(Ver 1.2) This is Part 1 of a brand new advanced Bible study series concerning the seldom mentioned or taught Bible subject entitled “Biblical Division”. I have personally never heard anyone teach on this subject in the church but this is what God is directing me to share today on the internet to all those that are willing to receive the message. However, I will warn everyone upfront like in many of my other Bible studies that this is a very advanced Bible Study series and it is intended primarily for only spiritually mature Christians to attempt to learn from. This lesson series represents a very unconventional spiritual meat topic presentation and it may not easily be chewed (be received) well by many of my milk drinking younger or spiritually new born Christian brothers and sisters in Christ. I do so hope and pray that you understand what I mean.
Biblical division is definitely a brand new topic to most Christians which has rarely been studied, known or understood. Therefore this subject could be potentially judged controversial or even easily offensive and rejected by a non-serious Christian disciple. People in general are usually closed minded to an unknown or a first heard Bible topic never encountered before. For example, men like Martin Luther brought forth radical new teachings that departed from the normal traditional dominate Church doctrines of the 1500’s. His thoughts and views were fundamentally fresh to most and very dissimilar to anything at that time period that was popularly taught and accepted. Martin Luther was a Bible professor in Germany and he condemned the Catholic Church for their corrupt practices of selling indulgences (forgiveness of sins). His writings were viewed as the catalyst for the Protestant church. However, these seemingly new views have been determined to be very sound theological scriptural teachings and they have now been widely adopted to conform more to what Jesus and the early church actually taught. Martin Luther was still branded a heretic by the religious church leadership and excommunicated from their church. We can clearly learn from this example that religious deception in the church can occur even as it did in the popular church of Martin Luther’s day.
Even today, we must know that not everything that is taught by a modern church is always completely accurate. The only way to prove any subject’s truthfulness is to let the Bible and the Holy Spirit on the inside of us; become our final authority. That is exactly what I want you to do today as you read these lessons. Please get your Bible out and then pray and ask God to open the eyes of your understanding to see what He wants you to see. Prove everything that is stated with your own Bible research and personal relationship with Almighty God. Never and I do mean never believe me or anything that I teach or anyone else teaches unless you can see it in the Bible with sufficient evidence and the Holy Spirit on the inside of you confirming that it is true. The Word of God and the Spirit of God will always agree. Please learn to verify everything and assume or accept nothing just because someone teaches it. Don’t be a David Koresh or Jim Jones type of blind faith follower. Let God be your guide and not any man. It could be a matter of life or death.
While this subject of Biblical Division is a new revelation to most of you today it is actually a very old concept that existed with God from the beginning. It is only becoming new to us today because God is revealing something that has seldom been studied much less noticed or mentioned in any modern church. Of course the reason why it has not been mentioned is probably one of two reasons. First, some Bible teachers have not made the subject of division a real priority to search for or search out to discover it in the Bible. Second, some Bible teachers may have seen the subject while reading in the Bible before but did not consider it important enough to spend time on and therefore made no effort to understand what it could mean. Either way the root cause for “Biblical Division” not being taught is human ignorance. No one can teach what they do not yet know and have learned. I hope that this Bible lesson on the internet will spur interest to learn what God has done.
Therefore I ask that each of you judge yourself before continuing to read in these advanced Bible study lessons. I certainly do not want to offend anyone with any spiritual meaty lesson that I publish. But, I do wish to help everyone grow and mature spiritually in the faith of Jesus Christ. Thank you in advance for using your own sound judgment to being led by His Spirit to know how to proceed. Let’s get started with the subject of Biblical Division.
INTRODUCTION TO DIVISION
What is division? Division is defined in one dictionary as the “action of separating something into two or more parts”. In other words division is a deliberate and intentional act of taking one item that represents a whole and complete named entity and changing it by the thoughtful application of power, force and effort into 2 or more separate and distinct disjointed pieces. This would be very much like a baker slicing their whole and complete freshly baked loaf of bread and cutting it into separate and smaller edible slices. Or division could be viewed like the cook taking their whole baked fresh apple pie and cutting and serving it in 8 individual slices for their guests to eat. Therefore we learn from these examples that division always represents the creation of new individual pieces consisting of a reduced size or nature where each is less than the original greater whole portion before it was split. It is also very important to note that each new divided part is of the same substance as before but just in a reduced portion. Do you see and understand this? This is exactly what division represents in the Bible. There is absolutely no difference. Here are four main points that you should have just learned from this basic definition:
- Division of One Substance
- Separation into New Individual Parts
- Reduction of Size from the Original Whole
- All New Parts are of Like Substance
Does this subject of division, separation and reduction have anything to do with anything found in the Bible, you might be asking? That is a very excellent question to consider. But God’s answer to that question will always include “division plays a very main role in the Bible even if we do not yet understand how it fits into God’s overall designed plan”. That answer is very incomplete and just begs us to ask more questions. We will soon discover that the subject of division has a very significant and strategic role while also being potentially hidden within the Bible. However we must learn that the subject of division is covered by God from the beginning book cover to the ending book cover and we just have not always seen it very clearly. I will tell you at the beginning of this lesson that God’s plan from the start of creation was not only to save man but also to divide man. Also know that God will divide other spiritual and natural entities in the Bible that we will discuss later.
Perhaps you may not believe me when I claim that the subject of division plays a very major role throughout the Bible. That is very wise of you to follow what I asked you before to do. Remember I said don’t follow blindly. So I’ll introduce you to this Bible subject using the Bible interpretation law of first mention. Where, is the subject of division first mentioned in the Bible? If you initiate your reading from the very beginning of the Bible you will only need to go forward three verses in order to find the subject. The very first verse containing a directly revealed, intentional and deliberate act of division by God occurs within the recorded creation event of the Day 1 creation of our world and you will find it in Genesis 1:4. This first named division in verse 4 represents a divine sovereign display of His power and His will and it further embodies an act of God’s supreme intelligence, wisdom and ability. Let’s take a quick look at this in case you have never seen this concept being mentioned so early before in the Bible:
Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
These three verses describe Day 1 of the 7 day creation event of our present world. Six days God worked and the seventh day He rested (Gen 2:1-2). How do we define work? Work represents an activity of mental or physical energy or power designed to achieve a specific purpose for a positive end result. This is entirely what God was doing during the Genesis Day 1 description. Did you notice what type of “work” God performed on this given Day 1? God speaks “Light Be” and then “Light was”. At this time of declaration darkness had already covered the earth in verse 2 so we know that God did not create any darkness on this day. We know from Genesis 1:2 that darkness pre-existed Day 1 of the creation work thus stating the need for light’s existence in the earth’s current situation. I need you to pay attention to what I am trying to say because this will become more important later in the series. Darkness existed prior to Day 1 and God uses His power to make the light to shine on the earth in Day 1 to counter the pre-existing presence of darkness.
God then declares in verse 5 the reason for the introduction of light to our planet. God had spoken the light to shine on the earth in order to “divide” the light from the existing darkness. Next in verse 5, God gives each of these division results a new and separate distinct name calling them “day” and “night”. Wow, this could really get very spiritually deep if I was going to attempt to teach all of the given implications found in these verses but I will save it for another lesson later. Remember what we just learned, that the act of “dividing” light from darkness by God and naming the day and night was all called His own work by His own definition. This divine work was the exact same concept as the baker cutting his loaf of bread or pie into new separate pieces. There is no conceptual difference in the type of work being described by God here in Genesis.
What did God accomplish on Day 1? Without the introduction of light on the earth there could have been no concept of time here. In fact until God named Day and Night the earth had no way to measure time. A day (the period of light) consists of 12 hours and a night (the period of darkness) consists of 12 hours which when combined represent one 24 hour period of time also called a day. One day as you should know is a 24 hour period of time corresponding to one rotation of the earth. This represents a single cycle of what God created to occur repeatedly. It is very interesting to note we would have no concept or understanding of God’s work if He had not named the Day and Night and then called it Day 1.
While all of this is what I believe a literal reality, I believe God did this to teach us a greater symbolic spiritual truth. But I do not have the time to go into this. All I need you to do is to grasp that God’s Day 1 work was something that represents a constructive progress step to accomplish God’s plan for a good outcome for us.
Have we not just learned that even God’s “dividing” work can achieve a positive purpose and end-result? Keep this in your mind that this divine work of dividing introduced to us by God here in Genesis 1 is good. Then think of it as being like a parallel when a baker slices their loaf of bread to eat. Isn’t the slice of bread much better than the entire loaf when you just want a sandwich? Can we begin to now learn a little bit about the impact, value and positive purpose of God’s designed work to divide light from darkness from just this one single Day 1 creation reference? Division appears to me to be very important just based upon this limited understanding so far. Ask yourself “Why was it so important for God to divide at the very beginning of His 6 days of creative work?” We will learn more about this as we progress to understand this subject better.
I just want us to begin to realize how much we potentially do not yet know or understand about the subject of division in the Bible. Before I proceed deeper let’s at least examine the Hebrew word that was translated as “divided” in verse 4 of Genesis 1. This word is H914 and it represents a base Hebrew root word that has the following Strong’s definition:
A primitive root; to divide (in various senses literally or figuratively, separate, distinguish, differ, select, etc.): – (make, put) difference, divide (asunder), (make) separate (self, -ation), sever (out), X utterly.
This Hebrew word’s definition is in tremendous harmonious alignment with the English dictionary definition of “division’ that we examined earlier. As you can read, this Hebrew word means “to divide asunder”, “make separate” and I also want you to see the phrase “sever out”. All of these phrases are valid parts of our Bible subject study today even if we don’t yet fully understand them all right now. However, even if we do not yet understand them completely, please do not let them slip from your minds. Let me give you the list of important points from this Hebrew word definition:
- Divide Asunder
- Make Separate
- Sever Out
To conclude this short subject introduction I will tell you that there are actually at the very minimum 5 major named “divisions” that take place within the very first two chapters of the book of Beginnings also called Genesis and we will look at these in greater detail later in the lesson series. What we just need to understand right now is that these divisions took place during God’s work within creation and therefore each of these divisions must have had a positive divine purpose for us to learn from. Let’s review some of the major things that you should have learned about division:
- Division concerns one Substance Being Cut Apart
- After Division Occurs there are New Individual Pieces
- That which was Divided is a Smaller Portion of the Original Whole
- All New Parts are of Like Original Substance
- Division is Work
- God’s Work on Day 1 was to Divide by Speaking
- New Divided Parts can be Named
Since we have covered the basic introductions to division and its definition let’s start building a foundation for the subject now.
BUILDING THE DIVISION FOUNDATION
A foundation represents the part of a building process that all of the other following parts are raised or built upon. A foundation is the underpinning of the structure and the groundwork of the entire rest of the building process. Nothing can be created structurally sound without a very firm foundation and so it is with Bible study subjects. In the first section of the lesson I already gave you basic foundation definitions and those were very important. But, let me stop right here and provide the main foundation Bible verse that these definitions apply to for the entire series of Bible lessons on this subject of Bible division. Let’s turn to the book of Luke and chapter 12 to begin our construction process to read the foundational verse for the subject of Bible division spoken directly from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ:
Luk 12:51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
This is my LORD Jesus speaking to me and He literally makes a very shocking and a very controversial statement here in this verse. We must first understand who is speaking. Jesus was literally God incarnate. He is called by the Hebrew name “Emanuel” which meant “God with us”. Whatever Jesus said were words that God spoke personally and directly to all of mankind. Therefore God was teaching us about one of the key reasons for His personal appearance upon the earth and it is a very outrageous declaration to say the least. He tells us in this verse “to bring peace on earth” was never His appearance objective but rather He had come into this world to divide it. This announcement from the Lord is a potential major conflict to several other Bible verses and this should raise new questions in our minds. For example let’s review some of the potential conflicts:
Luk 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
We should be able to begin to see from this angelic announcement the rising conflict. At the birth of the Lord Jesus in the city of David called Bethlehem the angels appear to shepherds tending their flocks and they bring them the great news of God’s appearance on the earth. As part of this announcement they declare that there should be peace on earth because of His appearance. However, that is definitely not what Jesus said He came to bring. Both verses contain the same Greek word G1515 that is translated as “peace”. So they both are related by God’s word selection. But there is still the problem of an apparent conflict. Let’s read another verse:
Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
There are several Bible verses that appear to conflict with the Lord’s statement in Luke, but especially this one verse found in Isaiah 9:6 where Jesus is clearly called the coming “Prince of Peace”. Isaiah informs us of a prophesied future “Prince of Peace” that will come to the earth and this was certainly an important title describing Jesus. However, Jesus who was this Prince of Peace claimed that to bring peace on earth was not His objective at His initial appearance on earth in Luke 12:51. Whoops I just gave you an important clue in that last statement. I hope you did not miss it.
At least 5 times in the New Testament (Rom 15:33, Rom 16:20, Php 4:9, 1 Th 5:23, Heb 13:20) our God is called the “God of Peace”. Wow, how should we even begin to understand how to resolve these statements of God being peace and Him saying I did not come to the earth to bring any peace? How can the Prince of Peace and the God of Peace not appear here physically on the earth to bring us peace? How do we resolve this conflict?
I think I have already given you the clue if you were paying attention for the resolution of the conflict of peace. The answer that will become more prevalent is based upon timing. Everything that occurs in the plan of God has a set time of appearance. At the first coming of Jesus on the earth there can be no hope for any peace based upon the statement made by Him in Luke 12:51. However, that does not mean that He cannot bring peace later to the earth at a future time and I don’t have the space in this lesson to go into any great detail to when this coming peace will occur. But I want us to understand that when Jesus came to the earth the people of the city of Jerusalem were expecting a natural King but they only saw a spiritual King that did not come to rule them at that time on the earth. It was not God’s timing to rule on the earth during His first appearance. This truth of reality teaches us how to learn more about God’s timing for peace and I hope this will help us all to understand how to resolve what Jesus was saying in Luke 12:51 more clearly. Here are the main three points that you should have learned in this foundation:
- Jesus Came to the Earth to Divide
- And Not to Bring Peace
- But No Peace Now Does Not Mean There Can Be No Peace Ever
Luke 12:51 is my foundational Bible division verse concerning the complete subject of Bible division. Jesus very clearly teaches us that to divide was one of the main purposes for His arrival on the earth. We will now continue this lesson by attempting to understand what Jesus said He did not come to do. Jesus said He did not come to bring peace. So what is peace? I think we need to know more about what Jesus said He did not come to bring us. So let’s find out.
WHAT IS PEACE?
As we continue learning we need to understand as much as we can about what Jesus said that He did not come to do during His initial earthly appearance. Jesus informs us very clearly in Luke 12:51 that He did not come to bring peace during this specified time. Therefore, we need to ask the question “What is peace?” Peace in one English dictionary means “cessation from war”. A cessation of war means there is no longer any aggression, no fighting, no conflict, and no longer any hostilities one towards another. Peace can also mean “a place or state without any disturbance”. Some synonyms of peacefulness could be calmness, tranquility, serenity or quietness and Jesus told us that these were not the purpose for His arrival. We can learn what peace represents in order to better comprehend why Jesus came to the earth. It should become apparent that if Jesus did not come to bring us peace then the opposite of peace was His goal. Can we agree? Let’s review the quick list of what peace represented:
- PEACE = No Wars, No Conflicts, No Fighting, No Hostility
- PEACE = Calmness
- PEACE = Tranquility
- PEACE = Quietness
If Jesus did not come to bring peace then I believe very firmly that He must have come to do the opposite. What is the opposite of peace based upon just these 4 definitions? Jesus must have come to bring a war, a storm of agitation or even a raging wave and force of noise to the earth. I believe all of those that I just stated are true. However, we also need to understand that according to Jesus the opposite of peace appears to be the stated purpose of “division”. Division by the definition of the Lord Jesus is the opposite of peace. Once we consider what division represents it becomes very clear that it is truly the antithesis of any state of undisturbed peace. Please keep thinking on these concepts of what peace “is” and “is not” as we continue to learn why Jesus said He appeared on the earth. Based upon the definitions of peace we can begin to see Jesus came to bring us the opposite and these would be:
I’ll say this again; Jesus speaking in Luke clearly claims that one of His chief purposes for being here on the earth was not to bring anyone or anything peace, calm, quiet or tranquility during His first appearance. Then Jesus claims that one of His actual purposes for being here was to “divide” or bring “division” to something or even someone unnamed here on the earth. What exactly was this on the earth that Jesus came to disturb, to bring unrest to, to disquiet it and to interrupt it with a wave of force of noise and power to cause or effect a division to occur?
We have just briefly covered the subject of peace exploring some synonyms and some antonyms in this section of the lesson. But I believe that I introduced you to some new things to consider. We should have learned that God came to disrupt whatever was considered normal here on the earth. We should have learned that God came to divide the status quo and cause what God desired to occur. We know this because we learned division is a positive work of God and God’s work will always bring about positive results with a purpose. So we should have learned God’s appearance was to bring war on the earth and not any peace. Any war is an act of force between enemies against each other. War is a very clear separation by force and power and a strong division between factions and it will always result in a reduction of the former whole. We should be able to see that war fits very well into the definition of “division”.
- Who is Jesus at war with?
- What does Jesus intend to divide with His appearance on the earth?
- What will be the positive result for this division after it has occurred?
Learning how to answer these questions will be what this lesson series will now be focused upon. However we still need to increase our foundational understanding for the subject of division and we will do that by looking at the subject of “disunion”.
WHAT IS DISUNION?
Let’ review the Greek word translated as “division” that was used by God in Luke 12:51. This Greek word was translated as “division” in this verse. This is a very unique Geek word. In fact this Greek word is only found one time in the entire Bible here in Luke 12:51. This Greek word is G1267 and here is the Strong’s definition:
G1267 – From G1266; disunion (of opinion and conduct): – division.
The Greek word G1267 translated as “division” in this verse in Luke 12:51 literally means something has been divided. It also literally means “disunion” (of opinion and conduct). Wow, that is a new amazing and very essential declaration that Jesus is trying to teach us concerning His positive purpose to divide here on the earth. A state of “disunion” is clearly the opposite of a state of “union”. A union is a representation of two or more entities becoming one single entity with unified authority. Therefore disunion is like the one loaf of bread becoming many individual slices of bread that was mentioned earlier. Disunion conforms to what we have learned about division up until this point of the lesson.
Disunion is a word that literally means the breaking up of a federation or union. Disunion comes from a lack of unity and agreement. Whenever even one person in a group is not in full agreement there can result a state of disharmony, discord and conflict. Disagreement is the root cause for much disunion. I wish to introduce you to two new potential reasons for Jesus appearance on the earth to divide using Strong’s definition. First, Jesus was saying I came to divide the opinions or “beliefs” of men on the earth. Second He was further saying that He came to divide the conduct of men here on the earth. Either of these acts of God would bring about a war like state of disunity. That is so very important what I just said. We will definitely be talking about that a lot more in this lesson later. But we need to look more into the subject of “disunions” first.
Let’s talk about the concept of “disunions”. The word “disunion” means to break up something that was a whole or complete named entity into smaller distinct separate pieces. For example the disunion of an earthly sovereign federation will result in the division of that nation into smaller nations. Take for instance the disunion of the U.S.S.R. that took place back in 1991. Do you remember what U.S.S.R. stood for? The U.S.S.R. stood for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The U.S.S.R was one sovereign named union containing states that were broken apart to form the new D.S.S.R = “Disunion of Soviet Socialist Republic”. Of course that was just a joke but what resulted from the disunion were several new separate smaller sovereign states. The united nation of the U.S.S.R. clearly qualified to be a candidate for division and disunion. Down throughout human history there have been many nations, empires and kingdoms that have risen to only become divided, conquered and fall. Nation and kingdom partitioning is a very constant and prevalent example of divisions and disunions. Could this concept be related to something that Jesus was referring to that He came to do? We will soon find out that it is exactly what He came to do but let us look at another prevalent type of natural disunion first.
The natural case of divorce from the divinely created institution of marriage also represents a form of very prevalent natural disharmony, disruption and disunion occurring in our world too frequently. A divorce is the dividing into individual pieces and the separation from God’s defined condition of being in the state that God called a “One Flesh” union (Gen 2:24). Marriage represents the “union” of two individuals (1 male and 1 female) into one new family unit but divorce is the clear antithesis state called disunion. Divorce occurs when the one named married family entity becomes two separated, partitioned and disjointed individuals that can no longer be considered a sovereign family covenant union. If Bob and Sally Jones get a divorce the Jones Household and family has become disjointed in disunity and can no longer even exist. This will always result in two lesser named entities lacking completeness and wholeness.
I have only briefly introduced you to two types of “disunions” and “divisions” so far in this section. One is that of a natural sovereign nation being divided and the other is the concept of a natural sovereign family being divided up by acts of force or power. Both are differing levels of sovereign authority. Both can be divided by force and power. Viewing them to be a positive work is another dilemma since neither sound like positive end results and I would definitely agree with that for now looking only at things from a purely natural perspective. But there are other ways that we need to consider and I will talk about them soon enough.
Let’s continue our Greek word study and move down a level to the root word. The Greek word G1267 that means “disunion” comes from another Greek root word G1266 which means “to partition thoroughly”. This just keeps getting better and better, deeper and deeper and more and more complex doesn’t it? To partition means “to divide something”, “to split apart something” or “to break up something” using a stated or implied wall of separation. Partitioning is an understood act of constructive building through a display of intelligence combined with a force of power to create the divide. This concept of partitioning is further based upon a rule of authority hierarchy. Those which are building the partition are of much greater authority than that which is being affected by the division. What I just said was so important I want you to see it again:
PARTITIONING = an Understood Act of Constructive Building through a Display of Intelligence Combined with the Application of Force or Power to Create A Divide.
For example, a criminal after conviction is divided or partitioned from the mainstream population by a greater force of authority and placed behind a separating barrier which can be named or labeled as partitions or the prison walls of separation. Within our society the greater government authority created these partitioning walls of separation. The separating walls of the prison will keep the prisoners in but also will keep all others in the general population out. We can certainly see some potential positive aspects of division in this example. Therefore, we should learn that division is defined as an act of separating one whole and greater item (the general population) into smaller or lesser items (prisoners and free people). Using my quick example, our population is being separated by an act of law and authority into those that are free and those that are incarcerated. This is just a natural concept that helps us in understanding the spiritual Bible concept more clearly and God’s stated plan of division.
What was Jesus partitioning through His physical appearance here on the earth? What walls were being constructed by His appearance on the earth? I’ll begin to answer these questions in the next section. The information covered in this section should begin to give you some major clues to why Jesus came to earth. Jesus has built a dividing wall partition with His appearance on the earth. Let’s review the list of points we learned in this section:
- Disunion is a Force of Disagreement Dividing Two or More Groups
- Disunion is the Division of a Single Kingdom
- Disunion is like the Division of a Whole Family
- Division is the Separation of Two Entities using a Partition or Wall of Separation
There were other good points made in this section but these are the ones that need to be carried forward into the next section. We will now take a look at God’s plan of division and how it was prophesied to be implemented by the coming Lord of Glory.
GOD’S PLAN OF DISUNION/DIVISION
In the last section I talked about the disunion of a natural nation, empire or a kingdom as well as well as the disunion of a natural family. Both of these types of disunion that were going to be implemented by God’s design and plan in order to protect the righteous from the unrighteous. God came to the earth in the form of a man in order to divide His kingdom and to divide His family. God does this primarily to separate and partition that which was good from that which was judged as evil. I believe this is an excellent time to introduce you to a prophecy that applies directly to what God was doing in Jesus. Please turn to the book of Malachi and read what the LORD says:
Mal 3:16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
Mal 3:17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
Mal 3:18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.
These are verses prophesying a coming division. Did you see it? These are the works of the LORD that were coming through Christ Jesus. God is going to separate the righteous from the wicked. He is going to make it known (able to discern between) those that serve Him and those that do not. The Hebrew word H996 that was translated “between” in verse 18 reveals to us this story. This word means to make a “distinction” between two or more things. It is a comparative stipulation that is used as a preposition to describe those that are named after the statement. This Hebrew word H996 comes from the root word H995 which means “to separate” mentally. To separate mentally is just another synonymous phrase of division that means God will divide them with a partition of thought so we can understand that there is a difference between them in our minds. The ability to distinguish between good and evil and right and wrong is a mental partitioning process. God actually warns us about this in the Bible:
Isa 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
We can clearly see these happening even in the world today if we observe the actions of people closely. It has become increasingly difficult for people to “discern” between good and evil. The lines have shifted to allow what we use to believe was evil to become good and vice-versa. God is warning all those on the earth that cannot discern between two opposites in this verse. God says you are in trouble if you call good evil or evil good. That is exactly what is transpiring in our world today. It is everywhere on TV, in movies and on the internet. Good is being called evil and evil is clearly being promoted to be good and normal. God is teaching us about one of the walls of separation that will and is dividing us all.
The blurring of distinct lines of good and evil today is the devil’s plan to undo what God has already accomplished in Christ Jesus. Satan wants us to not be able to recognize between good and evil and that is what is happening in this world. Satan would like to get Christians to regress and become passive to accept sin, evil and etc. I still believe that God’s plan will prevail in those that desire to follow Him as Malachi predicts. Real Christians will know what is right and good and what is wrong and evil even if the world does not.
I want to stop here and teach you why things are named by God. God gives things, people and places names to show that they are different. Giving objects and people names are a form of the process of division. When your child is born you name your son or daughter to give them distinction. This new name separates them from the other children and makes them unique. Do you remember what God did in Genesis 1:3-5 on day 1 of creation? God spoke to introduce the light into the world which was then separated from the darkness and after God did this He named the light “day” and the darkness He called “night”. Did you notice that in the verse in Isaiah 5:20 God also mentioned light and darkness? Is that a coincidence? No, it certainly is not. Light represents good and darkness represents evil symbolically throughout the Bible. This is God’s way of connecting the dots for us to learn His plan. God was going to separate good from evil from the very beginning of creation. Can you begin to see this?
This concept is exactly what God was doing here in these Malachi verses also. God says there will be one separate group called the “Righteous” and another group called the “Wicked”. Those are the names of distinction and separation given by divine appointment and purpose. These represent the dividing lines between two groups of beings. This certainly includes mankind but it also must include angelic heavenly beings also.
Wow, I just introduced so much potentially new information to you so fast that I pray that you understood it all. We could go through other prophecies of division but I am trying to keep this lesson as concise as possible to not overwhelm anyone with too much information. I hope to cover this subject in much more detail as the series continues. So please be patient and kind and believe with me that God will say everything that needs to be said in His right timing. Let’s recap what we should have learned from this section quickly.
God is going to build:
- A Mental Wall of Partition for Discernment in People
- A Wall Between the Righteous and the Unrighteous
- A Wall Between the Good and the Evil
- A Wall to Perceive Between Right and Wrong
- A Wall of Separation Between the Light and the Darkness
We could literally talk for many hours on these subjects but I just want you to begin learning the basics for and of division now. I think today I am going to only go into one more introductory topic to help point us to future lessons.
CONFIRMING JESUS’ PURPOSE FOR DIVISION
I have already introduced you to the concept that God came to earth to divide His kingdom and to divide His family but we need further scriptural confirmation to assist in these statements and beliefs. Both a nation and a family dissolution are very clear examples of types of extremely prevalent earthly natural disunions. However, both of these natural examples of disunion have direct application to what Jesus said that He came to do here on the earth believe it or not. Let’s look at a new verse that Jesus spoke about this direct subject of division to help us to confirm the reality of one of God’s primary purposes for sending Jesus into our world was to divide His kingdom and family.
Jesus actually talks about this subject of division much more than many realize. It is very clear to me from learning this subject now that Jesus understood His reason for coming into the world far better than anyone else at that time including Satan and all his angels and demons. We will now turn back to the book of Luke again and read a verse found in close context with our initial foundation division verse found in Luke 12:51. Please, turn back to chapter 11 and begin to read in verse 17:
Luk 11:17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.
Jesus begins the statement with the word “Every”. “Every” is the Greek word G3956 that literally means “every”. I am just being funny with that last statement but that is exactly what the Greek word means. The Greek word G3956 means “every”, “any”, “all” and “the whole”. Therefore, G3956 is an all-inclusive adjective describing the noun “kingdom” that leaves no kingdom out of the statement. Do you understand that? There cannot be any “kingdom” in existence either past, present or future that is omitted from this statement of truth given to us by the Lord Jesus. I cannot say that more plainly and this is such a very important concept to learn. Jesus is not a liar and He would have phrased the statement differently if there were any kingdoms that could be excluded from being mentioned. I do hope you understand what God is saying by His selective use of the word “EVERY”.
So we learn immediately from the mouth of Jesus that “any” or “every” kingdom named or unnamed directly or indirectly will fall if it is divided against itself. Therefore we learn from the Bible what we already know from human history that any kingdom can be divided into two or more smaller pieces and even cease to exist completely. For example the Roman Empire ceased to exist. The Persian Empire has ceased to exist. The Babylonian Empire has ceased to exist, and etc. Today division of nations is still a very prevalent topic with the nation of Israel. Peace talks are dominated with the division of Israel into two nations giving their land to a new nation called Palestine. Satan is using God’s law of division to try to eliminate Israel and you should know that.
Did you know that this statement from Jesus absolutely must include the “Kingdom of God” and the “Kingdom of Heaven”? You probably never thought of that, did you? Does that sound offensive to you for me to imply that the omnipotent God’s kingdom can be divided, fall and possibly cease to exist? Please understand that I did not say it. I just gained that knowledge from what Jesus said because He included these two kingdom references in the statement by selecting and speaking the word “EVERY” in union with the noun “KINGDOM”. Wow, I think there could be a lot of upset religious people not very happy with this lesson after reading that but this statement is still true.
Do you remember that I talked about a whole pie being cut into pieces? Let’s change the pie to a Kingdom and ask if it can be divided in the same way? Jesus is peaking about a whole kingdom pie that will be divided if it is fighting against itself and He tells us that it will become desolate (a dry empty place) if it is experiencing any condition of discord, disharmony or even disagreement. What happens to a pie after it has been cut and divided against itself? It is usually dished out and served and the pie dish has been left an empty dry mess of crumbs. That is what Jesus is describing that will happen to any kingdom that is divided also. There is an old proverb that says “United we stand but divided we fall” and that is an accurate phrasing of what Jesus just taught us about God’s Kingdom.
These truths are precisely the reason that I mentioned the U.S.S.R. previously. The U.S.S.R. was a very good example of a modern kingdom that has been divided against itself. This whole nation was split into several smaller nations even now which are still fighting among themselves. There was even recently reported heavy fighting in the Ukraine and Russia was blamed to be fueling the discord. Note the fact what Jesus said again. Jesus said “Do you think that I came to bring peace? I say No but rather division”. That was my paraphrase of the original key verse statement but it does represent an accurate message of the original. No nation or kingdom that experiences division can or will experience any peace after it has been divided. Now ask yourself what Kingdom is Jesus from? Where did Jesus come down from to enter into the earth? These are basic fundamental questions that you should be able to answer in your sleep. Jesus came down from the Kingdom of God and from the Kingdom of Heaven in order that He might divide them with war and I believe this very firmly.
Now consider the second part of the statement made by Jesus concerning division in Luke 11:17. Jesus declares that a house divided will also fall. This Greek word translated as “house” means a dwelling where a family resides. This is why I talked about the concept of divorce earlier also. A divorce represents the destruction of a sovereign family unit. The result of the family division is a whole entity that no longer exists or we could say a family unit that has been brought to the state of non-existence. This is exactly why Jesus was making this statement in Luke because it concerns His purpose for coming to the earth.
We should be able to find out by close Bible study that Jesus has come down from the Kingdom of Heaven directly from the spiritual family of God to bring about a division to both realities. We can begin to learn this truth simply by reading verses like John 6:50-51 where He describes His flesh as the bread that came down from heaven. In these words are found the concept of the loaf of freshly baked bread that I presented earlier. His body was broken and we must eat of it in order to live. All those that do not eat of this bread will die. That is a very clear division of separation being inferred. There are many other verses but I will help you with one about the family of God next for you to know that God has a family that can be divided.
If you study the Bible by searching for the word “house” you will find more than enough verses that will confirm what we need to know about the existence of God’s spiritual family. For example, in John 14:2 you will find Jesus talking about His Father’s house. He claims there are many mansions in this location. The Greek word in this verse is G3613 and it comes directly from the Greek word G3624 that Jesus spoke of in Luke 11:17 about a house divided. Both words were translated as house and both words mean a literal family dwelling place. I can give many other references but I do not want to take the time in this lesson introduction. Just begin to realize that God has a spiritual family and this family can and has been divided by the plan, will and the work of God through Jesus Christ.
If this is true what Jesus is teaching us then the implication of both of these divisions will dictate God’s need for a new spiritual family and a new spiritual kingdom since both will be brought to the level of non-existence as Jesus has prophesied. I hope you realize that Jesus was a prophet also and spoke what would come to pass in many of His recorded statements in the Gospels. I warned you that this Bible lesson would take us into some really deep waters which may go over the heads of some weaker carnal Christians. If this describes you please just stop reading and go to a different Bible lesson. So let’s review the main points from this section of the lesson. We learned these Bible facts:
- Every Divided Kingdom Will Be Made Desolate
- Every Divided Family Will Fall
- God Has a Kingdom Which Can Be Divided
- God Has a Family that Can Also Fall
All of these Bible facts of Truth point us in the direction for God’s personal appearance on the earth to divide. These help us tremendously to understand a very complex hidden Bible subject.
I hope and pray that you have learned at least a little more on this subject of Biblical Division than you ever knew before. I know there was a lot of new information given but I also know that there is a whole lot more to learn. I would recommend that you go back and at least reread the main points from each section of the lesson. This will help us put the pieces of the division puzzle together correctly. I will be continuing in this series with more confirming scriptures to help us believe in God’s Word. Thank you for taking your time to read and study the Bible with me. I do value your time greatly and I do not wish to waste any of it. If you would care to leave me a comment or question I would appreciate it. Also please share this website with your friends and relatives so everyone can learn more about the Lord and the soon coming King Jesus Christ. God Bless you.
Click now if you would like to continue reading “Part 2“.
(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
I 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:
- Find and Use Original Word Definitions
- Compare an Original Word’s Usage with Other Occurrences in the Bible
- 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:
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:
- Only Begotten (natural born) Son (Jesus Christ)
- The angelic beings are called the sons of God created before the world existed
- The born again church are called sons of God if they are led by the Spirit of God
- 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!
(Ver 1.1) This is now Part 6 in the series of Advanced Spiritual Bible Study Lessons concerning the reality of the Rapture of the Church. God has covered a lot of information in this series so far and most of it will not be repeated. Therefore I would recommend that you begin reading the series in Part 1 and continue forward in the series until this lesson. There is just no feasible way to repeat the last 5 lessons on this subject in one lesson so please consider reading them all carefully. In today’s Bible lesson God will take us on another journey through Old Testament scriptures that have no specific or direct mention of the Rapture event by a named reference. However that does not mean that this story is not about the rapture event using divinely inspired typology of named O.T. patterns, types, participants and events. If you are a doubter that believes God has not hidden any concealed information in the Bible for us to search for and discover then you are clearly a deceived person that has had your mind blinded by Satan from seeing the truth that is in plain sight if you desire to find it. No one can force you to see what will be taught to you today. Being a closed minded type of person to this potentially new information will probably cause the information to roll off of your mind like water off of a duck’s back. I pray that you will at least attempt to consider all of the information that is presented to you before you totally reject any of it.
THE RAPTURE IN OLD TESTAMENT TYPOLOGY
Today, we are going to go through some verses buried in the Gospel of Matthew that teach us about the coming rapture concepts. Right there you are probably going to ask “I thought that you said this was an Old Testament Typology Lesson”? “Why then are we reading in Matthew clearly a New Testament book and author?” That is actually a legitimate question but one that is easily answered. Yes the Gospels were written by New Testament church writers named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The time of this writing was obviously well after the death, burial and resurrection of Christ during the beginning of the church age. However, consider the primary subjects given within these texts. The majority of the descriptive acts and accounts within these texts occur prior to the implementation of the New Covenant which occurs at the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is essential to learn that there was no New Covenant made available until Jesus was raised from the dead. If there was no New Covenant then salvation could not be obtained because salvation is based upon believing in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (Rom 4:24, Rom 10:9). Not until after Jesus was raised from the dead could anyone, be saved by God’s Grace through faith (Eph 2:8). So while the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John contain the beginning of the New Covenant at the conclusion of the books, the vast majority of the actions take place outside of the New Covenant. I hope that you understand that simple truth.
Within Old Testament Typology too many people want to see great detail, but these are never given in that format. Any Old Testament typology is a dark outlined natural shadow pattern of the brighter spiritual real image that produced the image and is never the real image itself. God designed the Bible with foreshadowed O.T. events that were projections to the coming spiritual real events found in the New Testament. So while the story in Matthew that I will present will have some real actual natural facts, there will be no details given otherwise about the actual timing of the coming future spiritual event being described. In other words this Typology in this Bible lesson will help prove the existence of the rapture but not necessarily if it is a pre-tribulation event or a post-tribulation event. I will address this issue of rapture timing further after we go through the verses to see how the shadows fit the actual described rapture event. I’ll begin the study with the first verse of the seventeenth chapter of Matthew, please read slowly and carefully:
- Mat 17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
Here we have the beginning of a new story initiated by Jesus the key figure of the entire New Testament and the rapture event. I want you to see how this fits the description of the rapture as we have already studied in the series. You should recall that it is Jesus that initiates the rapture event and it is not initiated by any man here on the earth. Then notice that it says “Jesus taketh”. Wow, that is very strong rapture language within typology. Taking people up, is the central theme of action found in this verse and it is initiated by the Lord Jesus. Notice that Jesus only selects a specific number and not every disciple to take with Him up to a high mountain apart from all of the others that were left below. Doesn’t that sound like more hidden rapture shadows? When you read scriptures like these in the Bible you should always stop and ask the basic who, what, when, where and why? For example ask why is Jesus taking them up after 6 days? Why not five, four or three or even two? What does this mean? Why is Jesus only taking 3 of the 12? Why is Jesus going up to a high mountain? If you are not asking God any specific question you will never see any specific answers. I’ll start with the concept of 6 days. Does 6 days match anything given to us in the Bible anywhere? It just so happens that 6 days matches the days of creation found in Genesis 1. This is called the Law of First Mention. Whenever a subject is first revealed in the Bible God places clues within the text to help us understand the references in the other parts of the Bible. God’s creation of our world was exactly 6 days in length. If you have read my other Bible studies you should already know that these 6 days represent the entire human history of man on the planet. I based this conclusion upon scriptures given to us by God in Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8. Let’s review 2 Peter 3:8 for those that have not read it or do not remember it:
- 2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
If you do not know or understand this verse, then God calls you ignorant. Being ignorant is not bad since we are all born in this condition. But ignorance can be easily corrected by learning the truth of God. What God is doing is giving us a New Testament spiritual definition for the word “day”. To a human the term “day” means a 24 hour period of time. But a day to the Lord is now being redefined to be a 1000 year period of human history. This news causes God’s definition to take priority over man’s definition when interpreting spiritual realities found in natural O.T. typologies. I am not going to be able to reteach in this lesson why human history is a 6000 year long period on God’s time clock and how that these 6 days of creation prophetically reveal man’s entire history on the earth in major shadowy steps of progression. I just don’t have that much time. You can begin to learn about these concepts from other Bible lessons that I have posted if you are interested.
