(ver 1.2) This is Part 2 in a series of advanced spiritual Bible lessons on the subject of “Is the Rapture of the Church a Bible Truth”. If you have not read the first lesson I would highly recommend that you go and start the study with “Part 1” and then continue with today’s lesson. During lesson 1, I took you through a brief explanation of what Rapture is using the dictionary. From this word definition I derived a list of synonymous terms that can be interchanged with the word “rapture” to convey the same thought or message. Some of the words were “caught up”, “taken away”, “removed”, and “to depart”, etc. Seeking to learn the basics we looked at three to four messages taught by Jesus using different symbolic representations to teach very similar rapture concepts. Of course none of these lessons contained the word “rapture” and that is why they are often ignored when studying the subject. We examined the “Pathway Analogy”, the parallels given to us in the “Sheep and Goat Analogy” and the “Wheat and Tare Analogy” and finally we looked at the “Ten Virgin Parable”. You should have easily observed that each lesson contained a central theme of the concept of division. Division is nothing but the separation of two distinct groups. One group can be separated from another group for many distinct reasons. In the world today criminals are sent to prison to separate them from hurting others outside of prison. Therefore, we can potentially call rapture the separation of the righteous from the unrighteous. In today’s lesson I will continue to expand on the basic concepts using Bible patterns of rapture to confirm the basic concepts. Here are some of the items that we will be covering today:
- Rapture is a separation of one person or one group of people from the others.
- Rapture is a change in location either physically or spiritually or both from one previous location to another new location.
- Rapture is usually the forced removal without scheduled notice and without any human consent.
- Rapture demonstrates the sovereign divine Power of God to transport a person or a people from one location to the new location.
- Rapture event timings are always determined by God and nothing you do or believe can change that.
- Rapture can be the exclusionary act of God upon the unrighteous that were not taken (not saved, left behind, those to be destroyed) separated from the righteous that were taken, saved and removed.
We have read several basic verses and have so far not officially determined the timing for any potential rapture event. Many get distracted by the intimate details and miss the more important basic concepts. I want to firmly establish the basics and then work towards the details in their proper order. You might recall that in the first lesson I implied that there are at least 3 future raptures that must still take place and eventually we will readdress what those can be. I also said that I can clearly see that there have already been around 6 previous raptures that have previously occurred in the Bible and we cannot ignore them. These examples will conform to the basic factual rules that I just listed above. I plan on exploring many of these historical rapture accounts in this lesson today to help further the establishment of the valid patterns for the future rapture concepts being taught in the Bible.
GOD REVEALING TRUTH
Too many people want to read the Bible and believe that God placed all of the truth in obvious plain view for anyone to easily find, see, read and understand. However that is just not how God wrote the Bible and it is not how you should approach learning anything from the Bible. We must all learn to see the true concealed nature of God in His Word and in the world around us. Let me ask you, have you ever seen God personally? Can you prove to anyone that God exists? What evidence for God’s existence do you possess? Obviously you have never seen God and cannot prove that there is a God to anyone here on the earth. Yet God says in Romans 1:20 that the invisible things of God are clearly seen being made known in the things that God created. Wow, there are some amazing parallels in that verse to what I am teaching you about the Bible. How can the invisible God who has not been seen with our natural eyes, or made known or displayed to our physical senses, His presence being improvable in a court of law, lacking any clear evidence of existence still be found by searching and studying the things that were created? It is simply because God in His wisdom hid clues throughout creation that clearly allow people to see the existence of a creator if they want to know Him. If anyone does not desire to know God they will never see the truth that is plainly right in front of their eyes. That is just how God designed everything.
Now ask yourself how many educated scientists today after studying the facts of creation have concluded and found that there is a God and a creator because of the overwhelming evidence found from what they are studying? Not very many are there? The majority of the scientists today are either agnostic or atheist in their beliefs of God. Yet God still says I can be seen everywhere if you are looking for me. What make you think that the truth in His written Holy Word will not also be recorded in the same type of secreted format? You see I completely believe that the truth in the Bible can be easily seen, but only after you want to know it, are saved, then know what to look for and then extend the effort to look for it with great diligence allowing the Spirit of God to help you see it. There is a principle discovered especially in the New Testament that is very important called “revelation”. Revelation is God illuminating His Word to humans so that it can finally be understood. Revelation is never man suddenly discovering what God has said using their individual human reasoning to figure it out. Every human requires God’s revelation in order to understand the spiritual things that were written inside of the natural words and stories.
Rom 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
You see Paul tells you that the previously hidden Christ has now been uncovered and revealed by God. He states that this was a formerly hidden mystery of God. Paul gives us a better explanation of this revealing process in Ephesians 3:1-5 if you would like to go and read how the mystery was not revealed to men prior to the Apostles but has now been given to us by the Spirit of God’s choice. Wow, that concept seems to pass over the head of many Christians today and it teaches us so much about the nature of God. The rapture of the church is just another one of those mysteries hidden by God in His Word. Look up the definition for the Greek word translated as “revelation” here. It means a “disclosure”, an “appearing”, an “enlightenment”, or “something that was previously hidden but has now suddenly been revealed”. This Greek word G602 comes from another root word G601 that literally means to “uncover” or “take the cover off”. It is like someone in the natural taking the lid off of a box to discover what was previously hidden inside of it. That uncovering concept teaches us that we can look at the outside cover words all day long and still never understand what is underneath the surface until the cover has been removed. Only God can remove the cover from His Word. However, that is exactly what the Spirit of God is doing in the church today to those that want to know the truth. There are literally hundreds of mysteries in the Bible and most of them you probably do not know or have any understanding of their existence because you are still looking at the covered text and not seeing the hidden spiritual meanings beneath. Do not throw away the rapture teaching simply because it is not easy to find on the surface. Wait until you at least ask God to reveal it to you and show you if it is true. God is no respecter of persons. If He revealed it to me, He will also reveal it to you so that you can see it also.
I read a couple of the internet lessons on the no-rapture theory just to see how they were explaining the verses that God showed me about rapture. Nothing that they said swayed me in the least little bit since what they said conflicted with the voice of the Spirit of God and the real meaning of the verses in the Bible. Their arguments were very cleverly written with many supposedly supporting Bible verses but they were totally blinded to what the scriptures said and how to apply them correctly. These were nothing but examples of how natural men can “wrongly divide” the word of truth to produce a message that can be accepted easily by other carnal men. What I say in my Bible lessons is generally not accepted by carnal minds because it is so spiritually based. Natural people tend to be attracted by natural words and spiritual people tend to be attracted by spiritual words. It is very much like the law of Genesis being restated everything producing after its kind.
You see I am certain to run into the same problem that Paul ran into with what I am teaching. Paul was confronted with both natural thinkers and spiritual thinkers. God gave Paul certain spiritual revelation and understanding that no other man knew in his day (Gal 1:12). Paul then went about trying to teach this God given revelation to the others in the church with the only confirmation evidence that the hearers in the church possessed was from them listening to the Spirit of God that resided in them and the previously written Old Testament Words of God. If they could hear and see spiritual things they were accepting, but if they were carnal thinkers, then they were rejecting the truth. Here is what God says about the people in the early church that were faced with this great decision:
Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
God says that the people in Berea were nobler than the people in Thessalonica. God informs us that the Bereans were first open to hearing something brand new from Paul implying the Thessalonians were not. However, God then says that the Bereans did not just automatically accept the new teaching of Paul, but that they were rather wise enough to go and search their scriptures to find if what Paul was preaching was actually the truth that God had declared in His Word. So regardless of which rapture category your beliefs fall into today at least be open to hear a new perspective on the subject and then to go to your own Bible to search for yourself to see if it is true or not. Do not believe anything that I say because you do not even know me. Who I am, is of no significance to you also what I say is only important if it is what God says. If you do not see what I say in your own Bible then toss it away and believe what you do see. You will not offend me if you reject what I teach.
BUILDING A STRONG RAPTURE FOUNDATION ON THE BASICS
We are going to continue in this Bible lesson with some of the basic foundational verses for the existence of the legitimate doctrine of the rapture. We need to go to the letters written directly to the church and see what God records for us there and make sure that we clearly understand what God is saying to us correctly. Every teacher that preaches a “no rapture” philosophy must explain away all of these verses that we will be looking at today or they must totally ignore them to teach what they teach. They can be very creative in their attempts to explain them away and many people believe what they say without doing the necessary study to prove it in their own spirit which will result in deception. Therefore you need to follow along with me in your Bible using your heart to see if God is giving you internal spiritual peace about what is written here and then verify it using the Bible.
We will go to the book of 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 and verse 16. You may recall that this verse was mentioned in Wikipedia as a foundational scripture for rapture. This is certainly not the only verse found in the Bible on the subject, but it is clearly one of the most prominent and important verses on the subject. People want to discount one prominent scripture in the Bible and explain it away because they think one verse is not important without many other confirming verse witnesses. That is very true that one verse cannot be taken as a complete doctrine of theological belief, but it is also true that it is still found in the Bible and that there are other confirming witnesses that can be found if you look and search for them.
I also want you to understand that the books of the N.T. Bible were not necessarily placed into the Bible in their chronological written order. First Thessalonians was probably the very first letter written by Paul to any church. Therefore, God saw fit to teach the church about rapture from the very establishment of the church. Many today try to say that rapture is a modern creation of man not taught by the early church founding fathers. But simple minded people clearly do not choose to see what the Bible says and must ignore what Paul taught and wrote to remain in their ignorance. You do understand that what Paul wrote about in the Epistles to the churches were also the things that he taught to everyone in the church when he was physically present with them, don’t you? Can you separate the two? I cannot do that. Let’s read what Paul taught about the rapture:
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Verse 16 begins with the description of the Lord descending from heaven. Who was this Lord and why is it necessary for Him to descend? What is the stated purpose for the descent? This Lord was the God of heaven come to the earth in the flesh that died for all of our sins on a wooden cross and He is named Jesus in the English tongue. We should remember from reading in Acts 1:9 that after Jesus died and was raised from the dead, He ascended back up into heaven where He has been seated for the past nearly 2000 years (Heb 8:1). This statement of descent being described is simply the reversal of the preceding ascent that visibly took place on the earth with the early church disciples being witnesses. I will also say that what was seen by a few in the church of Jesus going up will be seen by those in the church that He is descending to come back for. Let’s start by just listing the basic facts given in the order of mention to us in these verses and then talk about them in more depth:
- Jesus descends from heaven with a shout.
- The voice of the archangel is the next observed mention.
- Immediately followed by the trump of God.
- The next mention is the dead in Christ that will rise.
- Then followed by those that are alive in Christ on the earth being caught up.
- Those alive on the earth are stated to be elevated to the level of the clouds in order to meet with the Lord.
- At the culmination of this event both the dead and alive in Christ will forever be with the Lord.
Those were the very basics from what I just read in the Bible. What did you read? Can you agree with them or is that why you don’t believe in rapture because that is just not what God says here? I believe that there are both direct and indirect implied statements being made in these verses. I just listed the direct statements of facts only. First it directly says that the Lord descends from heaven to initiate the event with a shout. We must determine the definition of heaven based upon the context of the statement being made and using the other facts of the Bible to correctly interpret the term. For example, the Hebrew word translated as heaven in the O.T. is H8064. This same Hebrew word can refer to up to three different locations and that same statement is true about the N.T. Greek word G3772. Heaven is defined in the Bible in three different ways. There is the immediate atmosphere surrounding the earth and this is often spoken of as what I will call the first heaven (Deu 11:11). There is the universe of stars and solar systems in space and this is often what I will call the second heaven (Gen 1:17). But Paul we will soon learn spoke of a “third heaven” (2 Cor 12:2) and this is the literal location of the spiritual throne of God. The first two heavens are natural and the third heaven is completely spiritual. This heaven being described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is clearly the reference to the unseen third spiritual heaven. We will get more confirmation for that as we continue. Therefore I see two dimensions of existence being stated in these two verses. Jesus is descending from heaven and is coming out of the spiritual dimension to re-enter back into the natural dimension to accomplish the rest of what is stated.
Surely you can see Christ’s descent from the spiritual heaven in parallel with a shout, the voice of the archangel and the trump of God are the beginning of something else about to occur. I view verse 16 as starting in the spiritual realm and ending in the natural realm. I then see verse 17 as starting in the natural realm and ending in the spiritual realm to complete the cycle and we will see this more clearly as we go. But notice in verse 16 there is no mention of anything natural or physical until the end of the verse and then it speaks of death which is clearly natural only. Every noun mentioned is a spiritual being or place until the last mention of the dead rising. Therefore the archangel’s location is also implied to be in heaven being mentioned following Jesus descending from heaven. Immediately following the archangel is the trump of God and this is also implied to originate from the location of spiritual heaven.
I believe that both the shout and the trump are announcements from the spiritual heaven for the coming event to occur upon the physical earth. The Greek word translated as “shout’ is only used in this verse in the entire N.T. However this Greek word G2752 comes from another Greek root word G2753 that means “to command”. The source Greek word is less of an event announcement than it is the shout of an ordered command expecting some subsequent action to take place. The root Greek word means a direct command has been ordered from heaven for the next expected action to occur. I take this command to be given by God Himself personally. Angels generally do not have the authority to give commands apart from God’s will. It is interesting how this verse is phrased and worded, because the shouted command could be taken as being from the Lord or it could be a command given by the archangel. However, based upon supremacy of rule, I teach it as originating from God and going through the archangel like the chain of command in a military hierarchy.
Let’ reconsider what we learned about from the earlier messages of Jesus on the separation of the sheep from the goats or the wheat from the tares. Both of these lessons contained commanded symbolic servant workers (aka angels) that were given orders and instructions to separate the one group from another group. I believe that we can see some distinct parallels being taught by the usage of this Greek word when the Lord commands and the voice of the chief angel in heaven is heard to possibly repeat the shouted order. I believe that you need to resolve in your mind who is doing the original shouting and who the shout is directed towards. I do not believe that the command order from heaven is directed to those that are about to be taken from the earth, do you? Clearly the order is directed to those that are doing the taking and those can only be the angels of God. This is clearly a chain of command type of military order being described. The commander in chief God has given a direct order to gather and the order is shouted to every ranking member of the staff to be carried out. If you have never been in the military you may not understand chain of command but most things in life work this way. Every large or small corporation has a chain of command from the ranking CEO going down the chain. Any way that is how I view the shout mentioned in this discourse and you can disagree and believe what you like if you see something different.
Let’s move on to the trump of God mentioned next. The Greek word G4536 translated many times as trumpet or trump occurs in only 11 verses in the N.T. and it is a word that means a “vibration”, a “quavering” or a “reverberation” all descriptive synonymous terms for a loud audible sound. Because the Greek word is only found in 11 N.T. verses it is easy to determine if any of these other verses play a role in describing the same type of rapture either directly or indirectly. Also take note from reviewing these verses that they do not necessarily have to mean that a physical horn type of instrument is blown. Many have the idea that the ram’s horn called a shofar is used for this event announcement. I do not have a problem with that interpretation or belief but that is not technically what is stated in this verse or several other verses in the New Testament (1 Cor 14:8, Rev 1:10, Rev 4:1). In these verses it describes voices being like a trumpet but, in other verses like in Revelation 8:2, 8:6, 8:13 and 9:14 it appears to be an actual literal trumpet. However if you notice anything when reading the book of Revelation, you should immediately recognize that the majority of the book is cloaked in symbolism. Therefore the trumptes mentioned in Revelation can possibly be a symbolic representation for a greater spiritual truth. At least that is what I believe at this point in time with my current level of knowledge on the subject.
Let me reemphasize the initiator of the event in 1 Thessalonians 4. Understand that Jesus is described as the originator of this unique event. Clearly Jesus coming down with a shout starts the entire process. Therefore this affair is a divinely initiated occasion that I believe is describing the bridegroom coming down to fetch His bride that we learned about in lesson 1. How does this description in 1 Thessalonians 4 correspond or compare to the information given to us in the parable of the 10 virgins? If you recall in Matthew 25:6 the bridegroom is implied to start His return at midnight when all of the virgins were asleep and an outcry or shout announces His coming before they ever see Him and the virgins are told to “Go Out” to meet Him in the parable. There was the stated coming of the bridegroom first and then there was the subsequent shouted cry that followed to trigger the virgins to go out and meet their bridegroom. That sounds very amazingly accurate to what we are reading about here in these verses in 1 Thessalonians 4 to me. I know it does not match word for word but the similarities are too close for it not to be God telling the same story using different types and symbols in one and more literal references and descriptions in the other. These types of writing styles of God make the Bible very complex to the casual reader. I take them to be the same event because of the match of all of the recorded characters and actions mentioned occurring in the exact same order. I also know that Jesus is the bridegroom and that we are the bride (virgin) in the Bible. Do you see it? Don’t you think that there could be some direct similarities between the description of 1Thessalonians 4 and the Parable of the 10 virgins? I can see a very distinct pattern of resemblance.
