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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 1.3) 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.  But, I don’t only want to teach you what God gave to me, but also I wish 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.

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 1.1)  This will be a detailed advanced Bible answer to a very difficult question that I received from someone after they read the Revelation 12 series of lessons found on this website.  This is an advanced Bible study designed to be only for spiritually mature Christians.  Spiritually mature to me is defined as anyone that has been born again and Spirit filled more than 5 years that has studied the Bible continually during this time to allow spiritual growth of the fruits of the Spirit to occur.  You may or may not agree with that definition but this is generally how God has taught me to view it.  This Bible lesson will go over some very technical concepts even though I will attempt to describe them as simply as I can.  This Bible lesson will introduce some new concepts you have never heard before and thus it will be controversial in nature.  I ask you to be the judge of your spiritual maturity.  If you feel that you do not qualify to meet the criteria for an advanced Bible study I would recommend that you go study a different Bible lesson on my website.  I try to warn new Christians of this at the beginning of many of my advanced Bible lessons so that I do not offend anyone with a meat lesson when they are in need of a milk lesson like Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 3:2.

The root of the reader’s question was “When did Satan fall from heaven?”  The reader’s question arose from the specific part of the Revelation 12 lesson that taught us everything after chapter 4 of Revelation is future tense and has not yet occurred.  This part of the Revelation 12 teaching was established upon a literal interpretation of God’s statement to John from the voice speaking from heaven in Revelation 4:1.  This voice told John to come up to heaven so that he could be shown things that would soon happen after being taken up to heaven.  The clear conclusion drawn from this statement is that nothing that is recorded by John after Revelation 4:1 has yet occurred or the voice from heaven would have been made a liar.  Since the Bible declares that it is impossible for God to lie, I just choose to believe what He said.

Why was this question asked about when Satan fell?   There is a potential conflict brewing with two different verses of the New Testament.  First, reading in Revelation 12:9 you can see that Satan is cast down to the earth never to have a place found in heaven again.   This would indicate that the casting down of Satan from heaven is a future event and has not transpired based upon Revelation 4:1.  But my reader was prompt to point out that in Luke 10:18 Jesus claimed to have seen (translated as beheld a past tense English word) Satan fall from heaven like lightning and this would cause a major conflict with what I taught in the Revelation 12 series if they are speaking of the same event fall.  The statement that Jesus makes in Luke appears to indicate that Satan has already been cast down from heaven.  So which one is it?  Did Satan already fall from heaven as stated by Jesus in the KJV or will Satan’s fall occur in the future as indicated by Revelation 12?  Or has Satan already fallen once in the past and then in the tribulation he will fall from heaven again for the last time?  There are just so many possibilities and difficult questions to answer and learn about.

IS EVERYTHING AFTER REVELATION 4:1 IN THE FUTURE?

This section will be a review of what God said in the previous lessons on the “True Identity of the Woman in Revelation 12”.  If you have read that and do not dispute what I taught then you could skip this section of review.  However if you would like to learn some new things concerning this and how we resolve this significant Bible conflict please continue to read.  A potential scripture conflict is the reason for the rest of this Bible lesson today.  It is impossible for the Bible to be in direct opposition to itself when every verse is interpreted correctly.  Therefore, if anyone wants to learn when Satan was thrown down from heaven please continue to read otherwise you can go find another Bible lesson on this website concerning a different subject that you are interested in learning.  I hope that you understand the problem and want to learn the resolution.  Let’s review the verse in Revelation 4:1 to begin our study to resolve another Bible controversy on whether Revelation 12 is future tense or past tense or both:

Rev 4:1  After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

The Greek word G3326 which was translated as “hereafter” is also many times translated as “after” or “afterward”.  If you are observant you will notice that the verse begins with this word.  In this usage it indicates a position of time beyond the current/present timeframe using a logical order of expressed or implied events in their proper arranged sequence.  I hope that did not sound too technical.  I’ll try to explain.  For example if event A occurs first, followed by event B next and these are followed finally by event C, then B would come “after” A and C would be “after” both A and B in their collated sequence.  Do you understand the concept of ordered arrangement and sequence?  These are God created patterns and models and they represent His intelligent design of our world.

Keep in mind that this same Greek word is used several times in this exact manner to state a preceding event followed by another subsequent stated event like in “after (G3326) 6 days Jesus takes them up” (Mat 17:1).  Using this definition that I just gave you it is very plain that at the conclusion of a 6 day event a new event of going up with Jesus is the stated to occur.  Now take this information back to what was given to us by God in Revelation 4:1.  God’s usage of this word in Revelation 4:1 means after the event where John was taken up to heaven he will be shown more events that will come in the future and this is actually a very important concept for the rest of this lesson.  This is not rocket science but people still refuse to believe what God just said.  Let me give you the sequence of events given to us in Revelation 4:1:

  1. After 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 sequential order because of the establishment of order from the preceding steps.  In other words the revealed future events are simply an extension of the previous steps given.  Therefore, nothing in the future could be random, unordered or chaotic when shown to John to write down.  Knowing these facts, any attempt to interpret any recorded event of Revelation 5 through 22 as a “past tense” historical event renders God as a liar.  Was God incapable of understanding the difference between future tense events and past tense events?  I personally do think so and just choose to believe what God says, don’t you?

Now let me quickly get into this point about Revelation 4:1.  The apostle John was a prophet of God, yes?  Wasn’t John just shown the future before it had occurred?   Could this have been given to him by a divine spiritual vision from God?  I believe firmly that it was a divine vision of the future.  After this vision of the future what would John’s description of these events have been to those that he was speaking to in the natural?   Do you understand what I am asking you?   John talking about the woman in Revelation 12 would have said “I beheld a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet” and this would have been a past tense statement even though it had not yet occurred.   Now do you see it?   John the prophet could speak like it had happened even though it was still yet to come.   I want you to keep this in mind as we study what Jesus said about seeing Satan fall from heaven like lightning.

The fact that Revelation 4:1 states that the things following are future events causes many Bible teachers great turmoil and confusion simply because they cannot or do not yet understand how some of these recorded events in Revelation can be events that have not already occurred.  For example the vast majority of Bible teachers teach that the pregnant woman of Revelation 12 is the historical account of the birth of Jesus.  These Bible teachers simply believe that some events like this one in Revelation 12 concerning the pregnant woman were recorded by John “out of sequence” from the stated timeline of reference given to us clearly by God.  However, just because someone does not understand how an event can happen in the future does not mean that it will not happen and you need to know that.   One natural woman giving birth to a natural male child named Jesus in the Gospels does not mean that this same type of event can not or will not spiritually occur again in the future?  I probably just lost a lot of readers making that statement.  You see the woman in Revelation 12 is a spiritual woman and not a natural woman as I have already taught you in that lesson series on this chapter.  She is symbolic by definition because she is wearing symbolic clothing and standing on a symbolic figure of Satan.  This symbolic woman cannot be Mary.  This symbolic woman cannot be natural Israel either.  I’m not going to teach this again so if you do not understand it go read those lessons and believe what God says.

There are just so many Christian people who are not thinking spiritually in this world.  I wish people would quit pretending that they understand the whole Bible because only God knows it all and the rest of us are still learning.  Please stop making assumptions in your mind that limit what God is capable of doing.  If you did not just comprehend what I said, I will say it again using different words to help everyone realize that I believe firmly that everything after Revelation 4:1 happens in literal chronological order and has not yet occurred because the beginning of the 7 year tribulation period has not yet begun.   If you still do not understand what chronological means, it is a word that defines a situation where one event comes after another event and they do not and cannot occur out of the ordered sequence of time.

Here is the problem with many teachers’ interpretation of the book of Revelation.  They are viewing things from a narrowed perspective of traditional theological teachings filled with error and not thinking or taking into account the facts provided by God.  Also they do not rightly divide between which verses are literal statements and which are symbolic or figurative statements.  Further they do not discern correctly between spiritual realities and natural realities.  Many Bible teachers must ignore Revelation 4:1 in order to teach an out of sequence series of events.   They are very creative in doing this and it often appears legitimate until we read the verse in Revelation 4:1 and actually begin to believe what God literally said.   One of the number one rules of correct Bible interpretation will be for us to take the Bible literally when it makes sense to do so.  Revelation 4:1 is an example of this type of verse that states a literal truth that needs to be incorporated and balanced with the rest of the book of Revelation.

I will point out that I have heard Bible teachers revert back to the first chapter of Revelation in order to explain how things later in the book occur out of sequence.  They use a statement made by Jesus to help justify what they teach about Revelation 12 being out of timed sequence.  I will give you this statement by the Lord Jesus to help you better judge this attempt at believing an out of sequence book of Revelation:

Rev 1:19  Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

It is clear that Jesus tells John to write these things for us to read.  Therefore the entire book of Revelation is a revealing of God’s wisdom from the lips of Jesus Christ.  You need to understand that “revelation” in the Greek language means “uncovering” or “to take off the cover”.  Therefore God has placed information in this book that is very important to understand the rest of the Bible.   But, then Jesus divides these written things into three separate categories of timed events or references of time.   These three categories were the things that were “past”, the things that are “present” and the things that shall be hereafter in the “future”.  However did you just notice that these three timings were listed by God in the chronological order that they occur and they were not given to us out of sequence?   That is the first very important thing that needs to be understood.  Jesus is giving us an indirect clue to how things are ordered and arranged in the book of Revelation.  Jesus confirms with this statement that the entire book is in chronological order.   Then notice that the Greek word for the future events (G3326; hereafter) is the same Greek word used by God in Revelation 4:1 for the same future events.  In other words God is very consistent in the definition of this Greek word for “hereafter” in the book of Revelation when it is used in this manner.

I have heard at least one Bible teacher try to take this verse attempting to explain how the book of Revelation contains past, present and future events which is a true statement.  However they make an error when then they say these events occur in random order in the book.  They misapply this verse to explain why certain chapters appear to have information that they think are not chronological.  They claim that since Jesus said this book contains every category of timed information that it may legally display these in any random order.  However, that would be an erroneous assumption based upon ignorance and it would still contradict with what God said in Revelation 4:1.  Which is true?  Is Jesus speaking in Revelation 1:19 true or is the voice coming from heaven in Revelation 4:1 true?  I will tell you plainly that both statements are correct and are the truth but they both do not apply to the whole rest of the book.  The statement of Jesus is true for the first three chapters of Revelation and the statement of God in Genesis 4 is true for the rest of the book being future tense.  This is not that complicated people.  Please pray and ask God to open your spiritual eyes so that you can learn the truth.

ASKING JESUS WHEN SATAN FELL

The previous part of the lesson was just the introduction for the answer to the real question.  The question asked by the reader was based upon the fact that if the later chapters after chapter 4 of Revelation are future tense “how could Jesus’ state in Luke 10:18 that He saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” be also true?   I think I have already given you the answer to this problem but we will verify that answer using the Bible to confirm the truth.  Perhaps it would be wise to give you the exact verse in question that appears to contradict with the statement of Revelation 12 to help us understand the apparent predicament:

Luk 10:18  And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

Here is Jesus making the statement that He personally “beheld” (past tense) Satan falling from heaven.  If this is a correct translation then it causes us major problems to determine when this occurred.  Since Jesus spoke these words prior to the implementation of the New Covenant it is logical to concluded that this must have occurred somewhere in the Old Testament.  I looked and I could not find any verses that said this.  But, perhaps you have seen a verse somewhere in the Old Testament that I have not seen.  Perhaps you can share it with me so that I might learn if you know of any past recorded Bible event prior to the Gospels where Satan is stated to have fallen from heaven?  Do you know of any?  I believe that I found O.T. prophecies of this occurring in the future but that is not the same as a historical event.  I believe us not finding any verses prior to this statement that Satan has been cast down from heaven makes me think it has not occurred and thus we need to resolve why this verse was translated as past tense like it had already happened.

What my reader was asking was how could Jesus have already seen this event describing that it had previously transpired when Revelation 12 has not yet occurred?  This is where we must learn the correct way to study the Bible.  God gives us many hidden clues to find truths if we can locate them and use this information to correctly join and fit them together correctly.  I’m really not sure if you understand what I just said or not?  Everyone wants to see the truth easily without any extended effort and that is not how we find the truth by God’s design.  I am going to show you many of the keys to understanding and resolving this conflict.  Please, continue reading with an open mind and you will see it also.

Personally I have only found a limited number of scriptures concerning Satan falling from heaven.  One prophecy is found in Revelation 12 that points us to this future event occurring during the tribulation.  Then you can also find this prophecy of Satan falling in the book of Ezekiel if you read Ezekiel 28:16.   I think I will give you this prophecy so that you can review what God says about it:

Eze 28:16  By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

The covering cherub being referenced in this verse is believed to be Satan.  God declares that he will be cast out of the mountain of God.  If you do not understand that this is a reference to God’s kingdom in heaven, I’m sorry but I don’t really have the time to try to explain it in depth today.   The translators clearly state this to be a future tense statement and I firmly believe this to be very accurate.  If you study you will find that the book of Ezekiel was written close to 600 years before Christ’s appearance.  Now using Ezekiel’s prophecy we must logically determine that this casting down event has not yet occurred before Ezekiel wrote this book.  We are definitely narrowing the scope of time when this event could have possibly occurred.  I hope you can agree that Satan could not have fallen or been cast out of heaven prior to the writing of the book of Ezekiel, but still you could have seen something I have not.  Let me give you another verse of prophecy concerning Satan’s fall:

Isa 14:12  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

Here is another verse that is probably mistranslated.  Again the translators changed the Hebrew word H5307 to “fallen” a past tense variation of the word.  This Hebrew word is defined as “to fall”.  That sounds future tense to me.  If you read the context of this statement you will find more information about it happening in the future.  For example in verse 15 God says “You shall be brought down to hell, the sides of the pit” and this was translated as future tense.  Then in verse 24 God makes a statement that is very profound and important to note about what has just been spoken previously through the Prophet Isaiah:

Isa 14:24  The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:

God tells us clearly these are His thoughts spoken and that these will come to pass.  Therefore I am still a firm believer that Satan has not yet been cast out of heaven but will be as established by the Word of God.  We could spend a lot more time going through O.T. prophecies but I think I will move on.  Let’s go back to Luke 10:18 and look into this verse in some more detail.  We need to ask did Jesus really say this had already occurred in the Greek language?  Let’s review the Greek word translated as “beheld” to learn its definition in the Strong’s:

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 you can read and understand the definition it should become evident that this word is normally a present tense view of something that is currently happening right now.  The person performing this verb is stated to be a current observer.  This Greek word occurs in around 55 verses of the New Testament.  In 40 of these verses it is clearly translated in the present tense version of “see”, “seeing”, “seeth”, “beholding”, “looking on”, “behold”, “beholding” and etc.   However I will agree that it can also be legally translated as a past tense observation and either way could potentially be correct.   But, this determination is also more complicated than this as we will soon learn.  What we need to determine is Jesus seeing the event as He is speaking or has He seen the even at some time in the past?   Both are technically possible since Jesus Christ is God in the flesh.  But just because Jesus has seen the event does not still necessarily mean that it has transpired just like John saw the future in Revelation.  Please understand that God is omniscient and has seen everything even before it occurs.  God can show a human the future before it occurs and it is in God’s sovereign control to do so.  Uh oh, now you can begin to see where I’m going, can’t you?  Let’s review another statement that Jesus declared about this potential event:

Joh 12:31  Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

I believe that there are at least three events that can be confused as one event within prophecies.  These three separate events are 1). the rebellion of Satan, 2). the casting out of Satan from heaven and 3). the casting out of Satan from the earth into hell.   This statement here in John could be either of the last two.   Confusing or combining multiple prophetic events into the same event is a very common cause of error.  We can see this in multiple instances.  For example the rapture of the church is often confused with the second advent of Christ but these events must also be viewed as separate or confusion will abound.

