve this major language separation when studying any subject in both the Old and the New Testaments?  We do it by finding and using God’s laws designed for us to follow.  Following God’s laws of how to cross language boundaries provide us very specific rules and boundary limits to avoid an “anything goes approach to Bible interpretation”.  Without following God’s established rules there is only a random unstructured chaos approach to interpretation taking place based upon human reasoning and that will usually fail us 100 times out of 100 attempts.  That is exactly why there are thousands of different Christian denominations in the world today.  Too many people are ignoring God’s rules and inventing their own ways to understand the Bible.

What we learn from this divinely designed language connection technique is that the Greek word Theos (G2316) is the equivalent word found within the Hebrew as the word Elohim (H430).  Do you understand this?  What I am saying is, if we were translating the O.T. original Hebrew language into the Greek language we would make the Hebrew word Elohim read as “Theos” because this is exactly what God did in the Bible and we should follow His example.  Conversely if we were translating the N.T. into Hebrew the Greek word “Theos” would be translated into “Elohim” because of God’s choice and not mine.  This is not that complicated but it is still a very essential concept to learn for correct Bible understanding and interpretation.    We can further confirm this truth of the word equivalence between the Hebrew Elohim and the Greek Theos by looking at several verses but I will give only one other verse to keep the lesson shorter:

Mat 4:7  Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

This is an excellent verse to expand our knowledge from.  Jesus is quoting a commonly known O.T. verse in this statement within the Gospel account.  Here in Matthew God directly connects two very key Greek words together that we need to know.  The first Greek word is G2316 (Theos) which was translated as God and is the same word found in John 1:1 that we just looked at.  But now we can also see the second Greek word being connected to God (Theos) is G2962 (Kurios) which is translated as Lord in this verse.  This is the exact same word and name connection that God made in Genesis 2:4 if you recall.  The “Lord God” is in fact the name that I am looking for to further understand.  Now let’s go and review the original Hebrew statement being quoted by Jesus to learn the original Hebrew language words:

Deu 6:16  Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.

Here again are the two key words LORD and God that are being researched having been connected by God’s design to the New Testament in the Matthew 4:7 quotation.  The Hebrew word H430 that was translated into English as “God” is Elohim and the Hebrew word H3068 that was translated as “LORD” in English is Jehovah.  We now have a very direct confirmation that the Hebrew word Jehovah is directly linked and is equivalent to the Greek word Kurios and the Hebrew word Elohim is directly linked and is equivalent to the Greek word Theos in all of scripture.  Do you understand why I could just say this?  If not there are more than enough verses quoted in the N.T. that you could go through to prove this statement if you want to do the work.  This is a very critical part of correct Bible study to find these types of details.  This should leave no room for doubt that we are on the right track learning about who is named LORD in both the O.T. and the N.T.  I do hope that you are beginning to understand where I am going.

Now let’s go back to John 1 and review again.  In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God (Theos = Elohim) and the Word was God (Theos = Elohim).  I just inserted the Greek and Hebrew equivalent words in this verse to help bring clarification to what God is speaking of.  John 1:1 is very clearly telling us that the Word is God (Theos = Elohim) and it further teaches us in verse 2 that the Word was with God in the beginning.   The terms “with God” and “is God” sound like conflicting statements but these are only possible because of the triune nature of God Almighty (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

Then in verse 3 God (Theos = Elohim) speaks clearly that all things that were made by God (Theos = Elohim) and everything that was made was made by the Word.  Wow that is awesome information to teach us something very new and profound.  Go back and review Genesis 2:4 again to make the connection.  Genesis 2:4 said “Jehovah Elohim” created the heavens and the earth.  Do you see the direct connection being made to who Jehovah was?   Can you see that the “Word = God” in John 1 is the exact same God as the “Jehovah = God” in Genesis 2:4?  Both are speaking of who created our world.  I believe overwhelmingly that the LORD GOD is the same as the WORD GOD and they are equivalent and I will prove that statement further as I continue in the lesson.

Let’s review some of the basic mathematical laws again to help us understand the Bible more clearly.  The Bible was authored by the same God that created math so it just makes logical sense for us to apply the same laws of God’s math design to God’s application of His Word.  Do you remember what I said earlier?   I said that God Theos = God Elohin by God’s usage of quoted O.T. verses found in the N.T.  I then said LORD Kurios = LORD Jehovah using the same type God’s N.T. quoted examples.  Now using John 1 we learn how God connects the “Word” was equal to “God” which was equal to “Theos” which was equal to “Elohim”.  I think this may be going over the head of many of my readers but that does not mean that I should not be teaching it.  Now using the divinely connected verses of Deuteronomy 6:17 and Matthew 4:7 we learned that Jehovah Elohim (Hebrew) = LORD God (English) = Kurios Theos (Greek).  I think I need to say this again because it is so very important for you to embrace, using O.T. quoted verse words in the New Testament we now know that Jehovah Elohim = Kurious Theos = LORD God.  I am just laying a very important foundation for more knowledge that is coming.

Ok if I haven’t left you behind so far I want to go a bit deeper.  Recall from lesson 1 that Joshua was the original Hebrew name of Jesus.  Never, never forget that Jesus was born a Jew and spoke the Hebrew language and not the Greek language.  Jesus said very plainly that He was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel (Mat 15:24).  When people met Jesus on the road they called Him “Yeshua” (Hebrew) = Joshua (English transliteration) = Jesus (Greek to English transliteration).  This Hebrew name came down from heaven and was given to Him by an angel of the LORD GOD.  As I have stated more than once we should know that the name Joshua was the Hebrew word H3091 and this meant “Jehovah Saved” which comes from two root words H3068 Jehovah and H3467 yasha being joined together.  We have just learned that Jehovah (Hebrew) = Kurios (Greek).  Therefore we can by the mathematical law of equivalency say Jesus’ name was the same as Kurios Saved because that would be the legal name using the Greek language equivalent.  Why is this important?  We will soon find out very quickly as we continue.   I hope and pray that you are interested in learning because this is only going to get better.

I have already established who the Word of God was stated to be in Lesson 1 of this series.  The Word of God was a given name for Jesus revealed by God to us in the N.T. (Revelation 19:3). I have just emphasized that the name of Jesus was a Hebrew name originally and it is comprised of two key words Jehovah Saves.  We are discovering further confirmation that Jesus was Jehovah come to save His people just as He was prophesied to do.  So let’s now move on to further study that subject in the next section of the lesson to go even deeper.

CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD

Psa 20:9  Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call.

This is my opening key verse to this entire section of the lesson.  Please, notice what God says.  The verse begins with “Save Lord”.  Uh oh do you remember what that means in Hebrew?  Opening in this verse are found the two key Hebrew root words that comprise the name of Joshua and Jesus.  These words that were translated correctly as “save” and “LORD” are H3467 and H3068.  Wow this is pretty good stuff if you are paying attention.  I’ll say it again “these are the exact two Hebrew words that make up the name of Jesus” and this verse in the Bible calls Him the King that saves the people that call upon Him.  Save us Lord (JEHOVAH) is the cry being made by the people in this verse.  These were people on the earth crying out for the LORD to save them.   So let me ask you who came to save them?  Who is your savior today?  Is it not Jesus?  I know Jesus saved me for sure, but I cannot speak for you.

We are told that they are crying out and calling for a king to save them.  I’ll ask you again, “Who is this king that will save them”?  Wow again, because if you know the N.T. just a little bit you know that Jesus is called the “King of kings” in Revelation 19:16 another divinely appointed name and title.  I told you earlier that we were going to learn a new Name of Jesus today and that was it.  Jesus is the KING of kings which clearly qualifies Him to be called upon according to this verse.  Now know and believe that Jesus is this King and make the connection being made to Jesus our Savior and Lord in Psalms 20:9.  Jehovah Saves = Joshua/Jesus and the people are calling upon this King named Jehovah for their salvation.  Could it really be that Jesus is this prophesied King that will come to save us who call upon the Lord/JEHOVAH?  I believe beyond a shadow of doubt that it is Him and we will certainly see many more verses in this lesson that will affirm that this King is Jesus.

What I am trying to teach over and over in this lesson until we all get it is that Jehovah is Jesus and Jesus is the Jehovah God that has saved us when we believe in Him and call upon His name.  Now let’s shift our focus slightly to a different first mention in the O.T. concerning those that “called on the name of JEHOVAH”.  In this part of the section we will look at when men first began to call on the name of the Lord in the Old Testament.  This is accomplished by a simple Bible text search within a good Bible search software program like “eSword”.  If you do the search you will find the first mention of the words “name of the Lord” to be in Gen 4:26:

Gen 4:26  And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.

Seth is the third named son of Adam and Eve.  Seth has a son and names him Enos.  Enos is the same as the Hebrew word H582 that means “mortal” and I find that fact very interesting when observed by what God connects within the context of this verse to this name Enos being given.  Enos was born approximately 235 years after Adam’s creation.  You may recall by reading earlier in the context of Genesis 4 that Adam and Eve had a son named “Cain” first and then they had another son named “Abel”.  The older brother Cain murders his younger brother Abel and this is the first direct mention of any natural human death occurring in our world in the Bible.  I’ll say it again that this natural death of Abel entering into the world was the first recorded occurrence of human mortality to actually be observed by any other human on the earth.  God plainly prophesied and warned Adam that death would come if he sinned and disobeyed God’s command.   It was truly the sinful disobedience of Adam that allowed death to enter into the world according to Romans 5:12.  I personally believe that it was the observed death of Abel the first human’s blood to be shed upon the earth that caused this verse in Genesis 4:26 to come to pass.

I believe that as soon as men and women on the earth began to realize the great impact and consequences of human sin they began to call upon the name of the Lord/Jehovah.  Why do you think that people would feel the need to call on the name of the Lord in Genesis 4:26?  What were they calling Him for? That is a very great question to ponder.  What benefit was there to calling on the name Jehovah at this time or anytime?  Was there actually any profit for doing this?  I firmly believe that there was then and still is now.  Let’s look at an example of one O.T. stated benefit for calling upon the name of the Lord:

Psa 99:6  Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.

