Category Archives: Understanding

Understanding the Parable of the Sower Part 4 – The Fruit

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

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

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

 

Introduction to “FRUIT”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

LEARNING FROM THE BIBLE DEFINITIONS OF FRUIT

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

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

G2590

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

G2592

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

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

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

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 (Heb 6:18).

Before I move to the next Greek word translated as “word” let’s talk briefly about the English word “of”.  Sometimes it is very beneficial to go over the basics to enforce what God was speaking to us.  The word “of” is a very basic concept in the English language and it is often ignored.  The word “of” directly connects the word “faith” with the Greek word translated as “word” in Romans 10:8.  “Of” is a preposition.  In the application usage within this phrase “of” is used by God to indicate that the source of our words come from our faith (beliefs) as well as it meaning the source of our faith can come from our words.  Both of these are true statements.  Remember what Jesus said to us in Matthew.  Let’s review these words quickly:

Mat 12:34  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Jesus very clearly tells us that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak.  Jesus in this case is speaking of evil words coming from the heart that is filled with evil.  But the antithesis truth is also true that good words will come from the same source of good being in the heart.  Now consider and ask yourself where the source of “good” comes from?  If you do not understand that it is from God then I would suggest that you go read some more basic concepts of good versus evil in the Bible.  God is always the source of good words because His heart is filled with Love.  Satan is the source of evil words because his heart is filled with evil intents, thoughts and ways.  Now if God is the source of good as He certainly is, then His spoken and written words should also be for our good and be good for us.  We will see more of this truth as we continue.

The second Greek word that I wanted to focus upon was translated as “Word” in this Romans 10:8.  This Greek word translated as the English word “word” is G4487.  This Greek word literally means an “utterance”.  An utterance carries the definition of a spoken word, phrase or literally an audible vocal sound.  This Greek word is the word “rhema” and this is a very specific type of “word” that means someone has spoken, said or declared.  This Greek word “rhema” comes from the Greek word G4483 which is defined as “pour forth” also meaning to utter, to speak or to say.  Consider this root Greek word G4483 definition to be like a natural pitcher of water that is poured out into a glass for someone to drink.  This pouring out of this water pitcher is the symbolic representation of God or us speaking words of faith.  This is a very important Bible concept that needs to be grasped by Christians.   Do you remember again what Jesus said to us?  Look at this verse and consider the implications:

Joh 7:38  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

What an outstanding and easily misunderstood statement being made by the Creator of the universe.  Do you believe on Jesus?  If you do then Jesus said you should be pouring out from your internal belly, rivers of life producing water.  Is this literal or figurative speaking?  Of course it has to be figurative symbolic information.  Jesus is teaching us spiritual concepts by using naturally created concepts.  Jesus says that we are living pitchers that pour forth waters of life if we believe on Him, do you understand this? But, what are these rivers of living waters being spoken of?  This river of life that pours out of us must originates from the “Rhema” spoken Word of God.  God is the source of all good, and life is good.  I will give you a couple of quick verses to confirm this:

2Co 4:6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2Co 4:7  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Here we have two verifications to what I just taught.  We are very clearly called “vessels” with treasure in it in verse 7.   This earthen vessel is our created human body.  The body is the container of our spirit as well as for God’s Word as inferred in verse 6.  God has shined his “knowledge” inside of us and this is clearly His Word.  It is these words of light inside that will be poured out of us (the earthen vessels) to help others to see and receive the same internal light and eternal life being mentioned in John 7:38.  Let’s see another quick statement that helps to confirm for us that the internal waters of life that must come from our mouths cannot be anything but the spoken Words of God:

Joh 4:14  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Again Jesus is talking about symbolic waters that quench our spiritual thirst and bring us life and this water can only come from what God gives to us by His spoken Word.  The location of this life source of water we are expressly told must be “in us” and this also corresponds to what Jesus was talking of in John 7:38.  “In us” and “our belly” are synonymous positions for the location of our spirit.  Jesus directly says that out of this internal spirit location will come a well of water (river) that will spring up (flow out, stream out, be poured out). Jesus is teaching us a concept of pouring water out from one vessel to another  Jesus was clearly a vessel used to speak words of life producing waters to others that would receive them.  These waters could then be inside of them and are able to flow from their vessel to still another.  Why don’t Christians take this seriously?  I really think it is because they have not been taught it.  However, Jesus was not teaching any new ideas to us but rather He was teaching concepts found in the O.T.   He is then applying them to us in the N.T.  Let’s review some of these O.T. verses quickly that Jesus is referring to:

Pro 18:4  The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.

Pro 10:11  The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

The words of a man’s mouth are defined by God to be symbolic deep waters in the first mentioned verse found in Proverbs 18.  In this verse the human mouth is also called a “wellspring”.   A wellspring is a place that is dug into the ground as a source of fresh pure drinking water.   Drinking water is a basic necessity for natural life.  This is the symbolic nature of the human mouth by God’s design.  You should be clever enough to understand the human body was made from the dust of the ground.  And it is in this ground that God put a spiritual well of life.  It is a very simple concept but hut yet not widely taught.  Then in Proverbs 10 the mouth of the righteous man is again called a “well of life”.  Here we again have an implied source of life coming from our mouths.  Both of these verses directly correspond to the teachings of Jesus found in John.   The wells of life will spring from the mouth of the righteous and this is the critical nature leads us to ask what is this water that must come from our mouth to give us life?

INTRODUCTION TO THE RHEMA WORD OF GOD

The first section was a simple and quick introduction to speaking the rhema words of life and faith.  But I believe that we still need to learn more about what God is trying to say to us by telling us to speak the word (rhema) of faith in Romans chapter 10 and verse 8?  The answer to our questions was certainly implied in that verse in Romans but it was indirectly mentioned so this makes it easily mistaken for something else.  Paul says that he preached (proclaimed, spoke and said) the Word (rhema) of Faith.  Through this implied statement Paul was stating indirectly that he preached the spoken and written Words of God.  Paul was also indirectly claiming that he preached words that produced faith.   What are these faith producing words being preached?  Perhaps you can remember this answer to where our faith originates from a previous faith lesson on how Bible faith comes and this was where we should have learned that Bible faith comes ONLY by us hearing the Bible preached.  Let’s review the key verse from that Bible lesson:

Rom 10:17  So then faith (G4102) cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word (G4487) of God.

God says in Romans 10:17 that “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”.  There is a very specific connection found with our lesson’s focused verse of Roman 10:8 by direct contextual association and by God’s direct word selection by using the exact same Greek words G4102 and G4487 which were translated as “faith” and “word” respectfully in both verses.  I hope and pray that you know that valid interpretation of God’s word is always based upon rules.  Two of these rules are 1) direct verse to verse context and 2) by finding other verse word usages of the word(s) being studied.  In Romans 10:17 the Spirit of God through Paul is explaining and defining what the “Word (Rhema) of Faith” represents.  We can logically correlate by the laws of mathematics that the “Word of Faith” is equivalent to “the Word of God” and I will give further verse confirmation for this as I continue.

There are generally two different noun types used in the N.T. to describe God’s spoken word.  “Logos” G3056 generally refers to the spoken words of God written in book form and is what I will call reference type 1 and then “Rhema” G4487 is also a type of the spoken word of God referring to God directly speaking His word to anyone by audible sound. But this type of word (rhema) can also refer to God’s spoken word being spoken by an angel or even by us as believers speaking His written word (logos). The “Rhema” word is what I will call reference type 2.  Both Logos and Rhema are used by God in reference to God’s spoken word.  I am only going to focus on type 2 Rhema since this is the key word selected and used by God in Romans 10:8 and 10:17 to describe the substance that produces faith that was being preached by Paul.

You should be familiar with this verse in Romans 10:17 already.  God gives us a direct formula for how Bible faith comes through hearing God’s spoken Word.  God very clearly says that it is this Rhema word of God that must be heard in order to produce faith.  Therefore we must have those that speak God’s Word and those that hear God’s word for any faith to be produced.  It is also interesting to note that these words pour forth from one spirit (heart) to enter into another heart and that is the process of the pitcher and water vessel giving drink to the thirsty empty man vessel we looked at earlier.  I’ll give you another couple of verses quickly to help us confirm “Rhema” is the Word of God being spoken:

1Pe 1:25  But the word (rhema) of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word (Rhema) which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Rhema (word) is associated to be both the spoken words of Jesus as well as the Gospel that was preached verbally to the people.  After the people heard this spoken word it was the same as if they had heard it directly from the lips of Jesus.  There is really no difference between me preaching the Word of God and the Words of Jesus as if Jesus was here personally preaching to you in the flesh.  We are both proclaiming the same “Rhema” words of God.  It is this same Rhema Word of God that will produce the faith in the dry hearts of the people to believe and to receive salvation.   What did I just say?  Some will probably call me a heretic for comparing my spoken words preached with the spoken Words of Jesus but if I say what God says then you need to see how this changes things dramatically.  I’m simply a pitcher of water container and representative of God on this planet.  I am called by God to teach His Word.  I am anointed by God to teach His Word.  Therefore it is technically not me teaching but rather the anointing of God in me that speaks using His Words not mine.  Do you understand what I’m saying?  It is not me that has the power to produce faith or save you, it is the Word in me that has this power.  I do nothing but pour it out and if you drink from it the water of the Word of God will be what causes anything good to happen.  This same principle applies to many other water pitcher vessels and not just to me.  It applies to anyone else that is called by God and anointed by God and is filled with His Word to preach.  It can apply to you if you fill your pitcher with His water.  God uses so many people in this way and I do not want you to think that I am saying I am anybody special because I am not.  I’m going to end this section with another verse that Peter wrote by the inspiration of God:

2Pe 3:2  That ye may be mindful of the words (Rhema) which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

Here is another confirmation that people can legally speak the Words of God and that these words carry the same effect if God said them to each of the people that heard them personally.  Here Peter is speaking of men in the Old Testament saying they gave them Rhema from God.  In other words God gave Rhema to the Prophet and the prophet in turn passed this Rhema to the people and now the people were held responsible for the message give to them by God as if they heard it from God directly with their own ears.    What we are seeing is that when we speak the Word (Rhema) of God we are representing God with the same power and authority.  But I know that will not be easily received by many of my readers because of their feelings of their own weaknesses, insecurity and inadequacies. I guess we still have a lot to learn to overcome these incorrect feelings.

RIGHTEOUS FAITH SPEAKS

Before we go further into this subject of speaking the Word (Rhema) of Faith let’s back up and study the first two foundational verses of Romans 10:6-7 in some depth.  I know that we read them but then we had no discussion on them since I jumped into verse 8 and taught for a long time on the subject “the Word of Faith” being preached.  Because it has been a little while since we read these verses please reread them again to refresh your memory:

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.)

There are at least 5 central themes found in the 10th chapter of Romans. These central themes are 1) the Lord Jesus, 2) faith, 3) righteousness, 4) salvation and 5) speaking.  For right now I only want you to focus in on three of the lesser primary themes found in these two verses to see how they relate to the most important primary themed subject as being the Lord Jesus.  These three lesser themes needing our attention concern our “righteousness, our “spoken words” and our “faith” in Christ.  These three subjects were directly joined together in these verses and in this chapter by divine providence.   “Divine Providence” simply means that they were given to us by the caring plan of a guiding and loving intelligent God for our benefit and for His purpose.  God begins the discourse in verse 6 by saying there is a “righteousness” which comes only through faith and this is a very important description found in the New Testament for learning how we become “right” in the eyes of God.  Being right in the eyes of God only means that you are now converted from being a stranger to God (Eph 2:19) to being in the household of faith (Gal 6:10) also called the family of God (Eph 3:15).  We will see other verses in this lesson that will help confirm this but begin to agree that it is only by your faith in Jesus Christ that makes you righteous (right) to God and not your good works.

Now that we know the intended target audience was stated to be those that have been “made righteous by and through faith in Jesus” we are then informed what they (the righteous) should be doing.  Did you see it?  First let me ask you “Are you one of these righteous ones that these verses were written to?”  I know they were written to me personally but only you and God can determine if you qualify.  Satan would like you to think that you are unworthy to qualify but it was because of what Jesus did and not our works that have made us righteous by believing in Him (Rom 3:22).  If you are not taking the Bible personally like it was a love letter written directly from God to you then you really do not understand God or the Bible very much.  If you can say you are one of the righteous ones being described because of your faith then please continue reading otherwise you may be wasting your time continuing to read this lesson.  Let’s see what “we” (the righteous) were told to do next.

Continuing in verse 6 of Romans 10 God says that the righteous (anyone that has believed in Christ Jesus and confessed Him as Lord according Romans 10:9-10) are told to “speak”.  In fact I believe that we were directly commanded to speak.  This means it is not a recommended suggestion but rather an instruction and expectation from the Lord.  Then following this command to speak we are told very clearly exactly what NOT to say first.  Uh oh?  This is the introduction to the hotly debated subject of right and wrong speaking.  Many Christians do not understand that there is such a thing as wrong speaking.  Too many Christians think that it is OK for anything to come out of their mouths but this is clearly not what the Bible teaches us.  Sure most Christians believe that profanity and cursing is a wrong type of speaking.  But that is not all that God declares to be wrong words spoken.

God describes right and wrong speaking to us plainly in Romans 10:6-8 by teaching us examples of what not to say first.  The command of right speaking is a part of faith that many Christians ignore or simply do not understand exists because of a lack of teaching in this area.  This will be a potentially controversial subject and I may lose some readers simply because they are not mature enough spiritually to receive it. I hope and pray that you will do your best to accept what God is saying today and we will soon see and learn what is right to say/speak and what is wrong to say/speak as we continue through the study with the rest of the faith study verses.   But before we move on let me establish a new rule for having effective faith.  God clearly says that the “righteousness which is of faith speaks”.  I will reemphasize this more than once in this lesson and it would benefit you if you just went ahead and write it down as a note for future reference.

In order to understand this command found in Romans 10:6 to speak more clearly we need to examine the Greek word G3004 translated as “speaketh”.  This Greek word is very interesting.  It means to “break silence and say something verbally and audibly” that can be heard by someone/anyone directly listening. Wow, that is some really good information for those of us with righteous faith to learn.  Not only is it wrong to speak wrong words as we will soon see, but it is also very wrong to stay silent and say nothing when you are in faith.  I hope you will take hold of this and believe what God just said and please don’t throw any stones at me because it was not me that said it or wrote in the Bible.  I’m just a messenger delivery service sent from God to teach.  You can accept it or reject it but it is only God’s Word that you are rejecting.  Just please read and study all of the verses that I’m giving to you for yourself.  I want to give you some additional confirming verses for what God wants you to know about faith speaking and we will continue with Galatians the 4th chapter:

Gal 4:1  Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

Gal 4:2  But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.

Gal 4:3  Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

After reading these verses you may just ask me “What do these verses have to do with us speaking?”  You may not see it yet because you have not studied the original Greek words spoken by God but they do apply directly to our subject study.  It is so easy to miss the deep things of God by reading the verses only.  I want you to understand that the deep things of God are never found by just reading the Bible.   According to 1 Timothy 2:15, God tells us to “study” in order to be approved.  The Greek word translated as study means to labor and to extend great effort.  This is an essential part of growing spiritually.  Learn to move beyond surface reading to enter the realm of deep study.

To speak to Galatians 4, I will start with the question “Are you an heir?”  Those that think that they are not righteous will also generally think and believe that they are not an heir of God either but this verse is speaking of you and I, if we are born again by our faith in Jesus Christ.  Let’ verify this reality of being an heir of God by God’s Word using a new verse:

Rom 4:13  For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Here is a quick verse to help us learn more about the “righteousness of faith”.  God directly connects Romans 4:13 with Romans 10:6 by using the exact same Greek words G1343 and G4102 which were translated as “righteousness” and “faith”.  These two words were also joined together in proper sequence.   Here in Romans 4 we are told that those that were made righteous by their faith were also made an heir.  An heir means we have an inheritance after someone has died.  The person that died to give us this inheritance was “Jesus Christ” on the cross (Romans 5:8) but He was also the first one to be raised from the dead in order to become the chief heir of God (Col 1:18).  You see in the Bible the first born was supposed to obtain the greater blessing from their father.  You can find that Jesus was called the “first-born” from the dead in Hebrews 12:23 and Revelation 1:5.  Please understand that Jesus was the only one that could die to give us an eternal inheritance and be capable of being raised from the dead to enforce the inheritance.

I don’t have time to explain all of these verses that I just passed on to you in those last paragraph statements fully but you can find more information on these subjects in other lessons that I have published.  Just please understand what God says in Romans 8:17 that we are called and made the “joint-heirs” with Jesus Christ meaning we have obtained the same level of benefits from God through the death of Jesus as Jesus obtained for Himself.  Right now, you should be saying that you are “righteous” and an “heir” of God because of your faith in Jesus.  I’ve given you more than sufficient scriptural evidence to establish this belief foundation.

Let’s get back to Galatians 4:1 to discover the hidden reference to us speaking.  The Greek word G3516 which was translated as “child” in Galatians 4 verse 1 and “children” in verse 3 contains the secret hidden message that I am referring to.   This Greek word means not only a general child but more specifically an “infant” baby.  To be even more specific this Greek word literally means a “non-speaking human baby”.  Every natural child born into this world must acquire the skill of speech over the course of time through physical and mental growth and experiences.  No one is born with this magnificent gift of speaking automatically.  A new born child produces only audible cries.  A one year old is beginning to understand very simple words and may begin to form very simple words like “mama” or “dada”.  But this ability to grasp words and speaking them increases more and more as the months and years progress.  By the time a child reaches the age of 3 to 4 years the words, phrases and sentences usually become better formed, structured and more complete.  Even though the comprehension of what all the words mean can still be incomplete at this early childhood age.

The process of learning to speak is quite miraculous.  But, new born infants obtain this gift through a maturing process of hearing and listening to their parents speaking to them and from mimicking the sounds observed from others around them.  This process of learning to speak is exactly what God is teaching us in the beginning of this chapter 4 found in Galatians.  God is saying to us that this natural process reoccurs in the spiritual realm after we are spiritually new born (born again) into the Kingdom of God.   God is teaching us that even an infant heir to the throne of rule is not able to take control of it and exercise their given authority until they first learn to speak intelligently and confidently learning wisdom from their teachers.

Do you now understand that when a Christian is born again in the spiritual realm that this same natural infant growth and maturing process of learning to speak correctly is repeated in this spiritual realm by God’s design?   If you analyze the first 3 verses in Galatians 4 you should find an analogy comparison being given between two realms of existence with the first being the natural and the greater being the spiritual application of the natural.  The Greek word being used to speak to us of an immature non-speaking child implies someone that is very simple minded or unlearned in the spiritual realm.  God is teaching us that we all start out by not knowing or understanding how spiritual things work like the significance of speaking right words but that He expects us to learn these.  If you are still reading this Bible lesson then you are potentially growing and maturing spiritually by learning these concepts.  More pastors and teachers should teach their people this subject of right and wrong speaking because it is a very important and true reality based upon the proper understanding of scripture.  God expects His spiritually new born infant children to grow up and learn how to speak appropriately in order to rule over their spiritual enemies.

I do not really have the time to teach the importance of the spoken word subject fully today but I do have a much longer series of Bible lessons on the significance of your spoken words on my website and you can go and read those to help you learn more on this critical subject.  If you are interested in learning you can start with “Part 1 – Speak to your Rock”.  This Bible lesson has been the most prevalent viewed lesson of all the Bible lessons on this website.

We could spend a lot more time on studying Galatians 4 about growing out of an immature spiritual state of spiritual babbling but we really need to get back to Romans 10.  Do you remember where we were in verse 6? We had just been introduced to the commandment that “righteous faith speaks”.  I’m going to say this at least one more time for even greater emphasis because this is the foundation for this faith lesson given to us by God and it was directly stated by God that “Righteous Faith Speaks”.  We should begin to understand that Christians should be at the very least learning to speak correctly and that they should also not stay silent after they mature spiritually.  Let’s move to what is found next in verse 6 concerning God’s specific instructions.  After the initial statement in Romans 10:6 God then informs us exactly what not to say/speak in verses 6 and 7 followed by what to say in verse 8.   This is some very essential and valuable information and instructions for learning how God’s divinely designed force of faith should be operating and working in us and through us.

I am going to stop here and make a strong suggestion to you before we look at the sub-category study of wrong words.  Please create a big sign on a piece of plain white paper and in big bold letters write what you have just learned.  Print in large letters “Righteous Faith Speaks” and place this sign on your refrigerator or your bathroom mirror or on any other place where you can see it more than once a day.  This sign will help us all to learn and remind us to put God’s Word into practice.  God has designed and established a law of faith (Rom 3:27) to live in our everyday Christian lives.  But God is not going to make you do it.  You must be the one that applies what you learn.  Hopefully you remember that faith is a law based upon the Word of God given from the previous faith lessons.  Reading this printed note daily will cause this lesson to remain fresh in your mind and help you to become a doer of the Word of God and not a hearer only (James 1:22).  Doing this for at least 30 days will help to build a brand new spiritual habit for living life in a new way as a mature spiritual Christian and I will be talking about this even more as we continue through the rest of the lesson.

LEARNING WHAT NOT TO SAY FIRST

….Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

Let’s talk briefly about what real mature Christians are not supposed to pray or say.  God only gives us two short examples in Romans 10:6-7 of wrong words but this should provide enough of a pattern that we can extend those two to other areas of words that should not be spoken if we can understand why they are not wise to speak.  The first statement of what not to speak tells us not to say “who will go up to heaven to bring Christ down”.  Why would anyone want to say this?  What kind of wrong thinking would cause someone to speak this way?  Someone could be thinking that if Jesus was only here on the earth that they would not be going through what they are going through right here in this natural realm.  In other words they could be thinking very naturally and not spiritually.  Someone could be thinking that if they could just bring the Lord Jesus who is sitting on the throne in the spiritual realm back to this natural realm that all of their natural problems would be solved.  But that type of thinking is very simple minded and is certainly not of faith.  We must realize that God’s power extends beyond His present location in Jesus Christ.  We must consider that the Spirit of God is already here right now living and abiding in us having been poured out from heaven to be our comforter (John 14:16), our helper (Heb 13:6) and our guide (John 16:13).

