More Things That Satan DOES NOT Want You To Know About! Part 2 The Kingdom of Darkness! Learn God’s Word Applying the 5 W’s of Bible Study.
(ver 1.1) This is now Part 2 in the series of Bible study lessons concerning our unseen spiritual enemy Satan. These lessons contain some of the most significant things that Satan does not want us to learn or know about him. If you did not read “Part 1” I would recommend that you start with that lesson before you continue with this one. However, if you do not have the time to do that, the truths found here in this lesson should still stand alone and be helpful to your Christian walk in this life. Today’s lesson contains basic Bible truths that every Christian needs to know. If you are a very mature Christian you might already know many of the things that will be taught in this lesson. Please just allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart as you read with an open mind. I will warn you up front that this lesson will be long. But you can read it one section at a time and this will help break it down for you. Thank you before we begin for your dedication to study the Bible.
I recently read a comment that someone made and I could not disagree more with what they said. They said that we should not be concerned about learning anything regarding Satan since he was defeated by the Lord Jesus Christ. However, they ignored the fact that Satan still exists, is still present here in this world and that he is stated by God to still be our adversary that we must exercise our authority over in order to keep Satan from running or controlling our lives. Consider this warning from God when asking this basic question if should we learn about Satan:
2Co 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
To be intentionally ignorant of Satan means someone does not know that Satan is their opponent or does not consider him as a formidable adversary. But, God clearly tells us in this verse that Satan has implied power which he can utilize to gain an advantage over us if we allow him to. Paul then wrote to the church in this verse that we “should not be ignorant”, unlearned or uninformed about Satan’s devices. This statement of God written by Paul contradicts directly with my reader’s comment. I firmly believe that the more we know about our enemy the least likely we are to permit him to take this advantage over of us. These truths go a long with what God said to us in Hosea 4:6 which is one of my favorite Bible verses. God says in Hosea 4:6 that His people are destroyed because of their ignorance a word meaning “no knowledge of” or “insufficient knowledge of”. I hope that you can see these are very good reasons to learn everything that you can learn about this enemy.
In the first lesson we quickly went through 6 important things that God has shown us in the Bible about the spiritual adversary named Satan. Satan has tried to stop these things from being preached and taught to the body of Christ. Perhaps you have noticed this reality if you have observed the lack of meaningful spiritual lessons that should have been taught in all churches. It is obvious to me that Paul taught about this adversary based upon what we just read in 2 Corinthians 2:11. What we must begin to realize is that we have a spiritual foe that is trying to kill, steal and destroy us (John 10:10).
These days there are too many Christians that want to look only at natural flesh and blood as the source of all of their problems in this world but this is not what the Bible teaches us that we are fighting against. If you read in Ephesians 6:12 you should be able to plainly see a spiritual opponent truth being stated. Not knowing that Christians are in a spiritual battle with an unseen spiritual force causes many of them to be easily distracted by the natural world and then to be easily defeated by the spiritual world. Not understanding how their spiritual enemy operates causes another portion of Christians to be easily attacked and overwhelmed. Then not knowing how to fight against this spiritual adversary will cause others to be effortlessly beaten. What we do not know is Satan’s greatest advantage over us. The goal of this lesson series is to inform Christians about their enemy and give them as much good Biblical information to help overcome Satan’s many assaults.
In this Bible lesson today I will be teaching something new that was not covered in detail in the first lesson about Satan. This new truth will be a complementary important fact that Satan is trying to stop you from learning about. I have taught on today’s subject in other lesson series but this one will be a little different with some new verses to consider.
If you recall in the first lesson I taught that one method of deception that Satan uses is distraction to keep people away from seeing God’s truth. Satan does not want the truth of the Word of God to be planted firmly and unmovably in our hearts. When the Word of God is confidently implanted in our hearts with solid deep roots it will produce spiritual fruit that causes Satan’s hold on our lives to be greatly diminished. The more truth you know from God’s Word the less likely you are to ever be deceived or overcome by Satan’s schemes. This knowledge of the truth is exactly what God wants you to achieve and it will become a great threat to the kingdom of darkness. The kingdom of darkness happens to be my key subject today. Satan will do everything in his power to keep you from knowing about this subject. One of the primary reasons for Satan wanting us not to know this is because no one will ever try to escape from a prison if they do not first know that they are in one.
As a final note for the introduction I will mention that in this Bible lesson I will be using at least 9 or 10 different basic Bible study laws to help us understand what God teaches us. Here is a quick list overview of these essential Bible Study techniques and rules. We will be using:
- the Law of Self-Interpretation
- the Law of Spiritual Definitions
- the Law of First Mention
- the Law of Contextual Application
- the Law of Antithesis Truth
- the Law of Synonymous Association or Relation
- the Law of Mathematical Equality (If A=B & B=C, then A=C)
- the Law of truth building upon truth
- the Law of Truth never contradicting Truth
- the Law of 2 or 3 Witnesses
I have covered these Laws of Understanding the Bible in more depth in other Bible lessons but I will emphasize them again today for anyone that is new to my website that has not yet read every Bible lesson. Today I will be going over a lesson using a specific style of Bible study that I call the 5 W’s study method. This method will focus on answering the questions of “Who”, “What”, “When”, “Where” and “Why”. In this study we will focus on the following questions:
- Who is the main subject about?
- Who does the main subject affect?
- What is the main subject about?
- What does the main subject mean to a Christian?
- What does the main subject mean to a non-Christian?
- When did the main subject come into existence?
- When does the main subject end or cease to exist, if ever?
- Where does the main subject take place or exist?
- Why is the main subject even in the Bible?
- Why is the main subject important to learn, understand and know?
We will be studying the Bible to answer these questions concerning the main subject of the “kingdom of darkness” today. We will also be touching on the related antithesis subject of the kingdom of light. I hope you will take the time to continue and read the entire lesson. Let’s get started.
7. Satan DOES NOT want you to know that he still rules a kingdom and you might be in it.
This is the seventh truth that Satan would rather you not learn. Since Jesus defeated Satan as we all should now know, does Satan still have a rule of authority over anything or anyone in the “here and now” present world? The answer to that question is a resounding yes. There are at the very minimum 4 different spiritual kingdoms mentioned to us in the Bible and you may not be able to name them all right now. Understanding spiritual kingdoms is a difficult seldom taught Bible subject but yet a rewarding subject to study nonetheless. There are a number of confusing factors that challenge us when we study about spiritual kingdoms. One spiritual kingdom in the Bible can be called by several different names, symbols or titles but these are still the same kingdom. Another spiritual kingdom can be a similar name or type or even have a similar appearance but God can be speaking of a completely different kingdom within a different time or even a different realm with an entirely different spiritual ruler of that kingdom. The Bible is much more complex than many Christians understand. However, today I am only writing about one specific spiritual kingdom in this lesson and this kingdom is called the “kingdom of darkness”. The kingdom of darkness is Satan’s independent empire. Satan is the sovereign ruler of this dark empire. This kingdom is not a part of any other kingdom. It is also not a sub-kingdom of God’s spiritual empire. This kingdom of darkness is vast and has many subordinate individuals that are within it right now.
Understanding the Kingdom of Darkness – WHO!
I’ll explain this section title later in the Bible lesson. Also I will say at the beginning of this section that I believe after the death of Jesus and His resurrection that Satan’s kingdom was greatly diminished from where it was at one time but we will still learn in this lesson that Satan has significant rule and power. For example in Revelation we learn that Satan potentially rules over 1/3 of an innumerable number of angels that appear to follow him (Rev 12:4, Heb 12:22). Then in other scriptures that I am going to get into in this section we learn that Satan rules over many millions and even billions of unsaved people in this world. Let’s begin this study by looking at a N.T. verse that informs Christians that they were once within this same vast kingdom of darkness to help us establish its manifestation, presence and existence:
Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
There are two separate and very distinctly different spiritual kingdoms being referred to concurrently in this verse. One kingdom is directly mentioned and the other kingdom is indirectly described by God. First the indirect kingdom is being associated with the “power of darkness”. This is of course Satan’s kingdom of darkness. But, God then informs us that we have been translated from out of this darkness into the directly named “Kingdom of His dear Son”, Jesus Christ. The Son’s Kingdom was the establishment of a new spiritual kingdom that never existed before that I alluded to earlier. You may not understand that last statement right now but please don’t throw it away because you don’t understand because it is an advanced Bible truth that I do not have the time to teach fully today in this lesson. This “Kingdom of His dear Son” is also known by other names called the “Kingdom of God”, “the Kingdom of Light”, “ the Kingdom of the Day”, “the Kingdom of David” as well as by several other descriptions. This verse clearly teaches us that we (the Christians) have been “taken out of” and “removed from” the kingdom of darkness that belongs to Satan who is the implied unstated power of this realm. Christians now reside within a new spiritual Kingdom founded, established and confirmed by the Lord Jesus Christ. I think I will give you another verse to help settle this:
Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
These words in Acts 26:18 were written in red ink in my Bible and this means Jesus is speaking again. Notice that there are two antithesis spiritual kingdoms being mentioned directly in this verse. These kingdoms are called “Darkness” versus “Light”. There are also two opposing rules of authority established in this verse being called the “power of Satan” versus the power of God. Satan is directly associated to be the power of darkness that was indirectly mentioned in the previous verse and God is only called the Power of Light. Both of these two previous verses directly mentioned the very important hidden kingdom subject keyword “power”. God will often talk about a subject using a related keyword and you need to become aware how to connect it to the current subject that you are studying.
This Greek word is G1849 that was translated as “power” holds the meaning of “delegated influence, authority, jurisdiction, power and strength”. Notice the implications from this definition. It means this individual that holds this “power” has the ability to make independent rules of law over those that are under them. This literally means that one power does not exist together with the other power or there would be no delegated power that was given to them. Nor can this power being mentioned be ruled or controlled by the other power. Think about this in terms of the United States and another country like Russia. The Russian government cannot pass a law to imprison the citizens of the United States and this is true for the United States not being able to imprison the people of Russia. Both are independent sovereign rules of law.
In fact the mere names of the kingdoms light and darkness denote a clear separation of powers. Wherever light exists darkness is not found and wherever darkness exists light is never found to be present. These are just basic natural laws that were created by God to teach us how these spiritual realities work. In the natural we can walk into a very dark room and be overwhelmed with the darkness until we turn the light on and then suddenly there is no more darkness. It is just amazing how that works, isn’t it. Now consider another N.T. verse that is relevant to teach on this subject:
1Jn 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
God is clearly declared to be light in 1 John 1:5 and in this verse it further says that “IN HIM” there is no darkness found in this Light. This reality of God being called light without any darkness denotes an implied antithesis truth that within the darkness of Satan there is no Light of God found. However this becomes greatly complicated when we consider the “omnipresence” of God. I do not believe that there exists a place where God cannot be found present. Psalms 139:7 teaches us this truth using the voice of a man asking, where can I go that you are not found?
However this verse in 1 John still teaches us that there must be a huge separation of one from the other using an implied dividing partition. Light and darkness cannot coexist in the same room without a partition to block the light. I personally believe that God is teaching us that He is not evil. We will begin to learn more of this as we continue to study that evil exists in Satan and goodness and mercy comes from God. We need to know this and never forget it when reading and studying the rest of the Bible or else we will become confused how to understand what is being stated by God.
I am not going to teach anything else found in this verse of Acts 26:18, because that would take too long. You can take the time to meditate and think on this verse to see what else God reveals to you about it if you wish. Please just begin to embrace and believe in the basic concepts of the powers of light versus darkness being separated, detached, divided, disconnected and disjointed from each other. Both kingdoms will not stand or coexist together. Clearly the Kingdom of Light is superior to the kingdom of darkness. Darkness can never prevail over light or drive out the light. But God still declares the kingdom of darkness to exist with power and this teaches us that God is not present there. These verses also teach us that Christians were once found to be a part of the darkness and have now been removed from it. But yet this truth implies those that are not Christians right now are still residents within the power of darkness. I know there will be some Christians that do not believe me. But normally this is because they have never studied to find these truths in the Bible. I’m not able to give you every verse that exists on this subject but I will mention a few more that apply. I have taught on this subject in other Bible lessons. Let’s read the words of the Lord Jesus again to continue with learning about this spiritual kingdom of darkness truth:
Mat 12:26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
Jesus makes an amazing statement here that should not be discarded, thrown away or ignored because you don’t believe it. Jesus Christ is God in the flesh and the creator of everything seen and unseen that was created (John 1:1-3, 14) and He declares that Satan is not fighting or even working against himself. Jesus also teaches us very clearly that Satan has his own independent kingdom apart from the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven mentioned repeatedly in the Gospels. There is a very basic truth established and confirmed with this message that there exists another spiritual kingdom that is separate from God’s domain. This would have been a great opportunity for the Lord Jesus to tell us how this kingdom of darkness was sovereignly ruled by God but He does not even imply this to be true. In fact Jesus in describing this kingdom referred to Satan using the third-person pronoun “his” which means that this kingdom is possessed, owned and controlled by him. This clearly denotes separate ownership of this kingdom being mentioned which must be different from the Kingdom of God that I just mentioned. In other words Jesus did not say “my” kingdom He said “his” kingdom and we need to see this. Jesus is not Satan and Satan is not Jesus. Therefore whatever Jesus rules over was not what Satan ruled over. Let’s go into another New Testament verse revealing who rules this kingdom of darkness:
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
God starts in verse 11 by revealing that we are in a spiritual war and have need of His spiritual armor. This spiritual opponent is called the devil. This is just another title for our enemy Satan. If we look up the meaning to this Greek word G1228 translated as “devil” we will find that it means a person who is a traducer. Do you know what that is? This is literally someone who tells lies about another person. This is very revealing information about what type of battle we are in. The battle is raging in a spiritual court and we are the defendants that are being accused by the devil. It is a clear battle between what is truth versus the words of lies being thrown at us. We need to know this because it will become very important due to our fleshly sin nature.
Please observe our primary subject related “keyword” in this verse translated as “rulers”. Remember the primary subject is concerning the “kingdom of darkness” and this kingdom certainly must have a “ruler” in control of it. This Greek word is G2888 and it literally means a “world ruler”. Any natural kingdom of the world has a leader that reigns over it. This is normally like a royal family that inherits the throne from their parent after they die. Much like King David’s son inherited the kingdom when David died. These natural concepts will apply to the subject of spiritual kingdoms also. But that is a different Bible lesson. What we should be learning is that the ruler of the spiritual darkness is Satan.
Please allow me to give you a couple of further confirming witnesses to the reality that unsaved people and fallen angels are revealed subjects of this dark empire of Satan. We will look at some additional words of Jesus to see who He claimed to be and why He came into the world and this is vital spiritual information and truth to know:
Joh 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
What is Jesus claiming to be here? Jesus asserts to be the “Light”. This statement literally means Jesus has called Himself “God” using the symbolic title “Light”. Do you remember that we read previously in 1 John 1:5 that God is stated to be “Light” and in Him is no darkness at all? This verse in 1 John was a spiritual definition for the Greek word translated as “light” and we need this information in order to understand what Jesus just said in John 12:46. Since Jesus was not speaking literally He must have been speaking figuratively. Therefore in order to understand figurative light we need a God given definition for the word. This is the correct way of “Rightly dividing the Word of Truth” and “Letting the Bible Interpret itself”. Both of these verses use the exact same Greek word G5457. Therefore they are linked by God’s direct word selection design to teach us about the subject of spiritual light. Light is the antithesis for darkness and this further confirms that God does not dwell in darkness here in John 12:46. Perhaps you do not understand the divinely created laws of mathematics. I have made mention of this law in other Bible lessons, but I will review it briefly for the new readers on my website. In 1 John 1:5 God = Light. Then in John 12:46 Jesus = Light. Therefore by the laws of mathematics “Jesus = God”. This is just a very basic Bible study principles and I hope you learn how this works today.
Now notice what Jesus claimed for one of the reasons why He has appeared in the flesh here in this world. Jesus claims to be the spiritual light to show us the way out of the darkness that we were stated to be in. Most unsaved people still do not realize that they are in this darkness because they do not see it. I will emphasize once more that Jesus is not claiming to be a natural light. He is claiming to be a spiritual light and that will become greatly significant as we continue on in this study.
What we have been learning only concerns the subsidiary subject of “who”. The “who” subject study is nothing but a sub-category study within my primary subject of the “kingdom of darkness” study. We have discovered the existence of two spiritual kingdoms in this section. One was called “Light” and the other was called “darkness”. We have discovered that Satan rules the kingdom of darkness and God in Jesus Christ rules the Kingdom of Light. We have discovered the implied existence of a separation of powers and a partition of division between these two kingdoms. We have also further understood the existence of subordinates within both kingdoms. As Christians we were told that we were once in the kingdom of darkness but have been removed from it by the Grace of God and taken into the kingdom of light by Christ Jesus. This literally means that those who have NOT been saved remain in the darkness and there are several other verses in the N.T. that we can find to confirm this. Let’s move on to the sub-category study of “what” now.
Understanding the Kingdom of Darkness – WHAT!
What is the Kingdom of Darkness? What does God reveal to us about this kingdom realm? Is it spiritual or is physical or is it both? We should have established in the first section the beginning basic truths of “who” is in the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. We found the ruler of this kingdom of darkness to be Satan. Satan was directly linked to the possession, ownership and control of this kingdom of darkness. I should have told you that no created being like Satan is capable of establishing their own kingdom of authority without it being given to them by God. We can learn this simple truth from a statement that Jesus made to Pilate in the book of John:
Joh 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
The Greek word G1849 translated as “power” in this verse means a literal “right of authority”. Jesus speaking to one ruler named Pilate was telling him there is no power/authority except it came from God. Jesus was declaring the sovereignty of God as well as the important fact that He is omnipotent and without God willingly giving us anything we would be completely unable to take or possess anything like power from Him. No human ruler on the earth is able to have any authority unless it was given to them from God. This is certainly true of Satan as well as for us. Satan’s kingdom of darkness and authority had to have been given to him from God. God has a reason and a purpose for whatever He does even if we do not yet understand it.
Then we further learned that the citizens in this kingdom of darkness were the unsaved people of the world. In addition to the unsaved people of the world there are also the fallen angels that reside in this realm. I could have given you Jude 1:6 to read concerning the angels that have fallen which are now held in the realm of darkness but I did not give you this verse in the previous section. There are just so many Bible verses to be found but we must search for them. Now we need to learn what this kingdom of darkness represents. What exactly is it? Why is it called “darkness”? Is this darkness symbolic of something else? What could this symbolic darkness represent?
If the kingdom of darkness consists of both fallen angels and unsaved people this kingdom has the potential to be both physical/natural and spiritual. This is because unsaved people live within a natural domain and fallen angels exist within a spiritual domain. It does become a bit distorted when we learn that unsaved people are really just spirits that reside in a natural body. When the unsaved person dies it is just like the saved person when they die. The spirit of the dead body departs the earth at the time of natural death. The saved person goes up to heaven and the unsaved person descends to be in hell. So far I have concluded that the kingdom of darkness can only be spiritual but we still need more evidence to draw a conclusion.
Hopefully you already understand about what was taught earlier that darkness represents the absence of light. Since God was called Light, the kingdom of darkness represents a realm of domain apart from God. In other words the name darkness implies that there is no God (Light) within the kingdom of darkness. However that is a difficult concept to embrace because it conflicts with the known divine quality called the “omnipresence” attribute of God stating that He is everywhere at every time. We will hopefully come to a conclusion as we continue how these two truths can co-exist where both can be true simultaneously. Let’s begin our study of what darkness is using the information found in the book of John to help establish what occurs in the domain that Satan rules and how this differs from a realm where God is in full control like in heaven currently.
Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
I indicated the fact in the previous section that whatever God (Light) is the darkness is definitely not. That type of subject study for what God represents would take many, many days to complete so I will not attempt to write an entire book about what God represents including His revealed personality, His revealed character, His reveal moral values and even His revealed names. I will keep this type of complete subject study for another series of lessons in the future. However we must understand a few of the simple and basic principles about God in order to comprehend what the kingdom of darkness represents and how it is different from the Kingdom of Light.
Jesus said here in John 10:10 that the thief (Satan) came to primarily do three things and these were to kill, steal and to destroy but then Jesus reveals His antithesis purpose for coming to the earth saying “I have come that you may have life and that life more abundantly”. This single verse confirms the contrasting reality between the kingdoms of darkness verses light. Jesus clearly reveals to us that the kingdom of darkness brings to us death and the kingdom of light brings to us life. Then Jesus said the kingdom of darkness takes away from us and the kingdom of Light does the opposite. Finally Jesus said the kingdom of darkness “destroys” and the opposite of that would be to create something good and worthwhile that has a positive purpose. I think that is very plain and self-evident which kingdom realm that we should desire to be in and remain a part of, don’t you? Just ask yourself would you rather die or live life fully and abundantly? This is not a difficult question. Let’s take these truths found in John 10:10 further into a new confirming dimension of study, reading in Ephesians:
Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
These verses are teaching us the clear separation points between two opposing kingdoms. These principles contain the rules of basic opposition between hate versus love, evil versus good, condemnation versus mercy and death versus life again. Life and death are simply a repeat of John 10:10 but the subjects of steal and destroy are also found in the term doing evil. These are strong and distinct negatives versus positives. Such straightforward truths are presented to us by God in the Bible and these should be known and believed by every Christian. We need to know these simple truths in order to conclusively apply this knowledge to what we read in the many other verses found in the Bible and in our life situations. God will not contradict these uttered truths in any other part of the Bible. If we think there is a contradiction then it is simply our misunderstanding or our misinterpretation that needs to change. God’s Word will not ever change.
In this section we have just barely started to touch on this sub-category study of the “what” found within the “kingdom of darkness” study. I could have taught for many pages on this subject but I am trying to move through the more complete study of the basics for how to study the kingdom of darkness subject. We should by now at least understand what the kingdom of darkness represents. Darkness represents symbolically whatever is evil in the world. We should also know that the kingdom of darkness represents whatever is contained within the realm of the dead and death. We should further comprehend that the kingdom of darkness represents whatever is of condemnation. We should have just learned that the kingdom of darkness represents whatever the concept of “hate” represents. These were all opposites of what God’s kingdom of light represents and offers to everyone. Knowing these basics should help motivate us to tell others about this and help them to come out of this satanically controlled kingdom of darkness. You should not want your worst natural enemy in this kingdom. I hope you will agree and tell them how to get saved. Let’s move quickly into the sub-category of “when” next and learn when the kingdom of Satan came into existence.
Understanding the Kingdom of Darkness – WHEN!
