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Understanding the Parable of the Sower Part 3 – The Seed

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

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

 

INTRODUCTION

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

A FAITH FUNDAMENTALS REVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

UNDERSTANDING THE SEED POSITIVE ELEMENT

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

Mar 4:14  The sower soweth the word.

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

UNDERSTANDING BASIC SPIRITUAL SEED QUALITIES

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Conclusion

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

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

 

Understanding the Parable of the Sower Part 2 – The Sower

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

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

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

 

INTRODUCTION TO THE SOWER

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

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

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

 

WHO IS THE SOWER IN THE PARABLE?

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

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

Mar 4:14  The sower soweth the word.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

OVERVIEW OF the PARABLE of the WEEDS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ARE THERE ANY SOWERS TODAY?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

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

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

 

Understanding the Parable of the Sower, Introduction – Part 1

 

planting-seeds

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

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

 

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

 

INTRODUCTIION:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mar 4:14  The sower soweth the word. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Symbol

Meaning

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION TO THE NAME OF THE LORD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD BENEFITS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DIVINE SIGNIFICANCE FOR THE NAME OF JESUS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AN INTRODUCTION AGAIN TO SALVATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

ROMANS 8:28-30

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOD’S INVITATION/CALL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bible Basics: Jesus Asks “Who Do You Say That I Am?” Part 1 – Introduction to the Names of Jesus

whoami2(Ver 1.2)  This is Part 1 of a very fundamental and rudimentary essential Bible Subject for every Christian to study, learn, understand and be able to share in an instant with all others in the world!  Who is Jesus Christ?  Is Jesus the most important person mentioned in the Bible or any other book available to read?  If He is, then why is He so important?  Many today in the world in other religions simply call Jesus just another human originator of a new religious system that died just like other religion founders like Mohammed or Buddha.  Others in certain religions recognize Jesus to be nothing but another prophet of God like Moses, Mohammed or Joseph Smith.  There are even many people in the world today that read from the Bible and believe Jesus to be far from divine.  Are any of these the truth?  Was Jesus just an ordinary man like me?  If He was then I believe that I am one of the biggest fools in the world for following Him. Today we will explore just the Bible verses that teach us who Jesus really was described to be.  We will be specifically focused on some of the revealed names of Jesus in the Bible and what they relate to us.  Later in this series we will also look at the recorded words and claims of Jesus and see who He professed and claimed to be.  I hope and pray that you have a very open mind to receive the truth as written and inspired by the Holy Spirit from the Bible.  We will be exploring the basics of Bible truth that are the essential foundation for God’s grace and our salvation through our faith in Jesus Christ.

INTRODUCTION TO THE QUESTION “WHO IS JESUS?”

Jesus asks His disciples two very simple questions in the book of Matthew.  And their answers to these questions will determine much more than you can imagine.  At this point in time when these questions were asked to the disciples by Jesus they had been with Him for a long time following Him from place to place.  They had witnessed many very significant things done by Jesus and heard many teachings from this man they called Rabbi (John 1:38). We will begin this section with reading in Matthew 16 and verse 13.  Please observe the first question:

Mat 16:13  When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

Why would Jesus even need to ask anyone who He was?  There were a lot of people that obviously heard of Jesus but why would it be necessary to ask these people know who Jesus is?  Anyone can know of someone but that is totally different than knowing them or knowing who they are, isn’t it?  So who is Jesus?  Jesus is asking those that were closer to Him than anyone else “who do men think that I am?”   This is the question that is still very valid for today.  Jesus could come to you and ask the exact same question.  What would you say to Him?  Perhaps you would need to go and take a survey in order to find out what men said about Jesus.  Today, it is much simpler to just go and search the internet and see what people are writing about Him.   Then notice how very wide and diverse the answers were.

Mat 16:14  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

The disciples answer “Some say Jesus was John the Baptist”.  Other men claim Jesus was Elijah.  Still others claim Jesus to be the prophet Jeremiah.  Even other men claimed Jesus to be just another one of the prophets but did not know which one.  What a diverse set of possibilities for the identity of Jesus.  However there is a common theme to them all.  They were all calling Jesus a human man acting as a prophet but there was not any majority agreement to which prophet he was.  This is still the most popular belief today in most false religions.  The general consensus is that Jesus was simply a prophet or holy man like many others; Muhammad, Buddha, John Smith or even the Dalai Lama.  This would place Jesus Christ on their exact same level of humanity but is this, the whole truth?  Is this all that Jesus claimed to be?  Let’s see the second question being asked by Jesus then and now:

Mat 16:15  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

Now Jesus changes the question and makes the question very personal.  The question has substantially narrowed from “who do OTHER men say that I am” to “who do YOU say that I am”?  Jesus was making a point by asking these two questions in succession.  Jesus is teaching them that it does not matter what other men think but it does matter greatly what we think individually.  Wow, I don’t know if you just got what God said there or not but it was very substantial.  What Jesus is saying is that someone else’s opinion of Him is not going to help you or save you.  Let’s look at their answer and see if anything changes.

Mat 16:16  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Peter answers the question of the Lord with an amazingly new and different perspective to the identity of Jesus.  Two things are directly stated by Peter and you need to notice that neither of these stated beliefs of Peter is denied by Jesus.  There was no rebuke from Jesus for any of Peter’s answer.  In fact the opposite is true if you read down into the next verse.  Jesus praises Peter and tells Him this answered revelation came from His Father and not from any man.  That is a very significant amount of information to learn from.  Jesus teaches us that there are at least two possible sources for knowledge and only one source is praise worthy.  The knowledge originating from God is implied to be very good and noteworthy and the knowledge coming from ignorant men was judged as not important.  Did you see that?  Who is your source for who Jesus is?  Is it God or is it a man?  It would be extremely wise to figure this out now before it is too late.

Peter could have gone along with the majority wrong opinion.  Peter could have chosen to conform to the religious crowd.  Peter could have listened to popular peer pressure.  Certainly the popular human concept is still what is taught today by many.  But I believe that there still exists a God that can reveal the truth to anyone that asks Him and seeks Him with their whole heart.

What were the two God revealed things about Jesus that Peter gave as an answered reply?  The first was that Jesus was the Christ.  Wow, what exactly does that mean?  Many of us have heard the combined named “Jesus Christ” but this title “Christ” was not the last name of Jesus.  And you better also know that “Jesus Christ” is not something you say when you slam the door on your finger.  Let’s look up the Greek word translated as “Christ” and learn:

G5547

From G5548; anointed, that is, the Messiah, an epithet of Jesus: – Christ.

I want to begin with the definition and say Christ is an “epithet” for Jesus.  What is an “epithet”?  An “epithet” is a word that is used to describe the person being referenced.  It is an adjective description.  If you understand what an adjective is then you should already understand that an adjective is used to distinguish one man from another.  If there is only one Jesus for example no one would need to say “Jesus Christ”.  But since there were and still are others then this is one way to make Him uniquely important to the conversation.

Here in this definition is a new connection to a Hebrew word being established along with a meaning of someone that is anointed.  The literal definition of the Greek word G5547 translated as the adjective “Christ” means “the anointed one”.  Jesus is called “the Christ” by Peter and Jesus does not deny it.  This title Christ is only significant because of Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled when Jesus begins His ministry.  The Hebrew word being connected in this Greek word definition is H4899.  In order to connect the Hebrew word “Messiah” to the Greek word G5547 translated as “Christ” we need to do some homework and search for the title in the O.T.  If you do this you will find one key “Messiah” prophecy in the book of Daniel.   If you go and read Daniel 9:25-26 you will find the verses that I am referring to.  It would take a very long study to try to explain just these two verses so that will not be covered today.  But I do want you to notice the Hebrew word that was translated as “Messiah’.  This Hebrew word is H4899 and it has the following Strong’s definition:

H4899

From H4886; anointed; usually a consecrated person (as a king, priest, or saint); specifically the Messiah: – anointed, Messiah.