Therefore we do not need for Jesus to come back to the earth to fix anything.  The Holy Spirit is here and He is God omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent to solve whatever we are facing.  What God is trying to say is that simple naturally thinking people generally gravitate towards natural solutions without considering the spiritual presence and ability of God that is ever present and all-knowing and all powerful.

….Or say, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

Now consider the second statement of what not to say and this will help us understand the first statement much clearer.  In verse 7 God says for us not say “Who will descend into the lower parts of the earth to raise Christ again from the dead.  Why would God recommend that we not say this?   Perhaps you will recall reading the Gospels that after Jesus was resurrected from the dead He walked the face of the earth for 40 days.  During this time He met with many men and women followers.  Since they had all seen Jesus personally there was no need for any of them to have faith in His resurrection.  However, do you think that any of these eyewitness followers would dare say what God said not to say in Romans 10:7?  I personally do not believe they would.  Remember they were told by angels in Acts 1 that this same Jesus that went up into the clouds out of their sight would come back in the exact same way.  So this promise from God required their faith if they believed the message and I think they believed.

There is something so very profound found in this statement that was not directly stated.  God is saying that “we do not need to think or say that Jesus should die again or be raised again from the dead”; but rather we only need to understand that He did do these and then find out what was accomplished by these finished and completed acts of God.  I am a firm believer that not knowing what was given to us by His shed blood in His death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus is why we pray and say some very ignorant things like this.  If we would only come to understand that Christ gave to us His authority (Luke 10:19) on the earth we would not need to ask Jesus to come back to the earth or to be raised again to solve anything.

What God is teaching us is not to say things that are contradictory to His written report in the Bible. In other words have faith and believe and then have confidence in what He has spoken to you.  Both of these stated examples of what not to say were spoken words not based upon scripture or faith in God’s Word.  They are literally the opposite of what someone who had faith in God’s Word would say.   Do you understand this?  I know that some people will not comprehend what God just said.  God says the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God (1 Cor 2:14).  But these concepts should help many that will receive it and apply it to other things that they like to say.  I believe that we should think before we speak.  Think about what God’s Word says and then see if what you are going to say aligns with His Words.  This will become clearer as we continue learning.  Let’s move to what we should say next to see the contrasted difference from what we should not be saying.

CONFIRMING AND LEARNING WHAT TO SAY

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;

I began the lesson talking about the last part of this verse.  But now we will back up to the first part of God’s statement to confirm what God is trying to teach us.  I have started and ended with the most important verse to learn today.  Paul starts writing “But what does it say” (NKJV).  Paul is of course talking about God’s word.  The “it” in this statement represents the spoken recorded words of the living God.  If you have not realized it yet these three verses of Romans 6, 7 and 8 contain partial quotations of verses found in the Old Testament.  In Romans 10:6-8, God is quoting in a paraphrased form, portions of some very obscure verses found in Deuteronomy 30:11-14.  We could learn a tremendous amount of information if I had the time to go talk about these original verses.  But I do not have the time today to talk about them.

However, I still want to emphasize that “it” was the recorded words (Rhema) of God and Paul takes these words that did not directly mention Christ and teaches us that they directly apply to Christ.  Wow, that is a powerful degree of knowledge if you want to do the study for yourself.  You go and read Deuteronomy and you see if you can find Christ plainly?  He is there but only if you see the commentary of the New Testament to help you explain them.  That is just how the Bible was written by God.  I call it “Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight” and if you have not read that series of Bible lessons I would strongly recommend that you do that soon.

Now we should realize from the opening statement that the next coming statement was given from God through His prophet Moses and it was written down in the Old Testament for all of us in the here and now in the New Covenant.  God’s next statement says “The Word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart”.  The Word is referring to the Word of God.  This Greek word is again “Rhema” and that is important. Where is the “Word” (Rhema) of God supposed to be?  There are two place mentioned directly by God, one is a natural external location that God referred to earlier as the wellspring of life and the other is the origination point from where these words spring up from in the internal spiritual location figuratively called the heart of man.  God is teaching us how spiritual things are supposed to operate.   Hear and get the Word in your heart and then learn to speak it out of your mouth.  This is the reason why we do not need Christ to be raised from the dead or come back to earth from heaven.  The word of God is the power of God (Heb 1:3).  This power should be resident in your heart.  You should place the Word of God in your heart daily to reinforce its firm foundation.  Otherwise Satan can come and steal this Word (seed) from your life if you let him.

The Word of God represents the “what” that is “right” or “correct” to speak as a mature Christian.  A new born Christian is incapable of speaking the Word of God because they haven’t heard it, don’t know it, don’t believe it or don’t understand it.  All of these conditions will cause the Word of God to be unfruitful in their lives.

CONCLUSION

Is the Word of God coming out of your mouth?  If it is then you are probably in faith and if it is not then you are probably not in faith.  I could give you many Bible examples of this but in conclusion I will tell you of one when God had instructed Joshua how to have good success in this life.  Are you interested in being a winner?  Are you interested in being victorious?  Are you interested in being an overcomer?  God told Joshua how to do it and Joshua did it and possessed the land that God gave to them.   Here is the key verse:

Jos 1:8  This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Wow, what an awesome set of instructions for our success in this life.  God told Joshua to put the Word of God in his mouth and then to meditate on it day and night.  This would build the Words of God into his heart.  God was telling Joshua what He said through Moses, “My Word is very near you, even in your heart and in your mouth”.  Joshua became the leader of the people of God after the passing of Moses and He was responsible for the law passed down from Moses to the nation.  Joshua had this Word and filled his mouth with it.  Filling his mouth with God’s Word gave Joshua faith in God.  We learned this from Romans 10:17.  Remember?  It is almost impossible for anyone to say the Word of God if they understand it and not have faith and success in this life.

Well we could talk for hours and hours on this subject of faith speaks but that is the end of this Bible lesson.  We were told by Jesus that out of our bellies would flow rivers of life producing water and this symbolic water can only be the Word of God.  We are told to speak the Rhema Word of God and this was just the words that were spoken from the mouth of God and recorded in His Precious Holy Word.   It is only the Word of God that will produce life.  Speaking the word of God are the right words to be speaking in every adversarial situation and circumstance.  I’ll just give you a couple more verse to help you see more right things to say:

Psa 107:2  Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,

Joe 3:10  Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’ “

These were just two verses that teach us God wants us to say positive things from His Word.  How can anyone say things that are not overwhelming real and apparent in the 5 physical sense realm?  This type of logic will contradict normal human reasoning, doesn’t it?  When faced with great weakness in your life how can we say “I’m strong”?  When faced with negative circumstances from and in the world, how can we say “I’m redeemed?”  These types of positive words are only possible if you believe God’s Word instead of your circumstances that you are facing.   So infant baby Christians stay silent or cry for their milk but mature Christians will speak to their mountain and cause it to flee before them (Mk 11:23).

This was an advanced Bible lesson on righteous faith speaks.   I hope you enjoyed this Bible lesson and learned a great deal.  But I desire more that you start applying what you learned to your life.  Make a sign like I said to do earlier and read the sign on the wall daily multiple times out loud saying “Righteous Faith Speaks” and don’t let this truth slip from the forefront of your mind.  Share the Gospel with your friends and recommend that they go read and study the Bible with me.  I appreciate your time extended to read and study the Bible and for any comments or testimonies of how God is working in your life that you would care to share with me.  Until next time may God continue to bless you with everything that you require to grow in spiritual maturity.

Bible Basics: Would You Rather Be Rejected by Men or Rejected by God? Mastering Rejection!

rejection1(Ver 1.1)  This is a Basic Bible Study requesting an answer from every reader to a very serious question.  If you have read all of my Bible lessons you should already know that I occasionally teach a Bible Basic Subject for those that are new to Christianity or just in need of learning the simpler milk truths of God’s Word.  However, for those more mature Christians or those Christians going through a struggle that could use a refreshing reminder of the Word of God this lesson just might be a great blessing to you also.  Today’s Bible lesson is intended and designed for those types of readers but everyone can still benefit from what God will share about the subject of rejection.    Let’s begin by asking the important question “Would you rather be rejected by your friends, your family, your peers, your co-workers, your bosses and the people of the world or would you rather be rejected by God?”  Wow, how do we begin to answer or respond to that question?

INTRODUCTION TO REJECTION

Rejection from anyone should usually never be viewed as a positive experience from a natural or spiritual perspective.  No one that I know of that is vaguely or remotely “normal” will ever feel excited, happy or good about being rejected by anyone for whatever reason.  I can personally identify with this subject directly in my own private life.  I have been personally rejected by my family, my friends and people of great importance to me in this last year that has caused me great pain, suffering and hurt.  How do we deal with this?  Has God provided a divine coping mechanism for rejection? This is what we will be talking about today from a God and Bible perspective on the subject of being rejected and handling rejection.

rejection3We have all been at the cross roads of rejection and hurt, haven’t we?  I know I have.  As I have stated I have been ignored and rejected by close family, friends and acquaintances for one reason or the other.  These acts of rejection can cause significant emotional distress, hurts and pains that can make us feel very insufficient, inadequate, second-rate and inferior.  Rejection is nothing new to me.  I am frequently rejected by some of my Bible Study readers.  These people who reject me online usually provide critical reviews through unloving negative comments that can be very painful and upsetting if I allowed them inside me.   If you did not realize it rejection is a spiritual force.  Just like love, hate and fear are spiritual forces.  Each of us can become overwhelmed by the undesirable force of rejection.  If we do not learn how to deal with this force it can easily overwhelm us into a pit of despair.  Please read this initial definition for “reject”:

REJECT: dismiss as inadequate, inappropriate, or not to one’s taste

Let’s stop and review this definition of “reject”. As you should be able to see when someone or something is rejected then that which was rejected is stated to not fit within the positive expectations of the observer for any unstated reason.  What we find from this definition is that there are either implied or unstated rules of acceptance and not meeting these will result in rejection of the person or the item being observed.  Rejection can obviously become very subjective if you know what that means.  Rejection is based upon subjective human reasoning and this simply means that there is a direct level of personal opinion, bias or preference to most forms of rejection.  One’s personal opinion will usually drive their acceptance or rejection of someone else.  However there are also other types of rejection based upon a stricter standard of rules.

For example a shirt being manufactured for sale in a store will undergo an inspection by a trained observant inspector.  Each inspector is given a set of established standards to determine if the shirt meets expectations.  If a flaw is determined to be present in the garment then the garment is rejected and cannot be sold as a new quality garment matching the established standards.  It does not matter if there are over 100 things right about the garment because if there is found one minor flaw the garment is rejected.  This is exactly what happens with people rejecting people also if you did not realize it.  However the established set of rules is usually very loose and not well defined.  Many fault finding people look for flaws and overlook any good qualities found within a person and will simply reject them as being imperfect.  This is basic human nature and you need to know this in order to understand rejection more completely and why it occurs.

Some of the synonyms for reject are “castoff”, “throwaway” or “discard”.  All of these are negative observer reactions from failing the perceived observation acceptance standards directed at the person or object being rejected.  As I have stated previously rejection of anything is clearly a subjective personal decision based upon the observer’s own personal preferences, experiences, rules, likes or dislikes. rejected_broccoli   Let’s review another quick example of a type of rejection.  A person can reject eating broccoli simply because they do not like the observable smell, shape, appearance, color or even the texture.  Many people reject eating broccoli having never even tasting it.    Therefore rejection by the casual observer will usually be done by someone based upon a very limited set of superficial information void of all of the facts.  The observer would not consider the taste or the vitamin content or nutritional value of broccoli but would rather pass a quick judgment based upon superficial and insufficient observation.   Always remember this and this may help you tremendously with dealing with rejection.  Many decisions of rejection are performed based upon pure human ignorance.  Let’s consider a set of verses very quickly to get this subject started:

Mat 7:3  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Mat 7:4  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Mat 7:5  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

These verses do not mention rejection but this represents the same action of rejection that happens when someone is rejected by an observer.  Did you see the principles that Jesus was teaching the man doing the observation and trying to pass judgment upon the other man?  Jesus asks how can you perceive correctly the flaws in your brother’s life if you have not seen the flaws in your own life first?  This is such a profound warning from God about how we act almost every day.   Too often people are rejecting others simply because of a minor flaw when they are the ones that should be rejected from their own self-examination.   However since they are not examining themselves Jesus calls them a hypocrite for seeing something so minor in another person.

Ok did you observe the process of rejection taking place in these verses?  There is both an observer (rejecter) and someone that is being observed (one being rejected).  The observer is looking specifically for faults and ignoring all the good qualities of the person.  The observer passes a hasty independent judgment without attempting to find or see all of the facts.  The observer’s actions are stated to be WRONG.  The observer is judged by God to be a hypocrite for not looking at himself first before passing judgment upon anyone else.  Uh oh!  What do we do with all of this great information?

I am starting out the lesson on how to handle rejection by saying, don’t become like a hypocrite.   If you are rejecting people because of some insufficient information then you will be making the same mistake that others will be doing by rejecting you.  This is a very good time to interject the golden rule.  We should all do to others as we would have them to do to us.  In other words don’t reject people even if you are the one being constantly rejected.  As you learn this subject of rejection all of this will become more real to you.  Are you ready to learn more about rejection?  I think we will begin the lesson with a further discussion of ignorance.

# 1 – REJECTION IS NORMALLY DONE FROM IGNORANCE

Rejection (passing judgments) can be caused by many reasons but one of the main factors is human ignorance.  Every human is born into the world an empty vessel waiting to be filled with some knowledge.  Therefore we are all in varying states of ignorance no matter how much we have learned.  This is good knowledge for dealing with personal rejection.  We need to understand that the person doing the rejecting usually does it from their own pure unawareness or lack of understanding of you or your situation, experiences or even your circumstances.  Wow, this is much truer than you may understand right now.   I once heard a preacher responding to the rejection by a man that heard the message that he preached.  This preacher said to the man “If you knew me you would really like me”.   Do you understand why he said that?  The preacher understood that his rejection was based upon the man’s insufficient information.  He knew that the man had rejected him based upon very limited evidence from only one sermon.  This should help teach you a new way to handle someone’s rejection of you.  Don’t call them ignorant to their face but rather walk in love towards them because this is the way you should react to rejection as we will soon find by a living example in the Bible.

Did you know that Jesus was rejected?  Yes Jesus was definitely rejected by many of the people that He encountered here on the earth.  I’m not going to go into every verse example of rejection concerning Jesus but I will give you some very quick verses to consider about the subject of rejection and how to treat those that are rejecting you.

Luk 20:17  And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?

Here is Jesus speaking directly of Himself from a verse of prophecy found in Psalms 118:22.  Jesus is speaking of Himself as the “Stone” that the builders rejected.  This stone is a figurative symbolic representation of the foundation within a new spiritual temple that would be coming to fruition by the design and plan of God.  I do not have the time to explain this statement in full in this lesson.  It would take much too long to understand what these builders were supposed to be building and why Jesus is called the major Stone in that building project.  Just understand that this is a spiritual house being foretold by the prophets of God and it is not a physical natural house or temple.  I will also tell you that it was the natural nation of Israel that represented the initial builders of this house.  Jesus by His own admission claims to be the rejected Stone.  It was natural Israel that was rejecting the Stone.  Ignorance of God’s purpose and plan is probably the key reason why the nation of Israel rejected Jesus, their Messiah.  They were thinking temporarily and naturally and Jesus was thinking and speaking eternally and spiritually.  Wow again, that was a very important concept for understanding how to handle rejection.   Did you get it?  I’ll try to emphasize this again later in the lesson to help you.   However I will give you another verse witness to the fact that Jesus was the living Stone:

1Co 10:4  And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Jesus is being called a spiritual Rock and this is just a synonymous term for “Living Stone”.  Spirits are living beings that cannot die or cease to exist.  This is one of the keys to understanding what God is doing within the New Covenant.  The Old Testament types and shadows were just a foretelling of a coming greater spiritual reality.  Ok we have just established that Jesus was rejected as a living stone by the nation of natural Israel.  Let’s review a very specific verse example of this rejection and the reaction of Jesus to this as the Living Stone.  Please read this verse carefully.

Luk 23:34  Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

If you read the context you will find that this is Jesus stripped naked and then being nailed through His flesh to a wooden cross.   Jesus is in great pain and dealing with extraordinary levels of human suffering that had all been imposed upon Him through the rejection of His own people.  This rejection arose from the root cause of their ignorance.  None of these people knew or understood what they were doing as you can clearly see from the statement being made by Jesus Himself “They know not what they do”.  None of these people recognized or understood that this man hanging on this tree was God come to the earth in the flesh.  None of these people knew or understood their actions for why they were rejecting Him.  None of these people cared about the pain that they were inflicting upon Jesus by their rejection.   All of these people were extremely ignorant of the facts and very far from any knowledge of the truth.   Jesus could have been like the preacher man and said to them all “If you knew me you would really like me” but He did not say this.  However the reaction of Jesus to this personal rejection is quite the opposite of what most people would have done or said.   Let’s talk about His reaction next.

# 2 – LOVE & PROACTIVE FORGIVENESS WILL OVERCOME REJECTION

We just quickly reviewed the example of Jesus hanging on the cross.  Jesus had asked His Father to forgive them even while being hurt extensively from the pain caused by their ignorant human rejection.   Jesus offered them all forgiveness as He endured unimaginable agony from their dismissal.   None of those that rejected Him asked for this forgiveness so this was a proactive outreach from His love and mercy.  Why was Jesus asking God to forgive them?  It is primarily because walking in love will always forgive others proactively.  If we wait for someone to ask for forgiveness before we extend it, I believe this can cause ill feelings to be harbored in our inner being that can build up and harden our hearts.

What is forgiveness?   Forgiveness is a personal act of the freewill to extend mercy to someone that does not deserve to receive mercy.  Wow, is that a tough concept for new Christians and for even many mature ones to grasp?   It has been rare for me to see people with any mercy much less any forgiveness on the internet.  Yes, I am talking about people who call themselves Christians.    We can either decide to act like Jesus and proactively forgive everyone before they ask for it or we can become the judging condemner and stay in bitter un-forgiveness.   What do you think we should do when people reject us?  There are only two real options to choose from and I think I will follow Christ’s example.

# 3 – HANDLING REJECTION CORRECTLY WILL BE EASIER IF YOU KNOW THE TRUTH

If the people doing the rejection are acting out of ignorance of the truth then it stands to reason that we can best deal with this rejection by knowing the truth.  Therefore the third thing to know about handling rejection is we better learn the truth.  I personally believe that we are on the right path by studying this subject.   We want to replace our lack of knowledge by filling our hearts and minds with God’s truth.  God’s Word is the only source for spiritual and eternal truth.  We should claim by faith that we are always in the right place at the right time studying the right subjects so God’s Word will prevail over all rejection and its evil intent from the enemy.  Let’s go back and reconsider Luke 23:34.  Jesus is in a process of extreme rejection yet He prays to God for their forgiveness instead of calling down fire or angels from heaven to destroy them all.  You see Jesus had the power and authority to destroy them but chose not to.   Human reaction would have been to get revenge or to set forth a process for justice at minimum.  But Jesus did none of these.  Why is that?  Jesus could look beyond the current rejection to a greater and more significant purpose for His existence.   Jesus knew that He knew the truth and that His rejecters did not.   This should teach us that there is a right way to handle rejection and if there is a right way there is also a wrong way.    I believe that one of the right ways of dealing with rejection will always be based upon us acquiring right knowledge.  Jesus did this from an early age always being in the temple to hear the Words of God being read.  Jesus gained right knowledge and understanding and this was a key factor for His correct handling of rejection.  So what am I saying?  I am saying ignorant people will reject you but you can overcome this by learning the truth and using this to overcome the rejection.

Life is full of choices.  Making any right choice will always be based upon correct and sufficient knowledge.  Jesus made a right choice while being rejected through an act of His own freewill.   This act was made possible because of the knowledge that He possessed from the Word of God.    I believe that we can do the same if we come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ to grow and increase in the understanding of His precious Holy Word.  This knowledge of God will be what helps us deal with any human rejection.  Therefore the third key to dealing with rejection is to get God’s understanding built within our hearts and minds.  Put God’s Word first in every situation and leave the thoughts and ways of the natural world behind.  It was the Jews that were thinking naturally and missed their Messiah.  Wrong thinking and wrong believing based upon ignorance will be one of the primary causes for people rejecting right things and the right people.  But it is right knowledge that will cause the rejected one to not be affected by the rejection.

Pro 4:7  Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

God directs us more than once in the Bible that we need to obtain understanding.   Understanding the reasons for rejection will help us handle it when it comes to us and it will come to you.  There are people in the world today that are being rejected and do not know how to handle it and this allows Satan to convince them that they should take their own lives or withdraw from normal human interaction.  God says in Hosea 4:6 that “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge”.   Therefore what you do not know about any subject can be used against you by Satan to destroy you.  Learn to overcome rejection by obtaining the knowledge of God.

I hope you are learning something because I know I am.  All my Bible lessons are for me from God and if you can benefit from them then that is just an added blessing from God.  Also if you don’t like what I teach I would just tell you “You would really like me if you knew me”.  Let’s move on to the next point in dealing with rejection.

# 4 – UNDERSTANDING REJECTION CAUSES PAIN

painLet’ go back again to Luke 23 where Jesus was hanging on the cross and asking God to forgive them.  In the case of the Lord Jesus, His rejection caused Him extreme physical and even emotional pain because of all the things that He endured for us.   So the fourth key to understanding how to handle rejection is for us to understand that there will always be pain that follows the initial rejection.  Just learn to expect it because it will occur.  Perhaps you do not understand me yet.  I do not mean to imply that the pain of rejection will always be the same as Jesus’ physical pain.  However that is still a reality even in this world today.  People are killed, tortured and physically hurt by rejection today.  Just look on the news or the internet and you should be able to find this easily.  Even in the days of the early church the leaders, teachers and the followers of Christ were rejected by many people.   Many of those in the early church were martyred.  Many of them suffered greatly because of their faith.  Many of them died horrific deaths of all sorts and types of slow demise.   Such great suffering occurred simply because of human rejection influenced and conceived by Satan.