Notice that Moses, Aaron and Samuel all called on the God named Jehovah.   Let me ask you this question, if you are calling on the name of Buddha will the LORD God named Jehovah answer?  If you are calling on the name of Hare Krishna will the LORD Jehovah answer?  What about the name of the sun god Ra or the mythological god named Zeus?  What if you called upon the name Allah?  Will the LORD Jehovah answer to any of these names?  Let’s look at a great Bible example of why it is so very important to call upon the right name and the right God:

1Ki 18:24  And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

Wow this verse is pretty awesome.   Elijah challenges the priests of the false gods and tells them to call upon the name of their gods and he would call upon the name of Jehovah the true living God just like Moses, Aaron and Samuel did and the God that answered by fire would be God.  That was an overwhelming display of faith in the name of Jehovah by Elijah.  If you read the rest of the chapter you will find who heard, who answered and who prevailed in this challenge and it was the God named Jehovah.  Was there any advantage gained by Elijah for him to call upon Jehovah?  It is very self-evident that there was a great benefit found in this example for Elijah’s faith and wise choice to call upon Jehovah.

This is just a very basic fact of truth being taught.  If you called me by the name of John when my real name was Ron, please understand that I will probably not answer you.  If you want a response from anyone you should probably know their name. If you want someone to answer you, it is wise to call them by their name.  These are very simple truths yet extremely important to know.  We could say that this “call on the right name and He will answer knowledge” is just “common sense” but yet this human quality seems to be an escaping virtue to possess these days for so many.  God gives us examples in Psalms 99:6 of a few select men that called upon His name.  These men were Moses, Aaron and Samuel and they are said to have all called upon the name of Jehovah and it tells us clearly that they received a response from Him.  That is the first astounding benefit revealed by God in this lesson for believing in His name and calling upon the name of the Lord.  God teaches us that if we call upon His name then He will hear us and He will answer because He is no respecter of persons.  Therefore, if your LORD is Jesus then call upon Jesus and see if He hears and answers the same as Jehovah did in these examples.  I believe that we have already established with scripture that Jesus was Jehovah in the flesh in lesson 1 but we re exploring more evidence in this lesson to remove all doubt.

CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD BENEFITS

I introduced you to just one of the benefits to calling upon the name of the Lord in the previous section. This section will continue the lesson with more of the stated benefits for believing in the name of the correct Lord and calling upon His name.  I want to begin this section of the lesson with a verse for you to read and then ask you a question to why it is important.  Please read over this verse carefully noting what is stated and then you begin to ask yourself questions from what you believe that God has given to you to know:

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

Notice the Apostles were teaching others about Jesus and this made the Jews very angry.  But more specifically notice that the apostles were teaching directly about the “name of Jesus”.  Wow that sounds important to me.  Why would it even be necessary for the apostles to teach in the name of Jesus?  Could there have been any directly stated or even implied benefits that were attached to this name that needed to be made known to the others that heard?  Could the others that heard the name of Jesus being taught also gain any benefits from hearing about His name?  Why would Satan not want the “name of Jesus” to be spread to others? According to this verse there must be some great significance for teaching in the name of Jesus that the enemy wants to silence.  This name of Jesus sounds very important to me and I hope you will agree.  This is exactly why I am spending so much time teaching on the name of Jesus.

We are studying the reasons why the belief in the name of Jesus and calling on His name is very essential.  We have discovered that when we call upon the name of the Lord, He says that He hears us and that He will answer.   We can learn some very key facts to know about the name of the Lord Jesus if we open our spiritual eyes to see and receive them.  The word benefit is defined as “an advantage or a profit gained from something given or obtained”.  The something in this case given is for us “to believe in the name of Jesus” and then “to call upon this name of Jesus”.  The profit and advantage gained from doing these two simple things may be far greater than you can possibly imagine right now.  Before I go further I’ll state the antithesis truth of what I just said.  The opposite truth states that the losses and disadvantages that are faced by not believing in the name of the Lord and not calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus could be infinitely consequential to your life.  Let’s get started with learning some of the essential benefits and advantages for learning the name of the LORD:

Psa 116:12  What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?

Psa 116:13  I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.

Here are two great subject verses.  The Hebrew word in verse 12 translated as benefits means to “bestow on” or to “deal bountifully” with someone.  That reveals to us that God by His freewill and sovereign choice has placed His infinite divine grace and favor upon those that call upon His name.  But many will try to say that these verses are not about Jesus so why are you including it here?  However that is really not true.  Almost everything in the Old Testament points us to Jesus even if you do not see it at first.  I teach that Jesus is the central themed subject of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

Verse 12 teaches us that we cannot earn or repay what God is prophesied to do for us in this verse or now has done for us after Christ has come.  However, this undeserved gift is truly a New Testament Grace concept.  What is God talking about here that cannot be repaid?  Verse 13 gives us a glimpse into what one of these coming benefits is.  Salvation is the stated primary subject benefit for believing and calling on the name of the LORD.  However, this “cup of salvation” must be taken by the one that it is being offered to.  God does not force anyone to drink from this saving cup. This cup is what God has offered to every man, woman and child on the earth.  God has extended the cup of salvation to each of us in this life.  If we choose to take it we will be saved.  How does this work?  God tells you in the last part of verse 13.   We must call upon the name of the LORD.  Again that sounds critical to know.   Could that be the reason why the Apostles in Acts were teaching the people about the name of Jesus?

The key name of God found in verses 12 and 13 are translated as LORD which is the Hebrew word H3068 again referred to in English transliteration as “Jehovah”.  The Hebrew word Jehovah is included by God in over 5500 verses of the O.T.   Jehovah is also a root word of the name of the English transliterated name of Jesus as I have previously taught several times now.  What we need to do is to learn if there are any other supporting God given connections of Jesus being Jehovah.  So let’s establish truth using the Bible and the Spirit of God to guide us.  Consider this important subject verse next:

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

Here in this chapter’s context is found the primary subjects of human salvation in conjunction with the belief and placing our faith in the name of Jesus in order to be saved.  Did you notice what this verse said?  God tells us that whoever shall choose to make a decision and call on the name of the LORD they and they alone will be saved.  Who is this LORD?  I believe if you are intelligent you will know that this LORD is speaking of only Jesus Christ.

Now please know and understand that this verse in Romans 10:13 is a direct quotation of another Old Testament verse about Jehovah found in Joel 2:32.  Wow, that is just an amazing coincidence that God through the inspired writer Paul would use an obscure O.T. verse to teach us that the N.T. man named Jesus is the same LORD as O.T. named Jehovah.  You see the Hebrew word that is translated as LORD in Joel 2:32 is Jehovah (H3068) the exact word found in over 5500 verses of the Old Testament and the Greek word in Romans 10:13 that is translated as Lord is Kurios (G2932) the same word we have been learning is the equivalent language match.  Again these two verses in Romans and Joel further establish that the Greek word G2932 and the Hebrew word H3068 are equivalent words about the same subject just across a language division boundary.  Are you getting it yet?  I hope so.

I hope and pray that you are beginning to learn why this is so important.  God is teaching us that the O.T. Jehovah (LORD) is the same as the N.T. Lord Jesus using the direct law of inspired quotation.  They must both be the same person called by one name “LORD” in two different languages.  God is teaching us that it was Him, the Jehovah/Lord God that became Jesus and walked among us to save us.  Why can’t people see this?  People do not see the truth because the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:4 their minds have been blinded by the god of this world (Satan).  Satan is still trying to stop people like me from teaching on the name of Jesus and who He is.  There is truly nothing new under the sun.

There are so very many people who call themselves saved Christians and ignore the Bible.  They do not believe that Jesus was God come in the flesh and I believe this endangers their salvation tremendously.  These types of people take their selective verses and attempt to prove Jesus was just a man, just a prophet or even just an angel sent down from heaven.  This type of belief leaves God’s direct participation and contribution in our salvation process completely out of the picture.  It would further make Jesus an impersonal created unwilling participant and would certainly deny His deity.  In other words some believe that God sent or created someone else instead of coming Himself to save us.  That type of belief denies the name of Jesus to be meaningful.  Wow that is such a huge deception being pulled over the spiritual eyes of people.  Let’s move to two other verse witnesses that Jesus Himself spoke:

Luk 6:46  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Joh 13:13  You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.

In the first verse Jesus asks “Why do you call me Lord (Kurios) and do not do what I say?”  In the second verse Jesus says “You call me teacher and Lord (Kurios) and you speak well because I am (He)”.  However, remember again the basic fact that Jesus was a Jew and spoke Hebrew, so He was not speaking the Greek language when He said these statements even though it was recorded in the Greek language for us to read.  This means from our previous study that Jesus said Luke 6:46 “Why call you me “Jehovah” “Jehovah” and do not do what I say?” and in John 13:13 He said “You call me teacher and JEHOVAH and You are correct I am”.  Wow, Wow and Wow!  Are you receiving who Jesus claimed to be?  Get what Jesus is saying.  Think like a Hebrew for a few moments!  Put yourself in the audience when Jesus made these statements and you will soon understand why many picked up stones to kill Him.

Jesus is directly claiming to be God Almighty in the flesh with both of these statements.  Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus ever dispute being the Jehovah LORD.  Nowhere does Jesus ever deny being God Jehovah incarnate.  In fact the completely opposite is actually found true.  Jesus repeatedly alluded to the fact that He had come down from heaven and that He and His Father were ONE (John 10:30).  Yet so many people refuse to see the truth and they choose to buy into a lie of Satan so easily.  Here is another additional witness to insure the accuracy of Jesus being Jehovah:

Act 2:21  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Let every word of truth be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses the Bible teaches.  God again quotes the prophet Joel here in this verse in Acts.  This verse is a duplication of Roman’s 10:13 statement.  The Apostle Peter after being filled with the Holy Ghost stands up and preaches to the multitude that was found present to hear him.  If you read the context you will find that He is speaking directly of Jesus as being this “Lord” that Joel prophesied about coming.  Wow again, is that not just a little bit crazy?  I’m being humorous by asking that question.  No, Peter was not crazy.  Peter was a Jewish man also and he was quoting a Hebrew verse about Jehovah claiming that it was written about Jesus.  Therefore, Peter claimed that Jesus was Jehovah come down to the earth and was teaching this to anyone that hears it.

