(Ver 1.1) This Part 3 in the series of Bible lessons written during the Coronavirus Pandemic. People in the world today are being overwhelmed with a flood of negative words producing a spirit of fear. This spirit is also called Satan and he has been using the world’s news media as his mouthpiece to spread his evil terrorist agenda. At first the media denied the existence of coronavirus, then they denied the significance of the virus and now they are denying the source of the virus and blaming the President. Leaders in China (the source of the virus) have initiated a propaganda campaign to blame the U.S. military as planting the virus in China and the media cooperates with them. This is the classic distraction technique of Satan. What Satan is guilty of he points to it being God so that humans blame and fear God to not come to Him to be saved. For example, remember when Satan said this to Eve, “Has God said?” Then Satan speaks “You shall not surely die”. Then he said, “for God knows when you eat of the tree you will be like God knowing good and evil” (Gen 3). In other words, Satan pointed the blame to God as being the one that was not truthful. Satan seems to imply that God didn’t want them to become like Him. When in reality they were already made in His likeness. This satanic deception resulted in human rebellion from God and turned them into being afraid of God. It was like they forgot that God was the one that was the source and supply of their every blessing. This is a great deception that is still being followed and imitated today concerning the coronavirus.
If you have not read this series from the beginning, you are welcome to go and read from “Part 1” first and then “Part 2” next. However, this Bible lesson by itself should be a blessing to you. If you are blessed by this encouraging message, please share it with your friends and family. Also press the “Like” button and leave an encouraging comment to share with others. Thank you in advance and may God’s blessings fill your heart and mind with hope as we study about “God’s Victorious Church”.
This series is called “Corona Who” for some good reasons. We talked about one aspect in the last lesson when the “sons of Sceba” were casting out demons from one infected possessed man. The spirit in this infected man said to these foolish young men “Paul I know, Jesus I know but WHO are you?” That is an amazing spiritual question. In the spirit realm there is some people and things that are known and some that are not known. Jesus made a very similar statement when He came to a place called Gadara. He encountered a demon possessed man and asked, “What is your name?” (Mark 5:9). This story is a great Bible study but that is not my main subject. The primary point for mentioning it, is that Jesus asked the devils their name. They answered “Legion, because we are many”. Why didn’t Jesus already know that? Why did Jesus even need to ask the question? I believe it was to teach us an important concept.
Do you recall what Jesus said in Matthew 7:23 to some people that claimed that they knew Him and had even done great works for Him? How could demons in one example in Acts say they know Jesus but Jesus in other examples need to ask them their name? Obviously, Jesus did not know them even if they thought they knew Him. Wow, that is important.
Remember what Jesus said to these people in Matthew 7? Jesus said, “Depart from me for I never knew you”. To know someone intimately and personally is a claim of a covenant relationship. Jesus was saying to these legions of demons in an indirect way “I don’t know you because there is no covenant with you to me”. Wow, that is a lot to think about. Do you believe Jesus knows the coronavirus or the spirit behind this evil? I personally believe they both have no covenant relationship with Him and He would just say “Depart I never knew you”. As a Christian, we have a New Covenant with Jesus. But we better be known by Him when we think we know Him. Therefore, if we are known by Jesus, we should not know the coronavirus. We should be saying “Corona Who?”. Let’s get deeper into the lesson.
GOD’S VICTORIOUS CHURCH
Rom 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.
This is a very encouraging word from God written to us in the church, at the end of the book of Romans. What does this verse mean? Probably not much if you don’t understand the promise source in the Word of God. Paul was referring to a prophecy given in Genesis 3 being spoken to Satan. Perhaps you have read and studied the other lessons on this website about this matter. I hope you have. But, God spoke in Genesis 3:15 “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed and it (her seed) will bruise your head and you shall bruise his (technically in the Hebrew “her”) heal. I don’t have time to explain this verse as in other lessons. But, know this prophesied hatred (enmity) is between us in the church (the bride, wife, woman, body of Christ) and Satan. We can clearly begin to understand that this verse in Genesis 3 is written about the church based upon this verse in Roman 16:20 being written to the bride and body of Christ. Both verses are speaking of the identical subjects.
What does the bruising of an enemy under our feet mean? It must be defined to be “when an enemy (in our case Satan) will be overcome and defeated”. God told Joshua in Joshua 1:3 “Everywhere the sole of your foot shall tread I have given you”. This land that was given to Joshua was still filled with big enemies that could of killed them and they still had to be overcome. Even though the victory was given to them they were required to believe, participate and cooperate to possess what was promised. This is the exact same for us in the church for this promise treading under in Romans 16. We are faced with a lot of invisible enemies including one called the great wall of “Coronavirus”. We are not to be afraid of taking on this enemy. However, we are to do as they did and seek God’s face for direction and instruction. Perhaps God is saying something new to the church today. Pray and ask for His guidance and wisdom to know what He wants us to do during this time to win this battle.
This verse in Romans 16, further warns the church people that will bruise Satan’s head, that they will also have their foot/heel bruised in the process of obtaining the victory. Anything that causes a bruise is usually something that is associated with a strike to that part of the body to cause the pain. Don’t think that Satan is just going to lay there helplessly waiting for us to bruise his head. He is going to resist the defeat with all his power. Jesus never promised that the church believer would experience zero troubles and tribulations (Jn 16:33). I think most of us can testify to this truth who have been saved very long. The more we do for God’s Kingdom, the greater the resistance appears to come out of nowhere. I heard one minister say when God promotes us to a new level there will come greater levels of devils to resist us. We are in a spiritual fight. But we are prophesied to be victorious. Is God a Liar? No, He is not. He even gives us His personal armor to help us (Eph 6). In fact Romans 16 says the God of Peace will do this and Ephesians 6 informs us that He equips our feet with the shoes of peace. Wow, praise God. Peace should be on our feet during this battle. Are you standing in peace? If not, put on His shoes.
When is this bruising of Satan’s head supposed to happen? This is a great hidden mystery. God clearly said when Paul wrote this letter to the Romans that it had not happened yet and that it would occur shortly. These two Greek words G1722 and G5034 that are translated as “shortly” here are also used in Revelation chapter 1 verse 1. Here God says “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servant things which must shortly come to pass”. God appears to be making a connection to the book of Revelation and the end of the church age. This can surely become confusing to humans who have no reference to what eternity represents. Humans are limited to the dimensions of space and time, but God is not. To us 2000 years is a very long time to wait for something to happen, but to God this is only about two days according to 2 Peter 3:8. If I said to you “I’ll see you in a couple (two) days would you think that is a long time? I mean if I lived next door to you that might be different than if I lived in Arizona and you lived in Florida. It might take me two days to drive to where you are and then your perspective would change dramatically. We need to begin to see more things from God’s perspective. Even if the Coronavirus lasted one year of human time that would only be 86.4 seconds to God. Wow, I find that very interesting.
2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
There will be times of pressure, affliction, tribulation and persecution in this world for Christians but, God informs us that this is nothing compared to eternal life in His presence. But God calls this a passing moment of light trouble, meaning it should not be regarded as significant. Remember, us getting a bruise on our foot is far better than Satan’s bruise upon his head.
If you have not read the Bible series on the “True Identity of the Woman in Revelation 12” I would highly recommend you do so. I believe the LORD has taught me that this woman in Revelation 12 represents the victorious, overcoming and raptured church. She is clothed in the Sun and standing on the moon under her feet with a victorious crown on her head. That is a description of the Bride of Christ. The woman is clothed with the Sun and that represents a people being clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ (Mal 4:2). Standing on the moon is the symbolic representation of bruising our enemy Satan under our feet (Rom 16:20). Satan is described to be the ruler of the darkness of this world (Eph 6:12) and God says in the Bible in Genesis, Psalms and the N.T. that the moon rules the dark night (Gen 1:18). I believe with all my heart that the church will be “caught up” very soon as an overcoming bride, not a defeated or beaten wife.
The main point of this Bible lesson is that Satan and his coronavirus are already defeated foes. God has already given to us the victory. But, that does not make Satan and coronavirus powerless. It does make them defeated and under our feet. Jesus and His bride/body are more than conquerors over Satan (Rom 8:37). Let us give thanks to God who always causes His church in Christ Jesus to triumph (2 Cor 2:14). But just as Joshua and the people of Israel had a choice to live in fear of the giants dying in the wilderness and to not possess the victory so the church must make the same decision today.
Let’s try to begin to see this present life more from God’s point of view. What we think is the end of the world today may seem insignificant to what could occur tomorrow or in eternity. Please do not think that I am making this to be as a nothing event. There have been a lot of people in a short time that have died. If anyone has lost a family member or friend during this crisis, we are all praying for you. I hope everyone that died knew Jesus Christ and were known by Him. If they did and He did, they are in a far better place according to 2 Corinthians 5:8. Let’s stand against this unseen enemy and put them under our feet. Let’s use any spare time to pray and ask God how we can reach someone that needs to know God. Live today like it was your last day on earth. Thank you and God bless you. If you need any specific prayer, please leave it as a comment. Jesus is LORD over Satan and over coronavirus!
If you like to continue reading in the series please go to “Part 4“.
~WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DIED TODAY?~
Today, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Savior or you do not have the confidence to KNOW what would happen if you died suddenly it is time to get your life in order. I believe NOW is time to resolve your uncertain eternal destination after this life ends and before it is too late. Some might think I’m not a bad person and have not committed any bad crimes, but God says our righteousness is like filthy rags compared to His standard of Holiness. By default, without making a choice we are all headed to a lake of fire that burns very intensely to be separated from a loving God that already forgave us. That is a very sad reality. One wise man has said NO ONE is ready to live, until they are ready to die. Please go to “Salvation” and read and pray the prayer to receive the free gift of forgiveness & eternal life. This will be the greatest decision that you will ever make. Thank you and God bless you.
Corona Who? Part 2 – Balancing Taking Commonsense Precautions with Applying Faith in God and the Word of God
(Ver 1.1) This Part 2 in a series of Bible lessons concerning the current state of concern called the Coronavirus Pandemic. This is an unseen enemy that is affecting a lot of the world with fear. I have never seen anything exactly like this in my lifetime. I believe most will agree. There have been many thousands that have died so far. Shelves at stores are empty of many of the basics and essentials. People have been ordered to remain in their homes except for important needs. This sounds very similar to the coming times described in the Book of Revelation. But I do not believe we are there. I believe this is only the beginning of the birth pains described in Matthew 24:7. Jesus taught us very clearly that things like this would come before the end. Don’t be surprised as these types of events continue to grow in intensity as the sorrows come closer and closer to the end.
INTRODUCTION TO ONE EXTREME ATTITUDE
IGNORING THE POWER OF THE ENEMY
This lesson concerns the issue of extreme positions dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. There are many younger people in the world that think that they are invincible against the virus to believe that it will have no effect on them or anyone else that they encounter. This is truly a non-realistic selfish type of thinking. When I was young, I was no doubt the same way. We all think very little of the consequences of our actions or the consequences of bad choices that result in pain, suffering or death. This attitude is very foolish and not based upon the Truth of the Bible or even basic human common sense. This is an extreme egotistical and self-centered lack of love with no concern for anyone else but themselves (2 Tim 3:1-2).
The reason that I called this Bible study “Corona Who” was because of what God reveals to us in Acts 19:15. In this story there were seven sons of Sceva that attempted to cast our a devil from a man saying “We adjure in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches”. Obviously, these young sons believed they were invincible and nothing bad could happen to them whatsoever. That same attitude is being displayed today. However, God’s Word proves that this was NOT the case. The devil said to these seven sons, “Jesus I know, Paul I know but who are you?” It appears to me like the seven young men in Acts 19 did not consider the power of their unseen enemy that they were faced with. This lack of fear and respect for an unseen enemy is the same as young people today. There is nothing new under the sun!
The devil in this one possessed (infected) man overcame all seven of them, even ripping off their clothes so that they fled and ran away in terror naked. Wow, the parallels to our world is very profound, to say the least. This was just an introductory side subject to the main subject of other extreme attitudes found in the world today concerning coronavirus. I do want to say this introduction to the lesson concerns a few mostly unsaved, unbelieving people of the world. But real and mature Christians should be different. So, let’s change our perspective.
A COMMONSENSE ONLY ATTITUDE VERSUS A FAITH ONLY ATTITUDE
The main subject of this lesson is intended for Christians. I write many of these lessons to help me first and then to share with others second. How should a Christian react to a pandemic virus or plague? We already talked about do not fear it in Part 1. If you have not read that short lesson, I would highly recommend that you begin there first.
I believe the Holy Spirit instructed me to only fear Him. He is the only one that could kill my body and my soul. No epidemic can take my soul unless I blame God for it to curse God and die like Job’s wife suggested. But, what about faith? There are a lot of people searching and finding scriptures in the Bible to stand upon in the face of this pandemic evil. I think that is great and I admit I do that. For example, Psalm 91 is a very appropriate and applicable set of divine promises to quote daily and believe.
Psa 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Psa 91:2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Psa 91:3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
Psa 91:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Psa 91:5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Psa 91:6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
Psa 91:7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Psa 91:8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Psa 91:9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
Psa 91:10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
Psa 91:11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
Psa 91:12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Psa 91:13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
Psa 91:14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
Psa 91:15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
Psa 91:16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
This is an awesome set of promises made to the people of God. I like to read these out loud as often as I am able. Especially during major situations like we are facing. However, it is very important to note that the promised positive outcomes are conditional if we are meeting the requirements to receive them. We are required to dwell in the secret place of the LORD. We are required to say to the Lord “You are my refuge and fortress, You are my God in who I trust”. We are required not to be afraid. In other words, to remain in faith. We are required to set our love upon Him only. We are required to know Him by “Name”. We are required to “Call on Him”. Just note that God’s love is always unconditional, but every promise must be possessed by faith.
Just because we believe God promises us protection does that mean we can ignore the governmental authorities and their warnings? I don’t know about you, but I pray daily for our President asking the Almighty and All Knowing God to give our President wisdom to do his job. If you do the same and believe that God hears and answers these prayers, then why would you or I defy his recommendations to remain inside our homes and limit human social contact with others for a period? Would following his word be us disobeying God or His Word?
If we read 1 Timothy chapter 2 verses 1 and 2 God appears to answer this dilemma. In verse 1 we are instructed to pray for all people. Then in verse 2 God specifically says for us to pray for those that are in authority in our governments. Here in verse 2 God provides us the reason for the prayers “so that we may live a quiet and peaceful life”. I believe that speaks volumes to me. If the government is trying to help us live peacefully and quiet and eliminate our unseen enemy, let’s cooperate. That is my opinion based upon what we will further study today. Let’s move on to the main subject for Christians fighting against an unseen enemy.
A Proposed Balanced Church Reaction
to What is Happening in the World
I’d like to propose a viewpoint from scripture of a possible way to balance what the church’s attitude and response to this situation coronavirus might be. I’d like you to read it and make up your own mind, if it is what the LORD is saying to you today. There are a lot of people on TV and the internet that may not agree and that is OK. If the LORD leads you to them and they agree with what the Holy Spirit is saying to you then do that. Trust in the Holy Spirit on the inside to guide you and not any human.
What should we be doing in the church today? Of course, beyond not living in fear we should all be praying and asking our Lord for wisdom and guidance. Also agree with the Bible and know that God did not send this on the world. Yes, He allowed it to occur. But, usually these evil acts of Satan are granted permission because of human sins coming to fullness (Rev 17:4). I don’t have time to explain or teach that part of the subject. Please understand that this coronavirus is not God’s wrath. We are under grace until the end of the church age occurs (Luke 21:24). Then the tribulation will bring forth the full wrath and judgments of God. Can we agree that coronavirus is not God’s fault? I sure hope and pray we can. Let’s now observe what is happening in the church today to compare extreme opposing and unbalanced views.
In the church today, there are people who would claim that we are foolish to close or limit church services just because the government says to do so. We can easily come up with logical reasons why we should not obey. However, I believe that response and attitude is what the devil wants the church to do. If churches started to defy and resist governmental leadership and authority to not limit the numbers, and if anyone got sick and died as a result of that encounter, that pastor and church could be held legally and criminally liable and negligent. This would give the government the beginning rights to shut down every church service permanently. Having the government bring charges against you is not living a quiet and peaceful life. No that sounds like we could become like living in a China or North Korea where many churches must meet secretly and they are thrown into reeducation camps if they are caught. Therefore, I am of the belief that churches should agree or at least respect leaders and follow recommended guidelines for keeping people safe. Also remember that not everyone in a church has the same level of faith as the pastor. The pastor might be risking the life of a new baby convert thinking they should be able to resist the devil the same as they do. That is just not how it works in the Kingdom of God.
I believe that there are at least two extreme Christian positions of error in this fight against Coronavirus found today in the church. 1). There can be people who ONLY have faith in the Word of God and ignore the government directions and these do not normally take any commonsense precautions against the coronavirus. Or 2). there can be people that ONLY obey the government using natural precautions while totally ignoring the Word of God. I believe that both extreme approaches and attitudes are not what the Bible teaches us to do. I believe based upon what we will learn today we should be doing both. Let me introduce you to a wrong example of taking just some of the Word of God and omitting God given common sense:
There are a few people in the world that call themselves Christians and do some very foolish things. One group takes a bunch of poisonous snakes into their church services and picks them up to prove that they are being protected by God’s Word to not be bitten and die. They base this belief on a literal reading of Mark 16:18. A lot of these people have been successful, but some have died attempting this. I assume that those that were bitten and died must not have been a true Christian? No, the Bible does not teach that we should be handling snakes in church to prove we are saved. These people stand on what they think the Word says and totally abandon their God given common sense. What a dangerous religious mindset! This is just foolishness and we can prove it by the Bible. Can we begin to see where the Holy Spirit is taking us?
Do you recall what happened to Jesus after He was baptized by John? Was Jesus the Son of God (Acts 8:37) and God in the flesh (John 1:1-14)? Yes, He was. What was Jesus’ approach to doing something foolish to prove He was God’s Son and God would protect Him? We can read about this in Luke 4 during His temptation after a 40 day fast:
Luk 4:9 And he (Satan) brought him (Jesus) to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:
Luk 4:10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:
Luk 4:11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Luk 4:12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Can we see the application in this test of Jesus to what some people are doing handling snakes and what we all are facing today in the world with coronavirus? In these passages, Satan uses scripture and quotes it to Jesus after telling Him to jump off the top of the temple. Where did this verse come from that was quoted to Jesus? You probably already know it came from Psalm 91. We just read it at the beginning of the lesson. It is one of the same verses that I am reading today. I pray it is one of the same verses that you are quoting today also.
What was Jesus’ reaction and attitude towards this awesome promise of God? Wow, this really is important for us to see. Jesus did not say “You are right and I’ll jump” thinking God will protect Him with His angels. No, Jesus applied common sense and the Word of God combined. Jesus knew about the law of gravity that He created and said, “It is also written, I shall not test the LORD my God”. Are we potentially testing our LORD God when we quote Psalm 91 believing God will just automatically protect us without applying common sense that He should have also given to us? What else is written in the Bible that we need to quote to Satan? I believe that is a great question to consider. Please let’s not ignore the rest of the Bible for a verse that we think is all we need to know.
If the Holy Spirit instructs us and leads us to go and lay hands on someone with coronavirus to heal them, know that is a lot different than us just presumptively walking down a street to get take out at a restaurant with potential coronavirus personally serving us. One is an act of obedience and the other is just satisfying a carnal appetite. I knew a pastor that was led by the Holy Spirit to drive home a different way than what he normally did, but he reasoned and thought it was too much time to go that way. His not being led by the Holy Spirit almost cost him his life in a significant car accident. God tries to lead us not to be in some places and just quoting a verse thinking He will protects us is very foolish. There are times for obedience in faith and there are times of the application of our God given common sense. There is probably a lot more that could be said here but I will end.
Thank you for reading these Bible lessons. Thank you also for sharing this Bible lesson with your friends and relatives. Leave us a comment and share what the Lord has been saying to you. If you don’t agree with this, please feel free to share that also. Let’s please continue to pray for each other. Let’s also be led by the Holy Spirit. Let’s also read and quote the Word of God to the devil. The Word of God is our sword of the Spirit. But, also trust God’s given common sense to follow the leadership directions of our elected leaders federal and state. God Bless you always. I love you. I am praying everyone will be safe.
If you would like to continue reading, please select “Part 3“.
~WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DIED TODAY?~
Today, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Savior or you do not have the confidence to KNOW what would happen if you died suddenly it is time to get your life in order. I believe NOW is time to resolve your uncertain eternal destination after this life ends and before it is too late. Some might think I’m not a bad person and have not committed any bad crimes, but God says our righteousness is like filthy rags compared to His standard of Holiness. By default, without making a choice we are all headed to a lake of fire that burns very intensely to be separated from a loving God that already forgave us. That is a very sad reality. One wise man has said NO ONE is ready to live, until they are ready to die. Please go to “Salvation” and read and pray the prayer to receive the free gift of forgiveness & eternal life. This will be the greatest decision that you will ever make. Thank you and God bless you.
(Ver 1.1) God Bless you today. This is Part 1 in a series of messages addressing a need for hope & encouragement in the days of potential coronavirus stress. Thank you for reading and sharing your comments. It seems that almost everyone in the world is focused upon only one thing. Human normalcy of a daily scheduled routine existence has escaped many of us. Many have lost their jobs and income. These types of loses seem minor compared to others that have lost their life on this earth. The News media is consumed with one story. A solitary focused upon an agenda that is opposed to God. The underlying motivation of the message is focused upon producing fear in everyone. But, the Word of God says in 2 Timothy 1:7 that “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love and of a sound mind”. Therefore, the media message does not speak for God whatsoever. Recognizing the source of the message will help me redirect my focus upon God. I hope that helps you also.
I know that, I personally can easily become consumed with watching the developments of this pandemic on the news. This is clearly Satan’s attempt to keep me from the Word of God. Perhaps you recall the Parable of the Sower. The enemy came immediately after the Word of God was sown to eat it up to stop it from producing fruit. How is Satan able to do this? It is not like we think. Because everything that is happening occurs in the spiritual realm of my mind. Things today are changing so rapidly. What is happening today in the news reminds me of a scripture from the book of Isaiah that describes Satan’s methods to try to overcome me:
Isa 59:19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.
This verse starts by speaking of a people that fear the name of the LORD. This is a good fear and not related to the type of Satan’s fear being produced from the Coronavirus reports. This corona-virus is nothing but an alternative form of “terror”. This “terror” does not come from people blowing themselves up or chopping your head off, no this is a different type of “terror” from an unseen, invisible with the naked eye source. But the result is still the same. The news media is feeding this terrorism for ratings and money. Let’s know that!
Look at this verse’s ending statement. God speaks of the enemy coming in like a flood. That is an amazing statement and it describes the news media today very clearly. Spoken words are symbolized in the Bible as a type of “water”. Fast moving waters are described symbolically as representing many spoken words. This type of analogy is like a flowing river or a flood. For example, Jesus said in John 7:38, “He who believes in me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”. These waters are good types of words that Jesus spoke of. But in Isaiah 59:19 these are not positive life producing words being called a flood. The flood of words being spoken of here are only words that produce fear, anxiety, panic, worry, doubt and insecurity. The intended result of these types of rapidly flowing words are used by Satan to produce death the opposite of what Jesus said should be coming out of a believer’s mouth.
The message from God to me is to not stop listening to the news completely but rather to change my priority to focus on the Name of the LORD and fear Him alone. When I fear God more than what can kill me here on this earth, I will begin to see things from a new perspective. Here is a verse that should be considered during this time of uncertainty:
Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
This is truly a profound statement. Corona-virus can kill some people’s body, but not their soul (spirit, mind, will and emotions). Satan is trying His best to get me to take my eyes off the Word of God. How about you? My prayer today is that I not let Satan’s distraction of a flood of negative words in the news to get me down. I pray that for all of you also. I plan on spending more time reading and studying the Word of God than I do watching the news. In the next lesson, the LORD willing, I will try to continue this series by helping to balance taking natural common sense precautions with standing firm upon the Word of God’s Truth. Thank you for reading and please leave a comment. God Bless you.