Can we agree that pain is not a positive feeling?  Only a perverted and twisted mind will delight in pain.  However there is a positive factor that pain can alert us to something harmful occurring.  For example if something is hot and you touch it accidently the natural reaction is to withdraw your touch very fast because of the pain caused by the heat.  This is an example of how pain can alert us to trouble.  God built us with the capability of feeling all types of sensations including pain and pleasure.  I personally would rather experience a good feeling rather than the negative feeling of pain but yet both still exist for a reason.  Since pain exists in the world and we will probably feel it, learning how to react correctly to pain might be something good for us to learn about.  If not in this lesson then maybe in a follow up lesson on this subject.

There are certainly many types of pain that rejection can cause other than physical suffering.   The factor of emotional pain is significantly as great as physical pain to most people.   Emotional pain could cause us the same type of reaction as a physical pain.  Many will withdraw from a person after they are hurt by them.   If you have ever been rejected by the love of your life then you know exactly the kind of pain that I am talking about.  I believe that physical pain can always feel the greatest when it is happening but emotional feelings can linger for a while.  When a woman is in labor about to deliver her baby I am told that the pain is practically unbearable at those moments.   But after the baby arrives the pain suddenly is considered to be worth it all.  At least the rewards now appear to be worth the cost of endurance because of the joy felt by the presence of the baby.  This is a concept that is taught to us by God in the New Testament.  For example read this verse found in the book of Romans:

Rom 8:18  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

The Greek word translated as “sufferings” can mean “emotional or physical” types of pain.   God warns us that we will experience this here in this world.  But God then tells us how to endure it.  Wow, again and again.  Here we are told to get back to thinking spiritually and eternally.  God tells us very clearly in 2 Corinthians 4:18 that the things in this world are very temporary.  God then instructs us to focus upon the things that are not seen because these are those things that are eternal.  God is simply saying that spiritual things are greater and more important than any sufferings or pains being endured right now.   God tells us that there is coming a glory to be revealed in us. These coming glorious things will make the current pains seem very insignificant.  This is exactly the attitude of the woman that brought a new child into the world.  It will be worth the pains when God shows us what is waiting for us.  I hope you accept this because I know the current pain is very difficult to ignore.  I can speak from experience from the tears that I have shed before because of the pains and hurts and I’m sure that your pain is not any less significant to you that you are going through either.

Jesus endured His natural pain because of His great Love for us and His knowledge of a greater spiritual purpose and plan for our eternity.  He knew this pain endured in the natural would benefit Him and us and it was this love, knowledge and spiritual insight that kept Him on the cross. Thank you Jesus!  Let’s begin to learn to follow Jesus’ example of looking into the future.  I know that seeing into the future is not natural for us.  It is very difficult to focus on anything beyond the current level of pain being experienced.  I keep emphasizing this because this is a reality we have all shared in common at some time in our life and our Christian walk.   Here is another verse of future glory to be revealed:

1Co 2:9  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

I like this verse.  It is an excellent commentary on the future.   Because we cannot fully comprehend the power of God or what God could do for us we do not yet understand what He could have planned for us.  However, we can still begin to think of His goodness and expect some pretty marvelous things that await us.  This should help each of us endure human rejection for a short time.  Begin to think eternally.  While doing this think spiritually and get out of the natural perspective of your rejection.  Ask God to forgive those that are rejecting you.  Ask Him to send laborers across their paths to help them see and know the truth.

We should now start to understand that this type of observer offense called “rejection” causes people pain and these pains can create great feelings of worthlessness, inadequacy, loneliness and inferiority to the one being rejected.  The pain is real but this is definitely a temporary feeling.  Even if they killed you dead, you would pass into eternity to be with Christ and the pain would not be remembered.

# 5 – CHRIST’S INSTRUCTIONS – EXPECTING REJECTION

???????????????????????????????????????????I have implied this subject briefly in previous topics but this will be a more direct emphasis to teach us all to expect rejection to occur.   When we expect something to happen we will be better prepared to handle it.  If we do not expect something to happen then we will usually be taken by surprise when it does happen and this will usually result in our failure.  There is an old saying from my work history that says “Fail to plan then you should plan to fail”.   Do you understand this?   This is only teaching us that we need to come up with a plan before we are rejected just in case it happens and this will give us the greater advantage when it does.  Let’s examine a principle found in the book of Proverbs to help us:

Pro 24:27[Put first things first.] Prepare your work outside and get it ready for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house and establish a home.  (AMP)

This is a very interesting verse that says nothing about rejection but does teach us to make a plan and follow the process.  God gives us instructions to do things in a specific order.  This is generally called “common sense” but this quality is  sometimes a feature lacking in the modern age of people doing things without thinking of the consequences.  The Hebrew word translated as “Prepare” is H3559 and it means “to set upright or erect”.   It is clearly implying a correct process to accomplish this.  In other words a plan is expected and it must be followed.  This is what I am attempting to give you in this lesson.  This lesson is talking about making a plan for rejection.  Preparing for something negative is not a lack of faith but is rather a common sense approach to balancing the scriptures.  We need to learn to expect what God said would happen to happen.   Let’s see what God said would happen:

Mat 10:24The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

Mat 10:25  It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

Jesus declares we are no better than He was.  He says very clearly that how He has been treated by people in this world will be how we will be treated by the same.  This is a foundational doctrine being established and applied by the Lord Jesus Christ to all Christians.  If Jesus was unjustly labeled, accused and rejected by people we should not expect anything differently.  We need to know this because this type of persecution will certainly increase as the time nears for Christ’s return.  Do you understand the connection between persecution and rejection?  These two are directly linked together like Siamese twins.   I can see this persecution happening now even in the media very clearly.  Anyone standing up for God will be tried and torn down by those who do not want to hear it in a court of public opinion.  We will be labeled intolerant hate mongers by those that hate us.  That is a very hypocritical attitude isn’t it?   They can criticize us but we can say nothing about their sin.  I did say their sin and not them.  I try to never talk about anyone specifically by name ever.

We should know from reading the Gospels that Jesus was heavily and frequently rejected for one reason or the other.  There was the time once when the people wanted to stone Him (John 8:59) or throw Him off a cliff (Luke 4:29).  Many others simply walked away mocking His teachings about eating His flesh and drinking His blood for example (John 6:66).  The religious leaders of that day rejected Jesus and planned to kill him and they eventually succeeded (John 5:18, John 7:1).  Rejection was a very significant part of the life of Jesus.  You need to know this and then apply what Jesus just said to you in Matthew 10:25.

Therefore the fifth factor in this lesson for dealing with human rejection is for us to begin to expect for it to occur.  However this only applies if you are anything like Jesus and doing what He was doing, saying what He was saying and acting the same way to people in this world.  Just don’t be surprised when someone rejects you, your message, your witness, your testimony or your life style choices and this will help you deal with it in a healthy manner without striking back from emotional anger or hurt.  Striking back in anger or from the pain or other emotional hurts will usually only cause greater problems of strife as well as give other Christians a bad reputation.  The same as Jesus walked in love to those that rejected Him, is how we should respond to the same types of denunciation.

I will also say this quickly about Christians not being rejected by worldly people.  If you are currently accepted by the vast majority of the people in the world then you are not preaching, teaching or telling people what Jesus told them.  It is impossible not to offend the world with the truth of the Word of God.  Wow, that was a very strong statement but it is a well-known fact.   Always expect the world to reject you and then learn to walk in proactive forgiveness towards them just like Jesus did hanging on the cross when He said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.  This is the beginning of handling rejection and I hope you are learning something today that will help you in your walk with Jesus Christ.  I will just give one more witness to this truth for this lesson today:

Rom 8:17  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

We are warned that we will all suffer with Jesus by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost given to Paul.    In other words the same rejection that He endured we should expect to happen to us.  Do you see it in this verse?  Perhaps it will help to study the Greek Word that was translated as “suffer with” in this verse and it could help us to see what God was trying to say.

G4841From G4862 and G3958 (including its alternate); to experience pain jointly or of the same kind (specifically persecution; to “sympathize”): – suffer with.

It should become significantly clearer by reading this definition from Strong’s Concordance that our rejection will be the same as Christ’s rejection.   “To experience pain jointly or of the same kind” is the primary definition of this word.  I do not know how to make it more clear than this.  After reading this you should now be expecting the same level of rejection and persecution to come to you as what Jesus experienced in this world.

# 6 – UNDERSTAND CHRIST’S EXAMPLE – BECOMING ACCEPTED BY GOD

AcceptedI believe that I have at the very least implied this point briefly in the previous sections but it should be emphasized again more directly for a greater clarification and retention.  I firmly believe that Jesus lived a pattern of life on the earth that we should expect to reoccur in our lives and I further believe that His life was an intentionally designed example for us to follow after.  That does not mean that we will die on the cross like He did but some Christians have experienced that.  What I am trying to say is that we should walk, talk and live the way that He did towards other people in love.

Was Jesus rejected?  I think we have more than confirmed that He was rejected repeatedly.  Did Jesus ever feel the pain of rejection?  I think we have seen this evidence also.  I think I will give you another witness for the emotional pain that Jesus felt about being rejected.  Please read this next verse and see beyond the words to feel the emotions behind them.

Mat 23:37  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Jesus starts out with a heartfelt cry “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem”.  Depending upon the voice tone it could be any emotion between anger and extreme sadness.  But I believe that these words were spoken in pain and disappointment.    You can see this by the further statement “How often would I have gathered your children…”.   This part of the statement is God longing to accept these people into His arms just like a mother hen covers her little young ones.  This is a very powerful statement that the children were refusing this love and nurturing.   They were rejecting the love of the only true God.  This broke the heart of God and He cries for them.  Feel the tears and experience the pain of being rejected.  God is clearly weeping over His people.

How did Jesus deal with all of this rejection?  I would think that we should follow after His example.  We have already talked about many of the things that Jesus did to counter rejection.  I mentioned learning and knowing the truth, walking in love, seeing things spiritually, emphasizing eternal realities and proactively forgiving the rejecters.  Let’s now read my lesson’s foundational verse and consider what God is saying.  This verse will be the central theme for my entire subject today.

1Pe 2:4  And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God,

This verse is the applied basis for my question that I asked you in the title today.  This verse is speaking directly of Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ set us a living example for us to follow after.  He was very clearly rejected by the vast majority of the people present in the region of the earth where He was born.  He did nothing except teach them, heal them and work miracles in their sight and they rejected all the good that He represented and killed Him.  These people took an innocent man guilty of no crimes and killed Him like a murderer.  Did Jesus deserve this rejection?  Did Jesus sow any discord, disharmony or anything else to cause this rejection?  I don’t really believe that He did.   No Jesus simply presented the truth and this truth was rejected out of their human ignorance.

This teaches us that human rejection may not be justified, earned or merited and that it could happen to anyone doing what Jesus did.  However, did you notice the antithesis preference found within this verse found in 1 Peter 2:4?  Doesn’t God say here in this verse that Jesus even after being rejected by men was still plainly accepted by God?  In fact wasn’t Jesus already accepted by God even before he was ever rejected by anyone?   Let’s look at a verse that confirms this:

Luk 3:22  And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

God in a spiritual form of a dove descended from heaven upon Jesus.  The voice of God in heaven spoke and declared the Son of God Jesus to be pleasing to the Father.  To be pleasing in the eyes of the observer is clearly acceptance by the Father God.  At this time in the life and ministry of Jesus, He had not done one miracle yet nor started to teach or preach any Word from God.  Therefore human rejection had not taken place.  Here is a secret for surviving human rejection.  We must make sure that we are first accepted by God.  Wow this really sounds like something that we need to learn about.  How do we become accepted by God when people can reject us?  I guess I should clarify this question.  You see I believe that we are primarily rejected by men simply because we have previously been accepted by God.   I am attempting to talk to Christians in this lesson but I do know we all can still be rejected before we become Christians.  So this lesson can even help a non-Christian if they will join in a do what the Bible teaches about dealing with rejection.

# 7 – UNDERSTANDING HOW TO BECOME REJECTED BY GOD

Mat 10:33  “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

There are at least two antithesis truths that can be gleaned from this verse.  The key word being found in this verse is “deny”.  This Greek word is G720 and it means to “reject”, “renounce” or “abnegate”.  The English word “abnegate” means to reject something valuable.  God says to us if we “reject” (deny) Christ (that which should be valuable to us) verbally to other people that He will reject (deny) us (that which is valuable to Him) before these same people.  Wow, wow, wow!!   That is something that many people have not considered.   Have you given this verse much thought?  It would be good for all of us to meditate on this verse for a long time to get it built into our hearts.

What are the implied unstated or indirect truths found within this verse?  This verse teaches us by the law of antithesis truth that if we “accept” and “proclaim” Christ before men that God will accept and proclaim us in the exact same way.  This fact declares plainly that we control our acceptance or our rejection from God by our own freewill choices and actions.  This truth contradicts the erroneous teaching of extreme predestination where people are appointed for salvation or for hell based upon God’s sovereign plan.  It is very clear to me that we have a great role to play in being accepted or rejected by God.  Let’s obtain another witness to this truth of being rejected by God:

2Ti 2:12  If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

Again God declares that the rejection (denial) of Christ will be His rejection (denial) of us.   These are established truths which places all of the responsibility of what happens to us upon our personal will, choices, decisions and actions.  I keep saying that because this was how God designed salvation to work.  Salvation is totally dependent upon what you believe and what you say.  If you don’t believe me then let’s believe God’s Word and read this verse to confirm it:

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.

I am going to say something very controversial about this verse that I have said before in other posts.  I get more religious people’s negative comments trying to convince me that salvation is based upon works and not completely on our faith than any other subject that I teach on.  What are the key words found in this verse?  They are “believe” and “confess”.   God says if we do these two we will be saved.  Now place this verse in harmony with the previous two verses about denying Jesus?  You should be able to see that “denying” Jesus is implied to be a public declaration.  Would it not stand to reason that confessing Jesus is the same?  I do not want to get religious or legal minded about salvation being only one certain way because I do believe a person can get saved all alone in any private setting by calling on Jesus.  However, the public confession of Jesus factor is still implied even after the initial salvation.  Who said we have to stop confessing Jesus after the one time public or private confession of Jesus?

Do you understand what I was saying?  I believe if we confess Jesus in private but deny him in public we could be in serious trouble.   God says salvation is dependent upon us confessing Jesus and believing in His resurrection from the dead.  This would simply imply that our continued salvation hinges upon us continuing to believe and continuing to confess Him as our Lord and Savior in public or in private.   This is what I believe whether you choose to believe it or not.  Please do not write me comments about eternal security and once saved always saved philosophies that do not balance with the whole word of God and ignore so many scriptures that contradict it.  I am probably causing offense to so many readers by attempting to teach the truth as I have been shown it by God but that is the risk of any teaching from the Bible.  Someone will always be offended and I will be rejected by some.

What does all of this teach us?   This means that we should not be ashamed of Jesus Christ to talk about Him and tell others about what He has done for us.  We should not be bashful but rather bold enough to proclaim Him in a public setting.  Uh oh I can feel the readers shutting me off as they just read something that is potentially controversial about doing something potentially offensive to others in the world.    This verse is very strong to say that God will reject some people on the earth.  It seems to me that it would be very wise for me to determine how to not become one of these being rejected.  We are talking about being accepted or being rejected by God.  We have just determined that it is possible to be in either category of mathematical sets.   The set of God’s accepted versus the set of God’s rejected.  Which are you in?  Are you one of His sheep or one of the goats that will be turned away?

# 8 – UNDERSTANDING THE SPIRITUAL SOURCE FOR HUMAN REJECTION

Mat 10:25  It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

I have been doing a very basic Bible lesson on the subject of rejection and how to deal with it.  We have already learned some very valuable information on this subject.  Let’s think some more about the implied truths found in Matthew 10:25.  Did you notice what Jesus was further suggesting in this statement?  Jesus was saying if we are accepted by God then we will probably be rejected by men.  This is just basic logic derived from analyzing the stated truths and the unstated antithesis truths that must also be true.  If we are God’s disciples then we must have been accepted by God.  If we are God’s servants then again this implies God’s approval has taken place.  Now learn how the world will treat those that are accepted and approved into the household of Christ Jesus.  Jesus said that they will be called names and rejected.  Therefore it is one or the other and not both.  What this teaches us again is that if we are accepted by God we will be rejected by the vast unsaved world.  And if we are rejected by God then we are more likely to be accepted by the same lost world. Therefore we should have learned to expect rejection after our acceptance from Jesus Christ.

As I have continued to teach we need to expect this rejection of men to occur in order to not be taken by surprise. Please understand that it is ultimately Satan that is using these people to come against Christians.  Satan will be directing the assaults by providing thoughts that blind their minds to receive the truth.   It is essential to know what Ephesians 6:12 says in this discussion of rejection.

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.

Why did I include this verse in a discussion concerning handling rejection?  It is primarily because we need to know who is behind the rejection from the people in the world.  God very clearly teaches in the Bible in more than one scripture that we are in a spiritual battle with the rulers of the darkness of this this world.  Every unsaved person is a puppet in this dark world.  Most of them do not have a clue what they are doing and why they are doing it.  This is why Jesus could hang on the cross and ask God to forgiven them all because of their ignorant allegiance and obedience to the devil.   Jesus knew the ultimate enemy and it was not people.  People were who He came to the earth to save.   Jesus was clearly thinking spiritually and not naturally.  Wow, we really need to get a hold of this concept.  When a person comes and rejects us and calls us names we must realize that it is Satan inspired.  This is why we don’t ever retaliate with a person that is rejecting us.  You can however learn to speak to the spirits that are working in those people.  I would not normally do this to their face unless God instructed me to do so.  We can also pray to God and ask God to open the eyes of understanding for the person doing the rejecting.  These are two things that we can do when being rejected.  Remember that and this will further help you to overcome the rejection.   We can talk more about these in another lesson someday.

# 9 – OVERCOMING THE REJECTION OF MEN WITH THE ACCEPTANCE OF GOD

 What God declares in Matthew 10:25 is that rejection by Satan and the world is inevitable if we are Christians.  We will either be rejected by men or we will rejected by God.  That makes it extraordinarily clear to me who I don’t want to be rejected by.  I want to definitely be accepted by God.  We have already talked about denying Christ or confessing Christ as primary factors for rejection or acceptance but there are other factors that are stated in the Bible. This will be the next tot he last section in this lesson discussion to further expand out knowledge on becoming fully accepted by God.  We will need to learn as much as we can about this subject in a short overview format.

Rejection by men and women in the world will always hurt us emotionally and possibly physically.  I would love to be accepted by everyone that I teach or meet but I know this will never happen.  Also I do not wish to become a “man pleaser” just to have the friendship with the world.  It would be foolish of me to water down the teaching of God to just not to try to offend anyone.  These principles are clearly taught to us in the Bible.  Let’s review some N.T. verses about rejection and acceptance by God:

2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

We are told by God to come out from among them and be separate.  This Greek word translated as “separate” means to set a boundary between two things.  In other words God tells us to be very different from the world.  Being different from the world alone will cause many people in the world to reject us as fools.     We will be called names like intolerant hate mongers or even a boring unexciting person just because we don’t party, drink alcohol, smoke or take drugs like them.  We will be accused of propagating a message of exclusion and preaching a message of hatred simply for speaking of Christ’s love being the only way for their salvation.  What people in the world do not realize is that in their present condition they are far apart from God and on their way to hell.  We are instructed by God to tell them about a remedy for this condition that God has given to them freely.  If they will listen to this message then Christ said they will be saved from the rejection of God.

Go back and reread 2 Corinthians 6:17 again.   The verse ends with the declaration that we will be received by God “IF” we come out from among the world.  This Greek word translated as receive is G1523 and it means “to take into one’s favor” or in other words to “be accepted” and “approved”.  Wow, this is great information to learn.  God is telling you how to be accepted by Him.  This is clearly us rejecting the world’s ways and walking in God’s ways.  The reverse antithesis truth found in this verse is that if we accept the world’s ways we will be rejected by God and that will definitely be an unsatisfactory result for eternity.  What God is teaching us in the Bible is that there exist conditional promises.  Acceptance by God is conditional and never guaranteed unless we learn to follow the instructions that He has given to us in order to qualify.

We have just learned a basic principle for achieving God’s acceptance and avoiding His rejection.  We must proclaim Jesus before men and we must come out from among the world.  It sounds like a contradiction but this is the way of God.  We can tell the world about Jesus without looking like them, acting like them or sounding like them.  Being accepted by God is a partnership between God’s Grace and man’s faith.  We cannot earn this favorable position with God by our works.  Our works of labor will never make us accepted by God.  This is truly a paradox being presented to us.  If right works do not save us yet the wrong works could cause us to be rejected how do we deal with this?  Let’s view a perspective from the Lord Jesus on this part of the discussion:

Mat 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

We are called the lights shining to the world in this verse.  As a light we are told to do good works in order to give glory to God for saving us.   You see our good works certainly do not save us but yet they can be viewed by the world clearly to be seen as a different and new way of life.   There is a tremendous deception contained within the ways of the world.  The life of sin is very attractive at first but the consequence of sin will always come upon them suddenly and then this is when people might wish they had made better choices.   Let me give you a quick Bible verse that relates to this subject of enjoying pleasure for a short time and an eternity in hell for making that wrong choice:

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

This verse is speaking of Moses if you read the context you will see this clearly.  Notice what God says about Moses.  God says Moses made a wise choice.  Moses chose to live in persecution and affliction rather than live the good life with the Egyptians for a season.  It is self-evident that we should not choose a short life of pleasure just to hang around the popular people, the aristocrats and the wealthy.   This is what God is trying to say to us all.  Come out and be separate from the world and this will cause you to be accepted by God but rejected by them.  However, this will result in far greater rewards than you can possibly imagine.

#10 – THE WITNESS OF GOD IS GREATER THAN THE WITNESS OF MAN

Now let me end this lesson with one more key verse when learning to deal with rejection found in the book of 1st John.   I am going to emphasize one more time that the acceptance of God should be our focused desire.  This goal will help us to deal with the certain rejection of people in this world:

1Jn 5:9  If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

I think this will be my last verse in this very important Bible lesson.  Here is God comparing two possible realities that I started out asking you in the lesson title.  Did you see them?  One is a natural reality and the other is a spiritual reality?  Which one is greater?   Can you comprehend the connection to the subject of “rejection”?   Let’s look up the Greek word G3144 which was translated as “witness”.  Witness is defined to be someone that gives evidence for or against you in a court of law.  Now do you begin to see the connection?  What happens when someone rejects you?  They usually will verbally speak something negative about you.  What happens when someone accepts you?  They usually will verbally speak something positive about you.  So how does this information apply to being rejected by men?

