Category Archives: Hard Sayings
Understanding Hard Sayings in the Bible! Jacob Have I Loved and Esau Have I Hated! Part 6.2 (The Conclusion)
(Ver 1.1) This is Part 6.2 and it will hopefully be the conclusion of the lesson on the “Hard Saying” concerning Romans 9:13 “Jacob I loved but Esau I hated”. I will probably not be able to cover everything that I would have liked to cover on this subject because of the comprehensive nature of the information found in the Bible. There are just so many scriptures in the Bible that are related to this subject that it would take many, many more lessons to try to cover them all, so I’m only going to hit a few of the high spots to point the direction for you to study the subject more on your own if you want to. Please be advised that this is an advanced Bible lesson intended for spiritually mature Christians only. It introduces subjects and topics that are over the natural heads of many people who call themselves Christians. Therefore, evaluate yourself and become your own judge before you read this lesson. I am not physically present as you read this lesson. Nor do I control your natural thoughts, physical, mental or emotional reactions to new controversial spiritual things from God. If you have not been a strong praying, Bible believing, church going, Bible reading and diligent Bible student type of Christian for at least 3 years then go and read someone else’s Bible lessons and not mine today. This will be some new information and a new perspective and if you can see it that will be great, but if you cannot that is also fine. I do not believe that anything I will say today is a salvation dependent teaching message. In other words if you disagree with it, we can still both choose to be Christ followers walking in love towards each other without losing our salvation. I have quickly learned that people see things differently even when looking at the exact same verses. However, that does not mean everyone is right, it only means we are looking at the truth from different perspectives and placing our own interpretations on it.
A hard saying is any Bible verse of scripture that is difficult to accept because in its literal interpretation it conflicts directly with many other verses that you can easily read in the Bible. A hard saying is one that conflicts with another verse that we thought we understood completely. This is the root cause to every Christian theological difference that is present in the Body of Christ today. For example, in Jeremiah 3:8 and Isaiah 50:1, God says to Israel “I divorce you” and He writes her a bill of divorcement effectively ending the covenant. These are clearly very hard sayings for many Christians to accept since they conflict with the concept of an eternal covenant with Abraham and his seed that is also a clearly stated reality in the Bible. How do you begin to resolve these types of complex conflicts? People either 1). ignore the Bible verses that are conflicting to embrace the scriptures that like better, or they 2). attempt to explain them away as not saying what they say using their human reasoning, or they 3). actually do their homework, study and pray and ask God to resolve the problem. I vote for number three personally.
This is just one example of why so many people have learned to ignore the parts of the Bible that they do not understand in order to fully embrace the other parts that they think that they do understand. However, that is not the correct way to interpret any of the verses in the Bible. Ignoring any related verses and leaving conflicts unresolved makes our stated position of belief fallible and weak. We must resolve every conflict and every verse that opposes each statement of individual truth in order to fully understand the entire truth. Jesus told us if we “continue” in His word, then and only then we would learn the truth and that this truth that we learn would set us free (John 8:31-32). Therefore a continual study of God’s Word is required to learn the truth. It is progressive steps of increasing knowledge, understanding and wisdom with the help of the Holy Spirit and only that will lead us to know the actual truth which none of us know fully yet. Did you hear anything that I just said? These last two paragraphs might have been the most important information in this whole lesson. Also, if you have not read the first lesson on this subject, please do not start reading the study in the middle, because you will have a much more difficult time understanding how we got to many of the conclusions that are being presented today. Go back and start reading with “Part 6.1” and then come back here to complete the lesson.
The complexity of the Bible is far greater than what many casual readers can understand or grasp. The Bible is not a history book, but yet it contains valid historical facts. The Bible is not a text book, but yet it contains many lessons for life. The Bible is not a calendar, but yet it contains a complete overview of human existence. The Bible is an interwoven book of compound spiritual information written and wrapped in an understandable natural word environment. Thus the Bible contains natural information and spiritual information interwoven together. All of these natural words ultimately point us to the hidden advanced spiritual messages and meanings written to us by the most intelligent spiritual author that has never been seen by us. Our author God has never done a book signing or a physical appearance to promote His book, yet it is still the most popular bestselling book of all time. The Bible is a distinctively designed book of spiritual knowledge that only permits those who want to see the truth the vision to know and understand and to those that do not wish to see the truth there are many other alternative realities that are also presented as valid but incomplete choices.
God wrote the Bible in a way to allow every man the ultimate right to choose what they believed even if they are completely wrong and this is what I call the truth of God hiding in plain sight. Here is another great problem that I have observed. You can read the Bible and teach anything from it right or wrong. That is why some people have even taught that abortion is allowable and permissible using scriptures from the Bible. God has placed anything that you want to see in the Bible in some form and this further promotes the complexity of God’s Word. However, that never means what you see in the Bible is the truth; sometimes it only means you might need to change what you are looking for or looking at. It is like Jesus said, “Let him who has ears to hear, hear”. We could also say “Let him who has eyes to see, see”. Reading the words on a page does not give anyone the assurance that they have understood what they read. People prove this every day. When you read the Bible you must allow the Spirit of God to help you to understand what you just read. So today, stop for a moment and pray and ask God for the spiritual eyes to see what He is saying. Pray and ask God for the revelation knowledge of Jesus Christ hidden in His word. Ask Him to change your natural perspective not to see as a mere man, but help you to see how He sees the Word. That is what I do frequently and if you do the same God will honor your prayer of faith. Let’s review what God hates:
Rev 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
I wanted to confirm briefly what God hates with this verse to help you to see what I taught you in the first lesson. Jesus says to the church at Ephesus you have hated what I have hated and this is a commendable and noteworthy action. When I said that God does not hate Esau and that he must be a symbolic representation for evil deeds, this verse appears to help confirm that statement. Jesus clearly does not say that he hated the earthly Nicolaitan people, but only their deeds. We will be commended if we hate what Jesus hates and these are clearly the works of evil. These are the written words of Jesus the Head of the church speaking to His body. He implies that you better love the right things and hate the right things. Therefore I believe Esau is a figurative representation and not a literal reference to a human man.
So what do Jacob and Esau represent figuratively speaking from our verse of Romans 9:13? That is where we will focus today. I’ll continue by researching Esau and what is recorded in the Bible about this man. If you go through your Bible carefully you will discover that God hides information not from us, but for us to find when it is time to be revealed, then the Spirit of God teaches us. Searching for the name of Esau in the Bible you will find that it occurs directly around 85 times in 9 different books of the Bible. You can find the name Esau in 82 verses in the Old Testament and only 3 times in the New Testament. Yet the New Testament references help to reveal that Esau is a hidden greater reference that points us to a new understanding of the many Old Testament references. The first occurrence of Esau is of course found in Genesis 25:25 and the last direct occurrence is found in the book of Hebrews. Three prophets of God other than Moses directly wrote of Esau in Jeremiah, Obadiah and Malachi. However, when you do a more thorough search of Esau in the Bible you will see him called by different names like Edom, Edomites and Idumea and thus Esau is being referenced by many other books of the prophets like Psalms, Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Joel and Amos. Clearly you can see that since all of these prophets wrote of Esau hundreds of years after Esau was gone that God is using Esau for something greater than just a historical reference to a dead man. This is just a very common technique used by God to conceal spiritual information in the Bible.
Before I move further into the subject of Esau let me introduce you to something brand new that Jesus said that is also very relevant for us understanding the story of Jacob and Esau. When we read the Bible we need to observe clues that help us to unfold the mysteries of God’s Word. This is one of those types of clues that is so plainly significant that I want you to pay very close attention to what God says:
Joh 5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
Wow that is a major statement of truth that Jesus just revealed to you. Who wrote the book of Genesis? Of course it was Moses. I am personally convinced by what Jesus just said that all of the stories written by Moses in the book of Genesis point us to Jesus. This statement that Jesus made must include the story of Jacob and Esau in Genesis. Understand what Jesus is saying. Since Jesus did not give us any specific story that He is mentioned in, we must conclude logically that His statement is an all-inclusive declaration not omitting any story that Moses penned. Did you understand what I just said? If Jesus would have just qualified the statement it would have limited the scope of the statement to a certain book, a specific story, a unique chapter, or some isolated verses, but since He did not do that, it represents a universal statement of truth. I understand that in Jesus’ day that there were not any chapter or verse divisions so do not think I am being ignorant. What I am saying is by Jesus’ own declaration every verse written by Moses has some relevance to Jesus in some known or unknown way. Therefore, somewhere in the story of Jacob and Esau must be a descriptive reference to the hidden Jesus. I called it a hidden Jesus because very clearly Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible and several of the Psalms and yet we cannot find the name of Jesus mentioned anywhere in these verses. However, we can understand by Jesus’ own statement that these writings of Moses are about Him. How can this be? We must therefore, conclude that the words that are recorded by Moses have first a clear understandable message concerning things that we can read about and see while simultaneously hiding things about Jesus we cannot see. God hides information in Genesis using several techniques and these include hidden typologies, symbolisms, allegorical content, foreshadowing and the many other methods of concealment found in the Bible to give us a hidden message about Jesus. Here is another very important verse that will help to confirm what I am teaching you:
Luk 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
This verse tells me plainly that the subject of Jesus must be hidden in the stories written by Moses like Jacob and Esau if Jesus had to explain them to His disciples. To “expound” is a technical teaching term that means to give detailed explanation, expressive interpretation and complete understanding of the words that were written for anyone to read. This clearly means what was written down by Moses from God was neither self-evident nor self-explanatory and that is the infinite complexity of the Bible being revealed. Do you understand that? Earlier I alluded to God’s eternal covenant with Abraham that is found in Genesis 15, but now by Jesus’ own self-proclaimed instruction this story written by Moses was a story about Him and now Christians only want to focus on a natural people on the earth that they can see and then they ignore the Jesus that they have never seen. The Bible clearly teaches us in 2 Corinthians 4:18 “While we look not on the things that are seen, but the things which are not seen for the things that are seen are temporary but the things that are not seen are eternal”. What are you looking at and focusing on today? Can you see it in the natural? I am on Facebook and I see Christians or at least people that say they are Christians and they are focused almost entirely upon carnal temporary things like the economy, the president, earthquakes, natural disasters, wars or the natural nation of Israel. Can you see things like natural Israel? Can you travel and go visit natural Israel? Is natural Israel on the news almost every night? If you said yes to any of those questions, then they are all temporary and of no eternal consequence according to the written Holy Word of God. Do not get me wrong or misunderstand me, I’m not against the natural nation of Israel; I pray that they would all get saved just like Paul did (Rom 10:1). However, looking at temporary carnal things is why there is such great confusion in the body of Christ over prophecy and things that they do not understand in the Bible. Sorry, for the side trip let’s get back to Moses.
I am personally convinced that we can see Jesus in some form in every story in the book of Genesis. However the problem now becomes in allowing God to expound to us the hidden character of Jesus in these stories. For example, I have easily found a hidden Jesus in the creation account from Genesis chapter 1 and He is never mentioned there by name at all. I have found Jesus in a type of Adam in Genesis 2. I have easily found Jesus in the type of Abel. I have found Jesus in a pattern of Noah. I have seen Jesus in the figure of Abraham. I have seen Jesus in the figure of Isaac. I have even found Jesus in the pattern of Ishmael. I have seen Jesus in the figure of Jacob. I have seen Jesus in a figure of Joseph and on and on I could go. Realizing that God purposefully designed every word about each subject written in the Bible tells me that God utilized His extreme intelligence to His advantage in the selection process of which information He included and which information He excluded about each. This represents complex creativity and extreme intelligent design beyond the capacity for human reasoning to create it. I have become convinced that every story that was selected in Genesis was carefully chosen for a greater purpose and a plan that points us to the Lord Jesus. However, since we still do not fully understand the story we therefore do not yet comprehend God’s hidden connections to Jesus. If you learn what I just said, this should radically change how you study the Bible; what you are searching for and what you see in every story. I think I will start talking about Esau now with the last direct mention of Esau in the Bible found in the book of Hebrews:
Heb 12:16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
Heb 12:17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
These are all very deep words about very deep subjects that I do not have the time to fully elaborate on. However, notice that Esau is being compared to someone else not mentioned. The stated term “as Esau” reveals a hidden comparison to an unknown or unnamed individual. We are technically being warned not to become like an Esau. We can take these verses personally as speaking to us and we should. Esau is clearly given to us as an ungodly typology example for us not to follow. There are several good points that need to be emphasized in these two verses. God called Esau a “fornicator” and a “profane person” and neither are good descriptions or qualities to possess. A “fornicator” is a term that means “to sell” as a prostitute. Wow, that is a really tough subject. Esau clearly sold his birthright in Genesis for just a meal from his brother Jacob, was that prostitution in the eyes of God? A prostitute sells their body to fulfill the sexual desires of another. The only thing exchanged is usually money or drugs, but neither participant gains anything of any lasting value. Technically speaking more is lost than what is gained. It is a very interesting concept where nothing is literally sold, but everything is usually sacrificed. Clearly there is a comparative lesson in this concept to the subject of Esau. God is teaching you that the natural gain of temporary substance is never sufficient for the loss of the eternal things that you have given away and cannot ever get back. This is the stated moral to the entire story of Esau and Jacob. Both Jacob and Esau gained temporarily, but one man gained an inheritance and one man lost his inheritance for a meal and neither were the same afterwards forever. God is teaching us about a greater spiritual principle that is lost through a natural temporary short term gain.
How is this information related to our subject of Esau? If you search the N.T. you will see that this word “fornicator” is used in around 10 verses and almost always it is included in a list of the types of spiritual beings that will not be saved. Who is it in the Bible that will never be saved? From my research and study of the Bible I have only seen that there are two kinds of spiritual beings that will miss out on God’s plan of salvation. They are the angels that rebelled in sin and the people of the earth that missed or ignored the opportunity to accept Jesus as their Savior. Out of these two distinctive classes of spiritual beings, which one could Esau represent? Technically I believe Esau could potentially be a type or a pattern of either and possibly both simultaneously. To me Esau represents a type of sin that God hates. Both Adam and Lucifer are reported original sinners just in different dimensions. Clearly Satan is found to be the first named sinner in the Bible but you do not read about his sin until later through the prophet Ezekiel and several comment that were made in the N.T. What we can read in the Bible is that Satan left Heaven, the spiritual domain containing eternal life within the family of God for a temporary situation on the earth to rule. That was not the wisest choice that Satan could have made. What Lucifer did was very similar to Esau leaving his inheritance being the firstborn to sell it for a temporary gain.