If you would like to read the next lesson please click “Part 2“.
~WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DIED TODAY?~
Today, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Savior or you do not have the confidence to KNOW what would happen if you died suddenly it is time to get your life in order. I believe NOW is time to resolve your uncertain eternal destination after this life ends and before it is too late. Some might think I’m not a bad person and have not committed any bad crimes, but God says our righteousness is like filthy rags compared to His standard of Holiness. By default, without making a choice we are all headed to a lake of fire that burns very intensely to be separated from a loving God that already forgave us. That is a very sad reality. One wise man has said NO ONE is ready to live, until they are ready to die. Please go to “Salvation” and read and pray the prayer to receive the free gift of forgiveness & eternal life. This will be the greatest decision that you will ever make. Thank you and God bless you.
The Satanic Plan to Take Over America and the World – Part 2 – Strategy to Try to Silence the Church
(Ver 1.3) This is Part 2 in a very important Prophetic Bible lesson study series concerning the Satanic Agenda Designed to Attempt to Take Control of America as well as the Entire World. Today’s subject is focused on a very specific but significant part of the Satanic plan for Christians. Christians are being targeted in greater numbers today, much like we were when the church first began nearly 2000 years ago. It used to be widely taught in schools and universities that “those who fail to remember history are condemned to repeat it”. It is interesting that this was a quotation given by Winston Churchill in 1948. Since a great number of children in the world are not taught true history, our nations are living in the potential of great coming repetitions of the same past tragedies. There are too many young people that are unaware of major past events like World War II and the Holocaust. Students are certainly not taught about church history and the severe persecutions that they endured. But, as Christians we can clearly read about these coming recurrences of great trouble in the book of Revelation, Ezekiel, Daniel and others.
Today I will be teaching about Satan’s desire to silence the church. We will discover that Satan uses people of power in government as one of the primary methods to attempt to silence the church. If a Christian becomes uninvolved in the political system of a nation Satan has gained a great advantage at ending our voice. Today’s lesson will be split into 3 main sections with a short introduction and conclusion that can be read in succession or independently if desired. Here are the section titles:
- THE CHRISTIAN INVOLVMENT WITH POLITICS
- PRAYING FOR OUR GOVERNMENT LEADERS
- SATAN’S REPEATED ATTEMPT TO SILENCE THE CHURCH
If you are ready to begin, let’s get started.
This Bible lesson series is not intended or purposefully designed to offend anyone, but I have been teaching the Bible long enough to know that this is what will occur with some truths no matter how much love is encapsulated within it. I’ve always been taught that it is not polite to discuss religion or politics at the Thanksgiving dinner table with your family. But these days it seems like if you don’t want to start a war and get a spit bath, we better just not bring up either subject to anyone at anytime. Isn’t that funny that this Bible lesson is about both topics.
Even people that call themselves Christians can easily be offended by the Truth of the Word of God that they do not know or understand. When Jesus walked the face of the earth, His spoken words of Truth offended His own neighbors and relatives (Mat 13:57, Mar 6:4), His Jewish leaders (Mat 15:12, John 8:52), His own disciples (John 6:61), and other people (Mat 15:12). This same pattern of offense continued to happen in the early church days of the Apostles Peter, James, John and Paul and has not ended. Let’s read one foundational confirming scripture that was written by the Apostle Paul:
Gal 4:16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
Speaking truth to people can be a perceived highly invasive force of opposition for those that are closed minded, resistant to change and satisfied with what they believe they currently know. We all need to evaluate our willingness and desire to want to hear and learn more truth and this begins with understanding that only God knows the entire truth. That means I don’t know it all as well as you don’t know it all, can we agree? Always remember what Jesus said in John 8:31-32 “if you continue in my Word, then you will be my disciples and then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free”. There are a lot of Christians today that must think that they are already completely free, but this would require them to know all the truth already. Do you know anyone like this?
The light of the Truth spoken in love is clearly hated by those that love darkness (John 3:19). God’s Word teaches us that the entrance of His Word brings people light to show us the way to life (Ps 119:105, John 5:24). However, a bright light of Truth is normally very upsetting to anyone that is in a deep spiritual sleep of moral corruption and deception. These types of Christians are called carnal because they are dominated by their fleshly nature instead of the Spirit (1 Cor 3:1). God commands these types of carnal Christians in Ephesians 5:14 to awaken out of their dark sleep. Please keep this warning in mind when reading this lesson. Besides the LORD, only the individual Christian can judge accurately if they are willing to learn more from God or choose to remain in their spiritual slumber. If this Bible lesson offends anyone, that could be a sign that Satan has already darkened their mind and taken them captive within his kingdom of darkness.
THE CHRISTIAN INVOLVMENT WITH POLITICS
I received a couple of criticizing comments on the first lesson that you can go and read if you like. It appears that there are some Christians that read the teaching of Part 1 in this Bible Series to be off limits when there are any current political applications of God’s truth which need to be addressed for today. I honestly believe that there are a significant number of Christians that are very ignorant of these subjects in the Bible and especially those Bible verses that are about politics. Please understand that in the Bible we will find a lot of God’s truth discussing politics, governments, kings, leaders, etc. Why would these subjects be unacceptable to teach on as it relates to modern politics, governments presidents, and right government leadership, etc.? I believe Christians have bought into a lie of Satan if they believe they should not be taught in churches today about these very important subjects. Nothing should be off-limits if it is recorded in the Word of God.
This ignorance of the Word of God is a Satanic plan that he desires for all Christians to embrace so that they will not participate in exercising their God given authority over the political affairs of mankind. In the USA Satan has developed a masterful deception that he calls the “Separation of Church and State (Government)”. He came up with this politically correct name as a plan for removing the Church’s voice from the Government completely starting back in a Supreme Court Ruling in 1947. Satan does not want any DIVINE influence overruling his planned corruption for the coming one world government solution also popularly called the “New World Order” a term that originated after World War I coming from President Woodrow Wilson as he proposed a league of nations to help keep peace. But I first heard the term begin to be promoted heavily from a Republican President named George Bush on TV a little over 30 years ago. These two Presidents were clearly being led by spirits that were not from God. But this is a plan of Satan to bring together the world under the deceptive promise of peace. If you notice I do my best to tell the truth about anyone regardless of the political party they are associated with. As I said in one reply to a criticizing comment, I am a Christian first and not a part of any political party system. I’ll stand with my God and His Bible over any political party.
Satan desires to remove God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, real church Christians and the church pulpit from any involvement in political events. This is one of the key strategies of Satan to take control of ALL governments first and then all the people in the world next. Don’t believe me? Please read Revelation chapter 13 to begin before you continue further. Perhaps we will get to cover this chapter in more depth later in this series or in another series.
Back in 1954 a US Senator named Lyndon B. Johnson who just happened to be a Democrat who later became the 36th President introduced an amendment for the US IRS taxation laws severely limiting the free speech of ALL church leaders and church organizations. This amendment stipulated that if you were a non-profit 501C3 designated tax-exempt organization, you were unable to endorse or oppose any political candidate. This amendment passed without any debate or opposition from either political party in the USA proving the presence of Satanic corruption was and still is embedded within both political parties. Of course, this was Satan’s plan and there are a lot of lawmakers listening to the wrong spiritual voices on both sides of the aisle.
For the past nearly 70 years pastors were preaching in fear of losing their tax-free non-profit designation if they taught anything about what God said about politics in a church. If the preacher endorsed one political candidate or party over any other that would be a clear violation of the US LAW. Wow, that is exactly what Satan wants, a SILENT church! This law was a clear violation of the right of “Free Speech” given to us by our Christian founding fathers in the U.S. Constitution. Thomas Jefferson would be rolling over in his grave if he knew how Christians have been removed from the US government. No one has challenged this silence law in court but if they did and the wrong activist judges were put into place, we would lose this right to voice our beliefs concerning right politics completely.
Recently there has been liberal cities that have started attacking church denominations, home groups and pastors. I heard of one church group that was meeting in a neighborhood home as a group and the city leaders passed laws to stop them meeting using zoning regulations. If only governments in the early church would have thought of this the early church would have never have been able to meet. One Church that I attended in Texas many years ago was attacked by the City Council. We were told that we MUST take down the big Red Cross on top of our Church building because it violated their sign ordinance. I agree that this Cross was a sign but not one that was covered by their law.
Maybe you heard one man running for US President recently threatening churches that he would remove their tax-exempt status if they did not remove their bias and hatred against a small unnamed group that promotes the adoption of 90+ gender designations and abominable sexual relations. This would require churches to permit men to use women’s restrooms and vice versa. This would force the acceptance of these types of sinful people into leadership positions to teach our children their message. These are just a few examples of how the extreme groups are trying to remove all church rights to our Bible beliefs in incremental measures.
A few very radical attorney generals have begun to request copies of every sermon that the preachers in their jurisdiction have preached to their people. They are looking for words spoken by the preachers that they can label as “hate speech” against unnamed false minorities or groups that they choose to label as a minority. Because of the vagueness of these laws almost any selected words could be turned out of context to be labeled as hate speech. These threats would close the doors of many churches and silence anyone that opposed people with a different opinion or belief. Wow, this is happening right now. There is no way that this would have occurred 50+ years ago in America. I pray that you can see that opposition is growing significantly worse for people standing up with GOD’S TRUTH.
These are just some of the reasons why the Holy Spirit wants this lesson to be published. It is past time for churches and church leaders to stand up for the Truth of God found in the Bible and make sure they are helping teach their people to vote along God designed TRUTH principles, morals and values. Our God and the Bible have a lot to say about rulers, leaders, governments and politics. Let’s go over just a few for my non-political critics that believe I am biased when I teach this subject:
Mar 10:42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over (G757) the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
I’ll begin with this verse because it is clearly about governments, rulers and politics. The Greek word G757 that was translated as “to rule over” is a political reference to leadership and order. Strong defines this word “to be first” in rank or political order. You see a good government with order is a designed plan of God on the earth because of the need to control and limit the vast numbers of evil people used by Satan. Fifty days after God delivered the people of Israel from the corrupt rulership government of Egypt, He gives them the law to at least attempt to limit the spread of evil within His nation called by His name. Many years later God implements a system of justice using judges and these judges ruled the people for 450 years (Acts 13:20). But people rebelled and demanded a king and God gives them Saul. After Saul God anoints David to be Saul’s chosen replacement. Then came many other kings some fairly good with others ranging all the way to very evil. There is a lot more that I could say about these verses, but I’ll try to cover it in a parallel set of verses found in Matthew:
Mat 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
Mat 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
Mat 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
Let me ask you a serious question to begin. Was Jesus biased when he taught us about the subject of politics? That is what He is doing in these two passages found in Mark and Matthew. Jesus is teaching about two opposing types of governments and leaders using examples and descriptions. I don’t believe Jesus was biased except for His dedication to His Father and His Word. If that causes anyone to think that He is biased, then so be it. I believe I am in good company.
If we read the previous context of Matthew 20, we will discover a mother of two sons coming to Jesus to ask him a special political favor. This type of request is exactly what happens in governments today. This woman believes that Jesus will soon establish a new kingdom and she asks for her sons to be given highly favorable positions of authority. Does any of this sound familiar with what we hear in the news today? The subject is clearly governments, authority and power and who should rule in a higher position over someone else. Even though there was no bribe or threat being made in this request to Jesus, she was taking a natural human low road to try to manipulate and control the outcome and achieve this power for her sons. Wow, if this is not current headline news, I don’t know if you are awake.
What was Jesus’ response to this request for power? Start with verse 25 and learn the contrast between a world Satanic government system and God’s righteous Kingdom system design. Let’s review the world ordered system. Jesus tells them “the princes of the Gentiles (world rulers) exercise dominion over people”. The key word here is “exercise dominion”. This is the “modus operandi” of any world government being ruled by Satan. If you are unfamiliar with the Latin term “modus operandi” it simply means a standard and accepted “method of operation”. Satan is a follower of concepts, patterns and repeats the same things over and over if it is working for him.
Ok, back to “exercise dominion”. This Greek word G2634 means “to lord against” someone and can be further defined as a power that exercises control to subjugate the people by implied “force” removing their rights and freedoms. Every government in the world operates this way normally but some to greater extremes like North Korea, China, Iran, etc. This is the plan of Satan for the USA and your nation also no matter where you live. When the USA passed the Johnson Amendment, it was the implementation of a designed pattern by Satan to silence the voice of God on the earth.
However, subjugation and control by force are NOT how Jesus and the Bible teaches us about the Kingdom of God or how Christians should react to a message concerning His government at all. Jesus outlines the Divine Order of His Government in Matthew 20:26-27. Jesus said if you want to be “great” (the highest, the most powerful, the greatest) in the kingdom of God, become a “minister” and a “servant” to everyone they are over. The Greek word translated as “minister” is G1249 and means “become a lowly attendant that runs errands”. And the Greek word G1401 translated as “servant” in verse 27 informs us the greatest leader will be the one that is the “slave” to those that are under them. Wow, that does not sound like very many of our elected Politian’s, does it yours?
Would you agree, if God’s designed good Government principles were in operation in our governments it would be a far better world? We do have this system to look forward to during the millennium reign of Jesus in Revelation 20. But, for now we are going to have to pray and allow the Holy Spirit to help restrain the evil that is attempting to rise. Please learn from this Bible instruction given by Jesus to know which type of people that we should be voting for in our elections. What are your leaders doing in your city, county, state or nation? Are they focused upon themselves almost entirely, their power, their ability to get rich and life is all about them? If you say yes, then that should be a major issue! If your elected leader is not your servant working for you, to make your life safer and more prosperous please vote differently next time for someone new.
I’ll attempt to make some Bible Truth points about the government of the USA for Christians to consider. Did you know that almost every law passed to give any benefit to an American citizen is designed to cause your dependence upon the government to allow them to control you? Also note that few if any of these benefits are participated in by those that passed the law! Lawmakers have their own retirement, not Social Security. Lawmakers have their own healthcare, not Obama Care, not Medicare, and not Medicaid. If it is not good enough for them why is everyone accepting it? Ask your leaders why something that is promised to be good for you is not acceptable for them? There are a lot of other examples but, you should get the point. Ask yourself, “Who is the servant to who?” Also ask, “Is this benefit making me their dependent slave and a servant of the government? Are these government benefits given to us to obtain our votes so that they can be elected to gain power but with the hidden design for eventually our total dependence and control.
We should ALL be able to see that there are so many elected leaders from both political parties in our nation that do not fulfill their promises made to get them elected. These are untruthful leaders that mislead us with deception on a pathway into coming destruction. I know not everyone in politics is totally corrupt. I understand that for a good honest elected official it can be very difficult to get positive changes put in place because of all the corruption that is already present. I know there is at least one person in Washington that has been a man of his words. Perhaps you know who I’m speaking of?
There were good people who were exceptions of corrupt politics also found in the Bible. In Acts 13:22 God writes about King David as being a man that was after His own heart. It is amazing to consider the significant imperfections of King David and yet God still spoke very good about him. God blesses the good leaders past or present that are trying to serve like Him despite their imperfections. For example, please read Acts 8:27-30 and see how God sent a prophet to a political man of very high authority from a foreign government because he was seeking after God and His truth with his whole heart. This man was an Ethiopian (a powerful foreign Gentile government official) who came to Jerusalem to worship and learn about the True God. God sent a prophet to help him understand His Word and to preach the Gospel to get him saved and baptized. That is a great God picked example of a good government man that desired to learn truth, God will bless this type of leader. Let’s vote for these types.
PRAYING FOR OUR GOVERNMENT LEADERS
1Ti 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
1Ti 2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
I believe that every born-again believer should be praying for our government leaders. Also, the church should be praying and asking God who we should vote for before every election. We learn from these verses in 1 Timothy that there are three types of prayer that should be offered up, 1) Supplication (a Petition) (G1162), 2) Worship/Prayer (G4335) and 3) Intercessory Prayers (G1783). There must be a reason why God directs us to pray these three different methods of prayer for these people. I cannot teach the subject of prayer in-depth today. But I will give us a quick review of these prayer types. The first type of prayer mentioned is Supplication. This type of prayer is a legal court type of prayer and it simply means to appeal to the Supreme Judge to present your petition before the Supreme Court of heaven. The next type of prayer was just labeled as “prayer” in the KJV translation and it infers a type of worship to God as being the Supreme Source of the answer we are asking Him for. This type of prayer applies to the Prayer of Faith according to Matthew 21:22 and Mark 11:24 where the same Greek word was mentioned directly or by the derivative root word.
The last type of prayer is called “Intercession”, and this is a very specific request of someone going before the throne of heaven on the behalf of someone else other than the one praying. In this case it could be the intercession for a specific named individual leader in the government. All these types of prayer can and should be applied to the words spoken to God about the government as the Spirit of God leads us.
What if there are wrong godless people that were already elected, what do we pray for them? Obviously, we should still pray for them. But, what specifically should we pray for? Praying and interceding for people in authority whether good or bad should be one of our greatest priorities if we want to preserve our freedoms, rights and a peaceful existence. If we omit this, I believe we are allowing Satan to achieve his will through wrong leaders to attempt to silence us and take control of us.
Another great lesson about how the church should pray for a government official doing evil to them is found in Acts 12. Please, stop and read the entire chapter. I did not place the verses in this lesson because of the length. In this chapter you should have found one evil king named Herod that killed James and put Peter into prison to also be killed because it pleased the people under the king’s rule. This is another great early church example of an evil and wrong godless government and what could easily and potentially happen again soon to us in the modern Church. In fact, it could be happening in your nation right now, since I have had readers in over 250 nations of the world.
If we read Acts 12:1 we will find a few important words to learn. The first is G5495 which was translated as “hands”. This word is a symbolic reference to a man that had great power. Power is an addictive force that causes even once good intentioned people to become extremely evil. Power is a like a drug addiction. Once it has entangled a politician’s life, the need for more and more becomes Satan’s controlling force. There is a popular quotation that claims, “Absolute power, corrupts absolutely”. If you are observant you will see this is true. The next Greek word is G2559 and was translated as “vex”. This word literally means to injure and do evil against someone like the church. This word speaks to the motivation of Satan to bring fear upon them through the exercise of his power.
In Acts 12:2 we find two more key words to view. The first Greek word is G337 and it was translated as “killed”. This again speaks to Satan’s motivation to eliminate the church. This Greek word means to take people away violently by force. It can literally be translated as “murder”. Murder is not a legal action for a government to take, but Satan does not always have to follow the law. The next key Greek word in verse 2 is G3162 and it was translated as “sword”. This is a Greek word that can be used figuratively for a judicial Verdict used against someone. This is exactly what took place against James the brother of John in this chapter. As the local King, Herod rendered a unjust verdict against a good man without a moral legal case or valid charge against him. Herod committed murder with the legal appearance of justice because of his power, authority and position. This is happening in the world today still.
In Acts 12:3 we learn something else that is extremely important. The Greek word G701 was translated as “pleased” and it means the people were happy and agreeable with his verdict of death for John’s brother James. This is also a pattern of power. People in power normally try to do things that make their subjected people happy. But most of these are don so that they don’t cost them anything to give away. Did you hear what I just said? If the murder of a man pleases people and makes them agreeable, your ability to remain in power continues until enough people get fed up with the lies and revolt. Because it pleased his people this further motivated Herod to go and take Peter and put him in prison to kill him next.
Notice in Acts 12:5 that the church was in prayer for Peter. This is the exact same Greek Word G5335 that was used in 1 Timothy 2:1 for one of our 3 prayer types for our government leaders. Therefore, that is exactly what we should be doing right now. But then notice how God answered their prayers. While we are never specifically told what they prayed for or said to God, we can potentially learn from how God answered the prayer to apply how maybe we are praying differently than they did. I pray that we are on the same spiritual page of understanding.
First, God’s answer of their prayers sent an angel to get Peter out of prison in the middle of the night before he could have been killed the next day (Acts 12:6). I believe that this was an example of God’s justice to an unjust imprisonment. I believe that whatever the people in the church prayed it brought about a change in natural justice by His higher courts of spiritual justice. Next, we read about something radical that happened. What happened to the unjust, unfair, evil king that was coming against God’s righteous people to please most of his followers? Did you see it? In verse 21, Herod is sitting on his throne in his fine royal robe giving a speech to the people and the people are claiming that he is a god. The next thing that happens is potentially the work of the same angel of the LORD that freed Peter. Whoever the angel is he strikes the evil king Herod down dead and worms ate his body. I think this must have been a different type of prayer meeting the church was conducting than what we have been praying based upon the divine answers given. Remember this is the church age when this occurs. This occur during the 2000-year time of God’s Divine Grace. Also remember the N.T. says 2 Peter 2:9 that “God is not willing that any should perish but all come to repentance”. Wow king Herod dropping dead appears to contradict a lot of the extreme Grace message, doesn’t it? There are no contradictions in the Word of God. The only contradiction is based upon our lack of understanding of the entire Truth.
No, Grace, Fair Judgment and Justice can co-exist and does every day in heaven. I do not have the time to teach this subject in the amount of detail that it deserves in this lesson. I pray that I will be able to teach this more in the future. I will wind down this topic with this thought, Peter wrote about God’s desire for man to come to repentance to change their evil ways. We also know that God has infinite knowledge of the future knowing the end from the beginning. God knew if the continuation of the life of Herod would only bring unjust persecution and deaths to His bride or if Herod would eventually repent in the future. Therefore, a prayer from the saints in the church for His justice may have resulted in the death of Herod, God knowing that he would never repent. It is possible that these church prayer warriors could have been petitioning God for Justice and for God to avenge them of the injustice being done. What are a lot of Christians asking God for today? Are you praying and asking God to only bless your enemy? Could that be resulting in more severe and unjust consequences for the church? Let me give you a prayer example that Jesus taught us. I believe this is important and should be considered in our modern prayer discussion:
Luk 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Luk 18:2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
Luk 18:3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge (G1556) me of mine adversary (G476).
Luk 18:4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
Luk 18:5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
Luk 18:6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
Luk 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
We know from verse 1 that this parable is about prayer and appears to be a type of prayer that not too many Christians are praying in the church today. I believe in this parable that God uses a contrast comparison in the parable to 1) a “Christian” praying to the “Just God who is the Supreme Judge” for a judgment against their adversary and this is contrasted with the opposite types of 2) the parable “widow woman” asking an “unjust human judge” for vengeance against her adversary. The only common thread between the two opposing examples is that both plead to a court for justice and get their answer. Do you see it?
I’m going to go to the last verse next to help confirm that this is a prayer for the modern Church. We know that this parable is speaking of the New Covenant people in the church age because Jesus asks, “Nevertheless shall he (Jesus) find faith on the earth when I return”. Both translated words “He” in verse 8 should be capitalized. We know these “He” words, the first refers to “God the Father” who is also referred to as the “righteous judge” and the second “He” refers to the “Son of Man” also known as Jesus (God the Son). The “them” in this verse refers to saved Christian prayer warriors because only saved Christians have the potential to possess the type of faith that Jesus is coming back for and expecting to find on the earth at the termination of the church age. Ephesians 2:8 says by grace are we saved through faith…”. Ephesians 2:8 and Luke 18:8 have the same Greek Word G4102 translated as “faith”. Therefore, we know the type of faith that Jesus is seeking of is only found in the church saved Bible believer.
We know this parable is a contrast comparison of a good judge verses an evil judge because we can read verses 6 and 7. We know that in verse 6 there is a symbolic unjust judge. We know in verse 7 he is compared with the Supreme Just God. That makes the parable a contrasting comparison and not two judges of the same type, morals and character. Notice what Jesus said in verse 8 about how God will answer a prayer from a Christian that is asking for Him to avenge them of their adversary. Then remember, God is just, God is fair, God is all knowing, and God is all powerful and we are informed that He will avenge us speedily. Wow, isn’t God awesome? Let’s back up in the parable to a few other key words that need to be brought into our discussion.