In order to understand the kingdom of darkness more clearly we now should investigate when this kingdom originated and when Satan obtained the official rule of this kingdom. These are two different dates within time past as we should be able to learn as the lesson continues. Ask God, did the kingdom of darkness always exist or did the kingdom of darkness have a beginning? We should remember from studying previous sections that Jesus declared in the Gospels that Satan possessed this kingdom at the time of His appearing on the earth. Jesus was born of the virgin approximately 4000 years after Adam’s creation and this has occurred approximately 2000 years from the present date for a total of nearly 6000 years. These numbers will become more significant in learning about the kingdom of darkness when I tell you about what God reveals in certain verses on this subject. I will warn you up front that in this section there are potentially controversial hidden Bible realities presented. These can be complex and intended for more mature Christians. I did not expect for this lesson to become advanced but this part of the topic will cause a transition from milk to meat to occur. This sub-topic study will be much more unconventional in nature than any of the previous sections. It will require more thought and study and potentially a deeper understanding of other Bible basic truths that will not be taught here. Therefore, if you are reading this lesson being a new Christian, you might want to skip this section for now. Thank you for judging yourself in your ability to eat more meat than milk.
Many times in the Bible, God does not present all of the information in plain viewed terms for everyone to automatically see and understand and this part of the study will certainly be an example of one of these. The time of the origin of the kingdom of darkness is not directly stated and can only be found by searching and studying the hidden clues that are concealed by God using natural symbolism and metaphorical terminology. We must find these hidden clues with the Holy Spirit’s help and then allow Him to teach us what they exactly mean for our subject study. I will probably get several negative comments about how my Bible study methods do not fit within all of the rigid set of man’s created exegesis standards, methods and steps. However, I cannot help how or where God shows me what He wants to say and if you wish to ignore what He is saying then I have no problem with that. Just please don’t leave me any negative comments if you do not see it or agree with it. My salvation and your salvation does not hinge upon when the kingdom of darkness came into existence. Therefore this is not a subject that is needed for our initial or continued salvation.
Let’s begin our study of “when” the kingdom of darkness came into existence with some strange verses that you may not directly associate with this spiritual kingdom of darkness subject study:
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
This is a very controversial and easily misunderstood verse of the Old Testament. Many Christian people believe that it tends to say on the surface that God created both darkness and evil for an implied purpose. In other words people use the extreme sovereignty of God teaching to believe that God designed darkness and evil to fulfill a divine purpose to intentionally accomplish something wicked in our world. However, this type of belief would violate and contradict other revealed truths that God is good and in Him is no darkness (evil). So how can evil come from a God that is only good? “Create” in this verse is the Hebrew word H1254 and it certainly means “to create” something. But, were these words “I create darkness and evil” what God intended for us to emphasize from this verse? Even I will admit that it does say that God created darkness and evil in half of the phrases in this verse but that is not the entire phrase statement and taking a small part or even half of a statement out of context will normally produce an erroneous interpretation and understanding. Here is another rule for sound Bible interpretation, “Study the context and apply the surrounding word meanings to understand the meanings of the words being focused upon”. I hope you understand this rule. This is exactly what we are about to do.
The term “create” is H1254 and it is used by God to describe His verb action that was placed upon the noun “darkness”. This term is used by God repeatedly in this way in the O.T. including in the first verse of Genesis 1 where God says “In the beginning God created (H1254) the heavens and the earth”. Therefore I do not deny that “darkness” appears to be a created substance from God. However we must realize that there is more than one way to create something. Wow, I’m not sure if you understood that last statement yet. It was a very deep statement. A process of creating is so diverse and can be accomplished in so many ways that it boggles the mind to comprehend them and place them together as acts of creation. For example, to create can be any of the following:
- To Make
- To Generate
- To Produce
- To Manufacture
- To Assemble
- To Form
- To Fabricate
- To Craft
- To Build
- To Construct
Most of these terms represent someone taking one or more existing substances to produce a newly designed substance or article. For instance a cotton shirt is created first by a farmer picking the cotton from the field. The cotton is then cleaned, processed and dyed and becomes thread. The threads are loomed together to make fabrics. The fabrics are then shaped, cut and assembled to create the shirt. These are all creative steps of a more complete process and this is something you need to consider when reading anything about creation or creating in the Bible. Determine what was created and then back up to see what was used to create it. There is also another challenge to consider about creation of objects.
You see darkness is not technically a created substance. We cannot package and sell a substance of darkness to anyone like it was gold, silver, oil or whatever. If we could sell darkness, the person buying it could open our package and see that there was nothing present because any light would cause the darkness to vanish. I also want to say that there is a satanic line of thought going on that claims darkness is the greater substance and light only exists because the darkness is not present and that is stupid. As we continue please remember that darkness is nothing but the absence or the removal of Light and this is so critical to understand.
Let’s go back to the beginning phrase and study this initial statement for the contextual application to the secondary verse statements. Reread the entire verses statement all together. Did you notice the antithesis of two opposing realities in this verse? Both light and darkness are being mentioned as they have been in many other verses that we have been studying. Now ask God “Why didn’t you say “I create the Light” here in this verse anywhere? Did you notice that God used a different Hebrew word (H3335) for the verb action that He applied to the noun light? Why is that? You are going to have to get into the details if you ever want to understand the Word of God. If you are not asking God deep questions when you read His Word you will never find any deep answers. Do you understand this? Now let’s allow God to show us the deep answers.
We have previously seen that God declares Himself to be Light in 1 John. Remember God equals Light by the stated law of spiritual definitions and the laws of mathematical equivalency. In other words whatever qualities exist for God these must also exist for Light and this is basic applied logic and math. Was God created? If God was not created then Light was not created either. Because God always existed, Light always existed. God did not ever change from darkness to light at any time and does not change from light to darkness at any time. This comes from the Bible truth found in Malachi 3:6 where God declares to us His never changing consistent nature.
God did not use the term “create” for Light in Isaiah because Light always was in God. The Hebrew term (H3335) translated as “formed” is a new word that means to form or shape an existing substance and that is totally different than creating any brand new substance. Forming a substance would be like molding clay as a potter. In other words God is saying the clay (light) existed but that He applied the pressure to the existing substance (light) to direct it into a new form for a very specific shaped purpose. Did you hear what God just said? Did you understand it? What happens to light when it is focused? Think of a dark theater with a man singing on the stage. A light appears at the back of the theater but this light does not usually light the entire room. Why because it is highly focused. This is called a spotlight or spotlighting and it is used to direct focused illumination upon the person that needs your attention and in this way it will cause our vision to only see him and this is basically what God is saying in this verse in Isaiah. Now are you beginning to understand who this focused attention represents? Who is the majority of the book of Isaiah about? Is it not Jesus Christ? God just said that by Him directing or focusing the light the darkness was created so that we could see Jesus Christ. Wow, I think that was pretty awesome if you understood it.
Think in terms of created natural light concepts because these contain hidden spiritual light concepts. The sun produces our main source of natural light. The earth turns and one side of the planet has the light visible and the other side has only the presence of darkness visible. This is exactly the process of focused light occurring. It is also the process of an object blocking the light from shining to create a dark place and this must also be considered. What I want you to learn here from this verse in Isaiah is that Light always existed and darkness is nothing but the absence of light because the light was either blocked by an object or was focused (formed) by God to direct us to a new focus. I do not have the time to go into this verse in any more depth today so let’s move on in this study to a new set of controversial verses:
Psa 136:8 The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:
Psa 136:9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.
These are either some of the strangest verses in the Bible or they mean something that we do not yet comprehend. Why would God mention two antithesis realms of natural reality using kingdom terms in direct succession? There are also two opposing kingdom rulers mentioned here in these verses. Did you notice that? If you will observe there are at least 5 important keywords in these verses that are critical to link to our spiritual kingdom study. When studying a Bible subject we need to look for hidden verses that are about our subject but do not mention the subject directly and these verses are hidden examples of this principle. I call this the law of synonymous association or relation. God will often hide information for us to find anywhere in the Bible using natural symbolic phrases that are directly related to a subject like darkness but never mention the word darkness anywhere in the verse. He will hide the connection to darkness by selecting a word like “night” instead which is dominated by darkness. These types of verses are little concealed clues that present information that we may not relate without His guidance and direction. If you will observe closely in this verse God is speaking of two opposing realities again. One is called “day” and the other is called “night”. Of course day is where sunlight prevails and night is where there is no sunlight and darkness prevails. Did you notice how this information conforms to what I taught earlier? Day is not night and night is not day. They do occur simultaneously together but rather night becomes day as we have been learning about from verses in the New Testament.
Do you remember this concept of Christians being brought out of the spiritual darkness into the spiritual light? This is the exact same natural concept of night becoming day when the sun rises. I hope you have read all of my other Bible lessons on this subject. According to the N.T. salvation is the rising of the Sun of Jesus Christ in our hearts as revealed by God in 2 Peter 1:19. In this verse God describes the spiritual Day Star (Sun) to be rising in the spiritual hearts of all those that believe in Jesus Christ. This was taken from the concept of the natural sun dawning or breaking forth and becoming brighter and brighter at the beginning of every day. This daily natural concept occurs in the Spiritual realm and it has not been widely taught or understood by Christians. However this was hidden within creation and revealed by God for us to learn from. What we have just learned is that light and darkness can be synonymous terms for day and night.
Now notice in these verses that there is a Hebrew word, Strong’s number H4475 which was translated as “rule” in the English language. This Hebrew word is very important. It is a word that means “to rule”, “to govern”, “to have power over” and “to have dominion over”. These are clearly “kingdom” terms where a kingdom potentate like the king oversees his subjects. Why is this relevant? Do you already see the connection to the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light that we have been learning about in the New Testament? God simply uses the approach of applying new synonyms for calling what is light and darkness by different names or titles in order to hide this information in these verses for us to find.
This Hebrew word H4475 was first used by God in the book of Genesis. This is called using the law of first mention where God takes us to a subject introduction to teach us overall important subject principles. The first mention of “rule” occurs in the very first chapter of Genesis during God’s description of day 4 of creation. If you have read my other Bible lessons on Genesis and creation you already know and understand that each day of creation represents a “day” period of natural human history. God created our world in 6 days and then rests on the seventh day. Each of these creation days represent a 1000 year “day” period of time and I came to this conclusion by using what God revealed to Peter in 2 Peter 3:8. In this verse Peter quotes an O.T. verse from Psalms 90:4 and this verse informed us that to God a spiritual day can represent a 1000 year period of time. This is again called God’s spiritual definition of a day and it helps us to understand how certain verses within creation can be interpreted to be understood from both a spiritual and a natural perspective concurrently. Please do not misapply what I just said. I believe that almost every verse has a natural literal interpretation and that God uses this natural information to give us a view into something else within the spiritual realm. However, this is a very advanced spiritual topic. So I will move on. Let’s review some spiritual explanations of day and night using the New Testament briefly:
1Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
1Th 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
1Th 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
1Th 5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
1Th 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
We could go over a lot of detailed information in these verses but I will give you the quick overview only. God is teaching Christians that they abide in the day and are walking in the HIS light. God just connected day to be equivalent with light and this light is the Word of God and His voice that leads us. Then God teaches us that those that are not saved are sleeping in the night and living in darkness. God just connected night to be equivalent with darkness and this is why I could find those verses about night and day in the Old Testament and they related to my subject study. All of these are very clear descriptions of two opposing kingdom realms. Christians should be living and acting differently than those that are not saved because of the presence of Light (God). God further declares that those in the light will obtain mercy and those in the darkness will obtain wrath and this is so important to know. It saddens my heart tremendously to think of people who do not want to know the truth.
We should be beginning to see how these subjects of “day” and “night” apply to our study of the kingdom of darkness. Let’s go back and read the first chapter of Genesis from the beginning to end. As I said day 4 is when God sets the Greater light (sun) to rule the day and the lesser light (moon and stars) to rule the night. Again these are opposing spiritual kingdom symbolic representations with opposing symbolic rulers. What God is telling us is that after 4000 years of human history He will separate and establish a rule of the spiritual light/day which is different from the rule of the spiritual darkness/night and this occurred when Jesus came to the earth to save us. Please take note that I did not say that the kingdom of darkness came into existence on day 4 during this 4000 year time after Adam when Jesus came to die for our sins. I only said that Satan was given the rule of this kingdom of darkness and night which God called different from the rule of Jesus over the kingdom of Light and Day.
Now if we go back and refer to light and darkness in Genesis chapter 1 to find the initial references to our subjects, we can apply God’s law of first mention again to discover these two entities were to be separated by God on day 1 of creation. In this verse God says He called the light day and He called the darkness night further connecting the two together forever. Therefore whatever night is darkness is by the law of mathematical equivalency. However you will still find in Genesis that prior to the beginning of day 1 that darkness already existed in verse 2. God appears to give us this fact when declaring that darkness covered the earth at the beginning and I believe that this was a hidden way to say that the earth was already dominated by the kingdom of darkness when the earth had been destroyed completely. Remember what John 10:10 said? Jesus said that Satan (the ruler of darkness) only came to kill, steal and destroy and this is clearly the status of the earth before Day 1 of creation begins. It is safe to conclude that Satan had destroyed the earth.
However, we should then begin to see how from Days 1 through day 6 that God continues to give life one day at a time and this further matched what Jesus taught us in John 10:10 where He said I came to give life and give you that life more abundantly. We can clearly see after 6 days of creation that now life dominated the earth without the introduction of any death into this new world. Let me say this again a little differently. The world began in darkness and then notice on Day 1 of creation God says “Light Be” and then light was. God was symbolically giving us more clues that He was coming to the earth to create a new kingdom of light separate from darkness in order to give us life. Go back and review day 1 closely. In verse 4 of Genesis 1 you should see where light is separated from darkness and in verse 5 God calls the darkness night and the light He calls the day. These are all symbolic representations of two opposing spiritual kingdoms moving through transitions during the 6000 years of human history.
I know this will not be received by all Christians. But that is OK, your salvation and my salvation does not depend upon when Satan’s kingdom came into existence so please do not call me a false teacher that leads people to hell simply because you don’t agree with me. Perhaps if you knew what I knew you would see why I believe this way. I also think if you continue to study the Bible deeply that you will find that there are other Bible verses that give us more clues of clarity to this being a reality. I am just not going to try to explain this in any detail in this lesson. The details of these truths are found in other lessons on this website. Find them and read about what God has hidden.
What I have done in this section is to review in a very quick format the timing of when the kingdom of darkness was established. The moon in this verse in Psalms 136:9 and Genesis 1:16 is a symbolic representation for Satan. Night is a symbolic representation for the kingdom of darkness and this is ruled by Satan according to Ephesians 6:12. The sun in Psalms 136:8 and Genesis 1:16 is a symbolic representation for the Lord Jesus Christ who is called the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2). The kingdom of Light is found within our spirits according to 2 Peter 1:19. God is establishing a separate Kingdom of Day through Jesus Christ apart from Satan’s kingdom of night. If this was not important I would not be teaching this repeatedly in several lessons. We need to understand when God does things, why God does things, who it affects and even how God accomplished them. I will recall that I call this the “Who, What, When, Where and Why method of Bible study. So far I have answered the first three questions of who, what and when by studying what God has revealed and given to us to know in His Word. I will now move on to the subject of “where” is the kingdom of darkness?
Understanding the Kingdom of Darkness – WHERE!
Where is the kingdom of darkness at this very moment? Has it always been there? Is it in one location or in multiple locations? Will the location ever change? Is it within a physical location or within a spiritual location or even both? These are the basic questions we will focus upon using the Bible in this section. We have already learned from the Bible that the kingdom of darkness exists and that Satan a created spiritual being is in control of this realm but, how do we define its present location? If someone asked you to describe where the kingdom of darkness is right now, what would you tell them? I have already given a brief introduction to this subject of where earlier. In that introduction to the subject we talked about that the kingdom of darkness could be spiritual, natural or even both at the same time. Hopefully we will learn more about how to resolve these questions as we continue in this section.
This will probably be the last of the “W” questions that I will answer in this 5 W Bible study because I am running very long. In order to find where the kingdom of darkness exists today we will need to search the Bible for scriptures about darkness and see if any of these hold direct clues for us to learn from about this location. However, there is also another technique for searching the Bible to find where the kingdom of darkness is located and this is by us searching where the Kingdom of Light is located and knowing wherever light is located the darkness is not there by God’s created laws of antithesis truth. Perhaps you have never heard of this law either but it is a very basic rule of understanding created by God. For many subjects that we study in the Bible we can easily find the opposing subject which can be of greater, equal or even lesser magnitude to learn what our subject is not. The opposite of good is evil, the opposite of alive is dead, the opposite of being present is being absent and on and on we could go. There is always more than one way to learn about any given subject so we must be open to however God wants to teach us. We will begin this section with the words in red spoken from Jesus Christ.
Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
I know this verse does not mention light or darkness but it does mention “kingdom” and “God” and since we have determined in this lesson that Jesus is God and He rules the kingdom of Light then this verse fits with what we need to know and apply to the location of the kingdom of darkness. Jesus is talking to the Pharisees answering a direct question about when the kingdom of God is coming to the earth and Jesus answers this question with a mysterious response. Jesus does not say when but rather He says where and this answer probably just confused the hearers. The natural Jews were looking for a physical natural kingdom of God led by a great physical messiah to establish this kingdom here on the earth. But Jesus shakes the foundation of Judaism by saying stop looking on the outside in the natural because the kingdom of God will be on the inside in the spiritual. Wow, that is a very tough concept to understand for natural minds. How is it even possible for a kingdom to be internal and not seen by the physical eye? You can clearly read in the context in verse 20 that Jesus says it will not be found in any visible place. Jesus was teaching them and us about spiritual kingdoms and this is a key to understanding the kingdom of darkness also. We must begin to realize that the kingdom of darkness is not a natural kingdom nor can it be seen either.
This is where correct Bible study becomes a little trickier. We need the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to correctly be led how and when to apply the laws of interpretation. Also learning when and how laws apply to interpretation will become clearer as you continue to learn more Bible subjects. Truth will always build upon truth and will fit together rightly without conflict. Truth will never contradict truth and these rules always apply to whatever you study. If the kingdom of light is spiritual and not natural as Jesus implied does that mean that the kingdom of darkness is natural by the law of antithesis? After all natural is the opposite of spiritual in many viewpoints. We could easily make that wrong assumption but still we would need confirming witnesses to determine what we believe no matter what laws we apply. One law of interpretation that is always in effect is the law of 2 or 3 witnesses that God says we must follow to establish any truth. Therefore if the kingdom of darkness is a natural location we should be able to find at least 2 scriptures to point us to that conclusion.
I’m going to take a brief bunny trail side trip journey on another unrelated subject for a moment just for the benefit of my serious students and readers. I received an ignorant comment from someone that I will not identify and he said most of my Bible lessons violate my own rules of interpretation. He failed to ask any questions assuming his own ability to perceive what I knew and in his pride and arrogance made himself unwise. I do not always give 2 or 3 witnesses in every Bible study on every subject that I mention. If I did this I would probably have to double the size of every Bible lesson and would publish far fewer lessons and less frequently. I must balance all of the words that I could say with your time and ability to study them. Just because I don’t show 2 or 3 witnesses to every statement made does not mean there are NO OTHERS that are available. Before you criticize someone it would be extremely wise to find out what they know and what you don’t know by asking basic questions instead of assuming you know everything that God has taught me. Let’s go back to the kingdom of darkness study.
We should have learned from this that one primary location of the kingdom of light is inside the human spirit. But is the kingdom of darkness the same? Let’s look at a new verse that we have not covered to see what God said to us on this subject of location.
1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
If Christians have now been called out of the darkness into the Light of Day Kingdom then this could change the antithesis truth focus to a brand new perspective. If you are a Christian let me ask you this question, were you previously in a physical dark kingdom or a spiritual dark kingdom? I believe it is obvious that I was in a spiritual dark kingdom. I hope that you believe that you are now in a spiritual light kingdom because the kingdoms of this world are those that Jesus said for us to not look at. However the concept of light and darkness sounds like the cycle of day and night when the sun rises every morning.
What I am attempting to do is to cause you to think in a brand new way from a different spiritual perspective. A natural kingdom in the natural world can be in darkness for approximately 12 hours and then it would transition into the natural light of the sun for another 12 yours. This day and night concept teaches us a central or single point of change reality. In other words the physical location did not change because it was only the entrance of the light on the location that changed to bring it into the day to leave the night. Wow, I don’t know if you got that or not but this is exactly what we need to know.
This new information about one physical location being changed should cause us to begin to think differently about spiritual kingdoms. The Kingdom of light should be viewed to be the same location as the kingdom of darkness but now with the entrance of light. This means we need to know what light represents in the Bible and that becomes an entire study in itself. If you have read the other Bible lessons that are on my website you should have already learned that God’s light is us knowing his word. We can learn this simple truth by reading Psalms 119:130 for example.
Therefore, the kingdom of light and darkness must be a spiritual condition within the same internal unseen part of the human spirit where God’s word is now present where it did not exist in the darkness before. What I am saying is that the kingdom of darkness are those people that do not have the light of God’s word and the kingdom of light are those that have the light of God’s Word. Did you understand what I just said? What God is saying is that if Christians have now been transformed into the kingdom of light then it was the same internal region that had previously been darkened until the light arose. Therefore it is only the non-Christians or the unsaved people of the world that are those that are in the kingdom of darkness right now because they have not let God’s light inside their hearts. Here is a new verse to help us further understand this reality:
Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (KJV)
Eph 5:8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (NASB)
I included two different translation versions to help us understand it more clearly. The KJV translation seems confusing and contradictory that we can flip between light and dark at almost any time. But the NASB states it differently to say that we have changed once from darkness to light and the light is now present so we must choose to believe it and walk like the light is present by faith since we do not see any literal light. Practically everything that we have received from God in the N.T. is faith based and you should already know that. I am going to provide a new verse that regresses to the subject study of what the kingdom of darkness is to help us learn where the kingdom of darkness is located. Read this next verse very carefully:
2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Notice that God links the Genesis 1 symbolic topics of speaking light into the darkness in this verse and this information directed us to learn about the subjects of day and night during the creation event. God just gave us a huge clue that the Genesis account meant more than just the natural appearance of our world. Now notice the spiritual application of this creation event where the Light is commanded to shine in the New Testament. The light is shining in our hearts (spirits). Wow, Wow, Wow!!! This is called symbolic typology where God uses naturally created things in the seen world to teach us about unseen spiritual things in the N.T. Again this is all a “where” reality but now notice the inclusion of the “what” reality being connected directly to the subject of “where”. Spiritual Light is defined by God to be the “knowledge of Jesus Christ”. Knowledge is a very deep subject that I do not have the time to fully cover in this study. However this knowledge can only be the knowledge of the Word of God. So we have a second witness to what I just said before. I get really excited about the Word of God and how it comes together.
I have really only introduced this subject of where the spiritual kingdom of darkness is located but I just can’t teach the entire subject in a sub-section of a bigger lesson topic. Let’s further confirm the internal location of darkness with a new verse that has not been mentioned so far. We will turn our Bibles to Ephesians chapter 4 and start reading with verse 17:
Eph 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Eph 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
What is natural blindness? Natural blindness is the inability to see natural light. What is spiritual blindness? Spiritual blindness is the inability to see spiritual light. What was spiritual light according to the definition we just observed in 2 Cor 4:6? Spiritual light is God’s Word and this means spiritual blindness is not being able to see God’s Word. These are just more spiritual basics that every Christian must become aware and learn. What we have seen is a spiritual way to think about two kingdoms that were in the same location but do not exist at the same time in that location. This location is the human spirit and we are all either in one kingdom or the other based upon if we have received the Word of God or not to bring us light.