Do not confuse this event description in 1 Thessalonians 4 with the Second Advent event when Jesus literally sets foot back upon the earth to rule for 1000 years with the saints. There is no mention of Jesus coming that close to the earth in 1 Thessalonians 4 anywhere in this description. In fact the way that I read it I can never find Jesus descending below the normal cloud level anywhere in this discourse. In verse 17 it is clearly stated that those that are still alive on the earth surface of the earth go up to the clouds in the air to meet Jesus. How far up are the clouds from the surface of the earth? We might also consider the height of the earth’s atmosphere as being a stated factor. We obviously can learn easily that these are known facts discovered during modern space exploration. The reentry of a space craft from the realm of space first encounters resistance of the earth’s atmosphere at around 120 km (75 mi). At this altitude above the earth, the air is extremely thin and there are no clouds. The air continues to thicken as the craft descends and clouds eventually are able to form.
In order to determine where clouds normally reside in the atmosphere we need a deeper study of meteorological facts. Clouds come in three general categories of high cloud layers, mid-cloud layers and low-cloud layers. If you search the internet you will find that low clouds can range in altitude from surface level to upwards of 2 km. Mid-clouds can range from 2 to 4 km in height. Finally, high clouds can range from 4 to 8 km in height. Therefore Jesus can legally meet us in the atmosphere depending upon if it is a foggy day or a normal day anywhere from 0 to 8 km up in the atmosphere. I can personally see that if you do further study on the internet that NASA has spent time averaging maximum cloud heights over the course of the last 10 years and they have in their data found that clouds normally occur at a maximum average height of between 3 and 4 km and that is a long way up. People in the “no rapture” belief camp have tried to explain this verse away stating that the Greek word translated as “air” is a sea-level only point of view in the Bible. They completely have to ignore the “cloud” reference and overlook the term “caught up” to be in the clouds. They must be assuming a foggy day for the return of the Lord back to the earth’s surface. They have purposely closed their eyes to what the Bible is saying not using any factual evidence to support their beliefs scripturally or scientifically.
Act 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
The Greek word translated as “clouds” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 only occurs in 22 verses of the N.T. so that is a very manageable number to go and read every occurrence. What you will find in your search is God’s exact same usage of this Greek word here in Acts 1:9 where Jesus was described as ascending up and then the clouds are said to receive Him out of their view. Have you ever watched an airplane take off? How long can you view it until it disappears from your view? I guess it depends on the clouds, doesn’t it? But, that sounds like a very high altitude up in the sky to me. What God is doing is describing two separate related events and He is connecting them together with the usage of the same Greek word G3507 translated as “clouds”. Five times in the Gospels Jesus is found speaking of Himself and says that He will be coming in the clouds (Mat 24:30, Mat 26:64, Mark 13:26, Mark 14:62, Luke 21:27). However every mention of this may not be all describing the same event or times. For example, Matthew 24:30 could be speaking of the second advent after the tribulation or of another specific time. In Matthew 24:3 the disciples asked Jesus 3 different questions and in this chapter Jesus answers them all but does not always tell you which answer is to which question. Maybe we will talk about these in a future lesson. In Matthew 26:64 the time frame is not directly given. Mark 13:26 can also be considered a description of the same three questions that the disciples asked in Matthew 24. Again in Mark 14:62 there is no time reference given other than it is after the ascent into heaven in Acts 1:9. That leaves us with Luke 21:27 and this is a very interesting set of verses that appear to be a different timing than the Second Advent. I believe from reading these verses that Jesus could very well be describing the rapture before the tribulation revealed by the wording of the statements. We will get to those verses in more detail later in the series.
What is stated to happen on the earth first in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17? We can see that there is a very clear reference to those that have already died (IN CHRIST) a physical death on the earth “rising” first. Here is a good time to learn a basic truth. Every Christian that has been born again by the Spirit of God is now in the universal group set called “IN CHRIST”. However, God makes a new distinction in this discourse to differentiate between two sub-groups found within the global set of IN-CHRIST. God says here in these two verses that one subset group called the DEAD IN-CHRIST is a little bit different than those that are still ALIVE IN-CHRIST. One group is dead and one group is alive and this has been stated from the physical natural human perspective. Why is that important? Why does one group of DEAD “rise” and why are the others in the ALIVE GROUP “Caught UP”? You really need to ask these types of detailed questions when you read and study the Bible.
This is the first mention of the natural realm and it represents a transition from the heavenly realm that initiated the event. These dead bodies are identified to rise first because of their former experiences with natural death that has caused their old physical bodies to be left here in the dust of the earth. If you examine the context of chapter 4 you will see that one of the primary subjects being discussed is about those that have died believing in Christ and how that they can still have hope of a certain resurrection like Christ’s. When Jesus was resurrected from the dead, did He take His physical body or leave it here on the earth? I think you know that Jesus took His body with Him. There is no tomb with the body of Jesus on the earth. Therefore, Jesus was fully resurrected from the dead physically and spiritually. This is the hope that is given to all of those that have died in Christ. These verses about resurrection were written to the church. These dead people are the saved righteous believers in Christ Jesus. They have died a physical natural death but when this occurred their spirits then departed the earth and went to heaven to be with the Lord Jesus (2 Cor 5:8). Thus the reason for the unique wording of the dead “rising” versus the alive being “caught up”. I’m really not sure if you are getting where I’m going here or if you understand yet what I am attempting to say.
The Greek word translated as “rise” in verse 16 literally means to “stand up” or “arise”. This rising can be from any non-standing position seated, reclining or lying flat. Since God is discussing the dead in Christ rising we can conclude logically that the original unstated position of those arising are normally found in a lying flat position like most dead bodies at a funeral. This description is given to us from the human natural perspective and not the spiritual divine perspective. Death in the Bible is many times described as what looks like natural sleep of the physical body and this is stated from the casual human viewer’s perspective. People here in the natural world generally view things from the natural human standpoint. That is what we see when we look at a dead body. But the spirit of that person has departed their body and is either with Christ or is in hell right now according the Luke 16.
Jas 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Here in James is a statement of universal natural truth concerning natural death. When the physical body dies, the spirit of the man or the woman that died has departed and is no longer present in the body. Or we could say when the spirit departs the physical body, the body dies. Both statements are accurate representations of the truth. However also take note that if the spirit of the human departs the dead body, the spirit always remains alive. Do you know the difference between natural things and spiritual things? Natural things die, but spiritual things never die or cease to exist. Humans are spiritual beings that live in a temporary natural body.
All of this information is just my attempt to explain why God’s distinction between the dead “rising” and the alive “departing” references that are given. In verse 16 of 1 Thessalonians 4 it ends with the natural perspective of the human body that possessed the appearance of sleeping being resurrected or raised to stand up again in order to be joined back to the departed human spirit. This resurrected body will be rejoined back with the human spirits of those that were already in heaven and this new eternal resurrected body will be their personal living place and the dwelling residence for God’s Spirit forever. Then in verse 17 we see a contrasting difference being stated with those that remain here on the earth and are described to be alive being “caught up” to meet Christ in the air. Can you seriously see the difference being stated here yet? Why aren’t both groups “caught up”? Why don’t both groups “rise”? This is actually very important information. When all of the puzzle pieces are put together correctly it makes such clear logical sense. God is in effect saying that when this event occurs the dead in Christ will descend with Christ from heaven to be joined with their risen resurrected bodies, but the living Christians on the earth will be personally “caught up” to be with Christ with a resurrected body in the clouds. Now do you see it? Do you now understand why the difference between the two stated experiences and why God describes it as two sub-events beneath the one greater event? What God is doing is giving you a lot of unstated information by using distinct unique word selection.
Verse 16 was only the dead bodies rising and not the spirits of the dead people being “caught up” since the spirits were already present with Christ in heaven. Verse 17 makes the radical transition from what happens to the dead bodies to those that are still living in a body. Two separate verbs are selected by God to describe what happens to each group. Verse 17 starts out by saying those that are “alive” and these are a clear reference to the people with a natural life existence on the earth given to us from the human perspective. This Greek word G2198 literally means to possess life or those that live. Again this viewpoint can only be from the natural perspective and not a spiritual or divine perspective since it is impossible to kill a spirit being. Both the dead in Christ and the living in Christ on the earth are spiritually alive unto God. If God was using His spiritual viewpoint in these verses He would have stated it differently. What God is teaching is the difference of the locations of the living spirits affected during the event. The dead in Christ were already in heaven and those living in Christ remained here on the earth during the start of this event. At the end of the event they are all together with Christ in the clouds with their new resurrected bodies.
UNDERSTANDING BEING “CAUGHT UP”
These verses are simply comparing two types of believers. These two groups of believer types represent two new sub-sets of the whole set group called those “in Christ”. We really need to understand basic math set theory when studying the Bible on many subjects. God created math and mathematical laws which are used in the Bible repeatedly to teach us concepts that only could have come from Him. Let’s stop here and define that Greek word translated as “caught up” and then dig much deeper to find out why God states it differently from the bodies that “rise”.
From a derivative of G138; to seize (in various applications): – catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force).
The Greek word “harpazo” (G726) literally means to seize or take someone or something by force. It is only found in 13 verses of the New Testament and many of these are very significant connected verses to explore about the subject of rapture. Begin by understanding that the definition of the word represents a divine orchestrated demonstration of power. In other words this event in 1 Thessalonians 14:17 being described can only take place because there was a great external force of power behind it that causes it to occur. This description of force corresponds to the direct controlled information given by Jesus of the angel reapers taking out from the earth the wheat and the tares as well as the separation of the sheep from the goats. There are distinct parallels of external power being enforced in common in all of this imagery. In these lessons the wheat, the tares, the sheep nor the goats have an influence or contribution on the separation that occurs. In each instance the force of control is external to those that are affected.
No natural exertion of resistance, human effort, human force or any human power from the participants on the earth being raised or caught up was necessary or even mentioned during this event. I probably did not state that last information exactly correct. You see I believe that every human is required to have faith and believe in the rapture in order to participate in the event. I cannot see where the Bible says that anyone that does not believe is still rewarded with the same prize of those that do believe. Crowns of salvation are not handed out to everyone like Universal Salvationists like to teach. I believe that rapture is exactly like salvation. No one that has not already placed their faith and beliefs in Jesus Christ will be saved or can be saved. Everything that God gives to His people through His divine sovereign Grace must be received by the people through their faith. I don’t have the time to teach you faith, if you have not read my lessons on Understanding Bible Faith then do that to help clear up any conflict. Let’s quickly review one dictionary definition for the word “rapture” to recall how it was defined:
RAPTURE: the carrying of a person to another place or sphere of existence.
To me this definition of the word rapture fits precisely with the Greek word definition of “harpazo”. To carry someone away from one realm to another is clearly a display of power and force that must be present to move them. The English term “rapture” is derived from the Latin term “raptus” also meaning to carry away or carry off. I have concluded that “raptus” was a synonymous Latin term for the Greek word G726 “harpazo” that was translated as “caught up”. This is one of the primary reasons for the legitimacy of the doctrine of the “rapture”. The modern term was developed to help Bible teachers teach the subject using a simple one word title. Do you understand “harpazo”? It is a very well defined word that teaches a lot on the subject. Harpazo is a show of external force and power. It is a convention beyond the power of human resistance. Even if you did not want to go the Bible teaches us that you are going. No debate is offered. No options are given. Those being taken are simply gone being removed from existence upon the earth physically and spiritually.
All of this discussion so far today was just an introduction to the basic foundational concepts proving that the catching away of believers is a valid truth taught by God, Paul and the early church in the Bible. The timing of the event has still not been fully developed or established and we will eventually get to that part of the subject as we progress.
HISTORICAL RAPTURE EVENTS IN THE BIBLE
Before we go into future rapture events and other verses about the subject, let’s prove to all of the skeptics that this harpazo or “catching away” by force has already occurred multiple times in the Bible. In proving historical event occurrence, this will help us to define and confirm the possibility for potential repeated future event occurrences. God simply says in the Bible “There is nothing new under the sun”. He continues in this discourse to teach us “that which has been is that which shall be again” (Ecc 1:9). Verses like this teach us that there are established patterns found in the Bible and that we need to learn them in order to see what might occur in the near future. Discarding the past will cause you to not know the future. You see for any doctrine to be legitimate it must be an established pattern throughout the Bible with more than one witness to the truth being stated. God required for every word to be established in the mouths of two or three witnesses so that they all can be verified to be in agreement with the other witnesses. This truth disallows the taking of any single verse out of context to prove one’s erroneous point. Let’s go to the book of Acts and see one type of rapture example and a direct type and shadow of the coming rapture being described in 1 Thessalonians 14:
Act 8:39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
Was Phillip just raptured away so that immediately the eunuch after being baptized saw him no more? Why did God take Phillip away? Why didn’t God take the eunuch also? You see this does not say that Phillip walked away or swam away under his own physical power. The power of God literally takes Phillip away from the place that he was previously seen and places him physically and spiritually in a completely new location. I mean if this description is not a type of rapture of a man from one physical point to another physical point you tell me what it is. You see someone being raptured does not always have to mean that this someone was taken directly to heaven. It can mean they were just physically transported from one part of the earth to another. Rapture is nothing except a real divine encounter of a fictional Star Trek type of teleport or transport. This rapture of Phillip is simply a change in his physical location and it is a valid pattern for what will happen to the church very soon. Patterns can simply be natural events that will correspond to coming spiritual events. Notice that Phillip had nothing to do with what just happened to him. Phillip did not pray to be taken, Phillip did not ask God to take him and this is again a pattern of the coming church rapture. Also note that one man was taken and one man was not and this again is a pattern for rapture. Rapture includes the separation of one or more people from another group of people.
Notice that God brings this verse into the subject discussion by the inclusion of the Greek word G726 harpazo. I understand that Phillip was not given a supernatural resurrected body during this event. I also understand that Phillip did not leave the earth to go to heaven and then return in a new earthly location. While that was certainly possible that is not what just happened to Phillip. We need to learn not to put God in our box of human narrow minded limitations. We need to see that almost anything is possible when God is involved. I said almost anything is possible, because God is not going to do anything that violates His written word or causes Him to lie. Keep that in mind as you study the Bible. I am simply viewing the “catching away” of Phillip by the Spirit of God to be a natural pattern for the coming greater spiritual event. If God can do this event to a man in the church then God can also take the whole church in a future event. Let me show you another type of rapture event recorded in the Bible that is often ignored by rapture skeptics.
2Co 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
I mentioned this verse earlier but I feel this is important enough to look at again. This event is in a position of greater alignment with the normal concept of what most people believe is the primary type of rapture. Here we have Paul describing an event about himself and saying that he was “caught up” to the third heaven. “Caught up” is again the Greek word G726 harpazo. So Paul was taken by force in this experience by the Spirit of God. He says he does not know if he was in his body or outside of his body and that is not the important point to take away. However notice that Paul says that he was taken and this means his spirit went to heaven at the minimum. What you must observe is that Paul’s spirit was literally transported from the physical earth to a spiritual heaven location and then you can read that he saw things that he could not even describe to us. Clearly this is another example of rapture in the Bible. The spirit of Paul was taken up by force to see things in heaven that he had never seen before. This was another divine sovereign choice act of God. Paul did not ask to be taken but it still occurred to teach Paul and the rest of us that it can occur. Do you still not believe in rapture? I seriously do not know how you can still be on the unbelief side of the fence after studying all of the events that have already occurred. But, I’m not done yet and there are more. Let’s go back and reflect on a story from the Old Testament of a rapture event and possibly the first rapture event recorded in the Bible:
Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Wow, so Star Trek really did not invent the “Transporter”, God did. God clearly transports the living natural man Enoch wholly, completely and directly from this earth to an undisclosed, unnamed new location in this verse. We are never informed of where Enoch went; we are just told that he vanished off of the face of the earth. Did you notice that Enoch did not have to die naturally first? There are only two men in the O.T. that did not taste of natural death that I know of and Enoch was one of them. Enoch is a clear O.T. pattern for the church members that will be “caught away” alive in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Clearly Enoch was raptured from this world alive to the eternal spiritual realm being taken bodily so that there is no grave here on the earth containing his body. How can anyone teach that rapture is not a valid Bible concept and truth? Look up the Greek word translated as “translated” in this verse. It literally means to “transfer” or “transport” as in an exchange of physical locations. This is so significant that I do not know how people miss it or why they choose to ignore it. I’m beginning to see a Bible concept that I really like here, and I’ll call it the “Beam me up Jesus” method of spiritual travel. I really believe that this is going to be an awesome experience when it occurs. There is only one other man in the O.T. that was taken up by divine force without seeing death and this was the prophet Elijah.
2Ki 2:1 And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.
The Hebrew word in the verse translated as “take up” literally means to ascend. This is not rocket science so everyone should be able to recognize another obvious pattern for human translation or transportation out of this world while still naturally alive by divine sovereign power. If you study the context of this event you will also see that God reveals what is going to happen to Elijah before it happens. That is also significant since God repeats that pattern by revealing to the church that rapture will occur before it occurs. Elijah is again a pattern for the living church members remaining on the earth today. They do not know the exact timing of the “taking up” but he knew it would occur before it occurred and he even knew that it would even occur very soon. Clearly Enoch and Elijah are valid “harpazo” patterns. These are two direct witnesses for the future.
Let’s talk about Isaiah chapter 6 briefly. This chapter describes an event that took place that clearly resembles what Paul experienced of being caught up to the third heaven. I’m not going to quote any of the verses or review them in any detail. You can do that research for yourself. I will say that what Isaiah describes is clearly not of this world in any form or fashion. In verse 1 there is mention of a throne but then following this is the mention of winged creatures that are a special type of angel. This creature had 3 sets of wings. One set covered his face and one set covered his feet and with the final set he flew around. That is pretty amazing stuff. This experience is no doubt a type of rapture where Isaiah is taken to the throne of God to view and record some things that we need to see. It does not say that Isaiah was there bodily, but he had to be there spiritually in order to come back to write what he saw. I find that very interesting and also very relevant to our discussion of rapture. I will not address this experience any further in this lesson other than to give it to you as fifth potential pattern reference for a type of rapture.
