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Understanding Bible Division Part 3 – The Book of Life

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(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:

  1. INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF LIFE
  2. THE INTRODUCTION TO ETERNAL LIFE
  3. GOD’S DEFINITION OF LIFE ETERNAL
  4. THE BOOK OF THE LIVING
  5. 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:

~~~
Living_vs_Damned1

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.

book_of_life_question

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.

Understanding the Parable of the Sower Part 3 – The Seed

seed of life(Ver 1.1) This is now Part 3 in the Bible lesson series focused on the subject of Understanding the Parable of the Sower.  We have already covered the basic introduction and one of the essential positive elements called the Sower.   Today we will be continuing to increase in learning concerning the second very positive parable element named the Seed.  I certainly believe that this “seed” element can easily be called the greatest and most important element in the parable.  Without it none of the other symbolic elements would have any purpose.  However, it is difficult to determine the greatest element of importance in this parable because of God’s design of how many of the symbolic elements work together in unison to produce His desired end positive product called “fruit”.  For example, the vital symbolic seed is ineffective without the existence and the participation of both the sower and the right soil.  The sower is completely unproductive without the correct and proper applied seed to be sown in the correct timing and type of soil.  Of course the soil is completely worthless (dead) unless it is prepared to be good ground without all of the enemy elements (birds, stones & weeds) that work diligently to fight the awesome seed from producing the positive fruit.  We will primarily be focused upon the seed in this lesson.  But, like the last lesson we will still need to cross into other subject boundaries in order to understand the overall concepts given. If you have not read the entire series from the beginning I would highly recommend that you go back and begin the series with “Part 1” first.

This is an amazing Bible subject.  We could spend a lot oftime writing books and books on it.  However, that is not reasonable for a blog Bible study.  There are many people who want only a couple of paragraphs on any subject and if it is too long they just won’t read it.  There are also those like me that enjoy reading and studying the Bible and can’t get enough to read.  Whichever one you are I pray you will at least give it your best effort.  I will try not to write too much or too little on the subject of the seed.  I pray that I will cover what the Holy Spirit desires me to teach.  Let’s begin.

 

INTRODUCTION

In the last lesson I asked some good basic fundamental questions about any Bible study subject.  Answering the basics of who, what, when, where and why found in the subject will help us to gain understanding of the fundamentals found in the topic.  Today we will be again looking into finding the answers to these questions concerning the symbolic “seed” element.  I may keep referring to this element “seed” as being symbolic but nothing could be further from the truth.  I have discovered that this “seed” element is actually a naturally created substance of truth that reveals a far greater spiritual reality.  This spiritual seed that I am referring to is by far superior to the natural seed type but both truths contain many of the exact same parallel characteristics.  Here are just a few basic natural seed sowing truths that are exactly analogous with the spiritual process being described in the Parable of the Sower:

  1. Selecting the Right Seed is one basic requirement for a good desired outcome
  2. Selecting the Right Environment (location, weather, timing, etc.) for the seed to be productive is absolutely imperative for the good outcome
  3. Planting the correct seed at the exact and correct time in good prepared ground is required to be successful
  4. Managing the growth process and protecting the seed to keep out the crop enemies that destroy the process is also a requirement for a productive good outcome

Hopefully we will begin to see how these truths run parallel in the natural and the spiritual processes.  We already addressed the “who” question concerning the sowing of the Good Seed in the last lesson.  It should be easy to logically reason that it’s totally up to this sower “what seed’ is planted.  We should have learned in the first lesson, that the sower was originally Jesus. However, when Jesus was here He still worked with the Holy Spirit’s leading to know what to plant, where to plant and when to plant.  That took Jesus through steps 1, 2 and 3 of the natural parallel truths between the natural and the spiritual.  But, Jesus also actually tried to perform step 4 to manage the growth process for those that would permit him.  For example, Jesus saw how Satan had demanded to sift Peter like wheat (Luke 22:31) and then warned Peter and informed him that he had prayed that his faith would not fail (Luke 22:32).  This was Jesus attempting to manage the seed that was already sown into the heart of Peter.  Perhaps we will talk more about this part of the subject later in another lesson.

After Jesus, the seed sowing spreading process was transferred to those that God used to originally spread the gospel in the book of Acts and this process has now produced a growing church that includes us now that are called to be believers, disciples and Christ followers.  It is truly an amazing process of multiplication through one seed.  Do not ever underestimate the power of planting one successful seed!  One seed can produce a tree that produces a whole lot of fruit for many years.  Each piece of fruit contains many more seeds that can be further planted in other soils to produce more trees to produce more fruit to produce more seed and on and on the process grows.  It is actually impossible for humans to number or measure the end process outcome of one successful seed.  This is exactly why God promised Abraham this:

Gen 15:5  And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy (ONE) seed be.

 

This is a mind boggling statement.  God promised Abraham a production level of fruit that is uncountable from just the planting of one successful seed and this One Seed was revealed to be Jesus Christ in Gal 3:16.  In this verse and chapter Paul writes that the statement was not naming seeds as many but only one seed that was given to us to be the promised Son to come.  This incredible promise that God made to Abraham was concerning one future spiritual seed crop of fruit.  I believe with all of my heart that this promise was describing the process given to us in the Parable of the Sower.  Jesus the Seed/Word of God incarnate came to the earth as a man to speak/plant God’s Words in human hearts to cause them to become trees of righteousness that produce fruit that permit the continued spread of seeds from their fruit to produce more trees of righteousness that produce more fruit that spread more seeds and on and on we could go.  Let’s review a few quick verses that teach us about this coming concept:

Psa 92:12  The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

Pro 11:30  The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

Isa 61:3  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

 

Did you notice the theme of these three witnesses in the Bible?  They are all about “righteous” trees.  These all had to come from the planted Word of God seed.  These all produce fruit trees that produce fruit and more seeds to spread.   I really love Proverbs 11:30 because this literally teaches us that the spreading of seed is contained within a soul winning process that produces life.  We will be talking about this more very soon.

We should have been introduced to the answer of “what is the Good seed” question in our last lesson.  We should remember that the Good Seed was a natural symbolic representation of a far greater parallel spiritual reality of the Word of God.   We learned that the Good Seed sown by the Sower to produce “fruit” was specifically said to be the God’s spoken Word.  That knowledge will be expanded today to better understand new questions like “What was and still is the main purpose for sowing God’s Good Seed?”  “When is the Good seed effective or productive?”  “When is the Good seed ineffective or unproductive?”  “Why is this seed even important or necessary to the process of producing fruit?”  “Why does the Good seed work sometimes and at other times it does not produce any lasting fruit.”  “Why does the Good seed produce varying levels or amounts of fruitfulness in good soil?”  We may not be able to cover every answer in detail in this lesson but we will attempt to cover these answers in more detail later as we dig deeper into the subject of “soil types”.

Before we dive deeper into the subject of the seed, I would like for us to review some of the basic fundamentals of the subject of Bible faith.  I believe that understanding the subject of Bible faith is essential to understanding the Parable of the sower.  Without an understanding of Bible faith and how it comes and how it works, a complete understanding of Seed Sowing is difficult.  I believe that we will better understand this statement as we continue through the lesson series.

 

A FAITH FUNDAMENTALS REVIEW

I would like to begin this lesson with a short review of just a couple of the fundamental truths concerning the subject of “Bible Faith”.  I believe this review will help us to see some of the key parallels of subject of faith found in the “Parable of the Sower”.  The intimate knowledge of faith will especially help us as we study the subjects of the seed and the fruit.  If you have read the Bible series on “Understanding Bible Faith” you should have learned that real Bible Faith is a spiritual substance that God describes is observable, quantifiable and measurable (Part 3).   Jesus observed some people with a level of zero also known as “no” faith (Mk 4:40) and then commented on others with “little” also known as weak, tiny or small faith amounts (Mat 16:8).  Jesus also observed others with increasing levels of faith (Mt 9:28) to even a couple with stated “great” also known as big or large faith amounts (Mt 8:10, Mt 15:28).  Stephen mentioned in Acts 6:5 was declared to be “full” also known as packed or covered over or complete with faith.  Therefore, the implication to these revealed truths is that a human must possess some type of unseen faith container that permits God to be able to measure and quantify their faith levels from it being an empty bucket all the way to it being a full or overflowing container.

What is this quality that God can see and measure and how can we cooperate with Him to allow it to become filled?  Or do we even have a choice in the amount of faith that we can have at any time?  Of course, I believe with all of my heart that we do have the very clear choice, responsibility and a very significant role in the determination that helps God define the amount of faith contained in our spiritual heart container.  We will hopefully learn more about this as we continue in the lesson.

Please keep these facts concerning the variable nature of the amount of faith a person possesses in the forefront of your mind as we move later into the subject of fruit.  Remember that we were introduced already in lesson 1 that the amount of fruit produced in the life of a human is also variable, quantifiable and measureable as either a). 0% level b). 30 % return, c). 60% return d). all the way to 100 times production in 4 different types of soil.  I believe these two faith and fruit variable factors are important parallels of truth.  This knowledge will help us to better understand why some have no fruit and others in variations of increasing levels.

The next key Bible Faith verse that is infinitely important to learn for us understanding the “Parable of the Sower” is found in the book of Romans.  This verse very clearly reveals to us how our faith container (heart/spirit) can either be empty or full or somewhere in between based upon the amount that we choose to hear the Word of God.  Let’s read the verse and see what God says about how faith comes:

Rom 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

We should be able to learn from this verse how the Bible Faith spiritual filling up process begins, continues or can even end by a human choice of hearing or not hearing the Word of God being spoken audibly.  This truth represents a very significant and powerful perspective describing how the God designed faith process for human salvation begins, continues or also potentially ends.  I know that this verse alone does not plainly mention that it is a hearing process for salvation but, it is certainly an implied application based upon the verse context and the application of other Faith subject verses.

Consider the truth that if Bible faith can come to a human then it certainly must have an implied beginning.  In other words, if a human has never heard the Word of God preached they would not have any faith for salvation!

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

Rom 10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

 

These two verses are found in the context of Romans 10:17 and we can clearly see how God defines and applies the process of word of God planting to be a requirement for salvation to occur.  The progression is clearly stated for a human requirement to hear from a preacher.  We learned in the last lesson on the “sower” that a preacher of God’s Word is simply a word seed sower.  Thus we have an emerging direct connection to the Parable of the Sower already.  These verses in this chapter are amazing parallels to our subject study.  This salvation process describes a sower that is sowing seed into a human heart soil by the sower speaking and the soil people hearing.  Then this planted seed produces an implied plant that grows to produce levels of faith for salvation that bears and this corresponds to having spiritual fruit.  I just gave away a lot of what we will be talking about in this lesson series.

Based upon this knowledge it must be the freewill choice of a human to participate in this process of salvation through their cooperation to hear and listen to God’s spoken Word that will cause faith to even begin to accumulate in their hearts.  Furthermore, if faith can “come” (begin) or be in a “filling up” state by our right choices the implication is given to us by reverse antithesis truths that faith can also “leave” or be “emptied” by our own wrong choices.  It further implies that it is even possible for “faith” to not exist at all in our heart if the Word of God was NOT HEARD or NOT VALUED or NOT LISTENDED TO, or NOT UNDERSTOOD.  It is evident to me that if faith has a beginning (an empty 0% state) that it must also have an implied ending (full state) along with an implied middle time period of increasing or decreasing filling.  I pray that you can see this and agree.

Joh 8:31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 

Joh 8:32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

 

I also believe completely that the amount faith in a person’s “Bible Faith” container will only grow or increase to be filled by continuing to hear the Word of God over and over. The fact that Romans 10:17 includes the Greek Word G189 translated as “hearing” twice together joined with the Greek word G1161 translated as the word “and” implies a required repetition or continuation of hearing and not just a one-time experience of having heard.  The Greek Particle G1161 translated as “and” is a connecting word in this verse that further embraces the concept that the hearing of the Word of God is not a “One Time” action of an isolated choice.  We will hopefully soon see other verses in this lesson later that help confirm the fact that hearing God’s Word represents a lifetime commitment.

I take away from this verse in Romans that it means that we must be hearing and hearing and hearing and hearing and hearing and hearing and I could type forever and not get the point across strongly enough.  I believe viewing Bible faith in this way alone defines it to be a repeated step process for filling us up with “faith”.  I also view the filling process of faith to be like an automobile gas tank that when filled provides power for the engine to move it forward.  But, just because the gas tank was filled to capacity once does not mean that it will still be full in a week or more time of going forward.  You see even in the book of Acts the disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost in Acts 2 and this filling process occurred again in Acts 4.  Why would it be necessary for God to keep filling the same vessels again and again?  I believe part of the answer is because we are imperfect vessels.  We can hear something great today and totally forget about it tomorrow.

Why did some people in the Bible have so little faith and what caused some others to have up to very significant levels of faith, when they all potentially had the same opportunity to hear Jesus speak the same Word?  If everyone can hear the exact same Word of God to get filled with faith, it is a bit challenging to think why faith levels can be missing in some completely or at dissimilar levels in some others or even be increased to being at great or the full level in still others.  I mean think about what that is teaching us.  If it was God’s fault that some don’t have faith and others do, then that would make God a respecter of persons and we should know this cannot be (Rom 2:11).  I just refuse to believe that God causes diverse faith amounts by His sovereign choice in humans based upon my knowledge of scriptures that teaches otherwise.

It is exactly the same in the natural.  The Ford Motor Company builds automobiles but they are not responsible for filling up the gas tank to cause the power to be released.  This is the driver’s responsibility.  God created humans but is He now totally responsible for filling you with His Spirit, His Word or His power?  I don’t believe that is true.  Therefore, the responsibility for the level of faith must be placed on the human side of the God created Faith project and process.  There must be some human factor after hearing God’s Word that determines how much of a level of faith a human can receive or possess in our spiritual container.  I think Jesus gives us one important clue to answering this question about “how faith levels can vary so much” in this verse:

Mar 4:9  And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

 

I believe sincerely that one major determining factor for us having Bible faith is definitely based upon how we choose to listen to and hear the Word of God.  What are we focused upon or thinking about when the Word of God is being spoken or taught to us?  What levels of importance and priority do we give to hearing God’s Word?  Are there any distractions that easily take us away from giving our full attention while hearing the Word of God and on and on we could go asking other similar questions.

It is really not difficult to sit in a church service and observe people and see how they listen.  Many are paying close attention, reading along in their Bibles and taking notes to not let it be forgotten.  These people place great value in what is being said.  That must be a major contributing factor in the amount of growth in their faith level.  Others are listening halfhearted and are easily distracted by any noise of commotion that someone makes around them.  These types of listeners are clearly placing a greatly diminished level f importance on what was said and the Words spoken are easily lost.  Others are not listening at all and are reading messages on their cell phones or even playing games or flirting with their neighbor.  This attitude towards the Word of God makes sitting in the service under the sound of the Word of God entirely worthless.  The spoken Word of God can be a chosen priority or be just a background noise. We can all choose how we value the Word of God.  We can all choose the ranking position and precedence that we give the Word of God.  What we focus on and how we focus will be one of the most significant determining factors to learn what level of faith we will obtain from hearing God’s Word and His Seed spoken.

This Bible lesson series will hopefully help us to see a potential different perspective on answering these questions on how faith applies to understanding the “Parable of the Sower”.  I believe that the LORD wants to teach us that having faith is not a one sided formula or God only responsibility but rather more like a divinely designed project and process requiring our freewill choice to become a devoted person in cooperation to participate in the planting and growing development.  Let’s move on and grow in the “seed” study.

 

 

UNDERSTANDING THE SEED POSITIVE ELEMENT

There is literally so very much that I can teach on this one element alone that it is impossible to cover it all in a single lesson.  We will begin the study of the seed by reconfirming what the symbolic seed in the parable represents.  We were introduced to this element in the last lesson and even learned that the seed represented speaking God’s Word which we said was Good Seed.  The Good seed was then compared to the evil seed as words coming from Satan.  Let’s read our basic seed verse from Mark:

Mar 4:14  The sower soweth the word.

 

Let’s get past the preliminary subject introduction and setup to now direct our full attention on the extremely consistent & positive element that Jesus called the “Seed”.  Technically speaking the word “seed” was not found in the verses of the sower written in Mark 4.  But the word “seed” (G4703) is clearly used in the Luke 8 parable explanation more than once.  Also, Jesus’ selection of the word “sower” in Mark 4:3 clearly implies the participation of “seed” even though it is not specifically stated.  We should already clearly understand that this symbolic seed sowing represents a preacher speaking audible words.  We can see this truth in the definition again in the above Mark 4:14.  However, we will dig deeper into this confirmation to relieve any doubts.

In Matthew 13:19 the soil hearer is stated to be listening to the “word of the kingdom”.  This general reference could be words spoken from any kingdom being earthly, heavenly, natural or spiritual but we can comprehend logically that it is meant to be referring to the Kingdom of God based upon these are the recorded words of the speaker Jesus.  Jesus of course should be viewed to represent God’s Spiritual Kingdom.  In John 18:36 Jesus again speaking to someone asking him about his kingdom said clearly “My kingdom is not of this world”.  We gain from this statement three profoundly essential facts.  First, Jesus has a Kingdom, second it is not of this natural world and third therefore it must be a spiritual kingdom.  Keep these truths in your mind as we continue to study the subject of words/seeds and their origins.  This knowledge will certainly help answer the “where” the seeds came from further.

Luk 8:11  Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

 

Recall that in Mark 4:14 we saw another general/generic reference that the seed is stated to just represent “the word”.  This vague type of reference implies any spoken words can be viewed as seeds as we learned in our last lesson.  But, in Luke 8:11 Jesus clearly states that the seed represents “God’s Word”.  The Greek word translated as “God” in this statement is G2315 and is transliterated as “theos”.  This Greek word is found in over 1100 verses and less than 1% of the time do they refer to any being other than our Omnipotent Creator.  It appears self-revealing that Jesus was referring to God’s spoken word is the seed sown in this verse in Luke’s explanation of the Parable of the Sower.

This information helps us to understand and confirm “who” MUST be speaking words in the attempt to plant Good seeds in human hearts to produce fruit.  I know that I keep calling God’s Word Good Seed but that is backed up scripturally and is not just my opinion.  For example, Hebrews 6:5 informs us very clearly that God’s word is good and this was a written warning to Christian people not to turn away from it.  I also believe that we should take note again of the Greek word G2098 which was translated as “the gospel” because it literally means “good news”.  There are so many verses with this Greek word in it which refers to God’s Word that it is impossible to deny that God’s Word and Good News are very synonymous terms.  Therefore, we can easily conclude that God’s Word is equivalent to Good Seed and I pray that you can agree.

We should remember the difference between “good seed words” and “evil seed words” in the last lesson in the series.  And we should know that the God seed words spoken are always revealed to be a God designed plan to produce ONLY HIS GOOD FRUIT.  In other words, the spoken Word of God seed can never produce weeds (evil fruit) just from learning the information found in the parable of the sower descriptions or explanations.  God’s Seed can truly only be GOOD seed that produces GOOD fruit and the evil seed can only produce evil fruit which potentially causes the Good Seed to fail.  This is in fact the true created nature of every seed.  For example, an apple seed can only produce an apple tree.  An orange seed can only produce an orange tree.  On and on we go.  This is the stated law of Genesis 1.  God informed us that every seed type of any create entity can only produce another one of the same kind.  God said this clearly 5 times in Genesis 1.  Please go read it if you don’t remember.

What we have just established is a basic truth of seeds.  Except for perverted seeds through controlled manipulation every pure naturally create seed type that has existed will always produce another variety of the exact same type of being.  Therefore we learn that God is good (Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19) and whatever that He produces from His good seed/word must also be good of His same type and nature.  We learn this again from Genesis 1 very clearly.  At least 6 times once in every day of creation God said (spoke seed) and then observed the outcome and said it was either “good” or “very good”.  Wow that speaks literal volumes of key information to understanding the Good Seed in the parable of the sower.    Furthermore, this exact same good truth is also true in the antithesis speaking of God’s enemy Satan.  Satan is evil (1 Jn 2:13-14, 1 Jn 3:12, 1 Jn 5:18) and whatever he produces from his spoken seed/word must also be evil and of the same exact same type, kind and nature.

It is certainly possible for both types of spoken word seed to be sown into any single human heart and even co-exist as we will explore when we study the subject of soils.  We will be primarily focused upon God’s “Good Seed” in this lesson. But, I may still briefly address the antithesis evil seed type that produces weeds also.  Let’s now explore further what this Good God Seed actually represents in the Bible and we will do this by starting to understand the original Greek words related to the Parable message of sowing.

Mark 4:14 stated very clearly that the symbolic seed type found in the Parable of the Sower represents the “word”.  This Greek word translated as “word” is G3056.  This Greek word is included in every explanation of the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:19, Mark 4:14 and Luke 8:11.  Also G3056 occurs in around 313 other verses of the New Testament.  This makes it a very popular and important N.T. word.  The transliteration of this Greek word is “logos”.  I have already referred to the transliteration “theos” before, but if you do not understand what a transliteration is I will attempt to explain it quickly.

A transliteration simply occurs when someone changes a word from one language into a new language using only the corresponding alphabet letters in an attempt to produce as similar of pronunciation sound as possible.  In a transliteration there is no concern for conveying the original word meaning of the original language’s name or word.  If we cared about this we would translate the word from one language into a word with the closest meaning and definition in the new language without any regard to the sounds of the two words.  Language transliterations emphasize sound alike words and language translations emphasize identical meaning.  Normally speaking and thinking, I believe transliterations have limited usefulness.  However, that does not mean they are not used in our Bible translations.

For example, transliterations are a very common technique used in many Bible translations especially with the names of people or places referenced in the Bible.  For instance, the name Jesus in the N.T. is a Greek to English transliteration originating from the name “Iesous” in the Greek language which was also transliterated from the original Hebrew name Jeshohua (Joshua).    I just gave you an example of two transliterations that occurred from three different languages to get us to the name “Jesus” that many English speaking people use today to name our LORD and SAVIOR.  This process of transliteration does not make any of the names wrong nor does it make one name superior, more important or more relevant than the others.  They are all the same name just written and pronounced in different languages using letters from the language’s alphabet being spoken and God understands them all and answers to them all when called by or spoken to using that name.  Let’s get back to the Greek to English transliteration word “logos”.

Logos is one of the most popular New Testament words used in reference to God’s written and spoken Word.  It is used more than once in reference to God’s Old Testament Word written by the prophets. It is clearly used to describe the Words of Jesus like those found in this Parable and others. Even angels were said to speak “logos” words to several people with messages from God. However, logos can also be used for other human spoken words.  Logos words can even be someone speaking words not of a divine nature and therefore logos spoken words can either be good or evil words.  This just further verifies that a spoken seed type can be of either good or evil.  If you search your Bible for H3056 to find all of the occurrences of this word’s usage you will discover that what I just said is easily confirmed.  I’ll give you a couple of scriptures that can verify this truth and to help prove the point:

Mat 12:37  For by thy words (logos) thou shalt be justified, and by thy words (logos) thou shalt be condemned.

 

In this verse Jesus is speaking to you and me.  He is warning us all that every human will either be justified or condemned by our own personal spoken “logos”.  It is infinitely clear to me from reading this verse that this means humans can choose to say right words (logos) or wrong words (logos), good words (logos) or evil words (logos).  Jesus clearly states that human beings speak one of these types of logos by their own personal choice and freewill.  Let’s explore that “logos” represents two types of seed in the Bible.  We will look at another example verse to confirm that “logos” spoken words can also be negative and fear based:

Mar 5:36  As soon as Jesus heard the word (logos) that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.

 

This is one verse in a longer narrative.  In this story a ruler in the synagogue came to Jesus for help with his daughter who was on her death bed very sick.  Jesus was delayed in going to his house to heal her by another woman with an issue of blood that also came by faith to get healed.  Faith always gets God’s attention.  This is actually one of the primary qualities that He is looking for in every human.   We should all remember that in Hebrew 11:6 God states that it is impossible to please Him without having faith.  This is how we know that the ruler of the synagogue pleased Him or he would not have set out to go to his house.  We’ll get into this more very soon.  However, notice what this verse says.  The Greek word G3056 “logos” is used here for a negative report that came from the ruler’s house.  These men with the negative message said “Don’t bother the master any further for your daughter is dead”.  God calls these spoken words a “logos” message.  What was the designed purpose of the negative seed message?  Jesus addresses it very clearly by asking the ruler to “fear NOT” but rather continue in faith and believe.

Wow, this is some amazing information about “logos” seeds that are found in spoken words.  Jesus countered the negative logos seed with a positive instruction to continue the ruler’s believing.  Jesus did not allow the bad news seed to overrule the previously spoken faith word seeds.  The ruler clearly had a choice to make in who he would believe.  He was wise and kept quiet and his daughter was raised from the dead.  We will be looking into this factor of believing good seeds and ignoring the negative bad seeds later.  This is such an important connecting concept to understanding the Parable of the Sower and how seeds work.

I am not going to teach the entire story about the ruler that came to Jesus with faith.  But, I do want you to understand that this ruler had to have heard someone telling him about Jesus and His ability to heal people that caused him to seek Him.  Someone sowed a seed into the ruler’s heart and this caused an action/reaction to take place.  Satan killed the girl before the answer fully came and then he sent human messengers that brought the negative seeds designed to overrule the positive message that was previously sown into his heart but Jesus helped him to keep in faith and to shut his mouth not to agree with the bad news seed and circumstances.  Can you imagine the battle of thoughts that were racing through the ruler’s mind after hearing the bad seed sown?  Jesus was clearly not fazed by the negative seeds.  This is a major factor for understanding how spoken words work and what type of spiritual battle we have every day.

We should hopefully be able to see that logos words can be used to produce either faith (believing positively) or for fear (believing negatively).  Both of these types of “logos” represent seeds that will produce a type of fruit outcome.  Only the good faith based logos will be a good resulting fruit.  The negative seed type of logos will only produce the opposite of faith type of the force called “fear”.  This is exactly why I believe the Parable of the Sower is a representation of a spiritual battle of words between two opposing spiritual forces.  Jesus immediately countered the negative seed planting attempt designed to remove every faith life producing seed from the ruler’s heart with His encouraging seed of redirection back to faith.  We could probably spend a lot of time on this subject but we are getting into soils and types of human reactions to the words that are being spoken to them by the enemies.  Let’s keep researching the word “logos”.

The literal definition of this Greek word H3056 “logos” from Strong’s Concordance is “something spoken”.  This definition appears to state that any human with a brain, mouth and working vocal cords is capable of emitting a “logos” (word spoken) to anyone.  This Greek word was translated as some of the following English words: utterance, speech, word, mouth, preaching, question, communication and account (not to list them all).  However, they all appear to mean the same general action of spoken words coming from a mouth.

In the previous lesson in the series which was focused upon “the sower” there were verses given that stated how others besides Jesus were sowers of seed.  But, I like to have a lot of witnesses to affirm the truth.  Let’s look at another scripture that relates to future sown seed and sowers as well as the key purpose for God using people for sowing His Word in human hearts:

Joh 17:20  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word (logos);

 

Here in this verse is a part of the prayer that the LORD Jesus was praying for both the church saved believers and for those that were unsaved non-believers.  This verse represents further confirmation that seed sowing was meant to continue indefinitely even after Jesus was taken up and back into heaven.  Notice that Jesus very clearly states that people after him will be sharing “logos” seeds with people and He very clearly says it is for the purpose to get them to believe in Him.  There are three main facts that can be derived from this single verse that are relevant to our Parable of the Sower lesson:

  1. Christian disciples following Jesus can still speak the LOGOS seed (Word of God) into the hearts of other people.
  2. The main purpose for speaking the LOGOS seed (Word of God) is to produce a belief (faith) in Jesus Christ.
  3. It is because of someone choosing to hear the spoken LOGOS seed (Word of God) that Faith can be produced internally for salvation to begin the process of making fruit.

I pray that you will agree that the primary purpose of sowing God’s word/seed is to produce faith for salvation.  I believe that “salvation” is definitely the principal definition for what the successful “fruit” represents in this parable.  No fruit simply means no lasting salvation occurred.

So far we have been focused on the “logos” seed type.  But, there is another Greek word that needs to be made known in this seed subject discussion.  This Greek word “for spoken words” is the Greek word G4487.  The Greek word G4487 also means something spoken but we need to begin to grasp the difference and the similarities between rhema and logos seed types in order to understand why some soil types produce fruit and others do not.  I certainly believe that both Greek Words H3056 (logos) and H4487 (rhema) are “SEED” types and represent God’s Word Spoken as we will soon discover.  Let’s reread a verse that we covered in the Faith Fundamentals review section of the lesson:

Rom 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

This verse defines the basis of how Bible faith comes to enter into a human heart and this is where we begin to make an important connection to understanding the Parable of the Sower.  You see, both the Parable of the Sower and this verse in Romans are clearly stated to be about the spoken Word of God.  Therefore, they must both be directly related to our study topic based upon God’s design of an identical direct subject matter.

We will very soon discover that Romans chapter 10 was written to describe another very important view into the basic process of human salvation through faith by hearing the spoken Word of God.  The Parable of the Sower is stated to be about the subject of speaking the Words of God to humans in order to produce “fruit”.  Based upon mathematical laws of truth created by God almighty if “Spoken God Words planted in human hearts can produce faith for salvation” found in Romans 10 and “Spoken God Words planted in human hearts can produce fruit” in the Parable of the Sower then “the resulting fruit” must correspond or be equal with “the resulting faith for salvation”.  This is based upon basic laws of physics also.  These are called “Cause and Effect” principles.  Because the Word of God can cause both results of fruit and faith for salvation they can be viewed to be very much alike or akin to each other.

I pray that you are getting into what this is teaching us.  We are using basic rules of interpretation that are very important and sound.  These are commonly used techniques in practically every Bible lesson that has been taught on this blog.  They are based upon laws and logic that were created by God, not me.  I believe that when we discover the fundamental laws of right interpretation it reduces or eliminates human opinions of interpretation.

But, you might question that each of these two scripture references use a different Greek word, doesn’t that change the direct relationship?  It could, but I believe the answer in this case is no.  I have discovered that God sometimes uses synonymous terms to increase our subject knowledge.  God uses synonyms very consistently to connect subjects together.  I believe that He does this in an intentional technique to cause us to search for the truth in a deeper way.  For example, why wouldn’t God want the whole Bible written in the same language?  It sure would be simpler if He had not changed languages from Hebrew in the Old Testament to Greek in the New Testament.  God automatically caused a challenge to be created by this language change.  Now we have subjects written in Hebrew that must be connected correctly to subjects written in the Greek.  Are any of these subjects meant to be joined?  I believe firmly that they are.

I believe that God changing one word in two verses can provide a different perspective that opens an entirely new aspect of a subject.  I believe God’s usage of “rhema” does not mean that Romans 10:17 is a completely different or new subject; but rather I believe that “rhema” only means that Romans is a narrowed more specific application or revelation of the broader “logos” subject.  It could be very analogous to the general subject of screws.  There are a wide variety of “screws” manufactured and sold in a hardware store.  If I asked you to go to the store and buy us some screws to fix a project that we were working on, you would probably get us the wrong kind simply because I was not very specific in the type of screw to buy.  I should be much more specific and say please go to the store and get us some inch and quarter stainless steel flat Phillip head wood screws.  Now you know exactly what we need for the project and all the other screw types have been eliminated.

In other words I believe the Parable of the Sower is God stating that FRUIT is potentially found in “any” human heart by the entrance of the general Word (logos) of God.  But, in Romans 10:17 God is specifically stating that a specific man’s “FAITH for salvation” is produced by the entrance of the very narrow specific and personal RHEMA application of God’s Word into their human heart.  I believe the Rhema seed is a more in-depth and personal revelation of a specific type of the Word of God seed.  This was very much like my example of the specific and personal “screw” type for our fix it project.  Any screw might work but only one type would truly do the personal and specific job correctly.  Let’s get into researching the differences between these two Greek words for “spoken words” also known as “spoken seed”.

I believe that there is a direct connection from the “logos” found in the parable to Romans 10:17 “so then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”.  Both are definitely teaching the exact same concept concerning God’s Word being spoken audibly and then being heard by humans.  Perhaps you have already done a deep study on these two Greek words before.  I believe that they both are essential to understanding the New Testament, faith, salvation and the Parable of the Sower.  You are welcome to share what you have discovered about these Greek Words with me and with other readers if you would like in a comment.

I would love to go into every element about the differences between “rhema” and “logos” but that would take an entire book.  I will try to summarize what I believe is important for this lesson in a few short paragraphs.  I believe the Logos Word of God is more of a general seed type that can be spoken to all humans.  Thus “logos” (seed) can appear in book form or sermon/spoken form which can be made available to anyone who chooses to read it or hear and listen to it.  But, it appears to me from several scriptures that the “rhema” Word of God represents more of a personal seed type that can actually even activate “faith” for spiritual life.

For example, Luke 4:4 when Jesus was tempted by Satan to change “stones” into “bread”, Jesus said “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word/rhema seed of God”.  God connects a human having spiritual “life” to receiving a special specific seed type called the “rhema” Word of God.  This Word type (rhema) is compared to be like a natural food/bread and it is also implied to be very direct and personal only given to a specific individual or specified group.  In other words someone feeding on God’s Word by hearing it personally does not cause any benefit to anyone else.  Only the eater’s personal hunger can be satisfied while everyone else not feeding or hearing remains empty and therefore gains no benefit to cause life to be produced in them.  Rhema appears to be a personal message spoken for a very special intentional designed purpose of producing or sustaining personal and individual life.  I’ll give some more examples to help clarify this belief:

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

Joh 6:68  But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words (rhema) of eternal life.

Act 5:20  “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words (rhema) of this life.”

 

Here are three verses that contain the Greek word “rhema” used in conjunction with the Greek word G2222 (zoe) that is translated as “life”.  The Greek word “zoe” represents a very specific type of spiritual life associated with God Almighty.  All three verses convey the same basic truth that the “rhema” seed can produce life eternal in human hearts. First, John 6:63 is Jesus claiming that His spoken “rhema” words are a personal “life” (zoe) producing force.  This appears to be related to the Parable of the Sower since His Seed Words (logos) planted in hearts potentially produce new life called “fruit” in some people.  What makes it work in some and in others it does not produce?  Could it be some did not take the logos seeds and make it personal rhema seed words?  I believe that is true and we will find other confirmations as we continue.

Next, in John 6 verse 68 after Jesus asks the disciples if they wish to leave him also, they reply “Only you have the “rhema” of life.  They appear in this wise answer to be making His Word (logos) seeds personal rhema to them.  They spoke this while others in the hearing audience disregarded the spoken words, the disciples exemplify a much different attitude towards what was being spoken.  This is so very important in understanding why some people produce “fruit” and others do not.

Finally, in Acts 5:20 an angel releases Peter and other disciples from prison and then commands them to go speak to the people the rhema of this life.  Wow, this is really good stuff if you can begin to put it together with the Parable of the Sower.  You see the rhema seed that causes this spiritual type of “zoe” life comes from the logos seed that was originally spoken in the parable.  Something has occurred that we will get into more later that I believe changes the seed type from only being general “logos” seed to a specific personal life producing “rhema” seed.  I’ll introduce one additional verse that will begin to confirm our understanding of this seed transformation process.

Joh 5:24  “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word (logos) and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life (zoe), and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life (zoe).

 

According to Jesus believing in God through hearing the spoken logos seed appears to be a major part of allowing God’s connecting force that produces successful eternal life (zoe).   You see in this verse it references the same logos seed G3056 that begins the process of sowing seeds.  But, then Jesus connects the logos spoken to a requirement of human belief in God in order to be transformed out of the status of “everlasting death” into a new greater state of “everlasting life (zoe).  Wow, this is great news for some and really bad news for some others.  It places the entire responsibility of producing spiritual life on a human choice to believe and in the right attitude.  To believe or not to believe, that is my choice and your choice.

We are going to go into this more when we begin to focus on the soil types in this series.  But, I wanted us to begin to make the connections.  The “fruit” in the Parable of the sower from one viewpoint represents people obtaining new spiritual “eternal life” that they did not possess before they received the “seed” and “believed”.  Without “logos” seed being placed in the soil people were a dormant spirit and a spiritually dead piece of property that belonged to Satan.  But God the Seed producer sowed logos seed into human hearts and these spiritually dead people have the ability to receive it and believe it to begin the process of beginning a new life of being saved out of Satan’s kingdom.  Of course the fruit can also represent other additional spiritual truths simultaneously but this is certainly one that is essential to be understood.  We will continue to dig deeper into this subject with a verse from Matthew spoken by Jesus:

Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word (Rhema) that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

 

Jesus makes an amazing statement in this verse.  He is quoting a verse from Deuteronomy 8:3.  I found this fascinating.  Think with me if you will.  Jesus is speaking the Word of God, yes?  This is clearly the words that were written by the Prophet Moses in the Book of the Law.  Therefore, Jesus must be quoting God’s “logos” written words.  But, there is a major change taking place by His word selection to teach that this was also a reference to “Rhema” words.

In this statement Jesus takes literal natural bread which is very important for natural survival in this life and compares it to a far greater and superior substance inferring it to be like spiritual bread that produces spiritual life.  This spiritual bread is called the Rhema Word of God spoken to us personally and received individually.  This concept is very similar to the Old Testament type of manna (Exo 16:15) that came down to the children of Israel in the wilderness.  The children of Israel were commanded daily to go out and take enough mana home to eat for that day and they then were required to go back tomorrow and repeat the same steps.  This is an amazing natural pattern for Christians to follow in the spiritual realm today.  Reading and studying God’s Word logos daily is us feeding our spirits on a force of power that brings to us spirit life (zoe).

This is actually an amazing truth to apply to the entire Parable of the Sower.  Those that will produce new spiritual life/fruit will be those that continue in the Word of God daily.  Those that do not produce any fruit will be those that hear the Word once or twice and forget it.   We will get into this more later when we talk about the subjects of soils and the fruit.  But, let’s continue to examine a few more verses that reveal the importance of transforming a logos seed word written or spoken to everyone into a rhema seed word that is personal.

Luk 1:38  And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word (rhema). And the angel departed from her.

 

Again here is a quick confirmation that Words can be received as a special personal revelation.  In verse 31 that I did not give you the angel tells Mary that she will conceive a son and this was also a logos prophecy written by God’s prophet in Isaiah 7:14.  But, notice how this general and basic logos word written to everyone is being transformed into a personal rehma unveiling of truth to just one woman and then notice what occurs from it.

Do you understand the concept of what a “revelation” represents?   A revelation in simple terms is basically the unveiling of a previously hidden message that was unable to be seen or understood clearly before it was revealed.  The virgin birth of the Messiah was long before written down in a general logos form for every reader to receive, but no one really got it and it was completely unproductive to fulfill its purpose.  It took this hidden God breathed logos word being spoken/planted at the right time to the right person in the right way in order for it to bring forth the right fruit.

Mary is receiving a God revelation spoken from an angel of an intense personal nature.  Notice that the seed message is not to anyone else but to her alone.   This makes it extremely individual and special.  The message is also being brought to her in the symbolic form of a seed from God that will produce a new life on the inside of her “IF” she chooses to cooperate, believe and receive it.  If we read the context we should discover a very important reason why this “seed” message from God represented a personal revelation that was successfully received to produce fruit.  I do not have the time today to explain that last statement.  But, it is true.  We will hopefully dig into this part in the lesson on “fruit” to come.

After the angel told Mary that she would have a son, she asked him a very important question about how this would be possible seeing that she has never known a man.  Obviously Mary understood how babies were made.  The term “known” is a nice way of saying I am a virgin and virgins don’t have children.  The angel of course explains how this will be possible and Mary says “Be it unto me according to your “Rhema”.  Wow, this is so awesome. She obviously believed the God seed spoken to her and received this rhema seed into her spirit and the rest is history.  These are very important concepts being spoken of about why some seed bring fruit success and others bring only fruit failure.  Believing is one major factor for fruit success and understanding what was spoken is another.

Let’s take a look at a different opposing view of some people in the Bible that choose not to believe and not to understand a spoken Rhema Word from God that was delivered to them.  Notice in these verses how the clear role of their lack of understanding caused the seed failure to occur:

Mar 9:31  For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. 

Mar 9:32  But they understood not that saying (Rhema), and were afraid to ask him.

 

Ok, in these two verses Jesus is speaking directly to his disciples and giving them a chance to understand a revelation of what is about to happen to him on the cross and his subsequent resurrection after 3 days.  Verse 31 is clearly Jesus giving them some LOGOS seed even if it is not plainly stated that this is what it represents.  But, notice in verse 32 God clearly states that the disciples did not understand the Rhema words that were being spoken (revealed) to them.  Jesus is again uncovering a great hidden mystery to them personally.  He has just taken the lid off of the most significant reason why He (GOD) had entered into this natural world in the likeness of human flesh.  Yet these 12 men had no clue what was just opened to them personally because they did not choose to understand the Rhema word’s meaning.  Instead they allowed a spirit of fear (from Satan) to take the seed away from their hearts.  I have just crossed again into the introduction of the subject of the “wayside ground” element found in the parable and why this “tread on firmly packed soil” type did not produce any fruit.  We can begin to see that it was Satan that came immediately as symbolic birds to eat the seed to cause it to be ineffective.

The disciples in these two verses are an amazing parallel example of how easy it is for Satan to steal away the Good God Seed that is being planted from a human.  But, this time the crop failure occurred because they failed to ask Jesus to explain how this could be.  They acted unlike a much wiser woman named Mary when she asked the angel  how.  I believe that a human must possess the passionate desire to understand God’s words spoken to them more than to remember or memorize words that have no personal meaning or application.

Understanding a personal spoken “Rhema” revelation from God appears to me to be a very important factor for obtaining faith and for producing fruit.  It also appears to me that God is teaching us a very significant difference between general logos and the specific personal rhema Word seed types.  Logos words are for everyone and anyone that choose to hear and ask to understand them and rhema words are specifically personal spoken words for one or only a few to also ask right wise questions.  Logos words are generally given to produce faith for any listener that will take hold of the Seed and chooses to make it a rhema for them personally.  And sometimes rhema words are targeted at specific individuals for a specific purpose at a very specific time.  Always remember that no faith or no fruit occurs when the hearer did not fully understand what was spoken to them.  Let’s look quickly at Matthew’s explanation of the parable of the sower describing “way side” soil that I just taught about for further confirmation to this truth:

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

 

Here in this verse of Matthew Jesus explains a very significant part of the “way side” soil type’s failure to produce “fruit”.  It appears to me by the facts given that when a person hears the “logos” Word of God it is the easiest for Satan to steal it away from their heart and mind because of their choice to not “understand” what was spoken.   We just learned that asking the right question can help overcome this lack of understanding.  This same concept is true for any learning experience.  A child in school can hear the teacher tell them about the subject but cannot make them understand it.  For example, I struggled with algebra at first when I was in school.  But, I chose to keep at it until it clicked on like a light bulb and this is when I really learned how to apply it.

Wow, this is really important to know.  I believe that if a person hears the Word of God Logos or Rhema and does not understand them, then they better start asking God, the Bible teacher or someone with wisdom to help them and make the choice not to give up until the light bulb comes on.   I further believe that when they do this they begin a process of making the Word Logos Seed spoken to them a personal Rhema word and not just a general statement of unimportance.

 

UNDERSTANDING BASIC SPIRITUAL SEED QUALITIES

I have gone a long time on this subject of the seed but I believe we should continue into a different point of view of it using a new Greek Word.  The Greek word that is often translated as “seed” in the Bible is G4690.  The transliteration of this Greek word is “sperma”.  Yes, we get the English word sperm from this Greek word.   The male sperm is a natural seed that is planted in a sexual union in the body of the wife to produce new natural human life.  One perspective in the Bible describes this process as the two (male and female) becoming one flesh. I hope you can agree with this because the one male sperm cell (seed) joins with the one female egg cell (soil) and this union becomes an entirely new living person.

Another perspective in the Bible calls this sexual reproductive process as having “knowledge” of that person.  I just spoke of this in the previous section when describing Mary having not “known” a man.  Both of these realities of natural truth apply to the Parable of the Sower.  Both descriptions are direct parallels to the spiritual concepts found in the Parable of the Sower.  The same principles in the natural and the spiritual process came about by God’s design.  Let’s move into reading the first verse in this section.  This verse will begin to help us to understand why some seeds produce fruit and others do not:

1Jn 3:9  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed (G4690) remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

 

I am going to begin this section of the lesson on “seed” with this strange verse for us to read and study and then connect to the Parable of the Sower.  This verse unveils some basic vital secrets that teach us why some seed work and produce new life in the symbolic soil and why some seed do not work to produce new life.  I do want to emphasize repeatedly that the end result of the seed is to produce new life.  A new life production is the goal either in the sexual union or the Parable of the Sower.  If there is no “new life” then the spreading of the seed does not achieve God’s designed purpose.

Notice the terminology being revealed to us in this verse in 1st John.  According to what we can clearly read God’s Seed potentially causes births the same as a human male’s seed can cause births.  However, the “God kind of birth” is now a spiritual birth process for salvation.  We certainly learned that God sent His word/seed to Mary through an angel and she became physically pregnant with the baby Jesus.  We know that Jesus was born from this natural woman as a natural human male child even though his Father was the Holy God.  Therefore we know that God’s word can produce a natural child if He desires.  However, John chapter 3 describes a greater birth process that the Word of God can also produce.   Jesus speaking to a man named Nicodemus and tells him “Except a man be born again he cannot enter the kingdom of God”.  Jesus provides a spiritual law for the human entrance into God’s kingdom.  Let’s quickly explore another verse concerning the Word of God:

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

 

Here is another confirmation of God’s primary goal of His Seed (Word).  According to Peter through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we are born again not of corruptible seed (the human male sperm) but by the incorruptible (everlasting, ever living, immortal) seed called the Word (logos) of God.  This is an amazing statement.  The Greek word in this verse for seed is G4701 that literally means “a sowing”.  The implied meaning of this word is an action that initiates “parentage”, “fatherhood”, “paternity”, “maternity”, “motherhood” or “parenthood”.  Wow, did you get that?  In natural terms this is a sexual relationship between husband and wife that produces children.  Likewise, in spiritual terms it is the implied receiving of the Word of God that also produce a spiritual birth and a new child of God. I pray that you are receiving this.  God is describing the intended purpose for giving us the knowledge of His Word (logos).

It is interesting to note that this Greek word G4701 used in 1 Peter 1:23 is only used one time in the entire Bible, but this word is derived from the Greek word G4687 that was directly used in the Parable of the Sower to describe the sowing seed process.  No doubt we are on the right track to understand what Seed represents and its designed sovereign purpose.  All of this may sound pretty tough to understand for some but Jesus explains how this is possible.

Joh 3:3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:4  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Joh
3:5  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Joh
3:6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Joh 3:7  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

 

Starting in John 3:3, Jesus begins to uncover the mystery of how a naturally born human can be born again without reentering their natural mother’s womb.  He says “Unless a man is born of water (the natural mother birth process) and then be born of the Spirit (a spiritual mother birth process) he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God”.  Jesus just described a dual birth requirement for being saved.  The first was completely natural and the second is totally spiritual.  One is a natural male sperm and natural female egg union and the other is the word (seed) of God being united with the human heart (soil).

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

Continuing to read in John 3:16, Jesus says “ For God so loved the world that He gave his ONLY begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.  The Greek word translated as “only begotten” simply means there was only one natural birth that occurred or will occur to be called “His Son”.  According to the Bible no other naturally born children are coming from God.  However, this does not mean there are no spiritual children resulting from the hearing and believing of His Word.

This is very significant information.  Believing in God and His Son sent gives us a pathway to the never ending “zoe” life.  This again is confirmation for the reason that every human born on this planet must choose to receive His Seed into their heart (soil) to allow it to produce a new spiritual birth and a new spiritual life.  I just love the Word of God.

 

Conclusion

I am going to end this lesson here.   We could continue on the subject of the seed for a very long time.  There is just so much to learn about it.  I truly have only scratched the surface.  I hope you have learned something new to help you in your understanding of the Parable of the Sower and the purpose of us telling others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ in order to plant God’s Seed into their hearts.  This seed is designed by God to create new spiritual children of His kind.  This spiritual seed planting activity has enemies and is not successful every time.  But, this does not mean we stop trying.

If the Lord is willing, I may continue this series with a study of the fruit next.  I believe this is the lasting goal of the seed and we have already seen that it points us to the Saving Grace of God.  The fruit is the last potential positive element found in the parable.  As I stated before the soil can be either good or evil making it changeable and variable.  I love you all and appreciate your participation in this website.  Please share it with a friend and help spread the Seeds of the Kingdom.  God Bless you.

 

Understanding the Parable of the Sower Part 2 – The Sower

Planting-seeds2(Ver 1.1)  This is Part 2 in a series of very essential basic Bible lessons concerning the subject of Understanding the Parable of the Sower.  The first lesson was simply the introduction to the subject and it contained an overall perspective of the information taught by the LORD Jesus.  In that lesson we read the parable given to us in the Book of Mark.  We followed this by reading the explanation of the Parable in the same chapter given from the lips of Jesus to his disciples.  From this information we derived a list of the main named elements.  There were 8 in my list 1) a sower, 2) seed 3) soil, 4) enemy birds, 5) enemy stones, 6) enemy sun heat, 7) enemy thorns and 8) fruit.   I then called the sower, seed & the fruit to represent positive good elements and the 4 enemy elements to be recognized as negative evil elements opposing the good.  That only leaves the soil and I called this the variable element that will change.  I hope and pray that you were able to read this because this information will not all be repeated in today’s lesson.  If you have not read from the beginning of the series I would highly recommend that you go back and start with “Part1”.   We will begin the subject again with this outstanding foundational claim spoken by the LORD Jesus:

Mar 4:13  And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

From this statement in Mark 4:13 we should begin to understand that if we do not know and understand this parable that no other parable understanding will be entirely possible.  Today we will be diving deeper into one of the fundamental positive elements taught by the LORD Jesus.  Our key subject today will be focused on the key positive essential element called the “Sower”.  This is an extremely indispensable part of the parable as evident by the name of the story being called “The Parable of the Sower”.  I believe this topic will be a blessing to us to learn.

 

INTRODUCTION TO THE SOWER

I believe Jesus was teaching his disciples a natural story about a significantly higher spiritual subject using an indirect third party viewpoint perspective.  Jesus actually used this technique of speaking frequently.  In this teaching we will soon learn that Jesus is given to be the ultimate sower example to follow.   I believe that Jesus is the pattern that  truly saved disciples must attempt to grow up to become.  The “Sower” is certainly one of the greatest elements at the time this parable was originally taught.  Without the work of a sower the seed is unable to produce and really could be considered dormant.  It is as if I owned a farm and had a barn that was full of seed but yet my fields were bare because I had failed to plant them.

 Mat 13:18  Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

 According to the LORD Jesus He named this lesson the “Parable of the Sower”.   Therefore we all should agree with Him that this is the name.  This name implies the importance of this type of worker.  In this lesson today we will be focused upon answering the basics of “Who”, “What”, When”, “Where” and “Why” of the specific “sower” subject.  For example, “Who is this stated worker?”  “What is their intended purpose?”   “When does the work occur, begin or stop?”  “Where can the work take place?”  “Why is this work necessary or important?”   There are literally so many questions that we could ask that I could not write them all down or even attempt to answer them all in one lesson.  However, we will attempt to answer the major questions even though the answers may be expanded into other lessons because many of the subjects being discussed cross over into other subject element boundaries.

 

WHO IS THE SOWER IN THE PARABLE?