Now let’s end this section with a new and different perspective on where the kingdom of darkness is located. We should have just learned that the kingdom of darkness resides in the spiritual realm from the several verses that we have encountered on this subject. However, have you ever considered that even spirits have limits to their realm of travel? There are many Christians that believe spirits can go wherever they like but that is not what the Bible teaches. We will be going through a few of these verses to demonstrate the limits that God has imposed upon spirits.
Rev 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
Have you ever read this verse and observed what was stated? In this verse there are several domains or realms of existence mentioned. Within these realms there are specific “creatures” that exist in each realm. The three main realms given to us by God in this verse is first heaven, second on the earth and third under the earth. It is implied that the creatures of these realms do not normally travel from one place to the other places. It is interesting to note that the land and sea of the earth are mentioned and these are also two realms that do not normally cross over into each other. People can go underwater for a limited time with proper breathing equipment but normally fish and other sea life cannot live upon the dry land and I think this is an interesting natural concept that relates to the spiritual realms mentioned.
Let’ talk about the realms of heaven and earth to begin. We should know from reading several Bible verses that angels do come from heaven to enter into the earth realm and then can return back to the heavenly realm. We can see this for example in Daniel 10:13 where God sends Gabriel and Michael from heaven with a message to answer a prayer that Daniel prayed. We can also read in Job chapter 1 where Satan and his angels can even go back to heaven from the earth. Maybe you will remember that this reality was expressed by God in Genesis 28:
Gen 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
Hopefully you can see that God tells us the angels are capable of traveling or moving between heaven and earth with what appears to be a staircase like access portal of transportation. The Hebrew word used for ladder can mean something like a “stair case”. This verse implies that there is a way for God to remove the ladder and close this method of transportation between the two realms, but I do not have a direct verse for that right now so that is just my opinion. Now let’s briefly talk about the realms of earth and under the earth mentioned in Revelation 5:13.
Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Here is an example of the realms of earth and under the earth and their participation to how the two interact with each other. Two men on the earth die in this story and Jesus said Lazarus went to Abraham’s bosom and the rich man goes down to hell after their death. This is direct information from Jesus about how the people of the earth traveled after death to below the earth’s surface before the resurrection of Jesus. Both went below the earth but to two different locations. However after the resurrection of Jesus the Christian people no longer go down to Abraham’s bosom but rather go up to be with the Lord in heaven as described by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:8. But there is more information found here in this story concerning the rich man and Lazarus that should be considered. For example the rich man if you read down in the chapter asks Abraham to send someone back to the earth to warn his brothers not to come to this place of torment. This literally means that the rich man was unable to return to the earth to do this even desiring to return and that is very important to know. It appears from this that people in hell are limited to that location indefinitely. But, we can also learn clearly that people in the realm of Abraham’s bosom can return to the earth if God permits based upon reading the account of the Mount of Transfiguration where Elijah and Moses show up on the earth to talk with Jesus in the flesh (Mark 9:2). The disciples witness this event and want to build a tabernacle to honor the occurrence but Jesus ignores them.
If you have not yet figured out what I am doing I am going through the recorded interactions between three different realms of stated reality in the Bible. We can find where heaven participants can come to the earth. We can find where earthly participants can go up to heaven. We can find where under the earth participant from Abraham’s bosom can come up from there to the earth and we can find where earthly participants can die and go down to under the earth. We have pretty much covered the general terms of interactions between these realms. However, we still need to notice something else found in Luke 16 to help confirm what I taught on spiritual limitations and boundaries being found present. Read this verse very carefully notice what God says through Abraham:
Luk 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Wow, this verse claims that spirit beings can be limited to one place never able to go to the other place. Abraham very clearly states there is a great gulf fixed between us. What this verse claims is that God can put up an implied partition that prevents even spiritual beings from traveling from that place that is being referred to or even to that place. Do you understand the implications of that statement? It is implying that those in hell will not be getting out. It also implies that those that are saved will not be able to visit hell to see their relatives, friends, spouse or even children in hell. What this further implies is that even with a glorified body, people will not be able to go wherever they think they want to go. Now let’s move into a new realm of thought concerning these three different dimensions of existence. Read this next verse very carefully and determine what is missing and not included:
Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
One of the three stated realities is missing from this statement that Jesus spoke of. Why was the realm of under the earth omitted from the rule of Jesus’ authority? Why didn’t God give Jesus authority over the underworld? I guess I should have explained that the Greek word translated as “power” means authority. This word translated as “power” denotes delegated control over both on the earth’s surface and in heaven. What this statement implies is that the location for the kingdom of darkness is not in either of these two realms of existence called in heaven or on the earth. The kingdom of darkness cannot be anywhere that the kingdom of light exists and the kingdom of light is definitely all of the realms of Jesus’ authority. What we are learning is the final location of the kingdom of darkness. God is teaching us by indirect reference that wherever Jesus does not rule, Satan will rule. We have already seen that Satan controls the hearts of unsaved people. Now we are seeing that these unsaved people will reside in hell and this is where they will be ruled for an eternity. Let’s look at another Bible verse about this truth found in 2 Peter.
2Pe 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
Hell is described to be a place that exists under the earth. I have another series on the reality of hell so I will not repeat all of those verses in this study. This verse contains more confirmation and further information of the inability to come out of the realm of hell. The angels that sinned are those that have fallen with Satan and these are further reduced to mean that those that had sex with the daughters of men in Genesis 5. These were the angels that have been bound in a realm of darkness using a symbolic representation of chains keeping them from leaving that realm. We have just observed God’s ability to limit even angels from moving place to place. These were angels that previously walked in heaven but now have left their place there to be cast into hell.
I have just introduced you to the subject of where is the kingdom of darkness. It is presently in the hearts of men and women that have not heard the Gospel or did not believe the Gospel because of the blindness of their hearts. These people have the chance of leaving that kingdom of darkness to enter into the kingdom of light if they receive the knowledge of Jesus by faith before they die and then as we have observed there is no second chance given to them.
We have been going through the 5 W’s (Who, What, When, Where and Why) of the kingdom of darkness. We did not cover the subject of why the kingdom of darkness exists. That is a very complex deep and controversial subject and would probably take more than what I wrote here to describe it. This could be your homework if you want to extend the effort and if you are brave I would like to hear about what you find in the Bible. Please do the homework and share your answer with everyone to “why the kingdom of darkness” exists.
I thank you so very much for being a faithful reader and serious Bible student. If you have enjoyed learning from these lessons please tell your friends about the website so more can come and see what God is doing. Until the next lesson may God continue to bless you and keep you strong spiritually, mentally and physically as you grow in His marvelous grace! God Bless.
(Ver 1.2) This is now Part 10 in the Bible study series dedicated to understanding God’s spiritual subjects hidden beneath the natural words found in Genesis chapter 3. This is also a continuation of the first lesson in the series relating to the subject, “Genesis 3:1 – Was There a Talking Serpent in the Garden?” I taught on this first subject a long time ago but I was led not to publicly respond to an important question that I received concerning the meaning and application of what God says in Genesis 3:14 and how it relates to what was communicated to us by God in Genesis 3:1. Since I received the same question recently, I felt led to now publish the answer for everyone else to study. If you have not read “Part 1”, the introduction to the identity of the symbolic serpent to discover what the Spirit of God said about Genesis 3:1, I would recommend that you go back and read that lesson first before you continue on with this lesson. Reading the foundational basics will just help to affirm what the Spirit of God says to you today while providing additional context information found in the rest of the chapter. Also by reading this entire Genesis 3 lesson series you should be becoming spiritually aware of how many new subjects are found in this chapter. Not recognizing spiritual content within the natural word description Bible story is one of the greatest reasons why we have such diverse opinions to what the words mean today. That is why I have been teaching this series of lessons on Genesis 3 to help people think in a new spiritual way concerning the very specific words that the Spirit of God has inspired Moses to write in this chapter. This will probably be a long lesson with many new things to learn. I need to go into a level of additional detail in this lesson to help people see that reading Genesis 3 in isolation is a very easy way just to be confused.
WHAT ABOUT GENESIS 3:14?
I am now going to respond to the direct reader question “What about Genesis 3:14”? You see in the past there are has been so many Bible teachers within the Christian body that have taught concerning the existence of a literal talking snake in the garden which tempted Adam and Eve to sin that it is now difficult for anyone to accept any new revelation on the subject. This popular natural way of thinking and teaching promoted the creation of a commonly misunderstood physical interpretation which violates the information given to us by God in the Bible, the natural laws of creation and the mathematical laws of God. People often believe that God created these laws but then they do not believe that God chooses to live by them and I do not agree with that religious philosophy. That type of reasoning promotes a God that says “Do as I say but do not do as I do”. Man being made in the image and the likeness of God clearly must learn to follow and conform to His examples of behavior or we just fail in our own efforts. I believe firmly that man was created to be an imitator of God’s ways. Jesus clearly provided humans an example of this divine lifestyle in the natural when God appeared personally upon this planet. Our Christian belief of following God’s and Jesus’ examples has created the popular modern concept of “WWJD”. When humans are faced with challenging situations and circumstances they should stop and ask “What would Jesus Do”? I believe a Christian should act like Christ, look like Christ and speak like Christ and in doing these point others to Christ. You are free to disagree and not attempt to be like Christ.
This prominent teaching of a literal talking snake is also directly linked into the propagation of the many paintings of a naked man and women in the garden being pictured with a serpent in the tree performing the temptation to eat the forbidden fruit. This has been the prevalent traditional viewpoint of this chapter and people accept it today because it has been so frequently and widely taught. Everyone in the world telling you the same story over and over and us all hearing it told over and over causes people to accept it and believe it more easily, even if it was never true. I have learned this concept by observing what has been happening in the world in the last 50 year with the gay community message. 50 years ago gays were not accepted and even looked negatively upon for their poor choice in lifestyles. But during this time more and more gays have been opening up and “coming out of the closet” to proclaim themselves as being normal. TV and movies began introducing the subject in the 1970’s and now it is mainstream and widely preached. In the last 50 years gays have increasingly proclaimed their normalcy and demanded their acceptance and finally now the majority of the people in the world are buying into these lies to believe them as the truth. However, even if everyone is in full agreement with a belief, that does not change the belief to be a God inspired truth. Truth is only found in the Words of God. But only the Spirit of God can reveal to us His truth in His Word.
This teaching about the literal talking serpent is what I call a tradition of men taught by men based upon a man’s carnal human reasoning rather than the actual Biblical spiritual insight from God. We should become smart enough to see that none of these Bible teachers that teach on the subject of a literal talking snake can provide us with sufficient scriptures to back up their belief. The Bible very clearly says to let every word be established in the mouths of two or three witnesses (Mat 18:16, 2 Cor 13:1). That means we need at least one other reference apart from Genesis 3 where an actual serpent speaks to tempt a human in order to embrace that concept fully. Can you search your Bible and find one for me? God has established specific rules for rightly dividing the Word of Truth and not knowing these rules or choosing to ignore them will result in a chaos random Bible interpretation where any interpretation is truth. We need to become wiser Christians verifying what people teach, applying the correct rules and not accepting blindly anything just because they said it (Acts 17:11). That is what I want you to do with everything that I am going to say today. You analyze it closely with the information found only in the Bible and if you don’t see it like I said it, then that is fine with me, don’t believe it.
What God has shown me is that there was no literal talking snake in the garden. There are two primary reasons why many Christians do not see what is written by God in the Bible and one is that they think totally natural ignoring the spiritual elements of application or two they do not know how to study the Bible from a God spiritual author perspective. I am going to address both of these situations today in this lesson. My goal today is to teach you to think spiritually concerning Genesis 3:14. You may not yet understand that thinking carnally is different than thinking spiritually but if you continue to read with an open mind you should be able to make the transition. Carnally dominated people think that if they cannot see it, touch it, feel it, hear it, smell it or taste it, then they believe that it is not a reality or a state of truth. In thinking this way they believe that spiritual things do not exist or that natural things are superior to spiritual things. Carnal thinkers are totally dominated by the 5 sense realm. Spiritual thinkers are more influenced with the Spirit of God, the Word of God and the unseen spiritual realm. Being spiritually dominated versus being naturally dominated should become your goal today even if you do not understand it yet.
Ask yourself if natural things take precedence and priority over the spiritual things in your life? Maybe I’ll help you, is eating natural food a bigger priority than eating God’s spiritual food from the Bible? God says very clearly that “the unseen spiritual things are literally more important and permanent than anything observable here in this natural universe”. That was my paraphrase of a verse found in 2 Corinthians 4:18. Since all natural things were created by a Spirit (John 4:24) it should be self-evident that the spiritual realm pre-existed everything that is natural and therefore the spiritual realm is greater by definition. What does it mean to be greater? Is the created automobile greater than the manufacturer or is the manufacturer of the automobile superior to the created automobile? If the manufacturer was broken the automobile could not fix it, but if the automobile was broken clearly the manufacturer could certainly repair it. I think you get my point that only the Spirit of God can fix a human to see His superior spiritual ways. Let’s go and begin the study of Genesis 3:14.
ANALYZING GENESIS 3:14 – GOD SPEAKS TO THE SERPENT
I want to begin this part of the Bible lesson by giving you the key Bible verse in question. This Bible verse is easily misunderstood and commonly misapplied. To remedy this problem we will be analyzing the words carefully in three distinct phrases using the Bible to define what the statements mean. Allowing the Bible to render the interpretation will remove our opinions to what we have read discovering what God was speaking about in the verse to begin with. God does not leave us helplessly guessing to what He has written. God places so many clues in plain sight that it is amazing how we do not see them. To correctly determine the verse’s interpretation using God’s methods, I need to give you a list of the basic rules for interpreting and understanding any verse found in the Old Testament. These rules of correct Bible interpretation will take us out of the realm of unstructured random Bible study placing sound organization within the realm of intelligent constraints and these learned laws will provide order and structure to our Bible study methods. I follow these rules whether I tell you about them or not. But by me teaching you how these rules work, you will gain great benefit for how you study the Bible in the future. I will also tell you that these rules of interpretation were given to me by the Spirit of God and I did not learn them from human teachers, so they may not agree with your seminary version of interpretation rules.
As you read this verse please allow the words to be fresh and new ignoring what you have heard about them in the past. I say this because many times people need to remember that everyone was once taught that the earth was flat until some brave people like Columbus and Magellan proved this was clearly not an accurate truth. To allow a round earth truth to become a fresh new normally accepted reality those that believed in the flat earth theory so firmly had to release their corrupted viewpoint in order to see the new. This is what will also need to occur today with what God will teach you in this lesson. It would even be good for you to stop and say a prayer before you start reading God’s Word and ask Him to allow you to see how He sees the words. Only by changing to look at the Bible from God’s point of view can we begin to see the truth from the author’s perspective and not a skewed human viewpoint or opinion. Are you ready to begin?
- Gen 3:14 The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.
This verse begins with the LORD God speaking directly to the stated serpent. This “serpent” is the same being that was introduced to the reader in verse 1 because God repeats the same Hebrew word H5175 in both verses. This Hebrew word occurs 5 times in this chapter and this mention in verse 14 is the last time God uses the word in this chapter. The other word references are found in Genesis 3:1, 2, 4 and 13. The Hebrew word H5175 by Strong’s definition means a “literal snake”. But is that what this word is really referring to in this chapter? How do we know when to take a word to be literal versus making it a figurative or symbolic representation for something else? That is the answer that we will seek in God’s Word and I hope and pray that you are ready to learn how to do this. I will mention briefly that the only other time this Hebrew word for snake is mentioned in the book of Genesis is when it is found in a prophecy spoken by Jacob about his sons. It would be good for us to stop and take a look at how God used this word there to potentially apply that knowledge to what we are reading in Genesis 3:
- Gen 49:17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.
I must ask you, is this mention of a serpent a literal snake or a figurative representation? Does the son of Jacob named Dan change or transform into a literal serpent? It would be extremely ignorant to think that this is a literal prophetic statement. Why then do people believe the serpent in Genesis 3 which is the exact same Hebrew word must be literal also? It is interesting to note that if we consistently interpret every H5175 word occurrence in Genesis as being symbolic that this would further match the 5 serpent references that are found in the book of Revelation which I believe are equally all symbolic for the same creature. I also find it very interesting that the tribe of Dan is never mentioned in the book of Revelation when the other 11 are clearly named in chapter 7. Just thought I would throw that fact in for you to consider since Dan is prophesied to be a serpent in Genesis 49. Let us look at the definition of this word given to us by Strong:
- From H5172; a snake (from its hiss): – serpent.
In the definition of the Hebrew word H5175, Strong defines it to be a snake and never mentions that this word could be used figuratively and I believe that was an oversight on his part since we clearly saw in Genesis 49 that this word was used this way in relation with the prophecy to describe Dan. Then further notice that this definition includes the sound that a literal snake makes as a “hiss”. I found that part of the definition to be an extreme contradiction to what was just recorded in this chapter 3 of Genesis by God. Nowhere in this chapter is this serpent ever hissing before or after the fall of man. This hissing sound is based upon the Hebrew root word and we will get to that soon but it also corresponds to the modern or present day noise that a literal snake makes and that does not conform to what is witnessed occurring in Genesis 3. This is where too many people try to come up with creative unstated explanations for what they believe must have occurred. These people automatically assume that snakes could talk before the fall but after the fall serpents were reduced to hissing sounds only. I call that a work of fiction based upon imaginative suppositions. Perhaps it will be good to review the first verses of Genesis 3 and learn the sounds the serpent is stated to have made:
- Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
- Gen 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
- Gen 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
- Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
- Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
This described serpent in Genesis 3 is clearly speaking with extreme intelligent terms using logical and informed reasoning with plainly understandable word statements in verses 1 through 5. Not only can the serpent think clearly and talk perceptively, but this being can hear and understand the women’s responses and communicate back with her on a level that is clearly above her. Believe me I am not saying that the woman was stupid; I believe she is very intelligent but this being must be far above her level of understanding if he is able to deceive her so easily. I want you to go back and notice that the serpent knew what God had said to Adam in verse 1 where there was no mention of a serpent being present during this discussion in chapter 2. How is that even possible? We must conclude from this information that the serpent was either present but not mentioned in Genesis 2 or that the serpent heard about this event from another source that was present and that only included the stated participants God and Adam. Based upon Bible information given about Satan either one of these could have occurred. For example take the story of Job the oldest book of the Bible. In this book Satan appears before God to discuss a human named Job and this story is very relevant to what we need to understand about what is given to us concerning Adam and Eve.
- Job 1:7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
I want you to notice certain facts given to us about Satan in this verse. The name Satan means “adversary” or “enemy” and this clearly denotes Satan’s position at this time to not be a friend of God. Yet, Satan has just come from the earth in order to have a conversation with God. We therefore know that God and Satan talk and even communicate about human events. This could be the way that Satan found out about Adam’s conversation with God in Genesis 2. However the last part of this verse also applies to Genesis since Satan is walking about the earth even though there is no mention of him being seen by the human man named Job. Since Job knows nothing about Satan what would make you think Adam knew anything about him either? Satan very clearly walks the earth after the fall of man in the book of Job, could this be the way that Satan found out about the conversation in Genesis 2? I believe it could be. Adam was clearly given the task to guard and protect the garden before the fall of man occurred and this had to be guarding it from an external being like Satan since he is the only being that appeared on the scene in chapter 3 to deceive his wife. Since the first 5 verses occur before the fall of man, this proves that Satan had access on the earth before the fall as well as after the fall of man.
What we have just discovered is that Satan has great ability to communicate with beings even with an extreme intelligent being like God the creator and this means him speaking with a man or a woman on the earth is probably more like child’s play than speaking with God where he is clearly the child. Regardless of how Satan knew of the conversation the fact remains that this stated Genesis 3 serpent being had great knowledge of past events with outstanding memory recall abilities and that is very important to understand who you are dealing with. Satan has been here on the earth for at least the last 6000 years and you have been here probably far less than a100 years. Who do you think knows more you are him?
These facts found in Genesis 3:1-5 would appear to me to be a direct contradiction to what God says in the Bible in chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis if this is a literal snake. All the land animals were created on the first part of day 6 of creation before man was created last as the culmination of all of God’s creation. So would that order of creation make the animals supreme to the man because they were first? Or did God leave all of His creation in the hands of the supreme last created beings as I believe occurred? God says that man was created to have dominion which means to rule and have authority over ALL of the animals in Genesis 1:26. I do not see how a lower created being could have been fashioned to be smarter than God’s man made in the image and likeness of God himself. I do not recall any other being that was made to be like God in Genesis 1 or 2. I also recall no other recorded conversation between God and any other created being. Both of those are major problems for those who believe in a literal talking snake that deceives Eve. We are already discovering some very significant inconsistencies in what is being defined and stated versus what is being taught by many preachers and teachers in the church today. This is a very good time to dig deeper into the Hebrew word definition translated as “serpent” to discover what else is contained within this word. This Hebrew word H5175 comes from the Hebrew root word H5172 and that is a very important new word to learn and apply to what is being communicated to us by God here in Genesis 3.
- A primitive root; properly to hiss, that is, whisper a (magic) spell; generally to prognosticate: – X certainly, divine, enchanter, (use) X enchantment, learn by experience, X indeed, diligently observe.
This Hebrew root word contains the meaning of a “prognosticator”. Do you know what that is? That is someone who foretells the future. This is what many would call a fortune teller who speaks words about forthcoming events in your life. Do these still exist today? Are they still talking snakes? Let’s go back and review the conversation that the woman had in the first 5 verses again using this new information. Do you recall what the serpent said to the woman? The serpent begins the conversation with a question to engage her mind. The serpent asked “Did God say?” The serpent’s question in verse 1 includes a stated connection back to what God said in chapter two as previously stated in this lesson. Then when the woman responded to that question in verses 2 and 3 the serpent responds back in verse 4 “No, you shall not surely die”. Didn’t the serpent just attempt to foretell the woman’s future with this statement? I find that fact very significant to know. Then in verse 5 the serpent makes a claim that is beyond comprehension. The serpent claims to know what God knows. How could a created inferior being on the earth even come close to knowing what the creator God knows and how would the created superior man and woman not know the same thing or even other greater truths that God shared in personal conversations with them? Of course many people will counter this information that I just stated with the fact that Jesus claimed the devil was the father of lies (John 8:44) and therefore the serpent was lying in all of these statements. But using that logic just made this serpent the same as the devil and not a literal talking snake, so which one is it? You can’t have it both ways even though some have tried to claim the devil possessed the physical body of a created serpent in order to communicate with the woman and I gave you New Testament evidence that this would be an illegal supernatural temptation for the devil to do it this way. I’m not going to repeat that again. So far we have at least three possible interpretations given for the identity of the serpent by Bible teachers and these are:
- A literal talking snake (A NATURAL ONLY INTERPRETATION)
- The devil possessing a literal snake with the devil doing the speaking (A COMBINED NATURAL WITH SPIRITUAL INTEPRETATION)
- The devil in the spirit realm talking to the mind of Eve (A SPIRITUAL ONLY INTERPRETATION)
So far I believe that the evidence being presented by God in the Bible dictates that the serpent can only be number 3, but number 2 can be easily beleived by many to be the truth also until you put all of the pieces of the puzzle together correctly and see that this is not possible. Number 1 is definitely out of the question but we will explore more of why this is not possible also. What are the facts presented to us so far?