Act 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
We could talk a lot about Jesus ascending into heaven in Acts 1. I have already mentioned this example previously in this lesson in a direct reference connection to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. Here we have Jesus ascending up into the clouds and disappearing and this is another pattern of what is described will happen to the living on the earth when Jesus comes back to the clouds to take us up. I will point out one distinct difference in this verse. This ascent is not “harpazo”. In other words Jesus was not seized out of the earth by force or caught up by the Spirit of God or any angel. No this Greek word is very different because this is the divine God himself going up under His own power. This Greek word is always used in conjunction with self-control and personal extended effort of self-power. This is clearly an example of rapture because God is controlling the ascension event. However it is done indecently from external power and is the internal power of God within Jesus that causes Him to go up. The first five examples of people being raptured were clearly events independent from human human power and they can only be displays of the power of God. I really pray that you are receiving these parallel examples and seeing the possibilities that can occur from them?
Satan fights the teaching of the true rapture because he will be forced to present an explanation to what happened to the millions of righteous people in the world that simply vanish without a trace prior to the tribulation. He will come up with an ingenious twist of the truth. He will probably claim that the wicked people on the earth have now been taken out for judgment and now only the righteous remain to rule with him. You see this explanation fits with the pattern of what is transpiring in the media today. The media is blasting Christians as hate mongers of an intolerant message of God’s love. The homosexual agenda is the most intolerant group of people that exists in the world and they are in direct opposition to God and what the Bible says on the subject. However, they claim that Christians are intolerant ones for claiming the truth in the Bible and not embracing their sin as normal. What we see developing is a dividing line between those that are on God’s side and those that are opposed to God. I would think that it would be wise to remain on God’s side, but they have had their minds blinded to the truth so that they are unable to see it.
I think I will wrap up this lesson for now. I have given you a lot of information to examine and to consider. I thank you for your time in reading and studying the Bible. There is so much more in the Bible on this subject and I will continue on it in a future lesson. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading in this series you may proceed to “Part 3” now.
(Ver 1.2) Some of you may have noticed that I do not avoid controversy, I take on difficult Bible subjects that many like to ignore. The Bible has some very difficult things written in it and a woman teaching in the church is certainly one example of those. Vast numbers of ignorant men have long proclaimed dominance over women, placing them in subservient roles that are clearly biased to what they like or feel is the proper order of things. What these type of men do is jump on a very, very small number of scriptures that they whole hardly embrace and proclaim as the truth. This of course forces them to ignore vast numbers of other scriptures that do not fit their desired outcome. The Bible is a book of more than one scripture and you must balance every verse on the subject before you can say what is the truth. Have you ever studied the Bible on every scripture reference to women in the Bible? I say there is no way that you have done this. The Bible is way too complicated for anyone to say they know it all. So how is it that a man can get up and claim that women can’t preach or teach in the church based upon their limited knowledge? I mean who died and made them God? These men need to learn the lesson of Job. God told Job, who is this that darkens my counsel with words with no knowledge? When people teach that a woman is incapable of teaching or preaching in a church, I believe that this implies that women do not have the brains or mental capacity to know the truth. It also means that women can’t hear from God and shouldn’t be praying to God because they should only go directly through their husbands or the men in the church. People are so stupid when it comes to discussions like this that I find it baffling that those kinds of men are in charge of anything. What we are going to do is go through some Bible verses and examine what they say in regard to references to women in the Bible and their roles. I can personally speak for me and I will tell you that if it were not for Christian women in the church I would not be here today. It was only because of their direct involvement and leading of God in the ministry that I am even here today to write this blog. So I appreciate whoever God uses and I refuse to put limitations on what God can do through anyone.
1Ti 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
So here we go with the classic, shut up and just learn speech. However, I’m going to apply this verse to everyone today and not just women. If you are distracted, talking to others while the Word of God is being taught, are you learning anything? No, of course you are not! This was the situation in this letter. Paul was addressing a very specific problem in a very specific church and he was not establishing a law that women can’t talk. If the problem was that the males were talking in church, then Paul would have said, men keep quiet and learn. Humans both male and female were designed by God with a mouth and the ability to talk and communicate intelligently, so to say a woman can’t talk, is very stupid. So now this verse ends in the word “subjection” and this is not a bad word. It means you are “not in control” and you are “not the head”. Everyone on this planet is in subjection to someone or something. This word applies to men equally as strong as to women. If you have ever been in the military you understand “subjection”. You follow orders from the day you join to the day you leave. You are not there to do anything but to follow orders. The corporate business world is very similar but some people do get paid to be creative and come up with new ideas. However, this does not mean they can do whatever they want, whenever they want to whoever they want. They still have to be submissive to those that they are working for. To be submissive is a normal way of life; it promotes order and chain of command and designates responsibility as well as accountability. Even the CEO of large company is accountable to the stock holders. There is really no one on the earth that is in complete control of anything. Submission is not a negative thing and it should never be used to force anyone to do anything that they do not want to do. Learn from God’s example, the utmost highest Spiritual Being came to the earth and washed the feet of His disciples. Don’t make yourself better than God. If you are not serving someone else, you have become deceived.
1Ti 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
So here we go with another “Thus saith the Lord”! Oh yea, it doesn’t say God says this, it says I say this and that is certainly different, isn’t it? Did you know that Paul could have an opinion that could be potentially wrong? Was Paul God? Did Paul know everything? Were Paul’s views and words shaped by his life’s experiences and his surrounding world influences? I have no doubt that these words were inspired by God to be written down, but that does not mean God said them. Were women ever in charge of anything back then when Paul wrote this? You can find a few instances of women like Jezebel, Cleopatra who seemed to have some power and authority, but for the most part, it was a total man’s world. There are many religions in the world that still hold to this philosophy and I like to watch what the devil does and learn from how he wants to pervert things. Satan wants to either keep women totally ignorant or exalt them to the top of the food chain and make them run everything independently of men. It is either total submission like in countries like Afghanistan or total women’s liberation and independence like in Europe and parts of America. Both are perverted wrongs. Only a few Christian churches seem to have the correct perspective of a balanced approach of the truth being somewhere in the middle. So here is another problem, I have with this interpretation that a woman should not teach and to keep silent. According to correct Bible interpretation rules I need another witness that says this and so far I have not found it. The Bible says in the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses let every word be established and here we read one verse and people want to make it the rule of their doctrine and force everyone to adhere to it. I searched through every N.T. verse that had any form of the word “teach” and this is the only verse that I found with the word woman used in this regard. I find that to be a major problem with your interpretation. You are trying to take one verse out of context and make it a rule that does not apply to every situation. So let’s look at some other verses in the Bible and see what they say about women and see if we can come up with a balanced approach to the subject:
Act 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
In this verse in Acts, Peter is quoting the Word of God from the Prophet Joel. Right there we know that means we possess two direct witnesses to what this verse says; so we are clearly on much safer ground for our interpretation of it. Do you understand that concept? It is so very important. According to this verse, God will in the last days pour out His Spirit upon “ALL FLESH”! This verse would certainly include both women as well as men as you can clearly see. This verse continues to say that both your sons and your daughters would “prophesy”. So let’s stop right there and ask the question what does it mean to “prophesy”? Can you or I prophesy in silence? What is the difference between teaching with words in a church and prophesying with words in a church? Can you think of any differences? Isn’t prophesying the act of speaking words out loud to someone else so that they can hear them? Then what is the definition of teaching? Isn’t teaching speaking out loud words for other people to hear? It would be useless for a woman to prophesy without someone to hear her. Uh oh? You can automatically and quickly see that this verse directly conflicts with Paul’s command to keep silent. You also have to remember that Paul did not really tell women to keep silent, he said to “learn in silence” and that is completely different than to never say anything.
Act 21:9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.
These 4 daughters were the children of Phillip the evangelist. We are clearly told that they were able to prophesy to others. This clearly means speaking out loud in an audible voice that can be heard and even directed at the men that were there in the house. Did you know that the early church met in houses? They did not have any synagogues, temples or church buildings to meet at, so they met in houses. If the daughters of Phillip prophesied in the house they were probably doing it during a church service, so we have a huge issue with should a woman keep silent in the church. So what is the technical difference between teaching and prophesying? Is there a difference? Are not both spoken words directed at listeners? I will say this, if you do not have women prophesying in your church services, you do not have a complete New Testament church. You have deviated from God’s plan observed in the book of Acts in favor of your ideas of order.
Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
According to the Bible, God says that we are all His children. So does God play favorites? Are the male children preferred above the female children? If you think that they are you are clearly ignorant.
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
We can continue down this chapter and see that every Christian has been baptized into Christ and that makes us one with Him equally. This is an all-inclusive statement that includes both males and females.
Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
So here we go with another paradox and puzzle being presented. In Christ males and females are not different, but in the world we clearly see that we are quite different. This is the difference between naturally thinking and spiritually thinking. We know in the world there are both males and females, but in Christ we are all just one and no different from each other. Men who teach male dominance usually are just very carnally minded individuals who look at external things and do not try to see things spiritually as God sees things. If these ignorant men would just read and study their Bible’s they would discover that the church is called the “Bride of the Lamb” and that means we are all one woman in the eyes of God. So we are all in covenant and in subjection to our Head who is the Lord Jesus Christ.
So how can Paul write that women should not teach in one place in the Bible and then write there is no difference between men and women in Christ in another place? If you do not understand the conflict between these two contrasting statements you have a major problem. Here is my opinion and I usually do not give you my opinion so you do not have to take anything to heart that I say next. I think from a natural perspective that men counseling women or women counseling men should never be done under any circumstance. Here is the problem, men generally speaking like women too much. I have seen the best married pastors get into physical affairs with women because of this natural attraction that God created us with. Women should counsel women, and men should counsel men. This just makes the most sense to me. So I believe that counseling between opposite sexed individuals in the privacy of an office type setting should never be done under any circumstances. By avoiding the appearance of evil, men and women will not fall into these types of traps that Satan can use against them. However, what people do in a public church service is not limited by these natural types of rules. That was my opinion and there is no extra charge for that. So let’s see what else the Bible says about women:
Tit 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
This verse is directed at mature women, but I was shocked at how it ended. To be a teacher of “good” things implies that women can teach. In fact it clearly implies these women should be teachers. Obviously we have another verse that goes against the “keep silent” verse that some men like to see. So we have another conflict of whether women should teach or women should never teach.
Tit 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
Here we have the follow up to the previous verse and it clearly says that it is OK for women to teach other women. Now it is interesting that this verse directly contradicts again that women should keep silent that some men try to teach as the gospel. If a woman has the ability to teach another woman, then she has the ability to teach (PERIOD)! I want you to go back and read chapter 1, because in this chapter it is talking about Bishops in the church. God and Paul are clearly talking about women teaching in a church setting and not in a private setting. So instead of denying women who are called of God the right to preach and teach, you should be smart enough to recognize when God is doing something. If God is not behind it, it will not matter who it is that is teaching or preaching because there will be no anointing from the Spirit of God and it will eventually fail. My Bible says that unless the Lord builds the house, those that build labor in vain. So if God wants to use a woman, you better bow to the wisdom of God and keep your mouth closed while you learn. Learn the lesson that people try to only apply to women, learn in silence and you might be amazed at what God says through a woman. Let’s review our key verse that causes many to stumble again in the light of what we have just read in other parts of the Bible:
1Ti 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
Let me ask you how can a woman keep silent and still prophesy? She can’t! How can a woman teach other women in the church and still keep silent? She can’t! Did you know the word translated as “usurp authority over” is only in the entire Bible this one time in this verse and no other places? According to Strong’s it means “a worker” who acts of themselves. Do you know this is wrong for anyone to do regardless of gender? To act of yourself means to be self-appointed. To promote yourself and raise your ability to a level above where you should be. Men are guilty of this more than women are guilty of it. So I do not know of any verse in the Bible that says that a woman cannot be called by God, appointed by God, promoted by God and made to be a blessing to the church? God has already promoted several women in the church with large ministries that are way beyond many men on the earth. So be smart and recognize God and do not look at the gender of the person delivering the message. Learn to see people as God sees people and you will be far ahead of others who want to remain in their ignorance. I’ll end this lesson with an instruction that God gave to one man and you see if it is something that applies to you also:
1Sa 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
(ver 2.0) This is Part 3 in a series of reference documents about the multiple Names, Titles, Descriptions and Symbols of named Spiritual Individuals in the Bible. This document will focus only on the subject verses of the Church found in the Bible. It is not designed to teach anything other than give you a place to search from to find references to the Church in the Bible. This is a living document of references and it will change and be updated as I am led to additional scriptures. A Name is a direct reference to the individual. A Title is a given direct identifying appellation signifying status or function. A Description is something that represents the individual in expressive words. A Type is a real named person, place or thing that can be viewed to apply to a pattern of the spiritual individual not directly named. A Symbol is a natural object that describes the characteristics or features of a spiritual being that you cannot see or understand without first understanding the symbol. If you know of other references not named, please share them with me in a comment. Thank you.