Here in John 12:31 Jesus is talking about Satan calling him the prince or ruler of this world that will be cast out.  This statement does not appear to be translated as past tense and should be regarded as a future tense prophecy.  It is not stated directly when Satan is to be cast out from this verse.  It also does not state directly where Satan will be cast out from.  It could be taken as the world that is being referenced or it could be heaven or even both.  I personally believe that this prophecy could be the same prophecy as we have already observed in Ezekiel or it could also be a reference to the prophecy in Isaiah 14:15 where Satan is cast into hell.  This is why studying prophecy is so complicated.  Let’s look quickly at another verse that is interesting and many teachers attribute this verse to Satan falling from heaven:

Rev 9:1  And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

If you do not understand yet that the symbol of “stars” in much of the Bible normally represents the angels in heaven then this is the first thing you need to learn.  We know that stars represent angels by reading in Isaiah 14:13, Revelation 1:20 and Revelation 12:4 to name three witnesses to this fact.  This verse is describing an angel coming down from heaven at an implied fast rate of speed.  However, this angel cannot be Satan because this angel holds the key to the bottomless pit where Satan will be cast later in Revelation 20:3.  It is logical to deduce if Satan is thrown into this pit by force later in Revelation that it cannot be him that holds the keys to it coming down from heaven.  As I have stated before, I also firmly believe that Revelation is in chronological time order and if Satan falls from heaven in Revelation 9 then it conflicts with him falling from heaven in Revelation 12.  I hope you can agree with this basic logic.  Let’s review the verse in Revelation 12:9 that would need to become a past tense out of chronological sequence event to potentially be harmonized with the statement of Jesus in Luke if they are speaking of the same event.

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

My reader made a valid interesting point that Luke 10:18 appear to contradict with what Revelation 4:1 and Revelation 12:9 appear to say.  But perhaps we have not considered all of the facts before assuming there is a controversy.  You see it is impossible for the Bible to contradict the Bible if both verses are accurately interpreted and accurately translated.  Also if Jesus had already seen Satan fall from heaven then it must have happened sometime after the book of Ezekiel and before Jesus was born in the manger.  You do understand the existence of verses in the O.T. that state that Satan has access to heaven, don’t you?   For example, Satan is clearly seen to be in heaven in the book of Job.

Job 1:6  Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

Here is a great example that Satan and his angels come to present themselves before God’s throne in heaven.  This is a spiritual location and not a physical or natural one.  If God allowed Satan to be present in heaven then the final fall of Satan from heaven has not yet occurred.  Can you agree with this?  If Satan has access to heaven in the Old Testament can we ask if he still has access in the New Testament?  Let’s go and read Revelation 12:8 next to see what is stated by God about Satan:

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

Didn’t God just declare that Satan’s place is now no longer found in heaven after this war?  That statement literally means that Satan had a place in heaven right up until this war event concluded, doesn’t it?  Can we agree that Satan had a right to be in heaven before this statement?  Perhaps you don’t see it yet, but that is what God just said.  I think we need to read down to verse 10 to help confirm what God just said in this verse 8 statement:

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

Please read this verse very carefully and consider what God just said.   Notice the phrase “Now is come..”.  Then notice that this is being spoken from heaven.  This phrase indicates multiple time periods with “past, present and future” implications occurring.  God is stating something that use to be that has changed at this stated present time and this will cause something different to occur in the future.  Pay particular attention to the last part of the statement.  God says “for the accuser of our brethren is cast down which did accuse them before our God day and night”.  The accuser of our brethren is Satan.  The brethren are those in the church.  Now do you see it?  This verse said that Satan was in heaven standing before God to accuse Christians, doesn’t it?   Uh oh, I thought Jesus said that Satan had been cast down from heaven like lightning? How then could Satan still have access in heaven to accuse Christians before God?  A little light bulb should be coming on in your brain right about now.   This verse claims that Satan continued to do what he did with Job in the book of Job going before God to accuse God’s righteous ones. If this is true and it is, then it is impossible for the statement of Jesus in Luke 10:18 to be fully interpreted or understood in the way that my reader with the question wanted to understand it.  In other words Jesus was telling us of an event that had not occurred even though he had already been given a vision of it occurring.  Let me prove to you that Jesus claimed to be a prophet of God:

Mar 6:4  But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

Here is Jesus speaking about the people of his own hometown where he was raised.  Jesus claims to be a prophet of God and he says no prophet is given any honor by those that knew him.  If Jesus is a prophet what is that?   How do you define what a prophet is and what they do?  I will give you the fast definition.  A prophet is called a “seer”.  A seer is someone who sees and foretells the future before it occurs.  This literally means that Jesus’ statements must be judged correctly to whether they are past, present or future references.  Jesus is capable of speaking of the past in many verses.  Jesus is also capable of speaking of the present time in many verses and finally Jesus can also speak of things that have not occurred in many verses.  I am a firm believer that the statement of Jesus in Luke 10:18 is a future account of an event that has not officially transpired.  But you can believe what you like if you disagree.

CONCLUSION

God is a self-existent being with no stated beginning and no stated ending.  God lives inside the dimension of eternity outside of the created dimension of time.  The Bible very clearly states that God makes known the end from the beginning (Isa 46:10).  If God knows what the future holds then God can and will tell us of it before it occurs as proved by the Bible consistently.  Reading Luke 4:24 Jesus claimed to be a prophet.  A prophet will always tell us of the future before the future occurs.  A prophet is also called God’s seer and voice.  A prophet will see things in visions before they literally occur in our reality and write them down for us to learn from.  This is exactly what Jesus is saying in this verse:

Joh 13:19  Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.

Did you see what Jesus declared?  Jesus teaches us that He will tell us of things to come so that when they occur people will believe in Him.  All of the evidence that I have found in the Bible about Satan being cast out of heaven points us to an event that has not occurred.  This event will take place after the war in heaven between Michael and his angels and Satan and his angels somewhere directly before the Great Tribulation period described in the book of Revelation.  Satan will continue to accuse Christians until this occurs.  He will dispute our righteousness because we are imperfect people that have been saved by the divine grace and mercy of God.  I thank you for taking the time to read this Bible lesson.  I hope and pray that you received some new knowledge that you did not know before on this subject.  If you have any questions or comments you are free to leave them with me and I will do my best to get to them all.  God Bless you until next time.

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 1.2)  There is a popular false teaching going around in many churches that Jesus was the one and only Son of God and that is NOT what the Bible says.  In fact that is not even close to what God says in the His Word.  Why don’t we learn the truth and see what God actually wrote us in the Bible instead of believing preachers or teachers that don’t know how to read?  This false teaching 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 you to believe so that he can condemn you.

Please understand this very basic truth, only the original scriptures in the original languages were God inspired 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 you can find many translation errors in the KJV Bible, the NIV Bible, the NASB Bible and every other translation if you go back and study to find the truth from the 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 you to miss the truth and I hope 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 the details or it will not work.  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 you to see the scriptures more from God’s perspective that spoke them.

Also 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 to do so.  I know this Bible lesson will be controversial and I know that people will potentially take the message wrong very easily.  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.  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.  Before you criticize me on one Bible lesson go read everything and then ask questions.

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 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.  For example the WNT, CEV, ESV, BBE and NIV Bible translations all get parts of the translation very wrong changing the original 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 important word “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 nouns 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?  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.   Aren’t you just being too nitpicky to think that it makes a difference how we believe John 3:16?   I would answer that question with this reply; does it matter if you believe the Koran or the Bible is the truth?  They both can’t be the truth so does it matter which path you chose to be on?  Of course it does.  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 the Koran or the Bible belief matters then it also matters 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.  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 lie mixed with 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 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 content.  My 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 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 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 you to know.  Work within God’s methods and grow or work apart from them and fail to see the truth.  It is your 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 that needs to be understood.  Can we begin by agreeing that rules are good?  What would be the outcome if driving on the road was freeform with no rules to govern the actions 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 follow God than man’s rules because only God’s will give the correct truth.  Please read these rules and then I will try to explain each briefly to help you learn how they work and why they are important to follow:

  1. Find and Use Original Word Definitions
  2. Compare an Original Word’s Usage with Other Occurrences in the Bible
  3. Search for Direct Bible Contradictions to Balance Scripture 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 you 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 weeks but God breaks it down into a further division of 7 (49 years) and 62 (434) weeks. What I believe God is stating is that there will be first 7 weeks of years followed by another 62 weeks of years and then Jesus will be killed on the cross (cut off).  Here is a synopsis of what I believe is being stated in these verses so far.

This is how the 70 weeks are broken down:

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

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

  • Dan 9:27  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

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

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

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

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

SEARCHING FOR TRUTH IN THE BIBLE!

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

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

BE IT UNTO YOU ACCORDING TO YOUR FAITH

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

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

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

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

THE RAPTURE IN REVELATION 3:10

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

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

  • Rev 3:10  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Rev 3:10  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DISCOVERING COMMUNION VERSES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DIRECTIONS OF CORRECTION

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

  • 1Co 11:23  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
  • 1Co 11:24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
  • 1Co 11:25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
  • 1Co 11:26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
  • 1Co 11:27  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
  • 1Co 11:28  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
  • 1Co 11:29  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
  • 1Co 11:30  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
  • 1Co 11:31  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 1Co 11:27  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
  • 1Co 11:28  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
  • 1Co 11:29  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
  • 1Co 11:30  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

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

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

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

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

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

CONCLUSION

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

Bible Answers: Was the Eye of the Needle in Mark 10:25 a Literal or Figurative description and what does it mean?

Ver 2.0)  I recently received a question about what Jesus meant concerning the “camel” going through the “eye of a needle” spoken to us in Mark 10:25.   This is a commonly misunderstood verse in the Bible that is often misused and misapplied to mean many things that was not truly stated.   If we read the surrounding verses we might discover that there were two primary subjects being spoken of.    One subject was salvation and the other was physical money or possessions.  Jesus actually taught more on the subject of money than practically any other subject found in the Gospels.   It is very obvious to me that this makes money a very important subject to learn and understand correctly.   It further teaches us if money was discussed in the same context as salvation that we are required to learn how they fit and work together to have any confidence that we are following the words and teachings of Jesus accurately.   This is a potentially controversial topic to teach.  There are so many strong opinions on this subject of money and they go from one extreme on the far left to the opposite extreme on the far right.  This subject will be difficult for some to receive but please do not get offended by anything that I say just because you disagreed.  To become offended at your brother for saying something is a childish carnal reaction.  If you want to grow spiritually and discuss it in a mature Christian way, I will be happy to hear what you have to say if you have Bible verses that back up what you believe.

There is a significant challenge being presented by God with studying a prolific subject like money.  The more abundantly any subject is presented in the Bible the more difficult it becomes to learn completely because every verse on the subject must be balanced with every other verse about the same subject in order to come to the correct interpretation of what is being taught as a whole.   If we go and do some study we should find that there are over 2000 verses in the Bible that directly or indirectly relate to the subject of money.   That is a lot of verses to study and to understand.  If you know and understand them all, please feel free to share that with me so that I may learn from you.   If not, then please do not condemn what I teach by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.   Since no one knows or understands every verse on any prolific subject except for God we need to trust God to speak what we need to learn about today and trust that He will guide us into more knowledge and a greater understanding tomorrow.  What I have learned from studying this subject is that if we take any single verse on a broad subject like money in Mark 10:25 and study it in isolation it will cause only confusion and misunderstanding because we lack sufficient knowledge to make any correct assessment.   We will begin with the primary verse in question and then continue to understand what is being said by Jesus using certain basic Bible interpretation rules:

  •  Mar 10:25  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

The question being answered today “Is Jesus talking about a literal sewing needle in this verse or one that is figurative representing something else?”   I guess that also implies, is Jesus talking about a literal camel in this verse or is the camel also a symbolic representation for something else?    If one is symbolic the other by direct association must also be symbolic and the antithesis to that truth is if one is literal then the other reference must also be literal.   Because the camel is stated to pass through the eye of the needle both objects must interact directly with the other.  It is usually wisdom to be consistent in the interpretation of objects of such close proximity in the scriptures especially if they interact with each other.   Determining whether or not these objects are literal or figurative will be a difficult question to answer so we need to use the defined rules of Bible interpretation to come to the proper conclusion.  We will start with the rule of God’s Selected Word Usage in the other parts of the Bible to determine if God sets any pattern of usage or if God has presented us with any redefinitions for any of the words being questioned.  This is actually one of the most significant Bible interpretation rules that is often ignored, not known or not applied.   I hope that you at least understand the principle behind why this rule is beneficial.  I’m not here today to teach rules for interpretation, but I will always use them whether I tell you about them or not.

GOD’S SELECTED WORD USAGE

The Greek word G4476 translated as “needle” is only used in three verses in the entire N.T. and these all quote this same statement (Mat 19:26, Mark 10:25, Luke 18:25).  This Greek word literally means a sewing instrument also known as a sewing needle according to the Strong’s dictionary.   The Greek word G5168 translated as “eye” is also only found in these three same quoted statements in the same three verses in the N.T.   The meaning of the “eye” is literally an opening like an orifice in the human body.  Clearly this is a description of a literal natural sewing needle.  Therefore, we have no other word usage convention in the N.T. to help us compare God’s selection of the terms to be either literal or figurative.  That means we need to move to the next Greek word and learn what it teaches us.

The Greek word G2574 that was translated as “camel” is used in the same exact three quoted verses but this word is also found in three additional N.T. verses where two times (Mat 3:4, Mar 1:6) it is definitely used by God to describe an actual literal created camel.  In these two verses John the Baptist is described wearing a coat of “camel’s” hair and since John is literal the camel-hair coat must also be literal by the rule of direct interaction that I mentioned previously.  There is only one other verse (Mar 23:24) in the N.T. where this Greek word for camel is used and this time it is clearly selected by Jesus to be a figurative statement where it cannot be taken literally.   In this verse Jesus is talking to the scribes and the Pharisees and He tells them “You strain a gnat and swallow a camel”.   These were “figures of speech” with deeper meanings that could be understood by the hearer.  The gnat and the camel were not to be taken as literal statements where they were literally straining gnats and literally swallowing a whole camel.  I do not have time to explain figures of speech but they are found in the Bible in several places by God’s design.

What we have discovered so far is that it is not going to be easy to learn what these words really mean by observing only the usage of the Greek words in the rest of the Bible.  There are no definitions for the words given in the rest of the Bible that I have found.  There were no other occurrences of the words “eye” or “needle” in the New Testament.   The Greek word for “camel” could be taken literally or as a figure of speech and that only means the verse in Mark 10:25 is one of the two and we need to continue to study to determine which it is.   That was only one rule of Bible interpretation and there are others to follow so let’s go to the next and find how that applies.