- We know the serpent is smart and possesses great intelligence.
- We know that the serpent had recall of past events even when not stated to be present during the occurrence of them. We know the serpent knew what God had said in previous conversations with Adam.
- We know that the serpent can remember, think and reason.
- We know that the serpent can speak clearly understandable words.
- We know that the serpent predicts the future speaking of events that have not transpired whether they are completely accurate or fictitious is really irrelevant to the facts given.
- We know from verse 1 in Genesis 3 that the serpent is very cunning.
There is at least one recorded conversation between man and God in chapter 2. God’s voice is also described to be walking with man in the garden in Genesis 3:8. This description clearly makes it sound like it was not the first time that this voice of God walked there since Adam and Eve both recognized Him being present. But up until this point in Genesis 3 I want you to see clearly that there have been no recorded conversations between a serpent and God, yet this creature is clearly more informed than the man and the woman to know how to deceive them.
I really hope you have read the entire Genesis 3 series of lessons because I’m not going to repeat them here. I did one lesson on the subject “You shall be as God Knowing Good and Evil” and that was a prophecy of misfortune but yet it would still come to pass. This statement literally contains the implied knowledge that the serpent understood the current status of God. All of this information is a direct contradiction for a literal snake to know how to speak, to know the status of God and His thoughts or to even predict the future of the woman. This is a major problem for a literal only interpretation yet it is explained away because of what people think that Genesis 3:14 says.
Please review the definition for the Hebrew root word H5172 again and see how it was defined. It is stated to be a literal hiss but then it is directly tied into someone whispering a chant or a magic spell. This changes the word’s usage from a literal hiss sound to become a potential figurative or symbolic word application. Do you have any clue yet how Satan communicates to you every day? Did you even know that the serpent is still speaking to people like you and I every day? Doesn’t Satan still come to us using whispered subtle phrases? Aren’t these whispered words of temptation picked up by your mind so that you can hear them as thoughts? Satan will come to your mind and whisper a thought to entice you and many respond to this mental stimulus, even Christians. The reader of this chapter can still ignore all of this information and try to take these initial verse statements of Genesis 3:1-5 and 3:13 and 14 literally. Many people will still try to think that God was speaking to a literal created being that thinks and talks like a man no matter what I teach to the contrary. But if those that want to see what the Bible really says they should begin to weigh the growing evidence for how this serpent was just a symbolic named reference for the hidden spiritual being named Satan who was not yet revealed to man. But we need more Bible verses to confirm which viewpoint is the truth and that is the objective today for us to find. Let’s continue analyzing the phrases in Genesis 3:14 and see the next stated expression.
- “Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field;”
Again in this next statement of Genesis 3:14 we can see a common theme reappearing from Genesis 3:1 in that the serpent is similarly compared to the “cattle” a subset of the beasts of the field and then God compares the serpent to the superset of “all the beasts of the field”. We should easily know that a literal serpent is not from the livestock mammal class of beings so that is pretty simple to understand that the serpent does not belong in that set or class of created beings. But again in this verse we see the word ALL being placed in front of the noun set of the “beasts of the field” to qualify the applicable scope of the statement. Since “ANY”, “EVERY” and “ALL” are synonymous terms and they mean none are omitted from the specified set of referenced nouns we know by this statement made by God alone that the specified serpent is not a member of the “beast of the field” superset or class of created beings either. This is not rocket science but people ignore the words on the page to render what they want them to say. God chose these words so it is very important for you not to ignore one word like “all” because it does not conform to what you think it needs to say. Let’s move on to the last controversial statement that was made by God to the serpent and explore this for the remainder of the Bible lesson:
- “On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life;”
People still look at this last statement in verse 14 wondering what it means. In fact that is exactly what initiated this entire Bible lesson and why I am attempting to respond to two different commenters. God says in the last part of the verse that the serpent will travel on its belly and eat dust. Here is where people again begin to jump to erroneous assumptions and wrong conclusions misunderstanding and misapplying what was actually stated. Because everyone knows that has seen a literal modern snake at the zoo or in their yard that they slither on the ground on their bellies as the primary way to get around they therefore assume that this is what God was declaring to happen. Thus they believe that God was talking to a literal snake and this is where they become more creative again to imagine or invent some new unstated explanation of what God just said in His Word. I have heard more than one preacher try to claim that the serpent before the curse walked using legs but after the curse his legs were removed and now he had to slither in the dust on its belly. That is the required logic that must have transpired for a literal interpretation. But, that type of belief or reasoning is based upon a form of reverse evolution. Reverse evolution occurs when a higher formed creature returns, regresses, reverts or mutates backwards to a lesser or inferior form of creation. This belief is the stated antithesis of the theory of “evolution” also taught as the “evolving” of lesser beings classes that are raised to a higher state of development class by some unknown miracle. I have a major problem with believing in either of those two theoretical scenarios since there is no written evidence or fossil evidence that either of these theories ever occurred. If there were walking snakes before the fall then there should be some fossil evidence for them found somewhere on the earth. Instead of thinking on these words from a completely natural perspective inventing creative untruths to confirm them, let’s divert our attention away and try to see the words from a new spiritual point of view. We can only counter theories with facts. We therefore need facts from the Bible that trump the reverse evolution belief.
Do you understand what symbolism is in the Bible? I have already tried to explain that the “serpent” was a symbolic reference to a spiritual being named Satan as revealed by God in Revelation. God uses vast amounts of symbolism in the book of Revelation but yet people like to think that God never used symbolism anywhere else in the Bible especially in Genesis. Suddenly people want to think that God changes to do something new in Revelation and uses a novel technique never before used in the Bible. But that is clearly not sound reasoning to think that way. For example, Jesus taught consistently in the Gospels using parables. What is a parable? A parable is a lesson about spiritual things using natural symbolic references to convey the message. Clearly Jesus used natural symbols and I could give you other uses of symbols in the Bible if you do not believe me ask me a question and I will supply you with an introduction to the subject found in the O.T. and even in Genesis.
There is another important concept that is related directly to symbolism found in the Bible called a “figure of speech”. Do you understand what a figure of speech represents? I’ll not go into this in depth but I will attempt to give you a couple of examples of a figure of speech to help affirm the conclusion. If a person today says “You are a pain in my neck”, was he saying something literally or figuratively? I believe you are smart enough to know that this is a figurative description of the person and not a literal one. You can see God using this illustrated type of speaking example in the Bible several times when He says to the natural people of Israel “Wipe them out or they will become thorns in your side” (Num 33:55, Jos 23:13, Jdg 2:3). You see God was not speaking to Israel literally so He must have been declaring a figurative statement that they should have been smart enough to recognize. What is a thorn in your side? That is just an example of someone who causes you physical, mental or emotional harm or causes you to stumble over something that results in physical, mental or emotional harm. In these three Bible examples that I just gave you, God was saying these people will introduce you to their idols and by you worshiping them these people will cause you great negative consequences. That is exactly what God was doing in Genesis 3:14 when speaking to the symbolic serpent. God was not telling the serpent that he just lost his legs; He was saying something else which you do not even yet understand.
RULES FOR O.T. BIBLE INTERPRETATION
How can we find the meaning of these figurative and symbolic words in the Old Testament? How do we understand any verse written in the Old Testament if the Jews could read them all for centuries but never saw any of the words that described Jesus’ coming? These are finally great questions to answer. Please allow me to introduce you to some very basic rules for O.T. Bible interpretation and understanding. Read these rules over and then I’ll explain them and apply them more completely as we continue into the rest of the Bible study:
We can only understand the O.T by:
- First understanding that the Bible is ONE BOOK written by ONE AUTHOR with superior intelligence (2 Tim 3:16)! Therefore, we must not study one part of the Bible trying to understand it while ignoring the other parts of the Bible that reveal it.
- Secondarily understanding that the Bible interprets itself and we need not add our opinion to the mix or we will violate God’s law of correct interpretation found in 2 Peter 1:20.
- Next understanding the revelations, explanation and descriptions of the words, concepts and subjects found in the verses in the New Testament. The Bible is progressive revelation also called the unveiling, the uncovering or the revelation of the truth (Rom 16:25).
- Searching, finding and observing God’s definitions of the words and subjects in the New Testament and other parts of the Bible where they are given (Col 1:26).
- Observing the context of the verses around it.
- Observing God’s usage of the same Hebrew words in the other verses of the O.T.
- Looking up the definitions of the Hebrew words in dictionaries like Strong’s.
That is certainly not an exhaustive list of rules for correct O.T. Bible interpretation but that was enough to help get you started moving in the right direction for studying this part of the Bible. I have just given you a short “to do” list for O.T. Bible study. This is a list of items to consider when desiring to know what you are reading from the Old Testament. These are very specific things that you should not ignore but rather learn, apply and deliberate on while you read the Bible. These are very direct items that are essential for studying to find God’s revealed answers to your questions. These are the basic rules that I follow and I will apply them directly to the rest of this lesson to teach you how you should apply them to what you do. Not understanding them and applying them is the primary reason why many Christians do not know what the words on the pages mean. They simply have not been taught how to resolve the lack of structure for how they study the Bible. I hope that you at least try to use this initial list and see how it changes what you find in the Bible. If you find them to not be useful, then that does not bother me but it might reveal why we believe differently about the same verse. Let’s study the verse here in Genesis 3:14 using these rules and see what develops and changes about what we can see in the verse.
I will say that rule number 1 is a general statement of fact and truth. It is repeated in more detail in rules 2, 3 and 4. The combination of the first four rules is us finding God’s details and interpretations already recorded in the Bible. We do this these through other rules that I may or may not get into fully in this lesson. I just mention this because I know them and you probably do not unless you have read most of my other Bible lessons where I give you descriptions in certain places on how to use them. I’m sorry I just can’t teach everything that I know in every Bible lesson or I would never get a lesson completed.
RULES 1 AND 2: ALLOWING GOD TO INTERPRET HIS WORD
I want to begin with rules 1 and 2 of every sound Bible interpretation. We must allow God the author of the entire Bible to interpret His own words in order to leave our thoughts out of the meanings. God’s mind is superior to my mind and yours. When we introduce the thoughts of our mind into the discussion we introduce an inferior process and way of thinking. I have discovered from many years of Bible study that God is smart enough to interpret His own writings if we can become smart enough to learn how to find them and apply them. That is your number one challenge being issued within the Word of God. Go find the verses that explain the verse that you want to learn about in the Old Testament. That is what we need to do next so let’s go looking for some New Testament explanatory words for what we have read in Genesis 3:14.
RULES 3 & 4: WHAT DOES THE NEW TESTAMENT TEACH ABOUT SERPENTS?
Since someone was questioning if the serpent in Genesis 3 was literal or symbolic we need to ask what does the New Testament say about “serpents” and how should these references be applied to this question concerning Genesis 3? Can you see that I have already answered a portion of this question in the previous lessons in the series? I pointed you to two verses in Revelation (Rev 12:9 & Rev 20:2) where God directly identifies and names the “old serpent” and the “ancient serpent” to be the literal enemy Satan. This was a God inspired definition that was further mentioned within the context of another symbolic name for the same individual called the “dragon” and that truth helps to teach us that the serpent and the dragon are both symbolic titles for Satan. We need to treat both referenced titles of the serpent and the dragon to be equivalent for the literal spiritual being named Satan. There are also other references to a serpent in Revelation and one is found in Revelation 9:19 where God uses this same word to be like something else. This fact teaches us that God is in the practice of using a serpent as symbolism to teach us about spiritual things that we have never observed with our eyes. The next reference that I gave was that of Revelation 12:9 but also in this same chapter God uses the serpent again as symbolism to be associated with a symbolic woman also mentioned in the same chapter. I hope that you have already read my Bible study on Genesis 3:15 called “The Seed of the Woman and the Seed of the Serpent”. If not you really do not understand that Genesis 3:15 and Revelation 12 are parallel prophecies of a soon coming future event.
If you continue to read down in Revelation 12 to verse 14 you will see the woman and a serpent being mentioned in the same verse. I’m not going to elaborate on these, just understand that they are both symbolic for someone else. In the very next verse Revelation 12:15 you will find the fifth reference in Revelation to a serpent. In this verse you should be smart enough to see that this serpent is again a symbolic reference and he is stated to spew symbolic water out of his mouth like a flood to cause the woman to be carried away by the flow. I really do not have the time to teach this chapter in full. Just understand that the woman and the serpent are both clear symbols for a greater defined spiritual reality and God is for the woman and against the serpent. We also know that the woman is not named or identified directly but the serpent was and that is what we were searching for to understand Genesis 3:14. This is just very basic information that helps us to confirm that the serpent in Genesis 3:1 through 3:14 was not a literal reference but rather also a symbolic association.
The term “serpent” is only mentioned in 15 verses of the KJV New Testament. Only once can it possibly be considered to be a literal created serpent moving on the ground. Let me give you all of these verses so that you can review them for yourself to learn how God uses the term:
|Matthew 7:10||Symbolic||Referenced by Jesus in a teaching about Father giving the Holy Spirit|
|Matthew 10:16||Symbolic||Referenced by Jesus in a teaching to His disciples about them being wise as a serpent but harmless has doves both symbolic references|
|Matthew 23:33||Symbolic/Figurative Speaking||Jesus speaking the leaders of Israel calling them a generation of vipers.|
|Mark 16:18||Symbolic||Jesus instructing the disciples after His resurrection often called the Great Commission|
|Luke 10:19||Symbolic||Jesus speaking in contextual reference to Satan giving authority to His church to tread on the serpent|
|Luke 11:11||Symbolic||Jesus speaking to the church about the Father in Heaven giving the Holy Spirit|
|John 3:14||Symbolic||Reference to O.T. symbol being placed on a pole by Moses|
|1 Cor 10:9||Symbolic/Literal||Possibly a reference to either or both a symbolic and literal snakes killing Israeli people in the wilderness who disobeyed God|
|2 Cor 11:3||Symbolic||An explanatory reference written about Eve being deceived in her mind by the serpent|
|James 3:7||Literal||Here James is using a reference to taming created animals and creatures but this is a totally different Greek word than all the other references to a serpent. This one is G2062 and is translated as “creeping thing” every other time in the N.T.|
|Rev 9:19||Symbolic||Used by God to describe the 4 angels that kill 1/3 of the human race during the tribulation|
|Rev 12:9||Symbolic||Verse where God identifies Satan to be the serpent of old|
|Rev 12:14||Symbolic||Symbolic connection of the woman and the serpent found in Genesis 3:15|
|Rev 12:15||Symbolic||Symbolic connection of the woman and the serpent in Genesis 3:15|
|Rev 20:2||Symbolic||God again clarifies the identity of the ancient serpent to be Satan|
I just gave you 14 verses containing the direct references to the Greek word G3789 translated as “serpent” and the evidence is very clear to me that the vast majority of the N.T. word usage must be considered as symbolic references to a spiritual being. The only verse that I could possibly leave to be a natural snake was 1 Corinthians 10:19 when God was describing what occurred to the natural people of Israel in the wilderness after they disobeyed God. Every other reference appears to be a symbol for Satan and the enemy of God. I can still see how people could argue about some verses being literal but that is probably because they do not see what is stated. For example the 2 times that Jesus speaks about a father giving his son a serpent when the son asks for a fish is definitely an example of a parable where all named nouns represent a spiritual reality not named. The literal symbol of a snake in these verses is used by Jesus to teach a spiritual lesson. Then consider John 3:14 where the serpent was placed on a pole to bring healing to the people of Israel in the wilderness. This is clearly another symbolic representation for Christ being made sin for the salvation of His people in the New Testament. I do not know how you can ignore all of this evidence? If the New Testament references are 13 out of 14 for the “serpent” being symbolic in the N.T. then this teaches us that we must consider this information and apply it to what we are trying to understand in the Old Testament. God would not have given us so many clear examples if we were supposed to not understand them. So if you did not realize it already, I have just used the first four rules of O.T. Bible interpretation to discover the explanation, definition and identity of the “serpent” in Genesis 3.
I would also like to teach you a basic Bible fact that the O.T. was written in Hebrew and the N.T. was written in Greek. How then do we know that a N.T. Greek word is equivalent to a given O.T. Hebrew word? That is another Bible interpretation rule that needs to be learned and observed. There are generally two ways to solve this language difference problem. The first primary way is to find an O.T. verse that is quoted in the N.T. that contains the word that you are searching for. Since the “serpent” word is not found in this manner we must use plan B. Plan B is finding a verse that speaks about the subjects found in the O.T. even though it is not a direct quote. Since 2 Corinthians 11:3 contains the subjects of Eve and the serpent together we can confirm conclusively that the Greek Word G3789 is equivalent to the Hebrew word H5175. We are now assured by rule definition that these verses found in the N.T. are speaking to us about the same subject given by the author in Genesis 3. That was a very important part of the study that I just gave you. I did not use random chance to connect O.T. words with N.T. words. I used rule based methods that were designed by God and that changes everything.
RULE 5: WHAT IS THE CONTEXT OF GENESIS 3:14?
Let’s move on to rule number five for correct Bible interpretation. This rule involves us observing the context of the verse in question. This would include the speakers, the participants and the intended reader audience. Let’s begin this section of study by observing the next verse 15 following Genesis 3:14 because I believe this is very relevant information. I have already published a Bible study on this subject that you should have previously read but if not we will go back over parts of it very quickly. The statement in verse 15 is a continuation of the statement in verse 14, do you understand this? Therefore whatever God was talking about in verse 14 is still being continued in verse 15. I cannot disconnect the two verses and neither can you if you use wisdom. God is still speaking to the same symbolic serpent but God is now introducing a new important connection for the serpent. I’ll give you the verse so that you can read it again for a mental refresher:
- Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
God introduces us to a woman in verse 15 that He declares to be the serpent’s new forthcoming or prophetical enemy. God says very clearly I will put enmity (hostility or hatred) between you (the serpent) and her (the woman). Right there that new statement should become a mental “turn on the light bulb moment” clue for you that this stated serpent is not a literal physical talking snake. Yes women are not the usual friends with natural snakes but that is clearly not what God is saying in this prophesy. You do realize that this statement was a prophetical statement, don’t you? Eve was the only literal physical woman present during this conversation, therefore you must show me where she ever stepped on the head of this physical snake to bruise her heal or bruise the literal serpent’s head. Since you cannot find a verse that states this occurred, that is a major problem for a physical or literal snake’s existence as being cursed by God in verse 14. A physical serpent’s life span in this day and age is less than 50 years by far. Therefore this event if it was a literal snake must have occurred during a time span of reasonable age less than the life time of the woman in this chapter. Since it was not recorded as a past event we must now reassess if a literal snake makes any logical sense at all anywhere in this chapter.
No God is again speaking purely prophetically and figuratively in verse 15 using natural symbols for a coming spiritual event. The woman is symbolic, the seed is symbolic, the heel is symbolic and therefore the serpent must also be symbolic along with the head of the serpent. If you can find me where any literal woman, heel or seed steps on the head of any literal snake to bruise it then we can all join together into the same belief that this is a literal historic account of literal beings. I believe what we have just confirmed is that verse 15 is symbolic and matches what I previously showed you to be symbolic references in Revelation 12. If the context of Genesis 3:15 is both prophetic and symbolic, then the previous verse 14 references must also be prophetic and symbolic and that changes most everyone’s way of viewing it. This means in verse 14 the serpent is symbolic, the belly of the serpent is symbolic and even the dust is symbolic for some things that you have not yet discovered. Who knows if I have convinced anyone yet, but we are not finished with the study so please continue to read the next important Bible interpretation rule application.
RULE 6: HOW DOES GOD USE THIS PHRASE IN OTHER O.T. VERSES?
Let’s review what else God says about this subject in the Hebrew Old Testament to consider the further usage of the words found in Genesis 3:14. We are interested primarily in what God says about a serpent eating dust so I did a search for these key words and found a verse that you must read and apply to what was stated by God in Genesis 3:14. Obviously God knew that He would have many people that would not understand His selection of the words in Genesis 3:14 so He uses them again to teach us what they mean later in another prophet’s words. Read this verse slowly and carefully and observe it to be a prophecy on the same subject:
- Mic 7:17 They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear because of thee.
I need you to examine this verse word by word and then if you don’t know the answers to my questions go and read the context of this verse to see who God is speaking to and about. I guess I was going to first ask you who and what this verse is concerning but I better just answer it for you so you learn how to do this. If you go back to Micah 1:1 you will find God informing the prophet Micah concerning the kings of Judah concerning the area of Samaria and the city of Jerusalem. Therefore the rest of this book is written by that direction and must be interpreted in that light. When God writes to them and tells them in chapter 7 verse 17 that they will lick the dust like a serpent, is that literal or is that figuratively speaking terminology? I can see how people will try to make it literal but God is speaking to men using symbolic application. I connected this verse in Micah to Genesis by looking for “serpent” and “dust” together in the same verse. God uses a synonymous reference for eating with the term lick but they are basically equivalent phrasings. I can very clearly eat an ice cream cone by licking it. Let’s pursue another example of God’s usage of this term in another prophet’s writing:
- Isa 65:25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.
Here is another important verse to consider for us understanding Genesis 3:14. Here is a verse written by the prophet Isaiah literally many hundreds of years after the prophet Moses wrote Genesis and this verse contains the exact same three Hebrew words that Moses used in the Genesis text. These words are H6083 translated as “dust”, H398 translated as “eat” or “meat” and finally H5175 translated as “serpent”. The translators made a slight modification so that the one word “eat” from Genesis 3:14 is not easily recognizable but that is why I searched using the Strong’s numbers and not the English words. Did you read this verse and consider how it applies to Genesis 3:14? Is the verse in Isaiah speaking literally or figuratively? I also want to ask you is this statement a historical past tense description, a present tense right now (at the time of the writing) description or a prophetical future tense based event description? I can potentially hear many different answers to my question but only one answer can be correct. Since this is the prophet Isaiah writing many, many years after Moses wrote Genesis 3:14 and both are speaking of the same thing I cannot agree that this occurred in past history in Genesis 3. No, I see both statements in Genesis 3 and Isaiah 65 to be written about a future coming prophetic event that has not yet occurred. If you do not agree then explain to my when you ever saw a lamb lie down with a lamb and dwell in peace and safety? For that matter when was the last time you saw a wolf eat straw regularly? Then analyze the last part of this verse and tell me when this has occurred in the Bible? God describes that His Holy Mountain will never again be destroyed nor will there be found any hurt or pain present there? I just don’t have the time to explain this verse fully. Please know that this has not yet occurred and will not occur until the end of Revelation the last chapters. Then know that if this verse is a future speaking prophecy it helps us to understand how Genesis 3:14 is concerning the same prophecy.