The Greek word translated as “sower” in this verse is G4687.  This Greek word according to the Strong’s Dictionary reference literally means to “scatter” seed and that simply means to “sow” seed.   This Greek word is found in 42 N.T. verses.  It was translated in a number of forms of the root word “sow”.  For example, “sower”, “sown”, “sowed” and “soweth” are just some of the most popular translated English words.  However, this Greek word was also translated as “received seed” in several verses.  Both definitions are technically true simultaneously and both are directly related to the subject of seed scattering.  Seed scattering is the dual release of seed as well as the catching process.  Both actions occur based upon the single active work of a sower.   Notice that it is not the sower’s responsibility to catch the seed but only to throw it or place it where he would like for it to go.

It is very much like someone throwing a small rock into a pond.  The single motion of tossing and releasing the rock into the water automatically causes the water to receive the rock and react with the laws of physics to cause waves extending from the entry point.  This is in effect what is occurring with seed scattering paradigm with some differences.  Also note that one seed throwing action causes the release of power to potentially cause other designed laws to become effective.  Let’s look at another verse that was spoken by Jesus in the book of Mark concerning this subject of the “sower” to understand what kind of sower is being spoken of in this Parable:

Mar 4:14  The sower soweth the word.

In this verse both the translated words “sower” and “soweth” are the exact same Greek word G4687.  This information simply confirms further that the scattering concept being discussed is about someone throwing word seeds out and someone listening to take the power.  This power can represent words that make it possible for new potential life producing results that previously had never occurred before.  This is how the natural process works but notice that Jesus is speaking spiritually to what seeds represent in the parable.  Jesus is clearly not speaking in literal natural terms and He explains His lesson is spoken in the “figurative” spiritual application.

Jesus is teaching an amazing spiritual concept using a more easily understood natural description.  According to this verse spoken by Jesus in the book of Mark, a “Sower” (the described seed scattering worker) is defined to be literally anyone that is speaking “words” to implied listeners.  This verse provides us the spiritual definition of what “seed” represents.   We will be discussing “seeds” in the next lesson in the series, God willing.  But, according to Jesus ALL spoken words are potentially a type of a seed.  That is an amazing claim if you take the time to think about.  Jesus is literally implying that we all should think to our self before speaking.  Ask is what I am saying to others the result that I wish to plant and grow in them?  What kind of seed am I speaking to people?  I know a lot of people will not believe this, but it is true none the less.

Jesus does not actually define who the sower represents directly in this verse nor does he answer the “who” question in any of the other parable explanations found in Matthew or Luke.  But, I do believe very strongly that Jesus was speaking this parable of Himself and His work using the external third person point of view.  Jesus actually did this frequently in many of the things that He talked to people about.  It is actually a very common method of speaking or writing.  Many people do this and it if you go through and read the Gospels with this in mind you should be able to easily see it.

This verse in Mark 4:14 has some far reaching impacts of implied meanings even beyond the direct context.  In the first lesson I introduced the concept of this Parable of the Sower to be a spiritual battle of spiritual words.  I believe this so deeply that I pray that you will join me in this understanding very soon.  What this verse implies is that anyone speaking audible words that are either good or evil is potentially planting seeds within the lives of human minds and hearts that choose to hear, listen, pay attention and understand.  If you do not yet see this up till now, please don’t throw it in the trash until you read some other verses on the subject.

What I believe is that we should begin to understand that this sowing principle is how human life operates from the beginning birth to the ending death cycle.  If you have ever had children and watched them grow up, you must certainly agree with this concept of seed planting being Words that can positively teach, direct, help, guide, encourage, praise and correct a child to get them headed in the right direction for the rest of their life.  No child comes out of the womb speaking complete understandable sentences.   We are required to speak seeds into them for literally many months before the first meaningful seed planted will be returned to us.  But, finally they say “mama” or “dada” or whatever you taught them to say.  These are examples of positive seed plantings.  It is truly an amazing process of a good life.  But, we can also speak negative, mean, angry or evil words that will also have the same effect in reverse being returned to us from their mouths.  That is certainly not a positive of fruitful outcome.

Of course the main emphasis in this parable is focused primarily upon “Good Seeds” spoken by the “Good LORD Jesus” spread to all humans in order to produce “Good” fruit” in return.  But, the antithesis of this Good truth return objective is still true also and I’ll introduce a new parable very quickly by giving you an additional part of a direct related story spoken by Jesus on the subject of sowing.

 

OVERVIEW OF the PARABLE of the WEEDS

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

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

This parable was spoken by Jesus in the same context of the Parable of the Sower directly after the explanation in Chapter 13.  Notice the fact that again this parable is spoken in the external “third person point of view”.  But, we will soon discover that this reference in verse 24 to just “a man” that sowed good seed is a directly defined reference about Jesus.  Also we need to notice that this verse contains the exact same Greek word G4687 that was used in the parable of the sower.  This makes this parable related by both the laws of contextual reference and the more direct named word selection and subject matter reference.

It is also very important to take note of two other Greek words that follow the Greek word G4687 in verse 24 and these were translated as “good seed”.  This is really amazing truth after you learn it.  The Greek word G2570 that is translated as “good” literally means “valuable” and “virtuous”.  Wow I hope you are seeing the type of seed being described here.  This Greek word is a qualifying adjective that severely limits the type of “seed” being described.  I personally believe that this Greek word describes God’s Word Seed perfectly.  The usage of God’s limitation of “Good” also implies by the law of antithesis truth that there must also exist “evil seed” and that the two are extreme opposites.

Then we need to notice the next word translated as “seed” as being the Greek word G4690.  The English transliteration of this Greek word is “sperma” and yes we get the English word “sperm” from this Greek word.  Natural human sperm is just one type of “seed” listed in the Bible.  Therefore a human male was designed by God to be a natural sower of seed into a female.  This process of producing natural human life is also called bearing fruit and we will probably talk more about this when we get to that part of the subject lesson.

But, this Greek word G4690 translated as “seed” comes directly from the “Sower” Greek word G4687.  In other words without a “sower” speaking words there would be no “seed” word to be planted.  It really is teaching us that seed sowing is literally dependent upon the existence of sowers.  Do you believe that the seed word originating from a sower is an accident or is found by chance random occurrence?   I do not.  I believe that this is a statement of designed truth concerning who produces “Good” seed and how this process works in us.  I believe that God’s Word is His Seed that produces His Life in us to be born again spiritually and we are going into this much deeper later in this lesson series when we discuss the seed and the fruit.

This new parable story spoken by Jesus is often called the “Parable of the Weeds”.  According to Jesus the Kingdom of heaven seed represents “Good Seed” that produces symbolic “wheat” that is harvestable and the “tares” represents evil seeds sown by an enemy into the same ground.  You see in verse 25 Jesus speaks of two very important factors.  One is the Greek word G2190 that was translated as “enemy”.  This Greek word literally means “to hate”.  That word represents the opposite description of God who is described to be “love” (agape, G26) in 1 John 4:8.  Hate and love are antithesis opposing definitions of forces of power.  These are clear descriptions of two opposing extremes.  God is Love and the enemy being spoken of is Satan who is “hate”.  Satan hates you and me and he hates God.

Next we need to notice the Greek word G4687 that is translated as “sowed” in verse 25.  This is again the exact same Greek word translated as “sower” in the Parable of the sower and “sowed good seed” in verse 24.  They are all connected directly together.  We are beginning to put some major pieces of the puzzle together to understand the Parable of the Sower and the Parable of the Weeds.  Both are concerning the subject of sowing words.  There are stated “Good” words that produce harvestable symbolic “wheat” in the Parable of the Weeds and the implied “virtuous” words of God that produce symbolic “fruit” in the Parable of the Sower.  God is giving us a very detailed look into the enemy in both parables and how Satan operates.

Here in both Parables is found amazing parallels of truth using similar representations.  I am not going to go into this parable in much further detail today.  I mainly wanted to show the divine connection to why “weeds” appear was because of the stated work of a hateful spiritual enemy called the devil.  God is introducing us to the fact that there is a described spiritual battle for humans and their end is determined by whose words these humans value.  Some will become children of Satan by valuing his lies of deception and some will become children of God by valuing His Virtuous TRUTH.  We will move into this more later.  But, I do want you show you that Jesus claimed that He was this stated man that sowed the Good Seed mentioned in verse 24:

Mat 13:37  He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;

When this Parable was first taught to the disciples and the natural people of Israel, Jesus was the named “Sower” mentioned in the Parable.  When we read further in his explanation of the Parable of the Weeds in verse 37, we discover plainly that the “Good seed” originated from the spoken words given by the “Son of man” (Jesus).  There are over one hundred verses in the Bible that refer to Jesus as the “Son of man”.  I will not give you them all here because you can easily go and search them for yourself.   There are so many confirmations that there is no refuting that this refers to Jesus.  This teaches us that any “good seed (sperma)” will originate from God and Jesus.

We understand that a natural sower is defined to be someone that sows (plants) seeds by scattering them in or on the natural ground (soil).  But according to what we just learned from Jesus a Spiritual Sower is someone that scatters good or evil “Words” on or in the ears, minds & hearts of humans.  We must understand that Jesus was only sowing “Good” (valuable and virtuous) words.  We will learn the good type of Word in next lesson concerning “seeds” that Jesus spoke the “Word of God” (Luke 8:11).   It makes logical sense to me that Jesus was speaking only God’s Words.  However, we can confirm this when we search further in the Bible to learn that Jesus actually claimed to be a spokesman for His Father.   Verify this claim here in John:

Joh 12:49  For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

Jesus claimed in this verse that the “Seeds” or “Words” that He spoke including those that were found in the Parable of the Sower must have come directly from His Father in heaven by a divine command.  In fact we should learn from this statement that every word spoken by Jesus in our Bibles were direct words from the Almighty God.  This makes these Words directly inspired and divinely essential messages.  There were no imperfections or untruths that could be found in them (Tit 1:2).  These “Seeds” had to have an extremely important purpose.  We will be diving into this subject in the next lesson when we further discuss in more detail the “Seed”.

 

ARE THERE ANY SOWERS TODAY?

We all should know that Jesus died and was raised from the dead and ascended back to heaven where He currently sits at the right hand of the Almighty awaiting the time of His return.  Therefore, we need to ask a new question since we know that Jesus is not physically present on the earth to sow more seeds in any new humans born in the last 2000+ years, did this Parable end?  Did the death of Jesus mean that sowing of seeds into humans has ceased?  There are some denominations that have beliefs like this, but they usually do not extend them to seed sowing for some reason.  But, should we just assume that the seed sowing process of the Parable of the Sower stopped or does it still continue today?  We actually need verses to fix our beliefs on, in order to answer this question to remove any doubts.  But, we can learn and know the answer from reading further in the New Testament that any man or woman speaking, teaching, or preaching the Word of God can also be named to be a seed planter aka a “sower”.  For example, notice this verse written by the Apostle Paul written to the Corinthian Church:

1Co 3:5  Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man

1Co 3:6  I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase

1Co 3:7  So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

These verses here contain some amazing truths.  Notice what is claimed by the Apostle Paul?  Paul informs the church that he was a minister and that his work performed to them was to “plant” seeds (verse 6).   The Greek word G1249 in verse 5 translated as “ministers” is not a high claimed position of great authority in the church.  This word literally can be translated as a servant, or someone that runs errand, or even as a “waiter” of tables for those that are present eating.  Paul is an extremely humble man that is not claiming to be anyone special or important in any of these statements.  If Paul felt this way who wrote 2/3 of the New Testament, how can any of us ever think we are any better?

Why am I bringing these verses into our lesson on the Parable of the Sower?  I would pray that it is already very obvious.  Paul is repeating a significant number of positive elements found in the Parable of the Sower here in these three verses.  Paul in these statements is focused on how seed planting successes occurs and who gets the honor and the praise for any of it.  Paul is teaching us about his contribution and participation in the common elements of “being a sower”, “possessing seed”, “sowing seed” into “soil” in order to produce “fruit”.  They may not all be mentioned directly but they are understood to be present by the direct mention of the words “planting” and “increase”.

The Greek word G5452 that was translated as “planted” literally means “to set out in the earth”.  In other words this Greek word G5452 means “to implant” seed in the natural realm which must represent the parallel spiritual reality of imparting God’s Word in the human heart (symbolic soil).  Earth in this Greek definition G5452 is a clear synonymous reference to the successful and fruitful soil type that we have yet to discuss in detail.  The Strong’s definition goes further to state that this word figuratively means to “instill doctrine” into humans.  Therefore we are definitely on the right track to speaking words to people.

The Greek word G837 translated as “increase” in verse 6 literally means “to cause to grow”.  I introduced in the first lesson that “fruit” represented “salvation” and “spiritual fruit”.  But we have not discussed this yet either.  But that is exactly what Paul infers by verse 5 stating what he preached caused these people in the church to believe and believing God’s Word is the foundation of Bible faith and salvation.  We will discuss later that faith is a basic requirement for salvation and there are many verses that will confirm this truth such as John 3:16, Romans 10:9-10 and Ephesians 2:8.

Then Paul adds a new unstated element not found in the Parable of the Sower called “watering” or “water”.  If you have read all of the Bible lessons on this blog, you will already know that the same Word of God represents multiple facets of essential life producing forces called “seed”, “water” and “light” and these are the basic requirements that must be combined with the soil to produce new “fruitful life”.  We will be going into much greater detail later when we speak about other elements after the “sower”.  But, let’s first move to two further verses in the Paul letter to the Corinthians:

1Co 3:8  Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 

1Co 3:9  For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

The Greek word that I wish to focus on first in these three verses is G1091 that was translated as “husbandry” in verse 9.  This word literally means “a farm”.  This should be another obvious connection to the Parable of the Sower using God’s law of selection of synonymous terminology.  A farm is usually defined as an area of land that is used to produce and grow crops for harvest.  Humans are literally called to be the spiritual ground that grows spiritual fruit from the implanted spiritual Words of God.  But, yet this does not occur automatically or magically or forcefully.   We will be discussing this aspect of the discussion later in the elements of “soil” and “fruit”.

These verses found in Corinthians are just one major proof text that God desired everyone in the church to become His “farm land to produce His fruit” as well as simultaneously growing up spiritually to become His “seed planters” or “seed waterers”.   We may not all be called into the office of “Apostle”, “Prophet”, “Evangelist” or “Pastor” or “Teacher”, but we are all still called servants of God.  Notice again in verse 5 the ending statement.  Paul claims they were minister servants of the LORD and then claims this responsibility was given to “EVERY MAN”.  Then in verse 9 God calls the church body to be His “co-laborers”.  This word literally means we must cooperate and coordinate our efforts with His planned work for our lives.  These are just more ways to proclaim the great commission given from the LORD Jesus to everyone in the church:

Mar 16:15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Go into the entire world, and sow seeds in the entire world by proclaiming out loud of His exceedingly Great News.  Jesus is commissioning all of His people to become “sowing servants” of His Word.  If we are just receivers collecting His Words and not spreading the seed to others then we are being disobedient barn storage facilities.  The Greek word G2784 translated as “preach” in this verse literally means someone who is like a town crier that brings good news to the people of a city.  Clearly this is a “seed” planter that is attempting to follow after the LORD Jesus’ patterned example found in the Parable of the Sower.  What is the purpose of being a seed planter for God?  If we read the next verse we will learn God’s designed goal:

Mar 16:16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

We are being introduced to God’s primary purpose for speaking His Word to people in the world.  According to Jesus it was God’s design for His Words to be believed by a human faith choice and then this belief would place us onto a course or pathway whereby we could be saved.  We actually read this in 1 Corinthians 3:5 also.  We learn the fact of salvation is dependent upon our beliefs in God’s Word by reading verses like this as well as Ephesians 2:8 and even John 3:16.  Whoever believes God Word to the end is the one that receives the free gift of His Great Grace.

But, then comes the bad news if any human does not choose to believe His Words spoken by His sowers, they are damned.  Wow, that is so strong.  What a significant warning.  What a great responsibility that we are given.  Is it possible if someone does not state the right words in the right way at the right time with the correct attitude and motive that the responsibility for why some are not saved could be on the sower’s hands?  That is something that I believe we must take into consideration.  I believe that we all must be led by the Spirit of God in everything that we do including sowing seeds.

Perhaps you have already deduced that sowing seeds is why I do a Bible study Blog on the internet.  This blog is an attempt to spread God’s “seed” to every nation on planet earth.  By the immense Grace of God these Bible lessons have gone into over 250 different nations already.  That would be an extremely difficult physical effort for anyone to travel to reach each one personally.  I praise God for using an insignificant man like me to spread His Word and I pray that you will also join me in becoming a “seed of God sower”.

 

CONCLUSION

I will end this section on the “sower” with this stated truth.  When the LORD Jesus was teaching the Good News while Sowing Seeds into the hearts of people on the earth in His physical body during His short 3 ½ years of ministry, this was the closest to perfection that was possible for the Parable to have successful crops of fruit.  However, we also know from reading the Gospels that most of the people that heard Him teach and preach these “Seeds” were possibly the same ones that killed Him on a cross.   Think about it.  There were only 120 believers in the 50 days from His death in the upper room in Acts 2 awaiting the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  We know that when Jesus was on the earth that he sometimes taught to over 5000 people at one time and over 4000 at another time.  He traveled wide and far throughout the region to preach the Word of God to people. Where were all of these thousands of people that heard the “Seed”?  I think that is amazing.

This truth only proves that imperfect humans today that are attempting to follow Jesus’ example of sowing should not expect to make everyone accept what they are teaching them as “Good News”.  The servant is never greater than the master Jesus said.  If they persecuted me Jesus said, they will certainly persecute you also.  Believe me I know this for sure.  Some people are such very nice Christians that say good things about my lessons even if they disagree with something, and others sound like demon possessed people and say the meanest things.  Just learn from Jesus and don’t let the praise of anyone or the condemnation of anyone else be the motivating source for preaching or teaching God’s Word.  Remember what Paul said, it is not the sower of the seed or the one that waters that is anything, but rather it is God that that causes the increase of the fruit to grow that is important.  Okay we answered some basic questions about the sower today so we will review:

  1. WHO?   Jesus was the initial Primary Sower Example.
  2. WHO?   But, Christians today have the same responsibility to sow seeds.
  3. WHAT? Being a Sower is simply sharing God’s Word with someone.
  4. WHAT? The reason we sow God’s seed is to get someone saved from a certain eternal death in hell.
  5. WHEN?  It is implied that the time to sow is now.
  6. WHERE? It is implied whenever the opportunity presents itself.

In the next lesson in the series we will move into the very positive subject of understanding the “Seed”.  I know we could have covered a lot more information in this subject of understanding the sower. If you have any specific questions on this part of the subject I would welcome them.  I pray that you have enjoyed this lesson but I believe the next lesson will even be better.   God Bless you.

If you would like to continue to study in this series please go to “Part 3“.

 

2018 – Please Vote!!! But FIRST PRAY and ASK Jesus Who He Would Like You to Vote For!

(Ver 1.0)  This is a plea to my United States readers and subscribers.  If you live in another nation this may not apply to you.  It is past time for U.S. Christians to wake up and get motivated and involved in the God given responsibilities that He has provided to us in our nation by voting.  Voting is a Constitutional right and a privilege in the United States of America that is not available to the majority of the over 7 billion people on planet earth.  So many nations have no say in who leads them and makes the laws.  For example, any communist nation or socialist nation if they even hold elections are not real elections and are fixed for the power of the ruling class’ agenda.  But, here in America we have a government for the people and by the people and we are allowed the right to choose who makes our laws.  But, one man said it this way and it applies to voting “the only thing that is necessary for Satan and evil to win is for GOOD CHRISTIANS to do NOTHING”.

Please do not take this privilege lightly or for granted.  Every election should be as important as a Presidential election year.  Tomorrow is NOT a presidential election year and the number of participants in the election usually drops very significantly.  That makes your vote tomorrow even more important than in a larger election.    Your vote matters and it will count significantly more than you can possibly imagine if you choose to align and agree with voting according to God’s Truth, Morals and Values found in the Bible.

The indifference and passivity of the real blood bought saved Christian Church member MUST come to an end.  We MUST not remain silent anymore or we will continue to allow Satan to win and to shove his agenda down us and over us.  Satan has almost eliminated all Christian morals and values in our public education system because Christians have either not voted or did not vote correctly in alignment with Bible Truth, either way Satan has been winning.  Public prayer has been eliminated and the Bible has been banned by Satan’s design from the influence of young impressionable minds.  Girls are not taught to know they are girls to act like ladies and boys are not taught to know they are boys and to act like gentlemen.  Please help stop this insanity for you and your children’s sake.

Practically every University of old was founded by Christians to teach people the Bible, but now real Bible Truth and Christianity is rare to be found taught in any of them.  We are in a tremendous unseen spiritual warfare.  Satan causes the distraction of being busy with minor unimportant things and other cares of this life to cause Christians to look the other way at the evils rapidly taking over our nation and voting to change them.  Our children’s future will be doomed if we do not cooperate to participate with God and His WORD and go and vote with Him!  Teach YOUR children through a living example to demonstrate your unwavering commitment to show them the importance and priority an election should be given by going and voting.  This will help us ALL now and them in the future.  Then discuss with your Children why you voted and who you voted for.    Train up a child in the way that they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it.

This election taking place on November 6, 2018 will either be a victory for Satan if Christians remain apathetic or for Jesus if His Body obeys Him and acts according to agree with His Word.  I am a very firm believer that God will judge every Christian for “if they voted” and “how they voted”.  Please vote as an informed Christian and not a guessing Christian.  Please go and read both the Republican and Democratic Platforms.  These are each party’s stance, beliefs and goals for our nation’s future course and direction.  Please determine which platform aligns the closest to God’s Word and Truth found in the BIBLE.  It is only with us agreeing with God and the Bible that we have any assurance of being saved as a Christian.  I ask ALL Christians to pray first before voting to ask Him who He would like you to vote for.  Seek God’s wisdom, guidance and direction and then submit to His wise LORDSHIP and leadership to obey. 

I do not believe that God will command or force anyone who to vote for.  That would be wrong and a clear violation of our freewill to choose good or evil.  Like Adam in the beginning God set before him a choice and then gave him the right to make the wrong choice.  His wrong choice had major consequences for all of us still today.  This principle is still true today.  All of our wrong choices up till now and those that we may choose to make tomorrow will potentially have the same lasting consequences for all of our children in the tomorrows to come.  This is why we MUST find the right people to vote for with God’s Word as our basis to vote.

I’ll end this encouragement to go and vote with this information.  My wife and I voted for all Republicans.  We chose this by careful prayer and Bible study.  We understand that the Republican platform more closely aligns with God’s Word than the opposition party of the Democrats.  We understood that even if Republicans were not perfect we had to choose who it was that was closer alignment with God’s values.  For example, the Republican platform supports more closely the “Right of Human Life” including unborn babies and the Democrats do not.  Democrats support the murder of an unborn child even up to the day before a child is born.  Many of these terminated children being killed by doctors in the womb could survive if brought out of the womb and modern medical technology was used for the good of life instead of their death.  I can’t support that.

Democrats have aligned themselves with the removal of all of God and Bible references from Public Schools, Government buildings and meetings and even our military.  Almost anything that promotes God, Jesus or the Bible is off limits to Democrats and to the people that they govern.  Democrats have aligned very strongly with the redefinition of a Biblical Family being between one husband and one wife.  I can’t support that either.  Our last Democrat President allowed the United Nations to condemn Israel one of our closest allies without using the U.S. veto power to overrule it.  This spoke volumes to me.  Democrats are moving to a socialist agenda very, very rapidly and I could go on and on and on about the major issues that I see that are in direct conflict with sound Bible principles of morality and values.  I pray that you will do your research and then make the right choice to vote with God.

I pray that I did not offend you but if I did, I will not apologize for speaking the truth in love.  The apostle Paul had the same problem.  In Galatians 4:16 he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit “I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?”  We all need to become more like the Apostle Paul.  Ask other Christian friends and relatives to go and vote and then tell them the reason why you did and who you voted for.  Provide everyone Bible reasons why you voted how you did and not your opinion.  Be an encourager, a blessing and choose to speak the truth in love despite the threat of losing them as friend.  Finally, if you are going to leave me a hateful comment about this blog, I may or may not read it.  But, I will definitely not post it on my website.  May God bless you, guide you and lead you to vote His will and His way.  I love you all.

Understanding the Parable of the Sower, Introduction – Part 1

 

planting-seeds

(Ver 1.1)  This is Part 1 in a series of very essential basic Bible lessons concerning the subject of Understanding the Parable of the Sower.  This may be a very familiar subject to many Christians but this assumed familiarity could cause some to not open their heart and mind to receive from God something fresh.  A spirit of pride caused by an assumed broad knowledge of a subject will too often cause some to not accept exactly what was new that God wanted to teach.  However, I believe that many of the fundamental concepts found in this Bible lesson series should be a delight for most Christians to receive, learn and apply.  We do appreciate your prayers and the time reading these Bible lessons.  We hope they are a blessing and we pray for all our readers. We will begin the subject study with this outstanding claim by the LORD Jesus:

Mar 4:13  And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

 

We will be diving deep into some of the fundamental principles that were taught by the LORD Jesus from this parable.  Many of these are deep spiritual truths that are not easily found even though they were given to us in a simple natural parable form.   According to Mark 4:13, Jesus claimed that to know and understand this parable was the most important parable there is.  It is significantly stated by Jesus in this verse that if we do not know and understand this parable then grasping even the basics of any other parable would probably be futile.  This is why I believe the LORD wanted us to study this subject today.  Today will be the first basic lesson and subject introduction in the series.  Then we will break down the spiritual elements in more depth in subsequent lessons.  Let’s get started.

 

INTRODUCTIION:

From an in-depth study of this subject it has become evident that the Parable of the Sower is a direct lesson on how and why some humans obtain “faith” for “eternal salvation” and why many others fail to receive.  I have concluded that there are two disparate types of people being described in this parable.  There were those at the end of the parable that obtained “faith for salvation” and produced spiritual fruit and then there were those at the beginning and middle of the parable that either never had faith to be saved or abandoned their faith to produce no lasting spiritual fruit.  Those that produced lasting “fruit” live and those that do not produce lasting “fruit” eventually die and go to hell.  The entire process of faith, salvation, human choices and how each work together to produce fruit is God’s design of the seed sowing process.   It is also revealed that this process of seed sowing has revealed enemies that assisted in the process to cause wrong human choice for a crop failure.  These truths are all summarized in this parable.

Bible faith is one of the central and primary themes of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation.  I believe that it is essential that we all learn and understand as much as we can about what has been revealed to us by God on this vital subject of Bible Faith.   We know from reading Hebrews 11: 6 that if we do not have any faith it is absolutely impossible to please God.  We also learn from reading Ephesians 2:8 that we are only saved by God’s grace through our faith.  Based upon just these two verses alone, God makes it sound like that if we do not have faith we are in serious trouble.  This to me is why we need to study the subject of “Bible Faith”.  I am mentioning this first to inform all readers that understanding Bible Faith is one key to understanding this Parable.  If you have not read the series on this website about this subject I would strongly recommend that you do so by clicking “Understanding Bible Faith Part 1”.

I believe that every human has the God given right to choose to participate in the “God kind of faith” (Mk 11:22) fully, partially or regrettably to choose not to partake whatsoever.  Humans even have the God given right to choose to initially participate and then to turn back to choose to walk away from God’s plan for their life.  I can hear people say, “faith is not that important and is only mentioned a very few times in the Bible”.  If we do a search on the English word “faith”, it occurs only twice in the KJV Old Testament with it then being found in 229 verses in the KJV New Testament.  Clearly the emphasis of faith was increased significantly by the LORD to His people in the New Covenant.  There are 788,258 words found in the KJV Bible and I will admit that there are so many other words and subjects in the Bible mentioned more frequently than faith.  “LORD” is mentioned 7365, “God” is mentioned 4293, Israel 2509, and we could go on and on with many other words.  I found these numbers off of a website and I did not attempt to verify them so please don’t use them as the Gospel.  I was only attempting to make a point that many other words and subjects have a greater mention besides faith.  But, yet I still believe that this subject and topic of “Faith” is one of the top 3 themes that every Christian must learn after being saved.

I can still hear people say “I just can’t find faith in very many chapters of my Bible”.  What I have learned from years of Bible study is that we must search for whatever we want to find (Mat 7:7).  If we are not looking for faith we will never find faith.  But, I believe that if we learn to change our focus on the known features, characteristics and values of faith then we will be able to find faith almost everywhere.  What I am trying to say is that just because a verse, passage, chapter or book does not contain the actual word “faith’ does not mean the subject is not found there.  Too many Christians are reading the Bible with wrong thought perspectives and would truly be amazed what is found in the Bible by learning to view the words on the page more like God designed them to be “as spiritual truth”.  This is literally a very true Bible study methodology for any subject.

I desire in this introduction just to help us shift our focus.  Just because the “Parable of the Sower” never mentions the word “Faith” does not mean that it is not directly all about the subject.  I desire to teach the concepts of how a familiar set of verses that are often used to teach other subjects can contain a vast amount of truth on the subject of “faith” if we are willing to rethink to change our perspectives.  In this series, I plan to visit many verses that do not mention faith directly in both the Old and New Testaments in order to show how God can use them to actually teach us key hidden “faith” principles.   We will also explore related verses in other parts of the Bible that greatly assist us in understanding concepts not directly mentioned in the Parable.

We will be using this information to focus on how to understand the “Parable of the Sower”.  In this lesson series we will hopefully learn to search and find relationships in this parable to the subject of faith, salvation, right and wrong words, right and wrong human choices and the spiritual battle of good versus evil for all human lives.  I trust God to help me do this and to help you to also open your heart and mind to receive it and then for you to become an Acts 17:11 noble Berean and go and verify what was taught in your personal Bible study time.  Please, please, please, do not take my word for anything if you do not see it in your own Bible.

 

INTRODUCTION TO GOD’S PROCESS OF SALVATION AND FAITH
IN THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER

As I have previously mentioned, I would like for us to rethink the Parable of the Sower in the light of it being one of God’s revealed processes and projects to activate faith in humans for their eternal spiritual salvation.  It has become very clear to me through Bible study that Jesus’ taught us a great spiritual representation of how human salvation by His extraordinary Grace through our humble cooperative faith works using a natural seed planting and farming truth many call the “Parable of the Sower”.  Every parable ever taught by Jesus in the Bible was a natural truth that helps us to understand a far superior spiritual unseen and unknown truth.  I have grown into the belief that this greater spiritual truth taught by Jesus in this parable is concerning primarily God’s extended grace and mercy for human salvation through their freewill choice to believe in His Word.

I further believe that this parable represents a description of how people are either saved or lost through a spiritual war of words (good vs. evil) that will take place in the human mind and heart.  I also believe that this hidden unseen spiritual warfare helps to influence the decisions that a person makes concerning their salvation depending upon which spirit they choose to yield to.  A person’s focused choices of importance, priority, value and worth towards God’s spoken Word will determine their eternal destiny after this natural life ends.  Does this sound interesting to study?  I hope and pray it does.

It amazes me that Jesus taught all of these hidden spiritual truths being described in a natural farming concept and process.  The natural and the spiritual processes represent two parallel realities of truths.  Growing natural food and growing spiritual faith for salvation (aka fruit) were taught to us by Jesus to represent a common paradigm.  This to me is so amazing.  The truth has been hiding in plain sight for the entire duration of human history on this earth.  This truly displays the Omniscience and Wisdom of God.

Even though Jesus was speaking and teaching in natural terms created from the beginning, He was really not teaching us about natural farming.  As I just stated humans have known this natural process of farming for literally many thousands of years.  Through these basic principles of life found in simple to understand naturally created methods of farming, we can now begin to understand how spiritual life occurs or in many cases does not occur.  Let’s now read the “Parable of the Sower” to refresh our memory.  But also, please read the Parable with a notepad and a pencil or pen so that you can list the main items that you find as important and those that may jump out at you as you read.

Mar 4:3  Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: 

Mar 4:4  And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. 

Mar 4:5  And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: 

Mar 4:6  But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 

Mar 4:7  And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. 

Mar 4:8  And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. 

Mar 4:9  And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

 

Jesus used such a very simplistic natural farming design and process to explain to us the incredibly vital interrelated subjects of God’s Word, the devil, words, faith, salvation, listening, hearing, understanding, salvation enemies and making right choices to name only a few basic concepts that I have observed.  These are just a few of the most critical and highest spiritual truths that I have found so far in the Parable.  I know you may not see all of these by just skimming the parable in a rapid surface reading.  In fact I believe it is practically impossible to know what the parable is really about by only reading the parable.  I view the parable as a type of riddle or puzzle being presented for curious humans to dig into to solve.

I believe that there are far too many Christians that have not given this living natural example the priority and emphasis that it deserves.  I believe that it is essential for every Christian to learn this parable as soon as possible after being born again in order to help them to begin to mature and grow spiritually.  Reading the parable you should have noticed some of the main components being mentioned as I asked you to do.  I found at least 10 symbolic references that I want us to focus upon.  I’ll list them for your consideration and you can compare my list with your list:

  1. A Sower
  2. Seed
  3. 4-6 Types of Soil (Depending upon viewpoint)
  4. 3 different Soils that produce no fruit or no enduring fruit
  5. 1-3 Soils with increasing levels of fruit production (30%, 60%, or 100%)
  6. Enemy Birds
  7. Enemy Stones
  8. Enemy Sun Heat
  9. Enemy Thorns or Weeds
  10. Fruit

Wow, this list is so vital to understand in-depth.  However, I will be unable to give a complete study of every symbol in this first lesson.  But, we will try to explore these items in increasing depth later in the series.  Today we will only try to introduce the important spiritual symbols given by Jesus.  Before we get into this discussion please review the explanation of the parable from Jesus.  Use your notepad and your pencil to find what Jesus said the key elements represent and then list what each of them symbolically represented next to their corresponding symbol:

Mar 4:10  And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. 

Mar 4:11  And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 

Mar 4:12  That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. 

Mar 4:13  And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? 

Mar 4:14  The sower soweth the word. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

This explanation from Jesus of the Parable is also absolutely awesome.  We should obviously understand that Jesus knew and understood what every symbol represented and how all the positive elements worked together to cause the plan of God to succeed and how all the negative elements worked to cause the plan of God to fail.  I hope that you can agree that it should be obvious to us that some symbolic elements worked favorably together to produce a good fruit crop while other symbolic elements fought against the planned process for a positive outcome in order to keep the fruit seed and fruit crop from succeeding.  This is the introduction to the spiritual battle that is taking place in the unseen spiritual realm.  It is a spiritual war for human lives.  I pray that you are paying close attention to what was just said, because this is very important in the rest of this revealed truth.

In verse 11 Jesus revealed to us that these combined natural elements fashioned into a symbolic parable form represented a divine mystery.  The Greek word translated as “mystery” is G3466 and it literally means “to shut the mouth in order to keep a secret”.  All God had to do was not speak to humans and we all would be very ignorant concerning any truth of spiritual realities.  But, God was now beginning to open His mouth through Jesus to explain these many hidden secrets.   At the time when Jesus was physically on the earth He was the only one speaking to a limited few humans at that time.  But, since these words were written in a book form we today can also benefit by studying and applying them.

We must also notice what else Jesus said in verse 11.  He told His disciples that at that time He did not desire to give everyone the secret’s explanation that He had spoken the parable to.  He said “Unto you it is given but unto them that are on the outside I speak only in parables”.  That is still a basic principle that is true today.  Just because most everyone can find a Bible and can read the Bible does not mean that any of it is understandable to them.  We confirm this principle from reading 1 Corinthians 2:14 that informed us those spiritual things of God are not received by a natural man because they are spiritually discerned.   Spiritually asleep people (Eph 5:14) are usually unable to feed on deep spiritual things of the Spirit.  Here now is my list of some of the major points that I found listed and what I believe that they are revealed to represent:

Symbol

Meaning

1.      Sower A Spiritual Bible Preacher or Teacher (Specifically Jesus in this parable when it was spoken the first time, it later became any real Bible teacher)
2.      Seed Seed=Symbolic Spiritual Spoken Words from God
3.      Soil Heart (aka the spirit) of a human, God’s Spiritual Garden
4.      Enemy Birds Spiritual opponent called Satan, devils & demons that Blind Human Minds using words in the form of thoughts
5.      Enemy Stones The wrong hard hearted choice to not do the Word that was heard (Sown into their heart)
6.      Enemy Sun Heat Tormenting Words of Persecution sent because the Word of God was Believed.  Persecution pressures many to make the wrong choices to returning to a life of sin
7.      Enemy Thorns Satanic Worldly Distractions &Temptations of the flesh and mind
8.      Fruit God’s goal for His Seed sown (a spiritual harvest – representing the fruits of the spirit and human salvation)

 

I regret that I am unable to go into a great level of detail for every Parable Element in this list today.  I will attempt to cover every element found here in this list later in subsequent lessons in the series.  I would also recommend that you go and read the explanations of the Parable in the books of Matthew and Luke because these contain additional information that the book of Mark does not include.  I will be referring to some of these other writer’s explanations in this series but I will not be giving the entire verses in this lesson in order to decrease the length.

In my list I have focused on what I considered to be 3 dependably positive elements, 4 consistently negative elements and one element that I will list into a variable, changeable or unstable category.  The 3 positive elements listed in the parable were the sower, the seed and a good fruitful outcome that was produced from the combined sower and seed elements.  The success of these 3 consistently positive elements (seed, sower and fruit) represents a successful “faith” process and project taking place in a human heart (soil). The 4 potential consistently negative elements were described as enemies to the positive elements and these were called 1) birds, 2) stones, 3) heat and 4) thorns.  The single element that I considered to be the lone variable or a changeable element is the soil (heart of man).   The soil is clearly the most frequently mentioned item of the parable being spoken of at least 4 times.  I believe that this makes the soil one of God’s major focused items in the entire description.  I will also say that the consistently positive and negative elements are all spiritual.  The soil changeable element can either be carnal or spiritual dependent upon right or wrong choices made from thoughts selected.

I’m going to end this lesson with this introduction to the subject.  I pray that this has at least raised your interest into learning more.  In the next lesson in the series we will move into a greater detailed description of each element named beginning with the “Seed” symbolic element first.   Thank you for reading and studying the Bible with us.  We are humbled to know that there are people that spend their valuable time on this website.  May  God continue to lead you, guide you, direct you and bless you.

If you would like to continue to the next lesson in the series please click “Part2“.

Understanding the Divine Spiritual Laws and Court System of Heaven – Part 2

Judge Gavel

(Ver 1.3) This is Part 2 in a series of very advanced spiritual Bible lessons on what I believe is a critical and important subject that has been popularly overlooked by so many Bible teachers and students.  The more that I have studied this subject the more that I have become absolutely convinced that this is a required Bible theme to learn about.  After learning this subject we then must learn how to balance it with other vital spiritual Bible subjects like Faith, Love and Grace to name just 3 other major Bible themes.   If you have not read “Part 1” I would recommend that you go back and read this lesson before continuing here.

Too many times in the church a pastor receives a revelation from God on a particular subject and too often they take it way beyond the base revelation to an extreme position of error. This is what I often call “Taking A Truth and Making it THE Only Truth or THE Highest or Most Important Truth without a Regard to any Other Truths in the Bible”.   Any Bible truth can be exalted into an extreme position either to the left or to the right of the balanced middle and this will usually cause the belief to become an unbalanced deception.  It is happening in many churches today with the Grace truth.  Too many modern Bible teachers have taken the awesome truth of God’s revealed Grace and simply ignored the other central themes of God’s Holiness and Judgment to name just two that must be balanced with His Grace correctly.

In today’s Bible lesson we will be introduced to the major theme of “Judgment” from the perspective of the Heavenly Court system.  Grace and Judgment are both central themes found from Genesis to Revelation.  We can see these subject threads woven together in practically every book.  For example, in Genesis 6:8 God says Noah found His Grace.  But, within the same context the world was found to be so wicked that God was sorry that He ever created man on the earth (Gen 6:6) and He judged the earth with a great flood.  The subjects of Grace and Judgment are found intertwined so closely together that it should absolutely amaze us.

In this lesson we will be looking at this subject of Judgment from the viewpoint of New Testament writers like Paul and Peter. Both wrote about grace but they also included a balanced message of God’s judgment even in the same context.  I would be a fool to ignore the subject of divine judgment just because I like the subject of Grace much more.  You see our flesh loves the grace message but our spirit should understand that there is still judgment available for sin.  Grace is not the freedom to sin with no consequences, but should rather be viewed as a position  of humble thankfulness that I was saved from committing sin.

The battle between doing right and doing wrong occurs in our minds.  Satan tempts us with thoughts to sin and God convicts us through our spirit.  This battle can be called the human conscious.  However, the human conscious should be viewed to be the Holy Spirit trying to help us think correctly, and then to say and do what is true, good and right.     I, like other Christians am in a war between these two realities.  It is my goal and priority to let my born-again spirit overrule my flesh desires but sometimes it is more of a challenge than at other times.  I pray that you understand what I am talking about.

I believe the LORD showed me that this lesson series on God’s Divine Spiritual Laws and Court System in Heaven must be read, understood and balanced rightly with today’s extreme Grace teaching that tries to teach us many things that do not touch on what is being stated in the verses that will be clearly covered in this series.

God teaches us very plainly in Hosea 4:6 that His people are destroyed (by Satan) because of their ignorance and stubborn refusal to learn the truth.  He is so clear in John 8:32 that it is only by the dedicated continuation in studying the Bible that we will ever learn the actual truth and only then can this truth that we know correctly set us free from the things that the enemy uses to keep us in captivity and bondage.

Therefore, we should learn that what we do not know is being used against us by our legal opponent and adversary Satan to gain an advantage over us while we live here on this planet (2 Cor 2:11). I pray that you will continue to read these lessons with an open and receptive mind avoiding any prejudicial preconceived ideas, thoughts or conclusions towards what is being taught.  I believe with all my heart that it is the Holy Spirit’s direction for this information to go forth and be spread to all believers.  Pray first before continuing and ask the Holy Spirit to bear witness with the truth and to reveal anything that may be only a man’s opinion on any verse, topic or subject. 

We are commanded by God to study and to rightly divide the Word of Truth (2 Tim 2:15).  But, only the Holy Spirit can lead us into all truth (Ps 25:5, John 16:13).  So put your full confidence in Him and not me or anyone else on the earth.  Let’s begin Part 2 with a quick review of the first lesson in which I have added some additional supporting evidence that was not included in the first lesson.

Lesson 1 Review with New Additional Thoughts

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

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.

In the first lesson in the series we should have learned at least two primary essential Bible truths. The first truth came from the Lord recorded by Peter to us in 1 Peter 5:8 and the second came to us from John written in Revelation 12:10. We also learned from two very important Greek words.  The first Greek word G476 was translated as “adversary” and this word meant an “opponent in a lawsuit or a court of law”.  The second Greek word was G2725 and was translated as an “accuser” and it is defined as a “person who brings a complaint of law to court against someone else that allegedly commits a crime”.  Both were very accurate technical descriptions of Satan who God informed us in Revelation 12:10 brings up charges of accusations against us as brothers and sisters in Christ every single day and night.  The term “day and night” in Revelation 12:10 must represent a continuous repeated daily action of Satan.  These two words are used like this several times in the New Testament and this is the correct way to interpret them.

Always remember that Satan is God’s enemy and our enemy and please never believe that he has no right, power or ability to win a law case over you because he is very tricky and has been around much longer than you and knows so much more than you can imagine. We are in a legal fight for our lives and we must understand that doing nothing to fight or win permits Satan almost automatic victory.

In 1 Peter 5:8 Christians not the world are warned that we have an “adversary” who is named the “devil” and he is plainly defined to be our legal opponent in the court of heavenly law.  It is worth noting again that this Greek word translated as “adversary” is only used 4 times in the N.T. and every time it is mentioned it refers to a court case between legal opponents.  This was certainly no accident and God is informing us in a very pure direct easy to understand way that this is how He is using this word in 1 Peter 5:8 also.  There can be no other logical conclusion that Satan is anything else but a spiritual individual that is bringing up charges before God to gain an advantage over us in order to devour us.  If you don’t believe me please hang in there and read all the verses that we will cover today and then tell me if you still believe the same.

We should have learned from reading 1 Peter 5:8 that our adversary the devil (Satan) is described to be going about the whole earth to find someone (primarily a Christian since it was written to us) to devour. I would ask any reader this question to consider, what is Satan seeking (looking for) that permits him to devour some but not others?  It would appear to me based upon Job chapter 1 that God places a hedge of protection in order to keep Satan out.  Why would it be necessary for a hedge of protection to be present if Satan could do nothing to Job unless he had permission?  I find that to be an amazing question.  If Satan could only harm someone if granted permission as is taught by many Bible teachers there would be no need for any hedge round about Job.  It is fascinating to me to see in Job 1 that Satan accuses God of doing this unjustly and accuses Job of fearing God for no cause.  There were at least two accusations brought before God’s court and we need to see this.

However, it is very important to learn from 1 Peter 5:8 that Satan cannot devour everyone. Therefore, there must be something that a Christian does or does not do that permits Satan’s admittance into their lives.  Also by antithesis reasoning there must be something that a Christian can do to keep Satan from killing, stealing and destroying their lives.  I believe the determining factor is our sin and we will learn why as we continue in this study.

I have concluded from significant study of the book of Job that Job opened the door in the hedge and we will certainly be getting into this part of the subject as we continue the Bible study series.  Please expect to receive revelation from the Holy Spirit on what we all need to do to keep Satan as far away from us as is possible in this world.  Let’s continue to explore another new thought.

I believe that it is also critical to learn the definition of the title “devil” used by the LORD in 1 Peter 5:8. We should learn these details in order to more fully comprehend the impact of the warning being spoken of by the LORD.  I believe the title being used in every verse reveals a great deal about Satan’s specific character, plans and methods of operation.  The Greek word G1228 that is translated as “devil” literally means an “accuser”.  This title speaks volumes of information to us.  It teaches us that Satan and his followers are speaking malicious accusation against us as related in Revelation 12:10 both day and night.  Who do you believe they are doing this to?  Of course we learned in Job 1 before the law was given Revelation 12 long after Jesus was resurrected from the dead that these accusations have been taken up before God the supreme judge in Heaven.  I pray that you will agree that spiritual trials will continue until the middle of the tribulation where all of sudden Satan is finally cast down never to return.

You may remember in Lesson 1 that God connected this verse statement of truth found in 1 Peter 5:8 directly to the activity found in the book of Job using very similar synonymous truths. I believe this was not an accident or chance occurrence and that it confirms that Satan came before the throne of God to hold a court trial of the man Job.  I also firmly believe that this connection confirms that these same court trials were occurring even after the death, burial and resurrection of the LORD Jesus in the early church day when Peter wrote this epistle.  I believe 1 Peter 5:8 was a part of God’s commentary of the O.T. story of Job that helps us interpret what happened in the book more accurately.  Always remember a basic rule of interpretation that the God who wrote the Bible is smarter than both you and I and He will always assist us in the correct interpretation His own writings.

I would recommend that you go and reread Job 1 and 2 again and again from this new legal trial perspective. For example, we should have learned in Job 1:6 that Satan had come into heaven before the presence of God Almighty to present his legal case for obtaining access into Job’s blessed and protected life.  We should be able to know that this was an accusatory trial case being presented to God since the spiritual being described is revealed to us by the name “Satan” in Job chapters 1 and 2 nearly 14 times.   God’s usage of this name proves to us by the name’s definition that this being was present before God as an “opponent” and an “adversary” present to accuse Job.  We should be able to easily see how the name “Satan” in Job and the description “adversary” in 1 Peter 5:8 are married together.  One is a Hebrew transliteration (Job) and the other is just a translated Greek word (1 Peter 5).  But, both mean the exact same thing.

Again names and titles in the Bible have great significance. None are there by unplanned chance.  For example, one of the first direct titles mentioned of Satan found in the Bible is seen in Genesis 3:1.  Here, Satan is called by a symbolic description of “serpent”.  The title used by God in Genesis 3:1 is a totally different type of informative description.  Serpent is in no manner like the other names used in other verses like Satan, devil, accuser or adversary.  This teaches us that Satan was not present in the garden to accuse, but to do something else that he is also good at.

If you look up the definition of “serpent” in the Strong’s Concordance you will find it comes from a Hebrew root word H517 that can describe someone who came to Eve’s mind to whisper a magic spell.  Wow, that is deeper than many may possibly comprehend.  Serpent literally meant someone who was attempting to magically foretell the future to Eve.  My main point here is that God reveals what Satan does or is doing to us by his symbols, names and titles.  We need to learn this principle and use it to help us understand spiritually what is then happening in the context. Let’s get back to our lesson 1 review.

It is critical to see how God asks Satan where he had come from in Job 1:7.  Because God is the omniscient author of the entire Bible He knows the right questions to ask to teach us what is happening.  It is this wise question and true answer of Satan that provides the joining evidence that we need to learn from.  Satan replies to God’s question very truthfully by saying he had just come from walking up and down on the face of the earth which is the amazing parallel admission of confirmation of the truth that we had learned about Satan in 1 Peter 5:8.  This Hebrew word in Job 1:7 which was translated as “going to and fro” literally means that Satan had just come from traveling all around the earth and was there in heaven for an implied purpose.  We learned Satan’s motivation for this movement from earth to heaven in God’s commentary description in 1 Peter 5:8.  Satan was only searching the earth so that he could locate one of God’s people on the planet that he could devour.  This is exactly what Satan does to Job, is it not?  If we believe anything has changed from Job to Peter we would be mistaken.  Satan was doing the exact same thing in Job’s day as he was doing in Peter’s day and even all the way to the current church now.  We are in the exact same church as Peter was writing to therefore, please don’t write off these words as unimportant or as not applying to you.

This direct connected satanic activity description between Job 1:7, 1 Peter 5:8 to Revelation 12:10 is no inadvertent assembly of synonymous truth. God has designed the Bible with tremendous amounts of hidden connected verses and these help us to understand correctly the information that He planned to reveal to us in these last days.  I pray that you are learning how God does this so that we do not have to lean onto our own weak human reasoning as so many have.

We then should have learned from Job 1 that it was only after the appearance of Satan before God’s throne of judgment that Satan was given access to come back to the earth to devour (kill, steal and to destroy) Job, his family and his possessions. It is so very clear to me that Satan won this access legally and justly to Job’s life in God’s heavenly court system.

I believe that God is the Supreme Judge of everyone but, I also believe His character is amazingly far above our human comprehension. We cannot ever compare God to any human judge on the earth.  I have never seen any human judge that knows everything and never make any errors.  No, I believe that God is perfect and does not make any mistakes in judgment and that He is a completely fair and just to humans in every spiritual court case.  Therefore, if judgment is pronounced on any man there was a valid cause and reason and we will learn more of this as we continue the series.

I also believe that God is compassionate and merciful in His judgments. Let’s explore this part of the topic briefly.  Job is not directly mentioned very many times in the Bible but this next verse is another divine commentary on the court trial and verdict that was rendered in this law case found in the book of Job.

Jas 5:11  Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

According to God’s Holy Word commentary He showed Job great mercy in His judgment. I know it might not seem that was true by our reading the book, but He did.  For example, we can clearly read in Job 1:12 how God restricted Satan from touching or taking the physical life of Job personally.  That limitation was a display of His infinite and great mercy.  The entire duration of the trial of Job did not last a significant amount of time especially in light of God’s view of time and eternity.  God actually restored and blessed Job at the end of the book more than was taken by Satan away from him at the beginning of the book.  So again we see God’s infinite forgiveness, grace and mercy at work.  Let’s go back to James 5:11 and continue reading further.

The Greek word that was translated as “the end” in this verse in James is G5056. This is a very fascinating word to understand.  One of the primary meanings of the Greek word is “the point aimed at as the limit”.  It is absolutely critical to know that Satan’s attack usually have a termination point where it will end.  I said usually because it does depend upon if we learn the lesson of Job and stop doing what we were doing to let Satan in our life to devour us.  If we repent like Job did and close the open door of attack the blessings of God can and will return.