Before I apply the next interpretation rule, let’s expand the reader’s question using the implied unstated meaning behind the question.  What I have discovered is that the reason for one asking a question is equally as important as the question itself.  I understood my reader’s question to imply “If this verse is a literal camel going through a literal needle’s eye, then Jesus was teaching that we shouldn’t become rich, own any possessions or live outside of the realm of absolute poverty”.   But was that what Jesus was actually teaching us?   I have seen where many believe this to be true and go and live in a commune owning nothing.   I have even heard preachers teach that this verse in Mark 10 is a proclamation that having wealth and riches in this world is a direct pathway to hell.   I do not know for sure if that was the reason for the question, but that will be the focus for my answer to the question nonetheless.   Is having money a negative in the eyes of God?  If we own nothing is that a positive thing in the eyes of God?   If having money, wealth and possessions in this world is a negative then I believe hell is full of a lot of Old Testament saints that were rich like, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David, Solomon, Job and I could name others that possessed great wealth in the Bible.   If the possession of wealth causes one to be evil, I would begin to ask God, why did you create it?   I would then ask an even better question next to God saying “why are the streets of heaven paved in gold”?   It would appear to me that the Bible contradicts the teaching that having wealth is an evil by giving us so many examples to the contrary.  This is where we need to learn the application of balance.   Let’s balance every verse about money in the Bible and not just focus on this one alone in Mark 10.   We still need to overcome the apparent contradiction to the presumed statement made by Jesus in Mark 10:25 about a rich man not being able to enter into the Kingdom of God.

STUDYING THE CONTEXT OF MARK 10:25

One of the key Bible interpretation rules is to interpret the verse in question using the surrounding context of the statement.  Ignoring the context or taking the verse out of context will usually result in a false meaning of the information given within the verse.  This is normally true except when a verse contains information of a universal truth nature.   A universal truth is a statement made by God that is true regardless of the context or application.  This verse in Mark 10:25 is NOT a divine universal statement of truth and therefore the context is valuable and even essential to understanding the meaning.  A context type of study would include what is being described directly around the statement in the chapter and if you want to expand the search to go beyond the chapter context you can also include what was spoken in the entire book about the subjects presented.   But context study also includes the search to find the answers for three additional questions which are:

  1. Who is speaking?
  2. Who is being spoken to?
  3. Who is being spoken about?

This verse is a prime example of the necessity for this rule’s application.  We cannot read this verse in Mark 10:25 alone and attempt to understand it because it is a small part of a much larger story that is being used to teach a far greater principle.   Therefore, we really must consider the surrounding context in order to better understand what is being stated by Jesus in verse 25.   It is very similar to what I said in a previous paragraph.  The reason for Jesus speaking this statement in Mark 10:25, is equally as important as what was said by Jesus in the statement alone.   Without understanding the purpose behind it, you will never understand the statement being made.  Please read all of these context verses together starting with verse 17 where the lesson begins:

  •  Mar 10:17  And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, 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!

  • Mar 10:25  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

  • Mar 10:26  And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?

 

I gave you several verses before verse 25 and one after because they all go together in a single lesson.   Jesus is the primary speaker with the majority of the spoken words being in red ink.   However, there are secondary statements being made by a rich man at first and later the disciples of Jesus.   Actually it is important to note that the rich man initiates the conversation and that causes Jesus to begin to respond to his question.   Therefore the conversation was not initiated by Jesus.  It is always important to notice if Jesus initiates something or if it is simply Jesus responding to what another has initiated.  One reason for this distinction is to know if Jesus is teaching generally to everyone or if Jesus is teaching directly to just one person.   This fact will have direct bearing upon how we view the context.  What we have is Jesus as the main speaker answering a question from a solitary rich man not about money but about his salvation.  Therefore the lesson within the conversation begins with a personal response to one man and not a general discussion to everyone about how to be saved.  Do you understand this?   I’ll try to say it again differently; Jesus is speaking to only this one rich man at first with the disciples in observance of the conversation not being direct participants but rather simply observant students of the Master who was giving a lesson to an isolated rich man about his personal salvation.

As you can read in verse 17 the primary subject of this discussion is concerning only salvation.  One of the secondary subjects of the conversation that later comes out is about the subject of the rich man’s money in verse 21.   We know from reading verse 22, that Jesus was approached by a very wealthy man asking what he could do to inherit eternal life.  Jesus names several of the commandments of God in verse 19 and the rich man claims to have followed all of these since his age of accountability in verse 20.  Many today would think that obeying God’s law would be enough to be saved but that is not what the New Testament teaches us.   In Romans 4:13-14, God says that the promise to be an heir of salvation was not given to any man through the obedience of the law but rather it came by faith in Jesus Christ alone who was doing the speaking in this lesson.  In Galatians 2:16 God says “No flesh will be justified by the works of the law”.   This knowledge of the law makes the initial answer that Jesus gave to the rich man almost irrelevant.  So there must be another reason for Jesus making the statement.

Why then does Jesus tell him that he should have obeyed the law if this obedience was not required for New Covenant salvation?   Well first we need to remember that the New Covenant was not yet implemented and thus they were still under the jurisdiction and the concluding timeline of the Old Covenant.  The Law was the only Words of God available to follow, so that is clearly the emphasis being given at first.   However, Jesus was not done talking and continues with some personal spiritual realities on things this rich man would need to fix in order to be saved after the New Covenant was implemented.   I am not sure if you understood fully what I just said, but it will become clearer as we go forward.

What I observe here in this lesson to the rich man so far is that Jesus was dealing with his core spiritual heart issues and not just his perceived loyalty to obey God’s commands.  Jesus appears to be confirming the existence of the rich man’s pride by offering him a chance to admit to just one law that he has not followed completely in his entire mature life.   You see the law was created by God to show man that it was impossible to keep the entire law consistently and by coming to this revelation of the truth teach man the need for a savior.   Romans 3:20 teaches us that it is by law that the knowledge of sin was given to man.   In Romans 2 Paul talks a lot in this chapter about those under the law attempting to keep the law but then breaking it in some way.  Then in Roman 5:20 Paul wrote that the law entered so that the transgression of the law might abound.  I’m not sure if you understood that last statement either that God made through Paul.  You see here in the U.S., the 5 largest cities with the strictest and most prolific gun  control laws are where the majority of gun murders occur.   If you want more deaths by guns to occur God just said you should pass more laws against them and this will cause the violation of the law to increase.   Wow, that was good to learn!  I wish more of our government would learn that.

This rich man’s claim to have followed the law completely is a virtual impossibility since only Jesus fulfilled the law to the full extent.  One problem that Jesus consistently encountered in the Gospels was religious people who believed that they were superior to Him because of their self-righteous good works.   These Pharisee types looked at their ability to obey the law as the true way to God.  They created manmade traditional rules on top of God’s laws to insure that they never even came close to violating God’s law.   However, Jesus would look at them and say that they were like whitewashed tombs that looked pretty on the outside but were full of unclean dead men’s bones on the inside (Mat 23:27).  This rich man’s response was much like those of the Pharisee types.  Therefore the rich man was clearly in pride not admitting to the truth of his own faults and shortcomings in need of a savior.  This is when Jesus begins to dig deeper into the man’s inner heart condition to show him that there were more profound root issues that needed correction in order for him to receive this “eternal life” that he was seeking.

Jesus says to go and sell his possessions and give to the poor and that is when the rich man turns away from his only hope named Jesus in a state of grief.  That was the end of that personal conversation with the rich man about his salvation and that is very important to note.   Jesus then looking around about at his surroundings said out loud “how hard it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”.  This new statement to a totally different audience appears to be the beginning of a major controversy for the disciples of Jesus and it was totally unexpected to them because they did not understand the reason for what had just happened to the rich man.

What we must observe is that a significant target audience transition has just occurred.   Jesus has just moved from answering a rich man’s personal question on what he needed to do to be saved to teaching a different valuable lesson to His disciples and us in the church.  This new lesson is about a greater previously unmentioned subject.   What that should potentially mean to us is that the primary subject has moved from a conversation about the salvation of a single natural rich man to a conversation about spiritual internal conditions that were never discussed.   Here is a good time for us to ask, why did Jesus ask the rich man to sell his possessions and give to the poor.   The reason behind the request is actually again more important than the request itself.

This is where the Bible reader who desires to know the truth needs to become a Sherlock Holmes type of serious Bible student to observe the details to what is really being taught to the church and not to an unsaved rich carnal man.   Why were the disciples so astonished at this saying of Jesus in verse 23?   Why were His disciples so surprised by this statement about the rich of this world being so hard to save?   Think about it.  If the disciples were all poor men that had nothing and owned nothing they should be rejoicing because they could now be easily saved on their way into the Kingdom of God, but that was not their reaction at all, was it?  Can you read?   Can you see what their reaction was?  This was clearly the reaction of men that were NOT poor.  Being shocked that a rich man is almost impossible to save makes no logical sense for anyone but men with money.   I believe if you study the Bible you might agree that these men selected by Jesus were not poor men who owned nothing.  In fact, the majority of the disciples described came from successful businesses that were making them money.   Many were fishermen like Simon Peter and Andrew who caught and sold fish for money (Mat 4:18).   James and John are described to also be fishermen with possessions (Mat 4:21).   Clearly fishermen owned large boats, fishing gear, nets, as well as owned houses and worked and made money in the markets.  One disciple named Matthew was definitely a tax collector (Mat 9:9) and years later when Luke wrote about this story he was described to be a doctor (Col 4:4).  None of these followers were poor men begging for money to exist.   That is why they are so very concerned with this statement that Jesus just made.  Do you understand this?

Jesus then continues the lesson saying “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to be saved”.  Again all of the disciples that heard Jesus were flabbergasted and confused and that confirms that they all have money. This saying of Jesus was making them think about asking if they could even be saved.   What I have discovered being taught within the Bible is that the Bible is not opposed to people having money.   Jesus was not teaching poverty in this example.   Jesus was not even teaching that we need to sell or give away everything in order to be saved.   That would be very unintelligent religious thinking that is drawn from wrong conclusions and interpretation that would teach this is found in the Bible.

What Jesus was teaching, is that rich people MUST NOT trust in their money more than they trust in God.  This further says that rich people must not love their money and their possessions more than they love their God.  Jesus was making a point to the rich man that he needed to learn to trust in God and His Grace rather than to place all of his confidence in what he had done and what he had obtained.  Any rich person who is self-reliant, self-made, and self-sufficient in their own eyes will find it very hard to be saved because they are full of pride in their own accomplishments and abilities.   The Bible says that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).   The rich man that came to Jesus was asking how to be saved but he was too heavily bound to and by his money and his possessions for him to let go of them to make Jesus his Lord.  The rich man therefore does not qualify to receive grace.  His money was in effect his god.   He was joined to his money and he was unable to part with any of these temporary things of this world simply because he valued them more than he valued the eternal rewards of God and that was the major problem that Jesus was addressing in this personal lesson to the rich man.

Jesus was dealing with a heart issue and not a money issue.   What we value will be what we place our trust and confidence in.   A man with great wealth has learned that money will buy him practically anything and he has placed a false trust in it.  Jesus actually spoke of this in Matthew 6:2 when he said “Where you treasure is there will also be your heart”.  Jesus clearly says what a man values in this world is what he will be focused on in his heart.  Jesus is not going to share first place in your heart with your money or your possessions.   Everyone is going to have to choose between Jesus and money or whatever it is that they value to determine which will be of more lasting worth and benefit and then make only one of these their priority in this life.

In the first part of the lesson to the rich man Jesus was trying to get him to see that he needed to change.  In the last part of the lesson to the church Jesus was teaching a lesson about how people can still possess money but that this money must not possess them or they will never see the kingdom of God.  This lesson being taught goes along with other statements that Jesus made on the subject of money that are parallel examples to what is being taught in Mark 10:25:

  •  Mat 6:24  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

You see when a person becomes a Christian they are required by the design of God in Romans 10:9-10 to make Jesus their personal Lord and Savior.   You cannot make Jesus your Savior without also making Him your simultaneous Lord.   If Jesus is your Lord then your money or your possessions or whatever cannot be your Lord.   Jesus states this very clearly using money in Matthew 6:24.   When someone tries to serve two masters they are distracted by the one to not fully serve either.  Jesus requires your undivided attention when you make Him your Lord.   He is not going to share His Lordship with your business or your money.   That was the major problem with the rich man that came to Jesus in Mark 10:25.   Jesus was attempting to get a commitment from the rich man to make Jesus His Lord, but the rich man turned away to continue to serve his wealth.   Does this make sense to you now?

Jesus was teaching the rich man about his problem without ever stating that he had a problem.   When the rich man heard this he should have become humble and asked a few more questions instead of going away without knowing the rest of the truth for the reason to why Jesus asked what He did.   What did I say earlier?  I said the reason for the statement is as important as the statement itself.   This man heard the request but did not desire to know the reason behind the statement.  That was one of his greatest failures.   It is not offensive to God if you ask Him questions.  People are generally like two year old children to God’s level of thinking.  God understands that people are in need of knowledge and understanding to grow.

Asking questions is an excellent way to learn more about your situation.   Don’t believe me?   When the angel of God comes to Mary and tells her that she will have a child, she doesn’t walk away in grief saying, “yea right”.  No she was wiser than this rich man and she asked “how shall this be seeing that I have never known a man?’  God was not angry at the question and gave her the straight answer and this was to her benefit because now she understood more about how this was possible to occur.   Do you ever ask God questions?   I ask God questions very often, it is the easiest way to learn the truth.

 

 WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT GIVING TO THE POOR?

Now for some more potentially controversial parts of the lesson.  I have already shown briefly what the N.T. says about Jesus’ instructions concerning obeying the law so we should move to the next statement made by Jesus and learn more about this subject.  Since the rich man was next instructed by Jesus to release his possessions and then to “give” to the poor it might be helpful if we understood how this relates in order to understand what would have happened to the rich man if he would have been obedient to the LORD’s request.  I will confirm that his disobedience to Jesus’ request to sell and give to the poor cost him his salvation but then I will also say that it would not have been his poverty that saved him either.   I’ll repeat this again, it was Jesus working on the man’s heart issues that caused the request to sell and give.  I know I repeat myself, but these are important facts that need to be understood.

One key to understanding a subject is to find related verses in the Bible that speak about the subject.   We did this with the key words “camel”, “eye” and “needle” and found very little to help us, but that is not all of the word subjects within the context of the verse in question.   We know before Jesus spoke these words about the camel going through the eye of the needle that Jesus asked the rich man to go and sell his possessions and to “give” to the poor”.   I tried to teach you that this rich man was not valuing the correct things and placing them in the correct order of priority.   He was clearly placing his trust in his money and possessions and that will never please God.   Still there is a need to understand what “giving” has to do with God’s proposed solution to change this man’s heart around to learn to trust Him!  Wow, that sounds like an awesome thing to learn for every Christian.  So let’s get started.

Jesus literally taught many other things in the Gospels about money.   Because the rich man did not know these other sayings he walked away from obtaining a blessing and he didn’t even know it.   God says in His Word “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).  I just taught you that we need to learn to ask God questions if we want to learn more from Him.   I really meant that!   So let’s ask God the question “what would have happened if the rich man gave away all of his possessions to the poor”?  What would be the end result of such obedience?  Would this rich man have remained in poverty from then on?  Could this rich man never work or earn anymore money ever again?   Or should this rich man go to work but then continue to give everything that he makes away?  In order to begin to learn how to answer these questions from God’s word I believe that we need to learn what God said about giving.  I’ll start with a verse that is certainly important and directly related about this subject of giving:

  •  Act 20:35  “In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.‘”

Whaacts_20_35t is being repeated here in this verse?  I want you to first observe that this statement says the writer is working hard as an example to those that he was writing to.   Therefore we just answered a part of the question about should a Christian continue to work after becoming a Christian!  Did you know that the writer of the book of Acts was Luke?   Can you agree  that Luke heard and learned the same rich man’s lesson from eye witnesses?    Did Luke learn anything from their experience?   Apparently he did!   Luke is saying that we should help the weak.   This Greek word translated as weak means the sick, the diseased, and the feeble which implies those that are poor because they are unable to work.   Everyone in a weak condition is not able to work and therefore is in need of assistance.   Can we agree that this statement applies to the poor?