One of the most important concepts to understanding and correctly interpreting any natural O.T. typology is to search and find the New Testament definitions of the words being used by God. However, please do not take this rule and misapply it in error. You cannot say that Jesus took Peter, James and John up to a high mountain after 6000 years. No, that is not what is happening. We also cannot take the 6 days of creation and try to make them 1000 year long periods of time. Both of those would be examples of erroneous interpretations. The 6 days in Matthew 17:1 are literal 24 hour periods of time. However these are used to point us into a spiritual reality of 6000 years using God’s definition. Both are true simultaneously. It is very much like the shadow of me on the ground caused by me standing in the sunshine is not me but yet represents me and is true because I’m truly standing casting the shadow. I hope you understand how to apply this information given by God in a natural O.T. story and how it can point us to a coming N.T. real spiritual reality. Let’s return back to the Matthew typology study.
I would like you to consider two key words in the first verse in Matthew again. These Greek words were translated as “taketh” and “apart” in the KJV Bible. Let’s look at the Greek G3880 that is translated as “taketh”. This Greek word literally means to “receive near”. The implied state before this occurred is that they were apart from Jesus but have now been brought close to Jesus. I believe that is exactly a rapture synonymous description. I hope that you are seeing the same things. Now consider the word translated as “apart”. This Greek word is G2398 and it means “one’s own”. It contains the implied meaning of what is being taken close was previously separated from something else or someone else. In this case in Matthew 17:1 Jesus selected 3 to be His own and the other 9 were to be left behind not to participate in the event experience. Wow, I’m telling you that this is very important information. Do you remember what Jesus said to us?
- Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
If not everyone that calls Jesus Lord will be saved this means not everyone that calls Jesus Lord will be raptured. Jesus basically teaches us that 75% of the church could be potentially left behind in the rapture. Let’s just take this and place figures to it. If there are 1 billion professing Christians in the world, this would potentially teach us that only 250 million of them will be taken in the rapture. Of course this is not me making any predictions. Because there are other verses that need to be considered. For example in the parable of the 10 Virgins the number of virgins that enter in with the bridegroom is 50%. So using that figure we could say 500 million of the 1 billion could be taken up in the rapture. The actual number is not important, but what is important is the fact that some are taken and some are left behind separated from the others exactly as what occurs in this type. That is what will occur when the rapture happens. Let’s continue to go through the rest of the Matthew 17 typology.
- Mat 17:2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
The key word found in this verse is the English word translated as “transfigured’. This Greek word G3339 is a word that we get “metamorphosis” from. It means a state of newness that did not exist in the old state. It is like when a caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly. That is exactly what occurred in this verse in the natural but that is also what will occur in the rapture.
- 1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
You see in this New Testament verse God is describing the rapture event and He declares that there will be a change in the human state from death (corruptible) to eternal life (incorruptible). The corruptible man will be completely transformed into a brand new incorruptible man. These are just shadow events in Matthew 17. I could talk a long time about the rest of verse 2 when Jesus appears as the sun, but that would take too long. Let’s continue to verse 3 and see what is revealed next:
- Mat 17:3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
I want you to remember where Jesus is. Jesus has already been transfigured and suddenly on the top of the high mountain “appears” Moses and Elijah. Wow again this is strong hidden rapture typology. Notice that Jesus there alone being viewed by the 3 disciple witnesses and suddenly Moses and Elijah instantly appear with Jesus. If that is not a rapture type I do not know what it is. Moses lived 120 years and then died. If you read the book of Jude you will begin to see a clue to what is being described here in Matthew 17.
- Jud 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
Why would Satan and Michael be in a legal dispute over the possession of the body of a dead man? I mean come on, what does this mean? I personally believe that the body of Moses was taken by God as a type being used to teach what will occur when the rapture occurs. Did you know that a Jubilee year only comes every 50 years of Jewish time? What is a Jubilee year? A jubilee year is when all debts were forgiven and the lands were returned to the original owners who sold them because of their debts that they could not pay. That is a very descriptive type of the human condition. Man had a debt that he could not pay and Jesus came to pay a debt that He didn’t owe. This is the Gospel good news of salvation. Well if you take a Jubilee of 50 and multiply it by the years that Moses lived you get 6000 again. Is that a coincidence? It could be, but I do not believe it is. Also consider the fact that Moses died a natural death (Deu 34:7) and that clearly Elijah did not (2 Kings 2:1). If you recall Elijah the prophet was taken up to heaven by the Lord alive in his physical body and never saw death. So we have Moses representing the dead in Christ and Elijah representing the living in Christ on the earth being taken up on the high mountain in the clouds to appear with Christ. This my friends is very precise typology of the coming rapture event that is a parallel to what we studied in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 being described. The dead in Christ represented by Moses will go up first. Just as Moses was also mentioned first in verse 3. God does everything for a reason even the order of the words in the verse teach us something important. Then Elijah is mentioned and he never died representing the shadow picture of the saved saints in the church still alive during the time of the rapture.
I believe that you can clearly see the rapture being described in this shadow text found in Matthew. The parallels are truly amazing and cannot be a chance occurrence. God has hidden things like this in the Bible, yet many people are not seeing them. The 6 days in this typology represent the 6000 years of human history and then the church is taken up. What we need to address next is when this will occur based upon God’s Word.
RAPTURE TIMING IN THE LIGHT OF THE SEVENTY WEEKS OF DANIEL
Please allow me to address the timing of the rapture using a short explanation for when this must occur according to the Word of God. Consider the 6 days found within the Matthew 17 typology shadow text. Let’s break these 6 days down into three separate but consecutive two day periods within the timeline of human history like God does in the Bible. Did you know that God did this? From Adam to Abraham was approximately 2000 years of human history and this time represents the initial two days of the six. God forms a covenant with one human man and his natural descendants and that initiates a new personal transition of God’s involvement with man. Then from Abraham to Jesus was also approximately another 2000 years of human history and again this was 2 additional days of the six. This Old Covenant through Abraham was God dealing with man in the natural realm and through the law.
We are now up to 4 in the series of six total days. The beginning of the 4th day of human history presents the entrance of Jesus the Messiah (God in the flesh) into the world as the Redeemer. With the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus this begins God’s new plan of salvation for all men through a New Covenant. The New Covenant begins a completely new period of human history through God’s intimate involvement with the individual man in the spirit realm. Knowing these facts literally teaches us that the duration of the church age can only endure the last 2 days of human history or approximately again a 2000 year time period. How long has the church been here on the earth now? We technically do not know for sure the exact length of time which matches the prophecy that Jesus gave to us saying “no man knows the day or the hour” (Mat 24:36). The current calendar year is 2013 AD but how long that is precisely on God’s timeline cannot be calculated exactly or precisely. There is even a debate of the year that Christ was exactly born and when Christ exactly died. What I will tell you is that even though we do not know the exact time, we are certainly at the very least at the last of the very end of the time of the two days (2000 years) of the church age. What I am attempting to say is that when the church age comes to an ends the rapture of the church must take place.
I guess one of the main questions that I will receive is when is the Great Tribulation? Is the Great Tribulation a part of the church age or a part of another age being separated from the church age? Those are excellent questions to consider. The correct Bible answer is not so obviously or easily found. But we will attempt to address these questions next using a very important Old Testament prophecy.
What I want to do in the remainder of this lesson is to introduce you to a new concept hidden in the Bible. In the book of Daniel God gives a detailed prophecy of an exact period of given time within God’s timeline. What we must do is determine if this period is within the 2 days of the New Covenant church age, the 2 days of the Old Covenant age, or the pre-Old Covenant 2 day age. This endeavor sounds like a Sherlock Holmes type of search for the clues to discover the answer and that is exactly what we will do.
This period in Daniel is described to be a time of 70 weeks of years foretelling the coming events concerning the natural nation of Israel and the entrance of Jesus into the world. Seventy weeks of years represents a period of time of exactly 490 years. You can calculate this by multiplying 7 (1 week of years) by 70 weeks and that gives you the 490 years total. Multiplying 490 years times 360 days in the Jewish calendar gives us 176,400 days of their history. Every week of these years has already been fulfilled except for one final week of years that has yet to occur. This final week of 7 years is called the great tribulation. Let’s go back to Daniel and read parts of this important prophecy to help confirm what I have just introduced you to:
- Dan 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
Perhaps I need to better explain what a week of years represents to God. A week of years is exactly 7 years just like one calendar week of days is exactly 7 days. Therefore 70 weeks of days would be calculated using the same math as 7 times 70 which equals 490 total days. This is not that complicated but yet it does involve a certain level of basic math and God loves to challenge us with things like this to discover. God uses the concepts of weeks and groups of 7 repeatedly in the Old Testament in various multiples. A Jubilee year occurred after 7 weeks of years (Lev 25:8-10). The Jewish people would count 7 times 7 years = 49 years and then they knew that the next year would be the Jubilee and this was the foreshadowed description of what occurs during the rapture event but I do not have time to explain that today. A Sabbath rest for the land occurred every 7th year (Lev 25:4). Jacob worked 1 week of years for his wife Rachael and then had to work another week of 7 years since he was tricked into taking the older daughter first (Gen 29:20-28). Joseph in Egypt interprets a dream where the end result was two weeks of 7 years each with 1 week of plenty followed by 1 week of famine (Gen 41:29:30). Both of these weeks represented 7 years. A Hebrew man or woman that was sold into slavery was to be freed after 6 years or on the 7th year and this represented 1 week of years’ service (Deu 15:12, Jer 34:14). This picture again fits the pattern of Sabbath rest that is repeated throughout the Bible starting in Genesis 1 and 2. You see I taught you that the 6 days of creation represented 6000 years of human history but there is coming another day called the 7th day that will be an additional 1000 year of rest and rule without Satan on the earth. That would make the creation event and human history on the earth the complete and full week. We could go through other examples of Bible weeks but that is enough for now to make the point of the existence of this pattern in the Bible.
Does a 7 year period of time sound like any futuristic event to come? Let’s go back and look again at Daniel’s 70 weeks of years in more depth. If God declares 70 weeks of years that is like I said a total of 490 years that were prophesied for ONLY natural Israel and for the work to fulfill the coming righteousness as described in verse 24. I want you to know this because that is critical for the correct interpretation of what God is doing here. What I will emphasize more than once in this discussion is that the church age is NOT a part of this 70 week prophecy nor can it be since righteousness has already been given to the church (Rom 3:21-22, Rom 5:17, 2 Cor 5:21, Eph 4:24). Let’ reread verse 24 of Daniel 9 to analyze the words more carefully:
- Dan 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
I would like you to review what is being stated in this verse more clearly. Seventy weeks is the initiation of the verse statement. Seventy is a Hebrew term that means 3 score and 10. What we begin to understand is this is the initiation of a very significant and complex prophecy puzzle or riddle. The Hebrew word that is translated as “determined” is H2852 and this word means to “cut off”. That is obviously not a positive term to apply and I do not have the time to get into that part of the discussion. Next in the verse is where we begin to understand who this prophecy applies to primarily. God says this is written to His people and His holy city. In the Old Testament this is clearly the natural descendants of Abraham and the city of Jerusalem. I could give you scriptures for that if you need them and do not understand it, just ask me for them. The next part of the verse represents the work of Christ. This work of Christ was to finish the transgression of these people and to put an end to sin. This work further goes on to declare reconciliation for iniquity and to bring in everlasting righteousness. Wow those are very important statements concerning what Jesus will do. This verse is about the coming of Jesus into the world to pay the price for ALL the sins of mankind. This statement predicts the accomplished works of Jesus that occurred nearly 2000 years ago.
Do you understand the information being tied together here? We have a total period of time described to be 70 weeks of years that declares the coming righteousness and that is followed immediately by several other verses of prophecy that begin to break this complete period of 70 weeks down into subdivided weeks of years. This is just part of the complex riddle being presented. These are very easy concepts to overlook and not understand. Let’s go read the verse 25 of Daniel 8 of the prophecy and consider this new information next:
- Dan 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
The KJV Bible translation causes the next time period to be a bit confusing using a complex wording of 7 weeks followed by the term three-score and two weeks. This sounds a little complicated at first until we learn that three score is just a period of 60 weeks which needs to be added to 2 weeks to get a sub-total of 62 which then we need to add to 7 weeks where we get 69 total weeks until this time period is accomplished when Messiah the Prince is prophesied to come! Ok, 69 weeks of years is 7 times 69 years which results in 483 years until Messiah’s entrance into the earth into Jerusalem. Several people have done the calculation on the internet so I will not repeat that in this lesson. What they have determined was back when the command to build the walls of Jerusalem was given until the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey was an exact period of 483 years. You can search this out and find it to help you confirm that math.
This new division of 69 weeks from the original 70 weeks teaches us that the 70th week occurs sometime after this stated initial prophecy of when Messiah has come. Do you understand this so far? What we have started to observe is an implied disjointed 70th week. Now consider this information in the next verse:
- Dan 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
What God is telling us is that the Messiah (Jesus Christ) will be killed after 62 weeks. That is a different break down of the time period called the 69 weeks that was previously mentioned in the last verse. What God is revealing is that there will be a 7 week timed event followed by a 62 week timed event and then Messiah will come after the full 69 weeks are fulfilled. Do you understand this? This verse is just a new further description of what occurs during the time that occurs before the end of the 69 weeks but God breaks it down into a further division of 7 (49 years) and 62 (434) weeks. What I believe God is stating is that there will be first 7 weeks of years followed by another 62 weeks of years and then Jesus will be killed on the cross (cut off). Here is a synopsis of what I believe is being stated in these verses so far.
This is how the 70 weeks are broken down:
- The first 7 weeks – This 49 year period of time represents the initiation of the commandment to rebuild the walls of the city of Jerusalem was given until it was fully accomplished in or around 445 BC.
- The next 62 weeks – This period of time represents the completion of the walls of Jerusalem building until Messiah comes riding into the city walls 483 years later.
- The Last Week – The yet to be fulfilled week of years is disjointed from the others because God has halted the O.T. time clock of weeks since Israel rejected their Messiah and killed him on a cross.
Many times people do not see or seek to understand these important clues. This prophecy was hidden by God in such a way that man could not understand it until it was revealed. If you read the end of the book of Daniel in verse 12:4 God says to “Daniel to shut up the book until the time of the end”. That teaches us that this book of the Bible was concealed by God to not be easily understood until such a time as this. Let’s move to the 70th week to help us to see this time as being a separated time from the other 69 weeks more clearly:
- Dan 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Here is an interesting description of a single one week period of years. Obviously this is the 70th week being described since all of the other 69 weeks have been previously covered. This one week period of time is clearly divided into two equal portions. Dividing 7 years by two you get 3.5 years. If you take that into months you will get 7 * 12 = 84 months and dividing that by two you get two periods of 42 months each. Are you following this simple math? This description matches what is prophesied to come in great detail in the book of Revelation chapters 6 through 18. In the book of Revelation God used two different synonymous references for these periods of half 7 years. One reference is called “42 months” in Revelation 11:2 and Revelation 13:5 and then He calls this time period a “time” (year), “times” (2 years) and “half time” (6 months) in Revelation 12:14. Both of these represent the half week year time period being described here in this verse in Daniel 9:27 and also in Daniel 7:25 and Daniel 12:7.
I am convinced beyond any shadow of a doubt that this seventieth week of Daniel represents the 7 years of tribulation revealed in the book of Revelation. The book of Revelation references and further describes many of the events prophesied in the book of Daniel repeatedly. That would be a very extensive Bible study in itself to confirm this but I do not have that kind of time to do that today. If you need to learn more about that you can ask questions or you can do an in-depth study for yourself on this subject. My point in conclusion is that if these seven years in Revelation represent the one final week of years found in the 70 week of years directed at only the natural nation of Israel in Daniel then they cannot be included in the 2000 years of the duration of the church age. In other words they must not nor will they ever overlap each other in simultaneous concurrence. What we are discovering in this study is a restart of God’s time clock that had previously been halted when Jesus was killed at the end of the 69 previous weeks. Knowing this reality literally teaches me that the church must be raptured before the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy can occur since we in the church are not under that covenant. Do you understand this logic? I pray that you understand this because it is essential to learn. You are free to disagree but that is how I view it as God has taught me. So please do not write me a comment telling me God is wrong.
I believe I have gone long enough in this lesson on the soon to occur rapture event. The church age is coming to its rapid conclusion as declared by God’s Word to be exactly two days (2000 years) upon the earth. The internet today allows the Gospel to be preached to the whole world and this was prophesied by Jesus to occur before He returned for us (Mat 24:14). My Bible study blog has been read by people in more than 150 different nations on every inhabited continent. That would be impossible for me to visit those personally and tell them about the soon coming Jesus. However I can give them a message on the internet and that will do the same work if they will believe it. I pray that you understood why I went into the 70 weeks of prophesied years of natural Israel and how these do not overlap with the church years on the earth. We are under God’s Grace during the church age and His righteousness has been extended to anyone that will receive it freely by faith. The age of Grace will be taken away with the church in the rapture. This does not mean that people cannot be saved during the tribulation but it will be much more difficult to receive this salvation. Learning this information has caused me to believe that the church must not be found present during the 70th week called the Great Tribulation in Matthew 24:21, Revelation 2:22 and Revelation 7:14. In the next lesson in this series we may explore more hidden clues concerning this pre-tribulation rapture revelation. I hope and pray that you learned something that you can take away and share with others. The time is drawing rapidly near and the rapture could literally occur at any moment. If you are not ready for this and need to repent and turn to Christ you can find a link at the top of my menu on how to believe and receive salvation. Thank you for reading and studying the Bible today and God will continue to lead you and guide you in new ways to help others come to Christ. God Bless!
(Ver 1.2) This is Part 5 in a series of advanced spiritual Bible lessons on the timely and very important subject of “Is the Rapture of the Church a Bible Truth”. If you have not read this entire series from the beginning I would highly recommend that you go and start your study with “Part 1” and then continue in succession until today’s lesson. However if you do not have the time to read every lesson I will inform you that this lesson today will be of great benefit and will be easily understood as a standalone lesson. Many Christians today are asking “Is the Rapture Really Found in the Bible?” I believe the clear signs of the times that we live within today are causing more and more people to ask this question. In this lesson series I have been going through verses that teach us about the rapture subject found both in the New Testament and in Old Testament typology. Many of these verses represent places in the Bible that Christians have not considered being about the subject of rapture. Today’s lesson will certainly be no different. God will present to you some potentially new information today in this lesson that may just open your eyes to a brand new way of searching for His Truth! I hope that you are ready to learn.
Before I get started today I wish to thank you for your time in studying the Bible. To all of my faithful subscribers I greatly appreciate your ability to perceive that what I teach is not from me. The teachings of a man are inconsequential without the anointing and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I take no credit for anything that is on this website. If it was not for the gracious and precious Holy Spirit teaching me I would have had nothing worthwhile to say. Therefore, I give God all the praise and all the glory for anything that has helped anyone. So no matter what, I trust God to confirm everything that is taught here by you using your own Bible and the Holy Spirit that is within you giving witness. Trust no human at any time, no matter how eloquent the words that come from them or their good looking appearance. There is a great deception occurring in the world today. Evil is being called good and good being called evil. I know that no one including myself is perfect and we all make mistakes. Therefore I trust that you will receive my sincere gratitude as I humbly submit to God’s direction.
SEARCHING FOR TRUTH IN THE BIBLE!
The vast majority of Christians today believe in a rapture concept where Jesus literally returns in the clouds to take up His people to be with Him in heaven. This belief is based upon verses like John 14:1-3 where Jesus speaks of His father’s house in heaven and says that He will go and prepare a place for us and then come again to take us there. There are not very many Christians that do not understand this truth and believe it yet the great debate that remains among many churches is concerning the timing of this event. The rapture timing is exactly the subject being addressed in these Bible lessons. In the last lesson I went through a lot of new information that I will not repeat today. I tried to teach the importance of seeing spiritual things even in the O.T. natural stories but I got a few ignorant comments that refused to open their eyes to understand the legitimacy of these methods. These types of people are so focused on the literal obvious messages that they do not want to understand how God has concealed many spiritual truths for us to find in these same words. I tried to emphasize in the last lesson that even Jesus said that He was hidden in the O.T. (John 5:39) and that we were required to go and search to look for Him in those verses. This information must have gone over the heads of a few people who want to see everything easily in the Bible. I do not recall any verse in the Bible that says Bible study is easy, do you know of any? If you do please share it with me so I can learn.
I just mentioned John 5:39 and this is so important to memorize that I am going to emphasize it again. In Matthew 13:11 Jesus declared to His disciples that it was given for them to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of God but then He clearly states that this was not given to everyone else. This is just further confirmation that not everything in the Bible is clearly stated to be understood by everyone. Romans 16:25 says that Paul preached the mystery of the Gospel of Jesus that was hidden from the foundation of the world. That literally means it was not plainly stated in the O.T. and had to be revealed by the Spirit of God. Proverbs 25:2 declares that it is “the glory of God to conceal a thing and the honor of kings to search out a matter”. These are just a few verses of the many that I could include in this message that not everything in the Bible is plainly presented for your automatic understanding. This is so easy for a supremely intelligent God to do. He can speak to us on His level of understanding and we would be clueless to understand it until we learned how. I emphasize this fact in many, many of my Bible lessons because it is so vital for you to come up to a higher spiritual way of thinking. Learning to see the scriptures as God sees them will help you more than anything else that I could teach you today.
BE IT UNTO YOU ACCORDING TO YOUR FAITH
Why any Christian would desire to go through the coming tribulation is a mystery to me but that is what many are choosing to believe and I believe that is what may just happen to them based upon what the N.T. teaches us about faith. Jesus very clearly taught us a valuable lesson in the Gospels when He said “According to your faith, be it unto you” (Mat 9:29). Jesus was telling these blind men in Mathew 9 something directly and He treated them differently than the many other blind men that may have been in the same city. Jesus only healed the blind men that believed and had faith and the others that were in the city were not healed. You could reason that these others that were not healed were simply not present but that is a different part of another lesson and I do not want to get off track in this lesson. Simply understand that the blind men had to believe in order to seek after Jesus and if the others did not do the same they were left out from this benefit. Now go and read Matthew 8:13 where Jesus says to the centurion “go thou way and as thou has believed, be it done unto you”. Jesus spoke very highly of this man’s faith. He then told him clearly that it would be done to him even as he had believed. I think you need to consider these facts carefully.
I think both of those examples that I just presented you are valuable lessons to learn from about the subject of faith. We then need to learn to apply that knowledge to the subject of rapture. If you want to believe and stay in the post tribulation camp, I won’t stop you. I will still try to show you what I see that the Bible says on the subject and that is why we are going to go through a different part of the Bible today to see a different lesson taught by God. What I am trying to say here is that what you believe matters and if it does not matter what you believe then God is in sovereign control and I don’t have to believe in Jesus or Satan. That is a common false teaching to think that man has no determination of his destiny. I believe from the words of Jesus that what you believe could very well be the determining factor if you are taken out on the first call of the rapture or left here. If you don’t believe me, that is fine with me. Please don’t write me any negative comments trying to say something I didn’t say.
Evaluate where your faith is today. What do you believe and why? If you have several scriptures to back your beliefs then you are on a firmer foundation than not having any. That is exactly why I am giving you my scriptures for why I believe the way that I do in a pre-tribulation rapture. I did not determine my beliefs in pre-tribulation rapture first and then seek to find the scriptures to confirm them. That is a false erroneous approach to Bible study. You can find any belief in the Bible that you want to find in some form. This is exactly why there are mid-tribulation believers and post-tribulation believers and most of them have found some scriptures that they believe support their thinking. God purposefully designed the Bible this way to allow us to be wrong and remain in our false beliefs. What God desires is for us to first clear our mind of our prejudices and then to ask the Holy Spirit to show us the truth and only then can we go and seek to find it in His Word allowing Him to direct our paths of search. We cannot do this with any presumptive expectations for what the truth is or this will slant our viewpoint to that preconceived belief. That type of search is a closed minded approach and does not allow God to speak to us in our hearts since our hearts are already set in concrete. We can only determine the actual truth based only upon what God reveals to us in His Word when He speaks to our heart. Notice that I did not say your mind, the voices in your mind can be from the devil. The Spirit of God is in your heart and that is where divine direction will be given. If you do not know how to be led by the Spirit of God I would recommend that you go read that series of lessons to begin to learn.
This section of the lesson I title “Be it unto you according to your Faith”. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God taught according to Romans 10:17. That simply means that you can get faith to change your beliefs by what God presents in this Bible lesson series. If you are open to learning this will allow the Spirit of God to confirm this lesson. I hope and pray that you will at least give God a chance to see what He might say to you today.
THE RAPTURE IN REVELATION 3:10
I was asked to explain the Bible verse found in Revelation 3:10 and I immediately understood that they were asking this question from a rapture subject perspective since that is clearly the hidden message of the verse. I say clearly but what is clear to me may not yet be clear to you! You may still be amazed after you read this lesson how a verse that never mentions the word rapture directly can be such a key and important lesson on the subject.
The first fact that would I like to mention is that you are right the theological term “rapture” does not exist in the English Bible but that does not mean that the concepts surrounding the subject are not taught repeatedly by God in many unique ways. As I have said before the English term “rapture” comes from a Latin word “raptus” which means “a carrying off”. People are normally too narrowly focused on finding the specific word rapture, that they are missing entirely the more important messages about the subject recorded from God. One detail that needs to be understood is that there are at least two completely different ways of teaching any subject. A teacher can state the subject directly by describing it plainly or they can teach it indirectly by what is stated so that the subject must be true in order for the statement being made to also be true. Most modern school textbooks are written in a direct teaching style with ordered increasing levels of associated complexity. However, God’s word is not written in a textbook style and appears to be more random information that needs to be connected by study. God teaches most spiritual subjects indirectly especially in the Old Testament where they are never explained fully until the descriptions are given about them in the New Testament. Direct natural truths as opposed to indirect spiritual truths are found equally in abundance throughout the Bible. For every direct natural lesson on a subject there are usually equal numbers of indirect spiritual lessons that can be found if you know how to search for them. I hope you will learn both of these concepts given in this introduction from this lesson today. Revelation 3:10 is an indirect and unstated spiritual lesson on the pre-tribulation rapture of the church that must be a truth for this statement that was made by Jesus to also be a truth and you will soon learn why I say this. Let’s start by reviewing the verse in question and seeing what was stated by Jesus:
- Rev 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
The KJV Bible translation does a fair job at translating each Greek word into English but yet these English words are often ignored or misapplied to not mean what they are really saying. It is very easy to take an English word and restrict it to a specific narrow thought or application and that may be what is happening in this verse when you read it. Some English words are easily assumed to be fully understood as they actually go much deeper in their definition and meaning when studied. Assuming that you know and understand the truth is probably one of the greatest reasons why God is unable to teach you anything new. So please take no preconceived assumptions into this Bible lesson as you continue to read. There are certain key words given to us in this verse which need to be understood in order for us to comprehend the message being given to us by God. Today we are going to go through at least 5 specific Greek words found in Revelation 3:10 and find their meanings and God’s usage for the words in other parts of the Bible. These words that I will focus on are “all”, “world”, “temptation”, “keep” and “kept”.
I’m going to start with the Greek word translated as “all”. This Greek word G3650 translated as “ALL” literally means the “entirety of the whole”. This Greek word is applied as an adverb in this sentence and is directly used by God as a modifier description for the noun “world”. In this type of presentation it would represent the entire “world”. Let’s go back to an old Bible lesson that I did on the serpent in the garden first mentioned in Genesis 3:1. In that Bible lesson I taught on how that God created laws of mathematical sets and used them in the words that He has written in the Bible. A set is always a related grouping of like objects. If I have a set of automobiles they may differ in manufacturer, color, make, year and model but they are all still unified members of my automobile set. If I wanted to limit the scope of my set of automobiles I could qualify a new description to create a subset of just certain common features or characteristics. For example I could define one sub-set of my “automobiles” to be only “red” automobiles and that makes ALL cars of the red color to be members in that set. Now when I say ALL RED CARS you know I am including every one that qualifies to be a member together in that definition. This is basic mathematical logic based upon established God created principles and yet many Christians may not grasp these important basic concepts and how they apply to the Word of God. What we need to see is that God has just defined a mathematical set in Revelation 3:10 and said “every” noun object in that set called the “world” was included. That literally means there are no “world” members excluded from the statement. However the next problem is how does God define the members in the “world” set and what do these members possess that defines them to be in the common description? I hope I am not going over your heads with these important thoughts but they must be applied correctly to understand who God is speaking about in this verse.
Let’s speak briefly about God’s usage of the Greek word G3650 that was translated as “ALL” in this verse. This Greek word occurs in 99 verses of the Bible. Around 60 times it was translated as “ALL”. In nearly 40 verses, the Greek word was translated as “whole”. “Whole” and “all” are clearly synonyms with the same definition. They both will always include every member that fits the definition. If you would like to do the study and search for this word for yourself in your Bible software to confirm how God consistently uses it to mean every that would be good to do, but I will not do that in this lesson today to keep this lesson a little bit shorter.
The next step to understanding Revelation 3:10, is to learn the Biblical definition of what the “all the world” set represents to God. Jesus very clearly states that an “hour of temptation” will come upon the “entire world” at some unstated future time which was not directly given to us. If the entire world will come into these common temptations we need to learn what the world means and what temptation means so that we can understand how or even if these apply to us in the church. Let’s continue by examining the Greek word G3625 and determine how it was defined in the Greek language. This Greek word which was translated as the English word “world” literally means “the earth”, “the soil” or “the physical land parts of the globe” according to the Strong’s definition. However that does not mean that these physical land parts of the globe will be what is tempted in the prophesied hour. What we are to apply is that God is speaking indirectly about the “inhabitants” of these “land areas” and not specifically about the dry dirt. Therefore it is not the physical land directly being referenced but rather the people living on the land who will be tempted. The implied application for this Greek word (world) is anyone that is alive on the earth or living upon dry land or occupying the livable land mass continents of the planet. Let’s confirm this by observing this phrase in other parts of the N.T.:
- Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Here is an interesting reoccurrence of the phrase “All the world”. Jesus is speaking and He declares the time of the end will come only after the Gospel is preached to “all the world”. Obviously Jesus was not telling us to go preach to the literal soil of the planet. No Jesus was telling us to go into every part of the globe and preach to the people that inhabit that part of the whole. In other words the entire population of the globe will hear the Gospel before the end will come. If we go and read Luke 2:1 you will see another example that it is the people that are the intended definition for the term “all the world”. In this verse the ruler Caesar Augustus declared that “all the world” should be taxed. That sounds very familiar to what is happening with governments today but that is a different subject. We have seen enough examples to understand the description being used is about the people living on the earth and definitely not the literal earth. Let’s stop there and ask ourselves does that term “all the earth” include Christians? Of course we must realize that presently it does. Christians on this planet are no different than non-Christians in that we both live in the same global “world” set of earth dwellers. Remember what I just said because that fact will become very relevant as we continue in this lesson. Let’s now examine the next Greek word G3986 translated as “temptation” in Revelation 3:10 because this is also an essential word to learn and understand:
- From G3985; a putting to proof (by experiment [of good], experience [of evil], solicitation, discipline or provocation); by implication adversity: – temptation, X try.
This Greek word literally means to prove something or someone. This is usually done by someone performing a trial or test like a scientist proving their theory of supposition performing repeated tests. That is a popular concept within the scientific community but one that is misapplied to God and the truth found in God’s word. Many Christians today believe that God tests people with trials to prove their faithfulness and that belief is contrary to what the Bible actually teaches. Once you learn the truth you will figure out quickly that it is unnecessary for God to test anyone. First consider the well-known fact that the divine God is called omniscient. This is a common characteristic used to describe God and clearly demonstrates His superior nature. Omniscient simply means “ALL KNOWING”. If God literally knows everything as most Theologians and Christians believe it would be totally unnecessary for God to test or prove anyone since He must already know the outcome before the test is presented. Therefore it is extremely ignorant to believe God needs to test us in order to prove our faith in Him. Do you believe this? If you do then you need to apply that information to what Jesus is stating in this verse to determine who is doing the testing to prove these people in the world.
The Bible teaches us who the tester represents but these facts are often ignored by many Christians because Satan would rather you believe in a good God that brings the tests rather than an evil being like himself that you might resist or fight against. Do you already see the initial motivation behind why Satan wants Christians to believe that God is their tester? I think it is obvious because Christians will not be foolish enough to fight against God. The Greek word G3986 translated as “temptation” in Revelation 3:10 comes from the root word G3985 that means “to test”. We need to learn how this word is used by God to teach us that it is not God that is testing people. Let’s read this verse found in the book of James:
- Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
The word translated as “tempted” here is the Greek word G3985. Notice what God declares. God clearly states that He is not the tempter or the tester of humans. The statement is directed at man by God saying “let no man say”. This term for “no man” is found in several statements made by Jesus and is even found in Revelation 3:11 the next verse that we are studying when Jesus says “Let no man take your crown”. It is very clear to me that this term is referring to human earth inhabitants again. We have already stated why this testing is unnecessary based upon God already knowing the outcome. If God does not test or tempt any human then who is sending the temptations, tests and trials in Revelation 3:10 to the whole world? That is a very interesting question and the answer still points us to Satan to be the tempter. Let’s examine some other verses found in the N.T. to confirm that God is not the tempter or tester of man:
- Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Here is a verse found in the Lord’s Prayer used by Jesus to teach His disciples how to pray. Jesus taught them to pray for God to lead them out from temptation and clearly not into them. Is the implied will of God for Christians to be tested or not to be tested? It would seem to say that it is not God’s will for us to be tested based upon the prayer. The implication given to us is that if we need to pray to ask God not to lead us into “temptations” that God is not the one that is initiating the temptation. That is just sound basic logical reasoning. God would not remove something that He was causing. Let’s shift to another verse to help understand the true source of temptations:
- Luk 4:13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
This verse has the same Greek word found in Revelation 3:10. God clearly says that Satan was the source for these temptations here in this verse. Based upon the context given to us these temptations occurred when Jesus was being tempted in the wilderness being on a forty day fast. Clearly Jesus would be considered to be “in the world” occupying the soil in this example and that is key for us understanding Revelation 3:10. I could go over many verses found in the N.T. but I will only give you one more witness to learn from for now:
- 1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Here we have a message written to the church. We are plainly informed that “temptations” may come but then we are indirectly informed that God was not the one that sent them. This is an example of learning from what is stated how to see what is not stated. In this verse God says “I will not allow the temptation to be above what you are able to endure”. That appears to me to say I am a God that places limitations upon the one that is testing you. God would not send the test and then limit the test and finally make a way out of the test as this verse declares. That would be a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type of God. This would be dueling personalities with one side of God sending you the test to potentially harm you while the nice side of God limiting the test and placing a way out from it so that you can escape it. That type of reasoning makes no sense to me but many Christians believe in that type of situation everyday. One man that I knew believed that God sent cancer to his wife to test them but they were going to the doctors to try to get out from the test and live. Wow, I seriously tried to help him see that it was not God doing it to his wife but he rejected it. I’m really not sure what happened to his wife.
So far we have looked at the Greek words for “temptation”, “world”, and “all” in in Revelation 3:10 to gain understanding how they apply to the verse. We have learned so far that a “temptation” is a stated trial or test that every human can potentially come into at some time in their life even Christians. We have learned that Satan is the initiator of these tests and trials and that God is the one that leaves us a door out of the test if we want to find it. We have learned the term “world” means earth dweller or inhabitant. So far that definition would include everyone still living here on the planet. Since God used the qualifier “all” before the world noun He clearly states that the entire population will be tested by Satan. Let’s reread the verse again and apply what we have learned so far:
- Rev 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Jesus is the speaker in this verse so that is very important to note. Then we know by reading in context that He is speaking to the church since this statement is found within one of the letters of Revelation written to the churches. Therefore we know the majority of the noun subject participants found in this verse including the speaker and the intended target audience, Satan the tempter of the earth inhabitants and we now desire to understand the verb actions being given to connect them all together. We have already seen where Satan is the tempter and Jesus says that his temptations, tests and trials will come upon the entire population of the earth. Right there is an excellent time to consider that to be a prophecy of future reference. Meaning what Jesus was speaking of had not occurred up until the time of writing. That should raise a meaningful question in your mind, “Why is this stated time of temptation different than previous mentions of temptations given throughout the Bible? I personally believe that the hour of temptation being spoken of is the soon to be described “Great Tribulation” later in the book of Revelation. One of the main reasons that I believe this is because Satan is one of the key subjects in the rest of the book. He is described as the “Great Dragon” and his prophet and anti-Christ servants will be revealed during this time to deceive the whole world’s population.
We then know from the statement of Jesus that He will “Keep” the church from that hour of global tests. How will He do this? In order to understand this we need to learn the definition of the word “keep” next. Let’s look up the definition for the Greek word translated as “Keep”:
- From τηρός teros (a watch; perhaps akin to G2334); to guard (from loss or injury, properly by keeping the eye upon; and thus differing from G5442, which is properly to prevent escaping; and from G2892, which implies a fortress or full military lines of apparatus), that is, to note (a prophecy; figuratively to fulfil a command); by implication to detain (in custody; figuratively to maintain); by extension to withhold (for personal ends; figuratively to keep unmarried): – hold fast, keep (-er), (ob-, pre-, re) serve, watch.
This is obviously a complex word and is compared with several other Greek words that are similar but different. The meaning of the word means to watch or to observe. As you can read this word means to keep your eye upon something or someone. Perhaps it will help us if we analyze how this word was translated in the N.T. This Greek word is found in 68 N.T. verses. In 33 verses it is translated as “keep”. In 12 verses it is translated as “kept”. In 10 verses it was translated as “keepeth”. The other verses in the N.T. it is translated as “observe”, “reserve”, “reserved”, “watched”, “watching”, “preserve” and “hold fast”.
What do all of these translated English words have in common and how do they apply to how they were used by God in the New Testament? We really need to learn this in order to understand what Jesus is going to do to the church before the coming hour of trials. I think it is relevant and important to know that this Greek word is used twice in Revelation 3:10. Once it was translated as “keep” and the other time it was translated as “kept” Let’s examine how it was used for the church and then apply that definition to how it will be used by Jesus. Read the beginning of the verse again and see how God uses it for the church. God says “Because you have kept my words…, I will keep you…”. How do you keep God’s words? That is a very loaded question. To keep God’s word implies they are important to you. That you value them and that you desire to know them and possess them. If further implies that you want to protect them and even make them safe. Let’s examine the steps or process for keeping God’s Words:
- We must desire to know God’s Words
- We must value the Words of God
- We must give the Words of God priority over all other words
- We must make the effort to find God’s Words
- We must take the time to learn God’s Words
- We must extend the effort to understand God’s Words
- We must then place the Words of God into our memories and recall them at all times
- We must then put the Word of God into daily and hourly practice becoming a doer of the Words of God
That was my quick overview of keeping the Word of God. It denotes a process of taking the Word of God from a book and placing into our hearts and minds to exalt it, protect it, guard it, preserve it, etc. Clearly to keep the Word of God represents a transfer from one location to another. What did I just say? Taking God’s word from the pages of a written book and internalizing them is the transfer of divine information from one place to another. Can we agree that this is what this word represents? Now apply that to what Jesus said He would do before the hour of temptation. Jesus basically said “I will keep you (move you out of harm, protecting you, keeping you safe, etc.) before that hour occurs because I value you as my treasure. People will disagree with me that do not wish to see the truth, but there is really not much I can do to help those that do not want any help.
