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Happy Thanksgiving

1Ch 16:34  O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. 

(Ver 1.1) Here in the United States we celebrate a special day of thanks to the LORD for all that He has blessed us with. We thank Jesus first and foremost for forgiving us and saving us from the darkness of this evil world. We thank Him for the freedoms to worship Him. These are what I am thankful for the most. His love for you and I is beyond our full comprehension. So I pray that you have a blessed day and will join us wherever you are on the planet to give thanks to Jesus for saving you also. I love you and thank you for your prayers. Be blessed in Jesus name. Agapegeek International Ministries

TIME TO STAND!

(Ver 1.1) In the last blog posted before the election of Nov 3 in the United States, I had a short message asking Christians with faith to “Pray, Vote and Stand for Life”.  Since this day has come and gone and it seems like God has not answered our prayers (to many people), I wanted to come to you again to say “it is not over”.  Do you need to hear a message from the LORD to encourage you today? Do you believe it is over?  Today is His reminder that we are now in the third phase of God’s design for us praying and receiving our answers. This 3rd phase is called “the Stand”.  God is saying “Through faith and patience we inherit His promises” (Heb 6:12). I believe God is NOT DONE!  God is hardly ever early, never late, but will always deliver the answer on His perfect time schedule, if we do not give up.

I believe that God has permitted this delay period for His divine purposes.  First, to teach us to never give up.   And second, to expose the evil plans of Satan in the United States of America.  The last four years has shown us an increased level of evil like I have never seen before in my lifetime.  If you have not been able to see this occurring, please pray and ask God to open your eyes.   It is so obvious that when you see it you will wonder how you could have ever missed it.

The act of “standing” simply means to not be moved by what the circumstances of what the enemy looks like around you.  “To Stand” literally means to continue to “face down” your enemy and NOT to turn and run away from them like a coward.  Running is what Satan is supposed to be doing from us, according to James 4:7. God wants His people to believe that He heard their prayers, is able to answer and that He answered us even when it does not look like that it is possible.  Wow!  That is called having faith and confidence in Him instead of what we see with our eyes or hear with our ears. 

Remember Daniel prayed to God and God sent the answer immediately but to Daniel’s perspective the answer did not arrive for 21 days because of an unseen spiritual warfare that was occurring in the spiritual realm.  That is exactly what is taking place in our election.  I believe Christians forget that there is still a devil and that he is doing everything possible to resist the plans of God from coming to pass. 

Satan has had control of our Jezebel led false-prophet media for many years.  So please do not listen to them or believe anything that they say.  I estimate that most of the news from the mass majority of worldly media is at least 90% biased against real truth.  There appears to be a hidden spirit of witchcraft controlling the news feed with identical talking points to fuel a hidden demonic agenda of brainwashing and deception.  From what limited views that I have heard from these sources, I have learned that whatever the news is promoting in mass, that is usually what the other side is guilty of and the opposite of what is actually true.

STAND

Let us get into our first Bible verse on “Standing” and it comes from the book of Ephesians.  In this context God describes the spiritual battle of warfare that Christians are in.  We are told that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and rulers of the darkness of this world.   God also said that our weapons are not carnal or natural.  No, our weapons are primarily exercising our authority in prayer and praising God for the answer.  Our spiritual enemies are not going to give in without a fight to test our stand of faith.  The enemies of God and His church are defeated but still must be put under our feet in order to stand (Rom 16:20).  I claim it is time for this to happen right now.  Let us read our first verse:

Eph 6:13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to STAND.

We are in this position of warfare because the days we are living are certainly evil.  But Jesus is still LORD and we are His body on the earth with the authority to resist the evil (Luk 10:19, Jas 4:7).   This means we must “Stand” strong and not allow our faith to waiver because of any delay in His justice or righteousness.  We live in an instant microwave it and eat it up NOW world.  If there is ever any delay, we could easily think we are in trouble, but we must still believe that God has heard and answered us.  We need to be more like a Daniel and keep praying in faith until the answer comes.  Daniel was very confident and persistent.  He knew that God is working whether he saw Him working or not for many days.  Even though Daniel did not see it, things were happening in the unseen spiritual realm.  The victory must be won in the spiritual realm before it is ever manifested in the physical realm.   

God is telling His people today to guard our gates. Don’t allow the enemy an access to enter into our minds to defeat us. These human gates are our eyes, our ears and our mouth. When we hear or see evil reports, they cause many to move into fear, worry, and doubt. Then when some one speaks that fear out of their mouth it allows Satan to bring it to pass. Remember this lesson from the Old Testament. There were 12 spies sent into the Promised Land. Only two spies named Joshua and Caleb brought back a “Good” report that was designed by God to prophesy and produce faith in the rest of the nation. But there were these other false and fake media spies that came back with the “Evil” report and Satan filled their mouth with the majority report of “defeat”. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? The majority of the nation is buying into the majority opinion of defeat. As Christ followers we do not have to do that. We can choose to follow CHRIST and LIFE and see the glory of God wipe out our spiritual unseen enemies placing them under our feet. That is my encouragement for all of my readers. Please “STAND” for “LIFE” unwavering in your faith. What happens if we do this? Here is another verse about standing and believing God:

Exo 14:13  And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, STAND still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. 

This is a Word from God for such a time as this.  That which has been is that which shall be again (Ecc 1;9), but this time in the church age, we have the opportunity to enter into our Promised Land in victory.  Stand and watch the hand of the LORD expose the corruption, the fake voting process, the lies, the voter fraud, votes of the dead, the illegal and those that were unable to vote fairly.  Watch how it is exposed how easy it was for Satan to try to steal an election using a false fear agenda from a pandemic.   This year has been planned and coordinated by Satan, but this will be exposed in full and the victory will be the LORD’S.

If you are offended by this message, that is very sad to me and I believe to God. Joshua and Caleb were the only two with a good report that entered into the promised land of that generation. Please do not be a participant with the majority of the unsaved world that are dying in the wilderness and not entering into what God had already given to us by faith. Whose report will YOU believe? As for me and my house we will believe the report of the LORD. God is not done! Remember, if God is for us and life, who can be against us (Rom 8:31). Believe Him and see the salvation of the LORD for the voiceless unborn. Thank you and God bless you.

Bible Answers: Solving the Mystery of Israel – God’s Firstborn Versus God’s Covenant Wife

israel_sign(Ver 1.1) This Bible lesson is a reply to a great reader question about the natural nation of Israel. This is an advanced Bible subject. Therefore, this lesson is potentially offensive and is intended for mature Christians that desire to learn something new in the Bible with an open heart and an open mind.  Please judge yourself if this is your desire and motivation before continuing to read about a potential Bible subject from a fresh perspective.  This lesson will be about a conflict that occurs between scriptures concerning the natural nation of Israel.  We will learn several concepts about this name “Israel” that may have never been taught to you before.  I warn you up front to help set your expectations so that I do not become your enemy by showing you something new (Gal 4:16).  Please stop and pray and ask God to help everyone see what He wants us to learn in this Bible study.

Also, this is another in-depth Bible lesson with a lot of great Bible verses to study.  I would recommend that you break it into sections and maybe do one section a day and this will spread it out over a period of time and hopefully not overwhelm anyone with too much new information at once.  I give a lot of Bible verse references and I do not address them each in detail.  Therefore, it would be highly advisable that you go and look up each verse, read it carefully, study the context, look up each Greek or Hebrew word and verify in your mind that it is saying what you think it says and use that information to apply to this lesson.  This is being a noble Berean type of Bible student mentioned in Acts 17:11. Please do not believe a word I say in any Bible lessons without you verifying it in your own Bible study. Place your trust in God and the Spirit of God on the inside of you to help you see the truth.

Some Christians think a Bible study is just reading a chapter a day for 15 minutes and bang you are done.  But that is not what a real Bible study is, even if God says something to you that is helpful to get you through that day. No according 2 Timothy 2:15, God tells us to “Study to show yourself approved, a workman unto God that will not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth”.  This verse claims Bible study is more than a casual reading.  God has implied that we are to dig deep to be able to understand His Word correctly.  Meaning it is not easy and not automatically understood.

Finally I want to say something very important to help people not get offended easily.  I love the natural nation of Israel.  I love the people living in the natural nation of Israel.  I desire everyone both Jew and Gentile to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ (Rom 1:16).  So if you read something in this lesson that causes you to think I am a racist or a hater of anyone, you are wrong.  Are you ready study now?  Let us step into an initiation of the controversy within scripture.

QUICK INTRODUCTION TO ISRAEL’S
FOUNDATION AND RELATIONSHIP TO GOD

According to Jeremiah 3:8, Jeremiah 3:14, Jeremiah 3:20, Jeremiah 31:32, Ezekiel 16:8, Ezekiel 16:32 and Isaiah 54:5-6 to name only a few verses, where the natural people of Israel are called the Old Covenant wife of the Lord God.  These teach us that God’s Old Covenant relationship between the natural blood line descendants of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his 12 sons and all the natural people that descended from Jacob was that of a husband and a wife.  These people were called God’s covenant wife (H802) until they committed adultery and whoredom (Eze 16:17, Jer 3:9, Hos 2:2) with so many other gods and idols.  God finally handed these people a bill of divorce (Deut 24:1) that ended that covenant as we can read in Hosea 2:2, Jeremiah 3:8, Isaiah 50:1, and Galatians 4:30 to name just a few. These are simply basic facts of scriptures that need to be understood.

However, there are not a lot of ministers and teachers of the Bible that I know of, that have taught this part of the subject of Israel.  But the bottom-line conclusion is that the natural nation of Israel was considered by God to be His set apart woman and His wife (H802).  This officially occurred when she entered into a freewill covenant relationship with God on Mt Sinai where God gave them the Law (Jer 31:32, Gal 4:24).

There are several other Bible lessons that go into this in more detail on this website, if you have never studied this subject.  I would suggest that you begin with “Understanding Bible Covenants” first.  But we have seen enough verses to understand Israel was an Old Covenant female wife in covenant relationship with God her Husband.  Let us continue with this introduction to see the apparent contradiction of scripture about Israel.

INTRODUCTION TO AN ISRAEL
BIBLE CONTRADICTION

The opening lesson introduction statements and verses were probably very controversial to many new Bile students. But we now need to get into a deeper discussion that represents a suggested conflict within scripture.  This potential conflict characterizes the root of my reader’s question. Let us get started in learning what was the question and the mystery that is raised within our minds creating some difficult and potentially strong levels of confusion to many Christians.  For example, my reader pointed out that in Exodus 4:22-23, the natural nation of Israel while they were in bondage in Egypt, they were potentially called by God, His “firstborn son”. Here is my reader’s exact question and comment:

“I have a question and you can post this on the blog if you want. I understand how earthly Israel is one of the wives of God, but Israel is also called God’s firstborn son in the Old Testament (Exodus 4:22-23). How do you reconcile Israel being both a wife and a firstborn son to God the Father? I am having trouble figuring out the connection and would appreciate any info you could share on that.”

What a tremendously thoughtful and excellent deep Bible question about an apparent conflict of scripture.  How can a group of natural people be a male firstborn son and a female covenant wife simultaneously?  Can you see the potential confusion that this creates?  Let us continue this section of the lesson by reading the verses in question:

Exo 4:22  And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel (is) my son, (even) my firstborn:
Exo 4:23  And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.

It is clear from reading Jeremiah 31:32 and other verses that natural Israel was called God’s covenant wife making God their covenant Husband.  But here in Exodus 4 we can clearly see an apparent conflict emerging.  The people of Israel before entering the covenant marriage on Mt Sinai to God (Gal 4:24), were potentially referred to in Exodus 4 as God’s “son” and “firstborn”.  Therefore, we have God the Father declaring someone or a people His firstborn son in relation to their existence in Egypt.  That is an amazing contradiction.  Are they His wife? Or are they His son?  Or are they both simultaneously?  There appears to be a factor of great gender confusion being suggested in scriptures.

Anytime an apparent contradiction occurs in the scripture it is a time for rejoicing.  Every perceived conflict should be viewed as an expectant great opportunity to learn, because God does not make any mistakes and there are no conflicts when understood correctly.  I have found that whenever I encounter something that looks like a conflict at first in the Bible, it is caused because I do not understand the correct point of view of the subject from God’s spiritual perspective. In other words, I was usually thinking too naturally and not enough from a spiritual viewpoint.  We all know God is a Spirit (Jn 4:24) and we should know that His Spirit thoughts are much higher than our natural thoughts (Isa 55:8).  Therefore, I seek and ask God to reveal to me, His Word from His viewpoint.

For example, Jesus told us in John 5:39 that if anyone would search the scriptures of the Old Testament, we would find Him (everywhere) in them because they were (ALL of) those that testified of Him. This teaches us that Jesus is hidden in every word, sentence, paragraph, chapter, and book somewhere using some technique of spiritual concealment.  Wow, that means Jesus must be found here in Exodus 4 somewhere. Therefore, when I see any potential conflict, I immediately begin my hunt for conflict resolution by searching for Jesus.  Let us get started.

Let us begin this part of the lesson by removing the italicized translator added words and punctuation from the verses in question in Exodus.  This may help us to see something new.

Exo 4:22  And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh Thus saith the LORD Israel my son my firstborn: 

By the removal of two added words and from this verse and the translator’s commas, it changes the focus tremendously.  The translators believed they were adding focus to the natural people and nation, but they have only detracted from God’s statement that this verse was about Jesus.  “Thus, saith the LORD Israel My Son My Firstborn”.  By removing the added italicized words, it appears the word “Israel” is a name of God’s firstborn son.  This should begin to open our eyes to see something that we may have not seen before.  But let us verify this using scripture rather than my opinion.

We will begin the verification process with a dive into the Hebrew word used by God to describe Israel.  The first word H1121 was translated as “son”.  This Hebrew word literally means a male child that is born to carry the name and blood of the family into the next generation.  Without the continued male line in the family the family name ends.  This is why God created the law where if a firstborn son marries a wife and does not have any children, then his brother was to marry his brother’s widow.  They would then try to have children for his dead brother in order to carry on the family name.  Ok, we can see this concept first mentioned in Genesis 38 when Judah has 3 sons, and his oldest son marries a woman named Tamar, but he dies before having any children.  She then marries the next son, and he refuses to have children for his dead brother, and he dies.  The third son is never given to Tamar and so Tamar dresses as a prostitute to have a child through her dead husband’s father Judah.  Tamar does get pregnant thought Judah.  Thus, the family lineage of Jesus through Judah was preserved by a righteous act of Tamar’s deception (Gen 38:26).

All of this was a God designed connection called a “kinsman redeemer”.  This occurred when one blood relative took the wife of a dead relative to have children for him to continue the family name. We can read about this concept again in the Book of Ruth exclusively as a type of our redeemer “Jesus”.  Ruth was a Gentile, and a type of the church and Boaz was the type of Jesus the kinsman redeemer that redeemed humanity out of the chains of bondage of Satan’s dark kingdom..

It is also noteworthy that the Hebrew word “H1121” translated as “son” is what Jesus was called in the Bible repeatedly.  Every time in the Gospels when Jesus called Himself the “Son of man” or the “Son of God”, the word “Son” was equivalent to this Hebrew word H1121. Right there we have two possible connections to sonship in Exodus 4 and Jesus. First, Jesus was a “Son” (H1121) of Adam and second, He was the “Son” (H1121) of God simultaneously.  This was accomplished because Mary the mother of Jesus was a virgin daughter ancestor of Adam that was impregnated by the Holy Spirit (Mat 1:20).  Let us go to the word “firstborn” next.

H1060 that is translated as “firstborn”.  This Hebrew word comes from the Hebrew word H1069 and it does mean a natural childbirth that opens the womb of a physical women for the first time. Could this potentially also be a hidden reference to Jesus?  I believe it is.  We know this by reexamining the birth of Jesus in Matthew and Luke to confirm how Mary got pregnant and then notice what this resulting child is called.  Please go read both accounts and notice all the details.  Pay close attention to Matthew 1:25 and Luke 2:7 to begin.  Both verses claim that Mary brought forth her “firstborn” son.  Wow, that sounds like the exact wording and phrase used by God in Exodus 4, especially knowing who the Father was to this child by reading Matthew 1:18 and Luke 1:32.  Both verses claim Jesus’ Father was God the Holy Spirit!

Now ask God this question about our brand-new conflict rising before us in scripture.  Was Jesus Christ God’s firstborn Son or was natural Israel in Exodus 4 God’s firstborn son?  I mean it CANNOT BE BOTH!  It is impossible to have 2 firstborn sons.  Even when Jacob is described as birthing 12 sons from 4 different women, there was only 1 “firstborn” to Jacob.  According Genesis 35:23 the firstborn son of Jacob was Rueben. The second son’s birth regardless of the mother is always the second son to the father even if it was her first.  The first son’s birth regardless of the mother is always the first son. This is also true even if they were conceived simultaneously as twins, only one son can exit the womb first (Gen 25:24-25). There is always only one “first” and one “second”.  Therefore, a natural nation of Israel cannot be God’s “firstborn” son while we see Jesus also being called His “firstborn”.

We get the further resolution to this new conflict of two potential “firstborn” sons by reading John 3:16. In John 3:16 God says “For God so loved the world that He gave His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON…”  The Greek word G3439 translated as “ONLY BEGOTTEN” means “only born”.  John 3:16 defines Jesus to be God’s “ONLY” naturally born Son.  This truth of Jesus being the ONLY NATURAL BORN SON is further confirmed by God in John 1:14, John 1:18, John 3:16, John 3:18, and 1 John 4:9.

If Jesus was God’s ONLY naturally born Son, then He must also be God’s “FIRSTBORN” Son. This is basic logic and common sense.  An only child is both the first and the last child.  We can further confirm Jesus being the “Firstborn” of God by reading these verses: Romans 8:29, Collosians 1:15, 1:Collosians 1:18, Hebrews 1:6, Hebrews 12:23, and Revelations 1:5. In every verse the Greek word G4416 that was used to describe Jesus being Mary’s firstborn son is used to describe Jesus as being God’s “Firstborn” Son.  We have just confirmed using scripture that Jesus is the ONLY BORN SON of God and the FIRSTBORN SON of God.

Therefore, the natural nation of Israel would not qualify to be called by this name or title of “firstborn” even though it was the message that was given to us by translators in the English Old Testament. Uh oh!  The controversy continues unless both verses are about the same firstborn Son named Jesus with the same common name Israel. Could this be possible?  I believe it is.  God just gave us a great confirmation that it was His Son Jesus that He was referring to in Exodus 4.  But we are not done yet and there is more evidence to consider.  We need to continue our Sherlock Holmes type of Bible Study to discover and examine all the clues.

OUT OF EGYPT I HAVE CALLED MY SON

We have been going through Exodus 4:22 and 23 trying to learn who God is speaking of as being His firstborn son with a name of Israel.  I want us to examine some new clues given to us by God in the Gospels.  I hope you read and noticed that in the book of Matthew chapters 1 and 2, God provides us amazing evidence in the narrative of the natural birth of Jesus and His early childhood.  We will be reading some truly relevant verses about Jesus starting in Matthew 2:13. Please read these verses over carefully and notice how they appear to relate directly to Exodus 4:

Mat 2:13  And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
Mat 2:14  When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
Mat 2:15  And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son

Wow, we are discovering some especially important information about God’s Son and the natural nation of Egypt in verses 13, 14 and 15. God purposefully connects Jesus to the natural nation of Egypt very plainly. As we should know, the ruler Herod was angry that the wise men did not return to tell him of the location of Jesus.  Herod then killed every male child under two years old in Bethlehem and continued his search for Jesus in case he missed him in other locations of his ruling region.

The angel of the LORD was sent by God to warn Joseph of this plan and he told Joseph to take Jesus into the nation of Egypt. Joseph was told to stay there until he was given the word to leave and return to his home in Nazareth. Then Matthew makes an extraordinary claim. Matthew reveals that this action of Joseph would be the fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy saying, “Out of Egypt, I have called my Son”.  This prophecy can be easily passed over or ignored by many Bible students.  Let us go back into the Old Testament and examine God’s original prophecy that is quoted by Matthew:

Hos 11:1  When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. 

The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge gives us the necessary links to the verse of Matthew 2:15 by connecting this fulfillment back to both this verse in Hosea 11:1 and the Exodus 4 verses in question.  The original Exodus 4 divine statement of Israel being God’s Son that was being called out of Egypt is indirectly related to being fulfilled in the child Jesus in Matthew 2. Therefore, the Hosea 11:1 verse that we just read is very plainly and directly related to Jesus and Egypt.  I find this amazing to see how God speaks many hundreds of years before Jesus was born on the earth and then tells us in Matthew all of this was fulfilled in the life of Jesus.  This just continues to confirm what Jesus said that all of the O.T. was written about Him.

We should realize that God’s spiritual timings are not based upon normal human expectations.  We learn from reading in 2 Peter 3:8 that one thousand years of human time is just the same as a single day to God.  We can logically deduce that God spoke of Jesus coming out of Egypt as if it were occurring when Moses took the people of Israel out Egypt.  But this interpretation creates the conflict with other scriptures that declare this woman being taken out was going to be His Old Covenant wife and that would still not qualify to be the fulfillment of Matthew 2.

I would suggest that you go and read Ezekiel 16 to help us see God has always viewed the natural nation of Israel to be a covenant female.  In this chapter of Ezekiel 16, God described the birth of a discarded baby child that is thrown away in the pool of her own blood. This chapter further goes to describe how God took pity on this baby girl and commanded her to live and took care of her to grow up.  We can then read how she matures sexually and how God clothed her with fine clothing and jewels. This is the description of these natural people being a woman that were saved out of Egypt.  But then we still have a problem with the contradiction of Israel being a male in Exodus 4 if we take the literal English translation as a present tense fact and not a future tense prophecy.

Romans 4:17 reveals and teaches us a divine principle that God calls things that are not yet visibly seen and observable as if they were already manifested into our natural reality. We first learn this concept from Genesis 1 where several times God would say something like “Light Be” and then “Light was”.  This is how God works throughout the Bible.  Before He does a thing, He would speak it and then it would come to pass only after He had spoken it.

After creation God reiterates this principle speaking through the prophet Amos.  In Amos 3:7 God says, “Surely the LORD God will do nothing except He reveal His secret to His servants the prophets”. We learn from this concept that the prophet Moses writing in Exodus was declaring a future secret concerning Jesus. This is the pattern of God declaring His secret plan for future years before the timing of them happening.  This principle was certainly repeated by the prophet Hosea 11:1 about Jesus coming out of Egypt and I believe it is the same being said by the prophet Moses writing in Exodus 4.

Let us get back to Hosea 11:1. Did you notice what Hosea 11:1 said?  It is easily missed.  We know from reading the quotation in Matthew 2 that this verse was a prophecy of the child Jesus being taken to Egypt and then back out of Egypt at God’s direction.  But this verse begins with a very radical declaration “When Israel was a Child…”. Notice that it does not say “When Yeshua (Jesus) was a Child”. Ok, that continues the subject and repeats the question that is vital to understanding a lot of the Bible.  Who exactly is Israel?  It appears from what we are seeing so far that Israel is a name of God and Jesus.  Let us analyze this Israel name subject in more depth in our next section.

WHO IS ISRAEL?

Most Bible preachers and teachers that I have learned from believe the name “Israel” is only defined in the Bible as a natural nation of people that originated from Jacob and his 12 sons. And it just so happens, that it was these people that moved to Egypt after their son and brother Joseph was sold into slavery (Gen 37:28) where he eventually became the second in command in Egypt. Remember there was a famine in the land but before it occurred a dream was given to Pharaoh and only Joseph was able to interpret the dream (Gen 41:14-15). It was this famine that was hidden in the dream that drove Joseph’s father to send some of his remaining sons into Egypt to buy them food. While in Egypt they met with Joseph and eventually reconciled, and the entire family moved to Egypt.  One of the key brothers of Joseph that is noteworthy was Judah.

Judah was the brother that saved Joseph from being killed by his other brothers.  It was Judah that suggested they all sell Joseph into slavery.  It was this act of salvation that caused them all to eventually be saved by Joseph from starvation and end up in Egypt.  But my key point in this story is that Judah is also the name of the son of Jacob that will bring forth their Messiah named Jesus the Christ. This is an extremely important point to remember. We will try to get to this in depth later. But, for now we have just confirmed how these people came to exist in Egypt.

Now, let us consider how all of these natural people obtained the name “Israel”.  To know this, we must read Genesis chapter 32:

Gen 32:24  And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
Gen 32:25  And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.
Gen 32:26  And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
Gen 32:27  And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
Gen 32:28  And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
Gen 32:29  And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
Gen 32:30  And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

We can clearly see a divine encounter taking place between Jacob and a supernatural being in the form of a “man”.  I am not going to attempt to teach this entire encounter.  We only need to focus upon the name change that takes place. Here after wrestling this supernatural man, this man asks Jacob his name and says from henceforth your name will no longer be called “Jacob” but rather “Israel” because you have obtained “power” with God and men and have prevailed.  Jacob then asked this man his name and then uses the information given to him to name the place where he was wrestling “Peniel”.

Peniel is a Hebrew word that means the “Face of God”.  From what we have been reading and studying in Genesis 32, we can surmise that Jacob has just been with God or at the least a supernatural representative of God.  We can further deduce that Jacob was given God’s name during this encounter.  Wow, I hope you got that. I am totally convinced that “Israel” was one of God’s names first and that it was passed down to the earth as a marriage covenant name change for His chosen natural people that would come from him. Our traditional human marriage covenant name change, for the wife to take the husband’s name was a God created idea.  I do not know why so many people have not seen this before. The evidence for this conclusion is all over the Old Testament.  Read these verses to help us see what God is saying to us:

2Ch 7:14  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 

Isa 65:1  I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name

Jer 7:10  And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? 

Jer 7:11  Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD

Jer 7:30  For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it. 

Jer 32:34  But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it. 

Dan 9:19  O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name

I do not have time to go over every verse that I just listed.  There are plain references in these sample verses that claim God’s natural people on the earth are all called by His name.  This is probably one reason why Satan hates these natural people so very much. In a couple of these verses it may appear to indicate that it is just the city Jerusalem or the tribe of Judah alone that have His name, but that would be a rush to judgment without giving the verses enough thought.  For example, if I said the city of Jerusalem is my capital.  It requires me asking which Jerusalem and which nation is Jerusalem the capital of?  The correct answers would be that God is speaking of the natural Jerusalem on the earth in the middle east and it is the capital of the natural nation of Israel.  Therefore, the greater binding covenant name above Jerusalem would be Israel.  And all of the people living in the subset of the city of Jerusalem would still be called by the larger mathematical set name Israel also.  These are just basic laws of mathematical sets.  Every subset category is still a member of the larger encompassing set.

This is also true for the people within in the tribe of Judah.  Judah was the one brother that was used by God to bring Jesus into the world. The single tribe of Judah is still under the national heritage of their father Jacob who was renamed Israel.   All these people that came from natural Jacob would all be labeled by God as a part of Israel.  It is important to notice how the corporate nation containing all 12 tribes originated from one man that was renamed Israel by God.  But there are other verses that we may also need to consider helping us confirm the truth.  For example, read these verses and notice what they say:

Exo 5:1  And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. 

Jos 8:30  Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in mount Ebal, 

Jer 7:3  Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. 

There are approximately 200 verses that have the similar phrase “God of Israel” in it.  Please think with me and consider what the word “of” means.  We should begin by defining the word “of”.  “Of” can generally mean the first noun comes from the source or origin of the following noun. It would be like us saying the people of Jerusalem.  That clearly would indicate that the people being spoken of came from a city named Jerusalem.  But when God says “the God of Israel” it would seem to be an indication that God came from Israel and that does not really make sense, does it?  That would appear to be another contradiction since we know someone from heaven came down to give Jacob this name and therefore the name definitely came from heaven.

The antithesis of saying “the God’ of Israel” is found in Galatians 6:16 where God wrote the “Israel of God”. The Galatians 6 verse is clearly speaking about an “Israel” that originated from God, but the phrase “God of Israel” seems to be saying something different or is it. In the first example the God of Israel appears to indicate that God is the lower object that is contained within the higher object that is named Israel.  But in the Galatians 6 example the “Israel of God” that cannot be the same type of relationship as Israel appears to be a lower object that is contained within the larger object God.  This is just getting too complicated, isn’t it?

I am going to propose another possible solution to this complexity.  I believe the word “of” can be eliminated completely and this might solve our problem and help us confirm Israel is God’s name at the same time. This is the same principle that we used earlier by removing translator added italicized words. If you analyze the original Hebrew text in parallel to the English words being stated, you will find that there is no Hebrew word that is translated as “of”.  Therefore, it appears to be a translator suggestion to what they thought the other actual words meant.  I mean the translator could have written “God in Israel”, “God by Israel”, “God from Israel” as well as the “God of Israel” or even a multitude of other prepositional English words.  These prepositions have been added by translators thinking they help us understand the words given to us by God, but sometimes they distract from the original intended meanings.

Let us go back and reread Exodus 5:1 removing the inserted English preposition “of” that is not in the Hebrew.  It would read “Thus saith the LORD GOD ISRAEL”.  That statement makes a tremendous amount of plain sense to me knowing what I know now. We all should know that God sits in the heavens (Mat 22:32, Heb 1:3).  We now have learned that God gave Jacob a name “Israel” that came from heaven (Gen 32:28). Therefore, we have a direct connection of the name Israel coming from God in heaven.  Based upon this information it would not be an abuse of scripture to say, “Thus says the LORD GOD ISRAEL”.

Most of the English prepositional words like “the”, “of”, “in”, “by”, “from”, “with”, etc. were added by translators thinking they were helping to clarify the Hebrew words mentioned in God’s ordered sequence.  Most of the time they did a great job and they do help us.  But please understand there was not a Hebrew word found in the original Hebrew language text that could be translated “of” or “the” in any of these verses. For example, back to Exodus 5:1 if we remove all the words added by translators, God said in the Hebrew “Thus(H3541) saith(H559) LORD(H3068) God(H430) Israel(H3478)”.

If you like the added word “of” in “God of Israel” more than the “God Israel” that is fine, and I will not debate you.  For now, I see it more clearly with the omission of the word “of” as being one of God’s names that was given to Jacob in Genesis 32.  If you are an advanced Hebrew scholar and would like to share your thoughts on this wording “God of Israel” versus “God Israel”, I would love to hear your comments to learn more about it. But, I now think that we need to move to a different and even deeper study of the name “Israel” that should turn up the intensity of the light on this subject.

UNDERSTANDING THE NAME ISRAEL – DEFINITION

Israel_MeaningThis part of the subject study of the word “Israel should be a Bible study all by itself. But I will give the shortened overview to help us understand that the name Israel is particularly important to our understanding of the Bible.  Let us analyze the definitions given to us by dictionaries like “Strong’s”.  The Hebrew word translated as “Israel” is H3478.  Here is the definition given to us by “Strong”:

H3478

יִשְׂרָאֵל
yiśrâ’êl
yis-raw-ale’

From H8280 and H410; he will rule as God; Jisrael, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity: – Israel.

First notice this word H3478 is made up from the combination of two other Hebrew words.  The first “H280” means “to prevail or to have power as a prince or a ruler”.  Then that word is combined with “H410”.  This word H410 literally means “to have strength or to be mighty” and it is translated as “God” over 200 times in the Old Testament. This Hebrew word is typically viewed as a shortened form (EL) of God’s plural name “Elohim” and is often found in many other Hebrew names.  In fact, this short form of God’s name occurs in at least 150 other names found in the Bible like “Samuel” that means “heard of God”.

What I would like you to consider for a takeaway is for us to see that Strong defines this word Israel as “He will rule as God”.  Then ask the obvious questions. Who is he?  And who can rule as God?  Is the answer the natural man Jacob? Is the answer Satan?  Or is it possible that He who will rule as God is the conquering and victorious Jesus?  I believe it can only be Jesus.  We can see several clues revealing this to us in the Bible.  For example, read Revelation 12:5 which is a description of male child that is birthed by a woman that is stated to rule with a rod of iron. This male child is not named but he must represent a form of God. Then read Revelation 19:15 where a grown man riding on a white horse comes back to the earth from heaven to rule all nations with a rod of iron.  Reading back up in Revelation 19:13 we find this man’s name is the “Word of God”.  This of course is another name for Jesus (God the Son).

From just these few examples, I have concluded that Israel (HE WHO WILL RULE AS GOD) is Jesus the risen from the dead Christ.  And if we are in Him and overcome our flesh, the devil and the world, then according to Revelation 2:25-26 we read this promise:

Rev 2:26  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Rev 2:27  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. 

Here we have the Highest Ruler Jesus speaking to the churches and He says that whoever overcomes and keeps His works till the end, to them He will give power over the nations and they will rule with Him with a rod of iron.  That is an amazing statement of truth.  This should give us motivation and hope for a significantly better future. It is self-evident to me that only Jesus qualifies to rule over every nation on the earth. It further says to me that only Jesus is qualified to delegate this authority to anyone else.  Therefore, the name Israel can only be God’s name and only He will rule as God!  Let us conclude this lesson with a new particularly important perspective.

LET MY SON GO

We have been studying to determine who God was speaking of in Exodus 4:22-23 that is called His Son.  We have seen in these verses where God spoke to Pharaoh of Egypt through the prophet Moses and commanded him to let God’s Firstborn Son go or else Pharaoh’s firstborn son would be killed.  We all should know the context of this command.  This occurred during God’s first Passover.  Pharaoh made the wrong choice and did not let God’s Son go.  The children of Israel were then told to obtain a lamb to slay it, and to place it’s blood upon the doorposts of the houses.  We all should know that this slain lamb was a symbolic representation of Jesus the firstborn Son of God.  Jesus was God’s Lamb that would be crucified hundreds of years later, on a cross on Passover.  It was this lamb’s blood on the doorposts of homes in Egypt that instructed the death angel to bypass  their houses and all their firstborn were saved. But the firstborn of every house of Egypt without any lamb’s blood their firstborn child died, including Pharaoh’s.

Here is the main point. When God was speaking of His firstborn Son to be freed from bondage, He was looking forward in time seeing the Son of God that would be born from the people of the nation of Israel that were being held in bondage in Egypt. All the living descendants of Jacob/Israel were being held captive slaves in this natural nation of Egypt. And if they were never freed, how could their Messiah Jesus have been born in Bethlehem?  How could there have been a temple built in Jerusalem?  How could there have been David the King of Israel, and on and on we could go.  God was calling things that were not yet manifest as if they were already real when He commanded His Firstborn Son to be freed from Egyptian slavery.  Wow, I pray you are receiving what the Holy Spirit is saying to us.

I need to show you a principle that is revealed to us in the book of Hebrews that is a MUST to understanding a lot of the Bible.  I have taught this principle in other Bible lessons because it applies to many other subjects and it represents a fundamental law of God called the Law of Seeds.

Heb 7:5  And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:
Heb 7:6  But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.
Heb 7:7  And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.
Heb 7:8  And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
Heb 7:9  And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.
Heb 7:10  For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him

Verse 5 begins with a description of Levi and his descendants being given the responsibility of High Priests in Israel.  God then says these descendants were commanded to receive tithes of their brothers in the other tribes of Israel. God ends the verse with the radical statement that all of these people came out of the “loins” of Abraham their father. That was the fundamental law that you need to see.  When God showed me these concepts I was literally blown away.  Think of the implications that this truth is revealing to us.  For example, God knows the exact sperm cell and their order of impartation into a female to cause every impregnation of every born child down the entire family blood line.  We can clearly see that God is into every detail of our life.  This is a divine characteristic of Him.

family_tree1Notice what God said in verse 5.  Remember that Levi was the great-grandson of Abraham.  Levi came from the family lineage of his father Jacob/Israel.   Then Jacob going down the family tree came from his father Isaac.  Isaac continuing down the family tree then came from his father Abraham.  Yet God speaks of them all as a corporate single individual sperm cell being one together, from one source and one father.  Wow!  You may not understand this concept of a sperm cell.  A natural sperm cell is called a “seed” by God in the Bible.  You can read about this concept in Genesis 38:9 in the story we looked at earlier about Onan who married Tamar his dead brother Er’s wife to raise up a seed for him.  In the case of Jesus it was God’s word that was His Seed that impregnated the virgin Mary.  Read down to verse 9 to find out the most important concept that applies to our lesson.

Did you notice what God says in verses 9 and 10?  God makes it very plain that Levi who received tithes three generations later after Abraham also paid tithes to Melchisedec because he was that one sperm cell in the “loins” of his father Abraham when it happened.  Wow, Wow, and Wow!   This is the law of fruit with seeds inside itself given to us by God in Genesis 1:11.  There is an old concept that  says “No one knows how many apples are in one apple seed.  That is a part of what God is teaching us, “No one knows how many children are in one Abraham “seed” except God.  We notice this concept being repeated by God in 1 Corinthians 15:22 where God says “in Adam (his seed) all die, but in Christ (His Seed) all shall be made alive”.  What God is saying is because Levi was a seed inside Abraham, whatever Abraham did was what all of his descendants from that seed also did.  Again, Wow!

Can you see how this law of Seeds from Genesis 1 applies to what God said in Exodus 4:22-23?  Since Levi was in an Abraham seed, so also was his brother Judah.  Since Jesus came from the tribe of Judah, Jesus also paid tithes to Melchisedec like Levi. This is such a radical revelation. Why do you think it was so important for God to put Jesus’ genealogy in the books of Matthew and Luke?  These genealogies show us who Jesus was in all the way back to His natural father Adam.  Jesus was in Adam when he rebelled and caused everyone that comes from him to also die.  This teaches us that Jesus was born into the world to die.  It also helps us to understand how God says in Revelation 13:8 that Jesus was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.  God had Jesus planned to come into the world when He created Adam.  Jesus was the preplanned seed of redemption inside of Adam before there was any need for Him to come.  This is a great descriptive example of the Omniscience of God.  He knew what was going to happen before it happened and it was already taken care of in His mind and His designed actions when creating our world.

Therefore, Jesus was the continuing seed in all of His natural family lineage loins including when they were being commanded to be released from Egyptian captivity and slavery in Exodus 4:22-23.  This confirms how God’s commandment to Pharaoh to let go His “firstborn” was a directive to speak of His coming Firstborn Son Jesus the Christ.  When God was speaking of releasing the nation of Israel in Egypt, there was present one seed (sperm cell) in this group of all the people that contained His firstborn Son.  Please understand that I am not making up facts of truth.  God teaches us very clearly in Galatians 3 this one seed concept speaking of Abraham.  Read this verse that confirms the one seed concept:

Gal 3:16  Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 

We can plainly read when the promises of God were given to Abraham and his seed that God was only focused upon a single seed that was Jesus Christ.  God again saw every detail and selected one sperm cell and made His promise to that one seed that would continue until Jesus came into the world.  Wow!  I don’t know how anybody is not totally amazed at God’s wisdom.  Praise the LORD!

CONCLUSION

We have been discovering some radical new information and how to understand and apply it to JESUS.  Thank you to my reader for a great Bible question.  We just learned how God commanded the entire nation of Israel from Pharaoh’s captivity while He was speaking of just one Seed that would become His, Firstborn Son, named Jesus being born in a manager in Bethlehem some 1400+ years later.  Is there anybody like God?  I don’t think so!  We have just given the resolution of a major conflict of scriptures simply by seeing the verses from God’s higher perspective.  We have discovered that Jesus said all of the verses in the Old Testament testify about Him and now we are beginning to see how this can be with a lot more clarity.  I pray that you can see how God could simultaneously be speaking of natural Israel, His covenant wife while declaring His natural born ONLY SON was in her to command a world ruler to let Him go.

Today we should have learned the following facts of information:

  1. Israel was a given name that came down from God in heaven.
  2. The name Israel was given to one man named Jacob
  3. But in Jacob were the seeds for the entire nation so everyone is called Israel
  4. Israel is a name that means “He will rule as God”
  5. Israel became God’s Old Covenant wife being a nation of people referred to as a single female bride
  6. Israel committed adultery and whoredoms with other gods
  7. Israel was divorced by God ending the covenant
  8. Israel became captive slaves to Egypt
  9. God raised up a deliverer of Israel named Moses that was faithful to God to bring His message to Egypt
  10. God commanded Pharaoh to let His Son His Firstborn go or else Pharaoh’s son would be killed
  11. We now know from the N.T. that Jesus is the “Only Born” Son of God
  12. We now know also from the N.T. that Jesus is the “First Born” Son of God
  13. Therefore we know that natural Israel the nation cannot be the same
  14. We can now conclude that God’s Firstborn Son that was being commanded to be freed was a prophetic reference to Jesus who was a single seed in the natural nation of Israel and whatever happened to them would happen to Jesus
  15. Pharaoh released the natural nation of Israel (God’s Son) without fully understanding who he was freeing.
  16. Israel is Jesus’ name and He will rule as God now and in the future 1000 year millennium. 

These were some of the key points that should have been understood in today’s advanced Bible lesson.  I would highly recommend that you go back and reread lessons like this more than once.  It was too much information to get it all with one reading.  I hope and pray that everyone gained some spiritual knowledge that helped them understand God’s Holy Word.  I also pray that you learned how to study the Bible more than just to read what the Bible says on the surface.  This desire should cause us to begin to see things more like God sees them and to look for Jesus in every word.

It is my number one goal to teach people how to fish for their everyday truth food in Bible study and not to just give someone a single fish snack Bible lesson for the day.  I love God and the Bible more than life itself.  The Word of God is the most amazing Book that is available anywhere in the world.  I pray that you saw something new in this Bible lesson that you have never seen before and that this increase in your spiritual knowledge.  I pray that every new revelation that you receive from God, will help to open your eyes to become a severely starving and thirsty Christian that only knowing more about Jesus will satisfy.

We love you and we thank you and God bless you very much for spending your very valuable time reading and studying the Bible with us on “Agapegeek.Com“.  We are always extremely blessed to be a blessing to our readers and subscribers.  Please leave us a comment, press the like and share this lesson if it was a blessing to you.  Also if you have a Bible Question that you have been struggling with, please leave it as a comment and if the Holy Spirit leads, I will attempt to answer it.  Thank you.

If you need prayer for absolutely anything that Satan is trying to do to you in this crazy end time, please leave us a comment with that information and we will pray for you.  Help us to spread the good news of Jesus Christ, because Jesus is coming back very soon.

AGAPE “GEEK” CHRISTIAN RECCOMENDATIONS

High-Tech companies are trying to silence us.  If you are using the most popular search engines as your source for information they are tracking everything you do on the internet and you have no privacy or rights.  They also filter what you see on your searches to their biased ungodly preferences using corrupt algorithms that are biased against all Conservative Christian voices.

I highly recommend that you change immediately your search browser to the “DuckDuckGo” browser and search engine to protect yourself and keep these high-tech monopoly companies from placing Christians at the bottom of the search results to silence us.  Also get off of Social Media like Facebook.  I stopped using this over 5 years ago.  I recommend Parler as a free speech alternative platform  Thank you and God Bless you all very much.

Modern Examples of Deception to Avoid Part 6 – Why I’m Not A Christian Anymore! A Christian’s Response to a Deceived Man!

Danger_Sign2

(Ver 1.1)  This is now “Part 6” in a significantly important Bible study series focused on the subject of modern examples of deception found in the body of Christ for Christians to avoid.  If you would like to read the series from the beginning you can go to “Part 1” first.  But please understand this lesson will stand alone to be useful and applicable for increasing our spiritual maturity.   I have never seen such an increase in the levels of deception in my lifetime.  Politics has become significantly corrupt being empowered by Satan’s deception.  The news media has been corrupt being used as instruments of propaganda for deception.  But we need to know how Satan operates to deceive us and that is the intended design of this Bible study series.   I was reading internet blogs the other day and I ran across one that particularly stood out to me.  This man had become disillusioned with God, the Bible, Christianity and Christians and he published a list of his top 20 reasons why he walked away from being a Christian.  As you read you should discover that this man was raised in country that permits Christianity to exist.  You should also notice that his parents raised him to be a Christian by taking him to church.  But, somewhere in his life he became offended at Christians that do not live up to his standards.  He became deceived and this is why we are going to read his reasons for departing from the faith.  So this is a Christian’s response to a deceived man for us to learn from so that we hopefully do not fall into the same trap presented by Satan.

This may be a very controversial subject but we must understand that there are warnings found in the Bible that inform us not to be deceived to turn away from following after Jesus.  Here is what I have learned.  I see works of deception implemented by Satan to deceive people from remaining faithful to continue in the Word of God to search for, find and believe the truth.  If a person finds or is raised in the Word of God initially but does not follow through till the end, they are like the stony soil or the thorny ground that never produced fruit for their salvation.  I believe this is what today’ Bible study is all about.  We are going to examine 20 statements that this man said were his personal reasons why he turned away from being a believing Christian (Heb 3:12).  He was raised by parents who started him on the pathway to being saved but he became spiritually deceived and this caused him to turn around to go in the wrong direction.  This is a great example for any new Christians to learn from in order to not repeat the same mistake.

INTRODUCTION

The Bible says a fool says there is no God (Ps 14:1).  In the world today a person that does not believe in God is called an atheist.  But, God gives this type of person a different title description.  I am really not sure if this man who walked away from God still believes there is a God or not.  If he does and chooses to not seek Him that sounds just as foolish as not believing that there is a God.  In Romans, God says this to people that are not seeking Him:

Rom 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Rom 1:19  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
Rom 1:20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse

God clearly says that He can literally be seen and known by observing the things that He has created.  Therefore, every human will be without excuse on judgment day.  That is a very strong warning to us all.  If someone began their life in Christ Jesus but then they turned away to not produce any fruit the eternal consequence are amazingly sad.  But the consequences are very similar to someone that has never heard the Gospel.  We learn from this that no human will be able to stand before our Supreme Judge God and give an excuse for why we were deceived or did not believe.

This man we are about to review is just an example of someone who still has a tremendous amount to learn about God and His Truth.  Hopefully he has not closed his mind to God completely.  Hopefully he will come to his senses like the Prodigal son, to come back home to hear God’s truth, and to listen to His messengers.  Let us all pray that he will run back to the Father’s house and receive God’s blessings.

WHY HE WALKED AWAY & ONE CHRISTIAN RESPONSE

So here is the list of 20 excuses of this deceived man and my response to each one individually.  Please read what I wrote and think how you might answer each one.  If you have any better responses, please share them in a comment.  Thank you in advance.  I will also mention for full disclosure this is a condensed list of his objections to being a Christian.  I could not put the entire narrative in this lesson or it would have been too long.

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1.  God is wrathful, jealous, hateful, and kills nations of people like it is a bodily function. He is certainly not just or “holy” in nature.

Please tell me which god you are talking about?  You are not seeing accurately about the real God of the Bible.  These are a confused set of assumptive judgments about a God that must have never been known or experienced. These accusations appear to be based upon great ignorance and a lack of understanding of the Bible and definitely contain deception. 

We will start with what is true.  Yes God is Jealous (Exo 34:14).  He is not pleased with people who say they serve Him but, only half heartedly.  Too many Christians go to church while simultaneously becoming focused upon other gods (Deu 11:16).  What about this is bothersome?  If you were married and your wife fooled around with other men would you not be jealous?  Jealousy is not a sin.  Let us move to hate.

There is no hatred found in God except for His hatred for evil (Prov 6:16).  God is a Holy God and He commands us to be Holy also (1 Pet 1:16).  God’s Holiness demands justice for sin.  If there are any acts of judgments upon humans it is because God’s patience has ended and His judgements are executed for cleaning up the effects of evil on the earth.  We can find this in Genesis 6:5-7, for example.  Let us move to God’s commands to kill nations next.

There are examples in the Old Testament of God commanding the people of Israel to kill every man, woman and child in the promise land.  That sounds really hateful, but this was just another act of justice and an attempt to keep the children of Israel from being deceived to follow after these nations false gods which would result in judgment against Israel (Exo 23:31-33).   These godless idol worshipping nations were under Satan’s kingdom of darkness influence.  They could not be convinced to change to know the true God so they were judged.

There existed in Bible days many godless nations in the world.  Many of these had to be judged for their sins of great evil.  Many of these had to be eliminated completely so that they would not corrupt God’s covenant people.  This is the way of a Holy God in the Old Testament.  This changed in the New Covenant because of God’s grace. 

Why would humans ignore the existence of evil and human sin to deny the requirement for divine justice and consequences for these wrong human choices?  For humans to judge God as being unjust is clearly a denial of a truthful need for justice.  If a nation allows murder to occur without consequences the increase of murderous acts would explode.  Every time a human would bet angry at someone, it would result in the loss of someone’s life.  That would be unjust and unfair, not punishing the person for committing the crime.

Worse still is someone calling God a murderer for judging righteously.  Evil sins have consequences (Gal 6:7).   Here are a few key verses to learn and understand:

1 Jn 4: 8 “God is Love and he that does not love does not know Him
Jn 3:16 “God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have eternal life“.
Job 4:17 “Shall a mortal man be more just than God?  Shall a man be more pure than his creator?”
Zep 3:5 “The LORD is righteous within her; He will do no injustice.  Every morning He brings His justice to light; He does not fail.  But the unjust knows no shame”.

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2.  The act of throwing people into infinite torture and punishment for not believing in a Jewish guy from 2,000 years ago was God’s son, or unknowingly worshiping the wrong god, is extremely cruel and sadistic.

Why do you think that people like me spend so much time trying to get people like you to believe in this Jesus?  I mean there must be a good reason for this extraordinary effort?  I believe this effort of preaching the Gospel of Truth is extremely important and worth every second.  There are countless Christians on TV, the internet, in books and in person who try to get unsaved people to see and receive the truth!  People must think that we are all stupid for wasting our valuable time warning people about hell.  However, Jesus commanded us to go into all the world and preach the good news to every person on the earth (Mk 16:15).  Why would He do this?  It is because He wanted to warn them about hell and tell them that God is not mad at anyone (Col 1:20).   God has forgiven the sin of every human by the personal shedding of His blood once (Heb 9:26).  But while this gift of not going to hell is offered to everyone it must be received by every human on God’s terms (Rom 10:9-10).    God made it so simple to get saved and avoid hell.  All that we have to do is believe in Jesus was the virgin born Son of God who died for our sins on a cross and after 3 days He was raised from the dead and then we must confess Him to be our LORD and we are saved.  Why is this wrong?  If I told you that I was going to give everyone that came to me a million dollars but you had to do somethings to receive it, does that make me unjust or unfair? 

The real question that needs to be asked is not why a loving God would allow anyone to go to hell, but rather why would any human reject the free offer of salvation from a loving God to not die and be eternally separated from Him?  Let’s review some verses that confirm it is a human choice where they spend eternity:

Mar 16:15-16  And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.  He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned”.

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

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

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3.  The statements, “God works in mysterious ways,” or “It will all make sense in heaven,” are little more than irrational cop outs. This God allows horrible atrocities to be committed against innocent men, women and children every day.

This is probably one of the few reasons that I agree with you on.  Christians can be as ignorant as non-Christians sometimes.  Because Christians do not know how to answer a question using the Bible truth correctly they make up a religious answer like “God Works in Mysterious Ways”.  That is totally a cop out and I would say that it is the wrong thing for them to say.  It would be far wiser for a Christian to say “I don’t know” than to give anyone an opinionated biased untruthful answer like one of these. 

But, that does not answer the real question to why God allows evil to be done to presumably “innocent” people. Ok, let us start with asking some basic questions, 1) what does it mean to be innocent, 2) who is innocent and 3) is there anyone that can be considered completely innocent? To be “innocent” is like someone pleading “Not Guilty” while being charged with murder.  But this does not necessarily mean they are innocent and not responsible in some way for the death.  They could plead “Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity”.  This would change our viewpoint dramatically.  Now we understand the person is taking responsibility but claiming they did not understand what they were doing when they did it.  That is not being “innocent”.  

I personally do not know of anyone born on earth that is truly “innocent”.  Romans 9:10 quotes a O.T. verse and says “There is none righteous, no not one”.  Then in Romans 5:12 God makes it even more plain by saying “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon ALL men for that all have sinned”.  Wow, that simply means there are no sinless people in the world and death can occur to anyone because of sin that our father Adam committed.  You see in Hebrew 7:9 God reveals to us that whatever our fathers before us did, is what we are guilty of doing because we were in their body.  Wow, that leaves none of us innocent or sinless.   But, that still does not answer why God allows bad things to happen to sinners.

I have to answer this question this way.  In Genesis  1:26 when God created humans He says “Let them have dominion over all the earth”.  This was God giving humans responsibility to rule over, manage and control His creation.  Based upon this information God must allow whatever humans allow to happen since He has delegated this task and responsibility.  Therefore, if humans allow a Hitler to kill millions of Jews on the earth, God must allow it.  God is not committing the atrocities nor does He permit them to occur unless we allow them. 