In one other definition of G5056 it can also represent “the price that was paid as a fine or tax”. Wow that is an important legal description of judgment from a trial if you do not know it.  Job paid a very heavy price for his sin, but yet I believe that we can read and see that he was able to get his life back on track by repenting at the end of the book before God in Job 42:6.  We should clearly learn from this book that if we do the same we can also recover from what we have done to allow Satan’s access into our lives.  I believe that knowledge should encourage and inspire us and give us hope.

I know that many will try writing this teaching of Job off by explaining it away as an act of the Sovereign God giving Satan His permission to teach Job a lesson.  Others will say this is the Old Testament and we are not now under that law or that covenant.  But I cannot agree with those reasonings using any Biblical rational form of belief since God is a loving good God (1 John 4:8, Romans 2:4) and I believe does not work with Satan to correct His people.   

Then you must also understand that Job was not at all under the Mosaic law or the Old Covenant since his life story occurred before either existed. What we are learning are three examples of spiritual judgment from heavenly court trials.   Job was before the Old Covenant and law, Peter was in the Old Covenant and under the law and then in 1 Peter 5:8 we in the church are the New Covenant people.  We will very soon learn more about these legal activities occurring in the New Covenant as we continue in today’s lesson.

I believe in every realm of the Bible that there must have been some human action, words, motivation, emotion or other negative sin committed by Job or others that unlocked the door within God’s hedge of protection in order for Satan to come into their lives to legally devour them.  As we learned again from 1 Peter 5:8 that “Satan is going about seeking for someone whom he may devour” and from this we should be able to logically deduct by strong implication that there MUST be something that we do that allows permits or grants Satan this access.

In the first lesson, I listed at least two reasons that I believe the Lord showed me that opened the access door for evil to enter into Job’s life and I also believe there were other reasons stated that I did not mention. These two door opening sins were first Job’s fear and second his pride that caused him to try to judge God and his friends.  Both of these are huge and they still occur in church members today.  We could write a lot on these two subjects but I do not have the time today. Perhaps the Lord will lead me to write a more detailed lesson just on the trial of Job someday.

In our second key study verse from lesson 1 we read what the Spirit of God said to us in Revelation chapter 12. Here we learned about how in the future when this chapter is prophesied to occur how Satan the “accuser” of the brethren (the Church) will finally be thrown down to the earth to never again be allowed entrance into heaven to accuse us.  This clearly taught us that Satan had been authorized to do this legal accusation in the past human history and he must still be accusing the people of God on the earth even now since Revelation chapters 4 through 12 have not been fulfilled.  Therefore, these court battles in heaven will continue according to God’s Word right up until the middle of the 7 year tribulation period.  Time is running out on Satan’s access and I believe personally that he is working especially hard at holding as many trials as he can to gain access to devour Christian people remaining on the earth.

I pray that you will at least study these things to see if they are true for yourself (Acts 17:11).  Let’s move forward into some more New Covenant verses to learn from on this subject.  These fresh perspectives on legal things found in the New Covenant will help build a firm foundation for our knowledge on this important spiritual subject.  They will confirm that even though we are in the church age of Grace that we are still living in a time where legal trials are still occurring.

 

New Testament Spiritual Court Confirmations

In today’s lesson, I would like to expand the topic of spiritual court systems and trials to other New Testament Bible verses that will benefit our study to support this truth from the present day New Covenant saved Christian perspective and viewpoint. As I have just tried to say, I want us to learn beyond any shadow of doubt that these heavenly trials are taking place even as I write and type the lesson and as you may be reading this lesson.   This would imply that it is even possible that you or I may be on trial presently in heaven and we probably would not know about it until Satan came to execute the sentence.  Remember in the examples that I gave in lesson 1 that Job knew nothing of Satan’s attack and he even attributed everything negative that happened to him as being caused by God’s work.  Do you remember in Job 1:21 where Job said that it is God that gave and God has taken away?  However, Job was very ignorant of God, His truth, His Character His ways and His enemies and when we are ignorant of what is really happening in the spiritual realm we can very easily fall into the same trap to accuse God for what Satan is doing to us.

Even Peter was totally unaware of the fact that Satan had demanded to sift him like wheat until Jesus directly warned Peter and even prayed for him that his “faith” would not fail during this time of trial. That is a great point to learn from.  The objective of every satanic attack is Satan’s attempt to get your faith to waiver enough for you to fall away from following after the LORD.  Peter learned a tremendous revelation from this legal trial experience and if you read his letters written to us in the church you will find this was very true.  We have already read in 1 Peter 5:8 about our legal adversary but we will back up in the letter to the previous chapter to learn more.  Let’s observe two of the most important confirming verses that will reveal and ratify this truth of the existence of heavenly trials being carried out in the church now.

1Pe 4:17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

1Pe 4:18  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

 

Can you see the words written to us in the church by Peter given according to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? We will begin by observing the initial time reference of the recorded statement.  It appears to me to be plainly a present tense “now at the time of writing” statement.  According to proper grammatical framing whatever is written directly that follows this introductory time frame must be applied directly to the reader then and by forward association to us the modern reader now.   This makes the next statements active until there is a verse that we encounter that reveals the end of the validity of the stated truth being discussed by God.  Let’s read what was occurring to them at that time and by forward implication is occurring now to us also.

The immediate statement following the identification of the timing is about the legal court issue of “judgment”. God informs us that “judgment” will begin with us in the church and again the time being stated was clearly present tense “now” as Peter wrote the letter.  This means that this stated “judgment” written about was to believers in Peter’s day of life on the earth while alive and could not be referring to a “future” judgment after they were dead even though there are other judgments in the Bible that people will face after death.  I hope you understand that there are repeated judgments listed in the Bible.  Just because we are judged once now does not mean we cannot be judged again later and vice versa.

Both of these verses were well written relevant warnings to believers. It is very plainly stated about judgment originating with forgiven saved believers in Christ.  Notice how in verse 17 that God presents us with a sharp contrast between believers and non-believers and it cannot be any clearer.  Then in verse 18 there is a restated direct warning to every Christian that they are just “barely” saved.  We could talk about that truth for a long time and we probably should but it is really not the main thought line of this lesson.

I know for sure that we now live in the prophesied church age of God’s Grace (1 Peter 1:10).  I know for sure that God’s Grace saved us through faith (Eph 2:8).  But, I also know verses like 1 Peter 4:17 and 18 that speak additional truths and these must be aligned correctly with God’s saving grace and forgiveness message.  I just can’t teach this enough.  It is so very important to learn.

What do these verses in first Peter say to us? Do you think they do not apply to you now?  I know with 100% certainty they apply to me and were written to me.  I would strongly recommend that you find out if they were written to you also because if they were not then you may not be a real Christ follower.

God wrote to you and I (the righteous and saved) and He informs us very clearly that we may be just “scarcely” saved. This Greek word that was translated as “scarcely” is G3433 and it means “with difficulty”, “hardly” or “scarcely”.  Some synonyms of scarcely are “barely”, “narrowly” or “by a small margin”.  Some other idioms for this word would be to be saved by “the skin of your teeth” or to be saved “by a whisker”.  This Greek word can also mean “with a lot of significant work” we are saved.  Wow, have you heard that taught in any church lately?  No, I don’t think so.  I know I don’t hear it personally being taught but this is what God said.  In fact I hear the opposite being taught in churches and on TV.

You see the antonym or antithesis truth of this Greek word G3433 translated as “barely” is to be saved “fully”, “entirely”, “completely” or “totally”. That is the very popular message being spoken of by many extreme Grace Teachers and even other churches who teach a salvation without any further challenges, struggles, or any other human choices to be made in order to remain a Christian.  That is just not what the Bible actually says.  Please do not misunderstand what I say here.  We are not saved by our works.  Salvation is ONLY through our faith in God’s finished work of Grace found only in Jesus Christ.  But, that does not mean we will never be judged for doing wrong things here on the earth after salvation.  Peter clearly is telling us that “judgment” for sin begins with us right now.

We could literally talk a very long time on these two verses in 1 Peter 4 but I pray that we  receive what Peter says by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Remember that Peter is also speaking from his own personal direct experience along with God’s inspiration.  Remember we have seen how that Peter was judged and demanded to be sifted like wheat.  Then we will soon see another example where Peter was present where Christians were judged.

This Greek word G2917 that was translated as “judgment” is the key word that reinforces the truth of a trial system in heaven occurring.  This Greek word is defined as “a decision” that has been rendered by an implied Judge with proper authority (God) to make a ruling.  The decision can either be for us (in our favor) or against us (in the favor of Satan the accuser).  The implied cause of this decision (judgment) is given for the crimes (sins) that have been committed by Christians.  This same Greek word can also mean that we could be “condemned” or it is even translated as “damned” in other N.T. verses.  We certainly don’t hear these words mentioned in many of our Grace churches do we?  Since we all have been guilty of committing sins we can understand a little better why Peter said that we are just “barely” saved, can’t we?

 

Acts 5 – Another Example of N.T. Judgment #1

Did you ever read Acts chapter 5?  Remember that it was Peter that was the man that wrote the words of 1 Peter 5:8 and 4:17-18 for us.   Peter is also the man found to be preaching in the book of Acts chapter 5 to saved people of the church when another believer named Ananias comes into the service late to bring his offering to the Lord.  However, this man held back some of the money in secret and only gave a part of the money using deception saying that this was all of the money obtained.  That was a lie.  Immediately the same Peter that we are studying about was inspired by the Holy Spirit of a judgment against Ananias by giving Peter a word of knowledge.  Peter asks the man Ananias “Why has Satan filled your heart to LIE to the Holy Ghost?”  And immediately Ananias drops dead in the middle of church and his body is carried out and the church service just continues like nothing happened.  I seriously believe that a spiritual trial occurred in heaven and a verdict of guilty was determined and the sentence was carried out immediately.  You of course can explain it away and believe whet ever you like about these truths.  I have heard one popular unnamed TV extreme Grace Preacher say that Ananias wasn’t really a true Christian and this is why he was killed.  But, that cannot be the truth based upon what we just read in 1 Peter 4:17.  It is my goal to use the Bible to interpret the Bible and 1 Peter 4:17 stated that judgment begins in the church not in the unsaved world..

You will also notice in Acts 5 that this event is repeated again for his wife Sapphira. Please go and reread the story again from a court room trial perspective where a judgment and verdict is rendered and carried out.   The saved Christian wife does the exact same sin as her husband and she also drops dead in the middle of church after being confronted by Peter and the Holy Spirit.  Wow, after all of this occurs in the church a “great fear” fell on the people in church.  It may be that these types of things will occur in the last days also before Jesus returns.  We should really learn from them rather than repeat them.

Act 5:11  And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

“Fear” in this verse is the Greek word G5401 and it means a person who is in a state of “terror”.  Why would there be any GREAT fear in the heart of saved Christians if two unsaved people just suddenly dropped dead in the church? Why not weeping?   Why not sorrow?  Why not compassion?  Fear would only be justified for one reason.  The only way fear could be appropriately found in Christian believers would be because they knew Ananias and Sapphira were also Christians and judgment just fell on them so it could happen to them in the exact same way.    Do you understand this?

It is very foolish for Christians to try to believe these two individuals that were judged by God were anything but Christians. The belief that a loving God would condemn two unsaved people to immediate death and eternal punishment in hell is ludicrous.  If God did this in the age of Grace He would have to do it to everyone that is not saved because they all sin.   Jesus said very plainly in John 3:17 that God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.  Please let that verse found in John sink into your heart and grow very deep roots.

I hear too many preachers try to accuse God of judging lost sinners while forgetting that God loves them enough to wait for them to get saved (James 5:7).  Why wouldn’t God’s love be the same for Ananias and Shapphira if they were unsaved Christians?  I believe God so loved the unsaved world that He gave His only begotten son so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

We are going to read several more verses in today’s lesson about this subject. I would strongly recommend that you not stop reading because of what has been taught so far.  God is only trying to change our perspective so we can see some potentially new truths in the Bible.  All of this so far is to help us think in a fresh and a new way on things in the Bible that we have never seen in this light before.  This is really good stuff that will help us fight the enemy’s temptations and accusations that will be coming to us all.

 

New Testament Judgment #2

We have already observed where Peter said Judgment will begin with the Church. We then just read through Acts 5 for example #1 of an actual judgment that occurred to two Christians.  We are now going to turn in the Bible to a verse written by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11.  In this verse we are going to be reviewing the implied topic of the heavenly court system to obtain further confirmation that judgment will begin now in the church.  Please read this very carefully and accept the fact of truth that this was written directly to you and I personally as Christians:

1Co 11:31  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

This is an amazing truth that is too often ignored by everyone reading and teaching from the Bible. It is addressed to “we” and that is a plural pronoun that even includes the “Apostle Paul” the writer, as well as you and I the readers.  It always amazes me when a Bible teacher misses the fact that Paul included himself in statements like these.  If Paul needed to do this and he wrote 2/3 of the New Testament, how much more do you think we should do this?  What was it that Paul needed to do along with us?  Paul says very plainly that IF I JUDGE MYSELF, then and only then I will NOT be judged.  Wow, that is as insightful as it could get for a lot of Christians.  Paul is declaring very simply that a spiritual heavenly trial could have occurred for him if he did not judge his own intentions, emotions, motives, actions and words.

There are two different Greek words spoken of in this verse that we miss totally if we do not look up the original language definitions. The first Greek word translated as “judge” is speaking of our human responsibility and it is not the act of a judge in a court.  This Greek word is G1252 and it literally means that we need to separate ourselves thoroughly and completely from sin.  This is a human right of choice found and encountered every day of our saved existence.  We can do what the world does, live like the world, speak like the world, dress like the world or we can come out from the world and choose to be separate and different than they are.  This is our choice.  We can choose to either obey God or if we don’t what does God say will happen?  God says very clearly that we will be judged for doing what the world does.

Let’s observe the second word in the verse translated as “judged”. This Greek word is G2919 and it does mean that a judge will make a decision over us to possibly condemn or punish us.  Don’t take my word for it, go look up the word for yourself and learn.

The Greek Word translated as “should not” is G3756 in verse 31 is much stronger in this stated original Greek language than you can imagine. It literally means the “absolute negative”.  It should be translated in this statement as “we are never judged” IF we judge our own self.  This is revelation #1 for us to keep from being judged.  It is also the #1 reason why Christians are judged.  How many Christians think before they speak?  How many Christians really think hard about what they are going to do before they do it?  How many Christians are going to bars and night clubs acting and looking like the world?  I know there are some Christians who are doing better at being separated from the world’s way of doing things than others.  But, this is just a small part of the subject of judging yourself first in order for Satan not to bring a case before God about you!  If we read the next verse that follows verse 31 God will help clarify the reasoning why He must judge Christians even after all of our sins were forgiven in Christ:

1Co 11:32  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Notice the initial wording of the sentence. God begins the statement by speaking a fact of truth about “when we are judged” (G2916).  He does not say “IF WE ARE JUDGED”.  No it will occur, God leaves no doubt.  Then God gives us the #1 reason for this discipline.  The God of all knowledge says we must be chastened of the LORD so that we won’t fall into the exact same “condemnation” that the world will be judged with after we die.  There are two judgments being spoken of.  One in the future is called the “Great White Throne” judgment (Rev 20:11-12) where those that are not written in the book of life will be judged one at a time standing before God.  The other judgment that occurs before this is the one that is occurring in the Church age of Grace.  This judgment occurs when we sin willfully like the world and God needs to bring correction.  This is exactly what happened in Acts 5 believe it or not.

We as Christians can choose to judge ourselves now and choose to be different than the world now so that we can skip this after life judgment. If Ananias and Shapphira would have judged themselves before going into the church service they would not have been struck down dead.  I will try to talk more about this as we go on in the series.  Lets read some of the preceding context verses of 1 Corinthians 11 in order to learn more on this subject of judgment for those who did not judge themselves:

1Co 11:29  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 

1Co 11:30  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

If we read this context carefully we will confidently confirm that this was written to Christians about Christians concerning spiritual court trial cases that were taking place even when Paul was writing this letter to the church. We should be able to see in verses 29 and 30 how that some in the Corinthian church were found guilty of both spiritual and natural sins.  In verse 29 they had been found guilty of eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ unworthily and disrespectfully.  It appears from the previous context that this church came and possibly got drunk from too much wine and ate too much bread as if they were gluttons.  Paul informs us very clearly that for this reason the result came that many of them (Christians) in the church were either sick or dead because of these abuses.  In other words, I believe that Satan had brought the judgment of the LORD against them and oppressed some of these Christians with physical illness that put them in a weakened physical state or Satan had actually been granted permission to take some Christian’s lives.  Wow, that is some very amazing truth to apply to our subject of study.

It is so very obvious to me that because of specific sin in the church that some judgments were passed in heaven in order to allow or permit Satan to come down to devour them to make some of them ill and others of them dead. This is exactly what happened to Job.  This is exactly what happened to Ananias and Sapphira.  This clearly informs us that judgment was passed before they knew of this and that only after Paul wrote to them in order to warn them how to fix it was it learned what the real problem was to begin with.  I personally believe that Paul was given a word of knowledge for this church and Paul tells them very plainly that if they would only begin to judge themselves to do things differently than the world that they would never be judged.

Wow, Wow and Wow!!!   Who was it that judged them?  Who was it that accused them before the judge?  Who was it that gained an advantage over them to take them out of this world or make them sick?  I hope you can already see the answers are plain.  God had to pass judgment because they had not judged themselves.  The judgment had to have been initiated by the accuser of the brethren and that is only Satan or at least it should be.  I hope and pray that you as a Christian would not pick up a stone to throw at your brother.  Please never do this.  Don’t act like Satan, but rather choose to act like Christ who said to the woman caught in adultery “Woman where are your accusers?  Neither do I condemn you, go your way and sin no more”.  What an amazing example lesson to learn from.

CONCLUSION

I think I have gone long enough in this lesson. We can certainly learn so much more from these chapters in Acts 5 and 1 Corinthians 11 than I was able to go into in today’s lesson.  The Lord has provided us all great and very significant meaty spiritual food for thought.  We all should take these words of God to heart and meditate on them for a long time.  Please study for yourself and verify exactly that what is being said in this series is what the loving God of the Bible actually says as a warning to Christians.  God has provided at least two major witnesses to every truth being taught.

Thank you for reading and taking your time to study these advanced Bible lessons. I am truly humbled that God would use anyone as imperfect as me to teach anyone anything.  The goodness of God is truly overwhelming me every day of my life.  I love the LORD and trust Him to help mold me and you into the highest pattern of Christ Jesus.  I pray that you are blessed with every spiritual blessing of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ Jesus.  Amen.

 

Understanding the Divine Spiritual Laws and Court System of Heaven

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SATAN IS SEARCHING FOR A LEGAL WAY IN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BIBLE EXAMPLES OF SPIRITUAL TRIALS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A MODERN DAY TRIAL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

Lessons of Love and Forgiveness from a Testimony

(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.”

 

CONCLUSION

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.

 

 

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

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

INTRODUCTION TO LOVE

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

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

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

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

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

JESUS TEACHES A HIGHER LOVE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHY DID JESUS WANT PETER TO AGAPE HIM?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Division Series Foundational Verse

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jesus WILL Divide the Sheep from the Goats

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Dividing the Wheat from the Tares

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Symbolic Noun

Spiritual Reality

Supporting Verses

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Dividing the Catch Caught from the Sea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Conclusion

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

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

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

Understanding Persecution: Part 1 Beware the Rise of the Spirit of Saul

persecution-1

Persecution

(Ver 1.1)  What a strange title for a Bible study? What could this possibly mean to us here in this modern world?  Who was Saul?  What is this spirit of Saul reference?  I was recently awakened in the middle of the night at exactly 3 AM and suddenly these words arose up in my spirit saying “Beware the rise of the spirit of Saul”.  Then Bible verses came to my memory about this actual historical man named Saul and this Bible lesson is the result of my middle of the night awakening.  I believe this message was from God speaking to us all a warning according to His stated works in John 16:13.  I believe God was informing us of a coming resurgence of an old spiritual force that persecuted the early church and I believe it will become as “great as” or even greater than what the early church encountered and endured.  I believe that it is obvious that this is the increasing trend and movement found within the present unsaved world, all those living in darkness (Eph 2:2).

Modern unsaved people living in the world today are identical to all others that came before them. They are all opening a door to allow the repeat of a pattern of ignorance that causes them to not comprehend the difference between that which is called “good” or that which is called “evil”.  In them there is no understanding or acknowledgement of who or what represents the true God of good or who or what represents the false deceiving god of evil (Satan).  That which God called evil in His Word is being tremendously magnified and exalted by the unsaved world to be called normal and good and everything that God called “good” is being called evil at the same time (Isa 5:20). Anyone that speaks against what is called evil by God is being persecuted and called a bigoted intolerant hate monger.  What a sad condition the world has fallen into and I believe by observation that it is getting worse.

Today Christians that are simply speaking the truth in love warning those that are on the way to hell are being labeled as evil. This must break the heart of God greatly and we will see an example of this in the lesson.  If you knew that the highway that you were traveling on had a major bridge on it and that it had just collapsed, would you not try to stop everyone that was about to fall to their death because of the deep drop off?  The drivers of the cars on the road at night are about to die because of their ignorance and inability to see the truth.  Wouldn’t you warn them?  That is what every mature believing Christian is faced with today.  We can shut up and be silent or we can cry out and try to save them.  It is our choice but any warning given may be ridiculed and laughed at by those being warned because probably most will not believe it.

Jesus gave us many warnings about these end times before His return to the earth. One warning to us was very clear when He said “As it was in the days of Noah and of Lot so shall it also be again in the days right before the coming of the Son of Man” (Luke 17:26-30).  I am very sure that this statement describes the exact days that we live in right now.  It is by no chance or accident that Jesus (God in the Flesh) chose these two biblical events to describe the times directly before His return (2 Peter 2:5-6).  However, that is really not what this Bible lesson message is concerning directly.  The message of Noah’s flood and Sodom’s destruction is however an indirect applicable truth to this lesson of warning about the subject of coming persecution.  Noah was laughed at and the angels in Sodom were commanded to come out and have sex with the men.  How appropriate are these two witnesses of truth?

 

Introduction to the Spirit of Saul

Let us now get to God’s basic message concerning the “spirit of Saul” warning spoken to me. The main subject of today’s lesson is concerning the theme of persecution.  We will be looking at this subject from at least three or four different perspectives.  The first perspective is that of the persecutor.  The second perspective is that of the Almighty God.    The third perspective of persecution will be driven from the one being persecuted and these are Christians.   And the final perspective introduced today is that of the enemy Satan..

  1.  The Persecutor’s Perspective
  2. Almighty God’s Perspective
  3. The Persecuted Church’s Perspective
  4. Satan’s Perspective

We will similarly be addressing basic definitions and questions concerning this very important and timely subject. We will also look for scriptural answers in the Bible for why persecution occurs and who is ultimately behind it all.  As part of the study we will briefly introduce why God allows persecution to occur and see what His attitude and response was in the past and could be again today since we know God does not change (Malachi 3:6).  As a final part of the Christian perspective discussion in today’s lesson we will introduce how a Christian’s expectations should already be preset before this persecution occurs to them.  Please don’t be surprise when God warns us that persecution will occur if we are living for God and obeying His Word and boldly declaring His truth in love to the lost and dying world.

2Ti 3:12  Yea, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

God promises us that we will be persecuted if we are living for Him and following after Christ’s example.  It would be wise based upon these words to check if you are being persecuted.  If you are not I would then check to see if you are following Jesus.  In Luke chapter 21 Jesus informs us of the coming end of the age describing wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes and famines that are already occurring and then in verse 12 Jesus said before the end of all these things you will be persecuted.  Jesus’ warning to us in the Gospels is just another witness to the message that I heard from God personally.

Bible basics teach us that humans are designed by our creator God as a triune being made in the image of the Almighty God. A human is a freewill spirit being that possesses a soul (a mind, a will and our emotions) that lives in mortal human body (1 Thes 5:23).  However, this spirit of Saul warning was not a warning that the natural man Saul written about in the Bible will return to the earth because that would violate scriptures and make God a liar (Heb 9:27). Therefore, we need to learn more about what the message could mean by rightly dividing the Word of Truth (2 Tim 2:15). We will however, briefly study the life of Saul to learn from it the persecutor’s perspective and I will begin by reading a verse concerning the stoning death of Stephen in the early church description found in Acts 7.

Act 7:58  And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.

Please allow me to provide a very quick overview of the context of this verse so we can better understand this part of the message. The context actually begins back in chapter 6 and it is a story concerning a Christian man named Stephen.  He was ministering to people and doing many signs, wonders and miracles the same as Jesus did before him here on the earth.  It is important to know that Stephen was not one of the original 12 disciples of Jesus yet he did the same types of miraculous works as Jesus did.  I find that fact very important and fascinating as many in the church today teach miracles passed away with the death of the 12 disciples.  Oh well?  Oh Lord, please help us all to see the truth.

These supernatural miraculous works done by God through Stephen were not well received because of the accompanying message being preached concerning salvation only through faith in Jesus Christ who was recently condemned to death by a similar type of court with made up evidence that Stephen stood before. Men from the synagogue accused Stephen of blasphemy and soon he was on trial before the leadership of the Jewish synagogue.  It is during this trial that Stephen gives a great overview of the Old Testament and how it applies to the gospel message of Jesus Christ.  However, this message was not well received either.  The Jewish leaders refused to listen and stopped up their ears and then took up stones to kill Stephen.  Stephen sees a vision of heaven while being stoned of Jesus standing at the right hand of God as they hurl their deadly stones.  That brings us now to verse 58 which was just quoted.

This verse 58 is the first time that the name “Saul” is mentioned in the N.T. The Hebrew name Saul occurs approximately 26 times in the book of Acts alone.  This N.T. Saul is the exact same Hebrew name as the first king of the O.T. nation of Israel.  By the number of mentions in the book of Acts we can easily see that the man Saul was a very prominent figure to learn about and learn from.  We learn from reading the N.T. that Saul was a young devout religious man and a very self-righteous zealot man during this time of the birth of the church in the first 8 chapters of Acts.  We can learn more about the background of this man named Saul by reading in his writings because he wrote nearly 2/3 of the N.T.:

Php 3:4  Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:

Php 3:5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;

Php 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

Reading here Saul/Paul claims to be of a very noble stock of the natural nation of Israel. He was circumcised according to Mosaic Law on the 8th day after his birth.  He was by no doubt raised in a very strict home that observed all of the Jewish Holy days, laws and Sabbaths.  He also must have spent a very significant time in reading the Law of Moses growing up in the strict order to become a Pharisee.  I can speculate that Saul must have thought very highly of himself, during this time and he must have been very proud of his learned position of authority.  However, if we read in Proverbs 16:18 we see a verse that Saul appears to have possibly ignored.  This verse says “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall”.

We can learn while studying his life that Saul spent a great amount of his time persecuting, hunting down, imprisoning and even killing any of those that confessed faith in Jesus Christ. However, was this natural man named Saul the actual main source of the problem of the persecution to the church?  Could there have been a greater force of influential power behind this evil man persuading and even controlling his thoughts and actions?  I believe according to the future writings of this man named Saul there was certainly a much greater spiritual force that helped influence him to do all this evil to other people on the earth.  Let’s read one verse to confirm this reality:

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

What we must glean in the beginning of this lesson is that physical natural people that are persecuting us are not our real problem even though it looks like it on the visible surface. Saul/Paul in this verse teaches us that Christians are not at odds with anyone of the divinely created flesh and blood design order.  However, he does reveal very clearly earlier in this chapter that we are at war and he names the enemy here in verse 12 of Ephesians 6 to be hidden unseen spiritual forces and the evil invisible rulers of this present world that rule the kingdom of darkness.  This truth will become considerably more important as we continue this lesson to learn how we should react to persecution.  This information helps to better comprehend who and what the “spirit of Saul” is referring to in the warning.  I am completely convinced that the “spirit of Saul” reference on the rise in our world is a reference to Satan our adversary and all of his demonic followers.  Let’s review what we should have just learned in this section:

  • People Persecute Other People
  • We Will Be Persecuted if We Live Right
  • We are at War
  • It Appears That Humans are Our Enemies
  • But, Our Actual Enemy is Not a Human
  • We are at War With Unseen Spiritual Beings
  • These Invisible Spiritual Beings Influence Humans To Do Evil

 

 

Persecuting the Church Today is still the same as Personally Persecuting Jesus

If the naturally born Hebrew man named Saul was not the real problem being spoken of by the LORD, why would God say “Beware the return of the spirit of Saul” to us? The answer to that question is because as we should have learned that unseen spirit beings are at the root of every seen evil event occurring in the world.  I am convinced that the natural man Saul was not who the early church was wresting against based upon what he later wrote in Ephesians 6.  However, why would a man do something so evil and suddenly then change and not do it anymore?  That is a really good and important question.  I believe the answer to that is that the natural man Saul was unmistakably a very deceived man who bought into and believed in so many lies given to him from the real enemy Satan.  I believe the natural man Saul was doing what he thought was right in his own blinded mind (2 Cor 4:4) and was performing what he thought was pleasing towards God even though what he was doing against Christians on the earth was very wrong and taken very personally by Jesus.  Let’s continue reading additional truth in the book of Acts about the death of Stephen:

Act 7:56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

These are some of the last recorded words spoken by Stephen the first martyr of the early church to his murderers and they reveal how their wrong actions were being received by the LORD Jesus. Please notice when reading this verse that in Colossians 3:1, Paul teaches us that the LORD Jesus ascended into heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God in heaven but here in this recorded vision of heaven Jesus is intentionally standing up on his feet observing the wrong being done to his servant Stephen.  Wow this verse speaks literal volumes to me.  Jesus showed such great love and concern for what is happening to Stephen that He makes the personal choice to stand up from His seated position of rest and authority to welcome Stephen into His spiritual realm presence.  I believe that this position of Jesus standing teaches us that Jesus wanted to do more to stop it from occurring but did not again by choice.   You might remember that later Paul formerly Saul would teach us “to be absent from the body is to be present with the LORD” (2 Cor 5:8). Therefore, when Stephen was killed, his spirit immediately departed his physical body to be in the presence of Jesus where Jesus was personally standing up to observe and welcome him into heaven.

Since the murder of Stephen there have been countless numbers of other Christ followers that have been killed and have gone to be with the LORD simply because of their beliefs in Jesus. No actual crime was necessary for either Stephen or any other saint to be persecuted with evil acts.  We should learn from “how was Stephen persecuted” in order to know what to expect again today.  If you read the context of the chapter you will find that leaders gathered false witnesses to accuse Stephen (Acts 6:13-14).   These false accusers used the semblance of law and order to justify their evil done to others.  They were clearly disobeying their laws by speaking their lies and perjuring themselves before man and God but in their minds they were justified to do so.  I recently learned this is taking place in people in Islam.  They are taught that it is permitted for them to lie to others in the world in order to promote the greater cause of spreading Islam.  This is clearly of demonic influence since the Bible teaches Christians that “all liars will have their part in the lake of fire” (Rev 21:8).

This is what is coming now to Christians here in this world whether you believe it or not. It is already occurring in many nations of the world right now.  Terrorists kill many people just because they are Christian.  Islamic governments and their extremist religious people of that nation are persecuting, imprisoning, torturing and killing Christians daily.  Communist nations also throw into prisons people who are reading their Bibles and being a Christian that walks in love trying to save others from hell.  Who could have seen all of this coming?  I believe only Jesus and this is why the warning is being given to us today.  Let’s please continue reading in the book of Acts:

Act 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Act 8:2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.

Act 8:3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

Act 8:4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

The Greek word G4909 that was translated as “consented” in Acts 8:1 is a word that means Saul was “very pleased” by the murder of Stephen. In fact this Greek word implies that Saul took great pleasure in watching Stephen die.  The zealot Saul after the death of Stephen then takes out after other Christians to do the same with them.   Saul is very intent upon forcing his will and reason upon everyone that is preaching Jesus to be the only way.  This is a very common motivation for persecution.  The demand is frequently made to Christians to deny the Lord Jesus Christ, convert or die.

Look at Acts 8:3 and notice what begins to happen to the Church of Jesus Christ.   Both men and women were taken to prison just for being a professing Christian.  Also notice in this chapter the complete removal of basic human rights of privacy by the people committing these evil acts.   Acts 8:3 tells us clearly that there was a house to house search for Christians done by Saul.  This is exactly what is about to happen and even has started to shine on the horizon here in America.  For example, there have been Christian people who refused to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples because of their beliefs in God, Jesus, the TRUTH of the Bible and they have spent time in jail.  I believe the house to house search for Christians will also come as the world continues to slip into greater realms of deceived darkness.  It already has taken place in other nations.

Act 9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

Act 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

Act 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

Act 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

Act 9:5  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Saul continued speaking his great threats of violence directed at and towards all Christians. He began moving out of the city of Jerusalem to other nearby regions.  Notice that the persecution taking place was with the authority of the law givers and administrators.  Wow, is this not happening now?  Law givers and judges in America are making so many decisions that violate the Truth of the Word of God that it is literally shocking to me.  Evil now is prevailing by the misguided interpretation of the law and the wrong definition of what is good vs. evil.  Watch for laws to continue to come to support this evil behavior.  Watch for the removal of basic human rights that have been guaranteed up until this point in time.

Saul was on the road to a city named Damascus in these verses of chapter 9 of Acts to bring about more evil in the name of good.  However, things this time didn’t go so well for Saul’s way when the LORD interrupted his journey with a very personal touch and a very strong message of truth.  Instantly a great light shown down from heaven and a powerful voice came down clearly saying to Saul alone “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me”.  As in the death of Stephen again we can recognize how Jesus was taking personal notice of what was being done to Christians by this natural man named Saul.  We can learn a very important lesson from these awesome words of truth.  The first thing that we should have just learned from reading these verses is that coming against any Christian for any negative reason is the exact same thing as coming against the risen divine LORD Jesus Christ.  The second thing that we should have just learned from this is that Jesus takes these acts of evil personally. Why does Jesus take persecuting a Christian the same as persecuting Him?  Saul/Paul clearly writes to us later in the New Testament and informs us in 1 Corinthians 12:7 that “Christians here in this world are the body of Christ”.  Natural people who choose to persecute Christians must learn and realize before it is too late that it is not wise to come against Jesus’ body here on the earth.  Jesus Christ is a far greater Spiritual Force than the spiritual force that is tricking them to do this evil (1 Jn 4:4).   Wow, I do not believe that very many people understand this truth yet.

I will go further and also say that this revealed truth is true regardless of your salvation state, being either saved or unsaved. If you are not a Christian and you are persecuting a Christian mentally, physically, emotionally, legally or verbally you are coming against the greatest spiritual force of power which is much greater than you can possibly imagine.  My point is that this same message of warning is true for a Christian that comes against other Christians as it is for an unbeliever to come against a believer.  This is still true even though you may believe that you are totally right and they are totally teaching false doctrines that you do not believe in.  Let’s review a summary of the major points in this section of the lesson:

Persecutor’s Perspective

  1. Persecutors believe they are doing “good” in their own minds.
  2. Persecutors are very pleased when they are victorious over and even cause the death of a Christian.
  3. Persecutors are deceived people that believe they are good and Christians are evil.
  4. Persecutors obviously do not believe, know or understand that they are deceived.
  5. Persecutors will use the law to back their agenda of persecution.
  6. Persecutors love to force their will and beliefs upon others.
  7. Persecutors feel justified to do evil because their rule of law is in agreement with them.
  8. Persecutors will use lies and break laws if there is a greater good for the expansion of their beliefs to occur.
  9. Persecutor’s goals are the complete removal of all Christian freedoms and privacy and eventually the end of all Christians.

God’s Perspective

  1. God takes note and watches all persecution that occurs to the Church.
  2. God takes all human persecution of the church personally.
  3. God says to persecutors coming against the church “Why are you persecuting me?”

Christian Perspective

  1. A Christian is the Body of Christ on the earth.
  2. Anyone persecuting a Christian is persecuting the LORD personally.
  3. A Christian when killed by persecution goes to be with the LORD instantly.
  4. Christians will be persecuted falsely without doing any evil.

 

THE CONVERSION OF SAUL THE PERSECUTOR

God showed the evil man Saul some very great mercy by appearing to him on the road to Damascus. Paul the former Saul will forever be grateful for the exceeding great compassion given to him.  While I believe it is within God’s power and ability for the Lord Jesus to do this with everyone that persecutes His body, I do not believe that He will and I may try to talk about this later but if not you will have to wait for another opportunity for me to try to explain why the Lord may not come down to save you from every evil doer on the planet personally.  We should have learned this truth when reading about the death of Stephen.

Act 9:5  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Act 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

I personally believe from understanding Romans 10:9-10 that Saul became a Christian falling on his knees on the road to Damascus.  I hope you understand how you and I became a Christian.  To be saved we must believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that God raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead after being crucified and buried 3 days and we must then confess Him as our LORD and Saul certainly did both of these while on the road to Damascus.  We can confirm this belief simply by reading Acts 9:17 when God sends a disciple named Ananias to Saul for him to receive his sight and to be filled with the Spirit of God.  Upon entering the house where Saul was waiting, Ananias calls the man Saul his spiritual brother and this is only possible and true if Saul has already received the Spirit of God being born again on the road to Damascus.   Therefore, Saul became exactly what he was fighting against and persecuting and that was very fortunate for him.

1Co 15:8  And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

God gives us another quick confirmation for what was just taught concerning Saul’s salvation on the road to Damascus written directly from the hand of Paul. Here in this chapter and verse Paul tells us about several others seeing Jesus personally  after His resurrection.   Then Saul says that he also saw him providing us an incredible revelation that he was then reborn “abnormally” during this encounter.  Saul was speaking of his spiritual rebirth (John 3:3) but I do not have the time to explain all of this more fully in this lesson.  Please just accept the facts that 1) Jesus appears to Saul, 2) Saul asks who he was, 3) Jesus identifies Himself, and 4) Saul then believes what he heard and acknowledges Him as his LORD and that was the definition of an abnormal spiritual rebirth.

We are extremely blessed to have Saul the former evil persecutor of Christians become a Christ follower.   After his salvation, Saul was given such great revelation from Jesus Christ of the Truth.  Saul would go on in his life of Christian ministry to write approximately 2/3 of the New Testament.  I believe that without Saul’s conversion that we would not have all of the information that we needed for us to be victorious Christians.  I know that this salvation of a persecutor seems to be off the mainline subject but I believe it is very important to know as a Christian. Let’s look at some writings of Saul/Paul and learn from him what he thought of this great transformation that he experienced:

1Ti 1:12  And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

1Ti 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

1Ti 1:14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

We can learn the most valuable information concerning a persecutor’s perspective by reading the N.T. since Paul was a former persecutor and he writes about it. As we can read in verse 12, Paul is so very thankful.  Here is a man that has now realized that he was headed for an eternal existence of pain and suffering in hell but now suddenly has been given the free gift of eternal life, a purpose and a new destiny. I can identify with Saul’s heartfelt change.  I know I am also eternally grateful for the free gift of God’s salvation and I know I don’t deserve it and neither did Saul.  We are all sinners (Rom 3:23) and deserve hell but God paid the penalty price for our sins (2 Cor 5:21).  Thank you Jesus!

Paul lists just a few of his guilty sins in verse 13 that he was personally participating in while persecuting Christians. Let’s go through these to better understand the dramatic change that took place in the heart of Saul.  The first sin listed was Saul calling himself a “blasphemer” and this is a Greek word that reveals significant amounts of new information that we should learn from.  According to the Strong’s definition of G989 translated as “blasphemer” it means to be scurrilous towards someone.  This word scurrilous has the following dictionary definition:

 Scurrilous : making or spreading scandalous claims about someone with the intention of damaging their reputation

This is exactly what Saul was doing to the early church. He used the words of his mouth to slander, accuse, condemn and judge the church falsely.  But even though Saul thought he was fighting against evil human people that were deceived, Jesus informed Saul that He was blaspheming against God personally.  This is pretty amazing information and I pray that it will hopefully cause someone to shut their mouth when speaking against Christians.

However, this Greek word G989 has some deeper more specific meanings for sinning against God with the words coming out of our mouths. Remember what Acts 8:1 and Acts 9:1 said that we looked at earlier?  Acts 8:1 used the word that was translated as “consented”.  This implies that Saul consented to words of others spoken against Stephen in addition to the actual murder of Stephen.  Saul did both of these willingly, physically, emotionally, mentally as well as verbally as both a willing direct instigator and participant and as an indirect accessory that watched others cast the stones.  These represent sins of both commission and omission.

Acts 9:1 is much clearer when it informed us that Saul spoke direct “threats” against Jesus and His body and this is a strong example of what blasphemy is defined to be in the Bible. I personally believe that a man or woman on the earth that speaks against a preacher or prophet of God or even just against one of God’s children is risking great consequences and danger if they do not repent like Saul did and change.  Jesus will certainly take all of these words personally either now in this world or later at judgment day.  Words have power and words have consequences.

The second sin that Paul lists is being a “persecutor” of the church, which is the body of Christ. This Greek word translated as “persecutor” means someone who is in pursuit of another.  However, this type of pursuit can not be for the good of the individual(s) being pursued as revealed to us by God in the passages we read about Saul in Acts chapters 7, 8 and 9.  Let’s quickly examine some synonyms for the word “persecute”.  Persecute is the same as words like “oppress”, “abuse”, “accuse”, “condemn”, “ill-treatment”, “torment”, “torture”, “martyr” and others could be added and we get this idea of truth because these are exactly what Saul did to the Christian members in the early church.   It is very important to note that Saul thought that what he was doing was what was right and good in the eyes of God and the government leadership of that day.

The third sin listed by Paul in verse 13 is “injurious” and this again is synonymous with the word persecute. Being injurious was a further explanation for what great evil sin he was guilty of.  I believe this word literally means physical injuries were taking place upon men and women in the name of good.  However, this word can also mean a verbal assault as well as a physical assault.  I am convinced that doing any Christian hurt and harm physically, mentally or emotionally is equivalent to the abuse and persecution of Jesus Christ that the Jews did to Him personally when they crucified Him on the cross in the eyes of God.

If we continue to read past Saul’s list of sins in verse 13 we will observe Saul’s stated appreciation for the Lord’s mercy being provided to him. Saul informs us that he received mercy instead of what he should have been given.  Wow, that is the amazing love of God being displayed to a very deceived and evil man.

Did you also notice in this written passage that Saul declared why he was given this great mercy from God? Why was this unthinkable mercy available to Saul even after all he had done?  Why was the judgment of the Almighty God not immediately given to Saul?  Why instead was mercy given? Paul tells us the answers in verse 13 that God’s mercy was available to him because of his own great “ignorance” of the truth.

This revelation of mercy based upon ignorance reveals so very much to us about God, people who persecute the church and about the Christian people who are being persecuted. According to God’s inspired Holy Word written through Paul, his ignorance and his unbelief were two of the main reasons that the church was then being persecuted and I believe these are the two main reasons the church is still going to be persecuted today.

Even though Saul was a very learned and educated man, he was extremely ignorant of the truth that really mattered. Yet Saul did not know how ignorant he was while he was sinning killing Stephen.  Please understand that no one that is ever deceived believes that they are deceived.  This is impossible simply because of the existence of their ignorance of the truth.  That is everyone’s problem “we simply don’t know what we don’t know yet”.   That is the mysterious advantage of the deceiver Satan.  Satan uses the weapon of human ignorance to destroy us (Hosea 4:6).  Satan can present enough lies with some basic mixed truth to allow a human to think that they are doing good for God when they are actually doing the evil plan that Satan desires them to do.  Satan is a revealed master deceiver (Rev 12:9)

Persecutors justify their evil actions in their minds overruling the evidence for clear evil acts with the belief that they are doing a greater good for a higher power of authority. Recently here in North Carolina, USA we have been in the news around the world because our state passed a law that disallowed men from going into women’s restrooms and women from going into men’s restrooms.  This law was designed to protect innocent children from predators. Yet, North Carolina has been accused of being biased, prejudiced, intolerant, discriminatory, bigoted and even hate filled towards a select few people who demand the right to go into any restroom that they sexually currently “identify” with.  Wow, where has truth gone?  Absolute truth, reason and morality have certainly passed highly over the minds of everyone that has been protesting against the law.  All of these deceived people are extremely ignorant of God’s truth.  We should ask ourselves a simple basic question, if truth is based simply upon how someone thinks and feels today; how and when will truth all change when they think and feel differently tomorrow?  Where do we ever draw the line of absolute?  It sounds like a constant moving target.  If we change the line of truth drawn today that was established then tomorrow it will become even more distant away from the standard of truth tomorrow.  I could teach an entire series on this but this is not the subject and I will not go there today.

Saul did such significant evil and justified it because he believed he was knowledgeable, correct and backed by the law. Saul was greatly deceived into believing in their popular religious human traditions. Satan filled the mind of Saul with replacement knowledge that sounded good to him.  However, it was still Saul’s ignorance of the actual truth that caused him to carry out the will and plan of Satan.  Once Saul came to the saving knowledge of the truth, suddenly the thoughts he had as a persecutor were gone.  Wow, that is good news for persecutor’s today.  There remains hope for everyone to be saved.

Just as Satan influenced and controlled the unsaved people like Saul nearly two thousand years ago to persecute the church, this is the same warning being given to us today. The spirit of Saul (Satan) is still at work in people today and these deceived people will rise up and begin to persecute the church with increasing enthusiasm before Jesus returns.  It has already started and we can clearly learn this from the Spirit of God’s message of warning or we can remain an ostrich Christian and bury our heads in the sand and choose to ignore it pretending it is not happening. I would recommend that we do not ignore it or pretend that it is not happening already.

I personally expect some very negative comments for the truth that I published today. You will receive the same soon if you are speaking the truth to anyone in the world today concerning their life style personal choices.  The spirit of Saul is alive and well on the planet.

Hos 4:6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

Did you know that God allows people to be ignorant, wrong and to even do evil and sin? This truth has always been an extreme mystery in the minds of many Christians “Why doesn’t God stop all of this evil?”  This would take another series of lesson’s to explain this to you today.  Therefore, I will leave that to another day also.  But we must at least first begin to understand that God does allow evil to occur in the world and is not the one that is causing it to occur and we can simply learn this truth by reading the story of the stoning of Stephen in Acts.  Jesus was found standing at the right hand of God observing the evil being done and did nothing to cause it or to stop it.  Wow, that boggles the mind of many religious people in the world.  I believe that God’s passive observation made it appear to Saul that he was doing what God desires and that He is for them and it temporarily reinforces their wrong behavior.  However, the wages of their sin will still overcome them and they will be judged for what they have done on the earth according to the truth found in the Bible.  The main point in this paragraph is that God will allow this persecution to continue so we better learn it is coming.

I have talked briefly about the persecutor’s reasoning and justification for persecuting the church as well as the superior divine perspective on the persecution situation to allow it to occur. Now in conclusion I want to speak to the church’s reaction to this coming persecution.  What was the reaction to this evil in the early church and what will probably happen in these end times?  I believe that the early church’s reaction was both natural and supernatural.

Act 8:4  Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.

Reread Acts 8:4. God reveals to us all the two fold reaction to the great havoc being perpetrated upon the church.  First notice the fact that it did not stop the Gospel from being preached.  It did however cause the people to scatter.  What does scatter mean?  This Greek word is a based upon a farming concept of “sowing” seed.  This is a great revelation since it is concerning the “Word” of God being spread to the entire world.  Remember when Jesus taught the parable of the Sower in Mark 4?  The sower sowed the Word of God.  The seed being sown was God’s Word and this is the only thing possible today in the world that can save people and turn them from hell.

The end result of persecution in the early church was a greater spread of the Word of God, an explosion of salvations in many new locations and this is exactly what will happen today in the end of the church age.

The Greek word translated as “preaching” in this verse is a word that means “to announce good news” to someone. What kind of person would still be trying their best to preach the good news of God’s salvation to anyone that was or still is trying to imprison and kill them?  The normal human tendency or reaction against persecution is for us to fight back, or to defend oneself or even to run away and hide in a cave to not be found.  I have seen people plan and do all of these in this modern world.  Which would you do?  Wow, that is a very great question to consider.  If you are a Christian would you be able to do nothing but be forgiving and loving to the persecutor and turn your other cheek? Consider the warning and then make a good choice now before being faced with it.

Persecutor’s Perspective

  • Persecutors believe they are doing what pleases God and their lawgivers.
  • Persecutors don’t believe they are sinning.
  • Persecutors believe their words spoken against Christians are good.
  • Persecutor’s goals are to damage the reputation of God and Christians.
  • Persecutors believe causing physical injury to Christians is good.
  • Persecutors believe they know the truth and are not ignorant.
  • Persecutors believe others are deceived and they are not.
  • Persecutors believe there is no God to answer to or Satan influencing them.

 

God’s Perspective

  • God sees all of the sins of everyone including persecutors.
  • A persecutor can be saved and change their evil ways.
  • God says speaking against a Christian is equivalent to “blasphemy”.
  • God says killing a Christian is the same as nailing Jesus to the cross.
  • God will show mercy to any sinner including murderous persecutors.
  • God tells us that persecutors are extremely ignorant of the truth.

 

Christian Perspective

  • A Christian has gained saving knowledge of the truth.
  • A Christian was shown great mercy by God and is thankful for it.
  • A Christian desires to share this saving knowledge of Jesus with others even though it costs them their own life.
  • A real and maturing Christian begins seeing things happening in the world from God’s perspective.

 

 

CONCLUSION

In conclusion I want us to see a future prophecy concerning the coming persecution of the church. Revelation chapter 4 and verse 1 God calls for John to come up to heaven so that he can be shown things that will happen in the future and this includes this prophetic chapter of Revelation 12.  Let’s read just verse 12 and 13 concerning our main subject study to learn Satan’s motivating factor for increasing persecution upon the church during the end time.

Rev 12:12  Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

Rev 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

This chapter in Revelation 12 totally fascinates me. I could spend a long time trying to convince you who the woman in this chapter symbolically represents but I have already tried to do this in another lesson series.  I will summarize briefly that lesson series by saying this woman being described can only fit the pattern of the church that is being persecuted by Satan.  We learn this easily by the symbolism that she is clothed with at the beginning of the chapter and by the statements within the chapter.  For example read verse 11:

Rev 12:11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

This is the immediate preceding contextual verse and it can only apply to those that are in the church. I have heard this verse quoted in many church services and they are applying these words to themselves and their struggles in this life with the devil.  It is the Word of God and the Blood of Jesus that were given to us by Jesus in the church to insure us we will overcome Satan.  If you have not read the Revelation 12 series of lessons I would strongly recommend that you do so.   I do not have the time to repeat every detailed verse.

Let’s go back quickly to verse 12 and review the message from God. This is clearly a warning from God given to the inhabitants of the earth through the apostle John.  In this verse Satan has been cast down from heaven after a great spiritual warfare and according to this prophecy he is in a furious way committing murder on the earth.  If you look up and study the Greek word that is translated as “wrath” it comes from a root word that can mean to slaughter, kill or sacrifice someone.  This sounds a lot like what Saul was doing doesn’t it?  This simply confirms what we learned earlier.  It was the spirit of Satan influencing and controlling Saul through his ignorance that caused the persecution of the church to begin on the earth.

As it was in the beginning of the church age so shall it also be at the end of the church age. Persecution is the key word found in verse 13 of Revelation 12.  Satan in this verse is still persecuting the same woman that he was persecuting using Saul that we read about in Acts.  We in the church are not a different woman; we just have newly grown members within the same body of Christ. If you are confused about what I just said I would strongly recommend you read the Bible lesson that I wrote a long time ago about “How the Church Became the Body of Christ”.