Then Luke by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost quotes something that Jesus taught us directly.   Luke said that Jesus said “It is more blessed to give (to the poor) than to receive (from the poor).   I put the poor in the statement because that was the associated meaning based upon context.   Do you understand that?  Please tell me that you do.  Why is God asking His people to help the poor, the sick and the weak by giving to them?   It is primarily because the poor need the help, but God also says whoever gives will be blessed more than those that received the gift.   Oh, that doesn’t make any sense does it?   How is a rich man the one that is blessed by him giving away all of his money?   That is a divine mystery that is being ignored in much of the church body today.  What I would like you do to is to start believing that there is a blessing associated with giving to the poor.  Now we just need to determine if this blessing is here in this life or is only found in the eternal rewards to come?

I’ll try to answer when this giving blessing occurs by observing more about what Jesus taught us on the subject of giving in the Gospels.   However I do need to review an observation of where Jesus placed the emphasis when He told the rich man in Mark 10:21 to go and sell and give.  I did not go over the last part of the verse previously.   If you go back and read this verse again you will notice that Jesus after telling the rich man to give to the poor Jesus then promised him that he would have treasure in heaven for doing this.  That is very self-evident that there is a stated eternal blessing from God that will be given to him if he would have been obedient and had given to the poor.  Jesus places the primary emphasis upon eternal rewards and that makes total logical sense to me.

An eternity of blessings and treasures is far more significant than a natural 100 years of existence on earth with riches.   But do not assume too much here.  Just because Jesus did not emphasize any earthly benefits to the rich man does not mean that they do not exist.   That would be foolish presumption to take one verse as the complete truth on the subject of giving to the poor.  Therefore we need to study and find additional Bible information in order to come to a balanced conclusion.  Can we at least agree that God will bless us also, if He comes to us and asks us to give to the poor?   If you understand that God shows no favoritism (Acts 10:34) and what He promised to one is the same that is available to any other in the same circumstances then you should be able to agree with that belief.

Let’s turn to the book of Luke and read a verse that many of you may already be familiar with.  Read this verse very carefully and observe that the same Greek word translated for “Give” in Mark 10:21 is used in this verse connecting the lessons together by God’s direct word selection and subject connection.   Then notice what Jesus teaches about giving in this verse.   This verse must also apply to the rich man’s giving or God becomes a liar:

  •  Luk 6:38  Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

According to Jesus (God in the flesh), If the rich man would have only understood that what he gave to others, this verse states that God would have caused those gifts to be returned back to him multiplied.  This knowledge has the potential to cause the rich to see the giving away of his riches in a much different light.   Of course the rich man did not give Jesus the opportunity to teach this part of the lesson about money and giving nor did the rich man ask Jesus any questions about it.  Jesus also did not voluntarily offer this information up either since Jesus wanted the rich man to learn faith and trust in God first.  I’m not sure if you understood what I just said or not?

The rich man trusted in his money to be his supplier and God’s word says “My God shall supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory” (Php 4:19).  There is a promised supply by God in the N.T. By the rich man having to learn to look to God instead of his own money and this rich man would have learned a more valuable lesson about trusting God and walking by faith.  However, it still does not mean that the rich man could never have any money again.  I believe that the rich man assumed too much just like many Bible readers today assume too much when they read this lesson.  Remember what God says in the Old Testament?   Let me remind you:

  •  Jer 29:11  For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. (AMP)

God says very clearly when He asks you to do something it is for your good and not to harm, hurt you, ruin you, or even to make life hard for you.   Failure to believe or understand this is one of the key reasons why people today will resist God’s instructions.  This rich man in Mark 10 was not asked by God to do something that was not going to benefit him in the long run if he would have just been willing and compliant God would have rewarded him greatly for his obedience.  If you believe that God is going to take something away from you without knowing the purpose behind the request then you are not trusting God’s wisdom, knowledge and plan for your life.   It is usually at this point where I emphasize that you need to learn if God is directing you to turn away from anything then there is a greater purpose behind that request and if you ask for Him for the reason why, God might just show you or you can just trust Him and learn it when it happens which is usually wiser.

But, it is also important to understand if Satan is trying to steal anything from you (John 10:10) you need to fight against that and resist him.   If you do not know how it works yet, God will ask you usually to give something up voluntarily, but if you refuse this can open the door for Satan just to come and take it from you without asking.  It is pretty simple to learn which is which.  Let’s go back and talk some more about Luke 6:38 and Mark 10:21.

There is a stated law of reciprocity that is placed in effect with God when a human in faith participates voluntarily and willingly with the requests of God.  God is not going to ask anyone to give away something without observing the obedience and blessing them in return.  We clearly saw this stated in Mark 10:21 when Jesus informed the rich man that there would be treasure in heaven awaiting him for his giving.   Then again in Luke 6:38 God says if you give to men, men will also give back to you.   Reciprocity is also found in the established decree of God called the Law of Sowing and Reaping (Gen 8:22).  Sowing is the stated release of a seed from your hand into the ground that is believed to be given back to you multiplied over time.

I believe that if the rich man would have viewed the release of his money into the poor as a seed sown that it would have been returned back to him multiplied based upon what Luke 6:38 taught us.  God states this clearly in Luke 6:38 when He says that others will return to you what you have given away as multiplied.  This is a very basic farming concept where any seed planter sows their valuable seeds that are returned back as a greater and more valuable return after time has passed.   This multiplication principle is implied in Luke 6:38 in the phrase “good measure, pressed down and shaken together and running over”.    That certainly makes it sound like giving to others is a benefit and not a liability to me.    If you don’t understand the concept of seeds in the Bible I would recommend that you go read that lesson series (Understanding Seeds in the Bible).

We should still understand that in Mark 10 that Jesus was not emphasizing this sowing and reaping part of the lesson simply because He was dealing with the man’s love for his money and possessions.  Do you understand the motivation for Jesus telling the rich man to get rid of his possessions and give to the poor, now?

Whenever God asks you to give away something it will normally be because it controls you and gets in the way of His relationship with you.   After a time of learning that God is more important to pursue than the item that is given, many times God will see that you get back what you were asked to give up.   This of course is not true if it is drugs, alcohol or some other substance that controlled you and will do physical harm to you and this is even true for money and possessions if they return to being your gods.  I’ve been going longer than I expected in this lesson so let me see if the Holy Spirit will allow me to wrap it up by giving you one more O.T. verse on this subject about giving to the poor:

  •  Pro 19:17  He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

If the rich man would have just considered this old fact written by Solomon probably one of the richest men ever in the Bible, I believe that it could have made a tremendous difference in his attitude towards giving to the poor.  You see this verse literally says that when we give to the poor the Lord observes it and takes over the responsibility for the debt.   Therefore we do not expect the one that we gave something to, to give back to us anything in return even in the future.  This is simply because God says “I owe the debt” and I believe God is faithful to repay it.   If God takes the responsibility for the debt, then we must ask is this repayment now in this life or is this in the next life to come?   I believe that we could get correct answers for both beliefs, by saying all of the above.

I do not place any limitations upon what God wants to bless me with or when God wants the blessing to arrive.   Since I’m not God He can sovereignly do as He pleases.    I definitely believe that there are eternal rewards based upon what Jesus taught in Matthew 6:20 when He taught that we should be laying up treasures in heaven where moth and rust will never corrupt them.   But the balanced counter to that statement was given to us in Luke 6:38 that claims if we give to men (here and now) that men will give back to us (here and now).  Luke 6:38 is clearly talking about receiving a return for giving here in this life.   I’m not going to teach this part of giving anymore in today’s lesson.   I really do not know how many I have offended by even mentioning it.   Christians often ignore vast parts of scripture thinking they are not applicable for today.   However to those like me that believe in them they still work just fine.  I will end this section about giving by saying that there are definitely heavenly rewards laid up for us for everything that we give here on the earth so the eternal benefits will by far outweigh any temporary benefits that we can enjoy for a short time here on this earth.    You should always keep your focus on the eternal rather than the carnal temporary, as I try to do.

 

CONCLUSION

In conclusion I will say that there are certain Bible teachers who teach that the “eye of the needle” was a figurative type for a city gate designed to be very narrow to limit passage into the city.   This was done in Bible days as a safety measure to keep large foreign armies and enemies from invading the city in mass numbers.  This narrow gate was like a funnel that kept the inflow and outflow of traffic to a very few with limited size of restrictions that were easily controlled.  This city opening was so narrow that many times a fully loaded camel would not be able to even enter it.   The merchant or traveler would usually have to unload the camel and squeeze it through the gate and then carry the loads by hand into the city.   So many teachers today believe that this was what Jesus was talking about in this verse in Mark 10:25.

However, that is still a private interpretation of the verse since it is not mentioned in the Bible anywhere and therefore I do not agree with it.  It also mixes one noun found in Luke 10:25 “the eye of the needle” as a figurative object and the other noun (camel) as a literal object and I do not agree with that type of interpretation.  I take scriptures literally when I can and then I apply what is stated spiritually based upon what is specified or being taught following the rules of interpretation of which I only mentioned two or three today in this lesson.   In conclusion I will give you two more verses to consider:

 

  •  1Co 5:9  I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:

  • 1Co 5:10  Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

We have more directions being given to the church in these passages.   God is speaking to the church and telling them not to associate with those that are in the world.   Uh oh?  That sounds serious to me!   Then God lists a few types that fit that description.   Read these again and tell me if you see the rich man being described?    I’ll help you by pointing you to two key words.  The first word is “covetous”.  This Greek word means a human with a desire for more of something.   This type of person has a very difficult time at releasing anything.  I believe that description fits the unsaved lost rich man.  Since the rich man was unwilling to give away any of his possession that implied that he loved them greatly and possibly desired (coveted) to even have more of them.   It was like he was a collector of natural things.  Any collector that I have ever observed is never satisfied with their collection.  Most collectors are looking for more of the same whether it be coins, stamps or baseball cards.    This “covetous” word is a problem if you are wanting more natural possession and not more of God.   Again remember that Jesus said you cannot serve two masters.   The second Greek word in this sentence describing the rich man is “idolater”.    What is an idolater?   This is a person that worships a manmade object.   Uh oh again for our rich man!   It is very clear to me that this rich man placed too much emphasis upon his possessions.  They had become his focus and they are clearly manmade objects of temporary status.  Do you understand why Jesus asked him to sell them now?  I could give you many more Bible verses on this subject but I have gone long enough today.

What I believe about Mark 10:25, is that Jesus was speaking of a literal camel and the literal eye of a needle with a human trying to pass this large beast through it.  That would be a nearly impossible task and that was the message being communicated to the church, but not to the rich man since he was not present to hear it.  Therefore, we should take this verse literally and see that the salvation of a rich man is a nearly impossible task.  However, we also need to balance that message with the fact that it was not the money that caused the problem but rather the love of the money that was at issue.

Jesus was clearly motivated by the heart condition of the rich man and tried to show him that the money and possession were his lord.   Know that Jesus deals with individual heart conditions differently.   Only man looks at the outward and sees a rich man and believes that he should be poor to be saved.   God looks at the man’s heart motivation for being rich and if it is for his love of these objects it will become the area that God will attempt to correct in our lives.

Each person is unique to God and only God knows what is taking priority over your relationship to Him.   What God tells me to get rid of will almost always be different than what God will tell you to get rid of.   And if you believe that God will never instruct you to get rid of anything then you are either deceived or a perfect person in need of no savior.

Jesus was teaching that it was impossible for anyone here on the earth that was rich to be saved if they did not put aside their love for their money to make Him their Lord.   While this is impossible for most men to do, we know from reading the Bible that with God all things are possible if we believe (Mat 10:27).   So a rich man can be saved if they want to learn how to enter through Jesus who is called the narrow gate in Mat 7:14.   Remember what Jesus said there in Matthew 7?   Jesus declared there were only two paths to choose from.   One narrow way was describing the selection as Jesus to be your Lord.   The other choice was a wide gate and a broad path and many there are that will choose it to their destruction (Mat 7:13).   This was a description of worldly lusts and desires that take the place of Jesus.  Please don’t allow something so temporary like money or possession be the reason for selecting the wrong path as this rich man in this lesson did today.   Thank you for your time reading and studying the Bible and until next time may you continue to grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Genesis 3:14 – Was There a Literal Talking Serpent in the Garden? Pt 2

Snake-speak-300x224(Ver 1.2) This is now Part 10 in the Bible study series dedicated to understanding God’s spiritual subjects hidden beneath the natural words found in Genesis chapter 3.   This is also a continuation of the first lesson in the series relating to the subject, “Genesis 3:1 – Was There a Talking Serpent in the Garden?”  I taught on this first subject a long time ago but I was led not to publicly respond to an important question that I received concerning the meaning and application of what God says in Genesis 3:14 and how it relates to what was communicated to us by God in Genesis 3:1.  Since I received the same question recently, I felt led to now publish the answer for everyone else to study.   If you have not read “Part 1”, the introduction to the identity of the symbolic serpent to discover what the Spirit of God said about Genesis 3:1, I would recommend that you go back and read that lesson first before you continue on with this lesson.  Reading the foundational basics will just help to affirm what the Spirit of God says to you today while providing additional context information found in the rest of the chapter.   Also by reading this entire Genesis 3 lesson series you should be becoming spiritually aware of how many new subjects are found in this chapter.  Not recognizing spiritual content within the natural word description Bible story is one of the greatest reasons why we have such diverse opinions to what the words mean today.  That is why I have been teaching this series of lessons on Genesis 3 to help people think in a new spiritual way concerning the very specific words that the Spirit of God has inspired Moses to write in this chapter.  This will probably be a long lesson with many new things to learn.  I need to go into a level of additional detail in this lesson to help people see that reading Genesis 3 in isolation is a very easy way just to be confused.

WHAT ABOUT GENESIS 3:14?

 I am now going to respond to the direct reader question “What about Genesis 3:14”?    You see in the past there are has been so many Bible teachers within the Christian body that have taught concerning the existence of a literal talking snake in the garden which tempted Adam and Eve to sin that it is now difficult for anyone to accept any new revelation on the subject.  This popular natural way of thinking and teaching promoted the creation of a commonly misunderstood physical interpretation which violates the information given to us by God in the Bible, the natural laws of creation and the mathematical laws of God.  People often believe that God created these laws but then they do not believe that God chooses to live by them and I do not agree with that religious philosophy.  That type of reasoning promotes a God that says “Do as I say but do not do as I do”.  Man being made in the image and the likeness of God clearly must learn to follow and conform to His examples of behavior or we just fail in our own efforts.  I believe firmly that man was created to be an imitator of God’s ways.   Jesus clearly provided humans an example of this divine lifestyle in the natural when God appeared personally upon this planet.   Our Christian belief of following God’s and Jesus’ examples has created the popular modern concept of “WWJD”.  When humans are faced with challenging situations and circumstances they should stop and ask “What would Jesus Do”?   I believe a Christian should act like Christ, look like Christ and speak like Christ and in doing these point others to Christ.  You are free to disagree and not attempt to be like Christ.

