(Ver 1.1) Today’s Bible lesson contains a response from the Spirit of God to answer a very important question asked by a loyal Agapegeek reader. My reader asked me why I could call the Bible a personal love letter written from God to you and me. I have mentioned this concept more than once in other Bible lessons. I have suggested to peoplet that they read the Bible like it was”a personal love letter from God written to them”. I firmly believe that if each of us would just change or adjust our perspective of the Bible slightly to see it differently from where we may have seen it before that it would be of great benefit for us to help us learn the truth. What if we read the Bible as if it was a private love correspondence written from a very dear boyfriend or girlfriend? How would this attitude change your expectations of the words on the page? Would you consider the word’s of the Bible more meaningful or to be significantly changed by God’s great love for you? I really do believe that you would.
I grew up in the age before email and text messaging. In that age to reach someone of any distance you had to write a letter to them. Yes, I know the telephone was there and that could be used to convey a lot of the same or even better information with feelings by hearing their voice directly. But long distance calling was expensive so the best way to normally talk to someone in any length was to write a letter to your love. While God could certainly boom out His message directly from heaven for everyone to hear, He too has chosen to reach out to us using a written form of messaging. This raises two questions immediately in my mind and these were 1). for what purpose was the Holy Bible written and 2). what were God’s thoughts for us when it was written? The intent of the Bible could have been anywhere from an attitude of anger, rage and hate on one side of the pendulum to being from a calm, peaceful and loving attitude towards us on the other side. Which one was it?
Many people read the Bible as if it was written only by a powerful angry God of judgment and punishment for all of their sins and the evils that they have done in this world. But I am not one of those and I believe the Bible came from a God with a personal caring attention and a specific communication style of love directed at at all of those that would take the time to read what He said! I believe that we should each receive the Bible like it was an important special delivery love letter written from the most distant place called heaven from the most special person in our lives and see it as Him speaking directly sweet, kind and loving words written to us. Look at the Bible as God making well intended promises about what He will do for us and to us when He comes for us because of His great love for us.
My reader said that God’s Spirit on the inside of him witnessed with his spirit that this type of Godly loving attitude of message content was a correct perspective to receiving the Bible. He also felt that it was a true saying that I wrote about in my Bible lessons when I said we should read it like a love letter from God. But, yet he still needed scriptural evidence and proof for the defense of this statement to confirm his belief. In other words how could he defend this stated belief if someone asked him why he believed His Bible was a supernatural personal love letter written to him from God? What an excellent question and what an admirable quality of Christian character to possess. For someone to be so open minded and in tune with the Spirit of God but at the same time wanting to verify whatever is taught with the backing of the Bible caused him to be like one of the noble Berean types of Christians found in Acts 17:11. I hope and pray that you are the same way. Therefore let’s obtain foundation evidence from the Bible for a belief that God wrote the Bible as a personal love letter.
WHY WE NEED TO KNOW THE ANSWER
Let’s open this Bible study with a directly related discussion to why we need to be able to answer when someone asks us a question about the Bible concerning why we believe the way we do about what is written in it. What I want you to learn in this initial section is why it is important to learn, know and remember the sound Bible truths in order to respond to the questions of people desiring to understand the foundation basis of our beliefs and faith in Jesus Christ. We will begin reading form the book of Colossians:
Col 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
Col 4:4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
Col 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
Col 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
This is such an excellent set of verses. Paul writes to the church of Colossae. This information should immediately raise the question in your mind “why am I reading a letter written nearly 2000 years ago to someone else originally like it was applicable to me? This is what many intellectual deceived people will conclude. I have also heard religious people that graduate from unnamed seminaries use this argument to explain away verses that did not conform to their traditions. However that is a lie from Satan. This letter was written to the Church of Jesus Christ and that is me because I’m in the same body of Christ and they were. There is no new body of Christ today from back them. I hope that you understand that.
Paul writes both a request for prayer as well as to give them instructions on our important subject question do we need to defend our faith to non-believers? Paul asks for them to pray that God would open a door for him to be able to preach the mystery of Christ to the lost. Paul expounds clearly and plainly that God’s word contains divine mysteries that are not easily understood by carnal minded unsaved people. Therefore Paul then asks them to pray that God would show him what to speak so that he could walk in divine wisdom toward them that were unsaved. This is an excellent prayer for me if you would have the time to do that. I know if you are witnessing to people it would be a good prayer for you also. Let’s continue to go through some more of the information found in these verses written to us in the church.
Paul is talking about speaking the right words for the specific situations for those coming opportunities that God was going to present to him through the open doors being prayed for. Can you understand what Paul needed and why it is even necessary to ask God for this to help others get saved? Think with me for a moment. Every man is different. Each individual being different will respond to only certain personal words. One answer to one man will be rejected by another. This is why we need God to help us because only He knows the right words to speak for every person we encounter.
What if someone that is unsaved comes to you and asks you why do you believe in Jesus? Do you have an answer? Wow, I think many do not. Now let me ask you something related to what Paul prayed. Do you have the answer that they will receive? Someone coming to you and asking why you believe in Jesus is really no different than if someone comes to you and asks you why are you reading the Bible? I believe that one possible good answer to that question would be “I read the Bible because this is God’s love letter that He wrote to me personally”. However this answer may just bring up another direct question about why you said that? Will you be able to answer that question also? What kind of proof or evidence do you have to present to anyone in the court of human personal interaction to defend your statement? I hope and pray that is the reason that you are reading this Bible lesson to find out.
Look at verse 6 again because this is the main point that I wanted you to see in this introduction. God says through Paul for our speech (words spoken to the unsaved world) to always be done with God’s Grace (full of grace, spoken in grace, led by grace and even done with and for grace). Then God says to let your words be seasoned with salt. Wow now we are getting into more difficult symbolism. We could spend days talking about the subject of salt but that is not my main subject today. Therefore let’s move to the last statement in verse 6.
In the last statement in verse 6 God says if we let our words be as the seasoning and preserving salt filled with grace this will cause us to be able to answer any man’s question the way that we should. What God is saying is you better expect questions concerning your faith and beliefs to come from unsaved people and then you also better expect to give them answers to those questions right away. Are you ready to do that?
1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Today the question asked to me was “Why I believe the Bible is written to me personally as a divine love letter from the Almighty God”. Let’s get into the subject of why the Bible can be considered a divine love letter written to you and I from the most intelligent and all powerful being that you can imagine named God.
WHY SHOULD WE CALL THE BIBLE A LOVE LETTER?
I’ll begin this section of the subject study by using a very basic important fact presented to us in the Bible about how God identifies to us His character as being love. This basic foundational fact should be one of the truths that every Christian learns directly after being saved. Knowing God’s true character and nature will help us to know how to understand the entire rest of Bible. We should always balance God’s revealed character of love with His stated works and actions. I will say that this is a complex question to answer and sometimes Bible answers to basic questions are not as easy as reading only one verse but I will still try to answer the question as best as I can in this presentation of message delivery. Let’s start with seeing this very important basic Bible truth of God’s character found directly in the first epistle of John:
1Jn 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1Jn 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Notice the declaration of divine character being presented to the church in these two verses that “God is LOVE”! The Greek word translated as “God” in these verses is G2316 and this Greek word can be transliterated as “THEOS”. THEOS is one of the dominate N.T. names of God and is found in 1172 verses. THEOS is LOVE is one of the most vital statements of God’s makeup, character, personality and nature found in the entire Bible. Love is stated to define who and what God is and this declaration must be the revealed source for His other great qualities such as His morals, His compassion, His mercy and His grace. God wraps all of His other Bible described attributes in the one word named Love. This word translated as “love” is the Greek word “AGAPE” (G26) and we all need to learn this word. According to John 3:16 AGAPE means to give grace, mercy and compassion to someone when it is not desired, deserved, earned or even appreciated. I am not going to explain that statement further so if you can’t read John 3:16 and see that this is a true statement you need to spend a great deal of time studying on this verse before you continue in this lesson.
God’s (THEOS) divine love (AGAPE) is nowhere close to a normal human type of expressed love. The God kind of love is unconditional. God loves us because this is His character and nature and not because of anything that we can do for Him or to Him to earn it. I would like to make a point that God does not have love because these verses say very clearly that God is love. There is a huge difference between being something and having something. For example if I had gold that is completely different than saying that I am gold. Humans fall in love and fall out of love and this is not an example of God’s love (AGAPE). God is never going to stop loving you because you did something wrong, made a mistake or even told Him that you did not love Him. Wow, that is difficult to even comprehend.
What we observe from these two statements in 1 John 4:8 and 4:16 is that there is a definite mathematical law that what one (GOD THEOS) is the other (LOVE AGAPE) is. Each are declared to be the equivalent representative of the other only using a different description, name, title or label. Wow, that was a very powerful statement of truth. What I am saying is when you see “AGAPE” you should see “THEOS” and when you see “THEOS” you should see “AGAPE”. There is no difference between the two by God’s definition. Remember that this is God’s definition and not mine. God teaches us that they both are stated to be mathematically equivalent. This truth is like saying “GOD/THEOS” = “LOVE/AGAPE” in mathematical notation terms. Let’s check out another verse that claims God is love:
2Co 13:11 Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Here we have further confirmation that God is love. I like to give more than one verse to prove the statements that I make because God declares in the mouth or two or three witnesses from the Bible let every word be established. Here is God writing through Paul to say “the God of LOVE”. It would be perfectly fine to say “the God (THEOS) who is love (AGAPE) and peace will be with you”. Wow, I just love the Bible. This is simply teaching us because we have God on the inside of us we have LOVE present. We cannot or at least should not deny that God (THEOS) is stated to be love (AGAPE).
Ok we have just learned and now should know that God and love are stated to be equivalent and so whatever God does should be concluded to be based upon HIS dominant descriptive quality of Him being LOVE. Do you understand this logic so far? Therefore, based upon 1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:16 and 2 Corinthians 13:8 we have a new mathematical rule to use that states wherever GOD (THEOS) is found LOVE (AGAPE) can be found also by the mathematical law of algebraic substitution. Using these mathematical commutative laws it is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged to say GOD (THEOS) = LOVE (AGAPE) and therefore LOVE (AGAPE) = GOD (THEOS) and we can use either titled name form to describe Him or point others to Him. Do you understand this very basic mathematical truth reality? If you do then please read this verse next carefully with this in new information in the forefront of your mind:
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Now change the single most important focused subject word “God” (THEOS) found in this verse to the equivalent of “Love” (AGAPE) using the mathematical laws of substitutionary equivalency and reread the sentence:
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of LOVE (AGAPE), and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Now we should be able to begin to easily understand why I could say that God’s Holy Word was a personal Love Letter written to you and me. Based upon this knowledge, one of the primary reasons for the purpose of the Bible being given to us is because of GOD/LOVE. Then God explains in this verse because of His love His Word is beneficial to teach us (doctrine). This literally means God’s Word instructs us like children helping us to grow up. The next benefit for God’s word is “reproof” and this is a Greek word that means to give us “proof” or “evidence”. Uh oh that is exactly what we all need to answer any question. We are finding the proof that the Bible is God’s love letter simply by studying and learning what He says. This is us again coming to God’s Word like 2 year old children asking their loving parent why, why and why. Next the Bible is then stated to benefit us by “correcting” us. This simply means a confirming repetition of the previous statements that God is turning us away from the ways that are not good for us using His loving Word. This is exactly the role of a loving parent given to their child in a caring and loving relationship. The final statement is a Greek word translated as “instruction” which declares the same loving purpose for the Word of God meaning “tutorage”. God is simply saying My Word will train you in the way you should be going as a wise loving parent will do for any of their children with great love.
What we have just observed is a Loving Heavenly Father that gives us His word in Love and for AGAPE instruction, training and evidence. This should be changing your perspective of the Bible dramatically by now if you are His child and want to grow spiritually.
HOW CAN ALL OF THE WORD OF GOD BE PERSONAL TO ME?
We have just gone through a simple quick introduction to the subject of why the Bible is a written love letter from God. But we still need to connect why the entire Bible should be considered personally written to you and I? In other words if the Old Testament was originally written to the natural nation of Israel, how do any of these previous Old Testament words apply to us today in the New Testament church? I will answer that question by saying Old Testament verses do relate and apply to us if we know how to use them. But let’s begin by taking a specific O.T. example to consider. We will go back to a verse that is often used by modern church preachers. This verse is found in the book of Jeremiah. Yet it this old verse is often quoted to be for us now in the church.
Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
First consider the verse using the knowledge gained from the second section in the lesson on the subject of GOD = LOVE. Is this verse in Jeremiah 29:11 a love based statement? I believe it is very clear that it is AGAPE based. The LORD is speaking in this statement and He declares that He has good plans for the intended reader of this text. It further says that God has good thoughts of peace towards these people also. Sounds like a loving father to me, how about you? If you read the context you will see in verse 1 of this chapter that these words were written to the remnant of Israel that was taken captive into Babylon. This is clearly not me or you, is it? So how does this type of verse apply to us in the church? That is the great question. Do verses like Jeremiah 29:11 have anything to do with you and I today?
Do you remember that we just learned from 2 Timothy 3:16 that “ALL SCRIPTURE” was given by inspiration of God for our instruction and this statement was written directly to the church and I am certainly in the church. This verse in 2 Timothy immediately teaches us that even the Old Testament contains inspired words that are at the least important and beneficial for us to learn from. Do you understand this so far? Do you agree with this concept so far?
When the church was first established based upon the description given to us in the book of Acts, the disciples preached the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of that day using only the Old Testament writings. Therefore the O.T. verses were the only divinely inspired Words of God that could be used to verify doctrinal information that they possessed or were presented. The Old Testament was the only proof and evidence that was present to confirm everything that was being taught by the disciples. If you read Acts 17:11 as I previously mentioned it declared the more noble Berean Christians searched these O.T. scriptures daily to verify what was being taught by Peter, James, John, Paul and etc. This should help us to begin to understand the significance of why even the Old Testament is so important to learn and correctly understand for us in the modern church. It is vital to remember that the Old Testament verses were given by the same inspiration of AGAPE that the New Testament verses were given by. There is absolutely only one Bible written by only one author and He is the God called LOVE and this fact will sustain us to arrive at the truth if we continue to study and learn.
Christians today often still struggle to understand how a verse written to the Old Testament natural nation of Israel could be applicable to them. Therefore, let’s examine some verses in the New Testament that help us to understand why they do apply to us. We will begin by reading a verse found in 2 Corinthians:
2Co 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
Here is where life could begin to get complicated for many Bible readers. This is a verse of Holy Scripture that teaches all of us in the church that “EVERY” promise made by God applies to us even if they were made by God during the Old Covenant. That statement is also a complicated concept that passes over the head of Christians. They tend to over analyze and see many O.T. promise verses as being only made to the people of natural Israel but that is not what this verse said. Every is an all-inclusive statement omitting none of them. That means if God made a promise it is ours by the definition of 2 Corinthians 1:20. However there is a qualification given in order to be included in this statement. Did you see it in the verse? We must pay attention to every detail or we will fall into error easily.
The qualification for God’s promises to be made manifest was given to only those that were “IN HIM”. I’ll say it again “All the promises of God are given to those that are in Him”. All the promises of God are Amen (so be it) to ONLY those that are “in Him”. What does that mean? This simply teaches us a principle that is not widely taught in the church but I will try to explain this without going into great detail in this lesson. I’ll begin by asking you “Are you in Him?” The “Him” is of course referring to Christ Jesus! You are either “In Him” if you are saved or you are “separated and apart from Him” if not saved. That is the basic simple truth.
So why is it important for us to be in Jesus Christ? Wow that is an amazing question to find the answer if you really think about it? Who was Jesus Christ? We should already know that Jesus was the Son of God the second person of the Godhead and trinity. But, we should also know that He was the Son of Man (Adam) and a descendant of Abraham. The genealogy of Jesus given by divine inspiration in Luke 3 proves to us the natural family lineage of Jesus as direct descendant of the natural nation of Israel. This makes Jesus our qualifying partner. Jesus was and is the reason we can possess the Old Testament promises of God written to natural Israel. There are over 100 verses in the New Testament that informs us that we are in Christ Jesus. Because we are said to be in Jesus Christ, we have what He has. What Jesus possesses we possess. It is very simple and yet so very profound. Let’s explore some additional New Testament verses to help confirm what is being taught:
Gal 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
Here is another potentially confusing verse. They which “be” of faith is speaking of “you and I” if you are saved by God’s grace through your faith (Eph 2:8). Are you of faith? I know I am of the faith! Then it says if you are of faith then you are blessed along with and the same as faithful Abraham. Why would this be a true statement? Many of us in the church are probably not a natural descendant of Abraham. So how can we have the same blessings as Abraham? Let’s continue down to another verse in Galatians to learn more:
Gal 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Oh, this verse is beginning to speak more directly of me because I’m definitely a Gentile man. Notice that the blessings of Abraham will come upon the Gentiles through the Lord Jesus Christ. Now we have two keys to the puzzle. There was the mention of faith in verse 9 and mention of Gentiles being blessed through Christ Jesus in verse 14. What we are doing is gathering puzzle pieces to learn how the spiritual things of God were accomplished and how they apply to us by faith. But there is much more to learn and we are missing the main puzzle piece still. Let’s continue to read down into verse 16:
Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
Notice what this verse says because this is a very essential New Testament truth ignored by many. God through the Apostle Paul writes to us that all of the promises made to Abraham were made to him and to his seed. But here is where the clarification comes from God that it was not all of the people that were born from Abraham but rather only one seed being Jesus Christ. Do you understand this? God promised the blessing to only Abraham and to only Jesus the seed of Abraham. That is an amazing statement of truth being given by revelation to Paul. Seed is a word that can be singular or plural without any modification. It is only by the choice of the speaker which one it is. Since God is the speaker we need to conform to which one He said it was and not what we thought or learned from a man. Do you understand that principle?
Why did I just go through all of these verses in Galatians to teach you these basic Bible facts? It is simply because since we are “IN CHRIST” we have everything that He has been given by God. Every blessing that was promised to Christ belongs to me and to you also if you are in Christ. I’ll say it one more time “What was given to Jesus has been given to us by our faith in Him”. I will only go over one other puzzle piece in this chapter for the conclusion of this part of the section:
Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
If you are Christ’s then God declares that you are Abraham’s seed and an heir according to the promise given to Abraham and his seed. Wow again an awesome statement. This is just further confirmation that whatever God promised to Abraham in the Old Testament was given to Christ and because we are “IN CHRIST” we have also become the seed of Abraham. Are you receiving this message from God? The primary reason I am going through these verses is to teach you why statements made to the natural seed can and will still apply to us in the church today. Most of the church today are not natural seeds of Abraham but because Jesus was a natural seed that the promise was made to then we have obtained the blessing also. This is one of the primary reasons why most of the blessing verses written to natural Israel can and will apply to us today in the church.
Do you remember how we got here? I began teaching this section declaring the truth of 2 Corinthians 1:20 that teach us that “all of the promises of God are in Him Yes and Amen in Christ Jesus”. What we have accomplished is the placing together of many pieces to present a greater and more complete pictured truth. Each individual picture piece represents a truth that when joined together correctly present a view into something that is truly much more significant for us to know. I’ll end this section of the lesson with only one other verse concerning the promises of God:
Heb 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
This verse is again speaking of Jesus. The works of God through Christ Jesus are so much greater than most of us really know or understand. What God has done through Jesus and given to us because of His death, burial and resurrection is far beyond the human imagination. All of God’s promises of blessings given to natural Israel have been given to us plus a whole lot more. The promises of God in the New Covenant must be greater than all of those given in the Old Covenant or no one could call them better. This is just another reason why it is legal for us in the church to go back into the Old Testament and use any of those words of blessing from God in our lives. Whatever we can find spoken and written down by God through one of His prophets will be the minimum that we should possess. In other words we can claim by our faith in Jesus because we are IN HIM and we now have better promises that trump those of the Old Testament.
I hope and pray that you enjoyed this very basic but very essential Bible lesson answering the question “How can the entire Bible be considered a personal love letter from God written to me?” This lesson should provide us a firm foundation for why the verses of blessing that were written to the natural nation of Israel can be applied and taken as a promise from God to us today in the church. I began this lesson teaching the basic character trait that GOD/THEOS = LOVE/AGAPE. I then took this truth and applied it to the Bible being given and inspired by GOD/THEOS who is LOVE/AGAPE. We substituted AGAPE for THEOS in the verse of 2 Timothy and this taught us that the Bible was LOVE inspired written down by men of God for us to learn from. We went through the fact that there are over 100+ verses in the Bible that tell us those that are saved are “IN CHRIST”. These verses benefit us because we were given the promises of God made to Abraham by our faith the same as Jesus because we are “IN HIM”.
If you have any questions or comments about anything that was written down here I would be very glad to read them and to respond to them as time and the Lord permits. Please share this website with you friends and family to help the Word of God’s truth be spread to everyone for free on this planet. The more God can reach and help people the faster that Jesus can come back and take us out of this world. I’m personally looking forward to Jesus coming very soon. Redeem the time because the time is short. Stand firm in the faith of Jesus Christ and tell everyone you can about His saving grace. Thank you and may God continue to richly bless you to grow spiritually.
(Ver 1.2) This is Part 1 of a very fundamental and rudimentary essential Bible Subject for every Christian to study, learn, understand and be able to share in an instant with all others in the world! Who is Jesus Christ? Is Jesus the most important person mentioned in the Bible or any other book available to read? If He is, then why is He so important? Many today in the world in other religions simply call Jesus just another human originator of a new religious system that died just like other religion founders like Mohammed or Buddha. Others in certain religions recognize Jesus to be nothing but another prophet of God like Moses, Mohammed or Joseph Smith. There are even many people in the world today that read from the Bible and believe Jesus to be far from divine. Are any of these the truth? Was Jesus just an ordinary man like me? If He was then I believe that I am one of the biggest fools in the world for following Him. Today we will explore just the Bible verses that teach us who Jesus really was described to be. We will be specifically focused on some of the revealed names of Jesus in the Bible and what they relate to us. Later in this series we will also look at the recorded words and claims of Jesus and see who He professed and claimed to be. I hope and pray that you have a very open mind to receive the truth as written and inspired by the Holy Spirit from the Bible. We will be exploring the basics of Bible truth that are the essential foundation for God’s grace and our salvation through our faith in Jesus Christ.
INTRODUCTION TO THE QUESTION “WHO IS JESUS?”
Jesus asks His disciples two very simple questions in the book of Matthew. And their answers to these questions will determine much more than you can imagine. At this point in time when these questions were asked to the disciples by Jesus they had been with Him for a long time following Him from place to place. They had witnessed many very significant things done by Jesus and heard many teachings from this man they called Rabbi (John 1:38). We will begin this section with reading in Matthew 16 and verse 13. Please observe the first question:
Mat 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
Why would Jesus even need to ask anyone who He was? There were a lot of people that obviously heard of Jesus but why would it be necessary to ask these people know who Jesus is? Anyone can know of someone but that is totally different than knowing them or knowing who they are, isn’t it? So who is Jesus? Jesus is asking those that were closer to Him than anyone else “who do men think that I am?” This is the question that is still very valid for today. Jesus could come to you and ask the exact same question. What would you say to Him? Perhaps you would need to go and take a survey in order to find out what men said about Jesus. Today, it is much simpler to just go and search the internet and see what people are writing about Him. Then notice how very wide and diverse the answers were.
Mat 16:14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
The disciples answer “Some say Jesus was John the Baptist”. Other men claim Jesus was Elijah. Still others claim Jesus to be the prophet Jeremiah. Even other men claimed Jesus to be just another one of the prophets but did not know which one. What a diverse set of possibilities for the identity of Jesus. However there is a common theme to them all. They were all calling Jesus a human man acting as a prophet but there was not any majority agreement to which prophet he was. This is still the most popular belief today in most false religions. The general consensus is that Jesus was simply a prophet or holy man like many others; Muhammad, Buddha, John Smith or even the Dalai Lama. This would place Jesus Christ on their exact same level of humanity but is this, the whole truth? Is this all that Jesus claimed to be? Let’s see the second question being asked by Jesus then and now:
Mat 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
Now Jesus changes the question and makes the question very personal. The question has substantially narrowed from “who do OTHER men say that I am” to “who do YOU say that I am”? Jesus was making a point by asking these two questions in succession. Jesus is teaching them that it does not matter what other men think but it does matter greatly what we think individually. Wow, I don’t know if you just got what God said there or not but it was very substantial. What Jesus is saying is that someone else’s opinion of Him is not going to help you or save you. Let’s look at their answer and see if anything changes.
Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Peter answers the question of the Lord with an amazingly new and different perspective to the identity of Jesus. Two things are directly stated by Peter and you need to notice that neither of these stated beliefs of Peter is denied by Jesus. There was no rebuke from Jesus for any of Peter’s answer. In fact the opposite is true if you read down into the next verse. Jesus praises Peter and tells Him this answered revelation came from His Father and not from any man. That is a very significant amount of information to learn from. Jesus teaches us that there are at least two possible sources for knowledge and only one source is praise worthy. The knowledge originating from God is implied to be very good and noteworthy and the knowledge coming from ignorant men was judged as not important. Did you see that? Who is your source for who Jesus is? Is it God or is it a man? It would be extremely wise to figure this out now before it is too late.
Peter could have gone along with the majority wrong opinion. Peter could have chosen to conform to the religious crowd. Peter could have listened to popular peer pressure. Certainly the popular human concept is still what is taught today by many. But I believe that there still exists a God that can reveal the truth to anyone that asks Him and seeks Him with their whole heart.