I want you to understand very clearly that Isaiah 65:2 and Genesis 3:14 are the only two verses in the entire Old Testament (23,145 verses) that contains these three exact Hebrew words together. Do you believe that was a coincidence or a chance occurrence? I really do not believe that. God has placed a design in the Bible using extreme intelligence. He has implement certain rules of interpretation that are being revealed now to help us through the use of computers to find the meanings of what was written thousands of years ago.
Since I have already used Rule 7 in previous discussions of the Hebrew word for “serpent” I will not redo that work in this part of the lesson. I pray that you understand how I applied the definition of the word in Strong’s and the Hebrew root word to the lesson to show how it was used symbolically. I have covered the application of seven Bible rules of interpretation. We have explored New Testament references and definitions and applied them to what was spoken of by God in Genesis 3:14. We have looked at the context of Genesis 3:14 to see that it was both prophetic and symbolic. We have looked for and found other verses in the O.T. to further confirm this was also a prophesy found in Genesis 3:14. What I have attempted to do is to teach you that the words of a verse in Genesis can have a much different intended purpose by God than a literal only interpretation. I have used sound rules to give you a new and different way of seeing the words. I may have not fully explained what the words “upon your belly you shall go and eat dust all the days of your life” mean but I have tried to teach that God does offer a way to learn what they mean by searching the Bible. If you still do not understand we can do more lessons later on this subject of the symbolic serpent if you ask direct questions about what I have presented to you. From everything that I have found so far in the Bible there is only evidence given by God to support a symbolic reference for the serpent in Genesis 3 to be Satan and not a literal talking snake. I thank you for taking the time to read this advanced Bible study lesson and please help others to see what God has said in His Word.
Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight — Understanding God’s Methods of Hiding Information in the Bible! Pt 10
(Ver 1.3) This is Part 10 in a series of advanced Bible lessons on the complex methods that God has used to conceal spiritual information in the Bible for us to find. If you do not understand these concepts of how God hides spiritual information, then you have not read the internet very much. When I read the internet on any given Bible subject, I can find 15 different interpretations to almost every verse in the Bible. Everyone is convinced that they know the truth and they teach it like there is nothing else to learn. We know by the sheer numbers that God is not divided into 15 different interpretive meanings of the Bible. God did not create but one actual truth and we have not learned it or we would not be seeing so many attempts at what is the truth. Therefore, we can clearly understand that out of the 15 possibilities that you can read on the internet at least 14 and maybe even all 15 of them are very wrong. Jesus taught us “that if you continued in His word, then you would be His disciples and then you will come to know the truth and this truth would then set you free” (John 8:31-32). So if you are not continuing in the Bible to obtain to this level of knowing the truth, you have already determined in your mind that you are free and you therefore, should not be wasting your time reading my Bible lessons today. What I have been attempting to do in this series of lessons is to point out recognizable, patterns, techniques and methods of hiding the truth using a plain text system of encryption. I have already covered a lot of information that will not be repeated, so if you have not read these lessons from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start your reading with “Part 1”. I will also tell you that I go back and update previous lessons with new information so it might be good for you to go back and reread from the beginning just to get up to date with the latest information on each topic that I have already covered.
Technique 10: Changing the Definition of Common Words, Using Code Names
This is now the tenth technique for concealing the truth in the Bible that I have covered and it is intermixed randomly in several different books, chapters and verses and it is often very difficult to find and recognize unless you know what to look for. One of the key ways that God uses to conceal information in the Bible is to give you a statement using words that you think you know and can easily define, but then later when you read other parts of the Bible you discover that God has a very different perspective to what these words actually mean. This is a common practice used in modern language found in the everyday conversations of people. People use slang words that mean one thing in the dictionary and another completely different thing when heard in the context of the rest of the statement of whoever is speaking. For example, a popular rock star use to sing a song that claimed “I’m Bad”. If you used the popular dictionary definition of this word you would think that it meant he was wicked or evil. However, to the rock star it meant I’m good and I know it. This is a classic example of changing the definition of a known word to convey a new message. We have a whole bunch of people in the world who do this every day. They have invented a new “slanguage” of ways to communicate to each other that others do not understand. This is a highly tricky method of concealing information using words that are clearly readable on the surface but, unless you know that God does this, you will be in the dark on what you are reading and not even realize it.
In an earlier lesson I taught you about God calling multiple things by the same name and then I taught how God can call one thing by many multiple names and these are certainly very similar techniques to what I am teaching today. You see God can selectively change the definition of a word only in certain few verses and in other verses the word means something completely different. Take the word “Day” and try to come up with all of the possible definitions for this one word. This can be a 24 hour time period, a 12 hour time period, or an 8 hour work day, or just a coming time on the calendar or an era, or it can be a specific time of an event like the day we met and this can be past, present or future and it can mean a time of existence like the day of the dinosaur. These are common dictionary definitions of the word ‘day” found in the Bible. But, to God it can also be a specific 1000 year time period based upon God definition of a day found in 2 Peter 3:8. You can clearly see in this verse that God says that “a Day is” and whenever God does this He is about to change the definition of the word that you thought you knew all about. It is like a spy or a policeman with an undercover code name. When someone is undercover they are never called by their real names. They would always use a code name like “mother goose”, “desert eagle” or “Hawkeye”. You can recognize that this might be a code name or you might not know that is what it is, nevertheless you would not know the identity of the person based upon this code name alone. This is a common technique used by the U.S. Secret Service when they are protecting the president, the vice-president and their families. Everyone is given code names so that they can be easily identified internally, but this name can be changed if compromised and they are clearly using this technique to hide the information about who they are protecting. In all of these examples, you would have to have a key or a clue to unlock the identity and this is how God also hides information in the Bible using embedded clues for us to find. If you don’t believe me you should really read the Bible more closely. I always strongly suggest that people use a Bible software search program that allows you to look up every occurrence of each Hebrew and Greek word found in a scripture. In doing this you will soon discover if God gives you a definition of the word in another book, chapter or verse of the Bible that may not be what you thought it meant. Regardless of if there is a new definition or not you will find out what else God says about the subject and learn something potentially new.
So this new concept you are looking for in the Bible is not that complex, but yet it can be very hard to find. You are looking for verses that say “something” IS “some definition”, or “This IS” something and then some definition. Of course getting a definition for the word “IS” is not that easy either. As you listened to a president on TV a few years ago there seems to be many possible definition to this word, but to me it means something that resembles the likeness of something else. You might call it a synonym or a synonymous term. I will give you several more examples of this found in the Bible so do not panic and think that you have to figure it out all by yourself. I already told you about 2 Peter 3:8 where God gives us a very different definition to the word “Day”. However, you cannot apply this definition to every time you see this word in the Bible or you will get confused. There will be times when you can use it as a double reference and see if it reveals something new in a verse that you thought you previously understood, but yet it is sometimes challenging to make the transition into the spiritual meanings behind a verse that is describing a natural story. Take the days of creation in Genesis 1 and 2. God lists six days of creation and one day of rest in Genesis 1 and 2. If you try to take the 2 Peter 3:8 definition of a day and make God’s creation last 6000 years, then you would be hopelessly confused. What you must do is see that Genesis 1 and 2 is describing actual creation 24 hour time periods that have a double referenced meaning for a prophetic day of human history attached to it. God says “I make known the end from the beginning” (Isa 46:10). So we must realize that from the information given to us in Genesis, God is revealing the end. Since it has been nearly 6000 years since the creation of man on the planet, we can understand that this corresponds to the 6 days of creation that are spoken of in Genesis 1 using 2 Peter 3:8 definition of a day. Therefore, each day of Genesis 1 is a prophetic view into the coming 6 – 1000 year time periods of human history. When you can see this, then you are approaching the hidden meanings attached to them. It is very much like solving a very complex riddle or puzzle. God is the master concealer of information in the Bible and He has implemented some very tricky ways to conceal information in the Bible for us to find. If you are not a puzzle solver type of person, then you should not be studying the Bible. I talk about the prophetic viewpoint of the days of creation in other Bible lessons that I have already done, so I will not get into that again in this lesson today.
I will give a few more examples of this technique in the Bible and you might learn how it works when you read about them. Take the words “eternal life”. These words occur only around 30 times in the New Testament in about 12 New Testament books. If you looked up the definitions of the words in the dictionary you might find something like “the condition or state of being alive forever” or “the immortal state of never dying”. Most Bible scholars associate God’s life span to be eternal or infinite. We look at God as having no beginning and no end. Therefore, God possesses eternal life qualities. But, is this what God is saying in the Bible when He uses these words? Let’s look at a sample verse:
Rom 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
Here we have a very interesting scripture verse. It speaks of men who seek some things from God. At least that is what it appears to me to say. However, notice the end of the statement and see the words “immortality” and “eternal life”. What is the difference between these two things? They would seem to be synonymous terms for the same thing from my viewpoint. Immortality would mean never dying or no end of existence. I guess “eternal life” could be slightly different when referring to men or to God, but I won’t go there right now. All men and women on the planet have a beginning when they are born into this world. So do people exist prior to conception? Actually that is a really good question, but I believe that from what I have seen in the Bible that people have a set beginning at conception and prior to this they do not exist. If you know of scripture that states anything differently I would be happy to learn about them. So now we have the problem of determining when does or if it is possible for a human to ever cease to exist and I do not believe that this is possible based upon what I know about the Bible. A human is a spirit being who lives in a body and after that body is dead; the spirit then departs to be with the Lord if they are saved (2 Cor 5:8) or they are relocated to hell to await judgment. If you do not like that explanation you need to learn to read your Bible and see that this is what happened by the words of Jesus himself in Luke 16:22 where God tells us of two men who died and what happened to them after they were buried. Several very ignorant and spiritually blind people have tried to tell me that this is just a parable, but that is clear fallacy and a feeble attempt to explain away the truth. Jesus never mentions the name of a real man in any parable, if He did this He would become a liar. Let’s get back to “immortality” and “eternal life” and why God uses both of these in that verse in Romans 2:7.
Jud 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Here we have another verse containing the phrase “eternal life” and it appears that whatever this is comes from Jesus Christ. We are still guessing to determine the definition of these words and we are not any closer to a resolution so we must continue searching the Bible to see if God enlightens us to what we need to know about this subject. Fortunately I have already done this search and I found God’s definition of “eternal life” in this verse:
Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Here is God’s new definition using the classic “This IS” eternal life definition. If you can see what this verse says, it dramatically changes the definition of every other occurrence found in the New Testament of the phrase “eternal life”. Those that have eternal life are only those that know God. If you do not know God then you do not have eternal life. Of course both groups of people live forever somewhere, but they are in completely different locations within the spiritual realm. What we have discovered by searching the Bible is a clear redefinition of the words “eternal life” and these are not found in the dictionary definition anywhere. God is in effect changing our perspectives to how we saw these 30 occurrences in the New Testament that speak about eternal life. This is clearly a code name substitution method and a great example of how getting God’s definition to the words has revealed the truth to us. By getting God’s definition, I greatly increased my understanding of the verses that I thought I already understood.
I cannot give you every example, of this technique in the Bible, because I do not know them all. I will give you a table of some example code names and descriptions found in the Bible and you should go and look up the verses and read them to see how God is changing the classic definition of some common words and phrases. This is a prevalent method used by God to conceal truth in the Bible and surely you can see it if you study them carefully.
Bible Code Name
|Psalm 119:105||Lamp and Light||The Word of God|
|Proverbs 3:18||Tree of Life||Wisdom|
|Proverbs 6:23||Lamp||The Word of God|
|Proverbs 10:11||Well of Life||The mouth of the righteous man|
|Proverbs 11:30||Tree of Life||Fruit of the Righteous|
|Proverbs 12:18||Health||Tongue of the Wise|
|Proverbs 15:4||Tree of Life||Wholesome Tongue|
|Proverbs 16:22||Wellspring of Life||Understanding|
|Proverbs 18:10||Strong Tower||The Name of the Lord|
|Matthew 11:14||Elijah||John the Baptist the messenger of the Lord|
|Luke 11:29||evil generation||those who seek a sign|
|John 3:19||Condemnation/Judgment||men who loved darkness instead of the light|
|John 6:29||Work of God||Believe on Him who was Sent from God|
|John 6:40||Will of God||See the Son of God and Believe on Him|
|John 6:50||Bread of Heaven||Jesus who has come down from heaven|
|John 15:12||My Commandment||Love one another|
|John 17:3||Life Eternal||Know the true God|
|Romans 9:9||Word of Promise||Spoken to Sarah about her son|
|Romans 11:27||My Covenant||Take away their sins|
|1 Corinthians 11:25||This Cup||The new covenant in my blood|
|Galatians 4:25||Hagar||Mt Sinai and Jerusalem who are in Bondage|
|James 1:27||Pure Religion||Visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction|
|2 Peter 3:8||One Day||1000 Years|
|1 John 2:25||The Promise||Eternal Life|
|1 John 5:3||Love of God||Keep His Commandments|
|1 John 5:4||Victory||Being Born of God|
|2 John 1:6||Love||Walk in His Commandments|
|2 John 1:7||Deceiver||He who denies Christ is come in the flesh|
|John 11:13||Sleep||Jesus redefined sleep to be His viewpoint of death|
There are too many code names in the Bible for me to list them all. Jesus was given many code names that describe Him to us in many different hidden ways. Jesus is called “the Sun of Righteousness”, “the Word of God”, “Daystar”, “Bright and Morning Star”, “Alpha and Omega” and on and on I could go. Satan is called “the serpent”, “the dragon”, “the deceiver”, “the wicked one”, “the beast” and on and on I could go. These are all code name substitution techniques that conceal the identity of the one that they are referring to. By understanding this we begin to unlock some of the doors of the mysteries of God using the keys that He is teaching us how to use. Jesus told us “I give unto you the keys of the kingdom” (Mat 16:19); could these be some of the things that Jesus was referring to in Matthew 16:19? A data key always consists of words, letters, phrases or things that you use to unlock encoded information. For us to know the secrets of the Kingdom of God is the reason for why God put them in the Bible in the first place. God would have never hidden information if we were not intended to learn them before He comes back for us. I hope and pray that you have learned some valuable things from this series of lessons and I may write more about it later. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading in this series of lessons, please go to “Part 11” next.
(Ver 1.1) Today I’m going talk about a subject that I have taught before. This is a very important subject found in the Bible and it helps us to explain many of the challenges we are faced with in the church today. This subject helps us to understand why there are literally thousands of church denominations in the world and why some believe so radically different than others. So today I am going to talk more about the hidden mysteries of the Word of God. Do you like to solve puzzles? To me the more difficult the challenge the more interested I am in trying to solve it. This doesn’t mean that I am the most intelligent or the highest I.Q. person in the world; I just like to solve problems. But, maybe that is just me as a problem solver type personality that comes from my computer programming experiences. As a computer programmer, I was constantly challenged with difficult problems to come up with solutions for writing computer programs. If you did not know it, computer programming is simply a computer programmer’s attempt to solve a very specific definable and repeatable problem. Sometimes we are creating new solutions and sometimes we are just inventing fixes for existing older problems. Problem solving is a Godly principle that makes humans vastly different from the rest of creation. Humans generally want to learn and are curious to want to know things and how they work. People also generally like a challenge and whether it is just doing a simple puzzle or solving a complex riddle we like the sense of accomplishment that comes with solving these types of enigmas. Did you know that God is a problem solver? If we are made in the image and likeness of God then we have His problem solving ability built within us in a lesser degree.
Problem solving can either be positive or negative. If you create a code system it is different than if you figure out how to break the code. However, both of these actions are creative problem solving abilities from a different perspective. You can see this in a computer hacker’s mentality. People are constantly trying to invent a new more complex code but, that just becomes a greater challenge for someone else to try to break into it. So let’s shift gears and talk about the Bible code system. God has actually come up with an ingenious system of message hiding in a plainly written word arrangement. I believe this was a demonstration of His ability to create an ultimate encoded word system that hides many spiritual truths using natural ideas, words, symbols, types and terms in the Bible.
An enigma is of course a strange word that some may not understand what it means. It means a perplexing or mysterious coded puzzle; something that is difficult to understand and almost impossible to explain on the surface. Did you know this is how God designed and wrote the Bible? God purposely designed the words in the Bible to hide a vast amount of spiritual information that we in the church still fight over daily trying to figure out what they all mean. Why do we fight over this information so much? It is primarily because too many men and women want to take natural things spoken of and try to interpret these words with their own natural human understanding. This method will not work and will only result in confusion since God is not writing at a man’s natural level. I guess I should rephrase that statement, I believe that God is writing about highly complex spiritual things at the level that a natural man cannot understand.
I believe that natural people do not understand spiritual things until their spiritual eyes of their understanding have been opened to see it by the Spirit of God. This is one of God’s guarantees of making His Word known at the exact right time that He wants it to be known. Did you know that God has thrown down a challenge for all humans on the earth? I guess technically it is not a challenge to every human, only those who want to know the truth. There are many, many people in the earth who are not interested in the truth; they are too consumed with their version of reality to care about what is really true. So you must decide today which category of people you fall into. Are you one that wants to know the truth? If so then here is God’s challenge to us in this verse:
Pro 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
You can clearly see that God has purposely hidden and concealed information in the Bible for us to find before He comes back to the earth. Are you diligently looking for it already? What does it mean to “search out a matter”? It means you have to “WORK” to find it. It also means it is not easily found. It also means you don’t know it already. Uh oh? That goes over really big with a lot of religious theologians who think their doctorate degrees give them an advantage over the rest of humans.
I believe these concepts of God hiding information in the Bible for us to find with all of my heart. Jesus when He walked the face of the planet close to 2000 years ago told us that if we would continue to study the Word of God that we would eventually come to know this truth that God has hidden for us (John 8:32). Verses like these two that I just mentioned tell me that we do not know all of the things that God has hidden yet. Here is another statement that Jesus made that had direct bearing on our subject today:
Luk 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
You can clearly see that Jesus is speaking of hidden and concealed secret heavenly information. This has to be valuable spiritual knowledge for us to know before we go to be with the Lord. This has to be something that will help us now in our spiritual battle against Satan. You may recall that I did a blog on “Understanding Spiritual Warfare”. In this lesson I told you that the battle was over the Word of God. Satan is doing everything that he can to keep you from knowing what God wants you to find out. Satan thinks if he can stop you from finding the truth, he has a chance of survival and I think that is a partial truth. Fortunately for us we have God on our side who is our guide and teacher, so we cannot fail. Here in Luke 8:17 Jesus said everything that God has concealed will be made known. The deep spiritual secrets of God will be revealed so that we can understand them. I strongly believe that the time is very short for us to find these hidden truths but, that God is also doing things in the earth to help us to see and know these hidden truths, like the invention of computers. I am convinced that computers are a tool given to us by God for His good and His purpose of learning and spreading the truth to the world.
When I was a computer programmer many years ago I remember a time that I was faced with a difficult challenge. It seems one of our system’s programs was missing the source code and therefore we could not make any significant changes to this program. You might not understand computer programming, you always first start coding and create a source language file and this is compiled into the machine’s object language code and this is what the computer uses to execute the instructions that you wrote it to do. Programmers never write programs using the machine’s language anymore like they did with very early computers. Today’s computer programming languages are much higher level than machine language. A single line of program code can be compiled into a whole bunch of machine instructions. Back to my story, we lost the source code to a key part of our system. But we were fine without the source code as long as we did not want to make any major modifications to the programmed operations that we previously used to create the executable. I’m going to show my age a little bit here and tell you we use to do something called “ZAP” the object code to make minor modifications to it. You could change the machine’s operation by changing instructions or addresses or eliminating the instructions all together with NO OPERATION replacement codes. So I would do this to our IBM main frame operating system so that it would not roll over the date when midnight came along, for example. You see IBM didn’t give us their source code so if we wanted to change it from rolling over the date we had to change the executable machine codes and that is what I did. It amazes me what we could get away with back then. If auditors would have been smart enough to understand the power that we had they would have had a cow! Today is of course a little bit better and different more secure world to some degree. So back to my story about losing the source code, this was a challenge to me and I was bent on solving it. So I took the object code and reverse engineered it back to the original source code as best as I could make it out to be. Of course I had learned a few things about the programming standards that were in place so that made it easier to reverse engineer it back to the original source code. This of course would be a much more difficult operation in our modern world, since most programmers only use very high level object oriented languages that are not as easy to create source from the executable programs.
So why did I tell you a story about old time computer programming and solving problems? God taught me so much from my computer programmer experiences that applies to the Word of God that it is incredible. You see God knows computers better than we know computers. I am convinced that God gave man computers for a purpose of the end times. Therefore, God knew that we would have computers in these final days before He returns and we could use them and their principles in our attempts at understanding the Bible. So I believe that God used computer laws and principles to help hide information in the Bible. One principle that I have blogged on before is that there are established spiritual laws that govern everything that God does. I called this a “Rules Based Approach” to Bible interpretation. God implemented and created the laws that govern correct Bible Interpretation and we are required to first discover them and then to follow them in order to understand what is written correctly. Another computer design principle used in any valid application development is called “Application Standards”. These are generally speaking repeatable patterns that occur in a uniform fashion or approach that can always be counted on to be followed. We live in a world full of standards. They make standard bolts and nuts, the large portion of the world has adopted weights and measurement standards around the metric system, there are also standard bar code systems that are used in our grocery stores to help speed out check out and other inventory control systems and we could go on and on about standards and that they are around us everywhere. In my early programming we had “Naming Standards” and other standards that are probably too technical to talk about in a Bible study that goes out to many who are not that computer literate. However, the concept of standards is a design concept that is also encapsulated or employed by God in the Bible. For example, there is the Bible concept of Types and Shadows found predominately in the Old Testament stories and the Gospels. These are real stories of real people, places and things in the world that exhibit a view into a spiritual reality that we cannot observe with our natural eyes. The Bible is full of repeatable patterns in many aspects and dimensions. Take the concept of “seeds” if you have not read my blog on “Understanding Seeds” you should. Seeds are repeatable standard found within the Bible that applies across the board to many aspects including complex spiritual things that you did not know of.
So if you are a computer programmer, today I challenge you to begin to study the Bible using computer science laws and knowledge. Examine the Bible using object oriented concepts of encapsulation, inheritance and abstraction. Take your computer knowledge and apply it using God’s methods and knowing God understands computers better than you do. See if you cannot find new things by using this new approach to Bible study. If you are not a computer programmer fear not, do not be downcast or feel inferior, I believe that God will use what you have and what you know to get you to see new things also, maybe even things that I do not see.