We must begin to realize the consequences for Adam’s sin and rebellion against God’s command.  In fact, the Bible informs us that the creator God is not the “god” of this current evil world system (2 Cor 4:4), God says that Satan is.  We can further confirm this truth by understanding the temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4:8-9 when Satan takes Jesus up to the top of a high mountain and shows Him all the kingdoms of our world.  He then tells Jesus if you will worship me, all of these I will give to you.  Since Jesus did not dispute this claim to be a lie, we understand the rulership of kingdoms given to Adam in our current world were taken from him and transferred to Satan’s control.  What we are learning is God is not in sovereign control of what humans do.  God will let you go out and commit 150 murders tomorrow, if that is what you want to do. 

So who is doing all of the evil, humans or God?  If humans are doing the killing then humans are doing the evil and not God.  If humans become wise enough to make the right choice to accept and believe in Jesus Christ this transfers a human from Satan’s kingdom of darkness and evil to God’s Kingdom of Light.  Then God comes to live on the inside of a Christian to help them to not do evil, Praise the Lord!   Christians still must continue to be in the Word of God consistently to renew their minds in order to change old human habits of doing wrong.  God is helping me and He will help anyone else who desires to change to do the same.

But, if other people love evil more than a desire for knowing God and doing good they have that right of choice.  A few terrorists went and killed over 2000 people on 9/11, it was their wrong choices that committed the evil and NOT GOD!  God is sovereign!  Yes!  But, God is NOT a Grand Puppet Master pulling everyone’s strings controlling them by force to do what He wants them to do. Humans were created with a “freewill” and given the right to make up their own minds to do right or wrong.  When we blame God, we are shifting the human responsibility given to Adam for stopping the evil off of our choices and that is what Satan wants us to believe.

God wrote us the Law in the O.T.  In this are found 10 key commandments.  These are laws like “thou shalt not lie”, “thou shalt not commit murder”, “thou shalt not commit adultery”, etc.  Yet God cannot force anyone to follow them and obey.   It works exactly like this in our world.  There are laws for people to not steal, commit murder, etc. and yet people ignore these everyday also.  So who is to blame?  It is NOT GOD!

Will forcing people to do no evil in the world fix those who are evil in their heart or mind who want to commit these atrocities?  What would you suggest that God do with all of these evil people to stop them?  Are you saying that God should kill them?  I think that was your reason #1 complaint that you thought that God kills people for no good reason.  But, I have proved that God has plenty of valid reasons to execute justice.

No the only solution for eliminating evil is to change the human heart and mind of every evil human and get them saved to know the LOVE of GOD!  That is exactly what I am trying to do.  Therefore, I’m not blaming God for evil people, I’m just telling them how they can change to live a life that is so much better than committing any evil following after Satan’s plan.

1Jn 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us

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4.  Bloody animal and human sacrifices are illogical demands by a divine god as payment for petty wrong human doings. These actions are no different than the rituals of archaic pagan religions. Not to mention the bizarre ritual of symbolically drinking human blood and eating human flesh.

You speak of “petty wrong human doings” in this reason and God allowing horrible “atrocities” in your previous reason.  You obviously accuse God of allowing these horrible atrocities and men of doing only petty minor offenses.  That is another example of shifting blame where the blame is not truthful.  We have already seen that God says there are no righteous people without Jesus and that we have all sinned.  Now combine this with James 2:10 that says “whoever keeps the whole law but offends in one point, is guilty of breaking every law”.   Wow, that is not exactly  good.  That means if you don’t commit murder but yet tell one lie you are technically guilty of murder in the first degree.  Therefore, there are NO PETTY SINS!

Let us examine your issue with blood, animals and sacrifice.  God never performed, commanded or allowed human sacrifices.  If anyone was killed it was for a just legal judgment based upon their own evil behavior.  The need for the bloody sacrifice of animals in the Old Testament was to teach people the consequences for committing sins. God lays out the requirement for blood to cleanse human sin in Hebrews 9:22.  In this verse God says “Almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without the shedding of blood is no remission of sin”.  In the O.T. the high priest would take a pure and spotless animal like a lamb and kill it.  The innocent blood would make a temporary atonement for human sin. But, this was required every year since people kept sinning continuously.  God was trying to teach humans that another final greater payment for sin was required.

This teaches us why Jesus had to die on a cross.  His personal choice to come to the earth to be our sacrifice by shedding His innocent blood once and for all, was what was needed.  This was God’s greatest payment for human reconciliation and redemption and it alone satisfied His pure and Holy justice requirement to save us from hell.  Only the blood of God Himself could pay the price that was necessary.  Now, no other blood ever needs to be shed either animal, human or divine.  Blood sacrifices have ended and this is now a mute point and a wrong reason not be a Christian.  Thank you Jesus! 

As far as your references to the saying of Jesus to “eat my flesh and drink my blood”, you are missing the point that was being made.  Jesus was speaking figurative and not literally.  People do this all the time.  We say “it is raining cats and dogs”.  That does not mean it is literally happening.  This is why people are so easily deceived or offended at the Words of the Bible.  They take many words out of context, misapply them, misunderstand them or just misinterpret them and this leads to deception.  I will not attempt to explain fully what Jesus was talking about in this reply.  But, in order to understand it, we must understand that His flesh was the Word of God.  We know this by reading John 1:1-14.  Jesus was trying to tell people in order to have eternal spirit life they had to have the Word of God in their spirit.  

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5.  If God loves us and wants us to know and believe in him, why be so completely invisible? What is the purpose of being so illusive to those who believe and worship him?

This is actually a great question.  But, I do not believe that you understand the God that I know.  I believe God talks to me and converses in personal conversations with me to lead me, guide me and help me become more like Him.  I believe He teaches me new things every day and I talk to Him and say thank you a lot.  This is called a relationship.  Real Christianity is NOT  RELIGION.  If someone does not experience this God that I am describing, then God appears silent.  God is an extreme Gentleman.  He does not force Himself upon anyone.  He chooses to not speak normally unless you focus on Him first in silence.  Notice how I described my relationship.  I believed in Him.  I believed He was leading and guiding my footsteps and helping me daily.  I also believe that I hear and know His voice and that He speaks to me personally because He loves and cares for me individually.  How does that compare to your beliefs?

Psa 102:2  Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily. 

The Bible does claim that God hides from humans at time.  I believe He does this to help us.  I also believe that God chooses to be invisible to those who do not believe in Him.  Then I have learned that God normally speaks to those who want to hear from Him and are listening.  Hebrews 11:6 says “But without faith it is impossible to please God, for he that comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him”.  God just laid out conditions for His fellowship and relationship with a human.  We must have faith to believe that He exists even if we never see Him or hear Him.  If we could see Him easily there is no requirement for faith to believe in Him.  This removes faith completely and replaces it with personal experience and knowledge.  We can experience God but we must normally come to Him first by faith alone.  We are required to believe that if we diligently seek  Him that He will see our faith and reward us with a personal relationship producing experience.  Uh Oh.  It sounds like our human ignorance of God’s requirements could be limiting us from learning the truth.  Could these choices that we are making be the reason why we are not hearing from God?

Then there is another potential problem, in that you may not know how God speaks so you do not recognize when He speaks.  You might be expecting God to speak to you like your parents did.  Maybe in a loud audible voice calling you by your full name?   However, God does not speak normally in audible voices that everyone can hear with their physical ears.  Nor does God normally appear visibly and prove His existence to anyone.  However, this does not mean that God did not leave us enough evidence of His existence, if we wanted to find them.  This also doesn’t mean that God does not speak in our heart with a still small voice that may appear as an inner thought.  There could come a thought into our mind that we say “Where did that come from?”  We weren’t thinking anything and suddenly we think about something unexpectedly.  That is either God or Satan.  If we don’t know the Bible we may not be able to know who it was that was speaking to us.

If God proved to everyone that He was real and existed, we would have no further choices by faith to make in life in regards to God.  Also, salvation would no longer be voluntary, it would become compulsory.  God will never overrule our right to be wrong or rebel.  Either we learn to speak and hear God on His terms or we should learn to expect God will appear silent.  Here are just a couple of Bible verses to think about on this subject:

Jer 23:23  “Am I a God who is near”, declares the LORD, “And not a God far off?

Psa 14:2  The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God.

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6.  God never manifests himself or performs miracles as he regularly did for the Israelites in Old Testament stories.

This is another narrow minded perspective based upon a lack of understanding and a vast assumption based upon human ignorance.  Who says God does no miracles today?  This type of attitude can only logically exist in a person that believes they are equivalent to God, who is everywhere and knows everything that is happening at the same moment.  The Bible claims God is omniscient (Heb 4:13).  The Bible says God is everywhere at once in the world (Prov 15:3)?  Do you have cameras in every corner of the world?  Do you know every human being?  Have you interviewed every human being to see if God has done anything miraculous, great and spectacular for them?  If not this is a very deceived and ignorant reason to abandon a God who is.  Since no human can prove or disprove that God has done nothing miraculous today, it is not even close to being a relevant reason not to be a Christian.

But, I will tell you that God has done many, many miraculous things for me.  The first and most important is that He saved me from my pathway that I was walking that would result with me going to hell.  That is the greatest miracle that I know of.  Since being saved He continues to do miraculous things in my life.  He filled me with His Holy Spirit and that is more than an amazing miracle of everything that He did in the Old Testament.  He has led me by His Spirit to change me from being a former very sinful evil man.  He is transforming me into a person that closer matches the example that He set in Jesus every day.  That is another great miracle.  These are just a few of the great miracles He has done for me personally.   I could go on, but hopefully you get the idea.  Perhaps you are searching for the spectacular and missing the most amazing supernatural things that God does today.  Please find out what He will do for you by seeking Him with your whole heart.  He will answer and you will find Him.

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7.  Prayers are never answered. Certainly not in the way Jesus described. Prayer has absolutely no affect on the world around us.

Here we go again.  This is another example of extreme ignorance.  God deals with a similar man in the book of Job. In Job 38:2 God asks Job “Who is this that darkens counsel with words without knowledge”.  God goes on to ask Job “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth, tell me if you have understanding”.  Wow, this is how almost every human is.  We all think we know so much when in truth we know almost nothing about anything.  

I assume you are again reasoning based upon your own personal experiences.  Could it be possible that you are just praying the wrong way.  Could it be possible that you did not understand how Jesus taught us to pray.  Jesus teaches us prayer several times and we should learn them all.  Also, God says very clearly in the Bible that there are a lot of reasons why prayers are not answered.   These can include human sin and iniquity as two of the main reasons why God will not answer a prayer:

Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.

I can hear your next question.  What sin do I do?  Unfortunately sin is so much more than we know.  Sin does not have to always be just the commission of an evil act like murder.  For example in Romans 14:23, God teaches us that whatever we do that is not of faith is a sin.  Right now, when people do not walk in faith believing God is worthy of our respect, honor, trust and love, we are in sin. Not acting in faith alone makes almost everyone a sinner at sometime or the other.   But that is not the only type of sin we can be guilty of.  There are sins of omission also.  That occurs when we are able to do something that is right, honest and good but we make the choice to go out of our way not to do it.

What other things stop prayers from being answered?  James 4:3 teaches us that people do not receive answered prayers because they are asking for things to satisfy their lustful desires.  We can pray for a new mansion to live in or a new luxury car while not being thankful and a good steward of taking care of the one that we have.  I heard of a lady once that prayed and asked God to give her someone else’s husband.  Hopefully we can understand this was not a Biblical prayer that could be answered.  Oh, well that is enough of this subject. 

There are many other reasons why God does not answer human prayers but I will leave you with this one.  God says in Mark 11:24 “whatsoever things you desire when you pray, believe you received them, and you will have them”.  This is one of the most important prayer verses that I know of.  God informs us that we must believe and have faith that we have the answer to our prayer request immediately after our prayer has ended.  This can be potentially a long time before we see the answer.  This means we can stop the answer from arriving by our doubts and unbelief or simply if we choose to stop believing before the answer comes.  This is how Jesus taught us to pray.  Did you know this before now?  Were you doing it this way?  We can confirm this prayer, faith and believing principle in relationship with answered prayer delays by reading Daniel 9.  Daniel prayed and the answer was sent immediately but did not arrive for 21 days later.  So while waiting Daniel continued his praying and fasting until the answer came.  The angel that brought Daniel the answer informed him that he was being held up by a spiritual being that resisted the answer from arriving.  That is another amazing reason why prayers can not be answered.  Christians must realize we are in an unseen spiritual battle with demonic powers.  Ok, let us move on.

So when you say prayers are not answered you are not speaking for me.  I know God hears and answers my prayers.  There have been too many examples.  God’s goodness never ceases to amaze me.  Thank you Jesus!  Here is a verse that we should memorize:

Mar 11:24  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. 

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8.  Jesus did not fulfill major Old Testament prophesies or even fulfill his own promises and predictions.

Wow, you obviously have not read and studied the Bible.  Jesus fulfilled over 100 very specific named prophecies found in the O.T. by coming to the earth in the flesh. The mathematical odds of probability for this happening to one person is way beyond the odds of accidental or random chance.   Just fulfilling 8 of these prophecies would be like some one taking one silver dollar and placing an “X” on it and then mixing it with enough silver dollars to cover  the entire state of Texas in many layers 2 feet deep.  Then this someone that hid the silver dollar asking you to go and pick just one of them randomly blindfolded to see if it is has the “X”.  What are the odds that you could find that one?  Well Jesus fulfilling all of these 8 prophecies was like Him finding the one silver dollar by walking directly to it and picking it up while being blindfolded. 

There are so many books and references on this subject, if you are interested in learning the truth.  People need to try to do some real research and study before making any such false claims.  This is another example of God saying “Who is this that darkens counsel with words without knowledge”.  Please go into your Bible and read it.  Find the prophecies.  They occur beginning in Genesis and continue to the last book of the O.T. called Malachi.  Prove to me and the many  other Christians that we are not right, if you can!  Give us the Bible verses that Jesus did not fulfill.  I know that you cannot do it!

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9.  The authors of much of the Bible are unknown. And of these unknown authors, the men who wrote the gospels likely never even met Jesus considering they were written 40-70 years after his death. A far cry from reliable testimony.

This is just another example of tremendous human ignorance and speaking words without any knowledge in the subject of Bible study.  The Bible is so well documented and verified that it is foolish to even compare it with any other book from history.  There are more ancient copies of this book to verify its accuracy than any other book, by far.  This is exactly one reason why the Bible is the most popular best selling book in human history.  The news papers have ignored this book as the best seller to diminish its significance.   But, not reporting the truth does not eliminate the truth.

I will also tell you that every author of practically every book of the Bible is well known.   The only book that I know of that has no direct mention of the author is the Book of Hebrews.  But even this book has distinguishing qualities that point us to Paul as being the writer.  Every other N.T. book is well identified to be written by the eye witnesses to the literal events and accounts.  There are only two books that have been researched and written about from the accounts of eye witnesses and these were the books of Luke and Acts both written by Luke.  Matthew, Mark, John, Peter, James, John and Jude were all personal eye witnesses that knew Jesus personally.  Please do some serious study before spreading untruthful gossip that you have heard.

God knows who wrote every book of the Bible.  The Old Testament Hebrew words are frequently quoted in the New Testament writings.  Many times the O.T. author’s name was confirmed with the quotation.  For example, Jesus quoted the O.T. to inform us that Moses wrote the books of Genesis through Deuteronomy in Mark 10:4-9.  According to Jesus who was God, He was asked about the law of divorce written by Moses and Jesus responded by quoting another law written by Moses in Genesis 2.  Wow, that proves the author beyond any reasonable doubt.  What we just learned from reading Mark 10 is that Jesus claims the ultimate author of every Book of the Bible was God!  You obviously are looking for any false excuse to try to justify your decision.  Here is another Bible verse to learn and memorize.  This verse contains the word “inspiration” that means “God breathed”:

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 

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10.  The Bible is repeatedly contradictory with itself, reality, and the laws of morality. Couldn’t God inspire a less poorly written book?

The response of natural young children to any advanced subject is normally the same as people who do not understand the Bible.  If we gave a 6 year child a textbook on Advanced Calculus or Quantum Physics and asked them to share their opinion on what it meant, they would probably say it was a stupid, and a silly written book.  They would ask where is all the pretty pictures?  Where is the real story of the bunny rabbit and the bear?  Because someone does not understand what is written, they can easily believe it has a lot of errors and contradictions. 

God who is the most intelligent individual we will ever attempt to understand is so far above our level of intelligence that anyone can be deceived to think that we should just be able to read the Bible for the first time and understand it all.  But, things in this world don’t perform like this for our children, so why expect God’s word to be automatically understood by any of His spiritual babies?  Also notice what 1 Cor 1:27 says about how God chooses specifically foolish things of our world to confound those people who think they are wise.  

I was a computer software engineer in the information technology industry for most of my business career.  I worked on very large scale complex computer systems  These designed software projects were so large that understanding the entire system was a major undertaking.  For example they all contained a large data design layer, large sets of business logic, contained with layers of rules and complex divisions of user information and while also containing input, more processing rules and presentation layers.  All of these layers had complex sub-components with individually designed objects and modules that had to fit together and work cooperatively based upon guidelines to produce the understood desired and anticipated end result.  Why is this important?

From my years of computer experience, I have discovered that the Bible is by far a much more complex set of designed components than any human software design.  In the Bible, every single letter, word, sentence, verse, paragraph, section, chapter and book was specifically placed to work together in an integrally designed method of cooperation and collaboration, and design that is not easily replicated without very advanced computer assistance.  Since none of these modern computing devices existed at the time the books were written it is impossible for them to have been written without a very major God participation and control. 

This has taught me that the Bible was designed and produced by a far greater superior intellect than any human could possibly imagine.  The Bible was so well designed that it contains a self correcting set of rules to counter an enemies attempt at destroying or corrupting it.  The Bible also contains multiple recorded predictions of things that would happen in the future.  These were recorded many hundreds of years before they happened.  This proves the book’s origin came from outside of the dimension of time.

If you search the Bible you will find that there are codes and encryptions not easily possible using modern human computers.  These hidden codes were designed and placed intelligently under layers of plain Hebrew words that all had real meaning that can be understood. Many times these hidden codes confirm what was written in the plain text that they were hidden in.  Wow!   I hope you understood this complex claim.

Then there are parables where God uses created items to describe hidden spiritual realities in great detail.  This teaches us that whoever designed and created these natural items like “seeds”, “trees” & “fruit” to name only 3 also wrote the Bible.  There are also real historical recorded events that are implemented using allegory that teach the same types of hidden spiritual information using literal verifiable human events.  Also in the Bible, there is typology, there are patterns, there are symbols, and there are other hidden messages, and concealed information that can be revealed by the author at His will.  This is called “encryption”, “concealment” that can be read later by design of the author using “revelation” or the “uncovering” of the hidden divine truth. 

This book of 66 book divisions, written by 40 individual writers over the course of around 1600 years is so well planned, designed, organized and implemented, that it anticipates every question that anyone can raise and it resolves them all with an answer somewhere in the book.  It contains solutions for every human challenge conceivable.  God placed such unlimited information in this book that studying it everyday for 12 hours a day for 100 years, we would not come close to understanding everything that He wanted to teach us from it.

Please approach the Bible with a different attitude along with embracing some humility and you should be able to begin to understand that God’s intelligence is infinitely beyond your capacity to grasp everything that He says right now.  God will come down to our two year old child level of understanding Him, if we are sincere and we want to learn.  However, God also expects us to grow up and mature spiritually during the process. 

1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned

God says that a natural human is like a two year old child that will never understand the complex spiritual things of the Spirit of God.  Because people do not understand the Bible, only proves how natural minded they are.  God wrote a complex book of intelligent complex spiritual information, wisdom and knowledge that is impossible for non-spiritual or spiritual babies to understand.  But, God wrote the book in this manner to allow people to have their own free thinking choices and make their own individual decisions.  

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11.  The Bible is open to interpretation. Everyone interprets it in the way that suits them best or serves their purposes.

You know here is another area that I have to agree with you on.  Many unsaved people and Christians’ attempt to understanding the Bible is just wrong.  Too many are looking for confirming words and teachers to approve their life style choices and their sins as to being acceptable to God.  People often read the Bible with a wrong lensed point of view or motive.  We could call it reading the Bible with a pair of rose colored glasses that causes our viewpoint to be shifted or out of focus with God’s way of seeing the intentions and the meanings.

However, much of what people call science is also open to interpretation.  Do you discredit and reject all of science, because every scientist does not agree about any or every subject?  You can find just as many opinions and theories of how the universe began, and quantum mechanics operates, etc. as you do with any church doctrinal differences.  If you gathered 100 people in a room and discussed any subject, how many could you get to agree about anything?  So your argument is baseless and without facts and is just erroneous. 

We do not throw out the Bible or Christianity just because we cannot get everyone to agree.  We are the only one that needs to agree with what God shows us in the Bibles.  I am responsible to God to learn what He wants me to know.  You are responsible to know and understand what God wants you to know. If you don’t agree with that which I believe He has shown me in the Word of God that is really not going to change my belief. 

Please pick up your Bible and ask God to reveal to you what He wants you to know and then start reading slowly and carefully.  If a word stands out or raises a question look it up and study it.  Find out what it means and how it is used in other verses in the Bible.  Find out and learn God’s definition for the word.  There is so much to learn.  For example this verse answers your concern:

2Pe 1:20  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation

Even God agrees with you.  God says we should not place our own human interpretation upon any of His Words.  God makes the claim that He explains every word somewhere in the Bible.  Every word, every phrase is explained somewhere but we are given the responsibility to search and find what He means.  My basic rule of interpreting the Bible, is based upon one main rule that we just read in 2 Peter 1:20 “THE BIBLE INTERPRETS ITSELF”.  Let’s use the Bible to understand the Bible, OK?

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12.  Throughout history, Christians have justified horrific actions by the Bible and its teaching.

Another poor excuse without any real knowledge to confirm the concern.  Maybe you are talking about the crusades or something else, I do not know.  The errors and mistakes of humans who called themselves Christians, do not discount or invalidate God or the Bible.  If you are looking for Christians to be perfect you will be sadly disappointed.  If you are looking for Muslims to be perfect, you will be sadly disappointed also.  If you are looking for Buddhist to be perfect you will be sadly disappointed.   There are no perfect people in the world, we all make mistakes. Please remember that Jesus is the only human to live on earth that is recorded to have never sinned (Heb 4:15).  

Just because someone says they are a Christian, that does not make them a real Christian.  Jesus tells a story of people who will say “Lord, Lord didn’t we do many things in your name”  and Jesus says “Sorry depart from me, I don’t know you” (Mat 7:23).  These people thought they knew Jesus and thought they were saved Christians, they thought they were doing the right things, but they were not.  So while you compare yourself with others you make yourself to look superior.  Just please read the Bible and compare yourself with the perfection of Jesus and His example to live our life and this should cause you to want to change to be like Him and not me or any other human. 

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13.  The Bible promotes hate and persecution against women, homosexuals and those who worship other gods or no god at all.

You are obviously not going to the right churches!  True Christianity is a church that Loves others and does not promote hate!  Just because someone stands up with a sign that says “God Hates Homosexuals” is just their worthless opinion.  There is really no difference between their worthless opinion, your worthless opinion or mine.   If God hated Gays He would not have died for them to help them get saved (Jn 3:16).  The wrong words and actions of people who say they are Christians, could lead you to go to another church if that is God’s will. 
Pray for these people that are not being led by the Spirit of God.  But do not give up on God and the Bible.  There are many good churches who do not promote evil, hatred and bigotry.  But, I am also saying that these good churches should not tolerate sin either.  Sin is still sin.  God loves the sinner, but He hates the sin that they do (Prov 6:16).   There is a major difference between hating sin and hating people.  We can all change and repent of our sin.  God can change our heart so that we do not want to sin anymore.  Just don’t get offended at someone to walk away from the only hope you have of not going to hell.

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14.  According to the Bible, nearly 70% percent of the people in the world will burn in hell because they don’t believe Jesus was the son of God.

I do not know where you get your figures, I guess you pulled it out of the air and made it up.  However, if you know that is what the Bible says and still want to go to hell you are deceived.  However, you are also probably very close to knowing the truth.  Matthew 7 13 is where you are referring to.  This verse is Jesus recommending that we go through the straight and narrow gate rather than taking the easy way of the wide gate that will permit many to be deceived to enter into it.  Please notice in the Bible who it is that is working to deceive people to take this wide way by embracing Atheism, Islam, Buddhism, Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses, and the thousands of other choices that lead to human destruction.  Satan is called the master deceiver in Revelation 12:9 who we are told will deceive the entire world.  Without Jesus on the inside of us to help us not be deceived and reading our Bible to learn the truth, we are certainly on the wide path to hell. 

However, if we reject His loving offer for salvation and still go to hell by being deceived by Satan that was still our choice.  People make a lot of stupid choices.  That is not God’s fault.  That is a human’s choice.  Please don’t follow the majority to hell.  Follow Jesus and run to Him.  He will not let you go to hell.

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15.  The only reason I was a Christian was because I was indoctrinated into the religion as a child as a result of the culture and region of the world in which I was born.

So what would your chance of salvation be, if you were indoctrinated as a Hindu, Buddhist or Muslim?  Would it be better or worse?  Do you think that the truth is found somewhere else?  Where is your internal and eternal peace found?  Rather than being deceived into believing that the truth is somewhere else, why not be thankful that your parents were pointing you in the right direction for you to have the opportunity to see the truth?  Say thank you Jesus for allowing you to be born where you were.  Say thank you Jesus for giving you the opportunity to be born in a Christian family who took you to church.  Be thankful and not deceived.

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16.  Christianity has no more rational or factual foundation than any other religion on earth that I openly reject.

Your ignorance of God and the truth of the Bible is overwhelming me. The evidence and facts found in the Bible are amazingly different than any other religion.  Plus I already told you that true Christianity is not a religion, but rather a personal relationship with the real creator God.  A religion is just man’s attempt to please a God that they do not know.  We all must choose this day who we will serve (Jos 24:14).

Not choosing to follow Jesus to make Him our LORD and Savior is a default choice to choose Satan as lord.  There are only two spiritual choices one of the LIGHT and DAY with Jesus ruling and the other as DARKNESS and NIGHT with Satan as ruler.  It is a binary choice and no choice is a choice.  I pray that you will make the right selection.

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17.  The Christian church is disjointed and can’t even agree with one another.

So are the Muslims all in agreement?  Are the Hindus all in agreement? Are the Atheist all in agreement?  Isn’t Islam divided into the Sunni and the Shia?  Don’t they fight and kill each other regularly?  Your argument for the rejection of Christianity is sad.  As I said before, if you get 100 people together, you will probably see that 50% of them will believe one way and the other half another way.  It is extremely challenging to get everyone to agree on anything.  Have you ever tried to listen to eye witness testimonies at a trial?  The questioning prosecutor, usually can’t get two eye witnesses to agree on everything that they think they saw perfectly.  This is just human nature and part of the inequality of human knowledge, education, life experiences, points of views, prejudices, etc. that make everyone unique individuals.  We all have different gifts and abilities.  Some see things logically, some do not.  Some see things emotionally and others do not.  Does that make all of them wrong?  Just because my perspective and viewpoint of a verse is different than another teacher does not mean either of us is 100% right or 100% wrong.   I love the quotation of Will Rogers who says “We are all ignorant, just about different things!”  Therefore,  each of us in our varying states of ignorance on any subject, should become more tolerable for each other.  because “Only Gods is All Knowing”!  

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18.  Christians are not at all ethically or morally different from non-Christians.

You obviously do not know any real Christians or you are not going to the right church.   You should try hanging around the right people and quit judging others.  We already know that there are no perfect people in the world (Rom 3:23).   Even Christians will make a mistake.  You are only responsible for your behavior.  I am only responsible for my behavior.  You can’t change me and I can’t change you.  Only God can change anyone to make them more like Christ and that is if only they want to cooperate.  So when we see a Christian that is not doing what is right, let us show a little compassion and pray for them (1 Jn 5:16).  Let us avoid being a hypocrite that does not see the plank/beam in our own eye while trying to remove the speck in his brother’s eye (Mat 7:3-5).

Rom 14:13  Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way

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19.  Today, powerful church leaders steal, lie and molest young children. The church repeatedly attempts to cover up these atrocities, only to reluctantly apologize as a last resort.

So you are still looking for a perfect Christian to prove to you that God is real.  Men and women could always let us down.  Therefore if we are looking to humans to help save us we may be looking in the wrong places to find God.  I do not defend the mistakes of priests, preachers or church leaders that should know better than to do some of the things that they have done.  But, they are not my God and I do not reject God because some have failed.  My eyes are not on a human.  My eyes are focused upon Jesus and I will pray for anyone that has done anything wrong.  I only look to Jesus the author and finisher of my faith (Heb 12:2) and I refuse to let what others do affect me.

Finally, I will say that leaders in the Christian faith are often more heavily attack by devil than are other Christians that are under them.  If a devil can help one preacher fail as an example of true Christianity this defeat trickles down to cause many others to be easily deceived.  Therefore, we are instructed to pray for our spiritual leaders.  This is the opposite of speaking evil about them and spreading rumors.

Heb 13:18  Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly. 

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20.  It is absolutely irrational to continue to believe archaic teaching with the amount of knowledge we’ve gained through science and technology. The Bible reads like a book of primitive folklore, not divinely inspired insight into our true reason for existence.

So again you are so wrong.  You have made yourself wise in your own eyes and as a result you demonstrate to real Christians how easy it is to be deceived.  You have placed too much value in the words of human science and technology and not enough in the Bible that contains the words of Creator that made the science.  Let me ask two very simple questions.  How often has science changed its message in the last 200 years?  My answer to that is constantly.  How long has it been since the Bible’s message changed?  I’ll answer that question and say “NEVER”.  Yet the Bible is still the most widely purchased best selling book in human history.  If so many people can see the importance of the words on the page then maybe you should ask God why can’t I see it?

Not long ago scientist believed the universe was an infinite dimension of space that contained a fixed and static number of stars and planets.  Some even claimed the Milky Way Galaxy was the only galaxy.  Some even believed our sun was the center of the entire universe.  Now science has radically shifted to believe the universe as a whole is finite, and had a set beginning point that originated with a big bang.  They have discovered this truth because of the expansion of the universe at an amazing rate of speed.  Yes, we have learned a lot through science. But did you know that almost everything that science is discovering was already written about by God in the Bible in hidden forms using non-technical descriptions.   You see God created everything we are discovering and He said in the Bible I make known the end from the beginning.  Since God can know the end before the beginning we understand that God exists outside of the dimension of time and must have been the creator.  Genesis 1:1 clearly teaches us that our universe including the dimensions of space and time all had a beginning.  Wow, I wonder how Moses would have known about this over 2500 years ago?  

We already can see that scientific knowledge changes day by day.  Whereas the Bible never changes.  Therefore, since God knows the end has already informed us about what is coming very soon, the Words of God written in the Bible are extremely relevant, consistent and applicable for us all today.  There is no revised edition of the Bible with corrections, it still has the same words that were true 2000-3000 years ago.   There is still more that science does not know, than what science does know.  The textbooks cannot keep up with the revisions and changes, they are happening too fast.  You are placing all of your faith in a moving target and God says He never changes (Mal 3:6).  God’s Word will never change either (Luk 21:33)  Jesus is the same today as He was 2000 years ago (Heb 13:8).  That is consistency that we can count on. 

You place a lot of value on unproveable human theories.  Almost every science lecture that I have observed mentions the word “Evolution” as a way of brainwashing humans into believing something that is fictional.  After all the years of archeological research, no valid missing links have been or can be found.  I wonder why?  Then there is false concept that a universe could violently explode and expand while originating complexly designed living creatures.  The complex digital information contained within the Human DNA alone proves an external designer and maker.  No complex designed order is originated by disordered confusion.  The belief that this can occur over billions of years violates the second law of thermodynamics.  This law states everything of ordered design is consistently moving downward into a state of disorder.

Nobody can make us see the truth and it is not my responsibility to force anyone to believe anything.  We all have to make our own personal choices and God says in Gal 6:7 that He will not be mocked because a man will reap whatever choices that we make.  Please make an effort to not be deceived into believing a false reality that someone has invented in their own mind with the help of hidden spirits tricking them into believing.  We have not talked a lot about negative spiritual influences that occur in our world.  But there are literally millions of unseen beings that influence people into thinking such false realities.  I pray that your spiritual eyes would be opened and that you would be able to see God and to know Him and the reality of His truth. 

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CONCLUSION

I pray that someone has seen something new to think about.  I also pray that others will be able to learn from how one man was deceived to walk away from Christianity because of a lack of understanding of what the Bible really says.  This is one of Satan’s greatest advantages over humans.  Satan has existed on our earth for at least 6000 years and most of us have been here for less than 100 years.  He has been deceiving people far longer than you have learned to resist the deception.  The only thing that will give us an advantage over being deceived is by us learning what the Bible says with God’s help.  We are told that we have the advantage if we are born again and saved because “God the greater one comes to live on the inside of us to help us overcome him” (1 Jn 4:4).  His presence will help us if we learn to cooperate with Him, listen to His voice, to learn what we need to do and obey to not be deceived.  I would recommend that we pray and ask God for this help.

PERSONAL APPLICATION

Lord God I come boldly to the throne of grace that I might obtain your mercy.  Help me to know how to resist the devil’s deceptions that are found all around me.  Help me to discern between truth and lies on the television news networks.  Help me to avoid deception from my school teachers and college professor.  Help me to not embrace any false scientific theory denying your existence and your work in creating our world.  Reveal to me Bible verses that explain science from your perspective.  Help me to not be deceived by the empty words of politicians.  Open my eyes to see and know your Word because your Word is truth.  I give you first place in my heart and mind to allow the Holy Spirit of Truth who lives on the inside of me to overrule any deception that enters my thoughts.  I give you complete control and permission to bring to my mind the Bible verse that will defeat any deception.  Thank you for loving me so very much that you came to live inside of me.  You are my Good Shepherd and I am one of your favorite and blessed sheep.  Thank you for leading me into all truth.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

If you would like to continue reading and studying in this Bible series, please continue by going to “Part 7” now.

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION TO THE SOIL

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

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

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

#1 – WAYSIDE SOIL OVERVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#2 – STONY GROUND OVERVIEW

white stones and green grass on the wild stony ground

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#3 – THORNY GROUND OVERVIEW

THORNS1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#4 – GOOD SOIL OVERVIEW

Crops grow on fertile farm land panoramic before harvest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE HUMAN SOIL/SPIRIT FIRST CONCEPTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

examples

EXAMPLE 1: SOIL TYPE 1 AND SOIL TYPE 4 COMPARISON

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EXAMPLE 2: SOIL TYPE 3 AND SOIL TYPE 4 COMPARISON

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EXAMPLE 3: A DIFFERENT PATTERN OF SOIL TYPE 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EXAMPLE 4: A BIBLE PATTERN OF SOIL TYPE 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONCLUSION

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

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

My Reason to Celebrate Christmas

Merry Christmas – 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christmas and the Gospel Message

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

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

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

 

The Gospel in the Old Testament

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

The Gospel in the Birth of Christ Jesus

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Jesus Preaches in the Flesh the Gospel on Earth

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

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

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

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

 

Conclusion

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

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

Understanding the Divine Spiritual Laws and Court System of Heaven

Judge Gavel(Ver 1.4) This is  Part 1 in a series of advanced spiritual Bible lessons on the revealed subject of God’s Divine Spiritual Laws, Systems and Legal Proceedings.  Are there spiritual laws found in heaven?  Is there a heavenly courtroom?  Are there trials that have taken place in this heavenly realm?  If yes, who is the judge?  Who is the one that brings charges and against who are the charges addressed at?  There are so many things to learn from the Bible that we will not abe able to answer every question in one Bible study.  To attempt to do so would do each answer an injustice.

It has always been my priority to teach what God has given to me for free and give it to others without any charge.  If you knew my heart you would understand that I don’t only want to teach you what God has given to me, but I also desire to teach you a better way to study and learn from His glorious Word.  Hopefully, the LORD has used me to teach you how to fish for yourself and not just for me to feed you a fish for a single day.

Like many other lessons that I believe the Lord has given to me, today’s Bible lesson should be viewed as a very advanced spiritual topic intended for Christ followers that are fully committed to grow to become a spiritually mature student of God’s Word able to partake of spiritual meat.  Please judge if you meet this requirement before continuing to read this lesson further.  It is one of my greatest heart’s desires to not offend or cause any newborn or spiritually immature Christian to stumble or fall causing them to depart from the LORD.  I believe that the Apostle Paul wrote with this same quality when he said I would have liked to feed you meat but you were unable to receive it and therefore I could only give you milk.  Ok that was my paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 3:2.  But, I believe the hidden heart of Paul’s message contained in that verse is that of one of his greatest desires for his students to grow up spiritually.  I believe Paul desired people to grow up so that they were able to receive a much stronger spiritual message of truth.  Then I believe Paul wanted for each of them to go and spread his message from the word of God to others with the same love for people.  Please judge for yourself before you continue.

INTRODUCTION

We in the United States have three branches of Government. These three are a Legislative Branch, an Executive Branch and a Judicial Branch.  This was the idea framed by our founding fathers of our nation and they were mostly Christians that I believe modeled their government beliefs on God’s Bible principles.  I believe this was not by chance or accident but rather by divine design.  I believe God placed His hand on their efforts and blessed them to know things way beyond their natural ability.

In this lesson we are going to focus upon God’s Judicial Branch found in heaven and how the earthly U.S. court system is a pattern of that which God originally designed. Maybe you did not realize that God’s heavenly spiritual government (Kingdom) had a Judicial Branch?  If you have read the Bible, I am really not sure how this fact has escaped you but if you search for it you will find that it is very true from Genesis to Revelation.  For example, in the Bible the LORD God reveals Himself as the Most High Righteous Judge in so many verses.  A named existence of a Heavenly Superior Divine Judge implies very strongly that there also must be found present laws, a courtroom, some legal proceedings and rules, lawsuits, trials, a plaintiff or a prosecuting attorney, a defense attorney and a defendant.  I will prove to you using the Bible that these all exist in a form or pattern using the Bible.  I will also teach you that there are innumerable court cases that are taking place every day including today right this moment while you are reading about them.  Wow, that should at least peak your interest a little bit to desire to learn more about God’s revealed truth.

If you have read very much of the Bible you should already know who the Heavenly Judge is and that is certainly the LORD God and Jesus Christ according to Genesis 18:25, Acts 10:42 and Hebrews 12:23 to list just three of many confirming witnesses of truth.  But, there are also so many new implied questions that need to be answered.   Who is the plaintiff or prosecuting attorney bringing the charges and cases against someone in God’s Court System?  I’ll tell you right now it is Satan and I will prove this later in the lesson.  Who is the defendant being charged or sued?  I’ll tell you up front again that you are the one being charged by Satan and I will prove this with scriptures also.  We will also begin to learn about the charges being made to God by Satan.  This should interest you because we will learn that it is our human wrong actions here on the earth that open the door for Satan to bring a lawsuit against us.

Is there a defense attorney in this trial?  If so, who is the defense lawyer in the case?  I’ll tell you right now we have access to a legal defense team ever since the LORD Jesus Christ died and was resurrected from the dead.  You can be introduced to this part of the message by reading an older Bible lesson that I wrote called “Understanding How to Make Jesus Your Legal Advocate Right Now”.

I’m sure you must be asking “How can there ever be a spiritual case of law being brought into a heavenly trial to be heard by God for a Christian if Jesus has truly paid for every sin that we have ever committed or could ever commit in the future?” Many would say “I thought we were not under law but under grace therefore can there really be a spiritual trial now before we die?” Others ask the question “I thought the only judgment was after we die according to Hebrews 9:27?”  We know from reading the end of Revelation that there will be a Great White throne Judgment but I believe that there are also other named judgments that will occur after death and even now before death. If there is a judgment that can take place before we die, “What could be the charge brought against a forgiven saved Christian?”   These are complex deep questions to answer and God gives us the revelations in the Bible if we dig for them and find them.  Seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you and ask and it will be answered (Mat 7:7).

This Bible lesson is a response to a question raised by a good reader doing their homework. They asked the question concerning a message being taught within certain churches that appear to conflict with what is taught in other areas of the Bible.  The controversy comes from a modern extreme Grace teaching that is being taught that since Jesus paid for all of our sins, past, present and future there are no longer any consequences for committing any sin or any need to ask for any future forgiveness of a sin.  In other words sin is presented to be harmless without any negative penalties.  In fact at least one very popular grace preacher teaches we do not even need to ask for forgiveness for any sin and they explain away 1 John 1:9 using illogical natural human reasoning to be written to only unbelievers.  But this is certainly not what the Lord has taught me about a better way of Bible interpretation and more specifically sin.  This Bible study series will address this topic using several ignored scriptures that must be balanced with the doctrine being misrepresented by some extreme unnamed grace teachers.

You see I do certainly believe that Jesus died once for all sin that has ever been committed, is being perpetrated today and will occur tomorrow. We know this truth from verses like Romans 6:10, 2 Corinthians 5:14 and Hebrews 10:10 to name a few foundational truths on this subject of the comprehensive power of the blood sacrifice of the Lord Jesus.  I will say it again for emphasis, I am a very firm believer that there was one sacrifice for every human sin and no further sacrifice was or is necessary.  However, we cannot ignore other verses that declare very plainly that the sin of even Christians can still have some major potential consequences.  Please do not misunderstand what I am teaching.  I am not saying every little sin we commit can cause something significantly bad to occur nor am I teaching that a Christian can lose their salvation by committing a sin.   But, I am definitely teaching that Satan is looking at each of our lives very closely to gain an access and entry into our lives to kill, steal or destroy us (John 10:10).  That is exactly what we will learn next.

SATAN IS SEARCHING FOR A LEGAL WAY IN

There is another part of the extreme Grace message that must be addressed immediately. While it is true that Satan was defeated by the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, it does not mean that he is not presently trying everything in his power (and he is still very powerful) to get you to fall away from Jesus or not produce any savable fruit to be harvested by Jesus.  We need to study the parable of the sower and I wrote about this awhile back so I will not repeat it all here again.  Just understand that every soil type in the parable “heard” the word of God and only one group produced any harvestable fruit.  Satan successfully destroyed the harvest in every other soil type.  Satan desires access into our lives after we hear the Gospel and are saved by believing, accepting and confessing Jesus as our LORD (Romans 10:9-10).  There must be some insight given by God that shows us what grants Satan access to be victorious over some and not over others.  We could talk about this a long time but we need to get to one of the foundational verses for the lesson:

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

We are starting with a verse that was written directly to “saved born-again” Christians. I take this verse personally as an inspired word of warning written to me and so should you.  It is so very clear to me that Satan desires to devour every Christian but can’t.  What is it that allows Satan access to attack some Christians and not others?  If you do not believe you can do anything to grant or permit the devil access into your life to devour, you have definitely been deceived by an extreme grace teacher.  It would be very stupid for the LORD God to inspire Bible writers to warn us about something that could not occur and God is not stupid!

I am now going to begin to introduce you to God’s heavenly court system. There are four main participants in every court case.  Those that are the accused can also be known as a defendant, the defense attorney may be present, the prosecutor also known as the plaintiff and then the Judge.  Many know of these truths better than others.  But, these are the basic main participants of every trial in this natural world and these are all parallel truths for the divine heavenly court cases going on today also.

Notice what I just said. I said this is happening everyday of your life here on the earth.  I say this because I believe that every day Satan is looking (seeking, searching and plotting to gain access) using a legal charge to accuse and condemn us with.  I want to go back to 1 Peter 5:8 and give you one of the key words that will help us verify one of the key principles that I am teaching.  The primary word is “adversary”.  This Greek word is G476 and it literally means “your opponent in a court trial”.  According to this verse Satan is bringing a legal lawsuit before God on a daily basis in order to gain access to someone (even a Christian) to devour them.  What this verse implies is that God must judge the “access demand” to be just in order for Satan’s entry to be legal.  Wow, that does not sit well with a lot of modern extreme grace teachers.  But, I’m sorry it is what the Bible says, not me.

This Greek word G476 translated as “adversary” occurs in the New Testament only in four verses and it is always applicable to a legal battle between two opponents in a court of law. You may look up these verses to verify these truths by reading verses in Matthew 5:25, Luke 12:58 and Luke 18:3.  In every case there is a stated defendant, an adversary and a judge.  While there is no legal counsel it may be assumed or implied based upon our knowledge of how natural court cases transpire.  We will look deeper to verify the identities of the spiritual participants in God’s heavenly court cases very shortly.  But, please understand that God’s word selection of G476 establishes a direct word and subject association  to a court trial case that must also be occurring in 1 Peter 5:8  and this is a very critical lesson to learn and apply in a better way of Bible interpretation.  See how a word selected by God is used in other verses and it will help to establish the definition in the verse in question.

Based upon 1 Peter 5:8 we can learn by implied reference who the defendant is and who the plaintiff is. Since the verse was a written warning to us in the church, that makes Christians the direct implied defendant being charged. We then can certainly see very plainly that since the devil is stated to be our “adversary” we know clearly that he is the one bringing the case before the Judge.  Therefore, the case is being brought up before the implied Judge (God) by Satan in order to accuse us and gain access to attack us.

Let’s get another verse to help us verify this truth. After all God instructs us to use the mouth of two or three witnesses to establish every truth which is another best practice to correctly interpret the Bible.  Again this truth must be occurring in a judicial spiritual courtroom before God the Spiritual Judge.  I believe that God will always require at least two witnesses to establish every case truth.  Please turn in your Bibles and read the following verse found in the Book of Revelation:

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

Wow, this verse is of such great significance to our Bible subject that I cannot emphasize it strongly enough. I would like to begin by stating the fact that this verse is a future prophecy that has not yet occurred.  We know this by the fact that God tells the author John in Revelation 4:1 to come up to heaven in order to be shown things that will occur in the future.  I am a firm believer that everything in Revelation 4 to the end of the book is future prophetic statements that have not yet occurred.  I also believe that they are written in Chronological order of occurrence.  Therefore, since Revelation 4 through 11 has not occurred Revelation 12 has also not occurred.

What does this verse say? We must really read the context in order to discover the true identity of one of the central figures being named and discussed in this verse.  We can read back a few verses in Revelation 12: 7 to begin to learn that Satan is also called the ancient serpent and the great dragon as figuratively speaking titles.  Satan has also just been cast down out of heaven after a significant spiritual war.  Let’s read these verses to verify where Satan will be cast out of.  Turn in your Bible and begin reading with verse 7 to get the more complete revelation of what is going to occur very soon:

Rev 12:7  And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 

Rev 12:8  And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 

Rev 12:9  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Here are the future prophesied facts given to us by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. First, a spiritual war will occur.  It is definitely a spiritual battle and not a natural conflict.  Second, the participants of the war are spiritual beings.  There is Michael and his angels defending heaven against the dragon (Satan) and his angels attacking heaven.  Third, Satan and his angels lose the battle.  Fourth, God states that Satan has ONLY NOW lost his place (right and ability) to enter back into heaven ever again in verse 8.  What does this teach us?  Verses 7 and 8 are teaching us by implied truth that before this event occurs Satan HAD FULL ACCESS and the ability to come and go from and to heaven any time that he wanted.  Why do you think this was granted?  I personally believe it is because of two main factors.  The first factor is that God is just and that God must honor His Word.    I believe we are about to learn more by a deeper study that the access granted was for the purpose of putting God’s people aka. Christians on trial.

We now should know that Satan had access into heaven very clearly from the statements found in verses 7 through 10. Now, look at what Satan is called in verse 10.  Satan is referred directly by the Word of God to be the “accuser”.  In fact the name Satan literally means “adversary”.   Remember that “adversary” means “your legal opponent in a law case” and this firmly connects us back to 1 Peter 5:8.  The Greek word translated as “accuser” is a very synonymous legal title to “adversary”.  An accuser (Greek word G2725) is literally defined by Strong’s as someone that brings a compliant of law before a judge to gain an advantage over an opponent.  I added the last part of that definition simply because that is what is being implied by the definition.  Why would Satan come up to heaven before the LORD GOD’s court to accuse a “brother” in Christ?   It would be extremely wise to give that question a lot of thought before answering quickly.

I believe God is telling us from verse 10 of Revelation 12 that Satan came up to heaven before Him both night and day to bring up complaints and charges against the people of God. We learn this truth by applying the key word “Brethren” to make it personal to Christians in the family of Jesus Christ.  The Greek word translated as “brethren” is found over 300 times in the N.T.  It can be used for natural or spiritual brothers.  But, we use the context to understand that it must be “spiritual brothers” because everything else in the chapter appears to use natural symbols to point us to spiritual truths.  I can see this and I pray you can also.  You can search your Bible for G80 to learn how Paul and other N.T. writers applied this term “brethren” to the church family members.

Brethren here in this verse 10 must also be interpreted as those that are still living here on the earth since Satan was just thrown down form the spiritual realm of heaven back to the earth in a great fury of rage to wage war against those still not in heaven. I understand that there will be a lot of people that call themselves Christians that will not agree with what the Lord is teaching us here today.  But, I’m not responsible to make anyone believe the Bible.  All that any teacher can do is to present the facts given and then let the reader decide what they wish to believe for themselves.

While we are on verse 10 of Revelation 12 we must see and learn the second legal word term being mentioned. This term is the Greek word G2723 that was translated as “accused”.   Let me review the part of the verse statement that I wish to emphasize.  God says here “which accused them before God day and night”.  Wow, this is critical to understand.  This Greek word G2723 literally means “to be a plaintiff” in a court case.  This word plainly means to bring a charge of offence/crime against a defendant.  This is clearly describing spiritual court cases that were taking place 24 hours a day where God was the stated judge, Christians were the stated defendants and Satan was the stated plaintiff bringing the charges.  All of this legal activity stops after Revelation 12.  According to Revelation 12 these spiritual court cases do not cease until half of the tribulation’s seven years have gone by.  That literally verifies to us that they are happening right now as you are reading this lesson believe it or not.

BIBLE EXAMPLES OF SPIRITUAL TRIALS

I will end this lesson today with three examples of spiritual trials that have taken place. The first one is a trial that occurred before Jesus was ever born on the earth.  I am talking about a trial that is found in the oldest book of the Bible, the book of Job.  The story of Job probably occurred way over 4000 years ago.  My best guess would be sometime after Noah and before Abraham.

I am not going to go through every verse that I could, but I would recommend that you go and reread Job chapter 1 using the information we have learned in this lesson so far to verify that this is an example of a literal court case being waged against Job a righteous man.  In fact it would be good to read the entire book of Job looking at it from a legal court perspective.

This case is being brought before God by Satan who is bringing charges up against him to the Judge.  We learn by reading Job 1:6 that the trial definitely takes place in heaven as we have learned he had access to heaven from reading Revelation 12.  Satan appears before God and the omniscient Judge asks him two questions.  The first question in verse 7 is where have you come from?  You know God knows the answer but he asks the question for our benefit to connect us directly with vital information found in 1 Peter 5:8.  Remember what this verse said?  Satan answers the question truthfully and states he has just come from going to and fro in the earth.  Do you now see the direct connection to 1 Peter 5:8?  Your adversary the devil (Satan) goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.  God is giving us direct connected insight into Job’s court case by connecting us with a verse that helps us to understand the legal procedure taking place in heaven.

The second question asked by God to Satan was “Have you considered my servant Job”.  Omniscient God understands that Job was why Satan came up to heaven to start this court case.  Satan then asks God a question “Does Job fear God for nothing?”  This is the beginning of Satan’s introductory opening statement for his case against Job.  Any way I am not going to go through this all in depth in this lesson .  But, please understand and apply what we have learned from 1 Peter 5;8 and Revelation 12.  “Your adversary the devil goes about the earth like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” and “Satan accused them before God night and day”.

We also learn from reading and studying Job that God informs Satan that he has access to devour Job (all that he has is in your power Job 1:12) and this is what proves that Satan won that court case.  Satan obviously has found someone that is able to be devoured.

Satan then goes about Job’s life and kills, steals and destroys a great portion of his family and possessions.  It was a very clear victorious court case won by the devil over a righteous man on the earth.

But, what won the case for Satan?  I will let you into a couple of significant clues to why the court case was easily won by Satan.  There are at least two major things that Job did to open the door in the hedge of protection that God had placed around him.  First, it says in Job 3:25 that Job said “the thing that I greatly feared has come upon me”.  This verse informs us of the presence of “fear” in Job’s heart and it was this spirit of fear that helps open the door for Satan to win a case against him.  Fear is the opposite spiritual force of faith and without faith it is absolutely impossible to please God (Heb 11:6).  Therefore, fear is not a connecting force to God but it must be considered an attracting force of Satan.