As you can observe in the definition this word has the exact same meaning as the Greek word G5547.  We can therefore conclude that these two words are equivalent in both languages.  I also want to point out that this word can apply to more than Jesus Christ.  Any king, priest or even a saint can be anointed by the Spirit of God and this tends to lead some to say that Jesus was just another anointed man like so many others.  In that regard if that was the only criteria being analyzed that would be a true statement.  However, Peter did not stop talking with calling Jesus “the Christ” and he mentioned another quality that must also be considered.

Do you remember the second statement that Peter made?  Go back and reread it if you did not recall that Peter said that Jesus was the “Son of the living God”.  Wow that description makes Jesus unique and unlike any other anointed human born on this planet.  Jesus had a great opportunity to rebuke Peter for this statement if it was a false claim but Jesus very clearly did not do it.  This means that Jesus was confirming His identity to be the “Son of God” with His praise for what Peter had just spoken and because He said that this had been revealed to him by God, His Father.  We will talk more about Jesus claiming to be the “Son of God” as we continue in this lesson series.  But, Jesus claiming to be “the Son of the living God” is one of the most important things for anyone desiring to be a Christian to learn and believe by faith.  I will tell you very plainly right now that if you do not believe that Jesus was the Son of the Living God then you are not a Christian and you are lost and going to hell.  This is a very plain and simple truth found in 1 John 2:22-23 so please go and read it.

INTRODUCTION TO THE SIGNIFICANCE OF NAMES

I’m going to shift the focus for a moment to teach briefly an introduction about another very relevant Bible subject concerning “names”.  This rabbit trail subject should be a Bible study series all by itself but an introduction will help our study of who Jesus claimed to be and should provide a great benefit to us by us understanding His names.  Almost everyone in the Bible was given a name not by chance but rather the name given to them reflected a situation, quality, circumstance or characteristic of something very specific about the person.  For example, these given names could have been a reflection on the circumstances surrounding their entrance into the world.  Perhaps you remember in Genesis 35:18 when Rachel gives birth to her last son.  She called the boy child by the name “Benoni” and this name meant “son of my sorrows” and then she died.  But his father named him “Benjamin” which meant “son of my right hand”. God gives such great significance to names in the Bible and these name meanings are often overlooked and ignored but they all have a divine purpose.  I will also say that if Benjamin would have been called by the name given of his mother then this would have changed his entire life and who he was tremendously.  But since Benjamin was given a name change and a very different positive name he was blessed and favored.

Let’s go over a couple of other significant name changes that made a major difference for those people in the Bible to prove the significance of this subject.  The man Abram was selected by God and given a promise by God in Genesis 12.  The Hebrew name “Abram” means “high father”.  Yet God changes Abram’s name to “Abraham” that meant “a father of a multitude” and it was only after this name change transpired that the promise began to be fulfilled.  There is a revealed law of God found in the Bible that as long as the earth endures seed time and harvest will never cease (Gen 8:22).  This divine law teaches the concept of cause and effect.  In other words for every observable effect (harvest) God teaches us that there must be a cause for it (a seed sown). Some seed sown transpired to cause the promise to be made manifest to see the harvest and I am convinced that God’s name change to Abraham was a major role for this event occurring.  Perhaps you will understand that statement as you continue to learn the God given facts of the Bible.

I’ll give you at least one other significant Bible name example.  You may recall reading in Genesis 32:29 about Jacob wrestling with an angel.  Jacob we are told prevailed against the angel and again as a result, the angel changes Jacob’s name from Jacob to Israel because of this victory.  The name Israel obviously came from God and from heaven and you need to know this.  When God gives a man a name it usually causes something good to occur and this is just another example.  The name Jacob meant “heal catcher” and this name described the circumstances of his birth.  But the name “Israel” is a Hebrew name that means “he will rule as God”.  I’ll say this again, when God gives you a name there is a great seed that was planted to bring about a divine harvest and this is so very important to understand.

Modern names of people are really no different from Biblical names of people and they often reflect who a person is and what kind of person they present themselves to be.  For example I was eating at a restaurant and my server’s name was named “Tisha”.  I looked up the name’s meaning on the internet and it meant “joyful” and “happy”.  This name meaning fit the personality of the lady very accurately.

What I am attempting to teach you is that it maters what the name of a person is in the Bible and even in the world today still.  I am also trying to teach that it matters who gives a person the name and why it was given.  In other words why and where the name originates from is critical and the name can certainly influence the outcome on a person’s entire life greatly.   Let’s examine the Hebrew word that is translated as the English word “name”.  This word’s meaning may shed some additional light of confirmation upon the significance of “names” in the Bible:

H8034

A primitive word (perhaps rather from H7760 through the idea of definite and conspicuous position; compare H8064); an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character: –  + base, [in-] fame [-ous], name (-d), renown, report.

This Hebrew word means an “appellation”.  This word means the act of giving something or someone a name.   Then notice the next statement “a mark or memorial of individuality”.  Wow that is a very important definition.   God and people name things to mark them as being different from other things that may even be similar in appearance.  For example any normal family with identical twins will always give each child a different name.  This unique name separates one identical twin from the other.  When a parent wants a specific twin they will call their name and this should bring the one called.  Clearly names matter because it causes a separation from others to occur.

Then notice in this Hebrew word there is an associated implied meaning of any given name.  According to the definition a name can carry the positive implication of “honor”, “authority” or it can even denote personal “character”.  This positive truth can also be taken from a negative antithesis truth perspective.  A negative name given to someone can cause them a negative outcome in life like dishonor or even bad character.  I’m trying to teach you how things work in the spiritual realm.  If you call your kids stupid then they will become more stupid.  If you call your kids lazy then they will become lazier.  Whatever names you have placed on your children are all seeds to mold their lives either building character or destroying their character.

I’ll end this introduction to the significance of names in the Bible with this truth.  There are so many significant names given to us in the Bible that we often overlook the lesser names mentioned only a few times.  For example in Genesis 5 there is a genealogy given to us by the inspiration of God concerning the first eleven men.  This genealogy begins from Adam the first man to Noah and then to his son Shem in succession.  The name Adam means “man” and the name Noah means “comfort”, the name Shem means “name” and this.  Let’s just go through all of the names for review:

AdamThe first name, Adam, comes from adomah, and means “man.” As the first man, that seems straightforward enough.SethAdam’s son was named Seth, which means “appointed.” When he was born Eve said, “For God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.”EnoshSeth’s son was called Enosh, which means “mortal,” “frail,” or “miserable.” It is from the root anash: to be incurable; used of a wound, grief, woe, sickness, or wickedness. (It was in the days of Enosh that men began to defile the name of the Living God. )KenanEnosh’s son was named Kenan, from which can mean “sorrow,” dirge,” or “elegy.” (The precise denotation is somewhat elusive; some study aids unfortunately presume an Aramaic root synonymous with “Cainan.”) Balaam, looking down from the heights of Moab, employed a pun upon the name of the Kenites when he prophesied their destruction.MahalalelKenan’s son was Mahalalel, from mahalal, which means “blessed” or “praise”; and El, the name for God. Thus, Mahalalel means “the Blessed God.” Often Hebrew names included El, the name of God, as Dani-el, “God is my Judge,” Nathani-el, “Gift of God,” etc.

Jared

Mahalalel’s son was named Jared, from the verb yaradh, meaning “shall come down.” Some authorities suggest that this might have been an allusion to the “Sons of God” who “came down” to corrupt the daughters of men, resulting in the Nephilim (“Fallen Ones”) of Genesis 6.

Enoch

Jared’s son was named Enoch, which means “teaching,” or “commencement.” He was the first of four generations of preachers. In fact, the earliest recorded prophecy was by Enoch, which amazingly enough deals with the Second Coming of Christ.