What were the two God revealed things about Jesus that Peter gave as an answered reply? The first was that Jesus was the Christ. Wow, what exactly does that mean? Many of us have heard the combined named “Jesus Christ” but this title “Christ” was not the last name of Jesus. And you better also know that “Jesus Christ” is not something you say when you slam the door on your finger. Let’s look up the Greek word translated as “Christ” and learn:
From G5548; anointed, that is, the Messiah, an epithet of Jesus: – Christ.
I want to begin with the definition and say Christ is an “epithet” for Jesus. What is an “epithet”? An “epithet” is a word that is used to describe the person being referenced. It is an adjective description. If you understand what an adjective is then you should already understand that an adjective is used to distinguish one man from another. If there is only one Jesus for example no one would need to say “Jesus Christ”. But since there were and still are others then this is one way to make Him uniquely important to the conversation.
Here in this definition is a new connection to a Hebrew word being established along with a meaning of someone that is anointed. The literal definition of the Greek word G5547 translated as the adjective “Christ” means “the anointed one”. Jesus is called “the Christ” by Peter and Jesus does not deny it. This title Christ is only significant because of Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled when Jesus begins His ministry. The Hebrew word being connected in this Greek word definition is H4899. In order to connect the Hebrew word “Messiah” to the Greek word G5547 translated as “Christ” we need to do some homework and search for the title in the O.T. If you do this you will find one key “Messiah” prophecy in the book of Daniel. If you go and read Daniel 9:25-26 you will find the verses that I am referring to. It would take a very long study to try to explain just these two verses so that will not be covered today. But I do want you to notice the Hebrew word that was translated as “Messiah’. This Hebrew word is H4899 and it has the following Strong’s definition:
From H4886; anointed; usually a consecrated person (as a king, priest, or saint); specifically the Messiah: – anointed, Messiah.
As you can observe in the definition this word has the exact same meaning as the Greek word G5547. We can therefore conclude that these two words are equivalent in both languages. I also want to point out that this word can apply to more than Jesus Christ. Any king, priest or even a saint can be anointed by the Spirit of God and this tends to lead some to say that Jesus was just another anointed man like so many others. In that regard if that was the only criteria being analyzed that would be a true statement. However, Peter did not stop talking with calling Jesus “the Christ” and he mentioned another quality that must also be considered.
Do you remember the second statement that Peter made? Go back and reread it if you did not recall that Peter said that Jesus was the “Son of the living God”. Wow that description makes Jesus unique and unlike any other anointed human born on this planet. Jesus had a great opportunity to rebuke Peter for this statement if it was a false claim but Jesus very clearly did not do it. This means that Jesus was confirming His identity to be the “Son of God” with His praise for what Peter had just spoken and because He said that this had been revealed to him by God, His Father. We will talk more about Jesus claiming to be the “Son of God” as we continue in this lesson series. But, Jesus claiming to be “the Son of the living God” is one of the most important things for anyone desiring to be a Christian to learn and believe by faith. I will tell you very plainly right now that if you do not believe that Jesus was the Son of the Living God then you are not a Christian and you are lost and going to hell. This is a very plain and simple truth found in 1 John 2:22-23 so please go and read it.
INTRODUCTION TO THE SIGNIFICANCE OF NAMES
I’m going to shift the focus for a moment to teach briefly an introduction about another very relevant Bible subject concerning “names”. This rabbit trail subject should be a Bible study series all by itself but an introduction will help our study of who Jesus claimed to be and should provide a great benefit to us by us understanding His names. Almost everyone in the Bible was given a name not by chance but rather the name given to them reflected a situation, quality, circumstance or characteristic of something very specific about the person. For example, these given names could have been a reflection on the circumstances surrounding their entrance into the world. Perhaps you remember in Genesis 35:18 when Rachel gives birth to her last son. She called the boy child by the name “Benoni” and this name meant “son of my sorrows” and then she died. But his father named him “Benjamin” which meant “son of my right hand”. God gives such great significance to names in the Bible and these name meanings are often overlooked and ignored but they all have a divine purpose. I will also say that if Benjamin would have been called by the name given of his mother then this would have changed his entire life and who he was tremendously. But since Benjamin was given a name change and a very different positive name he was blessed and favored.
Let’s go over a couple of other significant name changes that made a major difference for those people in the Bible to prove the significance of this subject. The man Abram was selected by God and given a promise by God in Genesis 12. The Hebrew name “Abram” means “high father”. Yet God changes Abram’s name to “Abraham” that meant “a father of a multitude” and it was only after this name change transpired that the promise began to be fulfilled. There is a revealed law of God found in the Bible that as long as the earth endures seed time and harvest will never cease (Gen 8:22). This divine law teaches the concept of cause and effect. In other words for every observable effect (harvest) God teaches us that there must be a cause for it (a seed sown). Some seed sown transpired to cause the promise to be made manifest to see the harvest and I am convinced that God’s name change to Abraham was a major role for this event occurring. Perhaps you will understand that statement as you continue to learn the God given facts of the Bible.
I’ll give you at least one other significant Bible name example. You may recall reading in Genesis 32:29 about Jacob wrestling with an angel. Jacob we are told prevailed against the angel and again as a result, the angel changes Jacob’s name from Jacob to Israel because of this victory. The name Israel obviously came from God and from heaven and you need to know this. When God gives a man a name it usually causes something good to occur and this is just another example. The name Jacob meant “heal catcher” and this name described the circumstances of his birth. But the name “Israel” is a Hebrew name that means “he will rule as God”. I’ll say this again, when God gives you a name there is a great seed that was planted to bring about a divine harvest and this is so very important to understand.
Modern names of people are really no different from Biblical names of people and they often reflect who a person is and what kind of person they present themselves to be. For example I was eating at a restaurant and my server’s name was named “Tisha”. I looked up the name’s meaning on the internet and it meant “joyful” and “happy”. This name meaning fit the personality of the lady very accurately.
What I am attempting to teach you is that it maters what the name of a person is in the Bible and even in the world today still. I am also trying to teach that it matters who gives a person the name and why it was given. In other words why and where the name originates from is critical and the name can certainly influence the outcome on a person’s entire life greatly. Let’s examine the Hebrew word that is translated as the English word “name”. This word’s meaning may shed some additional light of confirmation upon the significance of “names” in the Bible:
A primitive word (perhaps rather from H7760 through the idea of definite and conspicuous position; compare H8064); an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character: – + base, [in-] fame [-ous], name (-d), renown, report.
This Hebrew word means an “appellation”. This word means the act of giving something or someone a name. Then notice the next statement “a mark or memorial of individuality”. Wow that is a very important definition. God and people name things to mark them as being different from other things that may even be similar in appearance. For example any normal family with identical twins will always give each child a different name. This unique name separates one identical twin from the other. When a parent wants a specific twin they will call their name and this should bring the one called. Clearly names matter because it causes a separation from others to occur.
Then notice in this Hebrew word there is an associated implied meaning of any given name. According to the definition a name can carry the positive implication of “honor”, “authority” or it can even denote personal “character”. This positive truth can also be taken from a negative antithesis truth perspective. A negative name given to someone can cause them a negative outcome in life like dishonor or even bad character. I’m trying to teach you how things work in the spiritual realm. If you call your kids stupid then they will become more stupid. If you call your kids lazy then they will become lazier. Whatever names you have placed on your children are all seeds to mold their lives either building character or destroying their character.
I’ll end this introduction to the significance of names in the Bible with this truth. There are so many significant names given to us in the Bible that we often overlook the lesser names mentioned only a few times. For example in Genesis 5 there is a genealogy given to us by the inspiration of God concerning the first eleven men. This genealogy begins from Adam the first man to Noah and then to his son Shem in succession. The name Adam means “man” and the name Noah means “comfort”, the name Shem means “name” and this. Let’s just go through all of the names for review:
If you take the meanings of each of these 11 names given to us in the Bible and combine them into a sentence, you will find the Gospel of Jesus’ coming into the world and one of the primary reasons for His appearing. Here is the sentence using the Hebrew name meanings:
Man (has) appointed mortal sorrow; (but) the Blessed God will come down teaching (and) His death shall bring the despairing comfort (by or through His) Name.
I hope that you are beginning to see how Jesus is even mentioned indirectly here in the names of two prominent Bible men (Adam and Noah) and 9 other relatively obscure men in the Bible. This hidden reference to Jesus using only the names of men certainly is beyond chance or random occurrence. This information had to be placed there by God’s design and plan and this teaches us plainly that God even uses names in the Bible to inform us of things that are very important for us to learn and know. I will give credit for the majority of this information to Chuck Missler and you can find it on his website. I added the name of Shem to what he taught because this should have been given. Remember this prophecy using the 11 names because this will be readdressed in this Bible study later. Let’s move on to the specific name of Jesus next.
INTRODUCTION TO THE NAME OF JESUS
We will continue our Bible study concerning “who is Jesus” with a statement being made to Joseph from an angel sent from the Lord. In this statement is the name of the male child to be born to Joseph’s wife Mary. This name comes from God just like the name of Jacob came directly from God through an angel giving it great divine significance and purpose.
Mat 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
I want to reemphasize this point that the name of “Jesus” came directly from heaven and not from Joseph or Mary or any other human. This fact gives the name of Jesus a divine reason and purpose for being given. The next thing that you need to know is that the name “Jesus” is an English transliteration of the Greek name “Iēsous” being written in the book of Matthew. A transliteration is nothing but a man’s attempt to transfer and preserve a name from one language’s alphabet to another by using similar sounding vowels and constantans. The problem we begin to encounter very quickly is when we realize that the man Jesus was not English nor was He a Greek. Neither of these names would be correct based upon the nationality of Jesus. The genealogy of Jesus given to us in Matthew and Luke both prove that Jesus descended from the Hebrew nation a descendant of Abraham and David. Therefore the name of Jesus should be a Hebrew name and this is exactly what we discover when we look up the Greek word in the Strong’s dictionary:
Of Hebrew origin [H3091]; Jesus (that is, Jehoshua), the name of our Lord and two (three) other Israelites: – Jesus.
You should be able to quickly recognize that the Greek word name has a Hebrew origin. It is also apparent that the name of Jesus was not a completely unique name and that there were other Hebrew men that were also given this famous name. But we still need to ask the question why did the angel tell the man Joseph to name the child Jesus? In order to answer that question we need to revert further to the original Hebrew. Let’s look up the name H3091 and find its meaning:
From H3068 and H3467; Jehovah-saved; Jehoshua (that is, Joshua), the Jewish leader: – Jehoshua, Jehoshuah, Joshua. Compare H1954, H3442.
The English transliterated name for the Hebrew word H3091 is “Jehoshua” or “Joshua”. This name literally means “Jehovah saved” in the original Hebrew meaning. This Hebrew word is made from two Hebrew root words being combined together. The first word is H3068 meaning “Jehovah” and the second being H3467 meaning “saved”. “Jehovah” is simply one of the key names for God found within the Old Testament. The name Jehovah is used by God in over 5000 verses. The name Jehovah (H3068) simply means “Self Existent or Eternal One” and was most often translated as “LORD”.
The Hebrew word H3467 simply means “to save”, “to deliver”, “to free”, “to be made safe”, “salvation” and even “to get victory”. This part of the definition goes along with the statement made to Joseph in Matthew 1 if you will recall the angel said “you shall call His name Jesus because He will save His people”. We can learn from the meaning of the name that Jesus was the hidden fulfilled prophecy of the genealogy of Genesis 5 using the 11 names of Bible men. Remember this prophecy predicted that “the Blessed God would come down teaching and His death gives the despairing comfort through His name”. The despairing are simply humans that were held captive prisoners within the darkness of this world. The Name of Jesus was the God given name that men were required to believe upon and we will talk abut this more in the series as we go. This is exactly what transpired. The name of Jesus shows us by its definition that He was the Jehovah God that delivers and saves His people. This is now the second Biblical confirmation that Jesus was God in the flesh that came down to the earth. Let’s move to new name given to Jesus and study a further confirmation.
JESUS = GOD WITH US!
We are now going to explore another name given to Jesus in the Bible. This name will be the third conformation that Jesus was God in the flesh come to the earth from heaven. I will first give you the name found in the Greek New Testament. This name is found in a verse of Matthew 1. Please read it very carefully not overlooking any of the words in the stated scripture.
Mat 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
First consider the beginning of the verse where God declares a “virgin” will be with child. A virgin simply means an unmarried daughter and this clearly implies that she has never had sex with any man. Right there that gives us the first impression of a supernatural conception. Next the Greek words translated as “be with child” simply means that she is pregnant in her womb. Next the author (God) says she will bring forth (birth) a son. Here is where we get to the good stuff. God say “They shall call his name Emmanuel”. Wow, this is a very meaningful name that was being bestowed upon Jesus. Of course this name is meaningless if you don’t know what the definition of the Hebrew word being given to us is.
What we have just witnessed in this verse is a very vital principle (rule) that God teaches us to how to understand selected parts of the Bible. I have already been using this principle when I taught on the meaning of the name of Jesus earlier in this Bible lesson. This principle given to us by God is the simple fact that names have meaning and that these meanings have significance to indicate something important about the one being named. This principle also teaches us very directly that we need to go back to the original language meaning in order to insure the significance.
Perhaps you missed it again. The name “Emmanuel” in this verse is just another Greek to English transliteration. This Greek word (G1694) was also a transliteration from the Hebrew original name H6005 which was transliterated into English in the Old Testament as “Immanuel”. This is further confirmation that what I did for the name of Jesus going back to Joshua was very legitimate. Finally I want you to see in this verse the Greek word (G3177) that was translated into “interpreted”. This Greek word literally means to “translate” from one language into another. What God is doing is confirming the fact that names have meanings and these meanings have purpose as I have already stated. Let’s go back and research the original prophecy that this verse in Matthew is quoted from:
Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
This verse quite literally says that this will be a “sign” given by the omnipotent God. This Hebrew word (H226) that was translated as “sign” can mean “evidence” or even a “monument”. In other words Jesus will be the visible proof for the name being given to Him. So what did this name ‘Immanuel” given from God mean? You read it in Matthew but it was not given here in Isaiah because you are assumed to already know Hebrew if you are reading the Old Testament because it was written to Hebrews. This is a reason that God wrote the meaning out in the New Testament because it was predominately read by Gentiles who needed to learn more about this old language.
If you knew the Hebrew language then you would find that “Immanuel” means “God with us”. If we break down the Hebrew root words found within this name we should start with the ending syllable “el” which is the short form for one of the prominent names of God in the Old Testament “Elohim”. The short form name “el” for God is used in almost 150 other names in the Old Testament and that is an interesting study all by itself. Then go back to the beginning syllable of the name “Im” and this means “with” or even “in”. Now look at what remains in the middle “man”. Put them together it could read something .like “God in the form of man” which could also means “God with men”.
Do you understand these God given principles? I’ll say it one more time, names have meanings in the Bible and these meanings are important especially based upon who gives the person this name. Any name given to anyone by God is of the ultimate importance since God is supreme. Based on Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23 God comes down from heaven in the form of a man to be with us, to walk among us and to live like us but as a higher example. So far we have found 4 witnesses in the Bible that claims Jesus to be God in the flesh but there are more. Let’s examine another name of Jesus.
GOD THE WORD BECAME FLESH
All Bible truth is found only by searching and studying the Bible with the Holy Spirit’s help to reveal it to us so we are able to see it clearly. This is why the Bible is not understood by even many Christians. They are not studying, not searching or not praying and asking God to open their eyes to the truth and lead them into it. We are going to need to search to find the names of Jesus in order to discover who He really is. I’ll give you three verses to read next and then talk about them:
Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Rev 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
Rev 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Did you see the two names of Jesus given to Him by God? First there is the one called “Faithful and True” and this can only be a name for the divine God since every human can and will fail us. Then in verse 13 He is called by the name “The Word of God”. It is this name “The Word of God” that I want to focus upon next. But both of these names prove that Jesus was God in the flesh come to the earth as a man. How do they do that you ask? Well again you have to study and read the Bible to find the answers. The real answers don’t fall on you like a piece of ripe fruit from a tree that you are laying under doing nothing.
The book Revelation was written by the inspiration and revelation of God through a man named John. John wrote other books of the New Testament and we need to go back to the first book in order to find the answer to who “The Word of God” represents. Read these next two verses to begin with from the first chapter of John:
Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
God is the primary subject of both verses and the verse begins with the statment “In the beginning was The Word”. This statement is talking about Jesus indirectly since Jesus is called the Word of God in Revelation 19:13. Jesus is being indirectly called the Word again with a direct association of the Word for the theme of God being the primary direct subject. The Word was with God and the Word was God. If you know anything about the laws of mathematics you understand that if A=B and B=C then A=C. Therefore if the Word = God (John 1:1) and Jesus = the Word (Rev 19:13) then God = Jesus by undeniable mathematical proof. I’m not going to go through every verse in this chapter of John because that would take too long but I will give you 4 more verses for you to read:
Joh 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
Joh 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
These verses begin with “He was in the world”. Who is He? This is talking about Jesus in conjunction to the primary subject still being God. Then notice what it says, “The world was made by Him”. Again this is a combined reference to the Spirit of God, the Word of God and God the Father because these three revealed personalities are all the same God (1 Jn 1:5:7). Only God created the world. You can go back to Genesis 1:1 and read this plainly. In the beginning “God” (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth. Now remember God says in Isaiah Immanuel (El = Elohim) is coming to be with us.
In verse 12 God tells us that if we believe on His name He will give us the power to become the sons of God. Why am I teaching you all about the names of Jesus in this lesson? I’m teaching you this so that you might believe in His names in order to be saved. I am teaching on the names of Jesus to reveal Him to be God in the flesh. Did you read verse 14? More importantly did you actually see what it says in verse 14? It says The Word (THE WORD = GOD verse 1) was made flesh and dwelt among us. God dwelling among us is just the name “Immanuel” again written out in definition form. Jesus is declared to be God with us in the form of a man (flesh).
God directly connects John 1:1 with Genesis 1:1 by the same three simple words “In the Beginning”. Whenever God does something like this it is not an accident or chance occurrence. God is telling us they are about the same themed subject. In Genesis 1:1 it said “In the Beginning God” and in John 1:1 it said “In the Beginning was the Word”. This is God’s hidden way of saying “I am the Word and I created the world”. You see there is another hidden reference to Jesus found in Genesis 1:1. I have written about this before in other lesson but it fits very well with what God is saying here that I will repeat it.
Gen 1:1 In the beginning (the A-Z) God created the heaven and the earth.
The fourth word of the Bible in Genesis 1:1 was omitted by the translators because they did not know what it meant. This fourth untranslated word was technically not a word at all but rather the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Uh oh, that should turn some light bulbs on in your brain if you have read the Bible very much. Genesis 1:1 should read in the English “In the Beginning the A-Z God created…”. The A-Z God is another hidden reference to Jesus because Jesus said in Revelation 1:11 “I am the Alpha and the Omega”. Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and Omega is the last letter in the Greek alphabet. In other words Jesus was saying in English “I am the A to Z”. This is exactly who Genesis 1:1 said created the world that we live in. Wow, this is great stuff if you open your eyes of your heart and let it in. I guarantee you that it will save you from hell if you begin to believe it.
This is really not that complicated but Satan does not want these truths to be known. Satan perverts the truth to change Jesus from being divine (God in the flesh) to being only a man (a descendant of Adam) or a prophet to defeat you. Satan does everything in His power to blind the minds of people so that they cannot see the obvious truth of God’s Word in order to be saved (2 Cor 4:4).
I have gone over multiple truths in this Bible lesson that declares Jesus to have come from God in heaven. Not only this but that Jesus was God in the flesh. The Bible says let every word be established in truth by the mouths of two or three witnesses (2 Cor 13:1). I have given you double that with at least 5 to 6 witnesses that Jesus was the God of creation come to the earth in the flesh. We started this lesson with Jesus asking us all “Who do you say that I am?” We then went into the significance of names in the Bible and I introduced you to a hidden prophecy of Jesus coming into the earth in the flesh in the genealogy found in Genesis 5.
We then went into three of the primary names given to Jesus in the Bible, 1) Jesus, 2) Emmanuel and 3) The Word of God. The name of Jesus was the Hebrew name, Joshua and we found that Joshua meant “Jehovah Saved”. Therefore Jesus was this God named Jehovah that came down from heaven to save His people just as was prophesied to occur. We then talked about the name “Immanuel” and that this meant “God with us”. We then talked about Jesus being the Word of God that came in the flesh and it was this A-Z God that created the world that we live in. If you are still wavering and doubting after all of this evidence then I don’t know what else to say that will help you. Go back and reread your Bible and all of the verses that I just gave you. Study the names of Jesus until you have them memorized.
This was only Part 1 in the series of lessons on “Who do you say that I am?” I will be going over more scriptural evidence for Jesus being God in the next lesson in this series. I want to thank you for being open minded enough to read this lesson and I pray that God will help you to see Him in all His glory. Help me spread the word of truth to your friends. Tell them about my website. Send them links to my lessons. Please, help me spread God’s Word so that we can reach the lost world. Jesus is coming back very, very soon. The timing cannot be that far off based upon current world events transpiring. We need to reach everyone that we can and help everyone that we can so that none will perish. Thank you for your prayers of support, because they are very needed and valuable to me. God bless you and keep you until the next time. Always remember the correct answer to the question “Who do you say that I am” is “You are Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God, my Savior, my Lord and my God”. God Bless you!
If you would like to continue reading in this series you may go to “Part 2” now.
(ver 1.1) This will be a detailed advanced Bible answer to a very difficult question that I received from someone after they read the Revelation 12 series of lessons found on this website. This is an advanced Bible study designed to be only for spiritually mature Christians. Spiritually mature to me is defined as anyone that has been born again and Spirit filled more than 5 years that has studied the Bible continually during this time to allow spiritual growth of the fruits of the Spirit to occur. You may or may not agree with that definition but this is generally how God has taught me to view it. This Bible lesson will go over some very technical concepts even though I will attempt to describe them as simply as I can. This Bible lesson will introduce some new concepts you have never heard before and thus it will be controversial in nature. I ask you to be the judge of your spiritual maturity. If you feel that you do not qualify to meet the criteria for an advanced Bible study I would recommend that you go study a different Bible lesson on my website. I try to warn new Christians of this at the beginning of many of my advanced Bible lessons so that I do not offend anyone with a meat lesson when they are in need of a milk lesson like Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 3:2.
The root of the reader’s question was “When did Satan fall from heaven?” The reader’s question arose from the specific part of the Revelation 12 lesson that taught us everything after chapter 4 of Revelation is future tense and has not yet occurred. This part of the Revelation 12 teaching was established upon a literal interpretation of God’s statement to John from the voice speaking from heaven in Revelation 4:1. This voice told John to come up to heaven so that he could be shown things that would soon happen after being taken up to heaven. The clear conclusion drawn from this statement is that nothing that is recorded by John after Revelation 4:1 has yet occurred or the voice from heaven would have been made a liar. Since the Bible declares that it is impossible for God to lie, I just choose to believe what He said.
Why was this question asked about when Satan fell? There is a potential conflict brewing with two different verses of the New Testament. First, reading in Revelation 12:9 you can see that Satan is cast down to the earth never to have a place found in heaven again. This would indicate that the casting down of Satan from heaven is a future event and has not transpired based upon Revelation 4:1. But my reader was prompt to point out that in Luke 10:18 Jesus claimed to have seen (translated as beheld a past tense English word) Satan fall from heaven like lightning and this would cause a major conflict with what I taught in the Revelation 12 series if they are speaking of the same event fall. The statement that Jesus makes in Luke appears to indicate that Satan has already been cast down from heaven. So which one is it? Did Satan already fall from heaven as stated by Jesus in the KJV or will Satan’s fall occur in the future as indicated by Revelation 12? Or has Satan already fallen once in the past and then in the tribulation he will fall from heaven again for the last time? There are just so many possibilities and difficult questions to answer and learn about.
IS EVERYTHING AFTER REVELATION 4:1 IN THE FUTURE?
This section will be a review of what God said in the previous lessons on the “True Identity of the Woman in Revelation 12”. If you have read that and do not dispute what I taught then you could skip this section of review. However if you would like to learn some new things concerning this and how we resolve this significant Bible conflict please continue to read. A potential scripture conflict is the reason for the rest of this Bible lesson today. It is impossible for the Bible to be in direct opposition to itself when every verse is interpreted correctly. Therefore, if anyone wants to learn when Satan was thrown down from heaven please continue to read otherwise you can go find another Bible lesson on this website concerning a different subject that you are interested in learning. I hope that you understand the problem and want to learn the resolution. Let’s review the verse in Revelation 4:1 to begin our study to resolve another Bible controversy on whether Revelation 12 is future tense or past tense or both:
Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
The Greek word G3326 which was translated as “hereafter” is also many times translated as “after” or “afterward”. If you are observant you will notice that the verse begins with this word. In this usage it indicates a position of time beyond the current/present timeframe using a logical order of expressed or implied events in their proper arranged sequence. I hope that did not sound too technical. I’ll try to explain. For example if event A occurs first, followed by event B next and these are followed finally by event C, then B would come “after” A and C would be “after” both A and B in their collated sequence. Do you understand the concept of ordered arrangement and sequence? These are God created patterns and models and they represent His intelligent design of our world.