The second mistake Job made was pride.  The Bible says that God resists the proud but gives grace unto the humble (James 4:6).  If you read the book of Job you will find that Job was found guilty of judging God and judging others (his friends) without sufficient knowledge to do either.  We should be able to understand that judging others and God is a clear sign of pride.  Job spoke many things that he was later rebuke by God for saying.

We learn these truths by reading the rest of the book of Job where he is speaking to his friends and later when God speaks to him.  Notice in Job 38:2 that God asks Job a question “Who is this that darkens counsel with words without knowledge?”  Here is a very good verse that informs us of another legal term.  A “Counselor” can be applied to a person of law or legal advice in a courtroom trial.  Perhaps you have seen this before.  What I am trying to say here is that words spoken in judgment of others without full knowledge can be an access point for Satan to win a judgment against you.

I have said enough about Job to get you started.  Now, let’s go read another example court case that transpired only about 2000 years ago.

The second spiritual trial that I want to point out from the Bible occurs while Jesus walked the face of the earth in the flesh with His 12 disciples about 2000 years ago. We will begin reading in Luke 22 and verse 31:

Luk 22:31  And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

Reading only the English language translation we miss so very much of the stated truth. Jesus is talking directly to Peter and calls him by name twice to emphasize the critical importance of the next statement to follow.  Satan as we learned from Revelation 12 and 1 Peter 5 was the direct adversary seeking access by legal complaint against the human Peter in this case.  Therefore, we understand that Satan is the plaintiff in this statement of Jesus.  The key word that must be examined with deeper understanding is the Greek word G1809 and it is incorrectly translated as “desired” in this verse.  While it is true that Satan desires to get to us all but that is not what the Greek word that was selected and written was intended to have been spoken by Jesus.  This Greek word literally means “to demand for trial”.  Jesus is warning Peter that he has done something that Satan believes gives him access to sift him like wheat.  Perhaps you should do a little research about how wheat is sifted.  Sifting of wheat is definitely not a nonviolent or peaceful act.  Anyone sifting wheat represents someone using their power, ability and force over the wheat being sifted to remove some good from the bad.  It would be good to learn more about this but that is not my primary subject.  I just want us to focus on the legal issues that must have occurred to give Satan the right to “demand” by a trial to have access to Peter’s life.  But, we later learn after this verse that Jesus (Peter’s implied attorney) prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail.  This does not mean that the sifting would not take place it only means Jesus asked the Father to help Peter come through the trial’s verdict being rendered.  It would be great to go and study more about what Peter may have done to be sifted but I don’t really have the time in this lesson.

A MODERN DAY TRIAL

I am not able to go into every sin that a person can commit in order to be bought into spiritual court by Satan the accuser but I will end this part of the lesson with a third true life firsthand experience of this reality that I experienced a few years ago. This testimony concerns the life of my father.  I learned of it by living it and hearing from others about it and I trust the testimony of those witnesses that have shared it with me.  My father was a pastor for several years.  I grew up attending his churches and hearing him preach his sermons.

My father was going to his second Bible school to learn and expand his knowledge of God and the Bible by attending good classes with great teachers. In his second year of this Bible school attendance in the first semester, he was sitting and taking notes when suddenly the man of God giving the lesson stopped and looked right at my father.  God was giving the instructor a vision of a great dark cloud resting above the head of my father.  The instructor knew from experience what this meant.  He knew it was a death cloud that was warning my father that he would die soon.  The Bible instructor called my father to the front of the class before all the other students.  He put his hand on him and rebuked death and prayed for him.  But, the instructor then asked my father to come see him privately so that he could share what else the LORD had given to him in his warning.  I was not present when all of this occurred but my mother was in the class and she is one of the primary witnesses to the story and my mother was not a liar.  She recounted this testimony after my father died.

I guess you already know that my father did not ever go and see the Bible teacher in private to hear the rest of the warning message from the LORD. A couple of months later my father had a stroke and was carried unconscious in an ambulance to a local hospital.  My brother was home when all of this happened and he can testify to the truth of this part of the story.  My father died a few days later after being transported.  He never regained consciousness.  He died like the Bible teacher warned he would.

The Bible teacher performed the funeral for my father and after the funeral my mother learned the rest of the message directly from the teacher that prayed for him. The Bible teacher informed my mother that God had told him to warn my father about his love walk with people.  I should rather say that it was a lack of his love that concerned him more.  Jesus gave us in the church a new commandment of LOVE and this is one way that Satan gained access into killing my father through his disobedience.  I believe very firmly that because my father was not walking in love towards others that Satan brought him up on trial.  I believe very firmly based upon spiritual laws that God tried to warn my father by even giving someone a vision of what was about to happen even before it happened.  Like the prophet that warned the king in the Old Testament to get his house in order for you shall surely die, the same occurred for my father.  However, the king in the Old Testament repented and prayed and he was granted more years on the earth.  I believe this was what was happening with my father also.  If he had repented and changed he might have lived a much longer life.

But, my father did not cooperate or may not have believed the warning or may have even wanted to go ahead and die.  We don’t know the reason why he did nothing to prevent Satan’s attack.  But that is what happened to him.  The thief came into his life and killed my father just as John 10:10 states.

There was also another door that my parents opened to allow Satan access into their lives in this spiritual court case. After they were first married and before I was born, they went to a fair where they were just having fun.  They ran across a fortune teller/palm reader tent and went in to play Satan’s deceptive game in ignorance.  The fortune teller informed my mother that she had a long life line and would live a long time on the earth, but when she looked at my father’s hand she told him he would die young.  I believe this foolish act set spiritual laws into motion and gave Satan a plot and a plan to bring up before God in my father’s trial.  Had my father not gone into the fortune teller based upon his knowledge of God’s word this may have changed his life significantly.  Had he rebuked the words spoken over him this may have also changed his life significantly.  But doing nothing is certainly the worst option that anyone can choose.  My mother informed me of all this after my father had died.

My father was barely 44 years old when he died. My mother lived to the age of 80 and the palm reader’s words both came true.  Become aware of the things that can open the door for Satan before it is too late.  Dabbling in the occult, fortune tellers, Ouija boards and the like, I believe opens the door for Satan to bring you before God’s court system.  Spiritual laws are put into motion by words spoken by us, over us or about us.  I believe that if we do not renounce them and rebuke them they will become seeds that grow and produce thorns and thistles in our lives.

CONCLUSION

Psa 43:1  Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.

This was only a basic overview and introduction of a much deeper subject. There are many other things to learn on this subject of God’s divine justice system.  I do appreciate your time in reading and studying the Bible on this website.  There are many other lessons that can be freely accessed by searching or clicking on topics and dates.  May God bless and keep you until the return of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ.

If you would like to continue reading in this series you may click here for “Part 2“.

Jesus Motivates Us to Move to a Higher AGAPE Love Walk!

the-greatest-is-AGAPE-love-e1406073920848-608x404(Ver 1.1) I was studying the Bible recently and was led across something that I believe was very good for us all to learn from.  I believe the Holy Spirit pointed this out so that we could learn a potential new perspective on a familiar story that we have all probably heard taught more than once.  This will be a Bible basics subject lesson on one of the most important subjects found in the Bible called love.  Uh oh?  I may have just lost a bunch of readers.  How boring that is, you might think.  You might say to me “I don’t have any problem with my love walk!”  At least that is probably what you think right now.  However, I believe the subject of love is the central theme of the entire Bible and a vastly misunderstood subject.  I believe no other subject comes close to its importance in the Bible and I pray that you will agree.

INTRODUCTION TO LOVE

You may already know that there is more than one Greek word in the New Testament that is translated into the English word “love”. I believe that is a significant problem.  If we don’t spend the time in digging deeper to know the original language words and definitions we will probably miss the most important message that God was trying to teach us.  I believe words matter more than we can imagine, especially God’s words.  I believe the chosen words of God are not by accident, chance or placed into the Bible by random human selection or influence.  God is a highly intelligent being beyond our normal human capability to understand.  Therefore, when God selects two different Greek words for “love” and uses them both in the same verse setting that must mean something very important even if we don’t yet understand what  is.  I pray that you will agree and even if you don’t yet agree I pray that you will at least be open minded enough to continue reading.

I recently read a Bible commenter’s opinion on this subject of the Greek word choices being made in the New Testament. This person believed that each human writer influenced the text and word selection for the love word choice.  They implied that the every Greek love word was synonymously interchangeable and one word could easily be replaced with another without changing the meaning of the verse.  But, I could not disagree any more.  This type of logic removes God’s participation in the word selection process almost completely.  You see I am a firm believer in this next verse that we must use as a foundation to base all of our Bible beliefs on.  I recommend that we all memorize this verse and never let it slip away from our minds:

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

“All” is one of the key words to focus on first. This verse clearly informs us that it concerns and applies to the whole Bible and every word that it contains.  In the Bible that would include every Hebrew and Greek Word of the original text that produced the translated 783,137 English KJV words.  However, I must disqualify the translated words.  I do not believe that any of the translated words were God inspired.  There are just way too many subjective translator opinions and errors imbedded to be found to conclude it is perfect like I believe the original text is.  I am not saying that we must all learn Greek and Hebrew in order to understand anything in the Bible.  But, I am saying that we all need to become a Berean type of Bible student like is found in Acts 17:11.  These Berean Christians were commended in the Bible for digging deep to confirm whatever is taught by men to be the truth is actually what God stated in the Holy scriptures.  I pray again that you understand how important this is.  Otherwise, we may just fall for any wind of doctrine that sounds the best and ignore what God actually said.

Today’s mini Bible lesson concerns two Greek words primarily that are both translated as “love” in the New Testament. These two Greek words in review are “Agapao” G25 and “Phileo” G5368.  You should be able to notice that these words are obviously two significantly different words based upon appearance, spelling and pronunciation alone and we have not yet attempted to learn the definitions.  We will dig into these love types much deeper as we continue the lesson.

JESUS TEACHES A HIGHER LOVE

Our Bible lesson is found in the book of John chapter 21. It occurs after the events of the death of Jesus on a Roman cross, the burial of His body in a tomb for 3 days and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead.  I believe that this event that we can study today was Jesus attempting to restore and help Peter to grow into a higher level of confident love following his denial 3 times of Jesus Christ just a few days earlier.  We will begin reading about this event beginning in verse 15 of John 21 and then we will continue reading down until verse 17.  Please read all of the verses carefully as the subject overview and then I will begin to break them down to help reveal a hidden message not easily found in the English translation:

Joh 21:15  So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 

Joh 21:16  He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 

Joh 21:17  He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

What did you get out of this reading? Did anything draw your attention from what I originally introduced you to before reading the verses?  Maybe nothing jumped out at you.  That is OK, but maybe the Holy Spirit pointed out something new for you to see and that is really great.  I believe that is God’s way.  He can use the same verse(s) to speak an infinite number of things to each and every person differently.  Let’s go through the verses one at time now and learn what we can see by digging deeper into them rather than a surface only reading, as I like to call it.  Let’s reread verse 15 first:

Joh 21:15  So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 

Jesus suddenly focuses on one disciple named Peter and asks him a very direct and personal question concerning their relationship. I believe Jesus did this on purpose and by design to help strengthen and encourage Peter’s faith.  You might recall in Luke 22:31 the writer Luke gives us some related very important information.  In Luke 22:31 Jesus informs Peter that Satan had desired to sift him like wheat.  But, then Jesus informs Peter that He had prayed that his faith would not fail.  Also later in this chapter of Luke Jesus informs Peter that he will deny him 3 times before the cock crows the night that He would be betrayed.  I believe that Peter is being told these things so that he might be prepared for them and then afterwards that he would also understand that Jesus is fully the Christ as Peter declared in Matthew 16:16.  Remember when Jesus asked Peter “Who do you say that I am?” and Peter answered to Him saying “You are the Christ the Son of God”.

I firmly believe that Peter like the rest of the disciples struggled tremendously after seeing Jesus taken prisoner, beaten and then crucified on a cross to die. This had to be a major blow to their beliefs in Him.  Once His body was laid in the tomb and the rock was rolled over it and sealed with guards posted in front of it, they had to at least think that they had made a great mistake in following this man.  I just can’t imagine the full impact of the challenges to their faith that they were facing during this time of extreme circumstances.  Give it some thought and see how you may have reacted.  What would you have done after seeing all of this?  I know we can read the Bible now and we may think that we may have been able to stand stronger than they did but I really don’t believe that is true.

No matter how great you believe your faith in Jesus Christ is now, Satan will come to you and try to shake your foundation of faith just like he did with Peter. This is what happened to Peter and I believe that Jesus did all He could do to prepare Peter’s heart for these events.  For example, in John 21:15 Jesus begins a lesson of assurance by asking Peter a basic very personal question.  Jesus asked Peter “Do you love me more than these?”  I believe that Jesus is simply asking “Are you sure that you love me Peter?” It is interesting that Jesus also adds a comparison of Peter’s love level with the other disciples’ love level.  The question contains the key word “more” and this is added by Jesus to teach Peter and us that a love amount can vary in measure, intensity, type and capacity.  Jesus was teaching us that our love level for Him may not be as great as other’s love level yet and that we may need to grow more in our love.  By this question, Jesus is implying we can all grow up in a higher level of love.  Can you see this?

Here is another very important point to make when studying any text in the Bible. We must understand that there were no punctuation marks in the original Greek text that I know of.  No periods, no commas, no exclamation marks, no question marks as we know in the English language.  Therefore, we should be able to understand that the tone of voice being spoken in could potentially be different than we believe changing the entire meaning of the words being spoken.

For example, if Jesus yelled “LOVEST ME MORE THAN THESE!!!” Would a screaming angry and mad Jesus change how we viewed the question?  It would definitely do that for me.  However, that type of Jesus personality screaming at Peter would contradict with His revealed character and nature found in many scriptures verses that reveal Him to be a man of great and intense love, mercy and compassion.  Therefore, this statement cannot be an angry Jesus questioning the loyalty of Peter simply because He knew Peter denied Him.  No, I believe that the words were spoken very softly and graciously to Peter in a great loving and compassionate tone of voice that grabbed the heart of Peter’s attention immediately.  I believe Peter could also see the great concern in the Master’s eyes and perceive the great kindness in the heart of Jesus.

Here is where I want to introduce you to the first Greek word G25 that was translated as “lovest” in the question directed at Peter.   This Greek word represents the highest type of “Agape” divine love.  This category of love is the highest form of any type of love listed in the Bible.  It is always an underserved, unearned and unconditional love type that is being extended to another person regardless of what occurs or how they act towards the person showing it.  I believe this is the most important and highest type of love in the Bible.  This is why my blog is called “AgapeGeek”.  I simply desire to teach the Bible in a way that displays God’s love to every reader.  I hope you understand the basic concepts of the God kind of Agape love.  If you don’t please ask any specific question and I will attempt to explain it with the Lord’s help.

Ok, Jesus asked Peter if he loved “Agapao” Him more than these. The answer to this simple question should have been either “yes” or “no”. However, Peter must have ignored the love word because he does not answer the question correctly at all.  Of course you won’t see this by just reading the English translation.  Only if we dig much deeper into the Greek words can we begin to understand the problem that Jesus was dealing with.

In the English Peter appears to answer correctly by saying “Yes, Lord you know that I love you”.  But, Peter changed the Greek word “love” type from the G25 “agapao” category of love to the much lower and less committed G5368 “phileo” human category of love and that was not what Jesus asked, was it?  You see the “phileo” category of love is merely a fond type of relationship that we can have with a good human friend.  This is a love category on a much subordinate carnal level of conditional feelings.  In other words if a friend said or did something wrong or mean to us, this might change our liking of fondness level or feelings for them.  However, the “agape” G26 type of love that Jesus was asking about would continue on unmoved despite the friend’s wrong actions or words.

I believe I can begin to feel the Lord Jesus heart drop at hearing Peter’s answered response.   I believe there becomes a greater level of sadness upon each of the following question attempts to get Peter to change his answer to raise his love walk with Jesus.  You did notice that Jesus asked Peter the same question 3 times, didn’t you?  Why is Jesus being so repetitious?  As we continue to study this discussion further we should be able to see that Peter becomes a little more sad after each question.  I believe the “phileo” love that Peter claimed that he possessed was certainly being tested and I believe that Jesus was teaching Peter to try to come up higher to the “agapao” type of love that He originally asked.  Let’s read the second verse question:

Joh 21:16  He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Here is another almost identical question and response session as was read in verse 15. However, Jesus asks Peter, do you “agapao” me but drops the “more than these” part of the question.  Why did Jesus omit the “more than these”?  I believe to show Peter to focus on his “agape” love and not anyone else.  And Peter again answers “Lord you know that I “phileo” you.  I believe another difference in this Q&A session from the previous one is the tone of Jesus’ and Peter’s voices being adjusted.  I believe Jesus asked His question with much greater, love, compassion and even some added sadness and disappointment and I believe that Peter answered with even a greater level of grief and frustration not understanding yet why it was asked again.  This is what I believe makes the most sense in the story, but I know this is my personal interpretation and you can believe otherwise if you choose.

I still ask myself and God why the omission of the “more than these” as part of the question. The only answer to that question that I have been able to determine is the fact that Jesus is giving Peter a much greater emphasis to the specific Greek word “agapao” type of love.  I even believe that Jesus is making an implied statement that maybe no one “agapao” loved Him yet.  But this might be wrong since John was one of the disciples there and he is often referred to as the “love” disciple since he wrote more about the subject than all of the others combined.  Now let’s read the last time the question is asked and observe what changes now:

Joh 21:17  He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Reading the English translation it appears that almost nothing changed. So God is either wasting a lot of words and Peter’s time asking him the same question or we are just missing the point and I believe it is us missing the point.  You see Jesus changed the question dramatically the third time He asks and He used a totally different Greek word this time.  Why would Jesus do this and what was the reason for the modification?  If we dig deeper into the Greek language again we will learn that in the third question Jesus dramatically lowers the love level asked to Peter to a level of “phileo”, Peter’s previous two responses. I believe that Jesus changes His tone of voice to a much greater sound of sadness and hurt.  I believe completely that Jesus was saying this paraphrase “oh Peter, what do you mean that you are only my friend?”

I believe we can begin to see Peter’s change of heart in this attempt of Jesus to get him to love Him on the highest unconditional level. The KJV Bible translates Peter’s feelings as an emotion of “grief”.  The Greek word G3076 that is translated as “grieved” literally means that Peter was greatly saddened by Jesus asking Him 3 times.  However, I believe this is not completely accurate simply because Jesus did not ask Peter the same question the same way, 3 different times.  Either Peter is clueless to what Jesus was attempting to ask him or I am.   Please ask yourself this question and see if you can think of a reason why Jesus comes down to a much inferior love type in the final question.

WHY DID JESUS WANT PETER TO AGAPE HIM?

Please allow me to give you a solid foundation for why I believe that Jesus is attempting to teach Peter about his “phileo” love to change it into an “agapeo” love. We will begin this section with a verse spoken by Jesus before His death on the cross and subsequent ressurtion.  Let’s turn our Bibles to John chapter 14 and read:

Joh 14:15  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

You see Jesus taught this truth to us that if we “agape” (G26) Him, we will keep His commandments and this certainly implies that we will not let them slip away from our hearts and minds.   If the words of Jesus are first in our minds this will help us so that can continue to do them even in the tough times of persecution and other life challenges. This is why I believe that Jesus asks Peter what appears to be 3 different times in the English KJV translation what appears to be the same question.  I believe Jesus was teaching Peter the difference between just a human friend kind of love that can fail and the God kind of love that will never fail.  The God kind of love will obey Him and the friend kind of love may not obey when the going gets too tough and hard.  I believe Jesus was teaching us all that the road ahead is going to get very rocky and rough and we will need to raise our “love” level up much higher in order to endure it to keep doing what Jesus wants us to do for Him.

Joh 21:18  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 

Joh 21:19  This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. 

We should be able to understand more clearly what Jesus was trying to emphasize to Peter by reading the rest of the story in verses 18 and 19. Reading these verses we learn quickly that Jesus changes from the right now do you love me to the future tense of years to come.  This informs me that the “Agape” love is what is going to be needed to endure the life that Peter was going to experience.  If you read early church history you should find that Peter is crucified upside down on a cross.  Wow what a horrible death that was.  Not to mention the times he spent in jails and chains for preaching the gospel.  If Peter had not raised his love walk to the love level of Agape I do not believe Peter would have been able to succeed in following Christ’s example fully.

All we need to do is to read Acts chapter 2 to find out how quickly the “love” level was raised to God’s Agape type of love in Peter’s life. Remember that Peter goes from denying Jesus 3 time only 50 days earlier to now preaching about Him in public to thousands.  Can you see how this is a fulfillment of the command of Jesus to “Feed my Sheep”?  I can see it very clearly.  This act of preaching was a demonstration of Peter’s divine love and it displays such an amazing transformation from his previous “phileo” level of love commitment to Jesus.

I believe that this is a lesson for each Christ follower.  We do not fully know what will happen to us tomorrow but we can prepare for even the worst possible events by embracing the God kind of Agape Love.  I pray this short Bible lesson was a great blessing to you and an encouraging word from the Lord to raise your love walk with Him.  May God bless you always.

Understanding Bible Division: Part 2 – Jesus Teaches Us on the Coming Division

brick-wall-barrier-figures-both-sides(Ver 1.0) This is Part 2 in a series of advanced spiritual Bible studies about a subject of significant proportions and value that is rarely being taught.  Because of a lack of teaching on  the subject of division, many false beliefs have tried to creep into the church.  One such belief is known by some as the doctrine of “Universal Salvation”.  Within this false belief people think incorrectly that just because God is not willing for any to perish according to 2 Peter 3:9 and because God is sovereign they believe that no one will ever go to hell or be forever separated from Him.  However, that is not what the Bible actually teaches us when it is divided correctly.  Please understand that Satan is fighting this divine message of division with his great and convincing powers of deception.  He is doing his utmost best to not let Christians or the world know that there remains a default separation of eternal fiery torment that people must choose to avoid.  It is only by this one way of escape named Jesus Christ that they can be saved.  They must  make Jesus Christ their own personal LORD and SAVIOR or they will be eternally separated from God to be with Satan.  I’ll talk more about this later.

Division Series Foundational Verse

It has been awhile since I was able to continue this series so I will review the lesson series foundational scripture verse. I pray that you took the time to read Part 1 already.  I am sorry, but I am unable to attempt to cover everything that was taught in the first lesson here again.  I believe that God gave to me the foundational basis of these Biblical division lessons and this verse comes from the mouth of Jesus spoken to us in Luke 12:51.  Here in this statement Jesus reveals a hidden prophetic reason for His personal appearance in the flesh here on the earth.  Please read the statement carefully and even go back and reread the context if you like.

Luk 12:51  Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

Jesus states very clearly that He has not come into the world to bring peace. Then Jesus also said very clearly that “division” was then and I believe still is now one of the primary reasons for His first coming.  Please notice that this division is stated by the associated combined statement to be the antithesis of “peace”.  I believe that this disunity with peace was one of His crucial reasons for appearing here in the flesh on the earth.  Do you believe Jesus knew what He was saying when He spoke these words?  Do you believe Jesus was speaking the truth?  If He was not speaking literally the truth here then this raises doubtful questions about every other word that was written that He spoke also.  I personally am going to believe Him.  Others can make their own choice.

This statement of Jesus was truly a very mysterious declaration of truth. This goes against many Christian’s theological reasoning and thinking.  On the surface this statement appears to contradict with several verses that I went over in lesson 1.  Another potential contradictory verse came to my mind is found in John 3:16.  Jesus said in John 3:16 that “God so loved the world (in its entirety) that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”.

If we just read the first part of John 3:16 and ignore the last adjoining conditional statement we may think that Jesus’ plan to divide the world in Luke 12:51 is a strong contradiction to God so loved us to save the entire lost world. But, Jesus attaches a major condition in order to obtain this salvation for all humans and He informs us that we MUST believe in Him in order to not be eternally lost.

Does everyone in the world believe in Jesus? The answer is an obvious NO!  Once you understand that being saved or lost is a human conditional belief in Jesus and who He is and what He did for us then possibly you can begin to understand why Jesus said He came to divide the nations of earth and not to unite them all in peace.  Let’s continue in this lesson with some new statements from Jesus that are clearly related to the statement of Luke 12:51.

 

Jesus WILL Divide the Sheep from the Goats

Today we will carry on this vital Bible study series with a few additional direct teachings of Jesus that support the belief that His appearing on the earth was to bring division based upon our personal belief in Him. I personally believe the following words written in red ink in the KJV Bible are some of the most clear and direct words of a coming prophesied division that we can find in the Bible.  Please read these words very slowly and carefully and pay attention to what is being communicated and notice the timing of these events.

Mat 25:31  When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

Mat 25:32  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 

Mat 25:33  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 

Mat 25:34  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 

Mat 25:35  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 

Mat 25:36  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 

Mat 25:37  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 

Mat 25:38  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 

Mat 25:39  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 

Mat 25:40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 

Mat 25:41  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 

Mat 25:42  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 

Mat 25:43  I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 

Mat 25:44  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 

Mat 25:45  Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 

Mat 25:46  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Starting with verse 31 we should be able to begin to understand the timing for the prophetic statements that are being made by Jesus in verses 32 through 46. Jesus was then and still is now informing us what will occur at His second coming to the earth.  This will be a future event that is probably much sooner than we can imagine.   I want you to first notice in verse 31 that Jesus said that He will be bringing with Him all of the Holy angels to assist Him in this event.  Wow, that is amazing information that implies to us that there must be other “unholy” angels that are not included in the number.  We can understand this plainly by the addition of the adjective “holy” since this is a limiting qualifier that reduces the scope of the total angel group class (the noun) that is being spoken of.  It would be the exact same as if Jesus said he would bring with him “all the red angels” eliminating the blue angels, green angels, yellow angels, etc.   The inclusion of the word “all” means “every” and none are excluded and this simply informs us that there are No holy angels that are omitted.  This is the first statement of division being made in this subject discussion.  There will be 2/3 of the angels called holy that will remain with the LORD and the other 1/3 angels that will not be with Him we can call the “unholy” angels and we learn this information by reading about them in Revelation 12:4.

The holy angels that are for the LORD Jesus in verse 32 will then gather all of the people of the nations of the earth together for the final judgment of each individual. This is plainly stated but it cannot be viewed as a confirmation to the false belief of “universal salvation” because not everyone in these nations will be saved as we will read.  Only those that qualify by their correct beliefs in Jesus will be saved.  All others will perish just as we read in John 3:16.  However, perish does not mean that they will cease to exist.  That belief would contradict too many other verses that I do not have time to teach on in this lesson.

One of the key words found in verse 32 was translated into English as “separate”. This is a direct reference to our Bible study subject of division.  We are unmistakably informed by Jesus that He will be the one that will divide the people of every nation just as we read in Luke 12:51 that He said He came to do.  This Greek word G873 translated as “separate” literally means to set apart by a boundary.  Synonyms can be “divide” and “sever” and it comes from two Greek root words that mean to “partition off”.  Jesus is teaching us that there is a coming portioned boundary or a wall of separation between two very different groups of people and we are about to find out who these are in the next verses.

Notice at the end of verse 32 in Matthew 25 that Jesus tells us of Him separating people like a shepherd removes his sheep from his goats. One of the key words for correct interpretation in this separation is the word “like”.  This clearly informs us that Jesus is about to begin speaking about literal spiritual truths using figurative natural symbols.  However in this interpretation process knowing what is figurative and what is literal is what becomes important.  Know how to rightly divide the spiritual truth using the natural symbols is a major part of the subject of division but not my main topic today.  Please just note that most of the next nouns being referred to will be symbolic but the verbs I believe are very literal.

Jesus said “like” a shepherd separates his sheep from his goats is the action that is about to take place. I found that statement so very interesting and it raised a lot of questions in my mind.  For example, is it necessary to separate sheep from goats?  Why would a shepherd do this?  How would a shepherd do this?  These are just a few of the questions that were raised by the statement.

Verse 33 informs us that Jesus will set the sheep at His right hand and the goats at His left hand. I found this to be a very interesting concept to try to grasp and I asked another questions can sheep and goats even live together in the natural?  If yes, then why would it be necessary for sheep and goats to be separated by natural shepherds?

Do sheep and goats fight each other or is there some other created reason that sheep and goats should be separated?  I did some research and discovered that the mineral “copper” is the primary reason for any natural need of separation and division.  Feeding copper to sheep kills them but copper is a nutritional necessity for all goats.  Without copper in a goat diet they will die.  Therefore, goats must have copper to live and sheep absolutely must not because it will kill them.  Could any of this information have spiritual meaning and significance to our Bible study subject?  I believe it does.

There is a unique quality of copper given to us in the Bible that I will only touch on in this lesson briefly. The English word copper is translated from the Hebrew word H5178 in the Old Testament and this word is most often translated as “brass”.  However, this is even more interesting because it is also translated as the English word “filthiness”.  There is a very powerful hidden message being given to us by the LORD Jesus in the separation of the sheep from the goats lesson.  The sheep represent pure beings without any filth being found present in them and the separated goats represent beings that must have filth in their lives in order to live.  Sheep living in continued filth will die but remaining pure without partaking of the copper filth diet (sin) they will live.  I found that to be truly amazing.  I believe the Lord led me to this to teach us the basic need for separation and division between these two groups.  Filth represents sin and cannot remain in those standing on His right hand representing symbolic sheep.  But, those standing on His left hand representing symbolic “goats” seem to indicate that sin will never depart from them.

Matthew 25:34 tells us that those (symbolic sheep) on His right hand will be called “blessed” and they alone are invited to enter into the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world. In sharp contrast in Matthew 25:41 those on His left hand (symbolic goats) will be called “cursed” and commanded to depart from His sight into everlasting fire prepared for Satan and his angels.  This is further confirmation that there are two prepared destinations determined for two kinds of people and two kinds of angels.  The angels with God were called holy earlier and these combined angels with the goats are both joined with Satan to go to hell.  Hell is the destination location where sin and filth is associated.  Wow, that is really some very powerful words of revelation from Jesus.

Jesus ends the lesson in verse 46 of Matthew 25 with two very diverse ending locations for these opposing groups. Those sheep that will be called righteous have received eternal life while those goats that depart and go into eternal punishment we know are unrighteous.  I am not going to go into every verse of this teaching to show why sheep are rewarded and goats are punished.  You can do that for yourself or ask specific questions if you like in a comment.

Please take away from this lesson that there is a major division of separation that will be taking place.  Both the sheep and goats live together for a time and it is a personal choice which one you are.  Those that are goats that will be separated in the future to be on His left hand should be warned now to choose the free gift of eternal life as soon as they can before it is too late.  Let’s continue to a new parallel teaching from Jesus.

 

Dividing the Wheat from the Tares

There is more than one message of division found in the Bible being spoken from the direct lips of Jesus. In fact this message is a central theme given by God from Genesis to Revelation.  We can read this message repeatedly in almost every book of the Bible in some form.  I believe that division was the plan of God before He even created our present world.  Adam’s sin did not take God by surprise.  I believe that God always has an answer prepared before there is any known stated problem.  I want to continue this lesson today with another very direct and plain message of division given to us by Jesus in the book of Matthew.  We will begin reading in chapter 13 and verse 24:

 

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

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

Mat 13:26  But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 

Mat 13:27  So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 

Mat 13:28  He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 

Mat 13:29  But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 

Mat 13:30  Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

 

This is another message of divine spiritual importance given to us by God using symbolic figurative natural language to describe supernatural realities. The basic rule of interpretation for this parable is similar to the sheep and goats message.  The nouns should generally be viewed as symbolic while the verbs should generally be taken as literal acts done to or by those that are represented by the symbolic nouns.  It must be understood that this parable is stated to also be a likeness of the truth and not the complete truth in detail.  That does not mean it is not true.  But it does mean the timing of the events and specifics of the events are not al plainly stated.  This higher spiritual message represents a natural message given to us on a much lower human level.  God does this so that we can possibly understand it more easily than if He described the spiritual events from His superior divine intelligence viewpoint.

Maybe, you are not fully grasping what I was trying to teach. But, I hope and pray that you are.  Let’s talk about this idea and concept in a bit more detail.  The Greek word translated as “likened” in verse 24 is G3666. This Greek word is used to make a comparison between two separate realities, truths, people, etc.  It is used 15 times in 15 different verses.  The majority of the time it is translated in a form of ‘like”.  For example, someone could say “oranges” are like “tangerines” and if someone had an experience of tasting, smelling and feeling a tangerine and never had an orange.  This comparison knowledge gives the tangerine person a step up on understanding unknown oranges.  However, the tangerine person also learns that oranges are not tangerines while they more easily comprehend that they contain some amazing similarities of experience, quality and type.  This is exactly like what Jesus was teaching us also.    Jesus is simply saying that the Kingdom of Heaven is very similar to and closely resembles a natural wheat and tare harvest cycle from the beginning to the ending process in many distinct ways.  However, always remember that it is not an exact match just as a tangerine is not an exact rendition or a replacement for an orange.

Since the spiritual realm cannot be comprehended or confirmed by the five natural human senses of touch, taste, smell, sight or sound, it is a very complex task for any human to understand it. This is why God informs us in Romans 1:20 that His secret hidden qualities of His power and supremacy were clearly given to us to understand by things that He had created in our world all around us.  Jesus reveals this truth repeatedly by using natural parables of sheep and goats and wheat and tares which represent likeness of the real.  I believe that this clearly demonstrates God extreme intelligence and it truly amazes me.  Let’s go through a list some of the key symbolic nouns found in this wheat and tare parable to help us understand the major spiritual players being described.

Symbolic Noun

Spiritual Reality

Supporting Verses

Man God/Jesus (Son of Man) Mat 13:37; Mat 13:41
Good Seed Word of God and People that Believe it Luke 8:11
Field Hearts of people in the world Luke 8:15; Mat 18:38
Enemy Satan Luke 8:12
Tare Seeds Evil words producing evil people (children of Satan) Mat 13:39
Wheat Saved people producing fruit (children of God) Luke 8:15
Tares Lost people children of Satan Mat 13:38
Harvest End of the Age Mat 13:39
Reapers Holy Angels Mat 13:39
Barn Heaven Mat 13:43

 

This is a great parable containing very significant hidden spiritual information that was not revealed clearly to any human or even angels before Jesus came to the earth to teach it to us. God is the symbolic man that owns the field.  The field represents the world of people and more specifically their hidden spiritual heart.  John 3:16 said God so loved the “world” so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die for them all so that they might be saved if they believe.  Sorry but that was just my paraphrase of a very important verse that I can’t stop telling you about.

I believe that the “good seed” sown into the field that produces the fruitful wheat is always the “Word of God” according to the Mark 4 parable of the sower.  I also believe the good seed wheat crop that is taken at “harvest” time to be placed in the field owner’s barn (heaven) is specifically saved Christians that believed in Jesus.  Harvest is revealed to be the end of this age and the reapers that bring in the harvest represent the holy angels again.

There is a very clear distinction given to us by Jesus between righteous people (wheat) and unrighteous people (tares). God makes a division of separated difference between those that are “good” and those that are not good.  Wheat represents the good people and the tares represent the evil people.  However, we know from both observation and parable teaching that the wheat and tares reside in the same world growing up together. What we learn from this parable is that the children of God will be eternally separated from the children of the devil.  The children of Satan will be burned by fire which represents their eternal destination within hell.  Those called wheat that have been saved will be gathered into a place of separated safety and peace.

There are some basic keys of spiritual knowledge given to us in this stated parable. For example, to the untrained (unsaved) eye both the wheat and the tares growing together can appear very similar.  However, the tare plant when closely examined represents just a fake looking real wheat plant.  The tares have a dark black seed on the inside and this represents the kingdom of darkness that fills their human heart.  Ripe tares stand up proudly and arrogantly while the ripe wheat plant bows humbly to their maker in the wind.  You can do other research to learn more about these differences if you like.

I think I should point out a few potential major problems with taking everything literal in this parable. For example, there is a stated man that owns a field.  This man is named to be Jesus.  But only the natural man Jesus walking the earth ever slept.  The spiritual God never sleeps nor slumbers according to verses like Psalm 121:4.  Since God is omniscient and omnipresent it is impossible for any enemy to plant bad seeds in His field without Him knowing fully about it.  However, Jesus chose to make this information apart of the parable to help us to know something.  I believe this information shows us that God did not stop the evil sower by divine choice but rather permitted him to come into the world to sow his seed.  There would just be too many scriptural contradictions to believe otherwise.

Here is another reality that I struggled with in the telling of this parable. Have you considered the order of mention for the described sequence of events? Jesus describes the owner of the field that sowed the good seed is Himself saying the owner was the “Son of Man”.  Jesus also said that the field received the good seed first and then the evil seed sower named Satan came afterwards.

We know from reading the Bible that Jesus does not appear physically on the earth until approximately 4000 years after Adam was created on the planet. Satan is first mentioned in Genesis 3 as the serpent that deceived them.  This was clearly way before the personal appearance of Jesus (Son of Man) to sow good seeds.  I struggled for awhile to believe that the good seed was planted before the evil seed that produced the tares.  To resolve this in my mind I believe the Lord showed me the solution and I will cover this very quickly:

Gen 2:8  And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

Notice what this verse appears to say in Genesis 2. The LORD God planted a garden…”.  That is exactly what the parable we are reading describes to us.  This is clearly before Genesis 3 and the introduction of the bad seed sower.  This sower can only be the pre-incarnate Jesus that is planting the good seed.  I hope you understand that this Genesis 2 planting was only “GOOD” seed sown by the LORD God?  The only interpretation that can be viewed to make this correct is that Jesus was with God and was God as it is clearly laid out to us in John 1:1 and then later He became a man in the flesh as declared in John 1:14.  I’m apologize if I don’t spend more time explaining this truth, but I believe that would take a significant time to cover.

This parable can be viewed as complicated very easily. I wish I could spend time to dig deeper into it.  If you have any specific questions that rise up in your spirit, please let me know about them and I will trust the Lord to help me to answer them.  Let’s move on quickly to another parable message from Jesus on the subject of division.

 

Dividing the Catch Caught from the Sea

Jesus repeatedly teaches us about the subject of a coming great division from many different perspectives. All of these perspectives were given to us using basic natural patterns of symbolic terms that the everyday common man could easily understand.  As you should recall we’ve already seen the subject of division taught to us from a rancher/shepherd perspective.  In this lesson the shepherd was tending his combined flock of both goats and sheep.  However, only the sheep being placed on His right hand are saved and the goats on the left hand are lost. We have also seen the exact same type of division principle occurring in a distinct farming example where there will be the separating of the good grains of wheat from the inedible crop of tares.  Again the wheat is saved and the tares are lost.  Now Jesus is going to teach us again on the subject of division from the common level of many of His chosen disciple followers.  Four of the twelve or one third of the disciples were fishermen.  Therefore, this next parable should have definitely made both common and logical sense to them.  Let’s read 4 verses found again in Matthew 13 and pay close attention to the similar symbolic concepts being communicated on:

Mat 13:47  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: 

Mat 13:48  Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. 

Mat 13:49  So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, 

Mat 13:50  And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I found this parable very interesting. Jesus chose Peter, Andrew, James and John to follow him and they were all very experienced fishermen that did this type of work being described day after day for years.  They would all get into their boats and launch out into the sea every work day.  Then they would then throw their nets into the sea and draw it back up into the boats for their catch.  After hauling the nets back up into the boats they would have to separate all of their good catch selecting each out individually from their bad or unclean catch.  Every fish that was judged to be good was put into vessels to be separated completely from those that were deemed not to be good for anything.  This dividing effort took place after close examination of each fish one by one.  All that were determined to not be worth keeping were thrown away.  Wow, how can we all not see the truth?

The parallels of truth being given are truly amazing between all of these parables. Even though each parable used different noun types to teach the truth the verbs types are practically identical or very synonymous.   Notice how in each setting the good and the evil live within the same setting and environment.  Notice how in each setting workers and servants are laboring to bring in the good and the bad and then are used to separate them completely and permanently.  Notice how the good is always saved and the bad is always burned.

One of the key subject words in this fishing catch description is found in Matthew 13:49 and it was translated as the English word “sever”. This Greek word translated as “sever” is G873 and is the exact same Greek word as was found in Matthew 25:13 in the discussion of the parable of the sheep being “separated” from goats.  God directly connects these two passages by His divine word selection and this confirms that we are studying the exact same subject and event.

The Bible clearly teaches us that in the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word of truth be established. Jesus has just given us three very profound witnesses of truth using three different natural examples of division taking place all prophesying of a future spiritual division.  In every example the end result is identical.  In every example the good and evil co-existed together in the same worldly environment until the time of the “end of the age” came and then there is a judgment that is made and an eternal separation occurs.  There is almost no room for mistaken understanding, misinterpretation or misalignment of the truth in any of these parables.  I believe that Jesus not only gives us the parables to teach us the subject of division that He said He came to do in Luke 12:51, but I also believe that He consistently explains each to leave no doubt to their meanings.  It is only by ignoring the truth that we should remain ignorant on this subject.

There are more lessons, parables and verses on the critical subject of division that came directly from the mouth of Jesus, but I did not get to teach on all of these today. Take for example the parable of the 10 virgins.  All came together to meet the bridegroom, who represents Jesus symbolically.  This is the exact same message of coexistence as in every other previous parable.  Then separation occurs with only 5 virgins entering behind the door and the other 5 foolish virgins were shut out completely.  This is just the exact same division subject and an identical wall of separation being communicated from a new and different natural perspective.

Each time a new example is given by Jesus there can be new truths complimentarily added to enhance our understanding of the basic foundation of divisional truth.   However, none of these new truths will ever change the foundational truth of division.  I pray that you are grasping these concepts and receiving their truth.

I’ll end this part of the Bible lesson series on division with this warning from the Lord Jesus. Jesus makes a statement in Matthew 7 that should put a great deal of righteous fear into our thinking process.  This verse is about the subject of division even though the word does not appear in the statement.  Please read the verse and learn what is said:

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

Jesus clearly warns us “Not everyone that calls Him Lord will enter into the kingdom of heaven”. It would appear that calling Jesus LORD, even though it is a major part of the way to get to heaven it still does not guarantee our entry.  It would appear to me that entry is conditional upon us doing the will of the Father also.  This is a plain statement of division.  This statement is speaking of people who will be positioned on the left hand of the LORD called goats, tares, unclean fish or foolish virgins.  They will be told to depart from Him because He never knew them.

 

Conclusion

There is coming a great division between the righteous and the unrighteous, the just and the unjust, the good and the evil, the saved and the unsaved, the wise and the foolish and the clean and the unclean. It was stated by Jesus that this was one of the primary reasons for His appearance here on the earth.  The division began spiritually when Jesus from the Kingdom of God paid the great price of our redemption purchasing us from Satan and the kingdom of darkness with His blood.  The death of Jesus on a wooden cross was the sealed fate of separation of good from evil.  Jesus then rose from the dead to become the only doorway to salvation.  By entering into this door you can be included in the narrow path that Jesus said only few would find to enter.  Jesus warned very clearly in Matthew 7:13 that wide is the pathway that leads to destruction and many are there that will fall for this trick of Satan to be lead astray.  You have an enemy named Satan that has come to kill, steal and destroy as many as will allow him access either willingly or by deception.

I hope and pray that you have enjoyed this lesson and have learned at least something that you can share with others. The Lord willing, I will attempt to do at least one more lesson in this series sometime in the future.  The coming end of the age could be here before we all know it.  We should learn as much as we can to warn others before it is too late for them.  God bless you and thank you for your prayers of support.  I do greatly appreciate them.

If you would like to continue reading and studying the Bible in this series, please click “Part 3” for the next lesson.  Thank you!

Understanding Persecution: Beware the Rise of the Spirit of Saul – Part 2

persecution1(Ver 1.1) This is Part 2 in a series of advanced Bible study lessons concerning the increasing growth of the persecution of the church today.  I believe sincerely that this was a message that the Spirit of God spoke to me recently in the middle of the night.  This message of warning I believe was very clearly given.  Therefore, I feel led to pray for every reader to grow in spiritual discernment to be able to perceive this persecution that is already beginning to happen all around us and to stand strong in their faith in the face of it.  If you have not read this series of lessons from the beginning I would highly recommend that you go back and start with “Part 1” first.

Please realize that this Bible study subject is intended and I believe that it was designed by the Lord for mature spiritual Christians primarily. It may potentially address many advanced new spiritual topics that may offend, or cause fear or confuse a new or immature Christian.  It is my greatest heart’s desire above teaching what I believe that the LORD gives me to share, to never intentionally offend or cause fear to occur in any new Christian which cause them to fall away from seeking to learn more.  I believe very sincerely that it is essential for any Bible message being taught to not introduce a spirit of fear into any Christian’s heart (2 Tim 1:7).  I believe this even when the message concerns a coming increased level of hatred towards Christians that may occur.  When reading this message, fear should not be the end result.  If it is then I have failed.  Therefore, please perform a self-evaluation, praying first asking the Lord to lead you if you should continue to read and study this subject before continuing.  Thank you.

 

INTRODUCTION

In the first lesson God introduced the subject matter using a message revealed within the life of a man named “Saul” of Tarsus. Saul of Tarsus was a very religious zealot that believed he was doing well by persecuting and killing Christians when in actuality he was being deceived and used by Satan to do evil.  We can learn this from reading Saul’s own subsequent writings to us in the church where he describes to us that he was just the human flesh and blood game piece being played, influenced and manipulated by the evil unseen spiritual force called Satan.

As you should recall, Part 1 introduced the subject of persecution from the viewpoint of 4 different perspectives. One perspective was that of the human persecutor Saul.  Another perspective was from God’s viewpoint and another was from the observation of the one in the church being persecuted.  Finally, the last perspective was from Satan.  Satan’s viewpoint represented his beliefs based upon his versions of truth and reality.  However, I was only able to touch that part of the discussion very briefly.

Today I want to focus more in-depth on the actual spiritual enemy’s perspective and the reasoning given to us in the Bible behind why Satan is so highly motivated to persecute the church. I believe if we can understand why our enemy desires to hurt us we will better know how to resist, withstand and even overcome the attacks.

But let’s first be reminded of a good definition of what “persecution” is from the dictionary.

Persecution: hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs.

Persecution is the act of someone causing hurt, harm, injury or even death to another human simply because of a strong disagreement or differences between someone’s appearance, associations or beliefs. Persecution can be physical, mental or emotional and even all of the above at once.  You must also know that the roots of all persecution originate from seeds of evil planted from the kingdom of darkness and we will soon learn why these occur.  That was only a very brief overview of what was covered in Part 1.  Therefore, let’s get started on a new lesson about the subject of “persecution”.

 

SECTION 1: OBTAINING A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF WHO THE SPIRIT OF SAUL REPRESENTS

It may have been difficult for a few readers to understand the stated concept of the warning that I believe was given to us by the LORD concerning “beware, the rise of the spirit of Saul”. Is it possible that this was a direct reference to the external spiritual being named Satan?  This “spirit of Saul” statement could possibly be a reference to at least three different possible interpretations.  Think with me logically for a moment.  First, this reference could be the actual human spirit of Saul himself returning to the earth as we read about Samuel returning to the earth in 1 Samuel 28 to speak with the first Saul king of Israel.  If you have studied the Bible you should already understand that man was created by God as a tri-part being; 1) man is a spirit that possesses 2) a soul (a mind, will and emotions) and this spirit lives in 3) a physical body (1 Th 5:23).  That is one possible logical interpretation.

Second, a “spirit of Saul” statement could be referring to just the rise of a hostile attitude towards Christians without being related to any one person of direct responsibility. Please review this one dictionary definition of the word “spirit”:

spirit: those qualities regarded as forming the definitive or typical elements in the character of a person, nation, or group or in the thought and attitudes of a particular period.

Using this definition we could take the character, thoughts or attitudes of anyone on the earth similar to the man named Saul and say that is what is returning to the earth today and I believe that would be correct to a great extent. However, we must ask is there something or someone that is driving these things to reoccur today?   Is there anyone that can be identified to be directly responsible for the evil?  I believe the answer is yes.  I based this belief upon two important characteristics 1) the TRUTH OF THE BIBLE and 2) God’s created laws of physics.

I would be foolish to attempt to teach the laws of physics in a Bible lesson on persecution. But you may be wise to extend some effort to study this subject to learn more about the subject of causality. This basic principle of physics teaches us for every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction.  In other words even basic common sense teaches us that nothing good or evil happens without an originating cause.  Simply speaking we should understand that cars do not assemble themselves.  If you can see a car, you must logically assume a designer and creator of that car.

I believe this principle of causality is also the basis for the subject of persecution also. Persecution does not occur by accident or random chance.  It must be directly caused by a being capable to desire it, design it, initiate it and control it for an intended purpose.  This brings us to the third possible interpretation for the “spirit of Saul”.

The third possible interpretation for a “spirit of Saul” statement could be a direct reference to an independent external supernatural spiritual being influencing the natural man Saul. I believe very firmly that this was the way that it is being used by the Holy Spirit in the message.  In fact I believe it was an indirect reference to Satan and can be no other possible spiritual being.  If you also believe this is true then you just might wish to skip the remainder of this section of the lesson because it is going to be designed to provide other Biblical confirmations of that subject matter only.  The section following this confirmation in the Bible lesson will continue to get into new material on the subject of “persecution”.  You are free to move directly down to the next section if you feel led by the Spirit of God to do so now.

I will do my best to provide a couple of quick examples of this type of stated truth for the “spirit of Saul” utilizing additional associated subjects and related references in the Bible. Each new reference type given should help us establish the basic concept that the “spirit of Saul” can legally be referring us to a completely different independent responsible spirit other than the human spirit of the man being directly named.

The Bible contains multiple repeated patterns that can assist us to prove basic spiritual concepts. We can find these and use the occurrence of each Bible reality to support our understanding of possible types and examples which are similar.  For example, please read this next equally patterned verse that I believe was revealed to me by the Lord very carefully and see what God is saying about a spirit and two natural men named Elijah and Elisha:

2Ki 2:15 And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.

Here in this reference of the “spirit of Elijah” is found the exact same form of the principle and pattern as what was given within the “spirit of Saul” statement. However, in this revealed pattern there is a major difference in the transferred type of spirit that was now resting upon this man Elisha originally resting on Elijah.  The major difference is between good and evil.  Elijah and Elisha were men of God that do things that are good and Saul was a man guilty of doing evil.  This represents an antithesis truth comparison. Both are related patterns upon opposite ends of a truth spectrum.

I believe that this shifted spirit being transferred from Elijah to Elisha must be the good Holy Spirit. I believe very firmly that the Hebrew word H7307 which was translated as “spirit” in this verse should have been translated as the capitalized word “Spirit”. Translators capitalized this word as “Spirit” in over 30 other O.T. verses.  Therefore, it is a very legitimate way to use the word when it is recognized to be referring to God’s divine Holy Spirit.

This lower case translation as “spirit” just causes significant confusion and it conflicts with other verses found in the Bible. For example, I have found no verses in the Bible that reveal that a man’s human spirit can be transferred to or ever exist inside the body of a completely different named human being. We can easily observe this truth from reading a literal true story that Jesus taught to us.  For example go and read in Luke chapter 16 where Jesus tells us of the natural deaths of two actual men, one an unnamed rich man and the other a poor beggar named Lazarus.  Upon the death of each man, both human spirits depart their dead bodies and leave the earth immediately being carried away by the angels to two different locations under the earth’s surface.  Knowing this truth alone makes it impossible for the literal stated “spirit of Elijah” to represent Elijah’s actual human spirit.  The “spirit of Elijah” cannot come back or even stay on the earth to rest upon another human body named Elisha. That would be a very false teaching likened to “reincarnation”.

Also remember a related story found in Luke chapter 9 when Jesus was transfigured on the mountain top and both Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus talking. It is worthy to note that the Bible does not say that this was Elisha’s appearance.  Therefore the spirit of Elijah must be separate from Elisha in 2 Kings and afterwards in Luke 9.  It would be very logical to think that this is the way it was then and still is now.  We can further confirm this truth seeing the departure of Elijah’s body and his spirit when he was taken away from the sight of Elisha being separated by a fiery chariot in 2 King 2:11.

2Ki 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

The fact that both Elijah and Elisha appear together in repeated verses found in 1 Kings 19, 2 Kings 2 and 3 prove that both men are human and possess independent human spirits. The fact that Elijah is stated to depart the earth further proves that Elijah is no longer here to rest on Elisha.  Therefore, this referenced “spirit of Elijah” in 2 Kings 2:15 cannot be a literal interpretation for Elijah himself to remain here on the earth.