I believe very firmly that this verse is very specific. It is a prophecy of two events occurring in sequence. The first event is the “Keeping” safe of the church body that has kept safe the word of God. The second event that will occur next is the hour of temptation, testing and trial that will occur to everyone on the planet earth. This very clearly says that the church cannot be present upon the earth or this verse would not be accurate anymore. The church’s presence on the earth’s surface during the trial would either cause the first part of the verse to become a lie or the last part of the verse to be a lie and that does not make any sense to me how people could explain it to be something else.
If you go through the New Testament carefully, it might help you to see where the Greek word “keep” is used and how it primarily means to take hold of something to never let it go. I’ll give you an example of this:
- Joh 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and “keepeth” them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
You see even in this verse it says that a man that hears the Bible is not the one that will benefit from it. He must “Keep” it which means grab hold firmly and not let go or let it slip away for God’s Words to be effective. To take hold and not let go sounds very much like a rapture in this Revelation 3:10 description. To rapture or to catch up or catch away is clearly God taking hold of His people and not letting them go. This is what will happen to the church members that have kept God’s Word firmly within their hearts and not let them go. It is a conditional rapture event. Not everyone that called Him Lord will be taken. It is only those that made Him Lord and put His Word on the inside firmly that will be taken up. Can you now see how Revelation 3:10 is describing a rapture event before the time of trial? It is literally impossible for the church to on the planet and not be in the group “all the world” that will be tested. This literally means that since God has “kept” us from this hour that we must be in heaven. Those are the only two choices for our location. Based upon the meaning of the word “kept” as being a transition of state or position, there is really no way for a Christian that loves the Word of God to not be carried away from the pending world disasters. I could literally go on and on about this but that was enough for one Bible lesson. I hope and pray that you have gathered some wisdom on the timing of the rapture event from what was taught to us from God’s Word today. The primary goal of this lesson was to help build your faith in a pre-tribulation rapture event. I at least hope that you were encouraged how to go and search to see more verses like this one today in the Bible. I’m not sure when my next Bible lesson will occur on this subject or any other right now. I would appreciate your prayers if you know how to pray in the spirit as Ephesians 6:18 teaches. I thank you all and I will also remember you in my prayers today. Be Blessed Always.
If you would like to continue reading in this series, please click “Part 6“.
Is the Rapture of the Church Really Found in the Bible? The Rapture Found in Old Testament Typology! Part 4
(ver 1.2) This is Part 4 in a series of advanced spiritual Bible lessons on the timely and important subject of “Is the Rapture of the Church a Bible Truth”. I know this teaching series has been a little different than what most other Bible teachers’ attempt, but I do not copy or imitate other Bible teachers. I would rather be led by the Spirit of God and teach the subjects with the content, direction and in the order for His purpose and plan. If you have not read this entire series from the beginning I would highly recommend that you go and start your study with “Part 1” and then continue in succession until today’s lesson. I have been building a firm doctrinal foundation for the Biblical subject of rapture. In doing this I have been moving through the scriptures in what appears to be a random order. However, if you are a spiritually mature Christian you should be able to see that I am taking them in the order that helps us understand how the subject has been distributed throughout the Bible by God. Rarely do we ever find God doing things in His Word in a manner that we expect and I will warn you up front that this lesson will demonstrate that it is no different.
Today God wants me to go in a completely new direction in this lesson series and talk about the subject of rapture hidden within the context of Old Testament typology. What is “Biblical Typology” you might ask immediately? Biblical Typology is simply an actual historical event containing real people doing real things that are recorded in the Old Testament which point us to a coming future New Testament spiritual reality truth. I believe that God through His wise word selection utilized very specific descriptions for many recorded O.T. Bible events and participants which all have direct relevance, application and meaning to what will occur again in a future context. God cleverly designed the Bible in ways so that people would not be able to see the complete truth unless it was spiritually revealed to them. It is important to understand this concept of hidden truth because God uses it throughout the written Word to require everyone to search diligently for Him and His truth. This method of concealing the truth allows everyone the right to not see the truth. This actually explains why many in the church today have not believed in the rapture because they have not searched for it and found it in the Bible.
I believe that this lesson will be one of the most important lessons that you have read on this subject. I can see how it will potentially reveal some new unexpected ways for many people to learn. I will probably teach several original aspects that you have never thought on before, but all that should mean to you is that you need to become a noble Acts 17:11 type of Christian to verify everything that I say using the Spirit of God inside of you and your own personal Bible so that you do not take my word for anything. Are you ready to learn something potentially brand new on the subject of rapture? This will be a very long Bible lesson with a lot of good information in it. I also believe that I need to do a basic introduction to the subjects to help you see where we are going to go in this lesson before we get there. I’ll start by teaching you about hidden spiritual messages found in the natural words of the Bible. I call this the Spiritualization of the Word of God. I will follow this part of the introduction with a brief discussion on “Extremism” and why we need a “Balanced” approach to Bible Study. Then I will introduce you to the subject of Biblical Typology to help you better understand what that is and why it is important for us to learn. In the introduction I will also introduce you to the concept of Rules Based Interpretation and how these are useful to Bible study. Finally in the remainder of the Bible study I will discuss a hidden rapture description given to us by God in the O.T. Let’s get into the Bible study.
THE SPIRITUALIZATION OF SCRIPTURE
Are the stories recorded in the Bible merely the natural thoughts and words of forty different human men? In this part of the introduction I would like to address a major point that will surely be raised by some people who read this lesson without any spiritual eyes to see what it says. Many Bible preachers today, claim that we should not try to spiritualize everything written in the Bible. When they say this, I wonder if they even know who or what their God is and who wrote the Bible. Is their God a mere human or an omnipotent Spirit? When they say things like this they are simply stating that we need to take the Bible literally as a natural historical message and they imply God is like any natural man writing words for all other natural men on the earth. This type of reasoning reduces God to the same type of writer as any ordinary book author. In proclaiming a literal only interpretation of the Bible they are stating that all of the words written on every page of the Bible all have a simplistic plain meaning that is obvious to every reader. These teachers have obviously not read the internet nor tried to understand why there are thousands of different Christian denominations in the world today. The existence of so many meanings and interpretations to the words written in the Bible proves beyond any doubt that the Bible is not plainly understood by anyone.
These types of literal only Bible teachers refuse to explore the Bible message using any allegorical applications, symbolical meanings, typological interpretations or other spiritual importance in order to understand a message from a Spiritual God and His purpose for giving it. Clearly these Bible teachers are narrowly focused on a different version of the truth than what I see revealed by God in the Bible. I can clearly see where both Jesus and the New Testament teach us that the Old Testament is a book full of hidden secrets called “mysteries” (G3466). This Greek word translated as “mystery” occurs in 27 different verses throughout the New Testament. Jesus spoke directly three times in the Gospels about the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God in Matthew 13:11, Mark 4:11, and Luke 8:10. Close to 20 times in the New Testament God records a comment about certain O.T. mysteries and even tells us that many of these secrets have been hidden since the foundation of the world (Rom 16:25, 1 Cor 2:7, 1 Cor 4:1, Eph 3:3-9, Eph 6:19, Col 1:26). Go read these scriptures and learn what they say and then learn to apply them to every part of the O.T. Bible. The Greek word (G3466) translated as “mystery” in these verses means a literal “secret”. What is a secret? A secret is anything that was hidden or kept from your plain obvious view. Since the Bible contains literal readable plain text words in every book, where are these divine secrets hidden in them and how are they hidden? Do you see the important and relevant question that I am asking? Either God lied about the secrets in the Old Testament or we should rather more wisely know that God recorded the secrets in ways that keep them from our self-evident understanding.
In the book of John, Jesus makes a statement about the Old Testament that is mostly ignored by many Bible preachers, teachers and students. Read over this verse very closely and see what the Author of the Bible has to say directly about the words that were written to us in the Old Testament:
Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Jesus told these keepers of the written Holy Words of God that they needed to “search” their scriptures to find Him. How do you define “search”? To search meant for them to investigate, seek to find, pursue, examine, study, inspect, explore, dig deep in order to discover this Jesus. This statement makes finding Jesus conditional in the O.T. Search for Jesus you will find Him and don’t search for Him you will miss the most important reason for the words. Jesus was saying that at least some of these O.T. words were those that were recorded about Him. Have you ever done this search? Does God consider you a doer of the Word of God or just an ignorant hearer only? I have spent many hours doing nothing but looking for my Jesus on all of the pages of the Old Testament. Why because that is what Jesus told me to do. Within every verse that I read in the Old Testament, I devote a significant amount of time probing to find my Lord Jesus in some hidden form. Since Jesus is never mentioned anywhere by direct named reference in the Old Testament how do you seriously think that He can be found there in the words written mostly about somebody else doing something else? If Jesus could be found so easily within the surface text context, He would not have needed to tell these Jews or us that we were required to “search” for Him. Let’s let every word be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses:
Luk 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
Here again we have Jesus teaching us that Moses wrote prophetic words about Him. He claims there are specific prophecies that must be fulfilled from these Old Testament verses. I have to admit I have read the books of Moses in the Old Testament and if I did not know these verses were about Jesus I would have missed so much. Do you understand that Moses only wrote the first five books of the Old Testament and a few of the Psalms? Have you ever read these books, chapters and verses? Please show me in these words written down by Moses where Jesus is so plainly and clearly found! If you can find a literal Jesus mentioned anywhere there, then tell where it is found. Some say the “seed of the woman” mentioned in Genesis 3:16 is Jesus, but that is your poor reasoning and an assumption taken to an extreme. Nowhere is the name of Jesus mentioned to be the seed in this verse and you have to ASSUME by your faith or ignorance that it is talking about Him. That is just one popular example of people trying to say that Jesus is found in Moses’ words where there is no direct evidence. What I am asking you is if that type of interpretation is legal, why then is the use of spiritual Biblical Typology also equally legal? Do not misunderstand what I am saying I believe that Jesus is found in these books of the Bible, but I also believe that He is just not found in the literal obvious terms as many expect Him to be and we must utilize valid spiritual interpretation methods and rules in order to find Him.
It is important to notice that Jesus does not declare that everything written in the O.T. is only about Him, but He does conclusively say that He can be found there. So is Jesus a central theme of the O.T. or a needle in the hay stack concept in these books? Do you see what I am asking? Is Jesus an isolated O.T. occurrence or a prevalent central subject? I personally believe that Jesus is the central theme of the entire Bible from cover to cover and therefore He must be found in more than just a single verse in the book of Genesis and the other books of the O.T. Allow me give you the next verse in Luke to help you better understand the previous verse statement:
Luk 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
Did you see it? This verse explains why the disciples did not previously see Jesus in the writings of Moses before this event described in Luke. The reading of the Torah in the temple was a common occurrence and the disciples had heard the words before but never knew what they meant. This is why Jesus had to give them understanding of what was previously written by Moses in order for any of it to be comprehended that any of it was about Him. That literally means Jesus cannot be easily and obviously found by anyone just reading the plain text words without the Spirit of God helping them to understand what it says. Without the Spirit of God giving understanding it will never work out. God is so amazing to how He designed the Words in the Bible! I pray that you are beginning to see the wisdom of God in His Words.
Do you know what the name “Jesus” used in the English N.T. is equivalent to in the Hebrew O.T.? You do understand that Jesus was a natural born Hebrew and that He was given a Hebrew name? The name of Jesus is a transliteration of the Hebrew O.T. name Joshua or Yeshua. The Hebrew word for Jesus in Strong’s is H3091 and it literally means “Jehovah saved”. I believe that Jesus qualifies to possess this name, don’t you? There is a book of Joshua found in the O.T. but this book of the Bible is normally considered to be the story of a real historical man leading the children of Israel into the Promise Land. The name Joshua occurs in 197 verses of the O.T. and few if any of these verses can be considered a direct reference to the coming Jesus of the N.T. Therefore, the name of the N.T. Jesus is not directly found in the O.T. in relation to the N.T. man that said these words were written about Him. How then are we expected to find this N.T. Jesus mentioned there in the O.T. if there are no direct references to Him? That is the million dollar question that these modern Bible teachers do not consider when they try to tell me not to spiritualize the messages found in the O.T.
I have to conclude from this initial information and asking those questions that this means the Jesus of the N.T. can only be found by us using spiritual methods to locate Jesus in O.T. For example we can use spiritual names, titles or descriptions, Christophanies, allegories, typologies or symbolisms to list a few obvious spiritual interpretation methods that need to gain our focused attention when reading the O.T. Bible. These Biblical patterns are clearly established to be legitimate methods of Bible interpretation several times in the New Testament by God’s own revelation. Paul clearly used allegory, typology and even symbolism when describing the revelation that God had given to him about Jesus and of course Paul only had the Old Testament to base all of this new knowledge upon. Clearly spiritual things were concealed in the Old Testament but they have now been revealed in the New Testament for the benefit of the spiritual people of God. I strongly believe that God has concealed Jesus in the Old Testament so that God can reveal Jesus in the New Testament.
Always remember who the author of the Bible is when you are reading it. I personally believe that the entire Bible is the recorded inspired spoken words of a Holy God who is described to be a Spirit (John 4:24). God very clearly tells us that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isa 55:8-9). But does that mean that He does not desire us to know or understand His ways or to think His thoughts? I cannot understand anyone who thinks that God’s desire is to keep them ignorant and in the dark. People who believe that would be projecting a direct slap in the face of the God who clearly said “whoever follows me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life” (John 8:12). Why would God write you a huge book of divine wisdom if you were not supposed to understand any of it in the direct here and now? I am totally convinced that God’s desire is for us to learn what the Bible actually says and means. I have concluded that we need to learn how to see these natural words written on natural paper pages as really being a spiritual message written to a spiritual people from an all-knowing spiritual God. Come up higher and learn to see the Bible as God sees it.
AVOIDING EXTREMISM IN INTERPRETATION
I will end this part of the introduction with the subject of Biblical Extremism. Biblical extremism is the practice of taking any subject or isolated truth from the Bible to an overstated or exaggerated position of error. I recently spoke to one commenter on my Bible study that clearly was in the realm of extreme error. He disapproved of my teaching that the church is the revealed “Bride of Christ” because he isolated the established truths in the Bible that the Church is the “Body of Christ” taking them to an extreme. In his mind it was impossible for the Church to be both concurrently. I then tried to explain what God had shown to me in the Bible about how the church became the body of Christ by being His covenant bride and this message was rejected. What he was doing was taking one truth to an extreme and ignoring all of the other truths of the Bible becoming unbalanced in his theological view. That is called Biblical Truth Extremism and it is a clear example of error and closed mindedness. I run into this error more than any other that I am confronted with on my website teachings. Let me give you another recent example of the extremism error.
Another preacher man that I was discussing the subject of Divine Grace with recently was so spiritually blind that he did not realize that he had moved into the realm of extremism. He had made an exaggerated statement that Paul constantly was confronted with the “sin question” when teaching on the subject of God’s Divine Grace. In other words he applied his own experience to overemphasize Paul’s recorded Bible experience and thus he moved into the realm of doctrinal extremism and error. What am I saying? I am saying this nameless preacher on the internet instead of admitting that he was wrong claimed that he was right because Paul wrote “one time” in Romans 6 about the confrontation of the sin issue in opposition with the truth of Grace. This man was clearly a modern Grace Bible teacher who has taken the clear Bible truth of Grace and pushed it beyond the level of scriptural balance into the arena of extremism theology and error. I simply caught him in a direct lie and tried to nicely make a correction to his statement and he told me I was wrong. My primary point was that this man had exaggerated the truth to a level so far above the truth that he had changed this great truth of Grace to transform it into a lie. He took one chapter in Romans and said this was a “constantly” reality for Paul. One chapter or one verse does not make a sound Bible truth of doctrine! God clearly says in His Word for us to establish every truth in the mouths of two or three witnesses (Deu 19:15, Mat 18:16, 2 Cor 13:1). This Grace preacher has reduced the subjects of sin and repentance to be non-factors for either salvation or for the human continuance of eternal security. He totally missed what the Bible says in the New Testament on other subjects like repentance, forgiveness, judgment, holiness, and I could go on with others. Actually he has explained away many of these subjects so cleverly that he has deceived others into believing his extreme teaching.
Exalting any single truth or any single reference of the message of truth to be the only truth necessary to understand will always cause a position of error based upon individual unbalanced isolation. So what am I saying? Are we to take the extreme position that all scripture should be plainly and naturally interpreted or are we to take the antithesis extreme position that says all scripture should only be spiritually interpreted in order to be understood? I think neither extreme is valid and we need to become balanced in our theology beliefs somewhere in the middle realizing that God is smart enough to teach us multiple levels of truth both spiritual and natural in any single verse, chapter or book of the Bible. What I try to teach in my lessons is that we need to avoid falling into the ditches of extremism on either the right hand or the left hand when walking down the road of Bible study. Having said all of that let me introduce you to the subject of Biblical Spiritual Typology.
I just want to give you a quick introductory overview of the subject of Biblical Typology since this is one of the central themes in the rest of this lesson on rapture. First, understand that no Old Testament Typology is ever a completed design representation of anything revealed to be eternal or spiritual in the New Testament. Second understand that every hidden spiritual type mentioned in the Old Testament (and there are many of them) is not the actual real spiritual entity that it symbolically represents. Therefore I have just said that any O.T. type is neither the real spiritual entity nor the complete representation of anything spiritually real in the New Testament. Think of Biblical Typology to be like Jesus teaching the people using parables in the Gospels. I believe that these parable teaching concepts that Jesus utilized are completely identical in nature and application to the Biblical Typology concepts also found in the Old Testament. Jesus would stand up and teach the people using natural examples of real physically identifiable objects, people and events saying the Kingdom of Heaven (a spiritual reality) is like this or that and then tell what it was similar to using symbolic figures of speech that could be understood by the people that were listening. Nothing in the parable was the actual real spiritual subject being taught on, but everything in the parable had a symbolic meaning containing parallel characteristics and features that applied to the real spiritual subject and this information teaches us significantly about these spiritual things that are normally not seen by humans.
The concepts of Biblical Typology are often revealed in the terms of natural shadow models. Typology is like a simplified general recognizable shadowed patterned outline for a more complete complex real spiritual detailed image subject. Subjects found in typology are lacking many of the precise details of the actual eternal spiritual subject just like the natural shadow lacks the detail of the natural object producing it. If you can understand natural shadows you can understand Biblical Typology. For example, any physical object standing up on the face of the earth will cast a shadow upon the ground when the light of the sun is in its brightest angled unobstructed view. Analyze the source of objects needed to produce a shadow. First we need a bright light source like the sun. Of course in Biblical symbolism the Sun represents God. You then need a natural object to produce the shadow and this can represent Jesus who became flesh so that people could see God. Then when Jesus walked the face of the earth he would project a shadow on the ground and this is another interesting analogy. We can see that if the shadow represents the Type of Jesus found in the Old Testament that it would be a darkened outline of the more complex three-dimensional image of the Jesus that was standing between the Old Testament Jew and the Light of the fullness of God. Do you understand the pattern being taught? God is Light and without God we would not be able to see Jesus or who He is and this helps explain why the Jews did not recognize their Messiah when He was here.
One of the most interesting aspects about viewing any shadow projected on the ground is that it is always easily recognizable and identifiable to all those that know the original real object intimately but it is not recognizable to those that do not know the original. For example a teacher at the school where my young son attended, created a shadow cut out portrait of his silhouette. This picture contained only the outlined profile of his head, but yet I could look at it and I knew immediately who it was without anyone telling me. Because you didn’t know my son you would only know that it was a young boy, but you would have no clue to the identity or the name of the child by looking at the shadow picture only. What this experience taught me was that anyone that knows the original object that cast the shadow can recognize what or who it was that created it by only looking at the vague incomplete shadowy outline. That is exactly what occurs in the Old Testament Bible Typology arena when people read without knowing the real Jesus of the New Testament first they will just never understand how anyone can say that Jesus is found in these shadow words. It is only because I have come to know this New Covenant Jesus intimately that I can recognize the types that were hidden in the shadows of the Old Covenant. I pray that you are grasping these important concepts of types and shadows in the Old Testament because again God uses this method of concealment in so many selected O.T. examples. Let me define what a “type” represents in the Biblical context to be more precise.
TYPE: A real literal person, place, event or thing found in Old Testament Biblical history divinely designed by the omniscient God to be a prophetic shadow of the good things that Jesus would fulfill in the New Testament.
Can you understand this paraphrased definition for a Biblical “type”? This definition was directed and designed specifically for the one subject of Jesus but there are other spiritual N.T. subjects that are hidden in types found in the O.T. also. Perhaps you are struggling to understand where this is revealed, used or described in the New Testament? I will attempt to give you a couple of examples that will help to confirm this definition if you have some spiritual vision and some spiritual maturity to embrace and receive them. I will not attempt to do a complete teaching on the subject of Biblical Typology here in this introduction so pay close attention to what I do give you and then if you need to ask questions you can do that in a comment. Read this N.T. verse written about Biblical O.T. Typology:
Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
The reason people do not understand this verse is about Biblical Typology is probably because they do not study the definitions of the Greek words selected and used by God. What God reveals in this verse is that what He wrote about the literal historical Adam in the Old Testament was a patterned “type” or “figure” of the coming Jesus that was to be revealed to us in the New Testament. Do you understand this and then do you remember what I have already taught you about typology? Clearly Adam is not Jesus by far. However, Adam still characterizes a basic shadowed incomplete form for the coming Jesus. What God is teaching us is that we should be able to read about Adam and see a pictured incomplete outline of the Lord Jesus. I really do not know how you can read this revelation given to Paul and not see it. It is literally right in front of your eyes. Perhaps we need to look up the definition of the main keyword in the Greek to see it more clearly. I’ll emphasize this one more time that Jesus was not Adam, but rather Adam was a simpler symbolic representation for Jesus lacking many of the finer spiritual details. Examine the Greek word that was translated as “figure” in the Strong’s dictionary and you will see the following definition that is critical to understand:
From G5180; a die (as struck), that is, (by implication) a stamp or scar; by analogy a shape, that is, a statue, (figuratively) style or resemblance; specifically a sampler (“type”), that is, a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning): – en- (ex-) ample, fashion, figure, form, manner, pattern, print.
Learn the key words presented in this definition and apply them to the comparison between Jesus and Adam. God says that Adam was a pattern, type, example and even a figure of the coming future Jesus. What does that say to you? Do you know what a printer’s “type” is in the natural? Maybe you are too modern to understand the old printing “type” press concept created by Guttenberg in 1440. This man revolutionized the older hand written word recording and distribution methods. Guttenberg reinvented what use to be an expensive time consuming laborious method of copying God’s Word into something more useful and cheap to produce. Because of Guttenberg what was rare for man to own soon became common for man to own. Guttenberg took what was out of the reach of every normal person and changed it into something within their reach. Clearly that was a God inspired idea to help man spread His written Word. If you did not know it already, Guttenberg invented the moveable “type” system of printing. Did you notice the repetition of the keyword “type”? Typology is the study of types. Moveable “type” was when the letters could be arranged in a specific configuration, ink applied to them, and then a piece of paper could be pressed on the type pattern to leave a lasting recurring impression that was a duplication of the original type pattern. Wow that process describes a God concept found in the Bible in Typology. This printing process could easily create hundreds and thousands of identical copies all from the originally created pattern.
What we are observing is that Adam is a Biblical Type reference point directing us to the coming Jesus and what He will accomplish and do for us in the spiritual realm. That means what Adam does is a prophecy for what Jesus will do in the spiritual realm. Adam is described to us in the first 4 chapters of Genesis primarily. God very clearly says in Romans 5:14 that you can find Jesus in these words if you are able to see Him. Adam as a pattern for the coming Jesus is by far not the only Typology hidden in Genesis or the rest of the Old Testament. I could take you through the O.T. and show you Jesus found in a type of Noah, in Abraham, in Isaac, in Jacob, in Joseph, in Moses, in Joshua and on and on I could go. In fact I am convinced that you can almost find a type of Jesus in every major story recorded but that will be another advanced subject for a different Bible study series. Let’s look at another N.T. reference to Biblical Typology found in the O.T.:
Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
Read these two verses and observe closely what they are speaking of. These verses begin with a list of O.T. references and concepts concerning Holy days, Sabbaths and new moons. These are all subjects found in the written Laws of Moses. They describe instructions and actions given by the directions of God and performed by the people in obedience. Then notice what Paul writes about them. Paul says these were simply shadows (types) of the things to come in Christ. What we can observe very clearly is new hidden references to Jesus in the O.T. Nowhere in the O.T can you find that these represent anything about Christ yet that is what is revealed by God in these verses. That simply means these stated things were not Christ but rather designed by God to point the people to the Christ. Are you beginning to see the concepts of typology in the Word of God? If you do not yet understand the significance of hidden N.T. references in O.T. Biblical Typology I really do not know how to make it clearer in such a simple introduction to the subject. Let’s get into the subject of finding rapture in O.T. typology and see if this helps you to learn how to apply what you have learned so far and I will try to give you another example of O.T. Bible Typology described in the N.T. in the next section.
UNSTRUCTURED INTERPRETATION VERSUS RULES BASED INTERPRETATION
What I am going to do today is to utilize a little known law of Bible interpretation that I call the Law of First Mention to step back into a past reality to help us to see and learn about a coming future truth. Perhaps you have never heard of the Law of First Mention. I have found through repeated years of Bible study that using this Scriptural Law of Interpretation that God has placed certain specific hidden clues whenever an important subject is first mentioned in His Word. Practically every time a Bible subject is mentioned for the first time I have discovered important hints to understanding the whole subject in the rest of the Bible. Usually this first subject mention is found in the book of Genesis but today my subject that I am searching for occurs first in the book of Exodus. I am going to apply this law of first mention by searching for just one of the specific keywords referenced by God in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and find out where it was initially mentioned by God in the Old Testament to help us see that this is a legitimate Bible study technique. In doing this I believe that I will locate, read and discover what God has hidden about the subject of rapture within recorded Old Testament typology. You might ask me “Seriously, you mean you can do that?” I think people not knowing how to study the Bible is one of the main reasons we have such mass confusion in the church today on subjects like rapture. I always try to teach you how I study the Bible when I give you my lessons. In doing this you gain much more insight than if I only teach what I discovered and not how I arrived at the conclusion.
Let’s stop and think about rules based interpretation of the Bible as opposed to having no structure or rules for the interpretation of the Bible. A no rule based approach could also be called a random approach to Bible study. In the context of Bible study are rules a positive or a negative influence? Randomness is associated with a realm of lacking intelligent design. For example in my picture at the beginning of this paragraph I have a bunch of random rocks which do not display any structure. At the end of this paragraph I have another picture of rocks that clearly are not random but have a designed patterned created by intelligence. Which picture is more like the Bible? Let me ask you about general life situations and see if these can be taken back to Bible study. Are rules of conduct and manners good or bad? If they are good then consider why we might want to learn and follow Bible study rules also? Are rules for driving positive or negative? Would a random approach to driving a car result in more safety or more accidents? I think you can quickly see that randomness is a state of confusion and promotes negative consequences. That is why I believe random Bible study does the same.
Some might ask me “Can’t we just go and read the Bible and see what it says?” I wish that was true but that is not how God wrote the Bible as we discovered when Jesus said you must “search” for Him in the Bible to find Him. Bible study without strict rules would be like us playing a sport without knowing the goal or purpose of the sport or having any specific applicable rules, referees or penalties. If you place no independent reviewable limitations or restrictions upon what is permissible in any sport then suddenly you can do whatever you like to, to whoever you like to, to achieve whatever result you want to see. This type of mentality would result in a“Hunger Games” Bible study approach to winning the truth game and that is what we are observing in the church today. That is why I use very strong rules of Bible interpretation with defined and clearly stated restrictive laws guiding us to what is permissible and what is illegal in determining the meaning. These defined rules can be verified independently of the viewed interpretation to confirm that they are being followed. Without any laws of interpretation there is nothing but disorder, chaos and randomness and where disorder rules any interpretation represents legal truth.
What are these Bible study laws of interpretation that I use? I guess I have touched on most of them in my many other Bible lessons, but there are always new readers that have not read every lesson yet so I need to repeat things constantly to teach everyone new. If you have read these rules already and understand them, please forgive me for being repetitive. Let me give you just an overview of some of these basic laws of interpretation that are good to learn, remember and follow:
- The Law of First Mention. The first time a subject is mentioned in the Bible God gives specific descriptions, clues and even hints to understanding the entire spiritual subject in the N.T. It is noteworthy to mention that sometimes the subject first mentioned is not the same exact English word being sought from the N.T. For example, the sun, moon and stars of Revelation 12:1 is usually thought to be first mentioned in Genesis 37:9, but they are all mentioned before that using other titles and descriptions in Genesis 1:16 and that knowledge changes the definition of their identity dramatically by the discovery and understanding of these concealed clues. What I am saying is that not every first mention is always easy to find.
- The Law of Last Mention. This law is very similar to the Law of First Mention in reverse. The last time a subject is mentioned in the Bible God gives specific descriptions, clues and hints to the conclusion of the spiritual subject in the N.T. For example, the mention of the bride of the Lamb in Revelation 21 and 22 gives us conclusive insight into the spiritual representation of this figure. So while Eve was the first mentioned bride, the last mentioned bride concludes the subject. Since we also already learned that Adam was a type of Jesus, then Eve must be a type of the bride of Jesus. So much to learn but not my subject today.
- The Law of Two or Three Witnesses. Taking any solitary isolated text you can make the Bible say whatever you like, but by God requiring the reader to find at least two different confirming subject texts from two different books of the Bible helps to eliminate the isolation truth error. This single rule of interpretation is one of the most important and widely ignored laws that cause so much of the error in churches.
- The Law of No Private Interpretation. God requires us to leave our feeble opinions out of every Bible interpretation. This literally means that God will interpret His own Words in the Bible. This also means you have to look, search and find these interpretations in order to understand the original verse being studied. Get into the habit of finding God’s commentary on the subjects and leave your weak opinions out of the discussion.
- The Law of Divine Definition. God’s divine definition of every word will always take precedence over man’s definitions. Finding this definition is always the challenge, but it is usually accomplished with keyword searches of the text. For example many times in the Bible God speaks of a coming day of the Lord. This could be an isolated event of one time occurrence or it could also be a time of duration that points us to a 1000 years of duration as defined by 2 Peter 3:8 and Psalm 90:4. We will definitely see in this lesson that this law will apply to our rapture study as a 1000 year time period.
- The Law of Indirect Antithesis Truth. For every stated direct truth in any verse an implied indirect antithesis truth not stated can be concluded. For example, the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 11:31 that if we judge ourselves, we would not be judged. By the law of Indirect Antithesis truth we could say legally “If we do not judge ourselves we will be judged”. Both statements are equally true.
- The Mathematical Law of Transitive Equality. This law of Bible interpretation uses a basic law of Algebra to teach truth. It states if A = B and B = C then A = C. I recently used this law in stating if God = Word (John 1:1) and God = Spirit (John 4:24) then Spirit = Word and Word = Spirit and both = God.
- The Law of Right and Wrong Seeking. God reveals a Bible interpretation law in Matthew 7:7 that whatever we seek will be what we will find. Therefore, know that if we seek error (intentionally or unintentionally) we will always find error. Conversely if we seek truth then we will always find truth. It matters greatly what you are searching for in the Bible. If you seek to prove abortion is legal in the Bible you will find information to justify this belief but that is not the truth. It is the Law of God that by His design you will always find whatever you look for in His word.
- The Law of Truth Dependence. Understand that many truths found in the Word of God are dependent upon the discovery of other greater truths first. For example the symbolic identity of the woman in Revelation 12 is a truth that is dependently based upon first understanding the identities of all of the other dependent symbols that she is described with. No true interpretation of the woman is possible without discovering God’s hierarchal truth structure of the sun, moon and stars first. That is the law of truth dependence.
- The Law of Freewill Choice. God has given to every human the right to be wrong. Thus the Bible was written in a manner that permits every human the right to believe whatever they desire to believe. Not knowing this truth will cause many people to choose poorly their beliefs from the Bible. The Law of Freewill Choice goes hand in hand with the Law of Right and Wrong Seeking.
- The Law of Spiritual Guidance. God says very clearly in His word that His Spirit will guide us into all truth (John 16:13). Ignoring the guidance of the Spirit of God will always result in your own individual private interpretations. Not listening to the Holy Spirit will always result in error.
- The Law of Revelation Knowledge. The Bible presents us with a paradox. God gives us plain text words but then requires us to receive His Spirit in order for Him to reveal them to us so that we can understand them correctly. The natural mind will always be enmity with the Spirit of God and the Bible. A spiritual mind will always be capable of receiving revelation truth from God. Every verse in the Bible can always be taken in two opposing ways; one is a natural view point and the other is a spiritual viewpoint. Which one do you believe is the ultimate truth? You see I have noticed that some preachers can teach sickness from the same verses that someone else preaches healing. How can two people see opposite truths from the same words?
That was just a simple sample introduction to finding and applying structured rules to your Bible study. Lacking any defined structure will consistently result in what I teach to be called the Random Human Chaos Understanding of the Bible. That simply means you can totally miss what God intended for you to know by doing it your own way and ignoring God’s ways. Since I am former computer programmer I understand rules based systems better than most. Every useful system is an entity with a design and every designed entity has rules. If you do not understand that the Bible is a book with design, structure and rules you are very ignorant that man can build something that God did not. That was a long introduction and I could spend a lot of time on the subject of structured versus random Bible study but that is not my primary subject today. So let’s move to rapture now and see what God teaches us about the subject in the O.T.
RAPTURE IN O.T. TYPOLOGY
The primary keyword that I am searching for today in the Old Testament is “trumpet”. If you recall we found the Lord Jesus descending in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 in unison with the sound of a trumpet coming out of heaven. Where, is the word “trumpet” first mentioned in the Bible and what does God reveal with this word’s usage in the context? Do these verses have anything to do with the rapture subject as I suspected? Since I have already done the Bible search, I will simply direct you to go to the book of Exodus and chapter 19. You may recall that the book of Exodus is the recorded story of God’s deliverance of the slave children of Israel from the oppressive nation of Egypt. We should also know from reading in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that this story was given to us by God to be a specific “type” (another typology) pattern for the church to learn from. How do I know that? It is simply because in this verse is found the exact same Greek word (G5179) that was translated as “figure” in the Adam to Jesus type pattern in Romans 5:14. But, here in 1 Corinthians 10:11 this same Greek word has been translated as the English word “examples”. “Examples” is just another synonymous term for “type”. What I am teaching you is that Jesus is not the only spiritual entity concealed within types in the Old Testament. 1 Corinthians 10:11 clearly teaches that natural Israel was a type of the spiritual church that we need to learn from as examples. What is an example? An example can simply be any model of the real. You see an architect might build a scale model of his designed building for the client to approve and this is his usage of an example type for the coming real. That is what God is saying to us that He is doing. However God is not looking for our approval, God is using this example type to teach us.
When taking a test in school some example questions may be given for you to see how to answer correctly. These examples are not the real test but are rather only patterns for the coming real to teach what is expected of you. Do you understand? Any example can also be either positive or negative and we can learn from either type. Some examples teach us what not to do and other examples teach us correct responses. I clearly believe that natural Israel teaches mostly negative examples for us not to follow but that is another subject entirely. Remember the introductory rules of Bible Typology? Natural Israel is not the church but only represents certain patterned characteristics for the church to apply or learn from. Maybe I need to just give you the complete verse and let you look at it for yourself:
1Co 10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (NASB)
Let’s verify that the natural O.T. nation of Israel displays certain positive patterns that correspond with the N.T. church. What parallels exist within the written history of the nation of Israel that can be used as typologies for the coming New Testament church? Are there any specific parallels or common patterns with these two separate distinct entities? Let me give you a quick overview of some of the Biblical typologies that I believe are fairly obvious concerning the natural nation of Israel and the spiritual church of Jesus Christ:
- Israel was held in bondage for 430 years in Egypt until the deliverer was sent by God to set them free from their bondage.
- The people of the earth were held in bondage for 4030 years under the domination of the spiritual oppressor Satan until Jesus our spiritual deliverer was sent by God into the world to set us free.
- Moses the natural deliver was preserved from death by God as the evil ruler of Egypt killed every male child of Israel.
- Jesus the Deliverer of the world was preserved from the same type of death being sent by an angel to Egypt as the evil ruler ordered the deaths of every male child in Bethlehem.
- The Passover lamb is killed in Egypt and the blood spread upon the wooden doorpost to guard, protect and deliver the children of Israel from natural death.
- The Passover Lamb of God (Jesus Christ) is killed and His shed blood on the wooden cross delivers God’s children from our eternal spiritual death and destruction.
- The children of Israel after being freed from Egypt and Pharaoh were baptized by God when they went through the red sea and this same red sea eliminated the threat of the pursuing Egyptian army.
- The church of Jesus Christ has been baptized into Christ’s sea of red flowing blood and this flowing blood sea saved us while dooming our enemy Satan.
- The children of Israel were given water from a rock to drink in the wilderness to sustain them.
- The Church of Jesus Christ drinks the living water pouring from the mouth of the Chief Cornerstone Jesus Christ our eternal living spiritual rock.
- The children of Israel ate manna sent down from heaven in the wilderness.
- The Church of Jesus Christ eats the bread of life sent down from heaven which is the Word of God.
- The children of Israel take the Promised Land and possess it overcoming their enemies.
- The Church of Jesus Christ takes the promises of God by faith overcoming their spiritual enemy Satan.
- Moses the deliverer gives the children of Israel the law of commandments on Mt Sinai.
- Jesus Christ the deliverer of the church gives the church the law of the commandment of love.
- God establishes priests in Israel to offer sacrifices to their God.
- The church is comprised of spiritual priests unto God offering sacrifices of praise unto our God.
This is called God’s Biblical Typology using O.T. patterns found in the information given about a real natural people that teach us about a coming spiritual people. We could go into many other parallel patterns found in the Bible about the natural nation of Israel, Moses and Pharaoh representing the church, Jesus and Satan in types. I believe that this was a really good introduction to the subject of how God uses hidden Biblical typology in the Old Testament to teach us what will happen again in the New Testament. I pray that you can see it and receive it because it is essential that you understand what God says in His Word.
Ecc 1:9 That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.
This is what I call the Bible Law of Repeated Design Patterns being revealed. God clearly says what has been in the past is that which shall be again in the yet to come. There is definitely nothing new under the sun! God teaches us that O.T. types are the design patterns for what will occur again in the forthcoming events of the world. This is such an important part of God and the Bible that I cannot emphasize it enough. This law is why I am looking for rapture concepts to be hidden in the recorded types of the O.T. If we cannot find any previous rapture patterns in the O.T. it will not be possible for it to occur again in the N.T. If we can find rapture types hidden in the O.T. then we can be assured of the truth for what will soon reoccur for the church. Let’s continue to study Rapture.
Using Bible search software, do the search of the Bible for the keyword “trumpet”. Please do this to help verify everything that I teach is accurate. If I make any mistake, if I miss something, if I say it wrong, or even if I type it misspelled, tell me nicely and I will make the necessary correction. You should hopefully find the word “trumpet” in verse 13 of Exodus 19. This was the first mention of the keyword “trumpet” that I found in the KJV Bible search and here is what I found that this verse says:
Exo 19:13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.