Keep in mind that this same Greek word is used several times in this exact manner to state a preceding event followed by another subsequent stated event like in “after (G3326) 6 days Jesus takes them up” (Mat 17:1). Using this definition that I just gave you it is very plain that at the conclusion of a 6 day event a new event of going up with Jesus is the stated to occur. Now take this information back to what was given to us by God in Revelation 4:1. God’s usage of this word in Revelation 4:1 means after the event where John was taken up to heaven he will be shown more events that will come in the future and this is actually a very important concept for the rest of this lesson. This is not rocket science but people still refuse to believe what God just said. Let me give you the sequence of events given to us in Revelation 4:1:
- After things recorded in the first 3 chapters
- John is taken to heaven
- John is shown the future
- The future is given in ordered logical sequence
There were four ordered steps given by God in this verse. I have concluded in step 4 that the future is given to John by God in sequential order because of the establishment of order from the preceding steps. In other words the revealed future events are simply an extension of the previous steps given. Therefore, nothing in the future could be random, unordered or chaotic when shown to John to write down. Knowing these facts, any attempt to interpret any recorded event of Revelation 5 through 22 as a “past tense” historical event renders God as a liar. Was God incapable of understanding the difference between future tense events and past tense events? I personally do think so and just choose to believe what God says, don’t you?
Now let me quickly get into this point about Revelation 4:1. The apostle John was a prophet of God, yes? Wasn’t John just shown the future before it had occurred? Could this have been given to him by a divine spiritual vision from God? I believe firmly that it was a divine vision of the future. After this vision of the future what would John’s description of these events have been to those that he was speaking to in the natural? Do you understand what I am asking you? John talking about the woman in Revelation 12 would have said “I beheld a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet” and this would have been a past tense statement even though it had not yet occurred. Now do you see it? John the prophet could speak like it had happened even though it was still yet to come. I want you to keep this in mind as we study what Jesus said about seeing Satan fall from heaven like lightning.
The fact that Revelation 4:1 states that the things following are future events causes many Bible teachers great turmoil and confusion simply because they cannot or do not yet understand how some of these recorded events in Revelation can be events that have not already occurred. For example the vast majority of Bible teachers teach that the pregnant woman of Revelation 12 is the historical account of the birth of Jesus. These Bible teachers simply believe that some events like this one in Revelation 12 concerning the pregnant woman were recorded by John “out of sequence” from the stated timeline of reference given to us clearly by God. However, just because someone does not understand how an event can happen in the future does not mean that it will not happen and you need to know that. One natural woman giving birth to a natural male child named Jesus in the Gospels does not mean that this same type of event can not or will not spiritually occur again in the future? I probably just lost a lot of readers making that statement. You see the woman in Revelation 12 is a spiritual woman and not a natural woman as I have already taught you in that lesson series on this chapter. She is symbolic by definition because she is wearing symbolic clothing and standing on a symbolic figure of Satan. This symbolic woman cannot be Mary. This symbolic woman cannot be natural Israel either. I’m not going to teach this again so if you do not understand it go read those lessons and believe what God says.
There are just so many Christian people who are not thinking spiritually in this world. I wish people would quit pretending that they understand the whole Bible because only God knows it all and the rest of us are still learning. Please stop making assumptions in your mind that limit what God is capable of doing. If you did not just comprehend what I said, I will say it again using different words to help everyone realize that I believe firmly that everything after Revelation 4:1 happens in literal chronological order and has not yet occurred because the beginning of the 7 year tribulation period has not yet begun. If you still do not understand what chronological means, it is a word that defines a situation where one event comes after another event and they do not and cannot occur out of the ordered sequence of time.
Here is the problem with many teachers’ interpretation of the book of Revelation. They are viewing things from a narrowed perspective of traditional theological teachings filled with error and not thinking or taking into account the facts provided by God. Also they do not rightly divide between which verses are literal statements and which are symbolic or figurative statements. Further they do not discern correctly between spiritual realities and natural realities. Many Bible teachers must ignore Revelation 4:1 in order to teach an out of sequence series of events. They are very creative in doing this and it often appears legitimate until we read the verse in Revelation 4:1 and actually begin to believe what God literally said. One of the number one rules of correct Bible interpretation will be for us to take the Bible literally when it makes sense to do so. Revelation 4:1 is an example of this type of verse that states a literal truth that needs to be incorporated and balanced with the rest of the book of Revelation.
I will point out that I have heard Bible teachers revert back to the first chapter of Revelation in order to explain how things later in the book occur out of sequence. They use a statement made by Jesus to help justify what they teach about Revelation 12 being out of timed sequence. I will give you this statement by the Lord Jesus to help you better judge this attempt at believing an out of sequence book of Revelation:
Rev 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
It is clear that Jesus tells John to write these things for us to read. Therefore the entire book of Revelation is a revealing of God’s wisdom from the lips of Jesus Christ. You need to understand that “revelation” in the Greek language means “uncovering” or “to take off the cover”. Therefore God has placed information in this book that is very important to understand the rest of the Bible. But, then Jesus divides these written things into three separate categories of timed events or references of time. These three categories were the things that were “past”, the things that are “present” and the things that shall be hereafter in the “future”. However did you just notice that these three timings were listed by God in the chronological order that they occur and they were not given to us out of sequence? That is the first very important thing that needs to be understood. Jesus is giving us an indirect clue to how things are ordered and arranged in the book of Revelation. Jesus confirms with this statement that the entire book is in chronological order. Then notice that the Greek word for the future events (G3326; hereafter) is the same Greek word used by God in Revelation 4:1 for the same future events. In other words God is very consistent in the definition of this Greek word for “hereafter” in the book of Revelation when it is used in this manner.
I have heard at least one Bible teacher try to take this verse attempting to explain how the book of Revelation contains past, present and future events which is a true statement. However they make an error when then they say these events occur in random order in the book. They misapply this verse to explain why certain chapters appear to have information that they think are not chronological. They claim that since Jesus said this book contains every category of timed information that it may legally display these in any random order. However, that would be an erroneous assumption based upon ignorance and it would still contradict with what God said in Revelation 4:1. Which is true? Is Jesus speaking in Revelation 1:19 true or is the voice coming from heaven in Revelation 4:1 true? I will tell you plainly that both statements are correct and are the truth but they both do not apply to the whole rest of the book. The statement of Jesus is true for the first three chapters of Revelation and the statement of God in Genesis 4 is true for the rest of the book being future tense. This is not that complicated people. Please pray and ask God to open your spiritual eyes so that you can learn the truth.
ASKING JESUS WHEN SATAN FELL
The previous part of the lesson was just the introduction for the answer to the real question. The question asked by the reader was based upon the fact that if the later chapters after chapter 4 of Revelation are future tense “how could Jesus’ state in Luke 10:18 that He saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” be also true? I think I have already given you the answer to this problem but we will verify that answer using the Bible to confirm the truth. Perhaps it would be wise to give you the exact verse in question that appears to contradict with the statement of Revelation 12 to help us understand the apparent predicament:
Luk 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Here is Jesus making the statement that He personally “beheld” (past tense) Satan falling from heaven. If this is a correct translation then it causes us major problems to determine when this occurred. Since Jesus spoke these words prior to the implementation of the New Covenant it is logical to concluded that this must have occurred somewhere in the Old Testament. I looked and I could not find any verses that said this. But, perhaps you have seen a verse somewhere in the Old Testament that I have not seen. Perhaps you can share it with me so that I might learn if you know of any past recorded Bible event prior to the Gospels where Satan is stated to have fallen from heaven? Do you know of any? I believe that I found O.T. prophecies of this occurring in the future but that is not the same as a historical event. I believe us not finding any verses prior to this statement that Satan has been cast down from heaven makes me think it has not occurred and thus we need to resolve why this verse was translated as past tense like it had already happened.
What my reader was asking was how could Jesus have already seen this event describing that it had previously transpired when Revelation 12 has not yet occurred? This is where we must learn the correct way to study the Bible. God gives us many hidden clues to find truths if we can locate them and use this information to correctly join and fit them together correctly. I’m really not sure if you understand what I just said or not? Everyone wants to see the truth easily without any extended effort and that is not how we find the truth by God’s design. I am going to show you many of the keys to understanding and resolving this conflict. Please, continue reading with an open mind and you will see it also.
Personally I have only found a limited number of scriptures concerning Satan falling from heaven. One prophecy is found in Revelation 12 that points us to this future event occurring during the tribulation. Then you can also find this prophecy of Satan falling in the book of Ezekiel if you read Ezekiel 28:16. I think I will give you this prophecy so that you can review what God says about it:
Eze 28:16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
The covering cherub being referenced in this verse is believed to be Satan. God declares that he will be cast out of the mountain of God. If you do not understand that this is a reference to God’s kingdom in heaven, I’m sorry but I don’t really have the time to try to explain it in depth today. The translators clearly state this to be a future tense statement and I firmly believe this to be very accurate. If you study you will find that the book of Ezekiel was written close to 600 years before Christ’s appearance. Now using Ezekiel’s prophecy we must logically determine that this casting down event has not yet occurred before Ezekiel wrote this book. We are definitely narrowing the scope of time when this event could have possibly occurred. I hope you can agree that Satan could not have fallen or been cast out of heaven prior to the writing of the book of Ezekiel, but still you could have seen something I have not. Let me give you another verse of prophecy concerning Satan’s fall:
Isa 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
Here is another verse that is probably mistranslated. Again the translators changed the Hebrew word H5307 to “fallen” a past tense variation of the word. This Hebrew word is defined as “to fall”. That sounds future tense to me. If you read the context of this statement you will find more information about it happening in the future. For example in verse 15 God says “You shall be brought down to hell, the sides of the pit” and this was translated as future tense. Then in verse 24 God makes a statement that is very profound and important to note about what has just been spoken previously through the Prophet Isaiah:
Isa 14:24 The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:
God tells us clearly these are His thoughts spoken and that these will come to pass. Therefore I am still a firm believer that Satan has not yet been cast out of heaven but will be as established by the Word of God. We could spend a lot more time going through O.T. prophecies but I think I will move on. Let’s go back to Luke 10:18 and look into this verse in some more detail. We need to ask did Jesus really say this had already occurred in the Greek language? Let’s review the Greek word translated as “beheld” to learn its definition in the Strong’s:
From a derivative of G2300 (perhaps by adverb of G3708); to be a spectator of, that is, discern, (literally, figuratively [experience] or intensively [acknowledge]): – behold, consider, look on, perceive, see. Compare G3700.
If you can read and understand the definition it should become evident that this word is normally a present tense view of something that is currently happening right now. The person performing this verb is stated to be a current observer. This Greek word occurs in around 55 verses of the New Testament. In 40 of these verses it is clearly translated in the present tense version of “see”, “seeing”, “seeth”, “beholding”, “looking on”, “behold”, “beholding” and etc. However I will agree that it can also be legally translated as a past tense observation and either way could potentially be correct. But, this determination is also more complicated than this as we will soon learn. What we need to determine is Jesus seeing the event as He is speaking or has He seen the even at some time in the past? Both are technically possible since Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. But just because Jesus has seen the event does not still necessarily mean that it has transpired just like John saw the future in Revelation. Please understand that God is omniscient and has seen everything even before it occurs. God can show a human the future before it occurs and it is in God’s sovereign control to do so. Uh oh, now you can begin to see where I’m going, can’t you? Let’s review another statement that Jesus declared about this potential event:
Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
I believe that there are at least three events that can be confused as one event within prophecies. These three separate events are 1). the rebellion of Satan, 2). the casting out of Satan from heaven and 3). the casting out of Satan from the earth into hell. This statement here in John could be either of the last two. Confusing or combining multiple prophetic events into the same event is a very common cause of error. We can see this in multiple instances. For example the rapture of the church is often confused with the second advent of Christ but these events must also be viewed as separate or confusion will abound.
Here in John 12:31 Jesus is talking about Satan calling him the prince or ruler of this world that will be cast out. This statement does not appear to be translated as past tense and should be regarded as a future tense prophecy. It is not stated directly when Satan is to be cast out from this verse. It also does not state directly where Satan will be cast out from. It could be taken as the world that is being referenced or it could be heaven or even both. I personally believe that this prophecy could be the same prophecy as we have already observed in Ezekiel or it could also be a reference to the prophecy in Isaiah 14:15 where Satan is cast into hell. This is why studying prophecy is so complicated. Let’s look quickly at another verse that is interesting and many teachers attribute this verse to Satan falling from heaven:
Rev 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
If you do not understand yet that the symbol of “stars” in much of the Bible normally represents the angels in heaven then this is the first thing you need to learn. We know that stars represent angels by reading in Isaiah 14:13, Revelation 1:20 and Revelation 12:4 to name three witnesses to this fact. This verse is describing an angel coming down from heaven at an implied fast rate of speed. However, this angel cannot be Satan because this angel holds the key to the bottomless pit where Satan will be cast later in Revelation 20:3. It is logical to deduce if Satan is thrown into this pit by force later in Revelation that it cannot be him that holds the keys to it coming down from heaven. As I have stated before, I also firmly believe that Revelation is in chronological time order and if Satan falls from heaven in Revelation 9 then it conflicts with him falling from heaven in Revelation 12. I hope you can agree with this basic logic. Let’s review the verse in Revelation 12:9 that would need to become a past tense out of chronological sequence event to potentially be harmonized with the statement of Jesus in Luke if they are speaking of the same event.
Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
My reader made a valid interesting point that Luke 10:18 appear to contradict with what Revelation 4:1 and Revelation 12:9 appear to say. But perhaps we have not considered all of the facts before assuming there is a controversy. You see it is impossible for the Bible to contradict the Bible if both verses are accurately interpreted and accurately translated. Also if Jesus had already seen Satan fall from heaven then it must have happened sometime after the book of Ezekiel and before Jesus was born in the manger. You do understand the existence of verses in the O.T. that state that Satan has access to heaven, don’t you? For example, Satan is clearly seen to be in heaven in the book of Job.
Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
Here is a great example that Satan and his angels come to present themselves before God’s throne in heaven. This is a spiritual location and not a physical or natural one. If God allowed Satan to be present in heaven then the final fall of Satan from heaven has not yet occurred. Can you agree with this? If Satan has access to heaven in the Old Testament can we ask if he still has access in the New Testament? Let’s go and read Revelation 12:8 next to see what is stated by God about Satan:
Rev 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
Didn’t God just declare that Satan’s place is now no longer found in heaven after this war? That statement literally means that Satan had a place in heaven right up until this war event concluded, doesn’t it? Can we agree that Satan had a right to be in heaven before this statement? Perhaps you don’t see it yet, but that is what God just said. I think we need to read down to verse 10 to help confirm what God just said in this verse 8 statement:
Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
Please read this verse very carefully and consider what God just said. Notice the phrase “Now is come..”. Then notice that this is being spoken from heaven. This phrase indicates multiple time periods with “past, present and future” implications occurring. God is stating something that use to be that has changed at this stated present time and this will cause something different to occur in the future. Pay particular attention to the last part of the statement. God says “for the accuser of our brethren is cast down which did accuse them before our God day and night”. The accuser of our brethren is Satan. The brethren are those in the church. Now do you see it? This verse said that Satan was in heaven standing before God to accuse Christians, doesn’t it? Uh oh, I thought Jesus said that Satan had been cast down from heaven like lightning? How then could Satan still have access in heaven to accuse Christians before God? A little light bulb should be coming on in your brain right about now. This verse claims that Satan continued to do what he did with Job in the book of Job going before God to accuse God’s righteous ones. If this is true and it is, then it is impossible for the statement of Jesus in Luke 10:18 to be fully interpreted or understood in the way that my reader with the question wanted to understand it. In other words Jesus was telling us of an event that had not occurred even though he had already been given a vision of it occurring. Let me prove to you that Jesus claimed to be a prophet of God:
Mar 6:4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
Here is Jesus speaking about the people of his own hometown where he was raised. Jesus claims to be a prophet of God and he says no prophet is given any honor by those that knew him. If Jesus is a prophet what is that? How do you define what a prophet is and what they do? I will give you the fast definition. A prophet is called a “seer”. A seer is someone who sees and foretells the future before it occurs. This literally means that Jesus’ statements must be judged correctly to whether they are past, present or future references. Jesus is capable of speaking of the past in many verses. Jesus is also capable of speaking of the present time in many verses and finally Jesus can also speak of things that have not occurred in many verses. I am a firm believer that the statement of Jesus in Luke 10:18 is a future account of an event that has not officially transpired. But you can believe what you like if you disagree.
God is a self-existent being with no stated beginning and no stated ending. God lives inside the dimension of eternity outside of the created dimension of time. The Bible very clearly states that God makes known the end from the beginning (Isa 46:10). If God knows what the future holds then God can and will tell us of it before it occurs as proved by the Bible consistently. Reading Luke 4:24 Jesus claimed to be a prophet. A prophet will always tell us of the future before the future occurs. A prophet is also called God’s seer and voice. A prophet will see things in visions before they literally occur in our reality and write them down for us to learn from. This is exactly what Jesus is saying in this verse:
Joh 13:19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.
Did you see what Jesus declared? Jesus teaches us that He will tell us of things to come so that when they occur people will believe in Him. All of the evidence that I have found in the Bible about Satan being cast out of heaven points us to an event that has not occurred. This event will take place after the war in heaven between Michael and his angels and Satan and his angels somewhere directly before the Great Tribulation period described in the book of Revelation. Satan will continue to accuse Christians until this occurs. He will dispute our righteousness because we are imperfect people that have been saved by the divine grace and mercy of God. I thank you for taking the time to read this Bible lesson. I hope and pray that you received some new knowledge that you did not know before on this subject. If you have any questions or comments you are free to leave them with me and I will do my best to get to them all. God Bless you until next time.
BIBLE ANSWERS: Understanding Biblical Typology! Does God Use O. T. Typology to Explain Spiritual Things in the New Testament?
(ver 1.1) I received a very disturbing comment from a potentially confused reader concerning the latest Bible study lesson given to me by the Holy Spirit. This lesson was regarding the subject of the Rapture that has been hidden by God within O.T. Typology. While I generally ignore critics, I felt led by the Spirit of God to answer this comment publically in order to potentially help someone else that this person might teach these untruths to. A few of my critics are some of the unsaved people of the world but the majority of them are very carnal Christians that do not understand the spiritual meat found in the Bible. Anyone with a growing level of spiritual maturity should be able to see the truths of the deep spiritual knowledge that God is sharing. I certainly realize that there are still many milk drinking Christians that are not capable of receiving meat. That is why I try to regress into milk subjects occasionally to help everyone grow.
According to this commenter’s beliefs the use of “Typology” is not an established, valid or sound method of Exegesis or Hermeneutics. I would have laughed at their comment if it was not so saddening. There is a major problem occurring within the body of Christ today where people who think more highly of their personal knowledge and abilities come to correct others before attempting to learn what was stated. This is happening constantly on Facebook and on many other internet websites. People that come to teach others without asking ANY questions to the teacher is a display of their human pride in their own knowledge and understanding of every verse in the Bible. People just might discover their ignorance if they would only open up their minds to think and learn to find answers to a few simple questions in order to understand why what was stated was taught. By the nature of this man’s comment I understood that he was un-teachable and I did not reply to him. If they read this article that was their response I would be shocked.
I have said this before but it is worthy of repetition. My favorite non-Bible quote is by Will Rogers when he said “We are all ignorant, just about different things”. That was so profound and accurate that I cannot say it enough. I am a Bible teacher not because I know everything or because I agree and teach what you want me to say. I’m called by God and only accountable to Him and I will be judged for the content of my message according to if I have heard from Him correctly. Therefore I take this responsibility with great concern and respect. I do not publish free Advanced Bible lessons because that is what I wanted to do. If the Spirit of God does not lead me to teach a subject then I am silent on that subject. Why then does anyone judge me or anyone else to correct us using their own limited knowledge (Romans 14:10-13)? Have they appointed themselves to be my judge (1 Cor 6:6)? Of the gifts of the Spirit listed in the New Testament, I do not recall any that are referred as the judge’s anointing. Don’t you realize that the world is watching your arguments and laughing at them? Christian arguments are placing stumbling blocks before those that do not believe but still need to be saved. I personally believe these argument stumbling block people will be judged very severely for not helping others to come into the kingdom. If you do not like my Bible lessons, just go somewhere else and find someone you like. I’m not going to argue with you or debate you on any subject! Let’s let God be true and every man a liar.
Today I am going to teach those that want to know the truth that God believes in O.T. Typology, Types and Shadows and He calls them clear and valid methods for exegesis (aka Bible interpretation). God also believes in symbolism, symbolic representations, parables and metaphorical interpretation. God further believes in allegory, spiritual names and the other methods of sound exegesis that have been placed in the Bible by God’s design. These are just some of the revealed truths found in the New Testament that God used to teach the hidden spiritual message from the Old Testament to Christians in the early church continuing to us today. These methods were clearly taught to Paul by the Holy Spirit and by Paul to the early church through the direction of the Holy Spirit. We in the church today can still benefit from this knowledge by learning to observe it in what God wrote through Paul and the other Apostles. Therefore my commenter must not believe the New Testament since it is founded on these principles. This Bible study will prove beyond any reasonable doubt that God created the method of Typology and that I have done nothing in my Bible lessons but observe their presence. After I learned about these truths in the Bible I believe that it would be totally foolish of me to deny they exist just because someone from seminary says they are not valid. I pray that you will also do the same. In this Bible lesson we will seek the answers to the following questions from the N.T.:
- What is Typology?
- Why is the use of Typology a valid form of correct Bible Interpretation?
- How did God conceal Typology in the Old Testament?
- How is Typology revealed by God in the New Testament?
- Why did God use Typology in the Bible?
I will definitely warn you at the beginning that this Bible lesson will be one of the most advanced complex deep spiritual subjects that is found on my website. The title on my website is “Advanced Bible Study” and this will be one that qualifies for this category of lessons. If you are a brand new Christian or not a very mature spiritual Christians then I really do not recommend that you try to study this subject. I am going to need to go over some very advanced concepts and some very technical definitions. This is just a word of warning of what will come next.
WHAT IS EXEGESIS AND HERMENEUTICS?
Before I begin today in this Bible lesson to teach that Typology is a divinely created reality found and taught to us by God in the New Testament, I would like to go through some foundational basics on the subject. I will go into sufficient detail to what the Bible says on this subject of typology but I first want to show everyone an explanation of what Wikipedia says about the word “exegesis” to help establish the correct understanding and definition of what this potentially unknown theological term represents. This was the complaint of my commenter that typology does not conform to sound exegesis and I believe that there are at least some Christians that actually know very little about what this word means. Don’t allow an unfamiliar word to sway you to one side of belief or the other until you at least find out what it is defined to be:
- The terms exegesis and hermeneutics have been used interchangeably. However, hermeneutics is a more widely defined discipline of interpretation theory: hermeneutics includes the entire framework of the interpretive process, encompassing all forms of communication: written, verbal and nonverbal, while exegesis focuses primarily on the written text
As you can read both words exegesis and hermeneutics deal with Bible interpretation methods. But the most important word in this description that must be observed is the given term “THEORY”. Does God have any theories? I do not believe that He does since He knows everything. Is the Bible a book of theories? Again I do not believe it is simply because the God of infinite knowledge and wisdom is the author. Therefore, if God is not the source of human theories then we need to ask “Why do humans resort to theories?” Let me give you a definition of a theory. A theory should be defined as any subject being discussed which is based entirely upon human ignorance of all of the known true facts of the subject. In other words if we knew and correctly understood all of the true facts of any given subject we would have no need for any further theories or theoretical discussions. Do you understand what I am teaching? A theory is completely derived from the lack of sufficient evidence or proof to support it. A theory is also totally originated from human speculation, rumor, assumption, conjecture and guesswork. All of these are synonyms for what a theory represents. People today often believe theories to be science and that is not accurate. The theory of evolution lacks any sufficient proof for its existence to be taught but yet is widely accepted by ignorant students to be a fact. Just because a subject is widely accepted does not make it a truth. This is the same that is true for man’s theories of exegesis.
Human theories are always based upon inadequate fallible human reasoning and thought which attempts to teach or explain something that is not completely known or understood by the speaker. Therefore according to Wikipedia “exegesis” and “hermeneutics” are both human attempts at theories for interpretation based upon the lack of sufficient known facts to prove or verify their accuracy. That is the primary purpose of the rest of this Bible lesson today. I am here to relieve your ignorance and present you with the God given Bible facts on this very important subject of Typology so that you can depart from your exegesis theories and believe the truth of God. The main point in this part of the lesson is that man’s theories of exegesis are always trumped and overruled by God’s facts every time. I seriously hope that you believe what God says in His Word and will choose to ignore what ignorant men say in order to not be led astray.
What I have been attempting to introduce you to is the fact that human theories of exegesis are only necessary today because people have not yet discovered or do not completely understand ALL of the true facts for the subject of correct Bible interpretation revealed by God in the Bible. God gives us an amazing set of lessons in His word concerning correct Bible interpretation. He defines very specific rules for interpretation. He defines very sound methods for correct Bible interpretation. He even gives us many great examples of each type of interpretation for us to learn from and apply to our study. This will be the focus for the rest of the Bible lesson. But before we do that let’s talk briefly about hermeneutics.
According to Wikipedia, the subject of hermeneutics is a more inclusive discipline for interpretation including the entire framework of the interpretative process. I found that statement to be very oxymoronic and contradictory to their previous statement of it being a theory of human work. This statement of the “entire framework” clearly “assumes” in error that they know and understand the complete process. To state that a discipline includes everything means that they know and understand it all and that is clearly not the case. What is being stated here is the fact that they just said it was a theory and then they changed positions attempting to define it to be all-inclusive and all knowing. There is absolutely no way that is possible. You need to be careful when you read human explanations for what words mean. If there are contradictions then there are problems.