One key word given here in this type of prayer is G1557. This word was translated into English as “avenge”. This word literally means a request for a verdict that gives our adversary “punishment that is inflicted upon them as vengeance for their wrong criminal unlawful acts” done to the one asking for the verdict. This Greek word literally means LORD GIVE ME JUSTICE for the wrong done to me. Wow, that is just a little different than how we normally pray, isn’t it? My main point is that this type of prayer is a valid type of New Covenant prayer for Christians even in the Church age of Grace since Jesus has not yet come to get us and take us out of this world. Therefore, since Jesus has not come to the earth looking for faith, we can pray this prayer example now.
Another key word found in this message from Jesus is the Greek word G476. G476 was translated as the English word “adversary”. This is a very important name and title for Satan in the N.T. This Greek word literally means “our spiritual opponent in a lawsuit”. It is only used 4 times in the N.T. and I believe every reference is to a legal matter in a court setting. It is also noteworthy that 1 Peter 5:8 written to Christians from God clearly defines who our adversary is and calls him the “devil” (Satan). Because we know this now it should dramatically change our method of praying for unjust evil situations on the earth.
Finally, please do not misunderstand what I am trying to say. According to Ephesians 6:12 we are not in a physical battle. We also know from Romans 12:19 that Christians do not attempt to get personal vengeance against anyone because God says this is His responsibility. Therefore, I believe that it means that we are normally not going to pray for God to kill any human. Ephesians 6:12 informs us that our spiritual battle is with Satan and spirits in the unseen realm. These spiritual beings are the source for all human conflicts of evil opposing good. Therefore, when we pray for God to avenge us of our adversaries, I believe the prayer is not directed at the natural people being used for evil even though God has the choice to answer this way if He sovereignly chooses.
My wife and I have recently started praying differently for God’s justice to be leveled against the workers of iniquity in our government. We learn from Psalm 89:14 that Justice and Judgment are the foundation principles of God’s throne. Therefore, we pray that God’s will (Justice and Judgements) that are done in heaven be carried out here on the earth as Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6:10. We pray and petition heaven for justice for the people of God that are being persecuted, lied about, unjustly condemned, imprisoned and killed by governments to be given fair justice. Please be radical and join us in this corporate type of request for justice if you believe the Lord is leading you to do the same. Please don’t just pray this because I asked, this is between you and the LORD only.
Ok, I probably offended a lot of people that call themselves a Christian already. But that is OK, people did not call me to teach the Bible, and I do not teach the Bible to satisfy anyone but God to who I will give an account and be judged for what I have said. If you are not happy with what I believe the LORD has given to me to say, please go seek and read whatever your eyes desire to see. God promised that we will each individually find whatever we desire and are specifically asking, seeking and knocking for (Mat 7:7). However, in this promise God does not promise that what we will be seeking to find will be the truth. God only promised if you seek evil you will find evil, if you seek good you find good, if you seek lies you will find lies and if you seek truth you will find truth. I pray that you are understanding.
I would strongly suggest that our prayers to God begin by asking Him to reveal His truth whatever it is to us. Pray and ask God to open our eyes and ears to understand His truth. Then we must expect Him to answer. I’ll leave this section discussion with a reference to this type of prayer being prayed in the book of Revelation by people that were left on the earth after the rapture occurred. These people became radically saved and were severely persecuted by Satan even unto death:
Rev 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
Rev 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
Is it possible that this type of prayer was what was prayed at the beginning of the church when James was killed unjustly, and Peter was about to be killed unjustly? In fact, remember this is the time when Stephen was also unjustly killed in Acts 7 and many church members were being imprisoned unjustly by Saul of Taurus. Why not plead the blood of Jesus for the injustice being done and cry out for heavenly justice? Can you tell me what is wrong with that type of prayer based upon what we have learned so far? That is enough about a potential new way to pray. Let’s move on to a new subject of our political discussion.
SATAN’S REPEATED ATTEMPTS TO SILENCE THE CHURCH
It was Satan’s plan in the early church to shut the mouths of those that taught the truth about Jesus. If this message of truth got out to ALL the world, Satan could potentially lose his powerful control of mankind. Therefore, he is highly motivated to stop the spread of the message of Jesus to the world. This plan was recorded in the Bible and documented in early church writings. These strategies have not ceased to occur even today. We can observe this in so many nations of the world. Open Christianity has been outlawed in nation after nation. Bibles have been outlawed and not allowed to be taken into many nations. It has almost become a crime to mention the Bible in any public school in America to chilren. Why is this? What threat does a peaceful and loving real Bible believing Christian with their Bible present to Satan? Think about that! What harm is given to anyone by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Satan is obviously very fearful of this message of love, grace and forgiveness and he is using people with power to try to silence it with laws, threats and violence. There are numerous nations where Christians are literally imprisoned because of their faith. There are also many other nations where they are literally slaughtered. Almost none of this is reported by the current news media. I wonder why? What spirit do you believe these news organizations are being led by?
These physical, mental, emotional and legal attacks used to potentially silence Christian people come from many religious and non-religious people in authority. We can read in the Bible that even those in the government specifically came against Christians and this movement is growing today. Many times, these attempts of evil were based upon false accusations before unjust, unbalanced and unfair kangaroo courts. Perhaps some may not understand what a kangaroo court represents. This is a court setting held by a group of people in power in order to place someone on trial to find them as a fixed “guilty” especially without any appropriate evidence. In other words, the verdict was already predetermined before the trial began. The trial and predetermined outcome was just the faked appearance of justice for the punishment phase also predetermined. Wow, this is happening right now in our Congress. Using these methods of unlawful convictions, the threats of imprisonment and even death are legitimatized by an unjust legal verdict removing the need for evidence or the due process of law. People in the early church were being convicted based upon hearsay and false testimony (Mar 14:56). These tactics have not changed from the early days of the church. We can observe this going on today right in front of our eyes.
It is increasing today that threats of evil come against anyone that will stand-up for the truth and whatever is honest, right, just and good. We can clearly see this in the world today if we do not have our heads figuratively buried in the sand. One group of growing extremism is calling those that do not agree with them very accusatory false names like “liars”, “haters”, “bigots”, “racists”, “Fascists”, “Nazis”, “Russian Agents or Spies” and other misguided untruthful accusatory names designed to destroy their character and reputation. But God warns us about this tactic many times in His Word. Jesus said in Matthew 10:25, “If they have called the Master of the House, Beelzebub, how much more them of His household”.
We will in this part of the study dig deeper into detail on one chapter of the Bible (Acts 4) and then I will give an overview comparison of this to another chapter (Rev 2) example of how Satan repeats the same plans over and over against Christians. Acts 4 contains some of the most relevant tactics of Satan that are still being used in modern times. We will be able to observe how the Holy Spirit recorded events at the beginning of the church that are still repeating today at the end of the church. Almost everything in human history goes in repetitious cycles. Let’s observe one of the first recorded persecutions of the disciples of Jesus after He arose from the dead and ascended into heaven. We will be focused upon chapter 4 of the Book of Acts.
But before we go into a verse by verse detail, it is advisable for us to go back and read chapter 3 first, in order to find the context of chapter 4. When we do this, we learn how Peter and John were seen entering the Jewish temple in Jerusalem through a gate called “Beautiful” where a lame man sat daily. Everyone knew this lame man because he was there begging constantly for years since he was young. The lame man looks upon Peter and John expecting a coin gift and Peter says, “silver and gold we have none today, but what I have I give you in the name of Jesus get up and walk”. That was my paraphrase. The lame man received his strength to walk and went leaping into the temple praising God greatly. Wouldn’t you do the same? It is obvious that this got the attention of a lot of people and Peter begins to preach Jesus to everyone. Many even believed the message. Now we get to chapter 4 and the work of Satan in the mind of the religious leaders and rulers of the people that were also present.
Act 4:1 And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,
Acts 4:1 begins by describing the governing class of ruling elite politicians that entered the temple where the Jesus Bible lesson was being given out by Peter. This group of individuals were ranked in varying degrees of power and divided by varying degrees of bias based upon different beliefs. This sounds very much like the US Congress and Senate to me. For example, we have the High priest that was of the most powerful ranking official class to be present. This we could analogized to be like the Speaker of the House or the Senate Majority leader. Then we have sublevels of authorities of members of the synagogue mentioned below the High Priest named as “captains”. These were high ranking governor like individuals in the temple that could be analogized to be like the powerful committee chairs in the House of Representatives and the Senate. I hope you understand the comparisons being given. I did not write the book of Acts; I’m only reporting the truths that still applies and are parallel truths seen today in one government. Your government if you are from another nation probably has similar power levels of organization. Please, understand that I am NOT saying the US House and Senate is a Jewish Synagogue. I am only comparing the organization levels given by God to what still exists today.
Then notice the fact that there is one type of major political party that was directly named to be present called the “Sadducees”. I labeled this group to be analogous to a political party because that is exactly how it fits in the discussion of the Bible. This group of men followed common leaders, teachings and beliefs that were separate and opposed to another type of political group of leaders, beliefs and teachings called the “Pharisees”. We can read in Acts 23:6 how Paul uses the differences between these two belief groups as a basis for his legal defense. These truths are very parallel to what we have in the United States with our two dominate political parties called the “Democrats” and the “Republicans”.
The differences in Sadducee and Pharisee beliefs could be labeled as their “party platform”. A “party platform” is nothing but a list of beliefs, values and actions that a group publishes for people to garner support from likeminded people currently in or not in their organization. The Sadducees had a set of beliefs that are documented in the Bible and the Pharisees beliefs are also listed in the Bible. If you go on the internet you can read the Democrat Party Platform and the Republican Party Platform, and I highly recommend that you do this before you vote for anyone. These opposed belief statements from the Bible are parallels of truths to modern times. It is outstandingly amazing if you go and read and study this in the Bible. By voting for a political party you are aligning yourself with their moral standards and beliefs. This makes you one of them by association and this is what happened in the Bible with the Sadducees and the Pharisees. Which side people selected to be on was their own personal choice.
Act 4:2 Being grieved (G1278) that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
Verse 2 says these elite leaders were in “anguish” with what was happening in their temple. Isn’t that amazing that they were not super excited about the great miracle that God had just performed? This miracle could be seen with their own eyes and by everyone that entered the temple for years! No, this Greek word translated as “anguished” means they were “worried”. What could they be so worried about? This is still the identical motivation of elite leaders today. These men were very apprehensive about potentially losing their position of power, respect and authority. They know that a miracle occurred, but they also knew that they personally had not done anything to make it happen. So now they realized that they were not going to receive the honor or the praise for it being done. Do you remember that Herod in Acts 12 did not give God the glory when people said he was a god? Aren’t these Jewish leaders in Acts 4 doing the same thing? Why weren’t they struck dead? I notice there was no prayers going up to heaven in this chapter, but that is enough of that subject for now.
Therefore, I believe that these Jewish leaders in Acts 4 thought a new leader named Jesus may take away their position of influence and power. Worry is a fear-based emotion of a potential shift of their power to be taken away from them and given to the name of “Jesus” that was being taught and believed upon by people that concerned them the most. Remember all these new believers in Jesus were previously dependent upon the Jewish leaders for their religious provisions. But now they were looking to Jesus. This is exactly what is happening in our world of politics today. There are people on both sides of every political system living in constant fear that they will lose their powerful position if people like or can get more from someone else that is better than what they can provide.
Here is something else that was greatly bothering the mentioned political party of the “Sadducees”. These people did not believe in the resurrection from the dead. Peter was teaching something that contradicted their teachings and this demeaned, degraded, humiliated their beliefs, teachings and positions. Peter said Jesus of Nazareth that they had killed was raised from the dead and by His name was this lame man made whole. Can you see the analogy being applied to today’s politics?
Many Christians today, are teaching what some politicians think is a revolting message that when a woman is pregnant that this is not a blob of lifeless tissues, but rather he or she is a living and developing human child that is a separate and a new life apart from the mother’s life. The mother is just the container vessel and supplier of nourishment for the developing new boy or girl. This truth offends people who believe they can kill this child right up until and now after they are born. The same types of God Bible truth subjects that were offending people back then in the early church are still very offensive to people now.
Act 4:3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold (G5084) unto the next day: for it was now eventide.
We are up to verse 3 now. Immediately after hearing what was being taught about Jesus and how this lame man was healed Peter and John were seized by force and put immediately in prison without a trial or any legal due process. Wow, wow and wow again. Could this be happening again today in the USA? Did you hear what one political party said lately? A few of them were asking who could we get to go into the White House and put our President in jail? It doesn’t seem to matter that there was no crime, no trial or no legal due process. They just said go throw him in jail because we don’t agree with what he is saying and doing, and he must be doing something illegal. Can you read the Bible and tell me this is not a parallel of events happening again with the exact same desired outcome being expressed because of a differing belief system? I pray that we all wake up very soon. I believe that our God wrote these things in the Bible for such a times as this. Let’s read verses 4 through 7 next.
Act 4:4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
Act 4:5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers (G758), and elders, and scribes,
Act 4:6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.
Act 4:7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?
Verse 4 through verse 7 are the beginnings of the mock trial designed to search for a crime to condemn the good men of GOD! The trial looks so good and honest on the surface. The main problem is that there are nearly 5000 people that believed the teachings of Peter and John and these ruling class elite leaders must be very careful what they do and how they do it. Whatever is done by these rulers must take on an outward appearance of being legitimate, just, legal, fair and right. Otherwise there could be a revolt against them to cause a rapid loss of their power. That sounds so familiar.
Verses 4 and 5 list the judges by name. Do you think I should do that today? I try not to use names to be less offensive, but God does not do this. I think wise and informed Christians know what God is talking about in this lesson. The unnamed key players in today’s modern mock trial are looking for a crime to remove their hated elected leader very similar to Peter and John two of the founding fathers of the Church of Jesus Christ. Is any of this news being accurately reported on in the unnamed news organizations?
Verse 7 informs us the prisoners were brought out of the jail and set before the judges and the questioning begins to find something to accuse them of. Like I said before, this is nothing but an attempt in Acts 4 to investigate in order to search for any possible accusation that could be leaked to the press and spread to the people to justify the death of Peter and John. Peter and John were asked a very direct question of their authority to do this miracle. There is an implication that they were out of line and possibly abusing this authority. The parallels are amazing. Now Peter is permitted to testify and answer the question.
Act 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers (G758) of the people, and elders of Israel,
Act 4:9 If we this day be examined (G350) of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
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.
Act 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
In verse 8 we read that Peter was filled with the Spirit of God and is permitted to answer in his defense. Let’s move to verse 9. Peter reveals that they are being “examined” for doing something “good” to a lame man. This Greek word G350 translated as “examined” means to be “interrogated”, “investigated” and even “judged” for doing something miraculous to a man that gave praise to God for his miracle.
I’m going to readdress the motivation of the leaders. I already believe that they were acting in the fear of losing their power, but what else could they lose? If Jesus could heal, save and forgive people they were no longer needed. Peter very clearly says that he was being asked by what means the lame man was healed and this implies the rulers were very concerned that the common people of that day could view this good act as not coming from them and this made them look unneeded. Again, this is like a loss of their power and an end to control of the people under their rule. If people look to politicians or even religious leaders as their savior, source and supply for their human needs, they are under their control. But if these people looked to Jesus or anyone else as their source and supply for their needs to be met then their power is removed. Do you understand the comparison to what is happening now within the USA politics? Which political party wants to give away everything for free? How does all of this modern free stuff correspond to the Word of God and the promises made to Christians? If Christians only depend upon God, politicians become unnecessary.
Verses 9 through 12 contain the description of Peter preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ to the leaders of Israel. However, this message was not received as Good News because it threatened their powerful position of prestige. If only political leaders then and now would be humble enough to give someone else the glory for them doing something good to or for someone else, what a more heavenly like place, we would live in.
Notice what verse 13 says. Verse 13 begins with “When they saw the boldness of Peter”. This Greek word G3984 is amazing. This Greek word is defined by Strong as “all out spokenness”, which in other words means to not be intimidated by the power of the leaders to speak bluntly, boldly and very frank to them. It implies Peter was speaking with great confidence to very educated leaders while they knew he was not educated to their levels. Wow, again and again. Is this what is happening today? We have a President that is without fear, very bold, very blunt and to the point and is not afraid of any charge being attempted against him by educated men who most went to big law schools. I know he is not Peter, but the parallels here in the Bible are not given to us by a coincidence.
We know from reading this account the religious elite leaders looked down on Peter and John as being inferior outsiders. We can clearly see the superior attitude being displayed by them throwing Peter and John into their prison. Now think about what is happening in Washington D.C. today. We have a lot of highly educated leaders that believe they are above the President in status because he has never been elected to anything before, didn’t study and get a big law degree and is not a part of their secret club. They are clearly very fearful of a man that does not play the system and is not dependent upon powerful controlling interests given to control him. Remember when a man offered Peter money for the ability to lay his hands-on people to give them the Holy Ghost? What did Peter say to the man? Peter simply said, “Your money perish with you…” (Acts 8:20). That does not sound very politically correct or Presidential does it? Does it even sound like a Grace Teacher today? I don’t think so. These words of Peter would have been a highly offensive tweet in today’s standards.
If you are offended by the comparisons being made here, I am not going to apologize for it, because they did not come from me. I believe that it was the Holy Spirit that gave me this lesson that you should be concerned with. Stop, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show you the truth. He will do it if you listen to Him.
Act 4:14 And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
Act 4:15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,
Act 4:16 Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny (G720) it.
Act 4:17 But that it spread (G1268) no further among the people, let us straitly threaten (G546) them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.
I find verse 14 an amazing fact of Bible truth. When the unsaved world is faced with a real known miracle standing right in front of them with many witnesses to confirm the miracle, there is not much they can say publicly against it. The truth makes people either be silent or they can change the subject to detract from the good done by someone using distracting untruths. This is what is happening in our political world. One political party cannot admit the good that someone has done for the nation, so they detract from that with other subjects that make him look bad.
Let’s move to verse 15 now. Notice when a public statement is not good to be mentioned because of the advantage it gives to the one that did good, they are forced to leave and begin to plot behind their backs in private to come up with Satan’s next steps to take. This is also happening in the House of Representatives in recent months. It is a game that they believe we are stupid enough to believe. Of course, there are a large number that do agree with it.
We are given limited insight into the elite ruler’s private conversations and planning session in verses 16 and 17. They begin by asking the same question that is being asked today about our President “What can we do to these men?” Wow, things have just not changed. Remember I have said this before, but God’s Word teaches us “The thing that has been is that which shall be again; and that which was done is that which shall be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecc 1:9). Almost all human history repeats itself in patterns again and again. Why is this? Primarily because of a spiritual being that has been here on the earth since the first man was placed in the garden. Satan knows exactly what will work because most humans are unaware of what has already occurred in previous generations.
In verse 17 the leaders come to the final decision in the next phase of Satan’s plan. This was a secret agreement that they will all in unison threaten these good men and command them not to speak any more about this name. This is a very common tactic of Satan led extremism in the USA and probably where you live. If an extremist cannot win the argument with truth, reason and logic, then the only means at their disposal becomes loud orders and violent threats for any non-compliance in the future. If anyone speaks the truth but it does not agree with the popular beliefs of the ruling majority, power is wielded against the speakers to administer threats against them.
This Greek word (G546) that was translated as “straightly threaten” literally means to be “a menace” towards someone. To be a menace simply means to be a person that is likely to harm another by threatening danger and injury to them. Remember who was talking to them! These menaces were the people that had recently condemned Jesus to die on the cross and He was guilty of absolutely nothing. Do you think they should be taken seriously? Peter and John certainly knew who they were speaking to.
Let’s move on now to how the plan of Satan was carried out. We will also be proving that this was the devil that was carrying out his plan through these ruling elite men:
Act 4:18 And they called them, and commanded (G3853) them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
In verse 18 the accused men of God are brought before the kangaroo high court again to hear what was privately decided concerning them. After entering the court room, they are immediately commanded NOT TO SPEAK at all in the name of Jesus. The Greek word translated as “commanded” in verse 18 is a very fascinating confirmation of the devil’s work being involved here against Christian voices. This Greek word is G3853 (parangelos) that is derived from the combination of G3844 (para) and G32 (angelos). The first Greek root word G3844 means to be “near” or “beside” as in someone or something that is standing beside someone else. Now ask this question who is being stood by and what or who is it that is standing near them? The next root Greek key word will reveal this “who is standing near” to the rulers is G32 (angelos). This Greek word is normally translated as “angel” in the N.T. and it means a messenger. We all should know that there are both good and evil “angelos” in the Bible. Wow, this knowledge should turn on some light bulbs in our brains if we know a few related Bible verses. For example, 2 Corinthians 11:14 teaches us, “Satan is transformed into an angel (G32=angelos) of light”. Now we must understand who is doing the speaking here to figure out who this angelos is standing beside! The answer to who this angel is standing by we can find is the leaders and rulers of the Jewish synagogue that are judging in a legal trial against Peter and John. Let me give you another very key and important set of Bible verses that confirms what is happening in Acts 4:
Rev 2:9 I know your affliction and distress and pressing trouble and your poverty–but you are rich! and how you are abused and reviled and slandered by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
Rev 2:10 Fear nothing that you are about to suffer. [Dismiss your dread and your fears!] Behold, the devil is indeed about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested and proved and critically appraised, and for ten days you will have affliction. Be loyally faithful unto death [even if you must die for it], and I will give you the crown of life.
Jesus speaking to Christians in the church of Smyrna are being commended for enduring the trials being placed upon them, by who? Notice the six identical components found in Acts 4 to the story being revealed to us in Revelation 2. There are 1) Christians in both, 2) there is persecution/tribulation done against Christians in both, 3) there is prison in both examples, 4) there are Jewish leaders directly stated as judges in Acts 4 and implied to be judges implementing the tribulations in Revelation 2, 5) there is a synagogue where these mock trials are occurring in both and 6) there is a direct reference to Satan being the angelos (G32) of evil in both. Do you think this is a coincidence? Most intelligent Bible scholars will say there is no such thing as “coincidences” in the Bible, there are only “God designed incidents” given for us to discover. Praise the LORD! This information appears to confirm the repetition of the same strategies of evil against good people in both chapters.
Who were these Jewish men in Acts 4 imprisoning and placing on trial? They are speaking directly to Peter and John (two of the Christian foundations of the church). We know the church of Smyrna are just believers in the same church. Therefore, we understand who the good people are because they are on God’s side (Peter, John, church). What was the message of the Jewish men in Acts 4? Was the message a good work and word from God about God? Obviously NOT, since the Jews were demanding “never preach in the name of Jesus anymore to any man”. It is very clear to me that the Jews in Acts 4 were being used by the wrong messenger (angelos) who was bringing them a warning from Satan telling them to shut up about teaching the name of Jesus. Can we agree that Acts 4 is an early attempt of Satan to silence the Church and it is a very similar pattern to what Jesus said about the church in Revelation 2?
Are not these plans, schemes and tactics happening after the death burial, resurrection and ascension of the LORD Jesus? Hasn’t Satan already been defeated? Yet, Christians are still being persecuted and tribulation is still a part of the people’s life in the church! Is it possible for this to reoccur again today? Not only is it possible it is happening. This is amazing, this is exactly what is happening today in our world. We can learn from this story that this is one of the primary tactics of how Satan is working in modern times. Let’s finish our chapter in Acts 4:
Act 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
Act 4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
Act 4:21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.
Back to Acts 4:19, Peter and John answer back the command to be silent with a very bold declaration. They said, “Whether it be right in the eyes of God to listen to your words more than unto God, you judge”. Wow, what wisdom God gave these men to speak to judges that were supposed to be fair to them and do what is right based upon God’s law. Then they continued with, “For we cannot, but speak the things which we have seen and heard”. In other words, they said “We can’t lie or be silent just because you say to”. I’m not going to compare the wisdom of our President to the wisdom of these two Spirit filled men named, Peter and John. But, the boldness of the president to speak what he sees and hears is amazingly similar against the other political party’s attempt to silence him and remove him from office by force. Our president is far from a perfect man but thank God that He still uses people like that to accomplish His purpose. You can find it over and over and over in the Bible. If God could not use imperfect people, I would NOT be able to teach the Bible, because I have made a lot of mistakes in my life.