During this end-time persecution it will also be Satan using new ignorant people with the exact same spirit behind it all. If you look up the Greek word in verse 13 translated as “persecute” it is G1377 which was also the word spoken to Saul while on the road to Damascus by Jesus “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”   God connects the two verses with His word selection and the message is very plain to me that God is speaking of the same subject being done to the same church body.

Today’s lesson was just a basic introduction to the broad subject of “persecution” and the spirit of Saul that is behind it. I believe God awakened me in the night to bring this message of warning to those that would receive it and learn from it.  There is a rising of evil on the earth taking place.  The enemy’s rage is increasing as the end of the age draws closer.  How you react to it may just determine where you spend eternity.  A Christian that withdraws and conforms to the world view may be greatly disappointed with their choice.  However, standing up for the truth of God’s Word and proclaiming it boldly will certainly cause us to be persecuted.   I will conclude today’s Bible message with these words from my Lord Jesus:

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

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

Mat 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

I wanted to talk more about Satan’s perspective for persecution today but I will try my best (the LORD willing) to cover this part of the topic in the next lesson Part 2.

Thank you for reading and studying the Bible with me. I hope this word of warning given by the Lord Jesus will be taken to heart and it will help you to prepare for what is certainly coming.   God bless you all very much and thank you for your prayers for me as I will continue to pray for you also.

If you would like to continue to read the next lesson in this series please click here “PART 2

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION TO THE NAME OF THE LORD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD BENEFITS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We should learn that salvation is the primary need to learn, know and believe in the name of Jesus, but there is also another quick reference given to us in verse 10 that should be mentioned.  If you read the context you will find why Peter is speaking about Jesus and His name.  Peter had just used his faith in the name of Jesus to cause a lame man at the temple gate to walk.  It was this name of Jesus that Peter said made the man whole.  The Greek word translated as whole means to be healed and made complete.  That teaches us that salvation is much more than just God taking our spirits to heaven after we die.  No the Greek word translated as salvation is “sozo” and it means to be made whole spiritually, mentally and physically.   Go back in Acts and read verse 9 where Peter is telling the elders “by what means this man was made whole”.  The Greek word “whole” in this verse is G4928 “sozo” and it means “to save, deliver or protect”.  This word is used in the N.T. in a varied and wide all-inclusive process.  The name of Jesus saves us in so many ways that most of us have not yet realized or believed.  I’m really not going to get into this part of the meaning of salvation any further in this lesson.  I have other lessons that will expand upon this if you are interested.

What we must conclude from just these few verses that I have gone through so far today is that Jesus was Jehovah come down to save, deliver and protect us by our faith in His name and saying He is our Jehovah (LORD).  That is what the name Jesus means and that was what has occurred and is offered to you if you choose to believe it and receive it.  Therefore, our salvation is the most important reason for believing in and calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus.  This truth was clearly established in Romans 10:13 and Acts 2:21.  We are commanded to call upon His name and God says we will be saved.  Satan will fight you over this and try with all his power to get you not to believe this because this will take you out of his kingdom of darkness and he will no longer be your lord.  I seriously hope and pray that you understand what is being said here because the antithesis truth not directly stated is that if you do not believe or call upon the name of Jesus you will not be saved and go to hell.

DIVINE SIGNIFICANCE FOR THE NAME OF JESUS

I am going to conclude this name of Jesus Bible lesson with a final message of warning.  This warning comes directly from God’s Word and not from my imagination.  I am just the messenger that is delivering the warning.  Paul is writing to the church in these next few verses and we should take special heed to what is stated especially in the light of what we have learned so far about Jesus is Lord/Jehovah.  Turn to Philippians chapter 2 and read with me:

Php 2:5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Php 2:6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Php 2:7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Php 2:8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Php 2:9  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Php 2:10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Php 2:11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

According to God people can bow their knees to the name of the LORD Jesus right now by their choice or they will be forced to bow later without a choice.  There are no other options given to us.  It is and always will be a right now decision by an act of freewill humble submission and surrender or later by an act of superior force.  You need to spend a lot of time reading these verses and understanding what is being revealed about Jesus conforms to everything that I have taught up until this point and then realize who God claimed Himself to be in His written Holy Word.  Verses 5 through 8 teach us about God coming down from heaven and taking on the form of a human male.  He humbles Himself to be a servant in order to die on a cross for our sins.  Verse 9 is referring to God raising Jesus from the dead to ascend back into heaven being given a much superior name above every other name.

Read down to verse 11 and notice who Jesus is written by God’s design to be again.  God tells us in this verse that every tongue will confess that “Jesus is LORD”.  Who is this LORD?  Always remember that the Greek word translated as “LORD” is G2962 Kurios the exact same word that we learned earlier that was equivalent to the Hebrew word H3068 JEHOVAH by God’s definition?  If God inspired the writer Paul to write this message in his native Hebrew language instead of the Greek, what would it have said?  Remember the writer Paul was a native Jew by his own admission.   Paul would have thought thoughts primarily in the Hebrew language.  Therefore, reread the statement inserting the Hebrew word equivalent, “every tongue will confess that JESUS CHRIST IS JEHOVAH”.  Wow that is a very strong word of warning for us to believe in right now.  I really do not understand why people do not think when they read the Bible.  The truth is staring them right in the face but it is hidden from their view by wrong thinking.  Please confess that Jesus is Jehovah right now because later you will be forced to say it but it will be too late.

CONCLUSION

We have only begun to touch on this very major subject of believing that Jesus is Jehovah and calling upon the name of Jesus to be saved.  I have only introduced you to a very small portion of the importance of the name of Jesus. However, we have seen more than enough reasons and evidence to confirm the significance of why it is vitally essential to know Jesus by name and who He was as Jehovah incarnate.   I have also taught on why we all need to believe and call upon this name in order to be saved using multiple verse confirmations.  We have learned a few reasons to know what is gained from believing in the name of Jesus and by calling upon Him by name.  It is very clear from Bible research that the early church taught on this subject of the name of Jesus everywhere they encountered people that needed to be saved. If the early church placed such great emphasis on Jesus being Jehovah why should we not do the exact same?   I will list a few benefits for doing this now again for a quick synopsis overview:

  1. When we believe on Him we will call and when we do not believe we will not call.
  2. When we call upon Him, He will hear us.
  3. When He hears us, God says that He will answer.
  4. All who believe and call on the name of the LORD Jesus will be saved.
  5. Salvation is found in absolutely no other name but the name of Jesus.
  6. I’ll say it again, there is no other name given to men whereby we may be saved.
  7. Never forget to tell people that Jesus is Jehovah.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this Bible lesson.  I do pray that it opened your eyes to see some things that you have never considered before about Jesus and God’s Word.  I hope and pray that this lesson will give sufficient evidence to convince any doubters to confess Jesus is Jehovah now.  If you have the opportunity to share my website with your friends and family I would be so grateful for your help spread the Word of God to others.  Thank you all and God Bless you until next time.

BIBLE ANSWERS: How Can the Bible Be Called a Personal Love Letter Written to Me?

bible-answers2(Ver 1.1)  Today’s Bible lesson contains a response from the Spirit of God to answer a very important question asked by a loyal Agapegeek reader.  My reader asked me why I could call the Bible a personal love letter written from God to you and me.  I have mentioned this concept more than once in other Bible lessons.  I have suggested to peoplet that they read the Bible like it was”a personal love letter from God written to them”.  I firmly believe that if each of us would just change or adjust our perspective of the Bible slightly to see it differently from where we may have seen it before that it would be of great benefit for us to help us learn the truth.  What if we read the Bible as if it was a private love correspondence written from a very dear boyfriend or girlfriend?  How would this attitude change your expectations of the words on the page?  Would you consider the word’s of the Bible more meaningful or to be significantly changed by God’s great love for you?  I really do believe that you would.

I grew up in the age before email and text messaging.  In that age to reach someone of any distance you had to write a letter to them.  Yes, I know the telephone was there and that could be used to convey a lot of the same or even better information with feelings by hearing their voice directly.  But long distance calling was expensive so the best way to normally talk to someone in any length was to write a letter to your love.   While God could certainly boom out His message directly from heaven for everyone to hear, He too has chosen to reach out to us using a written form of messaging.  This raises two questions immediately in my mind and these were 1). for what purpose was the Holy Bible written and 2). what were God’s thoughts for us when it was written?  The intent of the Bible could have been anywhere from an attitude of anger, rage and hate on one side of the pendulum to being from a calm, peaceful and loving attitude towards us on the other side.  Which one was it?

Many people read the Bible as if it was written only by a powerful angry God of judgment and punishment for all of their sins and the evils that they have done in this world.  But I am not one of those and I believe the Bible came from a God with a personal caring attention and a specific communication style of love directed at at all of those that would take the time to read what He said!  I believe that we should each receive the Bible like it was an important special delivery love letter written from the most distant place called heaven from the most special person in our lives and see it as Him speaking directly sweet, kind and loving words written to us.  Look at the Bible as God making well intended promises about what He will do for us and to us when He comes for us because of His great love for us.

My reader said that God’s Spirit on the inside of him witnessed with his spirit that this type of Godly loving attitude of message content was a correct perspective to receiving the Bible.  He also felt that it was a true saying that I wrote about in my Bible lessons when I said we should read it like a love letter from God.  But, yet he still needed scriptural evidence and proof for the defense of this statement to confirm his belief.  In other words how could he defend this stated belief if someone asked him why he believed His Bible was a supernatural personal love letter written to him from God?  What an excellent question and what an admirable quality of Christian character to possess.  For someone to be so open minded and in tune with the Spirit of God but at the same time wanting to verify whatever is taught with the backing of the Bible caused him to be like one of the noble Berean types of Christians found in Acts 17:11.  I hope and pray that you are the same way.  Therefore let’s obtain foundation evidence from the Bible for a belief that God wrote the Bible as a personal love letter.

 

WHY WE NEED TO KNOW THE ANSWER

 Let’s open this Bible study with a directly related discussion to why we need to be able to answer when someone asks us a question about the Bible concerning why we believe the way we do about what is written in it.  What I want you to learn in this initial section is why it is important to learn, know and remember the sound Bible truths in order to respond to the questions of people desiring to understand the foundation basis of our beliefs and faith in Jesus Christ. We will begin reading form the book of Colossians:

Col 4:3  Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

Col 4:4  That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.

Col 4:5  Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

Col 4:6  Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

This is such an excellent set of verses.  Paul writes to the church of Colossae.  This information should immediately raise the question in your mind “why am I reading a letter written nearly 2000 years ago to someone else originally like it was applicable to me?  This is what many intellectual deceived people will conclude.  I have also heard religious people that graduate from unnamed seminaries use this argument to explain away verses that did not conform to their traditions.  However that is a lie from Satan.  This letter was written to the Church of Jesus Christ and that is me because I’m in the same body of Christ and they were. There is no new body of Christ today from back them.  I hope that you understand that.

Paul writes both a request for prayer as well as to give them instructions on our important subject question do we need to defend our faith to non-believers?  Paul asks for them to pray that God would open a door for him to be able to preach the mystery of Christ to the lost.  Paul expounds clearly and plainly that God’s word contains divine mysteries that are not easily understood by carnal minded unsaved people.  Therefore Paul then asks them to pray that God would show him what to speak so that he could walk in divine wisdom toward them that were unsaved.  This is an excellent prayer for me if you would have the time to do that.  I know if you are witnessing to people it would be a good prayer for you also.  Let’s continue to go through some more of the information found in these verses written to us in the church.

Paul is talking about speaking the right words for the specific situations for those coming opportunities that God was going to present to him through the open doors being prayed for.  Can you understand what Paul needed and why it is even necessary to ask God for this to help others get saved?  Think with me for a moment.  Every man is different.  Each individual being different will respond to only certain personal words.  One answer to one man will be rejected by another.   This is why we need God to help us because only He knows the right words to speak for every person we encounter.

What if someone that is unsaved comes to you and asks you why do you believe in Jesus?  Do you have an answer?  Wow, I think many do not.  Now let me ask you something related to what Paul prayed.  Do you have the answer that they will receive?  Someone coming to you and asking why you believe in Jesus is really no different than if someone comes to you and asks you why are you reading the Bible?  I believe that one possible good answer to that question would be “I read the Bible because this is God’s love letter that He wrote to me personally”.   However this answer may just bring up another direct question about why you said that?  Will you be able to answer that question also?  What kind of proof or evidence do you have to present to anyone in the court of human personal interaction to defend your statement?  I hope and pray that is the reason that you are reading this Bible lesson to find out.

Col 4:6  Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Look at verse 6 again because this is the main point that I wanted you to see in this introduction.  God says through Paul for our speech (words spoken to the unsaved world) to always be done with God’s Grace (full of grace, spoken in grace, led by grace and even done with and for grace).  Then God says to let your words be seasoned with salt.  Wow now we are getting into more difficult symbolism.  We could spend days talking about the subject of salt but that is not my main subject today.  Therefore let’s move to the last statement in verse 6.

In the last statement in verse 6 God says if we let our words be as the seasoning and preserving salt filled with grace this will cause us to be able to answer any man’s question the way that we should.   What God is saying is you better expect questions concerning your faith and beliefs to come from unsaved people and then you also better expect to give them answers to those questions right away.  Are you ready to do that?

1Pe 3:15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Today the question asked to me was “Why I believe the Bible is written to me personally as a divine love letter from the Almighty God”.  Let’s get into the subject of why the Bible can be considered a divine love letter written to you and I from the most intelligent and all powerful being that you can imagine named God.

 

WHY SHOULD WE CALL THE BIBLE A LOVE LETTER?

 I’ll begin this section of the subject study by using a very basic important fact presented to us in the Bible about how God identifies to us His character as being love.  This basic foundational fact should be one of the truths that every Christian learns directly after being saved.  Knowing God’s true character and nature will help us to know how to understand the entire rest of Bible.  We should always balance God’s revealed character of love with His stated works and actions.  I will say that this is a complex question to answer and sometimes Bible answers to basic questions are not as easy as reading only one verse but I will still try to answer the question as best as I can in this presentation of message delivery.  Let’s start with seeing this very important basic Bible truth of God’s character found directly in the first epistle of John:

1Jn 4:8  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

1Jn 4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

Notice the declaration of divine character being presented to the church in these two verses that “God is LOVE”!  The Greek word translated as “God” in these verses is G2316 and this Greek word can be transliterated as “THEOS”.   THEOS is one of the dominate N.T. names of God and is found in 1172 verses.  THEOS is LOVE is one of the most vital statements of God’s makeup, character, personality and nature found in the entire Bible.  Love is stated to define who and what God is and this declaration must be the revealed source for His other great qualities such as His morals, His compassion, His mercy and His grace.  God wraps all of His other Bible described attributes in the one word named Love.  This word translated as “love” is the Greek word “AGAPE” (G26) and we all need to learn this word.  According to John 3:16 AGAPE means to give grace, mercy and compassion to someone when it is not desired, deserved, earned or even appreciated.  I am not going to explain that statement further so if you can’t read John 3:16 and see that this is a true statement you need to spend a great deal of time studying on this verse before you continue in this lesson.

God’s (THEOS) divine love (AGAPE) is nowhere close to a normal human type of expressed love.  The God kind of love is unconditional.  God loves us because this is His character and nature and not because of anything that we can do for Him or to Him to earn it.   I would like to make a point that God does not have love because these verses say very clearly that God is love.  There is a huge difference between being something and having something. For example if I had gold that is completely different than saying that I am gold.   Humans fall in love and fall out of love and this is not an example of God’s love (AGAPE).  God is never going to stop loving you because you did something wrong, made a mistake or even told Him that you did not love Him.  Wow, that is difficult to even comprehend.

What we observe from these two statements in 1 John 4:8 and 4:16 is that there is a definite mathematical law that what one (GOD THEOS) is the other (LOVE AGAPE) is.  Each are declared to be the equivalent representative of the other only using a different description, name, title or label.  Wow, that was a very powerful statement of truth.  What I am saying is when you see “AGAPE” you should see “THEOS” and when you see “THEOS” you should see “AGAPE”.  There is no difference between the two by God’s definition.  Remember that this is God’s definition and not mine.  God teaches us that they both are stated to be mathematically equivalent.    This truth is like saying “GOD/THEOS” = “LOVE/AGAPE” in mathematical notation terms.  Let’s check out another verse that claims God is love:

2Co 13:11  Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

Here we have further confirmation that God is love.  I like to give more than one verse to prove the statements that I make because God declares in the mouth or two or three witnesses from the Bible let every word be established.   Here is God writing through Paul to say “the God of LOVE”.  It would be perfectly fine to say “the God (THEOS) who is love (AGAPE) and peace will be with you”.   Wow, I just love the Bible.  This is simply teaching us because we have God on the inside of us we have LOVE present.  We cannot or at least should not deny that God (THEOS) is stated to be love (AGAPE).

Ok we have just learned and now should know that God and love are stated to be equivalent and so whatever God does should be concluded to be based upon HIS dominant descriptive quality of Him being LOVE.  Do you understand this logic so far?  Therefore, based upon 1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:16 and 2 Corinthians 13:8 we have a new mathematical rule to use that states wherever GOD (THEOS) is found LOVE (AGAPE) can be found also by the mathematical law of algebraic substitution.  Using these mathematical commutative laws it is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged to say GOD (THEOS) = LOVE (AGAPE) and therefore LOVE (AGAPE) = GOD (THEOS) and we can use either titled name form to describe Him or point others to Him.  Do you understand this very basic mathematical truth reality?  If you do then please read this verse next carefully with this in new information in the forefront of your mind:

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

Now change the single most important focused subject word “God” (THEOS) found in this verse to the equivalent of “Love” (AGAPE) using the mathematical laws of substitutionary equivalency and reread the sentence:

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

Now we should be able to begin to easily understand why I could say that God’s Holy Word was a personal Love Letter written to you and me.    Based upon this knowledge, one of the primary reasons for the purpose of the Bible being given to us is because of GOD/LOVE.  Then God explains in this verse because of His love His Word is beneficial to teach us (doctrine).  This literally means God’s Word instructs us like children helping us to grow up.  The next benefit for God’s word is “reproof” and this is a Greek word that means to give us “proof” or “evidence”.  Uh oh that is exactly what we all need to answer any question.  We are finding the proof that the Bible is God’s love letter simply by studying and learning what He says.  This is us again coming to God’s Word like 2 year old children asking their loving parent why, why and why.  Next the Bible is then stated to benefit us by “correcting” us.  This simply means a confirming repetition of the previous statements that God is turning us away from the ways that are not good for us using His loving Word.  This is exactly the role of a loving parent given to their child in a caring and loving relationship.  The final statement is a Greek word translated as “instruction” which declares the same loving purpose for the Word of God meaning “tutorage”.  God is simply saying My Word will train you in the way you should be going as a wise loving parent will do for any of their children with great love.

What we have just observed is a Loving Heavenly Father that gives us His word in Love and for AGAPE instruction, training and evidence.  This should be changing your perspective of the Bible dramatically by now if you are His child and want to grow spiritually.

 

HOW CAN ALL OF THE WORD OF GOD BE PERSONAL TO ME?

 Jer_29_11We have just gone through a simple quick introduction to the subject of why the Bible is a written love letter from God.  But we still need to connect why the entire Bible should be considered personally written to you and I?  In other words if the Old Testament was originally written to the natural nation of Israel, how do any of these previous Old Testament words apply to us today in the New Testament church?  I will answer that question by saying Old Testament verses do relate and apply to us if we know how to use them.  But let’s begin by taking a specific O.T. example to consider.  We will go back to a verse that is often used by modern church preachers.  This verse is found in the book of Jeremiah.  Yet it this old verse is often quoted to be for us now in the church.

Jer 29:11  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

First consider the verse using the knowledge gained from the second section in the lesson on the subject of GOD = LOVE.  Is this verse in Jeremiah 29:11 a love based statement?  I believe it is very clear that it is AGAPE based.  The LORD is speaking in this statement and He declares that He has good plans for the intended reader of this text.  It further says that God has good thoughts of peace towards these people also.   Sounds like a loving father to me, how about you?   If you read the context you will see in verse 1 of this chapter that these words were written to the remnant of Israel that was taken captive into Babylon.  This is clearly not me or you, is it?  So how does this type of verse apply to us in the church?  That is the great question.  Do verses like Jeremiah 29:11 have anything to do with you and I today?

Do you remember that we just learned from 2 Timothy 3:16 that “ALL SCRIPTURE” was given by inspiration of God for our instruction and this statement was written directly to the church and I am certainly in the church.  This verse in 2 Timothy immediately teaches us that even the Old Testament contains inspired words that are at the least important and beneficial for us to learn from.   Do you understand this so far?  Do you agree with this concept so far?

When the church was first established based upon the description given to us in the book of Acts, the disciples preached the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of that day using only the Old Testament writings.  Therefore the O.T. verses were the only divinely inspired Words of God that could be used to verify doctrinal information that they possessed or were presented.  The Old Testament was the only proof and evidence that was present to confirm everything that was being taught by the disciples.  If you read Acts 17:11 as I previously mentioned it declared the more noble Berean Christians searched these O.T. scriptures daily to verify what was being taught by Peter, James, John, Paul and etc.  This should help us to begin to understand the significance of why even the Old Testament is so important to learn and correctly understand for us in the modern church.  It is vital to remember that the Old Testament verses were given by the same inspiration of AGAPE that the New Testament verses were given by.  There is absolutely only one Bible written by only one author and He is the God called LOVE and this fact will sustain us to arrive at the truth if we continue to study and learn.

Christians today often still struggle to understand how a verse written to the Old Testament natural nation of Israel could be applicable to them.  Therefore, let’s examine some verses in the New Testament that help us to understand why they do apply to us.  We will begin by reading a verse found in 2 Corinthians:

2Co 1:20  For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

 Here is where life could begin to get complicated for many Bible readers.  This is a verse of Holy Scripture that teaches all of us in the church that “EVERY” promise made by God applies to us even if they were made by God during the Old Covenant.   That statement is also a complicated concept that passes over the head of Christians.  They tend to over analyze and see many O.T. promise verses as being only made to the people of natural Israel but that is not what this verse said.  Every is an all-inclusive statement omitting none of them.  That means if God made a promise it is ours by the definition of 2 Corinthians 1:20.   However there is a qualification given in order to be included in this statement.  Did you see it in the verse?  We must pay attention to every detail or we will fall into error easily.

The qualification for God’s promises to be made manifest was given to only those that were “IN HIM”.  I’ll say it again “All the promises of God are given to those that are in Him”.  All the promises of God are Amen (so be it) to ONLY those that are “in Him”.  What does that mean?   This simply teaches us a principle that is not widely taught in the church but I will try to explain this without going into great detail in this lesson.  I’ll begin by asking you “Are you in Him?”  The “Him” is of course referring to Christ Jesus!    You are either “In Him” if you are saved or you are “separated and apart from Him” if not saved.  That is the basic simple truth.

So why is it important for us to be in Jesus Christ?  Wow that is an amazing question to find the answer if you really think about it?  Who was Jesus Christ?  We should already know that Jesus was the Son of God the second person of the Godhead and trinity.  But, we should also know that He was the Son of Man (Adam) and a descendant of Abraham.  The genealogy of Jesus given by divine inspiration in Luke 3 proves to us the natural family lineage of Jesus as direct descendant of the natural nation of Israel.  This makes Jesus our qualifying partner.  Jesus was and is the reason we can possess the Old Testament promises of God written to natural Israel.  There are over 100 verses in the New Testament that informs us that we are in Christ Jesus.  Because we are said to be in Jesus Christ, we have what He has.  What Jesus possesses we possess.  It is very simple and yet so very profound.  Let’s explore some additional New Testament verses to help confirm what is being taught:

Gal 3:9  So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Here is another potentially confusing verse.  They which “be” of faith is speaking of “you and I” if you are saved by God’s grace through your faith (Eph 2:8).  Are you of faith?  I know I am of the faith!  Then it says if you are of faith then you are blessed along with and the same as faithful Abraham.  Why would this be a true statement?  Many of us in the church are probably not a natural descendant of Abraham.  So how can we have the same blessings as Abraham?  Let’s continue down to another verse in Galatians to learn more:

 Gal 3:14  That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Oh, this verse is beginning to speak more directly of me because I’m definitely a Gentile man.  Notice that the blessings of Abraham will come upon the Gentiles through the Lord Jesus Christ.  Now we have two keys to the puzzle.  There was the mention of faith in verse 9 and mention of Gentiles being blessed through Christ Jesus in verse 14.  What we are doing is gathering puzzle pieces to learn how the spiritual things of God were accomplished and how they apply to us by faith.  But there is much more to learn and we are missing the main puzzle piece still.  Let’s continue to read down into verse 16:

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

Notice what this verse says because this is a very essential New Testament truth ignored by many.  God through the Apostle Paul writes to us that all of the promises made to Abraham were made to him and to his seed.  But here is where the clarification comes from God that it was not all of the people that were born from Abraham but rather only one seed being Jesus Christ.   Do you understand this?  God promised the blessing to only Abraham and to only Jesus the seed of Abraham.  That is an amazing statement of truth being given by revelation to Paul.  Seed is a word that can be singular or plural without any modification.  It is only by the choice of the speaker which one it is.  Since God is the speaker we need to conform to which one He said it was and not what we thought or learned from a man.  Do you understand that principle?

Why did I just go through all of these verses in Galatians to teach you these basic Bible facts?  It is simply because since we are “IN CHRIST” we have everything that He has been given by God.  Every blessing that was promised to Christ belongs to me and to you also if you are in Christ.  I’ll say it one more time “What was given to Jesus has been given to us by our faith in Him”.   I will only go over one other puzzle piece in this chapter for the conclusion of this part of the section:

Gal 3:29  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

If you are Christ’s then God declares that you are Abraham’s seed and an heir according to the promise given to Abraham and his seed.  Wow again an awesome statement.  This is just further confirmation that whatever God promised to Abraham in the Old Testament was given to Christ and because we are “IN CHRIST” we have also become the seed of Abraham.  Are you receiving this message from God?  The primary reason I am going through these verses is to teach you why statements made to the natural seed can and will still apply to us in the church today.  Most of the church today are not natural seeds of Abraham but because Jesus was a natural seed that the promise was made to then we have obtained the blessing also.  This is one of the primary reasons why most of the blessing verses written to natural Israel can and will apply to us today in the church.

Do you remember how we got here?  I began teaching this section declaring the truth of 2 Corinthians 1:20 that teach us that “all of the promises of God are in Him Yes and Amen in Christ Jesus”.  What we have accomplished is the placing together of many pieces to present a greater and more complete pictured truth.  Each individual picture piece represents a truth that when joined together correctly present a view into something that is truly much more significant for us to know.   I’ll end this section of the lesson with only one other verse concerning the promises of God:

Heb 8:6  But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

This verse is again speaking of Jesus.  The works of God through Christ Jesus are so much greater than most of us really know or understand.  What God has done through Jesus and given to us because of His death, burial and resurrection is far beyond the human imagination.  All of God’s promises of blessings given to natural Israel have been given to us plus a whole lot more.  The promises of God in the New Covenant must be greater than all of those given in the Old Covenant or no one could call them better.  This is just another reason why it is legal for us in the church to go back into the Old Testament and use any of those words of blessing from God in our lives.  Whatever we can find spoken and written down by God through one of His prophets will be the minimum that we should possess.  In other words we can claim by our faith in Jesus because we are IN HIM and we now have better promises that trump those of the Old Testament.

 

CONCLUSION

 I hope and pray that you enjoyed this very basic but very essential Bible lesson answering the question “How can the entire Bible be considered a personal love letter from God written to me?”  This lesson should provide us a firm foundation for why the verses of blessing that were written to the natural nation of Israel can be applied and taken as a promise from God to us today in the church.  I began this lesson teaching the basic character trait that GOD/THEOS = LOVE/AGAPE.  I then took this truth and applied it to the Bible being given and inspired by GOD/THEOS who is LOVE/AGAPE.  We substituted AGAPE for THEOS in the verse of 2 Timothy and this taught us that the Bible was LOVE inspired written down by men of God for us to learn from.  We went through the fact that there are over 100+ verses in the Bible that tell us those that are saved are “IN CHRIST”.  These verses benefit us because we were given the promises of God made to Abraham by our faith the same as Jesus because we are “IN HIM”.

If you have any questions or comments about anything that was written down here I would be very glad to read them and to respond to them as time and the Lord permits.  Please share this website with you friends and family to help the Word of God’s truth be spread to everyone for free on this planet.  The more God can reach and help people the faster that Jesus can come back and take us out of this world.  I’m personally looking forward to Jesus coming very soon.  Redeem the time because the time is short.  Stand firm in the faith of Jesus Christ and tell everyone you can about His saving grace.  Thank you and may God continue to richly bless you to grow spiritually.

Predestination Revisited! – Part 4 — God’s Invitation to the Wedding

invitation4(Ver 1.1) Today I am teaching another lesson on the highly controversial subject of “predestination” or “election” as it is also referred to many times.  This is Part 4 of what should be a basic Bible study series concerning a very difficult and easily misunderstood Bible subject that is taken to extremes to place deception into the minds and lives of Christians.  Satan does this to remove human “freewill” as being a factor for salvation.  It further removes human responsibility to getting saved or staying saved.  The extreme predestination philosophy allows an anything goes belief for acceptable human behavior without consequences of guilt or punishment.  It removes the need for repentance, believing, learning, growing up spiritually and many other factors for a successful Christian life.  If you have not read this series form the beginning I would strongly recommend that you go back and start with “Part 1” and then proceed forward to today’s Bible lesson.  In doing this you will get a more complete understanding of the entire subject.

In today’s lesson I will begin addressing more specifically two sets of Bible verses that are commonly used by extreme teachers to preach their erroneous doctrine of extreme “predestination”.  I received a question from a friend and this will be an answer for everyone to read and benefit from.  I was asked about Ephesians 1:3-11 and Romans 8:28-30 and I have to admit that reading these verses in isolation certainly gives us all the appearance of a valid “predestination” theology on the surface.  But was this what God did?  Did God predestine some to heaven and some to hell without any human participation or determination upon where they wanted to go?

It might surprise you that I agree with a part of the “predestination” theology.  The word “predestinate” is certainly a part of the Bible and this means we need to learn about it.  Bible “Predestination” simply means a divine plan was put into place by the sovereign mind and will of God and God putting His plan into action has predetermined the outcome result.  That is “predestination” in a very limited definition form.  Predestination simply means a predetermined outcome was planned by God by placing severe limits upon the possible outcomes.   That is what the word means and that is what God is bound to do but taking that definition and teaching what people do today is totally absurd.

I completely agree that God had a plan in place for human salvation long before He did anything to create our world.  This plan involved Jesus who was the Almighty God in the flesh coming to the earth as the sacrificial lamb (Rev 13:8).  Therefore God predetermined before man even existed that He would  come down to the earth in the form of sinful flesh (Rom 8:3) to die for the payment of our sins removing our penalty for them while we were all yet sinners (Romans 5:8).  This is the part of the doctrine of “Predestination” that I believe in with my whole heart and I hope and pray that you do also.

I also totally agree that God has omniscient foreknowledge of every event within human history and uses these events to put His plan into effect.  However, the problem that arises very quickly is when people take these basic truths and stretch them into realms of beliefs that are not stated in the Bible.  For example many people teach that God has predestined some to go to heaven and some to go to hell by His sovereign will and choice.  That part of the doctrine of predestination represents a line in the sand that I refuse to cross because it violates God’s written word and makes Him to be a liar and my God is not a liar.  I have already taught in three lessons about many things concerning why extreme predestination does not balance or conform to God’s entire precious Holy Word and we will be going into even more verses today because this is absolutely so important and vital for every Christian to understand.

AN INTRODUCTION AGAIN TO SALVATION

I realize that these verses that were given to me from Ephesians and Romans appear to confirm predestination as a legitimate theological doctrine.  I’m very sure that these are two of the primary references being used by pastors to teach on the subject of “predestination”.  But the extreme teaching and interpretation of these verses is by far not even close to being a correct or accurate representation of who God is or what God says.  These extreme teachings are certainly not balanced properly with the rest of the Bible.  For example let’s begin talking briefly about how we were saved according to scriptures:

 Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 

Gal 3:26  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Here we have some of the most important basics of Christianity and salvation.  God declares that we have been saved by God’s Grace but only in conjunction through our faith and we have been also made the children of God by our Faith in Christ Jesus also given only by God’s Grace.  Therefore it is only because of our faith and belief in Jesus that has accomplished salvation by God’s Grace.  If we have NO faith in Christ and choose NOT to believe in Him then we are not saved nor are we called His children.  Knowing this truth is the foundation for the rest of Christianity which causes spiritual growth to continue helping us to see our role, relationship and purpose for being saved in Christ.  Therefore I’m going to say something that may blow your mind but according to God’s Word it is the freewill choice of man to believe that determines whether or not we are selected (saved) and not God selecting us that determined our salvation.  I’ll probably get a lot of negative comments and may even lose some readers because of that statement but so what I’m not going to change God’s word to fit your theology.  It is really so very simple yet this scriptural truth of human faith being the determining factor for our salvation is ignored completely by many extreme “predestination” only preachers.  Let’s look at a new verse briefly to learn an additional confirmation of who should be considered the chosen and how they became this:

2Th 2:13  But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

We should be able to clearly see at first glance that God has chosen us from the beginning.  This is a basic predestination verse that teachers like to grab hold of to easily misunderstand the subject.  However, this verse is another example of divine and human partnership working together to achieve our salvation.  You see there are two direct things mentioned that God does in this verse and these are 1).  God has chosen us to (for) salvation and God has done this 2). Through a process called sanctification.  Then there are two direct things that we as Christians are said to do and these are 1). Give thanks to God for what He has done and 2). Believe the truth.   The key word I want to focus upon is the Greek word G4102 translated as “belief” in this verse.  This Greek word literally means to be persuaded of something.  It can be translated as “believe” or “belief” or even “faith”.  This is a word for humans not God.  This Greek word represents what we do.  It is a verb action of human response after hearing the Gospel (good news) of what God has done through Jesus Christ.  We are required to have faith in order to please God according to Hebrew 11:6.  Thus we are given one of the primary reasons for being chosen or selected by God is because of our faith.   In other words if you don’t believe or have any faith you will not be selected.  Do you understand this?  People want to say it was only God’s sovereign choice and His right to choose some and reject others that caused us to be saved or lost but that is foolish thinking based upon poor human reasoning with no scriptural backing for that belief.  No, the truth is that we determine whether we will be selected by our faith in Jesus Christ.  It is so easy when you finally see it.

ROMANS 8:28-30

 I was asked specifically about Romans 8:28-30 and Ephesians 1:3-11.  I’ll talk about Romans 8 first in this lesson but everything that is written could apply to Ephesians 1 also.  There are at least three mistakes that Bible teachers take upon themselves with their wrong interpretations of these scriptures that cause error to go forth to be taught.  First they ignore the context of the verses and that is taking phrases out of their setting to say what they think they want them to say instead of what they actually say.  Second there is a common problem of seeing verses from the wrong scriptural point of view to make the verses again say what they want instead of what God actually said being balanced with all other verses on the subject of human FREEWILL.  You see context is also much more than just the verses in the surrounding chapter.  Context must also include the whole Bible and every scripture that is related to the subject directly or indirectly.  God is one author of one book and people taking one statement without the rest will lead us to error.   Third there is the problem that occurs when an assumption is drawn based upon no direct facts being given.  We must not make assumptions if God does not give us two or three witnesses to our belief.

Let’s go over a quick overview of good interpretation and understanding principles.  We need to first learn to read and study the context of the verse within the chapter, the book, and the entire Bible in order to understand any single statement better and more clearly.  Next then we need to read the Bible using the correct perspective.  Many times we should consider what is written from God’s viewpoint since He is the admitted author of the text.  God’s viewpoint is normally from a very spiritual perspective because He is a Spirit.  God’s spiritual viewpoint is superior and normally conflicts with the human natural viewpoint (Romans 8:7).  We learn this principle from several Bible selections including Romans 8 that we are currently studying but consider another reference found in 1 Samuel 16:7 when God spoke to the prophet and told him not to look on the outward appearance of the man (flesh) because God looks upon his heart (spirit).  Wow, that is an awesome bit of knowledge to learn from and apply in our lives and study today.

Now consider the fact that there are other possible verses in the Bible that are directly related to the subject of “predestination”.  These verses must also be considered contextual information that should be weighed together.  Wouldn’t any or all of these other verses possibly have an impact in determining how we need to believe in the whole subject of predestination?  I believe they do.  Finally after reading and studying the whole subject we should be able to gather together all the known facts and use these to drive our belief process after we have felt confident that we understand the verses adequately enough to do so.  Finally, as part of the drawing conclusions process we must never conclude anything unless we have 2 to 3 factual Bible witnesses of the conclusion from the Bible and I’m going to talk about this next.

For example NOWHERE in the Bible does it say that God predestined men to go to hell and that is a very wrong assumption and belief that many people have created in their minds and have bought into it like it was the truth because they think they were “selected” to go to heaven and therefore nothing they ever did effected them to get saved or nothing they will ever do can or will ever change their status of salvation.  What a lie of the devil.  If that was actually true then a lot of the N.T. is not necessary.  In fact we can take that further and say the Bible as a whole is unnecessary for salvation.  No one would need to preach the gospel, no one would need to believe the Gospel, and no one would need to go to church, no one needs to read the Bible and no one would even need to pray because God’s will would always be done regardless of what we do or say or pray.  Also there would be no need for there to be any BIBLE commandments from God or instructions or warnings in the Bible for us to not be deceived or to depart from the Lord (Heb 3:12, 1 Tim 4:16, Gal 5:15, 1 Cor 10:12, 1 Cor 15:33, Gal 6:7, Luk 21:8, …. and others).

Let’s talk about the context first of Romans 8.  The verses directly prior to these verses asked about speak of praying in tongues also called praying in the Spirit.  I know it does not say it directly but that is how God wrote it in order to give man a choice to believe or not believe in speaking and praying in tongues.  So let’s read the preceding two verses for direct contextual understanding:

Rom 8:26  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Rom 8:27  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Ok “intercession is mentioned twice and “prayer” is directly mentioned in verse 26.   The key to knowing this is not just any kind of prayer is the fact that God is helping us to pray it.  Therefore this is a supernatural prayer language because man can only pray a natural type of prayer language without God’s help.  Do you understand this?  God gives us the ability to pray supernaturally by helping us with the words  to speak that cannot be normally uttered with natural human reasoning as He has stated in verse 26.  In the Greek language this word means these words cannot be understood r spoken with the normal human articulate speech process.  When we pray in the Spirit, God gives us the words and these are usually words not understood by people but rather they are heard by God and known by God for our benefit and this is why God says in verse 28 that He will cause all things to work together for our good.  God does this primarily so that Satan does not know what is being prayed and can make an effort to stop it from coming to pass.

The reason I talked about praying in tongues is because the next verses following these statements are now conditional upon people praying in the Spirit in order to be qualified for what is said to happen next.  Uh oh that changes everything or at least it should.  We could talk a lot about other things written about in chapter 8.  For example there is a whole discourse concerning the flesh verses the spirit.  Those walking the flesh are not qualifying for the rest of the chapter either.  But I know I was asked about the verses concerning “predestination” and that is where I will go next.  Let’s jump down to verse 30 to see where the controversy really begins:

Rom 8:30  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

This verse begins with “Whom He did predestinate”.  Ok, this is pretty compelling if you only read it in isolation that God selected some and therefore must have rejected others by assumed indirection even though it does not say that directly.    It is clear that God did select those that this verse was written to in the church but again nowhere does it say that God rejected those that were not in the church.  I MEAN NO WHERE!   Also there is a Greek word found here that needs our further attention.  This Greek word is G2564 and it was translated as “called” twice in this verse.  This Greek word means to “bid” or to “call” someone.  What exactly does that mean?

Let’s say we go outside our house on the back porch and don’t see our dog.  We could “call” the dog and see if he will come to us by yelling his name.   The “call” would be an invitation to come and that is exactly what this verse is saying to us.  God has invited us to come.  What would make the dog not interested in coming to us when we called?  It could be the fact that they are occupied with something they value more like a big bone that they are chewing on.  Whatever the reason for not coming the dog has the choice of freewill to come or not to come and this is what we must realize is joined within the context of the subject of God “predestining” us.   This is where we need to look afresh at this verse from the God spiritual perspective and weigh the context of the rest of the Bible also.  I’ll do this with an introduction to a new way to think about predestination.

GOD’S INVITATION/CALL

Gods_Call2Why couldn’t God call and invite everyone through a plan of salvation called “to predestine” and offer to them all an invitation to come and be at His big wedding party in heaven?  Then why couldn’t God send out all of the invitations to everyone to come to be a part of this party by an act of their choice to attend?  But then what if only those people that actually showed up (chose by an act of their freewill) to come to the wedding party would be called those that were “selected”?  In other words what if God has predestined everyone to show up for a huge big wedding party but yet not many valued or regarded the invitation as important and therefore did not come and what if this was the reason that caused them to not be selected?  Could this possibly be the truth?  Wow, I really think it is according to the Words of Jesus in the Bible.  Let’s go read some words written in red ink within the distant context of Romans 8 that must be balanced with Romans 8.  You should be able to read these verses and see my “what if” story in a parable form given by the Lord Jesus that helps us to learn what I was just trying to teach:

Mat 22:1  And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,

Mat 22:2  The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

Mat 22:3  And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

I’ll stop here and make some quick important points.  The King in this parable is a representation of God.   The Son in this parable is a symbolic representation of the Jesus Christ.  The marriage in this parable is a symbolic representation for the New Covenant.  His servants in this parable were His prophets and they called to the wedding the children of natural Israel but they would not come to the wedding by an act of their own stupid choice.  The Greek word translated as “call” in verse 3 of Matthew 22 is the exact same Greek word found in Romans 8:30 making a direct divine connection to the same subject being spoken of by God.  Does this not have anything to do directly with selection or God’s predestination process?  Didn’t God call them all to come?  Didn’t God desire them to come?  Wasn’t it the will of God for them to come?  I mean come on and think.  God selected them and invited them to come but THEY WOULD NOT.  Get it?  This is really not rocket science and it is right there in front of our faces.  Are we going to believe God or are we going to believe the traditional errors of man?

Mat 22:4  Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.

Mat 22:5  But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

Mat 22:6  And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

Mat 22:7  But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

These verses were written about the natural nation of Israel.  The natural nation of Israel was overrun and laid low over and over because of God’s displeasure for their ignorant choices and killing His servants.  It is more than clear that this was not the plan of God for their lives.  It was more than clear that God sent His servants to invite them to the wedding feast.  It is more than clear that it was their own actions that caused them not to come in and be a part of the process.  This is called man’s “freewill” and this must be taken into account when teaching anything about “predestination”.  Now continue to read the rest of the parable because this is how we were selected:

Mat 22:8  Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

Mat 22:9  Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

Mat 22:10  So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

So God goes forth into the rest of the Gentile world with more prophets and teachers inviting them all to come to the wedding and guess what I came by own freewill choice to believe and now because of my choices I have been selected.  Also because I am now selected I now go into the world and preach the Gospel to others so they can also be selected by an act of their own freewill choice and faith in Jesus Christ.  Wow this is how God designed it to work.  We either believe and are saved or we don’t believe and we are damned by our own freewill choices (Mk 16:16).

Mat 22:11  And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

Mat 22:12  And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

Mat 22:13  Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Mat 22:14  For many are called, but few are chosen.

In this parable there are only two types of people mentioned that are rejected from being at the wedding and these were the one man without a wedding garment and those that chose not to even attend.  However, this one man without a wedding garment also represents the man’s own foolish choice to try to come to the wedding without being properly clothed.  This verse was symbolically talking about people who call themselves Christians but have not “PUT ON CHRIST” (Gal 3:27).  This parable is all symbolism but this story gives us natural realities that apply directly to predestination and election.

I hope that everyone can read this over carefully and see the truths beings presented.  This is exactly what I have been attempting to teach about salvation, election and predestination.  Everyone is invited but only those that choose to show up to the wedding properly attired get to stay in the party to be called the select or elect ones and all others are left outside trying to get in.  Remember the parable of the 10 virgins?  This is the exact same reality.  All 10 were invited but only 5 were prepared and entered in and the others were left out because of their lack of preparedness.   Wow, this teaches us plainly that human FREEWILLL choices have a great determination to who is “selected”.  We can choose to not attend the wedding or we can even choose not to dress for the wedding and both of these will cause us to NOT be selected.  I don’t know how to teach it more clearly.

CONCLUSION

Let’s look at another verse to help us with the Bible basics of selection or predestination.  I will give you a verse found in the Book of Hebrews that has nothing to do on the surface with this subject of predestination yet it has everything to do with it by indirect subject content and contextual association.  God is speaking to Christians in this verse so read the words like they were written to you personally:

Heb 4:3  For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Here is an additional confirmation that God had a divine plan from the foundation of the world.  But, back up and see who it is that has been determined to enter in.   Believing is stated to be the determining factor for entering into God’s rest.  Those that have not believed do not enter in and those that believe do enter in.  The entrance door is God’s Word and believing in God’s word gives us entrance.

I am trying to teach a difficult subject called election or predestination but not the way it is normally taught by many confused people.  Becoming God’s elect is based upon a partnership between God’s divine grace and human faith.  God is not a respecter of persons as we should know by now but God is most definitely a respecter of faith.  The basis of what is taught by many predestination teachers would make God a respecter of persons by selecting some and rejecting others.  This would make the Bible a lie and that is a conflicting problem with their philosophy.  The only way to balance and resolve the conflict correctly is to understand that any good gift given to men by God is received by their faith.  Any good thing ever given to men, done to men or done for men is only received or we could say entered into by individual freewill human faith.  This is the way that God designed it to work.

Hebrews 4:3 is just further evidence that proves faith is a necessary part of the plan of God established from the foundation of the world.  Read it again and again until you get it and accept it into your heart.  Write a big sign and put it up on your wall and it should say “We who believe do enter in….”.  What God is plainly saying is that everyone is invited to believe but only those that choose to do it are selected.  God has predestined everyone to salvation but only those that have chosen to dress and come into the wedding will be selected and those that do not believe, or have not prepared themselves or have other more important things to do will be shut out when the door closes.  That is the truth of God, believe it or not.

Thank you again for reading and studying the Bible with me.  I appreciate your time and diligence to read and verify what is written in these lessons.  Do not ever buy into a teacher’s words without your own personal verification.  Allow the Spirit of God to minister and lead you into all truth.  Be blessed and be a blessing to all that you meet every day.  I’ll try to do another lesson on Ephesians 1 soon.  I hope these word help you to better understand the Bible and your role in being selected.

Understanding Bible Faith! Part 18 –- Righteous Faith Speaks

faith speaks2(Ver 1.1) This is now Part 18 in the advanced study series of Bible lessons on the very valuable subject of “Understanding Bible Faith”.  This is one of my favorite Bible subjects to learn, to study and to teach from the entire Bible.  If you know anything about this subject then you should already understand why this is such an important focus to learn intimately.  I want to stop and reemphasize the opening statement that this is an advanced Bible study series about one of the most important subjects concerning believing God’s spoken and written Holy Word and how to receive whatever He has promised or given to us by His sovereign grace either spiritually, mentally or physically.  I have already covered a lot of information on this subject in this series that will not be repeated.  Therefore, if you have not read this entire series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you begin at “Part 1” and then read through the series in the order presented for the greatest level of understanding and retention of this complex Bible subject.  It would also be recommended that you reread the entire series more than once.  The more you study a Bible subject the more you will grow in spiritual maturity in that area of God’s given knowledge.  Let’s get started with learning a few new things about the subject Bible Faith.

INTRODUCTION TO SPEAKING THE WORD OF FAITH

Today my subject concerns “Righteous Faith Speaks” and “Speaking the Word of Faith”.  What is Righteous Faith and why does it speak?  What is the “Word of Faith” and why do we need to hear it, know it, understand it or even to speak it?  We will be attempting to learn some fresh verses on faith as well as reviewing some standard faith verses that we have previously seen in this Bible study series.  However, I will hopefully be providing you some new perspectives to any of these repeated verses.  Some statements that I make today may be a review of what I have referred to before but I will place a new angle upon them because God wants to remind us of what He has already said.  Often times we read a Bible verse and think that we have it completely understood knowing everything about it but yet God can bring out something brand new that we have never seen before because all of His words are layered so deeply with both natural and supernatural knowledge much like an onion is designed to be peeled layer by layer and used in each succeeding deepening cover.  If you have studied the Bible very long you know exactly what I am saying.  Let’s read three verses to begin in Romans the 10th chapter to get us familiarized with the foundation scriptures for today’s entire lesson:

Rom 10:6  But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

Rom 10:7  Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

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

The end of verse 8 introduces us to one of today’s focused concepts called the “word of faith”.  There are many churches in the world today that have taken this name and there are equally as many people in the world that consider all these word of faith churches to present a less than an accurate representation of the Bible.  However this modern church title did not originate from a contemporary false idea.  The Word of Faith title was only adopted today because of verses like this one.  Paul claimed to be one of the first preachers of the “Word of Faith” and I strongly believe that we should all be following Paul’s example at doing exactly what Paul did, can you agree?

If you do not yet understand what the “Word of Faith” is, I will tell you plainly up front that this Word of Faith mentioned in Romans 10:8 is the written and spoken Word of God.  To help confirm this statement we will begin this study by looking up the definitions of the Greek words translated as “the Word of Faith”.  We will first focus on the Greek word translated as “faith”.  This Greek word is G4102 and it is used by God 244 times in 228 N.T. verses.  In my view this Greek word is one of the most important subjects found in the N.T. Bible.  Let’s review the Strong’s definition to help build and refresh our understanding of this word again.

G4102

From G3982; persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: – assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

The Greek word translated as faith is defined by Strong’s to be a “persuasion”.  The English word “persuasion” represents “the act of convincing someone to believe”.  Your beliefs are the basis for your faith, good, bad, right or wrong.   This Greekword also means “credence” which is defined as “the belief in or acceptance that something is true”.  These are exactly what God is teaching us through Paul in Romans 10:8.  Real Bible faith is accepting, being fully persuaded and convinced of what God has said, promised or spoken to us in His Word is the truth.   This process of accepting, believing and being persuaded is done without proof or evidence of it being true other than knowing the revealed character of God that it is impossible for Him to lie (Heb 6:18).

Before I move to the next Greek word translated as “word” let’s talk briefly about the English word “of”.  Sometimes it is very beneficial to go over the basics to enforce what God was speaking to us.  The word “of” is a very basic concept in the English language and it is often ignored.  The word “of” directly connects the word “faith” with the Greek word translated as “word” in Romans 10:8.  “Of” is a preposition.  In the application usage within this phrase “of” is used by God to indicate that the source of our words come from our faith (beliefs) as well as it meaning the source of our faith can come from our words.  Both of these are true statements.  Remember what Jesus said to us in Matthew.  Let’s review these words quickly:

Mat 12:34  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Jesus very clearly tells us that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak.  Jesus in this case is speaking of evil words coming from the heart that is filled with evil.  But the antithesis truth is also true that good words will come from the same source of good being in the heart.  Now consider and ask yourself where the source of “good” comes from?  If you do not understand that it is from God then I would suggest that you go read some more basic concepts of good versus evil in the Bible.  God is always the source of good words because His heart is filled with Love.  Satan is the source of evil words because his heart is filled with evil intents, thoughts and ways.  Now if God is the source of good as He certainly is, then His spoken and written words should also be for our good and be good for us.  We will see more of this truth as we continue.