This prominent teaching of a literal talking snake is also directly linked into the propagation of the many paintings of a naked man and women in the garden being pictured with a serpent in the tree performing the temptation to eat the forbidden fruit.  This has been the prevalent traditional viewpoint of this chapter and people accept it today because it has been so frequently and widely taught.   Everyone in the world telling you the same story over and over and us all hearing it told over and over causes people to accept it and believe it more easily, even if it was never true.  I have learned this concept by observing what has been happening in the world in the last 50 year with the gay community message.  50 years ago gays were not accepted and even looked negatively upon for their poor choice in lifestyles.   But during this time more and more gays have been opening up and “coming out of the closet” to proclaim themselves as being normal.    TV and movies began introducing the subject in the 1970’s and now it is mainstream and widely preached.   In the last 50 years gays have increasingly proclaimed their normalcy and demanded their acceptance and finally now the majority of the people in the world are buying into these lies to believe them as the truth.  However, even if everyone is in full agreement with a belief, that does not change the belief to be a God inspired truth.   Truth is only found in the Words of God.   But only the Spirit of God can reveal to us His truth in His Word.

This teaching about the literal talking serpent is what I call a tradition of men taught by men based upon a man’s carnal human reasoning rather than the actual Biblical spiritual insight from God.   We should become smart enough to see that none of these Bible teachers that teach on the subject of a literal talking snake can provide us with sufficient scriptures to back up their belief.  The Bible very clearly says to let every word be established in the mouths of two or three witnesses (Mat 18:16, 2 Cor 13:1).  That means we need at least one other reference apart from Genesis 3 where an actual serpent speaks to tempt a human in order to embrace that concept fully.  Can you search your Bible and find one for me?    God has established specific rules for rightly dividing the Word of Truth and not knowing these rules or choosing to ignore them will result in a chaos random Bible interpretation where any interpretation is truth.  We need to become wiser Christians verifying what people teach, applying the correct rules and not accepting blindly anything just because they said it (Acts 17:11).  That is what I want you to do with everything that I am going to say today.  You analyze it closely with the information found only in the Bible and if you don’t see it like I said it, then that is fine with me, don’t believe it.

What God has shown me is that there was no literal talking snake in the garden.   There are two primary reasons why many Christians do not see what is written by God in the Bible and one is that they think totally natural ignoring the spiritual elements of application or two they do not know how to study the Bible from a God spiritual author perspective.  I am going to address both of these situations today in this lesson.   My goal today is to teach you to think spiritually concerning Genesis 3:14.  You may not yet understand that thinking carnally is different than thinking spiritually but if you continue to read with an open mind you should be able to make the transition.  Carnally dominated people think that if they cannot see it, touch it, feel it, hear it, smell it or taste it, then they believe that it is not a reality or a state of truth.  In thinking this way they believe that spiritual things do not exist or that natural things are superior to spiritual things.  Carnal thinkers are totally dominated by the 5 sense realm.   Spiritual thinkers are more influenced with the Spirit of God, the Word of God and the unseen spiritual realm.   Being spiritually dominated versus being naturally dominated should become your goal today even if you do not understand it yet.

Ask yourself if natural things take precedence and priority over the spiritual things in your life?  Maybe I’ll help you, is eating natural food a bigger priority than eating God’s spiritual food from the Bible?  God says very clearly that “the unseen spiritual things are literally more important and permanent than anything observable here in this natural universe”.  That was my paraphrase of a verse found in 2 Corinthians 4:18.  Since all natural things were created by a Spirit (John 4:24) it should be self-evident that the spiritual realm pre-existed everything that is natural and therefore the spiritual realm is greater by definition.  What does it mean to be greater?  Is the created automobile greater than the manufacturer or is the manufacturer of the automobile superior to the created automobile?  If the manufacturer was broken the automobile could not fix it, but if the automobile was broken clearly the manufacturer could certainly repair it.  I think you get my point that only the Spirit of God can fix a human to see His superior spiritual ways.  Let’s go and begin the study of Genesis 3:14.

ANALYZING GENESIS 3:14 – GOD SPEAKS TO THE SERPENT

I want to begin this part of the Bible lesson by giving you the key Bible verse in question.   This Bible verse is easily misunderstood and commonly misapplied.  To remedy this problem we will be analyzing the words carefully in three distinct phrases using the Bible to define what the statements mean.  Allowing the Bible to render the interpretation will remove our opinions to what we have read discovering what God was speaking about in the verse to begin with.  God does not leave us helplessly guessing to what He has written.  God places so many clues in plain sight that it is amazing how we do not see them.   To correctly determine the verse’s interpretation using God’s methods, I need to give you a list of the basic rules for interpreting and understanding any verse found in the Old Testament.  These rules of correct Bible interpretation will take us out of the realm of unstructured random Bible study placing sound organization within the realm of intelligent constraints and these learned laws will provide order and structure to our Bible study methods.  I follow these rules whether I tell you about them or not.  But by me teaching you how these rules work, you will gain great benefit for how you study the Bible in the future.   I will also tell you that these rules of interpretation were given to me by the Spirit of God and I did not learn them from human teachers, so they may not agree with your seminary version of interpretation rules.

As you read this verse please allow the words to be fresh and new ignoring what you have heard about them in the past.   I say this because many times people need to remember that everyone was once taught that the earth was flat until some brave people like Columbus and Magellan proved this was clearly not an accurate truth.   To allow a round earth truth to become a fresh new normally accepted reality those that believed in the flat earth theory so firmly had to release their corrupted viewpoint in order to see the new.  This is what will also need to occur today with what God will teach you in this lesson.  It would even be good for you to stop and say a prayer before you start reading God’s Word and ask Him to allow you to see how He sees the words.  Only by changing to look at the Bible from God’s point of view can we begin to see the truth from the author’s perspective and not a skewed human viewpoint or opinion.    Are you ready to begin?

  • Gen 3:14  The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.

This verse begins with the LORD God speaking directly to the stated serpent.  This “serpent” is the same being that was introduced to the reader in verse 1 because God repeats the same Hebrew word H5175 in both verses.   This Hebrew word occurs 5 times in this chapter and this mention in verse 14 is the last time God uses the word in this chapter.   The other word references are found in Genesis 3:1, 2, 4 and 13.   The Hebrew word H5175 by Strong’s definition means a “literal snake”.  But is that what this word is really referring to in this chapter?  How do we know when to take a word to be literal versus making it a figurative or symbolic representation for something else?   That is the answer that we will seek in God’s Word and I hope and pray that you are ready to learn how to do this.  I will mention briefly that the only other time this Hebrew word for snake is mentioned in the book of Genesis is when it is found in a prophecy spoken by Jacob about his sons.  It would be good for us to stop and take a look at how God used this word there to potentially apply that knowledge to what we are reading in Genesis 3:

  • Gen 49:17  Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.

I must ask you, is this mention of a serpent a literal snake or a figurative representation?  Does the son of Jacob named Dan change or transform into a literal serpent?   It would be extremely ignorant to think that this is a literal prophetic statement.  Why then do people believe the serpent in Genesis 3 which is the exact same Hebrew word must be literal also?   It is interesting to note that if we consistently interpret every H5175 word occurrence in Genesis as being symbolic that this would further match the 5 serpent references that are found in the book of Revelation which I believe are equally all symbolic for the same creature.  I also find it very interesting that the tribe of Dan is never mentioned in the book of Revelation when the other 11 are clearly named in chapter 7.  Just thought I would throw that fact in for you to consider since Dan is prophesied to be a serpent in Genesis 49.   Let us look at the definition of this word given to us by Strong:

  • H5175
  • From H5172; a snake (from its hiss): – serpent.

In the definition of the Hebrew word H5175, Strong defines it to be a snake and never mentions that this word could be used figuratively and I believe that was an oversight on his part since we clearly saw in Genesis 49 that this word was used this way in relation with the prophecy to describe Dan.   Then further notice that this definition includes the sound that a literal snake makes as a “hiss”.  I found that part of the definition to be an extreme contradiction to what was just recorded in this chapter 3 of Genesis by God.  Nowhere in this chapter is this serpent ever hissing before or after the fall of man.  This hissing sound is based upon the Hebrew root word and we will get to that soon but it also corresponds to the modern or present day noise that a literal snake makes and that does not conform to what is witnessed occurring in Genesis 3.  This is where too many people try to come up with creative unstated explanations for what they believe must have occurred.   These people automatically assume that snakes could talk before the fall but after the fall serpents were reduced to hissing sounds only.  I call that a work of fiction based upon imaginative suppositions.  Perhaps it will be good to review the first verses of Genesis 3 and learn the sounds the serpent is stated to have made:

  • Gen 3:1  Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
  • Gen 3:2  And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
  • Gen 3:3  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
  • Gen 3:4  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
  • Gen 3:5  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

This described serpent in Genesis 3 is clearly speaking with extreme intelligent terms using logical and informed reasoning with plainly understandable word statements in verses 1 through 5.  Not only can the serpent think clearly and talk perceptively, but this being can hear and understand the women’s responses and communicate back with her on a level that is clearly above her.  Believe me I am not saying that the woman was stupid; I believe she is very intelligent but this being must be far above her level of understanding if he is able to deceive her so easily.   I want you to go back and notice that the serpent knew what God had said to Adam in verse 1 where there was no mention of a serpent being present during this discussion in chapter 2.  How is that even possible?  We must conclude from this information that the serpent was either present but not mentioned in Genesis 2 or that the serpent heard about this event from another source that was present and that only included the stated participants God and Adam.  Based upon Bible information given about Satan either one of these could have occurred.  For example take the story of Job the oldest book of the Bible.  In this book Satan appears before God to discuss a human named Job and this story is very relevant to what we need to understand about what is given to us concerning Adam and Eve.

  • Job 1:7  And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

I want you to notice certain facts given to us about Satan in this verse.  The name Satan means “adversary” or “enemy” and this clearly denotes Satan’s position at this time to not be a friend of God.   Yet, Satan has just come from the earth in order to have a conversation with God.  We therefore know that God and Satan talk and even communicate about human events.  This could be the way that Satan found out about Adam’s conversation with God in Genesis 2.  However the last part of this verse also applies to Genesis since Satan is walking about the earth even though there is no mention of him being seen by the human man named Job.   Since Job knows nothing about Satan what would make you think Adam knew anything about him either?  Satan very clearly walks the earth after the fall of man in the book of Job, could this be the way that Satan found out about the conversation in Genesis 2?  I believe it could be.  Adam was clearly given the task to guard and protect the garden before the fall of man occurred and this had to be guarding it from an external being like Satan since he is the only being that appeared on the scene in chapter 3 to deceive his wife.  Since the first 5 verses occur before the fall of man, this proves that Satan had access on the earth before the fall as well as after the fall of man.

What we have just discovered is that Satan has great ability to communicate with beings even with an extreme intelligent being like God the creator and this means him speaking with a man or a woman on the earth is probably more like child’s play than speaking with God where he is clearly the child.    Regardless of how Satan knew of the conversation the fact remains that this stated Genesis 3 serpent being had great knowledge of past events with outstanding memory recall abilities and that is very important to understand who you are dealing with.    Satan has been here on the earth for at least the last 6000 years and you have been here probably far less than a100 years.  Who do you think knows more you are him?

These facts found in Genesis 3:1-5 would appear to me to be a direct contradiction to what God says in the Bible in chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis if this is a literal snake.  All the land animals were created on the first part of day 6 of creation before man was created last as the culmination of all of God’s creation.   So would that order of creation make the animals supreme to the man because they were first?  Or did God leave all of His creation in the hands of the supreme last created beings as I believe occurred?  God says that man was created to have dominion which means to rule and have authority over ALL of the animals in Genesis 1:26.  I do not see how a lower created being could have been fashioned to be smarter than God’s man made in the image and likeness of God himself.   I do not recall any other being that was made to be like God in Genesis 1 or 2.  I also recall no other recorded conversation between God and any other created being.  Both of those are major problems for those who believe in a literal talking snake that deceives Eve.   We are already discovering some very significant inconsistencies in what is being defined and stated versus what is being taught by many preachers and teachers in the church today.  This is a very good time to dig deeper into the Hebrew word definition translated as “serpent” to discover what else is contained within this word.  This Hebrew word H5175 comes from the Hebrew root word H5172 and that is a very important new word to learn and apply to what is being communicated to us by God here in Genesis 3.

  • H5172
  • A primitive root; properly to hiss, that is, whisper a (magic) spell; generally to prognosticate: –  X certainly, divine, enchanter, (use) X enchantment, learn by experience, X indeed, diligently observe.

This Hebrew root word contains the meaning of a “prognosticator”.  Do you know what that is?  That is someone who foretells the future.  This is what many would call a fortune teller who speaks words about forthcoming events in your life.   Do these still exist today?   Are they still talking snakes?    Let’s go back and review the conversation that the woman had in the first 5 verses again using this new information.  Do you recall what the serpent said to the woman?  The serpent begins the conversation with a question to engage her mind.   The serpent asked “Did God say?”   The serpent’s question in verse 1 includes a stated connection back to what God said in chapter two as previously stated in this lesson.  Then when the woman responded to that question in verses 2 and 3 the serpent responds back in verse 4 “No, you shall not surely die”.  Didn’t the serpent just attempt to foretell the woman’s future with this statement?   I find that fact very significant to know.  Then in verse 5 the serpent makes a claim that is beyond comprehension.  The serpent claims to know what God knows.  How could a created inferior being on the earth even come close to knowing what the creator God knows and how would the created superior man and woman not know the same thing or even other greater truths that God shared in personal conversations with them?   Of course many people will counter this information that I just stated with the fact that Jesus claimed the devil was the father of lies (John 8:44) and therefore the serpent was lying in all of these statements.  But using that logic just made this serpent the same as the devil and not a literal talking snake, so which one is it?  You can’t have it both ways even though some have tried to claim the devil possessed the physical body of a created serpent in order to communicate with the woman and I gave you New Testament evidence that this would be an illegal supernatural temptation for the devil to do it this way.  I’m not going to repeat that again.  So far we have at least three possible interpretations given for the identity of the serpent by Bible teachers and these are:

  1. A literal talking snake (A NATURAL ONLY INTERPRETATION)
  2. The devil possessing a literal snake with the devil doing the speaking (A COMBINED NATURAL WITH SPIRITUAL INTEPRETATION)
  3. The devil in the spirit realm talking to the mind of Eve (A SPIRITUAL ONLY INTERPRETATION)

So far I believe that the evidence being presented by God in the Bible dictates that the serpent can only be number 3, but number 2 can be easily beleived by many to be the truth also until you put all of the pieces of the puzzle together correctly and see that this is not possible.   Number 1 is definitely out of the question but we will explore more of why this is not possible also.   What are the facts presented to us so far?

  1. We know the serpent is smart and possesses great intelligence.
  2. We know that the serpent had recall of past events even when not stated to be present during the occurrence of them.  We know the serpent knew what God had said in previous conversations with Adam.
  3. We know that the serpent can remember, think and reason.
  4. We know that the serpent can speak clearly understandable words.
  5. We know that the serpent predicts the future speaking of events that have not transpired whether they are completely accurate or fictitious is really irrelevant to the facts given.
  6. We know from verse 1 in Genesis 3 that the serpent is very cunning. 