Methuselah

The Flood of Noah did not come as a surprise. It had been preached on for four generations. But something strange happened when Enoch was 65, from which time “he walked with God.” Enoch was given a prophecy that as long as his son was alive, the judgment of the flood would be withheld; but as soon as he died, the flood would be sent forth.

Enoch named his son to reflect this prophecy. The name Methuselah comes from two roots: muth, a root that means “death”; and from shalach, which means “to bring,” or “to send forth.” Thus, the name Methuselah signifies, “his death shall bring.

And, indeed, in the year that Methuselah died, the flood came. Methuselah was 187 when he had Lamech, and lived 782 years more. Lamech had Noah when he was 182. The Flood came in Noah’s 600th year. 187 + 182 + 600 = 969, Methuselah’s age when he died

It is interesting that Methuselah’s life was, in effect, a symbol of God’s mercy in forestalling the coming judgment of the flood. It is therefore fitting that his lifetime is the oldest in the Bible, symbolizing the extreme extensiveness of God’s mercy.

Lamech

Methuselah’s son was named Lamech, a root still evident today in our own English word, “lament” or “lamentation.” Lamech suggests “despairing.” (This name is also linked to the Lamech in Cain’s line who inadvertently killed his son Tubal-Cain in a hunting incident. )

Noah

Lamech, of course, is the father of Noah, which is derived from nacham , “to bring relief” or “comfort,” as Lamech himself explains.

Shem

Shem is the exact same Hebrew word that I just gave you for “Name” (H8034).

 

The Composite List

Now let’s put it all together:

Hebrew English
Adam Man
Seth Appointed
Enosh Mortal
Kenan Sorrow
Mahalalel The Blessed God
Jared Shall come down
Enoch Teaching
Methuselah His death shall bring
Lamech The despairing
Noah Rest, or comfort
Shem Name

If you take the meanings of each of these 11 names given to us in the Bible and combine them into a sentence, you will find the Gospel of Jesus’ coming into the world and one of the primary reasons for His appearing.    Here is the sentence using the Hebrew name meanings:

Man (has) appointed mortal sorrow; (but) the Blessed God will come down teaching (and) His death shall bring the despairing comfort (by or through His) Name.

I hope that you are beginning to see how Jesus is even mentioned indirectly here in the names of two prominent Bible men (Adam and Noah) and 9 other relatively obscure men in the Bible.  This hidden reference to Jesus using only the names of men certainly is beyond chance or random occurrence.  This information had to be placed there by God’s design and plan and this teaches us plainly that God even uses names in the Bible to inform us of things that are very important for us to learn and know.  I will give credit for the majority of this information to Chuck Missler  and you can find it on his website.  I added the name of Shem to what he taught because this should have been given.  Remember this prophecy using the 11 names because this will be readdressed in this Bible study later.  Let’s move on to the specific name of Jesus next.

INTRODUCTION TO THE NAME OF JESUS

We will continue our Bible study concerning “who is Jesus” with a statement being made to Joseph from an angel sent from the Lord.  In this statement is the name of the male child to be born to Joseph’s wife Mary.  This name comes from God just like the name of Jacob came directly from God through an angel giving it great divine significance and purpose.

Mat 1:21  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

I want to reemphasize this point that the name of “Jesus” came directly from heaven and not from Joseph or Mary or any other human.  This fact gives the name of Jesus a divine reason and purpose for being given.  The next thing that you need to know is that the name “Jesus” is an English transliteration of the Greek name “Iēsous” being written in the book of Matthew.  A transliteration is nothing but a man’s attempt to transfer and preserve a name from one language’s alphabet to another by using similar sounding vowels and constantans.  The problem we begin to encounter very quickly is when we realize that the man Jesus was not English nor was He a Greek.  Neither of these names would be correct based upon the nationality of Jesus.  The genealogy of Jesus given to us in Matthew and Luke both prove that Jesus descended from the Hebrew nation a descendant of Abraham and David. Therefore the name of Jesus should be a Hebrew name and this is exactly what we discover when we look up the Greek word in the Strong’s dictionary:

G2424

Of Hebrew origin [H3091]; Jesus (that is, Jehoshua), the name of our Lord and two (three) other Israelites: – Jesus.

You should be able to quickly recognize that the Greek word name has a Hebrew origin.  It is also apparent that the name of Jesus was not a completely unique name and that there were other Hebrew men that were also given this famous name.  But we still need to ask the question why did the angel tell the man Joseph to name the child Jesus?  In order to answer that question we need to revert further to the original Hebrew.  Let’s look up the name H3091 and find its meaning:

H3091

From H3068 and H3467; Jehovah-saved; Jehoshua (that is, Joshua), the Jewish leader: – Jehoshua, Jehoshuah, Joshua. Compare H1954, H3442.

The English transliterated name for the Hebrew word H3091 is “Jehoshua” or “Joshua”.   This name literally means “Jehovah saved” in the original Hebrew meaning.  This Hebrew word is made  from two Hebrew root words being combined together.  The first word is H3068 meaning “Jehovah” and the second being H3467 meaning “saved”.  “Jehovah” is simply one of the key names for God found within the Old Testament.  The name Jehovah is used by God in over 5000 verses.  The name Jehovah (H3068) simply means “Self Existent or Eternal One” and was most often translated as “LORD”.

The Hebrew word H3467 simply means “to save”, “to deliver”, “to free”, “to be made safe”, “salvation” and even “to get victory”.  This part of the definition goes along with the statement made to Joseph in Matthew 1 if you will recall the angel said “you shall call His name Jesus because He will save His people”.  We can learn from the meaning of the name that Jesus was the hidden fulfilled prophecy of the genealogy of Genesis 5 using the 11 names of Bible men.  Remember this prophecy predicted that “the Blessed God would come down teaching and His death gives the despairing comfort through His name”.  The despairing are simply humans that were held captive prisoners within the darkness of this world.   The Name of Jesus was the God given name that men were required to believe upon and we will talk abut this more in the series as we go.    This is exactly what transpired.  The name of Jesus shows us by its definition that He was the Jehovah God that delivers and saves His people. This is now the second Biblical confirmation that Jesus was God in the flesh that came down to the earth.  Let’s move to new name given to Jesus and study a further confirmation.

JESUS = GOD WITH US!

We are now going to explore another name given to Jesus in the Bible.  This name will be the third conformation that Jesus was God in the flesh come to the earth from heaven.  I will first give you the name found in the Greek New Testament.  This name is found in a verse of Matthew 1.  Please read it very carefully not overlooking any of the words in the stated scripture.

Mat 1:23  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

First consider the beginning of the verse where God declares a “virgin” will be with child.  A virgin simply means an unmarried daughter and this clearly implies that she has never had sex with any man.  Right there that gives us the first impression of a supernatural conception.  Next the Greek words translated as “be with child” simply means that she is pregnant in her womb.  Next the author (God) says she will bring forth (birth) a son.  Here is where we get to the good stuff.  God say “They shall call his name Emmanuel”.  Wow, this is a very meaningful name that was being bestowed upon Jesus.  Of course this name is meaningless if you don’t know what the definition of the Hebrew word being given to us is.

What we have just witnessed in this verse is a very vital principle (rule) that God teaches us to how to understand selected parts of the Bible.  I have already been using this principle when I taught on the meaning of the name of Jesus earlier in this Bible lesson. This principle given to us by God is the simple fact that names have meaning and that these meanings have significance to indicate something important about the one being named.  This principle also teaches us very directly that we need to go back to the original language meaning in order to insure the significance.