The second Greek word that I wanted to focus upon was translated as “Word” in this Romans 10:8.  This Greek word translated as the English word “word” is G4487.  This Greek word literally means an “utterance”.  An utterance carries the definition of a spoken word, phrase or literally an audible vocal sound.  This Greek word is the word “rhema” and this is a very specific type of “word” that means someone has spoken, said or declared.  This Greek word “rhema” comes from the Greek word G4483 which is defined as “pour forth” also meaning to utter, to speak or to say.  Consider this root Greek word G4483 definition to be like a natural pitcher of water that is poured out into a glass for someone to drink.  This pouring out of this water pitcher is the symbolic representation of God or us speaking words of faith.  This is a very important Bible concept that needs to be grasped by Christians.   Do you remember again what Jesus said to us?  Look at this verse and consider the implications:

Joh 7:38  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

What an outstanding and easily misunderstood statement being made by the Creator of the universe.  Do you believe on Jesus?  If you do then Jesus said you should be pouring out from your internal belly, rivers of life producing water.  Is this literal or figurative speaking?  Of course it has to be figurative symbolic information.  Jesus is teaching us spiritual concepts by using naturally created concepts.  Jesus says that we are living pitchers that pour forth waters of life if we believe on Him, do you understand this? But, what are these rivers of living waters being spoken of?  This river of life that pours out of us must originates from the “Rhema” spoken Word of God.  God is the source of all good, and life is good.  I will give you a couple of quick verses to confirm this:

2Co 4:6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2Co 4:7  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Here we have two verifications to what I just taught.  We are very clearly called “vessels” with treasure in it in verse 7.   This earthen vessel is our created human body.  The body is the container of our spirit as well as for God’s Word as inferred in verse 6.  God has shined his “knowledge” inside of us and this is clearly His Word.  It is these words of light inside that will be poured out of us (the earthen vessels) to help others to see and receive the same internal light and eternal life being mentioned in John 7:38.  Let’s see another quick statement that helps to confirm for us that the internal waters of life that must come from our mouths cannot be anything but the spoken Words of God:

Joh 4:14  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Again Jesus is talking about symbolic waters that quench our spiritual thirst and bring us life and this water can only come from what God gives to us by His spoken Word.  The location of this life source of water we are expressly told must be “in us” and this also corresponds to what Jesus was talking of in John 7:38.  “In us” and “our belly” are synonymous positions for the location of our spirit.  Jesus directly says that out of this internal spirit location will come a well of water (river) that will spring up (flow out, stream out, be poured out). Jesus is teaching us a concept of pouring water out from one vessel to another  Jesus was clearly a vessel used to speak words of life producing waters to others that would receive them.  These waters could then be inside of them and are able to flow from their vessel to still another.  Why don’t Christians take this seriously?  I really think it is because they have not been taught it.  However, Jesus was not teaching any new ideas to us but rather He was teaching concepts found in the O.T.   He is then applying them to us in the N.T.  Let’s review some of these O.T. verses quickly that Jesus is referring to:

Pro 18:4  The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.

Pro 10:11  The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

The words of a man’s mouth are defined by God to be symbolic deep waters in the first mentioned verse found in Proverbs 18.  In this verse the human mouth is also called a “wellspring”.   A wellspring is a place that is dug into the ground as a source of fresh pure drinking water.   Drinking water is a basic necessity for natural life.  This is the symbolic nature of the human mouth by God’s design.  You should be clever enough to understand the human body was made from the dust of the ground.  And it is in this ground that God put a spiritual well of life.  It is a very simple concept but hut yet not widely taught.  Then in Proverbs 10 the mouth of the righteous man is again called a “well of life”.  Here we again have an implied source of life coming from our mouths.  Both of these verses directly correspond to the teachings of Jesus found in John.   The wells of life will spring from the mouth of the righteous and this is the critical nature leads us to ask what is this water that must come from our mouth to give us life?

INTRODUCTION TO THE RHEMA WORD OF GOD

The first section was a simple and quick introduction to speaking the rhema words of life and faith.  But I believe that we still need to learn more about what God is trying to say to us by telling us to speak the word (rhema) of faith in Romans chapter 10 and verse 8?  The answer to our questions was certainly implied in that verse in Romans but it was indirectly mentioned so this makes it easily mistaken for something else.  Paul says that he preached (proclaimed, spoke and said) the Word (rhema) of Faith.  Through this implied statement Paul was stating indirectly that he preached the spoken and written Words of God.  Paul was also indirectly claiming that he preached words that produced faith.   What are these faith producing words being preached?  Perhaps you can remember this answer to where our faith originates from a previous faith lesson on how Bible faith comes and this was where we should have learned that Bible faith comes ONLY by us hearing the Bible preached.  Let’s review the key verse from that Bible lesson:

Rom 10:17  So then faith (G4102) cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word (G4487) of God.

God says in Romans 10:17 that “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”.  There is a very specific connection found with our lesson’s focused verse of Roman 10:8 by direct contextual association and by God’s direct word selection by using the exact same Greek words G4102 and G4487 which were translated as “faith” and “word” respectfully in both verses.  I hope and pray that you know that valid interpretation of God’s word is always based upon rules.  Two of these rules are 1) direct verse to verse context and 2) by finding other verse word usages of the word(s) being studied.  In Romans 10:17 the Spirit of God through Paul is explaining and defining what the “Word (Rhema) of Faith” represents.  We can logically correlate by the laws of mathematics that the “Word of Faith” is equivalent to “the Word of God” and I will give further verse confirmation for this as I continue.

There are generally two different noun types used in the N.T. to describe God’s spoken word.  “Logos” G3056 generally refers to the spoken words of God written in book form and is what I will call reference type 1 and then “Rhema” G4487 is also a type of the spoken word of God referring to God directly speaking His word to anyone by audible sound. But this type of word (rhema) can also refer to God’s spoken word being spoken by an angel or even by us as believers speaking His written word (logos). The “Rhema” word is what I will call reference type 2.  Both Logos and Rhema are used by God in reference to God’s spoken word.  I am only going to focus on type 2 Rhema since this is the key word selected and used by God in Romans 10:8 and 10:17 to describe the substance that produces faith that was being preached by Paul.

You should be familiar with this verse in Romans 10:17 already.  God gives us a direct formula for how Bible faith comes through hearing God’s spoken Word.  God very clearly says that it is this Rhema word of God that must be heard in order to produce faith.  Therefore we must have those that speak God’s Word and those that hear God’s word for any faith to be produced.  It is also interesting to note that these words pour forth from one spirit (heart) to enter into another heart and that is the process of the pitcher and water vessel giving drink to the thirsty empty man vessel we looked at earlier.  I’ll give you another couple of verses quickly to help us confirm “Rhema” is the Word of God being spoken:

1Pe 1:25  But the word (rhema) of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word (Rhema) which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Rhema (word) is associated to be both the spoken words of Jesus as well as the Gospel that was preached verbally to the people.  After the people heard this spoken word it was the same as if they had heard it directly from the lips of Jesus.  There is really no difference between me preaching the Word of God and the Words of Jesus as if Jesus was here personally preaching to you in the flesh.  We are both proclaiming the same “Rhema” words of God.  It is this same Rhema Word of God that will produce the faith in the dry hearts of the people to believe and to receive salvation.   What did I just say?  Some will probably call me a heretic for comparing my spoken words preached with the spoken Words of Jesus but if I say what God says then you need to see how this changes things dramatically.  I’m simply a pitcher of water container and representative of God on this planet.  I am called by God to teach His Word.  I am anointed by God to teach His Word.  Therefore it is technically not me teaching but rather the anointing of God in me that speaks using His Words not mine.  Do you understand what I’m saying?  It is not me that has the power to produce faith or save you, it is the Word in me that has this power.  I do nothing but pour it out and if you drink from it the water of the Word of God will be what causes anything good to happen.  This same principle applies to many other water pitcher vessels and not just to me.  It applies to anyone else that is called by God and anointed by God and is filled with His Word to preach.  It can apply to you if you fill your pitcher with His water.  God uses so many people in this way and I do not want you to think that I am saying I am anybody special because I am not.  I’m going to end this section with another verse that Peter wrote by the inspiration of God:

2Pe 3:2  That ye may be mindful of the words (Rhema) which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

Here is another confirmation that people can legally speak the Words of God and that these words carry the same effect if God said them to each of the people that heard them personally.  Here Peter is speaking of men in the Old Testament saying they gave them Rhema from God.  In other words God gave Rhema to the Prophet and the prophet in turn passed this Rhema to the people and now the people were held responsible for the message give to them by God as if they heard it from God directly with their own ears.    What we are seeing is that when we speak the Word (Rhema) of God we are representing God with the same power and authority.  But I know that will not be easily received by many of my readers because of their feelings of their own weaknesses, insecurity and inadequacies. I guess we still have a lot to learn to overcome these incorrect feelings.

RIGHTEOUS FAITH SPEAKS

Before we go further into this subject of speaking the Word (Rhema) of Faith let’s back up and study the first two foundational verses of Romans 10:6-7 in some depth.  I know that we read them but then we had no discussion on them since I jumped into verse 8 and taught for a long time on the subject “the Word of Faith” being preached.  Because it has been a little while since we read these verses please reread them again to refresh your memory:

Rom 10:6  But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

Rom 10:7  Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

There are at least 5 central themes found in the 10th chapter of Romans. These central themes are 1) the Lord Jesus, 2) faith, 3) righteousness, 4) salvation and 5) speaking.  For right now I only want you to focus in on three of the lesser primary themes found in these two verses to see how they relate to the most important primary themed subject as being the Lord Jesus.  These three lesser themes needing our attention concern our “righteousness, our “spoken words” and our “faith” in Christ.  These three subjects were directly joined together in these verses and in this chapter by divine providence.   “Divine Providence” simply means that they were given to us by the caring plan of a guiding and loving intelligent God for our benefit and for His purpose.  God begins the discourse in verse 6 by saying there is a “righteousness” which comes only through faith and this is a very important description found in the New Testament for learning how we become “right” in the eyes of God.  Being right in the eyes of God only means that you are now converted from being a stranger to God (Eph 2:19) to being in the household of faith (Gal 6:10) also called the family of God (Eph 3:15).  We will see other verses in this lesson that will help confirm this but begin to agree that it is only by your faith in Jesus Christ that makes you righteous (right) to God and not your good works.

Now that we know the intended target audience was stated to be those that have been “made righteous by and through faith in Jesus” we are then informed what they (the righteous) should be doing.  Did you see it?  First let me ask you “Are you one of these righteous ones that these verses were written to?”  I know they were written to me personally but only you and God can determine if you qualify.  Satan would like you to think that you are unworthy to qualify but it was because of what Jesus did and not our works that have made us righteous by believing in Him (Rom 3:22).  If you are not taking the Bible personally like it was a love letter written directly from God to you then you really do not understand God or the Bible very much.  If you can say you are one of the righteous ones being described because of your faith then please continue reading otherwise you may be wasting your time continuing to read this lesson.  Let’s see what “we” (the righteous) were told to do next.

Continuing in verse 6 of Romans 10 God says that the righteous (anyone that has believed in Christ Jesus and confessed Him as Lord according Romans 10:9-10) are told to “speak”.  In fact I believe that we were directly commanded to speak.  This means it is not a recommended suggestion but rather an instruction and expectation from the Lord.  Then following this command to speak we are told very clearly exactly what NOT to say first.  Uh oh?  This is the introduction to the hotly debated subject of right and wrong speaking.  Many Christians do not understand that there is such a thing as wrong speaking.  Too many Christians think that it is OK for anything to come out of their mouths but this is clearly not what the Bible teaches us.  Sure most Christians believe that profanity and cursing is a wrong type of speaking.  But that is not all that God declares to be wrong words spoken.

God describes right and wrong speaking to us plainly in Romans 10:6-8 by teaching us examples of what not to say first.  The command of right speaking is a part of faith that many Christians ignore or simply do not understand exists because of a lack of teaching in this area.  This will be a potentially controversial subject and I may lose some readers simply because they are not mature enough spiritually to receive it. I hope and pray that you will do your best to accept what God is saying today and we will soon see and learn what is right to say/speak and what is wrong to say/speak as we continue through the study with the rest of the faith study verses.   But before we move on let me establish a new rule for having effective faith.  God clearly says that the “righteousness which is of faith speaks”.  I will reemphasize this more than once in this lesson and it would benefit you if you just went ahead and write it down as a note for future reference.

In order to understand this command found in Romans 10:6 to speak more clearly we need to examine the Greek word G3004 translated as “speaketh”.  This Greek word is very interesting.  It means to “break silence and say something verbally and audibly” that can be heard by someone/anyone directly listening. Wow, that is some really good information for those of us with righteous faith to learn.  Not only is it wrong to speak wrong words as we will soon see, but it is also very wrong to stay silent and say nothing when you are in faith.  I hope you will take hold of this and believe what God just said and please don’t throw any stones at me because it was not me that said it or wrote in the Bible.  I’m just a messenger delivery service sent from God to teach.  You can accept it or reject it but it is only God’s Word that you are rejecting.  Just please read and study all of the verses that I’m giving to you for yourself.  I want to give you some additional confirming verses for what God wants you to know about faith speaking and we will continue with Galatians the 4th chapter:

Gal 4:1  Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

Gal 4:2  But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.

Gal 4:3  Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

After reading these verses you may just ask me “What do these verses have to do with us speaking?”  You may not see it yet because you have not studied the original Greek words spoken by God but they do apply directly to our subject study.  It is so easy to miss the deep things of God by reading the verses only.  I want you to understand that the deep things of God are never found by just reading the Bible.   According to 1 Timothy 2:15, God tells us to “study” in order to be approved.  The Greek word translated as study means to labor and to extend great effort.  This is an essential part of growing spiritually.  Learn to move beyond surface reading to enter the realm of deep study.

To speak to Galatians 4, I will start with the question “Are you an heir?”  Those that think that they are not righteous will also generally think and believe that they are not an heir of God either but this verse is speaking of you and I, if we are born again by our faith in Jesus Christ.  Let’ verify this reality of being an heir of God by God’s Word using a new verse:

Rom 4:13  For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Here is a quick verse to help us learn more about the “righteousness of faith”.  God directly connects Romans 4:13 with Romans 10:6 by using the exact same Greek words G1343 and G4102 which were translated as “righteousness” and “faith”.  These two words were also joined together in proper sequence.   Here in Romans 4 we are told that those that were made righteous by their faith were also made an heir.  An heir means we have an inheritance after someone has died.  The person that died to give us this inheritance was “Jesus Christ” on the cross (Romans 5:8) but He was also the first one to be raised from the dead in order to become the chief heir of God (Col 1:18).  You see in the Bible the first born was supposed to obtain the greater blessing from their father.  You can find that Jesus was called the “first-born” from the dead in Hebrews 12:23 and Revelation 1:5.  Please understand that Jesus was the only one that could die to give us an eternal inheritance and be capable of being raised from the dead to enforce the inheritance.

I don’t have time to explain all of these verses that I just passed on to you in those last paragraph statements fully but you can find more information on these subjects in other lessons that I have published.  Just please understand what God says in Romans 8:17 that we are called and made the “joint-heirs” with Jesus Christ meaning we have obtained the same level of benefits from God through the death of Jesus as Jesus obtained for Himself.  Right now, you should be saying that you are “righteous” and an “heir” of God because of your faith in Jesus.  I’ve given you more than sufficient scriptural evidence to establish this belief foundation.

Let’s get back to Galatians 4:1 to discover the hidden reference to us speaking.  The Greek word G3516 which was translated as “child” in Galatians 4 verse 1 and “children” in verse 3 contains the secret hidden message that I am referring to.   This Greek word means not only a general child but more specifically an “infant” baby.  To be even more specific this Greek word literally means a “non-speaking human baby”.  Every natural child born into this world must acquire the skill of speech over the course of time through physical and mental growth and experiences.  No one is born with this magnificent gift of speaking automatically.  A new born child produces only audible cries.  A one year old is beginning to understand very simple words and may begin to form very simple words like “mama” or “dada”.  But this ability to grasp words and speaking them increases more and more as the months and years progress.  By the time a child reaches the age of 3 to 4 years the words, phrases and sentences usually become better formed, structured and more complete.  Even though the comprehension of what all the words mean can still be incomplete at this early childhood age.

The process of learning to speak is quite miraculous.  But, new born infants obtain this gift through a maturing process of hearing and listening to their parents speaking to them and from mimicking the sounds observed from others around them.  This process of learning to speak is exactly what God is teaching us in the beginning of this chapter 4 found in Galatians.  God is saying to us that this natural process reoccurs in the spiritual realm after we are spiritually new born (born again) into the Kingdom of God.   God is teaching us that even an infant heir to the throne of rule is not able to take control of it and exercise their given authority until they first learn to speak intelligently and confidently learning wisdom from their teachers.

Do you now understand that when a Christian is born again in the spiritual realm that this same natural infant growth and maturing process of learning to speak correctly is repeated in this spiritual realm by God’s design?   If you analyze the first 3 verses in Galatians 4 you should find an analogy comparison being given between two realms of existence with the first being the natural and the greater being the spiritual application of the natural.  The Greek word being used to speak to us of an immature non-speaking child implies someone that is very simple minded or unlearned in the spiritual realm.  God is teaching us that we all start out by not knowing or understanding how spiritual things work like the significance of speaking right words but that He expects us to learn these.  If you are still reading this Bible lesson then you are potentially growing and maturing spiritually by learning these concepts.  More pastors and teachers should teach their people this subject of right and wrong speaking because it is a very important and true reality based upon the proper understanding of scripture.  God expects His spiritually new born infant children to grow up and learn how to speak appropriately in order to rule over their spiritual enemies.

I do not really have the time to teach the importance of the spoken word subject fully today but I do have a much longer series of Bible lessons on the significance of your spoken words on my website and you can go and read those to help you learn more on this critical subject.  If you are interested in learning you can start with “Part 1 – Speak to your Rock”.  This Bible lesson has been the most prevalent viewed lesson of all the Bible lessons on this website.

We could spend a lot more time on studying Galatians 4 about growing out of an immature spiritual state of spiritual babbling but we really need to get back to Romans 10.  Do you remember where we were in verse 6? We had just been introduced to the commandment that “righteous faith speaks”.  I’m going to say this at least one more time for even greater emphasis because this is the foundation for this faith lesson given to us by God and it was directly stated by God that “Righteous Faith Speaks”.  We should begin to understand that Christians should be at the very least learning to speak correctly and that they should also not stay silent after they mature spiritually.  Let’s move to what is found next in verse 6 concerning God’s specific instructions.  After the initial statement in Romans 10:6 God then informs us exactly what not to say/speak in verses 6 and 7 followed by what to say in verse 8.   This is some very essential and valuable information and instructions for learning how God’s divinely designed force of faith should be operating and working in us and through us.

I am going to stop here and make a strong suggestion to you before we look at the sub-category study of wrong words.  Please create a big sign on a piece of plain white paper and in big bold letters write what you have just learned.  Print in large letters “Righteous Faith Speaks” and place this sign on your refrigerator or your bathroom mirror or on any other place where you can see it more than once a day.  This sign will help us all to learn and remind us to put God’s Word into practice.  God has designed and established a law of faith (Rom 3:27) to live in our everyday Christian lives.  But God is not going to make you do it.  You must be the one that applies what you learn.  Hopefully you remember that faith is a law based upon the Word of God given from the previous faith lessons.  Reading this printed note daily will cause this lesson to remain fresh in your mind and help you to become a doer of the Word of God and not a hearer only (James 1:22).  Doing this for at least 30 days will help to build a brand new spiritual habit for living life in a new way as a mature spiritual Christian and I will be talking about this even more as we continue through the rest of the lesson.

LEARNING WHAT NOT TO SAY FIRST

….Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

Let’s talk briefly about what real mature Christians are not supposed to pray or say.  God only gives us two short examples in Romans 10:6-7 of wrong words but this should provide enough of a pattern that we can extend those two to other areas of words that should not be spoken if we can understand why they are not wise to speak.  The first statement of what not to speak tells us not to say “who will go up to heaven to bring Christ down”.  Why would anyone want to say this?  What kind of wrong thinking would cause someone to speak this way?  Someone could be thinking that if Jesus was only here on the earth that they would not be going through what they are going through right here in this natural realm.  In other words they could be thinking very naturally and not spiritually.  Someone could be thinking that if they could just bring the Lord Jesus who is sitting on the throne in the spiritual realm back to this natural realm that all of their natural problems would be solved.  But that type of thinking is very simple minded and is certainly not of faith.  We must realize that God’s power extends beyond His present location in Jesus Christ.  We must consider that the Spirit of God is already here right now living and abiding in us having been poured out from heaven to be our comforter (John 14:16), our helper (Heb 13:6) and our guide (John 16:13).

Therefore we do not need for Jesus to come back to the earth to fix anything.  The Holy Spirit is here and He is God omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent to solve whatever we are facing.  What God is trying to say is that simple naturally thinking people generally gravitate towards natural solutions without considering the spiritual presence and ability of God that is ever present and all-knowing and all powerful.

….Or say, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

Now consider the second statement of what not to say and this will help us understand the first statement much clearer.  In verse 7 God says for us not say “Who will descend into the lower parts of the earth to raise Christ again from the dead.  Why would God recommend that we not say this?   Perhaps you will recall reading the Gospels that after Jesus was resurrected from the dead He walked the face of the earth for 40 days.  During this time He met with many men and women followers.  Since they had all seen Jesus personally there was no need for any of them to have faith in His resurrection.  However, do you think that any of these eyewitness followers would dare say what God said not to say in Romans 10:7?  I personally do not believe they would.  Remember they were told by angels in Acts 1 that this same Jesus that went up into the clouds out of their sight would come back in the exact same way.  So this promise from God required their faith if they believed the message and I think they believed.

There is something so very profound found in this statement that was not directly stated.  God is saying that “we do not need to think or say that Jesus should die again or be raised again from the dead”; but rather we only need to understand that He did do these and then find out what was accomplished by these finished and completed acts of God.  I am a firm believer that not knowing what was given to us by His shed blood in His death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus is why we pray and say some very ignorant things like this.  If we would only come to understand that Christ gave to us His authority (Luke 10:19) on the earth we would not need to ask Jesus to come back to the earth or to be raised again to solve anything.

What God is teaching us is not to say things that are contradictory to His written report in the Bible. In other words have faith and believe and then have confidence in what He has spoken to you.  Both of these stated examples of what not to say were spoken words not based upon scripture or faith in God’s Word.  They are literally the opposite of what someone who had faith in God’s Word would say.   Do you understand this?  I know that some people will not comprehend what God just said.  God says the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God (1 Cor 2:14).  But these concepts should help many that will receive it and apply it to other things that they like to say.  I believe that we should think before we speak.  Think about what God’s Word says and then see if what you are going to say aligns with His Words.  This will become clearer as we continue learning.  Let’s move to what we should say next to see the contrasted difference from what we should not be saying.

CONFIRMING AND LEARNING WHAT TO SAY

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

I began the lesson talking about the last part of this verse.  But now we will back up to the first part of God’s statement to confirm what God is trying to teach us.  I have started and ended with the most important verse to learn today.  Paul starts writing “But what does it say” (NKJV).  Paul is of course talking about God’s word.  The “it” in this statement represents the spoken recorded words of the living God.  If you have not realized it yet these three verses of Romans 6, 7 and 8 contain partial quotations of verses found in the Old Testament.  In Romans 10:6-8, God is quoting in a paraphrased form, portions of some very obscure verses found in Deuteronomy 30:11-14.  We could learn a tremendous amount of information if I had the time to go talk about these original verses.  But I do not have the time today to talk about them.

However, I still want to emphasize that “it” was the recorded words (Rhema) of God and Paul takes these words that did not directly mention Christ and teaches us that they directly apply to Christ.  Wow, that is a powerful degree of knowledge if you want to do the study for yourself.  You go and read Deuteronomy and you see if you can find Christ plainly?  He is there but only if you see the commentary of the New Testament to help you explain them.  That is just how the Bible was written by God.  I call it “Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight” and if you have not read that series of Bible lessons I would strongly recommend that you do that soon.

Now we should realize from the opening statement that the next coming statement was given from God through His prophet Moses and it was written down in the Old Testament for all of us in the here and now in the New Covenant.  God’s next statement says “The Word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart”.  The Word is referring to the Word of God.  This Greek word is again “Rhema” and that is important. Where is the “Word” (Rhema) of God supposed to be?  There are two place mentioned directly by God, one is a natural external location that God referred to earlier as the wellspring of life and the other is the origination point from where these words spring up from in the internal spiritual location figuratively called the heart of man.  God is teaching us how spiritual things are supposed to operate.   Hear and get the Word in your heart and then learn to speak it out of your mouth.  This is the reason why we do not need Christ to be raised from the dead or come back to earth from heaven.  The word of God is the power of God (Heb 1:3).  This power should be resident in your heart.  You should place the Word of God in your heart daily to reinforce its firm foundation.  Otherwise Satan can come and steal this Word (seed) from your life if you let him.

The Word of God represents the “what” that is “right” or “correct” to speak as a mature Christian.  A new born Christian is incapable of speaking the Word of God because they haven’t heard it, don’t know it, don’t believe it or don’t understand it.  All of these conditions will cause the Word of God to be unfruitful in their lives.

CONCLUSION

Is the Word of God coming out of your mouth?  If it is then you are probably in faith and if it is not then you are probably not in faith.  I could give you many Bible examples of this but in conclusion I will tell you of one when God had instructed Joshua how to have good success in this life.  Are you interested in being a winner?  Are you interested in being victorious?  Are you interested in being an overcomer?  God told Joshua how to do it and Joshua did it and possessed the land that God gave to them.   Here is the key verse:

Jos 1:8  This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Wow, what an awesome set of instructions for our success in this life.  God told Joshua to put the Word of God in his mouth and then to meditate on it day and night.  This would build the Words of God into his heart.  God was telling Joshua what He said through Moses, “My Word is very near you, even in your heart and in your mouth”.  Joshua became the leader of the people of God after the passing of Moses and He was responsible for the law passed down from Moses to the nation.  Joshua had this Word and filled his mouth with it.  Filling his mouth with God’s Word gave Joshua faith in God.  We learned this from Romans 10:17.  Remember?  It is almost impossible for anyone to say the Word of God if they understand it and not have faith and success in this life.

Well we could talk for hours and hours on this subject of faith speaks but that is the end of this Bible lesson.  We were told by Jesus that out of our bellies would flow rivers of life producing water and this symbolic water can only be the Word of God.  We are told to speak the Rhema Word of God and this was just the words that were spoken from the mouth of God and recorded in His Precious Holy Word.   It is only the Word of God that will produce life.  Speaking the word of God are the right words to be speaking in every adversarial situation and circumstance.  I’ll just give you a couple more verse to help you see more right things to say:

Psa 107:2  Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,

Joe 3:10  Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’ “

These were just two verses that teach us God wants us to say positive things from His Word.  How can anyone say things that are not overwhelming real and apparent in the 5 physical sense realm?  This type of logic will contradict normal human reasoning, doesn’t it?  When faced with great weakness in your life how can we say “I’m strong”?  When faced with negative circumstances from and in the world, how can we say “I’m redeemed?”  These types of positive words are only possible if you believe God’s Word instead of your circumstances that you are facing.   So infant baby Christians stay silent or cry for their milk but mature Christians will speak to their mountain and cause it to flee before them (Mk 11:23).

This was an advanced Bible lesson on righteous faith speaks.   I hope you enjoyed this Bible lesson and learned a great deal.  But I desire more that you start applying what you learned to your life.  Make a sign like I said to do earlier and read the sign on the wall daily multiple times out loud saying “Righteous Faith Speaks” and don’t let this truth slip from the forefront of your mind.  Share the Gospel with your friends and recommend that they go read and study the Bible with me.  I appreciate your time extended to read and study the Bible and for any comments or testimonies of how God is working in your life that you would care to share with me.  Until next time may God continue to bless you with everything that you require to grow in spiritual maturity.

Bible Basics: Would You Rather Be Rejected by Men or Rejected by God? Mastering Rejection!

rejection1(Ver 1.1)  This is a Basic Bible Study requesting an answer from every reader to a very serious question.  If you have read all of my Bible lessons you should already know that I occasionally teach a Bible Basic Subject for those that are new to Christianity or just in need of learning the simpler milk truths of God’s Word.  However, for those more mature Christians or those Christians going through a struggle that could use a refreshing reminder of the Word of God this lesson just might be a great blessing to you also.  Today’s Bible lesson is intended and designed for those types of readers but everyone can still benefit from what God will share about the subject of rejection.    Let’s begin by asking the important question “Would you rather be rejected by your friends, your family, your peers, your co-workers, your bosses and the people of the world or would you rather be rejected by God?”  Wow, how do we begin to answer or respond to that question?

INTRODUCTION TO REJECTION

Rejection from anyone should usually never be viewed as a positive experience from a natural or spiritual perspective.  No one that I know of that is vaguely or remotely “normal” will ever feel excited, happy or good about being rejected by anyone for whatever reason.  I can personally identify with this subject directly in my own private life.  I have been personally rejected by my family, my friends and people of great importance to me in this last year that has caused me great pain, suffering and hurt.  How do we deal with this?  Has God provided a divine coping mechanism for rejection? This is what we will be talking about today from a God and Bible perspective on the subject of being rejected and handling rejection.

rejection3We have all been at the cross roads of rejection and hurt, haven’t we?  I know I have.  As I have stated I have been ignored and rejected by close family, friends and acquaintances for one reason or the other.  These acts of rejection can cause significant emotional distress, hurts and pains that can make us feel very insufficient, inadequate, second-rate and inferior.  Rejection is nothing new to me.  I am frequently rejected by some of my Bible Study readers.  These people who reject me online usually provide critical reviews through unloving negative comments that can be very painful and upsetting if I allowed them inside me.   If you did not realize it rejection is a spiritual force.  Just like love, hate and fear are spiritual forces.  Each of us can become overwhelmed by the undesirable force of rejection.  If we do not learn how to deal with this force it can easily overwhelm us into a pit of despair.  Please read this initial definition for “reject”:

REJECT: dismiss as inadequate, inappropriate, or not to one’s taste

Let’s stop and review this definition of “reject”. As you should be able to see when someone or something is rejected then that which was rejected is stated to not fit within the positive expectations of the observer for any unstated reason.  What we find from this definition is that there are either implied or unstated rules of acceptance and not meeting these will result in rejection of the person or the item being observed.  Rejection can obviously become very subjective if you know what that means.  Rejection is based upon subjective human reasoning and this simply means that there is a direct level of personal opinion, bias or preference to most forms of rejection.  One’s personal opinion will usually drive their acceptance or rejection of someone else.  However there are also other types of rejection based upon a stricter standard of rules.

For example a shirt being manufactured for sale in a store will undergo an inspection by a trained observant inspector.  Each inspector is given a set of established standards to determine if the shirt meets expectations.  If a flaw is determined to be present in the garment then the garment is rejected and cannot be sold as a new quality garment matching the established standards.  It does not matter if there are over 100 things right about the garment because if there is found one minor flaw the garment is rejected.  This is exactly what happens with people rejecting people also if you did not realize it.  However the established set of rules is usually very loose and not well defined.  Many fault finding people look for flaws and overlook any good qualities found within a person and will simply reject them as being imperfect.  This is basic human nature and you need to know this in order to understand rejection more completely and why it occurs.

Some of the synonyms for reject are “castoff”, “throwaway” or “discard”.  All of these are negative observer reactions from failing the perceived observation acceptance standards directed at the person or object being rejected.  As I have stated previously rejection of anything is clearly a subjective personal decision based upon the observer’s own personal preferences, experiences, rules, likes or dislikes. rejected_broccoli   Let’s review another quick example of a type of rejection.  A person can reject eating broccoli simply because they do not like the observable smell, shape, appearance, color or even the texture.  Many people reject eating broccoli having never even tasting it.    Therefore rejection by the casual observer will usually be done by someone based upon a very limited set of superficial information void of all of the facts.  The observer would not consider the taste or the vitamin content or nutritional value of broccoli but would rather pass a quick judgment based upon superficial and insufficient observation.   Always remember this and this may help you tremendously with dealing with rejection.  Many decisions of rejection are performed based upon pure human ignorance.  Let’s consider a set of verses very quickly to get this subject started:

Mat 7:3  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Mat 7:4  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Mat 7:5  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

These verses do not mention rejection but this represents the same action of rejection that happens when someone is rejected by an observer.  Did you see the principles that Jesus was teaching the man doing the observation and trying to pass judgment upon the other man?  Jesus asks how can you perceive correctly the flaws in your brother’s life if you have not seen the flaws in your own life first?  This is such a profound warning from God about how we act almost every day.   Too often people are rejecting others simply because of a minor flaw when they are the ones that should be rejected from their own self-examination.   However since they are not examining themselves Jesus calls them a hypocrite for seeing something so minor in another person.

Ok did you observe the process of rejection taking place in these verses?  There is both an observer (rejecter) and someone that is being observed (one being rejected).  The observer is looking specifically for faults and ignoring all the good qualities of the person.  The observer passes a hasty independent judgment without attempting to find or see all of the facts.  The observer’s actions are stated to be WRONG.  The observer is judged by God to be a hypocrite for not looking at himself first before passing judgment upon anyone else.  Uh oh!  What do we do with all of this great information?

I am starting out the lesson on how to handle rejection by saying, don’t become like a hypocrite.   If you are rejecting people because of some insufficient information then you will be making the same mistake that others will be doing by rejecting you.  This is a very good time to interject the golden rule.  We should all do to others as we would have them to do to us.  In other words don’t reject people even if you are the one being constantly rejected.  As you learn this subject of rejection all of this will become more real to you.  Are you ready to learn more about rejection?  I think we will begin the lesson with a further discussion of ignorance.

# 1 – REJECTION IS NORMALLY DONE FROM IGNORANCE

Rejection (passing judgments) can be caused by many reasons but one of the main factors is human ignorance.  Every human is born into the world an empty vessel waiting to be filled with some knowledge.  Therefore we are all in varying states of ignorance no matter how much we have learned.  This is good knowledge for dealing with personal rejection.  We need to understand that the person doing the rejecting usually does it from their own pure unawareness or lack of understanding of you or your situation, experiences or even your circumstances.  Wow, this is much truer than you may understand right now.   I once heard a preacher responding to the rejection by a man that heard the message that he preached.  This preacher said to the man “If you knew me you would really like me”.   Do you understand why he said that?  The preacher understood that his rejection was based upon the man’s insufficient information.  He knew that the man had rejected him based upon very limited evidence from only one sermon.  This should help teach you a new way to handle someone’s rejection of you.  Don’t call them ignorant to their face but rather walk in love towards them because this is the way you should react to rejection as we will soon find by a living example in the Bible.

Did you know that Jesus was rejected?  Yes Jesus was definitely rejected by many of the people that He encountered here on the earth.  I’m not going to go into every verse example of rejection concerning Jesus but I will give you some very quick verses to consider about the subject of rejection and how to treat those that are rejecting you.

Luk 20:17  And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?

Here is Jesus speaking directly of Himself from a verse of prophecy found in Psalms 118:22.  Jesus is speaking of Himself as the “Stone” that the builders rejected.  This stone is a figurative symbolic representation of the foundation within a new spiritual temple that would be coming to fruition by the design and plan of God.  I do not have the time to explain this statement in full in this lesson.  It would take much too long to understand what these builders were supposed to be building and why Jesus is called the major Stone in that building project.  Just understand that this is a spiritual house being foretold by the prophets of God and it is not a physical natural house or temple.  I will also tell you that it was the natural nation of Israel that represented the initial builders of this house.  Jesus by His own admission claims to be the rejected Stone.  It was natural Israel that was rejecting the Stone.  Ignorance of God’s purpose and plan is probably the key reason why the nation of Israel rejected Jesus, their Messiah.  They were thinking temporarily and naturally and Jesus was thinking and speaking eternally and spiritually.  Wow again, that was a very important concept for understanding how to handle rejection.   Did you get it?  I’ll try to emphasize this again later in the lesson to help you.   However I will give you another verse witness to the fact that Jesus was the living Stone:

1Co 10:4  And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Jesus is being called a spiritual Rock and this is just a synonymous term for “Living Stone”.  Spirits are living beings that cannot die or cease to exist.  This is one of the keys to understanding what God is doing within the New Covenant.  The Old Testament types and shadows were just a foretelling of a coming greater spiritual reality.  Ok we have just established that Jesus was rejected as a living stone by the nation of natural Israel.  Let’s review a very specific verse example of this rejection and the reaction of Jesus to this as the Living Stone.  Please read this verse carefully.

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

If you read the context you will find that this is Jesus stripped naked and then being nailed through His flesh to a wooden cross.   Jesus is in great pain and dealing with extraordinary levels of human suffering that had all been imposed upon Him through the rejection of His own people.  This rejection arose from the root cause of their ignorance.  None of these people knew or understood what they were doing as you can clearly see from the statement being made by Jesus Himself “They know not what they do”.  None of these people recognized or understood that this man hanging on this tree was God come to the earth in the flesh.  None of these people knew or understood their actions for why they were rejecting Him.  None of these people cared about the pain that they were inflicting upon Jesus by their rejection.   All of these people were extremely ignorant of the facts and very far from any knowledge of the truth.   Jesus could have been like the preacher man and said to them all “If you knew me you would really like me” but He did not say this.  However the reaction of Jesus to this personal rejection is quite the opposite of what most people would have done or said.   Let’s talk about His reaction next.

# 2 – LOVE & PROACTIVE FORGIVENESS WILL OVERCOME REJECTION

We just quickly reviewed the example of Jesus hanging on the cross.  Jesus had asked His Father to forgive them even while being hurt extensively from the pain caused by their ignorant human rejection.   Jesus offered them all forgiveness as He endured unimaginable agony from their dismissal.   None of those that rejected Him asked for this forgiveness so this was a proactive outreach from His love and mercy.  Why was Jesus asking God to forgive them?  It is primarily because walking in love will always forgive others proactively.  If we wait for someone to ask for forgiveness before we extend it, I believe this can cause ill feelings to be harbored in our inner being that can build up and harden our hearts.

What is forgiveness?   Forgiveness is a personal act of the freewill to extend mercy to someone that does not deserve to receive mercy.  Wow, is that a tough concept for new Christians and for even many mature ones to grasp?   It has been rare for me to see people with any mercy much less any forgiveness on the internet.  Yes, I am talking about people who call themselves Christians.    We can either decide to act like Jesus and proactively forgive everyone before they ask for it or we can become the judging condemner and stay in bitter un-forgiveness.   What do you think we should do when people reject us?  There are only two real options to choose from and I think I will follow Christ’s example.

# 3 – HANDLING REJECTION CORRECTLY WILL BE EASIER IF YOU KNOW THE TRUTH

If the people doing the rejection are acting out of ignorance of the truth then it stands to reason that we can best deal with this rejection by knowing the truth.  Therefore the third thing to know about handling rejection is we better learn the truth.  I personally believe that we are on the right path by studying this subject.   We want to replace our lack of knowledge by filling our hearts and minds with God’s truth.  God’s Word is the only source for spiritual and eternal truth.  We should claim by faith that we are always in the right place at the right time studying the right subjects so God’s Word will prevail over all rejection and its evil intent from the enemy.  Let’s go back and reconsider Luke 23:34.  Jesus is in a process of extreme rejection yet He prays to God for their forgiveness instead of calling down fire or angels from heaven to destroy them all.  You see Jesus had the power and authority to destroy them but chose not to.   Human reaction would have been to get revenge or to set forth a process for justice at minimum.  But Jesus did none of these.  Why is that?  Jesus could look beyond the current rejection to a greater and more significant purpose for His existence.   Jesus knew that He knew the truth and that His rejecters did not.   This should teach us that there is a right way to handle rejection and if there is a right way there is also a wrong way.    I believe that one of the right ways of dealing with rejection will always be based upon us acquiring right knowledge.  Jesus did this from an early age always being in the temple to hear the Words of God being read.  Jesus gained right knowledge and understanding and this was a key factor for His correct handling of rejection.  So what am I saying?  I am saying ignorant people will reject you but you can overcome this by learning the truth and using this to overcome the rejection.

Life is full of choices.  Making any right choice will always be based upon correct and sufficient knowledge.  Jesus made a right choice while being rejected through an act of His own freewill.   This act was made possible because of the knowledge that He possessed from the Word of God.    I believe that we can do the same if we come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ to grow and increase in the understanding of His precious Holy Word.  This knowledge of God will be what helps us deal with any human rejection.  Therefore the third key to dealing with rejection is to get God’s understanding built within our hearts and minds.  Put God’s Word first in every situation and leave the thoughts and ways of the natural world behind.  It was the Jews that were thinking naturally and missed their Messiah.  Wrong thinking and wrong believing based upon ignorance will be one of the primary causes for people rejecting right things and the right people.  But it is right knowledge that will cause the rejected one to not be affected by the rejection.

Pro 4:7  Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

God directs us more than once in the Bible that we need to obtain understanding.   Understanding the reasons for rejection will help us handle it when it comes to us and it will come to you.  There are people in the world today that are being rejected and do not know how to handle it and this allows Satan to convince them that they should take their own lives or withdraw from normal human interaction.  God says in Hosea 4:6 that “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge”.   Therefore what you do not know about any subject can be used against you by Satan to destroy you.  Learn to overcome rejection by obtaining the knowledge of God.

I hope you are learning something because I know I am.  All my Bible lessons are for me from God and if you can benefit from them then that is just an added blessing from God.  Also if you don’t like what I teach I would just tell you “You would really like me if you knew me”.  Let’s move on to the next point in dealing with rejection.

# 4 – UNDERSTANDING REJECTION CAUSES PAIN

painLet’ go back again to Luke 23 where Jesus was hanging on the cross and asking God to forgive them.  In the case of the Lord Jesus, His rejection caused Him extreme physical and even emotional pain because of all the things that He endured for us.   So the fourth key to understanding how to handle rejection is for us to understand that there will always be pain that follows the initial rejection.  Just learn to expect it because it will occur.  Perhaps you do not understand me yet.  I do not mean to imply that the pain of rejection will always be the same as Jesus’ physical pain.  However that is still a reality even in this world today.  People are killed, tortured and physically hurt by rejection today.  Just look on the news or the internet and you should be able to find this easily.  Even in the days of the early church the leaders, teachers and the followers of Christ were rejected by many people.   Many of those in the early church were martyred.  Many of them suffered greatly because of their faith.  Many of them died horrific deaths of all sorts and types of slow demise.   Such great suffering occurred simply because of human rejection influenced and conceived by Satan.

Can we agree that pain is not a positive feeling?  Only a perverted and twisted mind will delight in pain.  However there is a positive factor that pain can alert us to something harmful occurring.  For example if something is hot and you touch it accidently the natural reaction is to withdraw your touch very fast because of the pain caused by the heat.  This is an example of how pain can alert us to trouble.  God built us with the capability of feeling all types of sensations including pain and pleasure.  I personally would rather experience a good feeling rather than the negative feeling of pain but yet both still exist for a reason.  Since pain exists in the world and we will probably feel it, learning how to react correctly to pain might be something good for us to learn about.  If not in this lesson then maybe in a follow up lesson on this subject.

There are certainly many types of pain that rejection can cause other than physical suffering.   The factor of emotional pain is significantly as great as physical pain to most people.   Emotional pain could cause us the same type of reaction as a physical pain.  Many will withdraw from a person after they are hurt by them.   If you have ever been rejected by the love of your life then you know exactly the kind of pain that I am talking about.  I believe that physical pain can always feel the greatest when it is happening but emotional feelings can linger for a while.  When a woman is in labor about to deliver her baby I am told that the pain is practically unbearable at those moments.   But after the baby arrives the pain suddenly is considered to be worth it all.  At least the rewards now appear to be worth the cost of endurance because of the joy felt by the presence of the baby.  This is a concept that is taught to us by God in the New Testament.  For example read this verse found in the book of Romans:

Rom 8:18  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

The Greek word translated as “sufferings” can mean “emotional or physical” types of pain.   God warns us that we will experience this here in this world.  But God then tells us how to endure it.  Wow, again and again.  Here we are told to get back to thinking spiritually and eternally.  God tells us very clearly in 2 Corinthians 4:18 that the things in this world are very temporary.  God then instructs us to focus upon the things that are not seen because these are those things that are eternal.  God is simply saying that spiritual things are greater and more important than any sufferings or pains being endured right now.   God tells us that there is coming a glory to be revealed in us. These coming glorious things will make the current pains seem very insignificant.  This is exactly the attitude of the woman that brought a new child into the world.  It will be worth the pains when God shows us what is waiting for us.  I hope you accept this because I know the current pain is very difficult to ignore.  I can speak from experience from the tears that I have shed before because of the pains and hurts and I’m sure that your pain is not any less significant to you that you are going through either.

Jesus endured His natural pain because of His great Love for us and His knowledge of a greater spiritual purpose and plan for our eternity.  He knew this pain endured in the natural would benefit Him and us and it was this love, knowledge and spiritual insight that kept Him on the cross. Thank you Jesus!  Let’s begin to learn to follow Jesus’ example of looking into the future.  I know that seeing into the future is not natural for us.  It is very difficult to focus on anything beyond the current level of pain being experienced.  I keep emphasizing this because this is a reality we have all shared in common at some time in our life and our Christian walk.   Here is another verse of future glory to be revealed:

1Co 2:9  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

I like this verse.  It is an excellent commentary on the future.   Because we cannot fully comprehend the power of God or what God could do for us we do not yet understand what He could have planned for us.  However, we can still begin to think of His goodness and expect some pretty marvelous things that await us.  This should help each of us endure human rejection for a short time.  Begin to think eternally.  While doing this think spiritually and get out of the natural perspective of your rejection.  Ask God to forgive those that are rejecting you.  Ask Him to send laborers across their paths to help them see and know the truth.

We should now start to understand that this type of observer offense called “rejection” causes people pain and these pains can create great feelings of worthlessness, inadequacy, loneliness and inferiority to the one being rejected.  The pain is real but this is definitely a temporary feeling.  Even if they killed you dead, you would pass into eternity to be with Christ and the pain would not be remembered.

# 5 – CHRIST’S INSTRUCTIONS – EXPECTING REJECTION

???????????????????????????????????????????I have implied this subject briefly in previous topics but this will be a more direct emphasis to teach us all to expect rejection to occur.   When we expect something to happen we will be better prepared to handle it.  If we do not expect something to happen then we will usually be taken by surprise when it does happen and this will usually result in our failure.  There is an old saying from my work history that says “Fail to plan then you should plan to fail”.   Do you understand this?   This is only teaching us that we need to come up with a plan before we are rejected just in case it happens and this will give us the greater advantage when it does.  Let’s examine a principle found in the book of Proverbs to help us:

Pro 24:27[Put first things first.] Prepare your work outside and get it ready for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house and establish a home.  (AMP)

This is a very interesting verse that says nothing about rejection but does teach us to make a plan and follow the process.  God gives us instructions to do things in a specific order.  This is generally called “common sense” but this quality is  sometimes a feature lacking in the modern age of people doing things without thinking of the consequences.  The Hebrew word translated as “Prepare” is H3559 and it means “to set upright or erect”.   It is clearly implying a correct process to accomplish this.  In other words a plan is expected and it must be followed.  This is what I am attempting to give you in this lesson.  This lesson is talking about making a plan for rejection.  Preparing for something negative is not a lack of faith but is rather a common sense approach to balancing the scriptures.  We need to learn to expect what God said would happen to happen.   Let’s see what God said would happen:

Mat 10:24The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

Mat 10:25  It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

Jesus declares we are no better than He was.  He says very clearly that how He has been treated by people in this world will be how we will be treated by the same.  This is a foundational doctrine being established and applied by the Lord Jesus Christ to all Christians.  If Jesus was unjustly labeled, accused and rejected by people we should not expect anything differently.  We need to know this because this type of persecution will certainly increase as the time nears for Christ’s return.  Do you understand the connection between persecution and rejection?  These two are directly linked together like Siamese twins.   I can see this persecution happening now even in the media very clearly.  Anyone standing up for God will be tried and torn down by those who do not want to hear it in a court of public opinion.  We will be labeled intolerant hate mongers by those that hate us.  That is a very hypocritical attitude isn’t it?   They can criticize us but we can say nothing about their sin.  I did say their sin and not them.  I try to never talk about anyone specifically by name ever.

We should know from reading the Gospels that Jesus was heavily and frequently rejected for one reason or the other.  There was the time once when the people wanted to stone Him (John 8:59) or throw Him off a cliff (Luke 4:29).  Many others simply walked away mocking His teachings about eating His flesh and drinking His blood for example (John 6:66).  The religious leaders of that day rejected Jesus and planned to kill him and they eventually succeeded (John 5:18, John 7:1).  Rejection was a very significant part of the life of Jesus.  You need to know this and then apply what Jesus just said to you in Matthew 10:25.

Therefore the fifth factor in this lesson for dealing with human rejection is for us to begin to expect for it to occur.  However this only applies if you are anything like Jesus and doing what He was doing, saying what He was saying and acting the same way to people in this world.  Just don’t be surprised when someone rejects you, your message, your witness, your testimony or your life style choices and this will help you deal with it in a healthy manner without striking back from emotional anger or hurt.  Striking back in anger or from the pain or other emotional hurts will usually only cause greater problems of strife as well as give other Christians a bad reputation.  The same as Jesus walked in love to those that rejected Him, is how we should respond to the same types of denunciation.

I will also say this quickly about Christians not being rejected by worldly people.  If you are currently accepted by the vast majority of the people in the world then you are not preaching, teaching or telling people what Jesus told them.  It is impossible not to offend the world with the truth of the Word of God.  Wow, that was a very strong statement but it is a well-known fact.   Always expect the world to reject you and then learn to walk in proactive forgiveness towards them just like Jesus did hanging on the cross when He said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.  This is the beginning of handling rejection and I hope you are learning something today that will help you in your walk with Jesus Christ.  I will just give one more witness to this truth for this lesson today:

Rom 8:17  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

We are warned that we will all suffer with Jesus by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost given to Paul.    In other words the same rejection that He endured we should expect to happen to us.  Do you see it in this verse?  Perhaps it will help to study the Greek Word that was translated as “suffer with” in this verse and it could help us to see what God was trying to say.

G4841From G4862 and G3958 (including its alternate); to experience pain jointly or of the same kind (specifically persecution; to “sympathize”): – suffer with.

It should become significantly clearer by reading this definition from Strong’s Concordance that our rejection will be the same as Christ’s rejection.   “To experience pain jointly or of the same kind” is the primary definition of this word.  I do not know how to make it more clear than this.  After reading this you should now be expecting the same level of rejection and persecution to come to you as what Jesus experienced in this world.

# 6 – UNDERSTAND CHRIST’S EXAMPLE – BECOMING ACCEPTED BY GOD

AcceptedI believe that I have at the very least implied this point briefly in the previous sections but it should be emphasized again more directly for a greater clarification and retention.  I firmly believe that Jesus lived a pattern of life on the earth that we should expect to reoccur in our lives and I further believe that His life was an intentionally designed example for us to follow after.  That does not mean that we will die on the cross like He did but some Christians have experienced that.  What I am trying to say is that we should walk, talk and live the way that He did towards other people in love.

Was Jesus rejected?  I think we have more than confirmed that He was rejected repeatedly.  Did Jesus ever feel the pain of rejection?  I think we have seen this evidence also.  I think I will give you another witness for the emotional pain that Jesus felt about being rejected.  Please read this next verse and see beyond the words to feel the emotions behind them.

Mat 23:37  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Jesus starts out with a heartfelt cry “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem”.  Depending upon the voice tone it could be any emotion between anger and extreme sadness.  But I believe that these words were spoken in pain and disappointment.    You can see this by the further statement “How often would I have gathered your children…”.   This part of the statement is God longing to accept these people into His arms just like a mother hen covers her little young ones.  This is a very powerful statement that the children were refusing this love and nurturing.   They were rejecting the love of the only true God.  This broke the heart of God and He cries for them.  Feel the tears and experience the pain of being rejected.  God is clearly weeping over His people.