Name, Title, Symbol, Type for the Church
|Abraham’s Seed||Those of Abraham’s Faith||Gal 3:29;|
|Babes||Newborn Children of God||Mat 11:25; Luke 10:21;|
|Beloved, Her||The Bride of Christ||Romans 9:25;|
|Blessed of My Father||The Sheep of God’s Pasture||Mat 25:34;|
|Body, His||Those married to Christ||Eph 1:23; Col 1:24;|
|Body, The||Those who are in Christ||Eph 5:23;|
|Body of Christ||She Who is Joined to Christ||Rom 7:4; 1 Cor 10:16, 12:27; Eph 4:12; Col 2:17|
|Born Again||Those Children of the Spirit||John 3:3-6; 1 Peter 1:23;|
|Born of God||Children of the Spirit||1 John 3:9, 4:7, 5:1, 4, 18;|
|Born of Him||Born Again of the Spirit||1 John 2:29;|
|Bride||Married to Jesus||John 3:29; Revelation 21:2, 9;|
|Bridechamber, Children of the||Those married to the Bridegroom||Mat 9:15;|
|Brother||Sibling of Christ||Mat 10:50;|
|Called, The||Those chosen by God||Romans 1:6;|
|Candlestick||The Light of the World||Revelation 1:20;|
|Chosen Generation||Highly Favored People||1 Peter 2:9;|
|Children||Sons and daughters of God||Roman 8:17;|
|Children, Dear||Those Loved By God||Eph 5:1;|
|Children of Abraham||Spiritual Israel||Gal 3:7;|
|Children of God||Born of the Spirit||Mat 5:9; Romans 8:16, 21; Gal 3:26; 1 John 3:10;|
|Children of Israel||Spiritual Nation||Exodus 19:6;|
|Children of Light||God is Light, We are his children||Luke 16:8; John 12:36; Eph 5:8; 1 Th 5:5;|
|Children of the Day||Those in the Light of God||1 Th 5:5;|
|Children of the Free Woman||Born of the spiritual Jerusalem Above||Gal 4:31;|
|Children of the Living God||Those Born of the Spirit||Romans 9:26;|
|Children of the Kingdom||Those Who Belong to God||Mat 13:38;|
|Children of the Promise||Children of God’s Spoken Word||Romans 9:8|
|Chosen||Those Favored By God||Eph 1:4;|
|Church, Glorious||Noble and Honorable||Eph 5:27;|
|Church, My||Those Who Belong to God||Mat 16:18;|
|Church of Christ||Those who Belong to Jesus||Romans 16:16;|
|Church of God||Called Out By God||Acts 20:28; 1 Cor 1:2, 10:32; 2 Cor 1:1;|
|Church of the Firstborn||Those of Christ Jesus||Hebrews 12:23;|
|City||The home of God’s people||Mat 5:14; Revelation 21:23;|
|City, Faithful||She who is faithful to God||Isaiah 1:26;|
|City of My God||Where God Resides;||Revelation 3:12;|
|City of Righteousness||The inhabits have God’s righteousness||Isaiah 1:26;|
|City of the Lord||Those of the New Jerusalem||Isa 60:14|
|City Not Forsaken, A||Those pursued by God||Isaiah 62:12;|
|Daughter of Jerusalem||She who is Born of the Spirit of God||Micah 4:8; Zep 3:14; Zec 9:9; Gal 4:26;|
|Daughter of Zion||She who is Born of God||Isaiah 52:2, 62:11; Mat 21:5;|
|Disciple||The Student of God||Mat 10:24-25;|
|Ekklesia (Church)||A Calling Out||Mat 18:17; Acts 2:47; Revelation 22:16;|
|Elect, The||Those Chosen of God||Mat 24:31;|
|Faithful Brethren in Christ||Those married to Christ||Col 1:2;|
|Fellow Citizens||Residents of the City of God||Eph 2:10;|
|Fellow Servant||Working Together in Unison||Revelation 22:9;|
|Field, His||God’s Garden||Mat 13:24;|
|Flock of God||Those in God’s Pasture||1 Peter 5:2;|
|Followers||Those that that imitate the Godly examples of others||1 Cor 11:1;|
|Followers of God||Led By the Spirit||Eph 5:1;|
|Friends||Jesus Laid Down His Life for Us||John 15:13-14;|
|General Assembly||Universal Congregation||Hebrews 12:23;|
|Glory and Honor of the Nations||Where God Resides||Revelation 21:26|
|Good Soldier of Jesus Christ||Those in God’s Army||2 Tim 2 :3;|
|Great City||She Who is Mighty and Strong||Revelation 21:10;|
|Ground, Good||The Good Soil of the Kingdom of God||Mat 13:23;|
|Habitation of God||The New Jerusalem God’s City of Living Stones||Eph 2:22;|
|Heir(s)||He Who Inherits||Roman 8:17; Gal 3:29; Gal 4:1; Tit 3:7; 1 Peter 3:7;|
|Heirs according to the Promise||Those who inherit||Galatian 3:29|
|Heirs of God||Those Who Inherit||Romans 8:17; Gal 4:7;|
|Heirs of Promise||Those who inherit by an oath||Hebrews 6:17;|
|Heirs of Salvation||Those that inherit the Kingdom of God||Hebrews 1:14;|
|Heirs of the Kingdom||Those that inherit the Kingdom of God||James 2:5;|
|Holy City||He has made her clean and ready||Isaiah 52:1; Revelation 21”2;|
|Holy Jerusalem||Blameless City of Jehovah||Revelation 21:10;|
|Holy Nation||Blameless People||Exodus 19:6; 1 Peter 2:9;|
|House, Christ’s||The Dwelling of Christ Jesus||Hebrews 3:6;|
|Household of Faith||Those in the Family of God by Faith||Gal 6:10;|
|Household of God||Those in the Family of God||Eph 2:19;|
|Household, His||Those in the Family of God||Mat 10:25;|
|House of God||Where the Spirit of God Lives||1 Tim 3:15;|
|House of Israel||The Spiritual Israel in Covenant with Jesus||Hebrews 8:8|
|House of Judah||The Spiritual Jews in Covenant with Jesus||Hebrews 8:8|
|Jerusalem||City Redeemed of the Lord||Isaiah 52:2, 9; Daniel 9:25;|
|Jew||Spiritual Israel; Circumcised of the Heart||Romans 2:29;|
|Joined Unto the Lord||The Bride of Christ||1 Cor 6:17;|
|Joint-Heirs With Christ||Those who Inherit||Romans 8:17;|
|Just, The||Those Who are Blameless||Mat 13:49;|
|Kingdom of Priests||Spiritual People||Exodus 19:6;|
|Kings||God’s Royalty||Rev 1:6;|
|Kings of the Earth||Rulers of the Earth||Rev 1:5, 21:24|
|Lamb’s Wife, The||Married to Jesus||Revelation 21:2, 9;|
|Light||Those of the Day||2 Cor 6:14; Eph 5:8; Php 2:15;|
|Light of the World||Those that Teach the Truth and demonstrate the Love of God||Mat 5:14;|
|Living Stone||The New Jerusalem of God||1 Peter 2:5|
|Members of Christ||The Body of Christ||1 Cor 6:1;|
|Mother||Spiritual Mother of God||Mat 12:50;|
|Nation, A||Those of Spiritual Israel||Isa 55:5;|
|Nations of Them Which are Saved||The Redeemed of the Lord from every nation||Revelation 21:24;|
|New Creature||Those Born of the Spirit||2 Cor 5:17;|
|New Jerusalem||The Lamb’s Wife||Revelation 3:12, 21:2;|
|One Body||One With Christ by Covenant;||1 Cor 10:17, 12:12;|
|One Bread||One With Christ by Covenant||1 Cor 10:17;|
|Peculiar People||Purchased Possession||Titus 2:15; 1 Peter 2:9;|
|People, A||God’s Spiritual People||Hebrews 8:10|
|People, Holy||Those made blameless||Isaiah 62:12;|
|People, My||Spiritual Nation of Israel||Hosea 2:23; Romans 9:25;|
|People Israel, My||Children Born of the Sprit||Matthew 2:6;|
|Pillar in the Temple of My God||Living Stone||Revelation 3:12;|
|Precious Fruit of the Earth||That Which is to Be Harvested||James 5:7;|
|Priests||Those who bring the sacrifice of Praise to God||Revelation 1:6;|
|Priesthood, Holy||Those who bring the sacrifice of Praise to God||1 Peter 2:5;|
|Purchased (Possession)||Those Bought with the Blood||Acts 20:28;|
|Rachael||The type of the Bride of God’s Week of Work||Genesis 29:18|
|Ransomed of the Lord||Those Bought with the Blood of Jesus||Isaiah 35:10;|
|Redeemed of the Lord||Those Purchased from the World of Darkness||Psalm 107:2; Isaiah 51:11; 62:12;|
|Righteous, The||Those Justified by God||Mat 13:43; 1 Peter 3:12;|
|Righteousness||Those Justified by God||2 Cor 6:14;|
|Righteousness, Servants of||Those who Serve God’s Purpose||Romans 6:18;|
|Royal Priesthood||Those who praise and worship God||1 Peter 2:9;|
|Ruth||A Type of the Bride of Christ||Ruth|
|Saints||Sacred, Pure, Blameless||Romans 1:7, 15:25, 16:15; 1 Cor 1:2, 16:1, 15; 2 Cor 1:1, 13:13; Eph 1:1, 2:19, 3:18, 4:12, 6:18; Php 4:22; Col 1:2; 1 Th 3:13;|
|Saints In Christ Jesus||Those blameless in Christ||Php 1:1;|
|Saints in Light||Those blameless in God||Col 1:12;|
|Salt of the Earth||Those who flavor and preserve||Mat 5:12;|
|Seed, Abraham’s||Those of spiritual Father Abraham||Gal 3:29;|
|Seed, Good||Those planted by God||Mat 13:38;|
|Seed, The||Those of the Promise of Abraham||Roman 9:8;|
|Servant||Those in service to God||Mat 10:24;|
|Sheep||Those in God’s Flock||Mat 25:33; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 2:25;|
|Sister||The Sibling of Christ||Mat 12:50;|
|Sister Spouse||Sister Married to Christ||Song 4:9-10, 12; 5:1|
|Sons of God||Those Born of the Spirit||1 John 3:1-2;|
|Sons of the Living God||Born of the Spirit||Hosea 1:10;|
|Sought Out||Those pursued by God||Isaiah 62:12|
|Spiritual House||The New Jerusalem God’s dwelling place||1 Peter 2:5;|
|Spouse||The Bride of the Son of God Jesus||Song 4:8, 11;|
|Tabernacle, The||God’s Eternal Temple||Revelation 21:3;|
|Temple of God, The||God’s Dwelling Place||1 Cor 3:16;|
|Temple of the Holy Ghost, The||God’s Holy Living City||1 Cor 3:19;|
|They which are written in the Lambs Book of Life||The Church||Revelation 21:27;|
|Tree, Good||Those who produce Fruit of the Spirit||Mat 7:17-18;|
|Twelve Tribes, The||The Spiritual Israel of God||James 1:1;|
|Vessels||Those of the House in Honor||2 Tim 2:20|
|Wheat, The||That which is planted by God for Harvest||Mat 13:30;|
|Wife||The Church Bride of Jesus||Eph 5:25;|
|Woman, A||The Bride of Christ||Revelation 12:1|
|Workman, A||God’s faithful servants||2 Tim 2:15;|
|Zion, The||Those of the New Jerusalem||Isa 60:14;|
If you would like to read other reference documents about Names, Titles, Descriptions and Symbols here are some others that are available:
(Ver 1.4) I have been doing a series of Bible lessons on the significance of understanding how Seeds work. Only by understanding how natural seeds work, can we really ever focus on how spiritual things operate. God gave us the natural things in our world to teach us about the unseen spiritual things using the wisdom of His intelligent design. Using many Bible verses and the Seed laws from Genesis 1 I have explored several subjects applying the knowledge of seeds to other scriptures in the New Testament. We have discovered that the Bible says there are multiple things that are all referred to by the title of a “seed”. This is just one of God’s techniques of concealing the truth in plain sight. God calls many things by the same name, title or description. This makes it more difficult for the reader to determine what type of seed He is talking about. From our study we have seen that there are natural seeds, like fruit seeds or grass seeds mentioned in the Bible. We have seen children called seeds all over the Bible. We have seen the male sperm called his seed. We have seen spiritual spiritual things like God’s Word being labeled as the seeds that are spread by teachers in the spiritual soil of man’s heart. We have discovered that there exists two types of seeds in the Bible; one is the Good Seed and other is called the Bad or Evil Seed. By pattern association we can conlude these can be representative of the good words from God versus evil words from Satan. The Good seed was always sown by God exclusively and the evil seed was always sown by his enemy Satan. These are such important concepts to fully grasp. If you have not been reading this series from the beginning you should stop and go back to start reading with “Part 1” first. If you haven’t read from the beginning you have just missed more than I can possibly teach you in my simple introduction.
Today I want to discuss the previous seed concepts and seed laws in more detail to apply them to how a person becomes a Christian. I have alluded to this subject before in other lessons, but I will address it more completely today filling in some gaps. We have already seen that Jesus told us that the most important parable to fully understand is the Parable of the Sower. From this parable we should now know that God’s Word was the seed that the sower was spreading. We also learned that the soil in this parable was always the hearts or spirits of the men and women in the world. There were 6 revealed types of soil presented to us in this parable; 3 types of soil did not produce spiritual fruit and 3 types of soil did produce spiritual fruit in varying degrees of multiplication. This parable demonstrates Salvation to us very clearly and fully describes how you became a Christian. Those that hear the Word of God and allow other factors (spirits, natural attartions, etc) over rule their decision to be a Christian are those that were not saved. Those that hear the Word of God, understand it and choose to believe it, they are the ones that are saved and born again. All of this is really not that complex to me but I guess many people have not understood it and therefore do not apply it to the subject of how people become Christians.
So based upon the intimate knowledge of this parable of the sower, it would appear to me that the more Word of God we know the more fruitful we will become. Conversely the less you know about God’s Word seals your fate to hell. You do understand this don’t you? Jesus teaching the parable of the sower was Jesus spreading the Word of God to the entire world. Every man, woman and child born from Adam represents the symbolic soil that is responsible to allow or permit God’s seed to be planted. It is much more the human rejection of the Word of God (the Seed) from the soil (the spirit) that causes people to go to hell than anything else that they will ever do. People like to think that sin is the key factor for going to hell, but this is simly not the case based upon the Word of God. The Bible says that everyone has sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:22). If everyone is a sinner there must be another factor for who is saved and who is not and it basically boils down to what type of soil we each choose to be. Do you realize that only you make the choices in your own life and for your life? I can’t do it for you, your wife can’t do it for you, your mother can’t do it for you and even God can’t and will not do it for you either. Do you also know that you have a spiritual enemy that is helping you to make the wrong choices? Only by studying the Bible can we better recognize the devices, plans and traps of this spiritual enemy. Only by continuing to study in the Bible are you able to grow and mature to being the overcomer that God has designed you to be. God is expecting to come back for a victorious church and not a defeated church.
So the Parable of the Sower gives us the basic overview for the whole plan of God for our Salvation. Jesus told us to “Go into all of the world and Preach the Gospel AKA the Word of God” (Mk 16:15). By preaching the Word of God you are sowing the Seed of the Word of God into the hearts of more people who can choose to let it grow. This is salvation or damnation in action. The soil decides its outcome and what kind of fruit that it produces. Let’s look at this in action in the Bible:
1Co 3:6 I have planted , Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
The Apostle Paul is writing to the church at Corinth and to you and I. Paul says that He has planted. So what does it mean to plant something? What was planted? As you can clearly see these are seed concepts that are repeated for us. Maybe you do not understand these concepts fully because you have never planted a natural garden in your back yard, but I have. You always start the process by putting seeds in the soil and you then conintue the process by watering the soil and they grow over time into something that you desired to have. If you look back at the previous verse you will see that Paul and Apollos were “ministers”. A minister is anyone that sows God’s Word by God’s design. If you hear someone speak in church that is not teaching from the Bible they are not a minister of God. If you go to a church and the speaker is teaching from a Reader’s Digest you need to find another church that works like God said it should. Paul sowed only from the Word of God to the people in Corinth and they believed it. Then there came along another preacher named Apollos and he watered the seed that was in the hearts/spirits of the people with more of the Word of God and this helped the seed to continue to grow. But, it says that it was God that gave the increase. In other words God caused His Word to Grow! Therefore only God gets any glory in the salvation of any man. Do you understand that no farmer can take credit for what is grown in his field? Does the farmer understand how corn is produced from seed? Did the farmer create the seed that produces the corn crop? I think you can see that he did not. Neither a farmer or a minister created the seed they are sowing or invented the growth process that takes place, only God did this. They just plant the seeds, water them and watch them grow like it was magic. However, this is just the designed seed process from God using His created Seed. This is a really amazing concept of how the spiritual New Birth process works. It is a partnership effort with God working through men and women who preach to spread the Seed of the Word of God. So the man that is planting the seed is not that important, it is only the word of God being planted that is the critically important part of the process. It is really a paradox and a puzzle, without men and women sowing the word of God no one would ever be saved. However, without the Word of God no one is saved either. If you are sowing seeds of Buddhism no one will be saved no matter how much you teach on it. If you are sowing the seeds of Islam you are sowing words that never produce salvation. If you are sowing the words of Judaism you are also not going to be saved. It is not very good news for any world religion out there; God made only One Way into the Kingdom of Heaven and that was through His Son Jesus Christ. So do not throw stones at me, I’m just a farm messenger. I did not write the Bible!
1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
So I think I have given this verse before in another lesson on seeds, but it bears repeating for our current discussion on how people are born again. The fact that we have been “Born Again” is attributable to us receiving the incorruptible Seed of the Word of God into our spirits. There are two terms given to us by God in this verse that are critical to understand. These are “Corruptible” vs. “Incorruptible”. The term corruptible means able to “decay” and you can state this to be equivalent to a man’s mortal body. The natural realm is a temporary realm of decaying particles. The laws of thermodynamics dictate that everything around us is decaying and not reorganizing like evolutionists like to believe. If you build a new car today and never drive it; it will become a pile of rusted metal in the course of time. The opposite of mortal is immortal. We have been born again from an immortal seed. You may recall that Jesus said “heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Mat 24:35). So the Word of God is immortal, and not capable of being eliminated. The Word of God is the incorruptible SEED that causes us to be born again spiritually.
Corruptible seed can be viewed as either a physical or a spiritual type of seed. The sperm of a man is a corruptible natural seed. But also the spiritual words (seeds) of Satan are also considered to be corruptible towards the human spirit. Jesus never says that the words of your enemy Satan will stand forever. So every false teaching and false religion will be eliminated someday. So we now have a dilemma of sorts of how to discuss natural things so that we do not offend anyone by comparing them to spiritual things. You see if being Born Again is s comparable pattern to being born in the natural the first time, then how are natural babies conceived? You can begin to see my difficulty, can’t you? God created sex for a reason and it wasn’t just to make you feel good. Sex is a part of the reproductive pattern of new life on our planet. So sex must be related to new spiritual life also. So how does natural sex relate to the spiritual New Birth? That is where we are today in this discussion. Get ready for a new concept that you may have never though of:
Gen 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
We are informed that Adam “knew” his wife Eve and she conceived his physical seed. This is God’s definition of natural sex in the Bible. By the law of first mention, God again gives us the definition of what it means to conceive revealed in terms of spiritual information and descriptions. God could have described this act differently, but He specifically chose this Hebew word translated as “knew”. The definition of this word is therefore very critical for us to understand in order to see how it applies to spiritual things like being born again. The Hebrew Word translated as “knew” means “to ascertain by seeing”. This is truly complex because men are visual types of people, they like to see. Women are not visual people and they do not want to see anything generally speaking. There is a widely used term for natural sex that is called “carnal knowledge” and this phrase is more in the line with the spiritual realm information that we need to apply correctly instead of thinking of the human term “intercourse”. We need to correctly transfer God’s definition of sex as “knowling” into the spiritual New Birth process. We should be able to see using our knowledge of the Parable of the Sower that in order for any human to be born again, they must have “spiritual knowledge” with the Lord God’s Word (Seed). This is not sex as you are thinking right now is it? However it is still spiritual sex according God’s definition of the act. The human ability to “see spiritually” God’s Words causes them to conceive it. However don’t forget there still exists an enemy to that salvation process trying to steal the seed from being sown. The success or failure of the salvation seed process is completely dependent upon the fact that some people understand the Word of God and some people do not. This enemy’s method of causing some people not to understand is revealed more clearly in the New Testament scripture that says “the god of this world has blinded the minds of them that believe not” (2 Cor 4:4). You see spiritual blindness is the inability to see or literally understand spiritual things. If you recall in the parable of the sower, Satan came immediately to steal the Word of God that was sown in their heart and he was able to do this only because they did not understand it (Mat 13:19). Therefore, spiritual eyesight is the key to having spiritual knowledge and understanding. I could talk a lot more about that part of the subject, but I’m running long in this lesson. I do pray that you are following me on these points and beginning to understand how people are born again. Let me end this lesson with one more verse from Paul:
Gal 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
So here we have another very difficult complex deep scripture to try to swim through. The apostle Paul is not a natural female yet he speaks in the terms of being a spiritual female. Can you see this? Only females give birth, yes? According to what I have seen in the Bible God created only females to give birth. So what exactly is Paul talking about? Paul is saying I have spread God’s seed into your hearts by teaching God’s Word to you and I am now waiting for Christ to be formed in you as a result. What is the key to this spiritual birth happening? It was the spiritual ability to see or the “spiritual knowledge” of the person who heard the word of God that will determine whether they will conceive Christ and be born again. Paul can sow all of the seed he wants to, but none of it will grow unless the soil of the hearer allows it to stay by understanding what was said. You can easily see how that you can read verses in the Bible and totally miss what is said, can’t you? You can also see that there is an implied reality that Paul is a part of a spiritual woman, called the Bride of Christ. So the complexity of the Bible is so great that it causes many people to stumble. People will never see the spiritual truth of God’s Word trying to figure it out using only their natural minds. What we can see is that Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus was not the be all and end all for his Christian experience. He was now responsible for getting more people born again by sowing the incorruptible seed of the Word of God. Getting more people Born Again of the Incorruptible Seed, that is the goal of every Christian. This is the expansion of the new spiritual family of God and the multiplication of the Spiritual Seed of God by sowing the Incorruptible Seed into new soil. Today’s lesson has been some of the basic Bible ideas of how people are born again using the laws and concepts surrounding Seeds in the Bible. I know I did not cover everything that I could have, I know I left out many verses that could have been included, but I did the best that I could in a limited time and space forum. God Bless you to see and to understand His Word! Thank you for your time in studying the Bible.