We just read that Jesus Himself claimed to be Jehovah.  Then if men like Peter believed Jesus was Jehovah and Paul believed Jesus was Jehovah why don’t you?   We would have to follow a completely different and false Gospel in order to believe in a salvation process that did not come from the God Jehovah personally being present on the earth to die for our sins.   I would strongly suggest that you go and reread Roman 10 and Acts 2 again and again to see how God used the Joel prophecy to describe Jesus as being LORD (Jehovah).  This is exactly what was being proclaimed by the early church believe it or not.  I am going to take this divine message even deeper to help you to learn the truth.  You are probably familiar with this verse but hopefully new light will shine upon it so that you will see it differently:

Rom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Paul a Jew writes that “if you will confess (call, speak, say) with your mouth the LORD Jesus….you will be saved”.  The Greek word translated as “LORD” in this verse is the same G2962 Kurios that we have learned is the equivalent to the Hebrew Jehovah.  Now change this one word Lord in the sentence and reread the verse:

Rom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth JEHOVAH is Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

I made three minor but legitimate changes to the KJV Bible verse.  I took away “the”, added “is” and change Lord to the Equivalent Hebrew word “JEHOVAH”.  All of this was legal.  I will confirm this with using the amplified translation:

Rom 10:9  Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord (JEHOVAH) and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Notice how the amplified translated the original Greek.  I added the word (JEHOVAH) to bring clarity because this was the original Hebrew equivalent word.  The amplified Bible said for us to say “Jesus is LORD” and by the law of Algebraic equivalence we know that we can or should say “Jesus is Jehovah”.  BY believing who Jesus was and making this statement we are declaring Jesus to be Jehovah our God and this verse says when we do that we will be saved.  This harmonizes precisely with the verses we just looked at in Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13 and Acts 2:21.

What we are learning is that our New Covenant salvation is found in believing that Jesus is the God Jehovah.  Before we end this section we will observe an additional essential reference for this part of the benefits to the name of Jesus subject study:

Act 4:10  Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

Act 4:11  This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

Act 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Here in these verses we find the primary reason for believing in the name of Jesus and calling upon His name.  Peter very clearly teaches us that there is no other name under heaven given among men where we can even think to be saved.  Wow, wow and wow!!!    Here we again get confirmation that the name of Jesus is an absolute necessity for being saved.  This implies that we must know who this name was given to and what He represents.  What makes this name different than anyone else’s name on the earth?  Why would Satan want us to not teach about this name, learn or know this name?  Anyone telling you that Jesus was not God is from Satan and you have a choice to believe them or not.  I am telling you plainly that Jesus was God using more than enough verses from the Bible to establish the truth and you have the same choice to believe what I say from the Bible or not.

We should learn that salvation is the primary need to learn, know and believe in the name of Jesus, but there is also another quick reference given to us in verse 10 that should be mentioned.  If you read the context you will find why Peter is speaking about Jesus and His name.  Peter had just used his faith in the name of Jesus to cause a lame man at the temple gate to walk.  It was this name of Jesus that Peter said made the man whole.  The Greek word translated as whole means to be healed and made complete.  That teaches us that salvation is much more than just God taking our spirits to heaven after we die.  No the Greek word translated as salvation is “sozo” and it means to be made whole spiritually, mentally and physically.   Go back in Acts and read verse 9 where Peter is telling the elders “by what means this man was made whole”.  The Greek word “whole” in this verse is G4928 “sozo” and it means “to save, deliver or protect”.  This word is used in the N.T. in a varied and wide all-inclusive process.  The name of Jesus saves us in so many ways that most of us have not yet realized or believed.  I’m really not going to get into this part of the meaning of salvation any further in this lesson.  I have other lessons that will expand upon this if you are interested.

What we must conclude from just these few verses that I have gone through so far today is that Jesus was Jehovah come down to save, deliver and protect us by our faith in His name and saying He is our Jehovah (LORD).  That is what the name Jesus means and that was what has occurred and is offered to you if you choose to believe it and receive it.  Therefore, our salvation is the most important reason for believing in and calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus.  This truth was clearly established in Romans 10:13 and Acts 2:21.  We are commanded to call upon His name and God says we will be saved.  Satan will fight you over this and try with all his power to get you not to believe this because this will take you out of his kingdom of darkness and he will no longer be your lord.  I seriously hope and pray that you understand what is being said here because the antithesis truth not directly stated is that if you do not believe or call upon the name of Jesus you will not be saved and go to hell.

DIVINE SIGNIFICANCE FOR THE NAME OF JESUS

I am going to conclude this name of Jesus Bible lesson with a final message of warning.  This warning comes directly from God’s Word and not from my imagination.  I am just the messenger that is delivering the warning.  Paul is writing to the church in these next few verses and we should take special heed to what is stated especially in the light of what we have learned so far about Jesus is Lord/Jehovah.  Turn to Philippians chapter 2 and read with me:

Php 2:5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Php 2:6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Php 2:7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Php 2:8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Php 2:9  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Php 2:10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Php 2:11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

According to God people can bow their knees to the name of the LORD Jesus right now by their choice or they will be forced to bow later without a choice.  There are no other options given to us.  It is and always will be a right now decision by an act of freewill humble submission and surrender or later by an act of superior force.  You need to spend a lot of time reading these verses and understanding what is being revealed about Jesus conforms to everything that I have taught up until this point and then realize who God claimed Himself to be in His written Holy Word.  Verses 5 through 8 teach us about God coming down from heaven and taking on the form of a human male.  He humbles Himself to be a servant in order to die on a cross for our sins.  Verse 9 is referring to God raising Jesus from the dead to ascend back into heaven being given a much superior name above every other name.

Read down to verse 11 and notice who Jesus is written by God’s design to be again.  God tells us in this verse that every tongue will confess that “Jesus is LORD”.  Who is this LORD?  Always remember that the Greek word translated as “LORD” is G2962 Kurios the exact same word that we learned earlier that was equivalent to the Hebrew word H3068 JEHOVAH by God’s definition?  If God inspired the writer Paul to write this message in his native Hebrew language instead of the Greek, what would it have said?  Remember the writer Paul was a native Jew by his own admission.   Paul would have thought thoughts primarily in the Hebrew language.  Therefore, reread the statement inserting the Hebrew word equivalent, “every tongue will confess that JESUS CHRIST IS JEHOVAH”.  Wow that is a very strong word of warning for us to believe in right now.  I really do not understand why people do not think when they read the Bible.  The truth is staring them right in the face but it is hidden from their view by wrong thinking.  Please confess that Jesus is Jehovah right now because later you will be forced to say it but it will be too late.

CONCLUSION

We have only begun to touch on this very major subject of believing that Jesus is Jehovah and calling upon the name of Jesus to be saved.  I have only introduced you to a very small portion of the importance of the name of Jesus. However, we have seen more than enough reasons and evidence to confirm the significance of why it is vitally essential to know Jesus by name and who He was as Jehovah incarnate.   I have also taught on why we all need to believe and call upon this name in order to be saved using multiple verse confirmations.  We have learned a few reasons to know what is gained from believing in the name of Jesus and by calling upon Him by name.  It is very clear from Bible research that the early church taught on this subject of the name of Jesus everywhere they encountered people that needed to be saved. If the early church placed such great emphasis on Jesus being Jehovah why should we not do the exact same?   I will list a few benefits for doing this now again for a quick synopsis overview:

  1. When we believe on Him we will call and when we do not believe we will not call.
  2. When we call upon Him, He will hear us.
  3. When He hears us, God says that He will answer.
  4. All who believe and call on the name of the LORD Jesus will be saved.
  5. Salvation is found in absolutely no other name but the name of Jesus.
  6. I’ll say it again, there is no other name given to men whereby we may be saved.
  7. Never forget to tell people that Jesus is Jehovah.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this Bible lesson.  I do pray that it opened your eyes to see some things that you have never considered before about Jesus and God’s Word.  I hope and pray that this lesson will give sufficient evidence to convince any doubters to confess Jesus is Jehovah now.  If you have the opportunity to share my website with your friends and family I would be so grateful for your help spread the Word of God to others.  Thank you all and God Bless you until next time.

Predestination Revisited! – Part 4 — God’s Invitation to the Wedding

invitation4(Ver 1.1) Today I am teaching another lesson on the highly controversial subject of “predestination” or “election” as it is also referred to many times.  This is Part 4 of what should be a basic Bible study series concerning a very difficult and easily misunderstood Bible subject that is taken to extremes to place deception into the minds and lives of Christians.  Satan does this to remove human “freewill” as being a factor for salvation.  It further removes human responsibility to getting saved or staying saved.  The extreme predestination philosophy allows an anything goes belief for acceptable human behavior without consequences of guilt or punishment.  It removes the need for repentance, believing, learning, growing up spiritually and many other factors for a successful Christian life.  If you have not read this series form the beginning I would strongly recommend that you go back and start with “Part 1” and then proceed forward to today’s Bible lesson.  In doing this you will get a more complete understanding of the entire subject.

In today’s lesson I will begin addressing more specifically two sets of Bible verses that are commonly used by extreme teachers to preach their erroneous doctrine of extreme “predestination”.  I received a question from a friend and this will be an answer for everyone to read and benefit from.  I was asked about Ephesians 1:3-11 and Romans 8:28-30 and I have to admit that reading these verses in isolation certainly gives us all the appearance of a valid “predestination” theology on the surface.  But was this what God did?  Did God predestine some to heaven and some to hell without any human participation or determination upon where they wanted to go?

It might surprise you that I agree with a part of the “predestination” theology.  The word “predestinate” is certainly a part of the Bible and this means we need to learn about it.  Bible “Predestination” simply means a divine plan was put into place by the sovereign mind and will of God and God putting His plan into action has predetermined the outcome result.  That is “predestination” in a very limited definition form.  Predestination simply means a predetermined outcome was planned by God by placing severe limits upon the possible outcomes.   That is what the word means and that is what God is bound to do but taking that definition and teaching what people do today is totally absurd.