How did Jesus deal with all of this rejection?  I would think that we should follow after His example.  We have already talked about many of the things that Jesus did to counter rejection.  I mentioned learning and knowing the truth, walking in love, seeing things spiritually, emphasizing eternal realities and proactively forgiving the rejecters.  Let’s now read my lesson’s foundational verse and consider what God is saying.  This verse will be the central theme for my entire subject today.

1Pe 2:4  And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God,

This verse is the applied basis for my question that I asked you in the title today.  This verse is speaking directly of Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ set us a living example for us to follow after.  He was very clearly rejected by the vast majority of the people present in the region of the earth where He was born.  He did nothing except teach them, heal them and work miracles in their sight and they rejected all the good that He represented and killed Him.  These people took an innocent man guilty of no crimes and killed Him like a murderer.  Did Jesus deserve this rejection?  Did Jesus sow any discord, disharmony or anything else to cause this rejection?  I don’t really believe that He did.   No Jesus simply presented the truth and this truth was rejected out of their human ignorance.

This teaches us that human rejection may not be justified, earned or merited and that it could happen to anyone doing what Jesus did.  However, did you notice the antithesis preference found within this verse found in 1 Peter 2:4?  Doesn’t God say here in this verse that Jesus even after being rejected by men was still plainly accepted by God?  In fact wasn’t Jesus already accepted by God even before he was ever rejected by anyone?   Let’s look at a verse that confirms this:

Luk 3:22  And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

God in a spiritual form of a dove descended from heaven upon Jesus.  The voice of God in heaven spoke and declared the Son of God Jesus to be pleasing to the Father.  To be pleasing in the eyes of the observer is clearly acceptance by the Father God.  At this time in the life and ministry of Jesus, He had not done one miracle yet nor started to teach or preach any Word from God.  Therefore human rejection had not taken place.  Here is a secret for surviving human rejection.  We must make sure that we are first accepted by God.  Wow this really sounds like something that we need to learn about.  How do we become accepted by God when people can reject us?  I guess I should clarify this question.  You see I believe that we are primarily rejected by men simply because we have previously been accepted by God.   I am attempting to talk to Christians in this lesson but I do know we all can still be rejected before we become Christians.  So this lesson can even help a non-Christian if they will join in a do what the Bible teaches about dealing with rejection.

# 7 – UNDERSTANDING HOW TO BECOME REJECTED BY GOD

Mat 10:33  “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

There are at least two antithesis truths that can be gleaned from this verse.  The key word being found in this verse is “deny”.  This Greek word is G720 and it means to “reject”, “renounce” or “abnegate”.  The English word “abnegate” means to reject something valuable.  God says to us if we “reject” (deny) Christ (that which should be valuable to us) verbally to other people that He will reject (deny) us (that which is valuable to Him) before these same people.  Wow, wow, wow!!   That is something that many people have not considered.   Have you given this verse much thought?  It would be good for all of us to meditate on this verse for a long time to get it built into our hearts.

What are the implied unstated or indirect truths found within this verse?  This verse teaches us by the law of antithesis truth that if we “accept” and “proclaim” Christ before men that God will accept and proclaim us in the exact same way.  This fact declares plainly that we control our acceptance or our rejection from God by our own freewill choices and actions.  This truth contradicts the erroneous teaching of extreme predestination where people are appointed for salvation or for hell based upon God’s sovereign plan.  It is very clear to me that we have a great role to play in being accepted or rejected by God.  Let’s obtain another witness to this truth of being rejected by God:

2Ti 2:12  If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

Again God declares that the rejection (denial) of Christ will be His rejection (denial) of us.   These are established truths which places all of the responsibility of what happens to us upon our personal will, choices, decisions and actions.  I keep saying that because this was how God designed salvation to work.  Salvation is totally dependent upon what you believe and what you say.  If you don’t believe me then let’s believe God’s Word and read this verse to confirm it:

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

I am going to say something very controversial about this verse that I have said before in other posts.  I get more religious people’s negative comments trying to convince me that salvation is based upon works and not completely on our faith than any other subject that I teach on.  What are the key words found in this verse?  They are “believe” and “confess”.   God says if we do these two we will be saved.  Now place this verse in harmony with the previous two verses about denying Jesus?  You should be able to see that “denying” Jesus is implied to be a public declaration.  Would it not stand to reason that confessing Jesus is the same?  I do not want to get religious or legal minded about salvation being only one certain way because I do believe a person can get saved all alone in any private setting by calling on Jesus.  However, the public confession of Jesus factor is still implied even after the initial salvation.  Who said we have to stop confessing Jesus after the one time public or private confession of Jesus?

Do you understand what I was saying?  I believe if we confess Jesus in private but deny him in public we could be in serious trouble.   God says salvation is dependent upon us confessing Jesus and believing in His resurrection from the dead.  This would simply imply that our continued salvation hinges upon us continuing to believe and continuing to confess Him as our Lord and Savior in public or in private.   This is what I believe whether you choose to believe it or not.  Please do not write me comments about eternal security and once saved always saved philosophies that do not balance with the whole word of God and ignore so many scriptures that contradict it.  I am probably causing offense to so many readers by attempting to teach the truth as I have been shown it by God but that is the risk of any teaching from the Bible.  Someone will always be offended and I will be rejected by some.

What does all of this teach us?   This means that we should not be ashamed of Jesus Christ to talk about Him and tell others about what He has done for us.  We should not be bashful but rather bold enough to proclaim Him in a public setting.  Uh oh I can feel the readers shutting me off as they just read something that is potentially controversial about doing something potentially offensive to others in the world.    This verse is very strong to say that God will reject some people on the earth.  It seems to me that it would be very wise for me to determine how to not become one of these being rejected.  We are talking about being accepted or being rejected by God.  We have just determined that it is possible to be in either category of mathematical sets.   The set of God’s accepted versus the set of God’s rejected.  Which are you in?  Are you one of His sheep or one of the goats that will be turned away?

# 8 – UNDERSTANDING THE SPIRITUAL SOURCE FOR HUMAN REJECTION

Mat 10:25  It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

I have been doing a very basic Bible lesson on the subject of rejection and how to deal with it.  We have already learned some very valuable information on this subject.  Let’s think some more about the implied truths found in Matthew 10:25.  Did you notice what Jesus was further suggesting in this statement?  Jesus was saying if we are accepted by God then we will probably be rejected by men.  This is just basic logic derived from analyzing the stated truths and the unstated antithesis truths that must also be true.  If we are God’s disciples then we must have been accepted by God.  If we are God’s servants then again this implies God’s approval has taken place.  Now learn how the world will treat those that are accepted and approved into the household of Christ Jesus.  Jesus said that they will be called names and rejected.  Therefore it is one or the other and not both.  What this teaches us again is that if we are accepted by God we will be rejected by the vast unsaved world.  And if we are rejected by God then we are more likely to be accepted by the same lost world. Therefore we should have learned to expect rejection after our acceptance from Jesus Christ.

As I have continued to teach we need to expect this rejection of men to occur in order to not be taken by surprise. Please understand that it is ultimately Satan that is using these people to come against Christians.  Satan will be directing the assaults by providing thoughts that blind their minds to receive the truth.   It is essential to know what Ephesians 6:12 says in this discussion of rejection.

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Why did I include this verse in a discussion concerning handling rejection?  It is primarily because we need to know who is behind the rejection from the people in the world.  God very clearly teaches in the Bible in more than one scripture that we are in a spiritual battle with the rulers of the darkness of this this world.  Every unsaved person is a puppet in this dark world.  Most of them do not have a clue what they are doing and why they are doing it.  This is why Jesus could hang on the cross and ask God to forgiven them all because of their ignorant allegiance and obedience to the devil.   Jesus knew the ultimate enemy and it was not people.  People were who He came to the earth to save.   Jesus was clearly thinking spiritually and not naturally.  Wow, we really need to get a hold of this concept.  When a person comes and rejects us and calls us names we must realize that it is Satan inspired.  This is why we don’t ever retaliate with a person that is rejecting us.  You can however learn to speak to the spirits that are working in those people.  I would not normally do this to their face unless God instructed me to do so.  We can also pray to God and ask God to open the eyes of understanding for the person doing the rejecting.  These are two things that we can do when being rejected.  Remember that and this will further help you to overcome the rejection.   We can talk more about these in another lesson someday.

# 9 – OVERCOMING THE REJECTION OF MEN WITH THE ACCEPTANCE OF GOD

 What God declares in Matthew 10:25 is that rejection by Satan and the world is inevitable if we are Christians.  We will either be rejected by men or we will rejected by God.  That makes it extraordinarily clear to me who I don’t want to be rejected by.  I want to definitely be accepted by God.  We have already talked about denying Christ or confessing Christ as primary factors for rejection or acceptance but there are other factors that are stated in the Bible. This will be the next tot he last section in this lesson discussion to further expand out knowledge on becoming fully accepted by God.  We will need to learn as much as we can about this subject in a short overview format.

Rejection by men and women in the world will always hurt us emotionally and possibly physically.  I would love to be accepted by everyone that I teach or meet but I know this will never happen.  Also I do not wish to become a “man pleaser” just to have the friendship with the world.  It would be foolish of me to water down the teaching of God to just not to try to offend anyone.  These principles are clearly taught to us in the Bible.  Let’s review some N.T. verses about rejection and acceptance by God:

2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

We are told by God to come out from among them and be separate.  This Greek word translated as “separate” means to set a boundary between two things.  In other words God tells us to be very different from the world.  Being different from the world alone will cause many people in the world to reject us as fools.     We will be called names like intolerant hate mongers or even a boring unexciting person just because we don’t party, drink alcohol, smoke or take drugs like them.  We will be accused of propagating a message of exclusion and preaching a message of hatred simply for speaking of Christ’s love being the only way for their salvation.  What people in the world do not realize is that in their present condition they are far apart from God and on their way to hell.  We are instructed by God to tell them about a remedy for this condition that God has given to them freely.  If they will listen to this message then Christ said they will be saved from the rejection of God.

Go back and reread 2 Corinthians 6:17 again.   The verse ends with the declaration that we will be received by God “IF” we come out from among the world.  This Greek word translated as receive is G1523 and it means “to take into one’s favor” or in other words to “be accepted” and “approved”.  Wow, this is great information to learn.  God is telling you how to be accepted by Him.  This is clearly us rejecting the world’s ways and walking in God’s ways.  The reverse antithesis truth found in this verse is that if we accept the world’s ways we will be rejected by God and that will definitely be an unsatisfactory result for eternity.  What God is teaching us in the Bible is that there exist conditional promises.  Acceptance by God is conditional and never guaranteed unless we learn to follow the instructions that He has given to us in order to qualify.

We have just learned a basic principle for achieving God’s acceptance and avoiding His rejection.  We must proclaim Jesus before men and we must come out from among the world.  It sounds like a contradiction but this is the way of God.  We can tell the world about Jesus without looking like them, acting like them or sounding like them.  Being accepted by God is a partnership between God’s Grace and man’s faith.  We cannot earn this favorable position with God by our works.  Our works of labor will never make us accepted by God.  This is truly a paradox being presented to us.  If right works do not save us yet the wrong works could cause us to be rejected how do we deal with this?  Let’s view a perspective from the Lord Jesus on this part of the discussion:

Mat 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

We are called the lights shining to the world in this verse.  As a light we are told to do good works in order to give glory to God for saving us.   You see our good works certainly do not save us but yet they can be viewed by the world clearly to be seen as a different and new way of life.   There is a tremendous deception contained within the ways of the world.  The life of sin is very attractive at first but the consequence of sin will always come upon them suddenly and then this is when people might wish they had made better choices.   Let me give you a quick Bible verse that relates to this subject of enjoying pleasure for a short time and an eternity in hell for making that wrong choice:

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

This verse is speaking of Moses if you read the context you will see this clearly.  Notice what God says about Moses.  God says Moses made a wise choice.  Moses chose to live in persecution and affliction rather than live the good life with the Egyptians for a season.  It is self-evident that we should not choose a short life of pleasure just to hang around the popular people, the aristocrats and the wealthy.   This is what God is trying to say to us all.  Come out and be separate from the world and this will cause you to be accepted by God but rejected by them.  However, this will result in far greater rewards than you can possibly imagine.

#10 – THE WITNESS OF GOD IS GREATER THAN THE WITNESS OF MAN

Now let me end this lesson with one more key verse when learning to deal with rejection found in the book of 1st John.   I am going to emphasize one more time that the acceptance of God should be our focused desire.  This goal will help us to deal with the certain rejection of people in this world:

1Jn 5:9  If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

I think this will be my last verse in this very important Bible lesson.  Here is God comparing two possible realities that I started out asking you in the lesson title.  Did you see them?  One is a natural reality and the other is a spiritual reality?  Which one is greater?   Can you comprehend the connection to the subject of “rejection”?   Let’s look up the Greek word G3144 which was translated as “witness”.  Witness is defined to be someone that gives evidence for or against you in a court of law.  Now do you begin to see the connection?  What happens when someone rejects you?  They usually will verbally speak something negative about you.  What happens when someone accepts you?  They usually will verbally speak something positive about you.  So how does this information apply to being rejected by men?

If a man rejects you God informs us very clearly that His acceptance will be greater and far more important to us in the end.  In other words the temporary acceptance of men will not be worth the eternal separation and rejection of God.  God is just confirming that His divine spiritual acceptance outweighs any natural rejection every time.  I think this will be very helpful to everyone that will learn to receive it.

After reading this Bible lesson on rejection let me ask the titled question again. Would you now rather be rejected by men or rejected by God?  This is a test just like in school growing up.  However, God’s tests are always open book tests with the answer found right after you search for them with your whole heart.  What does God recommend for this question?  God recommends that you make wise choices and become accepted by Him.  Then don’t worry about the rejection that the world will bring you because the acceptance of God will triumph over this dismissal by the world giving you great eternal rewards.

There is so much more on this subject of rejection in the Bible but it will have to wait for a follow up lesson.  I would recommend that you go back and reread this lesson more than once.  Print it out and take notes.  Share it with others so that they too will know how to deal with rejection.  I thank you so much for taking the time to read these Bible lessons.  I pray that the seeds planted in your heart from these lessons will sprout and bring forth much fruit in your life.  Until next time may God richly bless you and keep you in the paths that He would lead you in.  God Bless you!!!

More Things That Satan DOES NOT Want You To Know About! Part 2 The Kingdom of Darkness! Learn God’s Word Applying the 5 W’s of Bible Study.

darkness2light(ver 1.1) This is now Part 2 in the series of Bible study lessons concerning our unseen spiritual enemy Satan. These lessons contain some of the most significant things that Satan does not want us to learn or know about him.   If you did not read “Part 1” I would recommend that you start with that lesson before you continue with this one. However, if you do not have the time to do that, the truths found here in this lesson should still stand alone and be helpful to your Christian walk in this life. Today’s lesson contains basic Bible truths that every Christian needs to know. If you are a very mature Christian you might already know many of the things that will be taught in this lesson. Please just allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart as you read with an open mind.  I will warn you up front that this lesson will be long.  But you can read it one section at a time and this will help break it down for you.  Thank you before we begin for your dedication to study the Bible.

INTRODUCTION

I recently read a comment that someone made and I could not disagree more with what they said. They said that we should not be concerned about learning anything regarding Satan since he was defeated by the Lord Jesus Christ. However, they ignored the fact that Satan still exists, is still present here in this world and that he is stated by God to still be our adversary that we must exercise our authority over in order to keep Satan from running or controlling our lives. Consider this warning from God when asking this basic question if should we learn about Satan:

2Co 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

To be intentionally ignorant of Satan means someone does not know that Satan is their opponent or does not consider him as a formidable adversary. But, God clearly tells us in this verse that Satan has implied power which he can utilize to gain an advantage over us if we allow him to. Paul then wrote to the church in this verse that we “should not be ignorant”, unlearned or uninformed about Satan’s devices. This statement of God written by Paul contradicts directly with my reader’s comment. I firmly believe that the more we know about our enemy the least likely we are to permit him to take this advantage over of us. These truths go a long with what God said to us in Hosea 4:6 which is one of my favorite Bible verses. God says in Hosea 4:6 that His people are destroyed because of their ignorance a word meaning “no knowledge of” or “insufficient knowledge of”. I hope that you can see these are very good reasons to learn everything that you can learn about this enemy.

In the first lesson we quickly went through 6 important things that God has shown us in the Bible about the spiritual adversary named Satan. Satan has tried to stop these things from being preached and taught to the body of Christ.   Perhaps you have noticed this reality if you have observed the lack of meaningful spiritual lessons that should have been taught in all churches. It is obvious to me that Paul taught about this adversary based upon what we just read in 2 Corinthians 2:11. What we must begin to realize is that we have a spiritual foe that is trying to kill, steal and destroy us (John 10:10).

These days there are too many Christians that want to look only at natural flesh and blood as the source of all of their problems in this world but this is not what the Bible teaches us that we are fighting against.   If you read in Ephesians 6:12 you should be able to plainly see a spiritual opponent truth being stated.   Not knowing that Christians are in a spiritual battle with an unseen spiritual force causes many of them to be easily distracted by the natural world and then to be easily defeated by the spiritual world. Not understanding how their spiritual enemy operates causes another portion of Christians to be easily attacked and overwhelmed.   Then not knowing how to fight against this spiritual adversary will cause others to be effortlessly beaten. What we do not know is Satan’s greatest advantage over us.   The goal of this lesson series is to inform Christians about their enemy and give them as much good Biblical information to help overcome Satan’s many assaults.

In this Bible lesson today I will be teaching something new that was not covered in detail in the first lesson about Satan. This new truth will be a complementary important fact that Satan is trying to stop you from learning about. I have taught on today’s subject in other lesson series but this one will be a little different with some new verses to consider.

If you recall in the first lesson I taught that one method of deception that Satan uses is distraction to keep people away from seeing God’s truth. Satan does not want the truth of the Word of God to be planted firmly and unmovably in our hearts. When the Word of God is confidently implanted in our hearts with solid deep roots it will produce spiritual fruit that causes Satan’s hold on our lives to be greatly diminished.   The more truth you know from God’s Word the less likely you are to ever be deceived or overcome by Satan’s schemes. This knowledge of the truth is exactly what God wants you to achieve and it will become a great threat to the kingdom of darkness. The kingdom of darkness happens to be my key subject today. Satan will do everything in his power to keep you from knowing about this subject. One of the primary reasons for Satan wanting us not to know this is because no one will ever try to escape from a prison if they do not first know that they are in one.

As a final note for the introduction I will mention that in this Bible lesson I will be using at least 9 or 10 different basic Bible study laws to help us understand what God teaches us. Here is a quick list overview of these essential Bible Study techniques and rules. We will be using:

  • the Law of Self-Interpretation
  • the Law of Spiritual Definitions
  • the Law of First Mention
  • the Law of Contextual Application
  • the Law of Antithesis Truth
  • the Law of Synonymous Association or Relation
  • the Law of Mathematical Equality (If A=B & B=C, then A=C)
  • the Law of truth building upon truth
  • the Law of Truth never contradicting Truth
  • the Law of 2 or 3 Witnesses

 

I have covered these Laws of Understanding the Bible in more depth in other Bible lessons but I will emphasize them again today for anyone that is new to my website that has not yet read every Bible lesson.  Today I will be going over a lesson using a specific style of Bible study that I call the 5 W’s study method. This method will focus on answering the questions of “Who”, “What”, “When”, “Where” and “Why”. In this study we will focus on the following questions:

  • Who is the main subject about?
  • Who does the main subject affect?
  • What is the main subject about?
  • What does the main subject mean to a Christian?
  • What does the main subject mean to a non-Christian?
  • When did the main subject come into existence?
  • When does the main subject end or cease to exist, if ever?
  • Where does the main subject take place or exist?
  • Why is the main subject even in the Bible?
  • Why is the main subject important to learn, understand and know?

We will be studying the Bible to answer these questions concerning the main subject of the “kingdom of darkness” today. We will also be touching on the related antithesis subject of the kingdom of light. I hope you will take the time to continue and read the entire lesson. Let’s get started.

NUMBER 7

7. Satan DOES NOT want you to know that he still rules a kingdom and you might be in it.

This is the seventh truth that Satan would rather you not learn. Since Jesus defeated Satan as we all should now know, does Satan still have a rule of authority over anything or anyone in the “here and now” present world? The answer to that question is a resounding yes. There are at the very minimum 4 different spiritual kingdoms mentioned to us in the Bible and you may not be able to name them all right now. Understanding spiritual kingdoms is a difficult seldom taught Bible subject but yet a rewarding subject to study nonetheless. There are a number of confusing factors that challenge us when we study about spiritual kingdoms. One spiritual kingdom in the Bible can be called by several different names, symbols or titles but these are still the same kingdom. Another spiritual kingdom can be a similar name or type or even have a similar appearance but God can be speaking of a completely different kingdom within a different time or even a different realm with an entirely different spiritual ruler of that kingdom. The Bible is much more complex than many Christians understand. However, today I am only writing about one specific spiritual kingdom in this lesson and this kingdom is called the “kingdom of darkness”. The kingdom of darkness is Satan’s independent empire. Satan is the sovereign ruler of this dark empire. This kingdom is not a part of any other kingdom. It is also not a sub-kingdom of God’s spiritual empire.   This kingdom of darkness is vast and has many subordinate individuals that are within it right now.

Understanding the Kingdom of Darkness – WHO!

I’ll explain this section title later in the Bible lesson. Also I will say at the beginning of this section that I believe after the death of Jesus and His resurrection that Satan’s kingdom was greatly diminished from where it was at one time but we will still learn in this lesson that Satan has significant rule and power. For example in Revelation we learn that Satan potentially rules over 1/3 of an innumerable number of angels that appear to follow him (Rev 12:4, Heb 12:22). Then in other scriptures that I am going to get into in this section we learn that Satan rules over many millions and even billions of unsaved people in this world. Let’s begin this study by looking at a N.T. verse that informs Christians that they were once within this same vast kingdom of darkness to help us establish its manifestation, presence and existence:

Col 1:13  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

There are two separate and very distinctly different spiritual kingdoms being referred to concurrently in this verse.   One kingdom is directly mentioned and the other kingdom is indirectly described by God. First the indirect kingdom is being associated with the “power of darkness”. This is of course Satan’s kingdom of darkness. But, God then informs us that we have been translated from out of this darkness into the directly named “Kingdom of His dear Son”, Jesus Christ. The Son’s Kingdom was the establishment of a new spiritual kingdom that never existed before that I alluded to earlier. You may not understand that last statement right now but please don’t throw it away because you don’t understand because it is an advanced Bible truth that I do not have the time to teach fully today in this lesson. This “Kingdom of His dear Son” is also known by other names called the “Kingdom of God”, “the Kingdom of Light”, “ the Kingdom of the Day”, “the Kingdom of David” as well as by several other descriptions. This verse clearly teaches us that we (the Christians) have been “taken out of” and “removed from” the kingdom of darkness that belongs to Satan who is the implied unstated power of this realm. Christians now reside within a new spiritual Kingdom founded, established and confirmed by the Lord Jesus Christ. I think I will give you another verse to help settle this:

Act 26:18  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

These words in Acts 26:18 were written in red ink in my Bible and this means Jesus is speaking again.   Notice that there are two antithesis spiritual kingdoms being mentioned directly in this verse. These kingdoms are called “Darkness” versus “Light”. There are also two opposing rules of authority established in this verse being called the “power of Satan” versus the power of God. Satan is directly associated to be the power of darkness that was indirectly mentioned in the previous verse and God is only called the Power of Light.   Both of these two previous verses directly mentioned the very important hidden kingdom subject keyword “power”. God will often talk about a subject using a related keyword and you need to become aware how to connect it to the current subject that you are studying.

This Greek word is G1849 that was translated as “power” holds the meaning of “delegated influence, authority, jurisdiction, power and strength”. Notice the implications from this definition. It means this individual that holds this “power” has the ability to make independent rules of law over those that are under them. This literally means that one power does not exist together with the other power or there would be no delegated power that was given to them. Nor can this power being mentioned be ruled or controlled by the other power. Think about this in terms of the United States and another country like Russia. The Russian government cannot pass a law to imprison the citizens of the United States and this is true for the United States not being able to imprison the people of Russia. Both are independent sovereign rules of law.

In fact the mere names of the kingdoms light and darkness denote a clear separation of powers. Wherever light exists darkness is not found and wherever darkness exists light is never found to be present. These are just basic natural laws that were created by God to teach us how these spiritual realities work. In the natural we can walk into a very dark room and be overwhelmed with the darkness until we turn the light on and then suddenly there is no more darkness. It is just amazing how that works, isn’t it. Now consider another N.T. verse that is relevant to teach on this subject:

1Jn 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

God is clearly declared to be light in 1 John 1:5 and in this verse it further says that “IN HIM” there is no darkness found in this Light. This reality of God being called light without any darkness denotes an implied antithesis truth that within the darkness of Satan there is no Light of God found. However this becomes greatly complicated when we consider the “omnipresence” of God. I do not believe that there exists a place where God cannot be found present.   Psalms 139:7 teaches us this truth using the voice of a man asking, where can I go that you are not found?

However this verse in 1 John still teaches us that there must be a huge separation of one from the other using an implied dividing partition. Light and darkness cannot coexist in the same room without a partition to block the light. I personally believe that God is teaching us that He is not evil. We will begin to learn more of this as we continue to study that evil exists in Satan and goodness and mercy comes from God. We need to know this and never forget it when reading and studying the rest of the Bible or else we will become confused how to understand what is being stated by God.

I am not going to teach anything else found in this verse of Acts 26:18, because that would take too long. You can take the time to meditate and think on this verse to see what else God reveals to you about it if you wish. Please just begin to embrace and believe in the basic concepts of the powers of light versus darkness being separated, detached, divided, disconnected and disjointed from each other. Both kingdoms will not stand or coexist together. Clearly the Kingdom of Light is superior to the kingdom of darkness. Darkness can never prevail over light or drive out the light. But God still declares the kingdom of darkness to exist with power and this teaches us that God is not present there. These verses also teach us that Christians were once found to be a part of the darkness and have now been removed from it. But yet this truth implies those that are not Christians right now are still residents within the power of darkness. I know there will be some Christians that do not believe me.   But normally this is because they have never studied to find these truths in the Bible. I’m not able to give you every verse that exists on this subject but I will mention a few more that apply. I have taught on this subject in other Bible lessons. Let’s read the words of the Lord Jesus again to continue with learning about this spiritual kingdom of darkness truth:

Mat 12:26  And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?

Jesus makes an amazing statement here that should not be discarded, thrown away or ignored because you don’t believe it. Jesus Christ is God in the flesh and the creator of everything seen and unseen that was created (John 1:1-3, 14) and He declares that Satan is not fighting or even working against himself.   Jesus also teaches us very clearly that Satan has his own independent kingdom apart from the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven mentioned repeatedly in the Gospels.   There is a very basic truth established and confirmed with this message that there exists another spiritual kingdom that is separate from God’s domain. This would have been a great opportunity for the Lord Jesus to tell us how this kingdom of darkness was sovereignly ruled by God but He does not even imply this to be true. In fact Jesus in describing this kingdom referred to Satan using the third-person pronoun “his” which means that this kingdom is possessed, owned and controlled by him. This clearly denotes separate ownership of this kingdom being mentioned which must be different from the Kingdom of God that I just mentioned. In other words Jesus did not say “my” kingdom He said “his” kingdom and we need to see this.  Jesus is not Satan and Satan is not Jesus.  Therefore whatever Jesus rules over was not what Satan ruled over.  Let’s go into another New Testament verse revealing who rules this kingdom of darkness:

Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

God starts in verse 11 by revealing that we are in a spiritual war and have need of His spiritual armor. This spiritual opponent is called the devil. This is just another title for our enemy Satan. If we look up the meaning to this Greek word G1228 translated as “devil” we will find that it means a person who is a traducer.   Do you know what that is? This is literally someone who tells lies about another person. This is very revealing information about what type of battle we are in. The battle is raging in a spiritual court and we are the defendants that are being accused by the devil. It is a clear battle between what is truth versus the words of lies being thrown at us. We need to know this because it will become very important due to our fleshly sin nature.

Please observe our primary subject related “keyword” in this verse translated as “rulers”. Remember the primary subject is concerning the “kingdom of darkness” and this kingdom certainly must have a “ruler” in control of it. This Greek word is G2888 and it literally means a “world ruler”. Any natural kingdom of the world has a leader that reigns over it. This is normally like a royal family that inherits the throne from their parent after they die.  Much like King David’s son inherited the kingdom when David died.  These natural concepts will apply to the subject of spiritual kingdoms also.  But that is a different Bible lesson.  What we should be learning is that the ruler of the spiritual darkness is Satan.

Please allow me to give you a couple of further confirming witnesses to the reality that unsaved people and fallen angels are revealed subjects of this dark empire of Satan.   We will look at some additional words of Jesus to see who He claimed to be and why He came into the world and this is vital spiritual information and truth to know:

Joh 12:46  I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

What is Jesus claiming to be here? Jesus asserts to be the “Light”. This statement literally means Jesus has called Himself “God” using the symbolic title “Light”. Do you remember that we read previously in 1 John 1:5 that God is stated to be “Light” and in Him is no darkness at all? This verse in 1 John was a spiritual definition for the Greek word translated as “light” and we need this information in order to understand what Jesus just said in John 12:46. Since Jesus was not speaking literally He must have been speaking figuratively. Therefore in order to understand figurative light we need a God given definition for the word. This is the correct way of “Rightly dividing the Word of Truth” and “Letting the Bible Interpret itself”. Both of these verses use the exact same Greek word G5457. Therefore they are linked by God’s direct word selection design to teach us about the subject of spiritual light. Light is the antithesis for darkness and this further confirms that God does not dwell in darkness here in John 12:46. Perhaps you do not understand the divinely created laws of mathematics. I have made mention of this law in other Bible lessons, but I will review it briefly for the new readers on my website. In 1 John 1:5 God = Light. Then in John 12:46 Jesus = Light. Therefore by the laws of mathematics “Jesus = God”. This is just a very basic Bible study principles and I hope you learn how this works today.

Now notice what Jesus claimed for one of the reasons why He has appeared in the flesh here in this world. Jesus claims to be the spiritual  light to show us the way out of the darkness that we were stated to be in.   Most unsaved people still do not realize that they are in this darkness because they do not see it. I will emphasize once more that Jesus is not claiming to be a natural light. He is claiming to be a spiritual light and that will become greatly significant as we continue on in this study.

What we have been learning only concerns the subsidiary subject of “who”. The “who” subject study is nothing but a sub-category study within my primary subject of the “kingdom of darkness” study. We have discovered the existence of two spiritual kingdoms in this section. One was called “Light” and the other was called “darkness”.   We have discovered that Satan rules the kingdom of darkness and God in Jesus Christ rules the Kingdom of Light. We have discovered the implied existence of a separation of powers and a partition of division between these two kingdoms. We have also further understood the existence of subordinates within both kingdoms. As Christians we were told that we were once in the kingdom of darkness but have been removed from it by the Grace of God and taken into the kingdom of light by Christ Jesus. This literally means that those who have NOT been saved remain in the darkness and there are several other verses in the N.T. that we can find to confirm this. Let’s move on to the sub-category study of “what” now.

Understanding the Kingdom of Darkness – WHAT!

What is the Kingdom of Darkness? What does God reveal to us about this kingdom realm? Is it spiritual or is physical or is it both? We should have established in the first section the beginning basic truths of “who” is in the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. We found the ruler of this kingdom of darkness to be Satan. Satan was directly linked to the possession, ownership and control of this kingdom of darkness. I should have told you that no created being like Satan is capable of establishing their own kingdom of authority without it being given to them by God. We can learn this simple truth from a statement that Jesus made to Pilate in the book of John:

Joh 19:11  Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

The Greek word G1849 translated as “power” in this verse means a literal “right of authority”.   Jesus speaking to one ruler named Pilate was telling him there is no power/authority except it came from God. Jesus was declaring the sovereignty of God as well as the important fact that He is omnipotent and without God willingly giving us anything we would be completely unable to take or possess anything like power from Him. No human ruler on the earth is able to have any authority unless it was given to them from God.   This is certainly true of Satan as well as for us. Satan’s kingdom of darkness and authority had to have been given to him from God. God has a reason and a purpose for whatever He does even if we do not yet understand it.

Then we further learned that the citizens in this kingdom of darkness were the unsaved people of the world. In addition to the unsaved people of the world there are also the fallen angels that reside in this realm. I could have given you Jude 1:6 to read concerning the angels that have fallen which are now held in the realm of darkness but I did not give you this verse in the previous section. There are just so many Bible verses to be found but we must search for them. Now we need to learn what this kingdom of darkness represents. What exactly is it? Why is it called “darkness”? Is this darkness symbolic of something else? What could this symbolic darkness represent?

If the kingdom of darkness consists of both fallen angels and unsaved people this kingdom has the potential to be both physical/natural and spiritual. This is because unsaved people live within a natural domain and fallen angels exist within a spiritual domain. It does become a bit distorted when we learn that unsaved people are really just spirits that reside in a natural body. When the unsaved person dies it is just like the saved person when they die. The spirit of the dead body departs the earth at the time of natural death. The saved person goes up to heaven and the unsaved person descends to be in hell. So far I have concluded that the kingdom of darkness can only be spiritual but we still need more evidence to draw a conclusion.

Hopefully you already understand about what was taught earlier that darkness represents the absence of light. Since God was called Light, the kingdom of darkness represents a realm of domain apart from God. In other words the name darkness implies that there is no God (Light) within the kingdom of darkness. However that is a difficult concept to embrace because it conflicts with the known divine quality called the “omnipresence” attribute of God stating that He is everywhere at every time. We will hopefully come to a conclusion as we continue how these two truths can co-exist where both can be true simultaneously. Let’s begin our study of what darkness is using the information found in the book of John to help establish what occurs in the domain that Satan rules and how this differs from a realm where God is in full control like in heaven currently.

Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

I indicated the fact in the previous section that whatever God (Light) is the darkness is definitely not. That type of subject study for what God represents would take many, many days to complete so I will not attempt to write an entire book about what God represents including His revealed personality, His revealed character, His reveal moral values and even His revealed names. I will keep this type of complete subject study for another series of lessons in the future. However we must understand a few of the simple and basic principles about God in order to comprehend what the kingdom of darkness represents and how it is different from the Kingdom of Light.

Jesus said here in John 10:10 that the thief (Satan) came to primarily do three things and these were to kill, steal and to destroy but then Jesus reveals His antithesis purpose for coming to the earth saying “I have come that you may have life and that life more abundantly”. This single verse confirms the contrasting reality between the kingdoms of darkness verses light. Jesus clearly reveals to us that the kingdom of darkness brings to us death and the kingdom of light brings to us life. Then Jesus said the kingdom of darkness takes away from us and the kingdom of Light does the opposite.   Finally Jesus said the kingdom of darkness “destroys” and the opposite of that would be to create something good and worthwhile that has a positive purpose.   I think that is very plain and self-evident which kingdom realm that we should desire to be in and remain a part of, don’t you? Just ask yourself would you rather die or live life fully and abundantly? This is not a difficult question.   Let’s take these truths found in John 10:10 further into a new confirming dimension of study, reading in Ephesians:

Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

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

Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

These verses are teaching us the clear separation points between two opposing kingdoms. These principles contain the rules of basic opposition between hate versus love, evil versus good, condemnation versus mercy and death versus life again. Life and death are simply a repeat of John 10:10 but the subjects of steal and destroy are also found in the term doing evil. These are strong and distinct negatives versus positives. Such straightforward truths are presented to us by God in the Bible and these should be known and believed by every Christian.   We need to know these simple truths in order to conclusively apply this knowledge to what we read in the many other verses found in the Bible and in our life situations. God will not contradict these uttered truths in any other part of the Bible. If we think there is a contradiction then it is simply our misunderstanding or our misinterpretation that needs to change. God’s Word will not ever change.

In this section we have just barely started to touch on this sub-category study of the “what” found within the “kingdom of darkness” study. I could have taught for many pages on this subject but I am trying to move through the more complete study of the basics for how to study the kingdom of darkness subject. We should by now at least understand what the kingdom of darkness represents. Darkness represents symbolically whatever is evil in the world.   We should also know that the kingdom of darkness represents whatever is contained within the realm of the dead and death. We should further comprehend that the kingdom of darkness represents whatever is of condemnation. We should have just learned that the kingdom of darkness represents whatever the concept of “hate” represents. These were all opposites of what God’s kingdom of light represents and offers to everyone. Knowing these basics should help motivate us to tell others about this and help them to come out of this satanically controlled kingdom of darkness. You should not want your worst natural enemy in this kingdom. I hope you will agree and tell them how to get saved. Let’s move quickly into the sub-category of “when” next and learn when the kingdom of Satan came into existence.

Understanding the Kingdom of Darkness – WHEN!

In order to understand the kingdom of darkness more clearly we now should investigate when this kingdom originated and when Satan obtained the official rule of this kingdom. These are two different dates within time past as we should be able to learn as the lesson continues. Ask God, did the kingdom of darkness always exist or did the kingdom of darkness have a beginning? We should remember from studying previous sections that Jesus declared in the Gospels that Satan possessed this kingdom at the time of His appearing on the earth. Jesus was born of the virgin approximately 4000 years after Adam’s creation and this has occurred approximately 2000 years from the present date for a total of nearly 6000 years.   These numbers will become more significant in learning about the kingdom of darkness when I tell you about what God reveals in certain verses on this subject. I will warn you up front that in this section there are potentially controversial hidden Bible realities presented. These can be complex and intended for more mature Christians. I did not expect for this lesson to become advanced but this part of the topic will cause a transition from milk to meat to occur. This sub-topic study will be much more unconventional in nature than any of the previous sections. It will require more thought and study and potentially a deeper understanding of other Bible basic truths that will not be taught here. Therefore, if you are reading this lesson being a new Christian, you might want to skip this section for now. Thank you for judging yourself in your ability to eat more meat than milk.

Many times in the Bible, God does not present all of the information in plain viewed terms for everyone to automatically see and understand and this part of the study will certainly be an example of one of these. The time of the origin of the kingdom of darkness is not directly stated and can only be found by searching and studying the hidden clues that are concealed by God using natural symbolism and metaphorical terminology. We must find these hidden clues with the Holy Spirit’s help and then allow Him to teach us what they exactly mean for our subject study. I will probably get several negative comments about how my Bible study methods do not fit within all of the rigid set of man’s created exegesis standards, methods and steps. However, I cannot help how or where God shows me what He wants to say and if you wish to ignore what He is saying then I have no problem with that. Just please don’t leave me any negative comments if you do not see it or agree with it. My salvation and your salvation does not hinge upon when the kingdom of darkness came into existence. Therefore this is not a subject that is needed for our initial or continued salvation.

Let’s begin our study of “when” the kingdom of darkness came into existence with some strange verses that you may not directly associate with this spiritual kingdom of darkness subject study:

Isa 45:7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

This is a very controversial and easily misunderstood verse of the Old Testament.   Many Christian people believe that it tends to say on the surface that God created both darkness and evil for an implied purpose. In other words people use the extreme sovereignty of God teaching to believe that God designed darkness and evil to fulfill a divine purpose to intentionally accomplish something wicked in our world. However, this type of belief would violate and contradict other revealed truths that God is good and in Him is no darkness (evil). So how can evil come from a God that is only good?   “Create” in this verse is the Hebrew word H1254 and it certainly means “to create” something. But, were these words “I create darkness and evil” what God intended for us to emphasize from this verse? Even I will admit that it does say that God created darkness and evil in half of the phrases in this verse but that is not the entire phrase statement and taking a small part or even half of a statement out of context will normally produce an erroneous interpretation and understanding. Here is another rule for sound Bible interpretation, “Study the context and apply the surrounding word meanings to understand the meanings of the words being focused upon”. I hope you understand this rule. This is exactly what we are about to do.

The term “create” is H1254 and it is used by God to describe His verb action that was placed upon the noun “darkness”. This term is used by God repeatedly in this way in the O.T. including in the first verse of Genesis 1 where God says “In the beginning God created (H1254) the heavens and the earth”. Therefore I do not deny that “darkness” appears to be a created substance from God. However we must realize that there is more than one way to create something. Wow, I’m not sure if you understood that last statement yet. It was a very deep statement. A process of creating is so diverse and can be accomplished in so many ways that it boggles the mind to comprehend them and place them together as acts of creation. For example, to create can be any of the following:

  • To Make
  • To Generate
  • To Produce
  • To Manufacture
  • To Assemble
  • To Form
  • To Fabricate
  • To Craft
  • To Build
  • To Construct

 

Most of these terms represent someone taking one or more existing substances to produce a newly designed substance or article. For instance a cotton shirt is created first by a farmer picking the cotton from the field. The cotton is then cleaned, processed and dyed and becomes thread. The threads are loomed together to make fabrics. The fabrics are then shaped, cut and assembled to create the shirt. These are all creative steps of a more complete process and this is something you need to consider when reading anything about creation or creating in the Bible. Determine what was created and then back up to see what was used to create it.   There is also another challenge to consider about creation of objects.

You see darkness is not technically a created substance. We cannot package and sell a substance of darkness to anyone like it was gold, silver, oil or whatever. If we could sell darkness, the person buying it could open our package and see that there was nothing present because any light would cause the darkness to vanish. I also want to say that there is a satanic line of thought going on that claims darkness is the greater substance and light only exists because the darkness is not present and that is stupid. As we continue please remember that darkness is nothing but the absence or the removal of Light and this is so critical to understand.

Let’s go back to the beginning phrase and study this initial statement for the contextual application to the secondary verse statements. Reread the entire verses statement all together. Did you notice the antithesis of two opposing realities in this verse? Both light and darkness are being mentioned as they have been in many other verses that we have been studying. Now ask God “Why didn’t you say “I create the Light” here in this verse anywhere? Did you notice that God used a different Hebrew word (H3335) for the verb action that He applied to the noun light?   Why is that? You are going to have to get into the details if you ever want to understand the Word of God. If you are not asking God deep questions when you read His Word you will never find any deep answers. Do you understand this? Now let’s allow God to show us the deep answers.

We have previously seen that God declares Himself to be Light in 1 John. Remember God equals Light by the stated law of spiritual definitions and the laws of mathematical equivalency. In other words whatever qualities exist for God these must also exist for Light and this is basic applied logic and math. Was God created? If God was not created then Light was not created either. Because God always existed, Light always existed. God did not ever change from darkness to light at any time and does not change from light to darkness at any time. This comes from the Bible truth found in Malachi 3:6 where God declares to us His never changing consistent nature.

God did not use the term “create” for Light in Isaiah because Light always was in God. The Hebrew term (H3335) translated as “formed” is a new word that means to form or shape an existing substance and that is totally different than creating any brand new substance. Forming a substance would be like molding clay as a potter. In other words God is saying the clay (light) existed but that He applied the pressure to the existing substance (light) to direct it into a new form for a very specific shaped purpose.   Did you hear what God just said? Did you understand it? What happens to light when it is focused? Think of a dark theater with a man singing on the stage. A light appears at the back of the theater but this light does not usually light the entire room. Why because it is highly focused. This is called a spotlight or spotlighting and it is used to direct focused illumination upon the person that needs your attention and in this way it will cause our vision to only see him and this is basically what God is saying in this verse in Isaiah. Now are you beginning to understand who this focused attention represents? Who is the majority of the book of Isaiah about? Is it not Jesus Christ? God just said that by Him directing or focusing the light the darkness was created so that we could see Jesus Christ. Wow, I think that was pretty awesome if you understood it.

Think in terms of created natural light concepts because these contain hidden spiritual light concepts. The sun produces our main source of natural light. The earth turns and one side of the planet has the light visible and the other side has only the presence of darkness visible. This is exactly the process of focused light occurring. It is also the process of an object blocking the light from shining to create a dark place and this must also be considered. What I want you to learn here from this verse in Isaiah is that Light always existed and darkness is nothing but the absence of light because the light was either blocked by an object or was focused (formed) by God to direct us to a new focus. I do not have the time to go into this verse in any more depth today so let’s move on in this study to a new set of controversial verses:

Psa 136:8 The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:

Psa 136:9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.

These are either some of the strangest verses in the Bible or they mean something that we do not yet comprehend. Why would God mention two antithesis realms of natural reality using kingdom terms in direct succession? There are also two opposing kingdom rulers mentioned here in these verses.  Did you notice that?  If you will observe there are at least 5 important keywords in these verses that are critical to link to our spiritual kingdom study. When studying a Bible subject we need to look for hidden verses that are about our subject but do not mention the subject directly and these verses are hidden examples of this principle. I call this the law of synonymous association or relation. God will often hide information for us to find anywhere in the Bible using natural symbolic phrases that are directly related to a subject like darkness but never mention the word darkness anywhere in the verse. He will hide the connection to darkness by selecting a word like “night” instead which is dominated by darkness. These types of verses are little concealed clues that present information that we may not relate without His guidance and direction. If you will observe closely in this verse God is speaking of two opposing realities again. One is called “day” and the other is called “night”. Of course day is where sunlight prevails and night is where there is no sunlight and darkness prevails. Did you notice how this information conforms to what I taught earlier? Day is not night and night is not day. They do occur simultaneously together but rather night becomes day as we have been learning about from verses in the New Testament.

sunrise1Do you remember this concept of Christians being brought out of the spiritual darkness into the spiritual light? This is the exact same natural concept of night becoming day when the sun rises. I hope you have read all of my other Bible lessons on this subject. According to the N.T. salvation is the rising of the Sun of Jesus Christ in our hearts as revealed by God in 2 Peter 1:19. In this verse God describes the spiritual Day Star (Sun) to be rising in the spiritual hearts of all those that believe in Jesus Christ. This was taken from the concept of the natural sun dawning or breaking forth and becoming brighter and brighter at the beginning of every day. This daily natural concept occurs in the Spiritual realm and it has not been widely taught or understood by Christians. However this was hidden within creation and revealed by God for us to learn from. What we have just learned is that light and darkness can be synonymous terms for day and night.

Now notice in these verses that there is a Hebrew word, Strong’s number H4475 which was translated as “rule” in the English language. This Hebrew word is very important. It is a word that means “to rule”, “to govern”, “to have power over” and “to have dominion over”.   These are clearly “kingdom” terms where a kingdom potentate like the king oversees his subjects. Why is this relevant? Do you already see the connection to the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light that we have been learning about in the New Testament?   God simply uses the approach of applying new synonyms for calling what is light and darkness by different names or titles in order to hide this information in these verses for us to find.

This Hebrew word H4475 was first used by God in the book of Genesis. This is called using the law of first mention where God takes us to a subject introduction to teach us overall important subject principles. The first mention of “rule” occurs in the very first chapter of Genesis during God’s description of day 4 of creation. If you have read my other Bible lessons on Genesis and creation you already know and understand that each day of creation represents a “day” period of natural human history. God created our world in 6 days and then rests on the seventh day. Each of these creation days represent a 1000 year “day” period of time and I came to this conclusion by using what God revealed to Peter in 2 Peter 3:8. In this verse Peter quotes an O.T. verse from Psalms 90:4 and this verse informed us that to God a spiritual day can represent a 1000 year period of time. This is again called God’s spiritual definition of a day and it helps us to understand how certain verses within creation can be interpreted to be understood from both a spiritual and a natural perspective concurrently. Please do not misapply what I just said.   I believe that almost every verse has a natural literal interpretation and that God uses this natural information to give us a view into something else within the spiritual realm.   However, this is a very advanced spiritual topic. So I will move on. Let’s review some spiritual explanations of day and night using the New Testament briefly:

1Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

1Th 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

1Th 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

1Th 5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

1Th 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

We could go over a lot of detailed information in these verses but I will give you the quick overview only. God is teaching Christians that they abide in the day and are walking in the HIS light. God just connected day to be equivalent with light and this light is the Word of God and His voice that leads us. Then God teaches us that those that are not saved are sleeping in the night and living in darkness. God just connected night to be equivalent with darkness and this is why I could find those verses about night and day in the Old Testament and they related to my subject study. All of these are very clear descriptions of two opposing kingdom realms. Christians should be living and acting differently than those that are not saved because of the presence of Light (God). God further declares that those in the light will obtain mercy and those in the darkness will obtain wrath and this is so important to know. It saddens my heart tremendously to think of people who do not want to know the truth.

We should be beginning to see how these subjects of “day” and “night” apply to our study of the kingdom of darkness. Let’s go back and read the first chapter of Genesis from the beginning to end. As I said day 4 is when God sets the Greater light (sun) to rule the day and the lesser light (moon and stars) to rule the night. Again these are opposing spiritual kingdom symbolic representations with opposing symbolic rulers. What God is telling us is that after 4000 years of human history He will separate and establish a rule of the spiritual light/day which is different from the rule of the spiritual darkness/night and this occurred when Jesus came to the earth to save us. Please take note that I did not say that the kingdom of darkness came into existence on day 4 during this 4000 year time after Adam when Jesus came to die for our sins. I only said that Satan was given the rule of this kingdom of darkness and night which God called different from the rule of Jesus over the kingdom of Light and Day.

Now if we go back and refer to light and darkness in Genesis chapter 1 to find the initial references to our subjects, we can apply God’s law of first mention again to discover these two entities were to be separated by God on day 1 of creation.  In this verse God says He called the light day and He called the darkness night further connecting the two together forever.  Therefore whatever night is darkness is by the law of mathematical equivalency.  However you will still find in Genesis that prior to the beginning of day 1 that darkness already existed in verse 2. God appears to give us this fact when declaring that darkness covered the earth at the beginning and I believe that this was a hidden way to say that the earth was already dominated by the kingdom of darkness when the earth had been destroyed completely. Remember what John 10:10 said? Jesus said that Satan (the ruler of darkness) only came to kill, steal and destroy and this is clearly the status of the earth before Day 1 of creation begins. It is safe to conclude that Satan had destroyed the earth.

However, we should then begin to see how from Days 1 through day 6 that God continues to give life one day at a time and this further matched what Jesus taught us in John 10:10 where He said I came to give life and give you that life more abundantly. We can clearly see after 6 days of creation that now life dominated the earth without the introduction of any death into this new world.   Let me say this again a little differently. The world began in darkness and then notice on Day 1 of creation God says “Light Be” and then light was. God was symbolically giving us more clues that He was coming to the earth to create a new kingdom of light separate from darkness in order to give us life. Go back and review day 1 closely. In verse 4 of Genesis 1 you should see where light is separated from darkness and in verse 5 God calls the darkness night and the light He calls the day. These are all symbolic representations of two opposing spiritual kingdoms moving through transitions during the 6000 years of human history.

I know this will not be received by all Christians. But that is OK, your salvation and my salvation does not depend upon when Satan’s kingdom came into existence so please do not call me a false teacher that leads people to hell simply because you don’t agree with me. Perhaps if you knew what I knew you would see why I believe this way. I also think if you continue to study the Bible deeply that you will find that there are other Bible verses that give us more clues of clarity to this being a reality. I am just not going to try to explain this in any detail in this lesson. The details of these truths are found in other lessons on this website.   Find them and read about what God has hidden.

What I have done in this section is to review in a very quick format the timing of when the kingdom of darkness was established. The moon in this verse in Psalms 136:9 and Genesis 1:16 is a symbolic representation for Satan. Night is a symbolic representation for the kingdom of darkness and this is ruled by Satan according to Ephesians 6:12. The sun in Psalms 136:8 and Genesis 1:16 is a symbolic representation for the Lord Jesus Christ who is called the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2). The kingdom of Light is found within our spirits according to 2 Peter 1:19.   God is establishing a separate Kingdom of Day through Jesus Christ apart from Satan’s kingdom of night. If this was not important I would not be teaching this repeatedly in several lessons. We need to understand when God does things, why God does things, who it affects and even how God accomplished them.   I will recall that I call this the “Who, What, When, Where and Why method of Bible study. So far I have answered the first three questions of who, what and when by studying what God has revealed and given to us to know in His Word. I will now move on to the subject of “where” is the kingdom of darkness?