If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons on seeds you can go to “Part 10“.
(Ver 1.4) Jesus makes a profound and awesome statement in the Gospels while He was speaking to the people of the natural nation of Israel. These are such tremendously important words that we (Christians) need to grasp and fully understand what they say and what they mean. Read with me this statement spoken by the Almighty God personally:
Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
A witness in a court of law is someone who comes in and testifies about what they know, what they have seen or for something as an expert that is relevant and pertains to the case in question. An expert witness in a court case is someone who can speak with a certain level of authority on the specific related subject about the case. So God’s word seems to indicate that the Bible is an expert witness for God’s case that He is presenting to us about the existence of Jesus Christ and His true identity. We should be able to clearly see what God is saying about the Bible. God claims that the Old Testament contained hidden information about who Jesus was and what He is going to accomplish before it was done. Jesus also clearly told us to search the scriptures for this information. If we are required to become a Sherlock Holmes type of Christian doing a search in order to find these facts, that would mean that this information is not always clearly presented on the initial surface reading. This would also indicate that the information about Jesus was purposely hidden either from someone or for someone like us to find. For example, why do parents hide Easter eggs for their children? Is it to protect the candy from being discovered? No actually it is more for the fun of seeing their children search for them with eager expectations. The purpose of hiding eggs is not to keep the children from ever finding the candy but it does simply create a challenge for them that provides the parents the pleasure of seeing the excitement derived from their discovery. This is the key concept that is needed to fully grasp about the words found in the Old Testament. The Bible contains literally man hidden secrets about Jesus and these concealed clues were placed there by our Heavenly Father for us to search and discover.
The Law of Moses was given to Israel on Mt Sinai and they carried these words for many hundreds of years and they preserved them and cared for them and then when the author appeared before them they killed him. Why is this, I asked myself? I can see Jesus in the Old Testament, why couldn’t they see Jesus in the same way? That of course is a really good question to consider. I would guess that it is extremely more difficult to see what you do not know personally exists. For Christians who know Jesus personally, they have a great advantage over the people in Jesus’ days on the earth. They did not know Him like we can know Him so it is much easier for us to discover Jesus in the hidden verses in O.T. books like Genesis. The rest of this lesson will be about something that I have blogged on before, but maybe not in this direct context and under this specific title. This lesson will focus on the hidden Jesus in Genesis and I will give you at least three really good examples of Him that maybe you have not seen before. I will focus only on the first two chapters of Genesis and you will certainly be amazed if you can see it. Before, we start, I pray that the eyes of your understanding be enlightened to see God’s truth.
Let’s start with Genesis 1:1, where it says “In the beginning God created, the heaven and the earth”. Did you know Jesus was Hidden in this verse in Genesis by the Author? Unless you read it in the original Hebrew you probably did not specifically know this. The 4th word of the original Hebrew text is a word that has been omitted from the English translation and this word reveals Jesus in this verse in a very profound way. The Hebrew word omitted in this verse is actually not a real word at all and thus the reason for the omission of translation to the English language. The translators simply did not understand what to do with it, so they omitted it. This omitted word consists of only two Hebrew letters. These letters are the “alef” and the “tav”. These two Hebrew letters just so happen to be the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Does that help you see Jesus better now? What I am saying is that Genesis 1:1 should have read “In the beginning the A-Z God created the heavens and the earth”. The translators did not understand the significance and they ignore the word being connected to the name of God. This new information should start to illuminate many spiritual light bulbs inside you. You see , in the book of Revelation chapter one and verse 8 Jesus calls Himself the “Alpha and the Omega”. It just so happens that these are also the first and last letters, but of the Greek Alphabet. If the translators would have converted these to English properly Jesus would have said “I am the A and the Z”. Now do you see the connection more clearly? What God is doing is revealing who created the world that we live in. Jesus Christ was the Word of God and He created ALL things that we can see and observe. Without Him was nothing that was made, made (John 1:3). So Jesus is clearly identified as the creator God, the “A-Z God” who created everything that was created. This is a very profound conformation of the identity of the Messiah, the man Jesus Christ. In the Beginning the A-Z God created the heavens and the earth. That is how this verse should read, now let’s go find Jesus in some other verses in Genesis.
Genesis 1:15-19 Day 4 of Creation
I want to skip down in chapter 1 of Genesis to Day 4 of creation, to one of the most important hidden references to Jesus in all of Genesis. I do not profess to know every hidden reference to Jesus in Genesis, but I feel this one is one of the most important to see based upon my current understanding of the Bible. You see in Day 4 of the creation account, God tells us of two great lights. What God is doing is speaking symbolically and prophetically in these verses about Jesus Christ and what He will accomplish. In studying the days of creation I learned that every day of creation represented a prophetic day of man’s history on the earth. Since the beginning of Adam’s creation it has been approximately 6000 years. 6000 years can be divided evenly by 1000 giving us an answer of 6. These 6 equal periods of 1000 years represent a day in the definition of God’s timetable for man. In 2 Peter 3:8 God gives us a definition of a day that is a quote of a verse from Psalm 90:4. God says that a day to him is exactly like 1000 years to us. So the 6 days of creation turn out to be prophetic days of man’s history on the earth. So what happens on the 4th day of creation? God assigns a greater light to rule the day and a lesser light to rule the night. The greater light is of course the Sun and the lesser light is the moon. But, God is not talking about only natural things, God is prophesying about spiritual things to come. Jesus was born on the earth some 4000 years after Adam and this can be easily translated as during the time of the 4th day of creation. God is saying that Jesus will rule the day and be the light of the world, and Satan will rule the night and those that live in the darkness. There are so many scriptures that can be found in the Bible that speak of this revelation. I will not attempt to give you them all, but I will go through a few to get you started. You can read other blogs that I have written to find more information on this subject.
In Malachi 4:2 Jesus Christ is prophesied about and He is called the “Sun of Righteousness”. In this verse He is not spoken of as the Son of God, but more in the direct connection to being the “Sun of God”. You can understand that God is speaking symbolically again about spiritual things. In John 1:6-9, the Bible talks about John the Baptist and Jesus and calls Jesus the “True Light”. You see if you think about this logically you can see that our sun in the sky is the true light and the moon represents a false light. This is a direct comparison of the two great lights in the sky. In John 8:12 Jesus is speaking and He calls himself the “Light of the World”. He then says that those who follow him will not walk in darkness. You can again see a spiritual reference to a truth that is revealed in Genesis on the 4th day of creation. Night vs. Day, the Sun vs. the moon, the Light vs. the darkness. These are all symbolic representations of the hearts and spirits of men and women in the world today. Two spiritual dimensions and conditions that are directly opposed to each other. Again in John 12:46 Jesus says, “I am come as a light to the world, that those who believe in me should not abide in darkness”. Jesus says those who do not follow Christ and His ways are those that walk in the darkness and who are ruled by the night and Satan.
2Pe 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
Here we have another great verse that declares Jesus to be the Sun that shines in our hearts to light our spirits so that we can see and understand the truth. These are all profound confirmations to the 4th day of creation. This verse in 2 Peter is talking about prophetic words so we have to look for these words and find them, could this be those we looked at in Genesis? All you have to do is read it and see what it says about these two lights. That is part of the difficulty in correct Bible interpretation. The Sun is called by many different names in the Bible so you have to be smart enough to see the connections and find them all. In Genesis the Sun is called the “Greater Light”. In John the Spiritual Sun was called the “True Light”. Here in 2 Peter the Sun is called the “Day Star”. You do understand that our sun is our closest star to our planet and normally the only star you can see during daylight hours? These are just some of the ways that God uses to hide information in the Bible. In Revelation 22:16 you can see Jesus being called the “Bright and Morning Star”. This again is a reference to the Sun that arises in the hearts of men. These are all extremely important things to learn and to understand. I hope that you at least got it enough to go learn more.
Genesis 2 Adam and Eve
Another way God uses stories in the Bible to hide information is through the use of typology. These are stories of natural, people, places and things that have spiritual meanings attached to them to reveal to us hidden things that we cannot see. Sometimes types and shadows can be hard to recognize and difficult to discover. However, God has given to us some clues in the Bible to help us and point us to what to look for. In the 2nd chapter of Genesis God gives us the account of the creation of woman, the law of marriage and the story of the beginning of the first human family on the planet. Why is this important and how does this relate to the story of Jesus hidden in Genesis? That is a really good question. So here is the beginning of the primary reason why this is so important to know:
1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Here is a direct clue from God showing a connection between two different men called Adam. This verse compares the first man Adam to the man Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is called the Last Adam. Why is that? What you discover when you study Genesis 2, is that the first natural man Adam was a pattern for the last spiritual man Adam that was to come. So whatever God did to the first man Adam, is what happens to the Last Man Adam in the spiritual realm. That of course is some totally new information to many Christians and may be hard to accept at first, but just keep studying and you will see that it is true.
God created Adam’s wife and took her body from his body. As a result of what God did, Adam says “She is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh”. In other words, Eve was called the “body of Adam”. According to the law of marriage given to us in Genesis 2, it says “The man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh”. One flesh is just another way of saying “One Body”. Many people know that the Church is called the Body of Christ in the N.T. and yet they do not know how we became the Body of Christ. We can very easily see that by the law of marriage and the pattern of the first man Adam, the church has now become the Body of Jesus by a new covenant of marriage. You can see this very clearly by reading verses in Ephesians 5 about husbands and wives and then God reveals that this is a mystery that concerns Christ and the church. Jesus Christ is the spiritual Last Adam who marries a wife who becomes His Body. Because Eve is a woman that births every natural and physical being on this planet she represents a natural type of another spiritual woman who births every spiritual person in God’s new covenant family. I have many other blogs that talk about this in much more depth if you are interested.
These were just 3 of the examples of the hidden Jesus in Genesis chapters 1 and 2. I hope that you learned something and can now begin to see how to search out other hidden references to Jesus in Genesis. Many times they are not obvious, so you have to search for scriptures and find references, definitions, types and patterns revealed in other parts of the Bible. Jesus told us to search the scriptures, for these are they that testify of Him! The evidence for God can be found in His Word. God Bless!
(Ver 1.3) We have explored a lot of information, and probably left out a lot of information. It is almost impossible to fully cover any subject in the Bible, because no one knows everything about any subject in the Bible, except for God. I have already given you a lot of information that the type of Ruth appears to correspond to the spiritual characteristics of the church of Jesus Christ. We have also seen that Boaz appears to be a type and pattern of the spiritual savior and redeemer Jesus Christ, the Son of God. There are a lot of Christians who do not understand these types and Old Testament patterns and even some preachers who teach against these symbols being Christ and the church. I have heard many internet bloggers and teachers try to convince people that Israel is the Bride of Christ and they are the woman who is married to Jesus. These teachers further claim that since the Bible says the Church is the Body of Christ, we are also the husband to Israel. I do not know how people can be so ignorant and come up with such wild and crazy theological theories with such broad holes in them, but they do. Opinions like these do not hold water when analyzed using the Bible correctly, and they do nothing but promote confusion in the church, which is what Satan wants to happen. If you have not read this series of lessons from the beginning I would suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“.
First of all, we need to remember that Ruth was a Gentile and that is obviously the first problem with this erroneous interpretation of Israel being the bride of Christ. A gentile is not a natural Jew or a descendant of Israel. Ruth was a Moabite and a descendent of Lot, Abraham’s relative, but clearly not Abraham. While reading the book of Ruth it is very difficult to see and know everything and what applies and what does not apply to each of the given types and shadows. God selects natural events, peoples and places in the Bible to represent future spiritual patterns that will occur. However, the natural people, places and events do not always fit exactly and perfectly with what we know at this time. So it becomes difficult to understand how they all fit completely together. Much like a shadow being cast on the ground by the bright sunshine, a natural object makes a recognizable pattern on the ground, so it is with Bible types and shadows also. The spiritual shadows found in the natural things of the Bible leaves out most of the details of the original person that is causing the shadow. This is just how Bible types and shadows are. They represent broad strokes without a lot of details. God only inserts a few clues to show you how they are representative of the real spiritual realm. I hope you understand this concept going forward. Because a lot of the details are omitted and the fact that we do not know everything, we can only see the parts that are revealed by God.
Let’s start today’s lesson by listing the primary themes and patterns that are found in the book of Ruth. I will list these in no particular order, and give you a brief description of what I think they mean and then we will look at how to apply them.
Themes Found in the Book of Ruth
|Life and Death||Elimilech and his sons all die. Death is said to be a separating force. Death is also the beginning of the problem and the answer can only come from the living.|
|Families||A central theme in the entire book. The story of one family’s struggle with life’s difficult circumstances.|
|Hunger and Famine||The lack of food causes people to do things that they would not normally do.|
|Widowhood||The only legal separation of the wife from her husband.|
|The Law||The rules of God based upon the wisdom of God to help man learn what to do.|
|Faith and Faithfulness||Faith is believing in something even when it looks like it is not true. Faithfulness is remaining loyal to someone or something even though it does not look like the best choice at the time.|
|Humility||The opposite of pride. A humble person always obtains the favor and the grace of God.|
|Wheat Harvests||A crop of intentionally planted seeds.|
|Passover||A specific time of the season for remembrance and the partaking of a covenant meal.|
|Near Kinsman||A relative that is living who is legally qualified to become your redeemer.|
|Love||The central theme of all of the Bible.|
|Grace||That which is given to us freely, even though we do not deserve it. We partake of God’s grace by our faith.|
|Redemption||The act of restoring one’s possessions back into your legal ownership.|
|Marriage||A covenant between a man and a woman. The two shall become one flesh!|
|Children||The reason for redemption. To raise up an heir and a name for the dead.|
In reading through my list of the primary themes found in the book of Ruth, I hope that you can begin to see how they fit into the spiritual picture of Christ and the church.
Now let’s list the primary people and places found in the book of Ruth and see if we can determine who they possibly represent by looking at the definition of their names from the Strong’s concordance.
Definition of the Name
|Elimilech||God of the King|
|Orpah||Mane, back of the neck|
|Boaz||Unknown Root Word of unknown Meaning|
|Bethlehem||House of Bread|
|Moab||The Mother’s Father|
These are most of the primary characters and places revealed in the book of Ruth. As you can tell by reviewing the list we still have a lot to learn. Let’s start near the end of the list first with BethlehemJudah. Places are often times used in the Bible to signify a spiritual state or a realm of existence. BethlehemJudah as it is called in verse 1 of Ruth 1 is like I said before the place where the descendants of Judah lived. When Joseph and Mary were about to have the Baby Jesus, they were required to go to Bethlehem, because they were of the lineage and descent of King David who came from the House of Judah. Because of the command of a census they were required to travel to their home city. Thus Jesus was born in the prophesied location, even though his parents did not live there. That was a very tricky thing for God to accomplish. If you recall, the Jews thought Jesus was from Nazareth and thus missed the coming of their Messiah. We can conclude or at least assume that the story of Ruth is related to Jesus, because of this given location.
Most of the time names of people and places in the Bible have meanings attached to them. Many times these names help to reveal the characteristics and types of the spiritual realm entity that they represent. Often times the meaning of names contains clues that are definitely important to understanding the meaning of the story. Judah is a Hebrew word that means several things and has vast implications attached to it. Judah comes from a word that means “to throw with your hands”, it also has implications of reverence and worship as in to “praise”. In other words to “worship” with “extended hands”. Bethlehem as we have already seen means “the house of bread”. We can see that the word “house” means a family of relatives. The term bread means “food for men”. Are you seeing anything that sounds familiar? Jesus said He was the bread of life. So we must be talking about the family of God in this story of Ruth. Judah represents the people who praise God, who are part of the city and the family of God.