Perhaps you missed it again.  The name “Emmanuel” in this verse is just another Greek to English transliteration.  This Greek word (G1694) was also a transliteration from the Hebrew original name H6005 which was transliterated into English in the Old Testament as “Immanuel”.  This is further confirmation that what I did for the name of Jesus going back to Joshua was very legitimate.  Finally I want you to see in this verse the Greek word (G3177) that was translated into “interpreted”.  This Greek word literally means to “translate” from one language into another.  What God is doing is confirming the fact that names have meanings and these meanings have purpose as I have already stated.   Let’s go back and research the original prophecy that this verse in Matthew is quoted from:

Isa 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

This verse quite literally says that this will be a “sign” given by the omnipotent God.  This Hebrew word (H226) that was translated as “sign” can mean “evidence” or even a “monument”.  In other words Jesus will be the visible proof for the name being given to Him.  So what did this name ‘Immanuel” given from God mean?  You read it in Matthew but it was not given here in Isaiah because you are assumed to already know Hebrew if you are reading the Old Testament because it was written to Hebrews.  This is a reason that God wrote the meaning out in the New Testament because it was predominately read by Gentiles who needed to learn more about this old language.

If you knew the Hebrew language then you would find that “Immanuel” means “God with us”.  If we break down the Hebrew root words found within this name we should start with the ending syllable  “el” which is the short form for one of the prominent names of God in the Old Testament “Elohim”.  The short form name “el” for God is used in almost 150 other names in the Old Testament and that is an interesting  study all by itself.   Then go back to the beginning syllable of the name “Im” and this means “with” or even “in”. Now look at what remains in the middle “man”.  Put them together it could read something .like “God in the form of man” which could also means “God with men”.

Do you understand these God given principles?  I’ll say it one more time, names have meanings in the Bible and these meanings are important especially based upon who gives the person this name.  Any name given to anyone by God is of the ultimate importance since God is supreme.  Based on Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23 God comes down from heaven in the form of a man to be with us, to walk among us and to live like us but as a higher example.  So far we have found 4 witnesses in the Bible that claims Jesus to be God in the flesh but there are more.  Let’s examine another name of Jesus.

GOD THE WORD BECAME FLESH

All Bible truth is found only by searching and studying the Bible with the Holy Spirit’s help to reveal it to us so we are able to see it clearly.  This is why the Bible is not understood by even many Christians.  They are not studying, not searching or not praying and asking God to open their eyes to the truth and lead them into it.  We are going to need to search to find the names of Jesus in order to discover who He really is.  I’ll give you three verses to read next and then talk about them:

Rev 19:11  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

Rev 19:12  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

Rev 19:13  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Did you see the two names of Jesus given to Him by God?  First there is the one called “Faithful and True” and this can only be a name for the divine God since every human can and will fail us.  Then in verse 13 He is called by the name “The Word of God”.   It is this name “The Word of God” that I want to focus upon next.  But both of these names prove that Jesus was God in the flesh come to the earth as a man.  How do they do that you ask?  Well again you have to study and read the Bible to find the answers.  The real answers don’t fall on you like a piece of ripe fruit from a tree that you are laying under doing nothing.

The book Revelation was written by the inspiration and revelation of God through a man named John.  John wrote other books of the New Testament and we need to go back to the first book in order to find the answer to who “The Word of God” represents.  Read these next two verses to begin with from the first chapter of John:

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

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

God is the primary subject of both verses and the verse begins with the statment “In the beginning was The Word”.   This statement is talking about Jesus indirectly since Jesus is called the Word of God in Revelation 19:13.  Jesus is being indirectly called the Word again with a direct association of the Word for the theme of God being the primary direct subject.  The Word was with God and the Word was God.  If you know anything about the laws of mathematics you understand that if A=B and B=C then A=C.  Therefore if the Word = God (John 1:1) and Jesus = the Word (Rev 19:13) then God = Jesus by undeniable mathematical proof.  I’m not going to go through every verse in this chapter of John because that would take too long but I will give you 4 more verses for you to read:

Joh 1:10  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

Joh 1:11  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

Joh 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Joh 1:13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Joh 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

These verses begin with “He was in the world”.  Who is He?  This is talking about Jesus in conjunction to the primary subject still being God.  Then notice what it says, “The world was made by Him”.  Again this is a combined reference to the Spirit of God, the Word of God and God the Father because these three revealed personalities are all the same God (1 Jn 1:5:7).   Only God created the world.  You can go back to Genesis 1:1 and read this plainly.  In the beginning “God” (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth.  Now remember God says in Isaiah Immanuel (El = Elohim) is coming to be with us.

In verse 12 God tells us that if we believe on His name He will give us the power to become the sons of God.  Why am I teaching you all about the names of Jesus in this lesson?  I’m teaching you this so that you might believe in His names in order to be saved.  I am teaching on the names of Jesus to reveal Him to be God in the flesh.  Did you read verse 14?  More importantly did you actually see what it says in verse 14?  It says The Word (THE WORD = GOD verse 1) was made flesh and dwelt among us.  God dwelling among us is just the name “Immanuel” again written out in definition form.  Jesus is declared to be God with us in the form of a man (flesh).

God directly connects John 1:1 with Genesis 1:1 by the same three simple words “In the Beginning”.   Whenever God does something like this it is not an accident or chance occurrence.  God is telling us they are about the same themed subject.  In Genesis 1:1 it said “In the Beginning God” and in John 1:1 it said “In the Beginning was the Word”.  This is God’s hidden way of saying “I am the Word and I created the world”.  You see there is another hidden reference to Jesus found in Genesis 1:1.  I have written about this before in other lesson but it fits very well with what God is saying here that I will repeat it.

Gen 1:1  In the beginning (the A-Z) God created the heaven and the earth. 

The fourth word of the Bible in Genesis 1:1 was omitted by the translators because they did not know what it meant.  This fourth untranslated word was technically not a word at all but rather the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet.  Uh oh, that should turn some light bulbs on in your brain if you have read the Bible very much.  Genesis 1:1 should read in the English “In the Beginning the A-Z God created…”.  The A-Z God is another hidden reference to Jesus because Jesus said in Revelation 1:11 “I am the Alpha and the Omega”.  Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and Omega is the last letter in the Greek alphabet.  In other words Jesus was saying in English “I am the A to Z”.  This is exactly who Genesis 1:1 said created the world that we live in.  Wow, this is great stuff if you open your eyes of your heart and let it in.  I guarantee you that it will save you from hell if you begin to believe it.

This is really not that complicated but Satan does not want these truths to be known.  Satan perverts the truth to change Jesus from being divine (God in the flesh) to being only a man (a descendant of Adam) or a prophet to defeat you.   Satan does everything in His power to blind the minds of people so that they cannot see the obvious truth of God’s Word in order to be saved (2 Cor 4:4).

CONCLUSION

I have gone over multiple truths in this Bible lesson that declares Jesus to have come from God in heaven.  Not only this but that Jesus was God in the flesh.  The Bible says let every word be established in truth by the mouths of two or three witnesses (2 Cor 13:1).  I have given you double that with at least 5 to 6 witnesses that Jesus was the God of creation come to the earth in the flesh.  We started this lesson with Jesus asking us all “Who do you say that I am?”  We then went into the significance of names in the Bible and I introduced you to a hidden prophecy of Jesus coming into the earth in the flesh in the genealogy found in Genesis 5.

We then went into three of the primary names given to Jesus in the Bible, 1) Jesus, 2) Emmanuel and 3) The Word of God.   The name of Jesus was the Hebrew name, Joshua and we found that Joshua meant “Jehovah Saved”.  Therefore Jesus was this God named Jehovah that came down from heaven to save His people just as was prophesied to occur.  We then talked about the name “Immanuel” and that this meant “God with us”.  We then talked about Jesus being the Word of God that came in the flesh and it was this A-Z God that created the world that we live in.  If you are still wavering and doubting after all of this evidence then I don’t know what else to say that will help you.  Go back and reread your Bible and all of the verses that I just gave you.  Study the names of Jesus until you have them memorized.