Understanding the Kingdom of Darkness – WHERE!

darkness5Where is the kingdom of darkness at this very moment? Has it always been there? Is it in one location or in multiple locations? Will the location ever change? Is it within a physical location or within a spiritual location or even both? These are the basic questions we will focus upon using the Bible in this section. We have already learned from the Bible that the kingdom of darkness exists and that Satan a created spiritual being is in control of this realm but, how do we define its present location? If someone asked you to describe where the kingdom of darkness is right now, what would you tell them? I have already given a brief introduction to this subject of where earlier. In that introduction to the subject we talked about that the kingdom of darkness could be spiritual, natural or even both at the same time. Hopefully we will learn more about how to resolve these questions as we continue in this section.

This will probably be the last of the “W” questions that I will answer in this 5 W Bible study because I am running very long. In order to find where the kingdom of darkness exists today we will need to search the Bible for scriptures about darkness and see if any of these hold direct clues for us to learn from about this location. However, there is also another technique for searching the Bible to find where the kingdom of darkness is located and this is by us searching where the Kingdom of Light is located and knowing wherever light is located the darkness is not there by God’s created laws of antithesis truth. Perhaps you have never heard of this law either but it is a very basic rule of understanding created by God. For many subjects that we study in the Bible we can easily find the opposing subject which can be of greater, equal or even lesser magnitude to learn what our subject is not. The opposite of good is evil, the opposite of alive is dead, the opposite of being present is being absent and on and on we could go. There is always more than one way to learn about any given subject so we must be open to however God wants to teach us. We will begin this section with the words in red spoken from Jesus Christ.

Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

I know this verse does not mention light or darkness but it does mention “kingdom” and “God” and since we have determined in this lesson that Jesus is God and He rules the kingdom of Light then this verse fits with what we need to know and apply to the location of the kingdom of darkness. Jesus is talking to the Pharisees answering a direct question about when the kingdom of God is coming to the earth and Jesus answers this question with a mysterious response. Jesus does not say when but rather He says where and this answer probably just confused the hearers. The natural Jews were looking for a physical natural kingdom of God led by a great physical messiah to establish this kingdom here on the earth. But Jesus shakes the foundation of Judaism by saying stop looking on the outside in the natural because the kingdom of God will be on the inside in the spiritual. Wow, that is a very tough concept to understand for natural minds. How is it even possible for a kingdom to be internal and not seen by the physical eye? You can clearly read in the context in verse 20 that Jesus says it will not be found in any visible place. Jesus was teaching them and us about spiritual kingdoms and this is a key to understanding the kingdom of darkness also. We must begin to realize that the kingdom of darkness is not a natural kingdom nor can it be seen either.

This is where correct Bible study becomes a little trickier. We need the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to correctly be led how and when to apply the laws of interpretation. Also learning when and how laws apply to interpretation will become clearer as you continue to learn more Bible subjects. Truth will always build upon truth and will fit together rightly without conflict. Truth will never contradict truth and these rules always apply to whatever you study. If the kingdom of light is spiritual and not natural as Jesus implied does that mean that the kingdom of darkness is natural by the law of antithesis? After all natural is the opposite of spiritual in many viewpoints. We could easily make that wrong assumption but still we would need confirming witnesses to determine what we believe no matter what laws we apply. One law of interpretation that is always in effect is the law of 2 or 3 witnesses that God says we must follow to establish any truth. Therefore if the kingdom of darkness is a natural location we should be able to find at least 2 scriptures to point us to that conclusion.

I’m going to take a brief bunny trail side trip journey on another unrelated subject for a moment just for the benefit of my serious students and readers. I received an ignorant comment from someone that I will not identify and he said most of my Bible lessons violate my own rules of interpretation. He failed to ask any questions assuming his own ability to perceive what I knew and in his pride and arrogance made himself unwise. I do not always give 2 or 3 witnesses in every Bible study on every subject that I mention. If I did this I would probably have to double the size of every Bible lesson and would publish far fewer lessons and less frequently. I must balance all of the words that I could say with your time and ability to study them. Just because I don’t show 2 or 3 witnesses to every statement made does not mean there are NO OTHERS that are available. Before you criticize someone it would be extremely wise to find out what they know and what you don’t know by asking basic questions instead of assuming you know everything that God has taught me. Let’s go back to the kingdom of darkness study.

We should have learned from this that one primary location of the kingdom of light is inside the human spirit. But is the kingdom of darkness the same? Let’s look at a new verse that we have not covered to see what God said to us on this subject of location.

1Pe 2:9  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

If Christians have now been called out of the darkness into the Light of Day Kingdom then this could change the antithesis truth focus to a brand new perspective. If you are a Christian let me ask you this question, were you previously in a physical dark kingdom or a spiritual dark kingdom? I believe it is obvious that I was in a spiritual dark kingdom.   I hope that you believe that you are now in a spiritual light kingdom because the kingdoms of this world are those that Jesus said for us to not look at. However the concept of light and darkness sounds like the cycle of day and night when the sun rises every morning.

What I am attempting to do is to cause you to think in a brand new way from a different spiritual perspective. A natural kingdom in the natural world can be in darkness for approximately 12 hours and then it would transition into the natural light of the sun for another 12 yours. This day and night concept teaches us a central or single point of change reality. In other words the physical location did not change because it was only the entrance of the light on the location that changed to bring it into the day to leave the night. Wow, I don’t know if you got that or not but this is exactly what we need to know.

This new information about one physical location being changed should cause us to begin to think differently about spiritual kingdoms. The Kingdom of light should be viewed to be the same location as the kingdom of darkness but now with the entrance of light. This means we need to know what light represents in the Bible and that becomes an entire study in itself. If you have read the other Bible lessons that are on my website you should have already learned that God’s light is us knowing his word. We can learn this simple truth by reading Psalms 119:130 for example.

Therefore, the kingdom of light and darkness must be a spiritual condition within the same internal unseen part of the human spirit where God’s word is now present where it did not exist in the darkness before. What I am saying is that the kingdom of darkness are those people that do not have the light of God’s word and the kingdom of light are those that have the light of God’s Word.   Did you understand what I just said? What God is saying is that if Christians have now been transformed into the kingdom of light then it was the same internal region that had previously been darkened until the light arose. Therefore it is only the non-Christians or the unsaved people of the world that are those that are in the kingdom of darkness right now because they have not let God’s light inside their hearts.  Here is a new verse to help us further understand this reality:

Eph 5:8  For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (KJV)

Eph 5:8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (NASB)

I included two different translation versions to help us understand it more clearly. The KJV translation seems confusing and contradictory that we can flip between light and dark at almost any time. But the NASB states it differently to say that we have changed once from darkness to light and the light is now present so we must choose to believe it and walk like the light is present by faith since we do not see any literal light. Practically everything that we have received from God in the N.T. is faith based and you should already know that. I am going to provide a new verse that regresses to the subject study of what the kingdom of darkness is to help us learn where the kingdom of darkness is located. Read this next verse very carefully:

2Co 4:6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Notice that God links the Genesis 1 symbolic topics of speaking light into the darkness in this verse and this information directed us to learn about the subjects of day and night during the creation event. God just gave us a huge clue that the Genesis account meant more than just the natural appearance of our world. Now notice the spiritual application of this creation event where the Light is commanded to shine in the New Testament. The light is shining in our hearts (spirits). Wow, Wow, Wow!!!   This is called symbolic typology where God uses naturally created things in the seen world to teach us about unseen spiritual things in the N.T.   Again this is all a “where” reality but now notice the inclusion of the “what” reality being connected directly to the subject of “where”. Spiritual Light is defined by God to be the “knowledge of Jesus Christ”. Knowledge is a very deep subject that I do not have the time to fully cover in this study. However this knowledge can only be the knowledge of the Word of God. So we have a second witness to what I just said before. I get really excited about the Word of God and how it comes together.

I have really only introduced this subject of where the spiritual kingdom of darkness is located but I just can’t teach the entire subject in a sub-section of a bigger lesson topic. Let’s further confirm the internal location of darkness with a new verse that has not been mentioned so far. We will turn our Bibles to Ephesians chapter 4 and start reading with verse 17:

Eph 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

Eph 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

What is natural blindness? Natural blindness is the inability to see natural light. What is spiritual blindness? Spiritual blindness is the inability to see spiritual light. What was spiritual light according to the definition we just observed in 2 Cor 4:6? Spiritual light is God’s Word and this means spiritual blindness is not being able to see God’s Word. These are just more spiritual basics that every Christian must become aware and learn. What we have seen is a spiritual way to think about two kingdoms that were in the same location but do not exist at the same time in that location. This location is the human spirit and we are all either in one kingdom or the other based upon if we have received the Word of God or not to bring us light.

Now let’s end this section with a new and different perspective on where the kingdom of darkness is located. We should have just learned that the kingdom of darkness resides in the spiritual realm from the several verses that we have encountered on this subject. However, have you ever considered that even spirits have limits to their realm of travel?   There are many Christians that believe spirits can go wherever they like but that is not what the Bible teaches.   We will be going through a few of these verses to demonstrate the limits that God has imposed upon spirits.

Rev 5:13  And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

Have you ever read this verse and observed what was stated? In this verse there are several domains or realms of existence mentioned. Within these realms there are specific “creatures” that exist in each realm.   The three main realms given to us by God in this verse is first heaven, second on the earth and third under the earth. It is implied that the creatures of these realms do not normally travel from one place to the other places. It is interesting to note that the land and sea of the earth are mentioned and these are also two realms that do not normally cross over into each other. People can go underwater for a limited time with proper breathing equipment but normally fish and other sea life cannot live upon the dry land and I think this is an interesting natural concept that relates to the spiritual realms mentioned.

Let’ talk about the realms of heaven and earth to begin. We should know from reading several Bible verses that angels do come from heaven to enter into the earth realm and then can return back to the heavenly realm. We can see this for example in Daniel 10:13 where God sends Gabriel and Michael from heaven with a message to answer a prayer that Daniel prayed. We can also read in Job chapter 1 where Satan and his angels can even go back to heaven from the earth. Maybe you will remember that this reality was expressed by God in Genesis 28:

Gen 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

Hopefully you can see that God tells us the angels are capable of traveling or moving between heaven and earth with what appears to be a staircase like access portal of transportation. The Hebrew word used for ladder can mean something like a “stair case”. This verse implies that there is a way for God to remove the ladder and close this method of transportation between the two realms, but I do not have a direct verse for that right now so that is just my opinion. Now let’s briefly talk about the realms of earth and under the earth mentioned in Revelation 5:13.

Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Here is an example of the realms of earth and under the earth and their participation to how the two interact with each other. Two men on the earth die in this story and Jesus said Lazarus went to Abraham’s bosom and the rich man goes down to hell after their death. This is direct information from Jesus about how the people of the earth traveled after death to below the earth’s surface before the resurrection of Jesus. Both went below the earth but to two different locations.  However after the resurrection of Jesus the Christian people no longer go down to Abraham’s bosom but rather go up to be with the Lord in heaven as described by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:8. But there is more information found here in this story concerning the rich man and Lazarus that should be considered. For example the rich man if you read down in the chapter asks Abraham to send someone back to the earth to warn his brothers not to come to this place of torment. This literally means that the rich man was unable to return to the earth to do this even desiring to return and that is very important to know. It appears from this that people in hell are limited to that location indefinitely. But, we can also learn clearly that people in the realm of Abraham’s bosom can return to the earth if God permits based upon reading the account of the Mount of Transfiguration where Elijah and Moses show up on the earth to talk with Jesus in the flesh (Mark 9:2). The disciples witness this event and want to build a tabernacle to honor the occurrence but Jesus ignores them.

If you have not yet figured out what I am doing I am going through the recorded interactions between three different realms of stated reality in the Bible. We can find where heaven participants can come to the earth. We can find where earthly participants can go up to heaven. We can find where under the earth participant from Abraham’s bosom can come up from there to the earth and we can find where earthly participants can die and go down to under the earth. We have pretty much covered the general terms of interactions between these realms. However, we still need to notice something else found in Luke 16 to help confirm what I taught on spiritual limitations and boundaries being found present. Read this verse very carefully notice what God says through Abraham:

Luk 16:26  And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

Wow, this verse claims that spirit beings can be limited to one place never able to go to the other place. Abraham very clearly states there is a great gulf fixed between us. What this verse claims is that God can put up an implied partition that prevents even spiritual beings from traveling from that place that is being referred to or even to that place. Do you understand the implications of that statement? It is implying that those in hell will not be getting out.   It also implies that those that are saved will not be able to visit hell to see their relatives, friends, spouse or even children in hell. What this further implies is that even with a glorified body, people will not be able to go wherever they think they want to go. Now let’s move into a new realm of thought concerning these three different dimensions of existence. Read this next verse very carefully and determine what is missing and not included:

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

One of the three stated realities is missing from this statement that Jesus spoke of. Why was the realm of under the earth omitted from the rule of Jesus’ authority?   Why didn’t God give Jesus authority over the underworld? I guess I should have explained that the Greek word translated as “power” means authority. This word translated as “power” denotes delegated control over both on the earth’s surface and in heaven.   What this statement implies is that the location for the kingdom of darkness is not in either of these two realms of existence called in heaven or on the earth. The kingdom of darkness cannot be anywhere that the kingdom of light exists and the kingdom of light is definitely all of the realms of Jesus’ authority. What we are learning is the final location of the kingdom of darkness.   God is teaching us by indirect reference that wherever Jesus does not rule, Satan will rule. We have already seen that Satan controls the hearts of unsaved people. Now we are seeing that these unsaved people will reside in hell and this is where they will be ruled for an eternity.   Let’s look at another Bible verse about this truth found in 2 Peter.

2Pe 2:4  For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

Hell is described to be a place that exists under the earth. I have another series on the reality of hell so I will not repeat all of those verses in this study. This verse contains more confirmation and further information of the inability to come out of the realm of hell. The angels that sinned are those that have fallen with Satan and these are further reduced to mean that those that had sex with the daughters of men in Genesis 5. These were the angels that have been bound in a realm of darkness using a symbolic representation of chains keeping them from leaving that realm. We have just observed God’s ability to limit even angels from moving place to place. These were angels that previously walked in heaven but now have left their place there to be cast into hell.

I have just introduced you to the subject of where is the kingdom of darkness. It is presently in the hearts of men and women that have not heard the Gospel or did not believe the Gospel because of the blindness of their hearts. These people have the chance of leaving that kingdom of darkness to enter into the kingdom of light if they receive the knowledge of Jesus by faith before they die and then as we have observed there is no second chance given to them.

CONCLUSION

We have been going through the 5 W’s (Who, What, When, Where and Why) of the kingdom of darkness. We did not cover the subject of why the kingdom of darkness exists. That is a very complex deep and controversial subject and would probably take more than what I wrote here to describe it. This could be your homework if you want to extend the effort and if you are brave I would like to hear about what you find in the Bible. Please do the homework and share your answer with everyone to “why the kingdom of darkness” exists.

I thank you so very much for being a faithful reader and serious Bible student.   If you have enjoyed learning from these lessons please tell your friends about the website so more can come and see what God is doing.   Until the next lesson may God continue to bless you and keep you strong spiritually, mentally and physically as you grow in His marvelous grace! God Bless.

Bible Answers: When did Satan Fall from Heaven?

Lightning194(ver 1.1)  This will be a detailed advanced Bible answer to a very difficult question that I received from someone after they read the Revelation 12 series of lessons found on this website.  This is an advanced Bible study designed to be only for spiritually mature Christians.  Spiritually mature to me is defined as anyone that has been born again and Spirit filled more than 5 years that has studied the Bible continually during this time to allow spiritual growth of the fruits of the Spirit to occur.  You may or may not agree with that definition but this is generally how God has taught me to view it.  This Bible lesson will go over some very technical concepts even though I will attempt to describe them as simply as I can.  This Bible lesson will introduce some new concepts you have never heard before and thus it will be controversial in nature.  I ask you to be the judge of your spiritual maturity.  If you feel that you do not qualify to meet the criteria for an advanced Bible study I would recommend that you go study a different Bible lesson on my website.  I try to warn new Christians of this at the beginning of many of my advanced Bible lessons so that I do not offend anyone with a meat lesson when they are in need of a milk lesson like Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 3:2.

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

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

IS EVERYTHING AFTER REVELATION 4:1 IN THE FUTURE?

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

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

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

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

  1. After things recorded in the first 3 chapters
  2. John is taken to heaven
  3. John is shown the future
  4. The future is given in ordered logical sequence

There were four ordered steps given by God in this verse.  I have concluded in step 4 that the future is given to John by God in sequential order because of the establishment of order from the preceding steps.  In other words the revealed future events are simply an extension of the previous steps given.  Therefore, nothing in the future could be random, unordered or chaotic when shown to John to write down.  Knowing these facts, any attempt to interpret any recorded event of Revelation 5 through 22 as a “past tense” historical event renders God as a liar.  Was God incapable of understanding the difference between future tense events and past tense events?  I personally do think so and just choose to believe what God says, don’t you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ASKING JESUS WHEN SATAN FELL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

G2334

From a derivative of G2300 (perhaps by adverb of G3708); to be a spectator of, that is, discern, (literally, figuratively [experience] or intensively [acknowledge]): – behold, consider, look on, perceive, see. Compare G3700.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

Understanding Isaiah 53 The Savior Jesus Christ Described in Extraordinary Detail – Part 2

Isaiah-Bible-Series(ver 1.1)  This is Part 2 in the Isaiah 53 Bible lesson series designed to help discover, learn and understand the prophesied coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.   In this series we will see who Jesus was stated to be, what He was stated to accomplish and how we are to be affected by these prophesied divine works.   If you have not read “Part 1” I would recommend that you go and start with the introduction to this subject in order to understand the foundation for the rest of the Chapter.  In the first lesson I focused mainly upon verse 1 and gave several verses found in the N.T. to help explain why this chapter is so important for us to understand.  We will now continue to go through verse 2 in Isaiah 53 to see what was described for the concealed unnamed individual that was foretold to come.  The book of Isaiah was written approximately 700 years before Jesus Christ was physically born on the earth.  That gives us a perspective that these written words were a distant prediction and we will soon see additional confirmation within the New Testament that this person being spoken of was definitely Jesus Christ.  In the first lesson I believe I clearly showed you that this chapter was used to preach the saving Gospel in the book of Acts even to get a Gentile man from Africa saved and baptized.  This man from Africa came to Jerusalem searching for truth and God sent to him a preacher to explain the words of God that he was reading directly from Isaiah 53.  That was a very important Bible lesson to help us to begin to see who this chapter was designed to be about and the chapter’s primary subject theme to be salvation of all mankind.

So often people want to read the chapters and verses found in the Old Testament and believe that they can understand all of the words without first understanding the God given words that explain them in the New Testament.   That is an example of complete foolish human pride to think that way.   Why would God give us a New Testament full of divine revelations, explanations and definitions if they were not all important for us learn from and apply to what was hidden in the Old Testament?   Did you know that the Old Testament is quoted in almost one in every 22 verses of the New Testament?   That means that God took what was previously written before and brought everyone brand new light to it for us to understand something that no one knew before.  I hope that if you learn nothing else from this Bible series that you will learn to study the Old Testament using the vital information revealed within the New Testament.  If you are reading the Old Testament in complete isolation then you are exactly like the Ethiopian man who was sitting reading while wondering what the words meant because he needed a New Testament preacher to explain them to him.   Wow, I hope and pray that you understood what I just said.

In this Bible lesson today one of my primary goals will be to show how Isaiah 53:2 was fulfilled in the New Testament writings to further demonstrate to us that Jesus was the focused subject of this chapter.  One of the other goals of this study will be to teach you how much detail you can derive from just a single O.T. verse.  In this series I will be going over what the verses in Isaiah say and then will be reviewing N.T. verses that will show us the hidden Jesus of Isaiah. But before I do this since it has been so long from the first lesson I will do some brief review of the first lesson concerning the message of salvation.   In the first lesson I explained to you that these saving works of God recorded in Isaiah 53 were received by men and women using their faith.  We also connected faith to believing from Isaiah 53:1.  We learn from God’s Word in Roman 10:17 that faith can only come by hearing the Gospel preached by a preacher.    Many Christians do not put the puzzle pieces together correctly.   God teaches us so much in a distributed manner and we are required to join each of them together correctly to understand how they all work together.  For example let me give you the verse that goes along with what I just said and how it was necessary for a preacher to come to the Ethiopian man in Acts for him to receive Christ:

Rom 10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

This verse describes precisely how the Ethiopian man in Acts was saved.  Did you understand the connection between the three essential elements of preaching, hearing and believing?   This was a divinely created design given to us by the wisdom of God almighty for salvation.  We must begin to understand this in order to comprehend why people cannot normally read the O.T. in isolation and know what it means.   It would be good for you go back and reread Isaiah 53:1 again.  God is clearly talking about humans believing the Gospel here in Romans 10 and He tells us that we need to hear a preacher with the Gospel of Jesus in order to believe it.   Remember “Who will believe our report?”

This is so important that I believe I need to say it again.  You see from this lesson in Acts we learned that reading the Old Testament is not always the answer for our salvation unless the reader comes to understand the words on the pages correctly.  How did the Ethiopian man come to understand them?  He was told them by a God sent preacher and that required him to hear and believe.  That is what faith represents.  The Ethiopian had no new words to read and could only believe the report that was told to him about Jesus.  That is called believing without any evidence and that is exactly what faith is.  You see in Hebrews 11: 6 it clearly says that without faith it is impossible to please Him.  How then can a man be saved without having any God pleasing faith?   Do you understand the necessity for a preacher now?  I hope that you understand that God will usually only explain the O.T. words by teaching them to people through a N.T. preacher.   That is the system that was planned by God and we are to follow it.   Trying to do it some other way is clearly a pathway to deception.

In the first verse I showed you how it was quoted in the New Testament to bring out a new way of existence for the people on the earth to learn to live by, to follow in and to walk accordingly.   This radical new way of existence is revealed to be the human transition or transformation from walking by our sight into a life based upon us walking by faith and believing in God’s Word (2 Cor 5:7).  This life of faith is based only upon us believing as it was clearly stated in verse 1 “Who has believed our report?”   When a person hears a preacher speak the Word of God, the listener has the immediate opportunity and responsibility to believe it and accept it or doubt it and reject it.   Hearing and believing is the essential foundation for possessing faith as I stated earlier.   I would also like to emphasize that the Bible in Romans 10:10 teaches us that believing is of the heart (spirit) of man.  This makes faith and believing a spiritual reality and not a physical one or even a mental one.  Therefore, heart faith in His Word is found present in the spirit of man by God even though that person possesses no physical evidence to prove to others that God exists.   Nevertheless God declares that they are saved by believing the report through His Grace (Rom 10:10, Eph 2:8).   Faith is a vital lesson to learn in the Bible.  I hope that you all have studied the series of lessons on this website about this subject.

We have therefore concluded that Isaiah 53 must contain the basic essential Gospel message that was necessary for every human salvation to occur and I taught that this is the foundation for understanding the rest of the chapter.   We still desire to learn more about the descriptions concerning Jesus spoken of in this chapter and how they apply to Him.   We additionally want to learn about what was prophesied to transpire as well as how these subjects, relationships and applications of each prophecy apply to us in the church today.  How do these ancient words written so long ago affect us in the right here and now?   Why are they important to learn?   Are they still relevant and rich with any spiritual content for us to grow with?    We will soon find out as we continue to study in this series.  In the first lesson I primarily focused on the first verse of Isaiah 53.  In today’s lesson I will be mainly concentrating on the second verse in the chapter.  Let’s read the second verse carefully and see what God says.

ISAIAH 53:2

Isa 53:2  For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

Read this verse wisely and observe the very unusual words and descriptions given to us concerning two unnamed or anonymous men.  At first glance it almost appears to be a brand new subject entirely from verse 1 but that is only because we do not understand the application and significance.  God uses a very unusual way of hiding the truth in plain sight that I call the “anonymous third person” writing style.   By referring to Himself using this style of anonymity it appears it could refer to anyone.  However I have discovered that the primary focus of the entire Old Testament is the Lord Jesus and that is what this verse is clearly about.  Just notice that this second verse of Isaiah 53 is speaking about two uniquely different men (males).   One is an observer and the other is the participant of the observation.  Those are opposite roles being described.  This is the first significant fact to write down and remember from this verse.

As you can read this verse says “He (man 2) will grow up before Him (man 1)” and that is plainly speaking concerning someone who grows and someone who observes the growth.   I labeled the second man mentioned the first man and the first man mentioned the second man for a logical reason.  There is no reference for the observer as needing any growth so the observer must already be grown and mature.  There is direct stated basic logical need for the first mentioned man to grow and mature.  Therefore the order of implied age dictates that the observer is older than the one implied younger man that will grow up.  Nothing else makes good sense for the correct interpretation of this verse.

Please do not get too distracted by this divine mystery of anonymity because these two men are simply symbolic references for the Spirit of God called the Father in heaven and Jesus the Son who was born on the earth to grow up to be seen by His Father in heaven.  I do not have the time to teach the full subject of “The Trinity of God” in this lesson.  God is described as being only one God in the Bible but He is also revealed to humans as three separate personalities (1 Jn 5:7).  So if you do not understand this or believe it you need to go read and study the Bible lessons on my website about this subject.   We need to understand this fact of the Father and Son relationship in Isaiah 53:2.   When my son was a growing child I clearly observed his growth and development.  That is exactly what is being spoken of in this verse even though it was not directly mentioned.   But in order to know this we next need to understand what type of “growth” is being spoken of concerning this coming individual.  We will begin to focus on the meaning of growth next.  But before we go there also notice that this statement being made by God is very clearly presented to be a future tense event.  In other words the verse did not say “He is growing (present tense) or he has grown (past tense) but rather “shall grow” (future tense).  That truth comes from just basic observation and represents the nature of prophecy.  Before we proceed to the meaning of “grow” let’s take a moment to speak about literal Bible statements versus figurative Bible statements.

There are actually several symbolic or figurative (non-literal) descriptions being used by God in the verse in Isaiah 53:2.  Any symbolic statement needs to be correctly interpreted in order to discover their meaning and application to this coming described man 2.   Too often people want to make the Bible entirely literal or entirely figurative and both are extremes of error that will cause only confusion.  Being able to recognize what is literal and what is a figurative or symbolic statement sounds simple but it is not consistently agreed upon by many Bible teachers much less their Bible students.   However this is what God called “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (2 Tim 2:15).   Learning how to do this is an essential part of correct Bible study.  I wish I had a magic formula for how to do this.  But most of the time it is the Holy Spirit inside that will guide us into which is literal and which is figurative.   Being open to God’s leading will cause you to see it correctly if you are studying the Bible using your faith.   Bible study performed by faith is the only way to please God.  This simply means that you read a verse without completely understanding everything immediately but believe that God will show you everything that you need to know about it as you continue to study it.  Having confidence and trusting God to show you is part of a “faith study”. Never go into studying any verse thinking that you fully know and understand it all.  Be open and ask God to teach you and then expect for Him to do it.  God can show you something brand new from any single verse that you have read a thousand times.  Believe and expect God to unfold it to you and He will.  Let’s start breaking down the second verse in Isaiah 53.

HE SHALL GROW UP BEFORE HIM

We will divide the second verse of Isaiah 53 into at least three or four distinct phrases.  I’ll select the initial study phrase as “He shall grow up before him” to be analyzed first.   The primary verb in this phrase is “grow up” (H5927).  The English dictionary defines “growth” as the process of increasing in physical size.   We should be able to understand that any type of growth represents a process of becoming more mature.   Therefore the observer in this phrase is seeing the other man developing, increasing and maturing and this will be the visible signs of his growth.   We can conclude several different potential meanings and applications from this single statement concerning the normal development, growth or maturing process.  There is always the natural human application of a child’s physical development when born into the world.  Every new born baby has the potential to grow to be a man or a woman over the course of time by God’s design.   Therefore, physical or natural growth is certainly a prime application for this described process found in Isaiah 53:2.  There is also the mental application where every human baby must grow and increase in knowledge, understanding and wisdom which none of us are born with automatically from birth.  Finally there is the spiritual application which must be applied to a Christian as they gain spiritual maturity.   Spiritual maturity is covered in other Bible lessons on this website so I will not be getting into that part of the subject fully today.  What I want you to understand is that there at least 3 realms of potential maturity present in every human and these were physical, mental and spiritual growths.

The Hebrew word H5927 which was translated as “grow up” literally means “to ascend”.  It is very similar to a person climbing a very tall mountain like Mt Everest.  This Hebrew word presents to us the image of the initial human status to be a state of lowliness which needs to be increased or raised to a much higher level in altitude, stature, importance or it can also be used for the recognition of increased power, knowledge or ability.   Those definitions actually describe Jesus in many distinct ways.   What we learn from this one statement is a view into a sensitive subject that is widely debated in the modern church.  Was Jesus fully divine or fully human at His birth?   And I must begin to tell you clearly that He was both simultaneously to some extent.   What many Christians try to teach us is that Jesus was born here on the earth in His full deity power but that is clearly not what the Bible just taught you.   If Jesus was God in His full deity power there would be no need for him to ascend higher to grow or increase because this would be impossible for God to do in a full power manifestation.  The simple fact that Jesus must grow and increase is evidence to the fact that He was here on the earth in a predominately human capacity in order to fulfill a divine purpose that will be further confirmed as we continue to study this chapter.  Are you with me so far?

What we will discover as we continue to study the Bible is that the supreme God of heaven lowered Himself by divine choice to come to the earth in the form of a created human baby to grow in order to become a man that could die for the sins of the entire world.   Again it would be impossible to kill Jesus if He was God in His full deity power.   I really hope and pray that you can agree with those statements because they are very relevant to understanding the rest of the New Testament.   It was only after the death and resurrection of Jesus that He was raised back up into heaven and again exalted to be Supreme (Mat 28:18).  This as I have just stated is a highly controversial topic.  Whenever God is described to lower Himself from His supreme position of authority to become a human as it was clearly indicated in the fact that He must grow (ascend) people recoil and think God must have misspoken or not meant what He said.  There has been so many false teaching and false gospels written by devil inspired men.  These writings claim the child Jesus did many miracles of a nature to prove his divinity.  That is not what the real Bible says so please do not be easily misled by these lies.

I can see how this information is potentially offensive to many Christians but please bear with me until you see how this part of the prophecy was actually fulfilled in the New Testament.  I’ll begin with these verses found in Luke about the very young child Jesus.

Luk 2:5  To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

Luk 2:6  And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

Luk 2:7  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Here is a partial description of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.   We can clearly read in verse 5 concerning the natural human child development process taking place within the body of Mary.  The Greek word G1471 that was translated as “great with child” means to swell.  That is a self-evident growth statement.  Mary is described to now be “great” or “swollen” because of the child inside.  This simply means it has been nearly 9 months of development in earth’s time and this child that has come from the union of her physical egg and God’s Word has now grown and developed into a boy child that is about to be delivered in verse 7.   Clearly this is an example of the natural human growth process that occurs every day on the earth which was designed and created by God.   We must understand that God the Spirit has taken upon Himself human flesh and come to the earth in the form of a developing embryo within the physical womb of Mary (John 1:14).   Now please consider the implied meanings of this act of God.  This reality would make the developing baby child in her womb a non-speaking human which is totally unable to defend himself.  What did I just say?   I can see the religious people picking up their stones to throw at me right now.  What I just said was that Jesus while in the womb had taken the form of extreme vulnerability and lowliness.    If you do not believe me then you are living in a fantasy reality that ignores the millions and millions of abortions that take place on this planet.  Truly if any baby child in the womb was able to defend itself there would be no abortions but since they occur so frequently this was the same situation that Jesus found himself to be in.  Even after a child’s birth they are unable to take care of themselves and must be fed and cared for.  Jesus did not come out of the womb speaking so that is stupid to believe He was fully divine in full power manifestation.

You should be able to understand that before Jesus was born on the earth this child that was definitely God in the flesh was primarily protected by first and foremost the element of surprise since no other human except for Mary and Joseph understood the exact timing of the event even though God had predicted the birth to occur in amazing hidden ways in the Old Testament.   Do you remember when Mary delivered the child in Bethlehem?  The angels announced the child to shepherds (Luke 2:8).  That was the first time that anyone else on the earth during this specific time period found out who had just come into the world.   Later the wise men were guided to the house of Joseph and on their journey there they went through Herod first and that caused every child to be killed that was in or near the country around Bethlehem.    If Jesus would have remained in Bethlehem he too would have been killed.  What we see is divine protection taking place, yet this was certainly not initiated or requested by the little non-speaking child.  Do you understand this?

There were also other recorded interventions by God using angels to help the child to be safe on the earth.  For example in Matthew 2:13 you will find Joseph having a dream where an angel appears to him and tells him to take the child to Egypt.   However, even this intervention just further proves that Jesus was not God on the earth in His full deity power if angels were required to help protect Him.  I hope that you are thinking clearly with me about this subject of growth and seeing what is being taught to us in the Word of God.  What I am attempting to do is demonstrate how Isaiah 53:2 was fulfilled by Jesus in the Gospels.  The first phrase that “He will grow” is clearly being fulfilled here in Luke 2:5-7.  Jesus grows physically and that is the basis of one part of the description that is necessary to accomplish that portion of the prophecy.   Let’s go see some more applications of the spiritual and mental growth process being described to us in this same chapter of Luke:

Luk 2:40  And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

As you should be able to see in this verse Jesus is literally described to be in a state of “growth” within the natural physical realm.   The first part of the verse describes Jesus as being a literal “child” in the normal development cycle and this certainly has direct application to the physical body of our savior.   The Greek word G837 that was translated as “grew” means to “increase”.  That is again a transitional passing or ascension from a lesser form to a more advanced or mature form.   The Greek word for “child” is G3813 and it means “a half grown or young person”.   If you go back to verse 12 in this chapter to compare when the angels tell the shepherds in the field about the birth of Jesus, He is called a “babe” which is a completely different Greek word G1025.   This Greek word G1025 means a literal “infant”.  What we have just witnessed in less than 40 verses is the physical change of Jesus from conception to becoming a twelve year old boy.   This is a big part of the normal child growth process and this was the direct fulfilment of this first phrase of Isaiah 53:2 very precisely.

However, verse 40 also describes Jesus as growing strong in spirit.   Have you ever asked yourself how an omnipotent God could grow any stronger in spirit?  Uh oh?  Obviously this verse contradicts with the modern belief that God was here in His full deity power.   Then notice that this verse says that Jesus was being filled with wisdom.   How could the omniscient God obtain any more wisdom?   Both of these descriptions imply a transitional state from a much lower position of lesser spiritual strength and either no wisdom or less wisdom to a much higher degree of both.  This is clearly a statement used to define His intellectual and spiritual ascent from an inferior childish state.   There are three Greek words in this verse that you should study.   The first Greek word is G837 and it means to increase or enlarge in proportions.   That is a very accurate description of what is occurring.  The next Greek word is translated as “wax strong” and this word is G2901 and it also means “to increase”.   The third Greek word in this description is G4137 and this word means “to fill to overflowing”.  All three of these words teach a transitional phase of increasing from the lesser form to a greater full capacity.  This is absolutely impossible for a God in His full deity power to accomplish.

What I am teaching you from the Bible is that no one can grow in physical size, spiritual power or intellectual wisdom if they already have ALL physical size, ALL spiritual power and ALL wisdom.  This is just a very plain and simple way that God teaches us that Jesus was born as a natural human without His full divine power, knowledge or abilities.   So many people want to say God was here on the earth in His full deity power being fully omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent but that belief would contradict so many verses just like this one.   We must realize that God chose to become a man just like one of us so that we could be raised to be made like Him.  I call this the great exchange where God gives us everything and we get all of the benefits since we have nothing worthy to offer in exchange.  What I wanted you to see in this chapter of Luke was that Jesus was fulfilling Isaiah 53:2 by just growing up in this world physically, mentally and spiritually.   I’ll give you one more verse that helps us to see how the Lord grows or ascends up to fulfill Isaiah 53:2:

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

I mentioned this verse earlier but it is so important that I felt led to reemphasize God’s message again. Here we observe a statement that confounds religious human comprehension.   Why was it necessary for the Lord Jesus to be given ALL power both in heaven and on the earth after His resurrection?   We are still talking about God in the flesh here, aren’t we?   You see Jesus makes a claim that He did not yet possess ALL of this power before this occurred and that confuses many Christians.   But we must consider that either Jesus was a liar or we need to hear and learn about what He just said.   Why was it necessary for this power to be given to Him after His resurrection and why didn’t He possess it before the resurrection while He walked the earth in His ministry to natural Israel?   I really do not have time to go into this fully.   Just notice the implied statement of ascent from a lower position which corresponds to what we read in Isaiah 53:2.  It is just very clear to me if Jesus was given all authority on the earth and in heaven that He did not possess it before that time.   This would go with so many other verses in the New Testament and I can’t get into them all today.   Let’s go the next phrase found in Isaiah 53:2 and see what else God is saying.

AS A TENDER PLANT

tender_plant3In the next phrase of Isaiah 53:2 man 2 is described to be like something that is totally crazy.  God called him a “tender plant”.  A “tender plant” cannot be literal and must be a description of a purely symbolic nature using a common component found within creation.   What is the intended message and purpose from God’s usage of this figurative expression?   You should already understand that in any symbolic figurative expressions the object being selected represents attributes that are applied to the subject being described.  For example the symbolic great dragon found in Revelation 12 is not literal but displays the attributes of the unseen spiritual being that a human can visually or mentally relate to.   I sure hope you understand the concepts of symbolism because you should then be able to ask yourself why Satan was described as a great dragon using a symbol of power for his appearing on the earth and then ask yourself why the omnipotent God was calling himself a “tender plant” for His appearing on the earth.  Do you see what God is doing?

Therefore, what are the natural attributes of a “tender plant”?   A “tender plant” represents any new growth implying the need to mature.  A “tender plant” also represents an object of extreme vulnerability.  There are many enemies and forces within nature that can kill a “tender plant”.  We should be able to learn from this symbolic information that this coming man was designed to die.  We should also learn from this description that this coming man is not here in His full deity power so that He cannot be killed by enemies.  Any tender plant can be killed by too much water, not enough water, too much heat or temperatures that are too cold, insects, animals, etc.  Usually when God selects a figurative expression of a natural object almost everything applies within the natural having a meaning and an application to the person being described.  This is the way God designed creation.  He said very clearly that there are things that were created that show us God plainly (Rom 1:20).

This title “tender plant” just cannot be taken literally and must be considered to be a symbolic figurative expression.    Can we agree with that?   Figurative representations and descriptions are simply symbolic terminologies used to tell a greater hidden or unstated message about the subject being spoken of and knowing this will become essential in order for us to understand their meanings.   People use figurative expressions to describe other people almost every day.   Take for example the expression “Joe is a real teddy bear”.  This expression should not be taken literally but rather it projects an image of Joe of great significance using few words.  The expression “teddy bear” can represent someone that is cute, loveable, and easy to hug.  This is exactly what God is doing in this expression of Jesus being a “tender plant”.

What does the term a “tender plant”, represent in a figurative language application?  The Hebrew word H3126 translated here as “tender plant” is only found in this verse in the entire O.T.  Therefore we will not be able to use other verses to help us define this phrase.   Since Isaiah 53:2 is the only time that this Hebrew word occurs and it was translated correctly in this form of the word phrase “tender plant” we will need to look at the context first to find the definition and implied meaning.  If you look up the definition of the word in Strong’s you should be able to see that this word would also be correctly translated as a “tender shoot” as in a type of brand new plant growth.  If you examine the context beginning statement this matches what we observed in the created process of natural growth.  God is simply using the new plant shoot symbolism to teach us how Jesus will need to grow and increase in maturity over the course of time.

It is interesting to note that the meaning of this Hebrew word can also mean “a sucker”.  The term “sucker” can be applied more than one way.  For example in the plant world “a sucker” plant can be used for plant propagation.  But this term can also mean a young child and both are correct.  Consider the application of propagation because this fascinates me.  I can see this as God’s plan.  In the process a brand new sucker plant can be generated from the roots of another plant to produce a new plant.  I believe that this is exactly what God is doing in Jesus.  Keep this in mind as I continue through the verse.

This term “tender plant” informs us that whoever is being spoken of in Isaiah 53 will come into the world like a child that sucks his mother’s breast.   This is actually a very accurate description of Jesus from the natural perspective that we have just witnessed in Luke but it also has certain spiritual application.  Spiritually speaking Jesus being born into the natural world needed the written Words of God to grow in knowledge, understanding and wisdom as we previously read about Him in Luke 2:40.  So Jesus obtained His physical natural growth food (milk) from His mother’s breast as well as His spiritual food (milk) to grow from words previously given to natural Israel through the prophets by His Father.  Perhaps you missed what I just said.   Remember what Peter writes the church by the inspiration of God in 1 Peter 2:2 asking the church to desire the “sincere milk of the Word” that you may grow thereby?   God is teaching us that there was both a physical supply of food (natural milk) and a spiritual supply of food (milk from God’s Word) that caused Jesus to grow in both areas.   What we observe from this is an intelligent design scenario that was initiated from God’s original thoughts.  God planned this out from the beginning and it was fully carried out by God until it was completed.

AS A ROOT OUT OF DRY GROUND

root_in_dry_ground1Man 2 is then described to be a “root” that springs forth from “dry ground”.   This is certainly more symbolic descriptions being used by God to convey a much greater set of spiritual truths.  Consider what a root and dry ground represents in the natural and then apply this figurative information to the spiritual message being taught about Jesus.   Dry ground provides humans a place to live and walk on the earth.   However, where there is no rain or water present on or near the ground it is called a desert place.  Any desert place is not normally an inhabitable piece of the earth.   Since wet ground is the antithesis of dry ground we need to learn the differences between dry ground and watered ground.   Water is definitely a factor in this description.  This phrase is again God using a natural plant life description to describe the coming Jesus.

Everyone should know that the concept of water is essential for any life to exist here.   People need to eat and to drink in order to survive.  The presence of pure water is absolutely critical for natural growth.  What is God saying in this part of the verses?   How can a man like Jesus be compared with a root that comes out of a figurative piece of dry ground?  We need to begin to think spiritually and consider the meanings of these phrases by asking some basic questions.  What is a root symbolically speaking and how does it relate to the concept of dry ground symbolically?  Let’s analyze the meaning of “root” first.  The Hebrew word translated as “root” is H8328.   It has both a literal and a figurative meaning attached to it.   Literally speaking every tree is basically 4 parts.   These four parts are three parts above the ground and one main unseen part below ground.  That right there should give you a clue to where I’m going next.  Clearly Jesus is called the root and that is the unseen part of the tree analogy.  A root is the source and supply for life for the other three parts of the tree.  Without roots there is no tree.  The other three parts are representative of us physically here on the earth.   We the people of God are the figurative trunk, branches and limbs and we are dependent upon our food and water source coming from the root in order to live, grow and produce any fruit.  Wow, I just said so much in one sentence.  You see Jesus clearly told us without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).  Jesus further tells us in John 10:10 that He is our source of life.  What He was saying was I am the root that supplies all of your life.

Let’s take the root, tree and tender plant analogy introduced by God a bit further.   Consider the term “family tree”.  A family tree is nothing but a figurative symbolic representation for a family using a known natural entity.  We should be able to understand that within any family the “roots” represent those that produced all of the family that came after (trunk and branches).   The branches in the family are those that were produced from progressive generations from those family roots.   I believe that these are also basic figurative descriptions of what God is teaching us in Isaiah 53:2.   Jesus being called the root is informing us of His preeminent existence which produced us and gives us life.  Let’s find the fulfillment of Jesus being the root in the New Testament.  He is clearly called the root of Jesse in Isaiah 11:10.  Later in Romans 15:12 Paul confirms that Jesus is the root of Jesse.   Now let me give you another verse in the New Testament that is directly related to the topic that confirms that this root being spoken of is Jesus:

Rev 22:16  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

You can clearly read that Jesus is claiming to be both the root of David and the offspring that comes from David.   That is a very perplexing dilemma, a major paradox and a very significant puzzle to resolve.  From a natural perspective this is entirely impossible but from a spiritual divine perspective this is completely within the capability of an ALL POWERFUL GOD!   What we are observing from this information is that Jesus claimed to be the root that produced both of these men Jesse and David as well as He claimed to be a certain branch descendant that came from both of them.   You can clearly go and read back in Isaiah 11:1 again where Jesus is called the Branch of Jesse and then later in verse 10 He is called the root of this same man named Jesse.  These concepts boggle the minds of carnal people who do not wish to learn about who God is and what He is capable of doing.   What God was saying was that He was the creator of Jesse and that He then came from Jesse or through Jesus to be here on the earth.   I hope that you are beginning to understand the differences between a root and a branch and how that Jesus could still be both simultaneously.  I’ll give you another O.T. verse about a root that you should know about next:

Pro 12:3  A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.

I technically do not have the time to explain this verse entirely.  As Christians we have been given the righteousness of Christ.  This verse in Proverbs is speaking of the ones that are called righteous and we are those people by the Grace of God.  However the primary subject of this last statement is the root that shall not be moved.  I think you can see where this must be Jesus again.   Only God’s Word will never change and Jesus was this Word.

We next need to understand the association of water or the lack of it if Jesus is declared to be the symbolic root supplier of this symbolic water and He is then described to be growing out of the dry ground that lacked this water supply.  What can the water represent within this context?  Do you understand the unstated significance of water in this part of the verse?  Roots definitely carry water to the rest of the tree or plant.  Yet dry ground does not allow or permit plants to grow there.  That is just another major predicament of contradiction to solve.  Notice that the last part of the phrase “root out of a dry ground” presents a comparison.   Jesus being called the root is coming out from a place where they lacked any water.  How would we explain this?  What could that possibly mean? I think we need to look at the definition of the Hebrew word H6723 translated as “dry” next.  This word literally means a parched arid place.   This is accurately describing a desert wilderness where water does not exist.  This definition confirms the absence of water where Jesus was raised up in.  I hope that gives you a bit of a clue to what the water represents.

Symbolically “water” in the Bible widely represents the Word of God.   Water also has other symbolic applications which may also apply and be useful for this discussion but I will probably not get into these other symbolic references in this lesson extensively. I thought I would at least mention that others exist.  I can give you many verses of the Bible to help us confirm what is being spoken about in this verse in Isaiah.  Let me give you a few verses to help confirm that water represents Words from God:

Joh 7:38  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Here is a hidden reference to the word of God coming out of the mouths of humans.   God’s words in your mouth will produce life for yourself as well as for others that choose to hear it.   This verse also has application to speaking in tongues but I’m not going to go there to try to explain that since it will take more time than I want to spend in this lesson.  Just understand that words spoken will exit the human mouth coming from the inner spirit and these must be the Words of God in order to produce any life.   I have other Bible lessons that address this part of the meaning if you are interested in reading about them.   What I wanted to demonstrate from this verse was the symbolic meaning of water to be words.   Let’s move on to another verse that helps to explain how life giving water originates from God’s spoken word:

Joh 15:3  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

How do we get clean in the natural?  Normally we wash with natural water and this process removes the dirt from our body.  Jesus is clearly using this natural water washing concept to apply to a spiritual washing parallel process.   Jesus was very clearly saying that the words that were coming from His mouth had the power to make them clean.   Natural things were designed and created by God to teach us about spiritual things and this is so plain.  The Words of God has to be comparable to water for this cleaning process to occur in the unseen spiritual realm.   As the Word of God is the type of water that gives us life, I believe that this statement that Jesus just made is also applicable to Jesus being called the “root” that supplies the water for all human life.  Did you see it?  Jesus said he spoke and out of His belly was flowing rivers of living water to wash his followers.   I think the root analogy is one that is very profound and I pray that you are seeing how it still applies to us in the church today.  I’ll give you one other verse for this part of the lesson about water:

Eph 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Hopefully you can again see the explanation of becoming clean with God washing us with His Word.  The word of God is not literal water but it is certainly called figurative water.  Without this Water of the Word of God we would all die spiritually.  There would be no possibility of spiritual life without this source of spiritual living water.  Now let’s consider what it means to be in a dry ground.  We can find a very good explanation of this in the writings of David:

Psa 63:1  A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

Wow, what an awesome verse concerning spiritual water that can come only from God.  David is stating his thirst but it is not a lack of natural water.   This is just David saying “I need you God and I need your Word” to quench my soul.  Did you see it?  Physical water can never quench a soul.  Only spiritual water from the mouth of God can fulfill this type of thirst.  I think we need to observe one more verse to confirm this very important reality:

Psa 1:2  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Psa 1:3  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

tree-and-riverA man that is meditating on the Word of God is compared to be like a tree that is planted by rivers of life giving water.   This type of abundant water supply is what causes this symbolic tree to grow and increase in might and strength.  The lack of this type of spiritual water supply is what is being spoken of in Isaiah 53:2 where there is dry ground.  This dry ground represents a person that does not mediate on God’s Word.  These are types of people that do not value the life that is found from God’s mouth.  These were people that were dying of thirst and did nothing to drink from the well of life.   Do you remember what Jesus said to the Samarian woman at the well?  Jesus said “If you knew who was speaking you would ask of me to give you a drink”.  How was Jesus going to do this?  He was going to speak to her and tell her the Words of God.

Joh 4:14  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

There are literally many applications and lessons that can be taught from the root supply of life giving water to the symbolic plant concept.  This verse in John is a prime example of the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:2 where Jesus the root would supply the waters of life to anyone that was a thirst.   I do not wish to go into all of these in this lesson but I will mention this one more for reapplication to Jesus being our present day root supply.   We all know that Jesus is not physically present on the earth today except in the form of the church body who is the only visible representatives of His outward presence here on the earth.   However, the unseen root is still spiritually present because Jesus is on the inside of every true believer and if they are led by the Spirit of God then Jesus can still be seen in manifestation right now.    Consider yourself to be God’s plant, His branches that are here to bear fruit for the world to observe.   There is a popular saying that is applicable to what you do today and it says “The only Jesus some people will ever know is the one that you show them in your actions, words and daily life”.   I think that is an important thought to embrace and remember.  I believe that is enough of an introduction to Jesus being described as the root source of water so let’s move on to the last part of the phrase description found in Isaiah 53:2.

HE HATH NO FORM NOR COMELINESS

Jesus-Face-Painting-Gray-Eyes-WallpaperThe last phrase that I will address today is “He hath no form nor comeliness, and when we shall see him there is no beauty that we should desire him”.  Often in artist paintings of Jesus, He is portrayed as a highly desirable handsome male figure and even has extremely movie star or rock star like characteristics.  Many times this type of Jesus is even pictured with a divine halo or a radiant glow that many believe would attract people to Him like moths to a flame.  You will discover from reading and studying Isaiah 53:2 that Jesus was not prophesied to come into the world in an attractive looking manner and in fact the opposite of this reality is stated.  We will need to read how this was fulfilled in the N.T. and this time it may become more difficult because there is barely any mention of the physical appearance of Jesus in the Gospels that I have found.  If you know of any verses that I have not encountered on this subject, I would welcome your comment giving us the verses.

What any serious Bible student must realize is that they can learn at the very least in two different ways from God, we can learn from what is directly stated by God and/or we can also learn from what was never stated by God.  Do you understand this advanced concept?  If there are no direct references of the physical appearance of the Lord Jesus by God in the Gospels why would this information not possibly be important enough to mention in God’s Word?  Before we research the N.T. we will first review the definitions for the phrase keywords found in Isaiah 53:2.