I have never seen any president accomplish more positive things in the face of overwhelming resistance, rebellion and injustice in my life. If you don’t agree, that is your choice. I would recommend that you research the accomplishments before you pick up stones to throw at him. No other president has placed more conservative judges in the federal courts than he has. No other modern president has done as much for the nation of Israel as he has. No other president has done as much for saving unborn indefensible children than he has. Also, this president has given an order against the Johnson Amendment to be ignored. Therefore, Christian leaders are free to preach political truths without the fear of losing their non-profit status. That is God, believe it or not. Even if you are a little baby Christian these accomplishments are enough to give God praise for.
By verse 21, Peter and John were finished tweeting their response to Satan (that was just a joke but I’m sure it offended someone). Please lighten up and put down your stones. See some humor in what is being taught here it will help it go down better. Anger only cause hatred, strife and division. But we can see in verse 21 that Satan was not done tweeting back at them and he had more threats of violence that will be carried out if they do not learn to agree, conform, shut up and obey. The Greek word translated as “threatened” is the same word G4324 we looked at earlier and it still means “to menace”. That is a demonic characteristic if I have ever heard one. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy…”. That verse is a perfect description of what a menace does to a human.
There is so much more to learn from the Bible on this subject of God and politics as it relates to power that is used by Satan to try to silence God’s people. I would recommend that you go through the Gospels accounts of the trial of Jesus to see the strategies of how Satan plotted to constantly try to trap Jesus into saying something that could be used to accuse him. Then discover the plan to capture Jesus in the secret of night and take him before a fake court trial with witnesses that could not agree. Then there are the hearings before the Roman Governor Pilate to be executed. Learn how the crowd put pressure on the Governor to kill Jesus even allowing a bad man named Barabbas to be freed. Please go read this story because it could happen again to someone you know.
There are also many more chapters in Acts that God gave to us about the strategies that Satan is trying to reuse today to silence the Church. I would recommend that you go read each one where there is a mock trial that takes place, any unjust imprisonment of a teacher of the Word of God, look for anytime when someone is stoned or killed and look up the words that are selected by God in Greek dictionaries like Strong’s. There is so much written on this subject of Satan working through political leaders to come against righteous believers that we can’t cover it all in one Bible lesson. But that is all I am going to teach on this subject for now.
I thank you for taking the time to read and study the Bible with me today. I pray for my readers and ask God to bless you with the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the knowledge of Christ Jesus. I thank you if you do the same for me and my family. I welcome your comments and prayers. God Bless you and keep you until next time.
If you would like to continue reading in the series please go to “Part 3‘.
(ver 1.1) This is now Part 4 in the essential Bible study series that is dedicated to helping everyone to better understand the Parable of the Sower. If you have not read this series from the beginning, I would strongly suggest that you go back and start reading with “Part 1” first. If you have already read from the beginning, I hope that you have enjoyed following this series. I believe this information has some of the greatest foundational truths about how the kingdom of God operates and why some people are saved, and others are not. Won’t it be sad for someone to have had the opportunity to hear the truth but not value it enough to receive God’s seed into their heart. I believe that this will be the reason why God says in the book of Revelation that He will wipe away all tears from our eyes (Rev 21:4). If someone you knew rejected God’s Word and chooses to go to hell versus believing the Good News that you tried to tell them about, how would you react? I will probably be weeping at judgment day.
I recently attempted to witness to a Jewish lady on her death bed in a nursing home. I had known this kind lady for approximately a year. We would visit this nursing home once a week and bring Jesus and the Bible to anyone that would listen, hear and believe. I tried to mention Jesus to her more than once. But she never opened her heart to receive the truth that Jesus was her Messiah. On her death bed, I told her very plainly “Jesus loves you and doesn’t want you or anyone else to die and go to hell”. That is certainly a true statement, but she was just still very hard hearted and unwilling to listen. I prayed for her and left her room feeling very sad. It was only a couple days later that I heard she passed away. That grieved my heart even more and I could only hope that she gave her heart to Jesus after I had left speaking to her. No one can make anyone else see the truth or force them to receive the “seed” to be born again. We can only do our best to plant the seed by speaking it in love and praying for them.
Today’s subject of “fruit” is as deep as the previous subject in the series on “seeds”. There is a direct law of continuous co-existence given by God in Genesis 8:22 between seeds the cause and fruits the results. God teaches us in this verse that “as long as the earth remains seedtime (sowing seeds) and harvest (reaping fruit) will never cease”. Also, in Genesis 1:11 God states another law that any certain fruit originates from only the same certain seed of the exact kind and it continues to say that we only obtain that certain seed to produce these certain types of fruits from the fruit itself of the exact same kind. It is a great unexplainable mystery of Divine creation to atheists and evolutionists.
Introduction to “FRUIT”
This is truly an amazing subject. The importance of learning, knowing and understanding this Parable is the key to so many of our basic successes in life and for us learning any other parable in the Bible. The antithesis of that statement is not learning, knowing or understanding this Parable is probably one of the main reasons why Satan is so easily able to take the Word from our heart to win the spiritual battle that we are in. As we learned in previous lessons the “Seed” of the Parable is the Word of God. We should also know that God’s Word is always pure (PS 119:140) and honest (Jo 17:17) and is designed by the LORD to produce the same good results in all people. The result of bringing forth this fruit is what we can call receiving “eternal life” (Mat 4:4). But we also learned that the positive element of God’s Seed has a counter negative type of seed (evil words of lies and deception) that are trying to produce Satan’s evil nature and outcome of “eternal death” in every person. This is just an example of the law of Genesis being restated. God is Good and His Seed is good and the Fruit from His Seed is also good. Please allow me to provide a verse that is a confirmation for God’s “fruit” representing the good element of receiving “eternal life”:
Pro 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
This is a verse that is of great significance. Remember the Tree of Life was one of two main trees that God placed in the center of the Garden of Eden. God did not forbid Adam to eat from this good tree of life; this implies that it was His intention for man to never die. We can find that this is how it will end up in the last chapter of Revelation. But eating this fruit of eternal life opportunity changed when Adam ate from the tree of death (knowledge of good and evil). I hope and pray you are understanding what the LORD is teaching us here. It appears from reading Genesis that after Adam sinned and before Adam or Eve could eat from the tree of life, an angel was placed around it with a flaming sword to guard the way to it (Gen 3:24).
Notice what this verse in Proverbs 11 says. It speaks of the fruit of a very specific subset of people called “righteous”. The adjective of righteous limits who has the right to produce and eat of this fruit. The righteous represent only saved Christians that have been redeemed from the kingdom of darkness by the shed blood of Jesus Christ (Rom 5:19). Notice the implied truth that all people have some type of fruit, but those that are unrighteous cannot have the fruit of life. Therefore, based on the antithesis truth that can be extracted, this teaches us that “the fruit of the unrighteous is a tree of death”. This means that these made righteous were previously unrighteous people with this fruit of eternal death. But they have now been reborn (John 3:7) into a new potential dimension of spiritual existence to produce the fruit of life. Here in Proverbs 11:30 saved people are being called a “tree with never ending life” because of the associated presence of this righteous “fruit”. Based upon this knowledge there are other additional implied but unstated direct truths that can be derived from reading this verse.
For example, there had to be a “seed” that produced the tree that produced the fruit. This is a profound and applicable truth connected with the Parable of the Sower. It also matches the principles given to us in the Parable of the Wheat and Tares when God informs us of the existence of two opposing seeds that are sown in the same soil to produce two opposing types of good and evil fruits. These two types of fruit were allowed to grow together in the same environment in order to cause the good wheat to not be pulled up when forcing out the bad tares. Finally, I will say that this verse in Proverbs further implies that a righteous person must have this specific fruit or without it they have no lasting life. This too is a very profound parallel to our study of the Parable of the Sower.
As you should be able to realize, the subject of “Fruit” is a very essential topic in the Parable of the Sower. It is a classic example of God’s created law of “cause and effect”. The “fruit” represents the end effect of the originating seed cause. Without the good seed (Word of God) there would not exist any good fruit of life. This is a very profound statement to consider. Please let me ask you a question. Why did Satan ban the Bible from Public Schools in the USA in 1962? He did this so that there would come a generation of children that would not hear God’s Word to produce life. Since that very bad Supreme Court decision the USA began to have mass shootings at schools, universities, movies, shopping centers and other events where helpless undefended people gathered. The seeds of death breeds the fruits of death and they become greater and greater in numbers. People today ask why are these things happening? They believe the solution to end the evil is to remove the guns and that is exactly what Satan wants to happen next to make everyone unable to defend themselves. But the ONLY solution to the evil fruit of death is to teach the Word of God to change hearts to bring forth life producing fruits of righteousness. That is the only real solution, believe it or not. Satan hates this truth and does not want you to share it with others, but please do it anyway.
What does the Symbolic Fruit in the Parable represent? Does it only represent eternal life and salvation? I will say that if we believe that the symbolic “fruit” in this Parable of the Sower only represents one definition such as “eternal life”, I believe that we would be missing some very important additional items that the LORD desires for us to know about the subject. For example, many people believe that the “fruit” in the Parable of the Sower only represents “salvation”. But others in the church believe the “fruit” only represents the “fruits of the spirit” which are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance found in Galatians 5:22-23. But, in studying this subject, I believe the LORD showed me that this symbolic “fruit” in the Parable represents 1 general meaning we can label as Salvation or Eternal Life and at the least 3 additional qualities simultaneously.
Fruit of the Righteous = Salvation/Eternal Life & Arises from a Combined 3 Variable Fruit Types:
- Fruit of the Womb/Sowing Seeds in Others
- Fruit of our labor for Christ Jesus
- Fruits of the Spirit
It could be stated like a mathematical equation FRUIT OF LIFE = A FRUITFUL WOMB + OUR FRUITFUL LABOR + A FRUITFUL SPIRIT. All these last 3 types of fruits can vary from 0 to a very large number depending upon human desire, dedication and commitment. The existence of these three types of variable fruit types would also help us understand how some saved Christians could produce only 30 times, while others 60 times and still others 100 times. I hope we can explore this in more detail in this lesson, but if not, I will do another lesson just on this topic, the LORD willing.
LEARNING FROM THE BIBLE DEFINITIONS OF FRUIT
Any serious Bible student should always be interested in digging deeper into the meanings of the original language words selected by God to describe every subject and “fruit” is no exception. In this section of the lesson I plan to focus on two primary key Greek words. The first is G2590 and second is G2592. G2590 occurs 66 times in the N.T. in 56 verses. It was translated in the KJV Bible as the plural “fruits” 10 times in 10 verses with the majority of the other verses as just “fruit”. This word is used by God in the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:8, Mark 4:7-8 and Luke 8:8. I would like to go through every verse where God used this word in the Bible but, the lesson size would be extended far too long. I would suggest that you do this detail study on your own. Using a good Bible software program on your computer go search for the words G2590 and G2592 and read all the verses as well as the context of each. Then write down whatever stands out because this is usually the Holy Spirit speaking to you about these verses. If you do not have a good Bible software program on your computer, I recommend “eSword” because it is a completely free download for most Windows compatible PC’s or you can get it for around $10 for an Apple based computer. This is not a advertisement for this program; I am just suggesting it based upon my experiences of using it for almost 20 years.
The second key Greek word found in the Parable of the Sower that is very important to the subject of fruit is G2592 and it was translated as “beareth fruit” in Matthew 13:23 and “bring forth fruit” in Mark 4:20 and Luke 8:15. We will dive deeper into this Greek word soon, but first let’s place our attention on the word G2590 translated as “fruit” and read the Strong’s definition to learn something that I believe is amazing:
Probably from the base of G726; fruit (as plucked), literally or figuratively: – fruit.
This is a very interesting word. The literal definition of this Greek word is “fruit”. But it is specifically related to an example of “fruit” that was plucked by force from a tree. This meaning is very profound when applied to people. The word “plucked” can be defined as “take hold of something (a person for example) and quickly remove it from its place”. It can be furthered defined as “to quickly or suddenly remove someone from a dangerous or unpleasant situation”. Wow, what does that sound like to you? I call it God’s purposeful definition for the “rapture”. You see if you notice in the definition Strong indicates that this word G2590 must have come from the base of another Greek word G726. If you look up this word’s definition it means “to seize by force” and can be translated many times as “catch away”, “catch up”, “pluck”, “pull” or “take by force”. G726 is the word used by God through Paul to describe the rapture event in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 where it is written “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (G726) together with them in the clouds to meet the LORD”.
The Greek word G726 is transliterated as “harpazo”. There are a lot of people that call themselves Christians that refuse to believe in this rapture event that is theologically sound. That is very sad to me since just because the literal word “rapture” was not in existence at the translation of the original KJV Bible does not mean the word definition and concept is not clearly found in the original text using other words. What I would suggest is that everyone study this subject in more depth with an open mind before criticizing those people that teach about the “rapture” calling them false teachers or worse.
I would highly recommend that you go and search your Bible program for the word G726 and you should find 13 verses. In at least 4 verses it is directly speaking of people being taken up and away from the present location on the earth by a supernatural force not by their request.
What am I trying to say with this G2590 word definition message? I think you are smart enough to understand the message from what has just been revealed. It should be obvious that a person having “fruit” is connected with them being “raptured”. Now, rapture is not my message, it is the LORD’s message and I am just a messenger. It is the Author of the Bible that selected and connected the word “G2590” translated as “fruit” to G726 defined as “a forced departure”. What I conclude from this information is that when the rapture occurs suddenly, only those Christians with real spiritual fruit will be taken up. This makes it sound very important for us to learn and know what this “fruit” represents. Can we agree?
What I have discovered from my Bible study is that it is only the presence of the real God kind of “fruit” that is an indicator of human salvation. If we go and read Matthew 7:15-20 we find the LORD’s description of two kinds of fruit, one good and one evil. Jesus asks, “Do men gather grapes from thorns?” “Or figs of thistles?” Grapes and figs are symbolic good fruit describing good people and thorns and thistles are both symbolic bad/evil fruit describing bad/evil people. Jesus states very clearly “By their fruit you will know them”. I think this is very important in understanding the Parable of the Sower fruit.
Therefore, I believe that it is very important for us to judge our self to see if we are producing only “God’s good kind of fruit”. What I would like to do is go through some new scriptures that teach us this truth. These are all words spoken by Jesus on the same subject of producing fruit, but they are given using a slightly different parallel analogy. Please read these words slowly and carefully. Notice the words that are underlined:
Joh 15:1 I am (Jesus, the 2nd Personality in the Trinity) the true vine, and my Father (the 1st Personality in the Trinity) is the husbandman (Garden Owner/Worker).
Joh 15:2 Every branch (Christian) in me that beareth (G5342) not fruit (G2590) he taketh away: and every (Christian) branch that beareth (G5342) fruit (G2590), he purgeth (G2508) it, that it may bring forth more (G4119) fruit (G2590).
Joh 15:3 Now ye are clean (G2513) through the word (G3056/logos/the Seed) which I have spoken unto you.
Joh 15:4 Abide (continue, stay, remain) in me, and I in you. As the branch (Christian) cannot bear fruit (G2590) of itself, except it abide in the vine (Jesus/Word); no more can ye, except ye abide (continue, stay, remain) in me (the Word).
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth (continues, stays, remains) in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit (G2590): for without me ye can do nothing.
Joh 15:6 If a man (Christian) abide (continue, stays, remains) not in me (the Word), he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men (angels) gather them, and cast them into the fire (hell), and they are burned (in hell).
Joh 15:7 If ye abide (continues, stays, remains) in me (Word), and my words (Seeds) abide (continues, stays, remains) in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Joh 15:8 Herein is my Father (the Garden Owner) glorified, that ye bear much fruit (G2590); so shall ye be my disciples.
As you probably know the words in parenthesis are not in the original translation. I placed these explanations of what Jesus was speaking of to help us better understand the truths being stated. I also placed certain Greek words in parenthesis to identify the important definitions that we may need to look up and study.
Jesus begins in verse 1 with the declaration of “He is the True Vine”. This is a symbolic definition connecting Jesus to be the spiritual reference to the TRUE Vine. He was informing us that He is a human’s only source of real spiritual life and any others who claim to offer true life the same is a false pathway that produces death. The next statement is another spiritual definition of His Father to be a symbolic “husbandman”. This Greek word literally means “a Farmer”. A farmer is someone that works the land or soil to produce a fruitful crop. We have a lot of parallel truths being given to us in this description that matches the symbols found in the “Parable of the Sower” but with slightly different symbolic details being given to us.
In verse 2 we are introduced to a new detail called a “branch” of Jesus the True Vine. This is a powerful concept being described. Have you ever done a study of your “family tree”? You see in a natural family tree diagram you are symbolically connecting your ancestry to be like a tree with a lot of branches that sprang out of a trunk to produce some fruit. Wow, this is what the LORD is teaching using a vine with branches. Jesus is describing the same type of natural family tree paradigm with lots of spiritual family members using a vine analogy. In 1 Corinthians 6:17 God tells us that “whoever is joined with the LORD is one spirit”. Remember in this John 15 story we are being taught spiritual concepts through the applications of natural truths. When we become Christians, we became symbolic branches that are attached to Jesus our Vine, living on the inside of us and we are now one with the Vine (Jesus).
How does a vine and its branches work and what does it mean spiritually? In the natural a vine originates from a seed and develops roots that produces the main head vine that receives moisture from the soil and carries it though the entire vine structure to all the branches so that they can produce fruit. I believe in this discussion the Holy Spirit and the Word of God are represented by the moisture coming from the root proceeding through the head vine (Jesus) to feed us the branches (Christians). We know this because in verse 3 Jesus reveals that we in the church called branches are made clean (G2513) by the Words of God spoken to us. We can better understand this concept by reading Ephesians 5:26 where Christ is stated to be moving to cause His church to become a sanctified and cleansed (G2511) bride by the washing of the water by His Word.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse (G2511) it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
The Greek word G2511 used in Ephesians 5:26 is defined as “to make clean”. It can also be translated as “purify”, “purge” or “cleanse”. It is normally referring to a present tense work of cleansing. In other words, it is not normally used as the past tense of someone that has already been cleansed (made clean). What is it that Jesus is cleansing from the Church? That is a great question that desperately needs our understanding. Many in the church today ask, “Aren’t we all supposed to be completely forgiven with all our sins (past, present and future) completely covered by the Blood of Jesus so that God calls us righteous?” The answer to that is yes, that is all true, BUT we all still sin and that is a major issue that God wants to address in us to make us pure. NO sin is acceptable to God and our unconfessed sin still has consequences. However, according to 1 John 1:9 “God is faithful and just to forgive all of our sin and cleanse (G2511) us from all unrighteousness, IF we confess and ask him to forgive us”.
1Jn 1:8 If we say that we (the Church Bride) have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Despite what some preachers teach, these verses in 1 John 1 are written to real saved Christians. We are instructed by the LORD to confess our sins in order to be forgiven for them. Let me type the antithesis truth of this statement so that we can see what happens if we do not do the first part of the verse. “If we do NOT confess our sins, He will not be faithful or just to forgive us our sins, nor will He cleanse us from all of our unrighteousness”. That is a very strong unstated truth whether we want to believe it or not. One very popular unnamed preacher that I heard recently said “We should confess our sins (present tense) because He has already forgiven us (past tense). I’m sorry but, that is illogical thinking. I do something wrong and sin against God and then come to Him and ask for forgiveness but He does nothing because it was already done 2000 years ago?” What if I did that to my wife? I hurt her very badly with some unkind words and then say I’m sorry.” Is she going to be like this preacher said and tell me “that is ok, I already forgave you when we first got married”? I don’t think so. No, asking for someone for forgiveness and receiving their forgiveness all present tense now should be a normal ongoing part of any healthy relationship, natural or spiritual.
Notice the terminology in verse 27 of Ephesians 5. God is speaking of a clothing issue. This is like a bride with a wedding dress. Does any bride wanting to be beautiful for her future husband want her dress to be stained, spotted, torn or wrinkled when meeting her husband at the altar? She doesn’t if she is in her right mind. This is a picture of the bride Church that is used by God in this verse. What church member wants to stand before the Holy Sinless Lord Jesus and be unclean, impure and stained with sin in their garment? You better not! If you don’t care there is a major issue of deception taking place somewhere. You see Ephesians 5:27 says God desires us to be Holy. That means without sin spots. I’m going to give you another scripture about this condition as we continue.
If you look at the definition of G2511 used in Ephesians 5:26 and 1 John 1:9 you will find that it comes from the Greek word G2513 and this is the exact word used in John 15:3 when Jesus said “Now you are clean (G2513) through the words that I have spoken to you”. Notice the difference between G2513 and G2511. G2511 is a past tense completed work “now you are clean” and G2513 is a continuing future tense work of a cleansing in progress. The John 15:3 G2511 is like saying I already had my bath with the Word of God. But the Ephesians 5:26 reference is like I just got dirty again in sin and G2513 appears to be that He is washing me again in response with His Word. In other words, Ephesians 5:26 and 1 John 1:9 both describes a present tense work of God in progress of us being washed and represents someone that is NOT yet fully clean (without sin). This information about cleansing the church of our sins matches the description of cutting off the unfruitful branch or pruning the fruitful branches in John 15:2 that we are about to discuss next.
Notice the facts that are given to us in verse 2 of John 15. There are two opposing types of branches being spoken of, one type has no fruit because of an unstated or implied factor of sin and the other type of branch has some fruit of varying levels that have need to be increased. The unfruitful branch is eventually cut off from the Vine (Jesus) and that is amazing. That should awaken you if you think you are a Christian and do not have any visible fruit. This truth places the responsibility of producing fruit primarily on the branch’s cooperation and participation to abide (continue, remain, stay) in the Vine. It also teaches us that it is possible not to continue in the Vine to cause zero fruit production and this causes us to be cut off from our source of eternal life. That knowledge should literally scare you. I know that people do not like this kind of preaching, but it is still the truth.
I am going to introduce you to another scary set of verses about church members being cut off. Please open your Bibles and go to Revelation chapter 3 and read verses 1 through 6. Jesus is speaking to the church in Sardis and these words apply to the church in your city also. In verse 3 Jesus commands them to repent. A lot of churches do not teach this part of the Bible because they focus only on an unbalanced Grace extreme. But Jesus says in verse 4 there are a “few” who have not defiled their garments. What is that speaking of if not sin? Jesus is utilizing a symbolic clothing condition of being unspotted for those in the church that possess purity, holiness and are without sin. You see a clean white garment is what a virgin bride wears to her wedding to be joined to her husband like we have been discussing. This is how Jesus wants us to be when He comes for us. If you read Revelation 19 and 20 you will find His people that were taken to heaven and that come back with Him to the earth will be clothed in pure white linen. I pray that this is being received. Let’s move quickly to the branch type that is producing fruit in small levels.
What caused the fruit possibility to begin to spring forth in the fruitful branch type of John 15? We learn this answer several times in this John 15 passage that it is the branches’ choice to “abide” in the Vine in unison with the additional choice to allow the Vine to abide in us. Abide is a Greek word G3306 that is defined as “to stay” and that represents the human right of choice for decision-making ability, where exercising our will power, self-determination and self-control to hold fast to the True Vine source of life. This literally means we can make the very stupid choice if we are deceived to do so to let go of the True Vine and wither and die. Remember the Bible very clearly says that “Those that are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God”. This is just another way of asking “Are you listening to the Spirit of God speaking inside of you?” Or you could ask “Are you listening and obeying the Word of God that you are reading and studying every day?” Either way, if the answer is Yes, that is great step to producing fruit, but if the answer is no to either question it is only a matter of time until our branch might be cut off. Let’s talk quickly about “pruning”.