This was only Part 1 in the series of lessons on “Who do you say that I am?”   I will be going over more scriptural evidence for Jesus being God in the next lesson in this series.  I want to thank you for being open minded enough to read this lesson and I pray that God will help you to see Him in all His glory.  Help me spread the word of truth to your friends.  Tell them about my website.  Send them links to my lessons.  Please, help me spread God’s Word so that we can reach the lost world.  Jesus is coming back very, very soon.  The timing cannot be that far off based upon current world events transpiring.  We need to reach everyone that we can and help everyone that we can so that none will perish.  Thank you for your prayers of support, because they are very needed and valuable to me.  God bless you and keep you until the next time.  Always remember the correct answer to the question “Who do you say that I am” is “You are Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God, my Savior, my Lord and my God”.  God Bless you!

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

 

Bible Basics: Would You Rather Be Rejected by Men or Rejected by God? Mastering Rejection!

rejection1(Ver 1.1)  This is a Basic Bible Study requesting an answer from every reader to a very serious question.  If you have read all of my Bible lessons you should already know that I occasionally teach a Bible Basic Subject for those that are new to Christianity or just in need of learning the simpler milk truths of God’s Word.  However, for those more mature Christians or those Christians going through a struggle that could use a refreshing reminder of the Word of God this lesson just might be a great blessing to you also.  Today’s Bible lesson is intended and designed for those types of readers but everyone can still benefit from what God will share about the subject of rejection.    Let’s begin by asking the important question “Would you rather be rejected by your friends, your family, your peers, your co-workers, your bosses and the people of the world or would you rather be rejected by God?”  Wow, how do we begin to answer or respond to that question?

INTRODUCTION TO REJECTION

Rejection from anyone should usually never be viewed as a positive experience from a natural or spiritual perspective.  No one that I know of that is vaguely or remotely “normal” will ever feel excited, happy or good about being rejected by anyone for whatever reason.  I can personally identify with this subject directly in my own private life.  I have been personally rejected by my family, my friends and people of great importance to me in this last year that has caused me great pain, suffering and hurt.  How do we deal with this?  Has God provided a divine coping mechanism for rejection? This is what we will be talking about today from a God and Bible perspective on the subject of being rejected and handling rejection.

rejection3We have all been at the cross roads of rejection and hurt, haven’t we?  I know I have.  As I have stated I have been ignored and rejected by close family, friends and acquaintances for one reason or the other.  These acts of rejection can cause significant emotional distress, hurts and pains that can make us feel very insufficient, inadequate, second-rate and inferior.  Rejection is nothing new to me.  I am frequently rejected by some of my Bible Study readers.  These people who reject me online usually provide critical reviews through unloving negative comments that can be very painful and upsetting if I allowed them inside me.   If you did not realize it rejection is a spiritual force.  Just like love, hate and fear are spiritual forces.  Each of us can become overwhelmed by the undesirable force of rejection.  If we do not learn how to deal with this force it can easily overwhelm us into a pit of despair.  Please read this initial definition for “reject”:

REJECT: dismiss as inadequate, inappropriate, or not to one’s taste

Let’s stop and review this definition of “reject”. As you should be able to see when someone or something is rejected then that which was rejected is stated to not fit within the positive expectations of the observer for any unstated reason.  What we find from this definition is that there are either implied or unstated rules of acceptance and not meeting these will result in rejection of the person or the item being observed.  Rejection can obviously become very subjective if you know what that means.  Rejection is based upon subjective human reasoning and this simply means that there is a direct level of personal opinion, bias or preference to most forms of rejection.  One’s personal opinion will usually drive their acceptance or rejection of someone else.  However there are also other types of rejection based upon a stricter standard of rules.

For example a shirt being manufactured for sale in a store will undergo an inspection by a trained observant inspector.  Each inspector is given a set of established standards to determine if the shirt meets expectations.  If a flaw is determined to be present in the garment then the garment is rejected and cannot be sold as a new quality garment matching the established standards.  It does not matter if there are over 100 things right about the garment because if there is found one minor flaw the garment is rejected.  This is exactly what happens with people rejecting people also if you did not realize it.  However the established set of rules is usually very loose and not well defined.  Many fault finding people look for flaws and overlook any good qualities found within a person and will simply reject them as being imperfect.  This is basic human nature and you need to know this in order to understand rejection more completely and why it occurs.

Some of the synonyms for reject are “castoff”, “throwaway” or “discard”.  All of these are negative observer reactions from failing the perceived observation acceptance standards directed at the person or object being rejected.  As I have stated previously rejection of anything is clearly a subjective personal decision based upon the observer’s own personal preferences, experiences, rules, likes or dislikes. rejected_broccoli   Let’s review another quick example of a type of rejection.  A person can reject eating broccoli simply because they do not like the observable smell, shape, appearance, color or even the texture.  Many people reject eating broccoli having never even tasting it.    Therefore rejection by the casual observer will usually be done by someone based upon a very limited set of superficial information void of all of the facts.  The observer would not consider the taste or the vitamin content or nutritional value of broccoli but would rather pass a quick judgment based upon superficial and insufficient observation.   Always remember this and this may help you tremendously with dealing with rejection.  Many decisions of rejection are performed based upon pure human ignorance.  Let’s consider a set of verses very quickly to get this subject started:

Mat 7:3  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Mat 7:4  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Mat 7:5  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

These verses do not mention rejection but this represents the same action of rejection that happens when someone is rejected by an observer.  Did you see the principles that Jesus was teaching the man doing the observation and trying to pass judgment upon the other man?  Jesus asks how can you perceive correctly the flaws in your brother’s life if you have not seen the flaws in your own life first?  This is such a profound warning from God about how we act almost every day.   Too often people are rejecting others simply because of a minor flaw when they are the ones that should be rejected from their own self-examination.   However since they are not examining themselves Jesus calls them a hypocrite for seeing something so minor in another person.

Ok did you observe the process of rejection taking place in these verses?  There is both an observer (rejecter) and someone that is being observed (one being rejected).  The observer is looking specifically for faults and ignoring all the good qualities of the person.  The observer passes a hasty independent judgment without attempting to find or see all of the facts.  The observer’s actions are stated to be WRONG.  The observer is judged by God to be a hypocrite for not looking at himself first before passing judgment upon anyone else.  Uh oh!  What do we do with all of this great information?

I am starting out the lesson on how to handle rejection by saying, don’t become like a hypocrite.   If you are rejecting people because of some insufficient information then you will be making the same mistake that others will be doing by rejecting you.  This is a very good time to interject the golden rule.  We should all do to others as we would have them to do to us.  In other words don’t reject people even if you are the one being constantly rejected.  As you learn this subject of rejection all of this will become more real to you.  Are you ready to learn more about rejection?  I think we will begin the lesson with a further discussion of ignorance.

# 1 – REJECTION IS NORMALLY DONE FROM IGNORANCE

Rejection (passing judgments) can be caused by many reasons but one of the main factors is human ignorance.  Every human is born into the world an empty vessel waiting to be filled with some knowledge.  Therefore we are all in varying states of ignorance no matter how much we have learned.  This is good knowledge for dealing with personal rejection.  We need to understand that the person doing the rejecting usually does it from their own pure unawareness or lack of understanding of you or your situation, experiences or even your circumstances.  Wow, this is much truer than you may understand right now.   I once heard a preacher responding to the rejection by a man that heard the message that he preached.  This preacher said to the man “If you knew me you would really like me”.   Do you understand why he said that?  The preacher understood that his rejection was based upon the man’s insufficient information.  He knew that the man had rejected him based upon very limited evidence from only one sermon.  This should help teach you a new way to handle someone’s rejection of you.  Don’t call them ignorant to their face but rather walk in love towards them because this is the way you should react to rejection as we will soon find by a living example in the Bible.

Did you know that Jesus was rejected?  Yes Jesus was definitely rejected by many of the people that He encountered here on the earth.  I’m not going to go into every verse example of rejection concerning Jesus but I will give you some very quick verses to consider about the subject of rejection and how to treat those that are rejecting you.