If a man rejects you God informs us very clearly that His acceptance will be greater and far more important to us in the end.  In other words the temporary acceptance of men will not be worth the eternal separation and rejection of God.  God is just confirming that His divine spiritual acceptance outweighs any natural rejection every time.  I think this will be very helpful to everyone that will learn to receive it.

After reading this Bible lesson on rejection let me ask the titled question again. Would you now rather be rejected by men or rejected by God?  This is a test just like in school growing up.  However, God’s tests are always open book tests with the answer found right after you search for them with your whole heart.  What does God recommend for this question?  God recommends that you make wise choices and become accepted by Him.  Then don’t worry about the rejection that the world will bring you because the acceptance of God will triumph over this dismissal by the world giving you great eternal rewards.

There is so much more on this subject of rejection in the Bible but it will have to wait for a follow up lesson.  I would recommend that you go back and reread this lesson more than once.  Print it out and take notes.  Share it with others so that they too will know how to deal with rejection.  I thank you so much for taking the time to read these Bible lessons.  I pray that the seeds planted in your heart from these lessons will sprout and bring forth much fruit in your life.  Until next time may God richly bless you and keep you in the paths that He would lead you in.  God Bless you!!!

Is the Rapture of the Church a Bible Truth? More Rapture Found in O.T. Typology! Part 6

Rapture_Ready_01(Ver 1.1)  This is now Part 6 in the series of Advanced Spiritual Bible Study Lessons concerning the reality of the Rapture of the Church.   God has covered a lot of information in this series so far and most of it will not be repeated.  Therefore I would recommend that you begin reading the series in Part 1 and continue forward in the series until this lesson.   There is just no feasible way to repeat the last 5 lessons on this subject in one lesson so please consider reading them all carefully.   In today’s Bible lesson God will take us on another journey through Old Testament scriptures that have no specific or direct mention of the Rapture event by a named reference.  However that does not mean that this story is not about the rapture event using divinely inspired typology of named O.T. patterns, types, participants and events.  If you are a doubter that believes God has not hidden any concealed information in the Bible for us to search for and discover then you are clearly a deceived person that has had your mind blinded by Satan from seeing the truth that is in plain sight if you desire to find it.   No one can force you to see what will be taught to you today.  Being a closed minded type of person to this potentially new information will probably cause the information to roll off of your mind like water off of a duck’s back.   I pray that you will at least attempt to consider all of the information that is presented to you before you totally reject any of it.

THE RAPTURE IN OLD TESTAMENT TYPOLOGY

Today, we are going to go through some verses buried in the Gospel of Matthew that teach us about the coming rapture concepts.  Right there you are probably going to ask “I thought that you said this was an Old Testament Typology Lesson”?   “Why then are we reading in Matthew clearly a New Testament book and author?”   That is actually a legitimate question but one that is easily answered.   Yes the Gospels were written by New Testament church writers named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  The time of this writing was obviously well after the death, burial and resurrection of Christ during the beginning of the church age.   However, consider the primary subjects given within these texts.   The majority of the descriptive acts and accounts within these texts occur prior to the implementation of the New Covenant which occurs at the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.   It is essential to learn that there was no New Covenant made available until Jesus was raised from the dead.  If there was no New Covenant then salvation could not be obtained because salvation is based upon believing in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (Rom 4:24, Rom 10:9).  Not until after Jesus was raised from the dead could anyone, be saved by God’s Grace through faith (Eph 2:8).  So while the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John contain the beginning of the New Covenant at the conclusion of the books, the vast majority of the actions take place outside of the New Covenant.   I hope that you understand that simple truth.

Within Old Testament Typology too many people want to see great detail, but these are never given in that format.   Any Old Testament typology is a dark outlined natural shadow pattern of the brighter spiritual real image that produced the image and is never the real image itself.   God designed the Bible with foreshadowed O.T. events that were projections to the coming spiritual real events found in the New Testament.   So while the story in Matthew that I will present will have some real actual natural facts, there will be no details given otherwise about the actual timing of the coming future spiritual event being described.    In other words this Typology in this Bible lesson will help prove the existence of the rapture but not necessarily if it is a pre-tribulation event or a post-tribulation event.  I will address this issue of rapture timing further after we go through the verses to see how the shadows fit the actual described rapture event.  I’ll begin the study with the first verse of the seventeenth chapter of Matthew, please read slowly and carefully:

  • Mat 17:1  And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,

Here we have the beginning of a new story initiated by Jesus the key figure of the entire New Testament and the rapture event.  I want you to see how this fits the description of the rapture as we have already studied in the series.  You should recall that it is Jesus that initiates the rapture event and it is not initiated by any man here on the earth.   Then notice that it says “Jesus taketh”.   Wow, that is very strong rapture language within typology.  Taking people up, is the central theme of action found in this verse and it is initiated by the Lord Jesus.   Notice that Jesus only selects a specific number and not every disciple to take with Him up to a high mountain apart from all of the others that were left below.  Doesn’t that sound like more hidden rapture shadows?   When you read scriptures like these in the Bible you should always stop and ask the basic who, what, when, where and why?    For example ask why is Jesus taking them up after 6 days?  Why not five, four or three or even two?   What does this mean?  Why is Jesus only taking 3 of the 12?   Why is Jesus going up to a high mountain?    If you are not asking God any specific question you will never see any specific answers.   I’ll start with the concept of 6 days.   Does 6 days match anything given to us in the Bible anywhere?    It just so happens that 6 days matches the days of creation found in Genesis 1.   This is called the Law of First Mention.  Whenever a subject is first revealed in the Bible God places clues within the text to help us understand the references in the other parts of the Bible.  God’s creation of our world was exactly 6 days in length.  If you have read my other Bible studies you should already know that these 6 days represent the entire human history of man on the planet.  I based this conclusion upon scriptures given to us by God in Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8.   Let’s review 2 Peter 3:8 for those that have not read it or do not remember it:

  • 2Pe 3:8  But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

If you do not know or understand this verse, then God calls you ignorant.  Being ignorant is not bad since we are all born in this condition.  But ignorance can be easily corrected by learning the truth of God.   What God is doing is giving us a New Testament spiritual definition for the word “day”.  To a human the term “day” means a 24 hour period of time.  But a day to the Lord is now being redefined to be a 1000 year period of human history.  This news causes God’s definition to take priority over man’s definition when interpreting spiritual realities found in natural O.T. typologies.     I am not going to be able to reteach in this lesson why human history is a 6000 year long period on God’s time clock and how that these 6 days of creation prophetically reveal man’s entire history on the earth in major shadowy steps of progression.  I just don’t have that much time.  You can begin to learn about these concepts from other Bible lessons that I have posted if you are interested.

One of the most important concepts to understanding and correctly interpreting any natural O.T. typology is to search and find the New Testament definitions of the words being used by God.   However, please do not take this rule and misapply it in error.  You cannot say that Jesus took Peter, James and John up to a high mountain after 6000 years.   No, that is not what is happening.  We also cannot take the 6 days of creation and try to make them 1000 year long periods of time.  Both of those would be examples of erroneous interpretations.  The 6 days in Matthew 17:1 are literal 24 hour periods of time.   However these are used to point us into a spiritual reality of 6000 years using God’s definition.   Both are true simultaneously.  It is very much like the shadow of me on the ground caused by me standing in the sunshine is not me but yet represents me and is true because I’m truly standing casting the shadow.  I hope you understand how to apply this information given by God in a natural O.T. story and how it can point us to a coming N.T. real spiritual reality.  Let’s return back to the Matthew typology study.

I would like you to consider two key words in the first verse in Matthew again.  These Greek words were translated as “taketh” and “apart” in the KJV Bible.    Let’s look at the Greek G3880 that is translated as “taketh”.  This Greek word literally means to “receive near”.  The implied state before this occurred is that they were apart from Jesus but have now been brought close to Jesus.  I believe that is exactly a rapture synonymous description.   I hope that you are seeing the same things.  Now consider the word translated as “apart”.   This Greek word is G2398 and it means “one’s own”.    It contains the implied meaning of what is being taken close was previously separated from something else or someone else.   In this case in Matthew 17:1 Jesus selected 3 to be His own and the other 9 were to be left behind not to participate in the event experience.  Wow, I’m telling you that this is very important information.   Do you remember what Jesus said to us?

  • Mat 7:21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

If not everyone that calls Jesus Lord will be saved this means not everyone that calls Jesus Lord will be raptured.    Jesus basically teaches us that 75% of the church could be potentially left behind in the rapture.   Let’s just take this and place figures to it.  If there are 1 billion professing Christians in the world, this would potentially teach us that only 250 million of them will be taken in the rapture.   Of course this is not me making any predictions.  Because there are other verses that need to be considered.   For example in the parable of the 10 Virgins the number of virgins that enter in with the bridegroom is 50%.   So using that figure we could say 500 million of the 1 billion could be taken up in the rapture.   The actual number is not important, but what is important is the fact that some are taken and some are left behind separated from the others exactly as what occurs in this type.  That is what will occur when the rapture happens.    Let’s continue to go through the rest of the Matthew 17 typology.

  • Mat 17:2  And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

The key word found in this verse is the English word translated as “transfigured’.   This Greek word G3339 is a word that we get “metamorphosis” from.  It means a state of newness that did not exist in the old state.   It is like when a caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly.  That is exactly what occurred in this verse in the natural but that is also what will occur in the rapture.

  • 1Co 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

You see in this New Testament verse God is describing the rapture event and He declares that there will be a change in the human state from death (corruptible) to eternal life (incorruptible).   The corruptible man will be completely transformed into a brand new incorruptible man.   These are just shadow events in Matthew 17.  I could talk a long time about the rest of verse 2 when Jesus appears as the sun, but that would take too long.  Let’s continue to verse 3 and see what is revealed next:

  • Mat 17:3  And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

I want you to remember where Jesus is.  Jesus has already been transfigured and suddenly on the top of the high mountain “appears” Moses and Elijah.    Wow again this is strong hidden rapture typology.  Notice that Jesus there alone being viewed by the 3 disciple witnesses and suddenly Moses and Elijah instantly appear with Jesus.  If that is not a rapture type I do not know what it is.  Moses lived 120 years and then died.  If you read the book of Jude you will begin to see a clue to what is being described here in Matthew 17.

  • Jud 1:9  Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

Why would Satan and Michael be in a legal dispute over the possession of the body of a dead man?   I mean come on, what does this mean?   I personally believe that the body of Moses was taken by God as a type being used to teach what will occur when the rapture occurs.  Did you know that a Jubilee year only comes every 50 years of Jewish time?   What is a Jubilee year?   A jubilee year is when all debts were forgiven and the lands were returned to the original owners who sold them because of their debts that they could not pay.  That is a very descriptive type of the human condition.  Man had a debt that he could not pay and Jesus came to pay a debt that He didn’t owe.   This is the Gospel good news of salvation.   Well if you take a Jubilee of 50 and multiply it by the years that Moses lived you get 6000 again.  Is that a coincidence?  It could be, but I do not believe it is.  Also consider the fact that Moses died a natural death (Deu 34:7) and that clearly Elijah did not (2 Kings 2:1).  If you recall Elijah the prophet was taken up to heaven by the Lord alive in his physical body and never saw death.   So we have Moses representing the dead in Christ and Elijah representing the living in Christ on the earth being taken up on the high mountain in the clouds to appear with Christ.   This my friends is very precise typology of the coming rapture event that is a parallel to what we studied in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 being described.  The dead in Christ represented by Moses will go up first.  Just as Moses was also mentioned first in verse 3.  God does everything for a reason even the order of the words in the verse teach us something important.  Then Elijah is mentioned and he never died representing the shadow picture of the saved saints in the church still alive during the time of the rapture.

I believe that you can clearly see the rapture being described in this shadow text found in Matthew.   The parallels are truly amazing and cannot be a chance occurrence.   God has hidden things like this in the Bible, yet many people are not seeing them.   The 6 days in this typology represent the 6000 years of human history and then the church is taken up.   What we need to address next is when this will occur based upon God’s Word.

RAPTURE TIMING IN THE LIGHT OF THE SEVENTY WEEKS OF DANIEL

Daniels_70weeks

Please allow me to address the timing of the rapture using a short explanation for when this must occur according to the Word of God.   Consider the 6 days found within the Matthew 17 typology shadow text.  Let’s break these 6 days down into three separate but consecutive two day periods within the timeline of human history like God does in the Bible.   Did you know that God did this?   From Adam to Abraham was approximately 2000 years of human history and this time represents the initial two days of the six.  God forms a covenant with one human man and his natural descendants and that initiates a new personal transition of God’s involvement with man.  Then from Abraham to Jesus was also approximately another 2000 years of human history and again this was 2 additional days of the six.  This Old Covenant through Abraham was God dealing with man in the natural realm and through the law.

We are now up to 4 in the series of six total days.  The beginning of the 4th day of human history presents the entrance of Jesus the Messiah (God in the flesh) into the world as the Redeemer.   With the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus this begins God’s new plan of salvation for all men through a New Covenant.  The New Covenant begins a completely new period of human history through God’s intimate involvement with the individual man in the spirit realm.  Knowing these facts literally teaches us that the duration of the church age can only endure the last 2 days of human history or approximately again a 2000 year time period.  How long has the church been here on the earth now?  We technically do not know for sure the exact length of time which matches the prophecy that Jesus gave to us saying “no man knows the day or the hour” (Mat 24:36).  The current calendar year is 2013 AD but how long that is precisely on God’s timeline cannot be calculated exactly or precisely.  There is even a debate of the year that Christ was exactly born and when Christ exactly died.   What I will tell you is that even though we do not know the exact time, we are certainly at the very least at the last of the very end of the time of the two days (2000 years) of the church age.   What I am attempting to say is that when the church age comes to an ends the rapture of the church must take place.

I guess one of the main questions that I will receive is when is the Great Tribulation?    Is the Great Tribulation a part of the church age or a part of another age being separated from the church age?   Those are excellent questions to consider.   The correct Bible answer is not so obviously or easily found.  But we will attempt to address these questions next using a very important Old Testament prophecy.

What I want to do in the remainder of this lesson is to introduce you to a new concept hidden in the Bible.  In the book of Daniel God gives a detailed prophecy of an exact period of given time within God’s timeline.  What we must do is determine if this period is within the 2 days of the New Covenant church age, the 2 days of the Old Covenant age, or the pre-Old Covenant 2 day age.  This endeavor sounds like a Sherlock Holmes type of search for the clues to discover the answer and that is exactly what we will do.

This period in Daniel is described to be a time of 70 weeks of years foretelling the coming events concerning the natural nation of Israel and the entrance of Jesus into the world.  Seventy weeks of years represents a period of time of exactly 490 years.   You can calculate this by multiplying 7 (1 week of years) by 70 weeks and that gives you the 490 years total.  Multiplying 490 years times 360 days in the Jewish calendar gives us 176,400 days of their history.  Every week of these years has already been fulfilled except for one final week of years that has yet to occur.  This final week of 7 years is called the great tribulation.  Let’s go back to Daniel and read parts of this important prophecy to help confirm what I have just introduced you to:

  • Dan 9:24  Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, 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.

Perhaps I need to better explain what a week of years represents to God.  A week of years is exactly 7 years just like one calendar week of days is exactly 7 days.   Therefore 70 weeks of days would be calculated using the same math as 7 times 70 which equals 490 total days.  This is not that complicated but yet it does involve a certain level of basic math and God loves to challenge us with things like this to discover.  God uses the concepts of weeks and groups of 7 repeatedly in the Old Testament in various multiples.  A Jubilee year occurred after 7 weeks of years (Lev 25:8-10).  The Jewish people would count 7 times 7 years = 49 years and then they knew that the next year would be the Jubilee and this was the foreshadowed description of what occurs during the rapture event but I do not have time to explain that today.   A Sabbath rest for the land occurred every 7th year (Lev 25:4).   Jacob worked 1 week of years for his wife Rachael and then had to work another week of 7 years since he was tricked into taking the older daughter first (Gen 29:20-28).   Joseph in Egypt interprets a dream where the end result was two weeks of 7 years each with 1 week of plenty followed by 1 week of famine (Gen 41:29:30).  Both of these weeks represented 7 years.   A Hebrew man or woman that was sold into slavery was to be freed after 6 years or on the 7th year and this represented 1 week of years’ service (Deu 15:12, Jer 34:14).  This picture again fits the pattern of Sabbath rest that is repeated throughout the Bible starting in Genesis 1 and 2.  You see I taught you that the 6 days of creation represented 6000 years of human history but there is coming another day called the 7th day that will be an additional 1000 year of rest and rule without Satan on the earth.  That would make the creation event and human history on the earth the complete and full week.    We could go through other examples of Bible weeks but that is enough for now to make the point of the existence of this pattern in the Bible.

Does a 7 year period of time sound like any futuristic event to come?   Let’s go back and look again at Daniel’s 70 weeks of years in more depth.  If God declares 70 weeks of years that is like I said a total of 490 years that were prophesied for ONLY natural Israel and for the work to fulfill the coming righteousness as described in verse 24.  I want you to know this because that is critical for the correct interpretation of what God is doing here.  What I will emphasize more than once in this discussion is that the church age is NOT a part of this 70 week prophecy nor can it be since righteousness has already been given to the church (Rom 3:21-22, Rom 5:17, 2 Cor 5:21, Eph 4:24).   Let’ reread verse 24 of Daniel 9 to analyze the words more carefully:

  • Dan 9:24  Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, 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.

I would like you to review what is being stated in this verse more clearly.   Seventy weeks is the initiation of the verse statement.  Seventy is a Hebrew term that means 3 score and 10.   What we begin to understand is this is the initiation of a very significant and complex prophecy puzzle or riddle.  The Hebrew word that is translated as “determined” is H2852 and this word means to “cut off”.  That is obviously not a positive term to apply and I do not have the time to get into that part of the discussion.  Next in the verse is where we begin to understand who this prophecy applies to primarily.   God says this is written to His people and His holy city.   In the Old Testament this is clearly the natural descendants of Abraham and the city of Jerusalem.  I could give you scriptures for that if you need them and do not understand it, just ask me for them.  The next part of the verse represents the work of Christ.  This work of Christ was to finish the transgression of these people and to put an end to sin.  This work further goes on to declare reconciliation for iniquity and to bring in everlasting righteousness.   Wow those are very important statements concerning what Jesus will do.  This verse is about the coming of Jesus into the world to pay the price for ALL the sins of mankind.   This statement predicts the accomplished works of Jesus that occurred nearly 2000 years ago.

Do you understand the information being tied together here?   We have a total period of time described to be 70 weeks of years that declares the coming righteousness and that is followed immediately by several other verses of prophecy that begin to break this complete period of 70 weeks down into subdivided weeks of years.  This is just part of the complex riddle being presented.  These are very easy concepts to overlook and not understand.  Let’s go read the verse 25 of Daniel 8 of the prophecy and consider this new information next:

  • Dan 9:25  Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

The KJV Bible translation causes the next time period to be a bit confusing using a complex wording of 7 weeks followed by the term three-score and two weeks.  This sounds a little complicated at first until we learn that three score is just a period of 60 weeks which needs to be added to 2 weeks to get a sub-total of 62 which then we need to add to 7 weeks where we get 69 total weeks until this time period is accomplished when Messiah the Prince is prophesied to come!   Ok, 69 weeks of years is 7 times 69 years which results in 483 years until Messiah’s entrance into the earth into Jerusalem.  Several people have done the calculation on the internet so I will not repeat that in this lesson.  What they have determined was back when the command to build the walls of Jerusalem was given until the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey was an exact period of 483 years.   You can search this out and find it to help you confirm that math.

This new division of 69 weeks from the original 70 weeks teaches us that the 70th week occurs sometime after this stated initial prophecy of when Messiah has come.  Do you understand this so far?   What we have started to observe is an implied disjointed 70th week.  Now consider this information in the next verse:

  • Dan 9:26  And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

What God is telling us is that the Messiah (Jesus Christ) will be killed after 62 weeks.  That is a different break down of the time period called the 69 weeks that was previously mentioned in the last verse.  What God is revealing is that there will be a 7 week timed event followed by a 62 week timed event and then Messiah will come after the full 69 weeks are fulfilled.  Do you understand this?  This verse is just a new further description of what occurs during the time that occurs before the end of the 69 weeks but God breaks it down into a further division of 7 (49 years) and 62 (434) weeks. What I believe God is stating is that there will be first 7 weeks of years followed by another 62 weeks of years and then Jesus will be killed on the cross (cut off).  Here is a synopsis of what I believe is being stated in these verses so far.

This is how the 70 weeks are broken down:

  • The first 7 weeks – This 49 year period of time represents the initiation of the commandment to rebuild the walls of the city of Jerusalem was given until it was fully accomplished in or around 445 BC.
  • The next 62 weeks – This period of time represents the completion of the walls of Jerusalem building until Messiah comes riding into the city walls 483 years later.
  • The Last Week – The yet to be fulfilled week of years is disjointed from the others because God has halted the O.T. time clock of weeks since Israel rejected their Messiah and killed him on a cross.

Many times people do not see or seek to understand these important clues.  This prophecy was hidden by God in such a way that man could not understand it until it was revealed.   If you read the end of the book of Daniel in verse 12:4 God says to “Daniel to shut up the book until the time of the end”.  That teaches us that this book of the Bible was concealed by God to not be easily understood until such a time as this.  Let’s move to the 70th week to help us to see this time as being a separated time from the other 69 weeks more clearly:

  • 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.