But here is another very interesting point to consider about the subject of Hermeneutics. This word is derived from a pagan Greek name of a mythological god called “Hermes” which was their false messenger god. It would stand to reason from knowing this fact that anything to do with Hermeneutics is potentially a demonically inspired distraction from obtaining the real truth of God in His Word. What did I just say? I said if Hermes was a Satan inspired distraction from the true and living God then “Hermeneutics” could be the same. What we should observer by the review of Hermeneutics and Exegesis is that they are both man’s attempt at creating rules to define how to understand a God that they clearly do not understand. This is one of the main reasons that I avoid any manmade rules and theories of Bible interpretation. I long to only know what God says on the subject of interpretation and I will follow only Him completely and whole heartedly. I could have talked a lot more about those two words but this was a brief overview and certainly not a detailed book discussion of the subjects.
BUILDING THE TYPOLOGY FOUNDATION
We began by exploring the words of exegesis and hermeneutics in order to establish their origins and definitions. We clearly saw them to be theoretical works of men that conform to their own incomplete understanding of the subject of Bible interpretation presented to us in the Bible. Please allow me to do the same type of research for the word “typology” as a comparison. Is Typology based upon human guesswork, reasoning or speculation? Is Typology a manmade theory? We need to answer these in order to see how typology fits into correct Bible study. I believe you will quickly discover as we research this subject that typology is the opposite from what exegesis was defined to be. Both exegesis and typology are based upon rules but the origin of these rules will become apparently different. Let’s start this part of the subject study with a dictionary definition of the word “typology”:
- 1. The study or systematic classification of types that have characteristics or traits in common.
I thought this was an excellent definition. Can you see any differences between this and exegesis with your first review of the word typology? First understand that typology is NOT defined to be a theory. It is not based upon indeterminate human speculation. There is no reference to it being a theoretical effort of work like we saw in the definition of exegesis. Next, I would like to emphasize what this word means. Begin with the initial part of the definition to see that Typology represents a “STUDY” or a “CLASSIFICATION”. Right there this teaches us the fact that it is a clear effort of human labor which is predominately based upon observation. Study implies that someone is attempting to discover, learn and understand the known facts from either God or from any human subject teacher. Bible Study should be defined as the “acquisition of Bible knowledge” and Bible knowledge should be defined as “any established facts of truth found within the Bible context”. Therefore we have no theories involved in true Bible study. Did you understand what I just said? Typology is not a theory, but rather it is a study method and that is extremely insightful. If a person studies the subject of how automobile engines work they are seeking to learn the established facts of these machines and there should be no desire to learn from any speculative theories or opinions from people who have never built one, worked on one, repaired one or learned how they work or can even operate one personally from experience. Did you understand that automotive analogy? What I was attempting to say is that any serious Bible student should not need to learn from any man that teaches on the basis of theories because the true facts can only found in God’s Word.
Let’s shift into a Biblical spiritual discussion about “study” for a moment. What does God teach about the subject of “Study” in the Bible? Are we required to study the Bible? In other words is it necessary to study the Bible to understand it? Is typology a part of God’s study method? If you do not remember the answers to those questions I will show you the key verse that God gives to answer them:
- 2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
According to God “study” is a personal effort of labor. The Greek word that was translated as “workman” in this verse is G2040 and it literally means “a toiler”, “a worker” and “a laborer”. This Greek word comes from a root word that means “to work”. I believe that it is now self-evident that study is a level of extended effort way beyond just reading the text on the pages. Reading has never been studying, but studying does involve reading. God very clearly says here in this verse that if we do not study the Bible that we may fall into a negative state of shame someday. Therefore Bible study is a requirement given from God by N.T. command. This is very good and important information to consider.
I could spend a lot of time talking about study, how to study and how study works and the application to the spiritual man but that is not my main subject here in this lesson. I will briefly teach an overview of spiritual study to help you get started. The human spirit is incapable of any Bible study without the engagement of the human mind’s comprehensive application. Why is this mind and spirit interaction a necessity? It is because of the divinely created triune state of a human. The triune nature of a human is first the visible exterior body layer, the next layer of the human makeup is the invisible interior middle layer called the mind or soul and the final unseen layer is the innermost center of the living being called the spirit or heart. In Matthew 9:4 Jesus said to the people “Why do you think evil in your hearts”. The heart of man is the spirit of man and Jesus was connecting the two interior human realms together to teach how they work in unison. From that statement in Mathew Jesus just revealed that the heart of man can be in one of two states, either evil or good. All humans by nature are evil from the age of accountability which came from the works of their father Adam being passed down to his every descendant. How then do we get the evil out and allow the good to enter to replace it? Romans 12:2 will provide a clue to this answer by God commanding us to “be transformed by the renewing of our minds”. I personally believe this is like computers and the old computer programmer saying that went “Put Garbage In, Get Garbage Out”. In other words what you allow to be placed into your heart through your mind’s eye is what will be produced outwardly. Like I said this is a very deep subject to even try to mention here in a paragraph so please read some of my other lessons or ask questions if you do not understand the nature of a human and how the parts work together.
Now let’s research the term “classification” found within the “typology” definition. According to the dictionary this word means “the act or process of classifying things based upon common qualities or characteristics”. Again we are not concerned with any theories simply because classification is only dealing with the observable facts between two or more objects. What we are witnessing is that classification is a formalized approach to organization. Did you notice God’s inclusion of classification within the verse we just read in 1Timothy 2:15 about study? What does it mean to “rightly divide” the Word of Truth? Rightly dividing is a synonymous work of classification. God is literally saying that we need to organize the truth into proper like groups in order to understand it and that is called typology whether you believe it or not. This means when we study a subject in the Bible we may need to correctly observe the facts and then organize these facts in order to understand any of them. Perhaps, it will help if we first understand the definition for the term “classifying”. This word means “the systematic arrangement in groups or categories according to fixed established criteria”. Again this is a form of division and organization. To organize anything you must divide it up within known like categories. This is exactly what God was saying in 1Timothy 2:15 when he said to rightly divide the word of truth. To rightly divide God’s truth it must be classified into like categories. The antithesis truth to rightly dividing is wrongly dividing and this simply means that people can easily put truths in improper groups or categories of organization. I really hope that you are grasping these deep complex concepts found in God’s Word.
Organization is just a bad word to many people because it involves work again. Clearly we learned from God in 1Timothy 2:15 that work is involved in correct Bible study. This literally teaches us that organization must be a part of the same effort. Therefore if you are a lazy Christian you will never study the Bible. What I have observed from my Bible study is the fact that God is a highly organized being. There is no unorganized chaos found within God or His creation. Look around you and you will observe order everywhere you look. Order and organization do not originate from or appear from disordered chaos. It only stands to reason that if God operates in the realm of order and has created order then His Word must also be organized in some manner that would reflect His own divine qualities. This is one of the main reasons why I believe in Typology so strongly and we are about to learn many other great reasons soon.
What we are doing here is discovering the basics to what typology represents to God and man. Placing like items or objects together is the study of the arrangement, classification, grouping or organization of similar forms, kinds, types, etc. This method of classifying is based upon observing each object’s participation in a well-known and well-defined common set of like features, patterns, characteristics, qualities, abilities, etc. So far knowing these definitions we can make the claim that typology is the study of the “systematic” classification of types that have the same traits or characteristics. Wow, that is still a potential mouth full, isn’t it? Do you really understand what this typology means? Have you ever worked at filing in the days of the old file cabinets? Every old office paper filing system was organized by a defined rules based system to enable organized storage and facilitate the fast retrieval of the filed information. In a large stack of office papers it could take someone days to find the right paper if there was no organization applied to it. But with proper planned organization it is found in a few minutes. This old style manual filing organization was normally done by placing documents in alphabetical order based upon the name of a company or an individual’s last name. A paper filing method was always a “rules based” system of defined storage and retrieval and this is actually directly related to what God has done in the Bible using typology and rightly dividing the Word of Truth. I guess we need to look up the definition of “systematic” next. I know we are going through some really basic technical information in this part of the lesson, but I believe this will help you understand why God uses typology:
Systematic represents anything that is created, performed, established or done according to a defined set of never changing rules, standards and methods. Systematic also represents a repeatable discovery or process by continuing to follow the same rules. In other words a systematic discovery is one that is not accidental or unknown to how it was achieved. Thomas Edison went through a systematic process in discovering the light bulb. Every time that he discovered a light burning filament process that didn’t work that one was thrown out until the one that did work could be repeated consistently. The discovery of the defined process for creating light bulbs created a new systematic process that remained for many, many years of reliable service. If you understand this definition then you need to ask, does God have a plan before He does something? Does God follow any set methods of design before doing something? Does God use any set patterns when creating? Because people are so uninformed, they usually do not know to ask these questions and they certainly do know the answers to these very important questions. Let me repeat the definition of classification because this is just essential:
- The action or process of classifying something according to shared qualities or characteristics.
Like I have tried to say before,” classification” represents the human work of organizing and grouping like objects together based upon observable common features, characteristics, patterns, or any other standard observable qualities of similarity. Is classification a good or an evil system or method of work? Surely you can see that it is all good. Where did classification originate from man or God? I am firm believer that if you can see that classification is good and not evil then it had to have originated from God based upon what God said in James 1:17. Go read that verse and you should see what I mean.
I have talked about this concept of classification in several of my Bible studies on this website. Classifying like objects together is based upon basic mathematical set rules. Every object of a like nature can be grouped together in a common set and can be referenced by the superior group label or title. Each object in the set is unique but they are capable of being organized together because of the common feature being associated together. For example, the mammal classification or set of created beings will have in common certain observable facts that they are all 1) warm blooded 2) vertebrate 3) animals. Therefore any animal that fits this rule based description can be included in the set called mammals. That is what classification represents. Is this too complicated for a Bible study?
Concluding this part of the technical discussion we have learned that typology is the study of the systematic (rules based unchanging well defined methods) of classifying (organizing and grouping together) like or related individual objects (people, places, events and things) sharing common features or common characteristics. What this teaches us is that by learning about one object in the defined set we can apply this knowledge to learn about every other object in the set in some limited degree of defined classification. I might be going over the heads of many of my readers with this technical discussion about how types work but we need to learn this or remain ignorant. We need to learn these are God given facts and that in order to understand many things found in the New Testament correctly it requires us to obtain correct knowledge of the given Old Testament types. God’s use of Typology contains very specific classifications of like subjects, actions, individuals, groups, people, created objects, etc. that help us to understand spiritual things that we have never seen before. Are you beginning to grasp the significance of this subject? Let’s start an introduction to the subject of types found in the Bible.
BEGINNING TO SEE HEAVENLY TYPES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
Let me take you into the classification of created man to help you understand that God declared the existence of types all the way back in Genesis 1. In Genesis 1:26 God says “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness…”. Man being the literal image and likeness of Almighty God is a mind blowing concept that is ignored by many Christians. The angels of God could look at created man and immediately see the features and characteristics of God being demonstrated and repeated. Man being made in God’s image is the definition of the word found within types and typology. The created man possessed the common qualities and features of God by God’s design and purpose. This Bible fact makes created man a literal “type” of the God class of beings using these common observable characteristics. I know that is not very religious sounding but it is what the Bible says.
By observing the original created design in man we can perceive the unseen qualities of God and learn about Him in so many ways. I do not have time to go into this subject fully today but I will give a quick overview of it. For example God is described in the Bible to be a triune being. Man was also created as a triune being consisting of three distinct and separate parts that comprise the whole as I mentioned earlier in this lesson. God is described with a mind and man was created with the same likeness of mental capacity with reasoning and thought. God speaks words audibly and man was created after this same pattern as a speaking individual. I hope that you will do more research or even ask questions if you do not understand how that God can be observed in a created being called man. Also do not misunderstand what I was saying about man being in the God class of beings. I was not declaring man to be equal to God so put down your stones. What I am beginning to teach is that spiritual things existed before there were any natural things and these naturally created things came from existing spiritual patterns, types and objects that were found present in the spiritual realm. I could teach this subject for a long time but I will not do a comprehensive inclusion of every characteristic of man as a type of God in the Bible. The primary point from Genesis 1:26 was that God existed eternally before man existed but yet when God created man He placed Himself as the pattern within the man. One of the main points from Genesis 1:26 is the fact that anything with like characteristics represents a type and fits within the typology definition. We will learn a lot more about this from the New Testament as we continue to study so do not yet give up or despair that you are not grasping it fully yet.
I will now go over another O.T. prevalent subject quickly that God revealed to me about the existence of types. This subject is mentioned in many of my other Bible studies because of the importance of this typology revealed by God. If you search the Bible for the name of the city called “Jerusalem” you should find that it occurs in over 700 verses directly. This city is also indirectly labeled and named by many other titles of a symbolic nature and the total verse count is actually much greater than 700. Are all of these verses about the same city here on the earth? You may be surprised to discover that they are not. Have you ever considered that there may have been a heavenly version of this city named Jerusalem before the earthly city was ever conceived by God? I know that I have, especially after reading what God wrote to us in the New Testament. If you go and read in Galatians 4:26 you will find where God declared that there exists a city called “Jerusalem Above” which is a totally different city than the one that is now presently here on the earth. Let me give you two main verses to consider concerning these two different cities both named Jerusalem:
- Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
- Gal 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
There are just not very many Christians that understand this truth because it was a new revelation from God sent to Paul for us to learn from in the last days. This city “Jerusalem Above” is called the spiritual mother of the church and I do not have time to explain that either. Notice in the verse before that God speaks of the earthly city of Jerusalem as a separate physical entity. It is very obvious to me that these two cities named Jerusalem are types of each other. It might not be as obvious to you but I have studied this subject for over 16 years and it becomes very apparent when you dig into it and allow God to open it up to your spiritual understanding. If you need to learn about this city in more depth, it is covered in several other Bible lessons on my website. What God has just revealed to you, is called hidden typology within the Bible. God implies that the earthly city Jerusalem here in the Middle East has been patterned from a city that already existed in the spiritual heaven. This is called typology where two cities are grouped together based upon common features and characteristics. God has just demonstrated a superior classification called “Jerusalem” where exists more than one individual types of the city in the set. Ok, God says for us to let every word be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses and I will give you another N.T. verse about this heavenly spiritual city:
- Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
This is another extremely important verse to learn. It directly teaches us that there is another city in heaven named Jerusalem where the angels of God reside. When were angels created? That is a very difficult question to answer since we are never directly informed of this event in the Bible that I know of. There are several verses that indicate to us that angels were created long before man existed. I do not have time to teach them in this lesson but they are in some of my other Bible lessons on angels and creation. What we are observing is the realization that spiritual things existed before natural things but they can also both exist concurrently at the same time. We are also beginning to understand that some of these natural things have been modeled after the original spiritual things and even named the same. The Jerusalem that is on the earth is certainly not the Jerusalem just mentioned that was found in heaven. But by God calling them by the same name this teaches us the valid existence of typology. Also if you go and read back in Galatians 4:24 you will discover that both of these cities represent covenants with God. That gives them common features causing a likeness that can be grouped or classified together. Wow, I am hoping that you can understand and apply the typology concepts here to this information given to us by God.
What I am trying to say is that both of these cities belong to the classification called “Jerusalem cities”. Therefore we can learn about one of them and this knowledge will teach us many things about the other one and vice versa. If the Jerusalem below had a temple then the city above has the same type of feature. If the Jerusalem below has a high priest then the city above will contain the same type of feature. If the Jerusalem below was the home of a nation of God’s people then the city above will have the same characteristics. We could just go on and on with this subject of Jerusalem for a very long time but that was enough to get you started thinking. I will end this part of the introduction to this O.T. Bible typology discussion by trying to emphasize again that the naturally created things here on the earth will always point us back to the unseen spiritual things that existed before (Rom 1:20). This is what God reveals to us in the New Testament and we will now explore more examples of this divine use of typology in the next section.
DISCOVERING MORE OF GOD’S DUPLICATION OF EXISTING HEAVENLY PATTERNS
I have been going through the introduction of two hidden examples of Old Testament natural patterns that were concealed projections of existing heavenly spiritual patterns. Both the natural and the spiritual shared common features and characteristics allowing them to be legally grouped together within our typology study. This was the nature of typology by definition. As we continue to learn more about what has existed in the spiritual heaven has now been repeated by God here on the earth as types of heaven we will be able to learn about spiritual things that were never conceived within our human minds before. In fact it would be impossible for us to know of the existence of these spiritual things without God giving us the natural things to observe. We will also learn that these natural types on the earth will return back to the spiritual realm as in a full circle. All of this was a hidden concept taught by God in the Bible. Paul obtained the revelation of these truths and God is now making them known to us in the church in these last of the last days. What I want to do is to help confirm what I just introduced you to by using what God says in the Bible about these subjects. What will be doing is confirming that these O.T. things came from existing heavenly spiritual objects. Let’s start with a verse in Acts:
- Act 7:44 Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen.
Have you ever considered the information given by God in this verse? God is informing us that Moses had a spiritual vision of heaven in order to see this preexisting pattern that he was to build. God was telling Moses to make the articles of the temple on the earth after the pattern design that was found in heaven. I know this verse can be taken other ways. For example God could have shown Moses what to build and these could have been completely new designs. However that interpretation does not match with what else God says in the N.T. and we must take into account every scripture that is given to us about this subject. If what I said about these earthly temple articles being heavenly patterns is true, this literally teaches us that the design of the temple in heaven was transferred to the earth through Moses and everything that was found here was a man made duplication of the divinely created spiritual realm. Obviously this means that the natural objects were not spiritual object but the resemblance could be seen if you knew both like the angels of God did. I will give you another verse that explains this more clearly next:
- Heb 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
Please read this verse very carefully. There are three key Greek words that need to be defined in order to understand that this is God using Typology to teach the people. The three Greek words are G5262, G4639 and G5179 translated in this verse as “example”, “shadow” and “pattern” respectively. But before we explore these Greek words let’s observe that this verse in Hebrews is a partial quotation of an Old Testament verse from Exodus and go and read it:
- Exo 25:40 “See that you make them after the pattern for them, which was shown to you on the mountain.
God again tells Moses directly that the objects of the temple will be made after the “pattern” that was given to him on the mountain. If you do not understand the concept of patterns in creation you will never correctly understand the Bible. A pattern is a creation technique and/or a device that causes duplicates to occur. A pattern is used to recreate any original work of creation. This is used in manufacturing, the garment creation industry, construction, automotive manufacturing and many other human work efforts. Man did not invent this method of work, God did! Please take a look at the definition for the Hebrew word H8403 translated as “pattern”.
- From H1129; structure; by implication a model, resemblance: – figure, form, likeness, pattern, similitude.
Does any of this definition sound familiar to what we have been covering in this Bible lesson? Take what I taught first in the previous section about Adam being made in the likeness of God. That was a different Hebrew word in Genesis 1:26 but the meanings are very synonymous. Both Hebrew words mean a resemblance or a model from a pattern. Strong even places the word “pattern” as a legal definition and that is what was translated in KJV Bible. Let’s go back to Hebrew 8:5 and look up the three Greek words that I was telling you were important to this subject. The first word is G5262 that was translated as “example”. What is an example? According to the dictionary an example is “a thing characteristic of its kind or illustrating a general rule”. Wow, that is the definition of a type within typology if I ever heard of one. God is teaching you some very profound truths located in the Bible and I pray that you are not letting them slip away from your mind. Again in the Strong’s definition we see concretely the words “likeness”, “model”, “resemblance” and “pattern”. Learn these words and remember them. See how they apply to Adam and God and then we will continue to learn how they apply to other types to come.
The next Greek word that I would like to point out is G4639 which is translated as “shadow” in this verse of Hebrews. This Greek word being included within this verse context is one of the main reasons why many teach that “types and shadows” are synonymous terms referring to the same concept within Typology. What is a shadow? A shadow is usually a place where the light does not fully reach, right? This means a shadow is where there is some level of darkness found to be present. In other words there is something that is blocking the light from being seen directly on that spot. I find that concept extremely informative to why people do not see or understand typology. It also implies that God withheld certain levels of detailed information within typology so that he could reveal them later. When Jesus came into the world in the flesh, He declared himself to be the light of the world (John 9:5). Jesus literally taught many new things that were hidden from the foundation of the world. This was Jesus being a light to the world explaining things that were never revealed before to man. If you have ever seen a television studio you know that it has a lot of lights in it. Bright lights cause shadows and that is not good for TV so they add more bright lights to eliminate the shadows. That is exactly what Jesus was doing taking the shadows of the Old Testament and bringing more light to them. Let’s review the Strong’s definition of this word:
- Apparently a primary word; “shade” or a shadow (literally or figuratively [darkness of error or an adumbration]): – shadow.
This Greek word is defined to be a “shade or a shadow” literally or figuratively and in this case in Hebrews 8:5 it is certainly a figurative usage. The word in this definition that I found the most interesting is probably a word that you have never heard of. Do you know what an “adumbration” is? This word means to “give a sketchy outline of something”. It literally means to provide “a sketchy, imperfect, incomplete or even a faint representation” of something else that is not given directly by reference. In other words it means that you can only know what is being stated if you understand the complete subject but otherwise you will not have a clue what the vague outline is about. This is a good description of a shadow on the ground. Unless you know who or what is casting the shadow the sketchy outline will be useless information to you. An adumbration also means the “vague foreshadowing” of a plan, event or a person. All of this information that we have discovered is completely relevant to the subject of Typology and God’s purpose for using it. Please tell me that you understand these vital concepts? The last Greek word that must be understood for this subject in Hebrew 8:5 is the Greek word G5179:
- From G5180; a die (as struck), that is, (by implication) a stamp or scar; by analogy a shape, that is, a statue, (figuratively) style or resemblance; specifically a sampler (“type”), that is, a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning): – en- (ex-) ample, fashion, figure, form, manner, pattern, print.
This Greek word is also one of the most important found in the verse and is the best description yet of typology. Please observe the concepts given in the definition. Do you know what a “die” is? This device is used in the manufacturing process to create duplicate objects. It is usually made of metal and hollow on the inside where other metal or plastic can be poured into it to harden and become a new identical piece. There are other types of these tools that are also used as stamps to leave an impression of an identical image. This is a common type of tool used in leather work. The idea that the one tool leaves a repeatable image in something represents another description of what Typology is to God as you can observe by continuing to read the rest of the definition. The key word in this definition is the word “TYPE”. It means that you can look at the thing being spoken of as a model of something else that is not normally revealed. Patterns are also found in this definition. We now have three different Greek words to search for in our Bible to learn how God uses them. These are essential elements to understanding Bible Typology. We have just covered the foundational basics for the subject and will now begin to explore the dynamics of some of the other aspects found within the New Testament.
GOD’S DETAILED USAGE OF O.T. TYPES AND SHADOWS IN THE N.T.
I have presented Biblical evidence that the naturally created things on the earth were patterned after unseen heavenly spiritual realities that pre-existed before the natural. We are now going to discover that the next step to this designed process is to see exactly how God has placed in the Old Testament very specific natural patterns, types and shadows that point us again to unseen New Testament spiritual types. God has taken this reality of patterns in a full circle from the spiritual to the natural then back to the spiritual again. What you will begin to discover are some of the reasons that God did this but probably not in total coverage in this Bible lesson. There are literally a great number of very specific natural types and shadows found in the O.T and these were designed to teach the church about the coming complex unseen spiritual truths found in the New Covenant. Without the existence of the natural realm the church would have no comprehension of the spiritual realm. As I have stated God created the natural world as a hidden reflecting window into the spiritual world. God very clearly said in Romans 1:20 that “The invisible things of God even His godhead and power are clearly viewed in the things that He has created so that men are without excuse”. I believe this verse teaches us something so very profound about the existence of typology. I believe God was saying that which has been in the past is that which is seen now and that which is seen now is that which shall be again in the future. If that doesn’t sound familiar you need to read Ecclesiastes to discover what God has said to us about this subject:
- Ecc 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
Hopefully you can read and understand that God says there is NOTHING NEW under the sun. Nothing is a very comprehensive word and does not omit anything that can be observed in the natural. What does that teach us? That literally means everything that we see here right now in this world was modeled after what existed previously in the spiritual world. I am totally convinced that this is the concept of types and shadows used by God as repetitious patterns. These patterns found in the Old Testament bring us light to know what is occurring in the spiritual New Covenant. Let’s explore some more of the specific types revealed by God to us in the New Testament that were hidden by God in the Old Testament. I’ll begin this section of the lesson with a verse that is found in Romans 5:
- Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
This is God’s commentary on the creation of Adam in Genesis 1 and 2. In this N.T. explanation God very specifically reveals that Adam was a “TYPE” of the coming Lord Jesus. We can further confirm this truth by observing how God called Jesus the “Last Adam” in 1 Corinthians 15:45. What we are learning here in these two verses is further confirmation that God can use duplicate names like Adam or Jerusalem to establish a valid type set comparison and relationship. This concept was exactly what I taught you previously about the name of the city of Jerusalem. God will often repeat the name of an O.T. reality calling it HEAVENLY, NEW, LAST or by using some other adjective modified form to cause it to be known that it is not the same object as the one mentioned previously but is rather a new type of that one. If you continue to study this subject of typology you will soon discover that God will use a natural named reality found in the Old Testament to teach us about a spiritual reality again and again. The Greek word that was translated as “figure” in this verse in Romans is the repeated key word that was covered in the last section concerning the temple that Moses built in Hebrews 8:5. Do you remember the Greek word G5179 that meant a “die” or a “stamp”? How can Adam be called a stamped pattern of Jesus? By not understanding this word and how to apply it to Jesus will cause you to totally miss the very important message being taught by God concerning the legitimacy of typology. Can we agree to at least try to learn and understand what God wants us to know about this subject?