Luk 20:17  And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?

Here is Jesus speaking directly of Himself from a verse of prophecy found in Psalms 118:22.  Jesus is speaking of Himself as the “Stone” that the builders rejected.  This stone is a figurative symbolic representation of the foundation within a new spiritual temple that would be coming to fruition by the design and plan of God.  I do not have the time to explain this statement in full in this lesson.  It would take much too long to understand what these builders were supposed to be building and why Jesus is called the major Stone in that building project.  Just understand that this is a spiritual house being foretold by the prophets of God and it is not a physical natural house or temple.  I will also tell you that it was the natural nation of Israel that represented the initial builders of this house.  Jesus by His own admission claims to be the rejected Stone.  It was natural Israel that was rejecting the Stone.  Ignorance of God’s purpose and plan is probably the key reason why the nation of Israel rejected Jesus, their Messiah.  They were thinking temporarily and naturally and Jesus was thinking and speaking eternally and spiritually.  Wow again, that was a very important concept for understanding how to handle rejection.   Did you get it?  I’ll try to emphasize this again later in the lesson to help you.   However I will give you another verse witness to the fact that Jesus was the living Stone:

1Co 10:4  And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Jesus is being called a spiritual Rock and this is just a synonymous term for “Living Stone”.  Spirits are living beings that cannot die or cease to exist.  This is one of the keys to understanding what God is doing within the New Covenant.  The Old Testament types and shadows were just a foretelling of a coming greater spiritual reality.  Ok we have just established that Jesus was rejected as a living stone by the nation of natural Israel.  Let’s review a very specific verse example of this rejection and the reaction of Jesus to this as the Living Stone.  Please read this verse carefully.

Luk 23:34  Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

If you read the context you will find that this is Jesus stripped naked and then being nailed through His flesh to a wooden cross.   Jesus is in great pain and dealing with extraordinary levels of human suffering that had all been imposed upon Him through the rejection of His own people.  This rejection arose from the root cause of their ignorance.  None of these people knew or understood what they were doing as you can clearly see from the statement being made by Jesus Himself “They know not what they do”.  None of these people recognized or understood that this man hanging on this tree was God come to the earth in the flesh.  None of these people knew or understood their actions for why they were rejecting Him.  None of these people cared about the pain that they were inflicting upon Jesus by their rejection.   All of these people were extremely ignorant of the facts and very far from any knowledge of the truth.   Jesus could have been like the preacher man and said to them all “If you knew me you would really like me” but He did not say this.  However the reaction of Jesus to this personal rejection is quite the opposite of what most people would have done or said.   Let’s talk about His reaction next.

# 2 – LOVE & PROACTIVE FORGIVENESS WILL OVERCOME REJECTION

We just quickly reviewed the example of Jesus hanging on the cross.  Jesus had asked His Father to forgive them even while being hurt extensively from the pain caused by their ignorant human rejection.   Jesus offered them all forgiveness as He endured unimaginable agony from their dismissal.   None of those that rejected Him asked for this forgiveness so this was a proactive outreach from His love and mercy.  Why was Jesus asking God to forgive them?  It is primarily because walking in love will always forgive others proactively.  If we wait for someone to ask for forgiveness before we extend it, I believe this can cause ill feelings to be harbored in our inner being that can build up and harden our hearts.

What is forgiveness?   Forgiveness is a personal act of the freewill to extend mercy to someone that does not deserve to receive mercy.  Wow, is that a tough concept for new Christians and for even many mature ones to grasp?   It has been rare for me to see people with any mercy much less any forgiveness on the internet.  Yes, I am talking about people who call themselves Christians.    We can either decide to act like Jesus and proactively forgive everyone before they ask for it or we can become the judging condemner and stay in bitter un-forgiveness.   What do you think we should do when people reject us?  There are only two real options to choose from and I think I will follow Christ’s example.

# 3 – HANDLING REJECTION CORRECTLY WILL BE EASIER IF YOU KNOW THE TRUTH

If the people doing the rejection are acting out of ignorance of the truth then it stands to reason that we can best deal with this rejection by knowing the truth.  Therefore the third thing to know about handling rejection is we better learn the truth.  I personally believe that we are on the right path by studying this subject.   We want to replace our lack of knowledge by filling our hearts and minds with God’s truth.  God’s Word is the only source for spiritual and eternal truth.  We should claim by faith that we are always in the right place at the right time studying the right subjects so God’s Word will prevail over all rejection and its evil intent from the enemy.  Let’s go back and reconsider Luke 23:34.  Jesus is in a process of extreme rejection yet He prays to God for their forgiveness instead of calling down fire or angels from heaven to destroy them all.  You see Jesus had the power and authority to destroy them but chose not to.   Human reaction would have been to get revenge or to set forth a process for justice at minimum.  But Jesus did none of these.  Why is that?  Jesus could look beyond the current rejection to a greater and more significant purpose for His existence.   Jesus knew that He knew the truth and that His rejecters did not.   This should teach us that there is a right way to handle rejection and if there is a right way there is also a wrong way.    I believe that one of the right ways of dealing with rejection will always be based upon us acquiring right knowledge.  Jesus did this from an early age always being in the temple to hear the Words of God being read.  Jesus gained right knowledge and understanding and this was a key factor for His correct handling of rejection.  So what am I saying?  I am saying ignorant people will reject you but you can overcome this by learning the truth and using this to overcome the rejection.

Life is full of choices.  Making any right choice will always be based upon correct and sufficient knowledge.  Jesus made a right choice while being rejected through an act of His own freewill.   This act was made possible because of the knowledge that He possessed from the Word of God.    I believe that we can do the same if we come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ to grow and increase in the understanding of His precious Holy Word.  This knowledge of God will be what helps us deal with any human rejection.  Therefore the third key to dealing with rejection is to get God’s understanding built within our hearts and minds.  Put God’s Word first in every situation and leave the thoughts and ways of the natural world behind.  It was the Jews that were thinking naturally and missed their Messiah.  Wrong thinking and wrong believing based upon ignorance will be one of the primary causes for people rejecting right things and the right people.  But it is right knowledge that will cause the rejected one to not be affected by the rejection.

Pro 4:7  Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

God directs us more than once in the Bible that we need to obtain understanding.   Understanding the reasons for rejection will help us handle it when it comes to us and it will come to you.  There are people in the world today that are being rejected and do not know how to handle it and this allows Satan to convince them that they should take their own lives or withdraw from normal human interaction.  God says in Hosea 4:6 that “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge”.   Therefore what you do not know about any subject can be used against you by Satan to destroy you.  Learn to overcome rejection by obtaining the knowledge of God.

I hope you are learning something because I know I am.  All my Bible lessons are for me from God and if you can benefit from them then that is just an added blessing from God.  Also if you don’t like what I teach I would just tell you “You would really like me if you knew me”.  Let’s move on to the next point in dealing with rejection.

# 4 – UNDERSTANDING REJECTION CAUSES PAIN

painLet’ go back again to Luke 23 where Jesus was hanging on the cross and asking God to forgive them.  In the case of the Lord Jesus, His rejection caused Him extreme physical and even emotional pain because of all the things that He endured for us.   So the fourth key to understanding how to handle rejection is for us to understand that there will always be pain that follows the initial rejection.  Just learn to expect it because it will occur.  Perhaps you do not understand me yet.  I do not mean to imply that the pain of rejection will always be the same as Jesus’ physical pain.  However that is still a reality even in this world today.  People are killed, tortured and physically hurt by rejection today.  Just look on the news or the internet and you should be able to find this easily.  Even in the days of the early church the leaders, teachers and the followers of Christ were rejected by many people.   Many of those in the early church were martyred.  Many of them suffered greatly because of their faith.  Many of them died horrific deaths of all sorts and types of slow demise.   Such great suffering occurred simply because of human rejection influenced and conceived by Satan.