I completely agree that God had a plan in place for human salvation long before He did anything to create our world.  This plan involved Jesus who was the Almighty God in the flesh coming to the earth as the sacrificial lamb (Rev 13:8).  Therefore God predetermined before man even existed that He would  come down to the earth in the form of sinful flesh (Rom 8:3) to die for the payment of our sins removing our penalty for them while we were all yet sinners (Romans 5:8).  This is the part of the doctrine of “Predestination” that I believe in with my whole heart and I hope and pray that you do also.

I also totally agree that God has omniscient foreknowledge of every event within human history and uses these events to put His plan into effect.  However, the problem that arises very quickly is when people take these basic truths and stretch them into realms of beliefs that are not stated in the Bible.  For example many people teach that God has predestined some to go to heaven and some to go to hell by His sovereign will and choice.  That part of the doctrine of predestination represents a line in the sand that I refuse to cross because it violates God’s written word and makes Him to be a liar and my God is not a liar.  I have already taught in three lessons about many things concerning why extreme predestination does not balance or conform to God’s entire precious Holy Word and we will be going into even more verses today because this is absolutely so important and vital for every Christian to understand.

AN INTRODUCTION AGAIN TO SALVATION

I realize that these verses that were given to me from Ephesians and Romans appear to confirm predestination as a legitimate theological doctrine.  I’m very sure that these are two of the primary references being used by pastors to teach on the subject of “predestination”.  But the extreme teaching and interpretation of these verses is by far not even close to being a correct or accurate representation of who God is or what God says.  These extreme teachings are certainly not balanced properly with the rest of the Bible.  For example let’s begin talking briefly about how we were saved according to scriptures:

 Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 

Gal 3:26  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Here we have some of the most important basics of Christianity and salvation.  God declares that we have been saved by God’s Grace but only in conjunction through our faith and we have been also made the children of God by our Faith in Christ Jesus also given only by God’s Grace.  Therefore it is only because of our faith and belief in Jesus that has accomplished salvation by God’s Grace.  If we have NO faith in Christ and choose NOT to believe in Him then we are not saved nor are we called His children.  Knowing this truth is the foundation for the rest of Christianity which causes spiritual growth to continue helping us to see our role, relationship and purpose for being saved in Christ.  Therefore I’m going to say something that may blow your mind but according to God’s Word it is the freewill choice of man to believe that determines whether or not we are selected (saved) and not God selecting us that determined our salvation.  I’ll probably get a lot of negative comments and may even lose some readers because of that statement but so what I’m not going to change God’s word to fit your theology.  It is really so very simple yet this scriptural truth of human faith being the determining factor for our salvation is ignored completely by many extreme “predestination” only preachers.  Let’s look at a new verse briefly to learn an additional confirmation of who should be considered the chosen and how they became this:

2Th 2:13  But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

We should be able to clearly see at first glance that God has chosen us from the beginning.  This is a basic predestination verse that teachers like to grab hold of to easily misunderstand the subject.  However, this verse is another example of divine and human partnership working together to achieve our salvation.  You see there are two direct things mentioned that God does in this verse and these are 1).  God has chosen us to (for) salvation and God has done this 2). Through a process called sanctification.  Then there are two direct things that we as Christians are said to do and these are 1). Give thanks to God for what He has done and 2). Believe the truth.   The key word I want to focus upon is the Greek word G4102 translated as “belief” in this verse.  This Greek word literally means to be persuaded of something.  It can be translated as “believe” or “belief” or even “faith”.  This is a word for humans not God.  This Greek word represents what we do.  It is a verb action of human response after hearing the Gospel (good news) of what God has done through Jesus Christ.  We are required to have faith in order to please God according to Hebrew 11:6.  Thus we are given one of the primary reasons for being chosen or selected by God is because of our faith.   In other words if you don’t believe or have any faith you will not be selected.  Do you understand this?  People want to say it was only God’s sovereign choice and His right to choose some and reject others that caused us to be saved or lost but that is foolish thinking based upon poor human reasoning with no scriptural backing for that belief.  No, the truth is that we determine whether we will be selected by our faith in Jesus Christ.  It is so easy when you finally see it.

ROMANS 8:28-30

 I was asked specifically about Romans 8:28-30 and Ephesians 1:3-11.  I’ll talk about Romans 8 first in this lesson but everything that is written could apply to Ephesians 1 also.  There are at least three mistakes that Bible teachers take upon themselves with their wrong interpretations of these scriptures that cause error to go forth to be taught.  First they ignore the context of the verses and that is taking phrases out of their setting to say what they think they want them to say instead of what they actually say.  Second there is a common problem of seeing verses from the wrong scriptural point of view to make the verses again say what they want instead of what God actually said being balanced with all other verses on the subject of human FREEWILL.  You see context is also much more than just the verses in the surrounding chapter.  Context must also include the whole Bible and every scripture that is related to the subject directly or indirectly.  God is one author of one book and people taking one statement without the rest will lead us to error.   Third there is the problem that occurs when an assumption is drawn based upon no direct facts being given.  We must not make assumptions if God does not give us two or three witnesses to our belief.

Let’s go over a quick overview of good interpretation and understanding principles.  We need to first learn to read and study the context of the verse within the chapter, the book, and the entire Bible in order to understand any single statement better and more clearly.  Next then we need to read the Bible using the correct perspective.  Many times we should consider what is written from God’s viewpoint since He is the admitted author of the text.  God’s viewpoint is normally from a very spiritual perspective because He is a Spirit.  God’s spiritual viewpoint is superior and normally conflicts with the human natural viewpoint (Romans 8:7).  We learn this principle from several Bible selections including Romans 8 that we are currently studying but consider another reference found in 1 Samuel 16:7 when God spoke to the prophet and told him not to look on the outward appearance of the man (flesh) because God looks upon his heart (spirit).  Wow, that is an awesome bit of knowledge to learn from and apply in our lives and study today.

Now consider the fact that there are other possible verses in the Bible that are directly related to the subject of “predestination”.  These verses must also be considered contextual information that should be weighed together.  Wouldn’t any or all of these other verses possibly have an impact in determining how we need to believe in the whole subject of predestination?  I believe they do.  Finally after reading and studying the whole subject we should be able to gather together all the known facts and use these to drive our belief process after we have felt confident that we understand the verses adequately enough to do so.  Finally, as part of the drawing conclusions process we must never conclude anything unless we have 2 to 3 factual Bible witnesses of the conclusion from the Bible and I’m going to talk about this next.

For example NOWHERE in the Bible does it say that God predestined men to go to hell and that is a very wrong assumption and belief that many people have created in their minds and have bought into it like it was the truth because they think they were “selected” to go to heaven and therefore nothing they ever did effected them to get saved or nothing they will ever do can or will ever change their status of salvation.  What a lie of the devil.  If that was actually true then a lot of the N.T. is not necessary.  In fact we can take that further and say the Bible as a whole is unnecessary for salvation.  No one would need to preach the gospel, no one would need to believe the Gospel, and no one would need to go to church, no one needs to read the Bible and no one would even need to pray because God’s will would always be done regardless of what we do or say or pray.  Also there would be no need for there to be any BIBLE commandments from God or instructions or warnings in the Bible for us to not be deceived or to depart from the Lord (Heb 3:12, 1 Tim 4:16, Gal 5:15, 1 Cor 10:12, 1 Cor 15:33, Gal 6:7, Luk 21:8, …. and others).

Let’s talk about the context first of Romans 8.  The verses directly prior to these verses asked about speak of praying in tongues also called praying in the Spirit.  I know it does not say it directly but that is how God wrote it in order to give man a choice to believe or not believe in speaking and praying in tongues.  So let’s read the preceding two verses for direct contextual understanding:

Rom 8:26  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Rom 8:27  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Ok “intercession is mentioned twice and “prayer” is directly mentioned in verse 26.   The key to knowing this is not just any kind of prayer is the fact that God is helping us to pray it.  Therefore this is a supernatural prayer language because man can only pray a natural type of prayer language without God’s help.  Do you understand this?  God gives us the ability to pray supernaturally by helping us with the words  to speak that cannot be normally uttered with natural human reasoning as He has stated in verse 26.  In the Greek language this word means these words cannot be understood r spoken with the normal human articulate speech process.  When we pray in the Spirit, God gives us the words and these are usually words not understood by people but rather they are heard by God and known by God for our benefit and this is why God says in verse 28 that He will cause all things to work together for our good.  God does this primarily so that Satan does not know what is being prayed and can make an effort to stop it from coming to pass.

The reason I talked about praying in tongues is because the next verses following these statements are now conditional upon people praying in the Spirit in order to be qualified for what is said to happen next.  Uh oh that changes everything or at least it should.  We could talk a lot about other things written about in chapter 8.  For example there is a whole discourse concerning the flesh verses the spirit.  Those walking the flesh are not qualifying for the rest of the chapter either.  But I know I was asked about the verses concerning “predestination” and that is where I will go next.  Let’s jump down to verse 30 to see where the controversy really begins:

Rom 8:30  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

This verse begins with “Whom He did predestinate”.  Ok, this is pretty compelling if you only read it in isolation that God selected some and therefore must have rejected others by assumed indirection even though it does not say that directly.    It is clear that God did select those that this verse was written to in the church but again nowhere does it say that God rejected those that were not in the church.  I MEAN NO WHERE!   Also there is a Greek word found here that needs our further attention.  This Greek word is G2564 and it was translated as “called” twice in this verse.  This Greek word means to “bid” or to “call” someone.  What exactly does that mean?

Let’s say we go outside our house on the back porch and don’t see our dog.  We could “call” the dog and see if he will come to us by yelling his name.   The “call” would be an invitation to come and that is exactly what this verse is saying to us.  God has invited us to come.  What would make the dog not interested in coming to us when we called?  It could be the fact that they are occupied with something they value more like a big bone that they are chewing on.  Whatever the reason for not coming the dog has the choice of freewill to come or not to come and this is what we must realize is joined within the context of the subject of God “predestining” us.   This is where we need to look afresh at this verse from the God spiritual perspective and weigh the context of the rest of the Bible also.  I’ll do this with an introduction to a new way to think about predestination.