There are just too many implied controversies and conflicts given to us for us to believe that the human spirit of Elijah could possibly be transferred up and away from the earth but still remain here on the earth to rest upon the human spirit of Elisha. I’ll say it again in a different way, there is just absolutely no way that this belief of a human spirit transfer can fit any type of knowledge or understanding of central truth found in the Bible.  Therefore, God must be speaking of a different spirit that was transferred from Elijah to Elisha and this Spirit must be the Holy Spirit.  Let’s look at another related contextual verse to help us understand this more clearly:

2Ki 2:9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.

Here is a great new mini lesson to help verify that the “spirit of Elijah” in 2 Kings 2:15 must be translated as the “Spirit on Elijah” in order to not conflict with contextual Bible truth. First, notice that Elijah says “He is about to be taken away”.  That statement would be a clear lie if his spirit remained on the earth to rest upon Elisha.  Do you understand this?  A man is his spirit and a man is not his physical body.  The physical body is simply the house that the man’s spirit lives within.  Remember what Paul wrote us in 2 Corinthians 5:8 “to be absent from the body is to present with the Lord”.  Wow, I hope you can put this verse together to see the truth with the “spirit of Elijah”.

Also, notice that there is a potential major conflict found on the surface by Elisha’s request to Elijah.   Elisha asks for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.  Again I believe this word should be capitalized as “Elijah’s Spirit” to be seen correctly as God’s Holy Spirit that was resting upon Elijah.  You see God’s Spirit resting upon Elijah was just the unseen reality that Elijah possessed personally.  Then notice what Elisha asks for more specifically.  Elisha asks for a “double portion” of this spirit and again this can only be a double portion of God’s Spirit.

I have found no Bible references that infer that a man’s human spirit can increase in any measured capacity, quantity or status other than to grow in qualities like faith, strength and wisdom. I believe from years of Bible study that the human child that is formed in the womb of a woman has been given a fully formed and complete human spirit from God.  I believe that this human spirit is in its full presence and measured capacity.  I do believe that this spirit grows in knowledge, understanding and wisdom but I believe that this is not the increased size of the human spirit. Therefore, I believe that any stated increased “double portion” of Elijah’s human spirit presents another major Bible conflict.  However, if we translate and interpret this Old Testament request in this verse using revealed knowledge of the N.T. we will quickly learn the truth.  For example, read this:

Joh 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

As you read the context of this verse you can clearly see that this verse is speaking of Jesus. God declared in His written Holy Word that Jesus had been given the “Spirit of God” in complete fullness without any limitations or reduced amounts of capability to measure.  The Greek word G3358 translated in this verse as “measure” literally means “a limited or reduced portion of the complete or total” and by God placing the negative G3756 translated as “not” before this word it changes the meaning to say to us that there can be no reduced limits to the Spirit that was given to Jesus.  We could literally say God’s Spirit was given to Jesus in the fullest possible measured capacity.  Therefore, Jesus had the total possible amount of God’s Holy Spirit resting upon Him.  I hope and pray that you can see this truth because the unstated implications are also amazing.

This statement of truth about Jesus implies that every other human here on the earth can only possess the Holy Spirit in some much “lesser amount” or “reduced or limited portion” than what Jesus had. This truth teaches us so very much.  For example if you believe that you have all of the Spirit of God that you can possibly have just because you were born-again then you are very deceived.  There is always more of God that is available to come upon you, if you just ask for Him to come and receive Him by faith.

This means when Elisha asks Elijah for a double portion of his “Spirit”, Elisha could only be legally asking for a greater portioned amount of God’s Spirit than what was present on Elijah at that time. The increased amount of double of what Elijah had resting upon him was what was requested.  I hope you understood this basic logical truth.  I believe very clearly that God’s Spirit is the only single spirit that can be given and transferred to and from any human to another in greater amounts.  However, this does get more complicated by the fact found in the Words of Jesus when He declares that a demon can exit out of man and then return with 7 other demons that are more evil than himself (Mat 12:45).

I’ll end this small part of the confirmation by proving the Holy Spirit can “rest” on humans. This will help us further support the claim that the spirit of Elijah must be the Holy Spirit and no other.  And this fact will assistus to better understand how the “spirit of Saul” can also be transferred to rest upon other humans also.  In Acts 2:3 when the Holy Spirit falls upon the 120 in the upper room God declares that His Spirit “Sat” upon each of them.  That term “sat” is simply a synonymous way to say God’s Spirit “rested” on each human spirit present in a limited amount.  This was the exact same spiritual concept being studied in 2 Kings.

Num 11:25 And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.

We can use one of the basic interpretation principles called the “law of first mention” and find that the Spirit of God rested on other people in the O.T.  For example this truth is found in Numbers 11:25-26 where God clearly states using the exact same Hebrew word translated as “rest” as we have been observing in reference to Elisha. In these verses in Numbers God rested upon Moses and this same Spirit was then also transferred and given to rest upon the 70 elders that were called to help Moses govern and manage the people of the LORD.  That makes it very plain to me what God was speaking of in 2 Kings 2:15.

I’ve spent more than enough time on this rabbit trail study proving that the “spirit of Elijah” can only be correctly understood to be “God’s Spirit resting on Elijah” and it could only be His Spirit that can legally be transferred in an increased portion to rest on Elisha. These truths helps to support the claim that the “spirit of Saul” can also legally be understood to be Satan’s spirit upon Saul that is being transferred from one human (Saul) to another.

I will conclude this section of our persecution lesson with one further confirmation to how Satan can use multiple humans to bring persecution upon Christ and Christians. This will help us to see how one spiritual being can be transferred from human to human.  We will read four verses found in the book Luke.  I’m sure you have seen these before but they do teach us plainly about the root “spirit” that is truly behind persecution:

Luk 22:2 And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.

Luk 22:3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

Luk 22:4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

Luk 22:5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.

Please note in verse 2 that God says the religious leaders in Israel sought to kill Jesus. Also note that in John 10:10 Jesus claimed that Satan was the one that came to the earth to kill, steal and destroy.  I find that very interesting, don’t you?  It would appear to me that Satan had already entered into the hearts of these religious men in order for them to want to kill Jesus. Please recall who Jesus claimed was behind these rulers by reading these words spoken in John 8:

Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

You see Jesus informs these religious leaders that they desired to kill Him and that this was the desire give to them from their father. Who did Jesus say was their father?  Was it God?  No it was not!  Jesus was saying they were “of” their father the devil (aka Satan).  Wow, that is very strong language.  The root of murder according to Jesus is of the devil because he is stated to be the murderer from the beginning of the world.

Jesus was warning these religious human men concerning who birthed and controlled their 1) desires, 2) intentions, 3) thoughts and 4) their actions. But, these religious zealots completely ignored His warnings.  I believe that it is quite possible that one of our main subject’s Saul was standing in their presence when these words were spoken.  Wow, can you imagine that?

Go back and reread Luke 22:3 again. It is very clearly stated that Satan entered into Judas before Judas ever betrayed Jesus to the Jews.  Note the important concept being taught to us.  The spirit of Satan was not on or in Judas but then he came from somewhere or someone else to now be found present in Judas.  This statement reveals the very important concept that is being taught about spiritual transference.  The Holy Spirit, demons, devils and even Satan can be transferred from one human to another human as we have clearly observed in scripture.

The religious rulers of Israel were thrilled with this man Judas coming to help them trap, take prisoner, persecute and kill Jesus. This is no different than what Satan did through the man Saul to persecute and kill those in the church later after the death of Judas and the ascension of Jesus.  What I am saying is that the same spirit of Satan that came upon these religious leaders, Judas and Saul must be the same spirit that is now coming upon people in our world today to spread the same evil upon the church.

This is such valuable information to learn from. It teaches us the root cause behind the observed effect of church persecution is spiritual in origin and nature.  Judas went out and killed himself because of his great error in judgement to give into Satan and yet this did not end the persecution of believers.  Therefore, Judas cannot be the root cause of the persecution to Christ or Christians.  Judas was only a simple pawn chess piece that could be used to attack Christ and then be sacrificed and thrown away in a human garbage pile.  Satan could easily find another human to fulfill his further evil work on the earth.  Please see what Paul wrote about this unseen work of Satan:

Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Paul states very clearly “what is” the root cause source of evil in this world. Paul is a very wise and learned man from things he learned from the Lord Jesus and his personal life experiences.  Paul says there is a prince of the air that has the power and ability to work in men and women on the earth that willfully disobey the Word of God.

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

We could spend a lot of time just on this verse but I want to point out just a few key points found in this great truth statement. Satan is walking the earth just as we are informed he does in the first chapter of the book of Job.  The Greek word G666 which was translated as “devour” is a very interesting word to study.  This word literally means to swallow up as in gulping down a large glass of a beverage.  This is what Satan is trying to do to everyone in the world today.  Satan is an equal opportunity destroyer and it does not matter if you are saved or not saved.  He is looking for someone to drink in and use.  However this is only possible for people that open the door for him to come in to consume them.

Spiritual transference and influence is still true today in our world. Human terrorists are not our real root problem.  One terrorist blows himself up to kill people and then Satan has many other men, women and children to step into their role to be the next murderer.  I hope and pray that you will embrace these truths and take them to heart to see how persecution and the transfer of spirits work.   Let’s change the focus and learn more about why Satan wants to persecute you.

 

SECTION 2: ONE OF SATAN’S PRIMARY MOTIVATIONS FOR PERSECUTION

At the end of the first lesson in the series, I included a few verses from Revelation 12 that described how as the time of the end shortens, Satan’s fury and hatred increases. I believe this fury is growing exponentially as the end becomes nearer.  I also believe that this rage will continue to rise until after he is thrown down to the earth the final time having lost his soon coming war in heaven with God’s holy angels.  I believe these verses describe to us a spiritual being in tremendous panic mode.  Let’s reread a little to refresh our memory:

Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

Rev 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

Prior to these two verses in Revelation chapter 12, Satan (the symbolic dragon) was stated to have swept down with his dragon’s tail one third of the angels (the symbolic stars). These evil angels have fallen to the earth with Satan from heaven and that is not good news for the people left remaining on the earth.  But, here in verses 7 and 8 we learn some very important information concerning Satan.  First, think with me and ask why would a created being of inferior powers and ability choose to come against his all-knowing and all-powerful creator?  Doesn’t Satan have any fear of God?  I believe sincerely that Satan has tremendous fear of God.  But, I also believe that he considers that he has no choice except to fight against God in order to try to survive what is prophesied to come.  Satan knows so very clearly by reading the end of the Bible that he is going to be cast into hell very soon where he will have to spend all of eternity in punishment, anguish and torment.

Remember that Satan has been in heaven, led worship around the throne of God and has lived the best life and seen such superior things which were far better than anything we could possibly imagine here on the earth. Satan was created a model of perfection, created in a realm of perfection with the perfect association to the creator God who was and is perfect.  Why he chose to willfully and purposely rebel against a good and loving God is certainly an amazing mystery to most of us Christians.  Let’s review Satan’s end:

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

As you can plainly read in Revelation, Satan has a very dismal prophesied future. This is exactly why I believe Satan is highly motivated to try to find any way possible to not go there.  Do not forget that when Satan was created, he was an example of perfection from God’s best and highest order of His creation.  Satan continued as the model of “perfection” right up until the time that “sin’ was found in him through his pride (Eze 28:15).  I believe that it was Satan’s pride that caused him to think more highly than he ought to think of himself and I believe that it is now his survival instinct that causes him to fight diligently against God and His great power here on earth and in heaven.

I hope that you understand these truths because Satan definitely does. Everything that a Christian is destined for in eternity with the Almighty God, Satan has already experienced and I believe he is not happy to say the least to lose it all.  Let’s take a quick little exploration trip down a new rabbit trail on the subject concerning demons and devils to better understand Satan’s knowledge.  Please, read with me in Matthew 8:

Mat 8:28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.

Mat 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

Jesus traveling through the countryside encounters men that were possessed by devils. Please notice what the devils shriek when they see the LORD JESUS coming at them. We can clearly see from their statements that these devils know exactly who Jesus is and even call Him the “Son of God”.  Being the “Son of God” was certainly the truth and one of His primary given names.   Did you know that devils know and can speak the truth at times? Please notice the beginning of the question asked to Jesus “What have we to do with you?”  That was a question displaying their great fear of Jesus.  This statements ends with still another fearful question that begins with “Have you come to torment us before the time?”  Wow, what great fear these devils exhibit!  Can you agree?

Reading the devil’s questions we see that these spirit beings in a human know the truth that there is coming a future “set time” that will begin their eternal never ending torment. They also speak this truth long before the book of Revelation was ever written.  We also learn by their questions that the timing for this torment described in the future written Revelation 20 was not during the first appearing of Jesus the Son of God upon the earth.  This extraordinary knowledge of truth was way beyond that of any human comprehension on the earth at that time except for Jesus’ knowledge.  Jesus never denies these statements of truth nor does He contradict them.  They are completely agreed with due to the silence of Jesus.  Let’s review the facts of truth just given:

  • Devils have a very great fear of being tormented.
  • Demons, devils and evil spirits know that there is an appointed time of eternal torment.
  • The timing of eternal punishment and torment is stated to be in the future.

 

All of these three observed truths declare that every devil possesses a very great fear of God and of the coming time of never ending retribution. Did you know that devils and demons possessed this very tremendous terror of God and His power even back at the appearance of Jesus the first time on the earth?  If the lower levels of devils feared God’s future plans for them way back then how much more do you think their leader Satan and all of them fear these never changing plans right now?  I believe that this fear is even greater today than it ever was back then.

Jas 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Notice what the half-brother of Jesus reveals to us in his awesome letter to the church. James commends us in the church for having a holy belief in the one true God.  Then James implies by his adjoining statement that this belief should cause a righteous fear of God to similarly be present in us.  We can conclude this, because, James says that we are doing well to possess this belief in one God since the devils “also” believe and they tremble in fear.  What I am introducing in this section of the Understanding Persecution lesson is what I believe is Satan’s number one reason for persecuting the church and it is called “FEAR”.  Satan fears the omnipotent God more than I can describe in this lesson and it is primarily this great terror that causes his excessive hatred and rage against us in the church today. Please take this summary statement to heart and never forget it:

  • Fear is the driving motivational evil force for everything wicked that Satan does to the church using persecution.

 

 

SECTION 3: INTRODUCTION TO SATAN’S NUMBER ONE GOAL  FOR PERSECUTING THE CHURCH

Wow, if it is true that Satan is primarily motivated by the fear of God to commit persecution, what is his primary goal and objective for persecuting, killing and destroying Christians on the earth for the last 2000 years? What benefits to Satan could this evil work of persecution potentially gain him?   I believe that is a great question to answer and understand.  And I believe the answer has not changed ever since Satan killed Abel in Genesis.

Always, remember that Satan has been in the death business since the world began (Heb 2:14).  He wants us in the church dead and not only us but also the entire nation of Israel.  Why is that?  If Satan is already defeated as we learn in the New Testament, why is he still fighting so hard to kill everyone that God has selected?  Why does the religion of Islam call Christians in America the great Satan and the nation of Israel the little Satan? It sounds to me like Satan is afraid of us both and even our existences here on the earth.  Both of these nations must possess something that Satan fears as much as God.  What could this be?

Again we know from reading the words of Jesus in John 10:10 that Satan came into the world illegally to literally 1) kill, 2) steal and 3) destroy us while Jesus explained that His purpose for coming into the world was the antithesis to give us life and that life more abundantly.  These were and are still two opposing forces that are fighting against each other to prevail.  Satan should be viewed as our enemy trying to bring us to death but Jesus the greater one came as our provider of life more abundant.  Satan is certainly evil and Jesus is so exceedingly good.

We should now know from just reading this lesson that these three evil acts of Satan were and still are “fear of God” motivated. Therefore, I’ll ask again, what possible profit does Satan potentially gain from killing Christians, stealing from Christians and destroying Christian and their works?  This will become the focus of this section and we will let God’s Word answer these very important questions.

There is a really simple answer to the introduction of this section’s questions if we think about it and begin to ask some additional direct questions. Of course asking the right direct questions would certainly help us.  How about beginning by asking this question, “How did you become a Christian?”  I believe that if we can correctly answer that question that we will begin to travel down the right pathway to finding the truth about what is Satan’s primary benefit for the persecution of God’s people.  I’ll start this section with a familiar Bible verse found in 2 Corinthians:

2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

God contrasts two truths and one is given to be greater than the other. These are seen things verses unseen things and the unseen things must be viewed to take priority over the sense realm things.  The unseen things are clearly spiritual in nature.  If you are really a Christian that has been born again, you possess two very powerful unseen spiritual realities that Satan fears tremendously.  Every real Christian believer has these two unseen internal truths that speak to declare Satan’s greatest fear.  What are these two unseen internal and never ending unseen spiritual qualities that any real Christian possesses? These two unseen realities in us that Satan hates and fears the most are 1) the Spirit of God and 2) the Word of God.

1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

After becoming a Christian the Spirit of God dwells directly in us. That is why Satan fears you and wants to remove you from his worldly domain of darkness.  If there were no Christians in the world today restraining and resisting Satan what would be the moral condition of the world today?  I hate to imagine what would be happening based upon what is happening all around us already.

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

If you were born again, it happened because you received the Word of God into your spirit. It is the presence of this powerful incorruptible Word (seed) that is one of the major factors that Satan fears you.  This is so important that I can’t say it enough.  The Word of God and the Spirit of God are one and if you are a real Christian you have both in you in some measured portion which can be increased and even grow but I don’t have time to teach that today.  Let’s review a verse very quickly to see why the Word of God in you is so scary to Satan.

Rom 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

Wow, I love this verse of Godly truth. This verse represents a foundation for the second unseen reality that Satan hates about you as a Christian.  The Word of God should be in the mouth of every believer and we should be able to see that it is only this Word of Faith being in our mouth that represents our offensive weapon against Satan according to Ephesians 6:17.  Every time Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus spoke the Word of Faith to him “It is written” and after three attempts to get Jesus to fail Satan left him in defeat.  I believe very sincerely that this removal of the Word of God from your heart and from your mouth is the number one goal for all evil persecution.  If Satan can eliminate the Word of God from your heart with external threats and pressures from this world you will become no threat to Satan.

For the exact same motivation of fear that Satan attacks the all-powerful God in heaven in Revelation 12, he is coming against any real saved born again Christian now in the church. I believe that Satan is highly driven trying to save himself from going to hell as I have previously demonstrated and that this foolish behavior will continue to increase as the time for the end of this age is growing shorter.  I also believe that Satan’s chances for success are zero.  Yet I believe strongly that he will definitely still try to fight to win in order to attempt to change his inevitable outcome in whatever way that he believes he can do to help him the most.  If you do not believe Satan is still fighting to win over you and over God, then you may be very deceived.  Verses like Ephesians 6:11-12, James 4:7, 1 Timothy 6:12, 2 Timothy 4:7, and 1 Peter 5:9 to name a few all prove that every Christian is still in a spiritual battle until Satan is completely removed from this world.

As we learned earlier, Satan is not omnipresent nor is he omniscient. Satan does not come close to knowing what God knows or even understanding why God has done many things the way that He has done them.  God clearly uses seemingly foolish strategies in the eyes of Satan to defeat him (1 Cor 1:27).  Satan never understood why Jesus came down from heaven to the earth to become a human man.  The devils clearly thought it was to torment them before the time appointed.  I believe that Satan and his devils were all in terror when Jesus began to cast them out of people here on the earth using His anointed power. Acts 10:38 says “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and Power who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil”.  You see until Jesus came down to the earth, every devil practically had complete free reign to do as they pleased to humans if humans were tricked to open the door to let them in.  Jesus turned the world of the devils upside down so that they didn’t know what to expect next or what to do with Jesus to stop this major change to their long existence on the earth.  God reveals this to us in this truth:

1Co 2:7  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

1Co 2:8  Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

These two verses confirm the reality that Satan and all of his devils don’t know much about God’s ways. These two verses inform us that God had a very secret plan found within sending Jesus to the earth.  This plan literally included the voluntary death of Jesus on the cross and God says if Satan would have known this no devil would have allowed this to occur because I believe it sealed their doomed fate and destiny.

What did I say earlier was one of the things that we possessed now that Satan is in great fear of?   Remember one item was the “Word of God” as it is being mentioned in verse 7 of 2 Corinthians 2.  I believe this is the planned motivating goal of Satan.  He believes that if he can stop us from gaining any more knowledge of God’s Word that this will possibly extend, delay or even end the future plan of God to put them into hell.  However, we still have the Word of God that we can read further and learn more from:

Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

We should be able to easily learn from reading these verses that this death that Jesus experienced on the cross caused the triumphant defeat and the downfall of Satan and all of his unseen spiritual rulers of this world. This should be very excellent news for those that are still being persecuted by Satan today and those in the days to come.  It also should raise new questions in your mind.  For example, if Satan is a defeated enemy why does he still exist here on the earth and how is it that he still has any power or ability to persecute anyone?  I wish I had time to try to explain that completely, but I do not in this lesson.  In order to understand Satan’s goal for committing persecution we need to dive much deeper into the subject of the incorruptible word of God’s seed that I just introduced into the lesson.   We will do this by analyzing some familiar verses next.

 

SECTION 4: UNDERSTANDING PERSECUTION IN THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER

In a previous section I said Satan feared two truths, the 1). Spirit of God and the 2) Word of God in the heart of every born again believer. Then I taught that this fear was the primary motivation for all Christian persecution.  Now, I’m going to continue to confirm and expand this fact in this part of the lesson to help us better understand it. We will be turning to the most important parable found in the Gospels in order to better comprehend the reason(s) why the church is being persecuted.  This essential parable that I am referring to is often called the “Parable of the Sower” but we must begin to understand that it contains so much more information than just a simple message of a man coming to plant some seeds in what appears to be random types of ground.

We will soon discover by using a new look that this seed parable also contains our four perspectives concerning persecution. These were, 1) God’s perspective, 2) Satan’s perspective, and both the 3) persecuted church and the 4) persecutor’s viewpoint.  I will not include every verse of this parable in order to attempt to shorten the lesson today, but I would recommend that you go and reread all of the verses for yourself to refresh your memory to confirm what is being taught.

I will inform you upfront in this section that it contains some potentially brand new ideas that I believe the Holy Spirit just gave me concerning this parable. While I was studying the subject I believe that the Lord showed me how this parable fits my life in more ways than I thought.  I believe the Holy Spirit said to me in my spirit that this parable represents the ONLY true pathway to becoming a real saved mature born again believer.  I believe this is described from the beginning of our salvation all the way to the best possible end result of our salvation of producing a 100 fold spiritual fruit return on God’s investment in our hearts.  I will also inform you that this parable teaches us at least 6 things that Satan does to every hearer of the Gospel in order to keep that person from becoming a saved overcoming threat to his kingdom.

Let’s examine a very quick overview of the parable. In this parable a “sower” came to the earth spreading seed on 6 different types of ground (soil, hearts).  Three types of ground (soil, hearts) produced no lasting fruit for a harvest and three types of ground (soil, hearts) produced increasing levels of lasting harvestable fruit.  We should know from the explanation of the parable given by Jesus that the main seed being sown in heart to produce fruit represents the “Word of God”.  That is very important to know since I believe this is what Satan fears.  We should also know that the original man that sowed the good seed was sent down from heaven and His name was Jesus.  We can further understand that the soil represents 6 different distinct states of the internal unseen spiritual human heart.  Now, we should be able to logically deduce from just this amount of basic information alone that the end result of the seed (Word of God) sown is spiritual fruit and without this being found present it is impossible for us to be saved according to the Bible.  I’ll repeat this very important verse for further emphasis:

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

Jesus declared in John 3:7 “You must be born again” in order to enter the Kingdom of God.  Did you notice what God says about His seed here in this verse of first Peter?  God’s seed is confirmed by the inspired writings of Peter to be God’s Word and it is ONLY this successfully sown incorruptible good seed in a man’s heart that causes him to be born again.  I believe this is a good time for us to get into the divinely created natural birth process in order to better understand this concept of being born again.  God’s process of being “born again” spiritually is a direct parallel concept to the created natural process of being born in the natural human way.

Rom 1:20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

God gives us great wisdom in the New Testament concerning how to understand hidden and unseen spiritual truths. God clearly says for us to look at naturally created patterns of things to see and understand hidden spiritual concepts we do not see or understand.  This is why we are going to go briefly through the parallel process of human reproduction.

I will not be excessively graphic in this description because most of you should already know how human babies are made. However, for those few that don’t, the natural process takes two opposite humans to produce one new baby.  These two human requirements are always one male seed provider and one female seed receiver.  The human male always possesses the necessary seed for human conception and must sow it just as the sower of God’s word (a male named Jesus) possessed the spiritual seed that must be planted in a spiritual woman to cause a spiritual birth to potentially occur.  Both seeds (the natural and the spiritual) are implanted internally just in two very different ways for two very different intended destinations and results.  However, both successful seed processes produce the same end result called “fruit”.

Luk 1:42  And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

In the natural woman’s womb there is found an “egg” normally produced monthly that can be potentially implanted by the sown male’s seed. This natural sowing process to produce the human baby fruit as we just read in Luke 1:42 is a very real parallel to the parable of the sower that informs us not every seed that was sown takes root or produces fruit.  Both the spiritual seeds and the natural seeds have enemies that can try to prevent the seed sown from bearing any fruit. Some human couples take great lengths of time to produce a child in the natural and so it is with the spiritual re-birth process.  Some humans live all of their lives and get born again on their death beds if they are blessed to hear the gospel and receive it.  Just as having sex does not guarantee human fruit, so it is with hearing the Word of God.  There are so many that hear the truth of the Gospel and simply die and go to hell, not receiving it.

The womb of the woman is a direct parallel representation of the human heart (spirit). The female womb is an ever changing environment that goes in cycles of lesser degrees and greater degrees of fertilization and so it is with the human heart.  A human’s heart may be very tender and fertile to receive the word of God today but tomorrow it may be completely hardened because of life’s ever changing circumstances.

In the natural the male is always the sower of seed and it is only this seed successfully sown at the perfect timing that will potentially produce any fruit of a child. However, even as the parable indicates, there can be problems that cause the termination of the pregnancy and no child/fruit is delivered.  I’m sure some readers know this reality by great trial of experience.

That was only a very rapid overview of a naturally created and inspired process that was designed to be a view into the spiritual birth process. I pray that you will accept this as we continue to learn more and I encourage you to give this process some more thought and write me a good comment at the end of this lesson to share it with others.

As in the parallel of human reproduction, the “Parable of the Sower” reveals much more than just the planned attempt at producing good fruit. There is and always will be an enemy in this realm that will try to prevent the spiritual rebirth from taking place.  Satan does this in at least 6 different ways in the parable of the Sower.  If you allow Satan to steal the seed sown from your heart, there will be no new spiritual birth that will occur to produce any lasting or saving spiritual fruit.  Therefore, it is simple to see if there is no lasting Seed of God in the human heart, there will be no end result of any eternal salvation fruit.

The Holy Spirit reminded me as I was writing this lesson that I have personally been almost every type of the 6 different soil conditions mentioned in this parable by my own freewill choices. I believe that if you are a real born again Christian, then you have chosen to be most of these soil types also and endured to make the necessary changes and adjustments to go further.  I did not say you had to go through every soil type.  I believe you may have been blessed to bypass one or more soil types that do not produce fruit.  However, that does not mean you bypassed the attacks of Satan to try to steal the seed from your heart affecting those soil types.  Please, just begin to understand that it is the human’s choice which soil type that he or she wants to be.

For example, the Holy Spirit reminded me that I was the one that chose to be hard hearted pathway soil that allowed Satan to easily steal the Word of God that was sown in my heart as a very young man. The Holy Spirit then reminded me that it was my choice later in life that allowed the Word of God to come in on my shallow stony heart when I did receive God’s seed with gladness.  However, when Satan came as he does to every seed of God listener I became offended and turned away from God and produced no fruit.  As a result I failed to move into salvation to produce fruit.  God then reminded me of the phase of my life when I chose to receive the Word of God being more tenderhearted but I again allowed Satan’s evil seed to also enter in through the cares of this world to choke out the good seed and again there was still no Godly fruit produced for salvation.

I am now by my own determined choice, in a more lasting “fruitful” stage of my life having made the personal selections to not allow my poor past mistakes to keep me apart from producing any harvestable spiritual fruit. I am not saying that I am perfect now or that I have yet arrived at the one hundred fold return level of fruitful production but I believe that I am on the way to get there.  I hope this short testimony gives you a brand new perspective on what the parable of the sower represents and further helps you to evaluate where you might choose to be in this parable being described today.  I would be very excited to read your testimony of your path to salvation if you would care to share it in a comment.  It would be my great pleasure to read how you overcame the struggles and attacks of the enemy in any soil type.  Let’s start reading the “Parable of the Sower” in Mark chapter 4:

Mar 4:14  The sower soweth the word.

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

Ok, heart condition 1 was called the “way side soil” and this soil type represents a very hard compacted trampled on heart condition which does not allow the Word of God to even enter into it to take any root. Therefore, there is no salvation that can take place for this type of person.  In this soil type the seed (the Word of God) is very easily stolen away by the enemy of God (Satan) because there can be no understanding of any of the Word that was heard.  I’ll say this again using a few different words.  The reasons given for the ease of seed theft is first, a hard-hearted condition by a personal choice which caused a second condition of no real hearing or understanding of the Word of God to be able to enter into it.  I very firmly believe that this “way side” soil condition represents a person that has never been saved even if they went to church over and over and over. I believe that this soil type is like a man having sexual relations with his wife but the sperm sown never reached anywhere close to the egg inside her because it is blocked by some contraceptive device or substance or even by some physical condition that does not allow the seed to be implanted.

Like I said earlier, this way side soil type represented me in the early years of my life. I was raised in church but I was not really interested in hearing any of the Word of God that was being spoken.  I let the words go in one ear and immediately exit out the other ear being closed minded and uninterested.  I placed no value upon the Word and treated it with disdained unimportance.  There was no priority of importance or value given to the message and therefore the seed being sown was very easily stolen from my hard hearted condition.

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

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

The second soil condition is called “stony ground” and this was me when I was in my teens and early 20’s. My heart had started to have a very small amount of softness on the surface to receive only some basic concepts of the Word of God but, because I lacked any deep understanding and maturity I simply fell away when Satan persecuted or afflicted me with any pressure.   The main difference between the second type of soil and that of the first is that this soil has just a very small amount of loose soil (tenderness) that allows the seed to enter into it slightly.  But, because of no great ability of the seed to go deeper into the heart it simply dries up and dies unborn.  I believe this soil type can represent a woman that has a pregnancy occur but soon experiences a miscarriage because of some unforeseen circumstances from a natural enemy.  Perhaps you have experienced this and if so I am sorry for your loss.

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

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

The third condition of the soil is called “thorny ground”. I believe that this was me in my late 20’s and 30’s.  I was easily distracted by the cares of this life and the pursuit of worldly things and these personal choices allowed these thorn seeds to also enter in my hear to grow and develop and their presence choked out God’s planted seed in my heart again to produce no fruit.  I believe this can be many, many things.  For example, reading fiction books instead of the Bible allows evil seed to come into the heart.  Watching worldly movies also can bring into a heart evil seeds that choke out God’s Word.  Desiring fame, riches, cars, houses, boats, etc. can all allow evil seeds into a heart that produce no fruit.

I will remind you again that this entire parable concerns the primary subject of human salvation also called being born again. It describes the process entirely from the beginning steps all the way to either a successful completion to produce some spiritual fruit or there is the other side likened to a crop failure where no lasting fruit is produced.  It also reveals there are spiritual enemies and plans to abort the entire process and all of their techniques are intended to terminate God’s designed saving process.  Real spiritual salvation always begins with the impartation of God’s good spiritual seed called the Gospel and ends with at least some real lasting spiritual fruit being produced.  Those that produced no fruit were not saved and those that produce even a little bit of lasting fruit are saved.  Remember that Jesus said “You will know them (saved or unsaved) by their fruits” (Mat 7:16).

According to the interpretation of this natural parable the sower’s goal is to plant spiritual seed that produces spiritual fruit and He does this by speaking the Word of God into all types of human hearts every chance that He has. The seed that is sown is clearly for an intended good return.  Therefore, without hearing the Word of God there is no hope for our salvation and Satan knows this.  Wow, we now are finally beginning to really understand the primary goal for human persecution.  Satan is doing everything in his power to get God’s seed out of our hearts so that there is no fruit produced.

I would like for us to pay close attention to verse 15 of Mark 4 again. Here in this verse Jesus said when the sower’s word falls upon the “way side” type of soil that Satan comes immediately after the word was sown (heard) in order to take away the “Word of God that was planted in their hearts”.  I’ll let you in on another secret.  We must understand that this technique of Satan happens for every type of soil, not just the “way side” soil type.  Jesus was only teaching us how easy it is to successfully steal away the seed that was sown in this soil type.   But, please believe me when I say that Satan will use any and every one of his techniques to attempt to get God’s spiritual crop to fail at anytime.

Please allow me to stop and explain the parable further using some additional depth. We should be able to see that there are only two constants in the parable that never change.  These two unchangeable realities are the “Seed” Word of God and the God that spoke the “Seed”.  Everything else in the parable represents a variable substance or in other words a temporary or changeable reality.  For example, Satan changed from a good being to an evil being. However, based upon the Bible, I do not believe that Satan can change back to be good being again.

Two other major variables given in this parable are the “soil types” and the 1) techniques used to steal away the 2) Word sown from the soil. The sower in this parable certainly has changed from Jesus to you and I, but we are all technically still the body of Christ.  We can also assume that the human “persecutor” being used by Satan can change but a persecutor is just another hard hearted soil type that is clearly stated to potentially change by their own personal human choices.  For example we have already seen the man Saul become converted to become a sower of God’s Seed named Paul.

I’ve already touched on this subject of the changing soil types, but let’s go deeper still into this part of the discussion. Who determines what type of soil that you are?  Does God predetermine your soil type before you were conceived in the womb or maybe during the time you were growing in your mother’s womb?  If you believe yes, that type of faith is very wrong.  This type of false belief is based upon an erroneous extreme sovereign God predestination doctrine that preaches nothing happens expect it be the will, purpose and plan of God.  In this type of extreme belief the human plays absolutely no role in being saved or being lost because that was all prearranged by God’s sovereign choice, power and divine will.  However, that is not the truth but rather a deception of Satan’s design.  I’ll tell you plainly again that it is you and only you that chooses to believe to be saved and you are also the only one that determines what soil type that you are represented to be from your childhood to the right now present time.  Here is just one confirmation to what I just taught:

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

Luk 10:41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

Luk 10:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

I inserted these verses to help confirm the soil type is the human’s choice. Jesus clearly places all responsibility for listening and hearing the Word of God that He spoke upon the listener.  Mary made the clear right choice and Martha was distracted and burdened by making the very clear wrong choice.  Mary represented good ground by her wise selection and Martha in this story represents “thorny ground” because she was loaded down with the cares of this world that choked out everything that was being spoken in her house.  Wow, that is very powerful.

You can be as hard hearted as you can possibly be and yet you can also choose to change immediately to become as tender hearted as God wants you to become if you will ask and allow God to help you to change.  This was a perfect description of Saul.  Saul encountered Jesus and from that moment forward he never looked back on who or what he had chosen to be in the past, except to regret his previous bad choices. I would highly recommend that we all choose to become the best “good ground” that produces much fruit by applying God’s Grace and Word through our faith in Him and His Word.  Let’s reread some previous verses from the lips of Jesus again:

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

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

Here again are the very essential verses concerning our primary lesson subject on persecution. As I previously stated this is often called the “Parable of the Sower” but technically remember that it is the story of the successful or unsuccessful salvation process.  God is using an exact matched discussion for the 4 different viewpoints that we have been studying about in this series on persecution.  In this parable there is the “sower” and this viewpoint represents God Almighty’s perspective.  It is God’s Word that is being directly sown into the hearts of all people on the earth by it being spoken to them.  What was God’s objective for sowing His Word?  The Word of God was given to mankind by God in order for them to produce fruit and the existence of this fruit is the primary recognized pattern that proves someone is a true Christian (Mat 7:20).

From God’s perspective He desires to sow His Word into the hearts of all people in order that they might be saved. Notice that I said that they “might” be saved.  Even though God is not willing that anyone perish (2 Peter 3:9), God does not force His Word of truth or salvation upon anyone.   Even though God desires every man, woman and child to be saved it is up to every person to choose to be a Mary type or a Martha type of hearer, deciding what type of soil that they want to be.

Satan is your stated enemy because of God’s sown Word found in your human heart and Satan causes persecution to come because of the Word of God. Maybe you have never realized this before but Satan does not fear you without God’s Seed in your heart.  But, when the Word of God (the Seed) and the Spirit of God is found within your heart Satan has a major problem.  It is the Word of God in your heart that Satan fears because it and it alone has the power to put Satan to flight.  But, only if you know it, understand it and are willing to use it against him by speaking it, does he fear you.   This is still the given number one reason found in the entire N.T. for every demonic attack on Christ followers.  If Satan can take God’s Word from your heart you are “ABSOLUTELY NO THREAT” to him.

There are definitely unstated and implied symbolic human “persecutors” in this parable of the sower as related indirectly in verse 17 of Mark 4. The unstated persecutors are like the man “Saul” we have been learning from.  This type of man was one of the hard hearted types of soil that failed to allow the Seed of God into his heart to produce any fruits of salvation.  Saul definitely qualified as a man that the Word of God fell on by the “way side” and Satan did come into his heart to take the seed immediately upon hearing it by using thoughts, ideas and suggestions of deception to distract him from seeing any truth.  I hope you understand this principle because it will be what Satan does to you also if you are not yet saved reading this lesson.

Just because “persecution” was only mentioned in one type of soil called the “stony ground” please do not get the erroneous idea that you will never be persecuted if you are choosing to be some other type of soil such as the “way side” or “good ground”. That would be very foolish to think that way.  Like I taught before, Jesus was only pointing out when “persecution” could be the most effective on this one type of rocky ground.  But, I believe that if you have heard and choose to continue to hear the Word of God, you should expect “persecution” from Satan to come almost immediately after hearing any new Words of God.  I firmly believe that persecution will be inevitable and will not cease in this age to those that live Godly (2 Tim 3:12).

We have only briefly touched on the subject of persecution using the 4 different revealed perspectives found within the “Parable of the Sower”. God’s perspective in this parable is certainly to save and empower all of humanity by planting within us His Holy Word.  Satan’s perspective was found to be fear motivated and this causes him to try to get the Word of God out of the hearts of all humans to render God’s powerful seed ineffective.  Satan accomplishes this using many given plans and devices including affliction and persecution.  The third perspective given is called the soil and this represents the human where the seed tries to fall to enter in after being heard.  This man has the choice to become saved and fruitful by enduring the enemy’s attack plans or to remain unsaved by allowing the enemy to steal the valuable seed from his heart.  The final indirect perspective was from human people being used to take the word from your heart as a pawn of Satan.  Wow, I hope you are receiving all of this great information because I believe that this section of the lesson was really good and essential information for every Christian.

 

SECTION 6: PERSECUTION TO THE CHURCH IS INEVITABLE

Just living a Godly and Holy lifestyle will bring you the reality of persecution, God guarantees it in His Word. Whenever you do not look like those in the world, talk like them, curse like them, drink like them, party like them, take drugs like them, have sex like them, etc. it make you stand out as being strangely different and even abnormal to them.  It just takes one person of light going against the entire flow of the dark world to get the full focused attention of persecution.

Joh 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

In the entire life of Jesus, he did absolutely nothing deserving of ridicule, persecution and death, yet all of these happened to him. He was completely sinless in His life on the earth and yet it was this lifestyle that was hated by most of the religious leaders of the nation of Israel.  According to the words of Jesus, we should be no different than Him.   They persecuted Him beyond human comprehension and all of this persecution was unjust. I am definitely not greater than Jesus and therefore, Jesus guarantees me to be persecuted.  He does you also if you are His.

Mat 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

According to Jesus, not everyone is qualified to be persecuted because many are not saved even though they say they are a Christian. If you are not being persecuted, I would ask yourself why not?  What am I doing or not doing before a person of the world that makes me fit into their model of normal?  Notice what verse 11 says.  Jesus says you are blessed “WHEN” men persecute you.  He did not say “IF”.

I believe that it could very difficult to feel that you are blessed when someone is beating you, torturing you and putting you into prison for no good reason. It would be completely different if we were guilty of a crime.  The thief hanging on the cross spoke to the other one and declared that they were getting what they deserved but Jesus was not.  However, Jesus is still giving us some real positive encouragement to endure in verse 10.  He is declaring to us that we can stand through it all, if we look at the big eternal picture and can see that this life is a very short insignificant period of time.

Rev 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

I’ll end this section with this one verse found in Revelation. This is Jesus speaking again to the church.  He tells them very plainly they will suffer persecution to the extent of jail and even death.  Then Jesus says very clearly if you endure it there is a righteous reward in doing so and this is what we speak of briefly in section 7 of this lesson.  However, in conclusion I want you to see what Jesus said in Revelation 2:10.  Jesus is plainly informing us of the root cause of persecution.  Jesus clearly says it is coming from the devil even though Jesus is speaking indirectly of natural men and natural prison buildings that are used by Satan.  Wow, that is very important confirmation to the root cause of all “persecution”.

 

SECTION 7: THE CORRECT PERSECUTION CHRISTIAN REACTION

A Christian’s reaction to being persecuted could be many different possible personal choices. We could choose to be very angry and to even resist and fight back.  That is what most people in the world would certainly do.  However, that is definitely not what the higher Christian examples in the Bible teach us to do.  I’m going to end today’s lesson with two very quick examples of the correct Christian response to being persecuted.  I believe that if we are able to follow these two great examples, we will be significantly rewarded by the Lord in the life eternal to come as we just read in Revelation 2:10.

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

Jesus was our model of perfection that all Christian standards should be following after. While He hung on the cross He said something that goes against all human logic and reasoning.  Jesus said “Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing”.  This statement proves two incredible things to us.  First it proves that Jesus knew that it was NOT these people that did this to him and second he also knew that they were doing it all unconsciously being led to do it by the unseen spirit of Satan.  This truth completely supports the beginning foundation of the lesson series on persecution.  Remember when we learned that we (Christians) are not wrestling against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph 6:12).

Christians often believe so very wrong. Many Christians believe that Jesus lived an unobtainable life example that was far out of their reach to achieve.  However, that is just not the truth.  According to the writings of Paul in Romans 8:11 a Christian has the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead living on the inside of them.  This was God’s plan of salvation to come on the inside of every Christian to help them to live Christ’s example.  We are not doing it all alone.  We have a helper according to Jesus in John 16:7.  Wow, that is great news.

The second example in today’s lesson is that of a normal man like you and I that we talked about in the first lesson. His name was Stephen.  Hopefully you will recall that it was Stephen that was stoned to death as Saul watched and consented gleefully to his death:

Act 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Stephen was not Jesus. Stephen was not even one of the original 12 disciples of Jesus.  In fact Stephen literally came from the ranks of just basic Christian disciples like most of us.  Sure Acts 6 says Stephen was chosen by the 12 to administer some affairs of the church along with six other men, but that does mean he was better than you or I.

Stephen did absolutely nothing deserving death and here he was being stoned. What was the reaction of Stephen to his unjust violent and painful persecution of death?  Hopefully you can see that it was practically identical to that of Jesus’ reaction?  How was this possible?  How could a Christian disciple possibly ask and pray “Lord, do not hold this sin against these people” while he was being stoned?  This type of reaction defies all human natural thinking.

The first time Stephen is ever mentioned in the entire Bible is Acts 6:15. There is no record that he ever walked with Jesus or even saw Him in the flesh as Jesus ministered personally here on the earth for three and half years.  So who was this unknown man that had the power to follow exactly after the pattern of Jesus’ forgiving example?  Wow, I believe Stephen could just possibly be one of the men that got saved when Peter stood up and preached the Gospel in Acts 2.  It was probably a year or less from Acts 2 when Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit until he as stoned to death.  That was a very short time of being a Christian to endure such a death.

I firmly believe that God put the example of Stephen in the Bible to prove that if he could respond correctly to persecution then anyone could do it. This includes me, you and anyone else that will get saved from now till Jesus returns for us.  Do you think you will be able to do this same response when you are persecuted?  Can you follow the example of Jesus and Stephen?  The answer is yes, but will you choose to do so?  You will if you are committed to Christ.

What is the number one factor for choosing the correct reaction to persecution? I believe the answer to that question is love.  Jesus certainly had this great love and I believe Stephen had it also.  It takes a great amount of love to forgive someone while they are killing you.  If you don’t have this love, you can get it by asking Jesus to come into your heart, right now.  I believe that this is absolutely the only way to do respond correctly during persecution.  If you are not saved and believe you can die like this, please ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior right now.  It will be the best decision you have ever made and ever will make.  Please leave me a comment if you have enjoyed this lesson.  God bless you and thank you for reading this Bible lesson.

Bible Basics: Jesus Asks “Who Do You Say That I Am?” Part 2 – Believing in the Name of Jesus is a Requirement NOW!

whoami2(Ver 1.2)  This is Part 2 of a very fundamental and rudimentary but essential Bible Subject for every Christian to study, learn, understand and be able to share in an instant with all others in the world!  What is that vital subject you ask?  The subject that I am referring to is “Who is Jesus to you?”   If you did not read from the beginning I would strongly recommend that you go back to “Part 1” to begin reading the series because all of that information will not be repeated again and it was very important for your understanding of who Jesus should be to you.   The first lesson was a focused approach to understanding the significance of some of the most important revealed “Names” of Jesus in the Bible.  If you read the first lesson you know that I introduced you to 3 of these primary names of Jesus found in the New Testament.  There are of course several other revealed names and titles of Jesus that I did not mention.  Later in the series we will explore more of these names but I will mention at least two other direct names today in this lesson.

I hope after reading Part 1 that you at least have a better comprehension for the importance of these 3 Bible names of Jesus that were covered.  These names were 1) Jesus, 2) Emmanuel and 3) The Word of God.  All three names connected us directly to a personal divine appearance on the earth of the creator Lord God coming from heaven in the form of a man like us.  In today’s lesson we will expand the subject of these 3 names by adding two new names “Lord” and “King” and we will begin to address the question of what benefit is there for believing in these names of Jesus?  Were there any benefits in the early Church?  Are there any benefits to these names in the modern church?  Why is it important for us to even believe in the names of Jesus?  What occurs if we do not believe in Jesus being God in the flesh or in His revealed names?  We will soon be learning what the Bible says about what will happen if we believe in His name and what will happen if we do not.  Wow that sounds imperative to know.

In many of my Bible studies I place an added emphasis upon how to study the Bible.  Today’s lesson will be more of this type of double teaching effort.  I want to provide the reader with valuable spiritual information but at the same time I desire to teach a few of the rules and methods for how the information was obtained.  In this way I am teaching the reader more about “how to fish for information” than simply just offering them a “onetime fish meal of information”.  Of course the number one rule for every Bible study method is for us to be led by the Spirit of God and listen for His guidance as we study the Bible by faith.  Following this rule will insure that we are on the right path to not deviate from the way of finding the truth.  The Spirit of God is Truth (John 14:17) and we are told that He will guide us into all Truth (John 16:13).

INTRODUCTION TO THE NAME OF THE LORD

Let’s begin this Bible study using the important Bible study technique called “The Law of First Mention.  Today’s Bible study’s primary focus is upon the importance of knowing, understanding and believing in the name of Jesus.  So we will go back into the O.T. to find the name of God that is found within this name Jesus.  Perhaps you do not understand what the law of first mention represents.  I found through years of Bible study that the law of first mention is a very useful study technique to learn from and use.  This study law introduces us to the subject where God first mentions what we are interested in learning.  I have found consistently that God places key information in every initial subject reference that is critical to understanding almost every other subject reference in the rest of the Bible.  Since we learned in lesson 1 that the original language Hebrew name of Jesus was comprised of two Hebrew root words “Jehovah and Saves” we will focus in on the O.T. references to the name of God, Jehovah.  The first time this name Jehovah is used by God in the O.T. is found in Genesis 2.  Let us read the verse and learn what God introduces us to in this first subject mention:

Gen 2:4  These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,

Did you notice that this verse connects the name Jehovah directly to the God of creation and the creation event itself?  In Genesis 1 the name of God primarily mentioned is H430 Elohim which is normally translated as “God”.  However in this verse in Genesis 2 Jehovah and Elohim are joined and used in conjunction together as a connecting force for equality, for clarification and for further definition.  I believe this simply teaches us that Jehovah is Elohim and Elohim is Jehovah.  Why is this important?  It is only important because in the New Testament in John 1 we saw another direct reference to GOD and to the creation event that must be included with Genesis 2:4 in order to be understood more thoroughly.  Let’s review the first three verses of John 1:

Joh 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Joh 1:2  The same was in the beginning with God.

Joh 1:3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1 are parallel creation event verses connected together by God’s design.  God in the book of John further clarifies and bring newly defined light and revelation to the subject of creation and the Creator.   God is being declared equivalent to the Word in these verses and we are clearly informed that the Word created everything that was made.  We can now go back and reread Genesis 1 and find that this is exactly what happened.  God spoke His Word and the created things came forth and produce life.

In these verses in John the name of God is the Greek word “Theos” and this is the equivalent of the Hebrew name of God “Elohim” by direct association.  Notice, in Genesis 1:1 God says “In the beginning God (Elohim)…” and in John 1:1 God says “In the beginning God (Theos)…”.   I know technically it says “In the Beginning was the Word” but later in the verse God tells us the Word was God (Theos) and that is a basic Algebraic law at work that says if A = B and B = C then A = C.  Therefore I hope you understand why it is legal to say Elohim and Theos are equivalent but I will offer additional evidence as I continue in the lesson and probably repeat what I have said for the benefit of everyone.

One of the things that I want to teach in this lesson is that anytime God quotes even a portion of a verse from the O.T. in the N.T., He is connecting the words across a language boundary.   I hope you understand the importance of knowing this.  This technique of word structure, definition and equivalency is part of God’s internal technical design of the entire Bible.  God used this technique of quotation to help us and teach us the way through the complexity introduced by His usage between two main separations of languages found within the original Bible manuscripts.  The O.T. was written in predominately Hebrew and the N.T. was written in exclusively the Greek language.  So how do we resolve this major language separation when studying any subject in both the Old and the New Testaments?  We do it by finding and using God’s laws designed for us to follow.  Following God’s laws of how to cross language boundaries provide us very specific rules and boundary limits to avoid an “anything goes approach to Bible interpretation”.  Without following God’s established rules there is only a random unstructured chaos approach to interpretation taking place based upon human reasoning and that will usually fail us 100 times out of 100 attempts.  That is exactly why there are thousands of different Christian denominations in the world today.  Too many people are ignoring God’s rules and inventing their own ways to understand the Bible.

What we learn from this divinely designed language connection technique is that the Greek word Theos (G2316) is the equivalent word found within the Hebrew as the word Elohim (H430).  Do you understand this?  What I am saying is, if we were translating the O.T. original Hebrew language into the Greek language we would make the Hebrew word Elohim read as “Theos” because this is exactly what God did in the Bible and we should follow His example.  Conversely if we were translating the N.T. into Hebrew the Greek word “Theos” would be translated into “Elohim” because of God’s choice and not mine.  This is not that complicated but it is still a very essential concept to learn for correct Bible understanding and interpretation.    We can further confirm this truth of the word equivalence between the Hebrew Elohim and the Greek Theos by looking at several verses but I will give only one other verse to keep the lesson shorter:

Mat 4:7  Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

This is an excellent verse to expand our knowledge from.  Jesus is quoting a commonly known O.T. verse in this statement within the Gospel account.  Here in Matthew God directly connects two very key Greek words together that we need to know.  The first Greek word is G2316 (Theos) which was translated as God and is the same word found in John 1:1 that we just looked at.  But now we can also see the second Greek word being connected to God (Theos) is G2962 (Kurios) which is translated as Lord in this verse.  This is the exact same word and name connection that God made in Genesis 2:4 if you recall.  The “Lord God” is in fact the name that I am looking for to further understand.  Now let’s go and review the original Hebrew statement being quoted by Jesus to learn the original Hebrew language words:

Deu 6:16  Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.

Here again are the two key words LORD and God that are being researched having been connected by God’s design to the New Testament in the Matthew 4:7 quotation.  The Hebrew word H430 that was translated into English as “God” is Elohim and the Hebrew word H3068 that was translated as “LORD” in English is Jehovah.  We now have a very direct confirmation that the Hebrew word Jehovah is directly linked and is equivalent to the Greek word Kurios and the Hebrew word Elohim is directly linked and is equivalent to the Greek word Theos in all of scripture.  Do you understand why I could just say this?  If not there are more than enough verses quoted in the N.T. that you could go through to prove this statement if you want to do the work.  This is a very critical part of correct Bible study to find these types of details.  This should leave no room for doubt that we are on the right track learning about who is named LORD in both the O.T. and the N.T.  I do hope that you are beginning to understand where I am going.