I think the Bible is so awesome. Did you notice the way that God writes this verse in the Bible? God orchestrates a real historical natural event that actually occurred but because of His designed purpose and precise word selection, these words can be taken both literally and spiritually as being both historical and prophetical typology simultaneously. We can use the order of mention and the phrasing to see the implied spiritual future application pattern. For example here in this verse, God says where I am now, no one living on the earth can come up or they will die. That has a lot of hidden meaning in it to me. We live DOWN here in a natural world on the earth apart from God’s throne UP in heaven. How can a natural man ascend into heaven without first experiencing death? It is just not possible for a natural man to visit God’s spiritual location by his own desire, effort, action or will. In fact for a Christian to depart and be with the Lord before the trumpet rapture event they must normally die. We of course have also already learned that there are the exceptions of Enoch and Elijah that did not die before they were taken by God. But those two were just further confirmation rapture patterns that we the living in the church can be taken identically. Let’s continue to move on to the last part of the verse for the beginning of the really good stuff about this hidden rapture pattern.
Right now I really only want to talk about three main subjects found in the last statement where God says the (1) “trumpet” will sound loud and then (2) “they” shall (3) “come up”. Remember according to 1 Corinthians 10:11 who the people called “they” are a “type” of. Then notice what happens first and then what the type of the church is instructed to do. Did you notice that this verse does not say who blows the trumpet? This is a very clever way of making a literal physical event a prophetic event description. Since no one directly is named as the trumpet blower the action can be performed by anyone natural or spiritual. You will also observe the obvious fact that “they” is another generic unnamed pronoun of non-specific assignment. In other words someone will blow a trumpet and then some unnamed people will “come up”. Now I can understand that God is speaking about natural people and natural acts of those people, but the words apply to two realms by explicit use of generalities. Many times what people read in the O.T. as God only speaking to a natural people is really God speaking more broadly to a greater coming people. I’m sure I will have some disagreement with that statement, but sorry I stand by it. Perhaps we need to look up the Hebrew word translated as “trumpet” to see the meaning and the definition from Strong’s. This information may help to confirm if we have found the correct named N.T. association found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 for trumpet in the Greek:
Apparently from H2986; the blast of a horn (from its continuous sound); specifically the signal of the silver trumpets; hence the instrument itself and the festival thus introduced: – jubile, ram’s horn, trumpet.
In this definition we will read a strong matching definition for the Greek word G4536 that was translated into English as “trump” in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. Observing the Hebrew definition of the word from Strong’s it means “a blast of a horn as with a continuous sound”. It is also very interesting to see that God uses this trumpet sound to announce certain festivals. Let me help you with another Bible study fact detail. If you search the Hebrew word definitions in Strong you will find the word “trumpet” occurs in 10 different Hebrew words. What does that tell us? God specifically chose this word in the O.T. to be the first mention and that the other words are potentially not connected to this event description. However, I will also tell you that God uses another word in Exodus 19 that is also translated as the English word “trumpet”. For example, in verse 16 of Exodus 19 you will find the Hebrew word H7782 that is also translated as “trumpet”. Why does God use two different Hebrew words for basically the same type of noun object? Why are both words translated as the same English word trumpet? What is the difference between the trumpet in verse 13 and the trumpet in verse 16? Those are all great questions and if you are not asking these types of questions when you study the Bible you are not studying. I believe that God has a purpose for every specific word selected. I believe no word utilized is there by accident or chance. We still have a lot to learn.
It is extremely important to search the O.T. for every occurrence of this Hebrew word translated as trumpet in Exodus 19 to see how God used it for the subject context of the entire O.T. If you do this you will find that this Hebrew word is only selected for use by God in 25 verses of the Old Testament. Almost every other time this Hebrew word is selected by God, it is translated as the English word “Jubilee”. Pay very close attention that a Trumpet blast always begins the festival Jubilee. Do you know what a Jubilee was to the natural nation of Israel? God writes significant things about Jubilee in the Law book of Leviticus. To the natural Jew the time of Jubilee was a highly anticipated event. Uh oh! That sounds like the rapture to me! Jubilee occurred every 50 years by God’s design. During this time of celebration all debts were forgiven and the lands went back to the previous owner in the family. There are two key words found in the descriptions of Jubilee that applies to Biblical typology for the rapture of the church. These two key words are “inheritance” and “redeem”. Both words are predominate themes of the N.T. You may still scratch your head and wonder what could Jubilee, inheritance and redemption have to do with Rapture? That is where I will tell you that it has more to do with rapture than you can possibly imagine right now. Perhaps I’ll get to that part of the discussion later today, but if not I will make an effort to talk about Jubilee in a future Bible lesson on rapture. What I have concluded with this information is that this story given by God in Exodus 19 is the first example of Jubilee for the nation of Israel and you should remember that.
Looking back at Exodus 19:13 did you read it closely searching for the rapture parallels found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17? Notice what God says to Moses who is a typed pattern of the N.T. deliverer, the Lord Jesus Christ; God says that a trumpet will blast long and then the people will come up. Did you notice where Moses was when he was told this statement? Was not Moses up on the mountain with God? I thought God just said no one could touch the mountain or they will die. You should be able to see more typology patterns that fit the rapture event here. Moses being a type of Jesus goes up into heaven alive in Acts 1. Let me stop at those words and explain the typology of the mount for you. The mountain represents the place of God in heaven symbolically. Moses goes up to talk to God and God gives instructions from the location of the symbolic heaven. We could easily get off on another side trip discussion about the symbolism of the mount but I will move on to the “come up” part of the verse.
The Hebrew word translated as “come up” is H5927. If you look up the word’s definition in Strong’s it literally means “to ascend”. Here we have one of the closely described synonymous terms that God taught us to look for in Lesson 1 for the Greek term “harpazo” where it was translated as “caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. To ascend up is the stated direct opposite of descending down. To “ascend up” can also be interchanged with the description of being “caught up”, “taken up”, etc. This verse is certainly not a completed match for what we read in 1 Thessalonians but it is a very good initial shadow outline for it. Remember what a type is? It is not the completed picture but rather just the outline of the detailed image casting the shadow giving enough information so that it is recognizable to those that know the original. Here in this single verse are 6 direct and indirect nouns and one verb that corresponded to the rapture information with pretty amazing accuracy. What were these nouns and verb, you might ask? Glad you asked here is a list of these important parallel types:
- God (In charge of the entire event)
- The Mount, the high location of God (a type of heaven)
- The trumpet blast (announcing the beginning of the event)
- Moses (a type of the Lord Jesus the deliverer already up in the clouds in heaven)
- The people (they) alive on the earth (a type of the living church) waiting to go up to be with the Lord
- The wilderness valley (the symbolic location for the church in the world today)
- Ascend Up (The living church rising up to meet God in the clouds)
Here are seven key parallel ingredients to the described rapture event in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and this is just the first mention of the trumpet instrument that brought us to this chapter in Exodus. Do you see how these two separate scriptures were linked together by God? Do you understand why they are linked together? Probably not yet but hopefully very soon you will see it more clearly. Let’s examine the context of this verse more closely to see what else is hidden concerning the coming rapture. In doing this we will go up in the chapter to verse 1. But I will not include all of those verses in this lesson to shorten it slightly. Verse one describes Israel coming out of Egypt and traveling from there for a specific set time of 3 months. They come to the Mountain of Sinai and God wants to meet with Moses on the top of the mountain. I wonder why a mountain? God always does things by plan and purpose and nothing that God does is an accident. Moses goes up on the mountain to hear God speak and the next few verses are primarily God doing the speaking but notice that some or all of these words can be taken concurrently for the now present tense and a future prophetic tense to apply to someone else. What I am saying is that these words spoken by God apply to the natural situation right then with the children of Israel but they also apply to the future repeated events that will not occur for thousands of years from then concerning the church. Let’s begin to examine verse 5 to see what exactly God says:
Exo 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
Here we have God speaking of the natural nation of Israel using terms that are very interesting. God tells them you are in covenant with me! God tells them to keep His commandments and obey His voice! Both of these were stated conditions for the covenant. Then God announces the benefits of the covenant arrangement and for fulfilling the conditions. God says you shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all other people. Do you understand fully what was just spoken? God states that you will be my people but all others will not be my people and that is a classic binary division of two opposing antithesis groups. That is very much like the concept that we discovered in the first three lessons on the subject of rapture. Those two groups that we have been learning about were those that are “IN-CHRIST” versus those that were “OUT-CHRIST”; those that were called the sheep versus those that were called the goats; those that were wheat versus those that were tares; those that were wise virgins versus those that were foolish virgins. Can you see the pattern agreement with what was revealed in the N.T.?
Here in this verse we also have a Hebrew word that is very noteworthy to comprehend. This word H5459 means “wealth” as in something shut up in a locker or a vault. This Hebrew word signifies a place or a state of protection for something that is very valuable to keep them from an enemy or a thief. Who do you recall that Jesus said is the thief in the Bible? In John 10:10 Jesus said “the thief (Satan) came to kill, steal and to destroy but I have come that you might have life”. I am not going to spend time explaining every word given by God in this verse. Just note the existence of three important parallels, the covenant, the conditions and the benefits because these are all types that apply to the church today. Let’s move to verse 6 and learn some new important details:
Exo 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
God continues to speak and says to the people that you will not only be my guarded treasure but “You shall be 1) a kingdom of priests and 2) a holy nation. God then tells Moses these are the words that you shall speak to the “children of Israel”. Who are these two mentioned types? We have Israel and we have his children. Who are these children and who is this Israel in Biblical typology? I do not have the time to elaborate on every spiritual application of the information given in the O.T. I will go over a few key details to help to get you thinking in a new spiritual way about this typological information being given. Naturally speaking, we know Jacob’s name was changed to Israel in Genesis 32:28. Here in this verse is the first mention of the name Israel and by the law of first mention God gives us certain clues that we need to learn from to understand the rest of the subject in the Bible. Go read this chapter again and see it for yourself. Then answer these two questions. Where did this name come from and whose name was it before it was given to Jacob? I’ll tell you directly that the Bible says the name Israel came from the angel sent by God up in heaven to wrestle with Jacob. Then I think we need to do some research study to see what this name means in the original Hebrew language. Read the definition from the Strong’s and see how it is defined:
From H8280 and H410; he will rule as God; Jisrael, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity: – Israel.
I want you to pay close attention to what Dr. Strong believed this name represented. He declared that first this name was a symbolical name given to Jacob. What does that tell you? That simply means the name Israel was not Jacob’s real name but rather belonged to someone else. It also connects us back into the Biblical Typology discussion directly as this name being a spiritual subject that was hidden in the natural O.T. typological references. Did you notice how Strong was led to include the word “typically” in the definition? I do not believe that was an accident. Typically or types is exactly what we are studying. Did you notice what the name means? According to the definition the name Israel means “He will rule as God”. Uh oh? Who can that be? Is that the natural man Jacob that will rule as God or someone else that was prophesied to come from Jacob? Since Jacob obviously died a natural death and has not been raised from the dead from what I have read in the Bible, I do not believe that natural Jacob qualifies to rule as God. Wow, this is going to get very deep here and I might just offend some immature Christians with the truth.
The Hebrew name “Israel” is comprised of two other Hebrew root words. One Hebrew root word is H8280 which means “to prevail” as a ruler prince. To prevail implies this subject has direct opposition and enemies to overcome. To prevail further implies victories and conquests over these enemies. The second Hebrew root word is H410 and this is the most important part of the name. It is a very common O.T. shortened form for the divine name of God. This Hebrew word “el” is used before other divine titles like “El Shaddai” (Almighty God), “El Elyon” (Supreme God) and “El Olam” (Everlasting God) which are all O.T. descriptive divine names for our God. Perhaps you have heard of some of these names? Ok, let’s take a quick review of the information that we have just learned about the name “Israel”:
- The name Israel came down from God in Heaven.
- The name Israel was given to a natural man named Jacob after he prevailed with the angel.
- The name Israel was called a symbolical name by Strong for the man Jacob.
- The name Israel literally means “He will rule as God”.
What we are observing here are some more O.T. Typologies that are pointing us to Jesus using these patterns. Let me help prove to you that the name “Israel” is God’s name that was given to a natural man named Jacob. Did you know I could prove that using the Bible? This is why so many Bible teachers today are so confused about what is written, they do not see what is plainly right in front of their eyes. Let me give you a few verses to help you see what I am trying to teach you:
2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name,
Isa 43:7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.
Jer 7:11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD.
Jer 7:14 Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.
Jer 32:34 “But they put their detestable things in the house which is called by My name, to defile it.
I could give you a few other verses but that is enough witnesses to the truth to establish it firmly in my mind. Can you read? God says 5 times these people are called by My name? What name do you think this is? I know for sure that it is the name “Israel” (He will rule as God) and it can be no other. Do you know how many times “Israel” is found in the O.T.? The name “Israel” is included in 2,228 verses of the O.T. Bible. There is no other name used that many times to describe any people. Jerusalem is found in only 626 verses. Judah is found in 754 verses. Can you think of any names in the O.T. of a natural people that will qualify for who God is calling by His name? Ok, let me help you out by connecting some more of the dots for you. Did you notice that I included Jeremiah 7:11 in my list of confirming verses? I did this on purpose because Jesus tells you directly who it is in Matthew 21:13. Jesus drives out the money changers with a whip from the temple in Jerusalem and He quotes a part of Jeremiah 7:11 to describe the event. Jesus said “My house shall be a house of prayer but you have made it a robber’s den”. What Jesus has just described are the people that are called by His name and this can only be the children of “Israel”. I do not want to spend any more time on this part of the lesson. You either are going to see it or you are going to close your eyes and reject it.
The natural children of Jacob were 12 sons and these were the founding natural fathers of the 12 tribes of natural Israel. Each generation had their own children and this continual cycle of generational propagation continued until Moses is speaking with God here in these verses in Exodus 19. Now is the time where we need to factor into the equation “how does this natural pattern typology information fit with any spiritual application of the greater prophesied truth of God?” Did any of these words just spoken by God in verse 6 even sound just a little bit familiar to you? Please let me list the key factors that were just given again in verse 6:
- The children of Israel (A natural family pattern of many generations descending from 12 brothers)
- A Kingdom of Priests
- A Holy Nation of People
I mean if you have ever read the N.T. you have come across all of these type descriptions even if you did not realize where they were mentioned first in the Bible. I’ll give you a hint, the Holy Spirit inspired Peter to write about all of these types to the church and this is what God reveals to us through His servant Peter:
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:
As you should be able to tell, Peter is not directly quoting the entire verse of Exodus 19:6. However Peter writes enough for us to know they are directly connected. If you look at the NASB version of the Bible you will discover this verse is mostly capitalized to indicate that it is a direct quote of Exodus 19:6. However, this verse is really more of a direct commentary explanation by God for what He was talking about and who God was speaking to prophetically in the original statement of Exodus 19:6. I will no doubt have some naysayers try to tell me this verse does not have anything to do with what God said to natural Israel but that is just spiritual blindness that causes people not to have the ability to make the proper connections. Look at what Peter says to the church. He said we are a “chosen generation”. Chosen simply means the “elect”. Uh oh, I thought natural Israel was the only ones ever called God’s elect? Not according to what God just revealed to the church here in the N.T. The Greek term G1085 translated as “generation” directed at the church in this verse simply means a group of related family members, relatives or kin. Did you know that you were in a new family now if you are a Christian? How does that term for the church compare with the typology we just found spoken to the children of natural Israel? I personally see so many parallels and repeated patterns here that it is amazing. The natural nation of Israel originates with one man having 12 natural sons. Does that compare to the church at all? What about Jacob being a type of Jesus Christ? Did Jesus ever have twelve spiritual sons? I’m not talking about natural sons, I am asking about the spiritual offspring. Did you ever wonder why Jesus chose exactly 12 disciples? I mean that has to have been for a very specific reason, do you not agree? Does God do anything casually? I believe Jesus choose twelve disciples to match with the 12 sons of Jacob in the natural.
Biblical typology is such a fascinating subject with so much hidden information that it is really astonishing. Why did Jesus knowing Judas was going to betray Him choose him to be a disciple? Did you know that Judas was also found in hidden O.T. typology? One tribe of natural Israel has been omitted from all mention of the 12 tribes of Israel in Revelation 7. In fact this omitted tribe of Israel has been replaced by just one son from another tribe. I do not have the time to attempt to explain what is happening here in this typology fully. Notice that in Acts 1 that Judas who killed himself was replaced by another. Who was that man that stepped into the vacant Judas position to take his place in the church? I believe that it was one of the spiritual sons of one of the other 11 faithful disciples. I can see every disciple mentioned to be chosen to fulfill a beginning initial role in the new family of God. These 12 men would go into the whole world to bring the Gospel of Jesus to increase and grow the spiritual family of God from every nation on the earth. Why, are Christians called brothers and sisters in the Lord? At least 30 times in his letters to the churches Paul refers to Gentile church members to be his brothers. Since Paul was a naturally born Jew Paul had to be speaking of spiritual kinship and not of the natural. This is simply because we are all spiritual family members in the same spiritual family of God. This spiritual reality simply parallels the natural reality of the nation of Israel who were also all brothers and sisters of the same 12 fathers. Let’s move on in this verse in 1 Peter so that I do not get into too much information.
After “Chosen Generation” Peter then mentions “we are a royal priesthood”. Here is where we get to the direct correlation to Exodus 19:6. Do you remember what God said for Moses to say? God says tell them “You are a Kingdom of Priests”. Royalty has to do with only kingdoms and thus we have more synonymous terms being linked directly together. Did you know that you were a priest in God’s spiritual family in the New Covenant? We do not offer animal sacrifices to God like the priests of natural Israel, but rather we do offer the sacrifice of praise of our lips to God (Heb 13:15). These are just two parallel truth realities that are imperative to learn about as Christians. Finally we get to the one for one relationship being called a “holy nation” the exact same phrase as was mentioned in Exodus 19:6. I want you to do a keyword search for the exact phrase “holy nation” in your Bible search program. This exact phrase only occurs in two verses and these verses are Exodus 19:6 and 1 Peter 2:9. Do you think that is a coincidence, chance occurrence or an accidental happenstance? If you do you are vastly deceived. The Bible linking such a precise phrase together in only two verses is God connecting them together to leave no doubt about what is being communicated about. God is saying very clearly that Exodus 19 is about my Church.
So far we have two very specific links to the church. Do you remember what they were? We have found the church by the law of first mention concerning the “trumpet” reference from 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. Then we have the keyword matched “Holy Nation” reference from Exodus 19:6 only found repeated in 1 Peter 2:9. Let’s go back to Exodus and continue to study what God says to us. I’m going to skip down to verse 9 in Exodus 19 to move past some less important verses for this lesson discussion:
Exo 19:9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.
Do you remember how many references I said there were concerning “clouds” in the New Testament? In several of those Jesus very specifically said that He would be coming in the clouds. I am not going to list those again but you can review the previous lessons and find the references. What I see in this verse is another connecting reference to a noun from 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. The clouds being repeated here in this discourse is not an accident. We now have 7 repeated nouns and 1 repeated verb. I have been working up to this next verse for the entire lesson and here is some very key information for the timing of the rapture event.
Exo 19:10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,
God tells Moses the deliver (a type of Christ Jesus) to sanctify the people. What exactly is that and what does that statement even mean? Let’s begin with the definition of the Hebrew word from the Strong’s dictionary. According to Strong the Hebrew word H6942 means “to be, make, pronounce or observe as clean”. Therefore, sanctification is like a cleaning process. Perhaps you occasionally take a bath or a shower to make your body clean and if you do then you are sanctifying your body. This is really not that complicated but easily missed if we do not learn the application to what this means in the spiritual realm. Wow this is so interesting to me knowing what I know about the word of God and work of Christ Jesus in the New Testament. Are you beginning to see the hidden Jesus Christ in these verses? I could give you many New Testaments verses that apply to what is stated here but I am going to limit myself to only two verses to show how God has sanctified the church through Christ:
1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Here we have another very key verse of information that ties directly to our rapture subject study. This verse occurs in the chapter immediately following the previous chapter’s rapture event report to the church. Here God brings into the context discussion the subject of sanctification. Paul continuing to write to the church tells them that the God of peace will sanctify them wholly and wholly is defined to include their spirit, soul and body. What did sanctify mean? It meant to cleanse or make clean and this implies they were dirty in these three areas of their lives. The Bible is so awesome when you finally put the pieces of the puzzle together. God is saying I will make you clean but technically does not describe how this will occur. Some try to transfer responsibility of this cleaning as a God only type of work but that leaves out the human freewill right of choice and that would violate so many things found in the Bible so very plainly. Since sanctification is not the primary subject here I am not going to spend the time here to explain it. I simply want you to see the clear links that are being placed plainly in front of you for you to join them together. God is linking rapture to the sanctification part of the discussion and vice versa Let me show you one other very key scripture concerning sanctification and the church:
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Here we have a verse that does not name the church directly but if you read the context you will find out the church is one of the primary subjects being discussed in this chapter. In verse 25 God says to husbands “Love your wives even as Christ loves the church and gave himself for her and then in verse 26 is the connecting link to the previous statement “that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of the water by the word”. I wasn’t going to get into the method of sanctification but I think I just did. What God is saying here is that Jesus has sanctified His bride the church by giving them His precious Holy Word to wash with. Here we have a paradox being presented that many readers will be puzzled with. I recently had one man tell me I was crazy for teaching people that the church was the wife of Christ because we are clearly described to be the body of Christ in many verses of the New Testament. To that man I will ask this simple question. If we the church, are the body of Christ why then is it necessary for Christ to give us a Word bath to cleanse His very own body? Uh oh? Is not the body of Christ already clean having been raised from the dead and exalted into heaven? You see because people do not think when they read the Bible they miss so much of what is being stated. The answer to why the church needs cleansing is found in Exodus 19 and several other verses. If you would like to learn more about this secret you can read my Bible lesson “How the Church became the Body of Christ”.
Let’s continue to look at Exodus 19:10. God says for the people to be cleansed and tells them to wash their clothes today and tomorrow. That was a stated cleaning duration of two days, was it not? Why did God pick exactly two days to tell them to prepare for the trumpet? Wow, we are now getting into the timing of the rapture event without even understanding what God has said to us fully. Approximately how long has it been since Jesus left the earth to go into heaven to wait for His time to return? It has been nearly 2000 years. No one knows for sure the exact time but it is very close to that number. Why is this number 2000 significant and how is it related to the 2 days mentioned in Exodus 19? It simply goes back to what I said earlier about God’s law of divine definition. It is important to interpret spiritual things using spiritual definitions or you will bet lost and confused. Do you remember how I said that God defined a “day” found in 2 Peter 3:8? God defines one day to Him to be equivalent to 1000 years and even 1000 years to be equal to exactly one day. What is needed here is for you to see that God says for His people to get ready by making themselves clean because in two days (2000 years) He was going to sound the trumpet and they were going to “come up”. These are hidden patterns in the Word of God that teach the general timing of the event. It is very scripturally in balance because Jesus said in Matthew 25:13 “Be sober and vigilant because no man knows the day or hour of the coming of the son of man”. But notice that Jesus did not say that we would not be able to discern the general season for the event. In general terms I know that the timing for His return is very soon, but I do not technically know for certain if it is this year or next or the next. Do you know the certainty of the calendar? There is really no way that I know of for us to ascertain the exact duration of time since the beginning of the church age. Therefore, it is foolish for anyone to attempt to set a specific date for this event.
Typology is not a perfect picture of anything spiritual. The chapter has only given us patterned clues for the outline and not the entire complete detailed picture. I’ve spent enough time on this chapter going over many of the specific outline qualities that point us primarily to the event described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. I believe that we have established the start of the proof necessary for the establishment of the pre-tribulation rapture event. We can conclude by typological references from Exodus that after two days of cleaning preparation represents two thousands years of the church age when the trumpet will be sounded and the people will come up. I think we have just established that within O.T typology there is a solid pattern match for a future rapture event being connected to the church. Thank you for taking the time to read this important Bible lesson on rapture. I pray that you gained some new insight from it on the subject of rapture that you did not know before. Until the next Bible lesson in this series, I thank you for sharing this information with everyone that you know! God Bless!
If you like to read the next lesson in the Rapture series please go to “Part 5” now.
(Ver 1.1) I occasionally answer Bible questions. If you have Bible questions you are free to leave them as a comment and I will get to them as I have the time. In today’s subject I was specifically asked by a reader what my views were on the Arc-Angel Michael being the pre-existent Jesus. This was a very strange question that I almost ignored. However, I can see the reason behind the question and the harm that this issue raises, so I will address it in a quick Holy Spirit led Bible Response. I will state plainly upfront that the main reason for addressing this subject is because it is a false teaching that promotes the lies of Satan. Any subject that is a lie from Satan can always be countered with the Truth of God’s Word. Clearly Satan is going to great extents to discredit the true identity of Jesus. Rather than teach you directly about the lie, I would rather spend my time teaching you the truth found in the Bible. In order to do this we need to address 9 basic questions:
- Do angels have pre-existence or are they created beings?
- How is Michael described in the Bible?
- Is Michael an angel or a divine component of the Godhead?
- Did Michael exist prior to Jesus’ birth?
- Does Michael still exist after the birth of Jesus on the earth?
- What “was”, “is” and “will be” Michael’s role in the Kingdom of God?
- Is Jesus ever directly connected in identity to the angel Michael in the Bible?
- Who did Jesus actually claim to be?
- Is Jesus a direct component of the divine nature of the Godhead?
I will at least briefly touch on the answers to every one of these essential questions in this lesson. These questions will be my outline for the lesson so you will know where we are going before we get there. Let me give you my opening verse for this entire Bible lesson. This verse has nothing directly to do with the subject of Michael but then it also has everything directly to do with the subject of who Jesus Christ is. Read and study it closely:
1Jn 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
We should be able to see from this statement that the anti-Christ will be the one that comes denying that Jesus is the Christ. He further goes to explain that the anti-Christ will also be the one that denies the existence of either the Father or the Son. Either denial constitutes an anti-Christ spiritual teaching of perversion. Why is it important for someone to affirm Jesus the Son’s existence? Why is it important to affirm God the Father’s existence? Both positions are placed on the same equal footing. Both are given equal levels of importance. Do you understand that if you deny one but not the other that you still remain an anti-Christ? You cannot proclaim God is Father and deny Jesus is His Son because you have reduced the importance of Jesus while exalting the importance of God. A partial lie is usually a harder deception to detect than a full complete lie. In this verse God just clearly made Jesus the Son the equivalent to God the Father in importance and significance. In this lesson we will discover why it is essential for every true Christian to know who the real Son is.
I believe that you will find that this teaching of Michael being a pre-existent Jesus originated from the Jehovah Witness group. I believe that many in this organization are teaching that Jesus existed in heaven previously before coming to the earth in the form of the angel Michael. This teaching would clearly lower Jesus to a distinct inferior level far below the level of the divine. This teaching reduces Jesus status, character and ability to the inferior position of all angels and all other created beings. Thus we have the first potential contradiction to my introductory subject verse that clearly places Jesus the Son on the same plain and level as the divine Father God. This stated teaching position that reduces Christ from being deity, clearly places the Jehovah Witness group in the category that God calls the “anti-Christ” denying the Son’s equivalence. That is potentially not a good group to be associated with by God’s definition. Do you see the importance of not denying who Jesus was and is? This is actually getting to be a very prevalent false teaching today because it keeps people from being saved. If people deny that Jesus is the Christ, they cannot be saved. If Jesus was just an angel or a normal man like you or I then we have no basis for our salvation. Salvation is dependent upon believing correctly the truth and I really do not care what other religious people try to teach. If anyone can get to heaven by believing anything that they want then Jesus was a liar. Jesus very clearly said “I am the only way to the Father” (John 14:6). Therefore, what you believe about Jesus matters very much.
The Jews today believe that God had no son. Therefore, they deny the Christ. Islam today teaches and believes that God had no son. So they categorically deny that Jesus was the Christ. What we can clearly observe is a pattern of deception occurring. This pattern of opposition represents a thread of lies that crosses boundaries between even opposing religions. Both Judaism and Islam clearly teach and deny that God had no Son. Now we can see this same erroneous religious philosophy corrupting modern church teachings and churches in a similar way. The denial of the existence of the Son has now started to creep into churches. How does one lie cross so easily between such diverse religions? It would seem to me that there is an outside force that is prompting these separate lies of deception to be taught. I believe that this outside force is the father of lies called Satan. You need to ask yourself, why does Satan want people to not believe in the true identity of the Son of God? Why is it important for people not to know the actual character, nature and origin of the man Jesus Christ? This knowledge should peak your interest enough to find the answers because your eternal destiny rests upon you knowing the truth. Don’t believe me? Who then saved you? Did an angel save you? Did a man like Muhammad save you? Who is your faith placed in to save you? If it is not God then you have been deceived.
I believe that there should never be any direct connections of equivalence made between any created beings and any divine being. We cannot lower the divine down or raise the created up to make them equal. When anyone makes the statement that Jesus pre-existed in heaven in the form of Michael a potential angel they are lowering Jesus’ true divine position and claiming Him to be the equivalent to any other created being. When they try to teach that Jesus is God today but before becoming a man he was Michael the potential angel, then they are raising Michael from the lower level of a created being to the level of the divine. Either position is a corruption of the truth. Any corruption of truth is a potential poison that may kill you. I believe that where the confusion originated is when God the eternal divine chose by His will to be made mortal flesh and thus divine God joined Himself to His creation in a brand new manifested form. This single act of God the divine was not expected by Satan and it seals the fate of Satan and this is why he fights it with all of his might to deny that it even occurred. However, God by His own sovereign will did this for a very specific cause and purpose that I will not be able to fully address today in this lesson.
THE ORIGIN OF THE ANGELIC CLASS OF BEINGS
Let’s begin by researching and considering the origin of angels. We should know from Bible study that there are only a few named angelic beings revealed to us in the Bible. I did a more complete study of the subject of angels called “Understanding Angels” if you want to study this subject in more depth than I can spend today in this single lesson. The three primary named angels are Lucifer, Michael and Gabriel. These three angels each held special high roles in the organized structure of heaven. I personally believe that each of these angels has at least some sub-ordinate angels under their authority and command. However, I believe if you study the subject out you have to conclude that the angel Gabriel is not as strong of an angel power as either Michael or Lucifer. We may look at this later. However, ask the question, where did angels come from? Are angels an eternal divine being like the divine God or do angels have a creation point where they first originated.
Eze 28:13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
Eze 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Eze 28:15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
Reading these verses we can clearly see that God reveals the creation of the angel Lucifer. The Hebrew word translated as “created” here is the exact same word used by God in Genesis 1:1 when God says He created the heavens and the earth in the beginning. Therefore, we have a one for one word match that Lucifer the angel was also a created being with a stated beginning. I have to conclude just by this information that if one angel was created then every angel was also created. This would certainly include Michael if he is an angel. Therefore, ALL angels had an origination point with no status of pre-existence before being created. Anything created must come from a creator outside of the realm of the creation. This is just very basic self-evident logic observed all around us. We understand when we see an automobile or building that someone apart from the automobile and building created them. According to the Bible God is the only eternal being with no stated beginning and no end. Therefore, God is the only qualified individual to begin or create anything with an origination point. Do you understand this logic so far?
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE REVEAL ABOUT MICHAEL?
Let’s counter the false conclusion that Michael and Jesus are the same individuals using the information revealed to us in the Word of God. This belief would either reduce Jesus to a created being class with no pre-existence the same as Lucifer or it would raise Michael to be an eternal being in the divine class and we are beginning to see that this is not true but we need more Bible evidence to prove it. Clearly if Jesus is reduced to a created being the argument position fails the initial verse test that places Jesus the Son on the equivalent level as God the Father. Let’s do a further analysis of the limited information given to us about the being Michael in the Bible. I’ll start by going to the last mention of Michael in the Bible and then working backwards through the Bible:
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 what we have is a stated future war being described to us that takes place in the spiritual realm of heaven between Satan and his angels and Michael and his angels. It is very important to note three things in this description; the timing of the event, the location of the event and then the participants of the event. We should be able to clearly see that this event is a future tense subject by backing up and reading the scripture in Revelation chapter 4 and verse 1. We then should be able to clearly observe that this described event takes place in heaven (a spiritual dimension) and not here on the earth (a physical dimension). Finally, we can see two opposing forces that are in conflict against each other. One force is directed by Satan a created being and the other force is directed by Michael. Therefore I have concluded from this information that Michael still exists in this future event description and this was written well after Jesus was raised from the dead and had ascended back into heaven in Acts 1. Uh oh? I think I can see a problem conflict coming. Do you see it? Are there two different individuals now? One is called Jesus and one is called Michael? What I can observe is that if Michael was the preexistence of Jesus then Michael should have ceased to exist when Jesus was manifested yet we see Michael still mentioned after Jesus was raised back into heaven. Is Jesus now become Michael again? Or are there two separate individuals with one named Michael and one named Jesus?
We find by continuing to read in Revelation that Michael and his angels prevail against Satan and his angels and that Satan and his angels are then cast back down to the earth in verse 9. Here we have the confirmation of strength difference between angelic beings. If Satan was stronger than Michael, then Satan would prevail but that is not the stated pattern that is revealed to us in the Bible. Michael is clearly the winner in every confrontation with Satan, but we should note that both leaders have angels that are subordinate to them. This is a verse that could imply Michael to be Jesus or equivalent to Jesus but that is a weak erroneous assumption that falls apart by further Bible study and analysis.
The being Michael is only directly named in 5 verses of the Bible. Three times in the book of Daniel, once in the book of Jude and this verse here in Revelation 12 that we have just looked into. Therefore we can only read a limited set of information given about this being and draw from them whatever facts are given to us. We also need to be smart enough to not jump to any erroneous conclusions from the provided information that is not being directly revealed. I personally believe that God provides us sufficient information to find the truth of Michael and Jesus and we will only come to one conclusion as we continue to explore all of the information provided.
I selected this verse in Revelation to study first because this verse helps us to begin to prove that Michael is not Jesus and that Jesus is not Michael. Nowhere in the Bible is Jesus connected to be Michael. They are always separate distinct named individuals. These verses in Revelation 12 are speaking of Michael as a future heavenly warrior after the physical birth, life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ being taken back to heaven in Acts 1. Thus we can easily conclude that the being Michael still exists even after God became a man in his son Jesus Christ.
God very clearly describes and names Jesus as being in heaven in 12 different verses in Revelation. In 27 other verses in Revelation we find Jesus being titled the “Lamb” and these references are also directed as Him being in heaven. Nowhere in the Bible is Michael ever called the Lamb, associated to be the Lamb or even close to becoming the lamb. I believe that it is technically and logically impossible for Michael and Jesus to be both mentioned in a future prophecy book using two different names at the same time if they are the same individual. That would make Jesus a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; one man with two personalities and that is another contradiction with scripture that teaches us “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb 13:8). God would not name the same individual with the name Jesus and the name Michael in the same book of the Bible. Let’s read quickly the previous found Bible reference of Michael in Jude:
Jud 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
Michael is clearly revealed to be an “archangel” in this verse. An archangel is a specific class of angelic beings which are of a higher order of responsibility than other angels. What we have just accomplished is that we have determined proof that God in the Bible calls Michael an angel and not a divine being. This makes Michael in the same class as Lucifer and helps us confirm that Michael was also a created being. Here in this verse we can clearly see that Michael was in another dispute with the angel Satan over the body of Moses. This is just a continuation of a pattern. Then notice what Michael says to Satan! The archangel Michael says “The Lord rebuke you”. That statement proves that Michael is not the “Lord”. Uh oh? That must be a new problem for anyone that says the Lord Jesus was a pre-existent Michael! If the Lord Jesus was Michael, he would have simply said “I rebuke you” and that would have been all of that conversation and Michael would have revealed to everyone that he was the Lord. I believe that we have just proven that Michael cannot be the Lord Jesus with this single verse and the previous one given to us in Revelation. However, let’s look at another important verse found in the book of Daniel about this individual named Michael:
Dan 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Ok, here is another very interesting verse of truth containing more important facts about the identity and nature of the archangel Michael. We find that the angel Gabriel is speaking to the prophet Daniel and he says the angel Michael came to help him to get through to defeat Satan in order to be present in this conversation. This older spiritual war took place over a time period of 21 days in duration hundreds of years before Jesus was born on the earth. Did you notice what this verse says about the named angel Michael? Michael is very clearly described to be ONE of other unnamed “chief princes”. We are not given the number of “chief princes” that were created but there is definitely more than one of them. A chief prince denotes a type of ruler authority and means that there are sub-ordinate beings or princes under his command. It also literally means that Michael is just ONE of these “chief princes” and I believe that this causes great difficulty of conflict if only one of these chief princes became the incarnate man Jesus. What happened to all of the others and why were they not selected? What God has just revealed about the angel Michael is that he is not a unique being. What have we just learned from these three verses about Michael? Here is a quick review of the basic facts:
- Michael existed prior to the birth of Jesus found in the book of Daniel.
- Michael was warring with Satan in the book of Daniel to help the angel Gabriel reach his destiny here on the earth.
- Michael still exists after Jesus was born, died and was resurrected back to heaven according to Revelation 12.
- Michael is still a warrior angel in Revelation 12 continuing to battle Satan.
- Michael is nothing but a created archangel according to Jude.
- Michael by his own confession says that he is not the “Lord” according to Jude.
- Michael is clearly stated to be just one of other “chief princes” making him non-unique and no more special than any other created angel according to Daniel. I believe that this does not make Michael special enough to die to take away our sins.
How can you from these facts given to us conclude that Michael is the pre-existed Lord Jesus Christ? I honestly do not have a clue how this teaching can be considered legitimate using these basic Bible facts. Why, is the Lord Jesus Christ called the “KING of kings and the LORD of lords” (Rev 19:6)? It is simply to inform you that Jesus is not one “chief prince” of many but is rather the ONE LORD and KING of all. If Michael was the Lord, he would have said to Satan “I rebuke you” and not “The Lord rebuke you”. This is just so elementary that I don’t know why people are missing it.
WHO DOES THE BIBLE SAY JESUS WAS?
Who was Jesus? Who did Jesus claim to be? Did Jesus ever claim to be an angel? What does the Bible reveal about Jesus to us? Did Jesus ever claim to originate from Michael? If you do not know it yet, Jesus was the eternal God coming personally to the earth in the flesh to die for your sins. This is why Satan wants to discredit His identity. Here are some quick verses to help establish this essential truth:
Mat 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Here is a very basic divine truth that needs to be established firmly in your heart. The angel announces to us that a virgin shall conceive and bring forth a child and His name shall be called “Emmanuel”. Emmanuel is a Hebrew name for the coming prophesied child that literally means “God with us”. What is being described to us in this name definition is that the eternal Spirit of God will come and manifest physically in human form to be observed firsthand by His own creation. The creation of God will for the first time be able to naturally observe their creator. Jesus will be the full manifestation of the combined Spiritual divine Godhead united with His created natural mortal man. Jesus Christ will be 100% God and 100% a man. There is no angel Michael in this work mentioned. The definition given to us from the name “Emmanuel” is simply that God will appear in the form of a man. Jesus would have been given a different name if it was “Michael with us”. Did you know that what a name means in the Bible is always important to God? God conceals important items of truth in the names of many people found in the Bible. If you don’t believe me then you need to go study the genealogy found in Genesis 5. The meanings of each of the names from Adam to Noah teach the complete plan of salvation of God. Every name has a purpose and teaches us something. For example the name Michael means “Who is like God”. That name teaches us that Michael is not God but rather a reflection of someone asking about Him or observing Him. Take the name “Israel” as a direct contrast to the name “Michael”. Both names contain the same Hebrew root word “el” which is translated as a “God”. However it is the other root words combined with this word that makes them so different. Do you know what the name “Israel” means? The name “Israel” means “He will rule as God” and that informs us who Israel really is. Israel is not just the name of a natural nation of people on the earth but according to the Bible it was a name of their God. It is clear to me that whoever possesses the name “Israel” will be the God divine ruler. I don’t have time to teach that but know the facts and understand that Bible names have meanings and that these meanings teach important messages.