GOD’S INVITATION/CALL

Gods_Call2Why couldn’t God call and invite everyone through a plan of salvation called “to predestine” and offer to them all an invitation to come and be at His big wedding party in heaven?  Then why couldn’t God send out all of the invitations to everyone to come to be a part of this party by an act of their choice to attend?  But then what if only those people that actually showed up (chose by an act of their freewill) to come to the wedding party would be called those that were “selected”?  In other words what if God has predestined everyone to show up for a huge big wedding party but yet not many valued or regarded the invitation as important and therefore did not come and what if this was the reason that caused them to not be selected?  Could this possibly be the truth?  Wow, I really think it is according to the Words of Jesus in the Bible.  Let’s go read some words written in red ink within the distant context of Romans 8 that must be balanced with Romans 8.  You should be able to read these verses and see my “what if” story in a parable form given by the Lord Jesus that helps us to learn what I was just trying to teach:

Mat 22:1  And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,

Mat 22:2  The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

Mat 22:3  And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

I’ll stop here and make some quick important points.  The King in this parable is a representation of God.   The Son in this parable is a symbolic representation of the Jesus Christ.  The marriage in this parable is a symbolic representation for the New Covenant.  His servants in this parable were His prophets and they called to the wedding the children of natural Israel but they would not come to the wedding by an act of their own stupid choice.  The Greek word translated as “call” in verse 3 of Matthew 22 is the exact same Greek word found in Romans 8:30 making a direct divine connection to the same subject being spoken of by God.  Does this not have anything to do directly with selection or God’s predestination process?  Didn’t God call them all to come?  Didn’t God desire them to come?  Wasn’t it the will of God for them to come?  I mean come on and think.  God selected them and invited them to come but THEY WOULD NOT.  Get it?  This is really not rocket science and it is right there in front of our faces.  Are we going to believe God or are we going to believe the traditional errors of man?

Mat 22:4  Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.

Mat 22:5  But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

Mat 22:6  And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

Mat 22:7  But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

These verses were written about the natural nation of Israel.  The natural nation of Israel was overrun and laid low over and over because of God’s displeasure for their ignorant choices and killing His servants.  It is more than clear that this was not the plan of God for their lives.  It was more than clear that God sent His servants to invite them to the wedding feast.  It is more than clear that it was their own actions that caused them not to come in and be a part of the process.  This is called man’s “freewill” and this must be taken into account when teaching anything about “predestination”.  Now continue to read the rest of the parable because this is how we were selected:

Mat 22:8  Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

Mat 22:9  Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

Mat 22:10  So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

So God goes forth into the rest of the Gentile world with more prophets and teachers inviting them all to come to the wedding and guess what I came by own freewill choice to believe and now because of my choices I have been selected.  Also because I am now selected I now go into the world and preach the Gospel to others so they can also be selected by an act of their own freewill choice and faith in Jesus Christ.  Wow this is how God designed it to work.  We either believe and are saved or we don’t believe and we are damned by our own freewill choices (Mk 16:16).

Mat 22:11  And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

Mat 22:12  And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

Mat 22:13  Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Mat 22:14  For many are called, but few are chosen.

In this parable there are only two types of people mentioned that are rejected from being at the wedding and these were the one man without a wedding garment and those that chose not to even attend.  However, this one man without a wedding garment also represents the man’s own foolish choice to try to come to the wedding without being properly clothed.  This verse was symbolically talking about people who call themselves Christians but have not “PUT ON CHRIST” (Gal 3:27).  This parable is all symbolism but this story gives us natural realities that apply directly to predestination and election.

I hope that everyone can read this over carefully and see the truths beings presented.  This is exactly what I have been attempting to teach about salvation, election and predestination.  Everyone is invited but only those that choose to show up to the wedding properly attired get to stay in the party to be called the select or elect ones and all others are left outside trying to get in.  Remember the parable of the 10 virgins?  This is the exact same reality.  All 10 were invited but only 5 were prepared and entered in and the others were left out because of their lack of preparedness.   Wow, this teaches us plainly that human FREEWILLL choices have a great determination to who is “selected”.  We can choose to not attend the wedding or we can even choose not to dress for the wedding and both of these will cause us to NOT be selected.  I don’t know how to teach it more clearly.

CONCLUSION

Let’s look at another verse to help us with the Bible basics of selection or predestination.  I will give you a verse found in the Book of Hebrews that has nothing to do on the surface with this subject of predestination yet it has everything to do with it by indirect subject content and contextual association.  God is speaking to Christians in this verse so read the words like they were written to you personally:

Heb 4:3  For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Here is an additional confirmation that God had a divine plan from the foundation of the world.  But, back up and see who it is that has been determined to enter in.   Believing is stated to be the determining factor for entering into God’s rest.  Those that have not believed do not enter in and those that believe do enter in.  The entrance door is God’s Word and believing in God’s word gives us entrance.

I am trying to teach a difficult subject called election or predestination but not the way it is normally taught by many confused people.  Becoming God’s elect is based upon a partnership between God’s divine grace and human faith.  God is not a respecter of persons as we should know by now but God is most definitely a respecter of faith.  The basis of what is taught by many predestination teachers would make God a respecter of persons by selecting some and rejecting others.  This would make the Bible a lie and that is a conflicting problem with their philosophy.  The only way to balance and resolve the conflict correctly is to understand that any good gift given to men by God is received by their faith.  Any good thing ever given to men, done to men or done for men is only received or we could say entered into by individual freewill human faith.  This is the way that God designed it to work.

Hebrews 4:3 is just further evidence that proves faith is a necessary part of the plan of God established from the foundation of the world.  Read it again and again until you get it and accept it into your heart.  Write a big sign and put it up on your wall and it should say “We who believe do enter in….”.  What God is plainly saying is that everyone is invited to believe but only those that choose to do it are selected.  God has predestined everyone to salvation but only those that have chosen to dress and come into the wedding will be selected and those that do not believe, or have not prepared themselves or have other more important things to do will be shut out when the door closes.  That is the truth of God, believe it or not.

Thank you again for reading and studying the Bible with me.  I appreciate your time and diligence to read and verify what is written in these lessons.  Do not ever buy into a teacher’s words without your own personal verification.  Allow the Spirit of God to minister and lead you into all truth.  Be blessed and be a blessing to all that you meet every day.  I’ll try to do another lesson on Ephesians 1 soon.  I hope these word help you to better understand the Bible and your role in being selected.

Bible Basics: Jesus Asks “Who Do You Say That I Am?” Part 1 – Introduction to the Names of Jesus

whoami2(Ver 1.2)  This is Part 1 of a very fundamental and rudimentary essential Bible Subject for every Christian to study, learn, understand and be able to share in an instant with all others in the world!  Who is Jesus Christ?  Is Jesus the most important person mentioned in the Bible or any other book available to read?  If He is, then why is He so important?  Many today in the world in other religions simply call Jesus just another human originator of a new religious system that died just like other religion founders like Mohammed or Buddha.  Others in certain religions recognize Jesus to be nothing but another prophet of God like Moses, Mohammed or Joseph Smith.  There are even many people in the world today that read from the Bible and believe Jesus to be far from divine.  Are any of these the truth?  Was Jesus just an ordinary man like me?  If He was then I believe that I am one of the biggest fools in the world for following Him. Today we will explore just the Bible verses that teach us who Jesus really was described to be.  We will be specifically focused on some of the revealed names of Jesus in the Bible and what they relate to us.  Later in this series we will also look at the recorded words and claims of Jesus and see who He professed and claimed to be.  I hope and pray that you have a very open mind to receive the truth as written and inspired by the Holy Spirit from the Bible.  We will be exploring the basics of Bible truth that are the essential foundation for God’s grace and our salvation through our faith in Jesus Christ.

INTRODUCTION TO THE QUESTION “WHO IS JESUS?”

Jesus asks His disciples two very simple questions in the book of Matthew.  And their answers to these questions will determine much more than you can imagine.  At this point in time when these questions were asked to the disciples by Jesus they had been with Him for a long time following Him from place to place.  They had witnessed many very significant things done by Jesus and heard many teachings from this man they called Rabbi (John 1:38). We will begin this section with reading in Matthew 16 and verse 13.  Please observe the first question:

Mat 16:13  When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

Why would Jesus even need to ask anyone who He was?  There were a lot of people that obviously heard of Jesus but why would it be necessary to ask these people know who Jesus is?  Anyone can know of someone but that is totally different than knowing them or knowing who they are, isn’t it?  So who is Jesus?  Jesus is asking those that were closer to Him than anyone else “who do men think that I am?”   This is the question that is still very valid for today.  Jesus could come to you and ask the exact same question.  What would you say to Him?  Perhaps you would need to go and take a survey in order to find out what men said about Jesus.  Today, it is much simpler to just go and search the internet and see what people are writing about Him.   Then notice how very wide and diverse the answers were.

Mat 16:14  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

The disciples answer “Some say Jesus was John the Baptist”.  Other men claim Jesus was Elijah.  Still others claim Jesus to be the prophet Jeremiah.  Even other men claimed Jesus to be just another one of the prophets but did not know which one.  What a diverse set of possibilities for the identity of Jesus.  However there is a common theme to them all.  They were all calling Jesus a human man acting as a prophet but there was not any majority agreement to which prophet he was.  This is still the most popular belief today in most false religions.  The general consensus is that Jesus was simply a prophet or holy man like many others; Muhammad, Buddha, John Smith or even the Dalai Lama.  This would place Jesus Christ on their exact same level of humanity but is this, the whole truth?  Is this all that Jesus claimed to be?  Let’s see the second question being asked by Jesus then and now:

Mat 16:15  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

Now Jesus changes the question and makes the question very personal.  The question has substantially narrowed from “who do OTHER men say that I am” to “who do YOU say that I am”?  Jesus was making a point by asking these two questions in succession.  Jesus is teaching them that it does not matter what other men think but it does matter greatly what we think individually.  Wow, I don’t know if you just got what God said there or not but it was very substantial.  What Jesus is saying is that someone else’s opinion of Him is not going to help you or save you.  Let’s look at their answer and see if anything changes.