If you recall from the definition of G5179 it was based upon an engraving process, a printing press process, or even a modern “model” building process. When I was a kid I use to like to build models. I would buy them and then put them together trying to follow the instructions with glue and the finished model would “resemble” a real airplane that could be flown in the Air Force. It was such a great lesson of what is happening in this God example given to us in Romans 5:14. God is saying Adam is not Jesus but the resemblance and characteristics that he possessed clearly point us to Jesus using typology. It is exactly the same as the model airplane is not the greater real airplane but it teaches us and points us to what the real airplane looks like. That is obviously one of the greatest values for the existence of typology in the Bible. God says by us using typology that we can learn about Jesus from reading about a naturally created man named Adam. Wow, I wonder, how this Adam truth of Biblical typology fits into your theoretical rules of correct hermeneutics and exegesis. According to some believers and Bible teachers today God is incorrectly interpreting His own scriptures by using typology. Who among us believes that God knows what He is doing here? I choose to believe this very strongly and that is why you cannot talk me out of it with your manmade exegesis rules.
I can still hear many questioning how this reality is possible that Adam was a type of Jesus. I really do not have time to teach that in depth in this lesson today since that is not the main subject of this study. I will tell you that if Adam had a wife that came out of his side then Jesus will also have a wife that will come out of His side. That is one of the most profound hidden truths concerning the Adam typology. I will tell you that the law of marriage given to natural Israel in Genesis 2:24 is quoted in Ephesians 5 where God is talking about husbands and wives. In this chapter of Ephesians, God clearly reveals the wife of Christ Jesus to be the church. If you do not understand how this typology is possible either, ask questions or go read some more Bible lessons where I talk about this very important subject. I hope that I can challenge you do a study of Adam now with a new set of Jesus spiritual viewers on. God has just concretely confirmed the existence of O.T. types and shadows.
Jesus revealed in John 5:39 that the natural Jews needed to search their scriptures because these were the words that testified concerning Him. Jesus was teaching them that He was the predominate subject of their Holy Law. If they had to search in order to find Him, then He was not found plainly or easily in the surface text of the words written on the pages or scrolls. It was not until God reveals to us in the New Testament how Jesus could be found there that anyone could possibly know that Adam represented a “TYPE” or “PATTERN” of the coming Jesus. This single fact alone teaches the validity of using TYPOLOGY in correct Bible interpretation. Are you receiving this? I’m not done teaching so that is not all that I have to say on this subject but I have already given you very significant Bible evidence that should help you to begin to learn the truth about Typology. Let’s examine another type of Jesus found in the New Testament that confirms the reality of Typology:
- Heb 7:15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,
Here we have a new and different Greek word but yet it means the exact same things as the ones that we have looked at previously. All of these Greek words G3665, G5179 and G8403 are very synonymous in their definitions. Here in Hebrews 7:15 God declares that Jesus is a priest “like” Melchisdec. The Greek word G3665 that is translated as “similitude” is the key word from this verse that must be understood. If you read the context of this verse you will discover that God relates the story of Abraham meeting the priest Melchisdec and how he gave to him a tenth of the spoils. What God is doing in this verse is teaching us that Jesus is again a spiritual type of the natural O.T. high priest Melchisdec. In doing this Jesus has become our high priest for the people in the church today. Perhaps we need to review the Strong’s definition for this Greek word in order to comprehend the typology connection completely:
- From G3664; resemblance: – like as, similitude.
This Greek word comes from a root word that means “similar in appearance or character”. Again we see the definition of what typology represents. This is the exact same concept as I gave you concerning the creation of man in Genesis 1:26. Man being made in the likeness and image of God is what God is saying about Jesus being made in the likeness and image of Melchisdec. Do you need me to repeat the definition of typology? Remember that typology was defined to be the systematic classification of similar objects based upon common characteristics. There are a lot more types of Jesus found in the Old Testament than these two witnesses that God just gave to you. What you will discover is that God has left many more types of Jesus for us to discover by teaching us of their existence using the examples of Adam and Melchisdec. I’ll give you one more N.T. example of typology which is more difficult to find but was written to the Hebrews who clearly knew the Law of Moses:
- Heb 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
- Heb 3:2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.
- Heb 3:3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.
- Heb 3:4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.
- Heb 3:5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
- Heb 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
Nowhere in these verses does it say specifically that Moses is a type of Jesus by using the 4 key Greek words that we have already found, but yet the description given to us is exactly within the context of the Typology subject discussion. Both men are said to be faithful. Both men are said to be “servants”. Both men are said to be builders of houses. Those few characteristics give them commonality that can be classified together. This is the definition of typology again. Can you see it? Of the two being referred to Jesus is clearly called the greater. This again is the repeated pattern of creation coming full circle. The greater God created the lesser man named Adam and then the greater God became like a lesser man Adam who died and has now been raised up to life again and exalted back into the realm of greatness. I am trying to teach the effectiveness and validity of Typology using as many examples as possible in this limited format lesson. I hope that you can seeing these for what they really are and learn how to apply them to your Bible Study going forward. Let’s talk about another aspect of Moses being a type of Jesus before we leave this part of the study.
If you recall the story of Moses he was chosen by God and deemed to be the “deliverer” of the natural nation of Israel. Again these were all types that pointed us to what Jesus did. Jesus was chosen by God and He was the “deliverer” of the whole world from Satan’s kingdom of darkness. The whole O.T. story of the deliverance of the people of natural Israel from Egypt is an extremely important lesson using Typology of how God brought the N.T. people out of the realm of control from Satan. Natural Israel was captive for 430 years in Egypt and the people of the earth were held captive to Satan for 4030 years. The natural story occurs in Exodus as a type but the greater story of deliverance was given to us by God in the Gospels and then revealed in the letters written to the church. If you still can’t understand these concepts after all of this I am beginning to think that I can’t help you. I would suggest that you go to Ephesians 1:16 and pray the prayer that Paul prayed for the church at Ephesus for God to open the eyes of their spiritual understanding to see the wisdom and revelation of Christ Jesus. If you pray this for yourself I know God will answer it because that is what He did for me.
Always remember that before these N.T. church letters were written there were only the Old Testament scriptures to find Jesus in. Acts 17:11 teaches us about a part of the church that was found by God to be more noble than others. These church members were open to what Paul was preaching but then they used their Old Testament scriptures to verify everything that was spoken was actually written in the Holy Book. The letters written to the church simply taught the people how to find Jesus and explain the many techniques that were used to conceal Him there. I write about this frequently because this is one of the number one problems that I face on my website. The only way that I have figured out how to get people to overcome not seeing the truth is by teaching it frequently over and over. Eventually people will either get tired of me saying the same thing and leave or finally get it into their spirit to believe.
We could talk about typology for a very long time since it is so dominate within the Old Testament. I will not even attempt to give you every possible type found in the Old Testament but I will quickly provide an overview of some that I found very interesting. We have already looked at Adam but the first two sons of Adam were Cain and Abel. Notice the fact that Abel was the younger brother because that will become a pattern within itself in many of the types found in the O.T. Cain’s offering is rejected by God and Abel’s offering is accepted. Cain gets angry and kills his younger brother. Abel is a type of Christ in this story. Christ came to the earth and was killed by Satan on the cross. God certainly accepted the Lamb’s sacrifice that was shed on the cross and God had already rejected Satan’s offerings. The blood of Abel was “like” the blood of Christ. Perhaps you struggle with my conclusions but what I say is based upon scriptures and not my own reasoning. Take a look at this verse and see the typology being mentioned between Jesus and Abel:
- Heb 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Why would God even mention Jesus and Abel in the same verse if they were not in some related classification together? Both were killed and both had their blood poured out on the ground during the commission of the act. God is giving you a clue about how typology works in this verse. God does not tell you everything that the type reveals so that you can still go and read it and discover more. This is called TYPOLOGY people and it is right in front of your face if you will just read it and see what it says.
Let’s consider the O.T. man Isaac next. This was the promised son that God told Abraham would come. However Abraham got impatient and listened to his wife and they had an Ishmael through a maid servant. God specifically told Abraham that this Ishmael was not his heir. Years later the promised son was given and Isaac was born. The maidservant and her son were cast out of the family and God reveals in the New Testament that this is an allegory of a far greater spiritual truth. Remember when I talked about Jerusalem above versus Jerusalem below? These were revealed using a form of typology called allegory. Allegory is simply a real natural story that reveals a hidden spiritual story of greater importance. If you go and read Galatians 4 you will find that Sarah was a type of the city Jerusalem that was above. Hagar was a type of the Jerusalem that now is here on the earth. I’m not going to teach this lesson again here so I do not have to explain it over again. Just try to conceive what God has done in the Bible using typology. The promised son Isaac is a very specific type of the Lord Jesus Christ the promise made to the whole world. When Abraham took his son to sacrifice him a ram was conveniently caught by the horns nearby. The Ram is symbolic of God coming to the earth in the flesh take the place of Isaac. The typology within this story is rich and very deep with spiritual content. Every player in the story of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael and Isaac has a role in the greater spiritual story. God the father is the type of Abraham. Isaac was a type of Jesus Christ. As we have seen the city of Jerusalem in heaven a type of Sarah and the city of Jerusalem in the middle east a type of Hagar. I’m not here to teach this whole allegory, so we will move on.
The subject of typology is found throughout the New Testament but let’s go back to chapter 7 of the book Acts. Earlier I gave you one verse from this chapter that was about Moses being given the heavenly patterns from God on the mountain. The rest of this chapter is also about hidden typologies found within the Old Testament. The man Stephen is speaking to the leaders of the synagogue and Stephen uses much of their law to try to explain why Jesus had to come to the earth. These are clearly all typology comparisons that were inspired by the Holy Spirit to teach them they were not seeing their scriptures correctly. These words are still true today for those that use private exegesis rules that disallow the use of Typology. If Typology is an invalid interpretation method then chapter 7 of Acts is from the devil. Please read this chapter carefully and learn what is being stated. Solomon is being stated by God to be a type of the coming Jesus in verse 47 who builds God a new spiritual house like Solomon did in the Old Testament. Also King David in the preceding verse is used to represent a type of God the Father in heaven. I’m just not going to spend the time to go through this whole chapter. You can do that for yourself.
I hope and pray that you are beginning to understand typology’s significance in the correct interpretation of the Old Testament. I could have told you about many other types of Jesus found in the Old Testament but I gave you enough to prove the reality that it should make you change your perspective to how you read the Old Testament. Learn from early church Bible teachers like Peter, Stephen, Paul and John who write and taught initially from only the Old Testament foundational verses about Jesus. Try to understand how they applied the O.T. scriptures to mean what they were revealed to them by the Spirit of God to mean in the New Testament. When you read the Old Testament if you are not looking for Jesus primarily then you are probably missing the main reason that the words were written. Then when you find a type of Jesus if you are not looking at the other named individuals that interact with the type of Jesus then you are missing another of the main reasons that they were also included in the text. God’s intelligence is way beyond what you can comprehend. God will take words within natural stories and teach you such profound spiritual knowledge and wisdom that it is staggering to the human mind. If you learned anything from this lesson I would enjoy hearing about it. These positive comments will counter the negative comments that will also surely come. God Bless you and if you keep studying the Bible to find the truth, Jesus said that it will be found (John 8:32). Thank you!
(Ver 1.1) This quick Bible lesson is the answer to a very common Bible student’s question. We usually all have very similar questions when reading the Bible, so I will answer this question from one person and believe that it will help others that were not brave enough to ask the question. I find it interesting that people will ask you questions as long as you give them the answer that they wanted to hear. But if I say something new or controversial that God has taught me from the Bible, the responses can be very diverse and unexpected for a Christian. I have had some people unfriend me or just stop talking to me because I didn’t agree with what they viewed as the only truth in the Bible. If we are not open to learning something new and greater from God we will all remain in a stagnant state of ignorance apart from what He desired us to know. Today, we are going to analyze the information given to us by God surrounding the story of two brothers. Regardless of what you already think that you know about this story please leave your pre-conceived expectations behind and focus only upon what God says in His Word. Be open to the Holy Spirit and be led by only Him.
The question asked by my reader was concerning the story described in Genesis 4. It appears from reading these verses that one brother’s offerings were accepted by God and the other elder brother’s offerings were rejected by God. Why was that? This subject has been preached by many people and most of them have not seen the fullness of what the Bible actually says so they draw wrong conclusions using insufficient information and teach people about things that do not directly apply to the actual story. For example, one preacher that I recall hearing taught that Abel’s offering was accepted by God because it was a sacrifice of shed blood and Cain’s offering was not. He used this as a type of Jesus the coming Lamb of God that was going to shed His blood for all people. Well that was an interesting and creative approach but that just doesn’t make total sense to me based upon other scriptures that I know on the subjects. I certainly understand the association and how he took the leap to bring the two stories together but is that what God desired us to learn from this story? I have found at least 4 popular human explanations for why God rejects Cain’s offerings. Here are the four popular theories listed in random order:
- The Absence of a Blood Sacrifice from Cain.
- The Poor Quality of the Offered Sacrifice of Cain.
- The Heart Issue of Cain’s Attitude Giving the Sacrifice.
- The Sovereignty of God.
All of these are legitimate ways to look at the story from a student’s viewpoint of the text. However, we should not attempt to say that any one of these is more important than the others because they are all contributing factors. The story of Cain and Abel quickly becomes a war of human opinions and my opinion is as totally worthless as your opinion. Therefore, we need to learn God’s opinion. What does God say about it and how do we even begin to find it in the Bible. That is the number one reason why people do not understand the Bible correctly. They read an isolated passage in Genesis 4 and ignore the whole rest of the Bible. That is a crazy way of studying the Bible. I heard one preacher say we should only study one book of the Bible at a time and I thought that was a foolish way of studying a book that was designed the way the Bible was written by God. The Bible is progressive revelation. What is hidden at the beginning is uncovered at the end. Therefore we cannot understand any of it without taking into account what is written in every part of the Bible about the subjects that we are studying. If you don’t have a good Bible software program on your computer get one. There are many that are free and I recommend one called eSword. Then search the Bible for the subjects found in Genesis 4 like the names of Abel and Cain and read what God says about them. For example, Abel is only referenced directly a few times but the statements describing him are infinitely important to why God accepted his offering and not Cain’s. Get your Bible search software and let’s get started with the story of Cain and Abel.
CAIN AND ABEL TWO OFFERINGS, ONE GOOD RESULT
We will begin by going through the verses in Genesis 4 to gather the factual information to help us to understand what is expressed by God. We will turn to the second verse in Chapter 4 and begin to read there:
- Gen 4:2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
Cain was the firstborn of Adam and Eve. That fact is interesting but not significant for this Bible lesson. Abel was revealed to be a keeper of sheep and we all know lambs come from sheep. Thus we have the foundation beginning for the belief in the assumption theory number 1 concerning the blood sacrifice, but we won’t go there. Cain as you can see is a ground laborer and that is just another name for a farmer. Let me ask you, how would a farmer of crops give God a blood sacrifice of something that he does not possess? I think that is a problem right from the beginning. Are we expected to give from what God has given to us or does God expect us to give what we don’t have just to please Him? A mindset of religious works would demand that we must do specific works of the flesh in order to be pleasing to God and I do not believe that is the revealed nature of God. I think you should think about that for a while before you answer.
- Gen 4:3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
Pay very close attention to the phrasing of the story. Every word has significance. God informs us that in the process of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the land. You do understand that it takes time for crops to produce? Crops are not an overnight miracle. Since Cain was a farmer this description sounded pretty good until we actually read about what Abel did in the next verse:
- Gen 4:4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
As you can read both brother’s offerings took time. Animals are not an instant miracle either. A lamb can take 150 days to be born. Therefore both offerings presented to God could only come after time. There are certain keywords given to us by God that are important. The term “firstling” and “fat” are two keywords that have significance to describe Abel’s offering to be remarkably different than his brother’s. The term firstling means the first born and that is significant. The term “fat” literally means the best. Here is where we get the foundation for assumption theory number 2, the insufficient quality of the offering of Cain. Abel brings God the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof. The absence of any adjective qualifiers describing Cain’s offering implies them to not be special. Then notice that it says God had “respect” for Abel’s offering.
- Gen 4:5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
As you can see God had no “respect” for Cain’s offering. Here we can also read that Cain’s attitude was not very positive. He becomes angry and depressed and those seem to support the theoretical assumption number 3 that Cain failed God expectations with his wrong attitude. You can quickly see how each theory has a basis for beliefs and why they are taught in churches. The only theory that I have not touched on is assumption 4 concerning the principle of the sovereign choice of God. There are endless numbers of Christians that place everything that happens in the world in the hands of God’s design, purpose, will, and plans and they leave nothing out for us to do or for any contribution of Satan or evil spirits to be involved. I call this the response-less devil and human theory. No matter what they do it makes no difference because God’s will is always done. These types of Bible teachers go with theory 4 so that they do not have to teach any human responsibility or accountability. These types of teachers also have to attribute every evil in the world to be a gift from God. I was on Facebook the other day and I saw a very ignorant statement. This person said God sent the storms so that He could prove that He was the only protection from the storms. That sounds very religious but that is not my God and people really need to read the whole Bible. I’m not going to go there fully but I will show you a few verses that counter this wrong belief concerning the sovereignty of God.
GETTING GOD’S COMMENTARY ON CAIN AND ABEL
Here is where I’m going to start the main lesson on the story in Genesis 4. My approach will be to use God’s commentary on the subjects and not just the words found in Genesis chapter 4 alone. We are going to depart from the popular 4 theories of assumed interpretations and begin to see what else God says on the subjects of “respect” and “Abel”. I picked the subject of “respect” to begin because it is a major part of the reason that God is accused by men of making a sovereign choice. The Bible very clearly says that God had “respect” for Abel’s offering but for Cain’s offering God had “no respect”. What is “respect” and how or why does God respect one but not the other? Read what Peter says about God in Acts and learn how this verse applies to our story of Cain and Abel:
- Act 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
The Greek word that is translated as “respecter of persons” in this verse means to have partiality for one individual and not for the others. It would be like a teacher in school picking one child as their favorite and the others are not treated equally. Being partial clearly is a conscious decision to show bias, prejudice or preference for one human and not do the same for another. This would be like two men walking into your church. One is dressed in rich apparel and the other is dressed in rags. The ushers could treat both men the same and be like God or they could take the wealthy looking man to the front and sit the raggedy man in the back of the church and that would be an example of being a respecter of persons. Showing favoritism would be preferential treatment for one while exhibiting inferior treatment for the other based solely upon their appearance. According to scriptures in the N.T. God is not a type of God that respects one individual over ANY other. We can clearly read that here in Acts but it is also found in Romans 2:11, Ephesians 6:9, Colossians 3:25, and James 2:9. That is 5 verse witnesses in the Bible that teaches us the truth about God and you should not ignore them.
It appears that we have a scriptural battle raging where one verse in the O.T. says that God had “respect” fighting with 5 other witnesses in the N.T. that says God does not do that. Here is a great opportunity to learn that the Bible does not ever contradict itself. It is only a human’s wrong interpretation or understanding that causes the conflict in their mind. However, pay closer attention to what God respected. Both men gave God offerings over extended times but God saw one offering as good and the other as potentially not so good for an unknown or an unstated reason. Notice in Genesis that God had no lack of respect for either men but rather only for their offerings. God is stated to be love in the New Testament. Did God love Abel more than He loved Cain? You see I do not believe that is true. However do not confuse God’s hatred towards your sin to be the same His love for you. God can hate what you do and still die to save you because of His love. Let me give you one more verse about God’s lack of human respect variance that just might help us:
- 1Pe 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
Here is an excellent verse that will apply to what we have just read in Genesis 4 about Cain and Abel. God says that He does not respect any specific individual but that He does judge their works. This is a commonly ignored verse in the Bible. This was written to Christians but it does apply to all of the people of the earth, past, present and future and it definitely has an application to what God says about Cain and Abel. If God does not respect a person or an individual but rather will show respect for their works what was it about Cain’s works that were rejected and Abel’s works that were accepted? Doesn’t that change the perspective of the story significantly? That is what we are talking about in the story, right? The fact that both men gave an offering and one was pleasing to God and one was not, that tells me a lot. There are three basic ways to judge a person’s work. A person’s work can be judged for what they did, how they did it or why they did it or a combination of all of these three.
Did you know that you can do the right things at the wrong times or in the wrong ways or even with the wrong motives and still be found guilty before God? It goes back to a question that I used to ask job applicants during the interview process where I worked. I always tried to ask them, “What matters more the end result or the methods used to achieve the end-result”? You see in every business if the end-result was the only thing that mattered then we could all lie, cheat, steal and rob to get the job done. Recently in the news Lance Armstrong came out in public and said that he had used banned substances to achieve his 7 bicycle race victories. He clearly viewed the end-results to be more important than the methods to achieve them and now he is paying the ultimate price. This was probably not the wisest thing that Lance ever did. What I am teaching you, is that matters how you do something and why you are doing it, more than it does getting it done to God.
Learn from the lesson of Lance Armstrong and let’s see if this modern story applies to the life of Cain and Abel. We can clearly see both Cain and Abel gave an offering to God. But, what caused God to judge one offering to be different from the other? There are not very many verses in the Bible about Cain and Abel but there is at least one that you need to see. If you did the search in your Bible for the name of “Abel” you have already found my next Bible verse to learn. God lists the name of Mr. Abel in the Faith Hall of Fame and his name is forever preserved with the heroes of the Bible like Moses, Abraham, David, and Joshua to name a few. Let me show you what God says about Abel:
- Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
Did you see it? God says the sacrifice that Abel offered was “more excellent”. So clearly sacrifices of lambs are better than fruits? But is that what it really says? What did God say directly before that statement? Doesn’t God tell us of Abel’s motivation and methods? How did Abel offer this more excellent sacrifice? God says Abel offered it “By Faith”. The implication given by God is that there was a factor missing from the offering of Cain and this factor was his faith. You see if you read down in Hebrews 11 you will find a revelation that directly applies to the story we read in Genesis 4.
- Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Without faith it is impossible to even try to please God. Is that not the reason why Cain’s offering was rejected? The absence of faith means God will not be pleased with anything that we do and it really does not matter what you are bringing before the Lord. Get out of your religious box and see the truth of God’s Word. Many people today go to church and think that God is pleased because they showed up. That is crazy thinking my friend. If you are not going to church in faith you are failing. I’m not going to teach you the entire subject of faith today; that would be a very long complex subject that has many parts to it. If you don’t know about faith, go read my Bible lessons on that subject. Faith is one of the top three Bible subjects that you need to learn before Jesus comes back. Why? Because Jesus said this:
- Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
The way I read His statement, He is looking for a people with faith that pleases Him when He returns. So when you so dearly ignore the subject of faith in the Bible you just might find yourself to be more like Cain and less like Abel and that is not a good place to be. What company do you wish to associate? Which example do you wish to demonstrate to Christ? Your name could be with the others in the Faith Hall of Fame. It is really up to you more than you think. If you wish to be pleasing to God then you need to learn the subject of faith.
Since God has been talking about the subject of sacrifices in Genesis 4, is God still looking for a sacrifice from His people today? Maybe you need to go and read further in the book of Hebrews past chapter 11 where Abel was mentioned. God speaks a lot about this subject but I’ll only focus in on 2 verses that apply to the church:
- Heb 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
- Heb 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Did you notice what these verses said? They are speaking of sacrifices but not the blood types like an animal or a lamb. No, God is saying offer up the sacrifice of praise unto Him. Wow, that is very strong isn’t it? It appears that God still desires us to make a sacrifice but with the fruit of our lips. Uh oh! What did Cain offer God? Was it not the fruit of the ground? What are your lips made out of? If you did not know it, your lips are made from the ground also and these produce fruit for God. Why did God reject Cain’s offerings of fruit but still desires the fruit from our lips? I pray that you are learning something new. God just got through talking to you about the whole long subject of faith in chapter 11 and now in chapter 13 He connects that with your sacrifices which are still required. Do you believe that whatever sacrifices you give to God that you better do them in faith to be accepted? I seriously think that would be a great idea. What did we read in Hebrews 11:6 that pleases God? Without “faith” it is impossible to please Him and therefore faith pleases God. Even though you are doing something that could please Him like praising Him with the fruit of your lips, if you are going to do it without faith it will not be found pleasing.
I just did a quick Bible lesson on the importance of your faith and giving God your sacrifices today. There is more to the story of Cain and Abel than this, but that was the message from the Lord for you today. Abel through his faith in God was called righteous and his name is mentioned in some elite company. If you think it is too late for you to be added in this group I believe you are wrong. Thank you for reading my Bible lesson. May the love of God become known to you in new ways that are beyond your natural comprehension! If you have any Bible questions that you like for me to see if I can answer please provide them in a comment and as I am led by the Spirit of God I will address them. God Bless!