Moab is of course much more difficult to get people to see, because they have really given it no thought or study. Moab was the incestuous son of Lot and his daughter. Moab the son of Lot was also a brother to his mother. Moab was both the son of Lot and the grandson of Lot and all of this just complicates things. The term Moab means “the mother’s father”. The region of Moab was where Elimilech traveled when he thought there was no food in Bethlehem. These were people who were not in covenant with God and were not the children of Abraham. So we can see that this has an implied meaning of those outside of the family of God. This could be representative of the unsaved world and the people in it. Ruth of course was a Moabitish woman and therefore came from the realm of the unsaved to be married with the savior. Moab is mentioned more than 100 times in the Bible and most of the time it is not a positive place or reference. Moab is usually a better place to be from than a place to be living in now. We can understand this is a picture of the Bride of Christ. Those who have come out of their Moabs and now live in the House of God’s Bread of Life. The type of the church is a very good picture of those who have come out of false gods, to know the true living God. Ruth is a great type of this picture and I believe this is why God put her in this book of the Bible.
The name “Ruth” means “a friend”. Jesus picked up on this in the book of John and revealed to us something when speaking to his disciples:
Joh 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Jesus clearly speaking to the future church calls them His friends. Do you think this was an accident or a coincidence that Jesus did this? I definitely do not think so. I believe it is a clue that represents a connection to the book of Ruth and helps to identify the symbolic reference to the bride of the redeemer. We know that Ruth exemplified certain qualities in the Bible that are related to those of the church today. The primary quality that qualifies Ruth as a type of the church is “faith”. Ruth trusted in a God she did not know and God came through for her above and beyond her expectations. Next, the quality of “faithfulness”. Faithfulness is related to faith, but yet still different. To be faithful to your spouse is what Ruth was to Naomi and eventually to Boaz. The third quality of Ruth that qualifies her for the type of the church is “humility”. The true church should be humble in their attitudes and come with respect and reverence towards their Savior. Humility is the opposite to pride, and pride was the downfall of Satan. By remaining humble before, God you are qualified to receive the grace of God.
Boaz has a name that has no direct definition attached to it so we have to use his title to help us identify his spiritual position within the story. We saw earlier that Boaz was called the Kinsman Redeemer. That means a near relative who redeems. That is exactly what Jesus is. Jesus left heaven and became a man just like one of us. Because of Jesus’ unselfish acts of kindness and love we have salvation made available to us.
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
We can clearly see in the N.T. that it talks of Jesus being the redeemer of the church. He has bought us out of a situation that we could not solve ourselves. This was exactly Ruth’s situation in the O.T. As you recall Ruth was from Moab and that represents the unsaved natural world.
1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
The church is said to be bought with a price and we have become his property by the purchased price of His shed blood. This is exactly the transaction that took place in the book of Ruth. Boaz redeemed the property of his dead brother and also bought the woman Ruth to be his wife in the transaction. This is what God did, God’s idea, God’s plan of redemption, God’s system of salvation. To men, it does not make much sense, but to those who can see, it is a great plan. Boaz is called a near relative, Jesus you could say was our near relative. Because Jesus became a man, like one of us, that qualifies Jesus to be our redeemer. Boaz denibstrates grace and extends favor to his future bride when she is unable to do anything to save herself. This is also a perfect picture of Christ and the Church. By Grace are we Saved through Faith.
The Marriage of Boaz and Ruth the Gentile
While the Bible is very complex, it does present us some clues to the relationship of Jesus and the church. There are specific verses found in the Bible that declare the Gentiles will trust in the coming Messiah. Ruth obviously trusted in Boaz enough to lay by his feet on the threshing floor. Ruth put her confidence in her redeemer and this was a picture of church to Christ.
Isa 42:6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
This verse in Isaiah is referring to Jesus Christ, who is the picture of Boaz. In relationship to Jesus, He is mentioned to be the “Light of the Gentiles”. We can easily see how this fits with the picture of Ruth. So while the name Ruth is not directly mentioned in the Bible, the type of Ruth is mentioned in verses like these that I am giving you. Here is another one that is applicable:
Isa 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
The Root of Jesse is again a reference to Jesus Christ our redeemer. The reference is given to us in this verse that the Ruths of the world will seek after Him. In reading the story of Ruth, you notice that Ruth goes from a poor widow field laborer to a woman married to one of the richest men in the city. Do you think Boaz’s rest was good for Ruth? How does the wealth of Jesus compare to that of Boaz’s money and possessions?
Mat 12:21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.
Speaking of Jesus, in Matthew, the Gentiles put their confidence in Him. This is the church to their redeemer. Isaiah 11:10 is also quoted in Romans 15:12 and declares that the Gentiles have put their trust in their Boaz. The Bible tells us in John 3:16 that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son….”. We could say it in another way also, that “God so loved Ruth from Moab that he gave His Boaz to redeem us…” and all I did was change the names to the symbolic names found in the Book of Ruth. We can easily see that Boaz was motivated by love when he did what he did for Ruth and Naomi. Because of Ruth’s faith towards God she is now the wife of the savior and redeemer. A marriage in the Bible is a covenant in the eyes of God and a covenant is a marriage. You can see this revelation clearly by examining verses found in Jeremiah31:32 and Malachi 2:14 to name a couple of the obvious verses that you can find and read in the Bible. So far the picture of Ruth as the church and bride fits with other verses in the Bible that state Jesus is the bridegroom (John 3:29, Revelation 21:9).
Elimilech is a very specific Hebrew name that means a very specific thing. The name “Elimilech” means “God of the King”. Right there is where the difficulty begins for most Christians. That is a Hebrew word that has the name of God “Elohiym” joined to the Hebrew word for “King”. This of course has widespread implications written on it everywhere. As you recall from the book of Ruth, Elimilech dies. So who in the Bible is the “God of the King”? David was a popular King in the Bible and the God of David was “Elohiym”. Maybe we should start with who is the real King? Our King is said to be Jesus Christ. Jesus is called the King of kings (Rev 19:16, Rev 17:14). David was told by God that one of his descendants would sit upon the throne forever as eternal King. Jesus also qualifies as a Son of David for this position. So we can fairly easily conclude that Jesus is the King. Who is the God of Jesus? You can begin to see the difficulty starting to get much deeper now and much harder to understand. Jesus was God and there is none beyond or above Him. God is the only true and living God. We can begin to see glimpses into the complexity of God’s manifested and revealed natures and personalities. There is God the Father, God the Son abd God the Holy Ghost and yet these three are all still One God.
So anyway Elimilech must represent God just using the name’s definition. But, how is this possible? It is technically not possible for God to die, however if God does not die for our sins, our sins are not forgiven. Thus we have a paradox and a puzzle presented to us from the Bible. Jesus Christ was the Son of God, yet at the same time he was God in the flesh. So whatever happens to Jesus, happens to God. This is just basic logic using the verses that we have covered. If Satan and the Jews hang Jesus Christ on a cross, they are hanging God himself on the cross. Do you remember what Jesus said in a parable about killing the “heir”? (Luke 20:14) Jesus tells of a field that has been let out to a husbandman and the owner of the field sends servants to collect of the fruit, but the come away empty. Now, finally the owner of the field sends his son, saying they will respect him, but they do not, instead they kill him because he is the heir. By killing the Son of God, they think they have possessed the inheritance. Instead they have sealed their fate.
It is important to note that Elimilech in this story represents God who dies. Through His death a redeemer is now required. The Redeemer is of course also God.
Naomi is called “Pleasant” by the meaning of her name. Since she is married to Elimilech who represent God the Father, then we can conclude very easily that Naomi is an allegorical represention of the people in the natural Nation of Israel and those under the law. Naomi represents the Old Covenant of God. The female wife of the Old Testament God of Abraham. She knows the law and uses the law. In the book of Ruth Naomi is the mother-in-law to Ruth and she tells her what to do based upon her knowledge of the law to get her redeemer. This again is an exact picture of the early church. Do you realize that the only Bible the early church had was the Old Testament? Jesus taught exclusively from the text from these O.T. books. Peter taught from the O.T. in the book of Acts. The New Testament contains a whole bunch of quotes from the Old Testament. What God did was finally reveal the true meaning of the Old Testament to the church. Before, the church came along the O.T. was a giant spiritual puzzle of information that no man could understand. However, the New Testament is written largely from the revelation given to Paul and the other apostles about the things that explain what the O.T. really means. However, it also gives us a pattern that God can still hide more information for us to discover, even today.
Jer 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
As you can clearly see in this scripture in Jeremiah, God says that His Old Covenant was a marriage to the people of natural Israel. God is said to be their husband, they are implied to be the wife. We can therefore conclude that this is a revealed pattern of the New Covenant also. If one covenant was a marriage, the other covenant is also a marriage. One to a natural people, and the other to a spiritual people.
So Naomi was married to Elimilech and Israel was married to Elohim (God). Naomi became a widow after her husband died, and so did Israel. So it still is a little bit difficult to understand, I know. We know that Ruth is faithful to Naomi and this seems to be a perfect picture of the Church’s continued faithfulness to the nation of Israel even today. It seems that the whole world wants to destroy the nation of Israel, except for a few that are controlled by a predominate Christian presence. The hatred towards the nation of Israel is extremely unique among all nations. I do not recall any other nation being so easily maligned and attacked in so many different ways. It is noteworthy to mention that the nation of Israel receives support from the Christians of the world and this is a picture of Ruth. Just as Naomi benefited from Ruth’s marriage to Boaz, Israel benefits from the church’s marriage to Jesus Christ. However, it is still important to note that Boaz was not married to Naomi, only Ruth was in covenant with Boaz and this is how the New Covenant is today also. Jesus Christ, the risen Son of God is in covenant with the Church and not natural Israel. Israel can receive benefits from the church’s relationship, but they are required to be born again and join the same church for salvation as everyone else. The Bible says that Israel is being provoked to “jealousy” (Rom 10:19). What make you jealous? What makes women jealous? Other women make women jealous. Jealousy occurs when someone has something that you do not have. The church now has a better covenant with God, that Israel does not have anymore and this is the point of jealousy.
Rom 9:25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
God prophecies something in Hosea that is very profound and reveals the coming jealousy of Israel. Israel who were God’s people are now said not to be God’s people. Yes or No? Of course that is what it says, whether you like it or not. The nation of natural Israel who was the beloved wife of God, is now not the wife of God. These are physical vs. spiritual truths being presented to us. God is saying that I will make a New Covenant with a people that were not my people and now they will become my New Covenant spiritual people and my new beloved wife. This is the picture of Ruth and Boaz given to us in this story of love and redemption.
Death and Marriage
Now let’s examine a new aspect that the Bible talks about that maybe you have not seen before. If you recall I said earlier that death was a legal separation of marriages. That means when Ruth’s husband died she was now free to marry another man without retribution or the accusation of adultery. This is a Bible principle and a law found in the Bible that I refer to as the “Law of Marriage”. This is what Jesus says about the subject:
Mat 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
These are the words of God himself and they tell you exactly what God thinks about people’s wrong attitudes in the world today. I believe the divorce rate within the church is up to around 50% and that is crazy. So what does this have to do with the story of Ruth, you ask? This is what it has to do with the story of Ruth:
Rom 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
In this chapter of Roman God is discussing marriage covenants and He says that a woman is bound to her husband by the established law of God. If you recall in Genesis 2, when God created woman (Eve), she came from the body of her husband Adam. God then gave us the law of marriage. “A husband shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall be one flesh”. So just because you get a divorce that does not solve the “one flesh” part of God’s arrangements. As you can see in Romans 7:2 the wife is joined to her husband as long as he is alive. But, since Ruth’s husband was dead that changes everything. Let’s keep reading in Romans:
Rom 7:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
So a woman who divorces her husband and marries another man is called an adulterer. So what does this have to do with Ruth, well you have to just read the next verse in Romans to find that out:
Rom 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
In this chapter of Romans, God is speaking directly to the natural Jews and not the Gentiles. Why is that important? Because the natural Jews were married to God in the Old Covenant and if they now married another man with their first husband being alive, they would be in adultery. This is of course a very tricky thing to think about. God is a spiritual being and it is impossible to kill a spiritual being. That is why God became a natural man. By becoming a natural man, God can experience death. As you can see in Romans 7:4 it says very clearly that because Jesus died, they are now legally free to “marry” another husband. This is a picture of the risen Jesus and the New Covenant. Did you realize that the New Covenant is with the Risen from the dead Jesus and not with the natural Jesus who walked the face of the earth as a natural human male? Did you realize that this is an important fact to know? The risen from the Dead Jesus is an eternal being and now a permanent member of the Godhead. So the difference between Jesus the natural man and the risen Jesus, is that the natural man was born of a woman as a mortal man who could die and the risen Jesus cannot die anymore. The risen Jesus was born of the Spirit and He is the Immortal God Man. There are some big differences between the two. I know that Jesus our savior was God in the flesh, but yet He was not God in His full Omnipotent Powers, or it would have been impossible to kill him. Jesus was a man that was able to be killed and that is not God in His FULL Deity Power. So did God die? If God did not experience death then you will soon have to experience it and you won’t like the end results. We know that “through death he (Jesus) destroyed him that had the power of death (Satan)” (Heb 2:14). So it is important to note that Jesus died physically and through his death he accomplished many positive things for us.
The Coming Wheat Harvest
This story of Ruth is a natural example of a spiritual truth that has occurred and is occurring already in the spiritual realm. We the church are gleaning and gathering in the harvest of God’s spiritual crop of people in the world which is God’s harvest field.
Jas 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
You see in the book of Ruth, the woman works the field to bring in a ripe crop. This is all typological to the story of the Church reaping the harvest of God’s precious fruit that He is still waiting patiently for. There will come a time when the harvest is over and that is a day of grave consequences for many, yet that is the reality of God. Jesus told us in Matthew 9:37 that the “harvest is truly plenteous but the laborers are few”. God is of course not talking about a natural harvest, but a spiritual harvest of people. Jesus taught numerous things about spiritual things, using crops, fields, seeds and laborers. You should go and study all of these and see how they relate to the story of Ruth. I believe you will find them very important to know.
The Heir of the Dead
This was the book of Ruth and while we did not attempt to go into every detail or every type given, I gave you enough details to get you started. I will leave you with this thought. If Ruth does represent the church and Boaz does represent the Risen Jesus Christ. Why did Boaz marry Ruth? To raise up an heir for the dead. Boaz has a son through Ruth, called Obed, God’s servant. Who died? God died, Adam died, Jesus died to name a few obvious choices and candidates. Jesus the eternal God Man now resolves two primary spiritual and natural problems. By Jesus’ death on the cross, God is now free from every previous covenant relationship, whether this was Israel, Adam, Abraham or Satan. By the Risen Jesus establishing a New Covenant that is said to be better, man’s eternal separation from God has also been resolved, if you want to receive it. In the Book of Ruth, Ruth has a child that is the heir of the dead man’s family. If Jesus is the husband and the church is the bride, you have to see that God will have a spiritual child through his new wife. This child has to be the Spirit of God, since the church is a spiritual woman and Jesus said that which is born of spirit is spirit (John 3:6). So we can see that the church must be going to have a child some day that will become the heir to everything that is or was in the spiritual and natural realms and the ownership of both of these realms will revert completely and totally back to God forever. We can see a prophetic view of this woman and this child in Revelation 12. This is the end and the demise of Satan’s future and represents his destiny under the heavenly Judicial system and the law of God. This of course is all new stuff, so I anticipate it will be difficult for you to accept. I would recommend that you not throw it away, just because it is new and different. At least study it and see if it is true. Thanks for studying the Book of Ruth with me. God Bless.
(Ver 1.1) We are now in chapter 4 of the book of Ruth. If you have not been reading this series from the beginning you should go back and start with “Part 1“. As you read chapter 3 of Ruth you should have noticed that Boaz tells Ruth that there is a closer relative than himself and he will have to see if the closer relative is willing to fulfill the law and marry her. You should remember that the law gave a specific order of precedence for the fulfillment of the requirement of the law. The order went from the closest or nearest relative to the most distant relative and always included the oldest male first down to the youngest male. So Boaz was not the first in the line of living relatives to marry Ruth according to the law of Moses. Therefore, Boaz in chapter 4 goes to the city gate and finds the nearer relative to discuss the situation with him. Boaz at this point must already know his intentions because Boaz has gathered the elders of the city to witness the discussion between himself and this closer relative.
Rth 4:3 And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech’s:
Boaz starts with the good news first. Naomi the widow of our dead brother, is come back and she is selling his property. So far this is a deal for any man that has money to buy it. To own land is a sign of wealth and to own a lot of land is a sign of great wealth. But, that was the good news and not the complete picture so here goes Boaz to explain what else is required.
Rth 4:4 And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.
So Boaz before the witnesses of the elders of the city informs this relative that it is his responsibility and his decision to make. He then informs him that besides them, there are no other relatives that are able to redeem the land of Naomi. This means that they are all either dead or there were just no other living male relatives born in the family.
Rth 4:5 Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.
Now Boaz starts in with the potential bad news. I guess it depends upon your point of view, but it is either good or bad based upon how it will affect you personally. Since Boaz was the younger brother in this relationship, it affects him differently than the older brother. Let’s think about this and how it affects each man. Boaz says that by buying the land from Naomi, they must also buy it from Ruth since she was married to the son of their brother. According to the law of Moses, this involves marrying the widow of the dead so that the family name is not removed from the face of the earth. Whatever son that Ruth and the redeemer has, becomes the heir of Elimelech ‘s land. You see it starts to get a little complicated at this point, since the future heir is now the owner of the dead family’s property, the relative that married the widow has no family or heir. I know this is not technically correct, but yet this is the way that these people viewed the situation. You can see that by the reaction of the closer relative to the news of marrying the widow Ruth.