Now let’s go back to John 1 and review again.  In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God (Theos = Elohim) and the Word was God (Theos = Elohim).  I just inserted the Greek and Hebrew equivalent words in this verse to help bring clarification to what God is speaking of.  John 1:1 is very clearly telling us that the Word is God (Theos = Elohim) and it further teaches us in verse 2 that the Word was with God in the beginning.   The terms “with God” and “is God” sound like conflicting statements but these are only possible because of the triune nature of God Almighty (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

Then in verse 3 God (Theos = Elohim) speaks clearly that all things that were made by God (Theos = Elohim) and everything that was made was made by the Word.  Wow that is awesome information to teach us something very new and profound.  Go back and review Genesis 2:4 again to make the connection.  Genesis 2:4 said “Jehovah Elohim” created the heavens and the earth.  Do you see the direct connection being made to who Jehovah was?   Can you see that the “Word = God” in John 1 is the exact same God as the “Jehovah = God” in Genesis 2:4?  Both are speaking of who created our world.  I believe overwhelmingly that the LORD GOD is the same as the WORD GOD and they are equivalent and I will prove that statement further as I continue in the lesson.

Let’s review some of the basic mathematical laws again to help us understand the Bible more clearly.  The Bible was authored by the same God that created math so it just makes logical sense for us to apply the same laws of God’s math design to God’s application of His Word.  Do you remember what I said earlier?   I said that God Theos = God Elohin by God’s usage of quoted O.T. verses found in the N.T.  I then said LORD Kurios = LORD Jehovah using the same type God’s N.T. quoted examples.  Now using John 1 we learn how God connects the “Word” was equal to “God” which was equal to “Theos” which was equal to “Elohim”.  I think this may be going over the head of many of my readers but that does not mean that I should not be teaching it.  Now using the divinely connected verses of Deuteronomy 6:17 and Matthew 4:7 we learned that Jehovah Elohim (Hebrew) = LORD God (English) = Kurios Theos (Greek).  I think I need to say this again because it is so very important for you to embrace, using O.T. quoted verse words in the New Testament we now know that Jehovah Elohim = Kurious Theos = LORD God.  I am just laying a very important foundation for more knowledge that is coming.

Ok if I haven’t left you behind so far I want to go a bit deeper.  Recall from lesson 1 that Joshua was the original Hebrew name of Jesus.  Never, never forget that Jesus was born a Jew and spoke the Hebrew language and not the Greek language.  Jesus said very plainly that He was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel (Mat 15:24).  When people met Jesus on the road they called Him “Yeshua” (Hebrew) = Joshua (English transliteration) = Jesus (Greek to English transliteration).  This Hebrew name came down from heaven and was given to Him by an angel of the LORD GOD.  As I have stated more than once we should know that the name Joshua was the Hebrew word H3091 and this meant “Jehovah Saved” which comes from two root words H3068 Jehovah and H3467 yasha being joined together.  We have just learned that Jehovah (Hebrew) = Kurios (Greek).  Therefore we can by the mathematical law of equivalency say Jesus’ name was the same as Kurios Saved because that would be the legal name using the Greek language equivalent.  Why is this important?  We will soon find out very quickly as we continue.   I hope and pray that you are interested in learning because this is only going to get better.

I have already established who the Word of God was stated to be in Lesson 1 of this series.  The Word of God was a given name for Jesus revealed by God to us in the N.T. (Revelation 19:3). I have just emphasized that the name of Jesus was a Hebrew name originally and it is comprised of two key words Jehovah Saves.  We are discovering further confirmation that Jesus was Jehovah come to save His people just as He was prophesied to do.  So let’s now move on to further study that subject in the next section of the lesson to go even deeper.

CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD

Psa 20:9  Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call.

This is my opening key verse to this entire section of the lesson.  Please, notice what God says.  The verse begins with “Save Lord”.  Uh oh do you remember what that means in Hebrew?  Opening in this verse are found the two key Hebrew root words that comprise the name of Joshua and Jesus.  These words that were translated correctly as “save” and “LORD” are H3467 and H3068.  Wow this is pretty good stuff if you are paying attention.  I’ll say it again “these are the exact two Hebrew words that make up the name of Jesus” and this verse in the Bible calls Him the King that saves the people that call upon Him.  Save us Lord (JEHOVAH) is the cry being made by the people in this verse.  These were people on the earth crying out for the LORD to save them.   So let me ask you who came to save them?  Who is your savior today?  Is it not Jesus?  I know Jesus saved me for sure, but I cannot speak for you.

We are told that they are crying out and calling for a king to save them.  I’ll ask you again, “Who is this king that will save them”?  Wow again, because if you know the N.T. just a little bit you know that Jesus is called the “King of kings” in Revelation 19:16 another divinely appointed name and title.  I told you earlier that we were going to learn a new Name of Jesus today and that was it.  Jesus is the KING of kings which clearly qualifies Him to be called upon according to this verse.  Now know and believe that Jesus is this King and make the connection being made to Jesus our Savior and Lord in Psalms 20:9.  Jehovah Saves = Joshua/Jesus and the people are calling upon this King named Jehovah for their salvation.  Could it really be that Jesus is this prophesied King that will come to save us who call upon the Lord/JEHOVAH?  I believe beyond a shadow of doubt that it is Him and we will certainly see many more verses in this lesson that will affirm that this King is Jesus.

What I am trying to teach over and over in this lesson until we all get it is that Jehovah is Jesus and Jesus is the Jehovah God that has saved us when we believe in Him and call upon His name.  Now let’s shift our focus slightly to a different first mention in the O.T. concerning those that “called on the name of JEHOVAH”.  In this part of the section we will look at when men first began to call on the name of the Lord in the Old Testament.  This is accomplished by a simple Bible text search within a good Bible search software program like “eSword”.  If you do the search you will find the first mention of the words “name of the Lord” to be in Gen 4:26:

Gen 4:26  And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.

Seth is the third named son of Adam and Eve.  Seth has a son and names him Enos.  Enos is the same as the Hebrew word H582 that means “mortal” and I find that fact very interesting when observed by what God connects within the context of this verse to this name Enos being given.  Enos was born approximately 235 years after Adam’s creation.  You may recall by reading earlier in the context of Genesis 4 that Adam and Eve had a son named “Cain” first and then they had another son named “Abel”.  The older brother Cain murders his younger brother Abel and this is the first direct mention of any natural human death occurring in our world in the Bible.  I’ll say it again that this natural death of Abel entering into the world was the first recorded occurrence of human mortality to actually be observed by any other human on the earth.  God plainly prophesied and warned Adam that death would come if he sinned and disobeyed God’s command.   It was truly the sinful disobedience of Adam that allowed death to enter into the world according to Romans 5:12.  I personally believe that it was the observed death of Abel the first human’s blood to be shed upon the earth that caused this verse in Genesis 4:26 to come to pass.

I believe that as soon as men and women on the earth began to realize the great impact and consequences of human sin they began to call upon the name of the Lord/Jehovah.  Why do you think that people would feel the need to call on the name of the Lord in Genesis 4:26?  What were they calling Him for? That is a very great question to ponder.  What benefit was there to calling on the name Jehovah at this time or anytime?  Was there actually any profit for doing this?  I firmly believe that there was then and still is now.  Let’s look at an example of one O.T. stated benefit for calling upon the name of the Lord:

Psa 99:6  Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.

Notice that Moses, Aaron and Samuel all called on the God named Jehovah.   Let me ask you this question, if you are calling on the name of Buddha will the LORD God named Jehovah answer?  If you are calling on the name of Hare Krishna will the LORD Jehovah answer?  What about the name of the sun god Ra or the mythological god named Zeus?  What if you called upon the name Allah?  Will the LORD Jehovah answer to any of these names?  Let’s look at a great Bible example of why it is so very important to call upon the right name and the right God:

1Ki 18:24  And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

Wow this verse is pretty awesome.   Elijah challenges the priests of the false gods and tells them to call upon the name of their gods and he would call upon the name of Jehovah the true living God just like Moses, Aaron and Samuel did and the God that answered by fire would be God.  That was an overwhelming display of faith in the name of Jehovah by Elijah.  If you read the rest of the chapter you will find who heard, who answered and who prevailed in this challenge and it was the God named Jehovah.  Was there any advantage gained by Elijah for him to call upon Jehovah?  It is very self-evident that there was a great benefit found in this example for Elijah’s faith and wise choice to call upon Jehovah.

This is just a very basic fact of truth being taught.  If you called me by the name of John when my real name was Ron, please understand that I will probably not answer you.  If you want a response from anyone you should probably know their name. If you want someone to answer you, it is wise to call them by their name.  These are very simple truths yet extremely important to know.  We could say that this “call on the right name and He will answer knowledge” is just “common sense” but yet this human quality seems to be an escaping virtue to possess these days for so many.  God gives us examples in Psalms 99:6 of a few select men that called upon His name.  These men were Moses, Aaron and Samuel and they are said to have all called upon the name of Jehovah and it tells us clearly that they received a response from Him.  That is the first astounding benefit revealed by God in this lesson for believing in His name and calling upon the name of the Lord.  God teaches us that if we call upon His name then He will hear us and He will answer because He is no respecter of persons.  Therefore, if your LORD is Jesus then call upon Jesus and see if He hears and answers the same as Jehovah did in these examples.  I believe that we have already established with scripture that Jesus was Jehovah in the flesh in lesson 1 but we re exploring more evidence in this lesson to remove all doubt.

CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD BENEFITS

I introduced you to just one of the benefits to calling upon the name of the Lord in the previous section. This section will continue the lesson with more of the stated benefits for believing in the name of the correct Lord and calling upon His name.  I want to begin this section of the lesson with a verse for you to read and then ask you a question to why it is important.  Please read over this verse carefully noting what is stated and then you begin to ask yourself questions from what you believe that God has given to you to know:

Act 4:18  And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.

Notice the Apostles were teaching others about Jesus and this made the Jews very angry.  But more specifically notice that the apostles were teaching directly about the “name of Jesus”.  Wow that sounds important to me.  Why would it even be necessary for the apostles to teach in the name of Jesus?  Could there have been any directly stated or even implied benefits that were attached to this name that needed to be made known to the others that heard?  Could the others that heard the name of Jesus being taught also gain any benefits from hearing about His name?  Why would Satan not want the “name of Jesus” to be spread to others? According to this verse there must be some great significance for teaching in the name of Jesus that the enemy wants to silence.  This name of Jesus sounds very important to me and I hope you will agree.  This is exactly why I am spending so much time teaching on the name of Jesus.

We are studying the reasons why the belief in the name of Jesus and calling on His name is very essential.  We have discovered that when we call upon the name of the Lord, He says that He hears us and that He will answer.   We can learn some very key facts to know about the name of the Lord Jesus if we open our spiritual eyes to see and receive them.  The word benefit is defined as “an advantage or a profit gained from something given or obtained”.  The something in this case given is for us “to believe in the name of Jesus” and then “to call upon this name of Jesus”.  The profit and advantage gained from doing these two simple things may be far greater than you can possibly imagine right now.  Before I go further I’ll state the antithesis truth of what I just said.  The opposite truth states that the losses and disadvantages that are faced by not believing in the name of the Lord and not calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus could be infinitely consequential to your life.  Let’s get started with learning some of the essential benefits and advantages for learning the name of the LORD:

Psa 116:12  What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?

Psa 116:13  I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.

Here are two great subject verses.  The Hebrew word in verse 12 translated as benefits means to “bestow on” or to “deal bountifully” with someone.  That reveals to us that God by His freewill and sovereign choice has placed His infinite divine grace and favor upon those that call upon His name.  But many will try to say that these verses are not about Jesus so why are you including it here?  However that is really not true.  Almost everything in the Old Testament points us to Jesus even if you do not see it at first.  I teach that Jesus is the central themed subject of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

Verse 12 teaches us that we cannot earn or repay what God is prophesied to do for us in this verse or now has done for us after Christ has come.  However, this undeserved gift is truly a New Testament Grace concept.  What is God talking about here that cannot be repaid?  Verse 13 gives us a glimpse into what one of these coming benefits is.  Salvation is the stated primary subject benefit for believing and calling on the name of the LORD.  However, this “cup of salvation” must be taken by the one that it is being offered to.  God does not force anyone to drink from this saving cup. This cup is what God has offered to every man, woman and child on the earth.  God has extended the cup of salvation to each of us in this life.  If we choose to take it we will be saved.  How does this work?  God tells you in the last part of verse 13.   We must call upon the name of the LORD.  Again that sounds critical to know.   Could that be the reason why the Apostles in Acts were teaching the people about the name of Jesus?

The key name of God found in verses 12 and 13 are translated as LORD which is the Hebrew word H3068 again referred to in English transliteration as “Jehovah”.  The Hebrew word Jehovah is included by God in over 5500 verses of the O.T.   Jehovah is also a root word of the name of the English transliterated name of Jesus as I have previously taught several times now.  What we need to do is to learn if there are any other supporting God given connections of Jesus being Jehovah.  So let’s establish truth using the Bible and the Spirit of God to guide us.  Consider this important subject verse next:

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

Here in this chapter’s context is found the primary subjects of human salvation in conjunction with the belief and placing our faith in the name of Jesus in order to be saved.  Did you notice what this verse said?  God tells us that whoever shall choose to make a decision and call on the name of the LORD they and they alone will be saved.  Who is this LORD?  I believe if you are intelligent you will know that this LORD is speaking of only Jesus Christ.

Now please know and understand that this verse in Romans 10:13 is a direct quotation of another Old Testament verse about Jehovah found in Joel 2:32.  Wow, that is just an amazing coincidence that God through the inspired writer Paul would use an obscure O.T. verse to teach us that the N.T. man named Jesus is the same LORD as O.T. named Jehovah.  You see the Hebrew word that is translated as LORD in Joel 2:32 is Jehovah (H3068) the exact word found in over 5500 verses of the Old Testament and the Greek word in Romans 10:13 that is translated as Lord is Kurios (G2932) the same word we have been learning is the equivalent language match.  Again these two verses in Romans and Joel further establish that the Greek word G2932 and the Hebrew word H3068 are equivalent words about the same subject just across a language division boundary.  Are you getting it yet?  I hope so.

I hope and pray that you are beginning to learn why this is so important.  God is teaching us that the O.T. Jehovah (LORD) is the same as the N.T. Lord Jesus using the direct law of inspired quotation.  They must both be the same person called by one name “LORD” in two different languages.  God is teaching us that it was Him, the Jehovah/Lord God that became Jesus and walked among us to save us.  Why can’t people see this?  People do not see the truth because the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:4 their minds have been blinded by the god of this world (Satan).  Satan is still trying to stop people like me from teaching on the name of Jesus and who He is.  There is truly nothing new under the sun.

There are so very many people who call themselves saved Christians and ignore the Bible.  They do not believe that Jesus was God come in the flesh and I believe this endangers their salvation tremendously.  These types of people take their selective verses and attempt to prove Jesus was just a man, just a prophet or even just an angel sent down from heaven.  This type of belief leaves God’s direct participation and contribution in our salvation process completely out of the picture.  It would further make Jesus an impersonal created unwilling participant and would certainly deny His deity.  In other words some believe that God sent or created someone else instead of coming Himself to save us.  That type of belief denies the name of Jesus to be meaningful.  Wow that is such a huge deception being pulled over the spiritual eyes of people.  Let’s move to two other verse witnesses that Jesus Himself spoke:

Luk 6:46  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Joh 13:13  You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.

In the first verse Jesus asks “Why do you call me Lord (Kurios) and do not do what I say?”  In the second verse Jesus says “You call me teacher and Lord (Kurios) and you speak well because I am (He)”.  However, remember again the basic fact that Jesus was a Jew and spoke Hebrew, so He was not speaking the Greek language when He said these statements even though it was recorded in the Greek language for us to read.  This means from our previous study that Jesus said Luke 6:46 “Why call you me “Jehovah” “Jehovah” and do not do what I say?” and in John 13:13 He said “You call me teacher and JEHOVAH and You are correct I am”.  Wow, Wow and Wow!  Are you receiving who Jesus claimed to be?  Get what Jesus is saying.  Think like a Hebrew for a few moments!  Put yourself in the audience when Jesus made these statements and you will soon understand why many picked up stones to kill Him.

Jesus is directly claiming to be God Almighty in the flesh with both of these statements.  Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus ever dispute being the Jehovah LORD.  Nowhere does Jesus ever deny being God Jehovah incarnate.  In fact the completely opposite is actually found true.  Jesus repeatedly alluded to the fact that He had come down from heaven and that He and His Father were ONE (John 10:30).  Yet so many people refuse to see the truth and they choose to buy into a lie of Satan so easily.  Here is another additional witness to insure the accuracy of Jesus being Jehovah:

Act 2:21  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Let every word of truth be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses the Bible teaches.  God again quotes the prophet Joel here in this verse in Acts.  This verse is a duplication of Roman’s 10:13 statement.  The Apostle Peter after being filled with the Holy Ghost stands up and preaches to the multitude that was found present to hear him.  If you read the context you will find that He is speaking directly of Jesus as being this “Lord” that Joel prophesied about coming.  Wow again, is that not just a little bit crazy?  I’m being humorous by asking that question.  No, Peter was not crazy.  Peter was a Jewish man also and he was quoting a Hebrew verse about Jehovah claiming that it was written about Jesus.  Therefore, Peter claimed that Jesus was Jehovah come down to the earth and was teaching this to anyone that hears it.

We just read that Jesus Himself claimed to be Jehovah.  Then if men like Peter believed Jesus was Jehovah and Paul believed Jesus was Jehovah why don’t you?   We would have to follow a completely different and false Gospel in order to believe in a salvation process that did not come from the God Jehovah personally being present on the earth to die for our sins.   I would strongly suggest that you go and reread Roman 10 and Acts 2 again and again to see how God used the Joel prophecy to describe Jesus as being LORD (Jehovah).  This is exactly what was being proclaimed by the early church believe it or not.  I am going to take this divine message even deeper to help you to learn the truth.  You are probably familiar with this verse but hopefully new light will shine upon it so that you will see it differently:

Rom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Paul a Jew writes that “if you will confess (call, speak, say) with your mouth the LORD Jesus….you will be saved”.  The Greek word translated as “LORD” in this verse is the same G2962 Kurios that we have learned is the equivalent to the Hebrew Jehovah.  Now change this one word Lord in the sentence and reread the verse:

Rom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth JEHOVAH is Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

I made three minor but legitimate changes to the KJV Bible verse.  I took away “the”, added “is” and change Lord to the Equivalent Hebrew word “JEHOVAH”.  All of this was legal.  I will confirm this with using the amplified translation:

Rom 10:9  Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord (JEHOVAH) and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Notice how the amplified translated the original Greek.  I added the word (JEHOVAH) to bring clarity because this was the original Hebrew equivalent word.  The amplified Bible said for us to say “Jesus is LORD” and by the law of Algebraic equivalence we know that we can or should say “Jesus is Jehovah”.  BY believing who Jesus was and making this statement we are declaring Jesus to be Jehovah our God and this verse says when we do that we will be saved.  This harmonizes precisely with the verses we just looked at in Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13 and Acts 2:21.

What we are learning is that our New Covenant salvation is found in believing that Jesus is the God Jehovah.  Before we end this section we will observe an additional essential reference for this part of the benefits to the name of Jesus subject study:

Act 4:10  Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

Act 4:11  This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

Act 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Here in these verses we find the primary reason for believing in the name of Jesus and calling upon His name.  Peter very clearly teaches us that there is no other name under heaven given among men where we can even think to be saved.  Wow, wow and wow!!!    Here we again get confirmation that the name of Jesus is an absolute necessity for being saved.  This implies that we must know who this name was given to and what He represents.  What makes this name different than anyone else’s name on the earth?  Why would Satan want us to not teach about this name, learn or know this name?  Anyone telling you that Jesus was not God is from Satan and you have a choice to believe them or not.  I am telling you plainly that Jesus was God using more than enough verses from the Bible to establish the truth and you have the same choice to believe what I say from the Bible or not.

We should learn that salvation is the primary need to learn, know and believe in the name of Jesus, but there is also another quick reference given to us in verse 10 that should be mentioned.  If you read the context you will find why Peter is speaking about Jesus and His name.  Peter had just used his faith in the name of Jesus to cause a lame man at the temple gate to walk.  It was this name of Jesus that Peter said made the man whole.  The Greek word translated as whole means to be healed and made complete.  That teaches us that salvation is much more than just God taking our spirits to heaven after we die.  No the Greek word translated as salvation is “sozo” and it means to be made whole spiritually, mentally and physically.   Go back in Acts and read verse 9 where Peter is telling the elders “by what means this man was made whole”.  The Greek word “whole” in this verse is G4928 “sozo” and it means “to save, deliver or protect”.  This word is used in the N.T. in a varied and wide all-inclusive process.  The name of Jesus saves us in so many ways that most of us have not yet realized or believed.  I’m really not going to get into this part of the meaning of salvation any further in this lesson.  I have other lessons that will expand upon this if you are interested.

What we must conclude from just these few verses that I have gone through so far today is that Jesus was Jehovah come down to save, deliver and protect us by our faith in His name and saying He is our Jehovah (LORD).  That is what the name Jesus means and that was what has occurred and is offered to you if you choose to believe it and receive it.  Therefore, our salvation is the most important reason for believing in and calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus.  This truth was clearly established in Romans 10:13 and Acts 2:21.  We are commanded to call upon His name and God says we will be saved.  Satan will fight you over this and try with all his power to get you not to believe this because this will take you out of his kingdom of darkness and he will no longer be your lord.  I seriously hope and pray that you understand what is being said here because the antithesis truth not directly stated is that if you do not believe or call upon the name of Jesus you will not be saved and go to hell.

DIVINE SIGNIFICANCE FOR THE NAME OF JESUS

I am going to conclude this name of Jesus Bible lesson with a final message of warning.  This warning comes directly from God’s Word and not from my imagination.  I am just the messenger that is delivering the warning.  Paul is writing to the church in these next few verses and we should take special heed to what is stated especially in the light of what we have learned so far about Jesus is Lord/Jehovah.  Turn to Philippians chapter 2 and read with me:

Php 2:5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Php 2:6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Php 2:7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Php 2:8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Php 2:9  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Php 2:10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Php 2:11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

According to God people can bow their knees to the name of the LORD Jesus right now by their choice or they will be forced to bow later without a choice.  There are no other options given to us.  It is and always will be a right now decision by an act of freewill humble submission and surrender or later by an act of superior force.  You need to spend a lot of time reading these verses and understanding what is being revealed about Jesus conforms to everything that I have taught up until this point and then realize who God claimed Himself to be in His written Holy Word.  Verses 5 through 8 teach us about God coming down from heaven and taking on the form of a human male.  He humbles Himself to be a servant in order to die on a cross for our sins.  Verse 9 is referring to God raising Jesus from the dead to ascend back into heaven being given a much superior name above every other name.

Read down to verse 11 and notice who Jesus is written by God’s design to be again.  God tells us in this verse that every tongue will confess that “Jesus is LORD”.  Who is this LORD?  Always remember that the Greek word translated as “LORD” is G2962 Kurios the exact same word that we learned earlier that was equivalent to the Hebrew word H3068 JEHOVAH by God’s definition?  If God inspired the writer Paul to write this message in his native Hebrew language instead of the Greek, what would it have said?  Remember the writer Paul was a native Jew by his own admission.   Paul would have thought thoughts primarily in the Hebrew language.  Therefore, reread the statement inserting the Hebrew word equivalent, “every tongue will confess that JESUS CHRIST IS JEHOVAH”.  Wow that is a very strong word of warning for us to believe in right now.  I really do not understand why people do not think when they read the Bible.  The truth is staring them right in the face but it is hidden from their view by wrong thinking.  Please confess that Jesus is Jehovah right now because later you will be forced to say it but it will be too late.

CONCLUSION

We have only begun to touch on this very major subject of believing that Jesus is Jehovah and calling upon the name of Jesus to be saved.  I have only introduced you to a very small portion of the importance of the name of Jesus. However, we have seen more than enough reasons and evidence to confirm the significance of why it is vitally essential to know Jesus by name and who He was as Jehovah incarnate.   I have also taught on why we all need to believe and call upon this name in order to be saved using multiple verse confirmations.  We have learned a few reasons to know what is gained from believing in the name of Jesus and by calling upon Him by name.  It is very clear from Bible research that the early church taught on this subject of the name of Jesus everywhere they encountered people that needed to be saved. If the early church placed such great emphasis on Jesus being Jehovah why should we not do the exact same?   I will list a few benefits for doing this now again for a quick synopsis overview:

  1. When we believe on Him we will call and when we do not believe we will not call.
  2. When we call upon Him, He will hear us.
  3. When He hears us, God says that He will answer.
  4. All who believe and call on the name of the LORD Jesus will be saved.
  5. Salvation is found in absolutely no other name but the name of Jesus.
  6. I’ll say it again, there is no other name given to men whereby we may be saved.
  7. Never forget to tell people that Jesus is Jehovah.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this Bible lesson.  I do pray that it opened your eyes to see some things that you have never considered before about Jesus and God’s Word.  I hope and pray that this lesson will give sufficient evidence to convince any doubters to confess Jesus is Jehovah now.  If you have the opportunity to share my website with your friends and family I would be so grateful for your help spread the Word of God to others.  Thank you all and God Bless you until next time.

Praising the Lord. One Million Views on Agapegeek!

praise (1)(1.0).  This is just a very quick and short praise report concerning the gracious works of the Lord God on this website.  We have just today surpassed 1 million views on this Bible Study blog.   People from at least 214 different nations of the world have been led by the Spirit of God to read and study the Bible with us by His design.  God’s amazing grace and love for us along with the uncompromising Truth of His Word has been the declared primary focus for the posts here on this website.  People come from the four corners of the globe to read and to learn about Jesus and to grow spiritually mature.  If you have been a reader and a subscriber to these Bible lessons, we do so greatly appreciate all of your faithfulness and dedication to God’s Word so very much.  Please continue to pray for us so that we may continue to grow, expand and help all those that desire to learn and know more about God.  Help us spread the message of Love to the world by telling others about this website.  Share the Bible studies on social media and using email to your friends and family.  God bless each and everyone of you all very, very, very much and be in PRAISE to GOD with us for all that He has done and is doing!!!   GLORY TO GOD!!!  — Agapegeek ❤

BIBLE ANSWERS: How Can the Bible Be Called a Personal Love Letter Written to Me?

bible-answers2(Ver 1.1)  Today’s Bible lesson contains a response from the Spirit of God to answer a very important question asked by a loyal Agapegeek reader.  My reader asked me why I could call the Bible a personal love letter written from God to you and me.  I have mentioned this concept more than once in other Bible lessons.  I have suggested to peoplet that they read the Bible like it was”a personal love letter from God written to them”.  I firmly believe that if each of us would just change or adjust our perspective of the Bible slightly to see it differently from where we may have seen it before that it would be of great benefit for us to help us learn the truth.  What if we read the Bible as if it was a private love correspondence written from a very dear boyfriend or girlfriend?  How would this attitude change your expectations of the words on the page?  Would you consider the word’s of the Bible more meaningful or to be significantly changed by God’s great love for you?  I really do believe that you would.

I grew up in the age before email and text messaging.  In that age to reach someone of any distance you had to write a letter to them.  Yes, I know the telephone was there and that could be used to convey a lot of the same or even better information with feelings by hearing their voice directly.  But long distance calling was expensive so the best way to normally talk to someone in any length was to write a letter to your love.   While God could certainly boom out His message directly from heaven for everyone to hear, He too has chosen to reach out to us using a written form of messaging.  This raises two questions immediately in my mind and these were 1). for what purpose was the Holy Bible written and 2). what were God’s thoughts for us when it was written?  The intent of the Bible could have been anywhere from an attitude of anger, rage and hate on one side of the pendulum to being from a calm, peaceful and loving attitude towards us on the other side.  Which one was it?

Many people read the Bible as if it was written only by a powerful angry God of judgment and punishment for all of their sins and the evils that they have done in this world.  But I am not one of those and I believe the Bible came from a God with a personal caring attention and a specific communication style of love directed at at all of those that would take the time to read what He said!  I believe that we should each receive the Bible like it was an important special delivery love letter written from the most distant place called heaven from the most special person in our lives and see it as Him speaking directly sweet, kind and loving words written to us.  Look at the Bible as God making well intended promises about what He will do for us and to us when He comes for us because of His great love for us.

My reader said that God’s Spirit on the inside of him witnessed with his spirit that this type of Godly loving attitude of message content was a correct perspective to receiving the Bible.  He also felt that it was a true saying that I wrote about in my Bible lessons when I said we should read it like a love letter from God.  But, yet he still needed scriptural evidence and proof for the defense of this statement to confirm his belief.  In other words how could he defend this stated belief if someone asked him why he believed His Bible was a supernatural personal love letter written to him from God?  What an excellent question and what an admirable quality of Christian character to possess.  For someone to be so open minded and in tune with the Spirit of God but at the same time wanting to verify whatever is taught with the backing of the Bible caused him to be like one of the noble Berean types of Christians found in Acts 17:11.  I hope and pray that you are the same way.  Therefore let’s obtain foundation evidence from the Bible for a belief that God wrote the Bible as a personal love letter.

 

WHY WE NEED TO KNOW THE ANSWER

 Let’s open this Bible study with a directly related discussion to why we need to be able to answer when someone asks us a question about the Bible concerning why we believe the way we do about what is written in it.  What I want you to learn in this initial section is why it is important to learn, know and remember the sound Bible truths in order to respond to the questions of people desiring to understand the foundation basis of our beliefs and faith in Jesus Christ. We will begin reading form the book of Colossians:

Col 4:3  Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

Col 4:4  That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.

Col 4:5  Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

Col 4:6  Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

This is such an excellent set of verses.  Paul writes to the church of Colossae.  This information should immediately raise the question in your mind “why am I reading a letter written nearly 2000 years ago to someone else originally like it was applicable to me?  This is what many intellectual deceived people will conclude.  I have also heard religious people that graduate from unnamed seminaries use this argument to explain away verses that did not conform to their traditions.  However that is a lie from Satan.  This letter was written to the Church of Jesus Christ and that is me because I’m in the same body of Christ and they were. There is no new body of Christ today from back them.  I hope that you understand that.

Paul writes both a request for prayer as well as to give them instructions on our important subject question do we need to defend our faith to non-believers?  Paul asks for them to pray that God would open a door for him to be able to preach the mystery of Christ to the lost.  Paul expounds clearly and plainly that God’s word contains divine mysteries that are not easily understood by carnal minded unsaved people.  Therefore Paul then asks them to pray that God would show him what to speak so that he could walk in divine wisdom toward them that were unsaved.  This is an excellent prayer for me if you would have the time to do that.  I know if you are witnessing to people it would be a good prayer for you also.  Let’s continue to go through some more of the information found in these verses written to us in the church.

Paul is talking about speaking the right words for the specific situations for those coming opportunities that God was going to present to him through the open doors being prayed for.  Can you understand what Paul needed and why it is even necessary to ask God for this to help others get saved?  Think with me for a moment.  Every man is different.  Each individual being different will respond to only certain personal words.  One answer to one man will be rejected by another.   This is why we need God to help us because only He knows the right words to speak for every person we encounter.

What if someone that is unsaved comes to you and asks you why do you believe in Jesus?  Do you have an answer?  Wow, I think many do not.  Now let me ask you something related to what Paul prayed.  Do you have the answer that they will receive?  Someone coming to you and asking why you believe in Jesus is really no different than if someone comes to you and asks you why are you reading the Bible?  I believe that one possible good answer to that question would be “I read the Bible because this is God’s love letter that He wrote to me personally”.   However this answer may just bring up another direct question about why you said that?  Will you be able to answer that question also?  What kind of proof or evidence do you have to present to anyone in the court of human personal interaction to defend your statement?  I hope and pray that is the reason that you are reading this Bible lesson to find out.

Col 4:6  Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Look at verse 6 again because this is the main point that I wanted you to see in this introduction.  God says through Paul for our speech (words spoken to the unsaved world) to always be done with God’s Grace (full of grace, spoken in grace, led by grace and even done with and for grace).  Then God says to let your words be seasoned with salt.  Wow now we are getting into more difficult symbolism.  We could spend days talking about the subject of salt but that is not my main subject today.  Therefore let’s move to the last statement in verse 6.

In the last statement in verse 6 God says if we let our words be as the seasoning and preserving salt filled with grace this will cause us to be able to answer any man’s question the way that we should.   What God is saying is you better expect questions concerning your faith and beliefs to come from unsaved people and then you also better expect to give them answers to those questions right away.  Are you ready to do that?

1Pe 3:15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Today the question asked to me was “Why I believe the Bible is written to me personally as a divine love letter from the Almighty God”.  Let’s get into the subject of why the Bible can be considered a divine love letter written to you and I from the most intelligent and all powerful being that you can imagine named God.

 

WHY SHOULD WE CALL THE BIBLE A LOVE LETTER?

 I’ll begin this section of the subject study by using a very basic important fact presented to us in the Bible about how God identifies to us His character as being love.  This basic foundational fact should be one of the truths that every Christian learns directly after being saved.  Knowing God’s true character and nature will help us to know how to understand the entire rest of Bible.  We should always balance God’s revealed character of love with His stated works and actions.  I will say that this is a complex question to answer and sometimes Bible answers to basic questions are not as easy as reading only one verse but I will still try to answer the question as best as I can in this presentation of message delivery.  Let’s start with seeing this very important basic Bible truth of God’s character found directly in the first epistle of John:

1Jn 4:8  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

1Jn 4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

Notice the declaration of divine character being presented to the church in these two verses that “God is LOVE”!  The Greek word translated as “God” in these verses is G2316 and this Greek word can be transliterated as “THEOS”.   THEOS is one of the dominate N.T. names of God and is found in 1172 verses.  THEOS is LOVE is one of the most vital statements of God’s makeup, character, personality and nature found in the entire Bible.  Love is stated to define who and what God is and this declaration must be the revealed source for His other great qualities such as His morals, His compassion, His mercy and His grace.  God wraps all of His other Bible described attributes in the one word named Love.  This word translated as “love” is the Greek word “AGAPE” (G26) and we all need to learn this word.  According to John 3:16 AGAPE means to give grace, mercy and compassion to someone when it is not desired, deserved, earned or even appreciated.  I am not going to explain that statement further so if you can’t read John 3:16 and see that this is a true statement you need to spend a great deal of time studying on this verse before you continue in this lesson.

God’s (THEOS) divine love (AGAPE) is nowhere close to a normal human type of expressed love.  The God kind of love is unconditional.  God loves us because this is His character and nature and not because of anything that we can do for Him or to Him to earn it.   I would like to make a point that God does not have love because these verses say very clearly that God is love.  There is a huge difference between being something and having something. For example if I had gold that is completely different than saying that I am gold.   Humans fall in love and fall out of love and this is not an example of God’s love (AGAPE).  God is never going to stop loving you because you did something wrong, made a mistake or even told Him that you did not love Him.  Wow, that is difficult to even comprehend.

What we observe from these two statements in 1 John 4:8 and 4:16 is that there is a definite mathematical law that what one (GOD THEOS) is the other (LOVE AGAPE) is.  Each are declared to be the equivalent representative of the other only using a different description, name, title or label.  Wow, that was a very powerful statement of truth.  What I am saying is when you see “AGAPE” you should see “THEOS” and when you see “THEOS” you should see “AGAPE”.  There is no difference between the two by God’s definition.  Remember that this is God’s definition and not mine.  God teaches us that they both are stated to be mathematically equivalent.    This truth is like saying “GOD/THEOS” = “LOVE/AGAPE” in mathematical notation terms.  Let’s check out another verse that claims God is love:

2Co 13:11  Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

Here we have further confirmation that God is love.  I like to give more than one verse to prove the statements that I make because God declares in the mouth or two or three witnesses from the Bible let every word be established.   Here is God writing through Paul to say “the God of LOVE”.  It would be perfectly fine to say “the God (THEOS) who is love (AGAPE) and peace will be with you”.   Wow, I just love the Bible.  This is simply teaching us because we have God on the inside of us we have LOVE present.  We cannot or at least should not deny that God (THEOS) is stated to be love (AGAPE).

Ok we have just learned and now should know that God and love are stated to be equivalent and so whatever God does should be concluded to be based upon HIS dominant descriptive quality of Him being LOVE.  Do you understand this logic so far?  Therefore, based upon 1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:16 and 2 Corinthians 13:8 we have a new mathematical rule to use that states wherever GOD (THEOS) is found LOVE (AGAPE) can be found also by the mathematical law of algebraic substitution.  Using these mathematical commutative laws it is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged to say GOD (THEOS) = LOVE (AGAPE) and therefore LOVE (AGAPE) = GOD (THEOS) and we can use either titled name form to describe Him or point others to Him.  Do you understand this very basic mathematical truth reality?  If you do then please read this verse next carefully with this in new information in the forefront of your mind:

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Now change the single most important focused subject word “God” (THEOS) found in this verse to the equivalent of “Love” (AGAPE) using the mathematical laws of substitutionary equivalency and reread the sentence:

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of LOVE (AGAPE), and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Now we should be able to begin to easily understand why I could say that God’s Holy Word was a personal Love Letter written to you and me.    Based upon this knowledge, one of the primary reasons for the purpose of the Bible being given to us is because of GOD/LOVE.  Then God explains in this verse because of His love His Word is beneficial to teach us (doctrine).  This literally means God’s Word instructs us like children helping us to grow up.  The next benefit for God’s word is “reproof” and this is a Greek word that means to give us “proof” or “evidence”.  Uh oh that is exactly what we all need to answer any question.  We are finding the proof that the Bible is God’s love letter simply by studying and learning what He says.  This is us again coming to God’s Word like 2 year old children asking their loving parent why, why and why.  Next the Bible is then stated to benefit us by “correcting” us.  This simply means a confirming repetition of the previous statements that God is turning us away from the ways that are not good for us using His loving Word.  This is exactly the role of a loving parent given to their child in a caring and loving relationship.  The final statement is a Greek word translated as “instruction” which declares the same loving purpose for the Word of God meaning “tutorage”.  God is simply saying My Word will train you in the way you should be going as a wise loving parent will do for any of their children with great love.

What we have just observed is a Loving Heavenly Father that gives us His word in Love and for AGAPE instruction, training and evidence.  This should be changing your perspective of the Bible dramatically by now if you are His child and want to grow spiritually.

 

HOW CAN ALL OF THE WORD OF GOD BE PERSONAL TO ME?

 Jer_29_11We have just gone through a simple quick introduction to the subject of why the Bible is a written love letter from God.  But we still need to connect why the entire Bible should be considered personally written to you and I?  In other words if the Old Testament was originally written to the natural nation of Israel, how do any of these previous Old Testament words apply to us today in the New Testament church?  I will answer that question by saying Old Testament verses do relate and apply to us if we know how to use them.  But let’s begin by taking a specific O.T. example to consider.  We will go back to a verse that is often used by modern church preachers.  This verse is found in the book of Jeremiah.  Yet it this old verse is often quoted to be for us now in the church.

Jer 29:11  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

First consider the verse using the knowledge gained from the second section in the lesson on the subject of GOD = LOVE.  Is this verse in Jeremiah 29:11 a love based statement?  I believe it is very clear that it is AGAPE based.  The LORD is speaking in this statement and He declares that He has good plans for the intended reader of this text.  It further says that God has good thoughts of peace towards these people also.   Sounds like a loving father to me, how about you?   If you read the context you will see in verse 1 of this chapter that these words were written to the remnant of Israel that was taken captive into Babylon.  This is clearly not me or you, is it?  So how does this type of verse apply to us in the church?  That is the great question.  Do verses like Jeremiah 29:11 have anything to do with you and I today?

Do you remember that we just learned from 2 Timothy 3:16 that “ALL SCRIPTURE” was given by inspiration of God for our instruction and this statement was written directly to the church and I am certainly in the church.  This verse in 2 Timothy immediately teaches us that even the Old Testament contains inspired words that are at the least important and beneficial for us to learn from.   Do you understand this so far?  Do you agree with this concept so far?

When the church was first established based upon the description given to us in the book of Acts, the disciples preached the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of that day using only the Old Testament writings.  Therefore the O.T. verses were the only divinely inspired Words of God that could be used to verify doctrinal information that they possessed or were presented.  The Old Testament was the only proof and evidence that was present to confirm everything that was being taught by the disciples.  If you read Acts 17:11 as I previously mentioned it declared the more noble Berean Christians searched these O.T. scriptures daily to verify what was being taught by Peter, James, John, Paul and etc.  This should help us to begin to understand the significance of why even the Old Testament is so important to learn and correctly understand for us in the modern church.  It is vital to remember that the Old Testament verses were given by the same inspiration of AGAPE that the New Testament verses were given by.  There is absolutely only one Bible written by only one author and He is the God called LOVE and this fact will sustain us to arrive at the truth if we continue to study and learn.

Christians today often still struggle to understand how a verse written to the Old Testament natural nation of Israel could be applicable to them.  Therefore, let’s examine some verses in the New Testament that help us to understand why they do apply to us.  We will begin by reading a verse found in 2 Corinthians:

2Co 1:20  For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

 Here is where life could begin to get complicated for many Bible readers.  This is a verse of Holy Scripture that teaches all of us in the church that “EVERY” promise made by God applies to us even if they were made by God during the Old Covenant.   That statement is also a complicated concept that passes over the head of Christians.  They tend to over analyze and see many O.T. promise verses as being only made to the people of natural Israel but that is not what this verse said.  Every is an all-inclusive statement omitting none of them.  That means if God made a promise it is ours by the definition of 2 Corinthians 1:20.   However there is a qualification given in order to be included in this statement.  Did you see it in the verse?  We must pay attention to every detail or we will fall into error easily.

The qualification for God’s promises to be made manifest was given to only those that were “IN HIM”.  I’ll say it again “All the promises of God are given to those that are in Him”.  All the promises of God are Amen (so be it) to ONLY those that are “in Him”.  What does that mean?   This simply teaches us a principle that is not widely taught in the church but I will try to explain this without going into great detail in this lesson.  I’ll begin by asking you “Are you in Him?”  The “Him” is of course referring to Christ Jesus!    You are either “In Him” if you are saved or you are “separated and apart from Him” if not saved.  That is the basic simple truth.

So why is it important for us to be in Jesus Christ?  Wow that is an amazing question to find the answer if you really think about it?  Who was Jesus Christ?  We should already know that Jesus was the Son of God the second person of the Godhead and trinity.  But, we should also know that He was the Son of Man (Adam) and a descendant of Abraham.  The genealogy of Jesus given by divine inspiration in Luke 3 proves to us the natural family lineage of Jesus as direct descendant of the natural nation of Israel.  This makes Jesus our qualifying partner.  Jesus was and is the reason we can possess the Old Testament promises of God written to natural Israel.  There are over 100 verses in the New Testament that informs us that we are in Christ Jesus.  Because we are said to be in Jesus Christ, we have what He has.  What Jesus possesses we possess.  It is very simple and yet so very profound.  Let’s explore some additional New Testament verses to help confirm what is being taught:

Gal 3:9  So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Here is another potentially confusing verse.  They which “be” of faith is speaking of “you and I” if you are saved by God’s grace through your faith (Eph 2:8).  Are you of faith?  I know I am of the faith!  Then it says if you are of faith then you are blessed along with and the same as faithful Abraham.  Why would this be a true statement?  Many of us in the church are probably not a natural descendant of Abraham.  So how can we have the same blessings as Abraham?  Let’s continue down to another verse in Galatians to learn more:

 Gal 3:14  That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Oh, this verse is beginning to speak more directly of me because I’m definitely a Gentile man.  Notice that the blessings of Abraham will come upon the Gentiles through the Lord Jesus Christ.  Now we have two keys to the puzzle.  There was the mention of faith in verse 9 and mention of Gentiles being blessed through Christ Jesus in verse 14.  What we are doing is gathering puzzle pieces to learn how the spiritual things of God were accomplished and how they apply to us by faith.  But there is much more to learn and we are missing the main puzzle piece still.  Let’s continue to read down into verse 16:

Gal 3:16  Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Notice what this verse says because this is a very essential New Testament truth ignored by many.  God through the Apostle Paul writes to us that all of the promises made to Abraham were made to him and to his seed.  But here is where the clarification comes from God that it was not all of the people that were born from Abraham but rather only one seed being Jesus Christ.   Do you understand this?  God promised the blessing to only Abraham and to only Jesus the seed of Abraham.  That is an amazing statement of truth being given by revelation to Paul.  Seed is a word that can be singular or plural without any modification.  It is only by the choice of the speaker which one it is.  Since God is the speaker we need to conform to which one He said it was and not what we thought or learned from a man.  Do you understand that principle?

Why did I just go through all of these verses in Galatians to teach you these basic Bible facts?  It is simply because since we are “IN CHRIST” we have everything that He has been given by God.  Every blessing that was promised to Christ belongs to me and to you also if you are in Christ.  I’ll say it one more time “What was given to Jesus has been given to us by our faith in Him”.   I will only go over one other puzzle piece in this chapter for the conclusion of this part of the section:

Gal 3:29  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

If you are Christ’s then God declares that you are Abraham’s seed and an heir according to the promise given to Abraham and his seed.  Wow again an awesome statement.  This is just further confirmation that whatever God promised to Abraham in the Old Testament was given to Christ and because we are “IN CHRIST” we have also become the seed of Abraham.  Are you receiving this message from God?  The primary reason I am going through these verses is to teach you why statements made to the natural seed can and will still apply to us in the church today.  Most of the church today are not natural seeds of Abraham but because Jesus was a natural seed that the promise was made to then we have obtained the blessing also.  This is one of the primary reasons why most of the blessing verses written to natural Israel can and will apply to us today in the church.

Do you remember how we got here?  I began teaching this section declaring the truth of 2 Corinthians 1:20 that teach us that “all of the promises of God are in Him Yes and Amen in Christ Jesus”.  What we have accomplished is the placing together of many pieces to present a greater and more complete pictured truth.  Each individual picture piece represents a truth that when joined together correctly present a view into something that is truly much more significant for us to know.   I’ll end this section of the lesson with only one other verse concerning the promises of God:

Heb 8:6  But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

This verse is again speaking of Jesus.  The works of God through Christ Jesus are so much greater than most of us really know or understand.  What God has done through Jesus and given to us because of His death, burial and resurrection is far beyond the human imagination.  All of God’s promises of blessings given to natural Israel have been given to us plus a whole lot more.  The promises of God in the New Covenant must be greater than all of those given in the Old Covenant or no one could call them better.  This is just another reason why it is legal for us in the church to go back into the Old Testament and use any of those words of blessing from God in our lives.  Whatever we can find spoken and written down by God through one of His prophets will be the minimum that we should possess.  In other words we can claim by our faith in Jesus because we are IN HIM and we now have better promises that trump those of the Old Testament.

 

CONCLUSION

 I hope and pray that you enjoyed this very basic but very essential Bible lesson answering the question “How can the entire Bible be considered a personal love letter from God written to me?”  This lesson should provide us a firm foundation for why the verses of blessing that were written to the natural nation of Israel can be applied and taken as a promise from God to us today in the church.  I began this lesson teaching the basic character trait that GOD/THEOS = LOVE/AGAPE.  I then took this truth and applied it to the Bible being given and inspired by GOD/THEOS who is LOVE/AGAPE.  We substituted AGAPE for THEOS in the verse of 2 Timothy and this taught us that the Bible was LOVE inspired written down by men of God for us to learn from.  We went through the fact that there are over 100+ verses in the Bible that tell us those that are saved are “IN CHRIST”.  These verses benefit us because we were given the promises of God made to Abraham by our faith the same as Jesus because we are “IN HIM”.

If you have any questions or comments about anything that was written down here I would be very glad to read them and to respond to them as time and the Lord permits.  Please share this website with you friends and family to help the Word of God’s truth be spread to everyone for free on this planet.  The more God can reach and help people the faster that Jesus can come back and take us out of this world.  I’m personally looking forward to Jesus coming very soon.  Redeem the time because the time is short.  Stand firm in the faith of Jesus Christ and tell everyone you can about His saving grace.  Thank you and may God continue to richly bless you to grow spiritually.

Predestination Revisited! – Part 4 — God’s Invitation to the Wedding

invitation4(Ver 1.1) Today I am teaching another lesson on the highly controversial subject of “predestination” or “election” as it is also referred to many times.  This is Part 4 of what should be a basic Bible study series concerning a very difficult and easily misunderstood Bible subject that is taken to extremes to place deception into the minds and lives of Christians.  Satan does this to remove human “freewill” as being a factor for salvation.  It further removes human responsibility to getting saved or staying saved.  The extreme predestination philosophy allows an anything goes belief for acceptable human behavior without consequences of guilt or punishment.  It removes the need for repentance, believing, learning, growing up spiritually and many other factors for a successful Christian life.  If you have not read this series form the beginning I would strongly recommend that you go back and start with “Part 1” and then proceed forward to today’s Bible lesson.  In doing this you will get a more complete understanding of the entire subject.

In today’s lesson I will begin addressing more specifically two sets of Bible verses that are commonly used by extreme teachers to preach their erroneous doctrine of extreme “predestination”.  I received a question from a friend and this will be an answer for everyone to read and benefit from.  I was asked about Ephesians 1:3-11 and Romans 8:28-30 and I have to admit that reading these verses in isolation certainly gives us all the appearance of a valid “predestination” theology on the surface.  But was this what God did?  Did God predestine some to heaven and some to hell without any human participation or determination upon where they wanted to go?

It might surprise you that I agree with a part of the “predestination” theology.  The word “predestinate” is certainly a part of the Bible and this means we need to learn about it.  Bible “Predestination” simply means a divine plan was put into place by the sovereign mind and will of God and God putting His plan into action has predetermined the outcome result.  That is “predestination” in a very limited definition form.  Predestination simply means a predetermined outcome was planned by God by placing severe limits upon the possible outcomes.   That is what the word means and that is what God is bound to do but taking that definition and teaching what people do today is totally absurd.

I completely agree that God had a plan in place for human salvation long before He did anything to create our world.  This plan involved Jesus who was the Almighty God in the flesh coming to the earth as the sacrificial lamb (Rev 13:8).  Therefore God predetermined before man even existed that He would  come down to the earth in the form of sinful flesh (Rom 8:3) to die for the payment of our sins removing our penalty for them while we were all yet sinners (Romans 5:8).  This is the part of the doctrine of “Predestination” that I believe in with my whole heart and I hope and pray that you do also.

I also totally agree that God has omniscient foreknowledge of every event within human history and uses these events to put His plan into effect.  However, the problem that arises very quickly is when people take these basic truths and stretch them into realms of beliefs that are not stated in the Bible.  For example many people teach that God has predestined some to go to heaven and some to go to hell by His sovereign will and choice.  That part of the doctrine of predestination represents a line in the sand that I refuse to cross because it violates God’s written word and makes Him to be a liar and my God is not a liar.  I have already taught in three lessons about many things concerning why extreme predestination does not balance or conform to God’s entire precious Holy Word and we will be going into even more verses today because this is absolutely so important and vital for every Christian to understand.