Here is an interesting description of a single one week period of years.  Obviously this is the 70th week being described since all of the other 69 weeks have been previously covered.  This one week period of time is clearly divided into two equal portions.  Dividing 7 years by two you get 3.5 years.  If you take that into months you will get 7 * 12 = 84 months and dividing that by two you get two periods of 42 months each.  Are you following this simple math?  This description matches what is prophesied to come in great detail in the book of Revelation chapters 6 through 18.  In the book of Revelation God used two different synonymous references for these periods of half 7 years.  One reference is called “42 months” in Revelation 11:2 and Revelation 13:5 and then He calls this time period a “time” (year), “times” (2 years) and “half time” (6 months) in Revelation 12:14.  Both of these represent the half week year time period being described here in this verse in Daniel 9:27 and also in Daniel 7:25 and Daniel 12:7.

I am convinced beyond any shadow of a doubt that this seventieth week of Daniel represents the 7 years of tribulation revealed in the book of Revelation.  The book of Revelation references and further describes many of the events prophesied in the book of Daniel repeatedly.  That would be a very extensive Bible study in itself to confirm this but I do not have that kind of time to do that today.  If you need to learn more about that you can ask questions or you can do an in-depth study for yourself on this subject.  My point in conclusion is that if these seven years in Revelation represent the one final week of years found in the 70 week of years directed at only the natural nation of Israel in Daniel then they cannot be included in the 2000 years of the duration of the church age.  In other words they must not nor will they ever overlap each other in simultaneous concurrence.  What we are discovering in this study is a restart of God’s time clock that had previously been halted when Jesus was killed at the end of the 69 previous weeks.  Knowing this reality literally teaches me that the church must be raptured before the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy can occur since we in the church are not under that covenant.  Do you understand this logic?  I pray that you understand this because it is essential to learn.   You are free to disagree but that is how I view it as God has taught me.  So please do not write me a comment telling me God is wrong.

CONCLUSION

I believe I have gone long enough in this lesson on the soon to occur rapture event.   The church age is coming to its rapid conclusion as declared by God’s Word to be exactly two days (2000 years) upon the earth.  The internet today allows the Gospel to be preached to the whole world and this was prophesied by Jesus to occur before He returned for us (Mat 24:14).   My Bible study blog has been read by people in more than 150 different nations on every inhabited continent.   That would be impossible for me to visit those personally and tell them about the soon coming Jesus.  However I can give them a message on the internet and that will do the same work if they will believe it.    I pray that you understood why I went into the 70 weeks of prophesied years of natural Israel and how these do not overlap with the church years on the earth.   We are under God’s Grace during the church age and His righteousness has been extended to anyone that will receive it freely by faith.  The age of Grace will be taken away with the church in the rapture.  This does not mean that people cannot be saved during the tribulation but it will be much more difficult to receive this salvation.  Learning this information has caused me to believe that the church must not be found present during the 70th week called the Great Tribulation in Matthew 24:21, Revelation 2:22 and Revelation 7:14.   In the next lesson in this series we may explore more hidden clues concerning this pre-tribulation rapture revelation.  I hope and pray that you learned something that you can take away and share with others.   The time is drawing rapidly near and the rapture could literally occur at any moment.  If you are not ready for this and need to repent and turn to Christ you can find a link at the top of my menu on how to believe and receive salvation.  Thank you for reading and studying the Bible today and God will continue to lead you and guide you in new ways to help others come to Christ.  God Bless!

Is the Rapture of the Church really found in the Bible? Finding the Rapture in Revelation 3:10!

rapture8(Ver 1.2)  This is Part 5 in a series of advanced spiritual Bible lessons on the timely and very important subject of “Is the Rapture of the Church a Bible Truth”.  If you have not read this entire series from the beginning I would highly recommend that you go and start your study with “Part 1” and then continue in succession until today’s lesson.   However if you do not have the time to read every lesson I will inform you that this lesson today will be of great benefit and will be easily understood as a standalone lesson.  Many Christians today are asking “Is the Rapture Really Found in the Bible?”  I believe the clear signs of the times that we live within today are causing more and more people to ask this question.  In this lesson series I have been going through verses that teach us about the rapture subject found both in the New Testament and in Old Testament typology.   Many of these verses represent places in the Bible that Christians have not considered being about the subject of rapture.  Today’s lesson will certainly be no different.    God will present to you some potentially new information today in this lesson that may just open your eyes to a brand new way of searching for His Truth!   I hope that you are ready to learn.

Before I get started today I wish to thank you for your time in studying the Bible.   To all of my faithful subscribers I greatly appreciate your ability to perceive that what I teach is not from me.  The teachings of a man are inconsequential without the anointing and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  I take no credit for anything that is on this website.  If it was not for the gracious and precious Holy Spirit teaching me I would have had nothing worthwhile to say.  Therefore, I give God all the praise and all the glory for anything that has helped anyone.  So no matter what, I trust God to confirm everything that is taught here by you using your own Bible and the Holy Spirit that is within you giving witness.  Trust no human at any time, no matter how eloquent the words that come from them or their good looking appearance.   There is a great deception occurring in the world today.    Evil is being called good and good being called evil.  I know that no one including myself is perfect and we all make mistakes.   Therefore I trust that you will receive my sincere gratitude as I humbly submit to God’s direction.

SEARCHING FOR TRUTH IN THE BIBLE!

The vast majority of Christians today believe in a rapture concept where Jesus literally returns in the clouds to take up His people to be with Him in heaven.  This belief is based upon verses like John 14:1-3 where Jesus speaks of His father’s house in heaven and says that He will go and prepare a place for us and then come again to take us there.   There are not very many Christians that do not understand this truth and believe it yet the great debate that remains among many churches is concerning the timing of this event.  The rapture timing is exactly the subject being addressed in these Bible lessons.   In the last lesson I went through a lot of new information that I will not repeat today.  I tried to teach the importance of seeing spiritual things even in the O.T. natural stories but I got a few ignorant comments that refused to open their eyes to understand the legitimacy of these methods.   These types of people are so focused on the literal obvious messages that they do not want to understand how God has concealed many spiritual truths for us to find in these same words.  I tried to emphasize in the last lesson that even Jesus said that He was hidden in the O.T. (John 5:39) and that we were required to go and search to look for Him in those verses.  This information must have gone over the heads of a few people who want to see everything easily in the Bible.  I do not recall any verse in the Bible that says Bible study is easy, do you know of any?   If you do please share it with me so I can learn.

I just mentioned John 5:39 and this is so important to memorize that I am going to emphasize it again.   In Matthew 13:11 Jesus declared to His disciples that it was given for them to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of God but then He clearly states that this was not given to everyone else.  This is just further confirmation that not everything in the Bible is clearly stated to be understood by everyone.  Romans 16:25 says that Paul preached the mystery of the Gospel of Jesus that was hidden from the foundation of the world.  That literally means it was not plainly stated in the O.T. and had to be revealed by the Spirit of God.  Proverbs 25:2 declares that it is “the glory of God to conceal a thing and the honor of kings to search out a matter”.   These are just a few verses of the many that I could include in this message that not everything in the Bible is plainly presented for your automatic understanding.   This is so easy for a supremely intelligent God to do.  He can speak to us on His level of understanding and we would be clueless to understand it until we learned how.   I emphasize this fact in many, many of my Bible lessons because it is so vital for you to come up to a higher spiritual way of thinking.   Learning to see the scriptures as God sees them will help you more than anything else that I could teach you today.

BE IT UNTO YOU ACCORDING TO YOUR FAITH

Why any Christian would desire to go through the coming tribulation is a mystery to me but that is what many are choosing to believe and I believe that is what may just happen to them based upon what the N.T. teaches us about faith.    Jesus very clearly taught us a valuable lesson in the Gospels when He said “According to your faith, be it unto you” (Mat 9:29).    Jesus was telling these blind men in Mathew 9 something directly and He treated them differently than the many other blind men that may have been in the same city.   Jesus only healed the blind men that believed and had faith and the others that were in the city were not healed.   You could reason that these others that were not healed were simply not present but that is a different part of another lesson and I do not want to get off track in this lesson.  Simply understand that the blind men had to believe in order to seek after Jesus and if the others did not do the same they were left out from this benefit.   Now go and read Matthew 8:13 where Jesus says to the centurion “go thou way and as thou has believed, be it done unto you”.  Jesus spoke very highly of this man’s faith.   He then told him clearly that it would be done to him even as he had believed.  I think you need to consider these facts carefully.

I think both of those examples that I just presented you are valuable lessons to learn from about the subject of faith.  We then need to learn to apply that knowledge to the subject of rapture.  If you want to believe and stay in the post tribulation camp, I won’t stop you.  I will still try to show you what I see that the Bible says on the subject and that is why we are going to go through a different part of the Bible today to see a different lesson taught by God.  What I am trying to say here is that what you believe matters and if it does not matter what you believe then God is in sovereign control and I don’t have to believe in Jesus or Satan.   That is a common false teaching to think that man has no determination of his destiny.   I believe from the words of Jesus that what you believe could very well be the determining factor if you are taken out on the first call of the rapture or left here.   If you don’t believe me, that is fine with me.   Please don’t write me any negative comments trying to say something I didn’t say.

Evaluate where your faith is today.    What do you believe and why?   If you have several scriptures to back your beliefs then you are on a firmer foundation than not having any.   That is exactly why I am giving you my scriptures for why I believe the way that I do in a pre-tribulation rapture.  I did not determine my beliefs in pre-tribulation rapture first and then seek to find the scriptures to confirm them.  That is a false erroneous approach to Bible study.   You can find any belief in the Bible that you want to find in some form.  This is exactly why there are mid-tribulation believers and post-tribulation believers and most of them have found some scriptures that they believe support their thinking.   God purposefully designed the Bible this way to allow us to be wrong and remain in our false beliefs.   What God desires is for us to first clear our mind of our prejudices and then to ask the Holy Spirit to show us the truth and only then can we go and seek to find it in His Word allowing Him to direct our paths of search.   We cannot do this with any presumptive expectations for what the truth is or this will slant our viewpoint to that preconceived belief.  That type of search is a closed minded approach and does not allow God to speak to us in our hearts since our hearts are already set in concrete.   We can only determine the actual truth based only upon what God reveals to us in His Word when He speaks to our heart.   Notice that I did not say your mind, the voices in your mind can be from the devil.  The Spirit of God is in your heart and that is where divine direction will be given.  If you do not know how to be led by the Spirit of God I would recommend that you go read that series of lessons to begin to learn.

This section of the lesson I title “Be it unto you according to your Faith”.  Faith comes by hearing the Word of God taught according to Romans 10:17.  That simply means that you can get faith to change your beliefs by what God presents in this Bible lesson series.   If you are open to learning this will allow the Spirit of God to confirm this lesson.   I hope and pray that you will at least give God a chance to see what He might say to you today.

THE RAPTURE IN REVELATION 3:10

 I was asked to explain the Bible verse found in Revelation 3:10 and I immediately understood that they were asking this question from a rapture subject perspective since that is clearly the hidden message of the verse.  I say clearly but what is clear to me may not yet be clear to you!   You may still be amazed after you read this lesson how a verse that never mentions the word rapture directly can be such a key and important lesson on the subject.

The first fact that would I like to mention is that you are right the theological term “rapture” does not exist in the English Bible but that does not mean that the concepts surrounding the subject are not taught repeatedly by God in many unique ways.  As I have said before the English term “rapture” comes from a Latin word “raptus” which means “a carrying off”.   People are normally too narrowly focused on finding the specific word rapture, that they are missing entirely the more important messages about the subject recorded from God.   One detail that needs to be understood is that there are at least two completely different ways of teaching any subject.   A teacher can state the subject directly by describing it plainly or they can teach it indirectly by what is stated so that the subject must be true in order for the statement being made to also be true.   Most modern school textbooks are written in a direct teaching style with ordered increasing levels of associated complexity.  However, God’s word is not written in a textbook style and appears to be more random information that needs to be connected by study.  God teaches most spiritual subjects indirectly especially in the Old Testament where they are never explained fully until the descriptions are given about them in the New Testament.   Direct natural truths as opposed to indirect spiritual truths are found equally in abundance throughout the Bible.   For every direct natural lesson on a subject there are usually equal numbers of indirect spiritual lessons that can be found if you know how to search for them.   I hope you will learn both of these concepts given in this introduction from this lesson today.   Revelation 3:10 is an indirect and unstated spiritual lesson on the pre-tribulation rapture of the church that must be a truth for this statement that was made by Jesus to also be a truth and you will soon learn why I say this.  Let’s start by reviewing the verse in question and seeing what was stated by Jesus:

  • 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.

The KJV Bible translation does a fair job at translating each Greek word into English but yet these English words are often ignored or misapplied to not mean what they are really saying.   It is very easy to take an English word and restrict it to a specific narrow thought or application and that may be what is happening in this verse when you read it.  Some English words are easily assumed to be fully understood as they actually go much deeper in their definition and meaning when studied.   Assuming that you know and understand the truth is probably one of the greatest reasons why God is unable to teach you anything new.   So please take no preconceived assumptions into this Bible lesson as you continue to read.  There are certain key words given to us in this verse which need to be understood in order for us to comprehend the message being given to us by God.  Today we are going to go through at least 5 specific Greek words found in Revelation 3:10 and find their meanings and God’s usage for the words in other parts of the Bible.    These words that I will focus on are “all”, “world”, “temptation”, “keep” and “kept”.

I’m going to start with the Greek word translated as “all”.  This Greek word G3650 translated as “ALL” literally means the “entirety of the whole”.  This Greek word is applied as an adverb in this sentence and is directly used by God as a modifier description for the noun “world”.  In this type of presentation it would represent the entire “world”.   Let’s go back to an old Bible lesson that I did on the serpent in the garden first mentioned in Genesis 3:1.   In that Bible lesson I taught on how that God created laws of mathematical sets and used them in the words that He has written in the Bible.   A set is always a related grouping of like objects.    If I have a set of automobiles they may differ in manufacturer, color, make, year and model but they are all still unified members of my automobile set.  If I wanted to limit the scope of my set of automobiles I could qualify a new description to create a subset of just certain common features or characteristics.  For example I could define one sub-set of my “automobiles” to be only “red” automobiles and that makes ALL cars of the red color to be members in that set.  Now when I say ALL RED CARS you know I am including every one that qualifies to be a member together in that definition.   This is basic mathematical logic based upon established God created principles and yet many Christians may not grasp these important basic concepts and how they apply to the Word of God.   What we need to see is that God has just defined a mathematical set in Revelation 3:10 and said “every” noun object in that set called the “world” was included.   That literally means there are no “world” members excluded from the statement.  However the next problem is how does God define the members in the “world” set and what do these members possess that defines them to be in the common description?  I hope I am not going over your heads with these important thoughts but they must be applied correctly to understand who God is speaking about in this verse.

Let’s speak briefly about God’s usage of the Greek word G3650 that was translated as “ALL” in this verse.  This Greek word occurs in 99 verses of the Bible.   Around 60 times it was translated as “ALL”.   In nearly 40 verses, the Greek word was translated as “whole”.    “Whole” and “all” are clearly synonyms with the same definition.   They both will always include every member that fits the definition.   If you would like to do the study and search for this word for yourself in your Bible software to confirm how God consistently uses it to mean every that would be good to do, but I will not do that in this lesson today to keep this lesson a little bit shorter.

The next step to understanding Revelation 3:10, is to learn the Biblical definition of what the “all the world” set represents to God.   Jesus very clearly states that an “hour of temptation” will come upon the “entire world” at some unstated future time which was not directly given to us.  If the entire world will come into these common temptations we need to learn what the world means and what temptation means so that we can understand how or even if these apply to us in the church.   Let’s continue by examining the Greek word G3625 and determine how it was defined in the Greek language.  This Greek word which was translated as the English word “world” literally means “the earth”, “the soil” or “the physical land parts of the globe” according to the Strong’s definition.  However that does not mean that these physical land parts of the globe will be what is tempted in the prophesied hour.   What we are to apply is that God is speaking indirectly about the “inhabitants” of these “land areas” and not specifically about the dry dirt.   Therefore it is not the physical land directly being referenced but rather the people living on the land who will be tempted.  The implied application for this Greek word (world) is anyone that is alive on the earth or living upon dry land or occupying the livable land mass continents of the planet.   Let’s confirm this by observing this phrase in other parts of the N.T.:

  • Mat 24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Here is an interesting reoccurrence of the phrase “All the world”.   Jesus is speaking and He declares the time of the end will come only after the Gospel is preached to “all the world”.   Obviously Jesus was not telling us to go preach to the literal soil of the planet.   No Jesus was telling us to go into every part of the globe and preach to the people that inhabit that part of the whole.   In other words the entire population of the globe will hear the Gospel before the end will come.  If we go and read Luke 2:1 you will see another example that it is the people that are the intended definition for the term “all the world”.   In this verse the ruler Caesar Augustus declared that “all the world” should be taxed.   That sounds very familiar to what is happening with governments today but that is a different subject.   We have seen enough examples to understand the description being used is about the people living on the earth and definitely not the literal earth.   Let’s stop there and ask ourselves does that term “all the earth” include Christians?   Of course we must realize that presently it does.   Christians on this planet are no different than non-Christians in that we both live in the same global “world” set of earth dwellers.   Remember what I just said because that fact will become very relevant as we continue in this lesson.  Let’s now examine the next Greek word G3986 translated as “temptation” in Revelation 3:10 because this is also an essential word to learn and understand:

  • G3986
  • From G3985; a putting to proof (by experiment [of good], experience [of evil], solicitation, discipline or provocation); by implication adversity: – temptation, X try.

This Greek word literally means to prove something or someone.   This is usually done by someone performing a trial or test like a scientist proving their theory of supposition performing repeated tests.   That is a popular concept within the scientific community but one that is misapplied to God and the truth found in God’s word.   Many Christians today believe that God tests people with trials to prove their faithfulness and that belief is contrary to what the Bible actually teaches.  Once you learn the truth you will figure out quickly that it is unnecessary for God to test anyone.   First consider the well-known fact that the divine God is called omniscient.  This is a common characteristic used to describe God and clearly demonstrates His superior nature.  Omniscient simply means “ALL KNOWING”.   If God literally knows everything as most Theologians and Christians believe it would be totally unnecessary for God to test or prove anyone since He must already know the outcome before the test is presented.  Therefore it is extremely ignorant to believe God needs to test us in order to prove our faith in Him.  Do you believe this?  If you do then you need to apply that information to what Jesus is stating in this verse to determine who is doing the testing to prove these people in the world.

The Bible teaches us who the tester represents but these facts are often ignored by many Christians because Satan would rather you believe in a good God that brings the tests rather than an evil being like himself that you might resist or fight against.   Do you already see the initial motivation behind why Satan wants Christians to believe that God is their tester?   I think it is obvious because Christians will not be foolish enough to fight against God.   The Greek word G3986 translated as “temptation” in Revelation 3:10 comes from the root word G3985 that means “to test”.   We need to learn how this word is used by God to teach us that it is not God that is testing people.  Let’s read this verse found in the book of James:

  • Jas 1:13  Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

The word translated as “tempted” here is the Greek word G3985.  Notice what God declares.  God clearly states that He is not the tempter or the tester of humans.  The statement is directed at man by God saying “let no man say”.  This term for “no man” is found in several statements made by Jesus and is even found in Revelation 3:11 the next verse that we are studying when Jesus says “Let no man take your crown”.  It is very clear to me that this term is referring to human earth inhabitants again.   We have already stated why this testing is unnecessary based upon God already knowing the outcome.  If God does not test or tempt any human then who is sending the temptations, tests and trials in Revelation 3:10 to the whole world?   That is a very interesting question and the answer still points us to Satan to be the tempter.   Let’s examine some other verses found in the N.T. to confirm that God is not the tempter or tester of man:

  • Mat 6:13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Here is a verse found in the Lord’s Prayer used by Jesus to teach His disciples how to pray.   Jesus taught them to pray for God to lead them out from temptation and clearly not into them.   Is the implied will of God for Christians to be tested or not to be tested?   It would seem to say that it is not God’s will for us to be tested based upon the prayer.  The implication given to us is that if we need to pray to ask God not to lead us into “temptations” that God is not the one that is initiating the temptation.  That is just sound basic logical reasoning.  God would not remove something that He was causing.   Let’s shift to another verse to help understand the true source of temptations:

  • Luk 4:13  And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

This verse has the same Greek word found in Revelation 3:10.  God clearly says that Satan was the source for these temptations here in this verse.    Based upon the context given to us these temptations occurred when Jesus was being tempted in the wilderness being on a forty day fast.   Clearly Jesus would be considered to be “in the world” occupying the soil in this example and that is key for us understanding Revelation 3:10.   I could go over many verses found in the N.T. but I will only give you one more witness to learn from for now:

  • 1Co 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Here we have a message written to the church.  We are plainly informed that “temptations” may come but then we are indirectly informed that God was not the one that sent them.   This is an example of learning from what is stated how to see what is not stated.   In this verse God says “I will not allow the temptation to be above what you are able to endure”.   That appears to me to say I am a God that places limitations upon the one that is testing you.    God would not send the test and then limit the test and finally make a way out of the test as this verse declares.  That would be a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type of God.  This would be dueling personalities with one side of God sending you the test to potentially harm you while the nice side of God limiting the test and placing a way out from it so that you can escape it.   That type of reasoning makes no sense to me but many Christians believe in that type of situation everyday.  One man that I knew believed that God sent cancer to his wife to test them but they were going to the doctors to try to get out from the test and live.   Wow, I seriously tried to help him see that it was not God doing it to his wife but he rejected it.  I’m really not sure what happened to his wife.

So far we have looked at the Greek words for “temptation”, “world”, and “all” in in Revelation 3:10 to gain understanding how they apply to the verse.   We have learned so far that a “temptation” is a stated trial or test that every human can potentially come into at some time in their life even Christians.  We have learned that Satan is the initiator of these tests and trials and that God is the one that leaves us a door out of the test if we want to find it.  We have learned the term “world” means earth dweller or inhabitant.   So far that definition would include everyone still living here on the planet.  Since God used the qualifier “all” before the world noun He clearly states that the entire population will be tested by Satan.  Let’s reread the verse again and apply what we have learned so far:

  • 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.