The next word in Hebrews 12:16 that I want you to focus in on, is the one translated as “profane person”. This is a fascinating Greek word. It means to cross a door threshold as in exiting a house. It comes from a root word that also means “foot” or “walk”. This helps me confirm what I just said about Satan leaving heaven to come to the earth. Also notice, what did Jacob grab a hold of when Esau was born first? It was his heel or his foot. Is this just a coincidence? I really do not think so. Esau represents the “foot” or the “profane person” that is attempting crush or to step on Jacob. This word translated as “profane person” can also be defined as a “wicked” person. Does that sound like anyone you know? We will definitely explore these concepts more as we go. Finally notice in Hebrews 12:17 that Esau was supposed to inherit from his father, but God says he was rejected because there was no place for repentance. What is repentance? Repentance is based upon sorrow, but that is not repentance. Repentance is technically a conscious decision to change or it can be associated with a committed behavior modification of an individual. It is when you are going in one direction and you suddenly notice that it is the wrong way to go and you turn 180 degrees around to find the correct direction. So Esau found no way to turn around even when he knew that he had made the wrong choice. This is very bad news for Esau.
Do you understand now why I mentioned that angels cannot be saved? No angel has the option for salvation or repentance. Every angel that has left heaven with Satan has made their own temporary choice for a temporary gain and they will be forced to reap eternally the consequences. It does not matter if they are sorry, if they ask for forgiveness or if they change to now try to be good. Jesus did not become an angel to die to save the angels; Jesus only became a man to die to save mankind. Adam also had no way of salvation until Jesus came and He made the way for us all. What I want to do next is to go over a list of Bible facts found concerning Esau. These are not all of the Bible facts about Esau, just some that I have chosen to emphasize for the identity of Esau:
Esau Bible Facts:
- Called a Nation of people (Gen 25:23)
- Called a Twin (Gen 25:24)
- Called to Serve his brother (Gen 25:23)
- Called a weaker people (Gen 25:23)
- Called the Firstborn (Gen 27:19, 32)
- Called the Brother of Jacob (Gen 27:11, 23, 30, 41, 42, Mal 1:2)
- Hated His Brother Jacob (Gen 27:41)
- Struggled with his brother Jacob in the Womb (Gen 25:22)
- Called a Red man (Gen 25:25, 25:30)
- Called a Cunning Hunter (Gen 25:27)
- Jacob grabs his brother Esau’s heel at birth (Gen 25:26)
- Sells His Birthright for food (Gen 25:30-32, Heb 12:16)
- Despised his birthright (Gen 25:34)
- Desired to kill his brother Jacob (Gen 27:42)
- Called a father of the Edomites in Mt Seir (Gen 36:9)
- Calamity (destruction) is coming to Esau (Jer 49:8)
- Deceived himself with his own Pride (Oba 1:3)
- Called a Fornicator (male prostitute, a seller of self) for temporary gain (Heb 12:16)
- Called a Profane or Wicked man (Heb 12:16)
- No stated way to repent or to be saved (Hev 12:16)
Reading through these few Bible facts concerning Esau, does anyone come to your mind that this might represent? There are several key descriptions that are more self-evident to me than others. There are also some typology facts that are very difficult to accept. For example, the brother fact, the firstborn fact and the selling of the birthright for a meal fact are all difficult complex concepts that are not clearly tied to anyone that I know of on the surface. The selling of the birthright for food could potentially represent the created man Adam. God told Adam not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This tree sounds like temporary food or you could call it a meal. Adam was the first man that purposefully chose to eat from this tree of the knowledge of good and evil and thus he sold himself into the hands of Satan for the temporary gain of a meal. Adam also lost what he could never get back and he only gained what he never actually wanted. This was a very similar concept to what happened to Esau. However, the rest of the factual descriptions do not fit Adam very closely. The reference to the heel of Esau is also a very strange fact and it is certainly a curious detail for God to mention in the birth of twins. I do not know of anyone else in the Bible that this fact is mentioned. Do you ever wonder why God includes such apparently minor trivial facts in the Bible? There has to be a reason for this “heel” reference. The “heel” has to mean something and grabbing the “heel” has to mean something. If you search the Bible you will find that this Hebrew word translated as “heel” is not widely used, so it must hold some valuable information for us to understand about the type of Esau. God must have included it for a greater purpose to teach us about Jesus. We will therefore attempt to use it to make a direct connection to someone.
Let’s briefly analyze the reference to the heel of Esau and what it might mean. The “heel” is a very specific part of the foot. Throughout the Bible the heel or the foot of one man on another’s head has long since been used symbolically in the Bible as a representation for the defeat of the person underfoot signifying the victory of the one that has stepped on him. You can search and find this repeatedly. Look for words like “tread” or “trodden” and other words that are related to people walking into victory over an enemy. From the symbolism of Esau coming out first and Jacob grabbing his heel, this tells me that Esau was symbolically trying to overthrow or defeat his brother from their conception. It signifies a temporary defeat of Jacob. In other words, I can see that the brotherly battle that originated in the womb represents a spiritual realm battle which has now transitioned into the natural realm. The first time that “heel” is mentioned in the Bible is when it is used by God in a prophecy that He speaks directly to Satan. Is that a coincidence? I do not believe it is. I believe the prophecy is at least an interesting reversal of the typology given to us in the Jacob and Esau story. What I see is a prophetical end that will demonstrate a correction to what began in the spiritual realm a long time ago when it appeared that Satan had won.
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
I literally do not have time to teach you what all of this verse means. Just realize that here God is saying to Satan that he will end up defeated under the foot of the woman and the woman’s seed. What I do want you to notice is the reference to the “enmity” or the implied “hatred” between two opposing factions, groups or we could possibly even call them nations as God called them in Genesis 25:23 speaking of Jacob and Esau. You see I believe this verse is literally speaking about the Kingdom of God versus the kingdom of Satan. One nation of the people of God will prevail over the other nation of people ruled by Satan. Seed is often used as a reference for a nation of people in the Bible. God told Abraham your seed will be as the stars of the heaven (Gen 22:17). Looking at Genesis 3:15 closely we can observe two opposing types of seeds in a spiritual battle. Not knowing what seed is causes many to miss the fact that Satan is stated to also have seed. Did you notice in the list of Esau facts that he was called the “father” of the Edomites? A father is a male that has produced children through a female. Uh oh? Was Satan ever called a father in the Bible? I’m going to continue to tie in more verses using references to Satan to show you his direct connection to being a type of Esau:
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.
I believe you can clearly see that Jesus is saying that Satan has children which are called seed on the planet. If you research the parables taught by Jesus you will find one about a subject called the wheat versus the tares. This is a parable of two opposing types of seeds competing for the dominion of the same soil, one is a good and fruitful seed and the other is an evil and worthless seed. The wheat seed is used to produce bread products and the other seed is just burned. The seed type called the wheat was planted by God and the other seed type called the tares was planted by Satan the enemy of God (Mat 13:25-30). These are figurative representations of the two opposite kingdoms we saw represented by Jacob and Esau on the earth today, one is the Kingdom of Light and the other is the kingdom of darkness (1 Th 5:5). A kingdom is always a nation of people with a prince or king ruler. God is Light and in him is no darkness (1 Jn 1:5). Jesus is called the King of kings and He rules the kingdom of the Day. Conversely, Satan is darkness and in him is no light and he rules the kingdom of the night. Satan rules the darkness or night and Jesus rules the light or day. Light is always stronger than darkness. Light always prevails over darkness. Are you beginning to see how Jacob and Esau fit the respective types and patterns for Jesus and Satan yet? We will get there, but let me prove that Satan has a nation of people to rule:
Mat 12:26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
Jesus is speaking, therefore we understand that Jesus knows the truth and always speaks the truth. Jesus tells us very clearly that Satan has a literal kingdom. A kingdom designates an implied nation of subservient people to rule and further implies that Satan is their ruler. We could confirm this with many other scriptures but I do not want to make this lesson any longer than absolutely necessary. So we are talking about several key terms in unison. We have seen the first reference to “heel” in the Bible and its direct connection to Satan’s impending defeat. From this verse in Genesis we have also seen the indirect mention of two nations of opposing people called the seed of the woman and the seed of Satan. We have seen Satan called a father as well as a murderer in John 8:44. What did Esau plan to do to his brother Jacob? Was it not to kill him? I am observing patterns that are undeniably rich with parallels between Esau being a type of Satan. Let’s tie all of this into another prophecy that has direct relevance to our subject of the heel:
Psa 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
Here we have one of the very few verses in the Bible that mentions the same Hebrew word translated as “heel” which was connected directly to Satan in Genesis 3 and the description of Esau and Jacob’s birth. This verse certainly has specific ties to our story or Esau and Jacob by the direct association of the reference to “heel” and to the term “meal” that Esau ate from Jacob. Reading this verse you would probably never know that it was a prophecy about Jesus unless you searched to find that this is the same verse that Jesus quoted to the disciples in the book of John when eating at the final Passover meal. Let’s go to John and read the account:
Joh 13:18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.
Jesus is talking to His disciples about His disciples. Why is this verse connected to what we are talking about with the type of Esau being a potential type of Satan? I believe it is tied in, because Jesus is the speaker and He is declaring someone’s heel that has been raised up against Him. Is this not a parallel to the Esau heel being raised up against his brother Jacob? Back up in the book of John and we will read this statement about one of the participants in the meal, it is very profound:
Joh 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
Jesus is telling the disciples I have chosen you and one of you is the devil. While this cannot be literal, it does represent a figurative truth statement of a reality that did occur. We know from this information and by searching the Bible that the Greek word translated as devil is used 38 times and the majority of time it is a direct literal reference to the spiritual being Satan. Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness and this word for “devil” is this named tempter. Both in John 6:70 and John 13:18 Jesus is speaking of Judas one of the twelve. If you do a contextual review of the statement in John 6:70 you will see that this statement about Judas being a devil is in the context of Jesus teaching about He was the bread sent down from heaven and they must eat His flesh and drink His blood. This is again a meal reference but these are all symbolic descriptions of spiritual truths. Do you see the connection of spiritual things being described in natural things? What I am saying without saying it is that Judas was not the devil incarnate, however he was a type of Satan and he was influenced and eventually possessed by Satan.
Think with me for a moment about why Jesus chose 12 disciples to be His first followers. Jesus was a purpose driven man. He did nothing by chance or accident. He could have chosen any number of followers to begin, but He specifically chose 12 and that was a very recognizable designed pattern for something else. I personally believe that this was another pattern for establishing Jesus to be a type of Jacob. How many sons did Jacob have? Were there not 12 sons that originated the 12 tribes of Israel? But, here we have another twist in the puzzle. We can clearly see in John 13 that Jesus was sitting at Passover with His 12 disciples and now He has called one of them the devil. Why is the Lord Jesus sitting at a covenant meal with a representative type of Satan present? You do understand that a meal is a covenant, don’t you? People in the Middle East certainly understand this concept and they never eat meals with strangers until they get to know them. They know by eating with them that they could be entering into a covenant with them and thus they could be joining themselves to their enemies unaware. I believe that this is exactly what is happening here during the Passover meal. I know this is very complex and very new to you. I really cannot help that, you will have to dig deep and study if you want to know the truth. Understand that when Esau ate the meal that Jacob prepared it was also a covenant meal and this was the same meal where we are told that Esau sold his birthright to Jacob. Look at what happens to Jesus and Judas at the Passover:
Joh 13:26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
One of the disciples asked Jesus who is it that will betray you? We can then observe Jesus taking a crumb of the unleavened bread and dipping it into the cup of wine and then giving it to Judas. I know it does not say that, but these are two of the key elements of every Passover meal. This was all done on purpose as a part of the plan to reveal the connection to other stories in the Bible. Remember how we got here; we found the passover meal by searching for the occurrences of the word “heel” in the Bible. To me it is amazing how God ties things together. Now observe what is said to happen to Judas:
Joh 13:27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.
As you should be able to see the spirit of Satan enters into the man Judas during the meal. Thus Satan was participating with a covenant meal with Jesus the Spirit of God being inside of Him. Jesus has just given bread to Judas after sopping it in the wine. The bread and the wine constitute the symbolic covenant elements of the body and the blood of Christ. Why is Jesus doing this? And more importantly why is Satan letting Him do it and participating in it? It would appear that Satan is despising his birthright by participating as Esau did with Jacob. That is the way that I see it happening. Can you see any of the typology of Esau selling his birthright and eating a meal prepared and given to him by his brother Jacob to eat? If Judas represents the type of Esau then he is also a type of Satan that entered into him. The spirit of Satan inside of Judas would certainly represent Satan selling his birthright to his brother. Perhaps we need to connect what is transpiring with Jesus at passover to what transpired with Esau and Jacob.
Gen 25:34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.
You can clearly see three distinct things being mentioned as repeated patterns from what happened in the Passover meal with Jesus. No Esau is not said to have had bread and wine but they are bread and a liquid soup substance and Esau we are told does eat and drink them and then rises and leaves quickly. All of this happened in John 13 with Judas and Jesus. Judas is given a morsel of food dipped in liquid by Jesus and he eats it and then he is told to go do quickly what he must do. These are all very similar circumstances and substances to what transpires with Jesus, Judas and Satan. Notice that Esau eats and God says he has despised his birthright by eating. Esau gained a temporary meal to satisfy his hunger and lost the more valuable inheritance from his father.