Notice that the fruitful branch type that abides in the Vine is “purged” so that it will produce even more fruit. Wow again, because this verse informs us that a little bit of fruit is a good start and allows us to stay connected in the Vine, but this informs us that maximizing our fruit production is what God desires. Do you see the parallels to the Parable of the Sower? The Greek Word translated as “purgeth” in John 15:2 is the Greek word G2508 and it means “to cleanse”. Weren’t we just talking about cleansing our life from sin and washing our garment clean? This Greek word G2508 also comes from the Greek word G2511 translated as “clean” in verse 3 of John 15. We have a direct connection to being clean as God’s goal and we learn this work of the Word of God washing us inside will cause us to reduce our sin and increase our fruit. That is just how God designed it to work. Let’s go over quickly the Parable of the Sower apply what we just learned.
In the Parable of the Sower we have three soils that produce no lasting fruit and they are not saved. In the first soil type it did not even begin the seed growth process. In the second soil type it started to produce roots and the early vine but withered and died before it had any fruit, does that sound familiar?. In the third soil type the seed was established, roots grown, a vine produced and it began to produce fruit from branches but the fruit was choked out by a greater abundance of weeds and thus they did not achieve eternal life and died. We have ONLY one soil type that produces lasting fruit some 30 times, some 60 times and finally others 100 times. It appears to me that those that are producing the most fruit have been pruned and clipped by God the most effectively to remove the choking sin. Of course, that statement places the total responsibility on God to why some have 30-, 60- or 100-fold return and that just can’t be truthful since that would make God a respecter of person. Therefore, this means that it must be how the Christian responds to the pruning that causes it to become effective to produce more fruit. What is pruning? I’ll give you a couple of verses that I believe will help explain it:
1Co 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
1Co 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
God is the ultimate Supreme Judge. This informs us that He will judge Christians if we do not judge our self, first. God says He does this to help us NOT to be condemned with the WORLD! The world represents the 3 types of soil that produces NO FRUIT. The judged people in this verse are those that are getting sin pruned off their lives so that they can produce even more fruit. Wow, God is awesome. Did you understand what is going on here? Sin like we talked about before, is in everyone in the world because ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Those in the first three soil types are dominated and controlled by their lusts and sin to not produce any fruit. But Christians that produce at least a little fruit are corrected to remove more sin so that new fruit can spring forth faster. But, this is only accomplished by the Christian reading and studying the Word of God and then applying what is learned. I just said some very important things and I pray you received it.
I’m not going to go through every verse in John 15 for the sake of time. I would recommend that you go through it and notice the impact of the Word of God and those that remain in the Bible learning more to become clean and those that do not remain in the Bible and get cut off and burned in hell. All of this is applicable to the Parable of the Sower and why some people are saved, and others are lost.
We need to move on quickly to our second Greek word G2592 that was translated as “beareth fruit” in Matthew 13:23 and “bring forth fruit” in Mark 4:20 and Luke 8:15. I want to do this by first providing the three main verses in Matthew, Mark and Luke where Jesus explained what was represented in the symbolic good soil that produces “fruit”. Please read these Jesus interpretations and compare the similarities and differences very closely:
Mat 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit (G2592), and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Mar 4:20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit (G2592), some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
Luk 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit (G2592) with patience.
These are all very important verses of truth. Jesus is teaching the explanation for the “good ground” from three slightly different perspectives of detail. In this lesson I am not going to teach the subject of the “Good Soil”. But I do want to focus on the aspect of “Producing Fruit” which is found in all three explanations. The primary Greek word that is used in all three explanations is G2592. Let’s review the Strong’s definition for this word.
From G2593; to be fertile (literally or figuratively): – be (bear, bring forth) fruit (-ful).
We are taught that this translated phrase “to bring forth fruit” comes from the Greek word G2593 and that root word literally means “to be fertile”. Fertile in relationship with soil means to be capable of producing abundant levels of vegetation or crops. However, that is not all the possible relationships to what “fertile” can be applied. In the relationship to humans, animals and some plants fertile has the definition to mean “able to conceive a child or a seed”. In relationship to a “seed”, fertile means “capable of becoming a new distinct type of the same kind”. When used in relationship to the human mind, fertile means “the ability to produce many new and inventive ideas”. Wow, I believe all of these are applicable to our subject discussion on being “fruitful” from the planting of God’s Word in our heart.
This Greek word G2592 is only found 8 times in the New Testament. Four times it was spoken by Jesus with 3 usages in the Parable of the Sower and once in the Parable of the Growing Seed found in Mark 4:26-29. The Parable of the Growing Seed is an awesome discussion given by Jesus concerning a more detailed description of how fruit is produced and the stages it goes through over time. One of the main points of the Parable is how the entire process takes a significant amount of time to develop any mature fruit. Keep this in mind if you just got saved. There is a high degree of likelihood that instant fruit is not going to occur in your life.
If we search our Bibles for the Greek word G2592 we find that the only other times this Greek word is found (other than the Gospel Parables) is when Paul used it twice in Romans 7 and twice in Colossians 1. Both are important passages to our discussion so I will go over them as the LORD leads:
Rom 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit (G2592) unto God.
Rom 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit (G2592) unto death.
This is a vastly misunderstood context of verses found in this chapter. In the beginning of this chapter Paul is writing to a very specific sub-set of the whole all-inclusive church class of members. He says in verse 1 “I am speaking to those that know the law”. This simply means that God through Paul is speaking to those natural Jewish people that were in the old covenant and knew (a marriage covenant term) the Torah (law). Paul then goes on in verse 1 through 3 to explain how the law (Torah) says that a wife that is joined to her husband in covenant marriage is bound to that covenant until her husband is dead otherwise, if she leaves him and marries another she commits adultery. This was the bad news being presented first. We must understand that the natural nation of Israel was in a marriage covenant with Almighty God (Jer 31:32). This meant by stated law they were not able to enter into a covenant legally with anyone else including Jesus. But now, in verse 4, God through Paul writes to give these Jewish people some good news. Because Jesus died on the cross, they were legally free from the bondage of that Old Covenant and the law to enter the New Covenant marriage with the risen from the dead LORD and Savior Jesus Christ (Messiah). He then tells them that this was accomplished by God so that they could now bring forth good fruit (G2592) unto God for salvation. This is the key word that we are interested in that was used by Jesus to describe saved people in the Parable of the Sower named the good soil.
We know verse 4 is speaking of God’s “good life producing fruit” because we can clearly read in verse 5 to learn how these natural Jewish people previously “brought forth fruit” (G2592) the opposite type of fruit leading to death. This negative fruit of death was the consequence of them living in the flesh and being controlled by their lustful desires under the law. This is just another confirmation to teach us that there are two kinds of fruit one was grapes and figs and the other was thorns and thistles.
I want you to understand that these two opposing types of fruit that can be produced by any human even a Christian. One type is operating in the Spirit and brings forth the fruit of “life” and the other type is someone operating in the “flesh” bringing forth the fruit of death. The Parable of the Sower is specifically speaking of producing the spirit life fruit type in the “good soil” but the other 3 soil types related very specifically to operating in the flesh and sin produces the consequences of the death fruit type. Notice that the Greek word G2592 is used in both verses of Romans 5 and they were each translated as “bring forth fruit”. Let’s move on with the other primary reference concerning “bringing forth fruit” found in Colossians 1:5-10.
Col 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Col 1:6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit (G2592), as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
Col 1:7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
Col 1:8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
Col 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful (G2592) in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
There are so many truths to learn from these six verses that I cannot teach them all. But, notice the words that I underlined beginning in verse 5. In this verse Paul is writing about a people that heard the Word of God and this is equivalent to receiving God’s Seed. This automatically connects us to the Parable of the Sower. Verse 6 then compares these people to others in the world that have also heard the Gospel. This appears to represent the great commission that the LORD gave to us all in Mark 16:15 when Jesus said “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel, to them that believe and are baptized they will be saved and to them that believe not they shall be damned.” That is a very strong statement that places the responsibility for hearing and believing on the combined work of a sower sowing good seeds (Word of God) and a listener that pays attention in order to receive these seeds (words) and to believe them. It also sharply creates a dividing line of severe separation between two radically different types of people. God designed His Seed to be heard and then believed by everyone. God’s Seed is intended and planned for success in everyone. But the success is still clearly dependent upon the listener to believe or to not believe and that is our individual freewill choice.
Let’s review some of the implied Parable of the Sower elements being connected in these verses. Clearly there must be the seed (Word of God) planter preaching the Word of Truth to produce “fruit” in people. Verse 7 identifies one Seed sower by name calling him Epaphras. Then notice in verse 8 that this man Epaphras had spoken to Paul about the people’s “love” in the spirit which is a direct connection to the “fruit of the spirit” mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. Therefore, these people being spoken of represent “good soil”. Finally, in verse 10 God brings in a new connection of a different type of “fruit” that should also exist in these people through knowing the will of God. In this verse Paul clearly writes that there should exist an additional type of “fruit” that comes from Christians doing “good” works (His Will). Wow, I think that is very awesome. We have just observed three types of fruit spoken of in one connecting passage. There was the fruit of the spirit, the fruit of good works and the implied fruit of the womb that produces salvation in others by spreading the seed.
The reason these verses are included that we have been studying are because God connects them to the Parable of the Sower by specific Word Selection. Because these Greek words are only used in the Parable of the Sower (Mat 13, Mark 4 & Luke 8), Romans 7 and Colossians 1 we must conclude that these are all related to the same subject. I am a very firm believer that the Bible interprets and explains itself. One way God interprets His word is by us looking up His usage of specific Words from one verse in other verses in the Bible. By doing this we gain a much clearer and balanced knowledge of the whole subject.
I have gone much longer than I wanted. I think I’m over 6000 words. There is so much information on the subject of “Fruit” in the Bible that there could have been a 12 Part series. We did not discuss every type of fruit in the Bible. We did not discuss the negative type of fruit in detail. We did not cover all the scriptures about fruit in the New Testament much less the Old Testament. Perhaps the LORD will direct me to teach this more in the future.
Do you understand how a natural seed works completely to explain how it brings forth fruit? Most of us cannot in great detail! How then can we fully understand how the spoken Word of God can enter a human heart to change them from eternal death to eternal life? But we know that it works because we can see evidence in the lives of people throughout the Bible and here in the present world. Paul a confessed murderer became the most prolific New Covenant Bible writer and teacher in the Church’s early days. Peter a known liar who denied knowing Jesus three times becomes a radically bold preacher of the Truth to the Jewish people and was even crucified to confirm his faith. Peter never denied Jesus again. That is just two examples of radical transformation given from a God of second and third chances. Perhaps you have been radically changed also. If so, please leave your testimony at the end of this lesson. But I’ll end the lesson with this verse:
Jas 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
Our God is patiently waiting for His fruit to grow mature in our lives. As soon as it occurs, I believe He will be coming for us and I do not believe that it will be very long before this happens. God calls this fruit “precious” and that means we are very valuable to Him. Please yield to the Holy Spirit with me and allow Him to prune the sin off our lives so that we all may produce more fruit for His glory. It would be a very unhappy time if when He comes to catch us away by force that we did not have any valuable fruit that He was looking to harvest. I pray that we take this message to heart and judge our own sin before we are judged.
I did not cover this subject of “Fruit” completely. The Lord willing I will add more lessons on this subject in the future. Thank you and God Bless you as you continue to grow in the Grace and the knowledge of Him.
If you would like to continue reading this series please go to “Part 5“.
(ver 1.1) This is Part 3 in a Bible study series dedicated to the subject of understanding Biblical Division. In this lesson we will be focused on the subject of “The Book of Life” also known as “The Book of the Living. We have already explored a great amount of vital foundational information in this series. Therefore, if you have not read from the beginning I would highly recommend that you go back and start with “Part 1”. However, I will say that I believe that the information found in this lesson will stand alone concerning the subject of the “Book of Life”. If you came across this lesson by searching the internet on this subject, it would be fine to begin your reading with this lesson. Please just keep in mind that I included this Bible lesson subject on the “Book of Life” in a greater series that is based upon Biblical Division.
Earlier in this series I taught on the truths that Jesus spoke of concerning division which the Bible claims was one of God’s first acts of the creation of our present world in Genesis 1. It very clearly states on day 1 of creation when God said “let there be light” that He was dividing the day from the night (light from darkness). I later showed how Jesus said in Luke 12:51 that division was one of His primary motivations and reasons for coming to the earth in the flesh. This information was a vital foundation to learn and embrace on the subject. Then I taught on further statements of division that Jesus taught to us in the Gospels. Many of these were in symbolic parable form but the truths behind them are still very profound.
According to Jesus not everyone that thinks that they are saved and going to heaven are going to make it. This type of statement that I just made gets a lot of people upset with me. I have had some of the most negative comments because someone believes in a false doctrine of “Universal Salvation”. In this false teaching the sovereignty and power of God overrules all human responsibility to receive salvation by faith and forces everyone into salvation, including Satan himself. That is exactly what Satan wants everyone to believe. This false belief causes people to be easily tricked into doing nothing for God including receiving salvation by “His grace through our faith” (Eph 2:8).
In part 2 of the series we covered several parables that Jesus spoke directly about the act of division including 1) separating the sheep from goats, 2) separation of the wheat from tares and 3) God separating the good fish catch from bad taken out of the waters in the same net. There are others that we may get into later in the series like the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, the wise man who built his house on the rock versus the foolish man building on sand, and the parable of the wedding feast to name a few. There are so many lessons on division taught by Jesus for us to learn about this vital subject, how could anyone miss it and believe everyone is going to be with the LORD forever? But, that is how deception works. Review this warning from Paul written about the days we are living in:
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
I think the numbers of people who do not desire to hear God’s rightly divided balanced Bible truths are increasing (2 Tim 4:3) as the Bible warns. I believe that it easy to observe how the darkness of the present world is growing increasingly darker and darker resulting in greater and greater spiritual deception (Luke 21:8). The wickedness and perversion that we can clearly see all around us appears to be out of control (2 Tim 3:2). It is obvious to me that this darkness is even creeping into the Church.
But, I do not wish to focus only on the evil work of the enemy in people (Eph 2:2) because we should also be able to see how God is increasing the spiritual light of His knowledge and revelation within His people (2 Peter 1:19). Praise the LORD! I am a very firm believer that the kingdom of darkness will grow darker while the Kingdom of Light will increase in His glorious brightness. If you do not believe in the existence of two separate kingdoms you need to dig deeper into your Bible and ask God to show you. I will warn you up front that this is a long Bible study. It might be good for you to break it into sections. First, I plan to introduce the overall concepts of the “Book of Life” in this introduction. Then I will follow this section by the revealing of God’s definition for “eternal life”. Next, I plan to be ending the lesson with the supporting detail verses in the final sections. That is the overall lesson plan today and I pray that you are ready to receive. Here are the sections being addressed today:
- INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF LIFE
- THE INTRODUCTION TO ETERNAL LIFE
- GOD’S DEFINITION OF LIFE ETERNAL
- THE BOOK OF THE LIVING
- BOOK OF LIFE – CONCLUSION
Are you read to learn? Get your Bible, your concordance and your dictionaries and follow along closely or just use your computer with all of these tools on it as I do.
INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF LIFE
Today, we will continue to learn about God’s prophesied division of the living being separated from the dead. I personally believe that this is one of the most important Bible lesson on this website. I hope and pray that it motivates all readers to make sure that their names are written in the Book of Life and is never erased.
We will discover according to the Bible all of humanity beginning with Adam until his last human born descendant at the end of this age (1 Cor 15:22) will be divided into two detached groups of people with continuing eternal existence but, within separated spiritual realms of life or death existence. We will see clearly how the first group that I will call “the living” or those that received “eternal life” by faith in Jesus Christ (John 20:31, Rom 6:2) will be completely separated from the second group of those people that make the choice to not believe in Jesus Christ (Mk 16:16). The second group I will name as “the eternal dead” simply because that is the legal and logical opposite name of the term “eternal life” used many times in the Bible (Mat 25:46, John 3:15, John 5:24). But, technically speaking a more Biblically accurate name for this group of non-living individuals should be called the “eternally damned” (Mar 3:29). That name places the proper emphasis of “eternal existence”, “mental awareness” combined with characteristic of “never ending agonizing punishment”. Wow! I do not think there are enough people that believe this truth in the world and there are even a lot of people in churches that choose to not believe in an afterlife and hell.
Please allow me to teach concerning a very real story that Jesus gave to us that will very clearly illustrate this point of separation, division and eternal comfort versus never ending punishment. We are going to read the story of a real unnamed rich man and another real man named Lazarus that lived at the same time found starting in Luke 16:19. Please read it carefully with an open mind to receive the facts being given to us:
Luk 16:19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
Luk 16:20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
Luk 16:21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores.
Luk 16:22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried,
Luk 16:23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.
Luk 16:24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’
Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.
Luk 16:26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’
Luk 16:27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house–
Luk 16:28 for I have five brothers–so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’
Luk 16:29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’
Luk 16:30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
Luk 16:31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'”
I’ll start by teaching that whenever verses conflict with a previous belief, the conflicting verses must either be explained away, ignored or our belief must be changed to align and conform to the Word of God. Which would you think is the right choice? Many people that believe a false narrative where every human will be saved simply explain these words of Jesus away as being just a parable that teaches a moral lesson. However, that would be wrong! Jesus never gives the names of any real actual people in any parable. The introduction of a factually named individual forces the statement to be a true or a false account about that named person. Since it is impossible for God to lie (Heb 6:18), we are obligated to conclude that Jesus did not deceive us and what is stated to have had happened to Lazarus as well as to Abraham must have actually happened or we must call Jesus a liar. Therefore, if Jesus was a liar we can’t trust anything that He taught us, can we? This is the logic behind why I believe this story is a real factual account of things that actually happened to individuals that lived before Jesus did and who still exist today in one of two divided realms of spiritual existence.
I am not going to teach this entire true story in this lesson on the Book of Life. But, I want you to observe the primary truths being spoken from the lips of our Creator. He describes two real men that lived on the earth together at the same time. Also both men lived potentially hundreds of years after Abraham died. We technically do not know the actual date but it has to be after Abraham’s physical death and before the day the story was being related to people on the earth.
One unnamed man was rich and lived very well his entire life on the earth. The other man named Lazarus was extremely poor with great physical ailments who sat desiring even crumbs from the rich man’s table to eat. Wow, these are two radically different types of natural people in the world. Both men died within a short time of each other with their bodies being buried, but their spirits were carried away to two different places that could not be traveled between because of a “great gulf” that separated them and confined them to be apart. Also it is vital to notice that Lazarus after he died was carried to be with Abraham and the rich man was not.
The rich man is revealed to be in anguish in a great flame wanting to be given just a drop of water to cool his tongue. Lazarus is stated to be in a different state of comfort not experiencing any pain or anguish. Remember this is NOT A PARABLE! This is a real live true story of real people that Jesus observed. This was also before Jesus had been crucified and therefore, the reason why both groups were closer together in the under regions of the earth within sight of each other. Righteous people today that die go immediately to heaven to be with the LORD (2 Cor 5:8). I am just not going to teach everything that we need to know about this story, it would take a lot of time and I have more information in other lessons on this website.
What Jesus is introducing in this story is a factual spiritual reality that takes place after physical death. Human spirits leave their bodies and go to one of two very different locations. The righteous now go up to the place of the living in heaven to be with Jesus and the unrighteous leave earth and go down and go where the rich man is still to this day. The righteous people we will find are those that have their names written in the “Book of Life” and the unrighteous, do not. How can we verify this statement of truth? I’ll give you a scripture that will place us on the path of learning the truth about the living group:
Mat 22:32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.”
In this statement given by Jesus to answer a question that was testing him about his knowledge of human spirits at the resurrection, Jesus provides us an amazing declaration of truth. Jesus is quoting from the book of Exodus 3:16 where God spoke to Moses about being the God of their father’s Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But Jesus adds the explanation and correct interpretation of the verse in Exodus to his quotation saying “that God is not the God of the dead but of the “living”. This is a revelation and a lesson in correct Bible interpretation from the mouth of God that made every person that was listening to him to be amazed at His wisdom and knowledge. Jesus just taught us that there were two different groups, one called the living and the other the dead in this verse.
When Jesus was speaking this statement he is indicating very clearly that each of these named men that were thought to be dead men (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) were all very alive at that moment and in the same spiritual location where Lazarus was being described to be carried to. Therefore, all of these people are being called members of a “mathematical set” named collectively as “the living”. This statement further points us to the fact that all of their names must have been written in the “Book of Life” since they were living after physical death. Wow, that is awesome.
I will quickly talk about mathematical basics because God created their design for a purpose to help us understand more advanced spiritual realities. A “set” is defined in mathematical terms as being a “collection of distinct objects that is considered to be a greater combined object simultaneously”. It is very much like every cell in your human body is an individual separate unit/object but collectively they are named together as the greater complete object called “your human body” at the same time. This is exactly what Jesus is teaching in this verse. Jesus states Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are all individual separate members in a much larger collection of human beings called the “living”. Let’s review a picture of the message lesson we just found and learned in Luke 16:
This is a picture diagrammed overview of the basic information that we just learned from the LORD Jesus in the story of the rich man and Lazarus. This story further points us to the fact that the unnamed rich man was not a part of the “living” member set of humans and was now forever to be in torment in the “eternally damned” member group. I am amazed at the fact that God does not name the rich man in hell. I believe that this is the mercy of God to not place his relatives and descendants in painful torment. It also causes us all to think if one of our relatives could be in hell right now asking for someone to be sent to me or you asking us not to come to this place of torment. This is truly so very important to learn and to embrace. Which group do you want to be in? It is completely up to you.
THE INTRODUCTION TO ETERNAL LIFE
I believe that the Spirit of God will be speaking to us in both direct and literal spiritual terms in this Bible lesson. In order to comprehend any spiritual Bible subject correctly humans must rise to a higher spiritual way of thinking and seeing the divinely spoken Words. After all, we should know that the Bible says these word are God inspired (God breathed) (2 Tim 3:16). According to God’s inspired word, no carnal/natural thinking human can possibly understand the Bible (1 Cor 2:14). Since God is a Spirit (Jo 4:24) and His ways and thoughts are far above lowly human ways and thoughts (Isa 55:8) we are challenged to grow up spiritually. Of course I’m not diminishing God’s awesome ability to come down to our level of thinking through His mercy when we are mere spiritual infants. But, I still believe that our God desires us to mature spiritually and expects us to know more Word today than we knew when we first received our salvation (1 Peter 2:2, 1 Cor 3:2).
We have had too many Bible teachers that attempt to understand the Bible through mere human reasoning and definitions and this will never work. One of the key ways of determining God’s spiritual truth is to use God’s spiritual definitions of the words being studied. This is what we are going to do now in this section by searching for God’s spiritual definition for what “Eternal Life” represents in His eyes. We might be surprised to find that this God definition does not match our human dictionary definition. Are we prepared to rise to a higher way of spiritual thinking? If so, let’s proceed.
First, it is important to know that ALL created spiritual beings (humans and angels) will NEVER DIE (MAT 25:36, MK 3:29, 2 PET 2:4, REV 20:10); as in cease to exist or even go into a suspended state of spiritual sleep or mental unawareness. We have already learned this true fact of spiritual life after natural death simultaneously being mentally aware very clearly in the previous section introduction of Luke 16. But, I am going to quickly go over some concept verses that are always given to me by someone to counter what I teach about spiritual life that are found in the Old Testament. These people misinterpret natural truth to be spiritual truth and are guilty of mixing spiritual apples with natural oranges to call them all a message of fruit truth. I hope I didn’t lose anyone with that analogy. Please let me give you an example verse that is wrongly divided to say something that it does not say:
Ecc 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
What I am trying to say is that there are verses like this that are used to claim that dead people do not know anything after they are physically dead. However, that is not what this verse says. Notice the beginning of the statement. God is speaking of a living and moving human body that the spirit inside them knows that their body is going to die someday. You know that right? Are you alive? If you are reading this you are. What if you were physically dead laying in a casket or a grave and I sat a smart phone, tablet or computer screen in front of you? Would you be able to read the screen? The correct answer is absolutely not. Therefore, would your dead body know how to read and understand any natural things after you died? Again, the correct answer is absolutely not. That is what this verse is talking about. God gives a natural truth from a natural human perspective that does not contradict to speak against what we know in the afterlife in any way. These types of verses are not conflicting truths to Luke 16. Their two bodies of these dead men were in the ground knowing nothing, could do nothing, say nothing, move nothing, etc. But, their spirits could still do all of these even without their bodies. Please Wake UP and see the truths of the Bible that do not conflict when rightly divided.