Mat 16:16  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Peter answers the question of the Lord with an amazingly new and different perspective to the identity of Jesus.  Two things are directly stated by Peter and you need to notice that neither of these stated beliefs of Peter is denied by Jesus.  There was no rebuke from Jesus for any of Peter’s answer.  In fact the opposite is true if you read down into the next verse.  Jesus praises Peter and tells Him this answered revelation came from His Father and not from any man.  That is a very significant amount of information to learn from.  Jesus teaches us that there are at least two possible sources for knowledge and only one source is praise worthy.  The knowledge originating from God is implied to be very good and noteworthy and the knowledge coming from ignorant men was judged as not important.  Did you see that?  Who is your source for who Jesus is?  Is it God or is it a man?  It would be extremely wise to figure this out now before it is too late.

Peter could have gone along with the majority wrong opinion.  Peter could have chosen to conform to the religious crowd.  Peter could have listened to popular peer pressure.  Certainly the popular human concept is still what is taught today by many.  But I believe that there still exists a God that can reveal the truth to anyone that asks Him and seeks Him with their whole heart.

What were the two God revealed things about Jesus that Peter gave as an answered reply?  The first was that Jesus was the Christ.  Wow, what exactly does that mean?  Many of us have heard the combined named “Jesus Christ” but this title “Christ” was not the last name of Jesus.  And you better also know that “Jesus Christ” is not something you say when you slam the door on your finger.  Let’s look up the Greek word translated as “Christ” and learn:

G5547

From G5548; anointed, that is, the Messiah, an epithet of Jesus: – Christ.

I want to begin with the definition and say Christ is an “epithet” for Jesus.  What is an “epithet”?  An “epithet” is a word that is used to describe the person being referenced.  It is an adjective description.  If you understand what an adjective is then you should already understand that an adjective is used to distinguish one man from another.  If there is only one Jesus for example no one would need to say “Jesus Christ”.  But since there were and still are others then this is one way to make Him uniquely important to the conversation.

Here in this definition is a new connection to a Hebrew word being established along with a meaning of someone that is anointed.  The literal definition of the Greek word G5547 translated as the adjective “Christ” means “the anointed one”.  Jesus is called “the Christ” by Peter and Jesus does not deny it.  This title Christ is only significant because of Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled when Jesus begins His ministry.  The Hebrew word being connected in this Greek word definition is H4899.  In order to connect the Hebrew word “Messiah” to the Greek word G5547 translated as “Christ” we need to do some homework and search for the title in the O.T.  If you do this you will find one key “Messiah” prophecy in the book of Daniel.   If you go and read Daniel 9:25-26 you will find the verses that I am referring to.  It would take a very long study to try to explain just these two verses so that will not be covered today.  But I do want you to notice the Hebrew word that was translated as “Messiah’.  This Hebrew word is H4899 and it has the following Strong’s definition:

H4899

From H4886; anointed; usually a consecrated person (as a king, priest, or saint); specifically the Messiah: – anointed, Messiah.

As you can observe in the definition this word has the exact same meaning as the Greek word G5547.  We can therefore conclude that these two words are equivalent in both languages.  I also want to point out that this word can apply to more than Jesus Christ.  Any king, priest or even a saint can be anointed by the Spirit of God and this tends to lead some to say that Jesus was just another anointed man like so many others.  In that regard if that was the only criteria being analyzed that would be a true statement.  However, Peter did not stop talking with calling Jesus “the Christ” and he mentioned another quality that must also be considered.

Do you remember the second statement that Peter made?  Go back and reread it if you did not recall that Peter said that Jesus was the “Son of the living God”.  Wow that description makes Jesus unique and unlike any other anointed human born on this planet.  Jesus had a great opportunity to rebuke Peter for this statement if it was a false claim but Jesus very clearly did not do it.  This means that Jesus was confirming His identity to be the “Son of God” with His praise for what Peter had just spoken and because He said that this had been revealed to him by God, His Father.  We will talk more about Jesus claiming to be the “Son of God” as we continue in this lesson series.  But, Jesus claiming to be “the Son of the living God” is one of the most important things for anyone desiring to be a Christian to learn and believe by faith.  I will tell you very plainly right now that if you do not believe that Jesus was the Son of the Living God then you are not a Christian and you are lost and going to hell.  This is a very plain and simple truth found in 1 John 2:22-23 so please go and read it.

INTRODUCTION TO THE SIGNIFICANCE OF NAMES

I’m going to shift the focus for a moment to teach briefly an introduction about another very relevant Bible subject concerning “names”.  This rabbit trail subject should be a Bible study series all by itself but an introduction will help our study of who Jesus claimed to be and should provide a great benefit to us by us understanding His names.  Almost everyone in the Bible was given a name not by chance but rather the name given to them reflected a situation, quality, circumstance or characteristic of something very specific about the person.  For example, these given names could have been a reflection on the circumstances surrounding their entrance into the world.  Perhaps you remember in Genesis 35:18 when Rachel gives birth to her last son.  She called the boy child by the name “Benoni” and this name meant “son of my sorrows” and then she died.  But his father named him “Benjamin” which meant “son of my right hand”. God gives such great significance to names in the Bible and these name meanings are often overlooked and ignored but they all have a divine purpose.  I will also say that if Benjamin would have been called by the name given of his mother then this would have changed his entire life and who he was tremendously.  But since Benjamin was given a name change and a very different positive name he was blessed and favored.

Let’s go over a couple of other significant name changes that made a major difference for those people in the Bible to prove the significance of this subject.  The man Abram was selected by God and given a promise by God in Genesis 12.  The Hebrew name “Abram” means “high father”.  Yet God changes Abram’s name to “Abraham” that meant “a father of a multitude” and it was only after this name change transpired that the promise began to be fulfilled.  There is a revealed law of God found in the Bible that as long as the earth endures seed time and harvest will never cease (Gen 8:22).  This divine law teaches the concept of cause and effect.  In other words for every observable effect (harvest) God teaches us that there must be a cause for it (a seed sown). Some seed sown transpired to cause the promise to be made manifest to see the harvest and I am convinced that God’s name change to Abraham was a major role for this event occurring.  Perhaps you will understand that statement as you continue to learn the God given facts of the Bible.

I’ll give you at least one other significant Bible name example.  You may recall reading in Genesis 32:29 about Jacob wrestling with an angel.  Jacob we are told prevailed against the angel and again as a result, the angel changes Jacob’s name from Jacob to Israel because of this victory.  The name Israel obviously came from God and from heaven and you need to know this.  When God gives a man a name it usually causes something good to occur and this is just another example.  The name Jacob meant “heal catcher” and this name described the circumstances of his birth.  But the name “Israel” is a Hebrew name that means “he will rule as God”.  I’ll say this again, when God gives you a name there is a great seed that was planted to bring about a divine harvest and this is so very important to understand.

Modern names of people are really no different from Biblical names of people and they often reflect who a person is and what kind of person they present themselves to be.  For example I was eating at a restaurant and my server’s name was named “Tisha”.  I looked up the name’s meaning on the internet and it meant “joyful” and “happy”.  This name meaning fit the personality of the lady very accurately.

What I am attempting to teach you is that it maters what the name of a person is in the Bible and even in the world today still.  I am also trying to teach that it matters who gives a person the name and why it was given.  In other words why and where the name originates from is critical and the name can certainly influence the outcome on a person’s entire life greatly.   Let’s examine the Hebrew word that is translated as the English word “name”.  This word’s meaning may shed some additional light of confirmation upon the significance of “names” in the Bible:

H8034

A primitive word (perhaps rather from H7760 through the idea of definite and conspicuous position; compare H8064); an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character: –  + base, [in-] fame [-ous], name (-d), renown, report.

This Hebrew word means an “appellation”.  This word means the act of giving something or someone a name.   Then notice the next statement “a mark or memorial of individuality”.  Wow that is a very important definition.   God and people name things to mark them as being different from other things that may even be similar in appearance.  For example any normal family with identical twins will always give each child a different name.  This unique name separates one identical twin from the other.  When a parent wants a specific twin they will call their name and this should bring the one called.  Clearly names matter because it causes a separation from others to occur.

Then notice in this Hebrew word there is an associated implied meaning of any given name.  According to the definition a name can carry the positive implication of “honor”, “authority” or it can even denote personal “character”.  This positive truth can also be taken from a negative antithesis truth perspective.  A negative name given to someone can cause them a negative outcome in life like dishonor or even bad character.  I’m trying to teach you how things work in the spiritual realm.  If you call your kids stupid then they will become more stupid.  If you call your kids lazy then they will become lazier.  Whatever names you have placed on your children are all seeds to mold their lives either building character or destroying their character.

I’ll end this introduction to the significance of names in the Bible with this truth.  There are so many significant names given to us in the Bible that we often overlook the lesser names mentioned only a few times.  For example in Genesis 5 there is a genealogy given to us by the inspiration of God concerning the first eleven men.  This genealogy begins from Adam the first man to Noah and then to his son Shem in succession.  The name Adam means “man” and the name Noah means “comfort”, the name Shem means “name” and this.  Let’s just go through all of the names for review:

AdamThe first name, Adam, comes from adomah, and means “man.” As the first man, that seems straightforward enough.SethAdam’s son was named Seth, which means “appointed.” When he was born Eve said, “For God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.”EnoshSeth’s son was called Enosh, which means “mortal,” “frail,” or “miserable.” It is from the root anash: to be incurable; used of a wound, grief, woe, sickness, or wickedness. (It was in the days of Enosh that men began to defile the name of the Living God. )KenanEnosh’s son was named Kenan, from which can mean “sorrow,” dirge,” or “elegy.” (The precise denotation is somewhat elusive; some study aids unfortunately presume an Aramaic root synonymous with “Cainan.”) Balaam, looking down from the heights of Moab, employed a pun upon the name of the Kenites when he prophesied their destruction.MahalalelKenan’s son was Mahalalel, from mahalal, which means “blessed” or “praise”; and El, the name for God. Thus, Mahalalel means “the Blessed God.” Often Hebrew names included El, the name of God, as Dani-el, “God is my Judge,” Nathani-el, “Gift of God,” etc.

Jared

Mahalalel’s son was named Jared, from the verb yaradh, meaning “shall come down.” Some authorities suggest that this might have been an allusion to the “Sons of God” who “came down” to corrupt the daughters of men, resulting in the Nephilim (“Fallen Ones”) of Genesis 6.