What is want to do is just to go through a list of the key facts concerning Esau and show you now they relate to Satan using verses found in the Bible. There are actually many ways to continue this study, by exploring the other references to “heel”, “meal”, “bread” and etc. But this lesson is getting rather long and I just need to summarize the best that I can for you so you can continue the study on your own if you desire. Go and read the scripture references that I give you and then see if they correspond to my descriptions of Esau and to Satan.
|Esau is called a Separate Nation from Jacob’s nation (Gen 25:3)||Satan’s kingdom is described to be separate from God’s kingdom (Luke 11:18) The church is now called a Holy Nation (1 Pet 2:9) This implies Satan’s nation is the opposite unholy one.|
|Jacob grabs Esau’s heel (Gen 25:26)||Jesus claims fulfillment of Psalm 41:9 His old friend that ate his bread has lifted his heel against him (John 13:18). Jesus was eating with Satan present.|
|Esau is said to hate his brother (Gen 27:41)||Satan called the enemy of God (Mat 13:39)|
|Esau defeated himself because of his pride (Oba 1:3)||Satan’s pride began his downfall (Eze 28:17)|
|Esau is called a father (Gen 36:9)||Satan is called a father (John 8:44)|
|Esau called wicked (Heb 12:16)||Satan is called the wicked one (1 Jn 2:14)|
|Esau desired to murder his brother (Gen 27:42)||Satan would not have killed the Lord Jesus if he knew what would happen (1 Cor 2:8) Satan is called the murder (John 8:44).|
|Calamity and destruction coming to Esau (Jer 49:8)||Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev 20:10)|
|Esau called a cunning hunter (Gen 25:27)||Satan was described as a hunting roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet 5:8)|
|Esau called the firstborn (Gen 27:19) Esau came into the world first then Jacob came into the world.||Lucifer called the son of the morning (early light or first light) (Isa 14:12) and God is Light. Clearly Satan existed for ages prior to the appearance of the physical Jesus who was born nearly 4000 years after the fall of Adam. Therefor Lucifer the son of the morning pre-existed the physical Son of God.|
|Esau when born was described to be red (Gen 25:25)||Satan is symbolically linked to the figure of the moon. The moon rules the darkness (Gen 1:16)_ The prophecy is given that the moon will turn to blood (Joel 2:31, Acts 2:20, Rev 6:12) Thus Satan is symbolically linked to becoming red like blood.|
|Esau struggled with Jacob in the womb symbolically representing the spiritual battle that was taking place (Gen 25:22)||Jesus said “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18). Satan comes against God in heaven in Revelation 12:7 and is cast down forever losing his place in heaven.|
|Esau called a weaker people (Gen 25:23)||Jesus is called the greater spiritual one in 1 John 4:4 emphasizing that Satan is the lesser spirit that is in the world. Again these are two kingdoms and two opposing spiritual realities.|
|Esau to become subservient to his brother (Gen 25:23)||Jesus said in Matthew 28:18 that all power (authority) had been given to Him making Satan subservient.|
I believe that Esau fits the pattern of Satan very distinctly. Now I want to explore the Jacob facts given to us in the Bible. There are technically too many references to Jacob and Israel to even begin to mention them all. Jacob is mentioned in around 345 verses in the Bible and Israel is mentioned in over 2000 verses in the Bible. I beleive this is another parallel that the Bible is pointing us to Jesus and not toa natural man or a natural nation. Hopefully after you review and study the list you will begin to see how he precisely fits a pattern of Jesus. Here is Jacob described to us in the Bible:
- The name Jacob means “heel catcher” (Gen 25:26)
- Called a separate nation of people than Esau (Gen 25:3)
- Jacob’s name is changed to Israel (He will rule as God) (Gen 25:28)
- Jacob had twelve sons (Gen 35:22)
- Jacob called “My Servant” (Gen 32:4 , Isa 44:1, 8)
- Jacob called God’s chosen (Ps 135:4)
- The children of Jacob called God’s “Chosen Ones” (1 Chr 16:13)
- Jacob called a father (Acts 7:32)
- Jacob called a co-heir (Heb 11:9)
- Jacob called My Chosen Seed of Abraham (Isa 41:8)
- Jacob described to give us natural water to drink from His well (John 4:12)
- God gives Power to Jacob (Hosea 12:4)
- God gives truth to Jacob (Mic 7:20)
- The house of Jacob shall be a fire (Oba 1:18)
- Jacob will take root, blossom and bud and bear fruit in the world (Isa 27:6)
- The house of Jacob will walk in the light of the Lord (Isa 2:5)
- God will show (reveal, explain) His word unto Jacob (Ps 147:19)
- Jacob went down to Egypt and died there (Act 7:15)
- Jacob is described to have had faith (Heb 11:21)
- Jacob is loved by God. (Mal 1:2)
What I ‘m going to do now is to go through the list of Bible facts concerning Jacob that I have just given to you and show you how they can fit as a pattern of Jesus. I would suggest that you go through and read them carefully, looking up the verses and studying them.
|Jacob means heel catcher and grabs Esau’s heel (Gen 25:26)||Jesus says “He that eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me” (John 13:18)|
|Jacob called a father (Acts 7:32)||Jesus called the Everlasting Father (Isa 9:6)|
|Jacob had 12 sons (Gen 35:22)||Jesus chose 12 apostles spiritual sons (Luke 16:13)|
|Jacob’s name changed to Israel (Gen 25:28)||Jesus is given a new name (Rev 3:12)|
|Jacob called a servant (Gen 32:4 , Isa 44:1)||Jesus called God’s servant (Isa 42:1, Mat 12:18) Jesus called the form of a servant (Php 2:7) Jesus humbles himself and performs the deeds of a servant by washing the disciples’ feet (John 13:12)|
|Jacob called chosen of God (Ps 135:4)||Jesus called chosen of God (Isa 42:1, 1 Pet 2:4, Mat 12:18)|
|Children of Jacob called God’s chosen ones (1 Chron 15:13)||The church is called the chosen generation in the family of Jesus (Heb 3:6, 1 Pet 2:9)|
|Jacob is called a different nation of people than Esau (Gen 25:3)||The church is called a “Holy Nation” a different people than the unholy nation of Satan (1 Pet 2:9)|
|Jacob called a co-heir (Heb 11:9)||Jesus called co-heir with the church (Rom 8:7)|
|Jacob called the Chosen Seed of Abraham (Isa 41:8)||Jesus called the one seed of Abraham (Gal 3:16)|
|Jacob described to give the people natural water to drink from the well (Jn 4:12)||Jesus standing at Jacob’s well said “Whoever drinks from the water that I give, will never thirst” Jesus was saying His well was the greater spiritual source of living water (Jn 4:14)|
|God will show (explain, reveal) His word to Jacob (Ps 147:19)||Jesus grew in the wisdom of God (Luke 2:40) Jesus observed to have great wisdom by the people he was teaching (Mk 6:2) Jesus expounded the scriptures to his disciples (Luke 24:27)|
|The house of Jacob called a fire (Oba 1:18)||Jesus said “I am come to send fire on the earth” (Luke 12:49)|
|Jacob called a fruitful plant that had taken root and bears fruit (Isa 27:6)||Jesus called the vine, the church is called the branches that bears the fruit (John 15:1-5)|
|The Chosen One, My Servant will be a light to the Gentiles (Isa 42:1-6)||Jesus called the Light of the World (Jn 8:12, Jn 12:46)|
|God gives truth to Jacob (Mic 7:20)||Jesus said He was the truth (Jn 14:6)|
|Jacob went down to Egypt and dies there (Acts 7:15)||Jesus came down to the earth from heaven and dies in spiritual Egypt (Rev 11:8)|
|God gave Power to Jacob (Hosea 12:4)||God gave Power to Jesus (Acts 10:38)|
|Jacob is loved by God (Mal 1:2)||Jesus is loved by God (Mat 3:17)|
|Jacob described to have faith (Heb 11:21)||Jesus Called the Author of Faith (12:2)|
|Jacob prevails over the angel (Gen 32:28)||Jesus prevails over Satan (Rev 5:5)|
There are just too many specific parallels between Jacob and Jesus for Jacob not to be a very specific type of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have just seen too many Old Testament natural patterns that closely resemble the shadow pictures of the New Testament spiritual realities. The imagery recorded in the Old is clear enough for us to see the outline of the New. The shadow of the old is never the new real spiritual reality, just like my shadow projected on the ground is not me. The new future spiritual reality however has been projected into the patterns of the historic old enough to make them recognizable. The shadow of the old natural temporary will also always point us to the new spiritual eternal reality if we follow them closely. The New Testament realities are the invisible spiritual things of God and thus God uses the natural occurrences found in the Old Testament to help teach us how to understand these new invisible spiritual concepts. God says that the thing that has been is the thing that shall be again, that which was done is that which shall be done (Ecc 1:9). Learning these concepts should help you tremendously to see things in the Old Testament with a completely new perspective helping to confirm that they all will eventually point us to Jesus. Jesus is the reason for the whole Bible. I did not cover everything that I would have liked to cover, but I gave you enough to get you started in the right direction. The Bible is a gold mine of hidden revelation nuggets from God waiting to be found. The deeper you dig into it and are led by the Spirit of God you will learn new things that you never could imagine were written there for so many years. I hope and pray that you took something positive away from this very deep lesson. I know I covered a lot in one lesson, but that is just the way it has been going lately. I plan on talking about “Being Led by the Spirit of God” in the next lesson and continuing with that series that I never finished. God Bless you until next time!
(Ver 1.2) This is now “Part 6.1” in the series of very advanced Bible lessons on “Understanding Hard Sayings” found in the Bible. Today’s lesson is technically Part 1 of a 2 part lesson on the subject part 6 of Hard Sayings. This is also the beginning of an independent lesson in the series, meaning you do not have to read all of the other lessons to understand what I will discuss today in this lesson. But, of course this does not mean that you will automatically understand all of the complex subjects being covered in this lesson either. If you are interested in studying any of the other “Hard Sayings” that I have covered in the Bible you may want to start your reading with the first lesson in the series called “Part 1”. What is a hard saying? The Bible contains many statements that I labeled “Hard Sayings”. I was not the inventor of this name for these types of scriptures. The disciples actually coined the phrase “Hard Saying” in the Gospel of John 6:60 and I just took it from what they said to Jesus. Hard Sayings are any words of declaration that when taken literally as they were spoken or written are very difficult for us to accept because they appears to conflict with many other verses that we also know to be true. This is what the disciples struggled with when they heard Jesus speaking about drinking His blood and eating His flesh. These words that they heard, they knew had to be the truth, but they also knew that they caused them great difficulty because they did not first fully understand what they meant and they knew that they directly conflicted with many verses found in the Old Testament that taught them not to eat flesh with the blood still in it. That is exactly the same problem that many people in the world today still face. They still see the verses but do not understand what they mean and thus they stumble over them and do not know how to resolve the conflicts. The root cause of the problem occurs when men think carnally or naturally and God is usually speaking of spiritual things. There are so many of these types of hard saying verses found in the Bible.
Introduction to Today’s Bible Hard Saying
I am going to talk about another VERY hard saying found in the New Testament. I will warn you up front that this lesson will get into some very deep and new subjects that may be over your head right now. Therefore, please make sure that you are a spiritually strong swimmer before you jump into the really deep waters found in this Bible lesson. This lesson is an attempt to answer a very tough question that I got from someone on Facebook. I have spent a lot of time in writing the response to this question and I discovered that it was so long that I needed to split it into two lessons. So today I acknowledge my God and I am using my faith to answer another hard saying found in the Bible. In the book of Romans God declares something that is extremely difficult for us to comprehend and this statement from God potentially conflicts with many of the other scriptures that most Christians should already know and believe. Here is the basic hard saying that we will be dealing with today that comes from the mouth of God:
Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Let’s briefly talk about the framework of this verse in order to understand where it was written and to who it was written to insure that we are not studying the verse in isolation or taking it out of context. We should first realize that this book of Romans was written directly to us in the church. These are words inspired by God and written down by Paul for ONLY us in the church who are believers. In other words these verses were not written to anyone outside of the church. Do you understand that? Therefore everything that was written in this book must either have some application to us or be useful for us to learn something that we need to know. In this ninth chapter there are literally several very hard sayings to understand and I am only to concentrate on this one in verse 13. These verses in chapter 9 of Romans are almost entirely spiritual concepts that are easily taken the wrong way or misapplied to speak of things that that they do not apply to. This chapter of Romans speaks several times about the natural nation of Israel. These natural people are called the children of the flesh in verse 8 and God clearly says that they are not my children and many Christians ignore these types of verses because they do not wish to see them. However, the Apostle Paul begins the chapter with an important statement that sets the tone for the rest of the chapter about his great heaviness of heart and great sorrow for the natural nation of Israel in verse 2. Paul the writer wished that he could do something to save them all. Therefore understand what is happening in the context of verse 13. There are two groups of people being spoken of, one is the church and one is the natural people of Israel. One group is saved and one group is not.
There are at the least 4 O.T. direct quotes in this chapter. One is the prophet Hosea saying “those that were not my people have become my people” in verse 25. Then from the prophet Isaiah God quotes “Though the number of the natural people of Israel have been as the sands of the sea, only a remnant will be saved” in verse 27. Then in verse 15 the prophet Moses is quoted “God will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy”. Finally in the verse 13 God quotes the prophet Malachi about “Jacob I have loved and Esau I have hated”. I personally believe that all of these verses are connected together for us to see and to learn something new. I can see in this chapter that God is bringing in certain information from 4 different prophets written in the Old Testament linking them together into a new clearer perspective while shedding fresh light upon our relationship to God in the New Covenant. I also believe that one of the main themes found within this chapter of Romans is a division between those that are saved and those that are not saved. A division occurs when one person is separated from another. You could view it like a divorce from the natural marriage perspective where those that were once one, have now split to become two separate individuals. I see the emphasis of this chapter to be between two different opposing groups, those that are saved and those that are not saved. I really do not have time to teach you that part of the subject fully, but that is how I view what I read in the chapter and I believe that this information will eventually help us to understand the meaning of the reason why God says that He hates a man named Esau who died approximately 4000 years ago.
What Are the Bible Conflicts With Romans 9:13?
What are the controversies and scriptural conflicts found within this single reportedly simple verse in Romans 9:13? When I read this I knew immediately that this verse disagreed with the revealed nature and the character of God demonstrated to us by the physical appearing of God in the flesh in Jesus. In John 14:9 Jesus told Phillip “When you have seen me you have seen the Father”. Jesus claimed to be the previously hidden Father God now revealed to man for the first time. Therefore show me any verse in the Gospels that reveals Jesus to be a hater of any man living or dead. I looked and I could not find one, therefore this information of the revealed God in the Gospels directly conflicts with this information stated in Romans 9:13. Romans 9:13 also seems to imply that our God is a potential Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type of God. A shifting God of either love or hate depending on something not revealed in this verse. Is God theoretically good to one man while being inconsistently evil to another man? I do not believe that He is. How can a God who loved me, died for me and saved me also be a God that hates me? I do not believe that He can. You might try to say “I’m not Esau” and therefore God does not hate me. But, that is the beginning of another conflicting problem to think that you are any better than Esau who was also a mere man, a lost unsaved son of Adam. The Bible says “ALL have sinned and come short of the GLORY of GOD”! (Rom 3:23) Then again in Romans 5:12 God repeats “ALL have sinned”. “ALL” is an inclusive statement that excludes no one (me, you, Jacob or Esau). That means you and I are sinners also. We are each guilty of sin if we are judged upon our own personal state of righteousness. Therefore according to Romans 3:23 and 5:13, there is no difference between me as a man before I was saved as to what Esau was in the book of Genesis. If you think you were better than Esau then you are deceived. Notice what Paul wrote to Timothy:
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.