There is at least one recorded conversation between man and God in chapter 2.   God’s voice is also described to be walking with man in the garden in Genesis 3:8.   This description clearly makes it sound like it was not the first time that this voice of God walked there since Adam and Eve both recognized Him being present.   But up until this point in Genesis 3 I want you to see clearly that there have been no recorded conversations between a serpent and God, yet this creature is clearly more informed than the man and the woman to know how to deceive them.

I really hope you have read the entire Genesis 3 series of lessons because I’m not going to repeat them here.   I did one lesson on the subject “You shall be as God Knowing Good and Evil” and that was a prophecy of misfortune but yet it would still come to pass.  This statement literally contains the implied knowledge that the serpent understood the current status of God.   All of this information is a direct contradiction for a literal snake to know how to speak, to know the status of God and His thoughts or to even predict the future of the woman.  This is a major problem for a literal only interpretation yet it is explained away because of what people think that Genesis 3:14 says.

Please review the definition for the Hebrew root word H5172 again and see how it was defined.  It is stated to be a literal hiss but then it is directly tied into someone whispering a chant or a magic spell.  This changes the word’s usage from a literal hiss sound to become a potential figurative or symbolic word application.   Do you have any clue yet how Satan communicates to you every day?  Did you even know that the serpent is still speaking to people like you and I every day?   Doesn’t Satan still come to us using whispered subtle phrases?  Aren’t these whispered words of temptation picked up by your mind so that you can hear them as thoughts?  Satan will come to your mind and whisper a thought to entice you and many respond to this mental stimulus, even Christians.  The reader of this chapter can still ignore all of this information and try to take these initial verse statements of Genesis 3:1-5 and 3:13 and 14 literally.  Many people will still try to think that God was speaking to a literal created being that thinks and talks like a man no matter what I teach to the contrary.  But if those that want to see what the Bible really says they should begin to weigh the growing evidence for how this serpent was just a symbolic named reference for the hidden spiritual being named Satan who was not yet revealed to man.   But we need more Bible verses to confirm which viewpoint is the truth and that is the objective today for us to find.  Let’s continue analyzing the phrases in Genesis 3:14 and see the next stated expression.

  • “Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field;

Again in this next statement of Genesis 3:14 we can see a common theme reappearing from Genesis 3:1 in that the serpent is similarly compared to the “cattle” a subset of the beasts of the field and then God compares the serpent to the superset of “all the beasts of the field”.   We should easily know that a literal serpent is not from the livestock mammal class of beings so that is pretty simple to understand that the serpent does not belong in that set or class of created beings.  But again in this verse we see the word ALL being placed in front of the noun set of the “beasts of the field” to qualify the applicable scope of the statement.   Since “ANY”, “EVERY” and “ALL” are synonymous terms and they mean none are omitted from the specified set of referenced nouns we know by this statement made by God alone that the specified serpent is not a member of the “beast of the field” superset or class of created beings either.    This is not rocket science but people ignore the words on the page to render what they want them to say.   God chose these words so it is very important for you not to ignore one word like “all” because it does not conform to what you think it needs to say.  Let’s move on to the last controversial statement that was made by God to the serpent and explore this for the remainder of the Bible lesson:

  • On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life;

People still look at this last statement in verse 14 wondering what it means.  In fact that is exactly what initiated this entire Bible lesson and why I am attempting to respond to two different commenters.  God says in the last part of the verse that the serpent will travel on its belly and eat dust.  Here is where people again begin to jump to erroneous assumptions and wrong conclusions misunderstanding and misapplying what was actually stated.   Because everyone knows that has seen a literal modern snake at the zoo or in their yard that they slither on the ground on their bellies as the primary way to get around they therefore assume that this is what God was declaring to happen.  Thus they believe that God was talking to a literal snake and this is where they become more creative again to imagine or invent some new unstated explanation of what God just said in His Word.    I have heard more than one preacher try to claim that the serpent before the curse walked using legs but after the curse his legs were removed and now he had to slither in the dust on its belly.  That is the required logic that must have transpired for a literal interpretation.  But, that type of belief or reasoning is based upon a form of reverse evolution.  Reverse evolution occurs when a higher formed creature returns, regresses, reverts or mutates backwards to a lesser or inferior form of creation.   This belief is the stated antithesis of the theory of “evolution” also taught as the “evolving” of lesser beings classes that are raised to a higher state of development class by some unknown miracle.  I have a major problem with believing in either of those two theoretical scenarios since there is no written evidence or fossil evidence that either of these theories ever occurred.  If there were walking snakes before the fall then there should be some fossil evidence for them found somewhere on the earth.    Instead of thinking on these words from a completely natural perspective inventing creative untruths to confirm them, let’s divert our attention away and try to see the words from a new spiritual point of view.  We can only counter theories with facts.  We therefore need facts from the Bible that trump the reverse evolution belief.

Do you understand what symbolism is in the Bible?   I have already tried to explain that the “serpent” was a symbolic reference to a spiritual being named Satan as revealed by God in Revelation.   God uses vast amounts of symbolism in the book of Revelation but yet people like to think that God never used symbolism anywhere else in the Bible especially in Genesis.  Suddenly people want to think that God changes to do something new in Revelation and uses a novel technique never before used in the Bible.  But that is clearly not sound reasoning to think that way.  For example, Jesus taught consistently in the Gospels using parables.  What is a parable?  A parable is a lesson about spiritual things using natural symbolic references to convey the message.   Clearly Jesus used natural symbols and I could give you other uses of symbols in the Bible if you do not believe me ask me a question and I will supply you with an introduction to the subject found in the O.T. and even in Genesis.

There is another important concept that is related directly to symbolism found in the Bible called a “figure of speech”.    Do you understand what a figure of speech represents?   I’ll not go into this in depth but I will attempt to give you a couple of examples of a figure of speech to help affirm the conclusion.  If a person today says “You are a pain in my neck”, was he saying something literally or figuratively?  I believe you are smart enough to know that this is a figurative description of the person and not a literal one.  You can see God using this illustrated type of speaking example in the Bible several times when He says to the natural people of Israel “Wipe them out or they will become thorns in your side” (Num 33:55, Jos 23:13, Jdg 2:3).   You see God was not speaking to Israel literally so He must have been declaring a figurative statement that they should have been smart enough to recognize.   What is a thorn in your side?   That is just an example of someone who causes you physical, mental or emotional harm or causes you to stumble over something that results in physical, mental or emotional harm.  In these three Bible examples that I just gave you, God was saying these people will introduce you to their idols and by you worshiping them these people will cause you great negative consequences.   That is exactly what God was doing in Genesis 3:14 when speaking to the symbolic serpent.  God was not telling the serpent that he just lost his legs; He was saying something else which you do not even yet understand.

RULES FOR O.T. BIBLE INTERPRETATION

How can we find the meaning of these figurative and symbolic words in the Old Testament?  How do we understand any verse written in the Old Testament if the Jews could read them all for centuries but never saw any of the words that described Jesus’ coming?   These are finally great questions to answer.   Please allow me to introduce you to some very basic rules for O.T. Bible interpretation and understanding.  Read these rules over and then I’ll explain them and apply them more completely as we continue into the rest of the Bible study:

We can only understand the O.T by:

  1. First understanding that the Bible is ONE BOOK written by ONE AUTHOR with superior intelligence (2 Tim 3:16)!  Therefore, we must not study one part of the Bible trying to understand it while ignoring the other parts of the Bible that reveal it.
  2. Secondarily understanding that the Bible interprets itself and we need not add our opinion to the mix or we will violate God’s law of correct interpretation found in 2 Peter 1:20.
  3. Next understanding the revelations, explanation and descriptions of the words, concepts and subjects found in the verses in the New Testament.  The Bible is progressive revelation also called the unveiling, the uncovering or the revelation of the truth (Rom 16:25).
  4. Searching, finding and observing God’s definitions of the words and subjects in the New Testament and other parts of the Bible where they are given (Col 1:26).
  5. Observing the context of the verses around it.
  6. Observing God’s usage of the same Hebrew words in the other verses of the O.T.
  7. Looking up the definitions of the Hebrew words in dictionaries like Strong’s.

That is certainly not an exhaustive list of rules for correct O.T. Bible interpretation but that was enough to help get you started moving in the right direction for studying this part of the Bible.  I have just given you a short “to do” list for O.T. Bible study.  This is a list of items to consider when desiring to know what you are reading from the Old Testament.  These are very specific things that you should not ignore but rather learn, apply and deliberate on while you read the Bible.  These are very direct items that are essential for studying to find God’s revealed answers to your questions.   These are the basic rules that I follow and I will apply them directly to the rest of this lesson to teach you how you should apply them to what you do.  Not understanding them and applying them is the primary reason why many Christians do not know what the words on the pages mean.   They simply have not been taught how to resolve the lack of structure for how they study the Bible.  I hope that you at least try to use this initial list and see how it changes what you find in the Bible.  If you find them to not be useful, then that does not bother me but it might reveal why we believe differently about the same verse.  Let’s study the verse here in Genesis 3:14 using these rules and see what develops and changes about what we can see in the verse.

I will say that rule number 1 is a general statement of fact and truth.  It is repeated in more detail in rules 2, 3 and 4.  The combination of the first four rules is us finding God’s details and interpretations already recorded in the Bible.   We do this these through other rules that I may or may not get into fully in this lesson.  I just mention this because I know them and you probably do not unless you have read most of my other Bible lessons where I give you descriptions in certain places on how to use them.  I’m sorry I just can’t teach everything that I know in every Bible lesson or I would never get a lesson completed.

RULES 1 AND 2: ALLOWING GOD TO INTERPRET HIS WORD

I want to begin with rules 1 and 2 of every sound Bible interpretation.  We must allow God the author of the entire Bible to interpret His own words in order to leave our thoughts out of the meanings.   God’s mind is superior to my mind and yours.  When we introduce the thoughts of our mind into the discussion we introduce an inferior process and way of thinking.  I have discovered from many years of Bible study that God is smart enough to interpret His own writings if we can become smart enough to learn how to find them and apply them.   That is your number one challenge being issued within the Word of God.  Go find the verses that explain the verse that you want to learn about in the Old Testament.  That is what we need to do next so let’s go looking for some New Testament explanatory words for what we have read in Genesis 3:14.

RULES 3 & 4: WHAT DOES THE NEW TESTAMENT TEACH ABOUT SERPENTS?

Since someone was questioning if the serpent in Genesis 3 was literal or symbolic we need to ask what does the New Testament say about “serpents” and how should these references be applied to this question concerning Genesis 3?    Can you see that I have already answered a portion of this question in the previous lessons in the series?  I pointed you to two verses in Revelation (Rev 12:9 & Rev 20:2) where God directly identifies and names the “old serpent” and the “ancient serpent” to be the literal enemy Satan.  This was a God inspired definition that was further mentioned within the context of another symbolic name for the same individual called the “dragon” and that truth helps to teach us that the serpent and the dragon are both symbolic titles for Satan.   We need to treat both referenced titles of the serpent and the dragon to be equivalent for the literal spiritual being named Satan.  There are also other references to a serpent in Revelation and one is found in Revelation 9:19 where God uses this same word to be like something else.  This fact teaches us that God is in the practice of using a serpent as symbolism to teach us about spiritual things that we have never observed with our eyes.  The next reference that I gave was that of Revelation 12:9 but also in this same chapter God uses the serpent again as symbolism to be associated with a symbolic woman also mentioned in the same chapter.  I hope that you have already read my Bible study on Genesis 3:15 called “The Seed of the Woman and the Seed of the Serpent”.   If not you really do not understand that Genesis 3:15 and Revelation 12 are parallel prophecies of a soon coming future event.

If you continue to read down in Revelation 12 to verse 14 you will see the woman and a serpent being mentioned in the same verse.  I’m not going to elaborate on these, just understand that they are both symbolic for someone else.    In the very next verse Revelation 12:15 you will find the fifth reference in Revelation to a serpent.  In this verse you should be smart enough to see that this serpent is again a symbolic reference and he is stated to spew symbolic water out of his mouth like a flood to cause the woman to be carried away by the flow.   I really do not have the time to teach this chapter in full.  Just understand that the woman and the serpent are both clear symbols for a greater defined spiritual reality and God is for the woman and against the serpent.   We also know that the woman is not named or identified directly but the serpent was and that is what we were searching for to understand Genesis 3:14. This is just very basic information that helps us to confirm that the serpent in Genesis 3:1 through 3:14 was not a literal reference but rather also a symbolic association.

The term “serpent” is only mentioned in 15 verses of the KJV New Testament.  Only once can it possibly be considered to be a literal created serpent moving on the ground.  Let me give you all of these verses so that you can review them for yourself to learn how God uses the term:

Verse

Symbolic/Literal

Description

Matthew 7:10 Symbolic Referenced by Jesus in a teaching about Father giving the Holy Spirit
Matthew 10:16 Symbolic Referenced by Jesus in a teaching to His disciples about them being wise as a serpent but harmless has doves both symbolic references
Matthew 23:33 Symbolic/Figurative Speaking Jesus speaking the leaders of Israel calling them a generation of vipers.
Mark 16:18 Symbolic Jesus instructing the disciples after His resurrection often called the Great Commission
Luke 10:19 Symbolic Jesus speaking in contextual reference to Satan giving authority to His church to tread on the serpent
Luke 11:11 Symbolic Jesus speaking to the church about the Father in Heaven giving the Holy Spirit
John 3:14 Symbolic Reference to O.T. symbol being placed on a pole by Moses
1 Cor 10:9 Symbolic/Literal Possibly a reference to either or both a symbolic and literal snakes killing Israeli people in the wilderness who disobeyed God
2 Cor 11:3 Symbolic An explanatory reference written about Eve being deceived in her mind by the serpent
James 3:7 Literal Here James is using a reference to taming created animals and creatures but this is a totally different Greek word than all the other references to a serpent.  This one is G2062 and is translated as “creeping thing” every other time in the N.T.
Rev 9:19 Symbolic Used by God to describe the 4 angels that kill 1/3 of the human race during the tribulation
Rev 12:9 Symbolic Verse where God identifies Satan to be the serpent of old
Rev 12:14 Symbolic Symbolic connection of the woman and the serpent found in Genesis 3:15
Rev 12:15 Symbolic Symbolic connection of the woman and the serpent in Genesis 3:15
Rev 20:2 Symbolic God again clarifies the identity of the ancient serpent to be Satan

I just gave you 14 verses containing the direct references to the Greek word G3789 translated as “serpent” and the evidence is very clear to me that the vast majority of the N.T. word usage must be considered as symbolic references to a spiritual being.  The only verse that I could possibly leave to be a natural snake was 1 Corinthians 10:19 when God was describing what occurred to the natural people of Israel in the wilderness after they disobeyed God.  Every other reference appears to be a symbol for Satan and the enemy of God.  I can still see how people could argue about some verses being literal but that is probably because they do not see what is stated.  For example the 2 times that Jesus speaks about a father giving his son a serpent when the son asks for a fish is definitely an example of a parable where all named nouns represent a spiritual reality not named.  The literal symbol of a snake in these verses is used by Jesus to teach a spiritual lesson.  Then consider John 3:14 where the serpent was placed on a pole to bring healing to the people of Israel in the wilderness.  This is clearly another symbolic representation for Christ being made sin for the salvation of His people in the New Testament.  I do not know how you can ignore all of this evidence?   If the New Testament references are 13 out of 14 for the “serpent” being symbolic in the N.T. then this teaches us that we must consider this information and apply it to what we are trying to understand in the Old Testament.  God would not have given us so many clear examples if we were supposed to not understand them.  So if you did not realize it already, I have just used the first four rules of O.T. Bible interpretation to discover the explanation, definition and identity of the “serpent” in Genesis 3.