Today’s lesson was a reminder to you that God’s word contains many, many hidden spiritual secrets. That is the most important thing that you need to take away with you today. Then you need to figure out how God has hidden these things in the Bible. God did not use an unreadable code system like governments do to try to guard secrets, so that means that God used some very difficult different methods to conceal the truth in plain sight. I started writing a series of blogs of “Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight” which reveal some of the techniques used by God in hiding information in the Bible. If you have not read this series I would suggest that you go and read them as an introduction to some very basic techniques used by God. These are not a complete list, so do not expect them to tell you every secret utilized. If I knew them all I would already know everything that I need to solve every Bible debate that exists today and no one is at that point yet. However, I am a firm believer that before Jesus returns the church will make herself ready and will become one in harmony like Jesus prayed and asked to happen. If you are interested in making this happen then stay in the Word of God and continue to study to find the truth. God Bless!
(Ver 2.4) People generally do not like to follow rules. If the speed limit is 35 they like to push it 41 or 42 and see if they get away with it. Life is full of rules and we should begin to realize that these laws have benefits and reasons for existence. Laws should be viewed as positive things in the world. You live by them every day, they govern what you do and if you violate them, you pay the consequences. Without laws we would live in a world of chaos. There are natural laws, scientific laws, laws of gravity, laws of aerodynamics, laws of governments and these all provide structure to our world. When we abide with them and cooperate with them, we usually live in a world that is safer and generally a better place to exist. So do people not realize that the spiritual laws in the Bible are also given to us for these same reasons. By learning about the spiritual laws of God in the Bible we can better understand what the Bible means. By ignoring these spiritual laws, we have what we have a lot of today, we have a church of chaos, disagreement, contention, arguing, controversy, and the lack of agreement and harmony.
Without people following the laws of Bible interpretation, we have hundreds of possible interpretations available about what the Bible means. I’ve got bad news for most people, not every Bible interpretation is the truth. A lot of the teaching in the church is just someone’s opinion of what they think the Bible says and this is not how God intended it to be. If God was interested in your opinion, he would have asked you to write the Bible. Your opinion is not worth a dime, in the eyes of God. Your intelligence is so far below that of God, that it is probably humorous to God to hear what you have to say and what you think is right.
NO PRIVATE INTERPRETATIONS
So what are these laws of Bible interpretation that we should learn to follow? I hope you understand the importance of laws, for I will not expand that part of the discussion any further. Up until now I have just introduced you to some basic concepts of the usefulness of laws. Now I will talk about a couple of the major rules of correct Bible interpretation that not too many are following. The first law of Bible interpretation should be one that everyone knows, because I think it is the most important to know and use. I’ve already touched on it a little bit in the introduction and it has to do with keeping your opinion out of your interpretations. An interpretation represents a biased opinion of the facts given. People cannot interpret the Bible without putting what they know and have experienced into it. Your personal experiences, your prejudices, your upbringing, even the words of your pastor are all factors into how you view the Bible. What you see in the Bible is always slanted by the many complex factors of influece and these are sometimes very difficult for people to get out of their minds in order to see clearly what God is saying.
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
God writes this as being something that we should know first. That makes it sound very important for us to know. Some do not know how God writes the Bible and therefore come to the wrong conclusions. God can hide the most important things in obscure verses deep in the middle of the Bible. I wish I could give you a good reason why God does some of the things that He does, but I’m not God and I do understand all of them, by far. I just do the best that I can with what I have learned so far, and you should do the same. Anyway, this verse in 2 Peter tells us very clearly that the Bible is not open to our private interpretations. In other words, God is not interested in your opinion or what you think that it means. If people would learn this one simple rule, it would help them tremendously. You see in the word “private” carries the meaning of “self”. That means that people are putting their own spin on what God has said. Instead of learning what God says about the subject, they want to ignore God’s words for what they think is correct.
What we learn from this verse in 2 Peter is that the Bible interprets itself. What does that mean? It simply means that God is smarter than you and I, and He has given us His own explanations on what He has said in the Bible. While this sounds good on the surface, it is also a challenge to us. Finding God’s explanations and definitions are not always as easy as you would like to think. It involves an effort and a level of work to study the Bible and find out what God has said. God could have made the Bible easier to understand, but He didn’t, so we work with what He has given us. We bow to His greater wisdom on the subject and submit to His design. If you do not do this you will continue to be lost in your mindless reality and you will miss what God has for you. So learn this first rule and it will change your perspective greatly. It will also cause you to ignore what other people think the Bible means. That alone is worth a fortune of your time and Bible study effort. People on the internet who do not give Bible verses, I very quickly just turn off and do not read. It sure saves a lot of time not to have to listen to the opinions of ignorant people.
Another aspect of what a private interpretation is, can be the use of any other book or source other than just reading the Bible. You see I talked to a guy on the internet the other day and he gave me his interpretation for some prophetic scriptures in the Old and New Testaments. His major problem was the fact that his interpretation was dependent upon information from history books, internet calendars and way too many sources that did not include God or the Bible. That is an obvious example of interpreting the Bible in error. Once you set foot outside of the Word of God you are treading on Satan’s realm and domain of deception. Another example of error is interpretations that name modern individuals, entities, governments, organizations or whatever else you care to interpret into the Bible. I have heard repeatedly the reference to the Pope being the antichrist and this is crazy speculation and a clear example of a private interpretation. The pope did not exist when the Bible was written, but Satan did exist.
Some like to read that God knows the end from the beginning and therefore in Revelation He can tell us of caoming things that do not yet exist like the Pope. While this is certainly possible we must still attempt to interpret the Bible with the Bible and the Pope interpretation is a major conflict with many other verses in the Bible that teach us something differently. Understand that the Bible does not contradict itself in the proper correct understanding of the words written. In other words one verse is not going to conflict with another vese so we must balance the correct interpretation between both truths given. First, God says there is nothing new under the sun (Ecc 1:9). The thing that has been is the thing that shall be again. That right there tells me that the Pope is not God’s enemy and to declare him the anti-Christ is in opposition to God’s Word that there is nothing new. Then there is this verse in the N.T. that says “While we look not at the things that are seen, because the things that are seen are temprorary and the things that not seen are eternal” (2 Cor 4:18). God is basically telling us if we are looking for natural signs and ignoring the spiritual world you are going to miss it. Can you see the Pope? If you can see the pope then the pope is not what we should be focused on. What God is teaching us in this verse is that we should change our focus and not be fixated on the external things and try to perceive the spirit behind the external visible person. Ok, do not misunderstand what I am saying. We do live in a natural world but we should be dominated with the Spiritual things of God and not the flesh. If the anti-Christ comes in the flesh, people are only going to be able to discern him with their spiritual awareness and not by looking at the outward appearance that will easily deceive many.
Therefore learn to change your perspective to God’s point of view and see scriptures and things in the spiritual realm first and then you will understand what is happening in the natural realm. Correct bible interpretation is not easy, but it is achievable by simply learning the rules and this was only one small aspect of the subject and it is impossible to cover it fully in this one lesson.
IN THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES
The next thing that I would like to discuss is often misused and ignored. This law is a law found in the Bible and one that God has clearly spelled out. However, I guess people do not apply it to Bible study and Bible interpretation. Did you know everything in the Bible is not plainly laid out? God gives us some very valuable information in some very minor scriptures. For example, the virgin birth of Christ, which is a basic foundational Christian theological position and critical to the identity of Jesus, is only mentioned a couple of times in vague references. You would think that God would talk about this more clearly and give us many more verses that told us about this, but yet He does not. I was reading a blog the other day and this very deceived man was speaking about “homosexuality” not being mentioned in the Bible clearly so therefore he concluded that it was not important to God and that he could still be a Christian and a homosexual at the same time. What people do not understand is that it only takes two verses in the Bible to say the same thing and that means it is an established truth of the Bible. Because this man only found two or three verses against homosexuality, he came to the wrong conclusion and said it is OK to stay in sin. This is what God says:
2Co 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
Did you see what God says in this verse? God says that if you can find at the least two references in the Bible to the same subject, then that establishes the truth that you should live by. This is a basic truth that our courts and legal system needs to abide by. If it is just the word of one against the other, then you will have a very hard time figuring out what the truth is. But, if you can find two witnesses who agree, then that establishes the basis of the truth. So we learn that we cannot just go read a single Bible verse and try to make it say something that it does not say. We are required by God’s design to get a corresponding and collaborating witness to every truth. Knowing this fact will change almost everything found in many church doctrines. That means the people who try to teach snake handling in churches have a major problem with what they teach. They do err in their interpretation of the Bible by selectively preaching a single verse out of context. I’ll go even further than that today risking offending someone in the Catholic church. The Bible does not teach we need a Pope. Peter was not the first pope that they claim that he was. They take one verse out of context and try to make a man-made doctrine to establish the office of the pope and this is a dangerous way to treat God and the Bible. You can make the Bible say anything that you want it to. There is proof of this in every denominatio of the church. However, if people would only read and study the Bible using the rules of God to understand what is written we would all benefit and come closer to a unified set of beliefs. Learn to search your Bible for at least two verses to establish the truth and this will help you tremendously in how you view the truth.
These are just two of the most important basic spiritual laws of correct Bible interpretation that you need to learn and put into daily practice. Once you finally do this, you will begin to see that there is a major difference between God’s Bible truth from what some people are trying to convince you is the truth. There is a conept from our history that applies to today’s lesson on God’s laws. The Law of aerodynamis always existed from the time of Adam, but no man knew or understood it so we did not benefit from it. Do you see the application that I am getting at and the importance of knowing about God’s laws? People who do not know that spiritual laws exist can never follow them or utilize them to their advantage to understand God’s Word. However, once you discover them and learn to use them they have great potential for the same dramatic change in our lives as the invention of the airplane. Just a short time ago no one knew how to fly and today it is a common occurrence that everyone participates in. This is why I am teaching this subject today so that we can all benefit and begin to use God’s laws to understand the Bible. Thanks for reading my Bible lesson on the Laws of correct Bible interpretation. God Bless!
(Ver 1.2) This is Part 2 in a series of Bible lessons on the subject of Understanding the Purpose of the Law of Moses. I covered a lot of new information about the Law already and I do not think that I will review any of what I have already covered. Therefore, if you did not read the first lesson, I would suggest that you go back and start your study with “Part 1“. I will say that in my last lesson I introduced you to the fact that the Law was a positive thing given to us by God. In other words I believe that the law was an intentional good thing designed for the benefit of the entire human race. Without laws we would not know or understand sin, guilt, punishment, consequences, to name a few things that the knowledge of the law teaches us. Laws give us guidelines, structure, organization and meaning or definition to what is right and what is wrong. Without laws we would live in a world of full of nothing but chaos. This would be a type of world where everyone would be doing what was right in their own eyes while ignoring the effects to what their actions did to those all around them. Today’s lesson will be an introduction to another brand new concpet. Are Christians in the church today under the Old Law, or under no law or under any new New Law? Many today believe that we are noy under any law and that is not actually what the Bible says. They base this belief on verses like Romans 6:15 which is an example of taking one truth and attempting to make it the only truth. This is just an example of not finding the complete truth of God’s Word on a given subject. Many are guilty of this and it is an easy trap to fall into. Just because we are not under the Law of the Old Testament does not mean that we are not under any New Law. That is the primary subject of the rest of my lesson today.
What is the difference between what is old and what is new? New sometimes can be a relative term. Is it new to you or is it new just because no one else has ever possessed it before you? New to me is definitely stated not to be the old. Old to me is definitely stated not to be the new. I view this concept in the same terms like the Old Covenant versus the New Covenant which are totally separate and distinct covenants of God. Both the Old and New Covenants bare a resemblance of characteristics and features, but they are totally and completely not the same. That was my introduction to the Law of the New Covenant. Let me now take you to some important verses in the New Testament and discuss this New Law of God.
Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
So I asked you a question in my last blog on this subject, did God put Satan under the law? This verse in Galatians is very clearly a clue into the answer to that question. Why was Jesus Christ born a man under the law of Moses? Jesus’ physical mother was a virgin woman named Mary, a direct descendant of David the King of Israel. We know that Jesus is therefore a natural born Jew from the tribe of Judah, by birth. Therefore, God in the Flesh being born under the Law is now bound to all of these laws, commandments, and statutes written in the O.T.. Exactly why did God do this? The God that was outside of the Law and who gave the law has now placed Himself under the law that He gave. That means whatever the law requires applies to everything that God can do and can’t do. Those are pretty strong words aren’t they? Why would God put any limitations upon Himself? Obviously God gave the law, so He must have designed the law to serve a specific purpose that would help Him to accomplish something of greater value. What was that something that God needed accomplished that only the creation of Law could do? You should really think about things like this and search for them in the Bible to see if you can find them. What you should take away from this verse in Galatians 4:4 is, if it was necessary for God to be born under the law of Moses, then it would be necessary for Satan to be put under the same law also. As I tried to teach in the first lesson, that laws only apply to those that are under them. No law is ever applicable to anyone not under the authority of that law.
Jesus made the statement that “I did not come to do away with the law, but I came to fulfill it” (Mat 5:17). So what did Jesus do while he was in the flesh walking under the law to fulfill the law? What did he accomplish to fulfill all of the Mosiac law? Was it just the fact that he did not commit any sin? Was this the fulfillment of the law? I do not think that is the entire picture of what that actually means. Did you notice that Jesus died on the cross? So being sinless under the law did not save Him, did it? We know from other scripture that the Bible says that “No flesh will be justified by God, for keeping the law” (Gal 2:16). So was Jesus in the flesh? Yes, then He was not justified or saved by keeping the law either. This is not what made Jesus righteous or justifed Him. We can discover some valuable clues by searching the scriptures and finding out God’s definition of what this means to fulfill the law:
Gal 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
We can begin to understand what the fulfillment of the law was in the eyes of God by reading this verse in Galatians. God tells us that all of the law is fulfilled in just one word. What was that word? That word was Love! This of course is not a human kind of love, but it is a God kind of love and that is totally different. Humans love Coke, pie, hamburgers because they make them feel good or do something good for them. That is not the God kind of love. God does not love us because we do something good to Him or for Him. Bible, love is not a feeling or even an emotional state. Love is a choice to do the right thing for others even when you do not feel like it.
Rom 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Here we have another witness to the fact that God says the law of Moses is fulfilled by the single isolated word of Love! To do the right thing for your neighbor means that you do not steal from them, you do not hurt them, you do not lie to them, you do not covet or lust for what they possess, and on and on we could go. Clealry God is defining a new definition for what the fulfillment of the Law represents to us.
Rom 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
All of the law of Moses is summed up into the word “Love”. We can only comprehend the rest of the law by understanding what Love is in the eyes of God. This is why Jesus makes this statement in the Gospels:
Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
If the Law was a negative thing God would be wanting to get rid of it. However, we have discovered that the law is a positive and good thing and that is why Jesus gives us a New Law. You do understand that we are still under the law being in the church right now? It is not the Law of Moses, but it is the Law of Jesus. Jesus initiated a New Covenant in His own shed blood and in doing so, He established a New Law. This New Law is significantly less complicated than the old law while at the same time including all of the Old Law in the single statement. It is amazing how complex the laws created by our government are. I believe the Health Care bill was a very thick stack of papers that are still being argued over to what they mean. Would you say that more laws are better than less laws or are fewer laws better than many laws? According to God less is better. God replaces a thick book of written laws with a single statement and calls it better. God is not opposed to the law, it is more what the law is intended to do and its purpose that God is most concerned with. By Jesus giving us the Law of Love, we are now required to follow ONLY one rule. When faced with a problem in the natural we should always stop and ask, “What would Love do with that?” Did you notice that Jesus said you must love like I have loved you? In other words we are not to love people like we love a can of Coke. I do hope that you understand this profound concept.
Rom 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
God says that by walking in the New Commandment of Love we now establish the law. Isn’t that an interesting concept? What all of Natural Israel was unable to do, God says that we are capable of doing. Why is that? For one thing we have God on the inside of us helping us to do it. Plus we are not worried about hundreds or thousands of rules, because God has simplified it down to just One Rule! That just makes it easier to follow doesn’t it?
If you would like to continue to read this series on understanding the Law you can go to “Part 3“.
(Ver 2.0) Is the Word of God encoded with hidden mysteries and meanings? Has the Word of God been spiritually encrypted so that we cannot see it naturally or understand it with our unsaved minds? I often times observe other bloggers and other websites just to see what they are writing about. It is amazing what many people think is important to write about and what they have determined to be the truth. It obviously causes me to ask God a very direct question. Why don’t people see what you have written in the Bible the same way? How is it that we can have so many differing opinions to what it all means? Some see one thing in a verse and others see the complete opposite from the exact same verse. The words didn’t change, they read the same for both readers. It looks like to me it was just a matter of what they wanted to see that determined what they got out of the verse. It must be that someone or both of the readers were just wrong. Every opinion cannot be RIGHT! It just doesn’t make any sense does it? Why can’t God get over His message so that we can all agree on at least some or most of what it says? Do you think this is beyond God’s capability to do something like this? Or is it just man’s inability to see and understand? Could it be that God has purposefully encrypted the information to make it unreadable until the appointed time for Him to reveal it? This is actually what I believe! God has encoded information in plain sight using many very tricky techniques. I have already blogged on many of these techniques giving you the basic concepts of how God implemented them. If you have not read any of these blog I would suggest that you go an familiarize yourself with some of these techniques. By understanding the concepts I believe you will better be able to understand the word of God. However, today I want to explore Biblical evidence for this spiritual encryption system of God. Does the Bible indicate that there are hidden truths in it? Concealed information? Of course there are many verses that lead us to believe this, if you are looking for them:
Dan 2:28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king….
This verse in Daniel reveals to us the nature of God’s character. It speaks to God’s methods of operation and to God’s ways of doing what He does. If God is a revealer of secrets, like this verse says, then it would demand that secrets existed. This is just basic logic and reasoning. To understand that God has encoded secrets within the Bible allows Him to reveal them to the kings of earth. That is you and I if you did not know it! This is what the king in Daniel said as a reply to the information that was revealed to him:
Dan 2:47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.
All it took was for God to reveal a truth and this king saw that Daniel’s God was the True Living God. Do you realize that God can do that again if He wants to? I believe that God is revealing the Bible in these last days to show us that He is God. But how did God do this in Daniel’s day? God used a man to present the information and nobody saw God, nobody could prove it came from God, nobody could verify the accuracy, nobody could go to a Bible expert to confirm it. Isn’t that an interesting concept? It sounds like the people that God was speaking to had to take some things by faith. They had to believe in a God that they had never seen or experienced. God simply used one man to reveal a secret and that changed the heart of the king. I pray that you are understanding this concept.
Pro 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
Here we have a critical confirming verse that God has hidden or concealed information for the kings of the earth to search out. Anything that is hidden means that it is not clearly visible, it could be camouflaged to blend in with its surroundings or it could be completely covered by something else. To hide your money in the backyard would be an example of someone who did not want it taken or stolen until they wanted to use it. So God has a purpose in hiding information for us, the kings of the earth to find. To search out a matter implies work, an effort of either digging into or studying the Bible with some level of physical work or mental effort. If you just read the Bible with a shallow surface understanding of the words, you are missing the good stuff that God wanted you to find.
Not everything in the Bible is hidden, however not everything in the Bible is clearly understandable either. We have a challenge presented to us from God to determine what is what and what it all means. If you think it is easy, you are mistaken. The words are very complex and intricately embedded with meaning that is not clearly seen.
Deu 30:11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
Here in this verse God says what I just said is not hidden from you. It also implies that there could be other things that are hidden from us. The verse ends in the statement that it is also not far off. This is a relation to distance and time. If something is a far off, it could take time to reach it. Since this verse is not a far off, we might could conclude that there are other verses that are potentially a far off, meaning they will be revealed only at the proper time whenever we reach that point. God has designed specific appointed times for certain events to occur. The coming of Christ into the world was at the “fullness of time” (Gal 4:4). This means that after the completion of the time period allotted, Christ came. Then there is Daniel 12:4 that tells us in the time of the end that knowledge shall increase dramatically. We can clearly see this can be taken of natural knowledge, but I firmly believe it also applies to the Knowledge of God’s Word!
Isa 48:6 Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.
This verse in Isaiah speaks about a point in time and how God had showed them “new things”. These “new things” were said to be hidden secrets and yet even after God showed them to the people it says they still did not understand them. Did you know that is my greatest challenge I face on my blog. How do I speak about new things that I found in the Bible and get anyone to understand them? It is much harder than you might think. People have a natural tendency to reject anything new or different, even if it came from God. Why do you think Paul and the other apostles were in prison and beaten and persecuted to the extent that they were? It was because they were teaching something totally new. Even though it came from the same source as what the Jewish leaders read daily in their temples, the message was new and different, so they concluded that it must have been wrong. Isn’t that what they thought? The Jewish leaders of their day were clearly right in their minds, but completely wrong in their hearts. That is a dangerous position to take and many Christians do it every day. To think that God cannot send you another man with a new message from the Bible is clearly a rejection of God and His message. You cannot reject one without rejecting the other.
Mat 10:26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
This verse has vast implications written all over it. Being that this is God speaking, I take this statement very seriously. To me it would seem to indicate that God will reveal the things that He has hidden to us before He returns for us. However, you can take it to mean that God will also reveal them after He has returned and taken us up to heaven. That is one of the tricky methods that God has used to make things not easily understandable. To not reveal all of the information in one location that you need to know to make the determination of exactly when this will occur. We can be assured that it will occur, but when is something we will have to find in the Bible.
Col 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
Using this verse it would seem to indicate that Jesus was speaking about a time that is before His impending return. This verse in Colossians you can see that there is a term that relates to “now” as being the proper time. Now would not be later, would it? God seems to tell us that they mysteries which have been hidden for a very long time is now been given to the “saints” to understand. Did you know if you are a Christian, that you are one of these saints? Some churches like to vote to make people “saints” and if they satisfy their definition of a “saint” then you become one by their transformation of a title. However, God’s system is quite different than man’s system. If you are born again and saved, you qualify to be a saint. Therefore, you are the one that this hidden information is to be revealed to.
1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our7 glory:
Here again in the verse in 1 Corinthians, we can clearly see that these hidden things are now being revealed to the church. God had a hidden plan from before the world began and this plan is now being revealed in the time of the church. This plan is called the hidden wisdom of God. This sounds like some very important stuff to know. If we could understand the wisdom of God, we would not make as many mistakes and could potentially derive great benefit from this information. It starts with gaining knowledge, but then it hinges on understanding these facts that you learn. Finally, wisdom is the ability to correctly apply what you have learned so that you make right choices and decisions.
2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
So the Gospel is still hidden to those who refuse to believe the truth. This implies that the spiritual encryption system that God has implemented is still in effect until we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. This also could mean this is why there are so many denominations in the world today. The church is in varying stages of spiritual growth and development and not everyone sees these hidden things at the same time.