A carnal thinking individual will reason largely in natural terms based upon natural human experiences and natural educational teachings. This is a great mistake when reading spiritual truth. If we attempt to define “death” as seen to God the same as “death” as seen to the human point of view we will be 100% wrong. For example, human “death” can be defined as a permanent cessation of vital signs and senses required to be alive. This would include but would not be limited to mental awareness, feelings, emotional response, a heartbeat, a pulse, respiration, etc. However, that is not what death represents to God many times in the Bible. I will say that many times in the Bible this physical description and definition of “death” is called “sleep”. But that is only a label from a human point of view because the body of any dead persons just looks like they are sleeping. Let’s read additional statements of Jesus that can be easily misunderstood about life and death:
Joh 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
Joh 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
Here are some very strange words when viewed from only the human definition of “death”. Jesus speaks some things here that appear to conflict with other Bible verses. For example, if we know Hebrew 9:27 God says “It is appointed to man once to die…”. Yet, Jesus said if you believe in me you will never die. Both verses use the exact same Greek word G599 translated as “die”. Now this is a problem unless these words have either differing definitions or differing perspectives or viewpoints. Could it be like what I said earlier that one is from a divine heavenly viewpoint and the other from a natural human viewpoint? I believe very firmly that this must be the truth in order for there to be no conflict in the two inspired verse statements. I believe this is why God commands us to “rightly divide the Word of Truth”. Both are true statements one from a natural definition/viewpoint versus the other from a spiritual definition/viewpoint. I pray that you are receiving this and understanding this.
I will ask you to pay close attention to the statement that Jesus made. He says very clearly that if you do not want to ever die, you better believe in Him. To never die is another synonymous way of claiming to possess eternal life. Therefore we must understand what this concept of “eternal life” is defined to be in order to understand this verse correctly. But, the other verse in Hebrews is clearly a verse that is literally speaking of physical death. The verse in John speaks of spiritual death and the other verse in Hebrews is speaking of the natural human body death experience that EVERYONE will experiences regardless of whether or not you believe in Jesus. The only two men in the Bible that are exceptions to that last statement are Elijah and Enoch and both of these men were carried away from the earth without ever physically experiencing death (at least yet to experience it). Of course people that will be taken in the rapture will also miss out on experiencing physical and spiritual death. This discussion of the types of death and the types of life is where we are going next in this section. Let’s look at a very important verse of truth to consider in our study of “eternal life”:
Jas 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
I am only going to focus on the beginning fact of truth and not mention the comparison that is being made to faith without works. God very clearly inspired the writer to tell us that a human body without a spirit being inside is “dead”. That compares to the definition of natural death that we just read. This is a body that does not breath, does not have a heartbeat, does have a pulse, is not moving, is not feeling anything, is not aware of the circumstances and cannot respond. But, God says very plainly that this is a body that has no “spirit” in it. This is exactly what happened to the rich man and to Lazarus in Luke 16. Both men’s bodies died when their spirits left and they were found to be in hell and Abraham’s bossom still living as spirits. These spirit beings had responses, feelings, emotions, could talk, communicate, think and reason. Only the physical senses were left with their physical body. This teaches us very clearly that “spirits” are alive.
We are about to discover that God simply defines “(spiritual) death” as a state of human existence that never fully desired and committed to know Him on the earth in their past natural life and this is combined with a no possibility of ever knowing Him throughout their afterlife in eternity. This describes the rich man in Luke 16 perfectly. Conversely God defines “(spiritual) eternal life” as a state of human existence that desired and committed to know Him in their natural life on the earth combined with a never ending continuing desire to grow in knowing Him in the eternal future. This is a more difficult definition to associate with the man Lazarus, because we are not told about his heart and spiritual practices of hearing the Bible taught in his life on earth. We are only informed of his extreme poverty and him being in great physical need and suffering. We have to deduce the rest based upon our knowledge of scriptures.
There is a third group of people that are uniquely implied to exist as a part of the previous other two groups. This group of people came to a saving “knowledge” of Jesus Christ personally in their past natural life on the earth but then before their natural death they turned back away from following Him to be forever damned to NEVER know Him further. Jesus spoke about these types of people and said something very powerful and concerning:
Mar 14:21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.
Wow, this is such a powerful message of warning. Jesus was specifically talking about the man named Judas Iscariot in this verse but the warning message is also for anyone that follows after the same Judas pattern. You see Judas walked closely with Jesus for three and half years, heard all of the Words taught by Jesus and saw all of the miracles that He did. Judas even did miracles himself being sent out by Jesus. Yet this man desired wealth in this life and turned away to follow after Satan to betray Jesus. This exact same thing can happen to any born-again real saved Christian, believe it or not. There is more than one verse in the NT that will describe this situation but this is not my main subject today. I will point you to a few verses to help someone today. Please read about this situation concerning a Christian knowing God but turning back to Satan to be lost. For example, read in 1 John 5:16 to help verify what I just said about a Christian saved brother who has eternal life but is still able to sin a sin unto “death” (damnation).
1 Jn 5:16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
This is an amazing verse of truth. There are two types of sins being compared. According to God, a Christian brother could commit either of these broad categories of sin. But, God says DO NOT PRAY for the brother that chooses to commit a “sin unto death” because He will not give them life. Both terms “death” and “life” are from God’s point of view definitions that we are about to study.
The second Bible example of human people that were saved but have turned back to be damned is found in 2 Peter 2. This chapter is a prime confirmation of the division that occurs between the unrighteous and righteous angels and humans of this world. For example verse 4 informs us that God did not spare the angels that sinned and through them into hell locked in chains. I believe this is referring to Genesis 6 when the “sons of God” took the “daughters of men (Adam)” to procreate a race of giants on the earth.
Verse 5 speaks directly about God saving Noah out of the reprobate evil world where all of them were destroyed but Noah and his family were declared to be righteous and spared. In Mathew 12:24 Jesus is quoted to say “that like it was in the days of Noah so it will also be in the coming of the Son of Man”. This simply means the righteous are treated much differently than the unrighteous. Righteous people will be saved and the unrighteous damned. There are other examples of division in this chapter but, I want to get to these two verses of warning written about Christians that were saved:
2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
2Pe 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
This verse 21 statement sounds very similar to what Jesus taught us on the man named Judas. These Christians being described found the “Way” (Jesus Christ) and had escaped the polluted trap of sin in this world. God goes on to say they have come to the “knowledge” of Jesus Christ which is a key covenant relationship terminology that we will find soon is the main part of the definition of having “Eternal Life”. But, now these people being mentioned have turned back to become connected into the evil trap of sin and Satan. Wow, that is a very strong warning statement not to be ignored. God then very clearly states that their ending outcome will be worse than their beginning sinful life and that it would have been better if they had never known Jesus at all. Wow, Wow and Wow! I’m going to give you one other great scriptural verification for the fact that a saved Christian can depart and be forever lost:
Heb 6:4 FOR IT IS IMPOSSIBLE for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
Heb 6:6 IF THEY SHALL FALL AWAY, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
There is absolutely no way that this passage is not speaking about real saved Christians. I know I just used a double negative and that forces us to change it to a positive statement like “This verse is absolutely speaking about real saved Christians. I repeat important points a lot. This sometimes annoys some readers but I believe it helps others. If it annoys you please just try to consider someone else other than yourself. We are all different and need to show each other a lot of mercy.
So many people claim that in these types of verses that we just read, they are only speaking about people who were only Christian in name only and have not really been fully saved, but that is not what this says at all. Notice in verse 4 these people were once enlightened (2 Peter 1:19) meaning brought out of the darkness of Satan into the Light of Jesus. They have tasted of the heavenly gift meaning salvation (Eph 2:8). Then they were made to be partakers of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 1:17) meaning one Spirit w/ Christ. Then God says they have tasted of the Good Word (1 Peter 2:2) meaning they desire the milk of the Word that they may grow spiritually. Finally they have tasted of the powers of the world to come (Rom 8:11) meaning they may have performed miracles by the Spirit of God. All of these qualities describe a real saved Christian.
Verse 6 should be the real warning message to ALL saved Christians that have received Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins through His shed blood on the cross. This verse warns us that it is IMPOSSIBLE for any Christian IF they “fall away” which simply means to make the choice to depart from the narrow path that leads to eternal life to ever be saved again. The reason for this is given that this person would put the one time work of Jesus’ forgiveness on the cross to open shame. God is teaching us that saved people can still turn back either out of deception, stupidity, ignorance, lust, desire or probably many other reasons to fall away from being saved with no way back to repentance. This is when their names will be forever erased from the Book of Life.
Take note of another very concerning teaching from the LORD Jesus. He said these words to people who clearly believed that they were saved and felt secure in their beliefs and works for God:
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.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
I included these verses in Part 2 of the series. But these are so important that I wanted to go over them again for emphasis. I believe these statements should be viewed as some of the most fearful words that ever came out of the LORD Jesus’ mouth. Jesus is speaking a direct warning to believers about a coming day of judgment when the book of life will be used to judge us and He very clearly says some people will say “I called you LORD”. They will continue by saying “I did this and I did that in your NAME”. These people clearly thought they were eternally secure in their own efforts and works for God. But, Jesus turns and tells them “DEPART FROM ME, I NEVER KNEW YOU”. WOW, WOW, and WOW! This is exactly why I want to make sure I have a right understanding in my Bible beliefs and I hope you feel the same way after studying this Bible lesson series. Let’s move on with the vital important definition of “Eternal Life” from God’s point of view.
GOD’S DEFINITION OF LIFE ETERNAL
We are now going to confirm GOD’s definition of “life eternal”. Please read this definition of “life eternal” given to us by the lips of the LORD Jesus:
Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
This verse contains scriptural and spiritual truth that is essential to learn. We could teach a whole book just on this verse by digging very deeply into it. This verse states significant truth given directly to us in plain sight as well as hidden, antithesis and implied truths that must be searched for, found, considered and applied. God very clearly states that “Life Eternal” is defined to be those people that “know Him and Jesus Christ that He sent”. That statement teaches us that everyone lives but only those with “eternal life” know the real God. It implies that those that “do not know Him” are in the spiritually dead/damned category of eternal existence.
Do you understand the concept of “implied unstated” or “implied unstated antithesis” truths from scripture? These are equally as true as the plain stated truth but, they are just not directly stated. For example, if I said to you “I live north of town” you know by implied antithesis truth that I do not live south, east or west. This is simple basic logic and reasoning. There are so many unstated Bible truths to learn from utilizing this technique, if we choose to look for them. There is another logical method of understanding scripture called “implied unstated” truth. These are inferred ideas and concepts that are not directly mentioned in the passage but, can be understood to be a part of the message by subject inference.
Consider one implied unstated truth from Jesus in this verse. Jesus is implying in this verse that it is a direct human will and right of choice to make the decision to desire to “know” God. This knowledge should throw all extreme theological predestination beliefs directly in the trash. Jesus implies that this human right and freedom of choice to know Him is based upon a divinely given “freewill” right. Jesus implies that a human must desire and make the commitment and effort to seek after knowing the True God. If you need additional scripture confirmation to show that man has the right to choose, please search your Bible for the word “whosoever”. Most verses with the word “whosoever” implies human choice and the right to make that choice. For example, Jesus said “whosoever looks at a woman…”, “whosoever shall put away his wife…”, and “whosoever believes in me…”. These are all verses that show a right to choose with responsibilities and consequences for choice that we made.
But, there are other implied rights of choice. You see I could at first want and desire to go to school and take a class to learn the German language but when I get there, sign up and begin the process I could totally turn around and make the complete opposite choice to not learn it and to even leave the class. I could also want to learn how to play football and go out to join the team but then when I find all of the hard work that is necessary to be good at it I can quit and leave that also. These are all choices that I can make. So it is with knowing God.
This fact of truth further implies that there must also be many other gods not called the True God that can also be desired and sought after. Clearly Jesus is implying that it is our human right to choose to know Him that will initiate a process to place us on a narrow path to obtain this defined “eternal life”. Let’s quickly verify this statement with the source verse:
Mat 7:14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
Ok, do you see the parallels between John 17:3 and Matthew 7:14? In Matthew 7:14, Jesus recommends all humans to seek to find the one narrow pathway that leads to “life”. This is a clear example of human choice and the right to make that choice. This verse also comes after a warning to choose to not enter into the “wide gate” that leads to “destruction” (damnation). It is very clearly stated to be a binary human choice! If you don’t understand “binary” that means that there is only one right narrow way of choice to obtain “life” and all other wrong choices are gathered into the set called the “wrong wide way” that leads many people to eternal death (separation from God).
If you are reading this and have not made this choice to find the narrow path to life, it would be a great time to do it. However, notice there are more unstated implied truths in this statement also. If someone can choose to enter into the wrong wide path, they have the right to turn around to find their way back to the right narrow path. The antithesis truth is also true. Anyone choosing to enter the narrow pathway to find life can at any time be deceived to turn around to find their way back into the wide pathway leading to death. Wow, this is profound. Please do not let it slip from your mind ever. This knowledge will definitely help you to stay on the right path way.
Our name written in the “Book of Life” will insure our eternal security at judgment day and it clearly establishes the fact that we initiated the process somewhere in our past to desire to “know” God (a desire, choice and act of our freewill) and as a result we became “known” by Him. This right choice placed us on the narrow pathway leading us to life eternal.
Do you believe that you can never be deceived to turn away from desiring and seeking to know God? I mean think about it. Think back when you were first born again and saved and compare that to now and ask are you still as excited and joyous about it as now? Do you read your Bible more now or back then? Do you pray as much or more now as back then? Do you go to church as much now as back then? If the answer to any of these is no you are slipping away from your desire to know Him more.
If you believe you can never lose or as I call it be deceived and walk away from your salvation and you are right and I’m wrong then I have absolutely nothing to lose for believing the way that I do. I could change and believe your way and no longer need to guard myself from falling into deception. I could do absolutely nothing for the LORD including read the Bible, teach the Bible or pray to the LORD for you and have no great penalty since I would be guaranteed to make it to heaven. What I do or do not do wouldn’t mean anything. What motivation would I have to better myself or for improving my character and moral convictions? Why would I even need to ever pray to God? Why would I need to even read the Bible? Why would I need to witness to anyone? Why would I need to go to church? Why would I need to hear and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit? And why would you also?
But, if I’m right and you are you are wrong and any Christian can be deceived to turn away from the Grace of God and stop believing in Christ for whatever reason or wrong desire, what would be the consequences for you to hold firm to your beliefs that you or Satan can do nothing to cause you not to be saved? Do you get my point? I have nothing to lose and you have everything possibly to lose. Me being wrong is of no consequence to me or to you if you are right. But, if I am right and you are wrong in your beliefs of eternal security it could be of major significance if Satan was able to trick you into doing just one thing that could cause you to be lost forever. I mean please think with me!
I am going to use a common natural example of truth to help us understand the reality of taking your eyes off of our desire to seek for truth. What if I am driving my car and I get a text on my phone and my curiosity causes me to look at it and the reading of the message causes me to become even more distracted to answer the message immediately and an 18 wheel truck pulls out in front of me while I’m going 70mph and suddenly I die! Was the message of distraction worth the cost? This example is exactly what is happening with some Christians today. They get a message of deception from a really great preacher and they buy into it so easily because this is what their mind and flesh really desires to hear. But, this distraction causes them to not look into the Bible for themselves to see if it is true or not and the next thing they know Satan has pulled his big spiritual truck in front of them and bam it’s too late.
May I ask you to please try to understand the great spiritual advantage that Satan would gain over anyone, if they believe that there is absolutely nothing that he can ever do to deceive them, defeat them and cause them to fall or turn away from Grace? How would anyone with such a belief ever be able to see the lie or trick of deception that was coming at them? How would anyone with that belief not be so blinded and distracted to even look for the deception seen though their very limited Bible knowledge windshield? I believe that this belief of unlimited security would make it so much easier for a deception to occur that could cause someone’s name to be omitted/erased from the book of life that we will be learning about today. What would be the consequence of someone’s name not being found in the Book of Life? We will soon learn that it means eternal separation from God and His family.
I would personally rather error on the safe side of being alert and vigilant while looking out for any distraction of deception in order to guard against Satan’s text messages of possible death. Rather than err on the side of possible pleasurable distracted damnation and die by a trick message sent from the enemy. Do you remember what God warned Christians in 1 Peter 5:8?
1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Why are there any warnings written to Christians in the Bible if there was nothing that Satan could do to hurt, harm, trick or deceive them? Why would God suggest that we keep our eyes looking down the road through the windshield of His Word if there was no other distraction that could take our life? Being sober and being alert to any satanic possibility of deception or trickery is the same as not being drunk, sleeping or distracted when you are driving an automobile. Being eaten as a meal by a hungry lion is the exact same as a big truck pulling out in front of you while you are distracted by what appears to be a great text message. I hope and pray you are getting this warning message along with the analogy of truth being taught here today.
We have just been introduced to God’s definition of “Eternal Life”. God says desiring to know Him is part of the initiating life producing process. This further implies that you believe in Him. Remember Hebrew 11:6 “He who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him”. I pray that you have begun this journey into the narrow path of seeking to KNOW Him. This is the only pathway that does not lead to “eternal damnation”. Let’s keep learning more and move deeper concerning the existence of a book called the “Book of the Living”.
THE BOOK OF THE LIVING
There are only a limited number of verses in the entire Bible that God has used to reveal the truth about the existence of this very important book called the “Book of Life”. I have found at least 3 to 5 verses in the O.T. that point us to the existence of this book of the living. I found at least 7 verses in the N.T. referencing the “book of life”. The vast majority of the N.T. “Book of Life” references are written about in the book of Revelation. We should already know that Revelation is the final described conclusion of God’s present created age. The book of Revelation describes clearly things that will shortly take place including rapture, antichrist, tribulation, judgment and a division between all of the righteous (clean) spirits being separated from all of the unrighteous (unclean) spirits. This book takes place in a period of seven years followed by the return of Christ to earth with the saints to rule on the earth for 1000 years the symbolic 7th day of creation called God’s Day of Rest in Genesis 2. It is important to keep the timing in mind later when e read about the Book of Life in Revelation.
What does the existence of the Book of Life mean? I believe that it literally informs us that God keeps very detailed good records. It also means that God is very legal minded. I believe that God does everything in a lawful righteous manner such that no devil could ever accuse Him of being unjust. I do not believe that the existence of this book is for God’s sole usage to remember what has happened on the earth. No, in fact we should learn from our study that the existence of this book provides evidence that God already knows everyone that will ever live on the earth (Jer 1:5). I am a very firm believer that God is omniscient meaning all knowing (Isa 46:10).
We will begin our detail study of the “Book of Life” in this section with this verse found in the Book of Psalms:
Psa 69:28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.
This verse has a lot of basic truths in it that are essential to our subject of “division”. God inspires the writer David to speak of a book that has the implied recorded names of all spiritual living beings, past, present and the future to come. This is an amazing thing to think about. I said that it implies the existence of every natural human being’s name in it because David asks God to not include the unrighteous names with the righteous names. David is more direct in his request by asking God to “erase” their names meaning they must clearly all be there in order for any one name of an unrighteous being to be erased. This information is truly amazing.
I believe we will see that the Bible indicates this truth of erasing names from this Book of Life in more than one place. This indicates that God knew and desired everyone in the world to be saved (John 3:16, 2 Peter 3:9) from Adam to the last human born. This further means that these “unrighteous people” can have their names erased by not repenting and believing in the LORD Jesus (John 3:16). Wow, I think that is a chosen hidden warning to everyone including saved Christians.
There are three key Hebrew words that I wish to focus on in this verse. The first is H5612 that was translated as “book”. This Hebrew word literally means “writing”. Therefore it can be used for any collection of writings that are formed together to be called a “book” as it is done frequently in the O.T. Knowing this we can conclude God is speaking of a literal book when referring to the “Book of Life”. The next Hebrew word is H2416 that was translated as “living” and it literally means “alive”. This Hebrew word can also be used as “life”. God uses this Word in the Bible to describe natural living plants, animals, birds, fish and humans it appears that it can be extended to also refer to a spiritual application.
The next Hebrew word to focus on is H4229 that was translated as “blotted out” in this verse. This Hebrew word implies “erasing written lettering by rubbing them out”. This concept infers that something was previously written down in order for it to be erased. Do you ever remember the old fashioned days of typewriters? We used to use a product called “White Out” to remove our typed mistakes. By painting a white substance over the mistake and letting it dry the paper would once again appear as if it was clean. I’m not saying God makes mistakes whatsoever. I am just saying people’s right or wrong choices will determine if their name remains in this book. I believe that God is a faith filled optimist and desires everyone to be saved so He records the name of every person. However, when the door is closed for any further opportunity to repent and receive forgiveness that person’s name must be removed from the book in order to conform to divine justice. Let’s look at another O.T. verse:
Exo 32:33 And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.
Here is a very similar Old Testament reference of names being blotted out of a book. Even though the word “life” or “living” is not included in the verse, it is definitely implied to be the same book by God’s common subject parallels, references and associations. God very clearly states that those that “sinned against Him”, their name will be blotted (erased) from the book. The names of the sinner had to be first written down in order to be removed. I understand that these verses and statements will possibly shake up many people. But, I believe very sincerely that every miscarried baby and aborted child had their names already recorded in the “Book of Life”. These children when killed or upon their death have not reached the legal age of accountability but due to the fairness of God, I believe that He takes them all to heaven as being righteous. If this offends you I’m not going to apologize for this belief. We will eventually all find out later after we go and see for ourselves. Let’s keep studying this verse.
Also notice the word “whosoever” in this verse because I believe that it is important to relate us again to John 3:16 and other verses that I previously used as reference verses for freewill human choice. In John 3:16, God says “God so loved the world (all sinners) that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus), that whosoever believes in Him should not perish (be damned) but have eternal life”. We are connecting so many dots of the puzzle together. It would appear to me that one primary sin against God is choosing not to believe in His Only-Begotten Son”. I believe very firmly that this factor of unbelief in Jesus is potentially the main reasons why someone’s name will be blotted out of the Book of the Living! Let’s move our study to a new verse found in the New Testament:
Luk 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
This is a very interesting statement. If you choose to read the context you should notice that Jesus was speaking to the 70 disciples that he sent out to prepare people for his physical coming into their cities. Jesus gave all of these 70 men the authority to heal the sick and to cast out devils. Then when they returned from these city trips they give Jesus the report and are excited that devils were subject to them. But, Jesus instructed them to focus and rejoice on a much higher spiritual truth that their names were written in heaven. This statement implies that there are potentially names that will NOT be written in this book. This statement aligns with the O.T. verses that unrighteous names will be erased.
Have you ever noticed what Jesus said in this statement? It is an amazing statement since it was spoken before He had died on the cross to forgive or save anyone! Jesus states very clearly that while He was living physically as a man on the earth, that their names were already written in a book in heaven. This appears to confirm what I taught before. First, I DO believe that this reference being made to a book in heaven is to the “Book of Life”. I know it does not say that directly but we can infer it indirectly by the statement. Why would a man rejoice? Would anyone be happy if this was a list of unrighteous and unsaved names? I really do not think so.
I have read where some Bible teachers claim that a saved person’s name is only written in heaven after they are saved to receive Jesus as their LORD. However, that belief just does not align with what we are reading in the Bible. These 70 unsaved men that Jesus was speaking to are told clearly to rejoice by faith that their names were already written down in heaven without seeing the book or their names written in it. That is called “faith”. It is like shouting before the walls fall down around Jericho!