Jesus is the speaker in this verse so that is very important to note.   Then we know by reading in context that He is speaking to the church since this statement is found within one of the letters of Revelation written to the churches.   Therefore we know the majority of the noun subject participants found in this verse including the speaker and the intended target audience, Satan the tempter of the earth inhabitants and we now desire to understand the verb actions being given to connect them all together.  We have already seen where Satan is the tempter and Jesus says that his temptations, tests and trials will come upon the entire population of the earth.    Right there is an excellent time to consider that to be a prophecy of future reference.  Meaning what Jesus was speaking of had not occurred up until the time of writing.   That should raise a meaningful question in your mind, “Why is this stated time of temptation different than previous mentions of temptations given throughout the Bible?   I personally believe that the hour of temptation being spoken of is the soon to be described “Great Tribulation” later in the book of Revelation.   One of the main reasons that I believe this is because Satan is one of the key subjects in the rest of the book.  He is described as the “Great Dragon” and his prophet and anti-Christ servants will be revealed during this time to deceive the whole world’s population.

We then know from the statement of Jesus that He will “Keep” the church from that hour of global tests.  How will He do this?  In order to understand this we need to learn the definition of the word “keep” next.  Let’s look up the definition for the Greek word translated as “Keep”:

  • G5083
  • From τηρός teros (a watch; perhaps akin to G2334); to guard (from loss or injury, properly by keeping the eye upon; and thus differing from G5442, which is properly to prevent escaping; and from G2892, which implies a fortress or full military lines of apparatus), that is, to note (a prophecy; figuratively to fulfil a command); by implication to detain (in custody; figuratively to maintain); by extension to withhold (for personal ends; figuratively to keep unmarried): – hold fast, keep (-er), (ob-, pre-, re) serve, watch.

This is obviously a complex word and is compared with several other Greek words that are similar but different.   The meaning of the word means to watch or to observe.   As you can read this word means to keep your eye upon something or someone.   Perhaps it will help us if we analyze how this word was translated in the N.T.    This Greek word is found in 68 N.T. verses.   In 33 verses it is translated as “keep”.    In 12 verses it is translated as “kept”.  In 10 verses it was translated as “keepeth”.   The other verses in the N.T. it is translated as “observe”, “reserve”, “reserved”,  “watched”, “watching”, “preserve” and “hold fast”.

What do all of these translated English words have in common and how do they apply to how they were used by God in the New Testament?   We really need to learn this in order to understand what Jesus is going to do to the church before the coming hour of trials.  I think it is relevant and important to know that this Greek word is used twice in Revelation 3:10.  Once it was translated as “keep” and the other time it was translated as “kept”  Let’s examine how it was used for the church and then apply that definition to how it will be used by Jesus.  Read the beginning of the verse again and see how God uses it for the church.  God says “Because you have kept my words…, I will keep you…”.    How do you keep God’s words?    That is a very loaded question.   To keep God’s word implies they are important to you.   That you value them and that you desire to know them and possess them.   If further implies that you want to protect them and even make them safe.   Let’s examine the steps or process for keeping God’s Words:

  1. We must desire to know God’s Words
  2. We must value the Words of God
  3. We must give the Words of God priority over all other words
  4. We must make the effort to find God’s Words
  5. We must take the time to learn God’s Words
  6. We must extend the effort to understand God’s Words
  7. We must then place the Words of God into our memories and recall them at all times
  8. We must then put the Word of God into daily and hourly practice becoming a doer of the Words of God

That was my quick overview of keeping the Word of God.  It denotes a process of taking the Word of God from a book and placing into our hearts and minds to exalt it, protect it, guard it, preserve it, etc.  Clearly to keep the Word of God represents a transfer from one location to another.  What did I just say?   Taking God’s word from the pages of a written book and internalizing them is the transfer of divine information from one place to another.  Can we agree that this is what this word represents?  Now apply that to what Jesus said He would do before the hour of temptation.  Jesus basically said “I will keep you (move you out of harm, protecting you, keeping you safe, etc.) before that hour occurs because I value you as my treasure.   People will disagree with me that do not wish to see the truth, but there is really not much I can do to help those that do not want any help.

I believe very firmly that this verse is very specific.  It is a prophecy of two events occurring in sequence.  The first event is the “Keeping” safe of the church body that has kept safe the word of God.   The second event that will occur next is the hour of temptation, testing and trial that will occur to everyone on the planet earth.   This very clearly says that the church cannot be present upon the earth or this verse would not be accurate anymore.  The church’s presence on the earth’s surface during the trial would either cause the first part of the verse to become a lie or the last part of the verse to be a lie and that does not make any sense to me how people could explain it to be something else.

If you go through the New Testament carefully, it might help you to see where the Greek word “keep” is used and how it primarily means to take hold of something to never let it go.   I’ll give you an example of this:

  • Joh 14:21  He that hath my commandments, and “keepeth” them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

You see even in this verse it says that a man that hears the Bible is not the one that will benefit from it.  He must “Keep” it which means grab hold firmly and not let go or let it slip away for God’s Words to be effective.  To take hold and not let go sounds very much like a rapture in this Revelation 3:10 description.  To rapture or to catch up or catch away is clearly God taking hold of His people and not letting them go.   This is what will happen to the church members that have kept God’s Word firmly within their hearts and not let them go.   It is a conditional rapture event.  Not everyone that called Him Lord will be taken.  It is only those that made Him Lord and put His Word on the inside firmly that will be taken up.  Can you now see how Revelation 3:10 is describing a rapture event before the time of trial?  It is literally impossible for the church to on the planet and not be in the group “all the world” that will be tested.   This literally means that since God has “kept” us from this hour that we must be in heaven.  Those are the only two choices for our location.  Based upon the meaning of the word “kept” as being a transition of state or position, there is really no way for a Christian that loves the Word of God to not be carried away from the pending world disasters.  I could literally go on and on about this but that was enough for one Bible lesson.  I hope and pray that you have gathered some wisdom on the timing of the rapture event from what was taught to us from God’s Word today.  The primary goal of this lesson was to help build your faith in a pre-tribulation rapture event.  I at least hope that you were encouraged how to go and search to see more verses like this one today in the Bible.   I’m not sure when my next Bible lesson will occur on this subject or any other right now.  I would appreciate your prayers if you know how to pray in the spirit as Ephesians 6:18 teaches.  I thank you all and I will also remember you in my prayers today.  Be Blessed Always.

If you would like to continue reading in this series, please click “Part 6“.

Understanding the Eucharist! Fellowshipping with the Body and the Blood of Christ! Part 2

Communion4(Ver 1.1) This is Part 2 in a Bible study series on the subject of the Eucharist.  This subject is also commonly called receiving “communion” in many church services.  Other common terms used to describe the Eucharist are the “Lord’s Supper”, the “Lord’s Table” and it is even mistakenly called the “Last Supper” by some.  Other preachers call it the “meal that heals” but that will not be my focus today.  I did a Bible lesson a long time ago on this subject and received another question concerning it and this will be a follow-up to that initial lesson with new details that requires your understanding.   If you have not read the first lesson in this series, I would suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1” first and then continue with this lesson to get the full impact of the teaching message.   Lesson 1 presented a radical new spiritual perspective on the subject of communion and the Eucharist.  The primary emphasis of that lesson was for us not to focus on just the natural elements or eating or drinking something physical in an ignorant religious ritualistic way to satisfy or appease the works of the flesh or the views of others around us using peer pressure to get us to participate.  We should rather find out what the elements and the actions represent and then learn why we are doing them in order to derive any spiritual benefits from acting in faith to God’s Word.  I know there are many that struggle with that belief and these still do not understand how to combine the act of partaking with the reason for doing the act and that is why I am teaching in this manner.  People need to learn that doing right things without right motivations, understanding and reasoning will be vain religious attempts to please God with no value or rewards.   I’d like to give you a definition from the dictionary of the term Eucharist to begin this lesson:

  • Eucharist: The Christian ceremony commemorating the Last Supper, in which bread and wine are consecrated and consumed.

As you can read from this definition the Eucharist is said to be a Christian ceremony.  Christians perform this ceremony but we will soon discover that this act is also imitated and perverted by the devil in many other false religious types of ceremonies.   A ceremony is defined as a formal occasion typically one celebrating a particular event or anniversary.   What we learn from this definition is that this is a planned occasion using planned items (bread and wine), planned actions (drinking and eating) and that this event involves willing planned participants that are present.   It is also interesting to note that this event is stated to be a ceremony that commemorates the “Last Supper” and that is true and simultaneously not true depending upon your point of view and application.   What I will say is that there is a connection between the two even though they are not the same events.   I guess I should stop and give you the definition for “commemorate”.  This word means “to recall and show respect for something or someone in a ceremony”.   That definition actually has great merit to what the rest of this lesson will be focused on.  But I do want to still stress that the Eucharist or the communion is not the Last Supper but rather just a recollection or memory celebrating its fulfillment.  The “Last Supper” and the “Eucharist” are actually two different suppers within two different covenants as we will discover as we continue to research these subjects in the Bible.

DISCOVERING COMMUNION VERSES

I would like to emphasize that the word “Eucharist” is not technically found in the Bible.   It is a theological term used to label an event described in the Bible much like the theological term “rapture” is used to define another stated event described in the Bible.   Please do not get caught up or distracted with finding or not finding a theological term and miss the lessons found in the Bible about the term.   I will tell you that the English term “Eucharist” has its roots in the Greek word G2169 EUCHARISTIA.   This word is used in 15 verses in the N.T. and was usually translated as a form of “thanksgiving” or “giving thanks”.   That seems to teach us that Eucharist participation should contain the attitude of “thankfulness” to God.  I firmly believe that and I hope that you will take hold of that and plant it within your heart going forward.

There are several ways to find scriptures on this subject and I will go over a few to help you get started.  One method of finding verses is to search the Bible for key words of the elements of the event.   For example we should be able to find “unleavened”, “bread”, “wine” or even a “cup” that holds the wine.   We could also search and try to find the direct word “communion”.   However, I want to teach you that the term “communion” is only found in the KJV Bible a limited number of times concerning this same event.   This English word “communion” comes from the Greek word G2842 that literally means “partnership”, “participation”, “communication” or “social intercourse”.    This Greek word is also translated as “fellowship”.  For example in this verse in Acts it was translated as fellowship with a direct connection next to the partaking of bread within the church:

  • Act 2:42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

The English term “fellowship” is the Greek word that is also translated as “communion” in other N.T. verses.   As you can see this term appears to be separate from the breaking of the bread by the inclusion of the word “and”.  However this word is still immediately followed with the partial description of the Eucharist where bread is broken and passed among the church members.   God appears to me to be linking these two things together for a reason.   Please notice after the description of “breaking of bread” there is an additional connection with “prayers”.  I would like you to consider that prayer should be a linked fellowship (communion) with God according to this verse.  What I can see being developed in this verse is that taking the bread and wine should be done with the same reverential attitude of fellowship (communion) with God as in our time of prayer.   Does prayer have anything to do with being thankful?   If you believe like I do that it does then this links us back into the subject of “Eucharist” again.  I hope that you can see how God linked these three subjects intimately together.  We will arrive at a better description of this “communion” as we continue.  Let’s move to another verse found in the New Testament that further helps to confirm what I have just alluded to:

  • 1Co 10:16  The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

Here we find one of the primary reasons why this formal church ceremonial practice is often called “communion”.   Here in this verse God associates two different things that are present during the ceremony together with two other things that are not physically present during the ceremony.   I’d like you to take note of what this verse is teaching.   God is saying when you take the cup of wine (physically present) it is representative of you participating with the shed blood of Christ (not physically present).   I emphasize the fact again that I said “representative” because we do not literally drink His blood.  I know there are many people who believe that as we drink the juice or wine that it is transformed miraculously into the blood of Christ but that is not what the Bible teaches us as you should have learned this from the first lesson but this will be further confirmed with other witnesses as we continue.  Bread is the second element being emphasized by God to be broken and this bread (physically present) was representative of the body of Christ (not physically present).  What God is doing is taking naturally seen elements and using them to symbolically teach us about unseen spiritual elements and I seriously hope you comprehend the differences between physical and spiritual realities.

I could do a long lesson on what the specific elements represent today but that is not my primary emphasis.  I will introduce the fact that the bread is always stated to be unleavened.   Unleavened bread is simply a basic pure wheat cracker.  Unleavened bread is considered to be unadulterated bread and not bread that has been corrupted with other additive ingredients.  Leaven is a form of bread additive that according to Jesus causes the whole pure substance to become tainted.   Jesus taught us a lot on this subject in the Gospels.  Jesus warned the disciples to beware of the “leaven” of the Pharisees (Mat 16:6).   Jesus explained this leaven to be symbolically a substance of false teachings and hypocrisy.  If I had more time I would explain this in more depth and perhaps that will come in a future lesson.   The wine is always based on the fruit juice coming from the crushed grape and that is all symbolic of the blood of Jesus coming from the body of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Grape juice is even called the blood of the fruit in Genesis 49:11 and Deuteronomy 32:14.   Both of these are natural elements that symbolize and point us to the greater spiritual truths found in Jesus and if you want to learn more about them you can search your Bible for their keywords and read what they say.   If you do not understand any of these verses you are free to ask questions about them.

I want to highlight that in this verse in 1 Corinthians God says that when we eat and drink these two natural physical items (bread and wine) that we are “communing” with two unseen spiritual realities.   As I have repeatedly said this communing should be done with an attitude of thankfulness to God for giving to us what we did not deserve to receive.  These unseen gifted items clearly represent the resurrected eternal body of Christ and the shed blood poured out from His mortal body (John 3:16).   How can we commune with the blood of Jesus by physically drinking literal wine from a cup?   How can we commune with the body of Christ by eating a piece of literal bread?  You see those are excellent questions to consider and we need to learn that the only way we can do this is by gratefully setting our mind upon His shed blood and His body as we drink and eat.   Correct reflection and recollection are the keys for spiritual participation to occur.  This is exactly why God instructs the church in Colossians 3:2 to set their minds on things above (blood and body of Jesus) and not on the things down here (bread and wine).   Jesus Christ is above in heaven and the bread and wine are literally here on the earth.  Which ones do you believe are more important now?  This is all critical information to understand.   Let’s proceed to another verse in the N.T. concerning communion:

  • 1Co 10:21  Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.

Here is a verse that compares the church’s participation with eating and drinking the communion to be the antithesis or opposite of eating from the “table of devils”.    What we discover is that the church communion is called us eating from the “Lord’s Table” and that is the first major point to understand.   This is another reason why some churches call the Eucharist the “Lord’s Table”.   Can we literally sit at the Lord’s Table?   Stop and ask yourself where the Lord is right now?   Isn’t Jesus the Lord seated in heaven right now?   How then can we sit at the Lord’s Table up in heaven to eat and commune with Him?   I think you can see what I am doing by asking basic questions that need to be answered.

Anytime we sit at the “Lord’s Table” we are expecting to partake of His meal and food.  If we are seated at the Lord’s Table then we are in His presence and that means we are supposed to be communing with Him.   If God is a Spirit, is this a natural meal or a spiritual meal?  These are obviously symbolic figurative expressions and they are not to be taken literally while we are still physically present on this earth during the church age.   In order to fully understand these statements we need to examine the context more closely.   Reading in the preceding verses you should find that God was speaking of the natural people of the earth who were sacrificing their eatable offerings to idols.   This is a common practice in many foreign religions still today.  For example Buddhism still offers food to their statue gods.  God is basically synonymizing this eating of sacrificed idol food with eating from the table of spiritual devils.   Devils are real beings but they are clearly revealed to be unseen spiritual entities.   It is plain to me based upon this information that partaking of communion is the positive antithesis of the negative of eating natural elements sacrificed to devils.   This is a fascinating chapter to consider and learn from.  God basically says within the context that natural things are not the things that are important.  It is the spiritual forces behind the natural things being worshiped that need to raise the level of attention and concern for the participant.   This was one of the main points from lesson one and I just tried to show you that there are other witnesses in the Bible to what I taught previously.

Also within the context of this verse is a description of the priests of Israel which ate from the sacrificed items within the temple of Israel.   What we are learning from these repeated patterns is that the natural food items are insignificant but the focused attention of the spirit or spirits that they are being offered to is very significant.   Have you ever considered partaking of the “communion” or the “Eucharist” to be eating a sacrificial offering to God?   I believe after reading this context you should reevaluate your reason for your participation.   If it is not for the praise and worship of God then it could be misdirected.

DIRECTIONS OF CORRECTION

We will now shift our focus to a few new subjects and go through scriptures starting with God’s directions of correction written to the church at Corinth.   In this letter written to the church we are informed and firmly warned about acts of participating in the breaking of bread and the drinking of the wine that are very direct and to the point.   What we will soon observe occurring in this church was the mishandling of an intended righteous action.  Any good act or truth can be perverted into error by the human application of unbalanced extremism.   What you will find that was occurring in this warning was an example of combined human extremism with their human ignorance bringing God’s condemnation, rebuke and judgment upon their own heads.    You should be able to quickly recognize this as you read the verves:

  • 1Co 11:23  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
  • 1Co 11:24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
  • 1Co 11:25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
  • 1Co 11:26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
  • 1Co 11:27  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
  • 1Co 11:28  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
  • 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.
  • 1Co 11:31  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

The context here is rich with valuable information.   I included several verses that are not usually included because they must not be ignored.   For example, the final verse that I gave you was where God writes through Paul “If we judge ourselves, we should not be judged”.   These are much ignored statements in the modern extreme Grace message.   I rarely hear any modern Grace preachers teach that we need to judge our own thoughts, motivations, spoken words and actions in order not to be judged by God.   But, that is clearly the Word from God for us right here and right now!   I know this because God speaks of us judging ourselves within the context of us partaking of the communion in church.   Clearly these are warnings written to saved church people.  Perhaps your church has eliminated communion along with the personal judging and that would be a clear sign to me that you are in the wrong church.  Perhaps your church still takes communion but has eliminated the context message of being a self-judge of your own actions.  You cannot separate one subject from the other simply because you do not want to view them together.  Believe in the whole of scripture or die with the selective part; it is your choice to make.

You can clearly read the context before these scriptures and see that Paul was rebuking the church in Corinth for getting drunk and having a party with the bread and wine in church.  They are rebuked and asked “Don’t you have a house to eat and drink in?”   In other words God’s communion was not there in church to fill your natural belly to eliminate your physical hunger or thirst.  This church was abusing the purpose for the whole ceremony being present.   God gives us a prime example of wrong human motivation for participating in communion.  This church has clearly misapplied wrong reasons and neglected the purpose for the communion.  This plainly proves to us that wrong motivations do not make right actions correct.   This again was what I have been attempting to teach in these lessons and God continues to place additional emphasis from His Word to confirm it.   Let’s go back and look at the first verse that I gave you and go through them verse by verse.

  • 1Co 11:23  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

Paul starts out by telling the Corinth church in verse 23 that what he gave to them was what was given to him from the Lord.  Paul was not speaking of any literal bread or literal wine.  Paul was referring to spiritual things and the revelation of God’s Word that Jesus had personally given to him.   If you do not understand that you will soon be lost in the rest of the discussion in the chapter.   Let me give you another statement of rebuke written to this church:

  • 1Co 14:36  What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?

You can obviously see that Paul told them the Word of God came unto them and did not come through them.   This is normally God’s methods.  God gives to a teacher His word and tells him or her to go and tell my people what I have said.  This pattern is established repeatedly in the Old Testament and this pattern is continued in the New Testament.  Not everyone is gifted to teach, not everyone is gifted to preach, not everyone is gifted to prophesy and not everyone is gifted to evangelize.    Let’s continue with the rest of the first verse.

There are two basic realms of topic being discussed in this chapter 11 of 1 Corinthians.   The first and primary focus is upon spiritual things and the other secondary focus is upon natural things.   In order to distinguish which is which you must read, study and rightly divide each and every statement.   For example in verse 23 Paul starts out speaking of spiritual things from the Spirit of God and the Word of God and then at the end of the verse he finishes with a natural example of Jesus Christ partaking of the literal unleavened bread at the Passover meal which often called the Last Supper.   This is an excellent time to consider a new fact.   The Jewish Passover meal was often called the “Feast of Unleavened Bread” (Exo 12:17) and this was the forerunner for the communion/Eucharist in the modern church.  You see I do not believe that Christians are called to revert backwards to become Jewish in the natural flesh by observing the description or application of the letter of the O.T. law.   Therefore what the Jewish people did to observe the Passover is not for us in the church today.  However, I do believe that most of the Jewish feasts and festivals were designed by God to point us to Jesus Christ and therefore we should at least learn about them even if we do not participate in them.

The number one problem that I found with the O.T. Jews observing the Jewish Passover feast was the fact that almost everyone did it blindly without asking God or searching to find out why they were doing it and what it all meant.  Don’t get me wrong they did know that they were celebrating God’s deliverance of the people of Israel from Egypt when they observed the Passover.  But there was so much more than that linked to the ceremony in typology and symbolism than only a natural deliverance from a natural oppressor.   Like I have said in many other lessons, God’s O.T. typology points us to Jesus our spiritual deliverer that has freed us from satanic spiritual oppression and captivity.  If I had the time to teach the Passover today we would see how Jesus is found in almost every action and every element in some hidden form.

  • 1Co 11:24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

You can clearly begin to understand in this statement how the Passover symbol of bread in verse 24 represented Christ’s body that was broken for us.  Wow, Jesus makes it very self-evident to me that we need to take a closer look at all of the items found in the Passover supper and see how Jesus can be seen in each of them.    That would probably be a good future Bible lesson for me to do work on.  I want you to notice in verse 24 the reason Jesus states that we should eat the bread in the church today.   Jesus says explicitly that when we eat it we need to “remember” Him and what the bread represents.   The emphasis is placed upon the “remembrance” of Christ and not the natural bread eating alone.  In other words the greater priority is for our mind to be exercised to intentionally recall what was done for us by the broken body of Jesus.   This literally means to place the work of Jesus in the forefront of your mind and your thoughts while eating.   What God implies is what I have been repeatedly emphasizing.  When there is no mental recollection or reflection of Christ then the eating of the bread is worthless.   Do you understand the importance of what we are thinking when we do something in church?   What if you were thinking of your schedule tomorrow at work?   What if you were thinking of your boyfriend or girlfriend?  You could be thinking of a million different things that take away from any benefits of participating in the communion.   Jesus basically said it matters what your mind is focused on.