As you can see Paul did not consider himself better than Esau and he was the one that wrote God hates Esau in Romans. Paul calls himself a chief among all sinners. That means that he thought that he was no better than any other man. Paul had the correct perspective and view of himself and many Christians today would benefit if they would learn the example that Paul set as the humble standard. Whenever a man or a woman believes themselves to be better than anyone else, it is a root of pride and self-righteousness. Therefore we have another conflict brewing that there is no stated difference between someone like me or a Paul, a Jacob or even an Esau in the natural realm of view. We are just all sinners by God’s high standards.
What other scriptural conflicts arise from this verse in Romans 9:13? The Bible declares in 1 John 4:16 that “God is Love”. How then could a God that is Love also hate? I believe that reveals a new problem. Then we read in John 3:16 “that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son” to save us. So how can a loving God simultaneously hate someone still to this day after coming to die for them to save them? Is not love the opposite of hate and vice versa? John 3:16 did NOT say that “God so hated the world that He gave Jesus”. Didn’t Jesus come into the world in His great love to die for every man? Did this world declaration in John 3:16, not also include the natural man Esau? Did Jesus die to save Esau? I believe that Esau was a part of the exact same world that you and I were a part of. Therefore, John 3:16 directly conflicts with the statement that God hates the natural man named Esau of this world. Doesn’t God say in 1 Corinthians 15:22 “that in Christ ALL are made alive”? Isn’t Esau a man forgiven by the shed blood of God the same as Jacob? Did the shed blood of Jesus not include the sins of Esau? I believe that these are major theological problems that we have encountered with the statement that God hates Esau. Here is another interesting perspective on the subject of if God hates Esau:
1Jn 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
Let me explain again about who Jesus was. I already told you that Jesus when born into the world was God in the flesh. However it is much more complicated than that. Jesus Christ was the only man that was ever born the Son of God and the Son of Man simultaneously. In other words God joined His Word and His Spirit to the physical egg of a woman on the earth and the these two together became the body of the man Jesus Christ with the Spirit of God on the inside of Him. God the creator in heaven literally came down to the earth and became an intimate part of His creation. The Bible says in John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” and then in verse 1 it says God is the Word. So Jesus was God made a man and if He ever hated anyone I can’t find it. Then there is a deeper problem revealed here in 1 John 3:15 when the Bible says if any man hates his brother, then He has no life everlasting in Him. Since Jesus was raised from the dead and is eternally alive now we know that it is impossible for Him to hate any of His natural brothers. Uh oh? What I am trying to say is that Jesus was a natural brother of Esau because they were both direct descendants of Adam. If a human hates another human on the earth they in effect hate their own brother. People do not see it this way because they did not share the same exact mothers, they think, but that is not true at all. All people on the earth originated from the woman Eve and the man Adam so there is no one on the earth other than a human from this one family. Do you see the problem that I am teaching you? There is also another very deep and complex reality found in the Bible that directly applies to Jesus and to you and me. Read these next two verses very carefully:
Heb 7:9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.
Heb 7:10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.
God says Levi paid tithes because He was in his father Abraham when Abraham paid the titles. Levi was not a direct son of Abraham. Abraham had a son Isaac and Isaac had a son Jacob and Jacob had a son Levi. Do you understand the far reaching concepts that these verses reveal? God says anything that your father did, you did because you were in your father. Therefore Jesus and Esau were both in their father Adam and therefore Jesus was a direct brother to Esau. What we see are some natural things that teach us about some very complex principles that cannot be ignored. If God hates Esau, then He hates His own brother and there is no eternal life in Him. I find that to be a major problem with a literal interpretation of Romans 9:13.
Then there is this conflicting verse found in Acts 10:34 where God declares “that He is no respecter of persons”. A respecter of persons is revealed when anyone treats one man differently from another man based upon what they do, what they say, how they look, what they own, etc. Partiality is when a person is given special or favored status over another individual based upon any selective criteria either known or unknown. According to verses like Acts 10:34 and Ephesians 6:9, God does not respect one person differently than another person. Therefore, how could God NOT show any favoritism to one man over another while hating one man and loving the other? Since that is not possible, then I have a problem with the statement that God hates Esau. There are just too many verses in the Bible that conflict with the statement that God hates any single man. Surely you can see that these truths that I just gave you are all incompatible verses in the Bible with the stated truth that God hates Esau. Therefore we have a great theological issue that needs immediate resolution. These issues can only be overcome by digging deeper to increase our spiritual knowledge and understanding on the given subjects and that is what I will attempt to do in the rest of this lesson. Here again are some of the key conflicts revealed in the Bible:
- Esau is no different than me because Romans 3:23 says all have sinned.
- John 3:16 says God so loved Esau that He gave His only begotten son to save Esau.
- Acts 10:34 God is no respecter of any Esau or Jacob.
- Jesus said when you have seen me you have seen the father and Jesus never hated any man even asking God to forgive those that killed Him on the cross.
- Jesus was born a physical brother of Esau and therefore cannot hate His own brother or He has no eternal life.
These are five very good reasons why we should not take the verse in Romans 9:13 literally. What we begin to see is the formation of certain specific central Bible truths that are apparently in direct opposition to a another misunderstood Bible truth which needs to be either re-balanced with the others or reinterpreted using the Bible in order to be correctly understood all together to eliminate all of the conflicts. One very important rule of correct Bible interpretation is simply stated that in the true meaning of two verses, no one verse of the Bible will ever contradict with any other verse of the Bible because God is the same Author of both verses and He is a constant and a NEVER CHANGING being. These are all complex statements and reasons that I just made. But if we continue surely you will begin to see that our understanding of at least one of the truths need to be changed or adjusted so that our view of the entire truth is increased by allowing God to shine a new light on it that will help to show us that God is a consistently good and loving God to every human. The mistake some fall into is to take one isolated Bible truth like God hates Esau and then try to exalt it to make it THE ENTIRE TRUTH that God hates homosexuals, murderers, rapists or whatever. This is the common error of what some Christians try to teach using the misapplication of one verse based upon their own human interpretation. Therefore the correct interpretation of every verse is absolutely essential to keep us from falling into error.
What Does God Hate?
We must attempt to balance all of the truths that we know in order to resolve and completely remove any potential conflicts that have arisen. Also understand that God is not the one that is confused; therefore it is only people that are currently experiencing the difficulty because of our current lack of complete knowledge and understanding. We do not know everything that God knows and that is why we still struggle. I think in order to begin to understand how to resolve these conflicts that we will first need to research in the Bible to see what it is that God says that He actually hates. Does God hate people or is it stated to be something else? If God hates people then that is where we need confirmation in the scriptures to establish a new truth. However, If God does hate people like Esau, then we will establish that God is confused since He clearly told us that “He so loved the world to die for Esau”. Let us discuss the subject of hate and find the stated things that God says that He hates. I’ll give you some quick examples of what I found in the Bible that God hates:
Zec 8:17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.
You can clearly see that God still hates both an evil imagination and lies. These are two specific descriptive actions that we will see as repeated patterns of the behavior types of people that do not know or love God or His Word. From this one verse, I can begin to see that it is the evil thoughts and the evil actions of the people that are hated and not specifically the people. I still believe that God so loved us that He provided a way out of our certain death and eternal separation from God, if we would only accept this free gift of salvation. Even Christians are still capable of thinking evil and doing evil, but simultaneously God’s shed blood is sufficiently powerful to cover all of our transgressions, past, present and future. But, this does not mean as we know that we are free to intentionally sin all we want to after we become saved, it only means if we do accidently that we are not automatically lost. Let me show you another verse in the Bible that speaks of God hating something:
Deu 12:31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
I think you can again see God’s stated hatred is directed at the evil actions of people killing their children. This is clearly a parallel to the modern actions of abortionists today. But, yet God does not say that He hates the people it only says that He hates the actions of the people killing their children. There is a huge difference between those two stated positions and it causes much confusion in the church. How can God love the sinner but still hate the sin? That is because they are not the same things. What you do is not necessarily always who you are. If it was we would all be in prison right now. There are churches in America that picket sinners and try to tell them that God hates them because of their sin, but that is foolishness and ignorance gone to seed. God is not a hater of people that He died to save. I keep saying that because I want to make sure that you get it and apply it to Esau. That is a ludicrous thing to ascribe to a God who is called Love. People just seem to forget that if God hates sinners then He must also hate them since God clearly says “all have sinned and come short of the His glory”. It is only a person’s deceived state of self-righteousness that makes them believe that they are better than anyone else. I’m only going to give you one more example of things that God hates since this could be a Bible lessons series all by itself:
Pro 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
Pro 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Pro 6:18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
Pro 6:19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
There are seven direct things listed that God still hates, but none of them are directly named as people even though some can easily try to say that they represent people by the descriptive terms used like the tongue and the feet features that all people possess. Read through the list and see if you can see where the emphasis is placed. Is it on the people or on the actions of people? So I believe that again we have confirmation that people can do these hated things but yet I believe that God will still loves them consistently even while hating their wrong actions. Here is the list of the seven hated things that I saw:
- Proud Look
- Lying Tongue
- Wicked Imagination
- False Witness
- Sower of Discord
Wow, that is a tough list of things that people in the world and even in the church still do every day. Speaking lies is mentioned twice and that makes it even more serious to me. Thinking evil is again repeated as a hated action. Being proud and sowing discord are two incredible things that speak volumes to me and helps to identify who God is speaking of using Esau. We’ll get more to that soon. I personally believe that God is trying to teach us something new about what we should hate. If you go through your Bible God tells us to hate evil and to love good repeatedly (Psalm 34:14, 37:27, Isa 7:15, Amos 5:15). This would appear to me to be the lesson learned from reading about what God hates in the Bible. So I believe that God is trying to teach us to become more like Him in our thoughts and our actions. There is an established Bible pattern that teaches us that if we think good Godly things we will do good things, if we think evil demonic things then we will do evil things. Therefore, set your minds on the greater higher things above and God will direct you into the paths of life.
What I am trying to do is to show you that love and hate can coexist together simply because good and evil still coexist today in the world because of what Adam chose for us in Genesis 3. Therefore, it is only important to learn and to know what it is that God hates and what it is that He loves to correctly understand what we should love and hate. If God hates people we should hate people, but we clearly see that is not true. If God hates sin, then we should hate sin and that is certainly true. Go through your Bible and study the word “hate” and it’s forms. There are approximately 179 verses that contain a form of this word. Search them all and see what we are to hate and I believe you will conclude as I have that we should hate evil and not the evil doers.
We should love the good and we should hate the evil just like the God that never changes. I believe that this principal is what God is teaching using the Jacob and Esau examples. Based upon what we have just learned about hating evil and loving good, we would be forced to conclude that Esau was evil and that Jacob was good. But, since God does not hate people I have to adjust my interpretation in Romans 9:13 to say Esau must be a symbolic representation for these evil thoughts and actions that are present in the world. Any literal interpretation would force us to say that God hated Esau as a man and then God changed His mind and died to save this man. Since God is not a being that changes that is impossible.
Do you understand Bible symbolism? Symbolism occurs when God calls one thing by a name, title or description that we have heard about, can see and we can know and understand, but He is actually speaking figuratively of another hidden thing that we have not heard of, cannot see and do not know or understand. This is what I believe is happening in Romans 9:13 when God is speaking of two men that we can read about in Genesis, but have long since died and gone away from this physical reality. Therefore the verse in Romans 9:13 must be a symbolic representation of something unknown and much greater in meaning. If this is true, why was Esau used symbolically to represent evil deeds and why was Jacob used to represent what is done that is good? What is God trying to reveal to us using this story? That is why we need to go and read to find this out next.
What Does God Reveal About Jacob and Esau in Genesis?
Let’s go back to the story of the two brothers in Genesis quickly and go through the descriptive time before they were born to learn what God reveals about them. In learning about the boys we should begin to formulate what God is doing using them to represent what He hates and what He loves:
Gen 25:21 And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
This story in Genesis is very interesting. Let’s just first begin to look and observe at what is stated and then figure out what it all means later. What we are interested in these verses are the facts that God presented to help us to better understand things we do not know yet. You see there is nothing written in the Bible that is there by chance or accident. Every word has a designed purpose and a meaning for being included. Even the obscure stories of the people in Genesis contain more than just a history lesson for us to learn from. Here in this verse, Isaac’s wife Rebekah is barren and Isaac prays to God and she becomes pregnant. There is a lot of meaning behind this verse, but I cannot teach everything in one Bible lesson so let’s continue to the next verse:
Gen 25:22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD.
While still in the womb there appears to be a great conflict arising between brothers even while they are still developing and growing. We could call it the beginning of an internal war between brothers that continues on the external after their birth. Wow that was a really important point that I just made, remember it. Put these concepts into your mind; 1). these boys are siblings, 2). they are fighting brothers and 3). the battle started before they were physically born on the earth. I will tell you that all of this information is symbolic and represents another spiritual battle and that this natural information appears to represent a much greater conflict than just a casual disagreement between natural brothers. But, we will get to that more soon. Notice that Rebekah the mother observes the fight occurring on the inside of her and prays to God to ask for the answer to what is happening and here is God’s reply that was given to her:
Gen 25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
God looks down into the realm of time to view the boys as two future nations. God is not prophesying God is simply telling her of the future using His infinite foreknowledge. Many times God sees things in a big picture simultaneously even while speaking or describing specific details. Actually what God is doing is telling her of spiritual things to come, but we have not discovered that yet. While describing this internal physical turmoil of the two brothers fighting each other, they are literally labeled using the future terms of being two nations of people. Interesting concept isn’t it? Knowing verses like these dispel the rights of a woman to abort her future child/nation. Today how many nations of future children have been eliminated by ignorant mothers? While a woman may see the fetus as only one insignificant future potential being, God clearly saw each child as being a different nation of people. God combines every child with their descendants and speaks of them all collectively. God describes that these brothers represent not only two nations, but two different kinds of people and that they will be separated from the womb. God is revealing more than the obvious that they will be born and come out from their mother; He is saying they will not be the same people and even implies them to be opposed to each other and we can go further to call them opposing enemies. The Hebrew word translated as “separated” means to divide yourself one from another. This is a very important hidden Bible lesson subject to learn about division. This is the second time I have mentioned this subject so far, but I still do not have the time to teach it to you fully today. Just keep in mind, because it is very important. I will do an individual Bible study on this subject soon.