I am going through the verses that declare Jesus to be God. We just looked at the verse in Matthew where Jesus was named “Emmanuel” and discovered what it meant. Let me give you other verses that say the same thing using different word descriptions. Read these important facts closely:
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.
In the beginning was the Word. God initiates the book of John with words that parallel Genesis 1:1. God basically connects Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1 together by His specific word selection. God is giving his commentary on the Genesis 1:1 creation using new descriptions. Here God says that the Word existed eternally and equally with God. This Word being described here in John 1:1 was clearly God. What we are observing is another parallel verse to my introductory foundation verse from 1 John 2:2. However, in these verses in John we are seeing that God equates “the Word” to be equal with God and in 1 John 2:2 we saw that the Son was equal with God. Do you know what that means? I’ll tell you in minute.
I think we need to establish a basic foundational Christian truth to who this God is being described to us in the Bible. This God called the Word in John 1:1 is the same as the God described to be a Spirit in John 4:24. Therefore I believe that this God who is Spirit is the same as this God who is the Word. Wrap your minds around what is being taught here because it is clearly way beyond normal human imagination. God is clearly telling us that His Spirit, and His Word and His Son are all equal to one in the same. How might you ask can I legally arrive at this conclusion? I am simply using God’s created laws of mathematics and Algebra to facilitate this fact. What law of mathematics am I speaking of? There is a very basic law of mathematics that states if A=B and B=C then we know that A=C. Do you see how I arrived at those statements now and how that they are correct? We can clearly see if God = Word (John 1:1), God = Son (1 John 2:2) and God = Spirit (John 4:24) that we can apply the laws of mathematics and say that Word = God and Word = Son and Word = Spirit. I think I probably went over the heads of many readers. Hang in there if you do not enjoy mathematics like I do.
What we can read in John 1:3 is that God confirms to us that everything created in the beginning was created by the Word of God. This eternal Word God created all temporary physical space and matter. Continuing to read down in the first chapter of John you get to the confirmation of the identity of Jesus:
Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
This verse is very clear with the identity of Jesus as the Word God who is also Spirit. Jesus was the stated Word/Spirit and He was made flesh for our benefit. This is simply another way to say “Emmanuel” or God with us. John writes that because God became flesh that we were able to behold (see, observe) His glory. This was the creator God making Himself known in ways that blows the mind of devils, demons and natural men that do not want to believe in the existence of a loving God in the form of a Son. This was an expression of divine love beyond normal human comprehension. Why would an all-powerful God that could choose to do anything, choose to humble Himself to become a part of His own creation and walk around as if He was just one of us?
Eph 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
God continues to reveal in this verse that all of creation was performed by Jesus Christ the Word. This clearly claims that Jesus Christ was the Word of God since God created everything by His Word as we have just seen in John 1:3. If Jesus was the creator of all things then Jesus pre-existed all creation. The only way this is possible is if Jesus is divine, eternal and the Lord God. Notice the word ALL things in John 1:3. If Jesus was Michael then this would make Michael a non-created being and that belief falls apart quickly. This would mean Michael created everything and was God and that belief comes short of sound Biblical doctrine immediately just from the verses that we read about Michael. There are so many contradictions to this teaching that I just can’t give them all to you. But we will continue with a few more important verses of confirmation to the identity of Jesus:
Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Rev 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
Rev 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
I wanted to include these verses to help confirm who this Jesus is that is coming back to the earth in Revelation and help you see that He is not called Michael but rather in verse 13 He is named the Word of God again. Who was the Word of God according to John 1:1? We know the Word of God was God and thus this Word God comes back riding on the white horse to the earth. There is no connection to Michael being stated here, formerly, presently or in any future tense.
WHO DID JESUS CLAIM TO BE?
Let’s examine who Jesus claimed to be while here on the earth to help prove that Jesus never said that He pre-existed as Michael. Who did Jesus say was His Father? Was it ever communicated that Michael was the father of Jesus? Did Jesus ever claim to pre-exist? In at least 70 verses in the N.T. Jesus is called the “Son of God”. Clearly to be called a son means that the man Jesus originated from a source of parental beings. From reading the Bible we know the physical natural mother of Jesus was named Mary and she is described to be a virgin having never known a man. The angel appears to her and informs her that she has been favored and she will have a son. She asks how this is possible and the angel tells her the Holy Spirit will come upon her and she will conceive. If you do not understand the concepts of the virgin birth you need to read my lesson series on that subject. I just told you that there are 70 verses that claim Jesus was the Son of God. We must conclude that the Spirit/Word God became the Father of the man Jesus. Therefore, the man Jesus was a product of the union between a natural woman’s egg and the Word of God coming from the Spirit that created all of creation with His Word. Take note that if God can create a natural world by speaking words, it is a very small thing to get a woman pregnant by speaking the same kind of words. Do you agree? Let’s take a look at some things that Jesus spoke:
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Here in this verse Jesus speaking of Himself declares that His father was God. Jesus claims to be the literal ONLY BEGOTTEN Son of God and that is a very important distinction to understand. Earlier we saw that Michael was called one of several chief princes. Clearly Michael was not a unique being. Here Jesus clearly states that He is completely UNIQUE! I’m not like Him, you’re not like Him, Satan is not like Him and Michael is not like Him. Jesus is a one of a kind being God never having done this before. So please tell me how a non-unique angel name Michael becomes a unique Son of God named Jesus? Can you even try to make some new lies to explain that? I pray that you are learning something.
Joh 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
What did Jesus just say in this verse? Can you see it? This verse is only understood if you know who Jesus really is. If Jesus is not God in the flesh then Jesus just lied. Jesus looked in the faces of His disciples and told them when you have seen me, you have seen my Father. How can this possibly be if His father is not God and He is not His Father? Go back to the law of mathematics again. Jesus just said “Seeing Me = Seeing Jesus”. Then Jesus literally says “Seeing Jesus = Seeing My Father”. Therefore Jesus was claiming to be the same creator God in the flesh. This is not rocket science people, can you see it? Let me show you some other important verses that Jesus spoke:
Joh 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
Joh 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
Jesus just made a statement to the Jewish leaders and said that what He did was equal to what His Father was working. Jesus had just healed a man on the Sabbath and this upset the religious minded people significantly. However, that was not the final straw. They heard these words that Jesus just spoke and realized that He had just said that He was equal to God and now they really wanted to kill Him. Did you understand that? Jesus said literally “My Father Works” and “I Work”. That is a very clear reference to equality. You cannot find any verse in the Bible that declares any angel to be equal to God. That would include Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer and every other unnamed angel. No angel is an equal to their creator. Only the creator Himself can be called an equal. Let’s look at one set of example verses to help confirm what I am teaching: Look at these two verses very carefully:
Mat 4:6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Mat 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Here in context is Jesus being tempted after being forty days in the wilderness without eating. The temptations are coming from the angel Lucifer also known as Satan. The name Satan simply means “adversary”. So Satan had become the enemy of Jesus. In verse 6 Satan has just tempted Jesus by asking Him to cast Himself down off of a high place. It would be like you standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona and Satan telling you to jump. But, did you notice what else was said? Satan a chief prince said it is written that if you jump “He will give His angels charge over you and in their hands they shall bear you up and save you from the fall”. Wow that is a strong statement? Who is the He that will give His angels charge”. It is not Michael even though Michael has angels under his command. If Jesus was Michael here His response would have been totally different to this statement. Did you notice what Jesus said and who Jesus claimed to be here? Jesus quotes an Old Testament verse that says “Don’t tempt the Lord your God”. Jesus was looking at the face of Satan saying I am your Lord God, why are you tempting me? I think that is pretty clear that Jesus is not an angel and never was an angel. I could just continue with many other verses but I’ll end with this one:
Mat 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
Here we have Jesus personally making another statement about Himself. Jesus calls Himself the “Son of Man” but then He also follows that name by calling Himself the title of “Lord” and that makes it very clear who He was claiming to be. Michael is never called Lord by anyone, in fact if you read in Revelation 19:10 when John sees an angel and falls down at his feet the angel rebukes John and tells him not to worship him, because he is a fellow servant with John. God’s Angels and Christian humans are called “fellow servants”. What was Michael? Was Michael not an angel of God’s also? If Michael is an angel like the Bible says then Michael is a fellow servant with me and not my Lord. If any angel was ever guilty of calling himself Lord it will be Satan and he will be cast in the lake of fire for his lies. Only the God in heaven is ever called the Lord hundreds of time in the Bible. God has no problem with calling Himself LORD as is His right. This is what Jesus just did with His statement of being the Lord in Matthew 12:8.
Jesus never claimed to be anyone but God. Jesus never claimed to be a former angel. Michael never called himself Lord but Jesus clearly called Himself Lord. Jesus clearly claimed to be unique not conceived like any other human but the Bible says Michael is not a unique being. Only Jesus can claim to be the “Son of Man” and the “Son of God” and both be true. I believe I have given sufficient evidence in the Bible to establish that Jesus was not Michael in the pre-incarnation spiritual dimension. I believe that we can see Jesus and Michael both being mentioned in future prophecy of Revelation and each have their own distinct roles and responsibilities. Michael is clearly just a warrior angel of God. He had a spiritual warring role in the book of Daniel to get Gabriel through to the earth with a message and we can see another example of him warring in heaven and casting Satan down to the earth in Revelation 12. The role of Michael has not changed from Daniel to Revelation. Michael was created to be an archangel and he has not departed from that role and he will remain in that role.
Can we now agree that Michael is not Jesus? Can we agree that Jesus is God? I could have given you many more scriptures but that was long enough for time spent on this type of question. I have spent two whole days writing this Bible lesson and it took away from what I was working on for a month. I hope I helped someone to understand the truth of the Bible and may it will help to point others to the one True God Jesus Christ. I pray that God will continue to bless you, until I get the next lesson completed.
Is the Rapture of the Church Really Found in the Bible? Rapture Basics in Intelligent Design – Part 3
(Ver 1.2) This is Part 3 in a series of advanced spiritual Bible lessons on the important subject of “Is the Rapture of the Church a Bible Truth”. If you have not read from the first lesson I would highly recommend that you go and start your study review with “Part 1” and then continue in succession until today’s lesson. I have been going through the steps for building a firm doctrinal foundation for the Biblical subject of rapture. In the last lesson we explored 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 to begin our discovery process to what God was teaching the early church on the subject of being “caught up”. The Greek word “harpazo” was correctly and clearly translated as “caught up” in this verse and this Greek word is just a synonymous term for the modern English word “rapture”. We further explored at least 6 historical rapture events recorded in the Bible to verify that being “caught up” was not a fictional or manmade concept but it was given to us by God as a standard pattern in the Bible starting in Genesis and going all the way to Revelation.
As we have discovered, not every historical rapture event reported in the Bible was both physical and spiritual but still every example fulfilled the pattern for the sovereign display of the power of God to take a man suddenly out of the world. Each of these recorded rapture events that I mentioned from the Bible were the divine intervention of a sovereign God that interrupted the normal course of human events for the selected few that were affected. We learned several important lessons from these examples. For example, we can clearly observe that when these events transpired, that the man selected by God was removed from the earth while all others remained on the earth to be left behind. We can further learn from the study of these men taken up that each was considered to be righteous and not evil in the sight of God. Every person recorded in the Bible that has already been raptured was a righteous man in good relationship with the almighty God. I could not find where God takes up an unrighteous man from off of the face of the earth as a historical pattern. If you know of one that I missed you are free to tell me about it. From what I have seen all those that were taken up by God had the normal course of their life suddenly and instantly translated by divine designed interruption. These are all very important patterns to apply and remember. God will not take everyone in the next scheduled rapture event either and God will only be focused upon the righteous people as is revealed in these great Bible patterns.
From the six recorded historical rapture events we have found in the Bible, three were very clear examples of living breathing men leaving the earth in complete unified body and spirit form. These three men were Enoch, Elijah and the risen from the dead Lord Jesus Christ. We of course know that Jesus going up was different from Enoch and Elijah since Jesus had tasted death first but was then resurrected back to life before He went up to heaven in Acts 1. It is important to distinguish this difference since Enoch and Elijah never tasted physical natural death and they were both taken up by God as they were walking with God like we who believe in rapture soon will be also. We further know that neither Enoch nor Elijah had any power or control over what transpired. However the Lord Jesus Christ went up under His own control and power at His own timing, but He was also God. Enoch and Elijah establish a pattern that teaches us that every living being does not necessarily have to experience natural death to be taken into the presence of God. These three divine transportations from the face of the earth prove the concept of rapture is absolutely true and more than possible beyond any doubt in my mind. We further saw two examples of spiritual transportation to heaven to view things never seen by human men and these two described experiences were Paul and Isaiah. Finally, we also saw another human man named Phillip in Acts that was transported physically and spiritually from one natural location to another natural location on the earth. All of these clear examples prove that another event just like those can occur by God’s selected design. We have not talked about the book of Revelation or any future rapture events yet but we will get there as the Bible study continues.
A FRESH LOOK AT 1 THESSALONIANS 4:16-17
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Today in this Bible lesson I am going to do a few things very different than in the majority of my other Bible lessons. I am going to attempt to go into more technical depth with the basic Bible rapture information found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. I plan to give you a brand new approach for Bible study. This method will help you to see how I think about the subjects found within a Bible study. I realize that not everyone is like me and I understand that completely. We are all unique beings with differing life experiences, training, education and personalities. So while I describe to you how I study the Bible I am not saying that you must be like me or you are wrong. I hope that you keep this in mind as you read the rest of the lesson. I will not attempt to promote my Bible Study method as being superior to anything that you do. In fact after you read this lesson, please be brave to share how you study the Bible, I would love to hear about it in a comment. My primary point here is that we all just need to study the Bible and if anyone can use anything from my methods and learn from them that is really great, but if you have another method that works for you then you be led by the Spirit of God and do it that way.
I believe that many people do not generally spend enough time when studying specific verses in the Bible. I am going to focus today on 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 again to help some to learn that there is always more that we can get from reading the same verses over. In fact, most of the greatest revelations that I have received from the Spirit of God has come only after I spent significant time reading the verses over and over and over again. Sometimes after the 30th repetition of reading it slowly again, the Words on the page would suddenly come to life in my spirit and I would see something new that I had never seen before. Even as I continue to meditate upon the verses and reread them I would again see something new that I had not seen before. I have learned that God just works like this because humans are generally spiritual dull people requiring their minds to be renewed with the truth before being able to see what God is saying in the Bible. It is also noteworthy to consider that because of the extreme intelligence of God, He is able to say significantly more in a few words than any human can say writing an entire book. Usually this mind renewal process is not a onetime read it and we got it type of miracle. Even if someone has a photographic memory and can immediately quote the verse that they just read does not mean that they understand what it said completely in their spirit. You can even teach a parrot to quote the Bible but that bird will not understand what he is saying I hope you understand these principles because they were very important points that I have learned from experience.
Let’s examine these Bible verses in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and extract the primary stated nouns, verbs and adjectives. This is actually a very good first step in any Bible study. If you have never done this I would suggest that you put this into your study habits. It will help us to be more detailed oriented when reading and it helps us stop at each word and consider why God has placed this word within the text. Also, in doing this it will help explain how these words selected by God fit into a new way to study the Bible that I use constantly and I’ll talk more about this later. A noun is a person, place or thing and is usually tangible in nature, recognizable within the 5 sense realm, but not always. There certainly exist many intangible nouns beyond the 5 sense realm of the natural senses. A verb is a part of speech that expresses existence, action, or occurrence and it is usually connected in relationship to the stated noun part of the sentence. Finally, an adjective is a word or phrase of descriptive quality that modifies any given noun in the sentence. An adjective almost always limits the qualified scope of the noun definition by providing us with specific descriptions, attributes or qualities of the specified noun. I am going to give you a list of what I found in these two verses and I would like it if you would see if you can agree with me on these. I certainly realize that I am not a perfect man and that I do not know everything so I am open to correction if you have very strong sound evidence for your belief and understanding of the these subjects.
|17||Alive||(In Christ) implied||Caught Up|
This list is certainly not every word identified in the verses, but I believe that they represent the major subjects, actions and descriptions being communicated. Being a detailed person I like to consider the words like “the”, “and”, “with”, “in” and etc., but including all of these in this study would make the lesson considerably longer. Correct Bible study involves much deeper digging beyond a simplistic one time surface reading and this is what I am attempting to demonstrate to you today. I personally believe that one of the next steps to correct Bible study is for us to look up each original language word definition in a good dictionary like “Strong”, “Thayer” or others. I have found from experience that Strong appears to be a good word definition source however I do not consider it a perfect book without errors or at least certain human bias. For example, Strong names the natural land of Israel “Palestine” in many of its definitions and I disagree with that. There has never been a nation of “Palestine” that I know of. Strong may have had a good reason for doing this, but I have not found it yet and it seems to promote the modern Palestinian view that the land of Israel does not belong to the nation of Israel. I will point out that when Dr. Strong published this book back in 1890 the nation of Israel did not technically exist until 1948 when they were again given parts of this land area and reestablished as a nation. Therefore when the concordance was published he could have viewed this land as the land of Palestine even though that nation did not exist either.
I have found 16 major nouns and some of them are used more than once like “Lord” and “we”. I have found at least 5 distinct verbs of described accomplishment or action. The adjectives are mainly two words that are describing two different types of Christians, the physically dead and the physically alive. To study this completely we would need to look up the definitions of every word in the original Greek language to insure our understanding is complete on the word’s usage and translation into English. I do this to protect the accuracy of the translation and in doing this I have discovered many mistakes that the translators have made. If you have not ever looked up the definitions of these words in a dictionary like Strong’s, I would strongly suggest that you spend the time and do it before continuing to read. I simply will not go into that level of detail on every word to keep this lesson from growing into a longer book form.
I will point out a few key words that are important in verse 16. The Greek word G2962 translated as “Lord” means the supreme one in authority and can only be a reference to Jesus Christ. Therefore Jesus is at the beginning of this described future event. The Greek word G2597 translated as “descend” means to come down and we are told the originating location for the descent by the Greek word G3772 translated as “heaven” the abode of God as one possible rendition. So far in this event we have the risen spiritual Jesus from spiritual heaven descending down towards the physical natural earth. That represents two realms of existence and a transition between them taking place. I’ll skip the “trump“, the “archangel”, the “voice” and the “shout” for now. Let’s go down to the Greek word G3498 translated as “dead” and you will find that this Greek word G3498 means a literal corpse. The next primary verb is the Greek word G450 translated as “rise” literally means to stand upright again. Thus we have Jesus coming down and the corpses arising up. These are very descriptive words and I do not understand how or why people explain them away but they do.
Let’s quickly review some of the other key words found in verse 17. The Greek word G2249 translated as “we” is just a plural form of the personal pronoun “I”. Therefore God’s usage of this word “we” represents a group of more than one. We of course are not given a number of people in this group and it could be an open ended quantity anywhere from 2 to more than we could count. Did you ever think about the term “we”? What is it that allows many separate individual people to be grouped into a single named pronoun entity? The answer to that question is they all must have something in common together or they are not a “we”. Also notice that the writer’s usage of the term “we” includes “me” the author of the letter. Paul was clearly including himself in the category by using “we” or “us” and not “them” or “they” which would have excluded Paul. Who are all of these “we” people and what is it that all these individuals in this “we” group have in common in this verse with Paul the writer? The answers to those questions are found in the adjective that follows the pronoun.
The next key word G2198 is used as an adjective description for the preceding pronoun “we” and it was translated as “alive”. G2198 literally means “to live”. Clearly we are observing the stated contrast of verse 16 the dead corpses from the living bodies of those that are described to “live” here on the earth in verse 17. Always attempt to place what you are reading in any verse within the context of the surrounding verses. This is just a general rule of sound Bible interpretation. Then notice that Paul was obviously alive when he wrote this letter, so he was including himself in this group of living and excluding himself from the group of corpses previously mentioned. However, that is still not sufficient information for us to conclude who Paul was referring to as the “we” in this sentence because of the “and” word that connects the additional point to the description. This next connected subject was the word “remain”. Who remains, who left and what does that mean? The Greek word G4035 translated as “remain” literally means those “left behind”. However this “remain” can only be clearly understood correctly within the context statement of the preceding verse. Verse 16 clearly speaks of the antithesis of those alive in verse 17. In verse 16 Paul writes about those that were not only “dead” rising but then speaks why they rise because they were also “Dead-In-Christ”. The “Dead-In-Christ” must have already departed the earth to be present with Christ Jesus or the inclusion of the word “remain” would not make any sense to have been present in the sentence. Can you begin to see how God says so much using so few words? The wisdom of God is way beyond human ability to have written this text. Notice that both verse 16 and 17 are clearly talking about two types of contrasting Christians. One Christian group has physically died and spiritually departed earth and the other Christian group is alive and remains behind on the earth.
Finally the next key verb found in verse 17 after the stated adjective and noun is the Greek verb “harpazo” that we have already looked at before and it just means in context “to be taken up by force or external divine power”. This is just not that complicated until you listen to deceived people that are trying to explain it all away using satanically inspired human reasoning. Satan attempts to use people to help others see things that are not being communicated in the verses, but the Holy Spirit will always point us to Jesus and the truth. We have just spent a very short time reviewing some of the key words found in the text, but certainly not everyone. I hope and pray that you are getting the idea of how to do this for yourself. I would much rather teach you how to fish than just give you a fish to eat in my lesson. I know I have said that before, but not everyone has read every lesson that I have published.
What should the next step in the process of correct Bible study? All of these steps are open to debate, but my next step is usually to explore the Bible for where else each word is used in the Bible? I would recommend that we need to exert effort to discover God’s usage of each of these selected words in the verses we are studying to insure that God does not redefine the word in any other verse of the Bible. I have discovered that God’s definitions are always true and man’s definitions are always wrong. Also by examining the word usage we can have a greater confidence and a more complete understanding of the entire subject being discussed. Only by examining every word usage can we be assured that what we are teaching and believing is correct. Simply by ignoring just one key verse on any subject from the Bible, that lack of information can leave us void of the complete truth omitting the key elements of the topic. I pray that you realize that many times a partial or incomplete truth is more deceptive than a complete or total lie. Not balancing every scripture on a subject will cause someone to think they believe the entire truth when they do not.
I certainly understand that the number of times any given word is used by God can make the research of the subject more complex if there are a great number of references found. For example, the Greek word G2962 which is translated as “Lord” is found in well over 600 verses of the N.T. alone. That is a bunch of verses to read for any study. However, if you have any doubts to who this “Lord” represents in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 then you need to do that study to resolve any conflicts in your mind that it can be no one else but the God/Man Jesus Christ. If after reading all 600+ verses and still not being able to confirm that this word references Jesus, then I would suggest that you get saved and get to know Him personally for yourself before you come back and study the Bible.
Some words in the Bible are used very frequently and that truly makes them challenging for us to go and read every occurrence. I suggest that if the word usage is less than 100 verses that you take the time and read them all. If it is used many more than 100 times then that is probably more time than you have to spend. I guess it depends upon your effort that you wish to devote. I have found the harder I work the more I am rewarded with finding good things that I did not know before. Take the Greek word G2597 translated as “descend” in verse 16. It is found in 80 verses of the N.T. Many times it is translated as “come down”, “came down”, “descended”, “and descending”, etc. In reading all of these verses it seems very consistent what it means and it helps us to understand the word in relation to the Lord noun being described coming down from heaven. Perhaps you do not know where heaven is stated to be in the Bible? That would be an excellent question for you to answer in your word search. You are probably not going to find the answer directly in the N.T. but it is stated clearly in the O.T. in Isaiah for example:
Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
We should be able to see that Satan is being revealed to make a statement about the placement of the throne of God in a realm called heaven. Satan is obviously on the earth looking up and telling God what he will do to ascend up to raise himself above all the other angels (symbolic stars). I also take it that the direction given is very relative to the direction of this throne and heaven. North is the only stated reference to a physical direction, but even this is relative to the position of the earth during the earth’s tilt and cycle around the sun. I personally believe that this is just a general direction of where heaven is revealed to be, since I have no proof for this location other than what the Bible says. Therefore, I am not going to fight over it, if you choose to disagree with what I just said. I will give you one other verse that appears to confirm what I just said about the location of heaven:
Psa 75:6 For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
As you can read every direction given is where “promotion” does not originate from. Which direction is therefore implied to be the source for a human’s promotion? It is obviously from the north again. If you read the context of this verse it is clearly speaking about God’s location being the one that raises up one man and lowers another man’s position on the earth. Therefore God the judge is stated to be seated in the North. We could go into other verses, but that is not a primary part of the rapture message even though it helps to establish which direction He will be coming from.
Take the Greek word G2398 translated as “dead” in verse 16. Here is a fascinating word that can teach us a lot that is found in 123 verses of the N.T. But, interestingly enough this Greek word is consistently translated as the same English word “dead” in every single one of them. That is a tremendous rarity to find in so many translated verses. Normally a Greek word can be translated into several different English synonymous words and some of them might be a stretched application for the given verse. However, in this Greek word translation example, we can be more confident that “dead” literally means “dead”. By reading all of those other verses, you will discover that this Greek word is almost consistently used to describe the physical death of the natural body. However, that is not actually true in every word usage found in the entire New Testament. This becomes a clear example of why it is so important to read every verse to expand what this word can apply to. Take for example Matthew 8:22 where Jesus is speaking to a young man and tells him “let the dead bury their dead” when asked if it was permissible for him to go and bury his own dead father. Here we have an important revelation of two kinds of dead being described in a single verse. Since it is impossible for physically dead people to bury physically dead people Jesus had to be speaking of a new type of death and I call this the spiritually dead people in the city burying the physically dead people that have died naturally. I know this presents some brand new challenging information for you to deal with in all of your Bible study verses. However, that is what is necessary to learn when studying the Bible. What we have just observed is a very basic Bible fact that the same Greek or Hebrew word can be used to describe both a spiritual truth and a physical truth and we need to be able to determine which it is or we will be confused. That becomes a great challenge for us in rightly dividing the Word of Truth to determine which realm is being referenced in any one verse (2 Tim 2:15). We can normally do this by examining the source statement closely within the context of the surrounding verses. I hope you understand this point that I just taught you. It is a major stumbling block to many carnal Christians when they read the Bible seeing all of the words as being natural references only.
It is a good basic rule of interpretation to take the Bible literally first and then seek to understand it as being non-literal only if there is a major conflict for a literal revealed truth. Since Jesus was literally speaking about a real funeral service of a literal dead natural man, these are easy to accept as being literal interpretations and not symbolic references. However, when Jesus tells the young man to let the dead bury his father, this departs from natural logic and can only be a symbolic spiritual reference to people that are clearly implied not to be like Jesus or the disciple. This is one of those types of verses that one needs to see what is implied but not directly stated. Jesus did not volunteer to go and help bury the dead father, Jesus is implying that he is not dead physically or spiritually. Since Jesus did not tell the young disciple to go bury his father, Jesus was implying this man was not dead physically or spiritually. These are just very basic ways to look at scriptures correctly dividing spiritual things from natural things to understand what was being stated. I truly hope that you understand this concept because this will be repeated in so many other verses and subjects of the Bible.
I’m not going to go through every word in these two verses, but I will go through one more as an example of what we should be looking for. The Greek word G3507 translated as clouds in verse 17 is only found in only 22 other N.T. scriptures. That is a very manageable number of verses to go and read them all slowly and in-depth. I have discovered that sometimes the fewer the verses a word is used in the more likely they are to all be linked together for a greater divine purpose. This Greek word literally means cloudiness or a cloud and it is translated this way consistently in every example verse that contains it. It can be either singular or plural but that is really not that important. I personally believe that almost every one of these verses has something to do with the rapture but I do not have the time in this lesson to expand upon them. We will get to as many of them as we can in future lessons as I am led.
If you have not done this research with all of these words, I would suggest that you stop reading now and using your Bible search program go look up and read every verse with every word being used in these verses. It would take me a great deal of writing to do that, so I will allow you to do it on your own and if you have any questions or comments with what you find, you are more than welcome to add them at the end of this lesson as a comment or question and I will attempt to respond as quickly as possible. Keep in mind my list of nouns, verbs and adjectives because I will be referring to these as I continue with a new perspective on Bible study. Let me quickly review a list of my basic Bible study steps.
- List every significant word and designate it to be a Noun, Verb, or Adjective.
- Using a dictionary look up the words found in the original languages to insure your understanding.
- Search for every occurrence of every word in a verse and read and study them to see how they fit into the entire subject being studied.
BASIC BIBLE RAPTURE CONCEPTS FOUND IN INTELLIGENT DESIGN
I am going to attempt to reveal how a former computer programmer logically thinks in simple black and white terms while observing the intelligent design found within the complex system of information found within the written Word of God. I believe that God is the author of the entire Bible and that it was written down in 66 different books in a period of time over 1500+ years by 4o different prophets of God. I further believe that God is supreme in all wisdom, knowledge and understanding. I also believe that God is an omnipotent eternal Spirit. Therefore I believe that the Bible contains the superior thoughts, actions, words and descriptions spoken by the superior knowledge, wisdom and understanding of the supreme Spirit of God. Perhaps you have never thought of the Bible as being a very large complex system of divinely designed information. However the existence today of hundreds and even thousands of church denominations in the world prove that few in the church agree with God on what the truth actually is in the Bible. Did you notice how I phrased that last statement? I did not say many do not agree with me or you or any other human opinion. I said many do not agree with God. Only God is true and everyone else is just potentially ignorant or confused.
The Bible is a book containing easily read natural plain text word data but still not very many can agree with what these simple words actually mean. Why is that? I believe that this failure to agree is largely based upon man’s introduction of their own “Human Opinion” or as it is referred to in the Bible, man’s “Private Interpretations” (2 Peter 1:20). Private interpretations are defined as “Self” defined meanings completely separate from God’s intended purpose. Ever since the Bible was created this has been man’s greatest weakness of not knowing the truth. What Christians do not realize is that within the plain text words of historical accounts, genealogies, laws, commandments and instructions are found hidden threads of complex spiritual truths about a spiritual world that we have never seen or experienced fully yet. The Bible contains such great detailed hidden spiritual information about this reality, but the carnal mind will never be able to see it or understand it while reading the Bible. Most of the spiritual meaning is cloaked or covered beneath layers of parables, symbolism, allegorical content, Biblical typologies and many other methods that God uses to hide the information from plain natural view. Becoming spiritually “born-again” is the beginning to the process of obtaining the spiritual eyes to grow in mature spiritual “understanding” of the truth of God.
I want to ask you, do you believe that the Bible is a divinely created “Complex System” of information? I guess the answer to that question should rest upon the definition of what a complex system represents. So I’ll change the question to, what exactly is a “Complex System” and how should it be defined? I believe that if you live in this world you are surrounded by a countless number of manmade and God created “complex systems”. Whether God created or man created the complex system each has the same patterned characteristics. Perhaps you have never thought about these concepts before and how they relate to the Bible. We are surrounded by complex systems still there are a wide number of varying opinions to what a complex system represents and how it should be defined. Rather than give you all of those varying opinions, I’m going to just stick with my viewpoint and tell you what I think about the subject based upon my experience and observation as a former computer professional. I normally do not give out my opinion on things but I am going to make an exception for this discussion today. You see by me giving you my opinion I am violating one of the main rules of Bible interpretation that teaches us we should not “privately interpret” anything. I do hope that you understand that every opinion is nothing but a personal theory which is just another phrase for a private interpretation based upon ignorance of the subject under discussion. However, since I have had vast experience with large scale computer system design and construction since the 1970’s, I feel that I am a bit more qualified to give an expert opinion on the subject than many others. Please extend me some patience as I attempt to expound through a complicated subject.
Let’s start by looking up the antonym for the word complex. If you do this you will find that the opposite of “complex” is the term “simple”. By far the Bible is not a simple book. Yes, the Bible has some simple statements in it, but I would strongly suggest that you go and read the books of Revelation and Daniel and find out how many mysteries you encounter on every page that cause you to scratch your head. I find nothing simple about either one of these books. There are so many Bible teachers teaching a completely different message from them that it is truly ridiculous. I have concluded that the Bible cannot be considered a simple book and if you have read all of my other Bible lessons you should easily agree me. Let’s then examine the synonyms of the term “complex” and learn from those. According to the thesaurus the term “complex” has some of the following synonyms:
Wow, I really believe these words describe the Bible very accurately. Think about what they say and then attempt to apply them to what you know about the Bible. Now permit me to define the term “system”:
We can learn a lot by reviewing word definitions. The term “system” implies complex by definition. The term “system” means that is found to be in multi-parts. Is that the Bible? The Bible is 66 separate books written by 40 different humans. Therefore this information alone causes the Bible to be a system of information. A system is a set of connected things and the Bible is definitely a set of connected books. A system is a set of lesser components that comprise a more complex whole purpose and this also describes the Bible precisely. I really pray that you are beginning to see this already, but I’m going to go into it in more detail to help you..
Based upon my personal experience as a computer system operator, programmer and designer, I believe that a complex system is first any observable set of components that were created by an external intelligent source of thought, design and construction. I further see that every complex system is created for a very specific given purpose. No complex system exists today in the world apart from external intelligent interaction and purpose. Did you hear what I said? I will probably get some disagreement from deceived individuals, but since they cannot provide any proof for spontaneous intelligent design construction by random chance, I will stick with what the Bible says about God creating everything that we can see. You see “spontaneous design construction” or as some ignorant people call it “evolution” cannot possibly occur. Evolution is the increased complexity from non-complex components. This belief in evolution violates the second known law of Thermodynamics. This law teaches us that everything around us is in a state of decay which is the reversed antithesis of the force necessary to form it, evolve it or make it complex. The second law of thermodynamics is a study of entropy. Entropy is the measure of the degree of randomness or disorder of a given system. What that teaches is that a complex system is anything that is more ordered than it is random. We could also say that a complex system is anything with a much greater degree of non-randomness by external intelligent design influence.
Ok, so the laws of thermodynamics just gave us a pretty good introduction to what a complex system represents. From that I believe I will give you my definition for a system in the relationship to a book like the Bible. The Bible would represent a complex system because it contains a collection of intelligent non-random words with organized designed purpose for every part to contribute to the greater complex whole. In other words since the Bible is not random word patterns on a page and can be used easily by any person with a basic education, it is a system of related parts of information and by definition a system. Let me give you these points one more time:
- The Bible exists only because of externally influenced higher intelligence
- The Bible is not a random collection of unrelated words
- The Bible was written in distinct parts
- Every Word of the Bible has a specific designed purpose
- Within the books of the Bible is contained many multiple layers, parts, subjects, etc.
The substance, laws and organizational non-random structure found in our own universe did not suddenly appear from nothing as many fools would like us to believe. The organization of a system from chaos or randomness would violate the laws of thermodynamics. Just the existence of a vast expanding universe proves beyond any reasonable doubt that someone of greater ability external to this known system caused it to exist here. This simply states that a designed system with rules and laws cannot create itself nor could any force within the system have created the system. Randomness never creates non-randomness. Dis-order never creates order. This is really not that complicated, but so many get it easily mixed up with people’s words that are trying to deceive you. The existence of a complex system simply means someone external to the system was the source of origination.
The universe is very much like a modern computer system. A computer system is a complex machine with many organized laws, components and structured building blocks that all work together to fulfill a greater purpose. The existence of a working computer system proves the existence of an external computer designer, a computer builder and a computer programmer that cannot be found to be physically present within the computer system. No one with any intelligence would look at a computer and believe that it just evolved into being present on the earth. Therefore, since I believe that the universe was created by God and if the Bible was also originated from this same God as is declared (2 Tim 3:16), then I believe that the Bible qualifies to potentially be another complex system of recorded information created by the same external greater intelligence. The existence of one complex universe system pattern helps to establish the existence of another complex Bible system pattern.
I believe that the size of a system plays a major role in the complexity of the system. From what I have observed the larger the system is, usually the greater the complexity of the system. Let’s go back to the universe system example created by God. The universe is such a vast complex system that it can only be imagined to its total size, its full content, its type of individual components, its understood composition, its total mass and its actual past point of origination. Scientists are still today constantly discovering new facts concerning the known parts of the universe surrounding us. In my humble opinion based upon just the size of our universe alone we all need to open our eyes to embrace the existence of a much greater intelligent creator being. Many agnostics and atheists will reason against me, but I still stand with that belief since I have personally come to know Him for myself.
I think I will expand the definition of size and help you to see that not all created systems need to be light years in expanse in order to be complex. The system can still be considered complex depending upon the number of components and sub-systems discovered in the system. You see I view the human body to be a very complex system within itself. Within this one system of very measurable size and weight are smaller immeasurable components called cells. There can be millions, billions and even trillions of cells within the many parts of the human body. Many have estimated somewhere between 5 and 50 trillion cells in the human body. Wow, that makes our bodies a very complex system all by our self. Take the human body system and underneath this main system there are many sub-components containing subordinate systems and objects with each being made from individual cells. For example we have the neurological sub-system object, the respiration sub-system object, the digestive sub-system object, the circulatory sub-system object and on and on I could go. Each sub-system can have further divisions of several layers of individual object components, like the heart, lung, kidney, stomach, etc. The level of complexity can get very great. We could transverse the entire human body system all the way down to the individual cell level, molecular level and even add in the very complex DNA system object components that are a complex system by themselves. The existence of the human body system objects with so many interacting sub-object components working together for the single greater purpose and good of the whole object represents external intelligent design. Truly the human body system is an ordered arrangement of functioning designed components and systems. Any complex system lacking non-randomness or chaos is a very strong indicator of intelligent design and this proves the existence of a greater intelligent designer. Of course I am referring to God as the design engineer and creator for the human body object.
I have just introduced you to another factor for the definition of a complex system. A complex system has other dependent subordinate complex systems within it. Systems within systems, systems depending upon other systems and all working together for a greater purpose, how can we even get our minds around all of this? Maybe you do not understand this statement yet. Let’s examine the created universe system again. If the universe is a complete complex system as I believe it is, how many other systems also exist within this system and would our universe still exist in the same form without every single one of these being present? I told you I was going to get really deep in this Bible study to cause you to think today. One basic rule of intelligent system design is that the designer never adds anything that is unnecessary for the completion of the whole given purpose. In other words what I am teaching is that in any well designed system every given observable component has a specific purpose even if that purpose is not fully disclosed or known. The universe system can be divided into a multitude of galaxy systems and the galaxy systems can be further divided into a multitude of solar systems. The earth resides within the Milky Way Galaxy system. The sun that the earth revolves around is just one star of around 20 billion others in our galaxy alone. Therefore, scientists generally do not have a clue to how many galaxies exist in our universe since they do not even know how many total stars there are in our single galaxy. Wow, is that cool or what? God created such a great place for us to exist in.
Our planet’s solar system is just one complex sub-system found within the greater universe system. Let me ask you this question and I want you to really think about it. If our solar system did not exist would the universe still exist in the same form and for the same purpose? I do not believe that it would. Let’s shift back to the computer system example that I was talking about previously. Any large scale modern computer system is comprised of many designed dependent sub-system components. Every sub-system component is essential to the entire process or it would not have been included in the design. Many of these sub-system components are so critical to the whole process that the designers have built in a factor called redundancy. Redundancy just means if one critical part of the sub-system fails another part of the sub-system takes over until the whole sub-system can be repaired to full working redundant capacity. The existence of redundancy within many critical computer systems proves that the omission of any single sub-system causes the design of the whole system to fail. Thus the failure or elimination of even one sub-system without redundancy will be catastrophic for the working of the whole greater process of the system. If you think a manmade computer system is different than a God designed complex system of the universe you are a very deceived individual. Man was created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26) and what God does a man can only do on a smaller scale. There is nothing new under the sun.