Rth 4:6 And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.
Did you see what the nearer kinsman said? He told Boaz I can’t redeem this land or marry the widow, because it will mess up my inheritance. In other words everything that he is in line for and everything his heirs are in line for will revert to the dead brother’s family and he would end up with nothing, so he thinks. So the nearer kinsman tells Boaz, I won’t redeem it, so you redeem it. This is of course what Boaz wanted to hear happen, yet the process had to be followed in the law and the procedures must be satisfied in the eyes of God and all legal actions satisfied with the elders of the city who were the witnesses.
Rth 4:7 Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel.
Rth 4:8 Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.
As you can see, the nearer relative’s house is now called “the house of him who has his shoe loosed”. In the eyes of the law, Boaz has satisfied all requirements and responsibilities and is now free to legally marry Ruth. Boaz tells the elders and the people of the city that they are all witnesses to the fact that he has bought the property of Naomi and Ruth.
It might help you to understand what just happened based upon another story found in the Bible. In Genesis chapter 38 there is a story of another family who is directly related to our story. The story of the son of Israel named Judah. He has three sons and the firstborn is named, Er. When Er grows up big enough to marry, Judah gets him a wife named Tamar. Remember Tamar? The Bible says that Er was wicked in the eyes of God and so he died very young. Judah then told Er’s brother to take the dead brother’s wife and have an heir for his dead brother, the firstborn Er. But, the Bible says that Onan knew if he had sex with Tamar and had a child that it would be for his brother and he would not get anything. So Onan basically refused to fulfill his requirements and the Bible says that he was found to be evil in the eyes of the Lord and he also died young. So far not a good story, but yet this is how those in the Bible dealt with these matters. Judah tells the widow Tamar to wait for the third and last son to grow up and she would become his wife and then that son would raise up an heir for the dead firstborn. In the process of time, Tamar waits, but nothing happens. Apparently Judah was not a man of his word. Judah’s wife died and one day he went up to the city to do some business. Tamar hears about this and takes off her widow garments and dresses up like a prostitute, covers her face and waits for Judah to come by. She deceives Judah into having sex with her and she becomes pregnant. Judah did not have the payment for the sex, so he left her his signet ring, a bracelet and his staff as collateral security until the agreed payment could be sent to her.
Tamar was not there for the sex or the payment that was promised to her. She was there because Judah had not fulfilled what he had spoken to her and her dead husband, Judah’s firstborn had no heir to continue the family name. So even though her methods were not very admirable her intentions before God were highly commendable. So Judah eventually sends the payment back for the harlot that he could get back his collateral, but they could not find any prostitutes to pay.
Then time passes and three months later Judah is informed that Tamar has played the harlot and has become pregnant by harlotry. Judah is outraged and tells them to get her and she will be killed for her error. So she appears before Judah and tells him that before you do anything, I am guilty of nothing. Here is the father of my child and she shows him, his signet, bracelet and staff. Judah’s reaction is shock and immediately says she has been more righteous than him, because he had not given her to his younger son to be his wife. Like I said, this is not a great or a highly positive moral standard Bible story that you want to teach your children in Sunday School, yet it has great significance to the story in the book of Ruth. It helps to explain the dilemma that the nearer relative was experiencing. Tamar is also a name mentioned in the Genealogy of Jesus so it must have some relevance to something we need to know. If you search the Bible, you will discover that the term “daughter-in-law” is not widely used. In fact Tamar and Ruth are only two of four women in the Bible called by this title. So they are directly related and tied together meaning they share some commonalities that are very distinctive. As we continue through Ruth chapter 4 you will see why I went over this story.
Rth 4:10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.
Boaz tells everyone to be witnesses to the fact that he has bought the land of the dead husband and he will marry the widow wife to raise up the name of the dead.
Rth 4:12 And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.
The people of the city now speak a blessing on the actions of Boaz. Did you notice the name of Tamar being mentioned? You see if it was not for the illicit actions of Tamar there would be no Bethlehem or people to witness these deeds of Boaz. There would be no elders of the city, there would be no Elimilech, in fact there would be no Boaz. Everyone present was a descendant of the house of Judah whom Tamar his daughter-in-law bore to him. All of these people recognized that they would not be present if it were not for Tamar and they could foresee that down the road in the future there would be many people born on this planet who would be grateful that Ruth was there to raise up and continue the family name of the tribe of Judah. In fact looking at the genealogy found in the Bible, if not for Ruth and Boaz, there would have been no King David and eventually no Jesus Christ.
Rth 4:15 And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him.
Boaz fulfills the requirements of the law and marries one of the few women in the Bible that get mentioned by name in the genealogy of Jesus our Savior. Boaz is called the redeemer, the restorer of life. and a nourisher. These are all terms that could describe Jesus to us today. The story of Ruth is different than what many people think of when thinking of Jesus and the church. Yet it has many natural patterns in it that are very significant to this spiritual reality. In my next blog I will try to explore more of these patterns given to us in the Book of Ruth.
You can continue reading this series, by going to “Part 5“.
(Ver 1.1) We have already seen in chapter 2 where Ruth has found favor in the eyes of Boaz her potential kinsmen redeemer and she has even eaten with him in resemblance to a covenant type meal where they have shared bread. We can tell that Boaz likes this woman and grants her grace beyond all others. Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law knows the law and has recognized who Boaz is. In this next chapter we will see that God has orchestrated the answer to Ruth’s problems because of Ruth’s faith. God has answered her confidence in Him beyond her wildest imagination. It is amazing what trusting God a little can do. If you have not read the first part of this series I would suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“. Now, let’s now look at chapter 3:
Rth 3:2 And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor.
Apparently, Naomi has some inside scoop on what Boaz is up to. Either Naomi is very nosy or Boaz has been dropping some clever clues in some obvious places. You figure out which one it is. Naomi knows that tonight Boaz will be working late in the threshing floor with the harvest. Of course all of this is symbolic and has meaning. Threshing in the Bible times was the harvest time activity by which the grain was removed from the husk. The husk represented the tares (or false grain) when it was separated from the actual usable good pieces of the plant. It really does not matter how this is done for this story, just the fact that it is being done is the part that is significant to what we need to know. If you study the words of Jesus you find that there is another coming harvest of people in the world in Matthew 13. Jesus informs us that the world is the field and that the wheat is the children of the kingdom of God. The tares are the children of the evil one. So we can see the Book of Ruth is prophetic in nature and speaking of something, an event that is coming soon. You should go and read Matthew 13 and find out the pattern of things to come. Then you will better understand the shadows contained in the book of Ruth.
Rth 3:3 Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.
Obviously Naomi knows the law of Moses and tells Ruth to clean up herself really good and dress in her best garments and then to go to the threshing floor to meet Boaz. You can see that this is the picture of the church given to us in Revelation 19:7 where it says “his wife has made herself ready”. But, she tells her not to do anything until after he has eaten and finished drinking. It almost sounds like wait until the party is over and then do the following:
Rth 3:4 And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.
Here is where it gets complicated to understand. Maybe Naomi knows something I don’t, but Ruth is instructed to uncover Boaz’s feet and then to lay down and wait for him to wake up or return to a sober state and see what he has to say and then do what he says. The best that I have been able to figure out is that in Leviticus 18 God tells people not to uncover and make nude certain relatives for sexual purposes. God gives us a long list of individuals including your children and your grand children and says the reason why is if you see them naked, it is your nakedness that you are looking at because they came from you. What we can deduce from this, is that the practice of uncovering someone even partially is for sexual reasons and it is only OK for the husband and the wife. So in effect, Ruth is saying you are my husband, I have seen you naked. I know she only uncovered his feet, but it is a symbolic gesture that he realizes when he wakes to find her there at his feet.
Rth 3:7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.
So Ruth told Naomi that she will do what she has spoken and that is exactly what she does. Remember Naomi is the one that knows the law and Boaz is the one that is suppose to follow the law and fulfill his obligation to the dead. So Naomi is in effect speeding up the process and making it happen. It would appear that Boaz is either dragging his feet (figuratively speaking) and not doing what he is required or there is more to the story than we know right now.
Rth 3:8 And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.
Now midnight comes around and we can assume it has been at least a couple of hours. Ruth must have went to sleep also at the feet of Boaz waiting for him to wakeup. Midnight is a very specific hour. It is the 6th hour of the night, the beginning of the 3rd watch of the night and represents the middle of the darkness. It is interesting to note that this is the hour when people are easily frightened and become scared. It was around midnight when the death angel visited in Egypt and killed the firstborn who did not have the blood of the lamb on the doorposts. It is also interesting to note that in Matthew 25, Jesus tells the parable of the 10 virgins. It just so happens that the bridegroom shows up at midnight and 5 of the virgins had oil and 5 of the virgins did not and were called foolish. So there is some significant parallels being given to us. Jesus Christ is called the “bridegroom” and the church is His bride. We can again see the connection between Jesus and the man called Boaz.
Rth 3:9 And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.
The word that is interesting in this verse, is the word for “skirt”. This word actually refers to the wing of a feathered bird like an eagle and is translated like that many places. It is also used to refer to the hem of a garment or robe. The priests were required to sew tassels on the hem of their garments. Then there is this reference in Deuteronomy that seems to be in reference to an elicit sexual encounter.
Deu 22:30 A man shall not take his father’s wife, nor discover his father’s skirt.
You can see that the man’s father and his father’s wife are spoken of in terms of being one. By the son uncovering his father’s wife he is said to uncover his father. So obviously Ruth must have learned something about the law herself. Boaz wakes up and is startled and asks who are you in the middle of the night. Ruth tells him I am Ruth and you are my near kinsmen redeemer. Now here is the other part that you miss reading the English part of the translation from the KJV Bible. This word “skirt” also occurs in the previous chapter, but is translated in a completely different way:
Rth 2:12 The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
Reading this verse we can better understand what Ruth was trying to say to Boaz. Ruth was telling Boaz you are God’s answer to my problem, spread your wings over me and I will put my trust in you. If this is not a marriage proposal I do not know what you would call it. Wings are spoken of as a covering, and a place of safety in the O.T. Bible like in the Psalms. Many times this is God’s people under the wings of God’s protection. This is the picture of Ruth and Boaz as well as the Church and Jesus.
Look at this verse in Ezekiel and see if this is not what the woman Ruth is saying for her Redeemer to do to her.
Eze 16:8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.
God says to Israel, when I looked upon you I spread my skirt over you. You can again see the reference to nakedness and being unclothed. In association with these words God says I have entered into a covenant with you and you have become mine by marriage. This is a very clear picture of Christ and the church. If you recall in the N.T. the church is said to be clothed with Christ. We wear Christ as a symbolic garment. This is a covenant marriage description when the husband covers his bride.
Rth 3:10 And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.
A reference to the kindness of Ruth is exemplified by Boaz. She is also portrayed to be a woman of character and integrity who is not doing things just for her on good. Her thoughtfulness and the fact that she followed her wiser mother-in-law’s instructions all proved that Ruth was a great candidate for a wife. We do not know how old Boaz is, but by implications given he is not a young man. Based upon him potentially being one of Elimilech’s brothers who has already died, we can assume that he is closer to Naomi’s age than to Ruth’s age. Nevertheless, Ruth is commended for doing what she has done.
Rth 3:11 And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
Boaz says that the whole city knows that she is a virtuous woman. Of course remember we are in Bethlehem, the future birthplace of Jesus. The Hebrew word translated as “Bethlehem” means the House of Bread. Another symbolic term for God’s spiritual house. Boaz commits to Ruth to do whatever is necessary to accomplished what she needed to satisfy his Lawful duty. Boaz has committed to do whatever is necessary to make her his wife. This is a marriage commitment and a verbal contract. Boaz has committed to redeem his dead brother’s debts and to raise up an heir for him, by marrying his dead brother’s son’s wife. This is the law of God, but also the wisdom of God and a picture of Christ and the church.
If you would like to continue this series of lessons, you can go to “Part 4“.
(Ver 1.1) I like the book of Ruth a lot. It is a very unique book of the Bible and a story full of types and shadows of the Messiah. The Bible is full of complex hidden information and this book contains some of the keys to information found in other places of the Bible. While the early church started with only Jewish believers and the disciples of Christ, today the church is widely considered to be a Gentile majority. There certainly exists Jewish Messianic believers and they are very valuable in the church, but yet they are a clear minority. These Jewish believers are called the “Remnant” in the book of Romans. What makes the book of Ruth unique, is the fact that the book is primarily the story of a Gentile woman. The life of a woman outside of the covenant of God’s Old Testament family. Why would God put a story of a Gentile in the Jewish O.T. Bible? Why is this significant? What information does it convey and reveal to us? Is the book of Ruth a prophetic statement on events to come? I will be going through this book of the Bible chapter by chapter and then wrap it up with a study of the typologies and symbolism given to us in the book of Ruth. In the entire Bible the name of Ruth only occurs 13 times in 13 total verses. There are 12 times in the book of Ruth and once in the book of Matthew. So other than the Book of Ruth itself, there is no direct references to Ruth, except in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew. God must have a special reason for naming this woman in the genealogy of Jesus our Savior. You see in the Genealogy of Jesus in Matthew only 6 women are directly mentioned and only four by actual name. One woman in the genealogy of Jesus is a symbolic spiritual reference. These women are 1.) Tamar 2). Rahab, 3). Ruth 4). the wife of Uriah (Bathsheba) 5). Babylon and 6). Mary the mother of Jesus. That is some very unique company, and a very honorable mention, isn’t it? What does Ruth have in common with these other women that God included them all in the genealogy of Jesus? I mean what a mixture of women they are, one is a deceiver Tamar who plays like she is a prostitute, 2) Rahab a woman who actually was a prostitute, 4) Bathsheba a woman who committed adultery with King David. Babylon is called the Great Whore in Revelation. Why mention any women and not all the women? Why pick what seems like some of the worst possible women to include in the Genealogy of Jesus? Both Ruth and Mary seem like saints compared to the others. You should really ask these kinds of questions, if you want to know the truth. God does nothing by accident or chance in the Bible. Every word, every name, every mention has a purpose and is designed to conceal or reveal information. Obviously these women are all mothers, so they have that in common. If it were possible and you could check the mitochondrial DNA of Jesus you would also see that Jesus’ DNA had signatures of each of the women encoded within His DNA. It also appears on the surface that all of the women mentioned in the Genealogy of Jesus are also widows. While it does not say that directly about Rahab, we can assume it. It does call Tamar a widow, Ruth is a widow, Bathsheba became a widow. Mary also became a widow. These are interesting little points to keep in the back of your mind. Perhaps we will get into more of the similarities between the women later, but for now let’s concentrate on just Ruth.
Let’s start by listing some of the characters found in the book of Ruth. There is of course Ruth, but she is not mentioned at first. What we discover is the underlying story is about a family from Bethlehem, the same city of the birth of Jesus. We can already begin to see some implied meanings based upon the city of David being the originating place of residence. The story starts with the mention of a famine being in the land around Bethlehem. The book of Ruth mentions that this family of four is forced to move in order to look for food. The head of the family is a man named “Elimelech” and his wife is called “Naomi”, and they have two sons, one is called “Mahlon” and the other is called “Chilion”. The Elimelech family is a family who has descended from Judah, the fourth son of Jacob and Leah. The book of Ruth starts by telling us that the story occurs during the time of the judges. This would have been after the children of Israel had taken the promised land and before the appointment of Saul as their first King. This would have occurred somewhere around 450 years after Jacob had his 12 sons. We do know that Israel was in captivity in Egypt for approximately 400 years and they wandered in the wilderness for another 40 years. So somewhere after that we can see that there came a famine in the land of Israel.
Elimelech decides to up and move his family to the land of Moab, because they have heard reports of there being food there. Now Moab is a region where the descendants of one of Lot’s sons lived, also named Moab. If you recall the story of Lot, Abraham asks God to spare him from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and God did. However, as they were leaving the cities, the wife of Lot looks back and turns into a pillar of salt. Now that only leaves Lot with his two daughters. So the story of Lot is that his two daughters get their father drunk so that he could have children or sons through them and their father’s name and family could continue. Not a very good story is it? It seems like the more you dig into the book of Ruth the more strange things you discover. What you must realize is that if there was no incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughters there would be no story of Ruth. So while I do not say incest is good, God can cause good to come from anything that man does, no matter how wrong. So Ruth is a descendant of the incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughters.
The book of Ruth does not actually say how long they lived in Moab, but it implies that it was at least a little while, at the least many years. We do see in Ruth 1:4 that after Elimilech died and the sons married that there was a span of 10 years mentioned. We are not told how long it was before this or after this period of time is spoken of. So Elimilech moves his family to Moab. After a time there Elimilech dies and we do not know why. After this his two son’s find themselves wives to marry from the women in Moab. One wife is Ruth and the other wife is named Orpah and not Oprah! It then declares that after another passage of time, the sons also both die without having any children or heirs for the family. All of this so far is the just the first 5 verses of the book of Ruth and it covers several years of information.