God also says that the older son will serve the younger son which completely reverses the normal course of inheritance where the first born son would always obtain the greater family blessing revealed in the O.T. Law of God. God further implies that the younger son will become the stronger child than the older and gain preeminence over his elder brother. These are all very key points to learn to associate with a greater hidden message than what is being presented from the surface historical story. What have we learned about Jacob and Esau so far? Here is my Top 10 List of things you should have learned:
- There are two brothers in direct opposition to each other
- The opposition begins before they are born into the natural world
- The opposition continues after they are born into the natural world
- One brother will be divided against the other brother
- The younger son is stronger but is not born first
- The younger son becomes ruler of the older son
- The elder son is born first but does not inherit from the father
- Therefore the older son loses his stated birthright
- The younger son is born second but does inherit from the father
- Even though they are brothers from one father, they are two separate nations of people
The Hidden Allegory Aspect of Jacob and Esau
Let me introduce you to a potentially new hidden concept found in the Bible. I briefly already mentioned that I believed that God was using Esau and Jacob as symbolism. Symbolism is very prevalent in the Bible where God uses a natural object to convey a spiritual truth, like a field, a pearl, a seed, etc. Allegory is like symbolism but it uses real people to introduce us to hidden spiritual beings we do not yet know fully. Allegory is a concept that just takes symbolism a step further in the Bible. Both allegory and symbolism use natural representations for spiritual realities. I will attempt to briefly discuss this concept called “Allegory” or “Allegorical” information to help you better understand what God has written to us in the Bible. If you have not already learned by now that not all of the information in the Bible is obviously presented then you have not studied the Bible for very long. Allegory is always a hidden technique of God and it is used to conceal spiritual information in the Bible using real natural stories found within the course of human/Bible history. Allegory is a technique that is actually very prevalent in the Bible but yet it is also well hidden at the same time. What I have started to realize is that almost every Old Testament story written in the Bible has a greater hidden story behind it of something else that is not clearly known, obviously presented or even directly taught. I have had people try to tell me that allegory was a manmade concept invented by people in the dark ages to try to dispel the things that I am trying to teach you about today. These types of people are usually just naturally thinking or carnally minded categories of people who do not wish to see the spiritual things of God. It is really not their entire fault because I believe that it is clearly Satan’s attempt at trying to keep them from knowing the truth. Allegory is easily found in the Bible if you look for it. Let me give you a dictionary definition of the word allegory:
a representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete or material forms; figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another.
Hopefully you can clearly see what is described in this definition of the word allegory. Two key points need to be fully grasped from this definition. Within an allegory, there is always a story that is given which is a figurative representation of another truer story that is not given. The given allegorical information is always a symbolic treatment of a greater hidden story with transferring identical characters, characteristics, features, relationships and actions. The only thing that is not relevant in an allegory is the timing of the physical occurrence. In other words the order of events is important but not the time when they occurred. I think I’m not saying that exactly correct. You see everything certainly matters in the Bible. However the allegorical story given to us in the Bible is always a past historical event and the hidden spiritual story that it contains may be a representative type of an event that is a past, present or even a future event and possibly all three at the same time since God lives outside of the dimension of time. Allegory is an absolutely amazing way used by God to hide spiritual information in plain sight using easily understood words and stories. God tells us one true natural story about Jacob and Esau and in that story is another hidden story of information about two beings that are not named. Modern writers like C.S. Lewis in his books often used this technique or style of writing. In the Narnia book, the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe there was a hidden story of Jesus, the devil and a door to salvation with our continuing spiritual battle resulting in of final victory. Therefore, C.S. Lewis understood the concepts of symbolism and allegory and he used it to tell a fictional child’s story that had a much greater hidden spiritual meaning for adults. That is exactly what God is doing with the story of Jacob and Esau. God writes a historical story that has direct meaning written to carnal men while hiding the real story that was written to spiritual men. The spiritual story clearly has the greater precedence and meaning than the natural story. But also it is impossible to understand the spiritual story without first understanding the natural story. Therefore the two stories (natural and spiritual) are eternally married together. This is the demonstrated wisdom of God and He invented this technique to teach us.
The first time that I really learned about the concept of allegory, I was reading the Bible and the Spirit of God spoke to me in my spirit for me to notice what He said in Galatians chapter 4 about Abraham, Sarah and Hagar. If you have never seen this you should stop and read this chapter right now. In this chapter God explains in great detail that this real historical story of Abraham is actually an allegorical picture of His own spiritual family and family members. There are five people mentioned in this story; one father, two mothers and two sons. God reveals to us that these two women (Sarah and Hagar) represent two different covenants with God. Since God is the initiator of these covenants, we can understand that God is the representative figure of the man Abraham in the story and Sarah as you can read in this chapter was the figurative representation of God’ first wife and she is revealed to be the “Jerusalem Above” (Gal 4:26). Hagar the Egyptian slave woman is used as a figurative symbolic representation of God’s second younger slave wife and she is revealed to be the “Jerusalem that now is” (Gal 4:25). That is an awesome revelation that God taught me so do not let it slip away from you. Therefore Hagar the slave girl represents the present earthly natural nation of Israel that was in covenant with God the Father in the Old Testament. What God does in this chapter is to reveal the existence of two spiritual women that were simultaneously in covenant with the Almighty God in the Old Testament. The Heavenly Jerusalem was the older first covenant wife and she is called the mature barren woman that gives birth to us the church (Gal 4:26). The second covenant wife of God is revealed to be the natural people of Israel and they are still in bondage to the law that God had given to them on Mt. Sinai until this very day. What I want you to do is to start putting the puzzle pieces together that I am presenting to you today. Did you notice in this allegory described in Galatians 4 that the story was about two sons and two separate nations? There was one nation in heaven and one nation here on the earth. Was that not what God said about Esau and Jacob? The Bible is repeated patterns and these patterns teach us some amazing things. I do not have the time to fully elaborate on this entire allegory to teach you everything that is revealed in great detail. What I want to do is to teach you the concepts that are revealed in this allegory to help you to transfer this knowledge to the allegorical information revealed in Rebekah’s two children Esau and Jacob.
In every allegorical story found in the Bible (and there are many of them) there is always a real historical story containing real people with real relationships, doing real things, in real important ways, with a specific order of events and all of these recorded words reflect a hidden aspect of something in the spiritual dimension that you would normally not even know existed. It is an absolutely masterful way of hiding the truth in plain sight used by God. This method presents valid truthful natural information while simultaneously concealing the greater valid spiritual information. So if you are reading in the Old Testament and only seeing the natural things that were written you are virtually missing the most important spiritual messages that God was trying to reveal to you. I hope you understand the concept of allegory because I can see the story of Jacob and Esau to be highly allegorical with vast hidden spiritual information in everything written in the story.
I believe that I have gone long enough in this lesson. I have introduced you to many new things to think about. I have taught you that there are conflicts in the Bible that we need to resolve. I showed you five conflicting scriptural points that contradict what God says about hating Esau. Therefore, I have concluded that God was not speaking literally but figuratively when using these two brothers to describe what He loves and hates. I showed you multiple verses and asked you to go through the other verses searching for what God hates in the Bible. I believe I showed you enough verses that show that God hates sin while still loving the sinner. I also went through a part of the birth of Esau and Jacob in Genesis to show what God reveals about them before they were born and then shortly after. Finally I introduced you to the new concept of allegory and how God uses natural Bible stories to describe to us spiritual stories that we have never seen or heard before. In the next lesson I will attempt to expand what the Bible says about whom Jacob and Esau represent figuratively. These symbolic natural brothers are representative types of spiritual brothers. These are really deep complex subjects found in the Bible. If you understand what I am trying to say please let me know. If you have questions about anything already stated, please let me know that also. This is probably one of the most advanced Bible lessons on my whole website. It will probably overwhelm many baby or carnal Christians. I have worked a long time on trying to simplify the message, but that is truly very difficult. In the next lesson we will continue to talk about more specifically who Jacob and Esau can represent. I pray that you will hang in there and continue trying to learn even if you do not fully get every point yet. Until next time may God enlighten the eyes of your spiritual understanding to see all that He has done. God Bless!
If you would like to continue and read the next lesson in this series you can jump to “Part 6.2“.
(Ver 1.4) Caution Men at Work! This is Part 5 in the advanced study series of Understanding Hard Sayings found in the Bible! You may not realize it, but this web site is dedicated to doing the greater works of Jesus Christ on the earth today. I saw a sign that once said when men work they have to put up a sign, but women work all the time and I thought that was a good statement. I at least had to laugh while I agreed. However, that is not my primary subject today. While Jesus walked our planet in the flesh He made a statement to us that many Christians do not understand nor fully accept. It is just one of the many “Hard Sayings” of the Bible that too many have not received or tried to understand. Today’s lesson is Part 5 in a series of advanced Christian studies about “Understanding the Hard Sayings” foudn in the Bible and my primary subject is about work. But, what is work? How do you define work? How are we intended to work for God today? Here is this hard saying from God spoken through the mouth of our Lord Jesus:
Joh 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
Do you believe in Jesus? If you do, then you qualify to do the rest of this verse. This statement is a conditional statement or command that comes from God and is spoken only to those that believe. If you believe in Jesus pay very close attention to what Jesus says to you and then see what you should be doing for Him. In this verse Jesus is speaking of a four letter word called “Work”. Jesus is speaking about the “works” that He did in this verse on the earth. What were these works that Jesus is referring to? How did Jesus work on the earth when He was here? What examples of work did He do for us? What did He do on a daily basis? Where was the majority of His time spent? In the minds of many Christians there is a wide variety of possibilities for the answers to these questions. There are many who read the Gospels and see how Jesus healed the sick people, cast out devils, open blind eyes and caused cripple men to walk again. These are the works of God in the minds of many. While I do not deny these, I do not believe that the Bible says these were the works of God that Jesus was referring us to in this verse. Wow, I know I just stepped on some religious toes right there. Let me see if I can heal your toes that I just stepped on before we go any further. What is work? To many people work represents a job that needs to be done. A job or work can be something that a person is paid for doing, but not always. A job or work can be something that is fun to do or something that is totally the opposite of fun. There are people who get paid for cleaning bathrooms and picking up garbage and these cannot be fun jobs, in my mind. So how do any of these definitions of human work apply to God’s definition of work? Did God ever get paid for doing work? Was it fun for God to do this work? It is interesting to note that God says He is working, but our problem is we do not know what He was doing and why. How does God work? I want to shift your focus to a verse that you may or may not be familiar with:
Act 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Here in this verse God informs us about some of the things that Jesus of Nazareth the man did on the earth. God says that He anointed this man Jesus to “do” good by healing all that were oppressed of the devil. This verse clearly tells us where sickness comes from, but that is not the subject of today’s lesson. So according to God’s definition, healing is doing good and not necessarily work. Doing good can be work, but I do not believe that it is entirely a one for one exchange of meanings. Do you understand the difference? Take the Queen of England, does she work? No! Does she do any good? I guess it depends your definition of doing good? Anybody can work, but few actually do that which is good according to God’s definition of what doing good is. So I do not find a verse in the Bible that says work is healing or healing is work. Maybe I’m being too picky or maybe I’m just seeing what the Bible says. Let’s go back to the first occurrence in the Bible of the word “work” and see what God reveals to us.
Gen 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
So God clearly tells us that He worked to create our world. This is the very first time this word is used in the Bible so God must be giving us some insight into His definition of this word by the law of first mention. So how did God create the world? If we can figure out how God works then we can better understand this subject of doing the greater works of Jesus. When you read the first chapter of Genesis and see God’s work, you only notice God doing two primary things. First you notice God looking at a problem and then you see God speaking words to fix the problem. God saw darkness in verse 2 and in verse 3 God said “Let there be light”. This must be work by God’s definition. So speaking words must be how God works. Does this make any sense to you? You should read the first chapter of Genesis and see how many times God said and maybe you will understand this definition better.
Mat 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
As you can see in this verse the Bible says that Jesus spent a significant amount of His time teaching and preaching the people. Isn’t this speaking words? Wasn’t this God’s definition of work from Genesis 1 and 2? You can see in Matthew 9:35, Matthew 11:1, Matthew 21:23, Matthew 22:16, Matthew 26:55, Mark 4:1, Mark 6:2, Mark 6:6, Mark 6:34, Mark 8:31, Mark 12:14, Mark 14:49, Luke 5:17, Luke 11:1, Luke 13:10, Luke 13:22, Luke 20:21, Luke 21:37, Luke 23:5, and John 3:2 that Jesus is revealed to be a teacher. These 20 verses all tell us that Jesus spent a lot of His time teaching the people. This is clearly speaking words with His mouth so that the people can hear what He said and then hopefully understand and believe. I believe this was the work of God being stated in the Bible that Jesus was speaking of. I’ll give you one more very important definition of work found in the Bible that will help you to see what Jesus is teaching us:
Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
Here we have the most important definition of work that I have found in the Bible and it clearly states what Jesus was attempting to get people to do on the earth. So whatever Jesus did on the earth that was good was designed to get people to believe who He was. Therefore, God’s work was the intentional effort to get people to believe in something that they had never known before. This is clearly the definition of work to God and the reason why Jesus spent so much time teaching people the truth with His words. Stop and analyze what is the definition of “believing”? To believe something means you must have heard something and are now at the crossroads of accepting it or rejecting it. If I said “God spoke to me today”, you now have to choose, do I believe this since you were not there to hear it also. If you believe me, then you are accepting my word by faith, since I do not have any proof or evidence of this to present to you. Wow, this has turned out to be a basic faith lesson today. Faith is probably one of the top three most important lessons to learn in the Bible, in my opinion. But, I guess I’ll get back to teaching on doing the greater works that Jesus said we should be doing.
What have we learned today? Work to God is speaking words to get people to believe in Him. So what would the greater works be? I believe that these are just presenting the greater truths that God has given to us to share with others so that they would also believe in Him. Jesus said we would be able to do the greater works, only because He was going to leave the earth and go back to His Father in Heaven. Therefore, something that Jesus has now accomplished has allowed us to do a greater work than He could have done here personally. You see all of the multitudes of the people that Jesus taught, He could not get anyone saved until after He had died on the cross, was resurrected from the dead and returned to heaven. Helping to get people saved today by preaching and teaching the Word of God is clearly a much greater work that Jesus could not perform while He was here personally on the earth. Does that make any sense?
Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
In this verse Jesus is contrasting two different types of people on the earth. Both groups of people are teachers, did you get that? Did you know that you were a teacher before you got saved? You might have been teaching in a bar or a strip club, but you were teaching. It is very clear to me that Jesus said by doing and teaching others the right things that you would be called one of the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. But, by doing and teaching the wrong things you would be the least. So that is your marching orders today from God. Do what Jesus said to do and make an effort to teach others so that they can believe and do right things. Only by teaching others the Word of God will you be able to make a lasting difference in the world. Only the Word of God and the Spirit of God changes people. This is why Jesus could say go and teach.
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teach all nations, that is why I can say that this website is dedicated to doing the greater works of God on the earth today. I am a teacher called by God, anointed by God, taught by God and directed by God. I hope and pray that you understand the difference between doing good (healing) and doing the works of God (teaching). I am definitely not preaching against doing good to anyone using God’s definition of what doing good is. In fact, I embrace it fully. I also hope you understand how important it is to get God’s definitions for the words that we are studying in the Bible. By looking up God’s definition of what work is to Him, this helps us to understand how it is even possible for us to do greater works than Jesus did. Otherwise, you would feel very intimidated by this Hard Saying of Jesus. Jesus clearly raised the dead, caused blind eyes to open, cleansed lepers and caused cripples to walk; when was the last time you did any of this? Then figure out if you could do any of this for someone what could you do that was greater than that? I cannot think of anything. Maybe in a future lesson we will talk about the “anointing” factor that we read about in Acts 10:38. Why did God have to anoint Jesus who was God to heal the sick? If you have never understood about the anointing factor from God it is another subject that you need to study. I am anointed to teach and that is why it is possible for me to write Bible lessons on the web. This was God’s doing and not my choice. I did not pray and ask to be a teacher, God chose me and anointed me and that is why I can do what I do. It is very much like David didn’t anoint himself to be King of Israel. God chose him and sent the prophet to anoint him to be king.
You will discover by reading the Gospels carefully that Jesus would almost always teach first and then heal. I know not always and that you can find some cases where Jesus operated in the gifts of the Spirit of God and just healed someone, like the crippled man at the pool of Bethesda. But, whatever Jesus did, is what you should be doing in the same way. Today’s emphasis was on teaching and who knows what I’ll teach on tomorrow. I enjoy teaching the Word of God and that is why I do what I do. I reach people all over the world and I hear from them and they are a blessing to me. I am blessed to be a blessing and so the work of God is spreading around the globe. I am convinced that doing the greater works of God is first learning what the Bible says, doing it and then going and sharing it with others. Get involved in what God is doing and see that the time is very short to do it in. God Bless!
If you would like to read on in the series you may go to “Part 6“.
(Ver 1.1) This is “Part 4” in a series of advanced Christian lessons on “Understanding Hard Sayings” found in the Bible. This lesson today is not a new subject for me to teach on, for I have covered parts of this topic of hard sayings in at least one other lesson. But, I want to back up today and introduce you to the general concept of “Hard Sayings” found in the Bible before I teach any more about them. The Bible contains many sayings that are very difficult for people to accept, so in many Christian churches they simply ignore them. You see I did not invent the term “Hard Sayings”, it came from a teaching that Jesus directly gave to His disciples and in doing this, Jesus taught us that the Bible contains many “Hard Sayings” within it. There are other Christian books and authors on the market that are available with this title about “Hard Sayings” in the Bible. I have not read them, but some of them must be good. What I want you to realize is today’s lessons came directly from God and the Bible and not from the teachings of another man. So what is a hard saying? A Hard Saying can be described as any words or verses that are very difficult to understand or to accept because of what is being taught or stated within them. Many times hard sayings in the Bible are natural controversial subjects which have a hidden spiritual message that is being conveyed. Jesus actually gives us the classic difficult or hard saying Himself in the Gospels and in doing so teaches us some very significant things about this subject that we should all learn. Here is what the disciples said about the lesson that Jesus gave to them:
Joh 6:60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
As you can see the disciples listening to the words of Jesus said that this teaching was very “hard sayings” to accept and they asked “who could hear them”. They are in effect saying the words of Jesus are very difficult to believe, comprehend, accept, grasp or even understand. What were these words that Jesus was teaching on that were called “hard sayings” by His followers? I mean if His followers had trouble accepting them, what about us? What made the words of Jesus so difficult to grasp for these inner circle of disciples? I guess we should start by reading what Jesus was teaching about that the disciples called “Hard Sayings”.
Joh 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
These are truly very “Hard Sayings”. If you try to take these words literally you will attempt to say that Jesus was teaching cannibalism. However, one of the key elements to correct Bible interpretation is knowing when something is symbolic and when something should be taken literally. . This is something that is not always as easy as you would like it to be. Symbolism is a key element used throughout the Bible to conceal and reveal spiritual information to us His disciples. Jesus is speaking symbolically about spiritual things in this verse and we will need to explore several other Bible verses to get the correct interpretation to these symbols. But, this verse is the prime example of how the natural mind of man can get easily confused when reading the Bible. The Bible says this about the natural mind of man:
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
What is a carnal mind? A carnal mind is one that thinks 100% naturally. To apply natural things to a spiritual book is said to be an enemy of God. I see blogs on the internet about Bible studies and they are clearly the enemies to God. They are applying human logic and reasoning to explain away the true spiritual meanings and that is a major problem. So the important lesson from this verse is for us not to think like men, but to renew our minds and change to think like God. God’s ways are not our ways and God’s thought are not our thoughts, but that does not mean we cannot come up to God’s way of thinking. It only means that we do not know how to do this until we learn it from God. God did not give us a book that we could not understand ever. He only wants us to change in order to see the real truth. This change involves a higher level of spiritual thought and hopefully you are growing in this area.
What we discover from Jesus’ statement are that two major components are being spoken of. These are the “Flesh” of Jesus and the “Blood” of Jesus. Then we are instructed to eat and drink these two elements. I purposely chose the word “elements” because many Christians know these are symbolic representations for our communion services where we take bread and wine and partake of the Lord’s body and blood. Christians do this as a symbolic representation of a greater spiritual truth that I will discuss in more depth today. Jesus actually taught us some very profound things while partaking of the “Passover” meal with His disciples. Jesus breaks the unleavened bread of Passover and says “this is my body” eat. Then Jesus takes the cup of the covenant and says this is my “blood” drink. Jesus in doing this was not saying this is my literal body and blood; he again was just using symbols to convey spiritual meanings.
In the Old Testament Psalms, it says “Taste and see that the Lord is Good” (Ps 34:8). So how do you taste anything naturally? In order to taste something you usually put that something in your mouth and then swallow it, if it is good or spit it out if it is bad. God appears to be using more symbolism in this verse of Psalms. We know that God is a Spirit (John 4:24). How do you then taste a Spirit and see if He is good? For that matter how does the real you, the spirit inside your body taste the Lord and see if He is good? That is exactly why Jesus uses these natural things to help you to understand the spiritual things that you have no experience with before you are saved. You have plenty of natural experience with eating if you are a healthy human being. Jesus chose to teach us using these natural things to give us a view into the spiritual things that we do not see. These things obviously have to be similar in characteristics even if they are totally different from comparing natural to spiritual things. God using His vast intelligence created natural things for us to get glimpses into spiritual things. So Jesus is saying in order for you to be healthy spiritually you must eat my flesh and drink my blood and in doing this you will have spiritual life. Our problem right now is we just don’t know what this means and that is where we are going now. I will explain the symbols given to us by Jesus to help you to understand these spiritual things.
What is the “body” of Jesus Christ made of? Where did the body of Jesus Christ come from? These are two key questions to discovering the true meaning of what Jesus was teaching when He taught us to eat His flesh. I will start this lesson with a description of the flesh of Jesus from the book of John:
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.
You can very clearly see that God tells us that His Word became “Flesh” and walked among us. In fact, if you backup to verse one in this chapter, you find that it says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. You cannot separate God from His Word in this verse. God and His Word are “One” in the same. This is one of the reasons why it is impossible for God to lie. God is saying that He became Flesh by sending His Word to join or unite with the egg of the virgin woman Mary. God’s Word became the spiritual and natural Seed that became the flesh that was crucified on the cross. Do you remember when the angel told Mary that the Holy Spirit would “overshadow” her and that she would become pregnant? What was Mary’s response to the Words of God sent through an angel? She said “Be it unto me according to thy Word” (Luke 1:38). The angel tells Mary that God will “overshadow” her. This term means to supernaturally envelop. Mary could have said “I don’t believe that” and God would have been forced to find another woman. But, Mary says “It will be as you have spoken”. So the Words of God were accepted into the spirit of the woman Mary and she believed them and then the Holy Spirit came upon her to conceive the child Jesus. God sent His Word to a woman to become Flesh and this is why Jesus was speaking to the disciples that you must eat my flesh. The flesh of Jesus was the “Word of God” made manifest in this world. The Flesh of Jesus was the Word of God Visible to your natural eyes. This was what Jesus was trying to teach us using these natural symbols that exist in the world. Of course at this time when Jesus taught this, the disciples lacked the keys to the knowledge to understand this truth and therefore this was a “hard saying” for them to accept. We still have this problem in the body of Christ even today. We have many Christians who do not accept things because they do not understand them. For example, speaking in tongues is a prime example of this. Because some do not understand it they criticize it and even teach against it. That is a very foolish thing to do. God excuses your ignorance for a while then it may come time for judgment when you attack your brother. I would dare not teach against anything that I do not fully understand to the best of my ability. What I have hopefully shown you is that the Flesh of Jesus is the Word of God so let’s look at the blood of Jesus and what this represents.
Jesus was not teaching you that you should drink His actual blood; there are laws in the O.T. that say that you should not eat meat with the blood still in it. So Jesus has to be speaking figuratively or symbolically. So what is the “Blood of Jesus”? What does the Blood of Jesus represent symbolically? These are another two questions that are critical to understand if you want to understand what Jesus was teaching when He says to “drink His Blood”. We know from the Bible that it is the Blood of Christ that has paid the price for our sins (Heb 10, Rev 1:5). But, what made the blood of Jesus of sufficient value to accomplish this and not some innocent sinless animal like a real lamb? A real lamb has no sin and it certainly has blood. God told Israel in the Old Testament to sacrifice these animals as a type or a pattern for the real “Lamb of God” who was to come. Jesus Christ is called the “Lamb” several times in the N.T. (Rev 21:9, 21:14, 21:22, 21:23, 21:27 to name a few). Here is another verse that speaks about Jesus being the lamb of God:
1Pe 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
This verse informs us that the Jesus was our sinless Lamb and that His blood was precious. What made Jesus’ blood precious? To be precious means to be very valuable. Anything that is very valuable costs a lot. The Blood of Jesus is said to be a “Mighty Cost Paid” for our sins. So what made the blood of Jesus more valuable than that of a natural lamb? Isn’t blood just blood? That is the million dollar question for the day and if you can answer that question you will understand many things about the Bible that are also hard to accept. Let’s look at a clue that God gives us to this answer in the O.T.:
Lev 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.
So here is a clue to the answer to the million dollar question. God tells us that the “Life” of the flesh is in the “blood”. Without blood your flesh has no life. People know this fact fairly well in our world. If you are injured badly and bleed excessively, you will die. So no blood means no life. This of course is a very interesting paradox being given to us. It would appear that after Jesus was raised from the dead that His “blood” was no longer necessary for His continued bodily functions to operate and to exist; after all most of His blood spilled out onto the ground on the hill of Golgotha while hanging on the cross. Then after His resurrection Jesus told the Mary Magdeline not to touch Him (John 20:17) until He went to heaven to present His remaining blood before God’s real temple in heaven (Heb 9:12). After Jesus returned to earth from heaven it was OK, to touch Him, because He told Thomas to “touch me, a spirit does not have flesh and bone” (Luke 24:39). Notice that Jesus never mentions His blood again, why is that? So I do not know if the resurrected Spiritual Body of Jesus has blood in it today or not. It is an interesting question to consider. After Jesus was resurrected he ate food with His disciples, but yet could walk through walls and appear in a locked room. So what will our resurrected body be like? I can only guess it will be like Jesus’ body. I think that I got off the main subject so I’ll continue with what the Blood represents now.
The Life of the Flesh revelation that we just read about in Leviticus 17:11, we now know that the blood represents Life. We can now ask, whose Life was it in the body of Jesus Christ? We know from the Bible that it was “God’s” life that was in the body of Jesus (Heb 10:5). So when they crucified Jesus the man, they crucified God. God gave us His life in exchange to buy our lives. That was an awesome display of a loving God. No one else qualified to pay the price for our salvation. No one else had the sufficient sinless qualities. No one else could pay the price of such great value that was necessary for our redemption so God came Himself and did what we could not do. I do not know about you, but I am extremely thankful that He did this.
1Jn 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
The Bible is a highly complex book of spiritual information and putting it together correctly is one of our greatest challenges. If God who had no beginning or ending, could come to the earth and experience pain, suffering and death for our benefit then who are we to question was this necessary. If God did not think it was necessary He would have done something else. God experiences death for a reason and you should be smart enough to know that it was just not for our benefit alone, but also for His benefit. God is smart enough to multi-task like no one else that I have ever known. God can accomplish many things with one designed act of love and mercy. So if you want to think that God came only to die for your sins, you can think that and be wrong. Death is a legal separating force for covenants. Do you understand why God had to break covenant with Satan? First, you probably did not realize that God was in covenant with Satan, but this is a Bible fact if you look for it. I guess I’ll get back to my real subject today about flesh of God and the Blood of God. In 1 John 5:20, the True God is spoken of in conjunction with a direct connection to eternal life. One reason that God died was so that we could partake of His Eternal Life. Before God died on the cross, no man on the earth possessed God’s Eternal Life. I know that God took men in the O.T. on credit like Enoch and Elijah to heaven. But, even these men were looking forward to what God would accomplish in the future through Jesus Christ.