Can we agree that pain is not a positive feeling?  Only a perverted and twisted mind will delight in pain.  However there is a positive factor that pain can alert us to something harmful occurring.  For example if something is hot and you touch it accidently the natural reaction is to withdraw your touch very fast because of the pain caused by the heat.  This is an example of how pain can alert us to trouble.  God built us with the capability of feeling all types of sensations including pain and pleasure.  I personally would rather experience a good feeling rather than the negative feeling of pain but yet both still exist for a reason.  Since pain exists in the world and we will probably feel it, learning how to react correctly to pain might be something good for us to learn about.  If not in this lesson then maybe in a follow up lesson on this subject.

There are certainly many types of pain that rejection can cause other than physical suffering.   The factor of emotional pain is significantly as great as physical pain to most people.   Emotional pain could cause us the same type of reaction as a physical pain.  Many will withdraw from a person after they are hurt by them.   If you have ever been rejected by the love of your life then you know exactly the kind of pain that I am talking about.  I believe that physical pain can always feel the greatest when it is happening but emotional feelings can linger for a while.  When a woman is in labor about to deliver her baby I am told that the pain is practically unbearable at those moments.   But after the baby arrives the pain suddenly is considered to be worth it all.  At least the rewards now appear to be worth the cost of endurance because of the joy felt by the presence of the baby.  This is a concept that is taught to us by God in the New Testament.  For example read this verse found in the book of Romans:

Rom 8:18  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

The Greek word translated as “sufferings” can mean “emotional or physical” types of pain.   God warns us that we will experience this here in this world.  But God then tells us how to endure it.  Wow, again and again.  Here we are told to get back to thinking spiritually and eternally.  God tells us very clearly in 2 Corinthians 4:18 that the things in this world are very temporary.  God then instructs us to focus upon the things that are not seen because these are those things that are eternal.  God is simply saying that spiritual things are greater and more important than any sufferings or pains being endured right now.   God tells us that there is coming a glory to be revealed in us. These coming glorious things will make the current pains seem very insignificant.  This is exactly the attitude of the woman that brought a new child into the world.  It will be worth the pains when God shows us what is waiting for us.  I hope you accept this because I know the current pain is very difficult to ignore.  I can speak from experience from the tears that I have shed before because of the pains and hurts and I’m sure that your pain is not any less significant to you that you are going through either.

Jesus endured His natural pain because of His great Love for us and His knowledge of a greater spiritual purpose and plan for our eternity.  He knew this pain endured in the natural would benefit Him and us and it was this love, knowledge and spiritual insight that kept Him on the cross. Thank you Jesus!  Let’s begin to learn to follow Jesus’ example of looking into the future.  I know that seeing into the future is not natural for us.  It is very difficult to focus on anything beyond the current level of pain being experienced.  I keep emphasizing this because this is a reality we have all shared in common at some time in our life and our Christian walk.   Here is another verse of future glory to be revealed:

1Co 2:9  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

I like this verse.  It is an excellent commentary on the future.   Because we cannot fully comprehend the power of God or what God could do for us we do not yet understand what He could have planned for us.  However, we can still begin to think of His goodness and expect some pretty marvelous things that await us.  This should help each of us endure human rejection for a short time.  Begin to think eternally.  While doing this think spiritually and get out of the natural perspective of your rejection.  Ask God to forgive those that are rejecting you.  Ask Him to send laborers across their paths to help them see and know the truth.

We should now start to understand that this type of observer offense called “rejection” causes people pain and these pains can create great feelings of worthlessness, inadequacy, loneliness and inferiority to the one being rejected.  The pain is real but this is definitely a temporary feeling.  Even if they killed you dead, you would pass into eternity to be with Christ and the pain would not be remembered.

# 5 – CHRIST’S INSTRUCTIONS – EXPECTING REJECTION

???????????????????????????????????????????I have implied this subject briefly in previous topics but this will be a more direct emphasis to teach us all to expect rejection to occur.   When we expect something to happen we will be better prepared to handle it.  If we do not expect something to happen then we will usually be taken by surprise when it does happen and this will usually result in our failure.  There is an old saying from my work history that says “Fail to plan then you should plan to fail”.   Do you understand this?   This is only teaching us that we need to come up with a plan before we are rejected just in case it happens and this will give us the greater advantage when it does.  Let’s examine a principle found in the book of Proverbs to help us:

Pro 24:27[Put first things first.] Prepare your work outside and get it ready for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house and establish a home.  (AMP)

This is a very interesting verse that says nothing about rejection but does teach us to make a plan and follow the process.  God gives us instructions to do things in a specific order.  This is generally called “common sense” but this quality is  sometimes a feature lacking in the modern age of people doing things without thinking of the consequences.  The Hebrew word translated as “Prepare” is H3559 and it means “to set upright or erect”.   It is clearly implying a correct process to accomplish this.  In other words a plan is expected and it must be followed.  This is what I am attempting to give you in this lesson.  This lesson is talking about making a plan for rejection.  Preparing for something negative is not a lack of faith but is rather a common sense approach to balancing the scriptures.  We need to learn to expect what God said would happen to happen.   Let’s see what God said would happen:

Mat 10:24The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

Mat 10:25  It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

Jesus declares we are no better than He was.  He says very clearly that how He has been treated by people in this world will be how we will be treated by the same.  This is a foundational doctrine being established and applied by the Lord Jesus Christ to all Christians.  If Jesus was unjustly labeled, accused and rejected by people we should not expect anything differently.  We need to know this because this type of persecution will certainly increase as the time nears for Christ’s return.  Do you understand the connection between persecution and rejection?  These two are directly linked together like Siamese twins.   I can see this persecution happening now even in the media very clearly.  Anyone standing up for God will be tried and torn down by those who do not want to hear it in a court of public opinion.  We will be labeled intolerant hate mongers by those that hate us.  That is a very hypocritical attitude isn’t it?   They can criticize us but we can say nothing about their sin.  I did say their sin and not them.  I try to never talk about anyone specifically by name ever.

We should know from reading the Gospels that Jesus was heavily and frequently rejected for one reason or the other.  There was the time once when the people wanted to stone Him (John 8:59) or throw Him off a cliff (Luke 4:29).  Many others simply walked away mocking His teachings about eating His flesh and drinking His blood for example (John 6:66).  The religious leaders of that day rejected Jesus and planned to kill him and they eventually succeeded (John 5:18, John 7:1).  Rejection was a very significant part of the life of Jesus.  You need to know this and then apply what Jesus just said to you in Matthew 10:25.

Therefore the fifth factor in this lesson for dealing with human rejection is for us to begin to expect for it to occur.  However this only applies if you are anything like Jesus and doing what He was doing, saying what He was saying and acting the same way to people in this world.  Just don’t be surprised when someone rejects you, your message, your witness, your testimony or your life style choices and this will help you deal with it in a healthy manner without striking back from emotional anger or hurt.  Striking back in anger or from the pain or other emotional hurts will usually only cause greater problems of strife as well as give other Christians a bad reputation.  The same as Jesus walked in love to those that rejected Him, is how we should respond to the same types of denunciation.

I will also say this quickly about Christians not being rejected by worldly people.  If you are currently accepted by the vast majority of the people in the world then you are not preaching, teaching or telling people what Jesus told them.  It is impossible not to offend the world with the truth of the Word of God.  Wow, that was a very strong statement but it is a well-known fact.   Always expect the world to reject you and then learn to walk in proactive forgiveness towards them just like Jesus did hanging on the cross when He said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.  This is the beginning of handling rejection and I hope you are learning something today that will help you in your walk with Jesus Christ.  I will just give one more witness to this truth for this lesson today:

Rom 8:17  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

We are warned that we will all suffer with Jesus by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost given to Paul.    In other words the same rejection that He endured we should expect to happen to us.  Do you see it in this verse?  Perhaps it will help to study the Greek Word that was translated as “suffer with” in this verse and it could help us to see what God was trying to say.