  • 1Co 11:25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

Let’s look at verse 25.   Here God describes the cup but more importantly was the wine in the cup.   Jesus was again informing us that the wine and the cup represent greater spiritual truths.   Do you remember what we are talking about here?   God is describing the Last Supper again when Jesus takes the cup at the end of the table that was reserved only for the coming prophet and says this is the New Covenant in my shed blood.   Wow, that is an awesome bit of information often ignored.   You see in the traditional Passover meal there was always one very special cup that was filled with wine but was never touched by anyone participating in the ceremony.  The cup is filled with wine and the door of the house is opened to allow the prophet Elijah to come in to take the cup.  This cup was a designated symbolic reference for the one that was to come announcing the final deliverance.  It was very clear to me that the Jewish people knew that they expected someone to come by this act but yet when He actually arrived on the earth they killed Him not understanding their Passover meanings.    I could spend a lot of time on the subject of Passover but yet that is not my goal so I will continue to talk about how these two elements of bread and wine from Passover were passed on to Christians to do a better job at discovering and remembering what they meant.

  • 1Co 11:26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

This is what I take away from what I have read so far.  Nowhere in the N.T. is the church instructed to participate in the Old Testament Passover meal going forward.   This old Passover supper was a meal that pointed the people of Israel to their coming Messiah.  Since Jesus has already come, died and was raised from the dead that meal has been fulfilled and the only two parts of that meal that were carried forward into the church was the partaking of the blood and the body of Christ for us to remember what He has already done for us in the past.   One meal in the Old Covenant was a forward prophetic symbolic supper and the other meal in the New Covenant is a reversal backward symbolic supper in remembrance of the death that has previously been accomplished by Jesus.  This was pretty clearly stated here at the end of verse 26.    Supper methods and elements have changed dramatically and a new perspective of looking at them was modified between the old supper to the new supper, but yet the bread and the wine elements remained true and constant and even unchanging symbols for both experiences and these represented the body and the blood of Christ the central figure of each.  You may recall that Jesus is described to be the unchanging one that is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8) and this is revealed to us by the same unchanging elements being passed forward from the O.T. to the N.T. even though they are two different meals.   Are you learning anything today?  I hope that you are.

Look at the first part of verse 26 and refresh your mind to what is being said.   The Holy Spirit through Paul writes that we should participate in eating the bread and drinking from the cup but yet God does not give us any indication to the frequency of how often this should occur.   I know some churches that do it once a month.  Others do it every time they meet together.    Therefore, there should be no condemnation for how often it is done as long as it is not ignored and never performed.    This is in sharp contrast to the law of God in the O.T.   The Passover meal was done on specific days of a specific month during the year only once.  This was perpetually performed every year by the Lord’s command.  Only after fulfillment was the Passover to cease for the people in the church.   Since the Passover was fulfilled by Christ this would indicate that this meal should have ceased for Christians but yet by law those in the Jewish religion are still bound to faithfully perform it annually even this year.  I think that is a sad state of lessons to learn from.   It teaches us we better learn as much as we can about why we are partaking of the bread and the wine today while we still can.  If we do it blindly like the Jewish people in ignorance we might be surprised to discover it was a futile religious act.

  • 1Co 11:27  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
  • 1Co 11:28  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
  • 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.

Because of the length of this lesson, I’m going to quickly go though the other verses that I have given you from verse 27 to 30 because they all go together with what was just taught by God.   Verses 27 through 30 are simply ignored by modern extreme grace preachers.   In their ignorance they choose to look over a profound warning given only to Christians in church eating and drinking the elements of communion unworthily.   I know a sinner could come in to visit the church and partake of the symbolic elements in ignorance and yet I do not believe that is what God is referring to, based upon the context.

We can discover the target audience for this warning by observing the statements being made.   For example in verse 30 God says many are sick and weak “among you”.  The target audience of “you” must be the church and not the unsaved world since the entire letter was only written for the church’s benefit.   True the unsaved sinner might be among the church and even read the letter but God would have reworded the statement differently if it was only written about unsaved people.  Keep reading down in the next verse 31 and discover the fact that Paul includes himself in the subject statement with the personal plural pronoun “we”.   We represents a combined reference of union between those previously called “you” in verse 30 with the also “me” (the writer) in verse 31.   I’m going to say that again for some to grasp, Paul places himself in equivalence with those that were previously being spoken as “you” in verse 30.  That fact makes the warning clearly church centered and not unsaved world directed.  What Paul says is that if “We” (you and I) judge ourselves we will not be judged and that takes me back to what God said before.  Those in the church are given the responsibility for judging what they are doing, what they are thinking, what they are saying, eating, drinking and etc. or God plainly states that they will be judged one way or the other.

What is this judgment being spoken of in verse 31 and what are the consequences for being judged?   The answer is clearly stated coming from verses 27 to 30.  Many among you (the church) are sick, weak and sleep.  Sick and weak are physical deficits from being whole, well and strong.   Sleep on the other hand is a symbolic representation for physical natural death.   This is very commonly used in the N.T. to differentiate between the “eternal separation” from God described as the “second death” in Revelation 21:8.   I do not have the time to teach this fact fully about how when the Christian dies the body stays on the earth in a state of dormancy (aka sleep) in the ground but the living spirit of the saved person is found to be present with the Lord (2 Cor 5:8).   Let’s go back up in the verses to learn how they are connected with verse 31.

In verses 28 we are instructed to “examine” ourselves.   In verse 31 we were instructed again to “judge” ourselves.   Both verbs (examine and judge) are synonymous commands from God.  The Greek term examine (G1381) means to test or to try.   To try is a form of the word “trial” where a judge is always present.  If you are the one that is “tried”, God is basically saying that it is wisdom if you become your own judge while you can so that He does not have to do it for you later.   Go back to verse 27 and see how this trial is laid out before you.  In beginning this verse there is the stated crime of participating in the communion ceremony by partaking of the bread and the wine unworthily.   This Greek word (G371) translated as “unworthily” literally means someone who does something lacking any respect or reverence for what they are doing.  These are the acts of a mocker or even a person that mimics or imitates without the correct attitude of worship.  Wow, that is pretty strong if you ask me.   God says these types of people were found guilty.  Uh oh?   Again we see the implied trial being stated.  There is a crime being committed and the verdict of guilt being handed down.  Who is the judge?  There has to be a judge!

What God is doing is sandwiching the consequences for not being our own judge in between the commands to do it or else.   This is not rocket science but yet churches and preachers explain it away as being inconsequential and unimportant.   However, I will repeat the warning for the slow to learn.    Do not eat or drink of the symbolic blood or the body of Christ Jesus without first examining and judging your own past actions, intentions and motivations and then if there is found anything that is not worthy to participate that would be a good time to ask God for forgiveness according to 1 John 1:9.   I am not going to debate ignorant Christians that try to teach 1 John 1:9 was not written to Christians and that Christians do not need to do this.   If you can read the verse and the context you will see plainly that this is not true.  John the writer includes himself in the personal pronoun “our” again being a “you and I’ designation.   If John was required to confess his sins before God then you and I are also required to do the same.  If you do not believe me that is not my problem.  I tried to teach you and you rejected it.

CONCLUSION

I believe that I have covered many new things that are rarely taught in modern churches.   I have tried to teach you about the constant “bread” and “wine” that did not change moving from the Old Testament to the New Testament.  I have alluded to the fact that this constant will not change nor ever cease even in the heavenly meal that is to come.  I have not addressed this meal yet but these two elements will be found present when we are gathered to partake of them at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.   So far I have mentioned three different meals all referred to as a supper in the Bible.  All of these are similar but all are completely different with increasing greater spiritual meanings.      One old Passover supper pointed us forward to the coming Messiah and the current Lord’s Supper within the New Covenant causes us to reflect backwards to what God did in Jesus Christ.   The future Supper to come is an entirely different subject and that will probably not be covered in this lesson series but may in a different new one.  I ended this lesson with God’s warning for doing something good and right with wrong reasons and I pray that you have learned this and take it to heart.    Thank you for taking the time to read and study the Bible and share what you have learned with your friends to help me spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.  God Bless!

Introduction to Divine Grace! Balancing the Grace Truth with the Fear of God Truth! Part 1

balancing the Word of God(Ver 1.1)  This is Part 1 in a series of basic Bible lessons on the infinitely important subject of God’s Divine Grace.  The subject of Divine Grace is by far one of the most significant found and emphasized by God in the New Testament but also one of the most misunderstood, overstated, exaggerated and unbalanced modern messages that I have found on TV, the internet and in many churches.  Any subject in the Bible can be taken to a position of errant inaccuracy causing the underlying true message to become lost.   Departing from a well-studied, thoroughly balanced, rightly divided, sound doctrinal view of God’s Word is a very dangerous but prevalent reality found in the church today.   The subject of Divine Grace is just one of these subjects found in the present church that has experienced this sad fact of extremism.  Many modern extreme Grace Bible teachers only teach a slanted selected fragment of the complete subject ignoring the rest of the Bible concerning sin, repentance, forgiveness, the fear of God, judgment, faith, holiness, sowing and reaping, deception, spirituality, carnality, being sprit led and the many other N.T. subjects which all must be taken into the full discussion equally.  Instead of doing this these Bible teachers are working very hard to explain these complementary subjects away or totally ignoring them all together.   I refuse to take that kind of narrow minded approach to such a broad important subject with so many other associated and linked matters being overlooked.   I will warn you up front that this will be one of the most significant Bible lessons never taught by many modern Bible teachers on the subject of Grace.   In fact, it will be so different that I may expect to receive several negative comments from my religious carnal readers who do not wish to see the spiritual truth of God’s Word.  I ask that you open your mind and spirit to receive from what the Bible has to say on this subject.

INTRODUCTION TO THE FEAR OF GOD

I’m going to begin this Grace Bible lesson series with an introduction to another very important Bible subject called “the fear of God”.  In this part of the Bible lesson I will be using a personal testimony from my life experiences that God used to help teach me to see things differently in the Bible about the subject of Grace than many other Christians.  Why am I starting a lesson on God’s Grace with the subject of the “fear of God”?  That is a great question and the reason that I do this is because this subject is so consistently ignored that it has become lost to the modern Christian.  In teaching with this approach I will have to battle an apparent Biblical surface text contradiction.  The subjects of the “fear of God” and “Grace” appear to be in direct opposition to each other.  Why should I fear God if God has given to me this free gift of divine grace and forgiven all of my sins?  Because people do not know how to correctly balance two opposing subjects is the primary reason they choose to ignore the one they do not like.  You are about to learn what these two directly opposing subjects mean when joined together correctly if you decide to continue to read the rest of this lesson.

The teaching of the “fear of God” is dramatically lacking and at times non-existent in the modern church.   It is a well-known fact that Christians today disregard this subject called the fear of God and have no driving desire to learn it.  The “Grace” message appeals to our flesh and that is more highly desirable for the normal Christian to seek after.  However, I’m one of those different types of Christians that likes to believe that we must balance all of the subjects found in the Bible together in order to correctly understand any of them?   This is why I have chosen to teach Grace by giving you an introduction and an overview to the subject of fear.  Let’s begin this part of the subject by determining how God defines “fear”?    Here is one N.T. Greek Word from Strong’s to begin with:

  • G5401
  • From a primary φέβομαιphebomai (to be put in fear); alarm or fright: – be afraid, + exceedingly, fear, terror.

This Greek word occurs in 44 verses of the New Testament.  There are 14 verses in the Gospels, 5 verses in Acts, 3 verses in the apocalyptic book of Revelation and the rest (22) in the letters written to the church.  G5401 is not a superbly popular word but it is well distributed throughout the N.T. and therefore should not be ignored.  I will begin my discussion of this Greek word by saying that I believe God’s definition of fear is based upon human awe and respect of His great power but that is not a complete and accurate definition based upon this Greek word’s usage.  I certainly do believe that a reverential fear of God is a very healthy part of a real Christian’s relationship with God.  I also believe that this reverential fear of God is a requirement and not just an optional condition placed in the mind of those that do not wish to see the truth.   Those that wish to explain away the subject of the fear of God do so by stating this fear is nothing but “reverence” and that is by far not an accurate representation of the word’s definition as you can see.

Reading from the Greek word definition given to us by Dr. Strong this Greek word means more than just giving God respect and goes to a deeper human response level of being afraid, to become fearful or even to be in terror of.  How does that fit your relationship with God?  I personally believe that if you have no real fear for God or of God then you really do not know Him very well.  God is described to be omnipotent and this simply means “all-powerful”.  Do you believe anyone else is more powerful than God?  I certainly do not believe that anyone else is even close.  Since you or I are not omnipotent it would be very foolish of us not to be in total awe of Him that is.

The Greek word G5401 or the Hebrew word H3374 translated as “fear” can be researched in the Strong’s dictionary/concordance to verify how they are defined and used.  Doing this research, will help us to better understand what these words mean.   For example, when Jesus came walking up to the boat with the disciples on the water in the darkness of night, they were described by God to be in “fear” (G5401) crying out “it is a ghost”.  Can you put yourself into their position and think how you might have reacted?  Does that story help you to see what this word “fear” means?  This word “fear” means to be un-expectantly terrified because this is not a normal/natural situation found in this life.   Matthew 14:26 describes this event and God uses this same Greek word G5401 to describe how the disciples reacted.  This Greek Word we will soon discover in the other parts of the N.T. is used by God to describe how we should react to God.  I will give you several examples to help you learn how God uses this word when speaking of Himself and our reaction to Him and His works.  It would be very wise of you to verify everything that I will say to you today for yourself using your own Bible and Strong’s dictionary.

Is “fear” always a negative or can it ever be viewed as a positive emotion or reaction?  What about physical pain?  Is physical pain a positive?  Can we agree that God created fear and pain as possible human benefits?  If God created the response of fear and the feeling of pain do they have a purpose for existence?  Is this purpose for our benefit or for our harm?  I believe that fear and pain should be viewed as positives and not a negative aspect of our life or our relationship with God.  You see if you did not have the sensation of pain you would not know to take your hand off of the hot stove.  Likewise if you do not fear big trucks and step out in front of one moving very fast, you could be found dead in just a very few moments.  Having fear of a greater power is healthy and normal and we should respect anything or anyone that is bigger than we are if we want to live a long well life.  But, this subject fear and terror is still a potential major conflict for the God revealed to be Love who displays and extends us Grace in the New Testament.   How do we balance “fear” with “love” and “grace”?

Perhaps you were raised by strict parents that loved you?  Did your parents ever discipline you when you did wrong?  Did they do this because they were bad parents or only because you were being bad?  Could it be that they were good parents for spanking you?   Love was always my motivation for disciplining my child to instruct him which way to go.   You see the Bible says “He that spares the rod, hates his child” (Prov 13:24).  It is only a parent that does not discipline their child that proves to God they do not love their children.   This is the main reason we have a generation of bad grown-ups doing evil in the world.  No one took the time to train them in the right ways to live.  Because I was bigger and stronger than my child, my child’s respectful fear for his loving father was a positive influence and this fear of getting a spanking was a positive influence and not a negative.  This is the way that we should become with our own God and spiritual heavenly Father.  Let me take you to a New Testament verse written to the church and see what God says on this subject:

  • Heb 12:9  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

This description is exactly what I was attempting to teach.  We should learn to respect our God because He loves us enough to bring us correction.  This Greek word for reverence is not “fear” but it contains implied fear in order to give someone reverential status.  God is basically informing us that we need to become aware of His correction in our lives because this is just a normal part of the healthy relationship between the teacher/master to a lesser student/disciple in need of guidance.   Perhaps you do not believe that you need any divine guidance and that will become your downfall soon.  The Bible very clearly tells us that “those that are LED by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom 8:14).  How can anyone lead someone else without also bringing correction when they stray from the instructions?  I do not see how that is possible so pay attention to what God is teaching us.  We need to learn from the parent analogy that fear, correction and judgment coming from God is a necessary and healthy part of divine power, grace, love and guidance.  Without all of these subjects being found present there is no need for any of them.  I’m not sure if you understand what I just said, but it was very profound and important.

Numerous teachers today in the modern Grace message teach that every sin is completely covered by the shed blood of Jesus (TRUTH) and that there is nothing that they or any other Christian can do by omission or commission, good, bad or indifferent that will cause them to depart from God’s Grace or to fall under God’s divine judgment (LIE).  In other words they are teaching Christians that God never judges them because He has judged Jesus and therefore, God does not love them enough to bring them any correction for their ways.  They have foolishly taken the truth reality of the perfection of Jesus to mean that they are now perfect because of what Jesus has done for them and that is definitely not a sound Bible truth.  This very popular belief places all of the responsibility of us remaining a Christian on God and omits any human influence, participation, contribution, responsibility, freewill choice or satanic involvement for deception.   This extreme grace doctrine is simply a newer modified version of a very old doctrinal lie called “Once Saved Always Saved” (OSAS).  They have placed salvation and eternal security totally and completely in God’s hands while ignoring what God says in His Word for us to do after we are saved.   I always ask them, if God controls the outcome of the Christian race then there is no need for our effort to run in it (Heb 12:1).  Therefore, there are no consequences for quitting, no disqualifications for cheating, no need for correction and certainly no need to fear God.  That doctrinal belief sounds satanically inspired to me and I pray that you begin to see it in the same light.

Eternal security and divine personal safety are both valid parts of the N.T. Gospel message but they are not everything that the Spirit of God taught me from my life experiences or from what is written in the Holy Bible.   Try not to misunderstand what I just said.  We do not base our faith or our beliefs of God solely upon our personal experiences in this life, but we can use them as examples if they align with the words of God in the Bible to teach others a lesson.  That is what I will attempt to do today.   I’ll tell you about what happened to my family and then you can judge if I am speaking the truth or if I am just here trying to deceive you.    Will you do that?  Can I count on you to be an unbiased, just and fair judge of what I teach you today?

When I was a young man my father and mother went to a Bible school here in the United States.  They were in their second year of Bible training with a great man of God teaching the class when suddenly the Holy Spirit interrupted the class giving the Bible teacher a supernatural spiritual vision.  This Bible teacher saw a cloud of death hovering over the head of just one student in class and that man was my father.  This vision from the Holy Spirit was a warning sent to my father.  The Bible teacher being very concerned stopped the class and called my father to the front and prayed for him and asked him to come see him privately in his office later.  My father basically did not understand the importance of what God had just tried to do for him and he ignored the request to come see the man of God privately.  My father’s refusal to become obedient was the continuation and not the beginning of the downfall of my father.   You see when the man of God gives anyone a message from God and they disobey it, they are not disobedient to the messenger but rather to God and His message.   A few weeks later my father collapsed at home, was rushed by ambulance and went into a coma at the local hospital.  The doctors did the best they could to save him but my father died suddenly in the hospital as a young man in his forties and never finished that year at Bible school.  All of this happened despite the fact that my father was a Christian, the pastor of several churches, the graduate from one 4 year Bible College going to another Bible school to further his education of God and the Bible and all of us living in the church age called the dispensation of God’s Grace.

I do not believe that my father was not a Christian or that he did not go to heaven when he died.  I am convinced that he was born again and a Spirit-filled preacher man.  But the fact that God gave another Spirit filled preacher man a clear vision to help warn my father of what was going to happen weeks before it happened is a major problem for the modern “no fault”, “no fear of God”, “no responsibility”, “no sin”, “no repentance” and “no judgment” Grace message.  Every time I hear some preacher trying to tell me what people do today doesn’t matter for them being a real saved Christian living long in this world causes me righteous anger knowing what I know now about my father, God and the Bible.  I believe you can see why I feel this way but let’s continue to read the end of the story.

My family and I learned the rest of the story after the funeral.  The man of God that was given the vision’s warning told my mother privately that God had showed him that my father was in sin not walking in love towards certain people.  This man of God was shown what to tell my father to instruct him to change in order to not die this premature death.   My father being a young man was definitely not in the season or time for his death.  Since my father showed no fear and ignored the warning and did not humble himself to go and get the message from God, he died exactly as it was shown to the man of God.   Some will try to say this was not a warning but a prophecy for something that could not be changed.   Others will try to say the preacher lied about the vision or that my father was not really a Christian.  Some will try to tell you that my mother lied to me and that none of this really happened this way.  That is what one extreme grace preacher tried to tell me and then he unfriended me on Facebook like a real Christian brother would do walking in love.  He definitely did not want to hear the truth but that is his choice and it will become yours shortly.  I stand by everything that I just said, and I can show you the death certificate, let you listen to recorded testimonies and name every name that was involved giving dates and locations, but what difference would that make if you don’t want to see the truth.

Does this story of my father’s death sound like any other Bible story to you?  When I heard this being described by my mother and later learned more of the Bible it sounded exactly like a story given to us by God in the Old Testament with very similar circumstances.  I’ll use this story found in the Bible to help us see how God aligns the Bible with the story of my father:

  • 2Ki 20:1  In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.

Have you ever studied this Bible story?  Isn’t this basically what the Lord tried to do for my father?  God sent a prophet with a vision that said you are going to die in both cases.  What happened to this king after Isaiah the prophet visited him with this very comparable message of pending death sent from God?   You did know that my father was a king, didn’t you?  Perhaps I did not mention that in my testimony.   Maybe you have read in 1Timothy 6:15 that Jesus Christ is called the “King of kings”.  Who exactly are these kings that Jesus is King over?  If you don’t understand who these kings are go read Revelation 5:10 and find out it is God’s church who will reign with Christ Jesus during the millennium.  If you think that God does not still send His prophets to His kings when they do wrong you better wake up and learn you’re not God and He is still the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8).  Notice what King Hezekiah did that my father did not do and then see what God does in response:

  • 2Ki 20:2  Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying,
  • 2Ki 20:3  I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.

The king seeks his God with his whole heart.  Notice that the king’s response was “fear based” and precisely what my father should have done.  What exactly do you believe would have happened if Hezekiah would have not feared the message of God or would have ignored the prophet’s warning like my father did?  Not taking the warning of God seriously and giving God respect will always result in what was warned to happen, occurring.  God is omniscient and that simply means God knows the future before it occurs, but that does not mean that the future cannot be changed.  What did I just say?  Did you know that your future is not set in stone?  That is what I am trying to teach you today.   People like to think there is an appointed time for a man to die and nothing will change that, but that is just not what the Bible says.  My father’s future outcome was not set in stone either and if he would have made the right choices he would not have died.  We learn this fact from this profound story here in 2 Kings.   God states emphatically that the future for King Hezekiah was going to be his quick death.  God offered the king no deals nor made any other options available to him.   But Hezekiah seeks God’s face and notice what happens next:

  • 2Ki 20:4  And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying,
  • 2Ki 20:5  Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD.
  • 2Ki 20:6  And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.