1Jn 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
He that has the Son of God now has this eternal life of God. This is what Jesus was talking about when He said for us to drink his blood. Jesus was speaking of His blood as being the life of God that we should be able to spiritually drink and become a part of us internally in our spirits. What happens when you drink natural water? It becomes a part of your natural body. If you do not have water to drink you die physically. These are all symbolic representations of what happens to you in the spiritual realm when you drink the Blood of Jesus. So what is the Blood of Jesus? It was His Life, but what is that to us now on earth right now?
1Jn 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
I have already shown you scriptures that told us that the Body of Jesus was the Word of God. Now we see another revelation concerning the Blood of Jesus. If the life of the flesh is in the blood then you can substitute Life and Blood interchangeably and still be correct. It would appear to me that everything reverts back to God’s Word. If you want God’s Life you better study God’s Words and get them into your spirit. This was the key to the lesson that Jesus was teaching on when He said “eat my Flesh” and “drink my blood”. Spiritually speaking we would not be able to do this any other way but by eating and drinking the Word of God and the Word of Life. You may recall the Words of Jesus, when He said “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mat 4:4). Jesus is again giving us clues into the “hard sayings” that He was teaching in John. Jesus is comparing natural bread that we eat with our physical mouths to the spiritual bread from God. God’s spiritual bread is His Word and we can only eat this by getting God’s Word into our spirits. Jesus said by partaking of the spiritual food it will bring life to us. God’s words are that spiritual food that we need to eat and to drink in our spirits.
So if nothing else today I hope and pray that you learned two things. The Bible contains “Hard Sayings” that are difficult to grasp and accept on the surface only reading of the text. But, then you should have also learned that God has provided explanations in His Word to what these Hard Sayings mean. You have to study, you have to search the Bible for the key words and then you have to allow the Holy Spirit to direct you to the truth. In doing this you come much closer to knowing the truth as Jesus taught us in His Word.
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.
If you would like to continue reading in this series about “Understanding Hard Sayings” found in the Bible you may go to “Part 5“.
(Ver 2.1) This is “Part 3” in a series of advanced lessons about “Understanding Hard Sayings” found in the Bible. We live in a pretty crazy world at times. Some Christians like to believe that God is in complete control of everything that happens to us, but what do you do with the times when it seems like you are facing some very challenging overwhelming circumstances? Did God send these negative circumstances to test you, prove you or maybe just to keep you humble? It is funny what many churches teach on this subject and most of them ignore what the Bible says in order to teach something that they have created in their minds. Human reasoning and religious thinking usually results in things that are directly opposed to the truth of God. Learn to be careful who you follow and make sure what they are teaching you is based ONLY upon the scriptures being correctly divided and interpreted. Also allow the Spirit of God inside of you to be your quide into the truth. He will also keep you from what is not the truth if you let Him. Always remember that whatever God says to you by His Spirit will always be in perfect alingnment with what He has said to you in His written Word.
Joh 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
The Greek word translated as tribulation literally means “trouble” and “pressure”. So we have all been faced with the storms of trouble and pressure in our lives. These are things like losing your job and wondering what you are going to do now for money to pay the bills. How about getting attacked physically with sickness and disease? Having a child die suddenly? What about being pregnant and having a miscarriage? Facing natural disasters like hurricanes, tornados, wild fires, earthquakes and floods. Look at the world’s economies on the brink of collapse. The plunging real estate markets and the rollercoaster stock markets. What about the price of food and inflation, droughts, famines, wars and I could go on and on We are all faced with an enormous amount of different kinds of pressures being put on us from every side it seems. The verse above in John 16:23 speak of these “pressures” in life. Jesus told us that tribulation is a part of the world that we live in. However, Jesus did not say God was sending them your way. Jesus said be of good cheer for I have overcome the world. Jesus directly links this “pressure” to the “world” that we currently live in. Jesus did not say be of good cheer because these are just God’s way of testing you, changing you, proving you or whatever else people like to think. I personally believe that if there was nothing to overcome in life that nobody would seek God for help. But, yet I also believe that God never sent any of these storms of life that we are faced with. I personally believe that God warned Adam not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and that Adam is the one that allowed evil to enter into the world that we reside within. I’ll try to talk more about this as we go to show you who the originator of these adversities and evils really is. Here are some Bible verses that I have found that helped me tremendously when I was studying this subject and I hope they are a blessing to you also:
Luk 8:22 Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the side side of the lake. And they launched forth.
In this story found in Luke, Jesus has been ministering to a group of people and it was now getting very late in the day. Jesus sends the people away and goes with his disciples to cross the sea in their boat . So far nothing new is happening that is very news worthy.
Luk 8:23 But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.
This is where the story starts to get really good. There are many people in churches that teach that Jesus was God in His full deity power. However, this verse should cause them a major problem, because the Bible says that God neither sleeps nor slumbers (Psalm 121:4). You can obviously see the potential conflict to that kind of teaching by simply reading the verses in the Bible that reveal to us the truth. I believe that Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man. However, I also believe when God became a man, He stripped Himself of His deity powers in order to lay down His life for us. You see it is impossible to kill an omnipotent God. Understand that how you are now is how God had to become. If you sleep Jesus had to sleep. If you eat then Jesus had to eat. If you ever get thirsty then Jesus got thirsty. If you could sin, then it was possible for Jesus to sin. These are just basic realities found in the Bible. So I got off of the subject for a quick side trip to help someone today. This verse informs us that as they were sailing, Jesus went to sleep. The winds picked up and a storm came upon them and it looked very bleak to the disciples. Some of the disciples were men who made their living on the water; they were intimately familiar with this sea, the weather there, boats and sailing. They obviously thought the situation was life threatening. So they had a problem; one of those storms of life had arisen around them that I talked about earlier and they believed it could be the end of them. The boat was taking on water, the wind was very strong against them and the outcome looked very bleak. Fortunately for them they had Jesus in the boat asleep. Let me ask you a quick question; do you have Jesus in you right now? If you do He is not sleeping!
So let’s stop right here and determine something. Who sent these winds and this storm to Jesus and the disciples? Was this the work of God? I thought God was in the boat? Of course God in the flesh was in the boat but God who is a Spirit was also everywhere else at the same time. But, did God send the storm? People like to think that the storms are the acts of God because He is the highest power in control? Certainly men on the earth believe they did not cause the storm, therefore they understand cause and effect so someone had to cause the storm! Insurance agencies like to have “Acts of God” clauses to define what they will cover and what they will not cover. I’ve even heard ignorant ministers claim a hurricane that almost destroyed New Orleans was an act of God’s judgment upon a sinful city. People sure can be ignorant and accuse God of doing some crazy things that I doubt if He is pleased with. Please let me introduce you to a new concept that is related to our subject today of who caused the storm:
Mat 12:26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
Did you know that Satan had a kingdom? That is not why I picked this verse, but it is an interesting point to keep in mind. Jesus says that any kingdom divided against itself will be brought to nothing. This is a spiritual law from the mouth of God! What do we learn from this law? Can you apply this knowledge to our discussion today? Jesus claims that one party or one kingdom cannot fight against itself and survive. That is a very important concept to keep in your mind when thinking about did God cause the storm. So what is my point? If God sends the storm and then God is awakened in the boat to stop the storm, would that not be God working against Himself? That would make God divided against Himself, not in harmony and certainly not in unity. It is more like a Jekyll and Hyde type of God. You cannot send a storm just to give you something to do or to provide an opportunity to prove that you can stop it. It would not make any logical sense. The Kingdom of God would clearly be divided against itself if God sends the storm and then stops the same storm. Do you understand what Jesus is teaching?
Luk 8:24 And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.
As you can see the disciples woke Jesus up and said Master look we are perishing. Jesus got up and looked at the problem and spoke words to it! The wind stopped and there was a great calm. So let’s stop right there again and think. If Words stopped the storm, could words have started the storm? I think that is a very valid question. If it were Words that caused the storm, they cannot be the words from God or He would be divided against Himself. The Bible clearly says God does not change! To speak words to cause a storm and then to speak words to stop the same storm would cause God to be a shifting inconsistent unstable God! I find that a very interesting concepts to understand. As a result of spoken words there was a great calm that surrounded them. If the storm was intentionally sent to Jesus and the disciples what would have been the end result of the storm, if Jesus had not stopped it? For what purpose would the storm have served? Would the storm have been a blessing or a curse? I recently saw a post on the internet that said “adversity can be a blessing in disguise” and I thought immediately how confused this writer was. If you can read in Luke from the fear that the disciples possessed the storm seems to be designed to kill them, to destroy their boat and to steal their life, their time and their money away from them. There is absolutely no logical way to think that the storm in Luke could be viewed to be a blessing in disguise. What else is a storm good for? Right here is an amazing time to use your brain and think again. Is any major storm of life ever a blessing in disguise? I do not think anyone recently in Joplin Missiouri would think it was. So who does Jesus say causes these types of adverse destructive events in our lives? Did you know that the Bible tells us who is responsible?
Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
The thief is a synonymous reference or title for Satan. There are those in churches that think that God sends the storms of life upon them and if that is the case then God is the thief. I cannot speak for your God, but my God is not a thief. Anything that steals from you, tries to kill you or destroy what you possess, Jesus called it an act of the “thief” Satan. We also know that God is not the one who kills, steals or destroys because Jesus said in this verse that He came to give us life abundantly and that would be the opposite of someone who was coming to give us death. Hopefully you can see the difference and know who is behind each event that happens to you. Jesus said that the pressures of life would come, but that we should be of good cheer because He had overcome all of the pressures. Why is that important? Because according to 2 Cor 2:14 God declares us triumphant “In Christ”. Did you know you were in Christ? I guess I do not have time to teach that today, but this is why God can tell you to be of good cheer when storms come!
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.
There are just too many people in churches who do not realize that we have a spiritual enemy and an adversary of spiritual opposition. This enemy is only interested in taking you out of this world. He wants to deceive you any way that he can. The term to wrestle is a physical conflict between opponents. If you are wrestling a friend you are not wrestling. The opponent is described to us as not being a physical being, but is clearly described to be a spiritual force. The term principalities refer to the chief rulers in the spiritual realm. These spiritual forces are described as being “wicked” that means evil and hurtful. They do not play the game or fight the battle by any rules. They are in a no holds barred match of spiritual wits against you. They will send whatever they can against you to take you out.
Luk 8:25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
Getting back to our main lesson story found in Luke, Jesus calms the storm with words and turns to the disciples and asks them a very funny question that most people do not understand. Jesus did not say “Sorry fellows, I did not know, why didn’t you just wake me sooner”. I think that is what most religious people would like to do or think that Jesus said. Jesus was asking “Where is your faith?” Why was Jesus asking them like they should have had faith to do something about the storm? When you read the Bible you need to pay close attention to every word. What is said and what is not said. You do not ask a question like this if you did not expect something different. Everyone likes to pray to God and ask him to calm the storms of life and God’s response will always be “Where is your faith?” That is something that people do not grasp easily, because they do not know what faith is. The implied meaning of the question that Jesus asked was the disciples could have done the same thing that Jesus just did. I know that is going to go over big with some people and others it will be like I’m speaking heresy. We can’t do what God does, can we? We certainly are not God! I know that for sure. However, I’m just studying the Bible and trying to understand what it says. You can choose to believe something else if you like; I’m not your judge.
What I take away from this lesson of Jesus and the disciples is that Jesus is more than capable of solving all of our problems. But, His question will always be “Where is your faith?” I also learn from this story in Luke that God is not causing the storms in your life so He or you can calm them. God’s house is not divided and God must be consitently good or we woould not know if we should try to calm the storms, ask God to calm the storms or to simply let the storms kill us. After all if God sent the storm and you prayed to have the storm stop you have made yourself a new enemy to the will of God and that is why I peronsally believe that God never sends the adversities in your life. You of course can choose to believe what you like. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading in this series about “Understanding Hard Sayings” you may go to “Part 4“.
(Ver 2.3) This is Part 2 of a series of lesson on the subject of “Understanding What the Bible says About Hell“. This is also Part 2 of another series called “Understanding Hard Sayings”. If you want to read the first lesson about Hard Sayings then do that. There are many people in the world today that do not believe in the existence of Hell. However, that does not change the fact that it exists. If you did not read the first lesson in this series about the “Bliblical Evidence for the Existence of Hell” you should start reading there first. I often times wonder when terrorist bombers blow themselves up in the hope of achieving or earning paradise, what they think when they go to hell and are looking around wondering what happened. This is obviously not what they were told would happen if they caused all of this death and destruction to their enemies. I also wonder how many of them would do things differently now that they are locked within the eternal flames of hell, where Jesus told us there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Mat 8:12). There is no doubt in my mind that most people who are in hell are there and do not know how exactly that they got there. I hear many people in the world speak of sinners and the people who do really evil things to other people as deserving to be in hell. It seems that the worst the crime and the more innocent people are hurt or killed, the more deserving that people say they are for going to hell. You can think of people like Hitler, Stalin and others who have killed men, women and children in wholesale lots and certainly they “deserve” to go to hell. However, we are all guilty of comparing our sins to other people’s sins and thinking that ours are not bad enough to warrant such a punishment as hell.
I had a reader ask me a question about “Do people go to hell or heaven after they die and why”? If you have read the first lessonthen you should already know that the Bible clearly tells us that Hell exists and people go there. So the question arises, why? This is certainly a legitimate question to ask God. We will discover that God has already answered the question in the Bible. What I want to do first is tell you what is NOT a factor in why people go to Hell. It is not because you have sinned! Being a sinner does NOT send you to hell! However, it does not get you into heaven either. Sin is virtually a non-factor in the process of do people go to heaven or to hell. Yes, there are sinners in hell right now. But, yes there are also sinners in heaven right now. So committing a sin was not the determining factor for going to either place.
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
You can clearly see that the Bible says “everyone” has sinned and failed to achieve to God’s standard of righteousness. If it says “ALL” that would leave no one out of the Sin Camp. That would include me and you also. A verse found in Romans 5:12 basically says the same thing. So we have two witnesses to the fact that everyone is a sinner. So now people like to say, my sin is not as great as their sin, so therefore they deserve punishment, but not me. Unfortunately for you God has already thought of this excuse defense and said the following:
Jas 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
You can be the best sinner in the entire world and have committed the least number of wrong doings and yet God says if you fail in just one place, one point, violating just one rule, you are guilty of breaking them all. Wow! That is very strong! That also is not good news for being the best sinner either. That basically tells us that there are no sins that are greater than any other sins in the eyes of God. What do you do with that information? God makes it sound like a very ominous and hopeless situation that we are all in. I certainly agree with that assessment and I hope that you do to.