Mat 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
Jesus again speaking in a prayer to His Father, informs us of some other factors of who this information is still hidden from. Jesus clearly says that those in the world that exalt themselves and their wisdom will never know the secrets of the Kingdom of God. These are two distinct words that you should go lookup the definitions to. These are key factors why many people in the earth do not understand the Bible. The word “prudent”, means to “act piously” and to be wise in your own eyes. That sounds like they put on a show of how great they are. This can apply to Christians as well as to unsaved people in the world. Jesus did not qualify the statement, He only said that they would be revealed to those that have become like little children. Children are not usually arrogant are they? Children are usually hungry for knowledge and want to learn. Children are usually those that look to their parents for everything that they need. They are not self-sufficient, or able to care for themselves. So the opposite to small children would be those that think they know everything. Those who think they can take care of themselves. Those who think they need no advice or guidance. These are those that are wise in their own minds and thus are unable to comprehend the wisdom of God. I would suggest that you figure out where you fit in these verses that I have given you today. Since I am not your judge, I cannot judge you. I do not know where you are at. Only you can judge yourself or wait until God passes judgment. I hope you enjoyed this lesson on God’s spiritual encryption of the Bible. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading about the methods that God has used to encode information into the Bible, please go to “Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight Part 1“.
Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight — Understanding God’s Methods of Hiding Information in the Bible! Pt 4
(Ver 2.2) This is part four of a series of lessons on methods that God has used to conceal information in the Bible for us to find. By studying these methods we will greatly increase our ability to understand the truth of God’s Word. I have been attempting to go through the techniques that God has used to conceal spiritual information using definitions, terms and descriptions that are not complicated or laced with educated phraseology that is intended to be studied only by the elect doctorate types. I am using plain language and common terms that hopefully anyone can understand. If you did not read this series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“. I have covered a lot of good information and it will not be repeated in the same level of detail.
Technique 4: The Use of Parables
Eze 17:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Eze 17:2 Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel;
Another widely used technique found in the Bible is the designed use of parables. God purposely uses parables in the Bible to conceal and reveal spiritual truth to us. According to the Bible a parable is a sort of riddle or a puzzle. You may have noticed while reading the Gospels that Jesus taught a lot in parables. Many times parables would give powerful spiritual truths using the terms of natural things like, seeds, farms, fields, wheat, tares, leaven, weddings, a bride, a groom, etc. Jesus actually fulfilled prophecy by teaching in parables. You can clearly see in this next verse that God prophesied something very profound about the words that Jesus would speak to us:
Mat 13:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
To speak things that have been kept secret since the world was established, is the key reason for why Jesus spoke in parables to us. We can clearly understand that these parables must hold some very complex secret information within them, but yet people do not still appreciate their value, because they do not fully comprehend their meanings. There are over 40 different parables that Jesus used to teach people with in the Gospels. Some parables are repeated in multiple books of the Bible and some parables only occur in one book of the Bible. How many of these do you know and understand? I will give you a list of parables later in this lesson, and you should spend time studying them because they hold some of the greatest spiritual secrets of the Bible within them. The words of the prophet referred to in Matthew 13:35 are recorded from the book of Psalms and we should go back and read this verse for confirmation:
Psa 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:
We can see some powerful truth in this verse of prophecy. It says in speaking of Jesus that He would open his mouth and speak in parables. A parable is defined to be “mental superiority”. This word says that it uses “metaphors” and “similes” to convey an implied hidden message. There is one word in this verse that describes this type of speaking and it is the Hebrew word H2420 which is translated as “dark saying”, and this word has the following definition in the Strong’s.
From H2330; a puzzle; hence a trick, conundrum, sententious maxim: – dark saying (sentence, speech), hard question, proverb, riddle.
That is a truly amazing definition and is certainly very relevant to the subject of God hiding the truth in plain sight. You see these parables describe spiritual truths in a puzzle or riddle form. This means that you might be able to see some of the truths on the surface but the really deep stuff is hidden from our natural view and human understanding. This makes the usage of parables a very tricky method of concealing information in the Bible.
Pro 1:6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
One time Jesus said to his disciples, to you it has been given to understand, but to them I speak in parables (Mark 4:11). So obviously this was a technique that both concealed and revealed spiritual truths. A parable is always something that is “like” something else. It is a reference to a natural thing that has deep spiritual truths attached to it. I do not know how many parables there are in the entire Bible. I do know there are a lot of them. Here is a quick example of a parable:
Mat 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
So you can observe some similarities between symbolic references and parables. Both are techniques that use natural things to describe spiritual realities. A symbol can be a single word used in a story to conceal a single spiritual reality and a parable is usually a story that conveys and relates several spiritual truths together. In this verse in Matthew Jesus is speaking about the kingdom of heaven and tells the people that heaven is like a fisherman’s net that is cast into the sea and it brings out every kind of fish that it can pull up. Since Jesus was speaking to a nation of people that understood fishing and fishing methods this was an interesting puzzle word picture for them to think about. How can the kingdom of heaven be like a fisherman’s net? It was a puzzle and a very descriptive reality of what was going to happen in the spiritual realm in the near future. There are several elements in this one verse parable. We have the sea, the fisherman, a boat, the fish and the net and each of these must represent some key to the correct meaning of the story. The sea must represent the world that we live in; the fish must represent the people who are saved out of the world. The net must be the Word of God. The fisherman must be the preachers and the angels of God. God was telling the people that the new kingdom of God would consist of every nation and every kind of people in the world. God was telling them that there is not favoritism with Him and He loves everyone the same. There are many hidden inferred meanings within this parable and it is a great subject to study to learn about spiritual things. This was truly a puzzle to their natural thinking religious minds and the people of Israel clearly did not understand what God was saying to them.
So we have talked a little bit about what a parable is, but let’s address what a parable is not so that we can clearly understand the difference. A parable is never a story of a specific named individual, place or actual event within history. That would be an allegory. An allegory if you recall is an actual story that occurred in human history that also has a spiritual meaning attached to it. Some ignorant people have tried to make Jesus’ story of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16 to be a parable and even go so far to try to say hell is not a real place, but it is only symbolic of a spiritual place of torment. I don’t know how people can be so easily deceived, but it takes all kinds, I guess. However what you must understand is that Jesus is not a liar, if He tells you a story of someone specifically named Lazarus this is not symbolism and this is not a parable. Lazarus must have existed as a real historical man. It would be a physical lie to tell you of something or someone with a name that did not specifically exist or actually happen and try to pass it off as symbolism. Jesus never says “hell” is like a rich man and a beggar in this chapter of Luke. But, if Jesus said, the Kingdom of God is like a ….” and gave you a natural example without naming names or specific places, dates or events, then it would be a legitimate parable and a legal method of communicating without telling a lie. The Bible clearly says that it is impossible for God to lie (Heb 6:18). Be smart and learn the difference between a lie and a parable. Parables do not contain the names of any real people. A real parable is only a story of nameless and anonymous things that can relate to a spiritual reality.
There are very few examples of Jesus explaining a parable’s meaning to us. However, we can see that He does give us some examples of correct interpretation for us to follow. Jesus taught that of all the parables that He gave to us, the parable of the sower was the most important one for us to understand and he talks about this in 3 gospels (Matthew 13:3, Mark 4:3, Luke 8:5). God uses several key farming elements to describe spiritual things to us. There is a farmer who sows seed. There is seed and there are 7 different types of soil that the seed falls in. There are also seed enemies, like birds of the air and weeds. Everything in this parable has deep spiritual meanings attached to them. Jesus taught us that the Word of God was the seed. Jesus taught us that the soil represented the hearts of men and women in the earth. The birds of the air were demons and spiritual forces that come to steal the Word of God from the hearts of men. If you have never studied this parable, then you should do so immediately. Jesus said it is the key to understand every parable. I only went through a few examples and their explanations. I have covered this subject in other lessons if you want to learn more. I’ll end the discussion of parables with this verse found in Ecclesiastes:
Ecc 12:9 And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.
You see this verse speaks of a wise man of God who teaches God’s people truth and diligently seeks it out. The verse ends in the term to “set in order” the words found in the puzzle. The word translated here as “proverbs” is the same Hebrew word for “parable”. There is a clear implication that there is a puzzle and a riddle to solve and someone is responsible for solving it. One of the ways that God hides things in the Bible is by using parables and proverbs, dark sayings that have hidden meanings. These are stories and descriptive words of natural things that describe powerful concealed spiritual truths. Parables often times involve metaphors and metaphoric expressions. These are usually used in communications that convey new ideas by using objects and things that the listener is already familiar with. We can also understand that if you are not familiar with “farming” then Jesus using a farming metaphor to describe the kingdom of God will not help you to understand what is being taught until you do become familiar with the natural process of farming. Therefore, parables conceal and reveal information simultaneously.
There are so many parables throughout the Bible and you must locate them and then correctly interpret them. To quote a famous movie line “Are you the one or should we look for another?”. God bless you until next time when I continue talking about other methods that God has used in hiding information in the Bible.
Parables in the Gospels
|Matthew 7:6||Parable of the Pearl and Swine|
|Matthew 7:24; Luke 6:48;||Parable of the Wise Man Who Built His House|
|Matthew 11:16-17; Luke 7:32;||Parable of Children Sitting in the Markets|
|Matthew 13:3; Mark 4:3; Luke 8:5||Parable of the Sower|
|Matthew 13:24;||Parable of the Wheat and Tares|
|Matthew 13:31; Mark 4:31; Luke 13:19||Parable of the Mustard Seed|
|Matthew 13:33; Luke 13:20-21||Parable of the Leavened Bread|
|Matthew 13:44;||Parable of the Treasure in a Field|
|Matthew 13:45||Parable of Merchant Seeking Pearls|
|Matthew 13:47;||Parable of the Fisherman’s Net|
|Matthew 13:55;||Parable of the Householder’s Treasure|
|Matthew 18:23;||Parable of the King’s Servants|
|Matthew 20:1;||Parable of the Hired Workers|
|Matthew 21:33; Mark 12:1; Luke 20:9||Parable of the Vineyard Leased Out|
|Matthew 22:2||Parable of the marriage of the King’s Son|
|Matthew 23:27;||Parable of the Whited Sepulchers|
|Matthew 24:32; Mark 13:28; Luke 21:29;||Parable of the Fig Tree|
|Matthew 25:10;||Parable of the Ten Virgins|
|Matthew 25:14;||Parable of the Talents and Servants|
|Mark 3:24;||Parable of a Kingdom Divided|
|Mark 3:27;||Parable of the Strong Man’s House|
|Mark 4:26||Parable of the Man who Casts Seed into the Ground|
|Mark 13:34||Parable of the Man taking a Far Journey|
|Mark 13:34||Parable of the New and Old Cloths|
|Luke 5:37||Parable of the New Wine In Old Wine Skins|
|Luke 5:39||Parable of the New and Old Wine|
|Luke 6:39||Parable of the Blind Leading the Blind|
|Luke 10:30-36;||Parable of the Good Samaritan|
|Luke 12:16||Parable of the Rich Man who Laid Up Treasure for Himself|
|Luke 12:36||Parable of the Men who Wait for their Lord to return|
|Luke 13:6||Parable of the Fig Tree without Fruit|
|Luke 13:35||Parable of the Shut Door|
|Luke 14:8||Parable of the Wedding Seating Arrangement|
|Luke 14:12||Parable of the Feast and the Poor|
|Luke 14:16||Parable of the Great Supper|
|Luke 14:28||Parable of the Cost of the Tower|
|Luke 14:31||Parable of the King Going to Battle|
|Luke 14:34||Parable of the Salt that Lost Its Flavor|
|Luke 15:4||Parable of the Lost Sheep|
|Luke 15:8||Parable of the Woman with 10 Pieces of Silver|
|Luke 15:11||Parable of the Prodigal Son|
|Luke 16:1||Parable of the Rich Man and Steward Who Wasted Mammon|
|Luke 17:7||Parable of the Servant in the Field|
|Luke 18:2||Parable of the Judge and the Widow Woman|
|Luke 18:10||Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee|
|Luke 19:13||Parable of the Rich Man with 10 Servants & 10 pounds|
|John 10:1||Parable of the Sheepfold and the Gate|
|John 10:7||Parable of the Sheep Door|
|John 10:11||Parable of the Good Shepherd|
If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons, please continue with “Part 5“.
(Ver 1.1) This is Part 1 in a series of lessons on understanding Correct Bible Interpretation. I personally believe in order to correctly interpret the Bible we need a good foundational understanding of all of the Bible basic concepts and themes. The Bible is certinaly the most complex book written by the most intelligent author that you will ever read or attempt to understand. That statement might surprise many. You see I base that statement upon the clear evidence of the number of splits and divisions within the body of Christ that we can see everywhere around us. What other religion in the world do you see such widespread division? Can you name any? I know Islam has two basic groups and maybe a third group of extremist. But look through the phone book yellow pages and see how many different types of Christian churches you find listed. In some large cities you could be looking for a long time. The Bible contains simple truths but even these are not always clearly presented. However, I believe that we have to understand some of the basics before we can ever begin to understand any of the more complex subjects of the Bible. I firmly believe that the complex truths of the Bible are built upon many other simplier truths found in the Bible.
What are the primary themes and subjects of the Bible? I would say that we should start by saying the Bible is predominantly about Jesus Christ. In other words Jesus Christ is the central theme to the entire Bible. You should be able to find Jesus in every chapter of the Bible in some form. Jesus as a central theme occurs very frequently in every book of the Bible. This is one of the primary keys to understanding and interpreting the Bible correctly. There are certainly many other central themes that are found throughout the Bible and I will not attempt to name them all. If you would like to leave a comment on this blog about a central theme that you see as important, please do that and share it with the rest of us.
The Bible is written much like a weaver would create a fine tapestry. There are threads of truth woven throughout the scriptures. These truths are woven among other truths and intersect at specific points of the textual fabric. Like a tapestry, these threads woven correctly project a larger image and a picture that can only be seen after stepping back and looking at it from a distance. If you stand too close you always miss the big picture. If you only study the big picture, you always miss the details. Biblical themes should be prevalent throughout the scripture and help you to clearly see the big picture. The big picture themes should always help you to understand the details. There is a unique harmony and balance between the two. For example, Jesus said in the Gospels, I give you a new commandment and he told us of the commandment of love. In this he also told us that love fulfills all of the law. So we should recognize that the God who is Love, is a central theme of the Bible and you should see love in action as you read the rest of the Bible. God gives us the definition of the Agape kind of love in 1 Corinthians which I have included from the Amplified version of the Bible:
- Love endures long
- and is patient and kind;
- love never is envious
- nor boils over with jealousy,
- is not boastful or vainglorious,
- does not display itself haughtily.
- It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride);
- it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.
- Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way,
- for it is not self-seeking;
- it is not touchy or fretful or resentful;
- it takes no account of the evil done to it
- [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
- It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
- Love bears up under anything and everything that comes,
- is ever ready to believe the best of every person,
- its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances,
- and it endures everything [without weakening].
- Love never fails
- [never fades out
- or becomes obsolete
- or comes to an end].
So the challenge is to find the central big picture themes of the Bible first and then use them to help interpret the rest of the Bible details. Study the the Bible detail truths only in context using the knowledge of the greater big picture truths to help us to undertand the details. What I am trying to say is if Jesus is the central thene for the entire Bible, then use your knowlede of Jesus to help you interpret all of the other verses in the Bible that appear not to be about Jesus. You might think that this doesn’t sound that difficult to do, but you will soon discover after much study that things on the surface are not always as easy as you might have thought at first. We will continue talking about this subject of Correct Bible Interpretation in a future lesson. God Bless.
(Ver 1.2) I’ve seen many pastors and teachers attempt to go through a book of the Bible and teach it independently verse by verse. While you can certainly learn stuff by doing this, is this really the best way to approach the Word of God? In my opinion it is not. For example, take the book of Revelation. Probably the most complex, confusing and hard to understand book in the Bible. I’ve seen teachers stand up and attempt to do a verse by verse walk thru of this book in isolation and the end result is usually just more confusion. When you teach even a single verse of scripture independently of the rest of the Bible, many times you miss God’s commentary on the subject. I believe one of the keys to understanding the Bible is letting the Bible interpret itself. You do this by getting God’s definitions and commentary on all of the subjects that you are studying. When you do this, you have a much better chance of getting it right. For example, in books like Revelation that is filled with symbolism, you absolutely have to let the Bible define what these symbols mean or you will get it wrong.
Many times people are guilty of introducing their own opinions into what the Word of God means. God being so much smarter than us, knew we would do that, but yet did not make the information in the Bible any clearer or easier for us to understand. There must have been a reason for that and I’ve addressed some of those in other lessons. One of the reasons was to allow man to have the freedom of choice. Another reason was to hide information from His enemies. Finally, I think another reason was to give us a challenge to figure it out and allow God the opportunity to reveal it at His perfect timing. It’s funny but humans are naturally curious and they like puzzles, riddles and intellectual challenges. God did not create humanity to be cave men, they were just created ignorant of so, so many things. Ignorance is a reality for everyone. No matter how much you learn and know, you haven’t come close to what God knows. Will Rogers said “We are all ignorant, just about different things.” How incredibly true that statement is.
The information, clues, explanations and commentaries of God are spread throughout the Bible. Sometimes or many times they are very difficult to find. We are faced with challenges because God uses various techniques to conceal information in the Bible and I will get more into them in other lessons. One technique that God uses is symbolism. Another is allegory. Another technique is calling one object by many different names and descriptions. Another technique is to call multiple objects by the same name making it more difficult for you to figure out which one God is talking about. There are many other techniques that God uses to hide the truth and I call this “hiding the truth in plain sight.” The truth is all right there for anyone to view and read, but yet it causes so much debate as to what it all really means. Isn’t this fun? You see the other day I did a search on the just one subject on the internet. I searched Google for “The Identity of the Woman in Revelation 12” and guess what I was returned with over 6000 opinions what she meant. That is a classic of example of how 6000 different people can have 6000 different interpretations on what God calls only one truth.
So is it a good idea to teach the Bible verse by verse, I guess it depends on how you do it. If you research, study and see what God says about a subject in other places in the Bible and include that also in the teaching I would say that it would be OK to do it that way. If however, you isolate yourself into a verse, chapter or book of the Bible and teach it independently of what God says about it in other places, then you are making a huge mistake. Don’t become a Robinson Caruso Bible teacher and strand yourself on a verse island. When you do this you will eventually starve your spirit, which will cause you die of spiritual malnutrition. I hope you enjoyed my little Bible lesson about teaching in isolation and that it will help you to learn more about God’s Word.
This will obviously be controversial to some. But nevertheless this is what God says so I stand by it. What I have been attempting to do is give you some keys to understanding the Bible. If we can understand God’s intentions, motivations and purposes for the book, we will better understand what is written. So in today’s blog I want to give you another perspective of why the Bible is so hard to understand, to many. This principle is based upon the concept that God has enemies and that in order for God not reveal everything to His enemies, He has to write things in an encoded method. , This encoded method allows God’s people to see the truth while at the same time keeping the information from His enemies. It is a very tricky way of writing with many complex twists, mysteries, hidden meanings, symbolic representations and other tricky methods. I call it God’s method of hiding the truth in plain site.
James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosever therefore will be a friend to the world is the enemy of God.
From this verse in James we see a fact revealed that God has enemies. If you didn’t know that it would be good to study and find out who those enemies are. I’ve heard some fools think and teach that Satan was just a pawn of God. A spirit being that appears before God to get permission to make somebody sick or kill their children. People read things like in the book of Job and make too many assumptions. Satan is not working for God. Satan doesn’t have to ask for permission to put some evil plan into work against you. Most of the time it is our own fault when Satan attacks us. We open the door to the enemy and let him do the things he does. There are a lot of Bible verses that I could give you to back that statement, but I won’t spend a lot of time on that subject since that is not what we are talking about.
This may also be news to some of you and maybe you’ve never heard anyone teach on this, but God has enemies. The church has the same enemies. Satan is still a spiritual force in the world in opposition to the church and our God. Satan I think sometimes people look at him as this evil red suited, horned and pitch fork carrying spiritual entity that resides in hell and comes to earth to bug us when he wants to. Nothing could be further from the truth. Satan does not live in hell, he has never been to hell, doesn’t want to go to hell and he’s doing everything in his power to stay out of there. But there is good news Satan doesn’t know everything. He can read the same Bible that we can but he doesn’t understand it any better than anyone else in the world. As God gives new revelation to the church, that is the first time Satan hears about most of this stuff. There are scriptures that back this up. Look at this verse:
1 Corinthians 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew for had they known they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
You see from this verse that Satan and his fallen angels are ignorant of the plan of God. This verse says clearly if they had known the consequences to killing God on the cross, they would not have done it. So apparently we don’t yet fully comprehend the ramifications and consequences of God being nailed to the cross. Not only did He provide salvation for us, he sealed the fate of Satan. Interesting isn’t it? So when Jesus said I didn’t come to do away with the law but to fulfill it he was saying that he was here to fulfill those things which were written about him.
Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are they 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.
John 5:39 Search the scriptures for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
So couldn’t Satan read the Bible and see and hear what was being said in the synagogues? Sure he could, the problem is he didn’t understand anything that was written and neither did any man. Jesus fulfilled countless prophesies in his birth, life, death, burial and resurrection and Satan didn’t know any of them. I can only assume that Satan thought by killing God he could rid him from his planet and now he could go on and continue to rule for as long as he wanted. These are all interesting thoughts but these concepts are also applicable to the unsaved human race. Notice what is written on this subject and the words spoken by Jesus himself:
Mark 4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables.
Jesus speaking to his disciples said the mystery is for only you to know, those that are on the outside they will never know or understand the things of God. It has always occurred to me that people in hell don’t know why they are there. They don’t have a clue that Jesus paid for their sins and they rejected the free gift of salvation. I wonder if someday they will come to the knowledge and realize the things they missed out on. So were we enemies of God before salvation? Here is a scripture that says we were:
Romans 5:10 For if, we when we were enemies , we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled we shall be saved by his life.
So we discover a fact that God said that while we were still enemies, Jesus paid the price to reconcile us back to God. This of course was one of the primary reasons for the death of Jesus on the cross. Clearly it was not all that transpired, but I’m sure glad He did that for us.
So what can we conclude from all of these scriptures? If God had enemies, He was forced to conceal information in His Word in a manner that His enemies would not understand what He was doing that would effect them. We will eventually discuss the methods in more depth that God used to accomplish this, but that is enough for now.
(Ver 2.1) Today’s Bible lesson is Part 1 in a series of lessons on understanding truth in the Bible. This of course is a very difficult and tricky question to answer correctly. How do you approach this subject without offending someone? Too many people approach the Bible like every word came from the mouth of God and therefore the entire book is completely true from cover to cover. I am forced to disagree with that assumption but before you write me off, you should hear why. You see, I do know that God is the author of the Bible and every word it contains was inspired by Him for us. But is everything in the Bible the truth? That would be like asking is everything you watch on the ABC World News the truth? I don’t mean to say that the national news correspondent is intentionally trying to mislead us or lie to us. That is not what I’m saying at all. You see, if you’ve ever watched the news, you probably know what I’m going to say. You may remember when we had a president get up on the news and say ‘I did not have sex with that intern’. So was that the truth? Did it make it true because it was on national TV or reported by a popular news anchor on a respected news program? You see the problem, don’t you? The Bible has many quotes from similarly unethical and ignorant people and just because it is in the Bible doesn’t mean it is the truth.