AN INTRODUCTION AGAIN TO SALVATION

I realize that these verses that were given to me from Ephesians and Romans appear to confirm predestination as a legitimate theological doctrine.  I’m very sure that these are two of the primary references being used by pastors to teach on the subject of “predestination”.  But the extreme teaching and interpretation of these verses is by far not even close to being a correct or accurate representation of who God is or what God says.  These extreme teachings are certainly not balanced properly with the rest of the Bible.  For example let’s begin talking briefly about how we were saved according to scriptures:

 Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 

Gal 3:26  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Here we have some of the most important basics of Christianity and salvation.  God declares that we have been saved by God’s Grace but only in conjunction through our faith and we have been also made the children of God by our Faith in Christ Jesus also given only by God’s Grace.  Therefore it is only because of our faith and belief in Jesus that has accomplished salvation by God’s Grace.  If we have NO faith in Christ and choose NOT to believe in Him then we are not saved nor are we called His children.  Knowing this truth is the foundation for the rest of Christianity which causes spiritual growth to continue helping us to see our role, relationship and purpose for being saved in Christ.  Therefore I’m going to say something that may blow your mind but according to God’s Word it is the freewill choice of man to believe that determines whether or not we are selected (saved) and not God selecting us that determined our salvation.  I’ll probably get a lot of negative comments and may even lose some readers because of that statement but so what I’m not going to change God’s word to fit your theology.  It is really so very simple yet this scriptural truth of human faith being the determining factor for our salvation is ignored completely by many extreme “predestination” only preachers.  Let’s look at a new verse briefly to learn an additional confirmation of who should be considered the chosen and how they became this:

2Th 2:13  But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

We should be able to clearly see at first glance that God has chosen us from the beginning.  This is a basic predestination verse that teachers like to grab hold of to easily misunderstand the subject.  However, this verse is another example of divine and human partnership working together to achieve our salvation.  You see there are two direct things mentioned that God does in this verse and these are 1).  God has chosen us to (for) salvation and God has done this 2). Through a process called sanctification.  Then there are two direct things that we as Christians are said to do and these are 1). Give thanks to God for what He has done and 2). Believe the truth.   The key word I want to focus upon is the Greek word G4102 translated as “belief” in this verse.  This Greek word literally means to be persuaded of something.  It can be translated as “believe” or “belief” or even “faith”.  This is a word for humans not God.  This Greek word represents what we do.  It is a verb action of human response after hearing the Gospel (good news) of what God has done through Jesus Christ.  We are required to have faith in order to please God according to Hebrew 11:6.  Thus we are given one of the primary reasons for being chosen or selected by God is because of our faith.   In other words if you don’t believe or have any faith you will not be selected.  Do you understand this?  People want to say it was only God’s sovereign choice and His right to choose some and reject others that caused us to be saved or lost but that is foolish thinking based upon poor human reasoning with no scriptural backing for that belief.  No, the truth is that we determine whether we will be selected by our faith in Jesus Christ.  It is so easy when you finally see it.

ROMANS 8:28-30

 I was asked specifically about Romans 8:28-30 and Ephesians 1:3-11.  I’ll talk about Romans 8 first in this lesson but everything that is written could apply to Ephesians 1 also.  There are at least three mistakes that Bible teachers take upon themselves with their wrong interpretations of these scriptures that cause error to go forth to be taught.  First they ignore the context of the verses and that is taking phrases out of their setting to say what they think they want them to say instead of what they actually say.  Second there is a common problem of seeing verses from the wrong scriptural point of view to make the verses again say what they want instead of what God actually said being balanced with all other verses on the subject of human FREEWILL.  You see context is also much more than just the verses in the surrounding chapter.  Context must also include the whole Bible and every scripture that is related to the subject directly or indirectly.  God is one author of one book and people taking one statement without the rest will lead us to error.   Third there is the problem that occurs when an assumption is drawn based upon no direct facts being given.  We must not make assumptions if God does not give us two or three witnesses to our belief.

Let’s go over a quick overview of good interpretation and understanding principles.  We need to first learn to read and study the context of the verse within the chapter, the book, and the entire Bible in order to understand any single statement better and more clearly.  Next then we need to read the Bible using the correct perspective.  Many times we should consider what is written from God’s viewpoint since He is the admitted author of the text.  God’s viewpoint is normally from a very spiritual perspective because He is a Spirit.  God’s spiritual viewpoint is superior and normally conflicts with the human natural viewpoint (Romans 8:7).  We learn this principle from several Bible selections including Romans 8 that we are currently studying but consider another reference found in 1 Samuel 16:7 when God spoke to the prophet and told him not to look on the outward appearance of the man (flesh) because God looks upon his heart (spirit).  Wow, that is an awesome bit of knowledge to learn from and apply in our lives and study today.

Now consider the fact that there are other possible verses in the Bible that are directly related to the subject of “predestination”.  These verses must also be considered contextual information that should be weighed together.  Wouldn’t any or all of these other verses possibly have an impact in determining how we need to believe in the whole subject of predestination?  I believe they do.  Finally after reading and studying the whole subject we should be able to gather together all the known facts and use these to drive our belief process after we have felt confident that we understand the verses adequately enough to do so.  Finally, as part of the drawing conclusions process we must never conclude anything unless we have 2 to 3 factual Bible witnesses of the conclusion from the Bible and I’m going to talk about this next.

For example NOWHERE in the Bible does it say that God predestined men to go to hell and that is a very wrong assumption and belief that many people have created in their minds and have bought into it like it was the truth because they think they were “selected” to go to heaven and therefore nothing they ever did effected them to get saved or nothing they will ever do can or will ever change their status of salvation.  What a lie of the devil.  If that was actually true then a lot of the N.T. is not necessary.  In fact we can take that further and say the Bible as a whole is unnecessary for salvation.  No one would need to preach the gospel, no one would need to believe the Gospel, and no one would need to go to church, no one needs to read the Bible and no one would even need to pray because God’s will would always be done regardless of what we do or say or pray.  Also there would be no need for there to be any BIBLE commandments from God or instructions or warnings in the Bible for us to not be deceived or to depart from the Lord (Heb 3:12, 1 Tim 4:16, Gal 5:15, 1 Cor 10:12, 1 Cor 15:33, Gal 6:7, Luk 21:8, …. and others).

Let’s talk about the context first of Romans 8.  The verses directly prior to these verses asked about speak of praying in tongues also called praying in the Spirit.  I know it does not say it directly but that is how God wrote it in order to give man a choice to believe or not believe in speaking and praying in tongues.  So let’s read the preceding two verses for direct contextual understanding:

Rom 8:26  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Rom 8:27  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Ok “intercession is mentioned twice and “prayer” is directly mentioned in verse 26.   The key to knowing this is not just any kind of prayer is the fact that God is helping us to pray it.  Therefore this is a supernatural prayer language because man can only pray a natural type of prayer language without God’s help.  Do you understand this?  God gives us the ability to pray supernaturally by helping us with the words  to speak that cannot be normally uttered with natural human reasoning as He has stated in verse 26.  In the Greek language this word means these words cannot be understood r spoken with the normal human articulate speech process.  When we pray in the Spirit, God gives us the words and these are usually words not understood by people but rather they are heard by God and known by God for our benefit and this is why God says in verse 28 that He will cause all things to work together for our good.  God does this primarily so that Satan does not know what is being prayed and can make an effort to stop it from coming to pass.

The reason I talked about praying in tongues is because the next verses following these statements are now conditional upon people praying in the Spirit in order to be qualified for what is said to happen next.  Uh oh that changes everything or at least it should.  We could talk a lot about other things written about in chapter 8.  For example there is a whole discourse concerning the flesh verses the spirit.  Those walking the flesh are not qualifying for the rest of the chapter either.  But I know I was asked about the verses concerning “predestination” and that is where I will go next.  Let’s jump down to verse 30 to see where the controversy really begins:

Rom 8:30  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

This verse begins with “Whom He did predestinate”.  Ok, this is pretty compelling if you only read it in isolation that God selected some and therefore must have rejected others by assumed indirection even though it does not say that directly.    It is clear that God did select those that this verse was written to in the church but again nowhere does it say that God rejected those that were not in the church.  I MEAN NO WHERE!   Also there is a Greek word found here that needs our further attention.  This Greek word is G2564 and it was translated as “called” twice in this verse.  This Greek word means to “bid” or to “call” someone.  What exactly does that mean?

Let’s say we go outside our house on the back porch and don’t see our dog.  We could “call” the dog and see if he will come to us by yelling his name.   The “call” would be an invitation to come and that is exactly what this verse is saying to us.  God has invited us to come.  What would make the dog not interested in coming to us when we called?  It could be the fact that they are occupied with something they value more like a big bone that they are chewing on.  Whatever the reason for not coming the dog has the choice of freewill to come or not to come and this is what we must realize is joined within the context of the subject of God “predestining” us.   This is where we need to look afresh at this verse from the God spiritual perspective and weigh the context of the rest of the Bible also.  I’ll do this with an introduction to a new way to think about predestination.

GOD’S INVITATION/CALL

Gods_Call2Why couldn’t God call and invite everyone through a plan of salvation called “to predestine” and offer to them all an invitation to come and be at His big wedding party in heaven?  Then why couldn’t God send out all of the invitations to everyone to come to be a part of this party by an act of their choice to attend?  But then what if only those people that actually showed up (chose by an act of their freewill) to come to the wedding party would be called those that were “selected”?  In other words what if God has predestined everyone to show up for a huge big wedding party but yet not many valued or regarded the invitation as important and therefore did not come and what if this was the reason that caused them to not be selected?  Could this possibly be the truth?  Wow, I really think it is according to the Words of Jesus in the Bible.  Let’s go read some words written in red ink within the distant context of Romans 8 that must be balanced with Romans 8.  You should be able to read these verses and see my “what if” story in a parable form given by the Lord Jesus that helps us to learn what I was just trying to teach:

Mat 22:1  And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,

Mat 22:2  The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

Mat 22:3  And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

I’ll stop here and make some quick important points.  The King in this parable is a representation of God.   The Son in this parable is a symbolic representation of the Jesus Christ.  The marriage in this parable is a symbolic representation for the New Covenant.  His servants in this parable were His prophets and they called to the wedding the children of natural Israel but they would not come to the wedding by an act of their own stupid choice.  The Greek word translated as “call” in verse 3 of Matthew 22 is the exact same Greek word found in Romans 8:30 making a direct divine connection to the same subject being spoken of by God.  Does this not have anything to do directly with selection or God’s predestination process?  Didn’t God call them all to come?  Didn’t God desire them to come?  Wasn’t it the will of God for them to come?  I mean come on and think.  God selected them and invited them to come but THEY WOULD NOT.  Get it?  This is really not rocket science and it is right there in front of our faces.  Are we going to believe God or are we going to believe the traditional errors of man?

Mat 22:4  Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.

Mat 22:5  But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

Mat 22:6  And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

Mat 22:7  But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

These verses were written about the natural nation of Israel.  The natural nation of Israel was overrun and laid low over and over because of God’s displeasure for their ignorant choices and killing His servants.  It is more than clear that this was not the plan of God for their lives.  It was more than clear that God sent His servants to invite them to the wedding feast.  It is more than clear that it was their own actions that caused them not to come in and be a part of the process.  This is called man’s “freewill” and this must be taken into account when teaching anything about “predestination”.  Now continue to read the rest of the parable because this is how we were selected:

Mat 22:8  Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

Mat 22:9  Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

Mat 22:10  So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

So God goes forth into the rest of the Gentile world with more prophets and teachers inviting them all to come to the wedding and guess what I came by own freewill choice to believe and now because of my choices I have been selected.  Also because I am now selected I now go into the world and preach the Gospel to others so they can also be selected by an act of their own freewill choice and faith in Jesus Christ.  Wow this is how God designed it to work.  We either believe and are saved or we don’t believe and we are damned by our own freewill choices (Mk 16:16).

Mat 22:11  And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

Mat 22:12  And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

Mat 22:13  Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Mat 22:14  For many are called, but few are chosen.

In this parable there are only two types of people mentioned that are rejected from being at the wedding and these were the one man without a wedding garment and those that chose not to even attend.  However, this one man without a wedding garment also represents the man’s own foolish choice to try to come to the wedding without being properly clothed.  This verse was symbolically talking about people who call themselves Christians but have not “PUT ON CHRIST” (Gal 3:27).  This parable is all symbolism but this story gives us natural realities that apply directly to predestination and election.

I hope that everyone can read this over carefully and see the truths beings presented.  This is exactly what I have been attempting to teach about salvation, election and predestination.  Everyone is invited but only those that choose to show up to the wedding properly attired get to stay in the party to be called the select or elect ones and all others are left outside trying to get in.  Remember the parable of the 10 virgins?  This is the exact same reality.  All 10 were invited but only 5 were prepared and entered in and the others were left out because of their lack of preparedness.   Wow, this teaches us plainly that human FREEWILLL choices have a great determination to who is “selected”.  We can choose to not attend the wedding or we can even choose not to dress for the wedding and both of these will cause us to NOT be selected.  I don’t know how to teach it more clearly.

CONCLUSION

Let’s look at another verse to help us with the Bible basics of selection or predestination.  I will give you a verse found in the Book of Hebrews that has nothing to do on the surface with this subject of predestination yet it has everything to do with it by indirect subject content and contextual association.  God is speaking to Christians in this verse so read the words like they were written to you personally:

Heb 4:3  For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Here is an additional confirmation that God had a divine plan from the foundation of the world.  But, back up and see who it is that has been determined to enter in.   Believing is stated to be the determining factor for entering into God’s rest.  Those that have not believed do not enter in and those that believe do enter in.  The entrance door is God’s Word and believing in God’s word gives us entrance.

I am trying to teach a difficult subject called election or predestination but not the way it is normally taught by many confused people.  Becoming God’s elect is based upon a partnership between God’s divine grace and human faith.  God is not a respecter of persons as we should know by now but God is most definitely a respecter of faith.  The basis of what is taught by many predestination teachers would make God a respecter of persons by selecting some and rejecting others.  This would make the Bible a lie and that is a conflicting problem with their philosophy.  The only way to balance and resolve the conflict correctly is to understand that any good gift given to men by God is received by their faith.  Any good thing ever given to men, done to men or done for men is only received or we could say entered into by individual freewill human faith.  This is the way that God designed it to work.

Hebrews 4:3 is just further evidence that proves faith is a necessary part of the plan of God established from the foundation of the world.  Read it again and again until you get it and accept it into your heart.  Write a big sign and put it up on your wall and it should say “We who believe do enter in….”.  What God is plainly saying is that everyone is invited to believe but only those that choose to do it are selected.  God has predestined everyone to salvation but only those that have chosen to dress and come into the wedding will be selected and those that do not believe, or have not prepared themselves or have other more important things to do will be shut out when the door closes.  That is the truth of God, believe it or not.

Thank you again for reading and studying the Bible with me.  I appreciate your time and diligence to read and verify what is written in these lessons.  Do not ever buy into a teacher’s words without your own personal verification.  Allow the Spirit of God to minister and lead you into all truth.  Be blessed and be a blessing to all that you meet every day.  I’ll try to do another lesson on Ephesians 1 soon.  I hope these word help you to better understand the Bible and your role in being selected.

Bible Basics: Jesus Asks “Who Do You Say That I Am?” Part 1 – Introduction to the Names of Jesus

whoami2(Ver 1.2)  This is Part 1 of a very fundamental and rudimentary essential Bible Subject for every Christian to study, learn, understand and be able to share in an instant with all others in the world!  Who is Jesus Christ?  Is Jesus the most important person mentioned in the Bible or any other book available to read?  If He is, then why is He so important?  Many today in the world in other religions simply call Jesus just another human originator of a new religious system that died just like other religion founders like Mohammed or Buddha.  Others in certain religions recognize Jesus to be nothing but another prophet of God like Moses, Mohammed or Joseph Smith.  There are even many people in the world today that read from the Bible and believe Jesus to be far from divine.  Are any of these the truth?  Was Jesus just an ordinary man like me?  If He was then I believe that I am one of the biggest fools in the world for following Him. Today we will explore just the Bible verses that teach us who Jesus really was described to be.  We will be specifically focused on some of the revealed names of Jesus in the Bible and what they relate to us.  Later in this series we will also look at the recorded words and claims of Jesus and see who He professed and claimed to be.  I hope and pray that you have a very open mind to receive the truth as written and inspired by the Holy Spirit from the Bible.  We will be exploring the basics of Bible truth that are the essential foundation for God’s grace and our salvation through our faith in Jesus Christ.

INTRODUCTION TO THE QUESTION “WHO IS JESUS?”

Jesus asks His disciples two very simple questions in the book of Matthew.  And their answers to these questions will determine much more than you can imagine.  At this point in time when these questions were asked to the disciples by Jesus they had been with Him for a long time following Him from place to place.  They had witnessed many very significant things done by Jesus and heard many teachings from this man they called Rabbi (John 1:38). We will begin this section with reading in Matthew 16 and verse 13.  Please observe the first question:

Mat 16:13  When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

Why would Jesus even need to ask anyone who He was?  There were a lot of people that obviously heard of Jesus but why would it be necessary to ask these people know who Jesus is?  Anyone can know of someone but that is totally different than knowing them or knowing who they are, isn’t it?  So who is Jesus?  Jesus is asking those that were closer to Him than anyone else “who do men think that I am?”   This is the question that is still very valid for today.  Jesus could come to you and ask the exact same question.  What would you say to Him?  Perhaps you would need to go and take a survey in order to find out what men said about Jesus.  Today, it is much simpler to just go and search the internet and see what people are writing about Him.   Then notice how very wide and diverse the answers were.

Mat 16:14  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

The disciples answer “Some say Jesus was John the Baptist”.  Other men claim Jesus was Elijah.  Still others claim Jesus to be the prophet Jeremiah.  Even other men claimed Jesus to be just another one of the prophets but did not know which one.  What a diverse set of possibilities for the identity of Jesus.  However there is a common theme to them all.  They were all calling Jesus a human man acting as a prophet but there was not any majority agreement to which prophet he was.  This is still the most popular belief today in most false religions.  The general consensus is that Jesus was simply a prophet or holy man like many others; Muhammad, Buddha, John Smith or even the Dalai Lama.  This would place Jesus Christ on their exact same level of humanity but is this, the whole truth?  Is this all that Jesus claimed to be?  Let’s see the second question being asked by Jesus then and now:

Mat 16:15  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

Now Jesus changes the question and makes the question very personal.  The question has substantially narrowed from “who do OTHER men say that I am” to “who do YOU say that I am”?  Jesus was making a point by asking these two questions in succession.  Jesus is teaching them that it does not matter what other men think but it does matter greatly what we think individually.  Wow, I don’t know if you just got what God said there or not but it was very substantial.  What Jesus is saying is that someone else’s opinion of Him is not going to help you or save you.  Let’s look at their answer and see if anything changes.

Mat 16:16  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Peter answers the question of the Lord with an amazingly new and different perspective to the identity of Jesus.  Two things are directly stated by Peter and you need to notice that neither of these stated beliefs of Peter is denied by Jesus.  There was no rebuke from Jesus for any of Peter’s answer.  In fact the opposite is true if you read down into the next verse.  Jesus praises Peter and tells Him this answered revelation came from His Father and not from any man.  That is a very significant amount of information to learn from.  Jesus teaches us that there are at least two possible sources for knowledge and only one source is praise worthy.  The knowledge originating from God is implied to be very good and noteworthy and the knowledge coming from ignorant men was judged as not important.  Did you see that?  Who is your source for who Jesus is?  Is it God or is it a man?  It would be extremely wise to figure this out now before it is too late.

Peter could have gone along with the majority wrong opinion.  Peter could have chosen to conform to the religious crowd.  Peter could have listened to popular peer pressure.  Certainly the popular human concept is still what is taught today by many.  But I believe that there still exists a God that can reveal the truth to anyone that asks Him and seeks Him with their whole heart.

What were the two God revealed things about Jesus that Peter gave as an answered reply?  The first was that Jesus was the Christ.  Wow, what exactly does that mean?  Many of us have heard the combined named “Jesus Christ” but this title “Christ” was not the last name of Jesus.  And you better also know that “Jesus Christ” is not something you say when you slam the door on your finger.  Let’s look up the Greek word translated as “Christ” and learn:

G5547

From G5548; anointed, that is, the Messiah, an epithet of Jesus: – Christ.

I want to begin with the definition and say Christ is an “epithet” for Jesus.  What is an “epithet”?  An “epithet” is a word that is used to describe the person being referenced.  It is an adjective description.  If you understand what an adjective is then you should already understand that an adjective is used to distinguish one man from another.  If there is only one Jesus for example no one would need to say “Jesus Christ”.  But since there were and still are others then this is one way to make Him uniquely important to the conversation.

Here in this definition is a new connection to a Hebrew word being established along with a meaning of someone that is anointed.  The literal definition of the Greek word G5547 translated as the adjective “Christ” means “the anointed one”.  Jesus is called “the Christ” by Peter and Jesus does not deny it.  This title Christ is only significant because of Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled when Jesus begins His ministry.  The Hebrew word being connected in this Greek word definition is H4899.  In order to connect the Hebrew word “Messiah” to the Greek word G5547 translated as “Christ” we need to do some homework and search for the title in the O.T.  If you do this you will find one key “Messiah” prophecy in the book of Daniel.   If you go and read Daniel 9:25-26 you will find the verses that I am referring to.  It would take a very long study to try to explain just these two verses so that will not be covered today.  But I do want you to notice the Hebrew word that was translated as “Messiah’.  This Hebrew word is H4899 and it has the following Strong’s definition:

H4899

From H4886; anointed; usually a consecrated person (as a king, priest, or saint); specifically the Messiah: – anointed, Messiah.

As you can observe in the definition this word has the exact same meaning as the Greek word G5547.  We can therefore conclude that these two words are equivalent in both languages.  I also want to point out that this word can apply to more than Jesus Christ.  Any king, priest or even a saint can be anointed by the Spirit of God and this tends to lead some to say that Jesus was just another anointed man like so many others.  In that regard if that was the only criteria being analyzed that would be a true statement.  However, Peter did not stop talking with calling Jesus “the Christ” and he mentioned another quality that must also be considered.

Do you remember the second statement that Peter made?  Go back and reread it if you did not recall that Peter said that Jesus was the “Son of the living God”.  Wow that description makes Jesus unique and unlike any other anointed human born on this planet.  Jesus had a great opportunity to rebuke Peter for this statement if it was a false claim but Jesus very clearly did not do it.  This means that Jesus was confirming His identity to be the “Son of God” with His praise for what Peter had just spoken and because He said that this had been revealed to him by God, His Father.  We will talk more about Jesus claiming to be the “Son of God” as we continue in this lesson series.  But, Jesus claiming to be “the Son of the living God” is one of the most important things for anyone desiring to be a Christian to learn and believe by faith.  I will tell you very plainly right now that if you do not believe that Jesus was the Son of the Living God then you are not a Christian and you are lost and going to hell.  This is a very plain and simple truth found in 1 John 2:22-23 so please go and read it.

INTRODUCTION TO THE SIGNIFICANCE OF NAMES

I’m going to shift the focus for a moment to teach briefly an introduction about another very relevant Bible subject concerning “names”.  This rabbit trail subject should be a Bible study series all by itself but an introduction will help our study of who Jesus claimed to be and should provide a great benefit to us by us understanding His names.  Almost everyone in the Bible was given a name not by chance but rather the name given to them reflected a situation, quality, circumstance or characteristic of something very specific about the person.  For example, these given names could have been a reflection on the circumstances surrounding their entrance into the world.  Perhaps you remember in Genesis 35:18 when Rachel gives birth to her last son.  She called the boy child by the name “Benoni” and this name meant “son of my sorrows” and then she died.  But his father named him “Benjamin” which meant “son of my right hand”. God gives such great significance to names in the Bible and these name meanings are often overlooked and ignored but they all have a divine purpose.  I will also say that if Benjamin would have been called by the name given of his mother then this would have changed his entire life and who he was tremendously.  But since Benjamin was given a name change and a very different positive name he was blessed and favored.

Let’s go over a couple of other significant name changes that made a major difference for those people in the Bible to prove the significance of this subject.  The man Abram was selected by God and given a promise by God in Genesis 12.  The Hebrew name “Abram” means “high father”.  Yet God changes Abram’s name to “Abraham” that meant “a father of a multitude” and it was only after this name change transpired that the promise began to be fulfilled.  There is a revealed law of God found in the Bible that as long as the earth endures seed time and harvest will never cease (Gen 8:22).  This divine law teaches the concept of cause and effect.  In other words for every observable effect (harvest) God teaches us that there must be a cause for it (a seed sown). Some seed sown transpired to cause the promise to be made manifest to see the harvest and I am convinced that God’s name change to Abraham was a major role for this event occurring.  Perhaps you will understand that statement as you continue to learn the God given facts of the Bible.

I’ll give you at least one other significant Bible name example.  You may recall reading in Genesis 32:29 about Jacob wrestling with an angel.  Jacob we are told prevailed against the angel and again as a result, the angel changes Jacob’s name from Jacob to Israel because of this victory.  The name Israel obviously came from God and from heaven and you need to know this.  When God gives a man a name it usually causes something good to occur and this is just another example.  The name Jacob meant “heal catcher” and this name described the circumstances of his birth.  But the name “Israel” is a Hebrew name that means “he will rule as God”.  I’ll say this again, when God gives you a name there is a great seed that was planted to bring about a divine harvest and this is so very important to understand.

Modern names of people are really no different from Biblical names of people and they often reflect who a person is and what kind of person they present themselves to be.  For example I was eating at a restaurant and my server’s name was named “Tisha”.  I looked up the name’s meaning on the internet and it meant “joyful” and “happy”.  This name meaning fit the personality of the lady very accurately.

What I am attempting to teach you is that it maters what the name of a person is in the Bible and even in the world today still.  I am also trying to teach that it matters who gives a person the name and why it was given.  In other words why and where the name originates from is critical and the name can certainly influence the outcome on a person’s entire life greatly.   Let’s examine the Hebrew word that is translated as the English word “name”.  This word’s meaning may shed some additional light of confirmation upon the significance of “names” in the Bible:

H8034

A primitive word (perhaps rather from H7760 through the idea of definite and conspicuous position; compare H8064); an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character: –  + base, [in-] fame [-ous], name (-d), renown, report.

This Hebrew word means an “appellation”.  This word means the act of giving something or someone a name.   Then notice the next statement “a mark or memorial of individuality”.  Wow that is a very important definition.   God and people name things to mark them as being different from other things that may even be similar in appearance.  For example any normal family with identical twins will always give each child a different name.  This unique name separates one identical twin from the other.  When a parent wants a specific twin they will call their name and this should bring the one called.  Clearly names matter because it causes a separation from others to occur.

Then notice in this Hebrew word there is an associated implied meaning of any given name.  According to the definition a name can carry the positive implication of “honor”, “authority” or it can even denote personal “character”.  This positive truth can also be taken from a negative antithesis truth perspective.  A negative name given to someone can cause them a negative outcome in life like dishonor or even bad character.  I’m trying to teach you how things work in the spiritual realm.  If you call your kids stupid then they will become more stupid.  If you call your kids lazy then they will become lazier.  Whatever names you have placed on your children are all seeds to mold their lives either building character or destroying their character.

I’ll end this introduction to the significance of names in the Bible with this truth.  There are so many significant names given to us in the Bible that we often overlook the lesser names mentioned only a few times.  For example in Genesis 5 there is a genealogy given to us by the inspiration of God concerning the first eleven men.  This genealogy begins from Adam the first man to Noah and then to his son Shem in succession.  The name Adam means “man” and the name Noah means “comfort”, the name Shem means “name” and this.  Let’s just go through all of the names for review:

AdamThe first name, Adam, comes from adomah, and means “man.” As the first man, that seems straightforward enough.SethAdam’s son was named Seth, which means “appointed.” When he was born Eve said, “For God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.”EnoshSeth’s son was called Enosh, which means “mortal,” “frail,” or “miserable.” It is from the root anash: to be incurable; used of a wound, grief, woe, sickness, or wickedness. (It was in the days of Enosh that men began to defile the name of the Living God. )KenanEnosh’s son was named Kenan, from which can mean “sorrow,” dirge,” or “elegy.” (The precise denotation is somewhat elusive; some study aids unfortunately presume an Aramaic root synonymous with “Cainan.”) Balaam, looking down from the heights of Moab, employed a pun upon the name of the Kenites when he prophesied their destruction.MahalalelKenan’s son was Mahalalel, from mahalal, which means “blessed” or “praise”; and El, the name for God. Thus, Mahalalel means “the Blessed God.” Often Hebrew names included El, the name of God, as Dani-el, “God is my Judge,” Nathani-el, “Gift of God,” etc.

Jared

Mahalalel’s son was named Jared, from the verb yaradh, meaning “shall come down.” Some authorities suggest that this might have been an allusion to the “Sons of God” who “came down” to corrupt the daughters of men, resulting in the Nephilim (“Fallen Ones”) of Genesis 6.

Enoch

Jared’s son was named Enoch, which means “teaching,” or “commencement.” He was the first of four generations of preachers. In fact, the earliest recorded prophecy was by Enoch, which amazingly enough deals with the Second Coming of Christ.

Methuselah

The Flood of Noah did not come as a surprise. It had been preached on for four generations. But something strange happened when Enoch was 65, from which time “he walked with God.” Enoch was given a prophecy that as long as his son was alive, the judgment of the flood would be withheld; but as soon as he died, the flood would be sent forth.

Enoch named his son to reflect this prophecy. The name Methuselah comes from two roots: muth, a root that means “death”; and from shalach, which means “to bring,” or “to send forth.” Thus, the name Methuselah signifies, “his death shall bring.

And, indeed, in the year that Methuselah died, the flood came. Methuselah was 187 when he had Lamech, and lived 782 years more. Lamech had Noah when he was 182. The Flood came in Noah’s 600th year. 187 + 182 + 600 = 969, Methuselah’s age when he died

It is interesting that Methuselah’s life was, in effect, a symbol of God’s mercy in forestalling the coming judgment of the flood. It is therefore fitting that his lifetime is the oldest in the Bible, symbolizing the extreme extensiveness of God’s mercy.

Lamech

Methuselah’s son was named Lamech, a root still evident today in our own English word, “lament” or “lamentation.” Lamech suggests “despairing.” (This name is also linked to the Lamech in Cain’s line who inadvertently killed his son Tubal-Cain in a hunting incident. )

Noah

Lamech, of course, is the father of Noah, which is derived from nacham , “to bring relief” or “comfort,” as Lamech himself explains.

Shem

Shem is the exact same Hebrew word that I just gave you for “Name” (H8034).

 

The Composite List

Now let’s put it all together:

Hebrew English
Adam Man
Seth Appointed
Enosh Mortal
Kenan Sorrow
Mahalalel The Blessed God
Jared Shall come down
Enoch Teaching
Methuselah His death shall bring
Lamech The despairing
Noah Rest, or comfort
Shem Name

If you take the meanings of each of these 11 names given to us in the Bible and combine them into a sentence, you will find the Gospel of Jesus’ coming into the world and one of the primary reasons for His appearing.    Here is the sentence using the Hebrew name meanings:

Man (has) appointed mortal sorrow; (but) the Blessed God will come down teaching (and) His death shall bring the despairing comfort (by or through His) Name.

I hope that you are beginning to see how Jesus is even mentioned indirectly here in the names of two prominent Bible men (Adam and Noah) and 9 other relatively obscure men in the Bible.  This hidden reference to Jesus using only the names of men certainly is beyond chance or random occurrence.  This information had to be placed there by God’s design and plan and this teaches us plainly that God even uses names in the Bible to inform us of things that are very important for us to learn and know.  I will give credit for the majority of this information to Chuck Missler  and you can find it on his website.  I added the name of Shem to what he taught because this should have been given.  Remember this prophecy using the 11 names because this will be readdressed in this Bible study later.  Let’s move on to the specific name of Jesus next.

INTRODUCTION TO THE NAME OF JESUS

We will continue our Bible study concerning “who is Jesus” with a statement being made to Joseph from an angel sent from the Lord.  In this statement is the name of the male child to be born to Joseph’s wife Mary.  This name comes from God just like the name of Jacob came directly from God through an angel giving it great divine significance and purpose.

Mat 1:21  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

I want to reemphasize this point that the name of “Jesus” came directly from heaven and not from Joseph or Mary or any other human.  This fact gives the name of Jesus a divine reason and purpose for being given.  The next thing that you need to know is that the name “Jesus” is an English transliteration of the Greek name “Iēsous” being written in the book of Matthew.  A transliteration is nothing but a man’s attempt to transfer and preserve a name from one language’s alphabet to another by using similar sounding vowels and constantans.  The problem we begin to encounter very quickly is when we realize that the man Jesus was not English nor was He a Greek.  Neither of these names would be correct based upon the nationality of Jesus.  The genealogy of Jesus given to us in Matthew and Luke both prove that Jesus descended from the Hebrew nation a descendant of Abraham and David. Therefore the name of Jesus should be a Hebrew name and this is exactly what we discover when we look up the Greek word in the Strong’s dictionary:

G2424

Of Hebrew origin [H3091]; Jesus (that is, Jehoshua), the name of our Lord and two (three) other Israelites: – Jesus.

You should be able to quickly recognize that the Greek word name has a Hebrew origin.  It is also apparent that the name of Jesus was not a completely unique name and that there were other Hebrew men that were also given this famous name.  But we still need to ask the question why did the angel tell the man Joseph to name the child Jesus?  In order to answer that question we need to revert further to the original Hebrew.  Let’s look up the name H3091 and find its meaning:

H3091

From H3068 and H3467; Jehovah-saved; Jehoshua (that is, Joshua), the Jewish leader: – Jehoshua, Jehoshuah, Joshua. Compare H1954, H3442.

The English transliterated name for the Hebrew word H3091 is “Jehoshua” or “Joshua”.   This name literally means “Jehovah saved” in the original Hebrew meaning.  This Hebrew word is made  from two Hebrew root words being combined together.  The first word is H3068 meaning “Jehovah” and the second being H3467 meaning “saved”.  “Jehovah” is simply one of the key names for God found within the Old Testament.  The name Jehovah is used by God in over 5000 verses.  The name Jehovah (H3068) simply means “Self Existent or Eternal One” and was most often translated as “LORD”.

The Hebrew word H3467 simply means “to save”, “to deliver”, “to free”, “to be made safe”, “salvation” and even “to get victory”.  This part of the definition goes along with the statement made to Joseph in Matthew 1 if you will recall the angel said “you shall call His name Jesus because He will save His people”.  We can learn from the meaning of the name that Jesus was the hidden fulfilled prophecy of the genealogy of Genesis 5 using the 11 names of Bible men.  Remember this prophecy predicted that “the Blessed God would come down teaching and His death gives the despairing comfort through His name”.  The despairing are simply humans that were held captive prisoners within the darkness of this world.   The Name of Jesus was the God given name that men were required to believe upon and we will talk abut this more in the series as we go.    This is exactly what transpired.  The name of Jesus shows us by its definition that He was the Jehovah God that delivers and saves His people. This is now the second Biblical confirmation that Jesus was God in the flesh that came down to the earth.  Let’s move to new name given to Jesus and study a further confirmation.

JESUS = GOD WITH US!

We are now going to explore another name given to Jesus in the Bible.  This name will be the third conformation that Jesus was God in the flesh come to the earth from heaven.  I will first give you the name found in the Greek New Testament.  This name is found in a verse of Matthew 1.  Please read it very carefully not overlooking any of the words in the stated scripture.

Mat 1:23  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

First consider the beginning of the verse where God declares a “virgin” will be with child.  A virgin simply means an unmarried daughter and this clearly implies that she has never had sex with any man.  Right there that gives us the first impression of a supernatural conception.  Next the Greek words translated as “be with child” simply means that she is pregnant in her womb.  Next the author (God) says she will bring forth (birth) a son.  Here is where we get to the good stuff.  God say “They shall call his name Emmanuel”.  Wow, this is a very meaningful name that was being bestowed upon Jesus.  Of course this name is meaningless if you don’t know what the definition of the Hebrew word being given to us is.

What we have just witnessed in this verse is a very vital principle (rule) that God teaches us to how to understand selected parts of the Bible.  I have already been using this principle when I taught on the meaning of the name of Jesus earlier in this Bible lesson. This principle given to us by God is the simple fact that names have meaning and that these meanings have significance to indicate something important about the one being named.  This principle also teaches us very directly that we need to go back to the original language meaning in order to insure the significance.

Perhaps you missed it again.  The name “Emmanuel” in this verse is just another Greek to English transliteration.  This Greek word (G1694) was also a transliteration from the Hebrew original name H6005 which was transliterated into English in the Old Testament as “Immanuel”.  This is further confirmation that what I did for the name of Jesus going back to Joshua was very legitimate.  Finally I want you to see in this verse the Greek word (G3177) that was translated into “interpreted”.  This Greek word literally means to “translate” from one language into another.  What God is doing is confirming the fact that names have meanings and these meanings have purpose as I have already stated.   Let’s go back and research the original prophecy that this verse in Matthew is quoted from:

Isa 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

This verse quite literally says that this will be a “sign” given by the omnipotent God.  This Hebrew word (H226) that was translated as “sign” can mean “evidence” or even a “monument”.  In other words Jesus will be the visible proof for the name being given to Him.  So what did this name ‘Immanuel” given from God mean?  You read it in Matthew but it was not given here in Isaiah because you are assumed to already know Hebrew if you are reading the Old Testament because it was written to Hebrews.  This is a reason that God wrote the meaning out in the New Testament because it was predominately read by Gentiles who needed to learn more about this old language.

If you knew the Hebrew language then you would find that “Immanuel” means “God with us”.  If we break down the Hebrew root words found within this name we should start with the ending syllable  “el” which is the short form for one of the prominent names of God in the Old Testament “Elohim”.  The short form name “el” for God is used in almost 150 other names in the Old Testament and that is an interesting  study all by itself.   Then go back to the beginning syllable of the name “Im” and this means “with” or even “in”. Now look at what remains in the middle “man”.  Put them together it could read something .like “God in the form of man” which could also means “God with men”.

Do you understand these God given principles?  I’ll say it one more time, names have meanings in the Bible and these meanings are important especially based upon who gives the person this name.  Any name given to anyone by God is of the ultimate importance since God is supreme.  Based on Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23 God comes down from heaven in the form of a man to be with us, to walk among us and to live like us but as a higher example.  So far we have found 4 witnesses in the Bible that claims Jesus to be God in the flesh but there are more.  Let’s examine another name of Jesus.

GOD THE WORD BECAME FLESH

All Bible truth is found only by searching and studying the Bible with the Holy Spirit’s help to reveal it to us so we are able to see it clearly.  This is why the Bible is not understood by even many Christians.  They are not studying, not searching or not praying and asking God to open their eyes to the truth and lead them into it.  We are going to need to search to find the names of Jesus in order to discover who He really is.  I’ll give you three verses to read next and then talk about them:

Rev 19:11  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

Rev 19:12  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

Rev 19:13  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Did you see the two names of Jesus given to Him by God?  First there is the one called “Faithful and True” and this can only be a name for the divine God since every human can and will fail us.  Then in verse 13 He is called by the name “The Word of God”.   It is this name “The Word of God” that I want to focus upon next.  But both of these names prove that Jesus was God in the flesh come to the earth as a man.  How do they do that you ask?  Well again you have to study and read the Bible to find the answers.  The real answers don’t fall on you like a piece of ripe fruit from a tree that you are laying under doing nothing.

The book Revelation was written by the inspiration and revelation of God through a man named John.  John wrote other books of the New Testament and we need to go back to the first book in order to find the answer to who “The Word of God” represents.  Read these next two verses to begin with from the first chapter of John:

Joh 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Joh 1:2  The same was in the beginning with God.

God is the primary subject of both verses and the verse begins with the statment “In the beginning was The Word”.   This statement is talking about Jesus indirectly since Jesus is called the Word of God in Revelation 19:13.  Jesus is being indirectly called the Word again with a direct association of the Word for the theme of God being the primary direct subject.  The Word was with God and the Word was God.  If you know anything about the laws of mathematics you understand that if A=B and B=C then A=C.  Therefore if the Word = God (John 1:1) and Jesus = the Word (Rev 19:13) then God = Jesus by undeniable mathematical proof.  I’m not going to go through every verse in this chapter of John because that would take too long but I will give you 4 more verses for you to read:

Joh 1:10  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

Joh 1:11  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

Joh 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Joh 1:13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Joh 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

These verses begin with “He was in the world”.  Who is He?  This is talking about Jesus in conjunction to the primary subject still being God.  Then notice what it says, “The world was made by Him”.  Again this is a combined reference to the Spirit of God, the Word of God and God the Father because these three revealed personalities are all the same God (1 Jn 1:5:7).   Only God created the world.  You can go back to Genesis 1:1 and read this plainly.  In the beginning “God” (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth.  Now remember God says in Isaiah Immanuel (El = Elohim) is coming to be with us.

In verse 12 God tells us that if we believe on His name He will give us the power to become the sons of God.  Why am I teaching you all about the names of Jesus in this lesson?  I’m teaching you this so that you might believe in His names in order to be saved.  I am teaching on the names of Jesus to reveal Him to be God in the flesh.  Did you read verse 14?  More importantly did you actually see what it says in verse 14?  It says The Word (THE WORD = GOD verse 1) was made flesh and dwelt among us.  God dwelling among us is just the name “Immanuel” again written out in definition form.  Jesus is declared to be God with us in the form of a man (flesh).

God directly connects John 1:1 with Genesis 1:1 by the same three simple words “In the Beginning”.   Whenever God does something like this it is not an accident or chance occurrence.  God is telling us they are about the same themed subject.  In Genesis 1:1 it said “In the Beginning God” and in John 1:1 it said “In the Beginning was the Word”.  This is God’s hidden way of saying “I am the Word and I created the world”.  You see there is another hidden reference to Jesus found in Genesis 1:1.  I have written about this before in other lesson but it fits very well with what God is saying here that I will repeat it.

Gen 1:1  In the beginning (the A-Z) God created the heaven and the earth. 

The fourth word of the Bible in Genesis 1:1 was omitted by the translators because they did not know what it meant.  This fourth untranslated word was technically not a word at all but rather the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet.  Uh oh, that should turn some light bulbs on in your brain if you have read the Bible very much.  Genesis 1:1 should read in the English “In the Beginning the A-Z God created…”.  The A-Z God is another hidden reference to Jesus because Jesus said in Revelation 1:11 “I am the Alpha and the Omega”.  Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and Omega is the last letter in the Greek alphabet.  In other words Jesus was saying in English “I am the A to Z”.  This is exactly who Genesis 1:1 said created the world that we live in.  Wow, this is great stuff if you open your eyes of your heart and let it in.  I guarantee you that it will save you from hell if you begin to believe it.

This is really not that complicated but Satan does not want these truths to be known.  Satan perverts the truth to change Jesus from being divine (God in the flesh) to being only a man (a descendant of Adam) or a prophet to defeat you.   Satan does everything in His power to blind the minds of people so that they cannot see the obvious truth of God’s Word in order to be saved (2 Cor 4:4).

CONCLUSION

I have gone over multiple truths in this Bible lesson that declares Jesus to have come from God in heaven.  Not only this but that Jesus was God in the flesh.  The Bible says let every word be established in truth by the mouths of two or three witnesses (2 Cor 13:1).  I have given you double that with at least 5 to 6 witnesses that Jesus was the God of creation come to the earth in the flesh.  We started this lesson with Jesus asking us all “Who do you say that I am?”  We then went into the significance of names in the Bible and I introduced you to a hidden prophecy of Jesus coming into the earth in the flesh in the genealogy found in Genesis 5.

We then went into three of the primary names given to Jesus in the Bible, 1) Jesus, 2) Emmanuel and 3) The Word of God.   The name of Jesus was the Hebrew name, Joshua and we found that Joshua meant “Jehovah Saved”.  Therefore Jesus was this God named Jehovah that came down from heaven to save His people just as was prophesied to occur.  We then talked about the name “Immanuel” and that this meant “God with us”.  We then talked about Jesus being the Word of God that came in the flesh and it was this A-Z God that created the world that we live in.  If you are still wavering and doubting after all of this evidence then I don’t know what else to say that will help you.  Go back and reread your Bible and all of the verses that I just gave you.  Study the names of Jesus until you have them memorized.

This was only Part 1 in the series of lessons on “Who do you say that I am?”   I will be going over more scriptural evidence for Jesus being God in the next lesson in this series.  I want to thank you for being open minded enough to read this lesson and I pray that God will help you to see Him in all His glory.  Help me spread the word of truth to your friends.  Tell them about my website.  Send them links to my lessons.  Please, help me spread God’s Word so that we can reach the lost world.  Jesus is coming back very, very soon.  The timing cannot be that far off based upon current world events transpiring.  We need to reach everyone that we can and help everyone that we can so that none will perish.  Thank you for your prayers of support, because they are very needed and valuable to me.  God bless you and keep you until the next time.  Always remember the correct answer to the question “Who do you say that I am” is “You are Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God, my Savior, my Lord and my God”.  God Bless you!

If you would like to continue reading in this series you may go to “Part 2” now.

 

Understanding Bible Faith! Part 18 –- Righteous Faith Speaks

faith speaks2(Ver 1.1) This is now Part 18 in the advanced study series of Bible lessons on the very valuable subject of “Understanding Bible Faith”.  This is one of my favorite Bible subjects to learn, to study and to teach from the entire Bible.  If you know anything about this subject then you should already understand why this is such an important focus to learn intimately.  I want to stop and reemphasize the opening statement that this is an advanced Bible study series about one of the most important subjects concerning believing God’s spoken and written Holy Word and how to receive whatever He has promised or given to us by His sovereign grace either spiritually, mentally or physically.  I have already covered a lot of information on this subject in this series that will not be repeated.  Therefore, if you have not read this entire series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you begin at “Part 1” and then read through the series in the order presented for the greatest level of understanding and retention of this complex Bible subject.  It would also be recommended that you reread the entire series more than once.  The more you study a Bible subject the more you will grow in spiritual maturity in that area of God’s given knowledge.  Let’s get started with learning a few new things about the subject Bible Faith.

INTRODUCTION TO SPEAKING THE WORD OF FAITH

Today my subject concerns “Righteous Faith Speaks” and “Speaking the Word of Faith”.  What is Righteous Faith and why does it speak?  What is the “Word of Faith” and why do we need to hear it, know it, understand it or even to speak it?  We will be attempting to learn some fresh verses on faith as well as reviewing some standard faith verses that we have previously seen in this Bible study series.  However, I will hopefully be providing you some new perspectives to any of these repeated verses.  Some statements that I make today may be a review of what I have referred to before but I will place a new angle upon them because God wants to remind us of what He has already said.  Often times we read a Bible verse and think that we have it completely understood knowing everything about it but yet God can bring out something brand new that we have never seen before because all of His words are layered so deeply with both natural and supernatural knowledge much like an onion is designed to be peeled layer by layer and used in each succeeding deepening cover.  If you have studied the Bible very long you know exactly what I am saying.  Let’s read three verses to begin in Romans the 10th chapter to get us familiarized with the foundation scriptures for today’s entire lesson:

Rom 10:6  But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

Rom 10:7  Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

Rom 10:8  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

The end of verse 8 introduces us to one of today’s focused concepts called the “word of faith”.  There are many churches in the world today that have taken this name and there are equally as many people in the world that consider all these word of faith churches to present a less than an accurate representation of the Bible.  However this modern church title did not originate from a contemporary false idea.  The Word of Faith title was only adopted today because of verses like this one.  Paul claimed to be one of the first preachers of the “Word of Faith” and I strongly believe that we should all be following Paul’s example at doing exactly what Paul did, can you agree?

If you do not yet understand what the “Word of Faith” is, I will tell you plainly up front that this Word of Faith mentioned in Romans 10:8 is the written and spoken Word of God.  To help confirm this statement we will begin this study by looking up the definitions of the Greek words translated as “the Word of Faith”.  We will first focus on the Greek word translated as “faith”.  This Greek word is G4102 and it is used by God 244 times in 228 N.T. verses.  In my view this Greek word is one of the most important subjects found in the N.T. Bible.  Let’s review the Strong’s definition to help build and refresh our understanding of this word again.

G4102

From G3982; persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: – assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

The Greek word translated as faith is defined by Strong’s to be a “persuasion”.  The English word “persuasion” represents “the act of convincing someone to believe”.  Your beliefs are the basis for your faith, good, bad, right or wrong.   This Greekword also means “credence” which is defined as “the belief in or acceptance that something is true”.  These are exactly what God is teaching us through Paul in Romans 10:8.  Real Bible faith is accepting, being fully persuaded and convinced of what God has said, promised or spoken to us in His Word is the truth.   This process of accepting, believing and being persuaded is done without proof or evidence of it being true other than knowing the revealed character of God that it is impossible for Him to lie (Heb 6:18).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION TO THE RHEMA WORD OF GOD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RIGHTEOUS FAITH SPEAKS

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

Rom 10:6  But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

Rom 10:7  Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LEARNING WHAT NOT TO SAY FIRST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONFIRMING AND LEARNING WHAT TO SAY

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

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

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

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

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

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION TO REJECTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

# 1 – REJECTION IS NORMALLY DONE FROM IGNORANCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

# 2 – LOVE & PROACTIVE FORGIVENESS WILL OVERCOME REJECTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

# 4 – UNDERSTANDING REJECTION CAUSES PAIN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

# 5 – CHRIST’S INSTRUCTIONS – EXPECTING REJECTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

# 7 – UNDERSTANDING HOW TO BECOME REJECTED BY GOD

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

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

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

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

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

Rom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

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

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

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

# 8 – UNDERSTANDING THE SPIRITUAL SOURCE FOR HUMAN REJECTION

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

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

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

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bible Answers: When did Satan Fall from Heaven?

Lightning194(Ver 1.2)  This lesson will be a detailed advanced Bible answer addressing a very difficult question.  I received this question from someone after they read the Revelation 12 series of lessons.  I will warn you that this is an advanced Bible study designed for only for spiritually mature Christians.  Spiritually mature is defined as anyone that has been born again and Spirit filled more than 5 years that has studied the Bible continually during this time.  It also means a Christian with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and daily fellowship with Him.  These positive qualities will allow spiritual growth of the fruits of the Spirit to occur.  You may or may not agree with that definition but this is generally how God has taught me to view it.  This Bible lesson will go over some very technical concepts even though I will attempt to describe them as simply as I can.  This Bible lesson will introduce some new concepts you may have never heard before and thus it will be controversial in nature.  I ask you to be the judge of your spiritual maturity.  If you feel that you do not qualify to meet the criteria for an advanced Bible study, I would recommend that you go study a different Bible lesson on my website.  I try to warn new Christians of this at the beginning of many of my advanced Bible lessons so that I do not offend anyone with a meat lesson when they are in need of a milk lesson like Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 3:2.

The root of my reader’s question was “When did Satan fall from heaven?”  The reader’s question arose from the specific part of the Revelation 12 lesson that taught us everything after chapter 4 of Revelation is future tense and has not yet occurred.  This part of the Revelation 12 teaching was established upon a literal interpretation of God’s statement to John from the voice speaking from heaven in Revelation 4:1.  This voice told John to come up to heaven so that he could be shown things that would soon happen after being taken up to heaven.  The clear conclusion drawn from this statement is that nothing that is recorded by John after Revelation 4:1 has yet occurred or the voice from heaven would have been made a liar.  Since the Bible declares that it is impossible for God to lie, w should just choose to believe what He said literally.

Why was this question asked about when Satan fell?   There is a potential conflict brewing with two different verses of the New Testament.  First, reading in Revelation 12:9 we can see that Satan is finally cast down to the earth never to have a place found in heaven again.  This occurred after an intense war  in heaven that takes place between Michael and his angels and Satan and his angels.  It was further revealed in Revelation 12:4 describing the dragon’s tail to have swept 1/3 of the stars out of the heaven.  This teaches us that 1/3 of the angels were fighting with Satan and 2/3 remained on God’s said and fought with Michael.

This war occurring in heaven in Revelation 12 would indicate that the casting down of Satan from heaven is a future event and has not transpired based upon Revelation 4:1 and 12:9.  But my reader was prompt to point out that in Luke 10:18 Jesus claimed to have seen (translated as beheld a past tense English word) Satan fall from heaven like lightning and this would cause a major conflict with what I taught in the Revelation 12 series if they are speaking of the same fall of Satan event.

falling_star_to_earthThe statement that Jesus makes in Luke appears to indicate that Satan has already been cast down from heaven.  So which one is it?  1) Did Satan already fall from heaven as stated by Jesus in the KJV or 2) will Satan’s fall occur in the future as indicated by Revelation 12?  Or 3) did Satan first fall in the past and then the final fall will occur in the tribulation when he will fall from heaven again for the last time?  There are just so many possibilities and difficult questions to answer and learn about.

IS EVERYTHING AFTER REVELATION 4:1 IN THE FUTURE?

This section will be a review of what God said in the previous lessons on the “True Identity of the Woman in Revelation 12”.  If you have read that and do not dispute what was taught then you could skip this section of the timeframe prophetical review.  However if you would like to learn some new things concerning this and how we resolve this significant Bible conflict please continue to read.  A potential scripture conflict is the reason for the rest of this Bible lesson today.  I have discovered that whenever scripture appears to contradict other verses in the Bible, God is presenting us an opportunity to think in a new higher spiritual way.  This is usually us seeing things from His perspective above rather than from our natural human perspective below.