This further aligns with the statement that someone’s name can also be erased if they choose to turn and no longer follow Jesus. We will see more references of this as we continue. Let’s move to the Book of Revelation next:
Rev 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
Here are some very, very important words spoken from the lips of Jesus that were written down to be read by people in a saved church. Most people that do not believe that a saved Christian’s name can be erased from the Book of Life must not have seen what is plainly stated or they are willingly and on purpose attempting to explain it away to justify their erroneous belief like I spoke of earlier in the lesson. Like I said earlier, if a verse in the Bible does not reconcile or balance with your current beliefs, don’t change the Bible, change your belief. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you why there is a potential conflict and show you how to resolve to change my belief to be in agreement with Him.
Please notice what Jesus said. Jesus said “Some NAMES in the church have “NOT defiled” their garments and walk with me in white”. Jesus then said “these are worthy”. But, in this truth there are those that had clean garments on at one time but have now defiled them by their implied sin. We should really read every verse in context starting at verse 1 to get the full impact of the statements of comparison being made. It is a very clear warning written to “saved Christian people” in the church that at one time had on clean white garments. Jesus is warning all Christians to watch, stay ready, hold fast and repent for their sins in order to remain clean and be ready for His coming.
The main point of these two verses in this lesson is the statement of warning concerning Christian names that can still be blotted out of the “Book of Life” because of their defilement and uncleanliness. This is just more very convincing evidence that no one’s name is safe to remain forever written down in the Book of Life, not even saved Christians.
I would like to stop here and address another false teaching that is going around the church. There has been introduced by some teachers that hold fast to the doctrinal belief of “Once Saved Always Saved” that is used to explain away the erasure of names from the “Book of Life”. Some preachers try to explain that there are two books in heaven called the “Book of Life”. One book are names of people that do not actually receive Jesus as their savior but possibly go to church to look like Christians on the outside to be religious. Therefore, these people are “NOT REAL CHRSTIANS”. This helps them to explain why their names can be erased from the “Book of Life”.
Then they claim that there is another book in the Bible is called the “LAMB’S Book of Life” that Real Christian names are recorded in and these names can never be erased. This belief helps to justify the false doctrine of “Eternal Election” and “Eternal Security” that they so desperately desire to believe in to allow them to live anyway they want on the earth and not to have any fear of consequences that they could drift apart from salvation. But, notice in these verses written to Christians Jesus that is repeatedly called the “Lamb of God” is speaking directly to real saved people about a book He called the “Book of Life”. This has to be His book for Him to warn His people that their names if they defile their garments with impurities can cause that their names could still be erased.
No there are NOT two books of Life in heaven! There is NOT one book of secure names and the other of unsecure names. There is only one book with this title and the Lamb is found to be the owner. What is it that Jesus said to these people? He warned them that they had to overcome and stay clean. Overcome what? Jesus implies it is Satan and Sin which are synonymous terms. Let’s look at another verse in Revelation:
Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Ok, this is another verse with a different perspective being given on the same subject. This verse is speaking specifically about the lost damned people that remain on the earth during the time of Great Tribulation. These people have taken the Mark of the Beast and this mark causes the door to slam on their ability to be saved. This covenant union with Satan will cause every opportunity of salvation to end and thus their names written from the foundation of the earth are now gone from the Book of Life. This is another warning to people NOT to take the Mark. If anyone misses the rapture and can still read this blog this is the time to do everything in your power to not die and go to hell forever.
BOOK OF LIFE – CONCLUSION
This is not that complicated yet people want to change the Bible to make it fit their doctrine of belief instead of changing their doctrine of belief t make it fit the Bible. I’m going to start to conclude this lesson with these two verses written in chapter 20 of Revelation:
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Again we see further confirmation of a division between the living and the dead (damned). Everyone whose names are not found (meaning they were erased as previously stated) will be cast with Satan into the eternal lake of fire. This is the same place that was being described by Luke concerning the rich man being in torment. This is not a good place to exist for eternity yet many will be tricked and deceived by Satan to be there. Do you remember the story of Judas who betrayed Jesus earlier in the lesson? I believe that there is an unstated proportional “regret” factor based upon your level of knowledge and experience in this world that will become an activating agent for greater regret that will cause greater eternal “weeping and gnashing of teeth” that Jesus described would be found present in hell.
Luk 13:28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
If you are a Christian or an unsaved person that is being tempted by Satan to seek worldly fame or fortune and do not run from this temptation very fast back into the arms of Jesus, I believe verses like this are a great warning. It is not worth a few short years of pleasure to spend an eternity in hell in regret. Here is another confirming witness to this truth:
Heb 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
Heb 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
These are my ending verses of warning written about Moses. God clearly says the very limited pleasure found in this world is not worth the never ending painful consequences of being separated from Him. Psalms 84:10 says better is one day in your house than a thousand elsewhere. Moses made the wise choice and later we would see that he was standing on the mountain with Elijah talking with Jesus (Mat 17:3). Moses decided by an act of his own free will to align with God’s Word, purpose, plan and will for his life. A man with short sightedness would not have made the right same choice. A man narrowmindedness or hardheartedness would not have made that same choice either.
Life is full of choices, I have not made all the right choices and probably you have done the same. But, we all have a new day every day to change and make a better choice than yesterday. We all in need of daily course corrections with the help of the Holy Spirit inside us. I am doing the best that I can with God’s help to make changes, corrections and right choices that keep my name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and I pray that you will desire to do the same.
If you enjoyed this Bible lesson and gained some spiritual insight please share it with a friend to help bless them. I could have written a lot more on this subject and I would encourage you to continue to dig deeper to find out what else the LORD says about it. Thank you for reading and studying the Bible with me and I pray God’s blessings on each and every one of you.
(Ver 1.4) This is Part 1 in a series of advanced spiritual Bible lessons on the revealed subject of God’s Divine Spiritual Laws, Systems and Legal Proceedings. Are there spiritual laws found in heaven? Is there a heavenly courtroom? Are there trials that have taken place in this heavenly realm? If yes, who is the judge? Who is the one that brings charges and against who are the charges addressed at? There are so many things to learn from the Bible that we will not abe able to answer every question in one Bible study. To attempt to do so would do each answer an injustice.
It has always been my priority to teach what God has given to me for free and give it to others without any charge. If you knew my heart you would understand that I don’t only want to teach you what God has given to me, but I also desire to teach you a better way to study and learn from His glorious Word. Hopefully, the LORD has used me to teach you how to fish for yourself and not just for me to feed you a fish for a single day.
Like many other lessons that I believe the Lord has given to me, today’s Bible lesson should be viewed as a very advanced spiritual topic intended for Christ followers that are fully committed to grow to become a spiritually mature student of God’s Word able to partake of spiritual meat. Please judge if you meet this requirement before continuing to read this lesson further. It is one of my greatest heart’s desires to not offend or cause any newborn or spiritually immature Christian to stumble or fall causing them to depart from the LORD. I believe that the Apostle Paul wrote with this same quality when he said I would have liked to feed you meat but you were unable to receive it and therefore I could only give you milk. Ok that was my paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 3:2. But, I believe the hidden heart of Paul’s message contained in that verse is that of one of his greatest desires for his students to grow up spiritually. I believe Paul desired people to grow up so that they were able to receive a much stronger spiritual message of truth. Then I believe Paul wanted for each of them to go and spread his message from the word of God to others with the same love for people. Please judge for yourself before you continue.
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.
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“.
(Ver 1.1) Today I believe that I am led to share a testimony from a friend. I personally believe the Bible very strongly. I believe the Bible is the inspired spoken word of an Almighty God that has been written down by human men for our spiritual benefit to learn and grow from it. God’s word says in Ecclesiastes 1:9 that there is nothing new under the sun. This verse informs me very clearly that history repeats itself. What has been will be again. And this lesson also teaches us that if we do not learn what has happened to others we can very easily fall into the same trap of Satan our self. I believe that any one of us should say “if not for the grace of God there go I” when reading about what others have done or not done. I ask you to read this testimony with an open mind but also with a heart of love, mercy and forgiveness. I know there will be some that will feel superior and self-righteous while reading this like the Pharisee in Luke 18:11 that prayed and said “I thank you God that I am not as other men” and named sins that others were guilty of like a true hypocrite would. However, this self-righteous Pharisee was condemned by Jesus for his attitude and his words and I believe that it would be very wise for us all to not to choose to do the same. Please allow me to give you the foundational Bible verse for this short lesson:
2Co 2:10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
2Co 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
In verse 11 is found the primary focused warning written to Christians concerning for us to not be ignorant of Satan’s traps, plans and pursuits. But, the context of this statement is clearly about our forgiveness and more specifically about us forgiving other men for what they have done. According to the inspired word of God in Mark 11:25, if we do not forgive what others have done, God will not forgive us either of our sins. I believe this teaches us that there is a divine spiritual law of reciprocal activity. I believe that how we treat others will be how God will treat us and this is His divine reciprocal choice. Therefore, if we forgive others we will be forgiven and if we do not forgive others we are in serious trouble. Please learn to forgive others, it is an absolute necessity.
Before we read the testimony I would like us to learn another very important truth from this verse 11. This verse plainly states that if we do not forgive others it will open the door for our enemy Satan to come in and attack us. This truth is very similar to what occurred in the life of Job but Job’s sin was different than what is being spoken of here in Verse 11. Here in verse 11 God informs us that Satan is able to take advantage over any Christian if we allow Him to do so by our wrong actions of implied un-forgiveness. Perhaps soon the Lord will lead me to write a more complete Study on the subject of how we open the door for the enemy but that is really not the main subject today.
Let’s read the testimony and learn what the enemy did to one of our dear brothers in Christ. Try to think about what is said from his perspective and not your own personal viewpoint like a Pharisee.
LOST & FOUND
This is my testimony:
“I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.
Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch, like me.
Through many dangers toils and snares, I have already come.
How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.”
(lyrics, from the song, Amazing Grace)
In the safe recesses of my memory is that time so many years ago cuddling on my mother’s lap while she read to me the classic children story, “The Little Engine that Could,” by Watty Piper. I would have her read it every night if my way prevailed, and sometimes mom would read it two times in one sitting: “Again, again,” my young voice pled. It was such a monumental struggle for that little engine to pull those cars full of toys up that mountain for delivery to the children on the other side. That captivating thought flooded my mind: “I think I can, I think I can.” Despite its size, the little engine triumphantly pulls the train up that mountain. Would it? Could it? The image was real and I sensed even then that life at times could be a challenge and a true struggle. As a mere child of four, I began to grasp this lesson that life may at times be a struggle reaching the other side to that place of joy and victory.
Two decades later, in my early twenties, I found myself singing in a Christian band. Often we sang this somewhat country classic, “Life is Like a Mountain Railway.” In this song the lyrics warn, “…we must make the run successful from the cradle to the grave. Watch the curves that fill the tunnel, never falter never fail; keep your hands upon the throttle and your eyes upon the rail. Blessed Savior there to guide us, Till we reach that blissful shore, And the angels there to join us, In God’s grace…, forevermore…” I see a thread and theme from early life. Many years from those moments that single message of struggle I have surely known. Yet, the Savior of my soul has never left or forsaken me, though at times I had strayed, wandered, and taken my eyes off the rails, He has always kept His eyes upon me.
I learned early the fallacy of believing that once you confess Jesus as your personal Lord, and personally accept His sacrificial crucifixion, that life will be an effortless and pain-free endeavor. No, it has not been that. I learned a phrase when acquiring my pilot license. This phrase was a seasoned pilot’s definition of flying: “Flying,” he said, “are hours of boredom, broken up by moments of sheer terror!” Christian life might be like that too.
Another analogy which helps explains how I experience life as a Christian is to recall the two years spent in a war zone. A variation to the old pilots’ thoughts was an enemy strategy of deliberately leading us into a state of lethargy. Days would go by, weeks, and maybe a month and his presence seemed to vanish. There would be little or no confrontations. The enemy would lay low, hide, retreat, allowing the thought to develop in us that he was either beaten or uninterested. Slipping into relative peacefulness you never saw hell dropping on top of you. In the middle of a fitful sleep, the sky would explode with light and fire, concussions of rockets knocking you from your bunk. Noises of confusion as people ran yelling orders, weapons rattling as everyone scrambled for orientation, the smell of sulfurs and fears all combined in that dark. For days following such attacks, we would again become hyper vigilant to movement, sounds, and imaginations. You had to realize that the enemy was unpredictable and ruthless. No matter the seeming peaceful state you enjoyed, in a war zone you had to always remain prepared.
Clearly, a harsh reality was to know that though many people loved you at home, there were well-armed people very close by who hated you for simply being you. This was a hard concept to embrace emotionally – that another living person actually would kill you without any regret or regard. Over the two years in that place I had to be reminded on many occasions this was a war zone and blood could be spilt at any moment. Today I am reminded that Christians may struggle with the idea someone hates them and labors to harm them. We mostly tend to see ourselves as lovable, kind, sensitive, and peaceable; why would anyone hate you or desire your ruin?
I became a Christian one year after I was discharge from the U.S. Army. Although I’d never known the true Gospel or the acceptance of Jesus’ personal gift to me, memories of childhood are full of a consciousness of God’s existence and even His presence. I believed in God, I simply didn’t know His Word or just how deep and profound was my need for His righteousness and acceptance. By His plan I was led to hear the Gospel of Jesus preached, and my heart opened to ‘hear’ the Truth. With a faith, only gained as a gift, I was willing and able to call out and ask for forgiveness and acceptance, embracing Jesus’ sacrifice and the provision of His eternal life indwelling me daily. At twenty-one, my feet and heart were set on a new course. The Word of God was coming alive in me, a passion and gratefulness washed over me. I was free from guilt, free from wandering in the darkness of life and given a purpose and qualification to pursue my Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus, with the help and power of the Holy Spirit. I began to run.
After becoming ‘saved’ my resume,’ so to speak, began to grow and included a number of wonderful activities and accomplishments. I’d become the president of the Christian Fellowship in college, and the co-founder of a contemporary Christian band and theatrical ministry travelling much of New England proclaiming the good news on college campuses, coffee houses, park concerts and churches. Out of that ministry came a radio ministry which I hosted for five years. Eventually I was trained and prepared to launch out on a new church ministry. The church began with approximately twelve dedicated people as we began ministering in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Over the following fifteen years our family at home increased, and the church too grew in new members and growing outreaches. In some ways it all seemed quite successful, with lots of effective outreaches, joys, and progress – perhaps as men judge progress. Though it was understood struggles could and did come, most things were manageable and the enemy seemed at bay and easily contained. In hindsight, and with further spiritual growth, I think too much of our methods for handling conflict were undertaken in fleshly and carnal ways, depending on our human capabilities and gifting. I had thought I was prepared and equipped for a prosperous Christian life and ministry, I don’t believe I ever would have imagined the viciousness and true spiritual battles yet to be faced in life. Though I’d studied ‘spiritual warfare’ through reading books, hearing sermons, and of course studying the Bible, the battles to come would compound beyond my imagination.
Certainly in those years simple and relatively ineffective skirmishes had to be faced. However, the first and most devastating battle and conflict came when my wife and I endured the still birth of our full term baby son, Jedidiah. The agony of losing him was unimaginable. The enemy made a move, he had a foothold. Between guilt, anger, uncertainty, hurt, loss, and unending questions living in my mind, this attack wounded deeply. In further hindsight, it was a harbinger of intense battles yet to be waged.
The toll of poor choices, such as putting other interests before our marital union, including but not limited to inattention, alienation of affections, over commitments to many so-called important activities, including ‘Christian work,’ led to the degeneration and finally dissolution of marriage. While the marriage was failing the church suffered greatly. Eventually, as people began to leave, the ministry came to a close. Not only had the battle raged externally, the inward condition was too troubled to continue reaching out to others. This seemed total devastation, and life began a further downward spiral. I sincerely began to doubt if “I could.” One might wonder if the battles were over.
No, it was far from over. Doubts flooded my soul; how could God let these things happen? How far away from God’s will had I been? Could I ever really hear God’s will and know how to follow? Had I been so unfaithful God simply did not desire my fellowship any longer? I was in a wilderness, it was hard to hear, hard to feel, sometimes hard to care. I questioned my prayer, honestly thinking perhaps I had committed an unpardonable sin (I realize today how this sounds, yet then it was overwhelming). Feeling and believing myself unworthy, with a strong sense of failure, satan was relentless. He knew I was one struggling to stay off the mat, like a fighter pummeled. Perhaps I was heading for the final knock-out. Surely it appeared faith to believe God loved me was being knocked out of me under a relentless flurry of strikes. Not only was I not able to love myself, surely God no longer cared either. Satanic influence was overwhelming. A sad consequence was running from God’s Word. What I began to see in Scripture was condemnation and judgment of so many failures. My mind was being blinded, my eyes shutting under the force of so many punches.
My behaviors reflected this loss. I became reclusive. I was afraid to speak the truth – even to myself. Little did I know, but an incident which occurred a year after the marriage ended, would soon be used as a complete knock-out punch. Not only had I been rejected by a wife, I surely must be rejected by God. Desperate for companionship and acceptance I was now susceptible to even more poor choices. What began as an innocent moment of consolation with a vulnerable woman, lapsed into inappropriate intimacy. This was but a momentary mutual action, and one which did not consummate in other than brief petting, however, it would be more than enough for Satan to throw the haymaker and accuse me of behavior which never took place. Seven years later the story had escalated and false accusations were brought against me. I was accused and convicted of an indecent assault.
The day I heard the judge pronounce a prison sentence, I certainly knew my life was finally and perhaps mercifully over. I was so alone and afraid. Clearly God must now despise me. I must have been cast out. I had some defect which I may have been unaware and which meant God could not love me. Did I bring this on myself? Nothing was clear. Would clarity ever come to me?
Within the first twenty-four hours of prison, perhaps that which I feared most seemed to face me. I was being confronted by a large African man in a prison cell block, accompanied by a Spanish speaking Porte Rican. The previous twenty-four hours found me plunging into a deep abyss of darkness, fear, anxiety, and despair believing that I would never know God’s love or care again. This seemed the ultimate abandonment, the bottom, a profound loss of hope and self abhorrence; it was a dreadful aloneness. What would become of me? What would my grandchildren think? What about my children, how could they manage this horror?
And there he was, towering over me, a huge man, speaking to me in such a thick African accent I could barely understand. His question, “Are you okay?” “Are you okay?” over and over he asked. He was blocking me and I couldn’t see anything but this giant and threatening looking man. Finally I said, “No, I am not okay!” And then as he looked at me, with what I now know were deeply compassionate eyes, the most amazing sounds came from him. He began to minister wonderful, loving words to me, expressing that God knows where I am, and that He is here with me, that He has never left me or forsaken me. He began to share that through all of this, God had a big plan for me, and He was going to use this to shape me anew….
And then his voice seemed to slip away and I no longer actually heard his continued speaking or the terrible sounds of the cell block. Rather, I seemed to leave that cell block and went someplace in my spirit that was quite, safe and peaceful. There I faced the Holy Spirit One on one. Though my questions were not directly addressed, I knew He was aware, and what He did was fill me with peace, with confidence, and with the assurance of His love and clearly His acceptance and compassionate comfort. Though I realized the answers I needed so desperately wouldn’t happen then, I knew an assurance of His control coming alive in me again. I actually knew the reality was that “all things work together for those who love Him…” Though burdened with guilt, doubts, and a sense of abandonment, and feeling profoundly lost during this season of battle, I now knew He was not going to let me go! I knew more and more would be revealed as I trusted in Him once again, fully and without apprehension or insecurity.
The suffering did not end completely that night, but the awareness I was really no longer in chains, no longer a prisoner to what I could only imagine to be failure, guilt, shame, and to letting my Lord down, began to flood my life, and has continued to this very day. And then, as if awakening from a dream, the awareness of my terrible surroundings came in to focus again and I spoke once more to this man, his name I learned was Adam. I simply said, “I am okay now!” Though still facing many unknowns, there was within a new courage, a sure hope and that certain assurance He was with me through it all.
Is it biblical as a Christian to be touched a second time, a third time, again and again? This is a question you may ask yourself. When we speak of salvation is it a one-time event, or is this an ongoing saving? Though I’ve walked through a deep and dark valley, I have found the battle is won and our Lord’s grace is sufficient for me. What I have found is that “Greater is He which is in me than he that is in the world.” What I have found is that “What (satan) intends for evil, God intends for good.” What I have found is that “When I am truly weak, He is truly strong.” What I have found is that when others forsake and bare false witness, with harsh judgment, He embraces and accepts and walks with you. What I have found is that He has a balm of healing and restoration in which He brings double, triple, and unknown levels of restoration, hope, confidence and love. All of these testify that when He saves you it is an everlasting salvation and one which Satan cannot snatch, though he may expend wicked energies and efforts to destroy us at any opportunity.
I have found we really do live in a world of spiritual battles, and unless we stand prepared to engage, with God’s Word, with unwavering faith and without doubt, anyone can stumble, anyone can fall. And there are many biblical warnings that we should never stand proud in ourselves believing we could never fall or let the Lord down. I have found the evil one is paying close attention and he is crouched at the door. But, I have found that though a child of God fall, our Father will not walk past and look elsewhere. He will stoop to our lowest place and with the heart of the Good Samaritan, He will bind our wounds, He will bring us to a safe place, and He will pay whatever the price to see we are rewarded our place with Him in His everlasting Kingdom of love and peace. And finally, for now, I have found that the Callings of God are without repentance (without a change of His heart), and that “what He began in us He is faithful to bring to pass.”
We all have failed and come short of the Glory of God. If you have never failed then you are free to cast the first stone at my friend. But for me I will not be picking up any stones. Love will always restore a brother and help a brother that is turned around and is making the effort to do what is right. There was only one sinless man on the earth and His name was Jesus Christ. He did not come into the world to condemn the world and this was the main lesson from John 8:11 and John 3:17.
Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
We could spend days on this verse alone. We all too often look at another man’s faults while ignoring our own. The problem with this verse is that it is extremely conditional. Only a few people that I have seen in my life qualify to ever be called truly “spiritual”. It would take me more time to explain this truth than I also have today. I will simply inform you that I do not yet feel that I qualify to be at this level of this category. I am human as well as my friend. I have made mistakes and have been in the flesh sometime too often. It is my heart’s desire to become more spiritual and I pray that it will be yours as well.
My main point from Galatians 6:1 is that we should be on a pathway that helps to restore people back into the fellowship with Christ. If anyone that calls themselves a Christian and is not trying to build up a brother that has fallen then I believe that they are either extremely carnal Christians or I doubt seriously that they are a Christian at all.
I would like to end this mini lesson with the warning that is given to us in Galatians 6:1. Here we find a similar bit of wise counsel that we read first in 2 Corinthians 2:11. Remember when Paul said Satan could get an advantage over us? That is the similar advice being transferred to us in this statement “lest we also be tempted”. The implied words not being directly related to us is that if we don’t forgive someone for what they have done and then pursue (make an effort) to restore them back to the LORD, we our self could be carried away by the same trap of deception. I find that very powerful and more than just a suggestion to follow after.
I pray that this testimony has been an encouragement to someone. Perhaps you have fallen in a similar way. It is not too late for you to turn your life around as my friend did.
If you have a comment about this lesson, you are free to share it. However, if you are going to be mean spirited and unforgiving, I will warn you that I will probably not publish your comment. Also, if you have a good testimony like my friend about how God has worked and changed you, I would love for you to share that.
My friend that wrote his testimony is doing well. God has helped him tremendously and blessed him. He reads his Bible, and studies it. He goes to church. He prays for me and others. He has been a great encouragement to me. I believe that the Spirit of God led my new friend to contact me and get to know me. I am very happy to call him my friend and I praise God for a new brother in Christ that I will hopefully meet here or in heaven soon.
Thank you for reading and studying the Bible with me on this website. I am always amazed at the love and grace of God that permits me to do this for Him. May God bless you and keep you.