Let’s put into perspective the family of Elimilech and the given time frame of these events. We know that Israel had departed from Egypt, being led by Moses and during this time period in the wilderness God gave Moses the Law. God is establishing a covenant relationship with the natural nation of Israel. God gives Moses the first 5 books of the Bible often times called the “Torah”. We also know that during this time period of Ruth that it was during the time of the Judges. So there were judges who ruled the people of Israel with the help of God’s prophets. Judges represent a legal system that is based upon laws. If anyone did wrong, they would face the judges. Moses had been given patterns of the temple of God, the ark of the covenant, the inclusion of the Levitical priests and the origination of animal blood sacrifices. So what do you think would happens if the covenant people of God would move away from all of this and go and live with a group of people who were not in covenant with God? Could this be the reason they died? I really do not know, but I can make logical assumptions based upon what happened, that it was at least related.
We know from reading the rest of the Book of Ruth that Naomi was familiar with the law of Moses. So they did not move away in ignorance, they moved away knowing what they were doing. However, since Elimilech was a descendant of Judah and not Levi, there were probably no more sacrifices being made for them. Unless of course they traveled back to Jerusalem to the temple and there is no reference to this happening. So Naomi, Ruth and Orpha are in a quandary. A predicament of tremendous proportions. Without any men left in the family they are doomed to a life of poverty and homelessness or either a life of prostitution. Naomi of course is older and is in the worst situation. Naomi tells her two “daughter-in-laws” to leave and go back to their families, thinking they have the best chance of finding new husbands with them. Her daughter-in-law Orpah does that and returns to her family and to her previous gods. However, Ruth demonstrates a different resolve, a different spirit of confidence. Even after Naomi told her that she is too old to have any more sons for Ruth to marry, Ruth tells Naomi, “Where you go, I go, Where You Live I will Live, Your People will be my People, Your God will be My God”. That if you do not realize it, is very strong covenant words for a lady who was not previously in covenant with the Almighty God. Then Ruth makes this statement:
Rth 1:17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
I made mention earlier that the book of Ruth contains clues to other events in the Bible and this is just one of them. The mention of death as a separating force is the only natural force that is capable of breaking a human covenant relationship. When a man marries a woman, in many ceremonies that I have attended, there is a clause in the vows that says something like “till death do you part”. In this statement, the participants are vowing to remain committed to the marriage covenant until one of them dies. Death is the only legal separation allowed from the law of marriage. Once you have sex with someone of the opposite sex you are legally married in the eyes of God and you are not separated legally until one of you dies. Because, Ruth’s husband had died, she was free from the law of marriage and is now able to legally marry another man. She could have chosen to go back to her family and find another man, but she chose to trust the God of her mother-in-law “Naomi” and the results of her faith was tremendously greater than she could have imagined. Ruth was also married to the older firstborn son of Elimilech, meaning she has a significant advantage over the other daughter-in-law. For Orpah to gain the same benefits as Ruth, would not have been possible according to the law, but we will get into that more later.
Let me briefly talk you through the law of marriage. The law of marriage is given to us first in the book of Genesis, chapter 2. God creates woman, a wife for the man Adam. God makes the woman’s body from parts of the man’s body. Adam saw Eve and said “She is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh”. In other words Eve was the body of Adam in a different form. God then declares “that for this reason, shall a man leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh”. That is the law of marriage covenants, between a husband and a wife. Ruth was joined to her husband and the covenant of God, becoming one flesh with him. Ruth was technically under the law by marriage. However, since her husband died she was freed from the law.
Because Naomi had heard that God had visited the people of Israel and that there was again bread in the city of Bethlehem, they return back to Naomi’s former home city. Upon arriving, the people still remember her and are excited to see her, but she is really down and depressed that she left full and came back empty with nothing and very little hope. Naomi changes here name to “Mara” and tells people to call her that because it means “I’m bitter”. It is funny how people will accuse God of doing something that was of their own making. I never read anywhere that God told them to leave Bethlehem, so just because the circumstances didn’t look like they should stay, that did not mean they were suppose to leave. Did you understand what I just said?
So this is some of the basics found in chapter 1 of Ruth. Naomi and Ruth have returned to Bethlehem and it is in the time of the beginning of the Barley Harvest. So we know that Naomi had returned in or around the time of Passover, which can occur somewhere near March or April. In my next blog, I’ll talk more about the other primary character of Ruth that I have not introduced you to yet. This character is named Boaz and he is called the “kinsman redeemer” and we will discuss why this is also.
If you would like to continue reading this series you can continue with “Part 2” where we talk about chapter two, the introduction to the Redeemer.
(Ver 2.8) The spiritual family structure of God is one of those Bible basics that every Christian should be intimately familiar. God is said to be a triune being. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Yet these three personalities of God are reflected in One True God. In my first blog on this subject I talked about Jesus starting a new family of God. I talked about Jesus being born into the world, a product of unique circumstances. Because, God was His Father and Mary was His mother, Jesus was both God and man totally and completely. That means Jesus Christ was 100% God and 100% Man. Jesus Christ was the only one that was both the Son of God and the Son of Adam. This made Him uniquely qualified to fix problems in both dimensions of the spiritual and natural realms simultaneously. Maybe you did not realize that there were things to fix in the spiritual realm, but you really need to stop and go back to read “Part 1” of this series first. Today I will continue to talk about the spiritual family structure of God’s family and I want to start with some things that Jesus said to us:
Joh 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
These are the Words of God coming out of the mouth of Jesus Christ. These words declare that Jesus and God are one in the same. Jesus very clearly tells us if we believe in God, we better believe in Jesus. Because, Jesus was God in the flesh, walking among us like He was one of us. This is the amazing truth of God’s word. It is also the only way to be saved, whether you like it or not.
Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Jesus continues His discourse revealing great spiritual information to us. Jesus announces that where He came from was His “Father’s House”. A house is always a family structure with relatives and family members living within it. Now, think with me and see who is speaking, it is Jesus the Son of God on the earth. When you are a son on the earth do you live with your father forever? That is an interesting question. Here in the natural realm a man will marry a wife and usually establishes a new independent family and they normally do not live with their parents. What I am getting at, is that Jesus is inferring His Father’s house is not His house. The Bible contains some very complex truths in it and this is certainly one of them. It is definitely hard to understand since the Son of God on the earth is God. But, God’s intelligence is so far above our mind’s thought process that He can do some simple things in ways that are difficult for us to understand. What I want you to begin to understand is that Jesus does not call it His house and that is very important to see. You see Jesus is choosing His words very carefully and using extreme wisdom to reveal something that is far greater for us to know. What we need to do today is to start thinking differently about the family of God. Jesus tells us that He came from His Father’s house from heaven and we now need to figure out what this is or I should say was.
You see, in John 1:18 the Bible says no man has ever seen God. We also know that when Adam was created and his wife was brought to him by God, that God established a new family on the earth which was detached from God’s spiritual family in heaven. You see this truth when you study what God says in Genesis 2:24 “for this cause shall a man (Adam) leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife”. From this statement we can understand that God was Adam’s father that we are told that he left to be joined to his wife. But God is establishing a new type for a future pattern for the Last Adam (Jesus) to come into the world and leave His Father and Mother and to be joined to His bride. Therefore, the family of Adam is a separate earthly family from God’s existing family in heaven that Jesus is speaking of where He came from and this is a prophetic view into an event that was to come after the time that Jesus was speaking these words in these verses in John. Therefore this family of God where Jesus came from was not comprised of any of the men or women that were on the earth. Think with me and make a note that Jesus declares God’s family consists of family members that are not men, so who are they? We will definitely explore this information in the Bible later in this series, but for now let’s continue with what Jesus is saying. Jesus says if it were not this way I would have told you. Then Jesus makes this statement, “I go to prepare a place for you!” Jesus is talking to you and I and He is saying that He was going to be leaving this planet soon and going to build a new household for His new family. To “prepare” has an implication of a building project. I believe that it is not just a renovation of the old, but the creation of a new home that will be better the previous one.
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Jesus continues to speak to us and tell us that where He goes we will also be going. Jesus tells us very clearly that He will soon return and “receive us unto Himself”. Have you ever thought about what those words mean? Why is Jesus receiving us unto Himself? So many Chrisdtians in the church like to call the church the body of Christ only. Then they ignore the rest of the Bible. If we were just the body of Christ, we would not need to be received unto Him, would we? I do not ever wake up in the morning and receive my body back to myself. Do you understand what I am saying? It would appear that Christians are now separate from Christ in order to be received by Him. It helps if you understand “Bible Covenants“. Since I have already done lessons on this subject I will not repeat the information here again. You should go back and read these lessons and learn what a Covenant is in the eyes of God. I will help you to some extent, Jesus is called the “Bridegroom” and He is in covenant with His Bride, the church. The church will soon be fully assembled in heaven for the marriage supper of the Lamb of God. During this time we will be fully and completely joined to Him and become one with Him forever. Jesus later tells us in John 14 that “He is the truth, the life, the way”. He also says that “No one comes to the Father except through Him”. Meaning there is no other religions in the world that will offer you salvation or an alternative way to God. That also means there are no other covenants of God that will save you either. God has sent Jesus Christ into the world to provide one way for all the people of earth to come into this new Family of God. We have already seen that God’s previous family structure was in heaven and had a very large location with many mansions in it, before Jesus ever came to the earth. Jesus then tells us that He was leaving the earth to go back to heaven to prepare places for us. So either God has a housing shortage in Heaven or the Heaven that we knew is going away and God is preparing a new place.
Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Why is it necessary for God to build a new heaven and a new earth? I can understand the earth, but heaven is a tricky thing to consider to be something that is in need of repair. Man has done a pretty poor job of keeping the earth intact. But, come on we are talking about God in heaven now. Why is it necessary for God to create a New Heaven? Evidently, we can see that there was a major problem in heaven that also consisted of a heavenly spiritual war.
Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
If God’s wars are like our wars, there is always a lot of damage done to infrastructure and buildings. Now I do not mean to imply that God makes war like we make war, that is not what I am saying at all. After all it is God’s forces defending Heaven and not threatening to take it. It is Satan and his angels that are trying to overthrow God’s throne. God sends Michael and His angels to fight this enemy. What we have is some new things to consider. Why is Satan at war with God in heaven and what changed? You see in the Book of Job, Satan walks up to God without any conflict and discusses Job. By the time we get to the book of Revelation, we see that Satan is no longer welcome where he previously use to walk freely. Do you remember in the book of Daniel when Daniel prayed and fasted for an answer from God. Do you remember what happened in that story? It appears God sent an angel to answer the prayers of Daniel and Satan and his angels were in a spiritual battle that lasted 3 weeks, until the angels of God finally prevailed. The prince of Persia withstood God’s answer to the prayers of a man on the earth. That is an amazing story of why things can take so long when you pray and ask God for help. There is an enemy of God that is opposed to you and to God. He tries to stop your answers from happening. If Daniel would have resigned after only two weeks of prayer and fasting, Satan would have won. But, since Daniel did not give up, God did not give up and God prevailed and the answer came. Let me give you a picture diagram of the family of God revealed in the Bible as of Genesis 2:
Eph 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Eph 3:15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
Since we are discussing God’s spiritual family structure, I thought I would give you some more verses to establish that God has a family and then also describe the locations for this family. According to this verse written to the church God’s family is now in two different realms of reality. One is spiritual and the other is physical or natural. This verse in Ephesians declares God’s family to now be within the scope of both of these two sets of reality. We have one set that is found in heaven and one set that is on the earth. And God’s family is comprised of selected individuals from both of these places. However, do not attempt to be all inclusive and say that everyone in both realms has been saved and are in the unified family of God. That is what Universal Salvationists like to teach and project. They claim in error that God will save everyone eventually. They clearly do not understand that Jesus came to divide the good from the evil and not to change the evil back into the good.
Here is a graphical representation of God’s new spiritual family. God’s family now consists of members of two different set realms. In the previous diagram I showed how the two families were separate in Genesis 2. The first set realm heaven existed prior to the other set realm created on the earth. The earth is the natural temporary realm where we all live today. God created our current world system approximately 6000 years ago and turned the authority of His creation over to His created man Adam (Gen 1:26). Adam represented a new start and a new natural family structure of God’s spiritual family. Adam’s family was separate from God’s family that already existed in heaven. God did all of this for many reasons and I cannot get into all of the reasons in this blog because it would take a tremendous amount of time to explain. Today, man exists within the constraints and limitations of time and space. We are spirit beings created in the image and likeness of God, but limited to the confines of a natural body. Since Adam’s family was separate from God’s family, that is one of the main reasons that Jesus had to come to the earth in the form of a man. God’s new family established by Jesus Christ the Son of God and the Son of Man, consists of selected members of both of these set realms. Jesus was able to accomplish and provide salvation for man because He was a man as well as a division from His father’s house simulataneously by His death on the cross. Let’s look at the definition of the word translated as “family” in Ephesians 3:15.
As if feminine of a derivative of G3962; paternal descent, that is, (concretely) a group of families or a whole race (nation): – family, kindred, lineage.
This verse in Ephesians uses a word for “family” that is very interesting. You can see from the definition some widely applicable truths. God’s new family structure is a pattern of another previous structure that God did in the Old Testament. We are said to be a new nation of people descended from the Most High God. This is an interestingly different word that has a feminine connotation attached to it. Why would God put a female reference on the church? Because we are the bride of Christ. The church is a representative spiritual pattern of natural Israel. The natural nation of Israel was God’s wife in the Old Covenant. This was a pattern given to us for the New Covenant.
Jer 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
You need to see what the Bible says and then interpret it using the Bible. God declares to the nation of Israel that I was your Husband. If God was the Husband to the nation of Israel that makes natural Israel the wife of God. A covenant is a marriage in the eyes of God. God proposed marriage to a nation of people and they accepted and entered into a covenant with the Almighty God. This is another example of God being a spiritual male in a spiritual family structure. We can clearly make many assumptions based upon this unlimited information. If God can marry one group of people, what stops God from marrying another group of people? Nothing really, except if you just marry a new group of people and you are still married to the other group of people you are now a polygamist by definition. There is a lot of men on earth that would like to think that God is married to multiple women, but you have not studied the Bible and therefore have put your thoughts into the mix where they do not belong.
Why did Jesus come to earth, being the Son of God? It is because Jesus Christ the Son of God was never married to anyone else before now. I know technically Jesus is the same God and He was married to Israel, but was that God the Father that was in Covenant with them or Jesus, God the Son? You soon realize how smart God is and how tricky He can be. I do not mean to imply that God is a deceiver, what God does is very legal, but yet very unexpected. Satan did not anticipate Jesus Christ and therefore, now realizes that he should not have killed him. Why is that? Why was the death of Jesus so detrimental to Satan? You should really give that some serious thought. You see you can learn from God by reading a clue given to us in the book of Ruth, when Naomi and Ruth are talking and Ruth says I’ll stay with you until “death separates me from thee” (Ruth 1:17). Death is a separating force. Death is a spiritual power that naturally divides one from another. In a marriage ceremony the husband and wife are said to be joined until death do they part. Marriage is a covenant relationship and God uses His death on the cross to separate Himself from Satan. Yes that means Satan was in covenant with God also. You should really study the Bible more, you might find all kind of new things in it, if you look for them. Let’s move on to a verse that helps to clarify what I was saying about Israel and God the Father’s covenant relationship:
Rom 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
This verse in Romans has some amazing information in it. God is writing this section of Romans directly to the Natural Nation of Israel. You can read the context and see this very clearly if you understand the wording. So while the context is talking about the law of marriage that was given to only natural Israel it then declares to them that they have been released from their previous covenant with God, by the death of Jesus Christ so that they can be legally married again. God says very clearly that they are now free to “marry” another, and then describes Him to be the Lord Jesus Christ who was raised from the dead. Did you ever realize that the Jesus who died was different from the Jesus who was raised from the dead? That is what God is saying in this verse. Jesus Christ was raised from the dead and became the “firstborn” from the dead (Col 1:18). This verse now declares to natural Israel that they have been freed from the law of marriage with God the Father by the death of Jesus on the cross. The marriage to Jesus who is risen is in reference to the New Covenant and their opportunity to become the bride of Christ. Jesus confirms this reality in this statement:
- Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
If the old covenant was a way to be saved then Jesus lied. The Old Covenant is not the New Covenant. We can clearly see that truth in verses like Hebrews 8:6 or Hebrews 12:24 when Jesus becomes the mediator of a new and better covenant. Any covenant called new is one that never existed before. All of this information that I am introducing you to will become clearer as the series continues and more scriptures are revealed to you.
Many like to think that God is a polygamist and is in covenant with natural Israel and the church simultaneously right now. While they do not call it Polygamy, that is what God calls it. However, once you realize that the Old Covenant was with God the Father, and the New Covenant is with God the risen Son, I believe that changes everything dramatically. It also means that God is not in covenant with Natural Israel anymore. I do not have time or space to explain that, but you can read my other blogs and find more answers, if you want to know the truth. The natural nation of Israel is able to enter into the New Covenant with Jesus Christ, if they want to. However, most of natural Israel has chosen to close their eyes and not to see the truth, so they reap the works of their own deceptions. There is more I could write and many other scriptures that we could explore, but I have gone too long in this blog. Hopefully I can continue this subject in the future.
If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons about the spriitual family of God you may continue with “Part 3“.