One key to understanding the Bible is to come to this realization.  It is impossible for the Bible to be in direct opposition or contradiction to itself when every verse is interpreted correctly.  Therefore, I hope this resolution to the conflict has peaked your interest and curiosity to learn how to resolve future conflicts that you may encounter in your Bible studies.  Therefore, if you want to learn when Satan was thrown down from heaven please continue reading.  Let us review the verse in Revelation 4:1 to begin our study to resolve another Bible controversy on whether Revelation 12 is future tense or past tense or both:

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

The Greek word G3326 which was translated as “hereafter” is also many times translated as “after” or “afterward”.  If you are observant you will notice that the verse begins with this word and ends with this word.  In this usage it indicates a specific position within the dimension of time beyond the previous timeframe of events that had just been described.  This is God describing events using a logical order of expressed or implied events in their properly arranged sequence.  I hope that did not sound too technical.  I’ll try to explain.  For example if event A occurs first, followed by event B next and these are followed finally by event C, then B would only come “after” A and C would only occur “after” both A first and B second in this collated sequence.  It is basic step 1, step 2 and step 3 in this order only.  No other randomization or variation can occur because of the laws of created time sequence.  I pray that we all understand the concept of ordered arrangement and sequence?  These are God created patterns and models and they represent His intelligent design of our world.  Time only moves forward for us.  We can potentially move to the future, but we are never able to move backwards to return in our past to fix any of our previous mistakes.

Keep in mind that this same Greek word is used several times in this exact manner to state a preceding event followed by another subsequent stated event like in “after (G3326) 6 days Jesus takes them up” (Mat 17:1).  Using this definition that I just gave you it is very plain that at the conclusion of a 6 day period of time event, Jesus is said to initiate a new event of going up.

Now take this information back to what was given to us by God in Revelation 4:1.  God’s usage of this word in Revelation 4:1 means after the events conclude in Revelation chapter 3 concerning the church, John was taken up to heaven where he will be shown more events that will come in the future and this is actually a very important concept for the rest of this lesson.  This is not rocket science but there are people that still refuse to believe what God just literally said.  Let me give you the sequence of events given to us in Revelation 4:1:

  1. After all of the things recorded in the first 3 chapters
  2. John is taken to heaven
  3. John is shown the future
  4. The future is given in ordered logical sequence

There were four ordered steps given by God in this verse.  I have concluded in step 4 that the future is given to John by God in mostly sequential order because of the establishment of order from the preceding steps.  In other words the revealed future events are simply an extension of the previous steps given.  Therefore, nothing in the future could be random, unordered or chaotic when shown to John to be written down.  Knowing these facts, any attempt to interpret any recorded event of Revelation chapters 4 through 22 as a “past tense” historical event renders God as a liar.  Was God incapable of understanding the difference between future tense events and past tense events?  I personally do think so and just choose to believe what God says literally.

Now let me quickly to get into a new point about Revelation 4:1.  The apostle John was a prophet of God, yes?  Wasn’t John just shown the future before it had occurred?   Could this have been given to him by a divine spiritual vision from God?  I believe firmly that it was a divine vision of the future.  After this vision of the future what would John’s description of these events have been to those that he would be speaking to in the physical natural realm?   Do you understand what I am asking you?   Could John have said in talking about the woman in Revelation 12:1  “I beheld (saw) this woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet and it was amazing”. I know this was not what is written in the Bible but ask could John had said this while talking with one of his co-workers in the faith after returning from the vision?  Could this future vision description have been a past tense statement even though it had not yet occurred.   Now do you see it?   John the prophet could speak like it had already happened even though it was still yet to come.   I want you to keep this in mind as we study what Jesus said about having seen (past tense) Satan’s fall from heaven like lightning.

The fact that Revelation 4:1 states that the things following are future events causes many Bible teachers great turmoil and confusion simply because they cannot or do not yet understand how some of these recorded events in Revelation can be events that have not already occurred.  For example the vast majority of Bible teachers teach that the pregnant woman of Revelation 12 is the historical account of the birth of Jesus.  These Bible teachers simply believe that some events like this one in Revelation 12 concerning the pregnant woman were recorded by John “out of sequence and order” from the stated timeline of reference given to us clearly by God.  However, just because someone does not understand how an event can happen in the future does not mean that it will not happen and we need to know that.   One natural woman giving birth to a natural male child named Jesus in the Gospels does not mean that this same type of event can not or will not spiritually occur again in the future!  I probably just lost a lot of readers making that statement.  You see the woman in Revelation 12 is a spiritual woman and not a natural woman as I have already taught you in that lesson series on this chapter.  She is symbolic by definition because she is wearing symbolic clothing and standing on a symbolic figure of Satan.  This symbolic woman cannot be Mary.  This symbolic woman cannot be natural Israel either.  I’m not going to teach this again so if you do not understand it please go and read those lessons and believe God will help you to see it.

There are just so many Christian people who are not thinking spiritually in this world.  I wish people would quit pretending that they understand the whole Bible because only God knows it all and the rest of us are still learning.  Please stop making assumptions in your mind that limit what God is capable of doing.  If you did not just comprehend what I said, I will say it again using different words to help everyone realize that I believe firmly that everything after Revelation 4:1 happens in literal and basic chronological order and has not yet occurred because the beginning of the 7 year tribulation period has not yet begun.   Chronological means time sequenced events, it is a word that defines a series of situations where one event comes after another event and they do not and cannot occur out of the ordered sequence of time.  But, please also realize that the Book of Revelation does have chapters that describe multiple subject viewpoints of these future sequenced events.  For example, Revelation chapters 11 and 12 are totally overlapping with 4-10.  Chapters 11 and 12 both describe events that span the first 42 months of the tribulation.  Therefore, they overlap in the future and describe concurrent events taking place simultaneously.  God does this to provide us multiple event descriptions concerning different subjects.  I just want to mention this to help you in your future study of the this book.

Here is the problem with many teachers’ interpretation of the book of Revelation.  They are viewing things from a narrowed perspective of traditional theological teachings filled with error and not thinking or taking into account the facts provided by God.  Also they do not rightly divide between which verses are literal statements and which are symbolic or figurative statements.  Further they do may not discern correctly between spiritual realities and natural realities.  Many Bible teachers must ignore Revelation 4:1 in order to teach an out of sequence series of events.   They are very creative in doing this and it often appears legitimate until we read the verse in Revelation 4:1 and actually begin to believe what God literally said.   One of the number one rules of correct Bible interpretation will be for us to take the Bible literally when it makes sense to do so.  Revelation 4:1 is an example of this type of verse that states a literal truth that needs to be properly incorporated and balanced with the rest of the book of Revelation.

I will point out that I have heard Bible teachers revert back to the first chapter of Revelation in order to explain how things later in the book occur out of sequence.  They use a statement made by Jesus to help justify what they teach about Revelation 12 being out of timed sequence.  I will give you this statement by the Lord Jesus to help you better judge this attempt at believing an out of sequence book of Revelation:

Rev 1:19  Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

It is clear that Jesus tells John to write about three things for us to read.  Therefore the entire book of Revelation is a revealing of God’s wisdom from the lips of Jesus Christ.  You need to understand that “revelation” in the Greek language means “uncovering” or “to take off the cover”.  Therefore, God has placed information in this book that is very important for us to understand the rest of the Bible.   But, then Jesus divides these written things into three separate categories of timed events or references within an age.  These three age categories were 1) the things that were “past”, 2) the things that are “present” and 3) the things that shall be hereafter in the “future”.  However did you just notice that these three timings were listed by God in the chronological order that they occur and they were not given to us out of sequence?   That is the first very important thing that needs to be understood about the book of Revelation.

Jesus is giving us a direct clue to how things are ordered and arranged in the book of Revelation.  Jesus confirms with this statement that the entire book is in chronological ordered sequence.   Then notice that the Greek word for the future events (G3326; hereafter) is the same Greek word used by God in Revelation 4:1 for the same coming future events.  In other words God is very consistent in the definition of this Greek word for “hereafter” in the book of Revelation when it is used in this manner.

I have heard at least one Bible teacher try to take this verse in chapter 1 and attempt to use it to explain how the book of Revelation contains “past”, “present” and “future” events, which is a true statement.  However they take that truth and add an error, when they say these past, present and future events occur in an integrated or combined mention in the same context in the book of Revelation.  There is an attempt to misapply Revelation 1:19 to explain why certain chapters appear to contain past historical information that they believe are not in chronological order.  The claim is stated that since Jesus said this book contains every category of timed information that it may legally display these in any random order without making Revelation 4:1 untruthful.  However, that would be an erroneous assumption based upon ignorance and it would still contradict with what God said literally in Revelation 4:1.  Which is true?  Is Jesus speaking in Revelation 1:19 the truth or is the voice coming from heaven in Revelation 4:1 truth?  I will tell you plainly that both statements are correct and truthful.  There is no contradiction between them both when rightly applied. The statement of Jesus is true for the book of Revelation and the statement spoken by God in Genesis 4 is also true concurrently.  The only way they can both be simultaneously true is for everything after chapter 4 to be the future 7 year tribulation that has not yet occurred.  This is not that complicated.  Let us please pray together and ask God to open our spiritual eyes so that we can see His truth and not our private interpretations.

ASKING JESUS WHEN SATAN FELL

The previous part of the lesson was just the introduction for the answer to the real study question topic.  The question asked by the reader was based upon the fact that if the later chapters after chapter 4 of Revelation are future tense “how could Jesus’ have stated in Luke 10:18 that He saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” and also be true?   I think we have already seen one potential answer to this problem but we will verify that answer using the Bible to help us to be more assenting of the truth.  Perhaps it would be wise to review the exact verse in question that appears to contradict with the statement of Revelation 12:7 to help us understand the apparent predicament:

Luk 10:18  And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

Here is Jesus making the bold statement that He personally “beheld” (past tense) Satan falling from heaven.  If this is a correct translation then it causes us major problems to determine when this occurred.  Since Jesus spoke these words prior to the implementation of the New Covenant it is logical to conclude that this must have occurred somewhere in the Old Testament.  However, I looked and I could not find any verses that said this.  But, perhaps you have seen a verse somewhere in the Old Testament that I have not seen.  Perhaps you can share it with us so that we might all learn.  Are there any past recorded Bible events prior to the Gospels where Satan is stated to have fallen from heaven?  Do you know of any?  I believe that I found some O.T. prophecies of this occurring in the future but that is not the same as a recorded historical event.  I believe us not finding any verses prior to this statement that Satan has been cast down from heaven makes me think it has not occurred and thus we need to resolve why this verse Luke was translated as past tense like the casting down had already happened.

What my reader was asking was how could Jesus have already seen this event describing that it appeared that it had previously transpired when Revelation 12 had not yet occurred?  This was an absolutely great question.  I pray that more serious Bible students would not be afraid to ask hard questions to God or anyone.  I know God knows the answers and He is willing to share these answers to anyone that seeks to find them.

This is where we must learn the correct way to study the Bible.  God gives us many hidden clues to find truths if we can locate them and use this information to correctly join and fit them together correctly. Every normal Christian would really like to see the truth easily without any extended effort to work and study and that is not how we find the truth by God’s design (2 Tim 2:15).  It is my goal to help teach people some of the many keys to understanding and resolving Bible conflicts.  Please, continue reading with an open mind and allow the Holy Spirit to help us.

Personally I have only found a limited number of scriptures concerning Satan falling from heaven.  One prophecy is found in Revelation 12 that points us to this future event occurring during the first half of the tribulation.  Then you can also find this prophecy of Satan falling in the book of Ezekiel if you read Ezekiel 28:16.   I think I will give you this prophecy so that you can review what God says about it:

Eze 28:16  By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

The covering cherub being referenced in this verse is believed to be Satan.  God declares that he will be cast out of the mountain of God.  If you do not understand that this is a reference to God’s heavenly kingdom and the Holy mountain Zion in heaven, I’m sorry but I don’t have the time to try to explain it in depth today.   Notice in this verse, that the translators clearly state this to be a future tense prophetic statement and I firmly believe this to be very accurate.  If we study we will find that the book of Ezekiel was written close to 600 years before Christ’s first physical appearance on the earth.  Now using Ezekiel’s prophecy we must logically determine that this casting down event has not yet occurred before Ezekiel wrote this book.  We are definitely narrowing the scope of time when this event could have possibly occurred.  I hope we can agree that Satan could not have fallen or been cast out of heaven prior to the writing of the book of Ezekiel, but still you could have seen something that I have not.  Let me give you another verse of prophecy concerning Satan’s fall:

Isa 14:12  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

Here is another verse that is probably mistranslated.  Again the translators changed the Hebrew word H5307 to “fallen” a past tense variation of the word.  However, this Hebrew word is defined as “to fall” by Strong.  That sounds future tense to me.  There are over 400 times that this Hebrew word  occurs in the O.T. and it was translated as “fall”, “fell”, or “falling” to name just three examples.  Therefore, it is possible that the word might could be viewed as past, present or future tense.  But, it is most often translated 151 times as “fall” present tense.

Perhaps if we read the context of this statement we will find more information about the timing of the event.  For example in verse 15 God says “You shall be brought down to hell, the sides of the pit” and this was translated as future tense.  Then in verse 24 God makes a further confirming statement of future tense that is very profound and important to note about what has just been spoken of previously through the Prophet Isaiah:

Isa 14:24  The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:

God tells us clearly these are His thoughts spoken and that these will come to pass in the future.  Therefore I am still a firm believer that Satan has not yet been cast out of heaven but will be soon as established by the Word of God.  We could spend a lot more time going through O.T. prophecies but I think I will move on.  Let’s go back to Luke 10:18 and look into this verse in some more detail.  We need to ask, did Jesus really say this casting down of Satan had already occurred in the Greek language?  Let’s review the Greek word translated as “beheld” to learn its definition in the Strong’s:

G2334

From a derivative of G2300 (perhaps by adverb of G3708); to be a spectator of, that is, discern, (literally, figuratively [experience] or intensively [acknowledge]): – behold, consider, look on, perceive, see. Compare G3700.

If we can read and understand the definition it should become evident that this word is normally a present tense view of something that is currently happening right now.  The person performing this verb is stated to be a current observer.  This Greek word occurs in around 55 verses of the New Testament.  In 40 of these verses it is clearly translated in the present tense version of “see”, “seeing”, “seeth”, “beholding”, “looking on”, “behold”, “beholding” and etc.   However I will agree that it can also be legally translated as a past tense observation and either way it could potentially be correct.   But, this determination is also more complicated than this as we will soon learn.  What we need to determine, is Jesus seeing the event as He is speaking or has He seen the even at some time previously in the past?   Both are technically possible since Jesus Christ is God in the flesh.  But just because Jesus has seen the event does not still necessarily mean that it has transpired just like John saw the future in Revelation before it had occurred and he could then speak to seeing future things that have not happened in from a past tense point of view .

Please understand that God is omniscient and has seen everything even before it occurs (Isa 46:10).  God has the knowledge and the ability to show a human the future before it occurs and it is in God’s sovereign control to do so.  “GOD DOES NOT LIVE WITHIN THE CONSTRAINTS AND LIMIATIONS OF TIME”.  Uh oh, now we can begin to see where I’m going.  Let’s review another statement that Jesus declared about this potential event:

Joh 12:31  Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

I believe that there are at least three events that can be confused as one event within prophecies.  These three separate events are 1). the rebellion of Satan, 2). the casting out of Satan from heaven and 3). the casting out of Satan from the earth into hell.   This statement here in John could be either of the last two.   Confusing or combining multiple prophetic events into the same event is a very common cause of error.  We can see this in multiple instances.  For example, the rapture of the church is often confused with the second advent of Christ but these events must also be viewed as separate or confusion will abound.

Here in John 12:31 Jesus is talking about Satan calling him the prince or ruler of this world that will be cast out.  This statement does not appear to be translated as past tense and should be regarded as a future tense prophecy.  It is not stated directly when Satan is to be cast out from this verse.  It also does not state directly where Satan will be cast out from.  It could be taken as the world that is being referenced or it could be heaven or even both.  I personally believe that this prophecy could be the same prophecy as we have already observed in Ezekiel or it could also be a reference to the prophecy in Isaiah 14:15 where Satan is cast into hell.  This is why studying prophecy is so potentially complicated.  Let us look quickly at another verse that is interesting and many teachers attribute this verse to Satan falling from heaven:

Rev 9:1  And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

we must begin by understanding “stars” normally represent “angels” in the Bible.  We know that stars represent angels by reading in Isaiah 14:13, Revelation 1:20 and Revelation 12:4 to name just three witnesses to this fact.  This verse in Revelation 9 is describing an angel coming down from heaven at an implied fast rate of speed as if being thrown down.  However, this angel cannot be Satan because this angel holds the key to the bottomless pit where Satan will be cast later in Revelation 20:3.  It is logical to deduce if Satan is thrown into this pit by force later in Revelation that it cannot be him that holds the keys to it coming down from heaven.  It is possible that this angel coming down represents Satan because of his name given to us in Revelation 9:11 as the Hebrew “Abaddon” and the Greek “Apollyon” which both mean “destroyer”.  Since we know from John 10:10 that Satan has only come to the earth to “kill, steal and destroy” it would appear that this is a reference to Satan being cast down to the earth where he releases some nasty demonic powers to torment humans.  Let us examine Revelation 12:9 to one of the main verses that is in our question.

Rev 12:9  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

My reader made a valid interesting point that Luke 10:18 appear to contradict with what Revelation 4:1 and Revelation 12:9 appear to say.  But perhaps we have not considered all of the facts before assuming there is a controversy.  You see it is impossible for the Bible to contradict the Bible if both verses are accurately interpreted and accurately translated.  Also if Jesus had already seen Satan fall from heaven then it must have happened sometime after the books of Ezekiel and Isaiah and before Jesus was born in the manger.  But we must understand there exists other verses in the O.T. that state that Satan has direct access to heaven.   For example, Satan is clearly seen to be in heaven in the book of Job.

Job 1:6  Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

Here is a great example that Satan and his angels come to present themselves before God’s throne in heaven as they will.  This verse in Job is referring to a spiritual location and not a physical or natural one.  If God allowed Satan to present himself in heaven before His throne, then this teaches us that the final fall of Satan from heaven has not yet occurred when Job lived on the earth.  Can we agree with this?  If Satan has access to heaven in the Old Testament can we ask if he still has access in the New Testament?  Let’s go and read Revelation 12:8 next to see what is stated by God about Satan:

 Rev 12:8  And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

Didn’t God just declare that Satan’s place is now no longer found in heaven after this war with Michael?  That statement literally means that Satan had a place in heaven right up until this war event concluded, doesn’t it?  Can we agree that Satan had a rightful place to be in heaven before this end of war statement and being thrown down?  Perhaps you don’t see it yet, but that is what God just said.  I think we need to read down to the next verse 9 to help confirm what God has revealed to us in this verse 8 statement:

Rev 12:9  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 

Ok, notice who God is speaking of.  The Great Dragon who is also called the “old serpent”.  Wow, this is profound revelation.  This is informing us that the previous verse is both the “serpent” in the garden” and the “dragon in the tribulation” and his name is Satan.  Wow, this information confirms that Satan in Genesis was not already cast down nor was the dragon in Revelation at the beginning of the tribulation already cast down permanently either.  These two facts of truth declare the same Satan in between these two bookends of the has not been cast down either.  Now, observe the ending statement, Satan was cast down to the earth “with” his angels.  This means they both had a place in heaven until this war occurred.  Let us read the next verse in Revelation 12:

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

Please read this verse very carefully and consider what God just said.   Notice the phrase “Now is come..”.  This is a future tense prophetic proclamation. Then notice that this is being spoken from heaven.  This verse indicates multiple time periods with “past, present and future” implications occurring.  God is stating something that use to be that has changed at this stated present time in the future and this will cause something different to occur from the past accesses.  Pay particular attention to the last part of the statement.  God says “for the accuser of our brethren is cast down which did accuse them before our God day and night”.  The accuser of our brethren is another reference to Satan.  The brethren are those saved people in the church.  Now do you see it?

This verse said that Satan was in heaven standing before God to accuse Christians, doesn’t it?   Uh oh, I thought Jesus said that Satan had been cast down from heaven like lightning? How then could Satan still have access in heaven to accuse Christians before God both day and night (continually)?  A little light bulb should be coming on in our brain right about now.   This verse claims that Satan continued to do what he did with the man Job in the book of Job going before God to accuse God’s righteous ones all the way through to the tribulation.

If this is true and it is, then it is impossible for the statement of Jesus in Luke 10:18 to be fully interpreted or understood in the way that my reader with the question wanted to understand it.  In other words Jesus was telling us of an event in Luke that had not fully occurred even though He had already been given a vision of it occurring by God.  I believe from Jesus’ point of view it had occurred in the spiritual eye viewpoint but from the physical timeline perspective it was still yet to occur.  Let me prove to you that Jesus claimed to be a prophet of God:

Mar 6:4  But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

Here is Jesus speaking about the people of his own hometown where he was raised as a child.  Jesus claims in this statement to be a prophet of God and He says no prophet is given any honor by those that knew him.  If Jesus is a prophet what is that?   How do we define what a prophet is and what they do?  I will give you the fast definition.  A prophet is called a “seer”.  A seer is someone who sees and can foretell the future before it occurs in the physical time dimension.  This literally means that Jesus’ statements must be judged correctly to whether they are past, present or future references.  Jesus is certainly capable of speaking of the past in many verses and He does.  Jesus is also certainly capable of speaking about His present time on the earth in many other verses.  Finally, Jesus can also speak of things that have not occurred in many verses and He does this many times also.  I have become a firm believer that the statement of Jesus in Luke 10:18 is a vision of a future account of an event that has not officially transpired.  But our salvation is not dependent upon believing this therefore believe what you like if you disagree or see it differently.  I would be very happy to read your comments on this subject.

CONCLUSION

God is a self-existent being with no stated beginning and no stated ending.  God lives inside the spiritual dimension of eternal existence and outside of the created dimension of time.  The Bible very clearly states that God makes known the end from the beginning (Isa 46:10).  If God knows what the future holds then God can and does tell us of it before it occurs as proven by the Bible consistently.  Reading Luke 4:24 Jesus claimed to be a prophet.  A real prophet will always tell us of the future before the future occurs and it will never fail.  A prophet is also called God’s seer and voice.  A prophet will see things in visions before they literally occur in our reality and write them down for us to learn from.  This is exactly what Jesus is saying in this verse:

Joh 13:19  Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.

Did you see what Jesus declared?  Jesus teaches us that He will tell us of things to come so that when they occur people will believe in Him.  All of the evidence that I have found in the Bible about Satan being cast out of heaven points us to an event that has not occurred.  This event will take place after the war in heaven during the 70th week of years found in Daniel. This prophesied war will be between Michael and his angels and Satan and his angels.  Satan will continue to accuse Christians until this war has been completed and he has been cast down to the earth.  Satan will continue to dispute our righteousness because Christians are imperfect people that still fail but have been saved by the divine grace and mercy of God.

Remember what God says in 1 Peter 5:8.  God said to the church that “Our adversary the devil goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom him who he may devour”.  The Greek word translated as adversary literally means our legal opponent in a court of law.  God is warning Christians that e can be taken to the High Courts of Heaven to be accused by Satan.  There wuld be no need for any warning if we could not found guilty and Satan given access to devour us.  Please understand this access into heaven is what is being terminated during the tribulation.

I thank you for taking the time to read this Bible lesson.  I hope and pray that you received some new knowledge that you did not know before on this subject.  If you have any questions or comments you are free to leave them with us and I will do my best to get to them all.  God Bless you until next time.

Understanding Isaiah 53 The Savior Jesus Christ Described in Extraordinary Detail – Part 2

Isaiah-Bible-Series(ver 1.1)  This is Part 2 in the Isaiah 53 Bible lesson series designed to help discover, learn and understand the prophesied coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.   In this series we will see who Jesus was stated to be, what He was stated to accomplish and how we are to be affected by these prophesied divine works.   If you have not read “Part 1” I would recommend that you go and start with the introduction to this subject in order to understand the foundation for the rest of the Chapter.  In the first lesson I focused mainly upon verse 1 and gave several verses found in the N.T. to help explain why this chapter is so important for us to understand.  We will now continue to go through verse 2 in Isaiah 53 to see what was described for the concealed unnamed individual that was foretold to come.  The book of Isaiah was written approximately 700 years before Jesus Christ was physically born on the earth.  That gives us a perspective that these written words were a distant prediction and we will soon see additional confirmation within the New Testament that this person being spoken of was definitely Jesus Christ.  In the first lesson I believe I clearly showed you that this chapter was used to preach the saving Gospel in the book of Acts even to get a Gentile man from Africa saved and baptized.  This man from Africa came to Jerusalem searching for truth and God sent to him a preacher to explain the words of God that he was reading directly from Isaiah 53.  That was a very important Bible lesson to help us to begin to see who this chapter was designed to be about and the chapter’s primary subject theme to be salvation of all mankind.

So often people want to read the chapters and verses found in the Old Testament and believe that they can understand all of the words without first understanding the God given words that explain them in the New Testament.   That is an example of complete foolish human pride to think that way.   Why would God give us a New Testament full of divine revelations, explanations and definitions if they were not all important for us learn from and apply to what was hidden in the Old Testament?   Did you know that the Old Testament is quoted in almost one in every 22 verses of the New Testament?   That means that God took what was previously written before and brought everyone brand new light to it for us to understand something that no one knew before.  I hope that if you learn nothing else from this Bible series that you will learn to study the Old Testament using the vital information revealed within the New Testament.  If you are reading the Old Testament in complete isolation then you are exactly like the Ethiopian man who was sitting reading while wondering what the words meant because he needed a New Testament preacher to explain them to him.   Wow, I hope and pray that you understood what I just said.

In this Bible lesson today one of my primary goals will be to show how Isaiah 53:2 was fulfilled in the New Testament writings to further demonstrate to us that Jesus was the focused subject of this chapter.  One of the other goals of this study will be to teach you how much detail you can derive from just a single O.T. verse.  In this series I will be going over what the verses in Isaiah say and then will be reviewing N.T. verses that will show us the hidden Jesus of Isaiah. But before I do this since it has been so long from the first lesson I will do some brief review of the first lesson concerning the message of salvation.   In the first lesson I explained to you that these saving works of God recorded in Isaiah 53 were received by men and women using their faith.  We also connected faith to believing from Isaiah 53:1.  We learn from God’s Word in Roman 10:17 that faith can only come by hearing the Gospel preached by a preacher.    Many Christians do not put the puzzle pieces together correctly.   God teaches us so much in a distributed manner and we are required to join each of them together correctly to understand how they all work together.  For example let me give you the verse that goes along with what I just said and how it was necessary for a preacher to come to the Ethiopian man in Acts for him to receive Christ:

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

This verse describes precisely how the Ethiopian man in Acts was saved.  Did you understand the connection between the three essential elements of preaching, hearing and believing?   This was a divinely created design given to us by the wisdom of God almighty for salvation.  We must begin to understand this in order to comprehend why people cannot normally read the O.T. in isolation and know what it means.   It would be good for you go back and reread Isaiah 53:1 again.  God is clearly talking about humans believing the Gospel here in Romans 10 and He tells us that we need to hear a preacher with the Gospel of Jesus in order to believe it.   Remember “Who will believe our report?”

This is so important that I believe I need to say it again.  You see from this lesson in Acts we learned that reading the Old Testament is not always the answer for our salvation unless the reader comes to understand the words on the pages correctly.  How did the Ethiopian man come to understand them?  He was told them by a God sent preacher and that required him to hear and believe.  That is what faith represents.  The Ethiopian had no new words to read and could only believe the report that was told to him about Jesus.  That is called believing without any evidence and that is exactly what faith is.  You see in Hebrews 11: 6 it clearly says that without faith it is impossible to please Him.  How then can a man be saved without having any God pleasing faith?   Do you understand the necessity for a preacher now?  I hope that you understand that God will usually only explain the O.T. words by teaching them to people through a N.T. preacher.   That is the system that was planned by God and we are to follow it.   Trying to do it some other way is clearly a pathway to deception.

In the first verse I showed you how it was quoted in the New Testament to bring out a new way of existence for the people on the earth to learn to live by, to follow in and to walk accordingly.   This radical new way of existence is revealed to be the human transition or transformation from walking by our sight into a life based upon us walking by faith and believing in God’s Word (2 Cor 5:7).  This life of faith is based only upon us believing as it was clearly stated in verse 1 “Who has believed our report?”   When a person hears a preacher speak the Word of God, the listener has the immediate opportunity and responsibility to believe it and accept it or doubt it and reject it.   Hearing and believing is the essential foundation for possessing faith as I stated earlier.   I would also like to emphasize that the Bible in Romans 10:10 teaches us that believing is of the heart (spirit) of man.  This makes faith and believing a spiritual reality and not a physical one or even a mental one.  Therefore, heart faith in His Word is found present in the spirit of man by God even though that person possesses no physical evidence to prove to others that God exists.   Nevertheless God declares that they are saved by believing the report through His Grace (Rom 10:10, Eph 2:8).   Faith is a vital lesson to learn in the Bible.  I hope that you all have studied the series of lessons on this website about this subject.

We have therefore concluded that Isaiah 53 must contain the basic essential Gospel message that was necessary for every human salvation to occur and I taught that this is the foundation for understanding the rest of the chapter.   We still desire to learn more about the descriptions concerning Jesus spoken of in this chapter and how they apply to Him.   We additionally want to learn about what was prophesied to transpire as well as how these subjects, relationships and applications of each prophecy apply to us in the church today.  How do these ancient words written so long ago affect us in the right here and now?   Why are they important to learn?   Are they still relevant and rich with any spiritual content for us to grow with?    We will soon find out as we continue to study in this series.  In the first lesson I primarily focused on the first verse of Isaiah 53.  In today’s lesson I will be mainly concentrating on the second verse in the chapter.  Let’s read the second verse carefully and see what God says.

ISAIAH 53:2

Isa 53:2  For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

Read this verse wisely and observe the very unusual words and descriptions given to us concerning two unnamed or anonymous men.  At first glance it almost appears to be a brand new subject entirely from verse 1 but that is only because we do not understand the application and significance.  God uses a very unusual way of hiding the truth in plain sight that I call the “anonymous third person” writing style.   By referring to Himself using this style of anonymity it appears it could refer to anyone.  However I have discovered that the primary focus of the entire Old Testament is the Lord Jesus and that is what this verse is clearly about.  Just notice that this second verse of Isaiah 53 is speaking about two uniquely different men (males).   One is an observer and the other is the participant of the observation.  Those are opposite roles being described.  This is the first significant fact to write down and remember from this verse.

As you can read this verse says “He (man 2) will grow up before Him (man 1)” and that is plainly speaking concerning someone who grows and someone who observes the growth.   I labeled the second man mentioned the first man and the first man mentioned the second man for a logical reason.  There is no reference for the observer as needing any growth so the observer must already be grown and mature.  There is direct stated basic logical need for the first mentioned man to grow and mature.  Therefore the order of implied age dictates that the observer is older than the one implied younger man that will grow up.  Nothing else makes good sense for the correct interpretation of this verse.

Please do not get too distracted by this divine mystery of anonymity because these two men are simply symbolic references for the Spirit of God called the Father in heaven and Jesus the Son who was born on the earth to grow up to be seen by His Father in heaven.  I do not have the time to teach the full subject of “The Trinity of God” in this lesson.  God is described as being only one God in the Bible but He is also revealed to humans as three separate personalities (1 Jn 5:7).  So if you do not understand this or believe it you need to go read and study the Bible lessons on my website about this subject.   We need to understand this fact of the Father and Son relationship in Isaiah 53:2.   When my son was a growing child I clearly observed his growth and development.  That is exactly what is being spoken of in this verse even though it was not directly mentioned.   But in order to know this we next need to understand what type of “growth” is being spoken of concerning this coming individual.  We will begin to focus on the meaning of growth next.  But before we go there also notice that this statement being made by God is very clearly presented to be a future tense event.  In other words the verse did not say “He is growing (present tense) or he has grown (past tense) but rather “shall grow” (future tense).  That truth comes from just basic observation and represents the nature of prophecy.  Before we proceed to the meaning of “grow” let’s take a moment to speak about literal Bible statements versus figurative Bible statements.

There are actually several symbolic or figurative (non-literal) descriptions being used by God in the verse in Isaiah 53:2.  Any symbolic statement needs to be correctly interpreted in order to discover their meaning and application to this coming described man 2.   Too often people want to make the Bible entirely literal or entirely figurative and both are extremes of error that will cause only confusion.  Being able to recognize what is literal and what is a figurative or symbolic statement sounds simple but it is not consistently agreed upon by many Bible teachers much less their Bible students.   However this is what God called “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (2 Tim 2:15).   Learning how to do this is an essential part of correct Bible study.  I wish I had a magic formula for how to do this.  But most of the time it is the Holy Spirit inside that will guide us into which is literal and which is figurative.   Being open to God’s leading will cause you to see it correctly if you are studying the Bible using your faith.   Bible study performed by faith is the only way to please God.  This simply means that you read a verse without completely understanding everything immediately but believe that God will show you everything that you need to know about it as you continue to study it.  Having confidence and trusting God to show you is part of a “faith study”. Never go into studying any verse thinking that you fully know and understand it all.  Be open and ask God to teach you and then expect for Him to do it.  God can show you something brand new from any single verse that you have read a thousand times.  Believe and expect God to unfold it to you and He will.  Let’s start breaking down the second verse in Isaiah 53.

HE SHALL GROW UP BEFORE HIM

We will divide the second verse of Isaiah 53 into at least three or four distinct phrases.  I’ll select the initial study phrase as “He shall grow up before him” to be analyzed first.   The primary verb in this phrase is “grow up” (H5927).  The English dictionary defines “growth” as the process of increasing in physical size.   We should be able to understand that any type of growth represents a process of becoming more mature.   Therefore the observer in this phrase is seeing the other man developing, increasing and maturing and this will be the visible signs of his growth.   We can conclude several different potential meanings and applications from this single statement concerning the normal development, growth or maturing process.  There is always the natural human application of a child’s physical development when born into the world.  Every new born baby has the potential to grow to be a man or a woman over the course of time by God’s design.   Therefore, physical or natural growth is certainly a prime application for this described process found in Isaiah 53:2.  There is also the mental application where every human baby must grow and increase in knowledge, understanding and wisdom which none of us are born with automatically from birth.  Finally there is the spiritual application which must be applied to a Christian as they gain spiritual maturity.   Spiritual maturity is covered in other Bible lessons on this website so I will not be getting into that part of the subject fully today.  What I want you to understand is that there at least 3 realms of potential maturity present in every human and these were physical, mental and spiritual growths.

The Hebrew word H5927 which was translated as “grow up” literally means “to ascend”.  It is very similar to a person climbing a very tall mountain like Mt Everest.  This Hebrew word presents to us the image of the initial human status to be a state of lowliness which needs to be increased or raised to a much higher level in altitude, stature, importance or it can also be used for the recognition of increased power, knowledge or ability.   Those definitions actually describe Jesus in many distinct ways.   What we learn from this one statement is a view into a sensitive subject that is widely debated in the modern church.  Was Jesus fully divine or fully human at His birth?   And I must begin to tell you clearly that He was both simultaneously to some extent.   What many Christians try to teach us is that Jesus was born here on the earth in His full deity power but that is clearly not what the Bible just taught you.   If Jesus was God in His full deity power there would be no need for him to ascend higher to grow or increase because this would be impossible for God to do in a full power manifestation.  The simple fact that Jesus must grow and increase is evidence to the fact that He was here on the earth in a predominately human capacity in order to fulfill a divine purpose that will be further confirmed as we continue to study this chapter.  Are you with me so far?

What we will discover as we continue to study the Bible is that the supreme God of heaven lowered Himself by divine choice to come to the earth in the form of a created human baby to grow in order to become a man that could die for the sins of the entire world.   Again it would be impossible to kill Jesus if He was God in His full deity power.   I really hope and pray that you can agree with those statements because they are very relevant to understanding the rest of the New Testament.   It was only after the death and resurrection of Jesus that He was raised back up into heaven and again exalted to be Supreme (Mat 28:18).  This as I have just stated is a highly controversial topic.  Whenever God is described to lower Himself from His supreme position of authority to become a human as it was clearly indicated in the fact that He must grow (ascend) people recoil and think God must have misspoken or not meant what He said.  There has been so many false teaching and false gospels written by devil inspired men.  These writings claim the child Jesus did many miracles of a nature to prove his divinity.  That is not what the real Bible says so please do not be easily misled by these lies.

I can see how this information is potentially offensive to many Christians but please bear with me until you see how this part of the prophecy was actually fulfilled in the New Testament.  I’ll begin with these verses found in Luke about the very young child Jesus.

Luk 2:5  To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

Luk 2:6  And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

Luk 2:7  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Here is a partial description of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.   We can clearly read in verse 5 concerning the natural human child development process taking place within the body of Mary.  The Greek word G1471 that was translated as “great with child” means to swell.  That is a self-evident growth statement.  Mary is described to now be “great” or “swollen” because of the child inside.  This simply means it has been nearly 9 months of development in earth’s time and this child that has come from the union of her physical egg and God’s Word has now grown and developed into a boy child that is about to be delivered in verse 7.   Clearly this is an example of the natural human growth process that occurs every day on the earth which was designed and created by God.   We must understand that God the Spirit has taken upon Himself human flesh and come to the earth in the form of a developing embryo within the physical womb of Mary (John 1:14).   Now please consider the implied meanings of this act of God.  This reality would make the developing baby child in her womb a non-speaking human which is totally unable to defend himself.  What did I just say?   I can see the religious people picking up their stones to throw at me right now.  What I just said was that Jesus while in the womb had taken the form of extreme vulnerability and lowliness.    If you do not believe me then you are living in a fantasy reality that ignores the millions and millions of abortions that take place on this planet.  Truly if any baby child in the womb was able to defend itself there would be no abortions but since they occur so frequently this was the same situation that Jesus found himself to be in.  Even after a child’s birth they are unable to take care of themselves and must be fed and cared for.  Jesus did not come out of the womb speaking so that is stupid to believe He was fully divine in full power manifestation.

You should be able to understand that before Jesus was born on the earth this child that was definitely God in the flesh was primarily protected by first and foremost the element of surprise since no other human except for Mary and Joseph understood the exact timing of the event even though God had predicted the birth to occur in amazing hidden ways in the Old Testament.   Do you remember when Mary delivered the child in Bethlehem?  The angels announced the child to shepherds (Luke 2:8).  That was the first time that anyone else on the earth during this specific time period found out who had just come into the world.   Later the wise men were guided to the house of Joseph and on their journey there they went through Herod first and that caused every child to be killed that was in or near the country around Bethlehem.    If Jesus would have remained in Bethlehem he too would have been killed.  What we see is divine protection taking place, yet this was certainly not initiated or requested by the little non-speaking child.  Do you understand this?

There were also other recorded interventions by God using angels to help the child to be safe on the earth.  For example in Matthew 2:13 you will find Joseph having a dream where an angel appears to him and tells him to take the child to Egypt.   However, even this intervention just further proves that Jesus was not God on the earth in His full deity power if angels were required to help protect Him.  I hope that you are thinking clearly with me about this subject of growth and seeing what is being taught to us in the Word of God.  What I am attempting to do is demonstrate how Isaiah 53:2 was fulfilled by Jesus in the Gospels.  The first phrase that “He will grow” is clearly being fulfilled here in Luke 2:5-7.  Jesus grows physically and that is the basis of one part of the description that is necessary to accomplish that portion of the prophecy.   Let’s go see some more applications of the spiritual and mental growth process being described to us in this same chapter of Luke:

Luk 2:40  And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

As you should be able to see in this verse Jesus is literally described to be in a state of “growth” within the natural physical realm.   The first part of the verse describes Jesus as being a literal “child” in the normal development cycle and this certainly has direct application to the physical body of our savior.   The Greek word G837 that was translated as “grew” means to “increase”.  That is again a transitional passing or ascension from a lesser form to a more advanced or mature form.   The Greek word for “child” is G3813 and it means “a half grown or young person”.   If you go back to verse 12 in this chapter to compare when the angels tell the shepherds in the field about the birth of Jesus, He is called a “babe” which is a completely different Greek word G1025.   This Greek word G1025 means a literal “infant”.  What we have just witnessed in less than 40 verses is the physical change of Jesus from conception to becoming a twelve year old boy.   This is a big part of the normal child growth process and this was the direct fulfilment of this first phrase of Isaiah 53:2 very precisely.

However, verse 40 also describes Jesus as growing strong in spirit.   Have you ever asked yourself how an omnipotent God could grow any stronger in spirit?  Uh oh?  Obviously this verse contradicts with the modern belief that God was here in His full deity power.   Then notice that this verse says that Jesus was being filled with wisdom.   How could the omniscient God obtain any more wisdom?   Both of these descriptions imply a transitional state from a much lower position of lesser spiritual strength and either no wisdom or less wisdom to a much higher degree of both.  This is clearly a statement used to define His intellectual and spiritual ascent from an inferior childish state.   There are three Greek words in this verse that you should study.   The first Greek word is G837 and it means to increase or enlarge in proportions.   That is a very accurate description of what is occurring.  The next Greek word is translated as “wax strong” and this word is G2901 and it also means “to increase”.   The third Greek word in this description is G4137 and this word means “to fill to overflowing”.  All three of these words teach a transitional phase of increasing from the lesser form to a greater full capacity.  This is absolutely impossible for a God in His full deity power to accomplish.

What I am teaching you from the Bible is that no one can grow in physical size, spiritual power or intellectual wisdom if they already have ALL physical size, ALL spiritual power and ALL wisdom.  This is just a very plain and simple way that God teaches us that Jesus was born as a natural human without His full divine power, knowledge or abilities.   So many people want to say God was here on the earth in His full deity power being fully omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent but that belief would contradict so many verses just like this one.   We must realize that God chose to become a man just like one of us so that we could be raised to be made like Him.  I call this the great exchange where God gives us everything and we get all of the benefits since we have nothing worthy to offer in exchange.  What I wanted you to see in this chapter of Luke was that Jesus was fulfilling Isaiah 53:2 by just growing up in this world physically, mentally and spiritually.   I’ll give you one more verse that helps us to see how the Lord grows or ascends up to fulfill Isaiah 53:2:

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

I mentioned this verse earlier but it is so important that I felt led to reemphasize God’s message again. Here we observe a statement that confounds religious human comprehension.   Why was it necessary for the Lord Jesus to be given ALL power both in heaven and on the earth after His resurrection?   We are still talking about God in the flesh here, aren’t we?   You see Jesus makes a claim that He did not yet possess ALL of this power before this occurred and that confuses many Christians.   But we must consider that either Jesus was a liar or we need to hear and learn about what He just said.   Why was it necessary for this power to be given to Him after His resurrection and why didn’t He possess it before the resurrection while He walked the earth in His ministry to natural Israel?   I really do not have time to go into this fully.   Just notice the implied statement of ascent from a lower position which corresponds to what we read in Isaiah 53:2.  It is just very clear to me if Jesus was given all authority on the earth and in heaven that He did not possess it before that time.   This would go with so many other verses in the New Testament and I can’t get into them all today.   Let’s go the next phrase found in Isaiah 53:2 and see what else God is saying.

AS A TENDER PLANT

tender_plant3In the next phrase of Isaiah 53:2 man 2 is described to be like something that is totally crazy.  God called him a “tender plant”.  A “tender plant” cannot be literal and must be a description of a purely symbolic nature using a common component found within creation.   What is the intended message and purpose from God’s usage of this figurative expression?   You should already understand that in any symbolic figurative expressions the object being selected represents attributes that are applied to the subject being described.  For example the symbolic great dragon found in Revelation 12 is not literal but displays the attributes of the unseen spiritual being that a human can visually or mentally relate to.   I sure hope you understand the concepts of symbolism because you should then be able to ask yourself why Satan was described as a great dragon using a symbol of power for his appearing on the earth and then ask yourself why the omnipotent God was calling himself a “tender plant” for His appearing on the earth.  Do you see what God is doing?

Therefore, what are the natural attributes of a “tender plant”?   A “tender plant” represents any new growth implying the need to mature.  A “tender plant” also represents an object of extreme vulnerability.  There are many enemies and forces within nature that can kill a “tender plant”.  We should be able to learn from this symbolic information that this coming man was designed to die.  We should also learn from this description that this coming man is not here in His full deity power so that He cannot be killed by enemies.  Any tender plant can be killed by too much water, not enough water, too much heat or temperatures that are too cold, insects, animals, etc.  Usually when God selects a figurative expression of a natural object almost everything applies within the natural having a meaning and an application to the person being described.  This is the way God designed creation.  He said very clearly that there are things that were created that show us God plainly (Rom 1:20).

This title “tender plant” just cannot be taken literally and must be considered to be a symbolic figurative expression.    Can we agree with that?   Figurative representations and descriptions are simply symbolic terminologies used to tell a greater hidden or unstated message about the subject being spoken of and knowing this will become essential in order for us to understand their meanings.   People use figurative expressions to describe other people almost every day.   Take for example the expression “Joe is a real teddy bear”.  This expression should not be taken literally but rather it projects an image of Joe of great significance using few words.  The expression “teddy bear” can represent someone that is cute, loveable, and easy to hug.  This is exactly what God is doing in this expression of Jesus being a “tender plant”.

What does the term a “tender plant”, represent in a figurative language application?  The Hebrew word H3126 translated here as “tender plant” is only found in this verse in the entire O.T.  Therefore we will not be able to use other verses to help us define this phrase.   Since Isaiah 53:2 is the only time that this Hebrew word occurs and it was translated correctly in this form of the word phrase “tender plant” we will need to look at the context first to find the definition and implied meaning.  If you look up the definition of the word in Strong’s you should be able to see that this word would also be correctly translated as a “tender shoot” as in a type of brand new plant growth.  If you examine the context beginning statement this matches what we observed in the created process of natural growth.  God is simply using the new plant shoot symbolism to teach us how Jesus will need to grow and increase in maturity over the course of time.

It is interesting to note that the meaning of this Hebrew word can also mean “a sucker”.  The term “sucker” can be applied more than one way.  For example in the plant world “a sucker” plant can be used for plant propagation.  But this term can also mean a young child and both are correct.  Consider the application of propagation because this fascinates me.  I can see this as God’s plan.  In the process a brand new sucker plant can be generated from the roots of another plant to produce a new plant.  I believe that this is exactly what God is doing in Jesus.  Keep this in mind as I continue through the verse.

This term “tender plant” informs us that whoever is being spoken of in Isaiah 53 will come into the world like a child that sucks his mother’s breast.   This is actually a very accurate description of Jesus from the natural perspective that we have just witnessed in Luke but it also has certain spiritual application.  Spiritually speaking Jesus being born into the natural world needed the written Words of God to grow in knowledge, understanding and wisdom as we previously read about Him in Luke 2:40.  So Jesus obtained His physical natural growth food (milk) from His mother’s breast as well as His spiritual food (milk) to grow from words previously given to natural Israel through the prophets by His Father.  Perhaps you missed what I just said.   Remember what Peter writes the church by the inspiration of God in 1 Peter 2:2 asking the church to desire the “sincere milk of the Word” that you may grow thereby?   God is teaching us that there was both a physical supply of food (natural milk) and a spiritual supply of food (milk from God’s Word) that caused Jesus to grow in both areas.   What we observe from this is an intelligent design scenario that was initiated from God’s original thoughts.  God planned this out from the beginning and it was fully carried out by God until it was completed.

AS A ROOT OUT OF DRY GROUND

root_in_dry_ground1Man 2 is then described to be a “root” that springs forth from “dry ground”.   This is certainly more symbolic descriptions being used by God to convey a much greater set of spiritual truths.  Consider what a root and dry ground represents in the natural and then apply this figurative information to the spiritual message being taught about Jesus.   Dry ground provides humans a place to live and walk on the earth.   However, where there is no rain or water present on or near the ground it is called a desert place.  Any desert place is not normally an inhabitable piece of the earth.   Since wet ground is the antithesis of dry ground we need to learn the differences between dry ground and watered ground.   Water is definitely a factor in this description.  This phrase is again God using a natural plant life description to describe the coming Jesus.

Everyone should know that the concept of water is essential for any life to exist here.   People need to eat and to drink in order to survive.  The presence of pure water is absolutely critical for natural growth.  What is God saying in this part of the verses?   How can a man like Jesus be compared with a root that comes out of a figurative piece of dry ground?  We need to begin to think spiritually and consider the meanings of these phrases by asking some basic questions.  What is a root symbolically speaking and how does it relate to the concept of dry ground symbolically?  Let’s analyze the meaning of “root” first.  The Hebrew word translated as “root” is H8328.   It has both a literal and a figurative meaning attached to it.   Literally speaking every tree is basically 4 parts.   These four parts are three parts above the ground and one main unseen part below ground.  That right there should give you a clue to where I’m going next.  Clearly Jesus is called the root and that is the unseen part of the tree analogy.  A root is the source and supply for life for the other three parts of the tree.  Without roots there is no tree.  The other three parts are representative of us physically here on the earth.   We the people of God are the figurative trunk, branches and limbs and we are dependent upon our food and water source coming from the root in order to live, grow and produce any fruit.  Wow, I just said so much in one sentence.  You see Jesus clearly told us without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).  Jesus further tells us in John 10:10 that He is our source of life.  What He was saying was I am the root that supplies all of your life.

Let’s take the root, tree and tender plant analogy introduced by God a bit further.   Consider the term “family tree”.  A family tree is nothing but a figurative symbolic representation for a family using a known natural entity.  We should be able to understand that within any family the “roots” represent those that produced all of the family that came after (trunk and branches).   The branches in the family are those that were produced from progressive generations from those family roots.   I believe that these are also basic figurative descriptions of what God is teaching us in Isaiah 53:2.   Jesus being called the root is informing us of His preeminent existence which produced us and gives us life.  Let’s find the fulfillment of Jesus being the root in the New Testament.  He is clearly called the root of Jesse in Isaiah 11:10.  Later in Romans 15:12 Paul confirms that Jesus is the root of Jesse.   Now let me give you another verse in the New Testament that is directly related to the topic that confirms that this root being spoken of is Jesus:

Rev 22:16  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

You can clearly read that Jesus is claiming to be both the root of David and the offspring that comes from David.   That is a very perplexing dilemma, a major paradox and a very significant puzzle to resolve.  From a natural perspective this is entirely impossible but from a spiritual divine perspective this is completely within the capability of an ALL POWERFUL GOD!   What we are observing from this information is that Jesus claimed to be the root that produced both of these men Jesse and David as well as He claimed to be a certain branch descendant that came from both of them.   You can clearly go and read back in Isaiah 11:1 again where Jesus is called the Branch of Jesse and then later in verse 10 He is called the root of this same man named Jesse.  These concepts boggle the minds of carnal people who do not wish to learn about who God is and what He is capable of doing.   What God was saying was that He was the creator of Jesse and that He then came from Jesse or through Jesus to be here on the earth.   I hope that you are beginning to understand the differences between a root and a branch and how that Jesus could still be both simultaneously.  I’ll give you another O.T. verse about a root that you should know about next:

Pro 12:3  A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.

I technically do not have the time to explain this verse entirely.  As Christians we have been given the righteousness of Christ.  This verse in Proverbs is speaking of the ones that are called righteous and we are those people by the Grace of God.  However the primary subject of this last statement is the root that shall not be moved.  I think you can see where this must be Jesus again.   Only God’s Word will never change and Jesus was this Word.

We next need to understand the association of water or the lack of it if Jesus is declared to be the symbolic root supplier of this symbolic water and He is then described to be growing out of the dry ground that lacked this water supply.  What can the water represent within this context?  Do you understand the unstated significance of water in this part of the verse?  Roots definitely carry water to the rest of the tree or plant.  Yet dry ground does not allow or permit plants to grow there.  That is just another major predicament of contradiction to solve.  Notice that the last part of the phrase “root out of a dry ground” presents a comparison.   Jesus being called the root is coming out from a place where they lacked any water.  How would we explain this?  What could that possibly mean? I think we need to look at the definition of the Hebrew word H6723 translated as “dry” next.  This word literally means a parched arid place.   This is accurately describing a desert wilderness where water does not exist.  This definition confirms the absence of water where Jesus was raised up in.  I hope that gives you a bit of a clue to what the water represents.