In any complex system in order to begin to understand it, one must be able to break down the whole information into lesser manageable components and sub-components. Many times people get the complex Bible truths mixed up because they are missing the basic spiritual fundamental details that are spread out in specialized hidden designed formats in the Bible. Any complex system with intelligent design should contain the ability to be analyzed and broken down into smaller manageable pieces that first need to be understood. By understanding the smaller core pieces and parts we can more quickly learn about the more complex interactive purposes and parts of the entire system. What I am trying to teach is that there are methods to learning the Bible and that these methods conform to known modern intelligent design procedures. I am talking about a basic of life concept found all around us.
For example in order to correctly fix an automobile you better understand how it was built. An automobile is a complex system with many dependent lesser complex systems working together to get the user to a desired location. The automobile system has a cooling system, a power system, an electrical system, a transmission system, a braking system, an air conditioning system and many others. In the car example the failure of the AC system will not stop the car from functioning. This is a bit of a departure from what I said earlier. However without an AC system the driver might die if they are going through a desert in the summer. If any system of a car fails, someone needs to know what they are doing and how it works in order to fix it. If you don’t believe me go and take apart your car’s transmission and see if it will ever work again. God wrote the Bible using defined intelligent design principles and if we are to understand these words we must approach studying the Bible with the same level of intelligent analysis methods.
I am going to conclude this Bible lesson with a very deep application of mathematics and computer concepts and how they relate to the Bible. If you are not into either one of these subjects this discussion might be less interesting to you because of the new level of complexity that I am introducing into an already complex subject. I believe that God created these concepts such as math and computers for us to learn, use and to apply. Every part of creation has a purpose just as every word of God has purpose. Math and computers are certainly a part of God’s creation so they have a purpose whether you understand them right now or not. Even if you have never studied these subjects you might just derive some added benefits if you attempt to learn some of the basics concepts for what they mean.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, I introduced you to a new concept based upon the laws of mathematical sets but I never revealed to you why I was giving it any significant emphasis. I am going to continue to reveal my behind the scene logical thought process for what I was teaching in the first two lessons. Let me give you a quick definition for a mathematical set. A mathematical set is a grouping of related well-defined but distinct individual objects with common characteristics or features. A set is a very similar concept to the definition of a system in many regards. An object is either an abstract or tangible “noun” that can be practically anything that is perceivable or observable. If you noticed, I just connected back into the discussion the subject of “nouns” that we listed at the beginning of this lesson. A tangible object noun is like a man, a city, a tree, an animal, a fork, a car, or whatever. An abstract object noun is like an idea, a thought, a spirit, or an emotion, etc. An intangible object is anything that is not perceived by the five natural senses and this is why I included the noun spirit. However, a spirit can also manifest and be seen or felt within the natural realm as is recorded in the Bible. In those instances the intangible spirit becomes a tangible object.
From my list of nouns in 1 Thessalonians most can be considered tangible objects. God and Lord of course are generally intangible since no one can prove His existence with their physical senses. Of this list of nouns, how many are qualified to be sets or groups of related individuals or things? That is probably a new complex question to think about? Hopefully you can see that “we”, “them”, “the dead in Christ”, “the alive in Christ” and the “clouds” are all words that have both plurality and commonality. Thus these nouns being more than one yet referenced with a single noun, qualifies the group to be a mathematical set by definition. Not every Bible study that I do will contain this level of detail. So do not get discouraged if you are having any trouble following it. Do the best you can and learn what you can and more understanding will eventually come.
Both intangible and tangible objects can be grouped together into a single named defined set based upon any known and well-defined relationship or characteristic. For example, a group or set of related objects would be like a set of universal cars or automobiles. This universal set might include every automobile ever created if so defined. Each automobile in the set can be a unique object (noun) but they can also be grouped together into the set because they share many common characteristics and features becoming a new named object (noun) called “Universal Automobiles”. That brings up a new set consideration called sub-sets. A sub-set is just a smaller more well defined set of the car objects in the larger set. That brings us into the world of “adjectives”, doesn’t it? An adjective is nothing but a further subset limitation of a larger defined noun set. For example we can have a “Universal Automobile” subset of just “Toyota Automobiles” because all of the cars in this subgroup were manufactured by Toyota and share that common trait. What if we created a subset called “Red Automobiles”? Uh oh that brings a new wrinkle into the discussion that gets more complex. Red Automobiles now cross over into every car manufacturer including “Toyota Automobiles”. Therefore a Red Toyota Automobile is a common member of both sets. This is where multiple subsets can potentially overlap each other and share common objects. A single named object just might be found in common with multiple subsets and we need to at least be aware of this possibility when we read and study the Bible. Do you understand sets yet? It gets more complicated than that simplistic introduction.
Let me review a few of these set laws that I have been going over very rapidly. Each unique member object in a defined set will either be a totally separate noun object or another new subordinate subset object. Every member object in a set or a subset is joined by the selected well-defined noun description or adjective qualifier commonality. As long as this is true each member object can be legally included and named as one object in the set or subset. However it is very important to note that one defined object does not exist multiple times in any one single set. Also one member object does not exist in two different opposing separate sets. For example, being in the “In-Christ” set is one of the common bonds that join every Christian that is saved together by God’s set definition. Perhaps I did not give you enough scriptural information on Christians being in God’s set called “In-Christ”. There are repeated scriptures written to the church that clearly state this fact and I will give you a few of them to help establish the truth in your mind:
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Rom 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
I am not going to go through every verse and explain them. Nor am I going to attempt to give you every verse that says we (the church) are all in this mathematical set called those “In-Christ”. However, I just listed some key verses that I felt were applicable to the topic discussion. For example, look at the first verse found in Romans 8:2. This verse declares a new spiritual law of life that opposes the old law of sin and death. In effect God is revealing two sets of opposition. I believe that these are those in Christ verses those out of Christ. Then notice how in Romans 12:5 and Galatians 3:28 that Paul is clearly stating that we as many separate individuals are now referenced to be one “In-Christ”. Those were mathematical set laws being stated whether you presently understand them or not. Many times in the Bible God will say some of the most profound things in passing without any given explanation to what was just said. I hope that you can see the stated fact that all Christians today are in the God defined set called “IN-CHRIST”.
Let us consider that there are multiple defined sets in existence in the Bible. I personally believe that any plural noun reference in the Bible is a defined set. We certainly all know that the O.T. nation of Israel is a predominate set of people described intimately in the Bible. This set of people excludes every other person not of this nation. Therefore the people not in this natural nation of Israel were another set called “Gentile”. One set was in covenant with God and the other set was not. If the saved church is now defined by God to be in the “In-Christ” set, where were we found to be before we were added to this new group? Uh oh, maybe you have never thought this way before? Theoretically we could have been in no other set but I rather believe that we were in either the set called “Gentile” or “Israel” which included everyone. I personally believe that everyone in the world is in a defined set found within the Bible. Determining the set is another new complex study. However, I just alluded to this fact in the last paragraph when I reviewed Romans 8:2. I believe that those now found “In-Christ” came from an unstated set of those that were “Out-Christ”. Don’t start picking up any stones to throw at me yet, I’m not done.
You must understand that if God can name and define one set that there is no limit to the number of defined sets that God can use for His purpose, don’t you? Please allow me to introduce you to a new important concept. There is a very popular law of Bible interpretation that I call the “Law of Antithesis”. This law states for every directly named truth in the Bible there exists an opposite truth position by unstated implied antithesis. It is very much like reading about the subject of light and knowing that the opposite of light is the absence of light and that this is called darkness even if it was never directly mentioned or referenced in the verse it still exists somewhere. In other words what was stated as truth for light in the verse, the opposite is implied to be truth for the unstated antithesis darkness. Do you understand opposites? In our current world there will always be opposing forces; evil opposing good, death opposing life, darkness opposing light, drought opposing rain, storms opposing calm and we could go on and on. This antithesis fact came as a result of the choice that Adam made in Genesis 3 when he allowed the evil to enter the world after God had created everything in a state of being called “very good” and warned Adam not to do it.
Antithesis truths are a very common binary computer concept. Every computer in the world is a binary machine. What is a binary machine? A binary machine is one where the basic most simplistic unit of definition can only be one of two states of opposite. The lowest and simplest form of every computer device is called a “bit” unit. A bit is the rudimentary binary computer element that is assigned either one of two opposing force settings. A bit is either defined as a 1 (one) or as a 0 (zero) thus a computer is called a binary machine. However, modern computers are comprised of millions, billions and even trillions of these single bit binary units. These simple single bits can be combined and grouped together to form more complex number concepts and objects such as bytes, words, double words, etc. However the basis of every computer is still a simple solitary unit of either one or zero. Combining multiple bits only facilitates larger binary numbers to be formed. For example, an 8 bit binary number can be anywhere from 0000000 to 11111111. These represent the numbers from 0 to 255. In order to make larger numbers you must add more bits for more 1’s and 0’s. This binary concept corresponds to a simple toggle switch that can be turned on or shut off. Therefore, a bit is nothing but a binary electronic switch. The laws of antithesis and computer binary concepts are very prominently featured within God’s intelligent Bible design. Keep this information in your mind as we continue to study the subject.
In this discussion a mathematical set consisting of many individual objects can also be considered a complete self-contained object within itself as I alluded to earlier when discussing the set “In-Christ”. Therefore using mathematical set concepts we have an important idea of many individuals being viewed as a collective named one. The many being named as a one is another very popular concept found throughout the Bible and I pray that you are beginning to understand it. The nation of Israel was many people but only one named wife to God in the Old Covenant. The church of the risen Jesus Christ is also many people but still one named bride in the New Covenant.
I am taking these well-known mathematical facts and transferring them into my Bible study. For example I taught you about the existence of the mathematical set of saved believers that God called those “IN-CHRIST”. Every individual believer when they believed and accepted Jesus into their hearts to make Him their personal Lord and Savior enters into this common single object group having left their previous unnamed antithesis object group. This set transformation is a single individual exiting or departing from a former set of many entering into as a new individual a new many set called “In-Christ”. What I just described is God’s definition of marriage if you did not put that together yet. When a man marries a woman, they both leave their former family sets to be joined together to become a new family set that never existed before and God defined them to be a new one (Genesis 2:24). It is critical that you understand this simple but profound information. Do you recall that I gave you 2 Corinthians 5:7 in my list of “In-Christ” verses? What did that verse say? It said if any man be “In-Christ” he is a new creature and the old things have passed away. That verse teaches us set transition is possible with God. We can leave the old set and become a member of a new set that never existed before called “In-Christ”.
By the defined existence of the saved group called those “IN-CHRIST” God has indirectly implied the presence of another unstated antithesis group of unsaved people in the world that we could call those “NOT-IN-CHRIST” or the “OUT-CHRIST” object group or set. I hope you understand the concept for Biblical antithesis truths by now. God teaches us by using a named noun set that there is a limitation to the scope of the objects in the named set. If it was as the Universal Salvationist’s try to teach us that all will be saved, God would not have needed to create a named set called those “In-Christ” that excludes those that do not qualify. No, I’m going to say this one more time that the existence of those that are “IN-CHRIST” clearly reveal the existence of those that are “NOT-IN-CHRIST”. Jesus taught us these unstated concepts of set truths repeatedly in the Gospels using the wide path and narrow path example, the sheep and goat example and the wheat and the tare example. All of these were single named symbolic sets with two opposing sets of many individual member objects. Every parable mentioned was a binary teaching concept where only two states of existence persist. Therefore sets and binary concepts are a prevalent themed subject in the Bible even if you never thought of them in these terms before.
I taught you previously that underneath this common set called those “IN-CHRIST” are two separate divinely defined sub-sets that I will call the “DEAD-IN-CHRIST” and the “ALIVE-IN-CHRIST”. As you recall any set of collected objects can be sub-divided into further defined object groupings based upon selected and further defined commonalities. In this case being dead or alive physically determines which sub-set you are currently in and if you are reading this lesson I will tell you that you are in the “alive” sub-set. This is a major component to what God is teaching in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. Try to understand how I arrived at the existence of these sets and then consider the existence of the antithesis set “OUT-CHRIST”. Logically speaking, if the “ALIVE” and “DEAD” subsets exist within the “IN-CHRIST” set then the same must also exist in the “OUT-CHRIST” set. These are all new concepts for you to grasp today. All of these concepts conform to the mathematical laws created by God and are easily recognizable when you apply the laws logically to the scriptures. If you do not understand basic Algebra, Geometry and math concepts you probably do not understand much about how I arrived at these conclusions. Let me give you a quick picture diagram of these concepts that I have just given to you.
I probably do not have many readers that really understand computers and especially object oriented programming (OOP) concepts but I do know that I have a few that read my lessons that do. This diagram shows a hierarchy of related objects. OOP is not something that is required to understand the Bible but I have found that it is a good subject to know if you can grasp the complex ideas. You see in modern computer programming there is a similar concept like math sets and sub-sets called objects. An object in computer programming is a thing that performs a related set of defined tasks for the greater purpose of the system. We’re back to talking about systems again. I am still linking together all of the concepts using related titles and named entities to teach how these concepts overlap. You see we are again speaking about one complex system within another greater complex system. The computer that a program is running on is just one greater complex system and the application sub-system designed to do the corporate accounting runs beneath the computer system.
If you were programming a banking system in OOP, an object might be a single customer of the bank, or even one account of the customer of the bank or any other related defined banking noun. Generally speaking programming objects are always nouns that have verb activities associated with them called methods or actions. For example any customer object can change their address, create a new account, make a deposit, make a withdrawal, make a payment or perform any other normal banking activity. These are all verb actions performed by a banking object noun. An object can also possess defined attributes. A defined attribute is just like a descriptive adjective. It is interesting to note than almost any adjective can also be a noun. For example, a banking customer object will probably contain their name and address information as well as their date of birth, sex, tax ID and other pertinent personal identifying information. Attributes of an object clearly identify the object and make it unique from other types of the same object. I just tied into the discussion OOP the round trip with the beginning noun, verbs and adjectives from 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. Can you see how all of these concepts are coming together yet? We have gone from systems, to sets and now to objects and each possess the same characteristics and basic features.
So with every associated programming object we have a unique noun named entity that can perform specific things and be described with details that cause them to be unique from all other similar noun objects in the set. I’m not sure how detailed I should get with this but I will teach you about another OOP concept called a class. Every computer object is created from a class that is used to define the object its features and its designed actions. While every object of the same type can be unique they are generally all created from the same class definition. Therefore a “class” is nothing but a blue-print pattern used to create the unique noun object. Wow, that is a God kind of realization if I’ve ever heard of one. Patterns are a basic truth found in every part of the Bible. Objects being created from class patterns are another basic reality found in every part of the Bible. What I am doing is teaching you of the existence of God’s intelligent design concepts found in His Word using naturally created patterns found all around us.
One more complex concept found In OOP is that one object can inherit characteristics and features from another object’s class. For example, a cell is a common human body object that is shared within almost every human component or object. Therefore in the human body system we could have a basic cell object that every other system objects inherits from. The complexity of object definition, object commonalities and object interaction can get very complex especially in a very large system like the human body. Why am I teaching computer programming concepts and methods? It is primarily because I see these complex concepts repeated by God in the Bible. I am praying that you can see how your Bible is a very large complex system containing both antithesis and related word objects that I will call God’s Bible subjects. These subjects have defined attributes, characteristics and limitations that I call “adjectives”. These God given defined Bible subjects also can perform certain designed actions that I will call “verbs”. All of these interact together with each other in a highly complex intelligent designed manner to achieve the greater message purpose revealed in the Holy Bible. This is one of the central features of the Bible that makes it unlike any other created book ever conceived or written by a human. It clearly demonstrates the characteristics of extreme intelligent design beyond the human capability to produce or even fully understand and when you see it, it proves the existence of a very intelligent author.
Let’s talk about the Bible object (subject) called man (Hebrew word H120 in the Strong’s). I of course am using this term man to include both natural males and females in a generic object I could call “Mankind”. Under this object type we could sub divide it into two specialized object types called the male and the female objects using the naturalistic perspective view. Here is where I want to emphasize a change in your Bible perspective to include the spiritual viewpoint. When you read the Bible looking at only the words from a natural perspective you will find only natural truths being communicated. The spiritual truths are generally found within the same verses but deeper within the text than on the surface. Perhaps you do not understand how one verse can project multiple or simultaneous messages. If you do not understand this then you have probably not read and studied the Bible for very long. I can read a verse that I have read for hundreds of times and suddenly in my spirit I see something that I had never observed before and the meaning is suddenly very clear now. Explaining how you missed it before is a total mystery to most Christians. What happened to cause this? How can one person see something in a verse that the other person reading the same words cannot see? The answer to those questions is called God’s revelation or revealing of the words so that someone can finally see what was written there on the page from the beginning. This fact is the main reason why God had to “reveal” the Old Testament to Paul and the other disciples even though they had read or heard the words all of their lives. The New Testament has many, many quoted Old Testament verses with God’s explanations of what they finally mean. One of my greatest frustrations is when people quote me Old Testament verses and they have not researched the New Testament information that explains them. I run into this more often than I would like to admit. When I try to tell them what the New Testament says, they close their spiritual eyes and refuse to be open to what God is saying. The only thing that I can do after that is pray for them like Paul prayed for the church at Ephesus in chapter 1 of Ephesians. Paul prayed for God to open their spiritual eyes of their understanding. Go read this prayer and find out that Paul asked God to give them the revelation of Jesus Christ. “Revelation” is God uncovering the words on the page so that they can be finally clearly understood. If you have not prayed that for yourself, then do it!
Instead of a natural viewpoint let’s change the human object type “Mankind” into defined spiritual sub-divisions like I did in the previous diagram. When confronted with Bible subjects I prefer to look at things from a spiritual God perspective first rather than from a natural human perspective. We should understand that God is a Spirit and that God is the author. When we try to look at the words from the perspective of how God looks at the words I believe that we come closer to seeing the truth. There are probably not very many Bible teachers that would agree with me since so many are carnally minded. One spiritual sub-division or object type of man would be the “IN-CHRIST” saved type of man. We can clearly see from the Bible that not every human is in this defined object noun set. This only leaves those that are not saved in the “NOT-IN-CHRIST” object type category. Both the “IN-CHRIST” and the “NOT-IN-CHRIST” objects can inherit common characteristics and features from the greater “Mankind” object or class pattern. However each new object type can also implement new individual characteristics or properties that are only common and in effect with the other named object types that are derived from this same object class pattern. For example the “IN-CHRIST” object will be defined with a “SAVED” property and the “OUT-CHRIST” object will be defined to have a “LOST” property. You just never know what you might learn when you read my Bible studies. I try not to get this deep in most of my lessons but sometimes I believe that is just good for me to make you think outside of your box.
If we take this object lesson up the ladder from the “Mankind” object this human object that was created by God will inherit all of their spiritual characteristics from their creator class according to Genesis 1:26. Mankind made in the image and likeness of God causes the man object class to inherit from the greater spiritual God object class but the spiritual God object class inherits from no one else being supreme. That is until the Jesus Object class comes along and He inherited from both the God object class and the Adam/Man object class equally to become a new God Man. I really believe I shock people sometimes because they do not think when they read the Bible. Only Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. Only Jesus called himself the Son of God and the Son of Man. Only Jesus was a unique product of the naturally created and the divinely spiritual. Only Jesus was qualified to save us by inheriting from two separate opposing natures. If you disagree with what I have said you are free to be wrong and I will not argue with you.
Ok let’s move down below the “IN-CHRIST” object in the linked diagram. We learned in 1 Thessalonians 14 that the IN-CHRIST object has been sub-divided by God into 2 binary antithesis subsets. These two were the “DEAD-IN-CHRIST” and the “ALIVE-IN-CHRIST” and both of these are unique qualifications that allow each to be treated differently by God at the rapture event. Both of these object groups inherit common characteristics from the greater “IN-CHRIST” saved object type which inherits from the greater “Man” object class which inherits from the greatest “God” object class. Understand the basic quality of the two groups of “DEAD” or “ALIVE” are speaking of the physical natural death or life respectively and not a spiritual feature. The “In-Christ” object must contain the quality of spiritual eternal life already based upon what Jesus taught in John 3:15 that whosoever believes upon Him would not perish but have eternal life. Right there Jesus is speaking about all those that are either physically alive or physically dead that believe in Him will have spiritual eternal life. Therefore placing the verse in the proper context will align the words with those found in the saved “In-Christ” class. It further goes on in John 3:15 and states that those that do not believe are those that “perish” and again this is a universal quality reserved for the “OUT-CHRIST” class of objects beings. This is not good news for these people.
Let’s discuss in more detail the differences between the “DEAD-IN-CHRIST” and the “ALIVE-IN-CHRIST” objects. The “DEAD-IN-CHRIST” objects must have a change of classification with the departure or the separation from their natural physical bodies. The “ALIVE-IN-CHRIST” objects are still physically here on the earth and they remain present in their physical bodies. The “DEAD-IN-CHRIST” objects have experienced natural death while the “ALIVE-IN-CHRIST” object types have not. Once the naturally dead Christian departs they cannot die physically again. Also both subsets are spiritually alive but one is in the body while the other is not in their body. Using basic logic I have concluded that these two object types must also exist under the “OUT-CHRIST” object. This is not rocket science we know saved and unsaved people both physically die by the story that Jesus taught in Luke 16. However the departure from the body of the unsaved object will result in a much different location change to that of hell and not heaven like the “DEAD-IN-CHRIST”. It is also interesting to note that the “ALIVE-OUT-CHRSIT” object types still can get saved and be changed to become an “IN-CHRIST” object and this results in a different future destiny completely. The “DEAD-OUT-CHRIST” objects do not have any further opportunity to be saved once present in hell. Maybe you can see why I like computer programming and why I can see things like this in the Bible. If not don’t get upset at me, just keep learning whatever you can accept. There are many other more complex things built into object oriented programming but I will not get into any of this in any more depth so that I do not totally bore anyone else that does not understand the importance.
Why have I spent so much time describing noun, verbs, adjectives, systems, sets and objects? I use these complex realities whenever I study the Bible. I read a verse and I analyze the words and then ask what are the objects given by God in this verse? I then think why does this object exist? Where did this object come from? What does this object represent? Does this object inherit any characteristics or features from any other Bible object? Is this object a set or sub-set? Does this object fit any known patterns in other verses of the Bible? How does this Bible object differ from other Bible objects? What features are presently in common and which features are unique? Also remember that an object is just one member in a set. How did the set get created? How do members come to exist in that set and what are the benefits or pitfalls of being a member of that set? We could finally determine, does this object have an antithesis related object? So many questions to ask and I just really broke the surface of them all.
According to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, rapture is a select activity performed by God which is reserved for a well-defined subset of objects within the greater set of all human beings. In order to qualify for rapture described in these verses the individual must be found in the given set that will meet the requirements. This teaches us that those not raptured are excluded from the event being described. From the 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 information we are given only one very specific set that qualifies for rapture in the description. This set that qualified for the rapture was the “ALIVE-IN-CHRIST” believers and it excluded everyone else. Everyone else not raptured were in the sets called the “DEAD-IN-CHRIST” and all members in the “OUT-CHRIST” set. The “DEAD-IN-CHRIST” did rise bodily but since their spirits were already present in heaven they do not qualify for rapture (harpazo). Please notice in these verses that there is no mention of those outside of the set of “ALIVE-IN-CHRIST” being taken up and off of the earth at this timed scheduled event. That is a very important detail to consider. Learn from what the Bible says and then apply correctly what it does not say also. Selective and exclusionary rapture is a pre-established pattern found in the Bible found in the lives of Enoch, Elijah and Jesus. These were all taken up and all of the others on the earth were left behind to remain. This is a very key point to distinguish. Not everyone is going up in this prophesied event being described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.
I totally believe that I have blown the minds of many of my readers. I will conclude this lesson here so that I can allow you to think about the many facets of the information that I have presented. If you like this style of detail you are free to tell me, but more than likely I will not go into this level of detail in the future on this subject of rapture. In the next lesson I will attempt to get back to more of the standard types of Bible lessons that I have been doing for several years. I just wanted you learn how I think and by doing this it might just help you to see why I write things in the style that I do. Thank you for your time in reading and I greatly appreciate it if you would help point someone else to my website. God Bless you until the next time I can get a lesson out.
If you would like to continue the study in this series on Rapture please go to “Part 4“.
(Ver 1.4) This is Part 1 of a series of advanced spiritual Bible lessons on the subject of “Is the Rapture of the Church a Bible Truth”. I honestly do not understand why this is such a majorly controversial subject but I can only think that Satan does not want anyone to know the truth. There are generally speaking two categories of belief types on this subject. These two groups can be divided as those that believe in a rapture event and those that do not believe in a rapture event. Why anyone would not want to believe in rapture, I do not know. I think it would be like someone not believing in salvation. But, we have a very significant number of people in the world who call themselves Christians that do not believe in a rapture event. Then we have other people that believe in a rapture event but with contradictory predicted timings for the event. Therefore the believers of the rapture can be further divided into three sub-category group types. That leaves us with Christian rapture beliefs generally falling into 4 differing realms of categories. First, there are many Christians that believe in a pre-tribulation rapture event. Second, there are definitely some that believe in a mid-tribulation rapture event. Third, there are some that believe in a post-tribulation rapture event. Finally, the fourth group is those that simply state that there is no rapture event ever revealed in the Bible. Based upon these wide ranges of opposing beliefs we can easily conclude that many Christians are obviously deceived in the church today. I mean using only basic logic and probability outcome reasoning we can easily understand that the existence of 4 such diverse positions cannot all be the truth. Technically speaking all four position groups could potentially be in error and God’s truth could remain in still another category option 5 labeled as unknown, undiscovered or unrevealed. We must always be open to the reality that God’s truth needs to be discovered or we will potentially miss it while we stagnate in our current belief. Hopefully you can understand that the greatest enemy to knowing the truth is the belief that you have already discovered it. Here again are the four major belief categories concerning current known rapture beliefs:
- Pre-Tribulation Rapture – The belief that the church will be taken up prior to the initiation of the 7 year period of time called the great tribulation.
- Mid-Tribulation Rapture – The belief that the church will be taken up in the middle of the 7 year period of time called the great tribulation. The Tribulation period will last for 84 total months and somewhere around 42 months the church will be taken up from the earth.
- Post-Tribulation Rapture – The belief that the church will be taken up immediately following the end of the 7 year period of time called the great tribulation.
- No Rapture – The belief that the church will remain on the earth during the tribulation. Under this belief there are also several contradictory beliefs to what will occur to the church during the 7 year period known as the great tribulation. But I left them all in one group category for now.
As you should be able to see from the list of group types, they can be divided into two basic opposing antithesis beliefs of those that believe in a rapture event versus those that do not. Then as stated earlier those that believe in a rapture event can be further sub-divided based upon the expected occurrence of the event all surrounding the timing of the great tribulation revealed in the book of Revelation. We may also discuss in this series of lessons that the no rapture believers can be sub-divided into various details of what they believe will occur while they are here on the earth. There are probably at least 3 variations of beliefs in the no-rapture belief camp. In this series of Bible lessons we will attempt to explore every known belief and give reasons why each can either be confirmed or rejected as the truth. You see every sound Christian belief should not have any major contradictions in the scriptures when all verses on the subject are rightly divided and interpreted. God is the central author of the entire Bible and we should be smart enough to understand that God does not ever contradict Himself. If we believe that we have found a contradiction then we do not understand what is being stated.
Each side in this argumentative debate claims that the other sides are the ones deceived. Each side can also further claim that from their perspective if we could only clearly see the accuracy of what they are teaching from the Bible that we would be transformed to know the truth. Everyone can use the same argument to defend their points and this is the way that God designed the Bible to allow men the right to be wrong. Do you see the problem here? What is truth? Why can’t everyone see it?
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY DIFFERENT CHURCH BELIEFS ON RAPTURE?
Did you ever ask yourself why there are so many diverse interpretations of the Bible being taught by Christian churches on not just rapture but every subject found in the Bible? Atheists have a field day with that one bit of controversial information alone claiming this proves that Christianity is a foolish approach in life to take. Why are the Christians so divided lacking any harmony or unity in their beliefs? We really need to seek the truth and resolve why it appears that God has instigated a system of confusion in the modern church age. The early church did not start out in confusion but they also began in a much smaller number of 120 believers in the upper room being all in one accord (Acts 2:1). Since the Bible tells us that God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33) there must be another explanation for why there are over 3000 different church denominations existing in the world today. What caused the early church to drift from one body into a divided body?
The answer to those questions rests in us understanding the existence of Satan to deceive people and man’s carnally dominated mind that is easily deceived to believe in anything. Wrong beliefs are proportionally tied to the carnal nature of the human mind. The more carnally minded one is the greater number of wrong beliefs that are found to be present. The more spiritually minded one is the greater number of right beliefs are found to be present. Which type of Christian are you? Are you a very carnal Christian or a very spiritual Christian? Usually people are somewhere in the middle of those two ranges in a state of transition, hopefully growing more spiritual. Everyone that is a Christian begins as a carnal spiritual baby. As they grow and increase in the Spirit of God and the knowledge of the Written Holy Word of God they progressively achieve a level of greater spiritual maturity. I can usually look at your Facebook wall and tell very quickly where you fall in this range on the spiritual Christian growth chart. The more you post or are focused on the natural things of this world the more carnal minded you are. The more you focus on God the Father, the Holy Spirit, Jesus and the Bible the more spiritually minded you become. Where is your focus? It will determine what you can see and understand in the Bible whether you believe that or not.
In this lesson to begin we need to better understand the source for such diverse beliefs. Why are there so many contradictions where one person can see something totally opposite in the Bible than the other person can say is so very clear for them to see? I have observed this over and over in my experiences. One believer sees the rapture event so clearly and another believer cannot see it from the same verses. Why is that and how can we explain this phenomenon? Can you explain that? I’m not sure if I can explain it more clearly where you will easily understand it, but I will try. Many people believe that there is a contributing factor of deception that is at the root of the problem. I tend to agree with that belief. But what is deception, why does it occur, who causes it and who can be deceived? For example, the believers in the fourth category teach adamantly against the rapture beliefs found in the other categories calling them the false doctrine of “escapism” given to us from demons and Satan. However, every other group proclaims that they are the only ones that are completely correct and all of the other groups are the ones that are deceived. Every group has a basic set of scripture verses found in the Bible to help justify their positions. However, it is very easy to take several verses out of context and explain others away as something that is irrelevant to their stated belief position.
Deception is a very complex subject. No one that has ever been deceived knows or understands that they are deceived at any time. If they knew that they were deceived by their enemy they would more than likely abandon that false teaching very quickly. Many times hidden deception causes Christians to believe sincerely in their hearts that they are correct even while being sincerely wrong in their heads for what they believe. Do you understand heart beliefs are based upon your current level of Bible knowledge? Do you understand that you don’t know everything? In order to be 100% accurate in your beliefs you have to have 100% correct knowledge of the Bible and no one that I know qualifies for that except my God. Therefore, do you understand how wrong knowledge causes wrong beliefs? We could also say that the lack of correct knowledge causes people many wrong beliefs. The lack of correct knowledge is the main reason for what people ultimately say is the truth but actually is not. Most people teaching untruths or partial truths are teaching them believing that they are not falsehoods. This is why Christians need to confirm everything that anyone teaches by using what the Bible says with great precision and attention to every detail (Acts 17:11). Never believe me or anyone else without you seeing it in the Bible to confirm what is said. If you don’t see it then throw it away and keep moving forward with what you do see.
What I have just introduced you to in this section is the basic realities of the carnal nature versus spiritual nature of man. Every human is born as a carnal person naturally into the world and Jesus taught us that it was a necessary requirement for every carnal human being to be “born again” (John 3:3) spiritually in order to enter into the kingdom of God. The natural process of physical growth and maturity is given to us to teach us about the unseen spiritual process. These repeated patterns of how the natural works can uncover how things in the spiritual realm work. Spiritual growth is a very necessary requirement (1 Peter 2:2) according to God. This spiritual growth process helps us to explain why there are so many different beliefs existing in the church. Those that have grown in spiritual maturity can see things from a new mature perspective that a baby Christian cannot see or comprehend. As it is in the natural it is also the same in the spiritual. A 3 year old natural child cannot be found mature enough to make wise decisions on what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Well the spiritual food of God’s word is the exact same type of menu choices for baby Christians. Many baby Christians will fail to desire to eat their spiritual broccoli and steak in the Word of God. Baby Christians will stick with a diet of macaroni and cheese, cake and cookie scriptures and unless they learn to eat other verses that will help them to grow up spiritually strong. This is just how everything in the Bible works.
HOW TO CORRECTLY STUDY THE BIBLE ON RAPTURE
So which group of rapture/no rapture believer types do I choose to place myself? I think I have already given several clues to where I stand and I’ll say “I stand with God”. But, we will get into what the Bible actually says very soon. I also want to say that I never start studying the Bible by choosing a position first beforehand and then searching the Bible to prove that position is true. That is a very foolish approach to any correct Bible study. You can actually prove anything that you desire to find from the Bible because of God’s intentional design of the verses to provide man the right to be wrong in their beliefs. The Bible teaches us that the “carnal mind is an enemy of God” (Rom 8:7). Since every human starts out as a naturally dominated person we were all once called the enemies of God before we were saved (Col 1:21). God reveals to us in these two verses that man can have either of two opposing types of mindsets. One mind type is called the flesh, carnal or natural mind (Rom 1:28, Rom 8:5, Col 2:18) and the other opposing mind type we can call the spiritual or supernatural mind (Rom 8:27, 1 Cor 2:16, Eph 4:23). I seriously believe that these two opposing mind types are the root causes for why there are so many differing opinions on what the Bible means. We can also read about these two mind types in this verse in Romans:
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Ok, here is a secret from God being revealed. Why is it necessary for the human mind to be transformed and renewed? Did you understand my question and do you know what the answer is? I’ll tell you, mind transformation allows you to see the truth in His Word. Take the Greek word translated as “transformed” (G3339) and look up the definition in the Strong’s. It literally means “to change”, “to transfigure” or “to transform”. Then think of the story in the Gospels of the transfiguration of Jesus on the mount with Moses and Elijah. That story is an exact representation of what the Bible is teaching here. You see the Greek word G3339 is only used in those two scriptures in the N.T. We can find it being used for Jesus being changed into a supernatural being and you will find it here in Romans being referenced to Christian minds becoming the same type of spiritual being. Go and read the story of the transfiguration, it is actually a great lesson to learn from especially on the subject of the rapture. We will no doubt get there in this series at some time but probably not today. Just understand the link between transformation and transfiguration and keep that in your mind that this is what is happening as you learn the Bible.
There is an implied requirement for the supernatural to be present and applied in order to cause this transformation event to occur, but I won’t go there today. The Greek word G3339 definition also carries an association with a natural known process called “metamorphose”. Do you know what that means? Metamorphosis is a divinely created quality that is displayed in certain natural creatures like an ugly caterpillar being “transformed” into a glorious beautiful butterfly. Wow, that metamorphosis is the process that God is describing to us that needs to occur in our minds. God is saying “Take your old ugly carnal mind out of your natural gutter and renew it into the new beautiful spiritual way to think and learn to see what I have said to you in my Word”. This renewal process is not an instantaneous one-time event. You do not get zapped in your mind when you are saved and suddenly your mind can see everything in the Bible clearly. The lack of the completed mind renewal process is the primary reason that a Christian does not see the truth in the Bible like another Christian sees.
God chose to write the Bible in a way to give His children the blessed truth, but He also chose to keep these important truths from all of His enemies. How do you give one group the information that they need to know while keeping the information from another group using the same exact words on the page? I mean that concept fascinated me for a long time before God showed me what He was doing and how that He accomplished this task. I discovered that God uses a divine ingenious system of hiding information in the Bible. How does any government today keep a message secret from all of their enemies while allowing their friends to read it? They always write the message using a code. But, that is not exactly what God is doing here. You see the Bible is written in plain text words that are not encrypted to make them unreadable to God’s enemies. Any enemy of God can read the Bible and try to figure out what it says. I have alluded to this fact in many of my Bible lessons. Even though the Bible is not physically encrypted the information in it is spiritually encrypted using natural plain text words with clever plain text methods of information concealment. I call this God “Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight” and you can go and read some of these methods in that series. But, what God has done is extremely intelligent and what He has spiritually hidden from our natural minds in His Word can only be revealed in our spirits after we are saved by His indwelling Spirit living inside of us. This was a very clever method that God designed to keep the truth from His enemies and it is a very wise way to control access to important spiritual information. God comes inside of us to help us to understand His own word. Having the author of the Book on the inside is the clear advantage that we have over the unsaved world that will never know or understand what the Bible says unless they turn and repent.
Therefore, we must understand when we read and study the Bible that God intentionally designed it to prohibit the carnally minded human from observing what was intended to be revealed to only mature Christians. I know that this statement is not going to go over well with everyone that reads it. But, hopefully some will understand this explanation to why there are so many observable rapture theories in existence in the church? I have such a wide range of readers from the carnal, the very novice new Christians all the way to the advanced mature spiritual Christian, so I try to explain things so that everyone can understand what God is doing. At least I try to say things that can potentially help every group if they are open to receive it. God gives everyone freewill to find whatever truth that they want to seek in His word, whether it is right or wrong. For example, if you want to believe in abortion or homosexuality God permits you to find scriptures that justify in your mind the error of your beliefs, but He will eventually judge you for your foolishness.
If you do not understand spiritual maturity and spiritual growth then you will probably not understand why there are so many different variations of the rapture doctrine. We are all born-again as infant baby Christians when we accept Jesus as the Lord of our life. However, spiritual growth is not guaranteed. A born-again baby Christian is usually one that is very sense realm, fleshy or carnally dominated in their thoughts, emotions and actions. The opposite of a baby Christian is one that has grown to maturity and they are usually spirit and Word of God dominated and controlled ignoring their senses. How do you grow up spiritually from one to the other?
1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
We must drink the milk of God’s Word. The milk represents the basic subjects in the Bible as revealed in 1 Corinthians 3:2 where Paul told the church I fed you milk and not meat because you were unable to handle it. Paul was telling the church they needed to grow up spiritually and become meat eaters. Just as a natural new-born child cannot eat any solid food, a new born spiritual baby Christian is unable to comprehend the deep complex subjects of God. Meat subjects represent the complex Bible lessons like I try to teach. God is informing us of the existence of many different levels of knowledge in His Word. The rapture of the church is one of those meat subjects in the Bible and those that are milk drinkers cannot eat it or they will choke. Now are you seeing why there are so many different teachings on the subject of the rapture?
PRESUMPTIVE ASSUMPTIONS USUALLY RESULT IN ERROR!
Presumption is one of the greatest errors found in modern Bible study. Entering into a Bible study with any pre-established beliefs and predefined expectations of the truth will almost always cause all of the other perspectives in the Bible to be blocked from your spiritual view. I call this type of Bible Study, “Tunnel Vision Bible Study” or “Bible Study Wearing Blinders”. Do you understand what blinders are? Blinders are placed on a horse or an animal to keep them narrowly focused. It restricts the vision while forcing the attention on what is desired. Well this is what is occurring in many Christians today. Think of it like this; when a crime detective enters a crime scene they usually try to come into the situation without any prejudices or pre-conceived assumptions of the truth. They should always let the evidence found on the scene point them to the truth and not the other way around. Wow, do you understand why this is an important concept to apply to our Bible study? Take a bloody crime scene with a dead body lying on the floor found with a gun their hand. If an investigator came into the scene already looking for a specific cause for example assuming a suicide this approach would automatically skew or narrow their viewpoint with suicide blinders to ignore all the other possible murder facts. If they came into the same crime scene with murder blinders on, they would automatically miss or omit any suicide truths staring them in the face. These same principles apply to Bible study, if you come into the Bible wearing a set of “no rapture” blinders you will just automatically miss all of the relevant truths that might be presented on a rapture event and vice versa.