I hope that you can see that the previously prophesied demise of the king was changed and Hezekiah’s life on the earth was extended by a further allowance of God’s Divine Grace.  God said to His prophet to go back and tell the king that I have heard his prayer and saw his TEARS!  That was a clear sign of the king reaching out to God with an attitude of repentance asking for forgiveness.   Didn’t God initiate His divine grace to Hezekiah by first warning him about his death before it happened?   If God would have kept silent and given him no warning the king would have died and that would have been justice for his sins.  It is very clear to me that it was not the warning sent from God that was going to kill him.  It was the warning sent from God that was designed to help the king make the necessary corrections.  This is exactly the same truth for my father’s story.  God’s warning was intended to turn my father around like King Hezekiah.  Do you understand this point of the existence of God’s grace in these warnings?  You will find this truth becoming clearer as we continue to study this subject.  Grace will always be God’s initiated involvement in our life especially when we do not deserve it.

What happened after the warning was initiated by God?  Isn’t the continuation of further Grace placed into the hands of the men that were warned by God?   You see I view the subject of Grace to be like a heavenly/earthly tennis match.  I see God always serving the first Grace Ball at humans, but then it is the correct human response to this serve that determines another round of Grace.   Please do not accuse me of blasphemy for reducing God’s Grace to be like a tennis match.  I am simply attempting to teach you the fact that there is always God’s Grace that is extended first, followed by man’s reaction to that grace and then if it is appropriate in God’s eyes, God will extend them more grace.   Didn’t God show the king additional grace and mercy by changing his prophesied future?  I believe He did.  This lesson of Hezekiah is definitely a valid story of indirect or unstated divine grace and that is why I am including it today in this lesson on grace and the fear of God.

Can you agree with me that what God did for this O.T. king was an undeserved gift and an act of His divine grace designed to help avert disaster?  If yes, what was missing from my father’s life story that was different from this King’s story?  Both men were in a covenant with God and both were sent a prophet from God with a message for their coming death.  But one man in the Bible believed the message in fear and sought God diligently and the other obviously did not.  You have to throw the Bible away and simply call me a liar for telling you this story that happened to my father well over 30 years ago.  The man of God must have made up the vision to his Bible class, my father, and my mother which started this whole chain of alleged deception.   My mother then propagated the alleged lie to me and the alleged deception of Satan is continuing by me telling you the same story.  That is certainly one way of looking at it attempting to explain it away if you do not want to believe the truth.  I give you no proof or evidence for what I just told you other than this corresponding lesson from 2 Kings.

You are now going to be forced to judge if these stories that I just told you are true or not.  Start with the Bible story and determine if God lied?  Then review the links of the Bible to the story of my father.  Finally, consider the following questions.  What is my motivation for telling you this story of my father?  Can you think of any benefit that I gain from it personally?  If I do not gain anything from telling these stories then consider how or what you would either gain or lose from knowing them and believing them or rejecting them?  How, would these stories cause you to be deceived to not know the real truth?  What benefit would be gained by Satan over you if what I said is true and you don’t believe it?  Then reverse that question and say what benefit would Satan gain over you if the story is false and you do believe it?  You really need to use your brain and think when you read my Bible lessons.   I just can’t do your thinking for you!  What advantage does Satan gain if you believe the modern extreme Grace message that teaches us nothing we do matters in this world?  I can see that Satan’s major advantage is your ignorance of the truth.   You need to learn the truth or this lack of knowledge might be the open door that allows Satan to take you down.

I believe what we must discover from these stories is the fact that both Hezekiah and my father were warned by God’s initiation of Grace but because Hezekiah made the wiser choice to fear God the outcome of his death was stopped by God’s additional extension of divine grace.  The story of Hezekiah teaches us a lot about the modern subject of grace found in the New Testament.  What we are learning is that further grace from God is given out to men conditionally based upon the correct actions of these men and their attitude of respectful fear for God, His Word and His prophets.  This same Old Testament pattern is found in more than one place.  For example, Jonah another prophet of God was sent to warn Nineveh of their coming destruction.   The city of Nineveh repented and changed their ways and their destruction was also prevented by their wise actions.  What were the determining factors for the change of the prophet’s prediction not coming to pass in Nineveh?  I believe that we can draw from these examples several facts starting with all the warned people needed to possess the “fear of God” in order to obtain any further grace from God.  If no one would have feared God’s words, no one would have given the warning any second thought.  The next factor for receiving God’s grace was belief in God’s words of warning.  If no one believed what the prophet said then no one would have bothered to take the next step to seek God.  Finally, there was the factor of humility being present in the people warned that played a major role in them asking God for forgiveness with an attitude of repentance to change.   I am going to keep saying the same things in different ways to make sure you are grasping them.  These are the facts again that I learned from these Bible stories:

  1. The fear of God must be present to receive God’s initial grace.
  2. Faith in God’s Words must be present to receive God’ initial grace.
  3. Faith in God’s messenger/prophet is also a requirement to receive God’s initial grace.
  4. The humility to admit your error must be present to receive God’s initial grace.
  5. Asking God for forgiveness must be present to receive God’s additional grace.
  6. Repentance and change must be present to receive God’s additional grace.
  7. God’s grace is conditionally extended to man based upon their correct human response.
  8. Greater extensions of God’s grace are a progressive reality based upon correct human attitudes, responses and corrections.
  9. Grace can be rejected and lost by no fear of God being present, wrong human beliefs, wrong attitudes, and human pride.

The first eight truths in my list were factors apparently missing from the life of my father and you need to learn from them to make your own wise choices in this life.  Number 9 in the list was my father’s mistakes and again you need to learn to not repeat them.  I just gave you two O.T. examples where they made right choices and lived a longer life and my father’s N.T. example where he failed to receive correction from the Lord and died.   This is about the time I can hear people try to say “we are not under that covenant and the Old Testament does not apply to me”.   Don’t be ignorant and speak where you have no knowledge.  There are too many things that you don’t know to say the O.T. does not apply to you.   Everything that was revealed by God in the New Testament was first concealed in the Old Testament.  The O.T. is nothing but the N.T. covered and the N.T. is nothing but the O.T. exposed!  They are practically identical in many corresponding ways with one being totally a natural pattern in the Old and the other being a totally a repeated spiritual pattern in the New.   What I am attempting to teach is that if the fear of God existed in the O.T. it clearly must exist in the N.T. or God has changed.

THE FEAR OF GOD IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

If you still believe that we should not have any fear of God in the New Testament you seriously need to reread your Bible more closely.  God says too much for this subject to be ignored.   For example let’s continue this subject discussion transferring to the scriptures on the subject in only the New Testament.  Read these next four verses written to the people in the church and take note to what they say:

  • Act 13:16  Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.
  • 2Co 7:1  Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
  • Eph 5:21  Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
  • Heb 10:31  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

The Bible teaches us to let every truth be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses.  Therefore, I wanted to show you that the “fear of God” is directly mentioned in the New Testament in more than one place.  Pay close attention to see that these verses were written to Christians living in the age of Divine Grace and that they were written for us to learn from and to follow.  Did you notice what the first verse in my list in Acts 13:6 said?   Wasn’t Paul one of the first “Grace” preachers?   Who was Paul preaching this message of Grace to?   Did you see it?  Paul was preaching grace to Christians in the church that first and foremost “feared God”?   I thought Paul was the ultimate grace preacher that everyone today likes to claim to preach like?  I have heard more than one of these modern day Grace preachers say that  Paul got blasted by people in the church for preaching grace claiming that he was giving them a license to sin.  However I noticed a major problem that is not lining up in the N.T. with this modern day grace message, did you see it also?  Why are these modern extreme grace preachers NOT following Paul’s example in Acts?  Why do these modern grace preachers speak to men that do not fear God and still claim to be like Paul?   I believe that is one of the most profound things that I have taught you today.  Is your preacher teaching people that fear God?  If not the preacher is wrong or the people are wrong and do not fit the pattern given.

Did you notice that the other three verses that I listed were also all written by Paul?  Make no mistake that the fear of God is still a major factor in the true complete N.T. gospel message.  Consider why God sent a warning to my N.T. preacher father the same as he did to those in the O.T. like Hezekiah and Nineveh?  Didn’t God extend them all the same Grace filled opportunity to change?   Was not the same warning sent to my father that could have permitted him to turn and live?  If you are not understanding yet that God does not change and what has already happened in the past is that which will occur again you either need to open the eyes of your heart to see the truth fast or go read someone else’s Bible lessons that will scratch your itching ears.   It is just abundantly clear to me that the subject of the “fear of God” is still important for us to know.  But, for those that are still not believing Paul here is one command from the mouth of Jesus, God in the flesh spoken right before the beginning of the church age:

  • 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.

Jesus Christ is the revealed Head of the Church (Eph 5:23).  If you do not believe my words or Paul’s words that the fear of God is still a factor for your salvation, why don’t you begin to believe the words of your God?  In this verse Jesus clearly says “fear God” and do not “fear man”.  Do not fear those that can only kill the body but not your soul but fear Him that is able to do both.  This command will become significantly more important as I continue to teach.  Remember these words!  This verse is a statement not addressed directly to a people by name but rather by implication applies universally to every human saved or unsaved.   Those that do not wish to believe the “fear of God” command was spoken to them will attempt to explain it away as a statement spoken only to unsaved Jews.  However, if you read the context you should be able to see that this statement was made to the disciples of Jesus and that means the words apply to the future church more than they apply to the lost world or Jewish people but both are still relevant since none of the disciples were yet saved when this was said.   Consider the audience that received this message was mixed with those that feared God and those that did not.  Was not Judas present with the 12 when this was spoken?   Eleven of these disciples of Jesus became founders of the church but one betrayed Jesus because he lacked this quality called the “fear of God”.  Judas witnessed the same miracles of Jesus as the other 11.  Judas heard all the same preaching and teaching messages that the other 11 heard.  Judas saw Jesus walk on water, calm the storm and so much more.  But clearly Judas lacked the important feature of the fear of God and regrets that eternally in hell today.

People are free to ignore these words of Jesus or to explain them away but they will be judged for that error someday.   Ask yourself, do you fear God?  If not why is there no fear present within you?  Is it because of the modern grace teaching?  Did you know that anyone that is ignoring the fear of God command is being disobedient to God and not man?  The words spoken to “fear God” came from the one that was going to die for your sins and the giver of all grace, so do whatever you like.   But be further warned that Jesus the head of the church also said “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not the things that I say” (Luke 6:46).  So what did Jesus say and why are people not following this command to become obedient?   Let’s take a look at an important subject verse that is popularly ignored or explained away by the modern extreme grace message teachers:

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

What did this verse just say?   Not only was there “fear” in the early church there was a “great fear” and that just intensifies the terror of God level to a much higher plateau.  The Greek word used here in this verse is again G5401 that was used to describe the disciples in the boat observing Jesus walking on the water.  Clearly from the verse context this was a result of what just transpired within the church.  What caused the early church to be in such excessive terror of a loving gracious God?  Ok, maybe I should first ask you who were these fears in the church people directed at?  The verse does not state directly who or what this fear is of or for, therefore these words can be explained away to be a fear of something else besides God.   This is where one grace preacher unfriended me on FB.   I simply told him that he knew how to read the Bible but that he could not see what the Bible really said right in front of him.   In order to answer this question we need to study the context of the verse and find out what God teaches in the surrounding verses.  Taking verses out of their context will allow Bible teachers to make them say what they want them to say but using the context to explain them is a wiser approach to correct Bible study.

Go study the entire context of this verse.  We should back up to begin reading in chapter 4.  I’m not going to go through everything said verse by verse but I will give you a synopsis overview of what is occurring and what is important to notice.  Reading in Acts 4:1 it begins with a description of the disciples preaching to the people of Jerusalem.  They preached the resurrection of Jesus to the people and were put into prison in verse 3. In verse 4 you can clearly see that many people believed the Gospel and at least 5000 men were saved.  Therefore we are observing the church is growing by preaching the Gospel.  What was this Gospel message being preached?  We need to go back further in the context to chapter 3 to see if it contained any message for the fear of God.  Read chapter 3 and in verse 23 tell me what it says?  Peter tells the people that Moses told them to look for another prophet from one of their brothers and this one will have a greater message for them to hear.  Peter then says the words of this prophet called Jesus is for you to believe or to be destroyed.   Do you believe that this message was a warning to the people?  I can see where Peter says believe or perish and that was a clear warning statement of fear.  What happens when a warning is given by a messenger sent from God like Isaiah or Jonah?  Does fear play a role in the people receiving the message?  Please observe what the message was that Peter was preaching and then try to figure out if that is anything like what is being preached in churches today.  Peter very clearly says for these people to believe or to be destroyed in verse 23 and I never hear modern grace preachers saying anything like this.  I guess they just don’t want to offend them into heaven so they flatter them into hell.  Let’s go back to chapter 4 of Acts.

If you continue to read down in chapter 4 of Acts you will see the leaders of the temple commanding Peter and John to never preach or teach in the name of Jesus anymore.  Peter looks at them and says “Whether it is better to obey you or God, you judge” in verse 19.   Clearly Peter was telling them we fear God more than we fear you and we will not stop.  Isn’t this an example of Peter and John being a doer of the commandment of Jesus that I just gave to you?  Do the disciples fear the leaders that can throw them into prison or do they fear God?   The leaders of the synagogue finally relent and let them go and they return to the other church members and tell them what has transpired as a warning to them from men.  They immediately stop and all pray together in one accord saying in verse 29 “Behold their threatening”.   The disciples asked God for boldness to proclaim the truth in spite of these human threats to their life.  It is very clear to me that these people in the early church feared God more than they feared man because in verse 31 it says God answered their prayer by shaking the place they were in.  Let me explain to you what God was saying to them by shaking the ground.  God was saying can these men that threatened you do this?   That was God’s answer and I believe that is enough evidence to inform us who the early church feared and who they did not fear.  So I’ll go back and ask you this question again about Acts 5:11, who did the early church fear in this context story?   It was not any man, so it was either Satan or God.  We could go through and prove that it was not Satan, but I am spending too much time trying to counter these false teachings so let’s just focus on the words that are written.   Look at verse 33 in Acts 4 and find the subject of Grace.

  • Act 4:33  And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

Here we have another exponential growth in the Grace of God given to His church.  Not only were they shown “grace” but God has increased the level of His grace to a greater degree.  What we learn from this verse is that Grace is delivered in stages.  If there can be “great” grace then there can also be “little” grace or even “no” grace.  What do you believe is the main factor for the presence of this greater level of God’s grace in the church?  I believe it was a combination of factors beginning with the presence of a “great fear” of God.   The church being in fear of God while not fearing what man could do to them, increased the level of God’s grace being offered to them.    Of course there are other factors that are also involved in this grace being given but we will learn those as we continue to study this subject.

  • Act 4:34  Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
  • Act 4:35  And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

Verse 34 of Acts 4 is the opening of the story of Acts 5.  Clearly the translators made a poor choice to divide the chapters at their current locations.  Start reading in verse 34 and you will see God speaking directly about the church.  He says those that were in the church lacked nothing because those that had were generous to give to those that did not have.  That is the foundational context of what we need to know in order to understand chapter 5.  We can clearly see who God is speaking of and speaking about in chapter 4 and this just continues in chapter 5.  Man divided the chapters not God.  So do not believe the chapter heading five starts a brand new story.

  • Act 5:1  But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
  • Act 5:2  And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
  • Act 5:3  But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
  • Act 5:4  Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
  • Act 5:5  And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
  • Act 5:6  And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
  • Act 5:7  And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
  • Act 5:8  And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
  • Act 5:9  Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
  • Act 5:10  Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.

One modern TV extreme grace preacher tried to explain away this story of the early church by teaching what happened was God’s protection of the early church from the deception of two unsaved people.  That was a very creative attempt to explain what was happening so that all of the words on the pages are totally ignored.  Since this TV preacher could not give us any scriptures to back that opinion I call that a private interpretation unworthy for consideration.   Go back and read Acts 5:1 through verse 10 carefully again and again until you see what is actually said.  Attempt to confirm that this is just one example of what was explained in Acts 4:34-35 given to us by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.  We can see clearly from reading Acts 4:34-35 that Ananias and his wife Sapphira were both Christians doing what all the other Christians were doing with only one major exception being omitted.  It is very clear to me that neither Ananias nor his wife feared God.  Otherwise they would not have lied to the Holy Ghost as was revealed to us by Peter in Acts 5:4.  Peter also said they “tempted” the Holy Ghost in verse 9.  Peter was very clearly telling Ananias and his wife that they did not lie to men or tempt men, but God was the one that took offense at what they did and they both then fall dead in church.

You do understand that this was a church service going on that lasted for hours and that Peter was given a Word of Knowledge by the Holy Ghost when God interrupted the service to bring judgment?  Do you believe that both people just coincidently dropped dead in church at the exact appropriate time of rebuke of the preacher?   What do you believe killed them?  Was it a heart attack? I want you to notice something else here in this story.  Both of their names are given to us by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost as examples for us not to follow.  Do you recall in Luke 16 where Jesus gave us the story of Lazarus and the rich man?  The name of the rich man in hell was never revealed.  Why was that?  Was it because the rich man’s name was not known by Jesus?  I do not believe that is the case.  I personally believe the rich man’s identity was protected so that his relatives would not know he went to hell.  Why then does God give the names of Ananias and Sapphira if they go to hell?  You see that is a problem to me.  I do not believe that they went to hell.  I believe they were saved by grace but that they were judged by God that shortened their time here on the earth.  That explanation would fit more precisely with what I learned from my father’s life.  Clearly God took the sin of Ananias and Sapphira personally and had to bring judgment so that those that remained living in the church would learn a lesson.   After all what was the result of this event?  Was it not the spread of a “great fear” in all of them that heard it in the CHURCH?   Look at the results and tell me who caused this fear.  Was it God, Satan or man?  I can only attribute it to God by careful observation.

Acts 5 is a major problem for the modern extreme Grace preachers that do not attempt to correctly balance grace with the fear of God and judgment.  How can a God of such infinite Grace cause a Christian to fall dead in church when this sin was clearly covered under the blood of Jesus?  Do you see the conflict this raises with the modern Grace message?  God was teaching us that if Ananias and his wife would have feared God they would not have lied or tempted God.  Do you understand that analysis?  The key factor missing today in the modern church is the message concerning the fear of God.  Before I conclude this grace study please allow me take you to another very important part of the Bible to consider concerning the modern “no fear of God” grace message being preached in many churches and on TV today:

  • 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,
  • 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.

What do these two verses say to you?  I read them and they literally spoke volumes to me.  After the church is taken up from the earth, the angels during the tribulation period will come to preach “the gospel” to the people still living on the earth that remained left behind.  Did you notice what this Gospel message started with that was preached by the angels?  Look closely again at verse 7 and see the angels commanding the people of the earth to change their attitudes and to finally begin to “fear God” before it is too late.  It is very clear to me that these people on earth have no fear of God if the angels warn them they are lacking this quality.   Then notice that there is coming a proclaimed judgment from God and both of these subjects are hardly ever preached or even mentioned by modern grace extremists.  Why are the modern grace preachers teaching a gospel that is different from what the angels of God will preach?  Who do you think is preaching right?  Why have the modern grace preachers departed from the words of the Lord Jesus who established the church by His shed blood commanding us to “fear God”?  Why have the modern grace preachers left the full teachings of Paul who preached to those that “fear God”?  If the church age begins with a message of “the fear God” from Jesus, Peter and Paul and God ends the church age with the angels proclaiming the same message to “fear God” where is this message in all of the church services this Sunday?   If your preacher never preaches about the “fear of God” you have the wrong preacher.  People seriously need to wake up and see the truth.   I do not understand or tolerate irresponsible people very well, but clearly many of today’s preachers are either very unwise, ignorant or extremely deceived.  Since I did not call anyone’s name do not accuse me of speaking about you!  However, if the shoe fits wear it.  I’ll probably not make many new friends with this grace lesson introduction, but I am writing it from my heart.  Look beyond your offense and learn what God says on the subject of the Fear of God and His judgments.

I think I have gone long enough in this Bible lesson and will end it here.  I hope that you understand why I introduced the subject of the fear of God in the study of the grace of God more clearly now.  In the next lesson on grace we will expand the subject and learn God’s definition of Grace by studying additional displays of His Grace.  I pray that you will help me spread this very important message to those that need to learn it.  If that is your preacher point him to my website and ask him to read it.  If that is your congregation then preach it boldly to them so that they hear the message clearly.   Learn to fear God and not man and watch God’s Grace increase in your life.  If you want to see “great grace”, learn to do what God says.  Until next time may the knowledge of the truth of God continue to increase in your life.  God Bless you!

Is the Rapture of the Church Really Found in the Bible? The Rapture Found in Old Testament Typology! Part 4

typology(ver 1.2)  This is Part 4 in a series of advanced spiritual Bible lessons on the timely and important subject of “Is the Rapture of the Church a Bible Truth”.  I know this teaching series has been a little different than what most other Bible teachers’ attempt, but I do not copy or imitate other Bible teachers.   I would rather be led by the Spirit of God and teach the subjects with the content, direction and in the order for His purpose and plan.  If you have not read this entire series from the beginning I would highly recommend that you go and start your study with “Part 1” and then continue in succession until today’s lesson.  I have been building a firm doctrinal foundation for the Biblical subject of rapture.  In doing this I have been moving through the scriptures in what appears to be a random order.  However, if you are a spiritually mature Christian you should be able to see that I am taking them in the order that helps us understand how the subject has been distributed throughout the Bible by God.  Rarely do we ever find God doing things in His Word in a manner that we expect and I will warn you up front that this lesson will demonstrate that it is no different.

Today God wants me to go in a completely new direction in this lesson series and talk abo