Enoch

Jared’s son was named Enoch, which means “teaching,” or “commencement.” He was the first of four generations of preachers. In fact, the earliest recorded prophecy was by Enoch, which amazingly enough deals with the Second Coming of Christ.

Methuselah

The Flood of Noah did not come as a surprise. It had been preached on for four generations. But something strange happened when Enoch was 65, from which time “he walked with God.” Enoch was given a prophecy that as long as his son was alive, the judgment of the flood would be withheld; but as soon as he died, the flood would be sent forth.

Enoch named his son to reflect this prophecy. The name Methuselah comes from two roots: muth, a root that means “death”; and from shalach, which means “to bring,” or “to send forth.” Thus, the name Methuselah signifies, “his death shall bring.

And, indeed, in the year that Methuselah died, the flood came. Methuselah was 187 when he had Lamech, and lived 782 years more. Lamech had Noah when he was 182. The Flood came in Noah’s 600th year. 187 + 182 + 600 = 969, Methuselah’s age when he died

It is interesting that Methuselah’s life was, in effect, a symbol of God’s mercy in forestalling the coming judgment of the flood. It is therefore fitting that his lifetime is the oldest in the Bible, symbolizing the extreme extensiveness of God’s mercy.

Lamech

Methuselah’s son was named Lamech, a root still evident today in our own English word, “lament” or “lamentation.” Lamech suggests “despairing.” (This name is also linked to the Lamech in Cain’s line who inadvertently killed his son Tubal-Cain in a hunting incident. )

Noah

Lamech, of course, is the father of Noah, which is derived from nacham , “to bring relief” or “comfort,” as Lamech himself explains.

Shem

Shem is the exact same Hebrew word that I just gave you for “Name” (H8034).

 

The Composite List

Now let’s put it all together:

Hebrew English
Adam Man
Seth Appointed
Enosh Mortal
Kenan Sorrow
Mahalalel The Blessed God
Jared Shall come down
Enoch Teaching
Methuselah His death shall bring
Lamech The despairing
Noah Rest, or comfort
Shem Name

If you take the meanings of each of these 11 names given to us in the Bible and combine them into a sentence, you will find the Gospel of Jesus’ coming into the world and one of the primary reasons for His appearing.    Here is the sentence using the Hebrew name meanings:

Man (has) appointed mortal sorrow; (but) the Blessed God will come down teaching (and) His death shall bring the despairing comfort (by or through His) Name.

I hope that you are beginning to see how Jesus is even mentioned indirectly here in the names of two prominent Bible men (Adam and Noah) and 9 other relatively obscure men in the Bible.  This hidden reference to Jesus using only the names of men certainly is beyond chance or random occurrence.  This information had to be placed there by God’s design and plan and this teaches us plainly that God even uses names in the Bible to inform us of things that are very important for us to learn and know.  I will give credit for the majority of this information to Chuck Missler  and you can find it on his website.  I added the name of Shem to what he taught because this should have been given.  Remember this prophecy using the 11 names because this will be readdressed in this Bible study later.  Let’s move on to the specific name of Jesus next.

INTRODUCTION TO THE NAME OF JESUS

We will continue our Bible study concerning “who is Jesus” with a statement being made to Joseph from an angel sent from the Lord.  In this statement is the name of the male child to be born to Joseph’s wife Mary.  This name comes from God just like the name of Jacob came directly from God through an angel giving it great divine significance and purpose.

Mat 1:21  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

I want to reemphasize this point that the name of “Jesus” came directly from heaven and not from Joseph or Mary or any other human.  This fact gives the name of Jesus a divine reason and purpose for being given.  The next thing that you need to know is that the name “Jesus” is an English transliteration of the Greek name “Iēsous” being written in the book of Matthew.  A transliteration is nothing but a man’s attempt to transfer and preserve a name from one language’s alphabet to another by using similar sounding vowels and constantans.  The problem we begin to encounter very quickly is when we realize that the man Jesus was not English nor was He a Greek.  Neither of these names would be correct based upon the nationality of Jesus.  The genealogy of Jesus given to us in Matthew and Luke both prove that Jesus descended from the Hebrew nation a descendant of Abraham and David. Therefore the name of Jesus should be a Hebrew name and this is exactly what we discover when we look up the Greek word in the Strong’s dictionary:

G2424

Of Hebrew origin [H3091]; Jesus (that is, Jehoshua), the name of our Lord and two (three) other Israelites: – Jesus.

You should be able to quickly recognize that the Greek word name has a Hebrew origin.  It is also apparent that the name of Jesus was not a completely unique name and that there were other Hebrew men that were also given this famous name.  But we still need to ask the question why did the angel tell the man Joseph to name the child Jesus?  In order to answer that question we need to revert further to the original Hebrew.  Let’s look up the name H3091 and find its meaning:

H3091

From H3068 and H3467; Jehovah-saved; Jehoshua (that is, Joshua), the Jewish leader: – Jehoshua, Jehoshuah, Joshua. Compare H1954, H3442.

The English transliterated name for the Hebrew word H3091 is “Jehoshua” or “Joshua”.   This name literally means “Jehovah saved” in the original Hebrew meaning.  This Hebrew word is made  from two Hebrew root words being combined together.  The first word is H3068 meaning “Jehovah” and the second being H3467 meaning “saved”.  “Jehovah” is simply one of the key names for God found within the Old Testament.  The name Jehovah is used by God in over 5000 verses.  The name Jehovah (H3068) simply means “Self Existent or Eternal One” and was most often translated as “LORD”.

The Hebrew word H3467 simply means “to save”, “to deliver”, “to free”, “to be made safe”, “salvation” and even “to get victory”.  This part of the definition goes along with the statement made to Joseph in Matthew 1 if you will recall the angel said “you shall call His name Jesus because He will save His people”.  We can learn from the meaning of the name that Jesus was the hidden fulfilled prophecy of the genealogy of Genesis 5 using the 11 names of Bible men.  Remember this prophecy predicted that “the Blessed God would come down teaching and His death gives the despairing comfort through His name”.  The despairing are simply humans that were held captive prisoners within the darkness of this world.   The Name of Jesus was the God given name that men were required to believe upon and we will talk abut this more in the series as we go.    This is exactly what transpired.  The name of Jesus shows us by its definition that He was the Jehovah God that delivers and saves His people. This is now the second Biblical confirmation that Jesus was God in the flesh that came down to the earth.  Let’s move to new name given to Jesus and study a further confirmation.

JESUS = GOD WITH US!

We are now going to explore another name given to Jesus in the Bible.  This name will be the third conformation that Jesus was God in the flesh come to the earth from heaven.  I will first give you the name found in the Greek New Testament.  This name is found in a verse of Matthew 1.  Please read it very carefully not overlooking any of the words in the stated scripture.

Mat 1:23  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

First consider the beginning of the verse where God declares a “virgin” will be with child.  A virgin simply means an unmarried daughter and this clearly implies that she has never had sex with any man.  Right there that gives us the first impression of a supernatural conception.  Next the Greek words translated as “be with child” simply means that she is pregnant in her womb.  Next the author (God) says she will bring forth (birth) a son.  Here is where we get to the good stuff.  God say “They shall call his name Emmanuel”.  Wow, this is a very meaningful name that was being bestowed upon Jesus.  Of course this name is meaningless if you don’t know what the definition of the Hebrew word being given to us is.

What we have just witnessed in this verse is a very vital principle (rule) that God teaches us to how to understand selected parts of the Bible.  I have already been using this principle when I taught on the meaning of the name of Jesus earlier in this Bible lesson. This principle given to us by God is the simple fact that names have meaning and that these meanings have significance to indicate something important about the one being named.  This principle also teaches us very directly that we need to go back to the original language meaning in order to insure the significance.

Perhaps you missed it again.  The name “Emmanuel” in this verse is just another Greek to English transliteration.  This Greek word (G1694) was also a transliteration from the Hebrew original name H6005 which was transliterated into English in the Old Testament as “Immanuel”.  This is further confirmation that what I did for the name of Jesus going back to Joshua was very legitimate.  Finally I want you to see in this verse the Greek word (G3177) that was translated into “interpreted”.  This Greek word literally means to “translate” from one language into another.  What God is doing is confirming the fact that names have meanings and these meanings have purpose as I have already stated.   Let’s go back and research the original prophecy that this verse in Matthew is quoted from:

Isa 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

This verse quite literally says that this will be a “sign” given by the omnipotent God.  This Hebrew word (H226) that was translated as “sign” can mean “evidence” or even a “monument”.  In other words Jesus will be the visible proof for the name being given to Him.  So what did this name ‘Immanuel” given from God mean?  You read it in Matthew but it was not given here in Isaiah because you are assumed to already know Hebrew if you are reading the Old Testament because it was written to Hebrews.  This is a reason that God wrote the meaning out in the New Testament because it was predominately read by Gentiles who needed to learn more about this old language.

If you knew the Hebrew language then you would find that “Immanuel” means “God with us”.  If we break down the Hebrew root words found within this name we should start with the ending syllable  “el” which is the short form for one of the prominent names of God in the Old Testament “Elohim”.  The short form name “el” for God is used in almost 150 other names in the Old Testament and that is an interesting  study all by itself.   Then go back to the beginning syllable of the name “Im” and this means “with” or even “in”. Now look at what remains in the middle “man”.  Put them together it could read something .like “God in the form of man” which could also means “God with men”.

Do you understand these God given principles?  I’ll say it one more time, names have meanings in the Bible and these meanings are important especially based upon who gives the person this name.  Any name given to anyone by God is of the ultimate importance since God is supreme.  Based on Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23 God comes down from heaven in the form of a man to be with us, to walk among us and to live like us but as a higher example.  So far we have found 4 witnesses in the Bible that claims Jesus to be God in the flesh but there are more.  Let’s examine another name of Jesus.