The first Hebrew word is H3303 that was translated as “form” in this verse and this word should have been translated as “beautiful” as it was correctly translated this way to describe Rachael in Genesis 29:17.  Rachael is described to be the opposite of what Jesus is said to be.  It was Rachael’s outward beauty that attracted her future husband Jacob to her.   The first time this Hebrew word was used in Genesis it was used for another beautiful woman named Sarah in Genesis 12:11.  You might remember that Sarah was so beautiful that Abraham did not want to tell anyone that she was his wife because he was concerned with being killed so that they could take her from him because of her attractiveness.  That is two examples of what this word H3303 means.  The Holy Spirit inspired Isaiah to teach us that Jesus did not possess any physical beauty by the inclusion of the Hebrew negative word H3808 that was connected directly to this other Hebrew word meaning beauty.   The Hebrew word H3808 is a negative antithesis of the positive beauty and it means “No”, “Not” or “Without” beauty.  God was clearly saying that Jesus had no beauty that could be observed using these two Hebrew words.

According to this Hebrew word combination whoever being spoken of in this verse could not called extraordinarily good looking, striking, handsome or even attractive.  The absence of beauty does not necessarily mean that Jesus was completely born ugly but at the minimum it meant that He was very ordinary in appearance like most humans and certainly did not possess any looked-for qualities of many popular people today.   Take for example Obama.  I have heard people tell me that they voted for him because he was so good looking.  One was a woman speaking to me about her reasons why she voted for him.  Being attracted to someone like Obama because of their looks will get you into serious levels of deception and that is not what God came into the world as.  You cannot find anywhere in the Gospels where it says people were attracted to Jesus because of His physical appearance.

The next key word in the verse confirms this with the description of there being no “comeliness” to His appearance.  This Hebrew word translated as “comeliness” is H1926 and it literally means “magnificence” or “splendor”.   This is shocking information that the supremely magnificent God would humble himself to take on the common form of a plain and ordinary human.  When I read this I was so impressed at the humility of God’s character to think this way and to do this.  I think this is one of the key factors for why natural Israel missed the coming of their Messiah.  They expected a radiant powerful looking King and got a plain nobody from what they thought was from the city of Nazareth.   They of course ignored the fact that He was born in the city of David the king as a direct descended from David’s seed but their ignorance of the facts was caused by their own downfall because they did not ask the right questions to find the truth.

Now let’s review the Hebrew word H4758 that was translated as “beauty” in Isaiah 53:2.  This word is different than the Hebrew word H3303 that was translated as “form” but should have been translated as “beauty”.   This Hebrew word H4758 means “to view”.  It confirms that God is speaking of the outward physical appearance of the Lord Jesus.  It can also mean “good or pleasant to look at”.  However this Hebrew word H4758 is again joined to the Hebrew negative H3808 to change the definition into the opposite again.  God is again saying that Jesus was not a movie star type of looker that you wanted to watch.  I believe this is very important descriptive terms being given by God and every Christian would benefit from knowing them.

I challenge you to go through the Gospels and read about the life of Jesus on the earth very closely.   Notice for the first thirty years of His life there is very little description given about Him.   Barely a mention of Him is revealed.  Only at His birth and at the age of 12 are we given a brief glimpse of His life.  At 12 years old His family left Him at the temple as they were returning home.   Technically speaking only His mother and Joseph her husband understood how He came to be on this earth.   Every other human on the earth believed Him to be a normal child growing up looking like everyone else.   If you go and read about Him in later life when He had returned to His hometown the people were in amazement of Him.   Start reading in Matthew 13:54 through the end of the chapter.  You will find out that they were impressed with His wisdom but did not believe that He was a prophet sent from God because they had watched Him grow up normally before them.  Jesus marveled at their unbelief and was unable to do any miracles among them.  You should be able to clearly see how normal that Jesus’ appearance was to these people that knew Him so closely for the longest time.

I want you to fully understand that this final statement in Isaiah 53:2 represents the outward physical appearance of the prophesied growing man 2.  This part of the verse literally means “God” was found in their presence using a non-majestic appearance that no one expected Him to use.  No one was looking for a Messiah to rule them that looked ordinary at best.  As you can read very clearly because of God’s choice to appear on the earth normally like a very ordinary human, the people had no desire to automatically follow Him.  Do not misunderstand what I just said.  There were great numbers of people following Jesus in the Gospels.  But you need to ask the question why were they following?  There are no references to it being because of His looks but you can find references for their desire to be healed.  Healing was the primary reason for people flocking to Jesus.  You can read about this in Matthew 4:23-25 to see why they followed was because of His healing power.  Because Jesus healed people the word about Him quickly spread to everyone and this is also important information to understand correctly.

Have you ever asked yourself what would have happened if God appeared like God in a superior state of class and being?    The people on earth would have had no choice but to receive Him as their King and Lord and they would have never hung Him on a cross.   Do you see the wisdom of God in His actions?   God desired to save us, so He chose to become one of us to die for us.   We have never yet fully realized or fully comprehended the extreme love of God to do this for us.

I want you to understand the significance of this description and why it is meaningful or even mentioned in the prophecy.   This prophecy in Isaiah 53:2 is only different from my birth appearing because of the implied appearance of who this is speaking of.  Please understand that the vast majority of the people born on this earth are very normal looking individuals just like this description.   Based upon this, I must ask the question “Why is this description of a normal person’s appearance different than mine” and then I must answer that it is not.  I certainly do not have the appearance of great magnificence so that people desire to flock to me.  There are people like rock stars today that have this ability but that is clearly not who Jesus represented and it is not who you should represent either.   No, you begin to finally realize why this was written based upon your new knowledge now to who these words were written about.   The supreme God of all splendor, power and amazement would come and appear to be at the best ordinary.

Before I get away from this subject I want to prove that Jesus did not walk around with a glow coming from His appearance.  We can learn this simple fact by observing what God wrote about Him in the book of Matthew.  Read this verse carefully and notice the detailed description of the appearance change that occurred in this verse:

Mat 17:2  And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

If you read the context you will find that Jesus took three disciples up on a high mountain.  While there Moses and Elijah appeared before them with Jesus.  This verse also states that the physical appearance of Jesus was “transfigured”.   This Greek word G3339 is the word that we get “metamorphosis” from.  Do you understand the concept of “metamorphosis”?  This is the process that occurs when an ugly caterpillar is transformed to become a beautiful butterfly.  That is exactly the process that is being described about Jesus here in this verse.  Jesus was transformed from the very ordinary looking man that He was on the earth into a radiant glowing man that exemplified great splendor having magnificent qualities here in this verse.   What this verse does is confirm the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:2 for you.  It clearly implies that He was not the way that He was just transformed into.

CONCLLUSION

I have covered a lot of new significant information about Jesus found in Isaiah 53:2.  You may have never heard this message or even understood that it existed in the Bible but I hope that you learned to see how it applied to the one that came from heaven to save you.  This prophecy is so amazing when you see it clearly.  It becomes much more understandable why everyone in the world did not automatically flock to God in the flesh.  It also become more understandable why He could be easily killed and lose all of his followers.  If you go and read in the book of Revelation you will again see that Jesus appears like He did on the mountain with the three disciples in the presence of Moses and Elijah.  Jesus when raised back to heaven was again exalted to His supreme position.  But you should know now that this was not the way that He came to us in the world to save us.   I thank you all for taking the time to read and study te Bible with me.  I appreciate you all very much.  In the next lesson in this series we will plan to go through the next verse in sequence to find what is furthered described about Jesus if the Lord chooses to lead me that way.  Leave me a comment if you like this lesson.  Learn to be a blessing to others and God will make sure you are blessed to do this.  God Bless you!

BIBLE ANSWERS: Was Jesus the ONE and ONLY Son of God?

One and Only Son of God(Ver 1.2)  There is a popular false teaching going around in many churches that Jesus was the one and only Son of God and that is NOT what the Bible says.  In fact that is not even close to what God says in the His Word.  Why don’t we learn the truth and see what God actually wrote us in the Bible instead of believing preachers or teachers that don’t know how to read?  This false teaching that Jesus was the One and Only Son of God has even crept into several modern Bible translations and thus it appears to become more legitimate than it truly is.  Many Christians will read an erroneous modern Bible translation and think this is what God really said but they have to ignore the details of the correct writings of God in the original language word meanings to believe this way.  This false teaching is destroying the truth to project an image that there are no other children of God except for Jesus.  This leaves Christians with the impression that we are “a nothing” and “a nobody” and this is exactly what Satan wants you to believe so that he can condemn you.

Please understand this very basic truth, only the original scriptures in the original languages were God inspired and at no time were any of the TRANSLATIONS that were created by men ever inspired by God.  Every translation produced by a human introduces some new version of the personal opinions of the translators that must be weeded through in order to find God’s intended accurate truth.    I literally mean that you can find many translation errors in the KJV Bible, the NIV Bible, the NASB Bible and every other translation if you go back and study to find the truth from the Greek and Hebrew.  This of course becomes highly controversial in many Christian circles.  This Bible study will be potentially discarded simply because people do not seek to learn, know or understand what God says.  Being a “concrete” or “firmly set, dry and hard” Christian will cause you to miss the truth and I hope this is not you today.  I am a detailed oriented type of person.  I was a computer programmer for over 25 years.  You cannot write a computer program without paying attention to the details or it will not work.  This same detailed oriented approach is how God taught me to study the Bible.  Please learn to pay attention to the details found in the Bible and this will help you to see the scriptures more from God’s perspective that spoke them.

Also please do not read this lesson and believe that I am saying there is more than one Son in the Trinity!  I am not claiming this and do not intend to do so.  I know this Bible lesson will be controversial and I know that people will potentially take the message wrong very easily.  People become so narrow minded  when hearing something new.  People like to take hold of one truth and abandon all others.  I have said this more than once; there is more than one truth in the Bible.  Jesus is the primary truth and the greatest reason to study the entire Bible but God teaches us other things like this lesson that should also be made known.  This Bible lesson is not taking away from the message of Jesus Christ being the only begotten Son of God within the Trinity.  Do not read this and believe that at all!  I teach the Trinity of God very strongly.  I teach the fact that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God very strongly.   I teach the fact that God came to the earth personally in the flesh and died for our sins to give us His gift of righteousness.  Before you criticize me on one Bible lesson go read everything and then ask questions.

The main focused scripture today in this Bible study is one that we have all heard at some time in our Christian life.  This verse is one of the most popular verses learned by many children at an early age in Sunday school.  This verse is one that Satan would like to remove from the Bible and this is the reason for his attack to pervert it.  Here is the main verse in question that will be answered:

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

John 3:16 is the focused controversial verse that I will be talking about in this lesson today.  I started with the basic KJV translation of the verse since I believe it to be one of the most accurate.  However, this verse was translated by men in several different conflicting ways.  For example the WNT, CEV, ESV, BBE and NIV Bible translations all get parts of the translation very wrong changing the original language into “Only Son of God” or “One and Only Son of God”.  The KJV, NKJV, NASB, Webster, YLT, AMP, ASV, Darby, LITV and the MKJV translations all translated it correctly saying “only begotten Son”.  While “Only Begotten Son” is more accurate, this English word “begotten” is not well understood to what the term means.  This of course was not a complete list of all the available Bible translations but it gives us a clear view of why there is a controversy and asks the question who is correct?    For your review comparison here is the NIV translation of John 3:16.  Please note the differences given:

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV)

Both the KJV and the NIV translations cannot be correct since they simply mean two completely different things.   “One and Only Son of God” and “Only Begotten Son of God” cannot be considered identical because one set of modern translations completely left out one important word “begotten” when the other set included it.  The NIV further convolutes the truth to add the word “One” before Son and this just brings further confusion since the word “one” does not even appear anywhere in the original Greek language.  Now consider the English grammar found within John 3:16.  What does the term “only begotten” represent and how does it relate to the noun “Son”?  You should begin to understand that the term “only begotten” represents an adjective modifier to the noun “Son”.  An adjective is only required to limit the scope of the discussion of the types of nouns being referenced.  In other words if there is only one sun in the sky then there is no need to modify that noun to qualify which one you are speaking of.  The same is true of the moon in our sky.  When only one exists the need for qualification is eliminated.  Now what would happen if there were two moons in our night sky?  Then we would need to qualify which one we are referring to.  This is exactly what God is doing in John 3:16 with the adjective “only begotten”.   Now what does “begotten” mean and why is it found in so many translations?  Why was “begotten” omitted from many other translations to change the meaning?  We need to learn the facts in order to determine the truth and this is what we will attempt to do in this lesson.

Someone might try to ask if it is even important for us to believe the Bible correctly.   Aren’t you just being too nitpicky to think that it makes a difference how we believe John 3:16?   I would answer that question with this reply; does it matter if you believe the Koran or the Bible is the truth?  They both can’t be the truth so does it matter which path you chose to be on?  Of course it does.  Jesus very clearly said that He was the only way to be saved (John 14:6).   So now take that truth to the next level.  Does it matter if you believe that Jesus was just a man like those in Islam because according to the Koran He was just a prophet of Allah when He died or should we believe what God says in the Bible that He personally came down in the flesh to save us?  I hope you are getting the point.  If it does not matter greatly what we believe then God would not have given us His Word to study and learn.  Therefore, if the Koran or the Bible belief matters then it also matters if Jesus was the “One and Only Son of God” or the “Only begotten Son of God”.  We just can’t omit one word that God included and think that it does not matter.  What I am getting at is that we need to learn as much accurate Bible as we can so that we are not deceived by someone that comes along with a message of one lie mixed with several truths.  How can we recognize the truth if we ignore the details of God’s Word?

I will warn you that this is an advanced Bible subject intended for spiritually mature Christians only.  It is not a rudimentary lesson that is designed to feed baby Christians the milk of the Word of God.  This lesson is definitely a meat subject that can cause immature Christians to choke.  If you do not feel like you are very spiritually mature then please just go read another lesson so that I do not offend you with something that you are unable to receive.  I will also warn you up front that this is another long Bible lessons with a lot of spiritual content.  My subjects tend to grow lengthy because there is so much that needs to be taught from the Bible on any given subject.  I usually do this using a series of Bible lessons but these Bible Answer responses to reader questions are usually stand alone.  I hope you understand and will continue to read to the end.

In this lesson I will be using a minimum of 3 primary rules of sound Bible interpretation to verify the truth.  I will also introduce you to a concept that you have probably never been taught before.  This concept found in the Bible will teach us that there are at least 4 unique types of individuals that are called “sons of God” in the Bible.  I can already hear the gasps being loudly raised by that last statement.   People might be resistant to anything new simply because they have never heard it taught before.  But please do not reject the message without first reading what is taught with an open mind.  Then only after reading what is taught here do I ask that you become an Acts 17:11 type of noble Christian and verify everything that is being taught using your own Bible study.   This is the only correct method to confirm what the Spirit of God wants you to know.  Work within God’s methods and grow or work apart from them and fail to see the truth.  It is your choice.

CORRECT RULES OF INTERPRETATION

driving-in-manilaI am going to begin this Bible lesson by introducing some of the basic rules of valid Bible interpretation.  I will not be covering every rule that exists but these three will be used in this lesson for us to find the truth to what was written by God in the John 3:16 verse that needs to be understood.  Can we begin by agreeing that rules are good?  What would be the outcome if driving on the road was freeform with no rules to govern the actions of the drivers?  How many drivers would still be alive after a few days if driving was based upon a chaos random approach of  actions that allowed people to go however they wanted, where ever they wanted, how fast they wanted and whenever they wanted type of driving style?  If governments permitted unstructured driving methods to how fast they could go or where they could drive it would be an extremely dangerous environment.  This same principle of a no rules approach to Bible interpretation represents the same level of dangers except restricted to a mental or spiritual environment.  I hope that you can agree in this introduction with the need for good Bible interpretation rules.

I will use three rules of Bible Interpretation that the Holy Spirit taught me to use.  I did not learn these rules in any seminary so they may not adhere to your version of hermeneutics.  But I would rather follow God than man’s rules because only God’s will give the correct truth.  Please read these rules and then I will try to explain each briefly to help you learn how they work and why they are important to follow:

  1. Find and Use Original Word Definitions
  2. Compare an Original Word’s Usage with Other Occurrences in the Bible
  3. Search for Direct Bible Contradictions to Balance Scripture Harmony

ORIGINAL WORD DEFINITIONS

One of the keys to correctly understanding any translated Bible verse is to judge each translated word using the comprehensive definitions of the words found in the original transcripts of the Bible.  Without studying the original word definitions you must trust and rely on an imperfect translator that was not inspired by the Spirit of God in what they wrote.  Also many translated English words like other languages transform or mutate into new or different applications and meanings as the world changes around us.   For example in the KJV Bible the Greek word that was often translated as “charity” would be almost always misunderstood by the majority of modern Bible readers.  The modern application of “Charity” is not what the word means in the original Greek.  This word was “agape” which represents the unique God kind of love.

These original word definitions are critical to discover.  Without them the original meanings were often lost in many of the modern translations.  I have heard some claim that the KJV Bible was God inspired and that no other Bible translation should ever be read.  These types of proponents often claim there is no need to study the original Greek or Hebrew words.  This is entirely a wrong belief based upon ignorance.  These types of people have been so deceived that they may never know or see the truth of God unless they learn to dig deep and study to find it.  I have discovered so many errors in the KJV Bible that leaves me no doubt that the original language study is indispensable to knowing the real truth.  You are free to disagree with me, but by you ignoring the original language this will help us to resolve why we differ on what any one verse means.  Let’s move on to another rule of correct understanding of the Bible.

OTHER BIBLE OCCURRENCES OF THE WORD

Another key to understanding specific original words is to go and look for God’s usage of the same Greek or Hebrew word in the rest of the Bible.  To do this we need to use our computer devices, smart phones or tablets to search in our Bible for all of the places where God uses only the exact same Greek or Hebrew word that we are trying to learn.  In doing this we obtain a more complete understanding of  this one word that we wish to study.  I need to emphasize that we do not search the Bible for the English translated word because more than one Greek or Hebrew word can be translated to the same English word.  For example the Greek language has at least 3 different words that mean a type of “love”.  But only God’s selection of the one can be compared correctly to learn how each verse usage is related.  If we attempted to mix the Greek word “philedelphia” (G5360) and the Greek word “agape” (G26) we would be mixing apples with oranges and only causing confusion.

This rule of interpretation allows us to see how one word in one verse relates to the other occurrences of the same word in other found verses.   This type of study method is what I call doing a “word study”.  There is also a type of study that I call a “subject” study that goes into considerably more detail but also take more effort to perform.  There are at least two different ways of doing a word study or a subject study.  First in a word study you can restrict your search to only using the direct Greek or Hebrew word in question.  This will shorten and limit the study considerably.  The Subject study would need to include the matching Hebrew word for the Greek word in question as well as include every other word that is a synonym of the word in question and this can take significantly more time but can also give great benefits to new truths.  Today I will only be performing a very basic word study for “only begotten”.

This word study technique of understanding the Bible introduces us to the concept of consistency and uniformity.  I have found through many years of Bible study that God is normally very consistent in His selection of words, their usage, their application and what they mean.  In other words if God wanted to say something differently in one verse from another verse, He would have used a different word.  I call this God’s “Intelligent Design” of His Words.  God knows every word and what they each mean better than you do, so do not attempt to change a word’s definition based upon some random human speculation or reasoning.   Keeping a Greek word’s definition consistent will help bring stability and balance to our understanding of every word being selected by God.  In review this step of correct Bible interpretation involves at minimum finding every occurrence of the Greek or Hebrew word being studied and reading each verse closely to see how it was used by God.  We then compare each verse to every other verse to understand how they are related attempting to understand why God chose this single word in each.  In doing this we attempt to balance every word’s usage into a single definition and application.  This can be simple or it can be complex based upon the number of times any word is used by God.  Some words are used less than 10 times (simple) and other times they are used many, many hundreds of time (complex).  Let’s move on to the next guideline for correct Bible understanding.

NO VERSE CONTRADICTS ANY OTHER VERSE

The next method of understanding correct Bible interpretation is for us to utilize the basic fact of truth that NO one Bible verse when correctly interpreted will EVER conflict or contradict with any other Bible verse when both are correctly interpreted.  Do you understand this rule?  This is another essential part of understanding absolutely anything in the Bible.  Realize that God is not stupid.  Then understand that God does not change or flip flop on truths, word definitions, thoughts, concepts or ideas.  God is not here today on this word’s definition and then there tomorrow on the same word.  God is not a Dr. Jekyll or a Mr. Hyde type of God.  God is a God of never changing goodness, purpose, character and qualities.  What God says today will never change tomorrow.   What God said in the beginning will remain true at the end and what was said will not reverse, disqualify or eliminate anything else that was spoken by God in between.  I do not know how to explain this rule more clearly.   If one verse says God has only one son and another verse says God has many other sons then one verse is clearly NOT TRANSLATED CORRECTLY.   There can be no conflicts within the Bible when understood correctly.  The only time a conflict exists is when a human does not correctly comprehend the truth of what was spoken by God.

I am going to apply these three basic rules of correct Bible interpretation and understanding to answer the question “Was Jesus the One and Only Son of God”.   After you see what God and the Bible actually says about this subject you must agree that Jesus was not the one and only son of God.   I will begin with the rule of searching for the original word definitions to find what God meant by them and then this will help guide us to what the word means in the verse that we are questioning.

G3439 ORIGINAL WORD DEFINITION

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten (G3439) Son (G5207), that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV)

This verse has become very controversial by Satan’s design. This verse was previously held up in football games like the Super Bowl until it was banned by the NFL again by Satan’s design.   It has been cried loudly on street corners to passing people that walked by indifferently and ignored the message.   It has been preached on TV and in many churches by countless preachers.  It is one of the first verses that a child learns and memorizes in Sunday school.  However this verse has stirred up a modern dilemma and debate asking was Jesus the One and Only Son of God as the NIV and many churches claim?   The translation that I opened with was the KJV Bible and it is stated to say “only begotten”.  However you already observed in the NIV how it was changed to say something almost completely different.

While the NIV change on the surface seems to be insignificant to many, the underlying application of the subtle difference is very profound.  If Jesus was the one and only Son as the NIV Bible states then this verse translation invalidates a great number of scriptures in the rest of the Bible.  This NIV translation purposefully causes a direct conflict within God’ Word and that teaches us that we need to determine the resolution to the conflict in order to correctly understand this part of the Bible.  We will do this by beginning to see what the original Greek word means as defined in the original language using the Strong’s dictionary:

G3439

From G3441 and G1096; only born, that is, sole: – only (begotten, child).

The Greek word translated into English as “only begotten” in the KJV Bible is “G3439” and it is a single Greek word that is created from the combination of two other Greek root words.   The first Greek root word designates the single or solitary occurrence of something, someone or somewhere.  This Greek word is where the translators got the application of the English word “only” which is correct so far.  However, the second Greek word designates something that was made or caused to be.   Let’s stop there and consider what is stated when something was caused to be or made?  Anything made was not in existence previously and that only means that Jesus was a new type of Son and nothing else can be assumed from this definition or it would be adding to it or changing what was given by God.  These two Greek words literally mean that Jesus was uniquely made and did not compare with anyone previously created or anyone that was subsequently created.  However it does not mean that there are no other types of sons that came into existence in some other way.  Do you understand this so far?

Let me use an analogy of an automobile.  There are many types of automobiles, but yet someone can also create or make one unique auto that was created as a special custom model that is unlike all the others.  People do this all the time.  This new custom car could be called this type of “only made” (G3439) model of cars.  That is exactly what Jesus is being called in this definition.  This definition does not mean that there are no other sons of God; it only means that this one named Jesus was made especially unique unlike every other son.   Think about it before you reject it.  Was Jesus uniquely made?  I personally do not know of another human that came from a virgin woman, do you?  I think that makes Jesus especially different than me and you.

The Strong’s dictionary further defines this Greek word as “only born”.  What does this mean?  I think this part of the definition also applies to Jesus very well.  Were there any other naturally born sons of God?  Not according to the Bible as we will soon learn.  The New Testament is very explicit in declaring Jesus to be the only naturally born Son of God.  This is the literal definition for “only begotten’ in John 3:16.  To be called the “only begotten” means that Jesus was God’s only naturally born child.  Again this does not disqualify other sons or children of God from existing using this correct definition.  Did you know that God is all powerful?  God being “omniscient” and “omnipotent” simply means that God is able and knows how to make a new unique child if He so desires to do it.  This was God’s design of Jesus.

In the Thayer dictionary he makes the point that this Greek word G3439 is only used to describe a son or a daughter when viewed within their relationship to the stated parent(s).  That is a very important part of the meaning and we will discover this as we continue through the other rules of interpretation.  When using the Thayer consideration we must now deliberate who the parents of Jesus Christ were.  Any serious Bible student will say that Jesus was both the Son of God and the son of a natural virgin woman named Mary.  But we must eliminate Mary from this “only begotten” participation since in John 3:16 it is only speaking of God the Father who gave His Son to save the world with no mention of Mary.  We should also know from further Bible study that Mary had other natural children born from the union with her husband Joseph.  Therefore, Jesus was not the “only begotten” son of Mary.  Nowhere in the Bible is Jesus called the only begotten of Mary and there are a lot of people that need to learn that fact.  What I am introducing you to is what this Greek G3439 word means.  Jesus was the only naturally born son of God and this is the only way that this can be correctly interpreted based upon the definition and the contextual subject matter.  Uh oh I just introduced another important rule of correct Bible interpretation that was not one of the 3 that I was going to use today. This new rule states that no one can take any verse out of context to make it say what it was not intended to say within the context.

You see in John the 3rd chapter Jesus is speaking to a natural man named Nicodemus that asks Jesus how to be saved.  Jesus tells this man that he must be “born again” in order to enter into the kingdom of God.  Clearly Jesus was teaching Nicodemus about birth types in this chapter.  Jesus is using two contrasting types of birth to explain salvation.  Jesus was saying to Nicodemus that there is a coming spiritual birth that must occur after the natural birth occurs.  We will soon discover in this Bible lesson that there are many spiritual births that have occurred since Jesus was raised from the dead.  However, please note that up until this point in John 3 that no man was ever born again because the sacrifice for their sins had not yet taken place on the cross.  It is within this context of the subject of births that we find this Greek word G3439 that was translated as “only begotten”.   It makes logical sense to conclude “only begotten” son of God is related to the contextual subject of birth types.

Therefore, the “only begotten” son of God could only represent Jesus coming into the world through a natural birth experience and could not be related to this coming spiritual birth that Jesus described.  This again is what this “only begotten” Greek word means.  God only had one Son that was naturally born and His name was Jesus Christ.  God’s usage of this Greek word to describe Jesus teaches us that only He could be called the naturally made, created or born Son of God.   However, that still does not mean that there are no other types of sons of God that were spiritually born or created by some other methods.  I hope you understand this but if not it should become clearer as we continue through the other verses found in the Bible on this subject.

OTHER VERSES WITH THE GREEK WORD G3439

If you search the New Testament you will find this Greek word G3439 that was translated as “only begotten” in John 3:16 is only found in 8 other verses.  Five times it is used to describe Jesus in relation to His Father God but 4 times it is used to describe other naturally born children that were the only begotten son in direct relation to his earthly mother.  For example, in Luke 7:12 God describes a man being carried out at a funeral and he is called by this name G3439 as being this mother’s only born son.   What this means is that this dead man was her only child that she actually conceived inside her and gave birth to.  Notice that only the mother is mentioned in this verse because of her presence.  I would also like to point out that the KJV translators made the same mistake as the NIV translators did in John 3:16.  In the KJV, Luke 7:12 says that this man was her “only (G3439) son (G5207)” but they intentionally leave out “begotten” part of the definition and that makes it an error.  This woman could have had other adopted sons but that would be ignored by the translators from what God intended it to say.

What I want you to begin to see is that an “only born son” is always given using the relationship to only the specific parent being mentioned and does not necessarily apply to the other parent involved.  There is no mention of the father in Luke 7:12 and he could have had many children through other women like Jacob did in the O.T. before he died.  People like to put God into an oversimplified human box of limitations.  However the Bible says very clearly that what is impossible with men is possible with God (Mat 19:26).   So while a natural woman may have had only one naturally born son it is entirely possible for God to have other types of children that were not naturally born even though Jesus is still called His only begotten.  Do you understand this?

I am certainly not teaching you that God had other naturally born children other than Jesus.  Jesus by definition from the dictionary and word use application was the only naturally born Son of God that ever existed.   Just please do not limit God to say this is the only way that He can produce children.  That would be very foolish if someone believes their limits placed upon God effects what God is able to do.  If we continue to look through the book of Luke we will find two other examples of this Greek word G3439.  In Luke 8:42 a ruler of the synagogue came to Jesus asking Him to come and heal his “only born” daughter.  I will just tell you that this is the same type of translation error example as seen before in the NIV.  The daughter being described is not the only daughter in the nation born but she was this man named Jairus’ only born daughter.   Again the KJV translators get it very wrong and leave out the word begotten.  In fact the KJV translators in this verse added the word one to further confuse people.  Instead of being consistent and making the word “only begotten” they changed it to “one only”.  This just proves that there are errors in the KJV Bible the same as other translations.  Now let’s look at the next word occurrence also found in a verse in Luke:

Luk 9:38  And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child.

Here again is an example of a very wrong translation.  It should not say “only child” it should rather say “only begotten” or “only born”.  The word child is not found in the original Greek word.  If God would have wanted the word child to be included in this verse He would have added the Greek word G5043 that is normally translated as “child” in several other N.T. verses, for example:

Luk 1:7  And they had no child (G5043), because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

Here in this verse God is saying that this couple does not have a child.  The woman Elisabeth is said to have been barren.  What we can learn from this truth is that God has other words in the Greek language that literally means a child.  So if God wanted to say “only child” in Luke 9:32 it could have been accomplished using other specific Greek words that actually mean that.  The translators thought they were making a good assumption but this simply produces inconsistences that were not stated by God.  God selected by His choice to say “only begotten” or “only born” and this was the correct original meaning.  It is just so obvious to me that if God wanted to say “only child” that He would have said G3441 (only) followed by G5043 (child) and this would have matched what the KJV translators thought.  However since God did not say this why did the translator not understand what they were doing was changing God’s word into something that was not stated causing a potential confusion to occur.

The last occurrence of G3439 not being used to describe Jesus is found in the book of Hebrews.  In this verse God is describing Abraham and his “only begotten” son named Isaac.  Let’s examine this verse and consider the implications given by God on this subject of Jesus:

Heb 11:17  By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

Notice that God calls Isaac the “only begotten” of Abraham.  Uh oh, that is a major problem since Abraham had several other children.  The first born of Abraham was a child named Ishmael and this child was born from Hagar.  God does not consider this child to be an heir of promise.  Also if you read in and study in Genesis I believe that you will discover that Abraham had other children later after Isaac.  Yet God still calls Isaac the “only begotten”.  What this teaches us is that God could have had other children before Jesus Christ as well as other children after Jesus Christ and that the existence of these other children still cannot disqualify Jesus to be called the “only begotten”.  I know that this is potentially complex information but Abraham is a type pattern that was given by God in the Old Testament to teach us about spiritual truths.  You see if you read in Galatians 4 carefully you will discover that God teaches us that the life of Abraham represents an allegory of spiritual truth that is much deeper than the natural story.  I am not going to go into this allegory in depth today because that will take too much time.  You should go and read my other Bible lessons to discover what this allegory represents.

I believe we need to be consistent when viewing this Greek G3439.  I believe we can clearly see that every time it is selected by God in the New Testament that it is in reference to an “only born” child in reference to a single parent.  You can go through every reference in Luke and see this very clearly.  You can find this pattern again in Hebrews when God only speaks about Abraham and his only begotten son Isaac.  Consistency is an important factor.

ARE THERE ANY “ONLY SON OF GOD” CONFLICTS IN THE BIBLE?

The next rule of correct Bible interpretation involves researching for potential conflicts to any given statement.  If the NIV Bible translation is correct claiming that Jesus is the ONE AND ONY SON OF GOD then there better not be any other verses found in the Bible that contradict with that statement.  If only one verse is found that can be shown to disagree directly then there is a major problem with one of the verses being read.  So here we go with discovering the conflicts of the statement “One and Only Son of God”.  We will begin with Genesis 6:2:

Gen 6:2  That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

Here is another potentially ontroversial verse.  Many have tried to explain away this verse as not saying what God describes.  There are two separate types of individuals being described by God in this verse.  There are the “sons of God” and the “daughters of Adam”.  If the father of the sons of God is God then the father of the daughters of men must clearly be Adam.  Perhaps you do not see it so clearly.  If you research the Hebrew word translated as “men” in this verse you will discover that it is the Hebrew word H120 and this is the exact same Hebrew word as H121 that was translated as “Adam”.  Therefore these women originated from Adam and these other beings had to originate from the spiritual creator God and they cannot be the same because of the two different associated fathers being described.  Perhaps I need to tell you that this Hebrew word translated as “God” in this verse is one of the most popular names for God in the O.T. Bible.  This Hebrew word H430 is found in over 2200 verses in the Old Testament.  Nine times out of ten it was translated as “God” starting in Genesis 1:1 where it was first used to describe the creator.  The other Hebrew word used in conjunction with this name of God is H1121 which was used to describe a “son” is defined to be a male builder of the specified family name.  The family name here is God and the sons are clearly his spiritual children within His personal family.  In order to confirm who these “sons of God” represent in Genesis 6, we need to look for other examples of these same word combinations in the Bible just as we did with our search for the “only begotten” Greek word.  If you do the search you will find some important verses that help to reveal who these sons of God are:

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

In the book of Job, God again describes the “sons (H1121) of God (H430)” but this time using some new contextual realities.  The previous Genesis 6 setting was definitely set upon the earth with human female interaction but this time in Job this same group of beings are found to be in the very presence of God in heaven.   What type of beings can be found both here on the earth and up in heaven in the presence of God?  If you do not understand that these are angels then you will need to go study the subject of angels in more depth before continuing.  I will give you a verse from a dream that God gave to Jacob and this will help establish that angels can travel between these two separate dimensions:

Gen 28:12  And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

These sons of God must be angels based upon the logical facts given.  There are other verses that we could explore but I need to move on.  Please notice that Satan appears with the “sons of God” in Job 1:6.  This is actually a very interesting concept given by God and implies a great deal of hidden information.  The Hebrew word H8432 that was translated as “among” in Job 1:6 literally means that Satan was in the center of them.  This Hebrew word represents a bisection of the group of “sons of God” with one half being on the left side of Satan and the other half being on the right side of Satan standing before God.  This places Satan as the implied leader of the “sons of God”.   We know from reading in Ezekiel and Isaiah that Satan was one of the chief angels if not the chief leader of them all.  Also notice that the position of Satan being in the center of the “sons of God” means that Satan was also one of this group of sons by association.  Did you know that Satan and the angels were called “sons of God”?  Let me give you some additional proof:

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

Here in this verse the individual named Lucifer is called a literal “son” of the morning.  The morning is actually a poor translation because this Hebrew Word H7837 means “dayspring” or more literally “early light” or even “first light”.   The emphasize detail in this definition is the light and the timing of its appearing. Who is called The Light in the New Testament?  God is clearly called “Light” in 1 John 1:5.  Also Jesus claimed to be the light in John 8:12, John 9:5 and John 12:46.  But since Jesus was God in the flesh both are equally the Light.  I think I need to give you another key verse to this puzzle:

Luk 1:78  Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,

You can clearly see from this verse that Jesus was called the “dayspring” from on high.  This literally means that Jesus was God but it also confirms who Satan was as a revealed son of God in Isaiah 14:12.  If you look up the definition of “dayspring” you will see plainly that this Greek word in Luke 1:78 has the meaning of the early light of dawn and it is a perfect match for the Hebrew word definition of “morning” or “dayspring”.   What God is revealing to us in these verses is that Lucifer was one of the first created beings that God produced.  Early light in the context that God is Light simply means the preceding order of time which is a difficult concept for us to grasp about a God who lives outside the dimension of time.  God is clearly indicating to us that Lucifer was His son before Jesus became His son.  I know that is hard to grasp for many people because it is new information.  Just keep in mind that Jesus was God who created everything and that He had children called angels before He ever had a Son name Jesus.  All of this will become clearer as we continue to discover who are represented as the other “sons of God” in the Bible.

I want you to notice in Isaiah 14:12 that the Hebrew word H1121 translated as “son” is repeated in this verse the same as in Job 1 and Genesis 6 for the “sons of God”.  God claims that Satan is a builder of His family name.  The name of God is His family and God of course is the head of the family being the Father of all spirits.  Perhaps this is a good time to introduce a New Testament confirmation verse that is related to this subject of sons and fathers:

Heb 12:9  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

Here is a very revealing verse for the discussion of spiritual fathers and spiritual sons.   God is being named the spiritual Father of all spiritual beings.  Is Satan a spiritual being?  Is every angel a spiritual being?  You must understand that created Satan and every created angel are both eternal and spiritual beings before you continue to learn more complex Bible truths.  I try not to teach anything without at least giving you a reference for what is being stated so I will give one about angels being spirits to help you see it:

Heb 1:14  Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Reading this verse in context you will discover God speaking of angels.  God declares His angels to be ministering spirits sent to minister for those that are heirs of salvation.  I know this is talking about me because I’m an heir of salvation.  Therefore God’s ministering spirits (angels) will be there for me to help in this world.  What I have just done is establish a basic truth of angels being called “sons”.  Since God is clearly called the Father of every spirit in the Bible.  I hope you are beginning to learn how poorly translated the NIV Bible was in John 3:16.  We have just witnessed the reality that every spiritual being is called a child of the spiritual God who is called Father.  This literally means that we should find this father and son theme in the Bible in other places.

I have only introduced you to the second type of a son of God found in the Bible.  Jesus was my first type called the “Only Begotten” but before Jesus we found that angels were previously called God’s sons as the second revealed type of a son.  Technically speaking angels existed first as sons before God became His own Son in the natural form of Jesus.  Did you notice what I just said?  God created everything and everyone and He clearly self-existed eternally.  However, the eternal God chose to become His own son before the foundation of the world to redeem us from our sins as well as accomplish many other things that I can’t get into in this lesson.  God becoming a Son being born 4000 years after the creation of Adam was clearly a mystery that took Satan by complete surprise.  However the wisdom of God prevailed and we find that truly “All things are possible with God”.  I hope you understand this truth of the eternal Spirit of God manifesting as a human Son because this defeated Satan and set you free from Satan’s rule.

What I have just given to you is the realization that before Jesus physically existed that there were other spiritual beings called angels that are referred to by God as His spiritual children.   This is enough of a conflict to cause us to reconsider the NIV translation of the verse in John 3:16.  But there are many other verses that also cause additional conflict.  Let’s look at another important verse:

Rom 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Here is an additional verse that was written to the church (me and you if you are a Christian) that conflicts with the belief of “one and only son” of God.  This verse indicates that those that are led by God’s Spirit will also be called God’s children.  Are you a spirit?   Do you remember that God is called the Father of spirits?  God has made you a son when you were previously not His son.  How did these people being led become God’s children?  We have to do further research in order to answer that question and this answer is found here in this verse:

Joh 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Do you believe in the name of Jesus?  Have you received Jesus Christ?  If you have done both of these then you qualify to be called a son/child of God.  Now consider what else this verse says.  This verse clearly indicates that we were once not His child but have become this son by God’s plan of salvation.  Uh oh!  That raises too many questions that just cannot be answered fully in this Bible lesson.  You see you were a spirit being before being saved but yet you had to become saved in order to become this new son of God status.  If God created our spirit and He was previously our Father then how did we lose this son status in order to need this again?   The Bible is a highly complex book of spiritual information and this is just one mystery of the many that God solves by His extreme wisdom.  I will not answer this question in this lesson so if you want to know this you will have to leave a comment and ask for the answer or go find it for yourself.  However, I will give you this verse since it is found in the context of my main subject of John 3:16 to help confirm what I have just said:

Joh 3:3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

In the context of John 3:16 we find Jesus telling a man that he must be “born again”.  Uh oh again!  What does this mean?   Nicodemus thought that it meat that he needed to reenter his mother’s womb and be born naturally and that was not what Jesus was teaching.  Jesus was teaching a spiritual birth and not a natural birth.  Notice what Jesus confirms here.  Unless you are born again spiritually you will not enter into the kingdom of God.  That means before we were born again we were not in God’s family and needed to be saved (born again) to become a member of His family.  Being a son/child of God is essential to being saved.  We were once not His children but now being born of the Spirit of God have become His children and this is the new third type of son being described in the Bible.  This son type differs from every other son type previously mentioned and yet there is still a fourth type of son that has not yet been mentioned.  Let’s discover the fourth type of son of God that was not like the only begotten Jesus, the angels or the born again church.  Here is where I will start next:

Luk 3:38  Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

This is another controversial verse that is ignored by most non-serious Bible students.  This is the genealogy of Jesus Christ recorded by the author Luke given to us by the inspiration of God.  This genealogy proceeds in reverse order all the way from Jesus back to Adam and then finally concluding with God the Father of every spiritual being.  Every named pair represents a father and his son relationship however the Greek word for “son” is not included so many believe that this was omitted to allow God not to be called the Father of Adam.  However that is just the deception of Satan trying to keep you from learning the truth to what is stated in this genealogy.  Let me go back to the top of the list and show you the beginning:

Luk 3:23  And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,

Notice what God says here.  God says Jesus was SUPPOSEDLY the son of Joseph.   Any learned Bible student knows that God is correct to state it this way since God was His Father and not Joseph.  Now consider the end of the list of names using the light of the beginning.  If Adam was not the Son of God then God would have said “SUPPOSELY” again and since He did not do that we know that Adam was a created fourth type of a son of God.   Now to confirm this we need to go back to read Genesis 2 where God created the man named Adam.  Read this chapter in full if you like.  I will not quote it all because I want you to focus on verse 26 primarily:

Gen 2:24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

This verse was written about Adam leaving his Father to be joined to his wife.  Who then was his father that he left if not God?  It has to be God that was the spiritual Father of Adam.  I know this because of what we read previously in Hebrews 12:9 where God is declared to be the Father of every spirit.  If you go back up in the chapter at Genesis 2:7 you will read where God breathes the breath of life into Adam.  This Hebrew word translated as breath is the same word that means “spirit” and this word teaches us when and where Adam received his spirit directly from God his spiritual Father.

We have now discovered 4 types of sons of God and there is at least one other type but that is sufficient overwhelming evidence that John 3:16 cannot be correctly translated as “ONE AND ONLY SON”.  This erroneous translation simply conflicts with too many other verses in the Bible that teaches us about other “sons of God” that existed before Jesus came to the earth and after Jesus returned to heaven.  I received one additional question that I will end with in this lesson.  I received a question about Jesus having brothers and who these brothers were.  I have alluded to this truth in some of my other Bible lessons but never fully explained it.  I may not be able still to fully explain it here but I will at least introduce the subject for your consideration.

If there are multiple types of sons of God as I have demonstrated and God is the Father of them all, then  it makes good logical sense that Jesus has brothers/siblings.  If Jesus is a Son of God which He clearly is then every other son of God must also be His brother.   In many of the parables taught to us by Jesus there is more than one son given.  Even within Old Testament typology there are many examples of multiple sons. For example, Isaac was a half-brother of Ishmael.   Isaac was accepted and the older brother Ishmael was cast out.  This is a common pattern found in the Old Testament types.  For example, there was Cain and Abel the first two sons of Adam mentioned by God.  Abel was killed by his older brother Cain.  Abel’s offering was accepted by God but Cain’s was not.  Then there was Jacob and his older brother Esau.  Again Esau the firstborn was rejected but the younger Jacob was chosen by God.  Abel, Isaac and Jacob are all clearly types of Jesus Christ.  Yet who are these brothers a type of?  I personally believe that they are types of Satan.  I have other Bible lessons where I address these subjects so I will not repeat it here.

What I am doing is teaching you that Jesus had spiritual brothers.  We now know that Adam was a brother of Jesus since God was both of their direct spiritual Fathers.  We should also now know that Satan was a brother of Jesus since he was called a son of the early light in Isaiah.  We also know from reading that we Christians are also called spiritual brothers/sisters of Jesus if we have become “born again” by the Spirit of God and being led by His Spirit.  How do we know this?  Well we know this because Jesus was called the “firstborn” from the dead in Colossians 1:18.   That verse teaches us that this means Jesus was given preeminence by God’s design being the first to be born again from the dead.  Wow God teaches us some pretty hard things for us to grasp.  Who understood that Jesus was talking about Himself being born again in John 3?    If Jesus was the first then there are others that followed Him being called second, third, fourth and etc.   There are many other verses that teach us that we are called brothers and sisters of Christ.  For example we are called “joint heirs” with Christ Jesus in Romans 8:17.  What is an heir?  An heir is normally a child that inherits what is left after the Father/Parent dies.  Who died to make us an heir with Jesus?  It was Jesus who died to allow us to become an heir.  This is just another divine mystery.  God died and became the first heir and this act of God allows us to become the same in subsequent numbered positions.  This is a very complex spiritual subject that is not known or understood by many Christians.

Today in this Bible lesson I want to reemphasize the fact that I am not taking away from the deity of Jesus Christ nor am I reducing His most significant Son of God status with the existence of other created sons of God.  I always capitalize Jesus as the Son of God and any other being like Lucifer was but a mere son of God.   I fully acknowledge Jesus Christ as being Supreme.  Just because I taught you that there are other types of sons of God that exist in the Bible that does not disqualify the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit within the trinity.  These three are the One True God.  If you perceived any other message from this Bible lesson than what I just stated here then you need to go back and reread this lesson again and again.

My website is called “Advanced Bible Study”.  This is one of those types of lessons that have been designed for spiritually mature Christians.  I went over many things that will be rejected by a lot of immature people who call themselves Christians but yet that is the nature of teaching advanced subjects to students who are only capable of understanding simple basic subjects. I used 3 to 4 basic rules of good Bible interpretation to confirm the truth in this lesson.  You should have learned these rules so that you can apply them in your Bible study.  If you disagree with this lesson please do not leave me any nasty comments.  I really am not going to change what I teach if you are incapable of understanding spiritual truths.  I thank those that can see the truth and understand why it is important to learn.  I could not include everything in this lesson so if you have questions I am willing to hear them and see if I can help you to understand anything that was not covered sufficiently.  In conclusion I will give you the list of 4 types of sons of God:

  1. Only Begotten (natural born) Son (Jesus Christ)
  2. The angelic beings are called the sons of God created before the world existed
  3. The born again church are called sons of God if they are led by the Spirit of God
  4. Adam created as a son of God who left his Father to be joined to his wife

I hope that you enjoyed this advanced Bible lesson and will leave me a positive comment or question if you learned anything that you can share with others please do that also.  Also please point others to this website to help the Word of God to be spread to the entire world.  Post links to my Bible lessons on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site where people can learn about Jesus. I thank you and may God continue to bless you as you are led by His Spirit with me.  God Bless!

Understanding the Book of Job. Did Job Ever Have Faith in God? Part 4

job-theodicy_on_trial(ver 1.1)  This is now Part 4 in the series of advanced spiritual Bible study lessons on Understanding the Old Testament Book of Job.  I have not taught on this subject in a very long time but I received a question that needed to be answered.   I believed that there are many that can benefit from this response and I hope that you will receive this message with an open heart and mind.   If you have not read the entire series of lessons from the beginning then I would highly recommend that you go back and start with Part 1 since I cannot repeat everything about a subject in every lesson.  I have covered a lot of new information in this series that is often ignored or overlooked when studying the Book of Job.   Too often Christians study a book, chapter or even a verse of the Old Testament without any consideration for the commentary, definitions and explanations of God given to us in the New Testament and that is a tremendous mistake.   God in the New Testament revealed so many hidden concepts and these new revelations will shed a significant amount of light upon the story of Job but only if we understand how they fit into these Old Testament descriptions.  For example in one of my last Bible lesson I taught on the subject of Biblical Typology.  Typology is such a deep subject that it sometimes goes way beyond the comprehension of many Christians.   But, today I believe that I will introduce you to Job as being an Old Testament type for us in the church to learn from.  Let’s allow the Spirit of God to teach us through His Word about what the Bible means.   This principle of using the Bible to interpret and understand the Bible is what I have been trying to teach people to do in almost every Old Testament Bible study that I have ever published.  I hope that many are at least beginning to familiarize themself with how this is achieved and then they will be able to incorporate these ideas into how to study the Bible.

The question that I received about Job was concerning if Job ever possessed any faith in God.   Faith is a central theme subject dominating the entire New Testament.  But was faith ever a factor for these people of the Old Testament like Job?   We know from reading in Hebrews 11:6 that without faith it is absolutely impossible to even try to please God.  We also know from reading in Malachi 3:6 that the Lord God does not vary or change in any way at any time.  Therefore we know that if the Lord required faith in the New Testament then the same requirement is necessary in the Old Testament in order to be pleasing to Him or Malachi 3:6 would become a lie.  We should be able to recognize from reading in the first chapter of Job that it appears that God is very pleased with His man named Job.   In fact if you read verse 8 God declares to Satan that there is no other man like His servant Job on the earth.  Therefore, we must conclude that God was very well pleased with Job in chapter 1 and that this means that Job had to have had a measure of faith in God that was pleasing to Him.  This is just basic logic established upon reading the New Testament and asking the right questions and then finding the right answers.  We have just established a basis for Job’s faith and now in the rest of the lesson we will confirm this reality using other Bible verses found in the Old and New Testaments.

If Job possessed faith this raises the valid new question of how Job could have fallen into fear, speaking wrong words and having no inner peace simultaneously with having this unstated faith that pleased God in chapter 1?   If you understand much about the concepts of faith there appears to be a major contradiction between all of these concepts being present within anyone at the same time.   That was actually a very wise and excellent question to ask about Job by the commenter.  The person that asked this question if Job had any faith certainly understood a lot about the subject of faith and the partners of faith that must be found present in order to be pleasing to God.  We will now attempt to explore this new subject of Job’s faith by using more of the New Testament to help us understand what God says about Job and this subject of faith.  We will also verify the fact that this faith existed using the Old Testament descriptions found in the book of Job and in other verses where Job is mentioned.   Are you ready to learn some more new things about the mysterious story of Job?  I will warn you at the beginning that this will be a long lesson on Job and the subject of faith.

DID JOB HAVE FAITH?

We still need to confirm the fact that Job had unstated faith in the Old Testament.  movie_film_art_2014But, it might also help us if we begin to realize that the book of Job represents only a short film clip of his entire life movie.   Did you understand what I just said?   Have you ever considered or studied the implied timing and duration of this short Job story event written down for us by God?  Job is reported to be a very mature man that has already had 10 mature children by the time the story begins in chapter 1.  How long of time does it normally take to have 10 children and allow them to mature?   How old would Job be after this has occurred?   We are not technically told but Job could have been at least 25 to 30 years old before he got married and ever started having any children with his wife.  It then could have taken up to 20 years to have given birth to these 10 children.  If all of Job’s children were now grown the duration of time for the youngest to grow up might have been at least another 20+ years from the time of their birth.  All of this would mean that Job could be at least 70 to 80 years old minimum in the beginning of chapter 1.  This could make his oldest son close to 40 years old and his youngest son around 20 years old.  The first seventy to eighty years of Job’s life is a lot of time that is not being reported on in the Bible by God.  What we learn from this quick analysis of Job is that not every detail of the early life was given to us by God.  We do know that in Chapter one that Job is successful, prosperous and is very blessed by God.  But we do not know how or why Job obtained this blessing from God at first glance from the material being given.   This will be why we need to study the Bible in more depth to learn more about the fine details to what pleases God.

We are not technically provided how long of a period of time that the story of Job takes place from chapter 1 to chapter 42.  I have heard some say as long as 7 years (84 months) and others only a few weeks or months.   Either way the story time period was relatively short compared to the human range of life spans found during the book of Genesis.  I personally place the story of Job somewhere after Noah but before Abraham.   For Job to occur before the flood would raise the question of how the book survived the flood to be given to us on the earth today to read.  Next we find by reading Job that there is no direct mention of God’s covenant with Abraham or the Law of Moses in the book of Job.  So this would lead us to believe that Job lived in the time period before Abraham.   Using this logic, this would place the story of Job somewhere after chapter 10 of Genesis and before the middle of chapter 11 of Genesis.   Many people during this time period of chapter 11 in Genesis lived from 200 to 300 years and even that is a long time compared to just