This is in fact a very important and a key element to correct Bible interpretation, first determine who is speaking and then determine what their character and moral background is before you embrace what they say to be the truth. If they are the words directly from God, like it says” Thus saith the LORD”; or if they are the words in red ink in the New Testament from Jesus, or the words of one of God’s chosen prophets or apostles then it can be easily confirmed to be the truth. If however, Moses, David, Paul, John or Luke or whoever, quotes what somebody else said like Ananias or Sapphira in Acts 5, then it is very possible that what is said is not the truth. Again it depends upon the speaker. If the speaker is Satan for example, whatever is said could be a partial truth, the complete truth or a complete fabricated lie. So it definitely matters who is speaking before you can judge whether it is a truth or not.
In the book of Job, in the Old Testament it contains a lot of words from Job, Job’s wife and Job’s friends. Now while there are many valuable lessons in the book of Job, not every word spoken is the truth. You see here is Job’s problem, he didn’t have any Bible. He couldn’t understand most of the things of God. He couldn’t really know or understand what he was saying, after all what would it have been based upon? There is not any established basis for the thoughts of Job. For example, Job said “God has given and God has taken away.” I’ve heard preachers in church and at funerals stand up and quote this like it was God speaking. However that is not the truth. It is true Job said it, it is true it is in the Bible, it is true that God inspired someone to record what he said, but it is not a statement of truth. I’m sure I’m going to get a lot people upset at me for saying this, but this is the way the Bible was written. If you read later in the book of Job 38:2, you will see that God asks Job a simple but direct question and it says this “Who is this that darkens counsel with words without knowledge?” It is very clear to me that God is saying that at least some of Job’s words are baseless ramblings from an ignoarant man. Yes, Job believed they were true and was not intentionally deceiving anyone, but according to God they were just the words of an ignornat man. So you must judge what Job says by what God says about Job’s words and then and only then will we better understand the Bible. According to 2 Timothy 2:15 there is a right way to divide the Word of Truth and by reverse/antithesis implied truths there are also potentially many wrong ways to divide this exact same Words of Truth. You have to make a determination how you want to do it. You can do it your way or you can do it God’s way. The Bible is much more complex than you can imagine and there are specific rules and guidelines which God has given to us to follow and if you learn them and follow them you will not fall into error very often.
So if the Bible contains specific historical information such as names of cities, countries, dates, times, and people can we count on them to be accurate? Absolutely, the Bible is not a book of mythology, fables, fairy tales or man made legends like Paul Bunyan, Atlas or Methuselah. The Bible contains actual historical events, places and people. You can count on every one of them to be more accurate than any text book or history book you had in school. God knows exactly what happened when and where.
If the Bible has an account of some miraculous event transpiring in a supernatural story, like the parting of the Red Sea, can we rely on that as being a true fact within human history. Absolutely, people who don’t believe in God will of course try to convince you that this is fiction, but I know better. God who is capable of creating the world and everything we can see, is certainly capable of doing something on a much smaller scale that is still very spectacular.
Knowing how to read and study the Bible will greatly increase your understanding of God’s Word. Understanding that not every word in the Bible is the Truth will help you figure out what is the truth. You do realize that if everything in the Bible was the truth, it would not be necessary to “divide the truth”. What is a division? A division is a separation of one thing from another thing. To divide something entails effort, work, tools, study and understanding. If you were a doctor about to do surgery on someone you are about to cut them open or divide their flesh to look inside. If you don’t know what you are doing your patient is in trouble. Well dividing the word of God is somewhat similar, if you don’t know what you are doing, you are the patient that is in trouble.
If you would like to continue reading about Understanding Truth in the Bible please go to “Part 2“.
(Ver 1.1) This of course is an interesting question. Technically speaking you have 66 books of text within the standard KJV Bible. We know that approximately 40 different men shared in the writing of the Bible over a span of approximately 1600 years.
Here are some basic Bible facts that I found on the Internet:
There are 8,674 different Hebrew words in the Bible, 5,624 different Greek words, and 12,143 different English words in the King James Version
- Number of books in the KJV Bible: 66
- Chapters: 1,189
- Verses: 31,101
- Words: 783,137
- Letters: 3,566,480
So let me ask you a simple question. What would happen if you attempted to get 40 different writers together in order to publish a book of such volume. What would the net results be? Could you get any of them to agree? How many times would they contradict each other? How many times would they cross paths and overlap information? How many times would they come up with anything that could predict what was going to come to pass a 1000 or more years in the future? I think you see the problem? Here we have a book that many approach with wrong assumptions, based upon wrong information, drawing incorrect conclusions and are generally just screwed up. I’ve heard so many people who want to write an exposition of why Paul said this, or Moses said that, like it was their ability and knowledge that produced what we are reading. If you approach the Bible with wrong ideas, you generally get back wrong ideas. There is a basic computer programming law that says if you put garbage in you get garbage out. That is the way the studying the Bible works.
What you first must do is understand who wrote the Bible? Establish a correct focus first. Forget the names of the 40 different men that copied the words onto the pages or scrolls I should say. Forget the commentaries of men who don’t understand or have a clue what God is saying and focus on this, God spoke and dictated the exact text and words that He wanted recorded and He gave the task of recording these words to 40 men over 1600 years. Now that changes everything in my view. Now you are not attempting to explain why Moses wrote anything that he did and left out other things that were not recorded. If you approach every word as being important and a word directly from God that has purpose and meaning you start looking at the Bible differently and can now begin to see it correctly.
2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Jer 30:2 Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.
According to 2 Timothy 3:16, the Bible was inspired by the Spirit of God. I guess it actually says given by inspiration of the Spirit of God. While the Bible has multiple scribes or men that were given the task to record the words of God in book form, we must realize that all of the words were given and inspired directly from God. This book says nothing that God would not want you to know and to understand right here and right now. It doesn’t say anything that God wouldn’t say to you if you could stand before His throne in heaven and ask Him questions directly. This book contains the thoughts, ideas, wisdom and knowledge of God and is available to you 24 hours a day. It is totally up to you to tap into this vast treasure of information.
(Ver 1.1) I believe many times it is a good idea to review the basics and establish a firm foundation to build upon. In thinking about this topic of Bible Interpretation I thought I would review the obvious. Of course it may be obvious to me, but to a new Christian it might not be common knowledge, so here I go. There are rules to Bible Interpretation by God’s design. God has established rules and guidelines to follow and once we learn these, they often time become second nature and you don’t have to think about them in order to follow them automatically. It is much like the law of gravity, it doesn’t take us long to discover that if we climb in a tree and we slip, we fall quickly and hit the ground. I learned this as a kid in my backyard and I never forgot it. I didn’t want to disregard this law of gravity again. If you ignore God’s laws of Bible Interpretation, you might not get the wind knocked out of you physically, but spiritually it can be the same.
So what do we need to do first? Learn that there are rules to follow. Then learn what the rules are. Then follow the rules. This is not rocket science, just a simple truth about understanding the Bible and the author of the Bible. The same God that established natural and physical laws has also established spiritual laws. He lives by them and He expects you to learn them and apply them also. These are the basic principles that we all should live by everyday. We drive our cars using the traffic laws everyday. Normally once we learned how to drive and passed the test for the license we don’t go back constantly and review all of the laws that we learned every minute of the day while we drive. No, the laws and rules have become second nature and we follow them while we drive without even thinking about them.
I do not profess to know every rule of Bible Interpretation, but the ones that God has taught me, these I will transfer to you for your benefit. By reading the rest of these posts in this blog, you can learn some of the do’s and don’ts of Bible Interpretation and apply these to your study and improve your learning capacity, I guarantee it.
(Ver 1.2) This is Part 6 in the study series of Correct Bible Interpretation Rules. If you have not read from the beginning I would recommend that you go back and start reading with “Part 1” first. The last time I taught on this subject of Bible interpretation rules we talked about a very specific type of erroneous interpretation called the private interpretation. We of course now realize that a private interpretation simiply is one that is dominated by our opinions and they contain our personal subjectivity in determining the meaning of what we have read in the Bible. If you are smart you will realize that your opinion is not what is important to God or to me. Just as my opiniion should not be important to you. God is not going to ever ask our opinion on what we think the Bible means. You do realize that, don’t you? So as a result we discovered that we should let the Bible interpret itself. What we think has no determination on the final outcome of what truth is. God is so smarter than all of us combined and He wrote down very specific words that mean very specific things and we should find out what He said and what He thinks and then we should go by that as being the truth only.
So here is a related topic to no private interpretations allowed. Let God define the Words in the Bible and not you or even Daniel Webster. I look up words all the time in dictionaries to learn what they mean, but I have found that God’s definitions of these words are many, many times not in the dictionary. Let me give you a couple of quick examples. We have been studying the 1st chapter of Genesis and it refers to the 6 days of creation and then the 7th day when God rested. But if you have been following the lesson, the term “day” is defined a little bit differently in the Bible. When the Bible says “A Day is…” that indicates a direct definition is about to occur. It is about to tells us what God thinks a day is equivalent to.
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.
So if God says a day is as a 1000 years and that a 1000 years is as 1 day we can attempt to apply this definition to the scriptures we find “day” mentioned. I know this doesn’t work everywhere all the time but it does help us in many places, especially Genesis the 1st chapter. The difficulty comes when we realize that words have multiple definitions and this is the same with Bible words. We are going to have to use the word in context to see if it fits. I know this defintion fits nicely with Genesis 1 based upon what else the Bible says on the subject. You can read about a coming 1000 year day of rest in Revelation chpater 20, for example. This day of rest is described as a coming event in Hebrews chapter 4. Therefore the clarification of a day being as 1000 years directly applies to Genesis 1 with ease.
Let me give you another example of when God’s definition is better than a man’s definition. In the 9th chapter of John, Jesus comes upon a blind man and his disciples start asking him questions of why. I’m not going to get into the details of this story just one comment that Jesus makes in answering the question. Jesus says “I must work the works of him that sent me…” in John 9:4. In reading this verse I automatically assumed like many others that healing the man was the work that Jesus was talking about because we can see that this is what Jesus did at least at first. If we look up the word “work” in the dictionary it would refer us to a manual labor task or a place of employment or occupation among other related meanings. Of course none of these definitions would help us to understand what Jesus did and why. What is work to God? What is God’s definition of work? Did you realize Jesus tells us the definition, if we only look for it. If we back up in the book of John to the 6th chapter and the 29th verse we can see God’s definition for what work is:
John 6:29 “This is the work of God, that we believe on him whom he has sent.”
That definition changes everything so dramatically about what we read in John 9 that it is almost ridiculous and it shows us why we should be looking for God’s definitions in the Bible and leaving our opinions and our definitions out of the mix. You can now go back to chapter 9 of John and reread the entire story based upon this new definition and you will see that God did accomplish this work. Jesus met up with the former blind man and asked do you believe in the Son of God (John 9:35)? The man asks who is that to Jesus and Jesus says it is who you are speaking to now. The man then says “Lord I believe”. This was the defined work of God demonstrated. Getting people to believe in Jesus in still our primary work today.
Let me give you one more example on getting God’s definitions to help you see that this is a very important subject to learn. We are all told in the Bible to expect eternal life as our reward. However, every spiritual being in the world saved or unsaved will live forever somewhere. Those that are saved will live with Christ and those that are not will be in hell. So what is the Bible defintion for eternal life? Let’s read God’s definition of eternal life for the believer:
Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
There is a direct explicit definition for eternal life in this verse and there is also an indirect definition for eternal death in this verse. Since every truth has an opposite truth associated with it, we can learn both definitions from a single verse. Eternal Life is us knowing the True God forever. We can conclude that Eternal Death is the opposite of not knowing the True God forever but knowing the false God Satan forever. These are very important definition of eternal ife and death. Because they came from God’s word and not the dictionary they contain truth that is unrefutable by human reasoning.
I just gave you three quick examples of letting God define the words we read in the Bible but there are so many others to be found in the Bible. It will help you so much in understanding what God wrote if you let God show you what those things mean. The Bible is one Book by one Author and He is smarter than I am. God Bless!
(Ver 1.2) This is now Part 5 in the series of lessons on Correct Bible Interpretation. If you have not read through this series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you return back to “Part 1” first. I’ve been going through various rules and the keys to successful and correct Bible Interpretation and now want to touch on probably one of the most important rules that I have been shown by God. The ignorance and the misuse of this one rule gets more Christians into the hot water of error than probably the others all combined. It seems like humans are naturally opinionated and like to express their opinions usually very loudly. Whenever a person doesn’t understand what is being said, many times they close their eyes to it and attempt to come up with their own explanation of the meaning of the verse. This is called a private interpretation. The Bible actually warns us not to go there, but still this is a common human trait we all must face and conquer. Here is a definition of interpretation that I found on the web:
Interpretation: Opinion regarding a set of facts. A degree of subjectivity is involved on the part of the individual, based on his or her experience, personality, and biases.
Did you notice what that definition said? It said people often times use their own experiences, their personalities or their biases to determine what they think about a stated fact. I see ministers doing this all the time in what they teach. They are letting something external to the Word of God dictate what they believe it says. That is a very dangerous approach to take when studying the Bible. Here is a verse of scripture that I referred to earlier:
2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
That is a critical word from God with far reaching consequences. It says we shouldn’t use our own private interpretations to explain God’s Word. The clear implication that is made is that the Bible interprets itself. Some would read 2nd Peter 1:20 and say that is a restrictive context that only applies to prophetic books like Isaiah or Revelation and other books that were written by God’s prophets. But I’ve got news for you that almost every book that I’ve studied has some very clear prophetic words recorded in them. It’s easier to find a scripture of prophecy than to find a scripture that is not prophetic.
So the bottom line, is if you don’t understand what is being said shut up and don’t try to teach it like you do. Unless you can find scriptures that back what you think is true and accurate leave it alone and don’t speculate. I’ve recently heard some ministers teach Revelation and they said some things that were clearly just their own opinions. The problem is when they stand up and teach it with authority like it is a word from God they influence others to believe a lie. This makes it much harder when God does reveal the truth for people to accept.
Here is another example of a private interpretation. Many in the body of Christ teach that healing went out with the death of the last Apostle. God doesn’t heal anymore, we have doctors that have replaced God. It doesn’t matter that they don’t have any scripture to back what they are teaching, the damage is done, people’s faith is destroyed and many Christians die as a result. There are more private interpretations of the Bible on the internet than there is the truth of God. That makes it extremely difficult to place the truth at the top of the list. I have heard men leave me comments and tell me why I am wrong over and over and almost everytime, it has to do with their private interpretation of the scriptures. Whenever you have to look for a reality outside of the Word of God by studying commentatires or history books, you have departed from the truth to teach a lie. Please learn to give God more credit than that. There is much more information in the Bible than what you currently know and understand. God help us all from people teaching their own opinions.
(Ver 2.2) This is Part 4 in the series of Bible lessons on Correct Bible Interpretation Rules. If you have not read this series from the beginning it would be advised that you go back and start reading at “Part 1” first and continue forward through the series. Getting a firm grasp on God’s usage of symbolism is very critical to correctly understanding and interpreting the Bible. Many times we read the Bible and see the mention of something that can be taken either literally or symbolically and this makes correct Bible interpretation infinitely more complex. The Bible is full of symbolism from the very 1st chapter of Genesis to the very last chapter in Revelation. We will eventually discuss why God uses symbolism but for now let’s attempt to define what it is. I like to view symbolism as a method used by God to convey hidden spiritual information in a coded format or reference. Symbolic Bible reference almost always describe concealed and hidden spiritual things using the terms, descriptions, names or titles of natural things, events or people that we all should be familiar with or at the least should be able to look at them and then learn to understand them with study. For example, have you ever seen God? No, God is a hidden spiritual being and the Bible says no man has ever seen God, but yet for you to get to know who God is, He describes Himself in the terms of natural things like the Sun so that we can understand Him and learn about His hidden qualities.
If while you are reading the Bible you encounter a reference to something or someone that doesn’t make a lot of sense to be a real physical entity it would be a good time to ask is this a symbolic reference to a higher spiritual truth. Let me give you an example in Genesis 3, the Bible speaks of a creature called the serpent in Genesis 3:1. Most Bible scholars agree that this is Satan, but the controversy comes when they attempt to say that Satan appeared in the garden of Eden as a physical snake. If you ever attended Sunday School as a child you have seen the picture of a naked man and woman in the garden with an apple in their hand and a talking snake near them tempting them. I guess this is the picture that these verses in Genesis 3 have conjoured up within the minds of men and women who have read the story. I could give you several scriptures in the Bible that directly contradict this account that helps us to see the real meaning behind this symbol, but I guess because of the time it would take to do that, I won’t go into that level of detail until we get to those verses in Genesis 3 later. What I will say is that this serpent in Genesis 3 is a symbolic reference and not an actual literal physical talking snake and you will have to wait for why I know this until later.
Please realize that the first three chapters of Genesis are heavily covered with symbolic references and not literal references. God is attempting to teach you about spiritual things and not about natural things and this is the failure that many Bible students fall into by simply ignoring which references are natural and which ones are just symbolic of a much greater spiritual reality. The book of Daniel has many symbolic references throughout the book. The beasts seen in the visions, are all symbolic of earthly empires and spiritual beings behind them. The book of Revelation is literally the most symbolic book that I know of. There are very literally few things in the book of Revelation that are mentioned that are not symbolic of something that is spiritual. You can find Daniel’s beasts repeated in Revelation, you can find the serpent from Genesis 3 repeated and finally being revealed to who this was in Revelation 12. There are two major symbolic women in Revelation, one in Revelation 12 and the other in Revelation 17 called the Whore of Babylon. There is another symbolic city called a woman in Revelation 21 named the New Jerusalem and the bride of the Lamb.
I hope that you understand symbolism and can learn to identify God’s usage of this technique. God Bless!
(Ver 1.2) This is Part 3 in the series of Bible lessons on Correct Bible Interpretation Rules. If you have not read from the beginning of the series I would recommend that you go back and start with “Part 1” first. This is one of those obvious Bible facts, but sometimes it is really good to state the obvious for public general knowledge and for clarification to help avoid misunderstanding. The Bible does not contain a complete story, account or description of anything, anyone, any place, or any event within human history. The Bible omits more details than it includes on any subject given to us by God. I believe God puts only the most relevant and pertinent facts in the Bible that He wanted us to see and know and that He omitted whatever He felt was not important or too dangerous for us to know at that time. For example it is very clear that Genesis is not a complete account of creation. The Old Testament is not a complete account of the natural nation of Israel. The Gospels are not a complete account of the life and ministry of Jesus. The book of Acts is not a complete account of the early church. The book of Revelation is not a complete account of the end. On and on I could go. What we must begin to realize is that the facts and information given to us in the Bible are all extremely important and then we must learn to focus on what they say or don’t say in order to understand what God wanted us to know. Did you notice what I just said? There is more than one way to learn from what God wrote in the Bible. One direct way is to learn what was written to us. The other indirect way is to observe what was not written to us. Wow that could get really complex, couldn’t it?
In the book of John the 20th chapter and the 30th verse it says there were many other things that Jesus did that were not written for us to see. Why were some things recorded and other things not recorded. Correct Bible study and interpretation is certainly more complex and involved than anything that you can imagine.
Joh 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
Notice what God declares to us in this last verse of the book of John. God very clearly states that the world could not contain the volumes of information that were performed and spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ. That just amazes me tremendously. God was obviously highly selective to which words that He wanted us to see and understand. It certainly does not belittle the words that were not included but God placed great value upon these words that were written to us. Seeing the value of these words has been the theme of the last two lessons on Correct Bible Interpretation. If you do not value God’s Words then you will never correctly understand them.
Understanding that God has written the Bible using a technique of limited and confined information is one of the keys to unlocking the meaning. Look at the Bible as a single piece of the pie from the much larger complete knowledge of God’s wisdom. Gaining a correct perspective of the Bible will great assist in the correct interpretation of the Bible. This technique of limited information displays the extreme intelligence of God and His ability to say a great deal in a few words. Often it is not the amount of the words but rather the purpose and content of what was spoken that makes them most valuable to us. I hope you are grasping the significance but we have only initiated the subject of Correct Bible Interpretation. We will continue on in the next lesson and learn more important concepts.
If you would like to continue reading about Correct Bible Interpretation please go to “Part 4” now.
(Ver 2.1) This is Part 1 of a series of lessons on Correct Bible Interpretation. In this series I try to present basic rules governing correct Bible interpretation. Today is a very simple rule to learn and to follow, yet so many have totally missed it. Everyone needs to understand that no single verse of scripture is an island. You might not understand that analogy but what I mean is that no verse of scripture is independent of the rest of the scriptures in the Bible and stands alone. So many people read one scripture and get so excited by what it says they seem to forget how it fits with the rest of the Bible. As a result of an overabundance of enthusiasm for the one solitary verse they have taken it and tried to treat it like God didn’t say anything else in the whole book. Many take a single verse of scripture and change it into a verse named Robinson Crusoe and have stranded it on an island in their mind. This kind of reasoning makes the Bible very easy to change the meaning into saying something that it does not say. If you isolate any verse in the Bible you can make the Bible say some very bad things. This is a common error found in incorrect Bible interpretations everywhere. Here is a verse of scripture that Jesus taught us and it actually says a lot about this subject that I am talking about today:
Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
What you can see is that Jesus contrasts two realities, physical food and the Word of God. God compares both of them to be essential, but for the later to have precedence over the former. In this verse Jesus says one key word that is essential to apply correctly. This word is “EVERY” and that implies you better know more than one verse on any subject. It is clear to me that the Word of God is spiritual food and you must feed on it as often as you do natural food in order to grow strong spiritually. If you are only feeding on one verse then you are probably being starved spiritually. If you are focused on one verse only, you are ignoring the rest of God’s comments on the subject. Here is another very relevant verse for this subject of isolated verses:
2Co 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
God tells us that every word that we believe must be based upon more than one witness. A witness is someone who speaks the truth in a court case or a trial. A witness is always sworn to tell the truth and the whole truth and nothing but the truth. This is a Bible basic concept of correct Bible interpretation. Do not take one verse which is one witness and teach anything. Go and search the Bible for a corresponding witness to the verse. Many times this is one verse from the Old Testament and one verse from the New Testament. Other times it is two or three verses in just the New Testament. What we find in doing this is that God’s truth is rightly divided based upon our ability to find multiple witnesses in the Bible of what we have read. This is why some people are very foolish in their practice of handling snakes in their church services because they found one verse in Mark that they think says for them to do this. That is STUPIDITY gone to seed bursting forth into great error!
What we should be doing is asking how does this verse that I found fit into the Bible’s big picture? How does this verse relate to the other verses on the subject? What else does God and the Bible say about this subject? Can I find more than one witness in the Bible in order to declare this verse a truth? This is the way God designed the Bible and this is how the Bible works. If you learn these concepts they will help you tremendously in changing how you study the Bible.
If you would like to continue reading in this series of lesson concerning correct Bible interpretation please continue to the next lesson Part 2.