(Ver 1.1) This Bible lesson is a response to a good question that I received from a reader. This is a very easily misunderstood topic in the Bible and I have addressed it at least in part in several other Bible lessons but this is a more direct topic discussion on the subject. When I first started writing this response I thought it would be a quick and easy Bible lesson to do. I very soon realized the broad scope of information on this subject in the Bible and it quickly grew way beyond what I could feasibly address in one lesson. This question is also potentially complex because of the very common misunderstanding that surrounds it. I am going to have to overcome all of the false teachings that have already gone out on this topic and that is going to be challenging. The subject of the human soul is mentioned directly or indirectly in literally thousands of different verses. The Bible is covered with parts of this subject throughout and there are so many verses that I cannot even begin to list them all. I will attempt to list the verses that I feel are important to help introduce the subject and focus on those. I will learn based upon the follow-up questions and comments that I receive, if there are other lessons that need to be added. Please feel free to leave your questions and comments and I will address them as I am led. I’ll start by giving you a dictionary definition of the word soul. I do not agree with this definition but it is at least a starting point:
|soul – Noun
This definition of the soul is a result of the confusion behind the word’s popular usage. It is literally a muddled attempt to define something that they know nothing about. Let me start by saying that I agree with parts of the definition but certainly not the entire wording or the connection of the stated phrases. The soul is definitely an immaterial part of a human; however it is not the spirit of a human as it is commonly assumed. Both people and animals have souls but animals do not have spirits as we will observe from the Bible shortly. The soul of the human is not the immortal spirit of the human and we will see scriptures that will confirm that also. The soul of a man or a woman is related to their identity from a non-physical aspect or perspective. We could call the human soul their personality and that becomes a much closer definition to what God reveals of the soul in His Word. This dictionary definition also leaves out many other parts of the soul that are not mentioned, unknown or just ignored. We will soon see some of these as I continue to go through the Bible lesson.
Even Bible translators struggled to know and understand how to accurately translate many of the original language words on this subject in the Bible. For example the Hebrew word H5315 which is commonly translated into “soul” is found in 682 verses of the Old Testament. If you study the original language translation closely you will find this same Hebrew word H5315 is translated into several different English words because of the pre-established confusion. Here is a list of some of the popular ways that this Hebrew word was translated in the O.T. 1) soul, 2) souls, 3) creature, 4) life, 5) one 6) yourself, 7) body, 8) beast, 9) person, 10) mind, 11) heart, 12) breath, 13) will, 14) ghost, 15) appetite, 16) pleasure, and 17) desire to name some of the basic words used by translators. That was not a complete list but we should be able to see from this diverse set of definitions this Hebrew word could be potentially all over the board. We need to learn which words being used to describe the soul are correct and apply to the subject and which words do not? Technically I will tell you that each English word in this list has a linked association to the subject and thus the reason for the wide misunderstanding. I personally believe that many of the translated verses use very inadequate choices of English words to describe what is being communicated by God and perhaps I will attempt to go through a few of these examples to demonstrate what I mean. This subject is a Bible basic truth that is essential to correctly know and understand. You may already think that you know everything about this subject but I would challenge you to read the whole lesson to ensure that what you think you know agrees with what the Bible actually says. In this Bible lesson I will attempt to answer the following reader questions on the subject of souls:
- WILL YOU DO A MESSAGE ON THE MEANING OF SOULS?
- WHAT THEY ARE?
- WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM AFTER DEATH?
- AND CAN A SOUL BE EATEN UP AND DESTROYED WHILE ALIVE?
In addition to these questions I will also address what the soul of man is not. I will begin this lesson by stating the subject of the soul of man is popularly confused with the subject of the spirit of man and we saw this in man’s dictionary definition of the word. People want to take a dictionary definition for a word that God defines to be something else and that is a foolish approach to trying to understand the God of the Bible. Often in churches and on the internet the term soul of man is used in error interchangeably for the term spirit of man causing a general misunderstanding for the body of Christ. What I have observed is that many people because of this confusion believe that they are the exact same things just called by two different names. Every time the soul is used instead of the correct term spirit or vice versa, it just makes it that much harder to understand which is which. For example, have you ever heard anyone speak of God saving 6 souls in church last Sunday? I will guess that you have. Do you know exactly what they were talking about? Did you also know that Jesus did not come to die to save your soul? Uh oh, I think I just put some people into shock. But that is the problem because people do not know what a soul really is. This will become much clearer after you know what a soul is defined by God to be. Let me give you a New Testament verse to help prove my introductory point:
- Jas 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
What does God say in this verse? Does God say your soul is already saved? If you can read you will find that is not what is stated. God tells the church to receive the engrafted word which is ABLE to save your soul. That is a future tense conditional promise. If you receive the Word meekly the Word is able to make your soul whole again. Once you begin to learn what a soul is verses like this will make so much more sense. Knowing the basics of truths just opens the door for knowing the more complex truths of God’s Word. I hope you can see my point from this verse. God states your soul is not saved yet, but it can be if you continue in the Word.
GOD”S CREATION OF THE TRIUNE MAN
I never switch these two terms soul and spirit casually since I try to be a very detailed oriented person that likes to call things by their specific correct titles for clarification to what I am saying. If I speak of the soul then I am speaking of only a soul and if I speak of a spirit then I am only talking about a spirit and they are definitely not the same thing. Also I would like to say that my reader asking a specific question about “souls” may have intended the question to be about spirits but did not know the difference. I run into this frequently and I will touch on both subjects in this lesson to help everyone learn the differences between spirit and soul. In order to understand the human soul we need to understand the full created human composition and structure in the correct order of importance. In order to understand this original human composition we need to back up to the account given by God concerning creation and see what He has to say on the subjects. I do this to establish the foundation for the pattern transition that took place between the triune Creator God creating the triune man in His own image and likeness. I pray that you already know what a triune being is. If you do not understand that God is a triune being go to my Bible study on that subject and read it, I’m not going to prove the trinity of God fully in this lesson. We will start with Genesis 1 and read concerning the revealed creation of man at the end of day 6:
- Gen 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Notice this verse begins with the title of God and this is the Hebrew word H430 that is used in over 2000 verses in the Old Testament as His divine name. From the frequency of usage you can tell that it is a very common Hebrew name for God but what you need to know about this name is that it is also a plural name for God. Hebrew words can either be singular or plural and this name is definitely a plural form of the Hebrew word H433. Next, notice what the plural God says “Let US”. God speaks of Himself in another plural pronoun form through the word “US”. These are just two clues to the trinity of God. But I said I wasn’t going to fully teach that part of the subject, but I just did an introduction to challenge you to think. God then says “let us make man”. So God is speaking of man as being a new part of creation that did not previously exist. The next part of the verse is the main part that I wanted you to see.
The Hebrew term in this verse translated as the English word image means “a figure of”. A figure of something else would be like a created statue or a sculpture that represents something else which is greater. For example, the artist Michelangelo created a sculpture of David and while the sculpture was great it was not as great as the original David. I personally believe that what God was saying is that the original man was a precise representation of the greater God. I believe the angels in heaven could look at the created man and see a lesser view of the Supreme God. This clearly states that Adam was not God but yet had the image of his Creator upon him. Now take the Hebrew word translated as “likeness” and know that this word means Adam was a similar instance, example, illustration, pattern, design or a model of the Supreme God who created him. In other words what God was, the man must also be in a lesser form. You see man is definitely not omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent as God clearly is, however what was present in Adam had to resemble the pattern of God or he was definitely not made in His image or His likeness. I believe that God was a triune being and that this means man would also have to be a triune being. I believe that whatever qualities that God possessed the man must also have a lesser version of that feature. Therefore we need to understand who and what this Creator God is, what qualities He has revealed to us, in order to know who and what the created man is and what he centrally consists of.
- Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
We know from reading scriptures that God is a Spirit first and foremost. At least 31 times in the Bible God is referred to as the “Spirit of the Lord”. At least 22 times in the Bible God is called “Spirit of God”. At least 7 times in the KJV Bible God is called “Holy Spirit”. At least 89 times in the KJV Bible God is called “Holy Ghost” and that is just a common mistranslated way to say “Holy Spirit”. God is conclusively revealed to be a Spirit by the overwhelming evidence of scripture. Therefore man must also be a spirit being or man was not made in the similar image or likeness of God. This is where most people begin to struggle to understand the basic human composition. You see I previously stated that Michelangelo created an image of David and we all know that the created image was stone and the other was flesh. So clearly a created image does not have to be made from the exact same materials to be a good representation. That is true, but we just need to learn some more facts instead of isolating one truth in the Bible thinking that is everything that we need to know. It is also clear from simple observation that humans are outwardly flesh based carbon creatures because this is what we can see and touch. However, God also called man a likeness of God and that additional word changed man to be a pattern of God. Since we cannot verify the existence of the human spirit with our senses there is no evidence from a natural perspective in this world to support its existence. But, we should also know from reading the Bible that God is not a man (Num 23:19). Therefore, God is not a flesh based carbon unit. How then can man be made in the likeness and the image of God if God is a Spirit and man is only a created human body? Those are excellent question to consider and to find the answers in the Bible.
Here is another interesting point about God. God is described to be invisible in Colossians 1:15, 1 Timothy 1:17, and Hebrews 11:27. If God a Spirit is invisible are there any components of the human man which are also hidden and invisible? I believe that there is and we will find out why very soon. People in the world seek to know the external temporary body and neglect to seek to find the truth about the more real eternal internal invisible spirit. The majority of the unsaved world believes a human is only a physical body, a soul and nothing else. In thinking in these terms they believe man does not differ from all of the created animals of our planet in any way. In fact they have been deceived to believe that man simply evolved from these lower forms of animal species and that is not supported scientifically, by DNA evidence, any missing fossil linkage, the Bible or any other evidence but people still believe a fool’s theory. There is no evidence supporting this deception of evolution. Creative fiction taught with authority causes the majority of the acceptance of lies.
- Gen 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
Here is where I think it might be good to introduce you to a concept that is important to know about humans and animals. You see if you do a deep study of the original Hebrew word (H5315) that was translated into “soul” and the many other various words, you will find that this word has application to both man and animals equally. Why is that? For example here in the first chapter of Genesis is the first mention of the Hebrew word but it was translated as “life” instead of soul in this verse. God is definitely teaching us that created animals have life or AKA souls. I believe that this is an example where the translators would have been more accurate if they used the word soul instead of the word “life” but they both do apply. Since created animals breathe air and have a similar form of life as men on the earth they both must possess the same type of “soul life”. However, there is another truth in the Bible that is also very important to know about the difference between human souls and animal souls. In several verses in the O.T. the term soul is joined together with another Hebrew word that means “dumb”. In these verses a “dumb soul” or “dumb life” is referring to animals as being non-speaking living beings on the earth. This fact distinguishes created man to be a completely separate class of being and a different type of soul than the created animals simply because of the existence of “speech”. This significance or dissimilarity will become more evident as we continue to dig deeper into the truth. Men speak words, words have power and authority and this feature reveals man to be like God where the created animals are not. We may get into this more later, but if not just remember what I said. Let me take you to a very important verse to study about this subject of the soul of man:
- 1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This Bible verse clearly identifies all of the key parts of the basic created human composition. The three main components are listed in their proper order of sequenced priority. This order is from the greatest or most important human feature descending to the least important part of every human. Not very many Christians put humans into this order but that is what God says, learn it. This verse declares every human is to be first, a spirit that second has a soul and third lives in a physical body. Spirit, soul and body represent three different realms of human existence that require our attention and God’s attention according to this statement. Consider the declaration being made by God closely. God says He desires that your whole being be made holy and then He lists three separate areas for this act to take place. Did you see what God just said? God just told you that you were designed to be a triune being and that you definitely have a spirit using the exact same Greek word that was proclaimed as God’s Holy Spirit in many other verses. The fact that God chooses to use the same word for spirit to describe Himself and man makes man the likeness of God. Do you understand that point?
Right here in this single verse we have just confirmed the existence of two unseen features for the created man being made in the image and likeness of God. Using this foundational information we understand that the human spirit is not the human soul, the human soul is not the human body, the human spirit is not the physical body and all of these in the vice versa. To emphasize this point again I’ll restate it using basic math terms. The human spirit is not equal to the human soul, the human spirit is not equal to the human body, and the human soul is not equal to the human body. These are very simple truths and this is very profound information for us all to learn. Each component is a separate and distinct part of the whole man and that is why I never use the terms soul and spirit interchangeably. This triune pattern revealed as a whole man is the repeated design from the trinity nature of God. Like I said before I’m not going to teach the subject of the trinity of God in this lesson; I have other lessons on that subject. Therefore, if you still do not understand that God declares Himself as One God in the form of three unique titled personalities then you are in need of knowing the truth.
Perhaps this will be a good time to introduce confirmation for the location of the human soul. I just stated that the soul and spirit are the unseen parts of humans and we will need to find Bible verses to help establish this or we should change to believe what the Bible does say. Even though we do not yet fully know what the soul is, we can still learn where it is located to help us understand the subject. I’ll give you a verse that helps to point us to the location of the human soul.
- 1Pe 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
Here we have the Apostle Peter writing about a part of the human that is reported to be of greater importance than the outward human body mentioned in the preceding context verse. God through Peter says that this internal part of the human composition is hidden from natural view. This simply means it is not perceivable with the five physical human senses. Clearly there is a part of humans that is invisible which is very similar to the Spirit of God. What part of man do you believe this is speaking? I believe it is speaking literally of the human soul and the human spirit. In this verse it points us to the core of a man called his heart. But we will need additional verses to confirm this belief. Let’s go back to the Old Testament and review a verse that might help clarify this location for the soul. Please read this next verse and if you would like, look up the Hebrew word definitions to expand your knowledge and understanding of what is being communicated:
- Psa 103:1 A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Begin by understanding the Hebrew word (H5315) translated as “soul” is the same word that we previously defined to be at the least 16 different English words. We should be able to then look at the next most important Hebrew word and find H7130 which is translated as “within” means the center of something. In other words the center of an apple is the core. The center of something means something else surrounds it. In my apple example, the skin of the apple surrounds or covers the internal parts. That is the concept being communicated by the Spirit of God in this verse in Psalms. Therefore the soul of man is an internal component and not an external quantity. This again points us to the center heart. Do you understand that? Perhaps you do and perhaps you don’t. Using the list of 1 Thessalonians 5:23 human components we can see that the human soul was mentioned second. I also said that this list was given to us in the order of importance. Either way the soul being in the middle of the other two words means it is surrounded by something else. However that is not exactly the best description of the three components of man.
Do you understand what a bull’s-eye target is? This target is a series of concentric circles with a center circle usually given the highest point achievement to hit. This type of target is popular in shooting sports, darts, archery and other types of recreational activities. Don’t let the word concentric cause you difficulty. Concentric only means every circle has the same center point. I personally believe the human composition of man is like this target design. For example, in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 God lists the center circle of man first called his spirit, I believe this represents the bull’s-eye. The bulls-eye is the ultimate goal that God and Satan are after. The spirit center circle is followed by the next circle called the soul and finally the outermost circle would be last, called the human body. You will find this concept throughout the Bible and it is important for us to understand. Let’s go back to Genesis again and see another reference commentary to the creation of man:
- Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
In this single verse is found all of the three stated created triune components of man revealed for us in 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Every part of the specified composition of a man is mentioned here in this verse but they are easily confused or missed. By contrast, in this verse God shifts the order of the mentioned priority to reveal more essential information concerning creation. Understand that God’s order of mention always teaches something, reveals something, or states the sequence of importance, precedence, priority or authority. You see in many secular schools there has always been the classic debate held about which came first the chicken or the egg? The debate begins with a conclusion that a chicken always comes from an egg therefore the egg must have existed before the chicken. However, the opposing side of the debates begins with this counter argument and states where did the egg come from? Since the egg comes from a chicken the chicken must have existed first in order to produce the egg. Thus we have a classic circular reasoning debate without end and without any clear winner. However, God reveals by His phrasing exactly which came first here in His Word and ends the debate. I guess people want to debate because they do not desire to believe in the Bible or the existence of a great creator God and thus they produce man made logic to explain away the truth.
This verse in Genesis starts with the revealed fact that God first created the complete mature body of the man from the dust of the earth. What was the first created part of the man? By definition it is the body. Without a physical body there are no humans, man or woman. When the body of a human baby is formed from the union of the female egg and the male sperm cells that action produces the body for the human spirit and before this occurs there is no human spirit and if you can read you will see that is what this verse in Genesis is teaching. After the man’s formed body was produced by the work of God’s hand, what happened next? The Bible says God “breathed” into his nostrils (body). Let’s stop there and interpret this verse based upon what we have previously learned about God. In John 4:24 we learned that God is an invisible Spirit and therefore God does not breathe air like a natural human being takes in the oxygen based atmosphere into the lungs and then exhales the carbon dioxide mixture back out. In fact, have you ever read any verse that says air exists in heaven? I personally believe air is a created substance and therefore the creator existed before air. Therefore God did not need air to exist. Surely you can see that spirits do not need air to be a spirit or to have life. If God does not breathe air what then is God saying to us here to us in Genesis 2:7 that he breathed into Adam?
This is the introduction to the potentially complex part of the discussion on the human composition. We learned from reading in the New Testament in 1 Thessalonians 5:3 that man is definitely a spirit first and foremost. But here in Genesis 2:7 God creates the man’s body first and so far there is no mention of any direct spirit either God’s or man’s. Where then did this spirit mentioned in 1Thessalonians 5:3 come from? Are spirits created by God from nothing or do spirits originate from another spiritual being? Did you ever ask yourself why God a Spirit is called by the direct title of “Father” repeatedly in the Bible? In fact over 200 times in the Bible God is revealed by this title. In order for any being natural or spiritual to be labeled a father they must procreate to produce a child. What is the basis of procreation? Naturally speaking it is sex, but how is that related to a spirit like God? How does God procreate? According to Genesis 2:7, God breathed and man became. Analyze what natural human breath is. Breathing is a process of inhaling or the intake of air followed by exhaling, outtake or exit of the air? That process of breathing represents air flow or more specifically air movement. So if God created natural things to give us pictures into spiritual things what does God breathing into the nostrils of the man represent symbolically and spiritually? I believe that God breathing out from His Spirit and into the body of the man was God’s Spirit moving from God into the body of His creation to become Adam’s spirit. What else can it be? This would answer the question where the spirit of man came from. Let’s look at a verse that Jesus spoke when teaching His disciples to pray:
- Mat 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Here Jesus says to pray “Our Father”. This does not say “My Father”. The term “Our” is a statement of inclusion not leaving the disciples out. If God was their Father as well as the Father of the Lord Jesus then this is important information to remember. This verse in Genesis 2:7 that I have been using to teach specifically says that God blows something out from His Spirit that enters into the body through the nasal air passage of the man to cause life to be first observed. The nasal air passage is just one human gate to the body of man. Gates can be two ways or one way. In the case of the nose and mouth these are two way gates that allow air in and out. Please allow me tell you briefly about a testimony of a man that I knew. This man died as a teenager and went to hell. This man was about to enter into hell when a voice spoke from heaven and he ascended back to the earth. When his spirit came back into the room where his body had died, he remembers his spirit entering back into his body through his mouth. It seems that there is a direct connection between the air passages and the internal invisible spirit of the human that resides in the body. I haven’t proved that yet, but maybe I will get to that part later. If not and you want to know where this is in the Bible you can ask a question.
Here is a basic simple question, was the body of the man Adam living or alive before God breathed? If you are smart you must agree that Adam’s body had no life before God breathed. If it was not alive then it was technically dead. Isn’t dead the antithesis to being alive? I am simply using the term dead to mean there was no life present until God breathed. Here is another very interesting point to observe from the creation account in Genesis; ask yourself, why didn’t God breathe into any of the nostrils of any of the other created animals to cause them to become alive? Have you ever thought about that? Actually I should ask did you notice that God did not breathe into the animals. What this proves is a basic fact that man was not created as an animal and did not originate from the animal class of species. It conclusively proves that man’s life came directly from God’s Spirit and that makes man a very unique and a very special created being.
What does the Bible say is the reason for the life of the flesh or the body of a man? Realistically there is more than one answer to that question but I’m going to focus in on only one part of the answer for now. We are going to interpret the Bible using the Bible so that we can understand what God is saying in Genesis 2. Read this verse and tell me what it says and why it applies to what we just read about in Genesis 2:7:
- Jas 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
This verse clearly says that when the human body dies, the spirit of that man departs, exits, or leaves the body. To be more precise this verse says if there is no human spirit, then there is no human life! This verse is the stated antithesis of what occurred in Genesis 2:7 and it teaches us what happened to the man in that verse to cause life to enter his body. The man’s spirit had to have come from the Spirit of God in order for the man’s body to become a living being. Are you getting the connection? Where did the spirit of man come from? The spirit of man could only come from the Spirit of God and this is not that complicated and it must be this way for every human. Spirits come from the Father of Spirits and this is told to us by the verse in Hebrews 12:9. Go read it and see what it says. I’m spending a lot of time on the spirit of man component because this is the most important part of every human being. The spirit of man is the eternal part that never dies, never ceases to exist and will be judged someday standing before the throne of God. The human spirit is the part of the man that was made in the direct image and likeness of the Creator.
Earlier I told you that the human soul is not saved yet and that God has given us His Word to save our souls. Therefore, the human spirit is the only component of God’s salvation that was reconciled back into relationship with God’s plan of salvation. You see at the point of salvation your physical body does not change one bit. You have the exact same body before receiving salvation as you do after salvation. Remember the order of priority given to us by God? God thinks about you internally to externally in that precise order. When God offered you salvation He did it through a preacher proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This Gospel message should have included the message of the identity of Jesus as being God in the flesh and His voluntary sacrifice to die for our sins. But it did not end there, Jesus was then raised from the dead and that act was the key difference between every other human death and when we believe on all of this that Jesus accomplished that saved our spirit and God’s Spirit enters into our body to witness that we are now again His children.
- 1Co 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
To be joined with the Lord is a marriage covenant phrase first given to us by God in Genesis 2:24. After receiving the Lord Jesus as savior the Spirit of God becomes one spirit with your spirit and you are conclusively saved by His Grace through your faith (Eph 2:8). Therefore, God’s Spirit joined with your spirit is the result of salvation. The rest of you still needs to be saved and I’ll show you why next when I begin to describe the human soul.
INTRODUCTION TO THE SOUL OF MAN
I needed to spend considerable time upfront emphasizing the spirit of man because that is not the soul part of the human composition. The spirit of man comes from the Spirit of God, but the soul of man does not. Ok, I probably just confused most of you with that statement. Let’s spend time analyzing what the soul of man represents. I do not currently know of one verse that accurately describes all of the parts of the human soul. If you know of one, share it. I will go through and give you some verses that list specific parts of the human soul and then we will need to put the pieces together to define the whole
- Pro 2:10 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;
Here we have two references to two different parts of the human composition. The heart of man can normally be viewed as the spirit of the man and the soul is the Hebrew word H5315 that I have been focusing upon in this lesson. Wisdom goes into the spirit (heart) of man. Let’s define wisdom as being, knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do. I believe we could also define wisdom as being, saying the right thing when you think you don’t know what to say. Wisdom directs good words and good actions to come forth from a man, but the lack of wisdom causes a man’s acts and words to appear foolish. According to God wisdom is what we all should be trying to obtain. But, God also says knowledge is a positive ingredient for our soul. Therefore, ask yourself how do you get knowledge and where do you retain this knowledge? Do you believe that knowledge is tied to your mind and your memory? If you agree with me that getting knowledge is a part of your mind’s function, then the soul of man contains your mind. Let’s consider another verse that brings in a new aspect of the soul:
- Pro 14:10 The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.
This verse is easily missed because of the translation error. The term “own” here is the Hebrew word H5315 that should have been made “soul”. This is one of those poor examples of Bible translations that I referred to earlier. Change the word to soul and reread it. The heart (spirit) knows his soul’s bitterness”. What is bitterness? If you look at the entire verse you will hopefully see bitterness is being defined as the antithesis of joy. What is joy? Joy is a human emotional state. It represents a very happy moment in life. Therefore, bitterness could be the opposite the sad, discouraged, disappointed times of life. What we are observing is the inclusion of the human emotions into the soul realm. So far we have found the mind and the emotions to be two parts of the soul.
- Pro 15:32 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.
Here is another interesting verse about your soul. What is the main subject of this verse? If you did not know God is focused on the human soul in this verse. We can see from the last word in the verse that God is talking about us getting understanding? How do you understand anything? Isn’t that with your mind again? People get knowledge and then they can grow to understand what they know with their minds and that is an intricate part of the human soul. However, God introduces us to a new aspect of the human soul called choice. The right of human choice that we all possess is called our human freewill. If we refuse to take instructions we have made a negative choice and God says we despise our souls. This is an act of a vile person, an ignorant person and it is not a positive description to be associated. What we have learned from this verse is that the human soul is comprised of their will or right to choose. We could go through many more confirming verses but that was a quick introduction to the three main human soul sub-components.
WHERE DOES MAN GET HIS SOUL?
The human soul is one sub-realm in the triune whole design of man (spirit, soul & body). We previously looked at God as being the source for man’s spirit, but where did man get his soul? The soul of man is comprised of three main specific entities called 1) the mind, 2) the will and 3) the emotions. These soul items were created patterns, models and qualities that God possessed but they were not God’s personal mind, God’s personal will, or God’ personal emotions present in man. In other words man was an independent spirit possessing an independent soul, an independent mind, an independent will and an independent set of emotions all being separated from God’s soul. Did you know that God had a soul? Ask yourself does God have a mind? If yes, then ask does God have a will? If yes, then ask yourself has God ever displayed any emotions? If yes, then God has a soul and man’s soul was modeled after God’s. However, the created man did not come preloaded with all of the knowledge of God, the understanding or the wisdom of God after creation. The created man was not fully packed with all of the memories of God. The created man was not told anything specifically about the will of God except “do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or you will surely die”. This was one of the only details of knowledge revealing the will of God that the man possessed. Therefore the man was not pre-conditioned or pre-programmed to do the will of God. How would the man even know what death was? There is no way that he had ever seen death or experienced death because God created everything very good. Adam did not find out what death was until after he sinned and his son Cain killed his other son Abel and that was the first recorded natural death that occurred in the Bible.