These are all very important statements of truth that I have just taught you, so do not ignore them. A truth seeking student of the Bible must lose all of their prejudice and every pre-conceived thought of human knowledge and reasoning in order to be open to be shown the actual spiritual truth by the Spirit of God. God says in His word “Your thoughts are not my thoughts and your ways are not my ways” (Isa 55:8). Therefore entering into correct Bible study is us choosing to leave our old thoughts and our old ways behind us so that we can remove our blinders to see God’s superior ways clearly. Too many times learning the real spiritual truth involves us unlearning some old carnal things that we only thought was the truth. The human mind is very analogous to an empty pitcher for water concept at birth. When we are born physically into the world we enter with zero knowledge of any truth. Thus the baby human is void of all knowledge needing to be filled with correct information. As we grow in knowledge the human mind pitcher fills with information both good and bad. Take this analogy back to the “renewing” or “transformation” mind process described to us by God that we looked at earlier. A major part of this renewal process is us taking out the old bad information to replace it with the new good spiritual information of God. This would be like a person emptying a pitcher of the old stale substance in order to refill it with something new and fresh that is tastier. What you once thought was tasty truth, is potentially blocking the Spirit of God from speaking to you to open the new truth to get it into your mind pitcher. Quit trying to mix the new spiritual word of God with the old concepts of the natural. Just empty your mind of what you thought of this subject before and then continue to read and study this subject going forward. When I started the study, I chose to empty my mind to what I thought about the truth and I simply prayed and asked God to show me His truth, no matter what it was. Having this attitude allows the Holy Spirit to guide us into what we need to know. As you continue to read this lesson I would recommend that you do the same. Ask God to help open your mind to see what it is that you need to change or eliminate in order to see His spiritual truth.
IS THERE A RAPTURE FOUND IN THE BIBLE?
So since I have already done this Bible study and now I am simply writing it down for you to read, I can tell you that I am a firm believer in the pre-tribulation rapture event based upon many clear scriptures that I will use to teach how God revealed this to me. This lesson will be what the Spirit of God showed me that the Bible says on the subject of “Does the Bible say anything about a rapture event”. If you are open to His Spirit with a cleared mind He should confirm what I will teach you about this subject of the soon coming of Jesus Christ for the removal of the church.
I will begin this Bible lesson by agreeing “strongly” with the fourth group of “no rapture” believers that the word “rapture” is technically not found anywhere in the Bible. However, the absence of a modern theological term in the Bible does not eliminate the underlying foundations of the ideas, the concepts, the principles, the patterns and the message behind the modern term. Do you understand what I just said? Let me try to rephrase it in case you missed it. The non-inclusion of the word “rapture” in the Bible does not prove that the ideas behind the rapture are not clearly taught to us using other synonymous words, symbolism, types or any of the other methods of God’s authorship to encrypt or hide His spiritual information from obvious view in the Bible. In fact now that I have studied this subject, I believe that you can find the concepts of the rapture hiding in the book of Genesis and proceeding all the way through the book of Revelation.
Why do modern theological terms and titles exist today like the word “rapture” if it is not found in the Bible? Modern theological titles are simply given to complex spiritual subjects to assist the Bible teacher in teaching them. By assigning a single name or a label to a subject it makes the subject more quickly understandable, more concisely communicable and infinitely clearer to what you are speaking when you teach. Therefore, assigning a simple label is not a foreign concept but a technique that is found today in every wise teacher’s toolbox. You can go into almost any advanced math classes and see them speaking of many terms that have been invented in modern times to help the student understand the complex subject being taught. Take for instance the term “Analytic Geometry”, this terms specifies a specific type of the whole knowledge and restricts the course to only this information necessary to understand this subject. This is not rocket science people. That is all that the word “rapture” is doing by helping the teacher to restrict the subject discussion to a very specific branch of knowledge found in the Bible. Don’t get distracted by the absense of the word “rapture” in the Bible to miss the most important concepts behind the word.
Take the concept of math again and find it in the Bible. The Bible certainly contains math and mathematical concepts throughout the text. However the word “math” is never found anywhere in the Bible. Uh oh? What are we to do here? Are we to conclude that math is a false teaching originating from demons? That is basically what people are doing with the rapture. The absence of a modern theological word from the Bible does not prove that the doctrine behind the label is not an absolute truth. If that was the case then the existence of the “trinity” would be another false church doctrine. The existence of “demons” would clearly need to be eliminated from modern church teaching. Any church teaching against “abortion” or “homosexuality” would also have to be removed from our church doctrines. Finally, other eschatological concepts like the “millennium” and the “2nd Advent” would also need to be eliminated from all church teaching. None of these modern theological words that I have just mentioned occur in the Bible anywhere, however God says a lot about every one of them in the scriptures using many illustrative and creative descriptions.
I’ve heard “no rapture” preachers teach several different variations to what they believe will occur. Some say that Christians will be protected from the coming destruction on the earth during the seven year time of great tribulation like Noah was protected when God destroyed the world using a flood. Others teach that Christians will be treated the same as all of the other people on the earth and endure the great hardship equally with the unrighteous people on the earth. Some others teach that it is the evil unrighteous people that will be taken off of the earth and they call this the true rapture. I find that that teaching very bizarre that God would rapture non-believers and leave the believers to kill them. That teaching sounds satanic to me and I’ll bet Satan uses that one to help describe where all the righteous people have gone. These teachers attempt to equate Satan’s persecution of the church to be corresponding to God’s judgment during the tribulation. They try to say if the early church was put in prison, beaten and killed in the book of Acts then why, would we think that we are better than them now to not have to endure the exact same thing during the end of the church age. However, I cannot find any verse in the Bible where God judges a righteous man. I only see God as the deliverer of the righteous, our savior and our redeemer. Then inversely I only see God as being the judge of the unrighteous in the Bible. You do understand the difference between the righteous and the unrighteous, don’t you? The primary problem with this logic is that the persecution of the early church was not the work of God. Persecution in the early church was the work of Satan trying to keep the work of God from spreading. There is a major difference in who is attempting to bring death upon a man. If it is Satan you can fight that and win, but if it is God, you are done for. During the great tribulation it will be God judging the unrighteous and not the righteous and we will learn this as we continue to go through the scriptures.
RAPTURE DEFINED FROM THE DICTIONARY
Let’s begin by just searching for a basic definition of the word rapture and use that information to enlighten us for the remainder of this lesson. Since the word rapture can be found in the modern dictionary the concepts behind the word must have originated from someone somewhere. We need to understand what the word means in order to know what the possible synonyms might be that we need to search for in our Bible. I went to the internet and found these definitions of the word rapture:
Rapture: The transporting of a person from one place to another, especially to heaven.
Rapture: The English derivative of the Greek word RAPTURO, which means “to be removed quickly.”
Rapture: The act of carrying, or fact of being carried, onwards; force of movement
These were three definitions that caught my attention. I have found these concepts and definitions very interesting and informative. It sounds like the old Star Trek show principle of being “transported” from one location like the surface of a planet up to the ship Enterprise orbiting above. In this old TV show this process was being referred to as a type of “Beam Up” procedure or process. I believe that this is the message being revealed and the concepts being observed in the definition of the word “rapture”. If you have never seen the Star Trek shows that is really not a problem; however, just learn how the devil took a God concept to use it to make the Bible concept seem less spectacular, divine and more natural. Let’s review quickly the Star Trek concepts of being transported up. Here was a fictitious human machine that would take a person’s existence, life and body and instantly change their current location to a new 3-dimensional location. However if you ever watched the TV show you will understand that the people being transported were never involved in making it happen. The power of the machine that would transport a person was external and outside of the realm of influence of the human being moved. In other words no human power was involved in making it happen. In the Star Trek show the person that controlled the power of the machine in the star ship was the only one that could transport anyone from the surface of the planet. This also means that this person in control of the machine could take out anyone, even if they were not expecting to go yet. Why am I comparing a fictional TV show to the Bible event called the rapture? I believe that whatever God has created or will do that Satan will try to pervert it, disguise it, and duplicate it to make it seem absurd. Let’s look at another online reference found in Wikipedia to the rapture:
The Rapture is a term in Christian eschatology which refers to the “being caught up” discussed in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, when the “dead in Christ” and “we who are alive and remain” will be “caught up in the clouds” to meet “the Lord”.
Here we have found a reference to at least one scripture verse and we have another synonymous term to consider and place in our vocabulary. So far we have “transport” and “caught up” and both of those are similar to the Star Trek concept of being beamed up to the ship. There is a definitive implication found in the information in the definitions of the word “rapture” that it means a “taking of people by force or power” to relocate them physically. Let me give you a list of possible synonymous terms that could apply to this basic foundational concept found in the word rapture.
- Transport Up/Out/Away
- Caught Up/Out/Away
- Taken Up/Out/Away
- Catch Away
- Gathered Up/Out/Away
- Seize Up/Out/Away
- Pluck Up/Out/Away
- Pull Up/Out/Away
- Extract Up/Out
- Convey Away
- Remove Up/Out
- Snatch Up/Out/Away
- Depart Up/Out/Away
- Ascend Up/Away
I believe these are all valid phrasings for synonymous terms of the word “rapture”. I could use any of these phrases in place of the word “rapture” and the message would be interchangeable. Why is it important to understand that there are so many ways to say the exact same thing? It is primarily because God does this frequently in the Bible. Using several different synonymous words is a great way to hide information for you to find. You see many of the “rapture” critics believe it is a false teaching simply because they have not read any obvious scriptures to support it. They claim that it requires at least 2 or 3 confirming scriptures to establish a church doctrine of truth and I totally agree with that statement. However, two different witnesses in a court case can say the same thing using many different words and descriptions and both can be describing the exact same event from their perspective of view.
Let me give you a quick example of what I am saying. When I was a young man walking home from high school as I usually did, I noticed two very young boys up ahead of me on the same side of the road as I was walking. They appeared anxious and wanted to cross the street to get to the other side, but there were cars coming in both directions. Suddenly one boy thought the street was clear as the last car on his side of the road passed by and started running to cross to the other side. This child could not see what I could see. I could see the oncoming car that he could not observe because of the car that had just passed on his side was blocking his view. Well the oncoming car hit the boy and traffic immediately stopped. The boy lay in the road badly hurt. The driver that hit him never saw him run in front because he also was blocked from the children’s view by the cars in the oncoming lane. Well everyone had a different perspective of the same event and everyone could be a witness to it in court. But we would all be describing it from much different view points than the other witnesses. Do you understand what I am saying? God’s witnesses many times use different perspectives to the same events. Because they are worded slightly different does not prove that they are not all accurate and that they are not all true.
We are going to have to use a level of intelligence to see that each witness is describing the same event even though what was said was not exactly using the same words. I probably did not do justice to all of the possible synonyms for the word rapture. If you can think of others that are also valid please share them with me and I will add them to the list.
BIBLE RAPTURE BASIC CONCEPTS
Since we have two basic opposition positions for the existence of a rapture event we need to learn what the Bible actually says on the subject. Learning the very basic concepts of any subject always logically precedes learning any of the advanced information on the same subject. So that is where we are going next with the rapture Bible study to find the simple truth basics. Jesus taught us many of these basic truths in the Gospels, but we need to find them first, understand those second and then we need to learn how to apply them correctly to the subject of the rapture last. I taught you in other lessons that correct Bible study is like a complex puzzle solving process. Therefore, in order to view the correct big picture on the rapture subject we need to make sure that we have gathered, organized and put together all of the smaller detail type of puzzle pieces together correctly. We will transition into fact gathering mode and not jumping into any conclusions at this initial phase of the study. We are going to back up to view one of the very basic Bible themes taught by Jesus consistently first and then use that evidence to help our Bible interpretation of the existence of any coming detailed rapture information. We are going to let the Bible interpret itself, before we decide if the rapture is not found in the Bible or attempt to place the timing of the rapture correctly. What we will be looking for are hidden patterns in the statements of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you do not understand the concepts of patterns then that is probably one reason why you don’t believe in the rapture. A pattern is simply a description using words other than the direct mention of a subject but still conveying the general message of the subject. Let’s review some Bible basics taught by Jesus:
Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Here for example, Jesus makes a strong recommendation to everyone. Jesus, speaking prophetically said that most of the world will choose to follow in a wide path to their own destruction and that only a few will find the narrow path that leads them to life. Therefore we can clearly see the existence of two possible outcomes based upon the determining factor of the personal human freewill choice being selected. These two eventual outcomes were either life or destruction and those that find life are not destroyed and those that are destroyed miss out on life. But, let’s take that statement into context with what Jesus was talking about. Jesus was making a clear separation between two antithesis groups of people/humanity. Does this concept sound familiar? Are you looking for rapture patterns? What exactly is rapture? From what I have learned studying the subject, rapture is the taking of a select group of people from a larger group of other people that are left. The raptured group’s results are much different than the group that are left. What Jesus was describing to us here in Matthew 7:13-14 is the separation of the righteous from the unrighteous people in the world using a pathway symbolic analogy. The righteous are therefore, following a path to obtain life and the other unrighteous are following a path to an end of destruction and death. Uh oh? What about that pattern? Take that very basic scriptural information and apply it to the two main stated positions on the rapture. The “Pre-Tribulation Rapture” group claims that the righteous will be taken out prior to all of the death and destruction about to occur in the 7 years of great tribulation. The other group of “No-Rapture” believers primarily teaches that the righteous will be found to be present during the death and destruction being poured out on the world during the 7 years of great tribulation. Which position or belief conforms more precisely to what Jesus was teaching us in the pathway illustration? Are the righteous Christians, going to go through the great tribulation to experience death and destruction or are the righteous removed from the coming death and destruction to obtain their life everlasting? Wow, I pray that you are awake!
Maybe we need to do a quick overview study on the book of Revelation first. You see the horror, terror and death described to us in this book during this 7 year time period from chapter 4 until chapter 19 is so strong that it can clearly be associated with only mass destruction. From how I read the book, I can see very few individuals during this time that will obtain this salvation or life. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying; there is the mention of 144,000 witnesses and others that will be martyred in Revelation. But I believe that these people that are mentioned are those that thought they were Christians but have been left behind and suddenly realized too late that that they were wrong. Jesus actually teaches us another very important parable to consider, reflect upon and to relate into our study:
Mat 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
Mat 25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
Mat 25:3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
Mat 25:4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
Mat 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
Mat 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
Mat 25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
Mat 25:8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
Mat 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
Mat 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
Mat 25:11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
Mat 25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
Mat 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
This is such a great passage to study. It has so many deep things from God hidden in it that it will amaze you when you can see them. Reading the Bible is never studying the Bible, but studying the Bible does involve some reading. One of the keys to understanding any verse is to look up the original language definitions of the words given. This is a tremendous mistake to assume that you understand what a word means and then walk away with the incorrect meaning believing you are correct. That is one of the easiest ways that deception can occur. I actually want to talk about the last verse first. This verse gives us a very basic truth. Jesus said I’m coming but you will not know when I come. Using this information we know that Jesus will return at a time that we do not fully comprehend. Ok, using that information how can anyone say that Jesus will return for us at the end of the tribulation or at the middle of the tribulation? Both of these belief positions are at pre-determined set times. We understand that the total length of the tribulation is a 7 year set period of time. This was called the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy. If the rapture occurs 3.5 years or 42 months after the beginning everyone would know when the rapture would occur and be ready for it. That does not fit the parable does it? The same is true for the post tribulation belief. After 7 years or 84 months of tribulation everyone still alive would instantly know when the rapture would occur. Both of these belief positions are very weak when compared with scriptures like the foolish/wise virgins.
My next point that I would like to make is God’s usage of one very specific Greek word that I found absolutely essential for us to see. The Greek word G1831 is used twice in this parable in verse 1 and verse 5. This word from the Strong’s definition has the following meaning:
From G1537 and G2064; to issue (literally or figuratively): – come-(forth, out), depart (out of), escape, get out, go (abroad, away, forth, out, thence), proceed (forth), spread abroad.
This is a very interesting Greek word originating from two other Greek words. The first Greek root word means origin as in the point where motion or actions proceeds (from or out). The second Greek root word means to “come” or “go”. Combining these two words together gives us the possible meanings in the Strong’s definition as “escape”, “get out”, “go forth”, “go out”, etc. Does any of this sound like the synonymous terms for rapture to you? Isn’t that what the “no rapture” group is criticizing the other rapture believers for buying into the doctrine of “escapism”? Any time you can escape from danger, peril, jeopardy, hazards, traps, evil, death or destruction you have been delivered from it. I am not going to teach you the entire parable of the 10 virgins today, because I do not have that much time. We are just going to look for keys and patterns to understanding the existence of the rapture in the Bible.
For the next point I would like to say that this teaching of the 10 Virgins by Jesus does not match with the previous teaching where Jesus said wide is the path and many there are that will go that way. Therefore we are either viewing two different events or two different perspectives of the same event. Here in this parable Jesus is again comparing two groups of contrasting people but here He divides them into two equal halves. Therefore we do not have a direct match to what Jesus was talking about in the path analogy. In the 10 Virgin Parable, both groups are called virgins and start out with the same identical oil and lamps, but 5 of them run out of oil and miss the coming of the Lord. There is still a division that takes place between two groups, but these cannot be the righteous and the unrighteous. I see this parable as speaking only about Christians and the saved church. Christians are called the light of the world by Jesus (Mat 5:14). If you read the book of Revelation chapter 2 when Jesus talks to the 7 churches He mentions candlesticks twice. One mention in verse 1 is a symbolic reference to the 7 churches with each being a candlestick light to the world. Then in Verse 5 Jesus warns one church at Ephesus to beware or their candlestick will be removed. Did you get the symbolism? The removal of a candlestick is symbolic of the removal of a light. What did Jesus say in Matthew? Jesus said you are the light of the world. Do you also see the symbolism being repeated in the 10 Virgin Parable? The running out of oil causes the lamp to go out. The parallels are very significant here and I pray that you see them.
According to what we read from Jesus, he said the righteous will find life, we should be able to conlclude logically that in the 10 Virgin parable these were all saved Christians at one time but that half of them made foolish choices to run out of oil and missed the coming of the Bridegroom to enter into the wedding feast! Consider the fact that all 10 virgins are waiting and looking for Christ to come. What does that teach us? Are we looking for Christ to come or for the anti-Christ to come? If the church was going through the tribulation then they would be looking for the coming anti-Christ and not the coming of the actual bridegroom Christ. This pattern found in the 10 virgin parable only fits with a pre-tribulation expection rapture event and no other belief works. Using this parable the pre-tribulation coming of the bridegroom is the only possible harmoneous belief that can be possible. Every other belief of a post-trib, mid-trib or even a no rapture belief will not fit with the parable pattern information given. Wow, these are such important patterns to decode. Spend time in researching them. Figure out what the oil represents symbolically. Let’s keep moving and continue to learn some more kingdom of heaven simple basics taught by Jesus:
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.
Jesus repeatedly taught the concept of separation and division between two opposing groups. Here again in this parable is a lot of truth that contains many of the puzzle pieces but not the complete picture diagram of the whole subject. Jesus just said that the wheat will be “gathered” into His barn but that the tares will be burned (destroyed) with fire (Mat 13:25-30). I want you to notice the basic concept taught to us here in these verses. I also want you to ignore figuring out the timing for this for now. There is a definite subject of “gathering” that takes place by the reapers. “Gathered Up” is a synonymous term from our list for a type of rapture. The reapers gathering in their crops to harvest is the basic premise being communicated symbolically and it is mentioned twice here. Can we at least agree that the concept given sounds like a type of rapture? It does to me whether you choose to see it or not.
If you read the verses closely you will notice a very distinct problem emerging. These verses say that the tares will be gathered “first” before the wheat is gathered into the barn. Of course we will talk about this in more depth later because these verses are often used by the “no rapture” teachers to prove that the wicked tare people rapture (gathering) must occur first before the good righteous wheat people are gathered from the earth. However, that is simply one common misunderstood position or one erroneous interpretation of misapplied information but that is not the entire truth on the subject. We are required to balance all of the facts and not just try to take some limited information and make them more important than any other information on the subject. Just try to learn the concept basics right now and then we will try to figure out the details later.
Mat 13:37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
Mat 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
Mat 13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
Mat 13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
Mat 13:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
Mat 13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
If you read closely the explanation of the parable in Matthew 13:37-43 you will surely see more of the basic symbolism being defined. We can learn from the description that Jesus was the sower of the good wheat seed. We further learn that the enemy Satan was the sower of the tare seed. Jesus teaches us that the wheat represents one good group of people and that the tares represent a distinct separate evil group of people all growing together in the same field (the world). The group of wheat represents the saved righteous people in the church and the other tares that are destroyed in the fire are the wicked unrighteous people of the earth. Which group are you in? I’m wheat myself. Therefore, I’m not ever burned. Ok, the harvesters we are informed are the angels of God. Then in this discourse Jesus also says that this event being described occurs at the end of the world. Uh oh? When is that? I believe that this is referring to the end of the millennium also called the prophesied 1000 year long day of rest when the righteous rule the earth. Therefore, this description given by Jesus cannot be talking about a pre-tribulation rapture event. Did you know that is so very true and that I totally agree with that statement? This is exactly why many of the “no rapture” teachers teach that there can be no rapture until the end of the world comes and the wicked are removed from the earth first. However, that is where I depart from their erroneous theory.
You see they are neglecting to understand that there can be more than one rapture event in the Bible being described. Anything that God can do once, God can do as many times as He desires. If you study the Bible correctly you will find that there have been at least 4 or 5 rapture events that have already occurred and we will list them in detail later as we study. Then we must understand that there will be coming 2, 3 or more rapture events that must still come to pass and that these are all separate and distinct events occurring at different set times. Therefore, Jesus here in this lesson is speaking and describing one rapture event that cannot be mixed with any another rapture event but it does help us prove that they can occur for God’s purpose. You see if one “rapture” is possible at any time then more than one is also highly possible. Are you God? Some Bible teachers think they are God. They try to tell God what He can and cannot do and they sound like fools doing that. So understand this concept, there has been several rapture events that have already occurred and there are more yet to come. Do not get into a single threaded interpretation of all events being the same event. What we must do is to see all of the facts and not just take one truth attempting to make it the whole truth. What Jesus just described cannot be a description of the pre-tribulation rapture event, but that still does not mean that there is not one of those that can still occur. Did you hear what I just said? Is your brain engaged in this study and have you learned anything so far? We are still studying the basics of the subject and I just gave you some very important clues to learn from. Let’s continue with another set of basic information from Jesus:
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:
Here is a set of popular scripture verses describing another rapture type of event. The term being described here is again called a “gathering” of the nations. Remember that term and then understand that it is the exact same key word phrase (G4863) of “gathering” given to us in the parable of the wheat and tares. Here God is using a different type of symbolism to describe some very similar concepts. “Gathering” wheat or sheep is the same general act of power and force. Neither the sheep nor the goats make a request to be gathered or to be separated from each other and these acts occur outside of the realm of their influence or control. Do you understand how these very basic principles being described are similar to a rapture event? These are clear divinely originated plans from God not originating from any man. The act of separating the sheep from the goats is practically identical to the separation of the wheat from the tares. The concept parallels between these two descriptions are outstandingly similar and are linked together by God’s choice of the same Greek word translated as “gathered”. What we are observing is God’s usage of a synonymous word for rapture. It is described to be a gathering together as well as a separating from. Both of these acts occur simultaneously by God’s design. We have just reviewed some of the very basic information on rapture revealed and taught by Jesus in the Bible. I do not know why you would read these verses and not believe that rapture is possible even if you do not yet understand all of the timings of any of the rapture events.
Thank you for your time in reading this first lesson in the series about the rapture. We have really only touched on some very introductory basics but in doing this I believe that I have also introduced you to several new things to consider. I believe that we need to begin to understand that there is more than one possible rapture event that could occur. You see many read the Bible and only see one event and think that is the only event. Take for instance the flood of Noah. This is widely taught as a universal flood that wipes out all life except for those in the ark. However, reading in Genesis 1 we should be able to see that there was another universal flood that was also mentioned. What we learn is that God uses repeated patterns in the Bible. Patterns are a widely used concepts displayed throughout the Bible. What God has done before is typically what God will cause to happen again. We learn this concept from verses like Ecclesiastes 1:9. We need to fully learn how God operated in the past in order to understand how God could possibly operate in the future. Please come back and read the next lessons in this series. We will cover a lot more imformation that is critical to understand. God Bless you until then!
If you would like to continue the study of this subject you may go to “Part 2” now.
(Ver 1.3) Today’s lesson is Part 5 in the Bible study series about “Understanding the Subjects of Healing, Sickness and Disease”. In this series we have been exploring the Bible foundations to recognize God’s truth and perspective on the subject of where does physical healing, sickness and disease actually come from? I have already introduced you to a lot of information in this Bible lesson series that will not all be repeated exactly as stated before, therefore if you have not read every lesson from the beginning, I would strongly suggest that you go and start your reading with “Part 1”. I usually do not focus on the erroneous teachings of other men, but I think this is a valid approach to take since there are so many erroneous things about healing being taught by many churches. What I will attempt to do today is not to teach you the foundational basis for the error, but rather to teach you to see the counter truth to the inaccuracy using God’s Word. One of my chief goals in all of my Bible lessons is not to give you a fish but rather to teach you how to fish from God’s word for yourself. This concept of learning to see the truth for yourself will help you not to be deceived by anyone that will try to come to you and present something new that contradicts with what God wanted you to know. Therefore, we must counter the error with only the truth of God to help other people from falling into Satan’s traps of deception. So today will be a Bible lesson about many of the wrong teachings found in churches about healing, sickness and disease to help you. Obviously this will not cover every false teaching in the world on the subjects and it will not be a comprehensive level of detail on any one subject that could have been accomplished. It will however give you an overview of the vast problems associated with a few teachings that I know are in error.
BRIEF REVIEW OF WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED SO FAR
Since it has been a long time since I posted on this subject, I think it would be good to briefly mention a few of the things that we have learned in the series. We know from reading the Bible that when our world and the first man Adam were created by God, He looked at it all and said it was “Very Good” (Gen 1:31). Therefore according to God, no evil, like sickness existed prior to sin. If Adam was not created sick, where then did sickness come from? The first mention of the healing of human sickness actually occurs many years after creation in Genesis 20:17. From God’s timeline this has to be nearly two thousand years after Adam. I will also say that the book of Job is reported to be the oldest book in the Bible and it has mention of sickness and healing. However the exact timeframe of the book of Job is not known. The book of Job probably occurs sometimes after Noah and before Abraham. We may talk about Job in future lessons since this book is widely misapplied to accuse God with causing sickness by Satan to occur on Job. For now let’s concentrate on Genesis 20. In this verse Abraham prays to God for Abimelech and his wife and it is stated that God healed them because of the prayer. This is actually very important to note that the first recorded healing in Genesis is stated to have come from God through the vehicle of human prayer. I believe that is important to know.
We also know from Bible study that Adam’s sin was the main factor for man knowing evil according to Genesis 3:22. In this verse God states that evil entered into the world and man has now come to know something besides knowing only God’s goodness. Therefore I have concluded that sin was the root cause for all evil including sickness to enter into the world. However do not misunderstand what I said. Just because sin was the root cause for all sickness, this does not mean that it was necessarily your sin that caused your sickness. You see there was a transfer of death upon all men from the original sin of the one man Adam. Since sickness is nothing but a minor precursor to death we should know that Adam’s sin has now passed this curse to everyone else that has descended from him according to 1 Corinthians 15:22. There are such things as generational curses that are handed down from parent to child and from generation to generation. This is why doctors ask about family history of certain diseases. If your parent had it then you are more likely to also have it. Perhaps in a future lesson we will talk more about this generational curse factor revealed in the Bible.
I further showed you in lesson one that sickness was the curse for disobeying God’s law revealed to us in Deuteronomy 28. Any disobedience is called a sin of commission or omission and we are all guilty of this according to Romans 5:12. You may recall that I gave you one example of Jesus healing a paralytic man that couldn’t walk. In this story Jesus said to him first “Your sins are forgiven” and all of the Jews drew up in arms that Jesus could forgive sin. In this story found in Matthew 9 you will see that Jesus attributes a direct link between sickness and sin. Jesus was basically teaching us that the cause of sin resulted in the effect of sickness. When Jesus told the man his sins were forgiven Jesus was saying son you are healed. Are your sins forgiven by the shed blood of Jesus today? Well according to Jesus you should be healed also. The Greek word translated as “saved” is the word “sozo” and it means to be made whole. This was an all-inclusive work of God. God gave to men salvation which included spiritual health, mental health, physical health and financial health. In other words God relieved us from the curse and you can read that by finding it in Galatians 3:13.
I hope you also understood the concept that I presented about a house being divided will not stand. If God makes you sick and also heals you then His house is divided and by His own admission of law will not stand. Jesus revealed a basic truth that states any house or kingdom can be easily defeated if it is not strongly unified in a singleness of purpose. Therefore, evil and sickness must only come from the house of Satan that is evil and healing which is good can only come from the house of God that is consistently good! Finally I taught you one lesson on the Father’s heart revealed to us in the parable of the Prodigal Son. The father was not out to inflict the child for being stupid, the father’s heart was directed at only re-establishing the son to his place in the family because of his great love for his son. This is clearly a picture of God and His desire to bless you today. These were all just some of the basic important concepts already discussed. I pray that you took hold of them and accepted them as the truth. Now let’s explore some error.
THE ERROR OF AN OLD TESTAMENT DOMINATED THEOLOGY
There are literally too many unfounded erroneous teachings about healing, sickness and disease found in the modern church today. I will start this lesson with one that is very popular. I find this error in more of my comments on this website than almost any other mistake that people make. Reading the Old Testament in isolation is one of the most prevalent problems with modern theological teachings. There are literally many mistranslated verses found in the Old Testament that people use to establish their wrong beliefs. Because people do not know or understand how God wrote the Bible, they can easily be misguided by what they read in the Old Testament. We must begin by first asking “Is the truth plainly presented in the Old Testament”? If you feel like it is, then you are already deceived and lack understanding that is required by God. There is nothing of any spiritual value in the Old Testament that is clearly presented. I probably just lost a bunch of readers with that statement. However consider what Jesus said about the Old Testament before you turn me completely off:
Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
This is one of the most important statements that Jesus taught us about all of the words written in the Old Testament. Jesus said that nothing you could read was self-evident concerning the truth about Him. In fact Jesus just literally said you must “search” to even find Him. That means He is not easily found. To search the Old Testament implies the hidden meaning that the words about Jesus were not placed upon the surface text for us to easily locate. Have you ever lost your car keys? Have you ever had to do a house room to room search to find them? That is exactly what Jesus is teaching you about you finding Him anywhere in the Old Testament. Jesus claimed it was going to take great effort of you looking for you to find Him on the pages. That is a very important concept for you to learn.
One of the most important things that you can learn from me today is for you to never read the Old Testament without first reading the New Testament very closely and understanding it as completely as possible. Begin your every Bible Study by understanding this very basic Bible interpretation law. The Old Testament is the New Testament in a concealed format. The New Testament is the Old Testament hidden concepts being revealed to the church. Therefore we must use all of the New Testament revelations to understand anything that was written in the Old Testament. If you fail to do this you are in error. If your pastor is teaching you mostly from the Old Testament without using any of the New Testament to explain it, you need to find a new church very fast. We in the church are not under the law of the Old Covenant (Rom 6:15). Therefore we are not under that covenant. There is a major division within the Bible that occurs between Malachi and Matthew. The words written prior to Matthew are primarily directed to a natural people and the words written after Matthew are primarily written to a spiritual people. Of course this is much more complicated than I just stated.
Rom 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
This is another very important scripture to understand. Do you know what “revelation” is? God defines the word “revelation” as “a disclosure”. This Greek word translated as “revelation” literally comes from a root word that means to “take the cover off”. Revelation is the act of revealing what was once hidden from plain view. Therefore we must understand that the words written on the pages did not change but only the meaning they convey were adjusted so that we could see them like God could see them. As you can read in this verse, God revealed to us mysteries that were kept secret from the foundation of the world. How did God do this? God does this by writing in plain text code. I do not mean that He encrypted the text and made it unreadable; I just mean that He hid the spiritual meanings of the words being encapsulated within the natural word text making them easily overlooked by the carnal dominated mind of the reader. This is still what occurs today for most people reading the Old Testament and thinking they understand it without checking out what God explains and reveals about the subjects in the New Testament. Because people do not understand these concepts they are vastly confused about many subjects in the Bible. You cannot understand anything in the Old Testament without first finding God’s definitions, explanations and revelations in the New Testament. That could have been the most important thing that I teach you all day.
Here is an interesting fact about the New Testament. God quotes the Old Testament nearly 300 times in the New Testament. This fact means that every 1 in 22 N.T. verses is an Old Testament quoted verse. If you have a NASB translation of the Bible you will easily find the quotes since they are presented in ALL CAPS. This will greatly help you in your search for them. If one in every 22 verses is quoting the Old Testament then the other 22 verses are potential explanations of the revelation about what the O.T. verse meant. This means that you must read and study these N.T. verses to even come close to begin to know what the Old Testament verses were saying originally. Paul taught us plainly that what he taught the early church came as a direct revelation from Jesus (Gal 1:12). If Paul required extensive revelation to understand the Old Testament scriptures, then you also need the same kind of revelation to understand God’s O.T. words. However it is noteworthy that what they taught in the New Covenant was completely verifiable from what was written in the Old Testament:
Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
We can clearly see from this verse that the early noble church at Berea used the O.T. to verify everything that Paul was teaching to them. Notice however, that this was the exact same book that the Jews had read for 1500 years and they could not see what they were now seeing being revealed by Jesus. There were no new words added to the O.T. text. The only event that had occurred was that God had finally revealed what the words on the old scrolls meant and that changed everything. So what am I saying to you today? Are you learning anything? Do not read the Old Testament in isolation thinking that you understand what it means about any subject. Your carnal mind and human reasoning is too small to comprehend God’s vast hidden meanings and there is literally no way that you will understand them correctly without first learning to view them through the New Testament.
OLD TESTAMENT CONFLICTS WITH NEW TESTAMENT REVELATION
Because this is such an important topic to understanding the differences between New Testament revelations and Old Testament mysteries, I’m going to reemphasize it with some direct Bible examples about what I just taught in the last section. Let’s begin by defining the word “sick” from the Bible. This Hebrew word that is often translated as sick literally means to be rubbed or worn. It is the opposite term of being new or being without imperfections, faults or failures. Healthy is of course the opposite of being sick from our modern vocabulary. Therefore, God is basically saying to be sick is to be like a pair of jeans with worn holes in them. Sickness is a condition that demonstrates your human weakness and it shous us a condition that we were not in when originally designed and created by God. Therefore according to God to be sick is like having worn holes in you pants. I know many ignorant people today like their jeans with holes in them, but I’m not that stupid to pay extra money for a garment that is distressed and imperfect. Therefore, human sickness is a weakness to the fabric of life and health and a precursor to death which is the complete failure of the life and health fabric.
What is the definition of the Hebrew word that was translated as “heal”? To heal according to God is to repair or mend that which was broken or in need of fixing. Healing is defined to be a cure or a reversal for whatever made you sick. Therefore we must use these new definitions to figure out if our God broke us just so that He could come to the earth personally to fix us? That obviously does not make any logical sense to me but that is what many are teaching us today. I do not intentionally break my car just so I can fix it. I never break a china plate to try to glue it back together. That would be insanity and not creativity and the revealed nature of our God. Let’s go back to the Old Testament and see a verse:
Deu 7:15 And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.
Here is a classic Old Testament verse about sickness being attributed to God’s purpose. We have a direct stated conflict in this verse that violates many of the New Testament scriptures that are impossible to believe while believing what this verse says as translated. If we take this verse literally as stated it means God is either good or evil depending upon some unknown or unstated factor. If God takes away sickness from Israel but also puts the same sicknesses on Egypt then that is an inconsistent God of indeterminate uncertainty. Clearly His house is divided if we take this verse literally and we do not know if we should pray and ask God for healing or stop and be humble and thank God for sending us the sickness to enjoy. That is an idiotic type of Christian thinking to interpret the Bible this way. You see you cannot find God making anyone sick in the Gospels. Jesus never walked up to anyone and said “I will bless you to be ill today”. Jesus consistently healed everyone and that was the revealed nature of my God. Therefore we cannot interpret anything differently from the Old Testament if it violates the revelation given to us from the New Testament.
Many people just do not understand that every English Bible translations contain flaws of human error and wrong human interpretation embedded in them; they will read these Old Testament verses and think that God has caused sickness to occur while ignoring the revealed God in the flesh in the New Testament. I can literally find many verses translated like this in the O.T. Bible. But that does not mean I must believe them over what God says to me in the Gospels and the letters written directly to the church. Whatever was written by God in the New Testament, now take precedence over everything that was written in the O.T. What is precedence? Precedence is technically a legal term that means those words have priority over the other stated words. This could be present for many reasons, but just remember that these New Testament words do not replace the Old Testament words, but that they certainly do explain them. The church should realize what covenant they are joined to and then make that one their priority as I was trying to teach you in the last section. Make this determination right now; if you are under the law of the O.T. then you should never attempt to read the N.T. However, if you are under the grace of the New Covenant then you should never read the O.T. without using the revealed light of God found in N.T. to understand what was written in the Old. This is just very basic spiritual reasoning that God taught me.
This is one of the most significant reasons why people believe things in error today about healing. They will read an Old Testament verse about God making someone sick believing they understand it but when they finally explore the entire subject using the New Testament God has changed the definition of what they thought He said in the O.T. to reveal a new understanding of the subject for the saints. This is why in an earlier lesson that I mentioned that Acts 10:38 was a critical verse on the subject of healing, sickness and disease. You should recall that this verse attributed all healing to Jesus and all sickness to satanic oppression. This new information changes our old interpretations of every other verse in the Old Testament about sickness. Many times human translators would accuse God of doing something when it really should have been translated using the permissive verbiage. There is a major difference between a causative God of sickness and a permissive God of sickness. If God causes sickness in the O.T. this would directly conflict with Acts 10:38 and all of the Gospels where Jesus is only revealed to have healed and never made anyone sick. If you learn nothing else from me today you need to learn how to interpret the Bible using the New Testament explanations, definitions and revealed information and I know that is probably the third time that I said that. But you really need to get that into your study habits because there are things explained in the New Testament that you will never see directly mentioned anywhere in the Old Testament.
GOD USES SICKNESS TO CORRECT OR TEACH HIS PEOPLE
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Here is a very popular modern belief taught by many seminary graduates. Some in the modern church teach that our God the creator of heaven and earth sent us sickness as punishment, or correction, or as a teaching tool. Many have come to me and asked me how God corrects His children like Hebrews 12:6 says if not with sickness like my pastor says this means. What you need to do is to read and study your Bible and then just ignore everything that your pastor says that does not match with what you see that the Bible actually says. People can try to make the Bible say whatever they like, but that does not change what it actually says. You have eyes and a brain and the Spirit of God in you if you are saved. Ask God to show you what the Word says and then believe what He says. Here in this verse in Hebrews, it does not mention sickness not once and still people have tried to claim this is how God affects His children with correction. Just read the Bible and believe what it says and do not add to it what it does not say. That is one of the main rules of correct Bible interpretation. God tells us that no scripture of prophecy is of any private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20). God is basically saying I will tell you what it means, therefore, don’t invent your own meaning because it will be wrong.