GOD THE WORD BECAME FLESH

All Bible truth is found only by searching and studying the Bible with the Holy Spirit’s help to reveal it to us so we are able to see it clearly.  This is why the Bible is not understood by even many Christians.  They are not studying, not searching or not praying and asking God to open their eyes to the truth and lead them into it.  We are going to need to search to find the names of Jesus in order to discover who He really is.  I’ll give you three verses to read next and then talk about them:

Rev 19:11  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

Rev 19:12  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

Rev 19:13  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Did you see the two names of Jesus given to Him by God?  First there is the one called “Faithful and True” and this can only be a name for the divine God since every human can and will fail us.  Then in verse 13 He is called by the name “The Word of God”.   It is this name “The Word of God” that I want to focus upon next.  But both of these names prove that Jesus was God in the flesh come to the earth as a man.  How do they do that you ask?  Well again you have to study and read the Bible to find the answers.  The real answers don’t fall on you like a piece of ripe fruit from a tree that you are laying under doing nothing.

The book Revelation was written by the inspiration and revelation of God through a man named John.  John wrote other books of the New Testament and we need to go back to the first book in order to find the answer to who “The Word of God” represents.  Read these next two verses to begin with from the first chapter of John:

Joh 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Joh 1:2  The same was in the beginning with God.

God is the primary subject of both verses and the verse begins with the statment “In the beginning was The Word”.   This statement is talking about Jesus indirectly since Jesus is called the Word of God in Revelation 19:13.  Jesus is being indirectly called the Word again with a direct association of the Word for the theme of God being the primary direct subject.  The Word was with God and the Word was God.  If you know anything about the laws of mathematics you understand that if A=B and B=C then A=C.  Therefore if the Word = God (John 1:1) and Jesus = the Word (Rev 19:13) then God = Jesus by undeniable mathematical proof.  I’m not going to go through every verse in this chapter of John because that would take too long but I will give you 4 more verses for you to read:

Joh 1:10  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

Joh 1:11  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

Joh 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Joh 1:13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Joh 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

These verses begin with “He was in the world”.  Who is He?  This is talking about Jesus in conjunction to the primary subject still being God.  Then notice what it says, “The world was made by Him”.  Again this is a combined reference to the Spirit of God, the Word of God and God the Father because these three revealed personalities are all the same God (1 Jn 1:5:7).   Only God created the world.  You can go back to Genesis 1:1 and read this plainly.  In the beginning “God” (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth.  Now remember God says in Isaiah Immanuel (El = Elohim) is coming to be with us.

In verse 12 God tells us that if we believe on His name He will give us the power to become the sons of God.  Why am I teaching you all about the names of Jesus in this lesson?  I’m teaching you this so that you might believe in His names in order to be saved.  I am teaching on the names of Jesus to reveal Him to be God in the flesh.  Did you read verse 14?  More importantly did you actually see what it says in verse 14?  It says The Word (THE WORD = GOD verse 1) was made flesh and dwelt among us.  God dwelling among us is just the name “Immanuel” again written out in definition form.  Jesus is declared to be God with us in the form of a man (flesh).

God directly connects John 1:1 with Genesis 1:1 by the same three simple words “In the Beginning”.   Whenever God does something like this it is not an accident or chance occurrence.  God is telling us they are about the same themed subject.  In Genesis 1:1 it said “In the Beginning God” and in John 1:1 it said “In the Beginning was the Word”.  This is God’s hidden way of saying “I am the Word and I created the world”.  You see there is another hidden reference to Jesus found in Genesis 1:1.  I have written about this before in other lesson but it fits very well with what God is saying here that I will repeat it.

Gen 1:1  In the beginning (the A-Z) God created the heaven and the earth. 

The fourth word of the Bible in Genesis 1:1 was omitted by the translators because they did not know what it meant.  This fourth untranslated word was technically not a word at all but rather the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet.  Uh oh, that should turn some light bulbs on in your brain if you have read the Bible very much.  Genesis 1:1 should read in the English “In the Beginning the A-Z God created…”.  The A-Z God is another hidden reference to Jesus because Jesus said in Revelation 1:11 “I am the Alpha and the Omega”.  Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and Omega is the last letter in the Greek alphabet.  In other words Jesus was saying in English “I am the A to Z”.  This is exactly who Genesis 1:1 said created the world that we live in.  Wow, this is great stuff if you open your eyes of your heart and let it in.  I guarantee you that it will save you from hell if you begin to believe it.

This is really not that complicated but Satan does not want these truths to be known.  Satan perverts the truth to change Jesus from being divine (God in the flesh) to being only a man (a descendant of Adam) or a prophet to defeat you.   Satan does everything in His power to blind the minds of people so that they cannot see the obvious truth of God’s Word in order to be saved (2 Cor 4:4).

CONCLUSION

I have gone over multiple truths in this Bible lesson that declares Jesus to have come from God in heaven.  Not only this but that Jesus was God in the flesh.  The Bible says let every word be established in truth by the mouths of two or three witnesses (2 Cor 13:1).  I have given you double that with at least 5 to 6 witnesses that Jesus was the God of creation come to the earth in the flesh.  We started this lesson with Jesus asking us all “Who do you say that I am?”  We then went into the significance of names in the Bible and I introduced you to a hidden prophecy of Jesus coming into the earth in the flesh in the genealogy found in Genesis 5.

We then went into three of the primary names given to Jesus in the Bible, 1) Jesus, 2) Emmanuel and 3) The Word of God.   The name of Jesus was the Hebrew name, Joshua and we found that Joshua meant “Jehovah Saved”.  Therefore Jesus was this God named Jehovah that came down from heaven to save His people just as was prophesied to occur.  We then talked about the name “Immanuel” and that this meant “God with us”.  We then talked about Jesus being the Word of God that came in the flesh and it was this A-Z God that created the world that we live in.  If you are still wavering and doubting after all of this evidence then I don’t know what else to say that will help you.  Go back and reread your Bible and all of the verses that I just gave you.  Study the names of Jesus until you have them memorized.

This was only Part 1 in the series of lessons on “Who do you say that I am?”   I will be going over more scriptural evidence for Jesus being God in the next lesson in this series.  I want to thank you for being open minded enough to read this lesson and I pray that God will help you to see Him in all His glory.  Help me spread the word of truth to your friends.  Tell them about my website.  Send them links to my lessons.  Please, help me spread God’s Word so that we can reach the lost world.  Jesus is coming back very, very soon.  The timing cannot be that far off based upon current world events transpiring.  We need to reach everyone that we can and help everyone that we can so that none will perish.  Thank you for your prayers of support, because they are very needed and valuable to me.  God bless you and keep you until the next time.  Always remember the correct answer to the question “Who do you say that I am” is “You are Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God, my Savior, my Lord and my God”.  God Bless you!

If you would like to continue reading in this series you may go to “Part 2” now.

 

Understanding Bible Faith! Part 18 –- Righteous Faith Speaks

faith speaks2(Ver 1.1) This is now Part 18 in the advanced study series of Bible lessons on the very valuable subject of “Understanding Bible Faith”.  This is one of my favorite Bible subjects to learn, to study and to teach from the entire Bible.  If you know anything about this subject then you should already understand why this is such an important focus to learn intimately.  I want to stop and reemphasize the opening statement that this is an advanced Bible study series about one of the most important subjects concerning believing God’s spoken and written Holy Word and how to receive whatever He has promised or given to us by His sovereign grace either spiritually, mentally or physically.  I have already covered a lot of information on this subject in this series that will not be repeated.  Therefore, if you have not read this entire series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you begin at “Part 1” and then read through the series in the order presented for the greatest level of understanding and retention of this complex Bible subject.  It would also be recommended that you reread the entire series more than once.  The more you study a Bible subject the more you will grow in spiritual maturity in that area of God’s given knowledge.  Let’s get started with learning a few new things about the subject Bible Faith.

INTRODUCTION TO SPEAKING THE WORD OF FAITH

Today my subject concerns “Righteous Faith Speaks” and “Speaking the Word of Faith”.  What is Righteous Faith and why does it speak?  What is the “Word of Faith” and why do we need to hear it, know it, understand it or even to speak it?  We will be attempting to learn some fresh verses on faith as well as reviewing some standard faith verses that we have previously seen in this Bible study series.  However, I will hopefully be providing you some new perspectives to any of these repeated verses.  Some statements that I make today may be a review of what I have referred to before but I will place a new angle upon them because God wants to remind us of what He has already said.  Often times we read a Bible verse and think that we have it completely understood knowing everything about it but yet God can bring out something brand new that we have never seen before because all of His words are layered so deeply with both natural and supernatural knowledge much like an onion is designed to be peeled layer by layer and used in each succeeding deepening cover.  If you have studied the Bible very long you know exactly what I am saying.  Let’s read three verses to begin in Romans the 10th chapter to get us familiarized with the foundation scriptures for today’s entire lesson:

Rom 10:6  But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

Rom 10:7  Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

Rom 10:8  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

The end of verse 8 introduces us to one of today’s focused concepts called the “word of faith”.  There are many churches in the world today that have taken this name and there are equally as many people in the world that consider all these word of faith churches to present a less than an accurate representation of the Bible.  However this modern church title did not originate from a contemporary false idea.  The Word of Faith title was only adopted today because of verses like this one.  Paul claimed to be one of the first preachers of the “Word of Faith” and I strongly believe that we should all be following Paul’s example at doing exactly what Paul did, can you agree?

If you do not yet understand what the “Word of Faith” is, I will tell you plainly up front that this Word of Faith mentioned in Romans 10:8 is the written and spoken Word of God.  To help confirm this statement we will begin this study by looking up the definitions of the Greek words translated as “the Word of Faith”.  We will first focus on the Greek word translated as “faith”.  This Greek word is G4102 and it is used by God 244 times in 228 N.T. verses.  In my view this Greek word is one of the most important subjects found in the N.T. Bible.  Let’s review the Strong’s definition to help build and refresh our understanding of this word again.

G4102

From G3982; persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: – assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

The Greek word translated as faith is defined by Strong’s to be a “persuasion”.  The English word “persuasion” represents “the act of convincing someone to believe”.  Your beliefs are the basis for your faith, good, bad, right or wrong.   This Greekword also means “credence” which is defined as “the belief in or acceptance that something is true”.  These are exactly what God is teaching us through Paul in Romans 10:8.  Real Bible faith is accepting, being fully persuaded and convinced of what God has said, promised or spoken to us in His Word is the truth.   This process of accepting, believing and being persuaded is done without proof or evidence of it being true other than knowing the revealed character of God that it is impossible for Him to lie (