So what have we learned? We have learned that there are no good people in the world who deserve to be saved. Everyone is technically guilty of violating the entire law of God and that will not work to get you into heaven based upon God’s standards. You see Islam and other religions in the world like to see things in a balanced scale system where you put your bad deeds on one side and your good works on another side and then see which one is greater and that determines where you go. Wouldn’t that be nice? However, this is not what God calls a system that will work to get you into heaven.
Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Hopefully you can see what this verse is saying. Salvation or justification is not earned by doing good things. Obeying the law is doing a good thing, yes? But, God tells us that no flesh will be “justified” by doing the good things written in the Law! That basically tells me you cannot do anything to work yourself into this salvation. That means heaven is not guaranteed no matter how many good things you have done in your life. What we have discovered are two things that are not a factor in whether you go to heaven or to hell. It is not your sins and it is not you doing good things. That really shocks a lot of people who have been deceived into believing they can do something to affect their outcome and destiny. So what are the determining factors for being saved and going to heaven? I’d like to tell you it is just a simple a 1 + 1 = 2 problem, but that would be oversimplifying the situation. However, I will make it as simple as I can. It appears to me from reading and studying the Bible that people go to hell simply because they reject salvation and the savior Jesus Christ. Part of the problem comes from the fact that God’s idea of Salvation is not usually your idea of salvation and that is one of the biggest problems you face to getting saved. You see if you were simply presented a choice of believing in Jesus Christ and not believing in Jesus Christ and that is all the choices you had that would certainly make it much more of a simple process. However, there is an enemy in the world, a spiritual being called Satan, who works very hard at tricking you into believing lies. While God plays by the rules, Satan does not and has caused a vast number of people in the world to believe in his lies. So rejecting the savior Jesus Christ could be a simple acceptance of Buddhism as your belief system. Simply by buying into a false religion you could be missing out on heaven and eternal salvation. This is what Jesus says to us:
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Jesus is trying to get into your heart right now, if you have not let him in already. Jesus is standing and knocking and wants to come into your spiritual house. Did you ever think that if the omnipotent God wants in your heart, why doesn’t He just kick the door down and come in? Isn’t He still God? Doesn’t God always get His will done? Apparently not! You see God is a gentleman who abides within rules and self-imposed limitations. God will never force anyone to get saved. God will try to get your attention, but yet you have a responsibility to first hear Him knocking at your door and then to go open the door and let Him in. So what happens when Jesus comes and knocks and you refuse to hear it? What happens if you ignore Him? What happens if you do not open the door for Him? Believe it or not that is what causes you to go to hell. Here are some more words of Jesus on this subject.
Joh 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
So here is a little secret, Jesus is not going to come to your physical house and knock on your natural door to try to get you saved. Those were all symbolic references to a spiritual situation that will transpire in a way that you would probably not expect. You see Jesus is knocking right now at your heart, if you choose to hear Him. Did you notice what Jesus said in John 12:18? Jesus says that if you reject Him and His Word, it will be the Word that you heard and that you rejected that will judge you in the future. In other words the Word of God is God and if you reject it, you are rejecting God. That causes a lot of people to not find salvation. They do not know how God is speaking, when He is speaking, where He is speaking or even recognize what God is saying. God has purposely chosen to hide himself from your physical view, so that you can be an atheist if you want to be. However, God uses people like me to try to reach you and convince you that He is real.
So I do not know everyone that is in hell right now. I do know how they were deceived. I do not know how many times they rejected the truth of God’s Word. I do not know how many times Jesus knocked and tried to come in. It could have been when they were just 5 or 6 years old. Maybe, it was when they were 12 or 13 years old. All I know is that Jesus said I tried to knock and they would not open the door and let me in. It could have been that they were preoccupied by the distractions of working, going to school, shopping or whatever else people do in the world. I wrote another blog on this subject, if you care to read it about why people are not saved and it was called “The Top 10 Enemies To Salvation! Why People Don’t Get Saved!”
Many people think that God sends people to hell, but that is really not a true statement. The Bible says that Hell was made for Satan and his angels. God knowing that no man could do anything to earn salvation came to the earth in the flesh and gave His life for the payment of every man’s sin. So God by His grace reconciled man back into relationship and favor with Himself. But, yet God still gives man a choice in what they want to do. Then if we put Satan into the picture and see how he has deceived the world into believing his lies, that it the root of the problem of why salvation is not so easily obtainable. God freely offers salvation to everyone, but everyone is required accept it. To accept God is to accept His Words. To receive God’s Words is to allow God to come into your spirit and live. Always remember that Jesus is trying to knock at the door to your heart and get your attention, but the devil is trying to distract you with everything that he can put in front of you. What you decide to do will affect your eternal destiny. God has placed the ball in your court and it is your turn to move. God says now is the time for salvation, today is the appointed day for getting saved. So don’t delay and receive Him while you can. If you think that you have time and can wait to get saved, you are already deceived. If you are interested in learning how to get saved, you can read my page “Salvation How to Know if You are Going to Heaven”. God Bless!
If you would like to continue the study of “Understanding Hard Sayings” in the Bible you may continue to “Part 3“.
(Ver 1.3) This is “Part 1” of a series of lessons that I am doing on “Understanding Hard Sayings” found in the Bible. The Bible is full of many difficult and hard things that we wrestle to wrap our limited human minds around. God says some things in the Bible that are extremely hard to accept by a lot of people. Most of the time, Christians read a difficult saying in the Bible and just ignore it, because they do not know how to explain it. Heaven forbid that we just read a Bible verse and accept it for what it says! Hardly ever do you hear a preacher teach on any of these hard things found in the Bible and when they do they usually attempt to excuse them or explain them away as something that they do not say. I do not know if they are afraid of these verses or just do not want to take the chance of offending anyone so they just steer away from all of the controversy. I could give you many examples of this in the Bible, but I’m going to go into one that is extremely controversial in most religious circles and one that is hardly ever mentioned in any church. Human reasoning has attempted to say that man is a nobody and a worm of a being. Many think that man is a being of very low order and importance in the spiritual chain of command or you might call it symbolically, the spiritual food chain. I have heard many ministers get up and teach how unworthy we are and how we are nothing and that we can do nothing. Yet the Bible does not seem to indicate this at all. I would say from what I read that it actually says the opposite.
Let me start by asking you a question that I have thought of and maybe you have also. If man was so unimportant and low in the spiritual food chain, why did God have to come to the earth in person to pay for our sins with His own blood and life? I mean that is an amazing question to consider. Couldn’t God come up with some other way or plan to fix the sin problem of the human race? God of course is the “Most High” in the spiritual food chain. There was and still is no one higher than God and yet He chose to come to the earth in the flesh. Were there not anyother sinless beings in heaven? Couldn’t God have sent someone else? Let me ask you was there anyone else that could have accomplished what God wanted and needed to accomplish with Jesus Christ? I do not think there was anyone else, but I can’t tell you all of the reasons why in this lesson.
Here is today’s key controversial Bible verse and it is Jesus speaking to the religious leaders in Jerusalem. Let me tell you what is happening within the context of this verse so that you will understand it a little better. In this chapter of John, the Jews are speaking with Jesus and they are very upset and angry with Him. They ask Jesus to tell them plainly if He is the Messiah or not. Jesus tells them they do not believe the works that He does in his Father’s name so they would not believe if He told them anything else. They claim that Jesus has just blasphemed against God because He has called Himself the Son of God and they begin to pick up stones to kill Him and this is what Jesus says to them in this chapter 10 of John:
Joh 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are Gods?
What do you do with a statement like that? It is truly a difficult saying to accept. You can clearly see why it has been so vastly ignored, like it is not in the Bible. I think most people just think Jesus didn’t know what He was talking about or Jesus must have lied. Surely He didn’t mean exactly what He said? How can men be gods? To hear people preach you would think that we were the lowest of the low. It would be impossible for most religious people to think of themselves in these terms. Do you think Jesus would say that again if He was standing in front of you in the flesh and you asked Him to? I have to admit that I struggled with accepting that statement. After all Jesus did not say it to me personally, or did He? You see once I realized that the Bible was written to me personally as a love letter and a guide or handbook for every human, then I looked at this Bible verse a lot differently. This is probably the greatest challenge most Christians are faced with. To read a Bible verse and claim it to be true for Me and You! As long as you read the Bible in an impersonal and indirect way like it was written for someone else and not you, you will never accept what it really says.
Let me briefly focus on the Greek word translated as “gods” in this verse. Because it is a very important word to understand. This Greek word G2316 is “theos” and it means “supreme deity”. It is used in the N.T. over 1000 times and mostly for the name for our “God”. Why would God use the exact same word to describe us as He uses to describe Himself? I find that a fascinating question to ponder. I believe it reveals more than we can possibly imagine. It is beginning to change my perspective considerably on where man was created on the spiritual food chain, but we will need to research and study in order to find the truth.
Did you know that Jesus only taught things that He learned in the Old Testament Bible? Jesus would walk around and teach things that He found from reading the Hebrew books of the Law. These books were given to them by God and they contained the laws of God. So once you realize that Jesus only spoke things that He learned in the Old Testament you begin to realize the significance of the Word of God. Jesus placed a very high priority on what was written in God’s Word. In this verse in John, Jesus was speaking to the Jewish leaders who knew the law. Jesus asked them a very simple question and one that could easily be verified. Jesus asked them “Is it not written in your law?” You see in this chapter the Jews were accusing Jesus of calling himself the Son of God and they called it blasphemy. But, Jesus responded to their accusation with a simple verifiable question. Doesn’t your Law say that you are gods? In other words God had called them gods a long time before Jesus said He was the Son of God and they ignored it like religious people still do today. Do you see the parallels found in our churches today? Do you see the religious patterns still prevalent in the minds of religious people today? Here is one of the verses that Jesus heard read from their law and Jesus learned this verse in their temple so they could not deny that it was written there:
Psa 82:6 I have said, ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
In this verse in Psalms Jesus was taught that the Most High God called men gods. If Jesus could read and see this verse in the Bible, how is it that the religious leaders of the day did not understand what they had read in their own law? Did God blaspheme when He called men gods? This verse further goes on to call all men and women the children of the Most High. That means they were all called the sons and daughters of God before Jesus said He was the Son of God! If Adam was created a son of the most High God what does that make Adam? You see now we are getting into the problem that religious people have with all of these types of verses in the Bible. If Adam was a son of God that would make Adam an older brother of Jesus in the natural realm. That causes many people to choke when they hear me say that. You see I did not say Adam was God or “the Son of God”. Adam was just a child of the Most High like this verse tells us clearly. I certainly know how difficult the Bible is to understand and how complex it can get. I have had people say to me that I am giving you my opinion on what the Bible says. When someone says that to me, I know they do not know how to read or either they read it, but don’t want to see what it says. I rarely give you my opinion about anything. My opinion is not worth a dime to anyone, including to me. I could care less about my opinion. I am really only interested in what God’s opinion is and if you are not doing the same, you need to go to some other book and study it. If you are not interested in learning what the Bible says, you should be reading someone else’s blog.
I also want to speak of the Hebrew word translated as “gods” in this verse in Psalms. This word is again a very importan word found in the Bible. The Hebrew word H430 is the word “elohiym” and it is used over 2000 times in the O.T. for the name of God. Again we have the same confirmation that God is calling us gods by direct name association. That places such vast importance upon this subject that I cannot even describe it fully or begin to fully comprehend it all. Let’s briefly consider some more scripture from the book of Psalms:
Psa 8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Here is an interesting question that many people are asking today. Who am I and why am I here? This verse asks why is man on this planet? And why did God have to come in person to visit us in the flesh, by the man called Jesus Christ. So here is God’s answer to the question of why we are here:
Psa 8:5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
Wow, more words religious people choke on. You see in this verse it has a grossly mistranslated Hebrew word. The translators were clearly choking on what it said in their minds and changed it to something else they thought was safer. The Hebrew word translated as “angels” is the same word “‘ĕlôhı̂ym” that is normally translated as a name of God. This verse in the original Hebrew is calling Adam a little bit lower than the Most High God. A little bit means a very small peck down the ladder and not a vast expanse of difference. Man was made a little lower than God and he fell down below the angels when Adam sinned. This verse says that “Man” was crowned. To be crowned means to be given “royal authority” and “sovereign authorization” or “power”. The term to be crowned with glory and honor is very significant and implies many good things were given to man by God.
Psa 8:6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
These verses are an outstanding conformation for what God said to man in Genesis 1. Man was given “dominion” over the works of God’s hands. What were the works of God’s hands? It was everything that we can see or touch that is around us. To have “dominion” means to rule over, have authority over, to be in control of and to make decisions for. It implies that man was to take care of what God had given to us. It means that we were responsible to guard it and to keep those out that were not suppose to be here. It means a lot of things. It is like the United States government has “dominion” over the 50 state country. It is responsible to take care of it, protect it and defend it.
Psa 136:2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Here we have another verse that is often ignored. Who is the God of gods? We can easily recognize this to be our Most High God! However then who are the gods that He is God of? That becomes a mystery to many people. To make us those individuals would never cross the minds of the religious thinkers. However, I believe God is saying that we are those people called gods. Again God calls us gods in a remote verse of the Bible that is widely overlooked.
So YOU and I are NOT the Most High God, but yet we were made in His image and likeness and we have His nature. We do not have His Power or His ability, but yet for our lives we do have control of our own destiny. You see we do have some power, we have the power to choose right or wrong, we have the power to choose life or death, we have the power to choose between heaven or hell and that is a lot of responsibility that many are taking too lightly.
So if God and Jesus called men and women gods, who am I to argue? Who are you to say you are not? I think some day people will stand before God and find out they had more responsibility than they realized to what happened to them. I believe that God expects more out of us than you can imagine right now. I don’t know if this will happen before Jesus returns or not for I do know the time we have left on this earth is very short.
It bothers me when people blog and at the end of their blog they ask people a question like what do you think? When bloggers do this, they imply that what others think matters. I think that many times people are just trying to encourage comments and I guess that is OK. However, just as I am not interested in my own opinion, I am not interested in your opinion either. If you know a Bible verse that would directly contradict anything that I just said, I would be very interested in hearing about it. I am NOT God and I DO NOT know everything. So I like to learn new things if they are legit things from the Bible. If you just struggle with accepting the Words of Jesus, I suggest that you take up your questions and comments with Him and not me, because I was not the one that said it. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading in this series about Hard Sayings Explained in the Bible, please continue with “Part 2“.