Symbolically “water” in the Bible widely represents the Word of God.   Water also has other symbolic applications which may also apply and be useful for this discussion but I will probably not get into these other symbolic references in this lesson extensively. I thought I would at least mention that others exist.  I can give you many verses of the Bible to help us confirm what is being spoken about in this verse in Isaiah.  Let me give you a few verses to help confirm that water represents Words from God:

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

Here is a hidden reference to the word of God coming out of the mouths of humans.   God’s words in your mouth will produce life for yourself as well as for others that choose to hear it.   This verse also has application to speaking in tongues but I’m not going to go there to try to explain that since it will take more time than I want to spend in this lesson.  Just understand that words spoken will exit the human mouth coming from the inner spirit and these must be the Words of God in order to produce any life.   I have other Bible lessons that address this part of the meaning if you are interested in reading about them.   What I wanted to demonstrate from this verse was the symbolic meaning of water to be words.   Let’s move on to another verse that helps to explain how life giving water originates from God’s spoken word:

Joh 15:3  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

How do we get clean in the natural?  Normally we wash with natural water and this process removes the dirt from our body.  Jesus is clearly using this natural water washing concept to apply to a spiritual washing parallel process.   Jesus was very clearly saying that the words that were coming from His mouth had the power to make them clean.   Natural things were designed and created by God to teach us about spiritual things and this is so plain.  The Words of God has to be comparable to water for this cleaning process to occur in the unseen spiritual realm.   As the Word of God is the type of water that gives us life, I believe that this statement that Jesus just made is also applicable to Jesus being called the “root” that supplies the water for all human life.  Did you see it?  Jesus said he spoke and out of His belly was flowing rivers of living water to wash his followers.   I think the root analogy is one that is very profound and I pray that you are seeing how it still applies to us in the church today.  I’ll give you one other verse for this part of the lesson about water:

Eph 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Hopefully you can again see the explanation of becoming clean with God washing us with His Word.  The word of God is not literal water but it is certainly called figurative water.  Without this Water of the Word of God we would all die spiritually.  There would be no possibility of spiritual life without this source of spiritual living water.  Now let’s consider what it means to be in a dry ground.  We can find a very good explanation of this in the writings of David:

Psa 63:1  A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

Wow, what an awesome verse concerning spiritual water that can come only from God.  David is stating his thirst but it is not a lack of natural water.   This is just David saying “I need you God and I need your Word” to quench my soul.  Did you see it?  Physical water can never quench a soul.  Only spiritual water from the mouth of God can fulfill this type of thirst.  I think we need to observe one more verse to confirm this very important reality:

Psa 1:2  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Psa 1:3  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

tree-and-riverA man that is meditating on the Word of God is compared to be like a tree that is planted by rivers of life giving water.   This type of abundant water supply is what causes this symbolic tree to grow and increase in might and strength.  The lack of this type of spiritual water supply is what is being spoken of in Isaiah 53:2 where there is dry ground.  This dry ground represents a person that does not mediate on God’s Word.  These are types of people that do not value the life that is found from God’s mouth.  These were people that were dying of thirst and did nothing to drink from the well of life.   Do you remember what Jesus said to the Samarian woman at the well?  Jesus said “If you knew who was speaking you would ask of me to give you a drink”.  How was Jesus going to do this?  He was going to speak to her and tell her the Words of God.

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

There are literally many applications and lessons that can be taught from the root supply of life giving water to the symbolic plant concept.  This verse in John is a prime example of the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:2 where Jesus the root would supply the waters of life to anyone that was a thirst.   I do not wish to go into all of these in this lesson but I will mention this one more for reapplication to Jesus being our present day root supply.   We all know that Jesus is not physically present on the earth today except in the form of the church body who is the only visible representatives of His outward presence here on the earth.   However, the unseen root is still spiritually present because Jesus is on the inside of every true believer and if they are led by the Spirit of God then Jesus can still be seen in manifestation right now.    Consider yourself to be God’s plant, His branches that are here to bear fruit for the world to observe.   There is a popular saying that is applicable to what you do today and it says “The only Jesus some people will ever know is the one that you show them in your actions, words and daily life”.   I think that is an important thought to embrace and remember.  I believe that is enough of an introduction to Jesus being described as the root source of water so let’s move on to the last part of the phrase description found in Isaiah 53:2.

HE HATH NO FORM NOR COMELINESS

Jesus-Face-Painting-Gray-Eyes-WallpaperThe last phrase that I will address today is “He hath no form nor comeliness, and when we shall see him there is no beauty that we should desire him”.  Often in artist paintings of Jesus, He is portrayed as a highly desirable handsome male figure and even has extremely movie star or rock star like characteristics.  Many times this type of Jesus is even pictured with a divine halo or a radiant glow that many believe would attract people to Him like moths to a flame.  You will discover from reading and studying Isaiah 53:2 that Jesus was not prophesied to come into the world in an attractive looking manner and in fact the opposite of this reality is stated.  We will need to read how this was fulfilled in the N.T. and this time it may become more difficult because there is barely any mention of the physical appearance of Jesus in the Gospels that I have found.  If you know of any verses that I have not encountered on this subject, I would welcome your comment giving us the verses.

What any serious Bible student must realize is that they can learn at the very least in two different ways from God, we can learn from what is directly stated by God and/or we can also learn from what was never stated by God.  Do you understand this advanced concept?  If there are no direct references of the physical appearance of the Lord Jesus by God in the Gospels why would this information not possibly be important enough to mention in God’s Word?  Before we research the N.T. we will first review the definitions for the phrase keywords found in Isaiah 53:2.

The first Hebrew word is H3303 that was translated as “form” in this verse and this word should have been translated as “beautiful” as it was correctly translated this way to describe Rachael in Genesis 29:17.  Rachael is described to be the opposite of what Jesus is said to be.  It was Rachael’s outward beauty that attracted her future husband Jacob to her.   The first time this Hebrew word was used in Genesis it was used for another beautiful woman named Sarah in Genesis 12:11.  You might remember that Sarah was so beautiful that Abraham did not want to tell anyone that she was his wife because he was concerned with being killed so that they could take her from him because of her attractiveness.  That is two examples of what this word H3303 means.  The Holy Spirit inspired Isaiah to teach us that Jesus did not possess any physical beauty by the inclusion of the Hebrew negative word H3808 that was connected directly to this other Hebrew word meaning beauty.   The Hebrew word H3808 is a negative antithesis of the positive beauty and it means “No”, “Not” or “Without” beauty.  God was clearly saying that Jesus had no beauty that could be observed using these two Hebrew words.

According to this Hebrew word combination whoever being spoken of in this verse could not called extraordinarily good looking, striking, handsome or even attractive.  The absence of beauty does not necessarily mean that Jesus was completely born ugly but at the minimum it meant that He was very ordinary in appearance like most humans and certainly did not possess any looked-for qualities of many popular people today.   Take for example Obama.  I have heard people tell me that they voted for him because he was so good looking.  One was a woman speaking to me about her reasons why she voted for him.  Being attracted to someone like Obama because of their looks will get you into serious levels of deception and that is not what God came into the world as.  You cannot find anywhere in the Gospels where it says people were attracted to Jesus because of His physical appearance.

The next key word in the verse confirms this with the description of there being no “comeliness” to His appearance.  This Hebrew word translated as “comeliness” is H1926 and it literally means “magnificence” or “splendor”.   This is shocking information that the supremely magnificent God would humble himself to take on the common form of a plain and ordinary human.  When I read this I was so impressed at the humility of God’s character to think this way and to do this.  I think this is one of the key factors for why natural Israel missed the coming of their Messiah.  They expected a radiant powerful looking King and got a plain nobody from what they thought was from the city of Nazareth.   They of course ignored the fact that He was born in the city of David the king as a direct descended from David’s seed but their ignorance of the facts was caused by their own downfall because they did not ask the right questions to find the truth.

Now let’s review the Hebrew word H4758 that was translated as “beauty” in Isaiah 53:2.  This word is different than the Hebrew word H3303 that was translated as “form” but should have been translated as “beauty”.   This Hebrew word H4758 means “to view”.  It confirms that God is speaking of the outward physical appearance of the Lord Jesus.  It can also mean “good or pleasant to look at”.  However this Hebrew word H4758 is again joined to the Hebrew negative H3808 to change the definition into the opposite again.  God is again saying that Jesus was not a movie star type of looker that you wanted to watch.  I believe this is very important descriptive terms being given by God and every Christian would benefit from knowing them.

I challenge you to go through the Gospels and read about the life of Jesus on the earth very closely.   Notice for the first thirty years of His life there is very little description given about Him.   Barely a mention of Him is revealed.  Only at His birth and at the age of 12 are we given a brief glimpse of His life.  At 12 years old His family left Him at the temple as they were returning home.   Technically speaking only His mother and Joseph her husband understood how He came to be on this earth.   Every other human on the earth believed Him to be a normal child growing up looking like everyone else.   If you go and read about Him in later life when He had returned to His hometown the people were in amazement of Him.   Start reading in Matthew 13:54 through the end of the chapter.  You will find out that they were impressed with His wisdom but did not believe that He was a prophet sent from God because they had watched Him grow up normally before them.  Jesus marveled at their unbelief and was unable to do any miracles among them.  You should be able to clearly see how normal that Jesus’ appearance was to these people that knew Him so closely for the longest time.

I want you to fully understand that this final statement in Isaiah 53:2 represents the outward physical appearance of the prophesied growing man 2.  This part of the verse literally means “God” was found in their presence using a non-majestic appearance that no one expected Him to use.  No one was looking for a Messiah to rule them that looked ordinary at best.  As you can read very clearly because of God’s choice to appear on the earth normally like a very ordinary human, the people had no desire to automatically follow Him.  Do not misunderstand what I just said.  There were great numbers of people following Jesus in the Gospels.  But you need to ask the question why were they following?  There are no references to it being because of His looks but you can find references for their desire to be healed.  Healing was the primary reason for people flocking to Jesus.  You can read about this in Matthew 4:23-25 to see why they followed was because of His healing power.  Because Jesus healed people the word about Him quickly spread to everyone and this is also important information to understand correctly.

Have you ever asked yourself what would have happened if God appeared like God in a superior state of class and being?    The people on earth would have had no choice but to receive Him as their King and Lord and they would have never hung Him on a cross.   Do you see the wisdom of God in His actions?   God desired to save us, so He chose to become one of us to die for us.   We have never yet fully realized or fully comprehended the extreme love of God to do this for us.

I want you to understand the significance of this description and why it is meaningful or even mentioned in the prophecy.   This prophecy in Isaiah 53:2 is only different from my birth appearing because of the implied appearance of who this is speaking of.  Please understand that the vast majority of the people born on this earth are very normal looking individuals just like this description.   Based upon this, I must ask the question “Why is this description of a normal person’s appearance different than mine” and then I must answer that it is not.  I certainly do not have the appearance of great magnificence so that people desire to flock to me.  There are people like rock stars today that have this ability but that is clearly not who Jesus represented and it is not who you should represent either.   No, you begin to finally realize why this was written based upon your new knowledge now to who these words were written about.   The supreme God of all splendor, power and amazement would come and appear to be at the best ordinary.

Before I get away from this subject I want to prove that Jesus did not walk around with a glow coming from His appearance.  We can learn this simple fact by observing what God wrote about Him in the book of Matthew.  Read this verse carefully and notice the detailed description of the appearance change that occurred in this verse:

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

If you read the context you will find that Jesus took three disciples up on a high mountain.  While there Moses and Elijah appeared before them with Jesus.  This verse also states that the physical appearance of Jesus was “transfigured”.   This Greek word G3339 is the word that we get “metamorphosis” from.  Do you understand the concept of “metamorphosis”?  This is the process that occurs when an ugly caterpillar is transformed to become a beautiful butterfly.  That is exactly the process that is being described about Jesus here in this verse.  Jesus was transformed from the very ordinary looking man that He was on the earth into a radiant glowing man that exemplified great splendor having magnificent qualities here in this verse.   What this verse does is confirm the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:2 for you.  It clearly implies that He was not the way that He was just transformed into.

CONCLLUSION

I have covered a lot of new significant information about Jesus found in Isaiah 53:2.  You may have never heard this message or even understood that it existed in the Bible but I hope that you learned to see how it applied to the one that came from heaven to save you.  This prophecy is so amazing when you see it clearly.  It becomes much more understandable why everyone in the world did not automatically flock to God in the flesh.  It also become more understandable why He could be easily killed and lose all of his followers.  If you go and read in the book of Revelation you will again see that Jesus appears like He did on the mountain with the three disciples in the presence of Moses and Elijah.  Jesus when raised back to heaven was again exalted to His supreme position.  But you should know now that this was not the way that He came to us in the world to save us.   I thank you all for taking the time to read and study te Bible with me.  I appreciate you all very much.  In the next lesson in this series we will plan to go through the next verse in sequence to find what is furthered described about Jesus if the Lord chooses to lead me that way.  Leave me a comment if you like this lesson.  Learn to be a blessing to others and God will make sure you are blessed to do this.  God Bless you!

BIBLE ANSWERS: Was Jesus the ONE and ONLY Son of God?

One and Only Son of God(Ver 1.3)  There is a popular false teaching going around in many churches that claims that Jesus was the one and only son of God and that is NOT what the Bible says.  However, I do not want you to throw stones at me yet.  I do want to say up front that I believe in the Triune Godhead.  God is comprised of three unique personalities called 1) God the Father, 2) God the Son and 3) God the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Jesus is the only Son within the trinity of God.  But that does not mean there are not other sons of God in His family.  In fact preaching one son of God only is not even close to what God says in the His Word.  Are you ready to learn the truth and see what God actually wrote us in the Bible? This false belief that Jesus was the one and only son of God has even crept into several modern Bible translations and thus it appears to become more legitimate than it truly is.  Many Christians will read an erroneous modern Bible translation and think this is what God really said but they have to ignore the details of the correct writings of God in the original language word meanings to believe this way.  This false teaching is destroying the truth to project an image that there are no other children of God except for Jesus.  This leaves Christians with the impression that we are “a nothing” and “a nobody” and this is exactly what Satan wants us to believe so that he can condemn and accuse us.

Please understand this very basic truth, only the original scriptures in the original languages were God inspired (breathed) and at no time were any of the TRANSLATIONS that were created by men ever inspired by God.  Every translation produced by a human introduces some new version of the personal opinions of the translators that must be weeded through in order to find God’s intended accurate truth.    I literally mean that we can find many translation errors in the KJV Bible, the NIV Bible, the NASB Bible and every other translation if we go back and study to find the truth from the original Greek and Hebrew.  This of course becomes highly controversial in many Christian circles.  This Bible study will be potentially discarded simply because people do not seek to learn, know or understand what God says.  Being a “concrete” or “firmly set, dry and hard” Christian will cause many to miss the truth and I hope and pray this is not you today.

I am a detailed oriented type of person.  I was a computer programmer for over 25 years.  You cannot write a computer program without paying attention to all of the little details or it will not work.  Using this same detailed oriented approach is how God taught me to study the Bible.  Please learn to pay attention to the details found in the Bible and this will help to see the scriptures more from God’s perspective who spoke them.

I’m going to repeat this again, please do not read this lesson and believe that I am saying there is more than one Son in the Trinity!  I am not claiming this and do not intend for the message to be understood this way.  I know this Bible lesson will be offensive to some and I know that some people will potentially take the message wrong.  People become so narrow minded  when hearing something new.  People like to take hold of one truth and abandon all others.  I have said this more than once; there is more than one truth in the Bible.  Jesus is the primary truth and the greatest reason to study the entire Bible but God teaches us other things like this lesson that should also be made known to be His truth.  This Bible lesson is not taking away from the message of Jesus Christ being the only begotten Son of God within the Trinity.  Do not read this and believe that at all!  I teach the Trinity of God very strongly.  I teach the fact that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God very strongly.   I teach the fact that God came to the earth personally in the flesh and died for our sins to give us His gift of righteousness to save us.  Before you criticize me on one Bible lesson go read everything and then ask questions.

INTRODUCTION TO SONS

The main focused scripture today in this Bible study is one that we have all heard at some time in our Christian life.  This verse is one of the most popular verses learned and memorized by many children at an early age in Sunday school.  This verse is one that Satan would like to remove from the Bible and this is the reason for his attack to pervert it.  Here is the main verse in question that will be answered:

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

John 3:16 is the focused controversial verse that I will be talking about in this lesson today.  I started with the basic KJV translation of the verse since I believe it to be one of the most accurate.  However, this verse was translated by men in several different conflicting ways in other translations.  For example the WNT, CEV, ESV, BBE and NIV Bible translations all get parts of the original language meanings very wrong changing the original Greek language into “Only Son of God” or “One and Only Son of God”.  The KJV, NKJV, NASB, Webster, YLT, AMP, ASV, Darby, LITV and the MKJV translations all translated it correctly saying “only begotten Son”.  While “Only Begotten Son” is more accurate, this English word “begotten” is not well understood to what the term means.  This of course was not a complete list of all the available Bible translations but it gives us a clear view of why there is a controversy and asks the question who is correct?    For your review comparison here is the NIV translation of John 3:16.  Please note the differences given:

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV)

Both the KJV and the NIV translations cannot be correct since they simply mean two completely different things.   “One and Only Son of God” and “Only Begotten Son of God” cannot be considered identical because one set of modern translations completely left out one of the most important words “begotten” when the other set included it.  The NIV further convolutes the truth to add the word “One” before Son and this just brings further confusion since the word “one” does not even appear anywhere in the original Greek language.

Now consider the English grammar found within John 3:16.  What does the term “only begotten” represent and how does it relate to the noun “Son”?  You should begin to understand that the term “only begotten” represents an adjective modifier to the noun “Son”.  An adjective is only required to limit the scope of the discussion of the types of the noun being referenced.  In other words if there is only one sun in the sky then there is no need to modify that noun to qualify which one you are speaking of.  The same is true of the moon in our sky.  When only one exists the need for qualification is eliminated.  Now what would happen if there were two moons in our night sky?  Then we would need to qualify which one we are referring to.  This is exactly what God is doing in John 3:16 with the adjective “only begotten”.

Now what does “begotten” mean and why is it found in so many translations?  Why was “begotten” omitted from many other translations to change the meaning?  What changes when the word “begotten” is eliminated?  We need to learn the facts in order to determine the truth and this is what we will attempt to do in this lesson.

Someone might try to ask if it is even important for us to believe the Bible correctly.   Why am I being so nitpicky to think that it makes a difference how we believe what John 3:16 actually says?   I would answer that question with this reply; does it matter if you believe the Koran is the truth or the Bible is the truth?  Does it matter if I believe they both are the truth?  They certainly contradict each other.  Therefore, they both can’t be the truth so does it matter which path you chose to be on?

Of course it does matter what we believe is the truth more than we can imagine.  Jesus very clearly said that He was the only way to be saved (John 14:6).   So now take that truth to the next level.  Does it matter if you believe that Jesus was just a man like those in Islam because according to the Koran He was just a prophet of Allah when He died or should we believe what God says in the Bible that He personally came down in the flesh to save us?  I hope you are getting the point.  If it does not matter greatly what we believe then God would not have given us His Word to study and learn.

Therefore, if a Koran or a Bible belief matters then it must also matter if Jesus was the “One and Only Son of God” or the “Only begotten Son of God”.  We just can’t omit one word that God included and think that it does not matter.  This is exactly what I was referring to with computer programming.  The omission of just one single letter, number or symbol can cause the entire design of the entire software to fail.  What I am getting at is that we need to learn as much accurate Bible as we can so that we are not deceived by someone that comes along with a message of one small lie mixed with good several truths.  How can we recognize the truth if we ignore the details of God’s Word?

I will warn you that this is an advanced Bible subject intended for spiritually mature Christians only.  It is not a rudimentary lesson that is designed to feed baby or young Christians the milk of the Word of God.  This lesson is definitely a meat subject that can cause immature Christians to choke.  If you do not feel like you are very spiritually mature then please just go read another lesson so that I do not offend you with something that you are unable to receive.  I will also warn you up front that this is another long Bible lessons with a lot of spiritual scriptural content.  Some subjects tend to grow lengthy because there is so much that needs to be taught from the Bible on any given subject.  I usually do this using a series of shorter Bible lessons, but these Bible Answer responses to reader questions are usually stand alone.  I hope you understand and will continue to read to the end.

In this lesson I will be using a minimum of 3 primary rules of sound Bible interpretation to verify the truth.  I will also introduce you to a concept that you have probably never been taught before.  This concept found in the Bible will teach us that there are at least 4 unique types of individuals that are called “sons of God” in the Bible.  I can already hear the gasps being loudly raised by that last statement.   People might be resistant to anything new simply because they have never heard it taught before.  But please do not reject the message without first reading what is taught with an open mind.  Then only after reading what is taught here do I ask that you become an Acts 17:11 type of more noble Christian and verify everything that is being taught using your own Bible study.   This is the only correct method to confirm what the Spirit of God wants us to know.  Work within God’s methods and grow or work apart from them and fail to see the truth.  It is each of our own personal choice.

CORRECT RULES OF INTERPRETATION

driving-in-manilaI am going to begin this Bible lesson by introducing some of the basic rules of valid Bible interpretation.  I will not be covering every rule that exists but these three will be used in this lesson for us to find the truth to what was written by God in the John 3:16 verse.  Can we begin by agreeing that rules are good?  What would be the outcome if driving on the road was a freeform chaotic madness with no rules to govern the actions of all of the drivers?  How many drivers would still be alive after a few days if driving was based upon a chaos random approach of  actions that allowed people to go however they wanted, where ever they wanted, how fast they wanted and whenever they wanted type of driving style?  If governments permitted unstructured driving methods to how fast they could go or where they could drive it would be an extremely dangerous environment.  This same principle of a no rules approach to Bible interpretation represents the same level of dangers except restricted to a mental or spiritual environment.  I hope that you can agree in this introduction with the need for good Bible interpretation rules.

I will use three rules of Bible Interpretation that the Holy Spirit taught me to use.  I did not learn these rules in any seminary so they may not adhere to your version of hermeneutics.  But I would rather attempt to follow God’s spiritual guidance than man’s rules because only God’s will give us the correct truth.  Please read these rules and then I will try to explain each briefly to help us learn how they work and why they are important to follow:

  1. Find and Use Hebrew and Greek Original Word Definitions
  2. Compare an Original Word’s Usage with Other Occurrences in the Bible
  3. Search for Direct Bible Contradictions to Balance each Scripture in Harmony

ORIGINAL WORD DEFINITIONS

One of the keys to correctly understanding any translated Bible verse is to judge each translated word using the comprehensive definitions of the words found in the original transcripts of the Bible.  Without studying the original word definitions we must trust and rely on an imperfect translator that was not inspired by the Spirit of God in what they wrote.  Also many translated English words like other languages transform or mutate into new or different applications and meanings as the world changes around us.   For example in the KJV Bible the Greek word that was often translated as “charity” would be almost always misunderstood by the majority of modern Bible readers.  The modern application of “Charity” is not what the word means in the original Greek.  This word was “agape” which represents the unique God kind of love.

These original word definitions are critical to discover.  Without them the original meanings were often lost in many of the modern translations.  I have heard some claim that the KJV Bible was God inspired and that no other Bible translation should ever be read.  These types of proponents often claim there is no need to study the original Greek or Hebrew words.  This is entirely a wrong belief based upon ignorance.  These types of people have been so deceived that they may never know or see the truth of God unless they learn to dig deep and study to find it.  I have discovered so many errors in the KJV Bible that leaves me no doubt that the original language study is indispensable to knowing the real truth.  You are free to disagree with me, but by you ignoring the original language this will help us to resolve why we differ on what any one verse means.  Let’s move on to another rule of correct understanding of the Bible.

OTHER BIBLE OCCURRENCES OF THE WORD

Another key to understanding specific original words is to go and look for God’s usage of the same Greek or Hebrew word in the rest of the Bible.  To do this we need to use our computer devices, smart phones or tablets to search in our Bible for all of the places where God uses only the exact same Greek or Hebrew word that we are trying to learn.  In doing this we obtain a more complete understanding of  this one word that we wish to study.  I need to emphasize that we do not search the Bible for the English translated word because more than one Greek or Hebrew word can be translated to the same English word.  For example the Greek language has at least 3 different words that mean a type of “love”.  But only God’s selection of the one can be compared correctly to learn how each verse usage is related.  If we attempted to mix the Greek word “philedelphia” (G5360) and the Greek word “agape” (G26) we would be mixing apples with oranges and only causing confusion.

This rule of interpretation allows us to see how one word in one verse relates to the other occurrences of the same word in other found verses.   This type of study method is what I call doing a “word study”.  There is also a type of study that I call a “subject” study that goes into considerably more detail but also take more effort to perform.  There are at least two different ways of doing a word study or a subject study.  First in a word study you can restrict your search to only using the direct Greek or Hebrew word in question.  This will shorten and limit the study considerably.  The Subject study would need to include the matching Hebrew word for the Greek word in question as well as include every other word that is a synonym of the word in question and this can take significantly more time but can also give great benefits to new truths.  Today I will only be performing a very basic word study for “only begotten”.

This word study technique of understanding the Bible introduces us to the concept of consistency and uniformity.  I have found through many years of Bible study that God is normally very consistent in His selection of words, their usage, their application and what they mean.  In other words if God wanted to say something differently in one verse from another verse, He would have used a different word.  I call this God’s “Intelligent Design” of His Words.  God knows every word and what they each mean better than you do, so do not attempt to change a word’s definition based upon some random human speculation or reasoning.   Keeping a Greek word’s definition consistent will help bring stability and balance to our understanding of every word being selected by God.  In review this step of correct Bible interpretation involves at minimum finding every occurrence of the Greek or Hebrew word being studied and reading each verse closely to see how it was used by God.  We then compare each verse to every other verse to understand how they are related attempting to understand why God chose this single word in each.  In doing this we attempt to balance every word’s usage into a single definition and application.  This can be simple or it can be complex based upon the number of times any word is used by God.  Some words are used less than 10 times (simple) and other times they are used many, many hundreds of time (complex).  Let’s move on to the next guideline for correct Bible understanding.

NO VERSE CONTRADICTS ANY OTHER VERSE

The next method of understanding correct Bible interpretation is for us to utilize the basic fact of truth that NO one Bible verse when correctly interpreted will EVER conflict or contradict with any other Bible verse when both are correctly interpreted.  Do you understand this rule?  This is another essential part of understanding absolutely anything in the Bible.  Realize that God is not stupid.  Then understand that God does not change or flip flop on truths, word definitions, thoughts, concepts or ideas.  God is not here today on this word’s definition and then there tomorrow on the same word.  God is not a Dr. Jekyll or a Mr. Hyde type of God.  God is a God of never changing goodness, purpose, character and qualities.  What God says today will never change tomorrow.   What God said in the beginning will remain true at the end and what was said will not reverse, disqualify or eliminate anything else that was spoken by God in between.  I do not know how to explain this rule more clearly.   If one verse says God has only one son and another verse says God has many other sons then one verse is clearly NOT TRANSLATED CORRECTLY.   There can be no conflicts within the Bible when understood correctly.  The only time a conflict exists is when a human does not correctly comprehend the truth of what was spoken by God.

I am going to apply these three basic rules of correct Bible interpretation and understanding to answer the question “Was Jesus the One and Only Son of God”.   After you see what God and the Bible actually says about this subject you must agree that Jesus was not the one and only son of God.   I will begin with the rule of searching for the original word definitions to find what God meant by them and then this will help guide us to what the word means in the verse that we are questioning.

G3439 ORIGINAL WORD DEFINITION

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten (G3439) Son (G5207), that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV)

This verse has become very controversial by Satan’s design. This verse was previously held up in football games like the Super Bowl until it was banned by the NFL again by Satan’s design.   It has been cried loudly on street corners to passing people that walked by indifferently and ignored the message.   It has been preached on TV and in many churches by countless preachers.  It is one of the first verses that a child learns and memorizes in Sunday school.  However this verse has stirred up a modern dilemma and debate asking was Jesus the One and Only Son of God as the NIV and many churches claim?   The translation that I opened with was the KJV Bible and it is stated to say “only begotten”.  However you already observed in the NIV how it was changed to say something almost completely different.

While the NIV change on the surface seems to be insignificant to many, the underlying application of the subtle difference is very profound.  If Jesus was the one and only Son as the NIV Bible states then this verse translation invalidates a great number of scriptures in the rest of the Bible.  This NIV translation purposefully causes a direct conflict within God’ Word and that teaches us that we need to determine the resolution to the conflict in order to correctly understand this part of the Bible.  We will do this by beginning to see what the original Greek word means as defined in the original language using the Strong’s dictionary:

G3439

From G3441 and G1096; only born, that is, sole: – only (begotten, child).

The Greek word translated into English as “only begotten” in the KJV Bible is “G3439” and it is a single Greek word that is created from the combination of two other Greek root words.   The first Greek root word designates the single or solitary occurrence of something, someone or somewhere.  This Greek word is where the translators got the application of the English word “only” which is correct so far.  However, the second Greek word designates something that was made or caused to be.   Let’s stop there and consider what is stated when something was caused to be or made?  Anything made was not in existence previously and that only means that Jesus was a new type of Son and nothing else can be assumed from this definition or it would be adding to it or changing what was given by God.  These two Greek words literally mean that Jesus was uniquely made and did not compare with anyone previously created or anyone that was subsequently created.  However it does not mean that there are no other types of sons that came into existence in some other way.  Do you understand this so far?

Let me use an analogy of an automobile.  There are many types of automobiles, but yet someone can also create or make one unique auto that was created as a special custom model that is unlike all the others.  People do this all the time.  This new custom car could be called this type of “only made” (G3439) model of cars.  That is exactly what Jesus is being called in this definition.  This definition does not mean that there are no other sons of God; it only means that this one named Jesus was made especially unique unlike every other son.   Think about it before you reject it.  Was Jesus uniquely made?  I personally do not know of another human that came from a virgin woman, do you?  I think that makes Jesus especially different than me and you.

The Strong’s dictionary further defines this Greek word as “only born”.  What does this mean?  I think this part of the definition also applies to Jesus very well.  Were there any other naturally born sons of God?  Not according to the Bible as we will soon learn.  The New Testament is very explicit in declaring Jesus to be the only naturally born Son of God.  This is the literal definition for “only begotten’ in John 3:16.  To be called the “only begotten” means that Jesus was God’s only naturally born child.  Again this does not disqualify other sons or children of God from existing using this correct definition.  Did you know that God is all powerful?  God being “omniscient” and “omnipotent” simply means that God is able and knows how to make a new unique child if He so desires to do it.  This was God’s design of Jesus.

In the Thayer dictionary he makes the point that this Greek word G3439 is only used to describe a son or a daughter when viewed within their relationship to the stated parent(s).  That is a very important part of the meaning and we will discover this as we continue through the other rules of interpretation.  When using the Thayer consideration we must now deliberate who the parents of Jesus Christ were.  Any serious Bible student will say that Jesus was both the Son of God and the son of a natural virgin woman named Mary.  But we must eliminate Mary from this “only begotten” participation since in John 3:16 it is only speaking of God the Father who gave His Son to save the world with no mention of Mary.  We should also know from further Bible study that Mary had other natural children born from the union with her husband Joseph.  Therefore, Jesus was not the “only begotten” son of Mary.  Nowhere in the Bible is Jesus called the only begotten of Mary and there are a lot of people that need to learn that fact.  What I am introducing you to is what this Greek G3439 word means.  Jesus was the only naturally born son of God and this is the only way that this can be correctly interpreted based upon the definition and the contextual subject matter.  Uh oh I just introduced another important rule of correct Bible interpretation that was not one of the 3 that I was going to use today. This new rule states that no one can take any verse out of context to make it say what it was not intended to say within the context.

You see in John the 3rd chapter Jesus is speaking to a natural man named Nicodemus that asks Jesus how to be saved.  Jesus tells this man that he must be “born again” in order to enter into the kingdom of God.  Clearly Jesus was teaching Nicodemus about birth types in this chapter.  Jesus is using two contrasting types of birth to explain salvation.  Jesus was saying to Nicodemus that there is a coming spiritual birth that must occur after the natural birth occurs.  We will soon discover in this Bible lesson that there are many spiritual births that have occurred since Jesus was raised from the dead.  However, please note that up until this point in John 3 that no man was ever born again because the sacrifice for their sins had not yet taken place on the cross.  It is within this context of the subject of births that we find this Greek word G3439 that was translated as “only begotten”.   It makes logical sense to conclude “only begotten” son of God is related to the contextual subject of birth types.

Therefore, the “only begotten” son of God could only represent Jesus coming into the world through a natural birth experience and could not be related to this coming spiritual birth that Jesus described.  This again is what this “only begotten” Greek word means.  God only had one Son that was naturally born and His name was Jesus Christ.  God’s usage of this Greek word to describe Jesus teaches us that only He could be called the naturally made, created or born Son of God.   However, that still does not mean that there are no other types of sons of God that were spiritually born or created by some other methods.  I hope you understand this but if not it should become clearer as we continue through the other verses found in the Bible on this subject.

OTHER VERSES WITH THE GREEK WORD G3439

If you search the New Testament you will find this Greek word G3439 that was translated as “only begotten” in John 3:16 is only found in 8 other verses.  Five times it is used to describe Jesus in relation to His Father God but 4 times it is used to describe other naturally born children that were the only begotten son in direct relation to his earthly mother.  For example, in Luke 7:12 God describes a man being carried out at a funeral and he is called by this name G3439 as being this mother’s only born son.   What this means is that this dead man was her only child that she actually conceived inside her and gave birth to.  Notice that only the mother is mentioned in this verse because of her presence.  I would also like to point out that the KJV translators made the same mistake as the NIV translators did in John 3:16.  In the KJV, Luke 7:12 says that this man was her “only (G3439) son (G5207)” but they intentionally leave out “begotten” part of the definition and that makes it an error.  This woman could have had other adopted sons but that would be ignored by the translators from what God intended it to say.

What I want you to begin to see is that an “only born son” is always given using the relationship to only the specific parent being mentioned and does not necessarily apply to the other parent involved.  There is no mention of the father in Luke 7:12 and he could have had many children through other women like Jacob did in the O.T. before he died.  People like to put God into an oversimplified human box of limitations.  However the Bible says very clearly that what is impossible with men is possible with God (Mat 19:26).   So while a natural woman may have had only one naturally born son it is entirely possible for God to have other types of children that were not naturally born even though Jesus is still called His only begotten.  Do you understand this?

I am certainly not teaching you that God had other naturally born children other than Jesus.  Jesus by definition from the dictionary and word use application was the only naturally born Son of God that ever existed.   Just please do not limit God to say this is the only way that He can produce children.  That would be very foolish if someone believes their limits placed upon God effects what God is able to do.  If we continue to look through the book of Luke we will find two other examples of this Greek word G3439.  In Luke 8:42 a ruler of the synagogue came to Jesus asking Him to come and heal his “only born” daughter.  I will just tell you that this is the same type of translation error example as seen before in the NIV.  The daughter being described is not the only daughter in the nation born but she was this man named Jairus’ only born daughter.   Again the KJV translators get it very wrong and leave out the word begotten.  In fact the KJV translators in this verse added the word one to further confuse people.  Instead of being consistent and making the word “only begotten” they changed it to “one only”.  This just proves that there are errors in the KJV Bible the same as other translations.  Now let’s look at the next word occurrence also found in a verse in Luke:

Luk 9:38  And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child.

Here again is an example of a very wrong translation.  It should not say “only child” it should rather say “only begotten” or “only born”.  The word child is not found in the original Greek word.  If God would have wanted the word child to be included in this verse He would have added the Greek word G5043 that is normally translated as “child” in several other N.T. verses, for example:

Luk 1:7  And they had no child (G5043), because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

Here in this verse God is saying that this couple does not have a child.  The woman Elisabeth is said to have been barren.  What we can learn from this truth is that God has other words in the Greek language that literally means a child.  So if God wanted to say “only child” in Luke 9:32 it could have been accomplished using other specific Greek words that actually mean that.  The translators thought they were making a good assumption but this simply produces inconsistences that were not stated by God.  God selected by His choice to say “only begotten” or “only born” and this was the correct original meaning.  It is just so obvious to me that if God wanted to say “only child” that He would have said G3441 (only) followed by G5043 (child) and this would have matched what the KJV translators thought.  However since God did not say this why did the translator not understand what they were doing was changing God’s word into something that was not stated causing a potential confusion to occur.

The last occurrence of G3439 not being used to describe Jesus is found in the book of Hebrews.  In this verse God is describing Abraham and his “only begotten” son named Isaac.  Let’s examine this verse and consider the implications given by God on this subject of Jesus:

Heb 11:17  By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

Notice that God calls Isaac the “only begotten” of Abraham.  Uh oh, that is a major problem since Abraham had several other children.  The first born of Abraham was a child named Ishmael and this child was born from Hagar.  God does not consider this child to be an heir of promise.  Also if you read in and study in Genesis I believe that you will discover that Abraham had other children later after Isaac.  Yet God still calls Isaac the “only begotten”.  What this teaches us is that God could have had other children before Jesus Christ as well as other children after Jesus Christ and that the existence of these other children still cannot disqualify Jesus to be called the “only begotten”.  I know that this is potentially complex information but Abraham is a type pattern that was given by God in the Old Testament to teach us about spiritual truths.  You see if you read in Galatians 4 carefully you will discover that God teaches us that the life of Abraham represents an allegory of spiritual truth that is much deeper than the natural story.  I am not going to go into this allegory in depth today because that will take too much time.  You should go and read my other Bible lessons to discover what this allegory represents.

I believe we need to be consistent when viewing this Greek G3439.  I believe we can clearly see that every time it is selected by God in the New Testament that it is in reference to an “only born” child in reference to a single parent.  You can go through every reference in Luke and see this very clearly.  You can find this pattern again in Hebrews when God only speaks about Abraham and his only begotten son Isaac.  Consistency is an important factor.

ARE THERE ANY “ONLY SON OF GOD” CONFLICTS IN THE BIBLE?

The next rule of correct Bible interpretation involves researching for potential conflicts to any given statement.  If the NIV Bible translation is correct claiming that Jesus is the ONE AND ONY SON OF GOD then there better not be any other verses found in the Bible that contradict with that statement.  If only one verse is found that can be shown to disagree directly then there is a major problem with one of the verses being read.  So here we go with discovering the conflicts of the statement “One and Only Son of God”.  We will begin with Genesis 6:2:

Gen 6:2  That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

Here is another potentially ontroversial verse.  Many have tried to explain away this verse as not saying what God describes.  There are two separate types of individuals being described by God in this verse.  There are the “sons of God” and the “daughters of Adam”.  If the father of the sons of God is God then the father of the daughters of men must clearly be Adam.  Perhaps you do not see it so clearly.  If you research the Hebrew word translated as “men” in this verse you will discover that it is the Hebrew word H120 and this is the exact same Hebrew word as H121 that was translated as “Adam”.  Therefore these women originated from Adam and these other beings had to originate from the spiritual creator God and they cannot be the same because of the two different associated fathers being described.  Perhaps I need to tell you that this Hebrew word translated as “God” in this verse is one of the most popular names for God in the O.T. Bible.  This Hebrew word H430 is found in over 2200 verses in the Old Testament.  Nine times out of ten it was translated as “God” starting in Genesis 1:1 where it was first used to describe the creator.  The other Hebrew word used in conjunction with this name of God is H1121 which was used to describe a “son” is defined to be a male builder of the specified family name.  The family name here is God and the sons are clearly his spiritual children within His personal family.  In order to confirm who these “sons of God” represent in Genesis 6, we need to look for other examples of these same word combinations in the Bible just as we did with our search for the “only begotten” Greek word.  If you do the search you will find some important verses that help to reveal who these sons of God are:

Job 1:6  Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

In the book of Job, God again describes the “sons (H1121) of God (H430)” but this time using some new contextual realities.  The previous Genesis 6 setting was definitely set upon the earth with human female interaction but this time in Job this same group of beings are found to be in the very presence of God in heaven.   What type of beings can be found both here on the earth and up in heaven in the presence of God?  If you do not understand that these are angels then you will need to go study the subject of angels in more depth before continuing.  I will give you a verse from a dream that God gave to Jacob and this will help establish that angels can travel between these two separate dimensions:

Gen 28:12  And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

These sons of God must be angels based upon the logical facts given.  There are other verses that we could explore but I need to move on.  Please notice that Satan appears with the “sons of God” in Job 1:6.  This is actually a very interesting concept given by God and implies a great deal of hidden information.  The Hebrew word H8432 that was translated as “among” in Job 1:6 literally means that Satan was in the center of them.  This Hebrew word represents a bisection of the group of “sons of God” with one half being on the left side of Satan and the other half being on the right side of Satan standing before God.  This places Satan as the implied leader of the “sons of God”.   We know from reading in Ezekiel and Isaiah that Satan was one of the chief angels if not the chief leader of them all.  Also notice that the position of Satan being in the center of the “sons of God” means that Satan was also one of this group of sons by association.  Did you know that Satan and the angels were called “sons of God”?  Let me give you some additional proof:

Isa 14:12  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

Here in this verse the individual named Lucifer is called a literal “son” of the morning.  The morning is actually a poor translation because this Hebrew Word H7837 means “dayspring” or more literally “early light” or even “first light”.   The emphasize detail in this definition is the light and the timing of its appearing. Who is called The Light in the New Testament?  God is clearly called “Light” in 1 John 1:5.  Also Jesus claimed to be the light in John 8:12, John 9:5 and John 12:46.  But since Jesus was God in the flesh both are equally the Light.  I think I need to give you another key verse to this puzzle:

Luk 1:78  Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,

You can clearly see from this verse that Jesus was called the “dayspring” from on high.  This literally means that Jesus was God but it also confirms who Satan was as a revealed son of God in Isaiah 14:12.  If you look up the definition of “dayspring” you will see plainly that this Greek word in Luke 1:78 has the meaning of the early light of dawn and it is a perfect match for the Hebrew word definition of “morning” or “dayspring”.   What God is revealing to us in these verses is that Lucifer was one of the first created beings that God produced.  Early light in the context that God is Light simply means the preceding order of time which is a difficult concept for us to grasp about a God who lives outside the dimension of time.  God is clearly indicating to us that Lucifer was His son before Jesus became His son.  I know that is hard to grasp for many people because it is new information.  Just keep in mind that Jesus was God who created everything and that He had children called angels before He ever had a Son name Jesus.  All of this will become clearer as we continue to discover who are represented as the other “sons of God” in the Bible.

I want you to notice in Isaiah 14:12 that the Hebrew word H1121 translated as “son” is repeated in this verse the same as in Job 1 and Genesis 6 for the “sons of God”.  God claims that Satan is a builder of His family name.  The name of God is His family and God of course is the head of the family being the Father of all spirits.  Perhaps this is a good time to introduce a New Testament confirmation verse that is related to this subject of sons and fathers:

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

Here is a very revealing verse for the discussion of spiritual fathers and spiritual sons.   God is being named the spiritual Father of all spiritual beings.  Is Satan a spiritual being?  Is every angel a spiritual being?  You must understand that created Satan and every created angel are both eternal and spiritual beings before you continue to learn more complex Bible truths.  I try not to teach anything without at least giving you a reference for what is being stated so I will give one about angels being spirits to help you see it:

Heb 1:14  Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Reading this verse in context you will discover God speaking of angels.  God declares His angels to be ministering spirits sent to minister for those that are heirs of salvation.  I know this is talking about me because I’m an heir of salvation.  Therefore God’s ministering spirits (angels) will be there for me to help in this world.  What I have just done is establish a basic truth of angels being called “sons”.  Since God is clearly called the Father of every spirit in the Bible.  I hope you are beginning to learn how poorly translated the NIV Bible was in John 3:16.  We have just witnessed the reality that every spiritual being is called a child of the spiritual God who is called Father.  This literally means that we should find this father and son theme in the Bible in other places.

I have only introduced you to the second type of a son of God found in the Bible.  Jesus was my first type called the “Only Begotten” but before Jesus we found that angels were previously called God’s sons as the second revealed type of a son.  Technically speaking angels existed first as sons before God became His own Son in the natural form of Jesus.  Did you notice what I just said?  God created everything and everyone and He clearly self-existed eternally.  However, the eternal God chose to become His own son before the foundation of the world to redeem us from our sins as well as accomplish many other things that I can’t get into in this lesson.  God becoming a Son being born 4000 years after the creation of Adam was clearly a mystery that took Satan by complete surprise.  However the wisdom of God prevailed and we find that truly “All things are possible with God”.  I hope you understand this truth of the eternal Spirit of God manifesting as a human Son because this defeated Satan and set you free from Satan’s rule.

What I have just given to you is the realization that before Jesus physically existed that there were other spiritual beings called angels that are referred to by God as His spiritual children.   This is enough of a conflict to cause us to reconsider the NIV translation of the verse in John 3:16.  But there are many other verses that also cause additional conflict.  Let’s look at another important verse:

Rom 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Here is an additional verse that was written to the church (me and you if you are a Christian) that conflicts with the belief of “one and only son” of God.  This verse indicates that those that are led by God’s Spirit will also be called God’s children.  Are you a spirit?   Do you remember that God is called the Father of spirits?  God has made you a son when you were previously not His son.  How did these people being led become God’s children?  We have to do further research in order to answer that question and this answer is found here in this verse:

Joh 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Do you believe in the name of Jesus?  Have you received Jesus Christ?  If you have done both of these then you qualify to be called a son/child of God.  Now consider what else this verse says.  This verse clearly indicates that we were once not His child but have become this son by God’s plan of salvation.  Uh oh!  That raises too many questions that just cannot be answered fully in this Bible lesson.  You see you were a spirit being before being saved but yet you had to become saved in order to become this new son of God status.  If God created our spirit and He was previously our Father then how did we lose this son status in order to need this again?   The Bible is a highly complex book of spiritual information and this is just one mystery of the many that God solves by His extreme wisdom.  I will not answer this question in this lesson so if you want to know this you will have to leave a comment and ask for the answer or go find it for yourself.  However, I will give you this verse since it is found in the context of my main subject of John 3:16 to help confirm what I have just said:

Joh 3:3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

In the context of John 3:16 we find Jesus telling a man that he must be “born again”.  Uh oh again!  What does this mean?   Nicodemus thought that it meat that he needed to reenter his mother’s womb and be born naturally and that was not what Jesus was teaching.  Jesus was teaching a spiritual birth and not a natural birth.  Notice what Jesus confirms here.  Unless you are born again spiritually you will not enter into the kingdom of God.  That means before we were born again we were not in God’s family and needed to be saved (born again) to become a member of His family.  Being a son/child of God is essential to being saved.  We were once not His children but now being born of the Spirit of God have become His children and this is the new third type of son being described in the Bible.  This son type differs from every other son type previously mentioned and yet there is still a fourth type of son that has not yet been mentioned.  Let’s discover the fourth type of son of God that was not like the only begotten Jesus, the angels or the born again church.  Here is where I will start next:

Luk 3:38  Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

This is another controversial verse that is ignored by most non-serious Bible students.  This is the genealogy of Jesus Christ recorded by the author Luke given to us by the inspiration of God.  This genealogy proceeds in reverse order all the way from Jesus back to Adam and then finally concluding with God the Father of every spiritual being.  Every named pair represents a father and his son relationship however the Greek word for “son” is not included so many believe that this was omitted to allow God not to be called the Father of Adam.  However that is just the deception of Satan trying to keep you from learning the truth to what is stated in this genealogy.  Let me go back to the top of the list and show you the beginning:

Luk 3:23  And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,

Notice what God says here.  God says Jesus was SUPPOSEDLY the son of Joseph.   Any learned Bible student knows that God is correct to state it this way since God was His Father and not Joseph.  Now consider the end of the list of names using the light of the beginning.  If Adam was not the Son of God then God would have said “SUPPOSELY” again and since He did not do that we know that Adam was a created fourth type of a son of God.   Now to confirm this we need to go back to read Genesis 2 where God created the man named Adam.  Read this chapter in full if you like.  I will not quote it all because I want you to focus on verse 26 primarily:

Gen 2:24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

This verse was written about Adam leaving his Father to be joined to his wife.  Who then was his father that he left if not God?  It has to be God that was the spiritual Father of Adam.  I know this because of what we read previously in Hebrews 12:9 where God is declared to be the Father of every spirit.  If you go back up in the chapter at Genesis 2:7 you will read where God breathes the breath of life into Adam.  This Hebrew word translated as breath is the same word that means “spirit” and this word teaches us when and where Adam received his spirit directly from God his spiritual Father.

We have now discovered 4 types of sons of God and there is at least one other type but that is sufficient overwhelming evidence that John 3:16 cannot be correctly translated as “ONE AND ONLY SON”.  This erroneous translation simply conflicts with too many other verses in the Bible that teaches us about other “sons of God” that existed before Jesus came to the earth and after Jesus returned to heaven.  I received one additional question that I will end with in this lesson.  I received a question about Jesus having brothers and who these brothers were.  I have alluded to this truth in some of my other Bible lessons but never fully explained it.  I may not be able still to fully explain it here but I will at least introduce the subject for your consideration.

If there are multiple types of sons of God as I have demonstrated and God is the Father of them all, then  it makes good logical sense that Jesus has brothers/siblings.  If Jesus is a Son of God which He clearly is then every other son of God must also be His brother.   In many of the parables taught to us by Jesus there is more than one son given.  Even within Old Testament typology there are many examples of multiple sons. For example, Isaac was a half-brother of Ishmael.   Isaac was accepted and the older brother Ishmael was cast out.  This is a common pattern found in the Old Testament types.  For example, there was Cain and Abel the first two sons of Adam mentioned by God.  Abel was killed by his older brother Cain.  Abel’s offering was accepted by God but Cain’s was not.  Then there was Jacob and his older brother Esau.  Again Esau the firstborn was rejected but the younger Jacob was chosen by God.  Abel, Isaac and Jacob are all clearly types of Jesus Christ.  Yet who are these brothers a type of?  I personally believe that they are types of Satan.  I have other Bible lessons where I address these subjects so I will not repeat it here.

What I am doing is teaching you that Jesus had spiritual brothers.  We now know that Adam was a brother of Jesus since God was both of their direct spiritual Fathers.  We should also now know that Satan was a brother of Jesus since he was called a son of the early light in Isaiah.  We also know from reading that we Christians are also called spiritual brothers/sisters of Jesus if we have become “born again” by the Spirit of God and being led by His Spirit.  How do we know this?  Well we know this because Jesus was called the “firstborn” from the dead in Colossians 1:18.   That verse teaches us that this means Jesus was given preeminence by God’s design being the first to be born again from the dead.  Wow God teaches us some pretty hard things for us to grasp.  Who understood that Jesus was talking about Himself being born again in John 3?    If Jesus was the first then there are others that followed Him being called second, third, fourth and etc.   There are many other verses that teach us that we are called brothers and sisters of Christ.  For example we are called “joint heirs” with Christ Jesus in Romans 8:17.  What is an heir?  An heir is normally a child that inherits what is left after the Father/Parent dies.  Who died to make us an heir with Jesus?  It was Jesus who died to allow us to become an heir.  This is just another divine mystery.  God died and became the first heir and this act of God allows us to become the same in subsequent numbered positions.  This is a very complex spiritual subject that is not known or understood by many Christians.

Today in this Bible lesson I want to reemphasize the fact that I am not taking away from the deity of Jesus Christ nor am I reducing His most significant Son of God status with the existence of other created sons of God.  I always capitalize Jesus as the Son of God and any other being like Lucifer was but a mere son of God.   I fully acknowledge Jesus Christ as being Supreme.  Just because I taught you that there are other types of sons of God that exist in the Bible that does not disqualify the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit within the trinity.  These three are the One True God.  If you perceived any other message from this Bible lesson than what I just stated here then you need to go back and reread this lesson again and again.

My website is called “Advanced Bible Study”.  This is one of those types of lessons that have been designed for spiritually mature Christians.  I went over many things that will be rejected by a lot of immature people who call themselves Christians but yet that is the nature of teaching advanced subjects to students who are only capable of understanding simple basic subjects. I used 3 to 4 basic rules of good Bible interpretation to confirm the truth in this lesson.  You should have learned these rules so that you can apply them in your Bible study.  If you disagree with this lesson please do not leave me any nasty comments.  I really am not going to change what I teach if you are incapable of understanding spiritual truths.  I thank those that can see the truth and understand why it is important to learn.  I could not include everything in this lesson so if you have questions I am willing to hear them and see if I can help you to understand anything that was not covered sufficiently.  In conclusion I will give you the list of 4 types of sons of God:

  1. Only Begotten (natural born) Son (Jesus Christ)
  2. The angelic beings are called the sons of God created before the world existed
  3. The born again church are called sons of God if they are led by the Spirit of God
  4. Adam created as a son of God who left his Father to be joined to his wife

I hope that you enjoyed this advanced Bible lesson and will leave me a positive comment or question if you learned anything that you can share with others please do that also.  Also please point others to this website to help the Word of God to be spread to the entire world.  Post links to my Bible lessons on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site where people can learn about Jesus. I thank you and may God continue to bless you as you are led by His Spirit with me.  God Bless!

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

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

THE RAPTURE IN OLD TESTAMENT TYPOLOGY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RAPTURE TIMING IN THE LIGHT OF THE SEVENTY WEEKS OF DANIEL

Daniels_70weeks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What God is telling us is that the Messiah (Jesus Christ) will be killed after 62 weeks.  That is a different break down of the time period called the 69 weeks that was previously mentioned in the last verse.  What God is revealing is that there will be a 7 week timed event followed by a 62 week timed event and then Messiah will come after the full 69 weeks are fulfilled.  Do you understand this?  This verse is just a new further description of what occurs during the time that occurs before the end of the 69