(Ver 1.2) This is Part 13 in a series of Bible studies answering the questions about the Reality of Bible Faith. What it is, where it came from, how I get it, why it is important and how you can use it. I have taught many things in this series so I will not attempt to repeat them all again today. If you have not read this series from the beginning I would strongly recommend that you go back to Part 1 and start reading there first. In previous lessons I taught that faith was measurable meaning every Christian believer does not possess the same amount of faith. That teaching raised the question that many people have; does that mean I need more faith if the situation that I am facing is greater or more severe? Well I listened to a TV preacher this week that said that every Christian already had all of the faith of Jesus available to them right now. This preacher then implied that the only problem that a Christian possessed was simply that they did not know how to use the faith that they already had. In a way I agree with those statements and when I heard only his Bible verses that he gave he made a very convincing lesson. But he also failed to mention or take into account all of the other scriptures that I have given you that contradicts what he was teaching. The Bible is way too complicated for us to take one set of truths and attempt to make them the entire truth. If we do this then we are claiming to be smarter than God and choosing to ignore what else God says on the subject. There are over 220 verses in the New Testament alone that directly mention the word “faith” and then there are many other indirect related verses that must also be considered on the related dependent subjects of believing, beliefs, confidence, expectation, fear, doubt, unbelief and worry to name a few. In order to confidently teach any subject we are going to have to know the majority if not all of the verses that are related to the subject of faith. For example here is one verse that my TV preacher brother must have ignored on the subject of faith:
2Co 10:15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men’s labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,
Paul in writing to the Corinthian church and is looking down the road to the future when their faith would be increased in order that they can become a greater blessing to others. Wow, I do not know if you heard what I just said. Paul does not tell the Corinthians that they already have ALL FAITH and that they just need to learn how to use it. Paul clearly says your faith is growing and you need to continue to allow it to grow. The Greek word translated as “increased” means to grow, increase or enlarge. If you can enlarge your faith, then you do not have all of the faith that you could have. There is a definite statement of conditionality placed upon their faith increasing. It is very clear to me that they do not possess enough faith to accomplish what Paul is looking for or expecting for them to use right now. Do you understand this? Faith is like a growing plant or even the fruit on a tree. Spiritual growth is like natural growth. When you are born again as a spiritual child you do not yet possess the fullness of all love, joy, peace or any other fruit of the spirit. Spiritual fruit grows on spiritual trees and it is not something that just magically appears and is there instantly. People are the spiritual trees that will produce the spiritual fruit, if they feed their spirits and water their spirits with the word of God to allow this fruit to grow. The word “faith” is included as one of the nine fruits of the spirit found in Galatians 5. Planting seeds and getting harvests is how practically everything in the spiritual realm works. The concept of planting seeds and growing fruit is a natural concept that applies directly to the spiritual realm. Faith is a fruit of the Spirit and not something that you have all of the moment you become a Christian.
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
In an earlier Bible lesson on faith I taught you about how faith comes. Reading in Romans 10:17, we know that Bible Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Therefore Bible faith has a staring origination point that is totally dependent upon you first hearing God’s Word. If there is no hearing, then there is no ability to have faith in God. When you were saved it was because you heard a preacher tell you the truth about Jesus Christ and you believed it and you accepted and confessed Him as your Lord. Does this concept of hearing God’s Word and getting faith carry forward beyond salvation or does it end at salvation? In other words is a Christian when they are born again automatically given all the faith that they will ever need as my Christian brother was teaching? Or is faith still based upon the foundational principle found in Romans’ 10:17 of hearing God’s Word and getting faith? According to my TV preacher friend, you already have all of the faith given to you by God and you just need to learn how to use it or to apply it. If that was true, ignoring Romans 10:17 Christians would never need to hear the Word of God again after they were saved. There would be no need to go to church, no need to study the Bible and no requirement to listen to another preacher. Just go get saved and you got it made. Unfortunately this is not how I have discovered that spiritual things work.
The problem with this philosophical doctrine of automatic faith maximization is that it relieves Christians of any further responsibility to learn more about faith and it reduces or oversimplifies the truth that you only need to learn to use what you have already been given by God. Think with me about the children of Israel looking into the Promised Land of God. Did God not say I have given you the land? Did they automatically possess this land? Obviously they did not and they still had personal responsibilities to perform in order to possess what was clearly given to them by God. My point is that just because God has given you something does not mean that you have it in your possession and can use it. One of the verses that my TV preacher brother used was the one that I already addressed in this series so I will not repeat all of that information again. This verse was found in Romans 12:3 and it is one that many preachers like to jump onto and claim that every Christian has been given the same exact measure of faith by God and they therefore reason that there is no need to try to increase it, just use it. What we need to understand is that the Bible holds more than one truth on any given subject. We are therefore required to learn them all and then to balance each of them to become aware of the actual overall truth. I keep saying this and I will continue to say it, the Bible is much more complex than you think. Let me show you another verse in the Bible about faith and then you tell me how this verse conflicts directly with what the unnamed TV preacher said:
Rom 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Can you read? Can you understand the words written in this verse? If God had given to everyman the Measure of Faith why is there differing proportions of faith that is required to prophesy? The Greek word translated as “proportion” means a piece or a part and not the whole amount. I guess you could reason away this verse by saying that you have all faith, but that it only requires a small part of the whole to prophesy. That is certainly one way to look at. However, I do not believe that is what God is saying. If it was, then you should stand up in church next Sunday and start to prophesy and see exactly what comes out of your mouth and if any of it actually comes to pass. If it does not happen like you said then you are a false prophet. I personally believe whatever we do for God is done by our faith in Him. But that does not mean that we already have all of His faith. It means we need to learn to use the small part that we do possess and then allow it to grow into a greater quantity. The usage of the word proportion clearly implies growth potential to me. I guess you could choose to look at it differently if you want to. Let me show you another potential set of conflicting verses with contradictory information for my TV preacher brother:
1Co 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
1Co 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
Paul is writing about spiritual gifts that come from the Spirit of God that have been given to different men and women in the church. It is very clear that some have some of these gifts and probably many others do not. The Word of Wisdom and the Word of Knowledge are two impartations of the Spirit of God that I have seen demonstrated by only a very few preachers. These are very clearly not spiritual gifts that everyone possesses, only a very few. Now we continue to the next verse 9 and it says to another meaning not the same one as before God has been given the gift of Faith. Uh oh? That seems to be a major problem for my TV preacher brother. This verse is NOT saying that God has given to every man this gift, is it? Why is it even necessary for God to give any man this spiritual gift of faith if God has already given to EVERY man “the measure of faith” as the TV preacher has claimed? I think that is a very excellent question to try to figure out the answer to. My TV preacher brother probably could not answer this question or didn’t think of this question, so he must have just ignored this information. What is the gift of faith? For that matter what are any of the gifts that are mentioned in these verses referring to? If you do not know what they are then you are certainly going to write them off as being unrelated or unimportant. Every spiritual gift mentioned in these verses is a SUPERNATURAL manifestation of the Spirit of God through a human being to accomplish a divine purpose on the earth. Why is this necessary? Wow that is another excellent question we need to answer today. I believe it is necessary because God can only accomplish things that we cannot in our own ability or power if we cooperate and believe. God occasionally gives to us spiritual gifts such as the working of miracles to confirm His word that has been taught. God will also use the Word of Wisdom or the Word of Knowledge for a sign to help those present. God will use other of the spiritual gifts as ways to strengthen, build up and to edify the body of Christ.
Let’s go back to faith and leave the other spiritual gifts alone for now. Why if a Christian already has all the faith of Jesus would it be necessary for God to give them this spiritual gift of faith? In one of my faith lessons I taught that Jesus always claimed that it was the individual faith of the person receiving that was the determining factor mentioned for anything supernatural that occurred on the earth. If you do not understand this concept you better go back and reread that lesson again. This meant that nothing happened supernaturally on the earth unless a man or a woman believed God and His word and placed their faith in only those factors. This is why everything in the Old Testament occurred. This is why everything in the Gospels occurred. This is why everything in the modern church still occurs today. For example in the O.T., the deliverance of Israel from Egypt was based upon the faith and obedience of Moses. If Moses did not have any faith in God and would not have believed what was spoken to him then the children of Israel would still be in captivity or God would have had to find another deliverer who did believe Him. What about Noah and the great flood of the planet? Could God have saved Noah anyway, the animals and the blood line of Christ if Noah had not believed God and obediently built the boat instructed by God by faith? You see it was only Noah’s faith and obedience in God’s word that caused the supernatural power of God to manifest. I probably will get some people, who disagree with me, but you go through the Bible and you see the involvement of the partnership of man with any major event of supernatural demonstration of the power of God and then you tell me one (other than creation before there was a man) that God did independently from man. Even the virgin birth required Mary to believe in the words of an angel sent by God. It was clearly her faith that allowed God to come into the world in the flesh. What I’m getting at is that faith allows God access into the world and the lack of faith prohibits or reduces His ability to do anything. I know I’m going to get a lot of religious commenters from these statements that try to tell me that God is sovereign and that He can do whatever He desires at any time. Ignorant people often say things that are problematic to others who actually know more about the subject under discussion.
Understand what the gift of faith is. The gift of faith is the supernatural faith of God present inside a man to accomplish something that a man would not normally be able to accomplish without it. Also note that none of these spiritual gifts are resident full time in anyone. They are there temporarily as the Spirit wills to accomplish a single goal and never given at the will of the man or woman using them. They are given by God for a short time and they are then dormant. Even Jesus Christ who was God in the flesh and had the Spirit of God without measure could not operate in all of the spiritual gifts all the time. You go through the Gospels and read them very closely. You will see every manifestation of the spiritual gifts (except tongues and interpretation) mentioned in the ministry of Jesus Christ at one time or the other. But at other times Jesus could not do any miracles because of the unbelief of the people present (Mark 6:5) and then other times Jesus did not even know who it was that touched his garment and got healed (Mark 5:30). The presence of Jesus at the porches healed only one man and there were probably hundreds of others who did not get healed (John 5:2-3). It clearly shows the manifestation of the Spirit of God was totally dependent upon the Spirit of God and not the man that was given the gifts. I hope you understand these concepts. If not, please ask me questions and I’ll try to answer them more clearly.
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I’ll wrap this lesson up with this verse for today. I find this verse very interesting in the chosen phrasing of the translators. Jesus Christ is called the “Author” of our faith. Clearly this implies to us that our faith has a starting or originating point. The Greek word “author” technically means a chief leader. However I love the use of the word “author” in this verse. In the English language the term author means the writer of words. Since we learned that faith comes by hearing God’s Words earlier we know that faith is a spiritual word based system given to us from God. Without God’s words there would be no Bible faith on the earth. In the context within this verse Jesus is also called the “finisher” or “completer” of our faith. It sounds like a man writing a book. It sounds like the book was started at some point in time and then progressively grown through phases or chapters to an ultimate end of completion. Writing a book is like growing a garden of words. This is what God is doing whether you realize it or not. That is how I view our faith and God’s Word. I believe that the hearts of men and women are the new writing tablets of God’s divine authorship and I can give you Bible verses to back that belief:
Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
Did you see what God says in Hebrews 8:10? God says I will put my laws into their minds and write them on their spirits. How does God get His words into or onto your spirit? Is that an automatic one time occurrence or is that an ongoing continual process? My personal faith in God had a starting point and my faith is now increasing based upon my knowledge of God’s word and it will eventually be completed because of the continuing work of the Spirit of Christ within me. This is the continuing ever increasing faith and that represents a state of transitional passage from faith to ever increasing faith (Rom 1:17). This tells me that we are responsible for participating in the spiritual growing process of our faith. This tells me that it is not automatic or that we have already been given all of the faith that we need. If our faith was already complete, we would no longer need a Jesus to be our finisher. Wow, I hope you understood what I just said. I am still awaiting a completed work of my savior Jesus Christ and I hope you are also. But, I also have a role to play. It is only with my involvement that God will continue to write on my heart His Word. Jesus is the Author, His word is the spiritual ink, my heart represents His blank pages and I get them written onto my heart by hearing them over and over. This is how things work and when you understand that you will be on the path to growing up into a faith giant killer like David.
I have attempted to teach you another basic faith lesson today. No you do not have all of the faith that you need to do everything that you need to do for God. If you did, then we would all be in heaven right now. Ask yourself this question, do I know and understand the entire Bible? If you answered no, then you do not have all of the faith that you could have. We are all still growing in the knowledge of Him and we better all be building our faith in increasing stages. I really did not talk directly about how much faith you need for each situation. I believe that it takes greater faith for bigger situations. In other words there are people today that have faith for millions of dollars that at one time they did not have faith for even two dollars’ worth of food. My TV preacher friend was one of those individuals. His testimony was that he and his wife went a long time without food because they had no money when they first started in the ministry. Now he teaches on TV and it costs him literally millions of dollar to pay the costs of TV time. Truly it is self-evident that his faith has increased over the years because his knowledge of God’s word also increased over the years at the same time. So if you want to be a TV preacher and think it is automatic success, just try it and we will watch you fail. I have seen many preachers on TV fail and they are no longer around. It is very clear to me that those who succeed are those that believe God will supply the need and those that fail are those that ask for donations from people. Faith is always the factor for success. But faith as we saw in Romans 12:6 is proportional. God said for us to do thing according the proportion of our faith. It was implied that we could overextend our faith and fail. If you want to start a TV ministry, first start with a group in your house and build your faith to grow to the millions of viewer level. If you fail with 4 in your house then you will fail even more with 4 million on TV. So faith is a factor and faith grows but there is also another matter that needs to be taken into account. Jesus taught us that even with a mustard seed size of faith we could move a mountain (Mat 17:20). A mountain represents a symbolic great obstacle or problem. So we must balance the fact that we do not have all of the faith that we could have with the fact that we just might have enough faith to solve at least some of our problems we are facing right now. What I recommend is that you prioritize your problems. Maybe they are financial, marital, children, or job related, emotional or even physical health related. Then go find all of the scriptures you can find on that subject that you deem to be your greatest need. Finally, feed your spirit on them daily speaking them out loud to yourself so that you can hear them to cause faith to come. There will come a time very soon after you do this continually that faith will become resident in our heart to solve your problem in that area. I also recommend that you do not start with the greatest most severe problem and combine every related need at the same time. To overwhelm your faith can be disastrous. It is usually best to start with the smaller things first and then work to the larger things like my TV minister example. Get faith for your daily natural food needs and then grow your faith to the millions of dollars of TV time costs. My TV preacher brother did not start on TV, he spent many, many years not on TV learning God’s word and growing in faith. It is like David in the Old Testament. He started watching sheep and grew to be King of Israel. David killed lions and bears before he ever tried to take down the giant facing Israel. Grow in faith and learn how faithful God is with your small successes and then greater things will come to allow you to have larger victories.
I hope and pray that you have learned more about the subject of Bible faith than you knew before. This is always my goal. I want to provide spiritual knowledge and insight to help you to grow spiritually. Thanks for taking the time to study the Bible with me today on the subject of faith. My guess is that I’m not even close to being finished with this topic but it will help me to know if you have any specific questions in any area. So drop me a comment and share anything that you might be struggling with and I will do my best to try to be a blessing to you. So until next time, may God continue to bless you with all the knowledge and spiritual wisdom of Jesus Christ. Amen.
If you would like to continue to study in this series you may go to “Part 14“.
(Ver 2.1) This is Part 7 in a study series on the subject of Understanding Genesis 3. It is also a continuation of the last lesson concerning the Tree of Life introduced by God in Genesis 2 & 3. If you have not read the Genesis 3 lesson series from the beginning I might suggest that you go and start with verse 1 and read Part 1 first. If you have not read this current subject on the tree of life from the beginning I would suggest that you go and start with “Part 6” first before you study today’s lesson. Studying the Bible is one of the greatest challenges we will ever face in life, God who is a Spirit writes us a book about both natural and spiritual things and we have to be smart enough to discern which words are speaking of which. This is by far one of the greatest challenge and the trickiest methods that God has implemented in this Book to conceal the truth. You can clearly see that God calls spiritual things and natural things by the same name and that He rarely ever tells you which one He is talking about. In my last blog I introduced you to some more complex subjects found in the Bible. We began trying to figure out if the trees in the garden in Genesis 2 and 3, were physical fruit trees or were just symbolic representations of spiritual truths. I am a firm believer that these trees, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life were symbolic spiritual representations. I have a number of reasons for this logical deduction based upon many verses that I have already given to you and then some more we will discuss today. In my last lesson on this subject I also showed how that God places a Cherubim to guard the way to the tree of life and how God was not keeping the way from the man, but from another spiritual being, someone who was interested in obtaining its power and benefits. If you understand compass directions and reading maps you can understand what I showed you last time about the differences between east and west.
Next I also took you to Revelation and showed you in the last chapter the clear reference to the tree of life. It is funny how things from the beginning are repeated in the prophecies of the end. It seems to me that God must have wanted it (the tree of life) to play a major role in His plan if it ends up the way it started. We can see that this information found in Revelation 22 seems to imply we are that tree, that produces fruit and drinks from the river of life flowing from the throne of God, but that is my opinion. Today I want to go through other scriptures found in the Bible that describes this tree. These are the verses that represent God’s commentary on the subject so I place great value upon them. Hopefully we can, by searching the Bible see who or what this tree of life is and who God was keeping from it. If you search your Bible using your computer you will discover around 11 verses that contain a direct reference to this “tree of life”. These three words occur, four times in Genesis, three times in Revelation and four times in Proverbs. It is absolutely fascinating what these verses say to us. We will start with the last verse in the Bible about this tree.
Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
In this verse that is written to the church it declares that those who keep God’s Words may have the right to the tree of life. The word “right” here is a very interesting word because it means authority, power, and liberty. But more than that, it can refer to someone who is a potentate, magistrate and superhuman. These are all terms of royal sovereignty and ruler ship; terms given to kings for example. I believe what God is saying is that He wants it to end how it started, but without the influence of evil. To me it goes along with Genesis where God said that Adam could stretch forth his hand (power) and take from the tree of life. God intended the man to eat from this tree of life from the beginning, but Adam made the wrong choice. Now let’s go to the first occurrence in Revelation and see what that verse says to us. Here we find Jesus speaking to the church:
Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
You see some more valuable information given to us. Jesus is speaking directly to the church and He tells us, that whoever overcomes, to him will be given to eat from the tree of life. Overcoming implies an enemy or opposition force that is opposing us, trying to keep us from eating and partaking of that which was promised. The prize of winning this battle or contest appears to be us eating from this tree of life. That sure seems to be the reward for overcoming these evil forces of opposition. Finally, we see the location of this tree given again. This time it does not contain any reference to or is any way associated with the Garden of Eden. Even though we do not know the actual location of this tree of life we can clearly see its relationship being repeated with it being in the “middle” of the paradise of God. Adam, when God told him of this tree said it was in the middle of the garden. So what was this garden? Where is this paradise? What does it mean to be in the middle? I feel that the term middle could be a symbolic reference to someone who is well centered. Not into the extreme of this or that, but one that holds on to a well-balanced understanding of God’s Word. Of course this is my opinion again and I would hope that you can at least understand how I arrived at that opinion. I would also make this suggestion for you to consider, Jesus when asked about the Kingdom of God always told people it is not here and it is not there, but the Kingdom of God is within you. People wanted to focus on outward things and God wants us to focus on inward things. Inward things would be things associated with the heart and the spirit of man. Keep that in mind when trying to figure out where this paradise of God is located. I believe that God’s garden is within us. We are the garden of God that produces the precious fruit that God places such great value upon that He purchased it with His shed blood.
We can now move to the only other direct references in the Bible to the tree of life and these are found in the book of Proverbs. Proverbs was written by King Solomon and holds great understanding and wisdom from God. This book contains extremely valuable spiritual information about which we need to better understand. I’m going to start with a verse found in the 11th chapter and it goes like this:
Pro 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
This verse speaks to us about fruit in relation to a tree of life. But did you notice where the fruit was and what type of fruit it is speaking about? The clear implication is given to us that this is a spiritual tree with spiritual fruit. The church is declared to be the righteous ones by faith, in the New Testament (Rom 10:10, 2 Cor 5:21), so we can claim this verse as applying to us directly with great confidence. If we are supposed to produce fruit unto God as it says in Romans 7:4, then what kind of fruit is this that God is looking for? We can clearly assume it is spiritual fruit and that spiritual fruit only grows on spiritual trees. This is the “fruit” of the righteous and this verse says this comes from a tree that has eternal life. I guess I paraphrased that verse a bit, but we will get there eventually so hang in there.
Pro 3:18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.
Here we have another verse which has great spiritual implications. This verse points us to the origin for the fruit that we are supposed to be producing. God’s words are declared to be the spiritual seeds of life. If planted in our hearts and watered correctly it will produce this spiritual fruit. In this verse in Proverbs God speaks about a woman who is symbolic of a spiritual force to be desired. This woman if you look at the context of the chapter is called “wisdom” and “understanding”. To have a sexual relationship with this woman is a covenant act of knowing her. God declares that by knowing “wisdom” and “understanding” you will participate in eating from the tree of life. It is a spiritual system of planting and reaping. God’s word contains all of the essential ingredients necessary to produce this tree of life. It actually says that by us knowing and understanding His word it would cause us to live and eat from the tree of life. But it really says more than that, it implies that we are the trees of life that produces the fruit for God’s glory. It is fascinating that we have read a couple of direct references to the tree of life and that these point us to spiritual things and not to any natural fruit trees in a physical garden. God did make the natural fruit trees, to help us to understand these spiritual concepts, but too many Bible teachers have ignored the spiritual things to focus only on the natural. Let’s continue in Proverbs to the next reference to this tree of life found in chapter 13:
Pro 13:12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
Pro 13:13 Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.
Pro 13:14 The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
Pro 13:15 Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.
These words again point us to spiritual things. In verse 12 it declares that “desire” is a tree of life. That to me is an interesting concept. If you look up this word in the Strong’s, we can learn that this word means “lust”. That implies there are certainly good and positive desires and things to lust after. Conversely it means there are bad or evil things that you should not desire to know or participate with. To lust after God and God’s Word are right desires that produce good results. By reading down to verse 14 we can see another reference to the waters of life that flow from God’s throne. These waters are again are God’s words and what He has spoken to us. So within the context of these verses we have a relationship established between the tree of life and God’s words. These are very awesome verses in Proverbs and we are at the last direct mention of the tree of life, given to us in chapter 15:
Pro 15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
This is probably the most important of all the verses that we have seen so far on this subject. This verse informs us that the words coming out of our mouths produce this tree of life. You see just because God says something good for you in the Bible, does not mean that you have to accept it. You can say something totally opposite to what God has said and you will not benefit from what God has said in any way. What you say is far more important than what you can possibly imagine. What you say affects you personally more than it affects anyone else. What you say personally determines if you are saved or not. If you recall from another verse I gave in an earlier blog, also from Proverbs that says “death and life are in the power of the tongue” and then it says “those who love it will eat the fruit thereof”. We can clearly see that God has given us the choice to live or die based upon what we say. God’s spiritual system is a word based system. Everything that God has done has originated from His spoken words. God’s words have dominion over all other words, but yet they do not overrule the words that you speak. God’s words are ultimate truth, but your words are what are true for you. God does not force His will on anyone. Your will and your words rule your life and determine your destiny. The subject of words in the Bible is probably one of the most important subjects you can study and yet many ignore it and close their eyes to it. Just because you ignore the subject doesn’t mean your words are not working for or against you. The law of gravity works for you regardless of whether you understand it or not; if you do not believe in the law of gravity and step off a tall building you will find that your fall will be met with a disastrous end regardless of your beliefs. It is much better if you cooperate with the laws of nature than if you ignore them. This is the way of spiritual laws found in the Bible also. Be smart enough to learn about spiritual laws and then let them rule your life. Perhaps someday I will get into more depth on this subject of words in a future Blog. I hope that you have been challenged to see these spiritual subjects today in some new light and that they have become more real to your spirit. I have believe that I have given you sufficient evidence that the church is the ones who partake of the tree of life and produce fruit unto God. There are many, many more scriptures in the Bible that speak to this subject and further confirm what I have been attempting to say to you. If you can you should go and search for them and see what they say. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading the Bible study series on Understanding Genesis 3 please continue to “Part 8“.