What I am attempting to teach is that the created man did not auto-magically possess the full knowledge of God, the thoughts of God, the ways of God or the emotions of God. He could learn these from walking with and listening to God but they were certainly not automatically transferred to his soul when he was given God’s spirit life. I view the human soul to be an empty large container in need of filling. A human learning something is their empty mind being filled with knowledge. Consider a new born natural child. Does this new born baby possess all of the knowledge of their parents directly from birth? Can they speak intelligently about the facts of life or the experiences of their parents? Obviously a child is an empty container in need of an education and individual and personal experiences of their own in order to grow up and mature. Why would you think that Adam and Eve were different than any new born babies in need of the same? Let me let you in on another Bible pattern. The Bible teaches us that Adam was made in the image and likeness of God in Genesis 1:24 but these two same exact words were used to describe Adam’s new born son named “Seth” in Genesis 5:3. What I am attempting to say is if one pattern is not identical to the other pattern then God just must be confused to use the same words. No what God is teaching us is that the same image and likeness that Adam was created with was also transferred down the life chain to every human descendent that came from Adam. Let’s move on and talk more about the soul.
Consider the human mind to continue our soul analysis. The human mind is comprised of both mental reasoning facilities for thought processing and knowledge retention capabilities also called our memory. Memory is used for human learning and for experience and information storage, which demands there is also recall capabilities later for these memories to be reused for other decision making or expression. Perhaps I need to stop and verify the existence of God’s soul using scriptures. Start by looking at Jeremiah 5:9 and Jeremiah 9:9 to see the Lord speaking directly of His personal soul. This is the same Hebrew word used for man’s soul an animal’s soul, etc. I think verses like these confirm that God is in possession of a soul. Let’s consider what God says about the “mind of Christ” in 1 Corinthians 2:16 and we will certainly verify from this verse that the Lord God also has a mind. Now consider the prayer that Jesus taught to his disciples to pray in Matthew 6:10. Jesus said to pray “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven”. Therefore, God definitely has a will. We really haven’t fully defined what a will is, but this is the inward desire part of the spirit being. I also said that the will was the part of a being that possessed “the right of choice”. The inner desires usually help to determine the choices that a person makes. Therefore, the will is another factor for decisions. We are just going through a few of the key components of the soul to verify their existence in God. Now consider the mind’s thought process for thinking and read Isaiah 55:8 and you will see a direct connection being made by God where He says “My thoughts are not your thoughts”. God basically declares we both have minds that think but you are not thinking like I think. If you continue to read in Isaiah God says “Your ways are not my ways”. This again states the will of God to be separate from the will of man. God was clearly saying the choices that you make are not the same as the choices that I would have made. Are you learning anything about the related and connected parts of man’s soul to be like God’s soul? Let’s move on to the emotional part of the soul of God. Does God have emotions? What are emotions? Sadness, anger, joy, disgust, fear and surprise are all common emotional qualities found in normal humans and I did not attempt to give the complete list. Does God ever display any of these qualities? Read Exodus 4:14 to begin and you should quickly see that “the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses”. It appears that God does possess emotions. Nehemiah 8:10 states the “joy of the Lord is our strength”. Clearly God displays joy and anger to name two emotions. I could give you other verses but that is enough to confirm that God has a soul and that man’s soul was modeled after it.
We can read in Genesis 2 that the created man definitely had extreme thought and reasoning capabilities and he must have possessed incredible memory abilities in order to name all of God’s created animals. Modern scientists still do not know exactly how many species exist on the planet but it is estimated to be between 9,000 and 10,000 different types. Let’s see how long it takes you to come up with original names for each one of these groups and then remember them all. Where did Adam get these names? Notice in this chapter that God brings the animals to Adam and says “whatever the man calls it that is what it will be called” (Gen 2:19). This statement implies that it was an independent man only naming operation that transpired. God would direct the animals across Adam’s path and Adam would use his independent reasoning abilities to name them all. This teaches me that Adam used his own personal mind, thoughts and reasoning abilities to name all of the animals and God did not contribute His abilities or thoughts into Adam’s mental thought process. There is no stated time for how long this took Adam but the fact that it happened is good enough for me. I want you to see that it is clear that Adam must have had a desire to name the animals or he would not have done it. This displays the unique quality of drive, initiative, curiosity and desire; in other words Adam’s human will was a contributing factor in this Animal naming process. Therefore the second part of the triune soul called the human will was a confirmed factor that Adam had to possess. The fact that Adam did something without being told to do it demonstrates not only intelligence but also his freewill choice and the right to make a decision.
Consider all of the mentioned components of the soul of man; each component of the human soul has some significance in the story of Adam in Genesis 2. God says in Genesis 2:6 that he formed the body of the man from the dust of the ground and then breathed a spirit into his body and Adam became a living soul. This confirms that the soul of man exists only after the spirit is introduced. This makes man the unique part of God’s creation. You can see that every animal has a soul but without any spirit. The fact that Adam shows interest in God’s creatures demonstrates a unique human quality that is unlike any creature that was displayed before Adam. No other animal looked at Adam to attempt to name him. What God was teaching Adam by parading His creation before Adam was the fact that there was no one else like him on the planet. God showed him the whole of his work in this world and nothing that God created on the planet was Adam’s equal. That is why God created the woman because God says it was not good for the man to be alone. That statement by God proves Adam was an independent being separate from God. Adam has demonstrated the three qualities of the human soul in this chapter. This was just a quick introduction to the topic of where did Adam get his soul. I tried to show you that Adam’s soul came as a designed pattern for God’s soul but it came void of God’s divine soul fullness. I hope you understand these quick points, I just don’t have the time to explain them in greater detail right now.
SOUL VS. SPIRIT BEFORE AND AFTER DEATH
I am now going to provide further confirmation that the soul is not the spirit and the spirit is not the soul and give you evidence that they both still exist after death. You may have heard me say this before but it is always a good practice to find at least 2 verses in the Bible that impart the same truth. When we locate two verses in two different books of the Bible that demonstrate the same truth, we know this is a truth that God has firmly established by the mouth of 2 witnesses. I think we have covered this fairly well but there is more to it that needs to be studied. Previously I believe I stated the soul and the spirit to be hidden unseen qualities of a man. I linked the soul and spirit to internal parts of the human not connected to the physical body and that is potentially a controversial statement since everyone knows the human brain is the container for the mind. Or at least that is what people think in error and we will talk more about this soon. Let’s go to the New Testament and see what God reveals on the subjects of soul and spirit:
- Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
We are going to continue with the mind part of the soul. In this verse God declares His word to be a sword of division capable of dividing the human soul from the human spirit. Spirit, soul and body are all technically mentioned in some form in this verse. Joints and marrow are body sub-components just as thoughts and intents are soul sub-components. The spirit is directly mentioned in this verse to be separate from the soul. But why then does God mention the heart at the end of the verse and not the spirit? What is the difference between heart and spirit? Here is where we get into more potentially complex discussions. The Body as you recall is the outer layer component to the inner concentric circles of man. The body layer is followed by the middle circle layer of the soul ending with the center circle layer of the spirit. So the heart of a man is that which lies underneath the outer layer. I believe the heart of a man normally refers to both his spirit and his soul together and I will try to explain this as I go.
Many people confuse the spirit and the soul to be like Siamese twins joined together at the “S”. This verse appears to imply this relationship but it also clearly says that they can be separated, detached, parted, or divided revealing them to be unique separate human qualities. Consider what is not directly stated here. If the word of God says the soul can be separated from the spirit, this would tend to show that they are normally always linked together. In other words where the spirit goes, the soul will surely follow. I then want you to consider why it takes the Word of God to separate the soul from the spirit? Is there anything more powerful than the Word of God? I do not know of anything that exists that is more powerful than the Word of God. God spoke the world into existence and that is enough proof for me but I’ll give you Hebrews 1:3 for you to research. You may not understand that the soul and spirit are normally linked but this is actually a very true statement and I will show you verses that confirm this belief shortly.
Earlier I stated the soul is a triune structure consisting of the “mind”, the “will” and the “emotions”. This verse in Hebrews lists two of these three parts leaving out the emotions. The “thoughts” of man are linked to the human mind’s functionality. You think and therefore you are. The “intents’ of the soul mentioned in Hebrews 4:12 are the parts of you that produce purpose, drive and ability and these give you choice. You mind is a very complex designed part of your being. I could spend a lot of time on this subject but that would be a better separate lesson. Know the soul is the location for your thoughts, your memories, your reasoning, your desires, your emotions, etc. Also understand that God says that your thoughts and intents are for your spirit and not for your body. This brings me to the next part of the lesson question. What happens to the human soul after the death of the human body? I’ve already shown you Bible evidence that states the spirit departs when the death of the human body occurs. Therefore, that leaves us to decide does the human mind just cease to exist after death? That is what some ignorant Bible teachers claim; they call this belief the doctrine of “Soul Sleep”. They define the state of soul sleep to be an unconscious state of existence that is experienced by the spirit until the judgment day and suddenly they are all awakened by God and are back to normal. This belief practically denies the existence of heaven and hell and ignores a lot of the truth in the Bible that counters this belief. It is a very foolish belief that cannot be fully confirmed with all the scripture. For example let me give you something that Jesus taught on the subject of the soul and spirit:
- Luk 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
- Luk 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
Read this story told by Jesus very carefully and give it vigilant consideration. This information is a real literal historical story known by Jesus and not a parable as many fools claim it to be. If it was a parable Jesus is going to state two obvious lies and one of them is found here in this 20th verse. Jesus called the beggar directly by the name of Lazarus. If this was not a real man named Lazarus then the story has become a work of fiction, a make believe account, and a fabrication of unimportant information. If Lazarus does not literally exist Jesus would not have given us his name to make himself a liar. What I am doing is countering a false teaching that attempts to explain away this real life story to make it a parable. These soul sleep teachers have to do this in order to support the rest of their false doctrines. You see the popular approach to discrediting any conflicting verses in the Bible that disagree with your belief is to explain them away using human reasoning. This is a very common technique for deception. They will take the truth and change it into a lie to help support the other lies that they claim are also the truth. Ok, let’s continue with the information from Jesus.
- Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
Notice that both men are stated to die a physical death and that their physical bodies are buried in the earth. Then notice the wording that is used here to tell what happens to them. What was carried away by the angels? Did you happen to notice that the body in the ground was not them? It was the real man that was being carried away and it was their bodies that were being buried. Here we have the separation of the spirit from the body. We have a very clear separation of the internal unseen man from his seen body. Are you making any connections here? Since the body of man was separated from the spirit of man at the time of death what happened to the soul? Does the soul cease to exist? That is the problem with what is being taught in many ignorant churches, they are ignoring what the Bible says on the subject to believe more untruths. We are about to find out from words spoken out of the mouth of the creator God what happens to their souls so pay attention to what God says:
- Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
- Luk 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
- Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
Use basic logic observing what is literally stated for us to learn from. We can understand easily that everyone mentioned here is dead, right? Abraham is dead from reading Genesis 25:8. Lazarus we just read has died and is with Abraham. Finally the rich man in hell was also a dead man from the same story that Jesus was using as an example warning. These are three dead individuals that have all departed leaving their bodies on the earth. Notice that Jesus mentions Abraham another real man and this is the second lie that Jesus told if this story is not a literal account that actually happened to Abraham. We cannot hear a story of a real named man and conclude it to be anything but a lie if it did not actually happen. No this is all an actual account given by Jesus stating the literal truth. Then notice everyone that is mentioned can see, think, feel and talk. We can easily understand from what is stated the rich man in hell literally feels the torment of the flames. He sees Abraham and Lazarus a far distance away from the flames and asks for a drop of water to cool his tongue. The key word that I want you to focus on is found in verse 25. Abraham looks at the rich man and tells him to “remember”. A memory is nothing but the recollection of real past events that were personally experienced. I can’t remember what you did yesterday because I don’t know what you did. We all have memories either good or bad and these are an intimate part of our mind and our soul. Therefore, the soul of man is definitely present with the spirits of all of the men after death. The rich man was still able to remember, to think, to reason, and to see and speak. Without the soul and the mind none of this would have been possible. There are many other things to learn from this story but that was the key points that I needed you to see in order to understand the existence and location of the soul after death. Let’s look into another Bible story that is applicable to learn about the soul of man.
- Mar 9:2 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.
- Mar 9:3 And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.
- Mar 9:4 And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.
Here we have another literal story that happens while Jesus was physically present on the earth. Jesus takes three disciple witnesses with Him for them to tell us what was about to occur. These disciples observe Jesus being transfigured and suddenly two men appear with Him. Notice, who these men are that join Jesus on the mountain. Elijah did not die and was raptured up but Moses certainly died by reading Deuteronomy 34:7. Did you know that the O.T. law of God prohibits talking to the dead? Uh oh! That is a problem until you realize Jesus was actually speaking to two living men and not dead ones. The fact that Moses’ body had died does not make Moses a dead man. The spirit of Moses is alive and present hundreds of years after his physical death. Then notice the mind of Moses is still intact with his spirit since he is clearly able to hold an intelligent conversation with the Lord. That is so important to learn what is being taught in the Word of God. Spirits still have souls and these reside with their spirits after the body has died. Let’s look at another verse that will assist us with this truth:
- Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Let’s shift our focus to a prophetical verse about the future. Here in this verse God declares that He will wipe away every tear. Who is this that God is wiping away their tears? Probably a better question would be “Why do they have tears to wipe away”? If you read the preceding context you will discover that God is wiping the tears from people. Not just any people, because these are the people of God that God lives in eternity with. That means two things that are very relevant to answer the soul questions. First the presence of the soul is confirmed in the future tense because the tears that are flowing represent the presence of their emotions. Tears normally flow as a result of hurt, pain, sorrow, sadness or other related emotional conditions. There is also the term “tears of joy” and that might also apply to what is being stated here. Remember that I told you the soul was comprised of the mind the will and the emotions. Every one of these subjects is implied to exist in the eternal man. Why do people cry at funerals? They cry simply because they can, but not only that they cry because they love and remember their friend, spouse, child, parent or other relative that has departed. Therefore, memories play an important role in why tears are present. Emotions play a role in the existence of tears. Finally the human will plays a role in shedding tears because I have seen many choke them back to keep them from flowing. What this does is to help confirm that the soul of man will never cease to exist.
I have just given you three great examples of man after death on the earth that still possess their souls with their memories, thoughts, wills and emotions all being implied present with their spirits. The soul of man is an eternal part of the human composition and it will never cease to exist. That brings us to the last part of the question; what about the soul here in this life? You see there is another popular lie from Satan that is taught even in modern medical universities that when a human brain flat lines with no activity that the body is clinically dead and the plug should be pulled. Is that what Jesus said? Is that what the Bible teaches? How does that belief line up with the truth found in God’s Word? Didn’t the spirit of man still possess the mind even after his spirit left his body? What I am saying is that your mind and your memory have nothing to do with your physical brain cells. None of the dead men in Luke 16 had any physical brain cells and every one of them could still see, speak, think and remember like they were in their bodies and probably better. I didn’t give you the full story in this lesson but you can go back and read it to see that the rich man in hell remembered his brothers that were left behind on the earth and he desired (used his will) that they be warned not to come to the same place of torment with him. If this man remembered his life here on the earth, then every man after death can still remember his life in the past. Here is another ending point for the rich man, not only did he remember his brothers on the earth he knew who Abraham was and Abraham had died long before he did. You are going to know a lot of people after you die that you have never seen before. This is just very basic knowledge based upon the Bible. I pray that you will see it.
WHY DOES MENTAL ILLNESS EXIST?
How then do we resolve life’s soul issues? What are the source causes for mind problems? The existence of emotional and mental issues in this life is certainly present. Why are there lapses in memory such as amnesia or Alzheimer’s disease where the recollection is lost? Why are their mental hospitals and physiatrists to try to help people with unstable normal thought patterns and emotions? I’m not going to spend a lot of time addressing this subject because it could potentially be very long and very complex. I will however point you to a few Bible stories that will help begin the understanding process for why these types of things occur in the natural realm even when the soul is not literally tied to the physical brain cells. Let’s start this part of the lesson with this scripture verse:
- 2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Did you see who God claims to be the source for mind issues? The god of this world is a title given by God to the devil and Satan. He rules the night and the kingdom of darkness of this world. Darkness is nothing but the absence of light. Since God is light, the loss of God represents darkness. Now consider what blindness represents? Can you see in the dark? Have you ever been in a cave and they turned the lights off? The darkness is so thick there that you feel like it engulfs you. Naturally speaking, blindness is the inability to see illuminated objects clearly or at all. Since the mind is an internal human component, how does Satan blind a person’s mind? Did you even know that the human mind had vision? Perhaps you have heard of the mind’s eye? This concept is the visualization of concepts, ideas, knowledge so that they are clearly understood. What God is saying is when a person has been blinded in their minds by Satan, the information enters their ears, but does not pass deeply enough to remain planted. It is very much like the parable of the sower where Jesus said the birds of the air come quickly to devour the Word of God that was planted in their hearts. You really need to give this information serious thought. I’m not going to talk about this in great depth because I am running very long in this lesson already. Just understand that if Satan can blind your mind then that is an area of the soul that is open for attack by a foreign spiritual being. Let’s see if we can verify some of these concepts using other verses in the Bible. I will continue this part of the lesson with the confirmation that the process of thinking within our minds is linked to the spirit of man and not the natural body or brain:
- Mat 9:4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?
Jesus looking at some people knew their internal unseen thoughts and asked them a question that was very revealing to what we are studying. Jesus clearly is speaking of the soul thought realm and he leads us to these thoughts being attached to their spirits and never mentions their physical brain activity. Do you think the creator God knew what He was talking about here? There is no reference to the body anywhere in the context. Little clues like this are hidden in the Bible in some of the most unlikely settings. Truth is concealed so well in the Bible that it is easily overlooked by the casual reader. Everyone is focusing on what Jesus is doing while ignoring what He just said.
- Pro 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
Again God connects the location of the thought process to be within the center of the man called his soul and spirit and not within the physical body, the brain or the external natural realm. The heart of man is not the physical blood pump organ, it is the center or core of the human like the heart of an apple is the center of the piece of fruit. I’ve said this before but for those that need to hear it again that was for you. This is the basics of God’s truth found in the scripture and that is what is needed for your understanding of the subject of the soul. Now let’s observe what the Bible says about the cause of human mental issues:
- Luk 8:26 And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee.
- Luk 8:27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.
Let us perceive what is happening in this Bible account of the Lord Jesus. They are passing through a part of the country to a town called Gadara. They encounter a man that is far from normal. Physically speaking he has issues, but mentally speaking he is off the charts and can be labeled crazy or a mad man. He wore no clothes and lived in tombs. These are clear signs of a deep mental illness but they are attributed to the presence of devils. What we are going to discover by study of the Bible is that demons, devils, or unclean spirits cause the majority of the mental issues found in the people that Jesus encountered.
- Luk 8:28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.
You can see from this statement that the man is unaware of the presence of the devils. He does not ask to be delivered from them and is directed by the demons to ask Jesus not to torment them. The reference is to the man, but the thought for the spoken words surely originates from the demons. Clearly this man is possessed of devils. These devils can manifest vocally and take over the voice of a human speaking through his body. This is normally not an ordinary human voice and can be easily identified to those that are spiritually aware.
- Luk 8:29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)
- Luk 8:30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.
- Luk 8:31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.
You can see that Jesus understood that the devils were present and He had commanded them to come out of the man, but that was not the end of the conversation. It is obvious that the demons did not depart on the first command and asked more questions. Jesus then asked for their name. The man replied “legion” because there were many devils in his body tormenting his mind. It would be like having a thousand voices in your head and each one driving you into a state of madness and that is what was happening to this man. I’m going to skip down to the end of the story since that is the important part to understand about the subject of mental illness. After Jesus cast the tormenting spirits out of the madman this is what occurred:
- Luk 8:38 Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying,
- Luk 8:39 Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.
Here we can see with the absence of the devil influence being present the man had returned to a sound and stable mental state and wearing clothes. The new normal man wanted to follow Jesus, but Jesus instructed him to go back to his former house and live like a normal man like he did before he went crazy. We have just witnessed a full circle of mental illness that went through the stages of first being normal, then becoming crazy and finally a full recovery with spiritual deliverance to again being normal. The fact that the devils were present during the crazy times proves that they were the cause for the mental illness. The man starts out as normal, but does something that allows the devils access to enter him to take over and control his mind, he then goes crazy until Jesus comes by and delivers him. This deliverance only occurred because of the power and the authority that Jesus used to solve this man’s abnormal situation. Let’s move to another story found in the Bible that is also related to mental and physical instability:
- Mar 9:17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;
Again we see the presence of a spirit being related as the cause of an abnormal human conditions. This stated dumb spirit is not the human child’s spirit even though that is also certainly present since the boy is physically alive. Read the next verse to see what this spirit causes to happen in this boy’s body and mind:
- Mar 9:18 And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.
Is any of this description normal human behavior for a child? I seriously do not think we can call any of this foaming at the mouth, seizures, gnashing of the teeth, and shriveling or shrinking away normal human behavior. If you took this description to a physiatrist without explaining where you got the information from the Bible they would probably request an immediate meeting with this person very fast. I believe it is a clear account of a mentally unstable individual. I’m not going to go through the entire story because you can do that for yourself. What you will find is that Jesus casts the devil out and the child returns again to normal human behavior.
What we learn from these two simple stories is that mental issues are largely originated from evil spirits being present in the bodies of the humans. When the evil spirits depart or more specifically are cast out, normalcy returns and humans can resume their lives. What we discover is that the human actions of an individual can be controlled by or at least certainly influenced by the existence of evil spirits. That was a very quick overview of soul issues and deliverance. Deliverance is possible still today because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
I believe this has been an incomplete discussion of the full subject of the soul given to us by God in the Bible. However, in this lesson, I have demonstrated to you from the Bible that the soul is not the spirit and the spirit is not the soul of a human. A human being is a spirit that has a soul and lives in a body here in the natural realm. I have also shown you that man was created in the image of God and that God is a Spirit and that He has a soul and these were the patterns for man’s spirit and soul. I have given you more than adequate evidence from the Bible that states the soul of man does not cease to exist after death and the separation of the human spirit from the body. We have seen more than enough verses that teach us the soul and the spirit exist separate from the body. Finally, at the end of this lesson I showed you how the soul realm was within the realm of influence of evil spirits. I believe I gave sufficient evidences to prove that mental illness is caused by demonic possession. There are probably another thousand verses in the Bible on this subject. It would be good for you to go and see if you can find them if you truly desire to know more about this subject from the true authority. If you run across verses that you do not understand you are welcome to ask me questions and if I know anything I will share it. I hope and pray that you learned something that you did not know before on the human soul and triune composition of man. I thank you for your time to study the Bible and may God bless you with the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ Jesus (Eph 1:16).
(Ver 1.1) I occasionally answer Bible questions. If you have Bible questions you are free to leave them as a comment and I will get to them as I have the time. In today’s subject I was specifically asked by a reader what my views were on the Arc-Angel Michael being the pre-existent Jesus. This was a very strange question that I almost ignored. However, I can see the reason behind the question and the harm that this issue raises, so I will address it in a quick Holy Spirit led Bible Response. I will state plainly upfront that the main reason for addressing this subject is because it is a false teaching that promotes the lies of Satan. Any subject that is a lie from Satan can always be countered with the Truth of God’s Word. Clearly Satan is going to great extents to discredit the true identity of Jesus. Rather than teach you directly about the lie, I would rather spend my time teaching you the truth found in the Bible. In order to do this we need to address 9 basic questions:
- Do angels have pre-existence or are they created beings?
- How is Michael described in the Bible?
- Is Michael an angel or a divine component of the Godhead?
- Did Michael exist prior to Jesus’ birth?
- Does Michael still exist after the birth of Jesus on the earth?
- What “was”, “is” and “will be” Michael’s role in the Kingdom of God?
- Is Jesus ever directly connected in identity to the angel Michael in the Bible?
- Who did Jesus actually claim to be?
- Is Jesus a direct component of the divine nature of the Godhead?
I will at least briefly touch on the answers to every one of these essential questions in this lesson. These questions will be my outline for the lesson so you will know where we are going before we get there. Let me give you my opening verse for this entire Bible lesson. This verse has nothing directly to do with the subject of Michael but then it also has everything directly to do with the subject of who Jesus Christ is. Read and study it closely:
1Jn 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
We should be able to see from this statement that the anti-Christ will be the one that comes denying that Jesus is the Christ. He further goes to explain that the anti-Christ will also be the one that denies the existence of either the Father or the Son. Either denial constitutes an anti-Christ spiritual teaching of perversion. Why is it important for someone to affirm Jesus the Son’s existence? Why is it important to affirm God the Father’s existence? Both positions are placed on the same equal footing. Both are given equal levels of importance. Do you understand that if you deny one but not the other that you still remain an anti-Christ? You cannot proclaim God is Father and deny Jesus is His Son because you have reduced the importance of Jesus while exalting the importance of God. A partial lie is usually a harder deception to detect than a full complete lie. In this verse God just clearly made Jesus the Son the equivalent to God the Father in importance and significance. In this lesson we will discover why it is essential for every true Christian to know who the real Son is.