So why is the belief that God afflicts Christians with sickness for correction a bad belief to believe in? First it will keep you from seeking divine healing that clearly comes from God (Exo 15:26, Psa 103:3). Second, it violates the laws of singleness of purpose given to us by Jesus in an undivided kingdom (Mat 12:25). Third, it would violate God’s word that says God does not ever change (Mal 3:6). Fourth, it would violate the character of God revealed in the Son of God Jesus in the Gospels. You cannot ever find Jesus making someone sick for any reason. Jesus was unified in the sole purpose of healing only and thus His kingdom will stand forever and not be divided. I just gave you four great reasons why God will not correct you using sickness. I hope and pray that you got them!
GOD’S SOVEREIGN CONTROL OF THE UNIVERSE
There is another very popular belief being taught that because God is sovereign that He controls whatever happens to us good, bad or neutral. This is just another example of extremism; people taking one truth and trying to apply it as the only truth that is necessary for what we believe. This is a huge mistake in wrong Bible interpretation. I think I have shown you in this series that this was not what the Bible says and that sickness came as a result of man’s disobedience, his sinful choices and his independent actions that were implemented by his own freewill. Extremism on any subject is an unbalanced approach at understanding God and the Bible. It promotes an isolationism theology that ignores every other revealed truth on opposing subjects. Certainly I believe that God is sovereign and I do not disqualify His ability as the Omnipotent Being to control everything if He so desired. However for me to believe that He does this violates the definition of a God described to be Love (Agape) in 1 John 4:16. Then there is this verse; God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). This verse in John describes a major conflict with God sovereignly placing sickness on people. Why would the sovereign God come to save me and then tell me that I could be saved, if I only I believe? Did you see what I just asked you? Does that make any sense to you? Whose choice is it to believe mine or God’s? Obviously it is my sovereign choice to believe that causes me to begin to be saved. You didn’t know you were a sovereign being did you? A sovereign being is anyone that has the ability to make an independent decision without external control or influence. Did you decide to get out of bed this morning? If you did then you made a sovereign choice. Of course if you decided to stay in bed this morning you would have still made a sovereign choice in what you did. Nothing you do today can be placed upon anyone but you. You have been given responsibility and control of your destiny. Actually technically speaking you are not a completely independent agent as a human. After Satan entered the world and Adam lost his sovereignty over the earth, Satan became the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4). Before Satan entered into the world Adam was a completely independent sovereign being. We learned from Jesus’ law of singleness in purpose again that Satan has a kingdom (Mat 12:26). Therefore, we are either in the kingdom of light (Jesus) or the kingdom of darkness (Satan) (1 Th 5:5) and we will all choose which eternal kingdom to reside in by whether we believe and are saved or do not believe and are damned (Mk 16:16). Having the ability to choose what we believe in is a direct design feature of every man and woman. The pure ability of man to believe and choose makes God’s sovereign control inconceivable.
Let’s expand and continue to explore the notion that our loving Heavenly Father is still the author of all of the sickness today because of His sovereign control of the planet. This extreme sovereign control theology has great potential for harm because it relieves man of any human responsibility and future accountability. If God is in complete sovereign control then I have nothing to do today to be saved or lost. Is that what the Bible says? What about future accountability? Accountability is simply the responsibility to do something that you should have done. Is there coming a judgment upon every man? If God is in sovereign control of what happens to every man, what then is there to judge? Do you see any problem with that? You cannot ever judge what you caused to happen or you will be forced to judge yourself. Judgment is simply the responsibility of only the Judge to pass sentence for an independent violation for someone that is held accountable for doing something or not doing something. If I stole something from you then I could be found guilty of violating the laws against theft. If you caused me to steal something from you then you are now guilty for what I did and I am not responsibile for my actions. Therefore, I can only be judged fairly by a judge that was not involved in what I did and I must be held accountable and made responsible for not doing it right. Who is this Supreme independent fair Judge and who will He judge?
Act 10:42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
According to the Bible God is the judge of the living and the dead. The living and the dead are two separate opposite categories of people. You cannot be the living dead nor can you be the dead living. You are either dead today or you are alive inside. Of course these are figurative language definitions for the status of salvation. Those that are alive are those spirits that are in the Kingdom of Light and have believed. Those that are dead spirits are those that have not believed and are in the kingdom of darkness. Both are eternal spirits, but classified in two individual sub-sets. This is really not rocket science but it proves God is not in sovereign control of what you or I do or what we decide to believe in. God is the supreme judge and the only ability for any fair judgment to occur in the future is for the Judge to be independent of the crime being judged. If God caused you to believe what you believe or not to believe then He should be judged by all of us for making us this way. Clearly that is a major problem with that line of thought.
Extreme sovereign God philosophy teachers clearly do not understand the concept or the definition of what love is and that God is defined to be only love in 1 John 4:16 as I stated earlier. Does God love His spiritual children differently than I love my natural children? If you think so, then you do not know God. If I loved my natural child here on the earth, I would not want them to be sick no matter what they did and if I chose to make them sick on purpose after they have disobeyed me then I would now be guilty of being a child abuser in need of prison. Sovereign control is a modern philosophy taught in some churches that tries to convince people that no matter what we do as humans that we cannot change what God has given to us to endure or suffer through. People who believe this clearly have not read the Bible. This type of belief disqualifies prayer and the power of God to heal. I could probably say a lot more about this subject, but I’m just hitting some high points on every subject and not trying to do an in-depth teaching on every issue.
DID DIVINE HEALING CEASE WITH THE DEATH OF THE APOSTLES?
Still many others in the church teach that God did heal people in the Gospels and through the early church, but all of that ceased when the last apostles died. This teaching is very popular because it relieves them of accountability and responsibility. It is another twisted example of the extreme God Control Theology. This erroneous teaching denies that the apostles were in the same church as we are today. This teaching contradicts the verse that says Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8). You see everyone in the church is clearly defined to be the complete one body of Christ (Rom 12:5). In other words there are not two bodies, three bodies or more bodies of Christ; there is just one unified body that exists. Since Peter, James and John were in the same body of Christ as us, then what they could do we can also potentially do because we are still the same body. Christ does not ever change according to Hebrews 13:8 and therefore if Christ healed anyone in Acts, Christ still heals today. Don’t make yourself independent from Christ or you are none of His.
What else is wrong with this teaching of treating apostles differently than disciples? Are you a disciple? Jesus said in John 13:35 that they will know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another. Who was Jesus talking to? I believe that He was talking to me and you. Therefore everyone is a disciple even if you are not an apostle a prophet, an evangelist, pastor or a teacher. To attribute that only the apostles healed anyone is a clear misunderstanding of God and the scripture. For example, in Luke 10:1-18 Jesus sends out 70 disciples and not 12 apostles. How many more is 70 than 12? Even if the 70 included the 12 that leaves 58 that were not apostles of the Lamb. Why is this important? This is only important to see because Jesus told them all to heal the sick in verse 9. Clearly we can see in verse 18 that all of the 70 returned to tell Jesus that even the demons were subject to them. Uh oh, that means they healed the sick that were oppressed with devils (Acts 10:38). It is very obvious to me that healing was a disciple gift and instruction and not just an apostle gift and instruction. Don’t put God into your box to define what He can do or not do with His disciples in His Church. He is the Head of the Church and you are not.
Let’s talk about another scriptural conflict with why healing did not stop with the apostles. Is God a respecter of persons and does He show any favoritism to anyone? Can you find anyone getting healed in the Old Testament? I can find several. Can you find anyone getting healed in the Gospels? Again I can find many. Why then do you think that healing has ceased for today? This alone violates Hebrews 13:8 that says God never changes. Believing that only certain apostles can heal denies God to be the healer. This belief conflicts with verses like Acts 10:34 and 1 Peter 1:17 that proclaims God is no respecter of persons. If God only gave the healing power to the early disciples then that would be a denial of the power to me as a disciple of Christ. This would first mean that God has changed. Then it would mean that what He did for Peter, James, and John, He will not do for me and I believe that is a major problem to your theology based upon God being no respecter of person. That type of belief would mean that they were special, but I am not simply because I was born in another generation to come. That is clearly a false belief and the violation of the Word of God. We cannot allow scriptural conflicts to stand. We must use the Bible to understand the Bible. If healing ceased then the Word of God has ceased. My Bible says in the Old Testament that “He sent His word and healed them” (Ps 107:20). We know from New Testament revelation that Jesus is the Word of God incarnate (John 1:1-14) that came and healed us (1 Peter 2:24). So Jesus is the healer and not any apostle. Therefore, if Jesus is alive today and He is, healing has not ceased. Nowhere in the Bible can you find an apostle claiming to be the healer. Therefore do not allow men to teach you otherwise.
SHOULD WE SEEK GOD OR SHOULD WE SEEK DOCTORS TO GET HEALED?
There are also a few ignorant teachers who claim the healing power of God ceased with the death of the apostles that have justified in their minds that this is the reason why we have modern medicine, doctors and hospitals in existence today. This teaching is just another example or a variation of the extremism philosophy of the Divine Sovereign Control Theology. In other words, they believe that what God had done previously though His Spirit and His word has now shifted to a physical pill or the hand of a surgeon type of man called a doctor. They have in effect exalted a man into the previous position of God and that sounds like an anti-Christ type of teaching to me. This is one of the most ignorant backwards types of reasoning that I have ever heard conceived up. I would find it humorous if it were not so dangerous. These teachers claim in error that God has changed His healing methods and approach and that only a natural doctor is now God’s healing agents for all of humanity.
Therefore this teaching immediately violates Hebrews 13:8 and Malachi 3:6 that teach us that God never changes. Why is this false teaching so dangerous? This teaching shifts the focus off of God onto a man that we can see and that makes it a treacherous error. If your eyes are on a man then you are missing the God who is the healer. This teaching denies the need for a Christian to even pray to God and ask for healing or guidance. In fact it denies the human responsibility of being led by the Spirit of God to know what to do in the case of sickness. Being led by the Spirit of God is a requirement according to Romans 8:14 therefore to be led by a doctor to get healed you are not being led by the perfect God but by imperfect human doctors. According to them we should all just go to the doctor and they will handle it all now for God and what will occur will occur as the will of God. Clearly this is a very bad teaching that causes many people to die today since no doctor is God and knows everything. Let’s take a look at what the Bible actually says about doctors:
2Ch 16:12 And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.
I do not think that it is entirely bad to seek a doctor’s advice, but what I do find troubling is not first seeking God’s advice. Clearly God speaks about the king in negative terms for his ignorance of only seeking for doctors to help him. Doctors being fellow ignorant humans are technically incapable of healing anyone. Most of the time doctors treat the symptoms but rarely do they fully implement cures of complete wholeness. If you read the very next verse you will see what occurred by only seeking doctors. The Bible says that Asa died and was buried with his fathers. Clearly this is a major conflict with the seek doctor only modern teaching and it ignores God. There is another greater example of seeking physicians found in Mark 5:26. In this story of the woman with the issue of blood she had sought a cure for her problem for 12 years with doctors and finally turned and sought to touch Jesus after hearing about Him. Clearly the doctors could not help her and only seeking God brought the answer. I learn several things from this example. First, seeking the doctor’s help did not keep her from being cured and made whole by God. But, I also learned that her answer came by her only seeking Jesus. Therefore I have concluded if you need a doctor’s help seek one. But in your seeking do not neglect the real healer and seek Him more diligently.
IS IT THE WILL OF GOD TO HEAL TODAY?
Here is another major problem taught in many churches today by words and actions. Certain preachers do not know if it is the will of God for healing to occur so they do not understand how to pray and ask God for healing or they fail to do it completely. Many times these preachers will constantly pray and ask for healing “If it by thy will”. There is a major lesson taught to all lawyers and attorneys. You never ask a question to anyone on the witness stand that you already do not know the answer they will give to you. This same principle works for healing and all Christian prayer. If you do not already know that God’s answer is yes for what you are asking then you are asking in error and praying in the dark. That is a major revelation to understanding why many are not healed today. Do you remember the story of the leprous man that comes to Jesus for healing?
Mat 8:2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
Here is a man that desperately needs help and divine healing but he does not know if it is Jesus’ will to help him. Any time there is a question mark present there is a hindrance to receiving healing from God. The man clearly knows that Jesus has the ability and the power to heal him but does not know if it is the will of God to heal him personally. He must have learned about the power by the observation of what happened to others touched by Jesus. But what happens to others is no guarantee for what might happen to you. You can never base your faith upon what others possess or fail to possess. You must answer all of the questions in your own mind and then you will have the ability to receive for your situation.
Mat 8:3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Here was Jesus’ response to the leprous man. Jesus told him “I will” and that is a universal statement of truth for you also. This statement reveals God will for all healing. It is God’s will for you to be saved, healed and delivered from everything that the enemy had you trapped under. We know since we have read repeatedly in the Bible that Jesus is never changing as revealed in Hebrews 13:8, that Jesus will still say “I will” today. Therefore God’s will was to heal in Matthew 8:3 and God’s will is still to heal in today’s modern time. Knowing this information now you do not have to pray to ask God if it be your will and you can just ask and receive knowing it was His will to begin with.
I think I have covered enough for one lesson. I know there are many other false teachings that promote coonfusion and division in the church. If you know of other false teachings surrounding the subject of healing I would be glad to learn about them from you. If you are not sure what your preacher is teaching is right or worong, then you may also ask me that if you desire. Hopefully you will have learned that you can find the answers also if you search your Bible for them. Finally always remember my main point about reading the Old Testament. If you are not looking at the Old Testament through eyes corrected with the New Testament glasses, then you are blindly reading a hidden message from God. Thanks for reading and we will do another lesson in this series later. God Bless.
(ver 1.0) This is now Part 15 in a series of very important advanced Christian Bible lessons on the subject of Understanding Bible Faith. I have covered a tremendous amount of information in this series that will not be repeated so if you have not read it from the beginning I would suggest that you go and start with “Part 1” first. I dealt with the subject of Great Faith in one other lesson directly and several other lessons indirectly. In the direct lesson on Great Faith about the woman from Canaan we discovered the importance of how we view the problem versus how we view the power of God to solve the problem matters. I attempted to teach you that no matter how big the problem may appear, the power of God to solve it is so much significantly greater that it only takes a crumb of His power to change it. This principle was an awesome revelation that combines two stated truths found in the Bible concerning faith. First there is “All things are possible with God” and second that “all things are possible to those that believe” (Mat 19:26, Mark 9:23). You see many Christians have no problem believing that God can do anything because He is omnipotent, but then they fail to realize that they have any part to play in getting this reality from God to occur in the natural realm. It is a combined effort of agreement between God and you and you cannot ignore the fact Jesus taught that people must believe in order for the humanly impossible to transpire. This is why Jesus told us that all things are possible to us “IF WE CAN BELIEVE”. So our faith is again mentioned as the final determining factor for what is possible for us or what happens to us. I hope that you understand what faith is by now. Faith is a belief based spiritual system that comes from hearing His written Word about what God has already accomplished in the Spiritual realm. It is this Bible faith that becomes the literal substance of those things that we cannot or have not seen in the natural realm (Heb 11:1).
Today I am going to focus in on the only other illustrated example given to us in the Bible of explicitly stated great faith. Jesus only looked at two different Gentiles and said that they had great faith beyond what he could find in all of Israel. Jesus revealed to us that he was looking for people with faith in this statement and He marveled at only two things; those in Israel that had no faith and those outside of Israel that had great over the top faith. So I have already addressed the woman of Canaan that was rewarded for her great faith by Jesus casting the devils out of her daughter. Today I am going to look at the story of the Roman Centurion that introduces us to a brand new perspective on the subject of faith. How did this non-Jewish man obtain such great faith when Jesus was not even sent to anyone except to those in Israel? I believe that this is an excellent question to answer and that will be my goal. We will start reading in our Bibles in Matthew chapter 8 and verse 5:
Mat 8:5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
Here is the beginning of the great faith story. Notice how the story begins. The Roman Centurion is coming to Jesus and it was not Jesus coming to the Roman Centurion. Recognize today where the source of your answer will originate and then start out to get it from Him the same way. I know today that Jesus is not physically on the earth, but He is here spiritually and His written word is ever present here for you to still seek out. God, His Spirit and His Word are all inseparable realities called three in one (1 Jn 5:7). So come to the Bible and start to learn what you are missing and then pray and He will answer. Also recognize that if you are waiting on God to show up you are out of the designed process of God’s flow and you are doing it all wrong. If you want an answer to a problem in the world today you are going to have to go and figure out how to receive it. This is exactly what the Roman Centurion is doing in this example. The Roman Centurion was not sitting back passively but was taking steps and being aggressively active to seek God for the answer. I hope you have gotten that concept from the previous lessons, but I restated it again for those that need to hear it.
Mat 8:6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
Here is the stated great problem that the Centurion is seeking Jesus to solve. The servant of the Centurion appears to be too “grievously” sick to come to Jesus himself. We can understand that the servant is suffering greatly and in tremendous pain. The Centurion obviously has great compassion in his heart to do something for someone else to try to help them. Having compassion is a Godly quality that is highly desirable. Here we must stop and understand why is the Centurion coming to Jesus? At this point he must have either seen Jesus heal personally before or at the very least heard of Jesus healing someone by word of mouth from a witness. Hearing is a requirement to having Bible faith. As we continue in this lesson you will definitely learn that it was the Centurion’s faith that causes the positive results to occur.
This also introduces us to an interesting concept and a fascinating question that comes up when discussing this subject of faith. Can my faith or your faith be used to help someone else get their answer? Clearly in this example given to us from God in Matthew 8 we are going to see that the Centurion’s individual faith definitely helped a servant without the servant’s faith being involved. Part of the reasoning that needs to be taken into account is that a servant is a delegated household subordinate or individual. In other words the servant was part of the household of the Centurion and under his roof. However, it is more complicated than that statement. You see in the example of the Centurion the fact that the servant is so sick that it would be impossible for him to seek out Jesus personally for himself must also be taken into account. Plus the fact that the servant was the property of the Centurion means whatever happens to the servant is up to the owner in charge. Both of these factors play a role in determining whether your faith can be used to help for others. It is a great mistake to automatically assume that you can force your faith upon anyone or that you can override the will of another individual to get them saved, healed or delivered from anything that they do not want to be free from.
Let me go into some examples of when your faith can and cannot work for others. For example, if you have young children living at your home and they get sick, it is going to be your faith that gets them well until they get to the age of accountability to have faith for themselves. This is the repeated reality found in the terms of the Roman Centurion who is the head of the house and the servant being a subordinate figure. Children are always subordinate to the parent. This same natural example crosses over into the spiritual realm also. You see if a Christian is new to the faith, they are a spiritual child in the Lord too young and immature spiritually to have faith for most difficult things. That is kind of an oxymoronic statement, since nothing is too hard for God and if they believed for their salvation that was probably the greatest obstacle that they will ever face. Technically a saved person has already achieved great faith in one area for their salvation. But, that is the problem it takes more faith in other areas like being filled with the Spirit, or healing, or finances to solve those different inadequacies. I guess what I am trying to say is that your faith can be accessed to work for many new Christians at least once. However, as they grow, spiritually mature and see how it works they will learn that they will be required by God to have faith for themselves. Just like kids today in the natural are required to grow up and take responsibility for their own lives, so it is in the spiritual realm.
Next if a person is unconscious or unable to come or ask for their own healing then many times your faith can be used to help them also. It is not always the case however. For example, when my father was unconscious in a comma in the hospital after a stroke the entire local church body prayed and sought God for the answer in faith, but the answer did not come. Was it our lack of faith that caused us to fail or were there other factors? You see there were several other factors that hindered the healing. The spiritual maturity of my father played a very significant role. The previous actions of my father were also pivotal in determining whether our faith could work for him to be healed. Also our will could not override his will and we do not actually know what he desired or thought about staying and being healed or going to see Jesus. First off consider this; my father was not a baby Christian. He had been a Christian for over 25 years. Next consider that my father had been to two Bible schools and was a pastor of a church. Then consider the fact that he ignored certain warnings from God about what was about to happen months earlier and the instructions given to him by God that showed him what he needed to do to fix the situation and it was all of these things that allowed death to dominate him and win. Do you remember the story of the prophet coming to the king and telling him that he would surely die and to get his house in order (2 Kings 20:1)? What did the king do and what result did it cause to change? Surely you remember, the king repents before God and God sent the prophet back to tell him that God had lengthened the king’s days on the earth considerably. So what people do on the earth, how they react to bad news, their ability to repent and change or not to change must matter if they want to live on the earth a long time. Do you understand this? What if the king did nothing? God said that he would die and he would have died just as it was spoken. This same thing happened to my father, God sent him a Prophet warning him of his death and he ignored it and guess what happened? These are very powerful lessons to understand about when your faith will work for someone else and when it will not. God says in the Bible “I am not mocked, whatever a man sows that will he also reap” (Gal 6:7). This is a basic statement of truth that sometimes what we pray for some men may not matter if they have sown the wrong crop and refused to repent for it.
Let me give you another example of when faith worked for an unconscious man. A pastor of a small church in Texas once had a member of his church fall off of an oil well platform from a great distance and he was very near death. He was unconscious in the hospital and the doctors said it was just a matter of time and he would be gone. His pastor was a believer in faith and he did not accept that report. This pastor went before God in faith and prayed and the man eventually fully recovered and came back to church well. So what is the difference here? The man was a member of the church of the pastor. This means the member was under the jurisdiction of the pastor being a spiritual subordinate and I’m going to talk about this more in a little while. What I am saying is that the pastor had a right to pray for his own member because he was not a fully grown mature Christian and the fact that the member could not pray for himself and ask God for healing since he was totally unconscious. The church member had not been warned by God of impending disaster and he just fell into it. Thus the factors were dramatically different between this man and my father’s example. So the subject of faith and healing is a very complex one that has many factors involved in it and sometimes it is extremely difficult to determine when your faith will work for someone and when it will not. Let’s continue with the Centurion:
Mat 8:7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
Jesus replies to the Centurion that He will come with him so that his servant will be healed. However, I want you to think and understand why Jesus said that He would do this. It has to be the man’s faith being visibly seen that causes Jesus to go where he was needed. I can find no other reason that caused Jesus ever to do anything for anyone just because they asked. I guess I should qualify that statement, because there were times when Jesus did things through a manifested gift of the Holy Spirit’s working. A gift of healing or a gift of miracles is a different type of the work of God that takes place by God’s divine choice and does not involve the faith of the individual to receive it. God will sometimes heal someone as a sign or as a confirmation of the Word preached that will not involve a man’s faith as a great gift. Just do not count on the gifts of God to heal you, this is a great mistake. You do not control the gift giver; gifts are only given according to God the administrator by His divine sovereign choice. This would be like if you heard of me giving away a present to someone that you really liked or needed. Even if you came to me personally and asked me for one, does not mean I will give it to you? That is presumptive thinking to assume someone will give you anything when you do not know the circumstances to why the other one got what they received. Conversely your faith can be used to take hold of God’s power at any time as we discovered studying about the woman with the issue of blood that just came and took her healing without praying or asking God for it. Next, I want to explore the scriptures that record the Centurion’s response to Jesus’ confirmation that He will come and heal. Here is the beginning of the statement:
Mat 8:8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
One of the first factors that I notice about the Centurion is that this man of great human power in the Roman army has great humility. It takes great humility to even ask anyone for help. Do you understand that? The soldier could have demanded Jesus to come, but instead tells Jesus he is not even worthy for Him to come under his roof. If you feel like you are worthy of Jesus coming to do anything for you then you are not in the right attitude of respect and humility for the all-powerful God. You do not deserve the answer and there is nothing that you can do or to offer to make yourself deserving. Anything that you obtain from God is solely based upon God’s Grace to give it. Your position of wealth, fame, power and influence on the earth will not cause you to receive anything from God. Then the next thing that I want to point out is the Centurion’s ability to perceive spiritual things. This Centurion could see when Jesus spoke that things happened. He simply asks Jesus to speak the Word and his servant would be healed/saved. Wow, that is an awesome display of ultimate faith. I can see why Jesus was so focused on this Gentile man entirely. You see if the Centurion had no faith he would have not come to Jesus at all. If the Centurion had only average faith he would have been very glad for Jesus to come to his house. But because he understood spiritual things greater than any other, he asked Jesus to just give the command and it will be done. You may not yet understand what is happening in this story and why this man has this kind of faith, but you are about to learn the key found in the Centurion’s next statement:
Mat 8:9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
The Centurion says “I am a man under authority”. Wow again and double wow! The Centurion just revealed one secret to having great faith and this is where we are going to spend the rest of the lesson. The Centurion tells Jesus, “I speak commands and they are obeyed”. The centurion says “I tell this one to go and he goes, I tell this other one to do this and it is done”. In other words this is a military man who understands authority. Everyone in an army has an assigned rank of authority. Anyone new to the army is at the bottom of the authority food chain. Anyone with extended experience and maturity is at the upper echelons of the authority ladder by their years of experience and wisdom. There is literally no one in the army that is not under the authority of someone else. Even the chief leader is under the lordship of the ruler of the country. There are vast numbers of lessons to learn from the military but I will not attempt to give you very many. Just understand that orders are given and orders are obeyed. If orders are not given, nothing is done. If orders are not obeyed then severe consequences are delivered. All of the army is a word based command structure system of authorities. No one shoots their gun without someone in charge telling them to shot, where to shoot and how often to shoot. If you don’t understand this I’m sorry, but that is generally how life works in the army.
Mat 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
Jesus’ responses to the Centurion’s words are very revealing. As you can see Jesus is clearly looking for faith in Israel and has found it to be a scarcity. If you do not understand that Jesus is still looking for faith today then you are not in touch with reality. God has not changed, is not changing and will not change. So this is the key factor for what is happening in this story. Jesus stood in astonishment with the words spoken to Him by a man outside of the Old Covenant. This wisdom that came from the Centurion’s mouth demonstrated his ability to recognize things that others ignored around him. Do not think that Jesus did things in isolation or in private always. When Jesus cast out a demon with His Word, the demon was gone and people could see the result immediately. Many people in Israel recognized this to be authority in demonstration, but only the centurion used this knowledge of spiritual authority to set his servant free from his pain, torment and impending death. Let me show you some other scriptures found in the Gospel about Jesus’ authority quickly:
Mat 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Mar 1:27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.
You see the authority that Jesus carried with Him on the earth was clearly evident so that everyone could see it to be different than all the other teachers in Israel. This is what the Centurion also observed and only he understood how it worked. You can clearly see that men of Israel questioned Jesus in Mark 1:27 saying He speaks and the demons obey Him. These are military realities. They were very self-evident but yet some saw them and questioned them, others saw them and accepted them. Where are you today on this authority revelation? That is exactly why I am teaching on this subject to help your faith. Let me show you another verse on this subject of Jesus’ authority:
Mat 21:23 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?
Here we have the Jewish leaders in the synagogue questioning the obvious display of authority from Jesus to teach, to heal or to do anything. You can tell these leaders recognized what authority was, but yet they did not accept it to be a legitimate authority since it was not given to Him by them or by any other established human organization, government, etc. The things in their minds were not right. They saw Jesus as a mere man from an insignificant city called Nazareth and not the God man sent from heaven born in Bethlehem. Uh Oh? That was a major stumbling block of offense to them and they allowed their ignorance of the truth to stop them from seeking the truth. That was not very good news for any of them at all. You see these men were very closed minded locked into a false knowledge of the truth. When confronted with truth they closed their eyes because of His overwhelming brightness, even though truth was standing right in front of them. To be closed minded is a state of mental and spiritual blindness that is used by Satan to keep people from knowing the truth (2 Cor 4:4). I pray that you will always be open to learning more from God, because He certainly has more that He can teach you.
In Matthew 8 we have discovered a new factor for having great faith. This factor for having great faith is called “authority”. Both the Centurion and Jesus walked in authority, understood authority, recognized authority and used authority to produce positive results. The Centurion’s authority was natural and Jesus’ authority was clearly spiritual. Both men knew what authority was and both men understood how authority worked completely. Both men recognized the power of spoken words and this is the basis of ALL authority. That is where we are in this lesson. Perhaps we need to research what authority is and how it affects our faith next? We still have a lot to learn on the subject of authority so let’s explore deeper.
People today in the modern world still question authority and do not understand the importance of its existence. They typically disrespect those that are in authority and they do not understand the chaos that would exist without any organized structural authority. We like to live in a free country and enjoy all of these freedoms offered, but these are only made possible because there are established laws under authority. In this country that I live in we have an organized system of hierarchical layers of authorities. Let’s quickly look at a definition that I found on the internet for the word authority:
- The power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience:
- The right to act in a specified way, delegated from one person or organization to another.
Authority involves power, but authority does not mean you are all powerful. Being the strongest man in the world does not make you the one in charge. This is true in every realm of government, sports, corporations, organizations, families, etc. Many times the shortest weakest men or women are the ones with the most authority. Understand the difference between power and authority. For example, a policeman carries a gun that gives him power, but he also has been given delegated rights of authority by the badge that he wears. Both of these are separate distinct factors that combine for either positive or negative results. Look at the definition of authority; this word means a delegated right to give orders and to enforce their obedience. These orders given are expected to be carried out or there are major consequences. Having rights is a key part of the definition to having legitimate authority. This is why Jesus was questioned by Satan asking what right do you have to do these things on the earth? Satan did not realize how smart God was and that God does not do anything that is illegal. God certainly had a right by all of His past previous divine acts. But, I do not have time to fully elaborate on all of these today.
Using these definitions of authority we can easily understand that our God holds all authority by preeminence and power. But, can we also find the transference of rights and authority from the most High God to us or anyone else here on the earth? You must realize that God is sovereign and being sovereign God has the explicit right to delegate authority to whoever He wishes. Does God do that and why would God do that? Certainly God has the right to do that, but many do not understand why God would do anything to relinquish any control. To surrender control would violate their idea of an omnipotent God in sovereign control of everything that occurs. Delegation of authority would allow others to make independent choices, laws, rules and commands and thus things on the earth would no longer be in God’s full control. That concept boggles the mind of many religious people endlessly. That is really very unfortunate that people do not just read their Bibles and actually see what God has said in His word and then believe that. Read this verse carefully and observe the transfer of authority from God to man:
Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Man being made in the image and likeness of God dictates “that what God is capable of man is also capable of” on a lesser scale. You see I once had an educated seminary man try to tell me this verse does not mean what it literally says. If that was true then no verse in the Bible could be taken as truth either. Anyone could easily dismiss the virgin birth, the existence of the man Jesus Christ or His death on the cross and his subsequent resurrection from the dead as all being invalid occurrences. This verse in Genesis clearly from God says man/Adam has been given “dominion” over all of the earth. Did God have the right to do this, certainly He did. Perhaps it is the word dominion that you are having problem with. This word has a very different meaning than what may come to your mind at first. Let me give you the Strong’s definition of the word to investigate what God intended to happen with His created man Adam:
A primitive root; to tread down, that is, subjugate; specifically to crumble off: – (come to, make to) have dominion, prevail against, reign, (bear, make to) rule, (-r, over), take.
Interesting Hebrew word definition, isn’t it? To “tread down” is a very familiar term if you have read many of my other Bible studies. You see this word “dominion” corresponds to an impending prophecy after the fall of man found in Genesis 3:15 where Gods says that the “seed of the woman” would bruise the head of the serpent. The confusion arises because people do not understand who the woman is or what the seed is either. Genesis 3:15 has not been fulfilled yet even though many teach that it has. To those that teach that it has been fulfilled show me the Bible verses that declares this. You are going to have to show me where Jesus is called the seed of the woman and then show me where he bruised the head of the serpent. Since you cannot find these verses, you have to make other verses try to fit your beliefs and that is a dangerous approach to Bible interpretation. What we must first understand is that “dominion” to God means to “tread under foot”. Then we can try to figure out why Adam did not do this and what the consequences were for not following God’s orders.
What God is teaching us is that how the world began with man in authority will be how the world will end. This word definition for “dominion” conveys delegated authority and at the very least the right of man to have limited human sovereignty over the earth. This would give Adam the right to make independent decisions apart from God. For Adam to rule and to reign on the earth represents the delegated right of power and authority given from the highest authority in the universe and that was God. Was Adam the strongest and most powerful being on the earth at this point of assignment? As of Genesis 1, he probably was, but as of Genesis 3 we see the entry of another spiritual being called the serpent coming onto the scene that at the very least God says in the Bible also has great power but yet no authority on the earth. Let me ask you at the point of the entry of the serpent on the earth, who had authority? Was it God, Adam or Satan? Adam of course had been given full authority by God to kick Satan out. Therefore, God did not have the responsibility to do it. Satan comes into the world and causes sin and death to reign. Now authority has been transferred to Satan. God gave it to man and the man gave it to Satan. Probably not the best choice Adam could have made. But nevertheless all of this was legally transferred authority based upon God’s Word.
You see when Jesus came into the world Satan took Him up to a high place and showed Him all of the kingdoms of the world and said I will give these to you if you worship me (Mat 4:8-9). Satan declared with this statement that the rights and authority of the world had been given to him. Where did Satan get this if not from Adam since it was first given to Adam by God in Genesis 1:26? I find things like this written in the Bible to be fascinating. Why would God put such detailed information of events if they were not significant things that we needed to know about and to understand? Also these related subjects would not be understood if they were not properly connected in some way. God is teaching us that authority matters and that was one reason that Jesus came into the world to reverse the works of Satan (1 Jn 3:8). You see after the resurrection of Jesus from the dead He makes another radical statement about a transfer of authority that is often ignored:
Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Do you see what Jesus the risen Savior has just declared? Is Jesus a liar? Is this not omnipotent God in the flesh? What a new radical statement. Here God is telling us of another transfer of all authority that has just taken place. Jesus Christ informs us clearly that not all power was His before, but now is in two different dimensional realms. Power in both the spiritual dimension and the natural dimension has again been transferred back into the hands of God. Wow, is that a tough concept to comprehend? Do not forget these words, because they are very important. This Greek Word translated as “power” does not mean God lost His omnipotent ability of force at any time. This Greek word translated as power actually means “Authority” has been transferred again back from Satan and returned to God on the earth. Uh oh? That means Satan no longer has any authority again on the earth as before Adam sinned. Do not confuse power and authority. Satan still has power, but he has no authority to use his power unless a Christian gives him the ability to use it. Let me show you the very next statement that Jesus makes to the church after saying all authority has been returned to Him:
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Can you see that Jesus after saying that all authority has just been transferred to Him, immediately He transfers that authority back to the church, His body on the earth? That is why this verse 19 starts with the conjunctive “therefore” which connects the previous statement to the current statement. You see Jesus immediately delegates responsibility again to His people on the earth to do something in the power of His name. Do you understand this? These concepts are very important to embrace as a Christian. You again have delegated rights and authority from the Most High God to do things. What Satan took from Adam and lost, you have gained back from God through Jesus Christ. The only difference is we are not working independently from God because God is joined with us working together in us to bring about the final victory over Satan. Now we need to go back and determine what do all of these transfers of authority have to do with faith and more correctly us having great faith?
This is where the rubber meets the road so to speak. We are going to make a practical application of how to possess the greatest kind of faith using our newly found knowledge of how authority was transferred from God to Adam, Adam to Satan, back to Jesus and finally to the church and how this type of authority works from a military perspective. Recall what the Centurion said to Jesus. He told Jesus to “Speak the Word” only and my servant will be healed. Did Jesus do this and what happened to the Centurion’s servant after Jesus spoke?
Mat 8:13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
Jesus speaks several things but I skipped down to verse 13 to shorten the lesson for now. Jesus says to the Centurion to go your way and that as you have believed (past tense) it has been done to you exactly that way. Ok, that was my paraphrase of the words of Jesus, but surely you can see what Jesus has declared. Why did Jesus emphasize that the Centurion had already believed and did not currently believe (present tense)? Do you think this make any difference? I believe that it does make a huge difference. If you believe that God will heal you someday in the future then that is not real great faith. Maybe it will help if we review what just happened to the Centurion and the servant. Here is a synopsis of what the Centurion did and what happened:
- The Centurion heard of Jesus and had faith in His Word.
- The Centurion initiates the exchange and does not wait passively for Jesus.
- The Centurion was very humble in his approach to God.
- The Centurion had great compassion for another to seek God to help.
- The Centurion recognized the Authority that Jesus possessed.
- The Centurion understood Authority involved only Giving Orders.
- The Centurion believed that he only needed Jesus to Give the Order.
- And finally the Centurion believed it was done when the Order was given.
- The Bible then said after the word was spoken, the servant was healed.
- Therefore, by the time everyone was back at home everything was back to normal.
- Understand that at no time on the way home did the Centurion doubt that it was not done.
- Therefore, the Centurion had great confidence in the Word of God that was spoken to him.
These are all factors of having great faith today. In other words all of this happened exactly like it was previously believed and spoken by the Centurion first. Did you notice I did not say spoken by Jesus first? Yes I did mean it that way. Yes Jesus did say it was done according to the way the Centurion believed, but Jesus didn’t tell the Centurion to believe this way or what to say. The Centurion made the choice what to believe and knew based upon his knowledge of authority that it would be done if Jesus would agree. This was the greatest faith example in the entire Bible of an unsaved Gentile man that was never in covenant with the almighty God because he understood authority. Clearly we can see that it was only because the Centurion believed in authority and spoke humbly with authority that caused him to have such noted declared great faith that caused even God to stand in awe and marvel. Do you want to amaze God? Here is how you do it. You believe He has given you the same authority that He possessed “to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10:19) and you speak with this delegated authority of God’s Word in your mouth declaring what has been already established in the spiritual realm and God will then say to you “be it unto even as you have believed today”. You see I just quoted you a part of Luke 10:19 and you need to go and read this verse closely and study it:
Luk 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
This verse confirms your authority over Satan. God says that you will “tread on” the power of serpents. Isn’t that a full circle back to what God said to you in Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 3:15? To “tread on” again means that you have been given transferred rights of authority to demonstrate Satan’s defeat on the earth personally. You will need to look up the definitions of the words “power” in this verse in Luke 10:19 in order to fully confirm what I am telling you. The first word translated as power in this verse means “Authority” and the second word translated as “power” means force. So they are two different Greek words concerning two different spiritual beings. We have God’s “Authority” over Satan’s force of power. Both of us are in the world but light overcomes darkness every time. However, if we do not exercise our authority, Satan will dominate us with his illegal power.
I guess I have been going a long time in this lesson. I have many more things that we could talk about concerning using your authority. Perhaps I need to do a series of lessons just on the subject of authority. This is truly a great revelation that every Christian needs to understand. Jesus has come into the world to restore the right order to man and has given to us His newly transferred authority for a purpose. We are going out of this world a victorious church and not a defeated church. We can only be victorious if we learn that we have authority and then learn how to use it with our faith. This information will change your life and your attitude. When Satan attacks with his power, you can fight back with your authority and he will flee in terror. Satan will not like me teaching you this authority, but that is just too bad. If you will grasp these concepts and take hold of them firmly and believe what God has told me to tell you, you too will become an over comer for God. God bless you until next time and please leave me a comment about how this is helping you to learn and grow in the knowledge Jesus Christ.
If you would like to continue to read in this series on the subject of Bible Faith you may now go to “Part 16“.