I would also like to teach you a basic Bible fact that the O.T. was written in Hebrew and the N.T. was written in Greek.  How then do we know that a N.T. Greek word is equivalent to a given O.T. Hebrew word?   That is another Bible interpretation rule that needs to be learned and observed.  There are generally two ways to solve this language difference problem.  The first primary way is to find an O.T. verse that is quoted in the N.T. that contains the word that you are searching for.   Since the “serpent” word is not found in this manner we must use plan B.   Plan B is finding a verse that speaks about the subjects found in the O.T. even though it is not a direct quote.   Since 2 Corinthians 11:3 contains the subjects of Eve and the serpent together we can confirm conclusively that the Greek Word G3789 is equivalent to the Hebrew word H5175.   We are now assured by rule definition that these verses found in the N.T. are speaking to us about the same subject given by the author in Genesis 3.   That was a very important part of the study that I just gave you.   I did not use random chance to connect O.T. words with N.T. words.  I used rule based methods that were designed by God and that changes everything.

RULE 5: WHAT IS THE CONTEXT OF GENESIS 3:14?

Let’s move on to rule number five for correct Bible interpretation.  This rule involves us observing the context of the verse in question.  This would include the speakers, the participants and the intended reader audience.  Let’s begin this section of study by observing the next verse 15 following Genesis 3:14 because I believe this is very relevant information.   I have already published a Bible study on this subject that you should have previously read but if not we will go back over parts of it very quickly.  The statement in verse 15 is a continuation of the statement in verse 14, do you understand this?  Therefore whatever God was talking about in verse 14 is still being continued in verse 15.  I cannot disconnect the two verses and neither can you if you use wisdom.  God is still speaking to the same symbolic serpent but God is now introducing a new important connection for the serpent.   I’ll give you the verse so that you can read it again for a mental refresher:

  • Gen 3:15  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

God introduces us to a woman in verse 15 that He declares to be the serpent’s new forthcoming or prophetical enemy.  God says very clearly I will put enmity (hostility or hatred) between you (the serpent) and her (the woman).  Right there that new statement should become a mental “turn on the light bulb moment” clue for you that this stated serpent is not a literal physical talking snake.  Yes women are not the usual friends with natural snakes but that is clearly not what God is saying in this prophesy.  You do realize that this statement was a prophetical statement, don’t you?   Eve was the only literal physical woman present during this conversation, therefore you must show me where she ever stepped on the head of this physical snake to bruise her heal or bruise the literal serpent’s head.  Since you cannot find a verse that states this occurred, that is a major problem for a physical or literal snake’s existence as being cursed by God in verse 14.   A physical serpent’s life span in this day and age is less than 50 years by far.  Therefore this event if it was a literal snake must have occurred during a time span of reasonable age less than the life time of the woman in this chapter.  Since it was not recorded as a past event we must now reassess if a literal snake makes any logical sense at all anywhere in this chapter.

No God is again speaking purely prophetically and figuratively in verse 15 using natural symbols for a coming spiritual event.  The woman is symbolic, the seed is symbolic, the heel is symbolic and therefore the serpent must also be symbolic along with the head of the serpent.  If you can find me where any literal woman, heel or seed steps on the head of any literal snake to bruise it then we can all join together into the same belief that this is a literal historic account of literal beings.   I believe what we have just confirmed is that verse 15 is symbolic and matches what I previously showed you to be symbolic references in Revelation 12.   If the context of Genesis 3:15 is both prophetic and symbolic, then the previous verse 14 references must also be prophetic and symbolic and that changes most everyone’s way of viewing it.  This means in verse 14 the serpent is symbolic, the belly of the serpent is symbolic and even the dust is symbolic for some things that you have not yet discovered.  Who knows if I have convinced anyone yet, but we are not finished with the study so please continue to read the next important Bible interpretation rule application.

RULE 6: HOW DOES GOD USE THIS PHRASE IN OTHER O.T. VERSES?

Let’s review what else God says about this subject in the Hebrew Old Testament to consider the further usage of the words found in Genesis 3:14.  We are interested primarily in what God says about a serpent eating dust so I did a search for these key words and found a verse that you must read and apply to what was stated by God in Genesis 3:14.  Obviously God knew that He would have many people that would not understand His selection of the words in Genesis 3:14 so He uses them again to teach us what they mean later in another prophet’s words.  Read this verse slowly and carefully and observe it to be a prophecy on the same subject:

  • Mic 7:17  They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear because of thee.

I need you to examine this verse word by word and then if you don’t know the answers to my questions go and read the context of this verse to see who God is speaking to and about.   I guess I was going to first ask you who and what this verse is concerning but I better just answer it for you so you learn how to do this.  If you go back to Micah 1:1 you will find God informing the prophet Micah concerning the kings of Judah concerning the area of Samaria and the city of Jerusalem.  Therefore the rest of this book is written by that direction and must be interpreted in that light.   When God writes to them and tells them in chapter 7 verse 17 that they will lick the dust like a serpent, is that literal or is that figuratively speaking terminology?   I can see how people will try to make it literal but God is speaking to men using symbolic application.   I connected this verse in Micah to Genesis by looking for “serpent” and “dust” together in the same verse.  God uses a synonymous reference for eating with the term lick but they are basically equivalent phrasings.  I can very clearly eat an ice cream cone by licking it.   Let’s pursue another example of God’s usage of this term in another prophet’s writing:

  • Isa 65:25  The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

Here is another important verse to consider for us understanding Genesis 3:14.  Here is a verse written by the prophet Isaiah literally many hundreds of years after the prophet Moses wrote Genesis and this verse contains the exact same three Hebrew words that Moses used in the Genesis text.  These words are H6083 translated as “dust”, H398 translated as “eat” or “meat” and finally H5175 translated as “serpent”.   The translators made a slight modification so that the one word “eat” from Genesis 3:14 is not easily recognizable but that is why I searched using the Strong’s numbers and not the English words.  Did you read this verse and consider how it applies to Genesis 3:14?   Is the verse in Isaiah speaking literally or figuratively?   I also want to ask you is this statement a historical past tense description, a present tense right now (at the time of the writing) description or a prophetical future tense based event description?   I can potentially hear many different answers to my question but only one answer can be correct.   Since this is the prophet Isaiah writing many, many years after Moses wrote Genesis 3:14 and both are speaking of the same thing I cannot agree that this occurred in past history in Genesis 3.  No, I see both statements in Genesis 3 and Isaiah 65 to be written about a future coming prophetic event that has not yet occurred.   If you do not agree then explain to my when you ever saw a lamb lie down with a lamb and dwell in peace and safety?  For that matter when was the last time you saw a wolf eat straw regularly?  Then analyze the last part of this verse and tell me when this has occurred in the Bible?   God describes that His Holy Mountain will never again be destroyed nor will there be found any hurt or pain present there?   I just don’t have the time to explain this verse fully.  Please know that this has not yet occurred and will not occur until the end of Revelation the last chapters.   Then know that if this verse is a future speaking prophecy it helps us to understand how Genesis 3:14 is concerning the same prophecy.

I want you to understand very clearly that Isaiah 65:2 and Genesis 3:14 are the only two verses in the entire Old Testament (23,145 verses)  that contains these three exact Hebrew words together.  Do you believe that was a coincidence or a chance occurrence?   I really do not believe that.  God has placed a design in the Bible using extreme intelligence.  He has implement certain rules of interpretation that are being revealed now to help us through the use of computers to find the meanings of what was written thousands of years ago.

CONCLUSION

Since I have already used Rule 7 in previous discussions of the Hebrew word for “serpent” I will not redo that work in this part of the lesson.   I pray that you understand how I applied the definition of the word in Strong’s and the Hebrew root word to the lesson to show how it was used symbolically.   I have covered the application of seven Bible rules of interpretation.  We have explored New Testament references and definitions and applied them to what was spoken of by God in Genesis 3:14.  We have looked at the context of Genesis 3:14 to see that it was  both prophetic and symbolic.   We have looked for and found other verses in the O.T. to further confirm this was also a prophesy found in Genesis 3:14.  What I have attempted to do is to teach you that the words of a verse in Genesis can have a much different intended purpose by God than a literal only interpretation.  I have used sound rules to give you a new and different way of seeing the words.  I may have not fully explained what the words “upon your belly you shall go and eat dust all the days of your life” mean but I have tried to teach that God does offer a way to learn what they mean by searching the Bible.  If you still do not understand we can do more lessons later on this subject of the symbolic serpent if you ask direct questions about what I have presented to you.  From everything that I have found so far in the Bible there is only evidence given by God to support a symbolic reference for the serpent in Genesis 3 to be Satan and not a literal talking snake.   I thank you for taking the time to read this advanced Bible study lesson and please help others to see what God has said in His Word.

Understanding Isaiah 53 the Good News of God’s Substitutionary Saving Grace! Part 1

Isaiah-Bible-Series(ver 1.1)   This is Part 1 in a lesson series on understanding the prophesied saving work of Jesus predicted to come in Isaiah 53.  I recently received a valid important question concerning the prophecies found in Isaiah 53.   The basis for the question was who this chapter was about, who are the players and characters being described and is this God pouring out His judgment upon someone and why was it necessary?  As part of this question I surmised that this also included the implied question of, “Was all of this prophecy fulfilled and if yes, what was accomplished by the fulfillment of this prophecy?”    I will not be attempting to answer every part of all these questions in this single Bible lesson today.   In order to understand the deep subjects of any chapter in the Bible we must first regress to understand the very basic subjects that establish the foundation for the deep.   Therefore today’s lesson is a teaching of the basic concepts found in Isaiah 53 to lay the foundation for the coming more complex subjects being mentioned.   I pray that you understand why I teach in this manner.  Paul said “I fed you milk and not with meat because you were not able to bear it” (1 Cor 3:2).  God teaches us very clearly that we should not get the cart before the horse and expect the passage to be successful while striving for deeper knowledge and understanding.   Therefore I am going to leave the meat parts of this subject to a future lesson in the series and focus upon the more important subjects in today’s lesson.

This chapter of the Old Testament is actually vital to understand as a Christian.  God places certain facts here that apply to us today and these help us understand why some people are saved and some are not.   In the English King James Version of the Bible there are several Hebrew words that were poorly translated by the translators.   These mistranslated Hebrew words cause serious doubts and even confusion when read in isolation ignoring the New Testament explanations and descriptions.  Without studying and researching what these original Hebrew words really mean people are left wondering what was actually prophesied by God to occur and who these words were really written about.   Also when we find the Hebrew scripture being quoted in the New Testament many of the Greek language translations were done with greater degree of accuracy.  Why the translators were not smart enough to be consistent I cannot explain but I have learned that I must find the answers from the New Testament in order to understand the writings of the Old Testament.

There is an essential basic concept found on the pages of the Old Testament that is absolutely crucial to understanding any of it.  Every word found on the pages of the Old Testament is completely true from a natural perspective but the spiritual meanings of the words have been hidden from the natural human viewpoint being veiled from their carnal minds.   I know of very few Bible teachers that teach or try to explain this spiritual veiled writing technique.  I have learned this fact simply because the Holy Spirit taught it to me personally and I did not learn it from any human teacher.   That is exactly why I teach this over and over to allow more people to understand the importance of this truth.   Every unsaved person will never be able to read the O.T. in isolation and figure out what it is all about.  Even carnal baby Christians do not have a clear perspective to what the O.T. was written about.  In today’s lesson whatever I say about the chapter of Isaiah 53 will come directly from the New Testament and this is the proper way to understand any verse written in the O.T.  In doing this we allow the Holy Spirit to interpret and define the O.T. words that are presented.     I am going to focus only on the first verse in this lesson on Isaiah 53.   I believe that Isaiah 53:1 contains the key to unlock the rest of the chapter.  In other words if you do not understand Isaiah 53:1 completely you will not understand the verses that follow. We will discover this fact by continuing to read and learn what the Holy Spirit has to say about it.

IS ISAIAH 53 EASILY UNDERSTOOD?

What I am going to do to begin this lesson is to turn to a story in the New Testament and go through a good portion of it to help confirm what I have just introduced you to in the first few paragraphs concerning the hidden spiritual information found in the O.T.   I want you to ask God to open the spiritual eyes of your understanding and allow you to see what He has to say in His Holy Word!  God gives us a very clear example of the O.T. hidden spiritual truth fact in the book of Acts.   If you go to Acts chapter 8 you will find this story and I ask that you read it over carefully and consider what was just revealed to you by God and how it applies to your understanding of the same passage:

  • Act 8:26  And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
  • Act 8:27  And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
  • Act 8:28  Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
  • Act 8:29  Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
  • Act 8:30  And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
  • Act 8:31  And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
  • Act 8:32  The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
  • Act 8:33  In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
  • Act 8:34  And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
  • Act 8:35  Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

This God inspired story is pretty awesome.  You can clearly see from reading verse 34 that the man did not understand what he was reading.  Here is a Gentile man from Ethiopia and he was sitting and reading the book of Isaiah and wondering what these words meant.  If you note from the context this man was a seeker of God coming to Jerusalem to worship and that is very important for what happens next and why.  Hebrews 11:6 tells us that God rewards those that diligently seek Him and this story is a prime example of that basic truth.   The Ethiopian man was struggling greatly with the understanding of the words that he could clearly read on the scroll before him but he still desired earnestly to know their meaning.  If you are observant you will find that this man was reading the words found in Isaiah 53.   God sent to him a preacher man to help explain the words and this man was named Philip an evangelist of God.    Well as you can clearly read in verse 35, Philip preached the hidden Christ in Isaiah 53 and as a result of this explanation this man was saved.    We have just learned something very important.

I have personally learned a lot from this story.  The primary take away is to understand that Isaiah 53 is predominately about Jesus the Messiah/Christ.  The second most important thing to understand from this chapter of Isaiah is the primary theme concerning Jesus pertains to human salvation since the Ethiopian was saved after hearing and understanding just these words.  The initial verse that Philip preached from was Isaiah 53:7.  This was where the Ethiopian was focused on so Phillip used it to teach the man about Jesus our silent sacrificed lamb.   It is important to note that when Acts 8 occurred there was no New Testament to read or share with others.  So the early church had to use only the Old Testament to preach and get people saved.    Do you understand this?   Why couldn’t this Ethiopian man just read the text, figure it out and get saved without anyone preaching and teaching him what the words meant?   Did the words on the page suddenly change when someone preached them?  I really do not think they did, but something happened to change the man’s perspective who was listening to a new way of seeing them.   A wrong thinking within the human mind is the greatest reason why the words are not known to the spirit of the man.   Once the mind is opened and cleared to see the words they are passed into the spirit of man to be believed.   I’ll definitely be talking more about his as we go forward.

God designed a system based upon divine grace and human faith where salvation is the common desired end result for both.  The fact that someone must preach the Gospel and the hearer must believe the Gospel is just a part of God’s design for salvation.  There is something about a man speaking with authority and preaching the Gospel with boldness that makes the words on the page come alive to many people that want to know them.  This Ethiopian man clearly desired to know them, was open to learning about them and God sent the preacher to open the words up from their concealed original state to be seen through preaching and teaching.