I believe that you will find that this teaching of Michael being a pre-existent Jesus originated from the Jehovah Witness group. I believe that many in this organization are teaching that Jesus existed in heaven previously before coming to the earth in the form of the angel Michael. This teaching would clearly lower Jesus to a distinct inferior level far below the level of the divine. This teaching reduces Jesus status, character and ability to the inferior position of all angels and all other created beings. Thus we have the first potential contradiction to my introductory subject verse that clearly places Jesus the Son on the same plain and level as the divine Father God. This stated teaching position that reduces Christ from being deity, clearly places the Jehovah Witness group in the category that God calls the “anti-Christ” denying the Son’s equivalence. That is potentially not a good group to be associated with by God’s definition. Do you see the importance of not denying who Jesus was and is? This is actually getting to be a very prevalent false teaching today because it keeps people from being saved. If people deny that Jesus is the Christ, they cannot be saved. If Jesus was just an angel or a normal man like you or I then we have no basis for our salvation. Salvation is dependent upon believing correctly the truth and I really do not care what other religious people try to teach. If anyone can get to heaven by believing anything that they want then Jesus was a liar. Jesus very clearly said “I am the only way to the Father” (John 14:6). Therefore, what you believe about Jesus matters very much.
The Jews today believe that God had no son. Therefore, they deny the Christ. Islam today teaches and believes that God had no son. So they categorically deny that Jesus was the Christ. What we can clearly observe is a pattern of deception occurring. This pattern of opposition represents a thread of lies that crosses boundaries between even opposing religions. Both Judaism and Islam clearly teach and deny that God had no Son. Now we can see this same erroneous religious philosophy corrupting modern church teachings and churches in a similar way. The denial of the existence of the Son has now started to creep into churches. How does one lie cross so easily between such diverse religions? It would seem to me that there is an outside force that is prompting these separate lies of deception to be taught. I believe that this outside force is the father of lies called Satan. You need to ask yourself, why does Satan want people to not believe in the true identity of the Son of God? Why is it important for people not to know the actual character, nature and origin of the man Jesus Christ? This knowledge should peak your interest enough to find the answers because your eternal destiny rests upon you knowing the truth. Don’t believe me? Who then saved you? Did an angel save you? Did a man like Muhammad save you? Who is your faith placed in to save you? If it is not God then you have been deceived.
I believe that there should never be any direct connections of equivalence made between any created beings and any divine being. We cannot lower the divine down or raise the created up to make them equal. When anyone makes the statement that Jesus pre-existed in heaven in the form of Michael a potential angel they are lowering Jesus’ true divine position and claiming Him to be the equivalent to any other created being. When they try to teach that Jesus is God today but before becoming a man he was Michael the potential angel, then they are raising Michael from the lower level of a created being to the level of the divine. Either position is a corruption of the truth. Any corruption of truth is a potential poison that may kill you. I believe that where the confusion originated is when God the eternal divine chose by His will to be made mortal flesh and thus divine God joined Himself to His creation in a brand new manifested form. This single act of God the divine was not expected by Satan and it seals the fate of Satan and this is why he fights it with all of his might to deny that it even occurred. However, God by His own sovereign will did this for a very specific cause and purpose that I will not be able to fully address today in this lesson.
THE ORIGIN OF THE ANGELIC CLASS OF BEINGS
Let’s begin by researching and considering the origin of angels. We should know from Bible study that there are only a few named angelic beings revealed to us in the Bible. I did a more complete study of the subject of angels called “Understanding Angels” if you want to study this subject in more depth than I can spend today in this single lesson. The three primary named angels are Lucifer, Michael and Gabriel. These three angels each held special high roles in the organized structure of heaven. I personally believe that each of these angels has at least some sub-ordinate angels under their authority and command. However, I believe if you study the subject out you have to conclude that the angel Gabriel is not as strong of an angel power as either Michael or Lucifer. We may look at this later. However, ask the question, where did angels come from? Are angels an eternal divine being like the divine God or do angels have a creation point where they first originated.
Eze 28:13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
Eze 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Eze 28:15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
Reading these verses we can clearly see that God reveals the creation of the angel Lucifer. The Hebrew word translated as “created” here is the exact same word used by God in Genesis 1:1 when God says He created the heavens and the earth in the beginning. Therefore, we have a one for one word match that Lucifer the angel was also a created being with a stated beginning. I have to conclude just by this information that if one angel was created then every angel was also created. This would certainly include Michael if he is an angel. Therefore, ALL angels had an origination point with no status of pre-existence before being created. Anything created must come from a creator outside of the realm of the creation. This is just very basic self-evident logic observed all around us. We understand when we see an automobile or building that someone apart from the automobile and building created them. According to the Bible God is the only eternal being with no stated beginning and no end. Therefore, God is the only qualified individual to begin or create anything with an origination point. Do you understand this logic so far?
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE REVEAL ABOUT MICHAEL?
Let’s counter the false conclusion that Michael and Jesus are the same individuals using the information revealed to us in the Word of God. This belief would either reduce Jesus to a created being class with no pre-existence the same as Lucifer or it would raise Michael to be an eternal being in the divine class and we are beginning to see that this is not true but we need more Bible evidence to prove it. Clearly if Jesus is reduced to a created being the argument position fails the initial verse test that places Jesus the Son on the equivalent level as God the Father. Let’s do a further analysis of the limited information given to us about the being Michael in the Bible. I’ll start by going to the last mention of Michael in the Bible and then working backwards through the Bible:
Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
Rev 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Here what we have is a stated future war being described to us that takes place in the spiritual realm of heaven between Satan and his angels and Michael and his angels. It is very important to note three things in this description; the timing of the event, the location of the event and then the participants of the event. We should be able to clearly see that this event is a future tense subject by backing up and reading the scripture in Revelation chapter 4 and verse 1. We then should be able to clearly observe that this described event takes place in heaven (a spiritual dimension) and not here on the earth (a physical dimension). Finally, we can see two opposing forces that are in conflict against each other. One force is directed by Satan a created being and the other force is directed by Michael. Therefore I have concluded from this information that Michael still exists in this future event description and this was written well after Jesus was raised from the dead and had ascended back into heaven in Acts 1. Uh oh? I think I can see a problem conflict coming. Do you see it? Are there two different individuals now? One is called Jesus and one is called Michael? What I can observe is that if Michael was the preexistence of Jesus then Michael should have ceased to exist when Jesus was manifested yet we see Michael still mentioned after Jesus was raised back into heaven. Is Jesus now become Michael again? Or are there two separate individuals with one named Michael and one named Jesus?
We find by continuing to read in Revelation that Michael and his angels prevail against Satan and his angels and that Satan and his angels are then cast back down to the earth in verse 9. Here we have the confirmation of strength difference between angelic beings. If Satan was stronger than Michael, then Satan would prevail but that is not the stated pattern that is revealed to us in the Bible. Michael is clearly the winner in every confrontation with Satan, but we should note that both leaders have angels that are subordinate to them. This is a verse that could imply Michael to be Jesus or equivalent to Jesus but that is a weak erroneous assumption that falls apart by further Bible study and analysis.
The being Michael is only directly named in 5 verses of the Bible. Three times in the book of Daniel, once in the book of Jude and this verse here in Revelation 12 that we have just looked into. Therefore we can only read a limited set of information given about this being and draw from them whatever facts are given to us. We also need to be smart enough to not jump to any erroneous conclusions from the provided information that is not being directly revealed. I personally believe that God provides us sufficient information to find the truth of Michael and Jesus and we will only come to one conclusion as we continue to explore all of the information provided.
I selected this verse in Revelation to study first because this verse helps us to begin to prove that Michael is not Jesus and that Jesus is not Michael. Nowhere in the Bible is Jesus connected to be Michael. They are always separate distinct named individuals. These verses in Revelation 12 are speaking of Michael as a future heavenly warrior after the physical birth, life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ being taken back to heaven in Acts 1. Thus we can easily conclude that the being Michael still exists even after God became a man in his son Jesus Christ.
God very clearly describes and names Jesus as being in heaven in 12 different verses in Revelation. In 27 other verses in Revelation we find Jesus being titled the “Lamb” and these references are also directed as Him being in heaven. Nowhere in the Bible is Michael ever called the Lamb, associated to be the Lamb or even close to becoming the lamb. I believe that it is technically and logically impossible for Michael and Jesus to be both mentioned in a future prophecy book using two different names at the same time if they are the same individual. That would make Jesus a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; one man with two personalities and that is another contradiction with scripture that teaches us “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb 13:8). God would not name the same individual with the name Jesus and the name Michael in the same book of the Bible. Let’s read quickly the previous found Bible reference of Michael in Jude:
Jud 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
Michael is clearly revealed to be an “archangel” in this verse. An archangel is a specific class of angelic beings which are of a higher order of responsibility than other angels. What we have just accomplished is that we have determined proof that God in the Bible calls Michael an angel and not a divine being. This makes Michael in the same class as Lucifer and helps us confirm that Michael was also a created being. Here in this verse we can clearly see that Michael was in another dispute with the angel Satan over the body of Moses. This is just a continuation of a pattern. Then notice what Michael says to Satan! The archangel Michael says “The Lord rebuke you”. That statement proves that Michael is not the “Lord”. Uh oh? That must be a new problem for anyone that says the Lord Jesus was a pre-existent Michael! If the Lord Jesus was Michael, he would have simply said “I rebuke you” and that would have been all of that conversation and Michael would have revealed to everyone that he was the Lord. I believe that we have just proven that Michael cannot be the Lord Jesus with this single verse and the previous one given to us in Revelation. However, let’s look at another important verse found in the book of Daniel about this individual named Michael:
Dan 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Ok, here is another very interesting verse of truth containing more important facts about the identity and nature of the archangel Michael. We find that the angel Gabriel is speaking to the prophet Daniel and he says the angel Michael came to help him to get through to defeat Satan in order to be present in this conversation. This older spiritual war took place over a time period of 21 days in duration hundreds of years before Jesus was born on the earth. Did you notice what this verse says about the named angel Michael? Michael is very clearly described to be ONE of other unnamed “chief princes”. We are not given the number of “chief princes” that were created but there is definitely more than one of them. A chief prince denotes a type of ruler authority and means that there are sub-ordinate beings or princes under his command. It also literally means that Michael is just ONE of these “chief princes” and I believe that this causes great difficulty of conflict if only one of these chief princes became the incarnate man Jesus. What happened to all of the others and why were they not selected? What God has just revealed about the angel Michael is that he is not a unique being. What have we just learned from these three verses about Michael? Here is a quick review of the basic facts:
- Michael existed prior to the birth of Jesus found in the book of Daniel.
- Michael was warring with Satan in the book of Daniel to help the angel Gabriel reach his destiny here on the earth.
- Michael still exists after Jesus was born, died and was resurrected back to heaven according to Revelation 12.
- Michael is still a warrior angel in Revelation 12 continuing to battle Satan.
- Michael is nothing but a created archangel according to Jude.
- Michael by his own confession says that he is not the “Lord” according to Jude.
- Michael is clearly stated to be just one of other “chief princes” making him non-unique and no more special than any other created angel according to Daniel. I believe that this does not make Michael special enough to die to take away our sins.
How can you from these facts given to us conclude that Michael is the pre-existed Lord Jesus Christ? I honestly do not have a clue how this teaching can be considered legitimate using these basic Bible facts. Why, is the Lord Jesus Christ called the “KING of kings and the LORD of lords” (Rev 19:6)? It is simply to inform you that Jesus is not one “chief prince” of many but is rather the ONE LORD and KING of all. If Michael was the Lord, he would have said to Satan “I rebuke you” and not “The Lord rebuke you”. This is just so elementary that I don’t know why people are missing it.
WHO DOES THE BIBLE SAY JESUS WAS?
Who was Jesus? Who did Jesus claim to be? Did Jesus ever claim to be an angel? What does the Bible reveal about Jesus to us? Did Jesus ever claim to originate from Michael? If you do not know it yet, Jesus was the eternal God coming personally to the earth in the flesh to die for your sins. This is why Satan wants to discredit His identity. Here are some quick verses to help establish this essential truth:
Mat 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Here is a very basic divine truth that needs to be established firmly in your heart. The angel announces to us that a virgin shall conceive and bring forth a child and His name shall be called “Emmanuel”. Emmanuel is a Hebrew name for the coming prophesied child that literally means “God with us”. What is being described to us in this name definition is that the eternal Spirit of God will come and manifest physically in human form to be observed firsthand by His own creation. The creation of God will for the first time be able to naturally observe their creator. Jesus will be the full manifestation of the combined Spiritual divine Godhead united with His created natural mortal man. Jesus Christ will be 100% God and 100% a man. There is no angel Michael in this work mentioned. The definition given to us from the name “Emmanuel” is simply that God will appear in the form of a man. Jesus would have been given a different name if it was “Michael with us”. Did you know that what a name means in the Bible is always important to God? God conceals important items of truth in the names of many people found in the Bible. If you don’t believe me then you need to go study the genealogy found in Genesis 5. The meanings of each of the names from Adam to Noah teach the complete plan of salvation of God. Every name has a purpose and teaches us something. For example the name Michael means “Who is like God”. That name teaches us that Michael is not God but rather a reflection of someone asking about Him or observing Him. Take the name “Israel” as a direct contrast to the name “Michael”. Both names contain the same Hebrew root word “el” which is translated as a “God”. However it is the other root words combined with this word that makes them so different. Do you know what the name “Israel” means? The name “Israel” means “He will rule as God” and that informs us who Israel really is. Israel is not just the name of a natural nation of people on the earth but according to the Bible it was a name of their God. It is clear to me that whoever possesses the name “Israel” will be the God divine ruler. I don’t have time to teach that but know the facts and understand that Bible names have meanings and that these meanings teach important messages.
I am going through the verses that declare Jesus to be God. We just looked at the verse in Matthew where Jesus was named “Emmanuel” and discovered what it meant. Let me give you other verses that say the same thing using different word descriptions. Read these important facts closely:
Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In the beginning was the Word. God initiates the book of John with words that parallel Genesis 1:1. God basically connects Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1 together by His specific word selection. God is giving his commentary on the Genesis 1:1 creation using new descriptions. Here God says that the Word existed eternally and equally with God. This Word being described here in John 1:1 was clearly God. What we are observing is another parallel verse to my introductory foundation verse from 1 John 2:2. However, in these verses in John we are seeing that God equates “the Word” to be equal with God and in 1 John 2:2 we saw that the Son was equal with God. Do you know what that means? I’ll tell you in minute.
I think we need to establish a basic foundational Christian truth to who this God is being described to us in the Bible. This God called the Word in John 1:1 is the same as the God described to be a Spirit in John 4:24. Therefore I believe that this God who is Spirit is the same as this God who is the Word. Wrap your minds around what is being taught here because it is clearly way beyond normal human imagination. God is clearly telling us that His Spirit, and His Word and His Son are all equal to one in the same. How might you ask can I legally arrive at this conclusion? I am simply using God’s created laws of mathematics and Algebra to facilitate this fact. What law of mathematics am I speaking of? There is a very basic law of mathematics that states if A=B and B=C then we know that A=C. Do you see how I arrived at those statements now and how that they are correct? We can clearly see if God = Word (John 1:1), God = Son (1 John 2:2) and God = Spirit (John 4:24) that we can apply the laws of mathematics and say that Word = God and Word = Son and Word = Spirit. I think I probably went over the heads of many readers. Hang in there if you do not enjoy mathematics like I do.
What we can read in John 1:3 is that God confirms to us that everything created in the beginning was created by the Word of God. This eternal Word God created all temporary physical space and matter. Continuing to read down in the first chapter of John you get to the confirmation of the identity of Jesus:
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.
This verse is very clear with the identity of Jesus as the Word God who is also Spirit. Jesus was the stated Word/Spirit and He was made flesh for our benefit. This is simply another way to say “Emmanuel” or God with us. John writes that because God became flesh that we were able to behold (see, observe) His glory. This was the creator God making Himself known in ways that blows the mind of devils, demons and natural men that do not want to believe in the existence of a loving God in the form of a Son. This was an expression of divine love beyond normal human comprehension. Why would an all-powerful God that could choose to do anything, choose to humble Himself to become a part of His own creation and walk around as if He was just one of us?
Eph 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
God continues to reveal in this verse that all of creation was performed by Jesus Christ the Word. This clearly claims that Jesus Christ was the Word of God since God created everything by His Word as we have just seen in John 1:3. If Jesus was the creator of all things then Jesus pre-existed all creation. The only way this is possible is if Jesus is divine, eternal and the Lord God. Notice the word ALL things in John 1:3. If Jesus was Michael then this would make Michael a non-created being and that belief falls apart quickly. This would mean Michael created everything and was God and that belief comes short of sound Biblical doctrine immediately just from the verses that we read about Michael. There are so many contradictions to this teaching that I just can’t give them all to you. But we will continue with a few more important verses of confirmation to the identity of Jesus:
Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Rev 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
Rev 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
I wanted to include these verses to help confirm who this Jesus is that is coming back to the earth in Revelation and help you see that He is not called Michael but rather in verse 13 He is named the Word of God again. Who was the Word of God according to John 1:1? We know the Word of God was God and thus this Word God comes back riding on the white horse to the earth. There is no connection to Michael being stated here, formerly, presently or in any future tense.
WHO DID JESUS CLAIM TO BE?
Let’s examine who Jesus claimed to be while here on the earth to help prove that Jesus never said that He pre-existed as Michael. Who did Jesus say was His Father? Was it ever communicated that Michael was the father of Jesus? Did Jesus ever claim to pre-exist? In at least 70 verses in the N.T. Jesus is called the “Son of God”. Clearly to be called a son means that the man Jesus originated from a source of parental beings. From reading the Bible we know the physical natural mother of Jesus was named Mary and she is described to be a virgin having never known a man. The angel appears to her and informs her that she has been favored and she will have a son. She asks how this is possible and the angel tells her the Holy Spirit will come upon her and she will conceive. If you do not understand the concepts of the virgin birth you need to read my lesson series on that subject. I just told you that there are 70 verses that claim Jesus was the Son of God. We must conclude that the Spirit/Word God became the Father of the man Jesus. Therefore, the man Jesus was a product of the union between a natural woman’s egg and the Word of God coming from the Spirit that created all of creation with His Word. Take note that if God can create a natural world by speaking words, it is a very small thing to get a woman pregnant by speaking the same kind of words. Do you agree? Let’s take a look at some things that Jesus spoke:
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Here in this verse Jesus speaking of Himself declares that His father was God. Jesus claims to be the literal ONLY BEGOTTEN Son of God and that is a very important distinction to understand. Earlier we saw that Michael was called one of several chief princes. Clearly Michael was not a unique being. Here Jesus clearly states that He is completely UNIQUE! I’m not like Him, you’re not like Him, Satan is not like Him and Michael is not like Him. Jesus is a one of a kind being God never having done this before. So please tell me how a non-unique angel name Michael becomes a unique Son of God named Jesus? Can you even try to make some new lies to explain that? I pray that you are learning something.
Joh 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
What did Jesus just say in this verse? Can you see it? This verse is only understood if you know who Jesus really is. If Jesus is not God in the flesh then Jesus just lied. Jesus looked in the faces of His disciples and told them when you have seen me, you have seen my Father. How can this possibly be if His father is not God and He is not His Father? Go back to the law of mathematics again. Jesus just said “Seeing Me = Seeing Jesus”. Then Jesus literally says “Seeing Jesus = Seeing My Father”. Therefore Jesus was claiming to be the same creator God in the flesh. This is not rocket science people, can you see it? Let me show you some other important verses that Jesus spoke:
Joh 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
Joh 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
Jesus just made a statement to the Jewish leaders and said that what He did was equal to what His Father was working. Jesus had just healed a man on the Sabbath and this upset the religious minded people significantly. However, that was not the final straw. They heard these words that Jesus just spoke and realized that He had just said that He was equal to God and now they really wanted to kill Him. Did you understand that? Jesus said literally “My Father Works” and “I Work”. That is a very clear reference to equality. You cannot find any verse in the Bible that declares any angel to be equal to God. That would include Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer and every other unnamed angel. No angel is an equal to their creator. Only the creator Himself can be called an equal. Let’s look at one set of example verses to help confirm what I am teaching: Look at these two verses very carefully:
Mat 4:6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Mat 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Here in context is Jesus being tempted after being forty days in the wilderness without eating. The temptations are coming from the angel Lucifer also known as Satan. The name Satan simply means “adversary”. So Satan had become the enemy of Jesus. In verse 6 Satan has just tempted Jesus by asking Him to cast Himself down off of a high place. It would be like you standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona and Satan telling you to jump. But, did you notice what else was said? Satan a chief prince said it is written that if you jump “He will give His angels charge over you and in their hands they shall bear you up and save you from the fall”. Wow that is a strong statement? Who is the He that will give His angels charge”. It is not Michael even though Michael has angels under his command. If Jesus was Michael here His response would have been totally different to this statement. Did you notice what Jesus said and who Jesus claimed to be here? Jesus quotes an Old Testament verse that says “Don’t tempt the Lord your God”. Jesus was looking at the face of Satan saying I am your Lord God, why are you tempting me? I think that is pretty clear that Jesus is not an angel and never was an angel. I could just continue with many other verses but I’ll end with this one:
Mat 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
Here we have Jesus personally making another statement about Himself. Jesus calls Himself the “Son of Man” but then He also follows that name by calling Himself the title of “Lord” and that makes it very clear who He was claiming to be. Michael is never called Lord by anyone, in fact if you read in Revelation 19:10 when John sees an angel and falls down at his feet the angel rebukes John and tells him not to worship him, because he is a fellow servant with John. God’s Angels and Christian humans are called “fellow servants”. What was Michael? Was Michael not an angel of God’s also? If Michael is an angel like the Bible says then Michael is a fellow servant with me and not my Lord. If any angel was ever guilty of calling himself Lord it will be Satan and he will be cast in the lake of fire for his lies. Only the God in heaven is ever called the Lord hundreds of time in the Bible. God has no problem with calling Himself LORD as is His right. This is what Jesus just did with His statement of being the Lord in Matthew 12:8.
Jesus never claimed to be anyone but God. Jesus never claimed to be a former angel. Michael never called himself Lord but Jesus clearly called Himself Lord. Jesus clearly claimed to be unique not conceived like any other human but the Bible says Michael is not a unique being. Only Jesus can claim to be the “Son of Man” and the “Son of God” and both be true. I believe I have given sufficient evidence in the Bible to establish that Jesus was not Michael in the pre-incarnation spiritual dimension. I believe that we can see Jesus and Michael both being mentioned in future prophecy of Revelation and each have their own distinct roles and responsibilities. Michael is clearly just a warrior angel of God. He had a spiritual warring role in the book of Daniel to get Gabriel through to the earth with a message and we can see another example of him warring in heaven and casting Satan down to the earth in Revelation 12. The role of Michael has not changed from Daniel to Revelation. Michael was created to be an archangel and he has not departed from that role and he will remain in that role.
Can we now agree that Michael is not Jesus? Can we agree that Jesus is God? I could have given you many more scriptures but that was long enough for time spent on this type of question. I have spent two whole days writing this Bible lesson and it took away from what I was working on for a month. I hope I helped someone to understand the truth of the Bible and may it will help to point others to the one True God Jesus Christ. I pray that God will continue to bless you, until I get the next lesson completed.
Too many Christians like to ignore the hard stuff. Stuff that is just too tough to think about or to explain. I have found that God is not intimidated by the difficult questions. In fact He has given us a huge book full of information that contains most all of the answers that we are seeking. Everyone is seeking to know who they are, why they are here, what purpose does their lives serve in being here. This is in fact the basis for all other questions that you can probably think of. Because people don’t know who they are and why they are here, they spend a lot of time searching for the answer in the wrong places, with the wrong people, being in the wrong places at the wrong time. It is an amazing extended effort in frustration.
So what are some of the Hard Questions of Life that we should be trying to find out the answers to in the Bible? Here is my top 10 list:
- Who Am I?
- Why Am I here?
- Is There a God?
- Who is God?
- Why is there so much Evil in the World?
- Why doesn’t God do anything to Stop Evil from happening?
- Is God causing the Tornados, Hurricanes, Earthquakes?
- Is there a Devil?
- Is there a Heaven and a Hell?
- Is there anything after Death?
These are some of the most important questions that I can think of to find the answers to. Maybe you can come up with some more good questions to ask God. If you can please give them to me in a comment. I can think of some related questions that I didn’t really include in my list, like “Did God take my Child in that car wreck?” or “Did God take my mother with cancer?” There are really a lot of personal questions that we are all faced with from our life’s past that we do not understand.
Unfortunately, we all want easy simple answers to every question, not realizing that there are many factors that are uniquely individual to everyone. You see many people may experience the same thing, but how they got there could be completely different than somebody else. So God’s answer to me for a question might be a little different for His answer to you for the exact same question. People like to look at the external and God is primarily focused on the internal aspect of your heart. Life is a completely complex system of interrelated dependencies. Everyone’s life is similar, but yet uniquely different.
So how do you find these answers to the Hard Questions of Life? I have to admit that finding things in the Bible can be work. If you want an easy answer to your problem, I would suggest that you go try a religion that offers a simple inoffensive message of enlightenment and hope. If you want the truth I would say you are not here reading this blog by chance or accident. I do not have all of the answers to every complex question, I just know the one that has all of these answers. You can know Him also, He will speak to you and help you to find the answers that you are seeking. God is actually for you and wants you to be successful in life. God desires a relationship with you, for you to know Him and for Him to know you. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. If you want or need help with a difficult question, I will do my best to try to point you to answers in God’s Word. Just please understand that every answer is not simple and many times God’s answers are completely different than what you want to hear, but yet they are always intended to help you see something that you need to change inside of you. God Bless You!