So far we have looked at only one reference of Isaiah 53 found in Acts 8 and have discovered the central theme to be salvation and the theme giver to be Jesus Christ.  That is the foundation for the rest of this lesson.   I might point out to you that the name “Isaiah” does not appear in the New Testament.  However that does not mean his written words are not found there.   The problem is that the New Testament was written in the Greek language and the name Isaiah was transliterated from Hebrew into Greek and then into English.   The Old Testament was transliterated directly from Hebrew omitting the Greek transition and thus we have two different spellings for the same name.   In the KJV New Testament the name “Isaiah” is written as “Esaias”.   This Greek word that was changed to “Esaias” is G2268 and it is derived from the Hebrew name H3470 written as “Isaiah” in the English.  Just understand that they are both the exact same name.  Then learn what the name means in the Hebrew.  “Isaiah” literally means “Jah saves”.   “Jah” is a short form of the Hebrew “Jehovah” (H3050) a primary name of God in the Old Testament.  The name of the prophet designates further hidden confirmation of the book’s main subject content.   Isaiah the prophet wrote about God’s plan of salvation for man so we need to learn how this applies and what it entails.

ISAIAH 53:1

I’m only going to go through the first verse in Isaiah 53 to keep the lesson shorter.  Then I will move to the New Testament to understand this verse.   What we will be looking for is the New Testament explanations and applications for what Isaiah recorded for God.   It is absolutely essential that you understand these words written to the natural nation of Israel are applicable to us and for us in the church.  If you do not know this you will discount them as being irrelevant and unimportant.  The reason I know they apply to the church is because these verses in Isaiah 53 are quoted in the New Testament repeatedly and explained there.  So we will begin reading with verse 1 of Isaiah 53 and then find the references to it in the New Testament:

  • Isa 53:1  Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

Isaiah 53 begins with one of the most incredible O.T. hidden secrets that was only revealed to us in the New Testament writings after Jesus was raised from the dead.  Isaiah 53:1 is about the subject of faith.  Nowhere in this verse is that subject described, named, or defined and that is the reason very few understand it.  Galatians 3:23 describes a principle that faith was revealed (uncovered, made clear, opened for view) by God in the New Testament.  In order for any subject to be uncovered for view it had to be previously covered from view.  That is further confirmation for what I have taught.    However, if you do not understand the subject of faith then you will not understand this verse is about faith.   I would strongly suggest that you go and read my lesson series on “Understanding Bible Faith” if you have not read them.  This will build a foundation for understanding what is written here in Isaiah 53:1.   I will attempt to give you a brief overview of the subject of faith but I cannot repeat the lessons in any detail.  What is the number one question being asked here in Isaiah 53:1?   God very clearly says “Do you believe the report”?   What is a report?   A report is a spoken account of a given event by a witness or an expert qualified to speak about it.   Remember what we just read about in Acts 8 concerning the Ethiopian man?   Didn’t God send the report of a witness to the man from Ethiopia so that he could hear and believe it?   Did the Ethiopian believe the report sent by the Lord?  Evidently the Ethiopian man was saved because he did believe what was reported to him by Phillip.  Wow, that is pretty amazing!

Let’s analyze the last part of the verse, before we move on to the New Testament references.   What does it mean if something must be revealed?   As I previously stated anything that is revealed must first be concealed.  No one on their birthday ever knows for sure what present they have been given until it is opened and revealed to them.  What does the arm of the Lord represent in this verse?  These are both key determining factors for what I am teaching.   God reveals what was previously hidden from plain view was something unexpected.   In this case the subject being revealed is connected directly to the “arm of the Lord”.  The Hebrew word H2220 that was translated as “arm” can have either a literal or figurative application.   God’s “arm” in this verse is a reference to the figurative and not the literal.   This figurative Hebrew word will apply to God’s strength and power being revealed.   But, since we are limiting the discussion to Jesus and the salvation of man by definition of context discovered from reading the Acts 8 application, we will need to search and find what God says concerning the power of God that has saved men today.   Do you recall any verses like this in the New Testament?   One comes to my mind very quickly and I ask you to read and learn the reason why I say this:

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

I need you to see what God has just plainly stated.   The Gospel is defined to be the power of God for our salvation.  We also have a direct connection to Isaiah 53:1 with God’s usage of the word “believe”.   Since we have previously seen a clear example of Phillip preaching the Isaiah 53 verses to an Ethiopian Gentile man and him being saved from it because he believed the spoken report, we know concretely that Isaiah 53 is the Gospel that contains the power of God for salvation.   Therefore God declared Isaiah 53 to be His arm of power that saves if you will see what it says.  Let’s move on and look at the direct quotes of Isaiah 53:1.

Isaiah 53:1 is quoted specifically in the New Testament twice.  We will look at both of them.   I believe to fully understand this verse we must go and discover how God used it in the New Testament, how it was applied and why it was selected.  The first occurrence of Isaiah 53:1 is found in the book of John.   Jesus is the primary speaker within the context and His words are followed by God’s connection to Isaiah 53:1.  Therefore these words of Jesus must contain some very important information directly from the author of the entire book.   Read these verses very slowly and carefully:

  • Joh 12:35  Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
  • Joh 12:36  While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
  • Joh 12:37  But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
  • Joh 12:38  That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?

These are actually very relevant words to learn.   Jesus claims to be the light of the world.  But this is a spiritual light and not a physical one.   Then Jesus says to them “to believe in the light”.   What is God in the flesh saying?    He is saying I’m here to fulfill Isaiah 53 and you can see this very clearly reading the context in verses 37 and38 where John also quotes from Isaiah 53:1.   What God is doing is teaching us that people have a very significant role to play in the process of salvation.   Jesus was God in the flesh walking like every other man before them and they chose not to believe in Him of their own freewill.  These Jews were NOT saved because they failed to believe and not because Jesus failed to save them.   If you don’t understand this you need to regress to even more basic Bible subjects.

Isaiah asks who has believed the report and Jesus said “Believe in me” and then goes away and hides himself from the people so that they can see what it would be like without Him being found.   John tells us that they saw great miracles but still did not believe in Him.    That is not good news for them because there are no second chances after death occurs.   I do not have time to teach everything that is found in these verses.  Just understand the statement that Jesus was sent to fulfill Isaiah 53 and this further confirms the chapter was about Him and His saving work for man to believe in.  Let’s move on to read the second critical N.T. reference of Isaiah 53:1 which is found in the book of Romans:

  • Rom 10:16  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
  • Rom 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Here in this chapter’s context is found invaluable information concerning God’s saving power extended to man.    God quotes Isaiah 53:1 in verse 16 after He tells how to be saved in verses 9 and 10 of this chapter.    How are you saved according to Romans 10:9-10?  You must start by believing in Him and this includes believing that God raised Him from the dead.  Then you must confess with your mouth Him to be your Lord.   This is the basic requirement for salvation and it starts with believing the report since you were not there to witness the resurrection for yourself.  That is how faith works, you believe and you say.  This is a very basic reality but one that is ignored by many Christians.

It is very interesting to note that Paul quotes 12 different O.T. verses from Deuteronomy, Psalms, Isaiah, Proverbs, Nahum and Joel in this chapter context including the last verse of chapter 9.   I find that fact off the charts fascinating and significant to learn.  This knowledge helps to prove what I call the law of related distributed truths.   I am a firm believer that God has placed many connected clues in the Old Testament being spread out like random seeds in a field as perceived by the casual reader.   To put these random verses all together correctly without the Lord’s assistance is like trying to solve a large complex double sided puzzle without any pictures on any of the pieces.  If you do not understand the significance of this distributed factual information being combined together as an integrated lesson then I would suggest that you go and read the context of every O.T. quoted verse found here in Romans 10 and then try to figure out for yourself how God did this and why.   How is it possible that 12 different verses from several different books of the Old Testament were combined into a single unified subject lesson taught to the church?  I wish people would begin to learn the complexity of the Bible instead of ignoring these types of important factual details.

I believe that this information which I have just given to you is confirmation that the entire O.T. contains hidden references about Jesus, the church and salvation and we should quickly begin to realize that Jesus is the central theme of the entire book.   God teaches us how that the writings of 5 or 6 different prophets can all be tied together to teach a single cohesive lesson about Jesus and human salvation.   I’ll give you a list of the verses so that you can do some more research on your on:

QUOTE

O.T. REFERENCE

Romans 9:33 Isaiah 8:14
Romans 10:6 Deuteronomy 30:12
Romans 10:7 Deuteronomy 30:13
Romans 10:8 Deuteronomy 30:14
Romans 10:11 Isaiah 28:16
Romans 10:13 Joel 2:32
Romans 10:15 Isaiah 52:7; Nahum 1:15
Romans 10:16 Isaiah 53:1
Romans 10:18 Psalm 19:4
Romans 10:19 Deuteronomy 32:21
Romans 10:20 Isaiah 65:1
Romans 10:21 Proverbs 1:24; Isaiah 65:2

I want you to understand God’s usage of the Isaiah 53:1’s reference in the context of Roman’s 10 more clearly.  If you back up and read the end of chapter 9 you will clearly see that Paul was writing about the natural Jews that Jesus was speaking directly to in John 12 and this connection carries forward into chapter 10 with Paul’s statement “I pray that they all will be saved” in verse 1 of chapter 10.  Paul then goes into a comparative writing between two diverse types of people; those saved by faith and those that were attempting to save themselves by their individual works of righteousness.   Paul as you can observe says these people of natural Israel have rejected the gift of God’s righteousness through faith because they have failed to believe the report.   Now let me emphasize two other verses found in Romans 10:

  • 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?
  • Rom 10:15  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

These words contain some of the keys to understanding Isaiah 53.  We need to learn that God has directed some to preach the Good News Report.  This is a required design from God.   Jesus came to the earth to preach and teach as well as to save.  We have already seen the fact that Isaiah 53:1 was used by John to inform natural Israel that Jesus had brought them light and Jesus said for them to follow the light.  Follow the light is just another way to say “Believe”!    I have also previously shown you in Acts 8 where Phillip preached Isaiah 53 to get the Ethiopian to believe and get saved.  Now we can see Paul using Isaiah 53 and all of these references have to do with the existence of a preacher with a message sent to those that can hear and have faith to believe the report to be saved.    We have just achieved 3 witnesses in the New Testament that Isaiah 53 is the GOSPEL of JESUS CHRIST!   Gospel literally means good news.   What was the good news that Jesus provided to us from Isaiah 53?  I guess that is what everyone needs to know next.  But let’s focus in on one more verse in Romans 10:13:

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

Whosoever means me!   This is a verse written to me since I am clearly a “whosoever” by qualified application.   Whoever calls upon the name of the LORD, will be saved.   I want you to review one key word in this verse found in the original Greek language.    The Greek word G4982 which is translated as “saved” is the word “SOZO” and I have made mention of this word before.  But I want you to learn a new association.  We can clearly see the primary subject is salvation and God connects salvation back to the verses found in Isaiah 53:1 by His choice and intelligent design.  Therefore we must understand what Isaiah 53 was written about by understanding how God uses it here in the N.T.    The Greek word SOZO literally means to be made whole and complete.  The antithesis of wholeness is incompleteness.  Incompleteness is a state of lack or a deficit in entirety.  This word has broad application.  This Greek word crosses over into three realms of reality simultaneously.   God’s plan of salvation included your spiritual salvation (wholeness), your mental salvation (wholeness) and your physical salvation (wholeness) in one act of His divine saving Grace.  This teaches us literally what Isaiah 53 must contain and it MUST include all of these subjects or God does not remain consistent with the N.T. message of salvation.   We now should better understand what to be looking for when reading Isaiah 53.   We must search and look for the salvation of our spirit, soul and body.

I think this is a good place to end this lesson today.   We have learned a lot of good basic information from searching the New Testament and finding God’s explanations for what was written in Isaiah 53.  We should now know that the 53rd chapter of Isaiah is God’s power (arm) to save, heal and deliver us.   We should also  know that Isaiah 53 is only made effective in a human’s life if they choose to hear it proclaimed and believe the report.  I thank you for your time reading the Bible and studying God’s Words.  Please come back and tell others about what you have learned.  God Bless!

If you would like to continue reading in this series of lesson you may continue to “Part 2” now.

BIBLE ANSWERS: What Does the Bible say About Church Governance and the Proper Structure of Authority?

Question-marks(Ver 1.1)  I recently received this question and felt led to respond to it publically.  The question was asked, what is the correct organized structure of authority for church government?  My answer from the Bible may or may not conform to what you believe is true or the way that your church does things.   But, my answer will definitely be spiritually Word of God based and that will automatically cause many to reject it.  You are welcome to give me any specific Bible verses that teach what you believe represents the truth for this answer.  What I will not accept is your denomination’s doctrinal statement created by ignorant men that does not conform to any Biblical truth.   If that is what you want to give me don’t waste your time or mine.  I only base my beliefs on the Bible and I leave out the opinions of all others.   You would probably be wise to do the same.

Too often Christians want to read the Bible and find all of the rules for life, the church and for being a real Christian in a neat set of itemized instructions.  People like to over simplify everything and live by a list of prioritized “do this” and “do not do this” in order to believe that they are on the correct path to pleasing God.   They often feel like their good works permits them to be worthy to be in God’s presence.  Possessing any feelings that you are pleasing to God because you have satisfied a very small part of what you think you know about the Bible is a very foolish attempt at exalting yourself to match God’s established standards and know everything that God knows.  If this approach did not work for Lucifer it will never work for us either.  What I am attempting to do is to point us to a new spiritual way to think about church government.    Quit thinking like mere men and consider the thoughts and ways of God and make these your priority in the church.  Today I’m going to list at least 3 key factors for establishing correct church government and structure.  Without all of these three spiritual factors being involved nothing that we do will work.

#1: BEING LED BY THE SPIRIT

What I have noticed about God in the Bible is that He rarely does the same thing twice exactly as He did before with anyone.  One time in the wilderness when the people desperately needed a drink of water God told Moses to hit the rock with his staff and the water would come.  The next time this exact same event occurred God said “speak to the rock” and the water will come.  If God addresses the same problem in two different ways why do people want to make every church organization look exactly the same?  That mindset does not make any sense to me!   A one solution fits all approach to Christian life and church government is not how I have ever viewed that anything really works successfully.  What works well in one church may not be what God wants to happen in another church at another time and another place.

There is a very profound statement made to ALL Christians in the New Testament that is sometimes rarely followed in many church organizational structure designs.   This essential concept is found in Roman 8:14 where God says “Those that are led by His Spirit, they are the sons of God”.   This verse is very clear to me and it says for us to seek God’s direction and He will guide our steps into the correct paths when organizing our church governments.  God knows how it should be setup and who should be in every position.  Ignore God’s leading and you will get what you will get and that is your best effort to satisfy God in your ignorance.   I believe Romans 8:14 applies directly to us right here and right now in establishing and organizing any church.   Therefore what God might lead for one church might not match exactly for another church.  There are just too many variables and  factors that are involved in creating and managing a church.  The location can be different, the culture can be different, the people can be different, the leadership can be different, the community outreach can be different and all of these play a role in God’s decision on how to direct.  Of course the Spirit of God is never going to contradict His written Holy Word.  Whatever God directs us to do with His Spirit will align perfectly with the Words in the Bible that apply to this subject.   But we