G4841From G4862 and G3958 (including its alternate); to experience pain jointly or of the same kind (specifically persecution; to “sympathize”): – suffer with.

It should become significantly clearer by reading this definition from Strong’s Concordance that our rejection will be the same as Christ’s rejection.   “To experience pain jointly or of the same kind” is the primary definition of this word.  I do not know how to make it more clear than this.  After reading this you should now be expecting the same level of rejection and persecution to come to you as what Jesus experienced in this world.

# 6 – UNDERSTAND CHRIST’S EXAMPLE – BECOMING ACCEPTED BY GOD

AcceptedI believe that I have at the very least implied this point briefly in the previous sections but it should be emphasized again more directly for a greater clarification and retention.  I firmly believe that Jesus lived a pattern of life on the earth that we should expect to reoccur in our lives and I further believe that His life was an intentionally designed example for us to follow after.  That does not mean that we will die on the cross like He did but some Christians have experienced that.  What I am trying to say is that we should walk, talk and live the way that He did towards other people in love.

Was Jesus rejected?  I think we have more than confirmed that He was rejected repeatedly.  Did Jesus ever feel the pain of rejection?  I think we have seen this evidence also.  I think I will give you another witness for the emotional pain that Jesus felt about being rejected.  Please read this next verse and see beyond the words to feel the emotions behind them.

Mat 23:37  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Jesus starts out with a heartfelt cry “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem”.  Depending upon the voice tone it could be any emotion between anger and extreme sadness.  But I believe that these words were spoken in pain and disappointment.    You can see this by the further statement “How often would I have gathered your children…”.   This part of the statement is God longing to accept these people into His arms just like a mother hen covers her little young ones.  This is a very powerful statement that the children were refusing this love and nurturing.   They were rejecting the love of the only true God.  This broke the heart of God and He cries for them.  Feel the tears and experience the pain of being rejected.  God is clearly weeping over His people.

How did Jesus deal with all of this rejection?  I would think that we should follow after His example.  We have already talked about many of the things that Jesus did to counter rejection.  I mentioned learning and knowing the truth, walking in love, seeing things spiritually, emphasizing eternal realities and proactively forgiving the rejecters.  Let’s now read my lesson’s foundational verse and consider what God is saying.  This verse will be the central theme for my entire subject today.

1Pe 2:4  And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God,

This verse is the applied basis for my question that I asked you in the title today.  This verse is speaking directly of Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ set us a living example for us to follow after.  He was very clearly rejected by the vast majority of the people present in the region of the earth where He was born.  He did nothing except teach them, heal them and work miracles in their sight and they rejected all the good that He represented and killed Him.  These people took an innocent man guilty of no crimes and killed Him like a murderer.  Did Jesus deserve this rejection?  Did Jesus sow any discord, disharmony or anything else to cause this rejection?  I don’t really believe that He did.   No Jesus simply presented the truth and this truth was rejected out of their human ignorance.

This teaches us that human rejection may not be justified, earned or merited and that it could happen to anyone doing what Jesus did.  However, did you notice the antithesis preference found within this verse found in 1 Peter 2:4?  Doesn’t God say here in this verse that Jesus even after being rejected by men was still plainly accepted by God?  In fact wasn’t Jesus already accepted by God even before he was ever rejected by anyone?   Let’s look at a verse that confirms this:

Luk 3:22  And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

God in a spiritual form of a dove descended from heaven upon Jesus.  The voice of God in heaven spoke and declared the Son of God Jesus to be pleasing to the Father.  To be pleasing in the eyes of the observer is clearly acceptance by the Father God.  At this time in the life and ministry of Jesus, He had not done one miracle yet nor started to teach or preach any Word from God.  Therefore human rejection had not taken place.  Here is a secret for surviving human rejection.  We must make sure that we are first accepted by God.  Wow this really sounds like something that we need to learn about.  How do we become accepted by God when people can reject us?  I guess I should clarify this question.  You see I believe that we are primarily rejected by men simply because we have previously been accepted by God.   I am attempting to talk to Christians in this lesson but I do know we all can still be rejected before we become Christians.  So this lesson can even help a non-Christian if they will join in a do what the Bible teaches about dealing with rejection.

# 7 – UNDERSTANDING HOW TO BECOME REJECTED BY GOD

Mat 10:33  “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

There are at least two antithesis truths that can be gleaned from this verse.  The key word being found in this verse is “deny”.  This Greek word is G720 and it means to “reject”, “renounce” or “abnegate”.  The English word “abnegate” means to reject something valuable.  God says to us if we “reject” (deny) Christ (that which should be valuable to us) verbally to other people that He will reject (deny) us (that which is valuable to Him) before these same people.  Wow, wow, wow!!   That is something that many people have not considered.   Have you given this verse much thought?  It would be good for all of us to meditate on this verse for a long time to get it built into our hearts.

What are the implied unstated or indirect truths found within this verse?  This verse teaches us by the law of antithesis truth that if we “accept” and “proclaim” Christ before men that God will accept and proclaim us in the exact same way.  This fact declares plainly that we control our acceptance or our rejection from God by our own freewill choices and actions.  This truth contradicts the erroneous teaching of extreme predestination where people are appointed for salvation or for hell based upon God’s sovereign plan.  It is very clear to me that we have a great role to play in being accepted or rejected by God.  Let’s obtain another witness to this truth of being rejected by God:

2Ti 2:12  If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

Again God declares that the rejection (denial) of Christ will be His rejection (denial) of us.   These are established truths which places all of the responsibility of what happens to us upon our personal will, choices, decisions and actions.  I keep saying that because this was how God designed salvation to work.  Salvation is totally dependent upon what you believe and what you say.  If you don’t believe me then let’s believe God’s Word and read this verse to confirm it:

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

I am going to say something very controversial about this verse that I have said before in other posts.  I get more religious people’s negative comments trying to convince me that salvation is based upon works and not completely on our faith than any other subject that I teach on.  What are the key words found in this verse?  They are “believe” and “confess”.   God says if we do these two we will be saved.  Now place this verse in harmony with the previous two verses about denying Jesus?  You should be able to see that “denying” Jesus is implied to be a public declaration.  Would it not stand to reason that confessing Jesus is the same?  I do not want to get religious or legal minded about salvation being only one certain way because I do believe a person can get saved all alone in any private setting by calling on Jesus.  However, the public confession of Jesus factor is still implied even after the initial salvation.  Who said we have to stop confessing Jesus after the one time public or private confession of Jesus?

Do you understand what I was saying?  I believe if we confess Jesus in private but deny him in public we could be in serious trouble.   God says salvation is dependent upon us confessing Jesus and believing in His resurrection from the dead.  This would simply imply that our continued salvation hinges upon us continuing to believe and continuing to confess Him as our Lord and Savior in public or in private.   This is what I believe whether you choose to believe it or not.  Please do not write me comments about eternal security and once saved always saved philosophies that do not balance with the whole word of God and ignore so many scriptures that contradict it.  I am probably causing offense to so many readers by attempting to teach the truth as I have been shown it by God but that is the risk of any teaching from the Bible.  Someone will always be offended and I will be rejected by some.

What does all of this teach us?   This means that we should not be ashamed of Jesus Christ to talk about Him and tell others about what He has done for us.  We should not be bashful but rather bold enough to proclaim Him in a public setting.  Uh oh I can feel the readers shutting me off as they just read something that is potentially controversial about doing something potentially offensive to others in the world.    This verse is very strong to say that God will reject some people on the earth.  It seems to me that it would be very wise for me to determine how to not become one of these being rejected.  We are talking about being accepted or being rejected by God.  We have just determined that it is possible to be in either category of mathematical sets.   The set of God’s accepted versus the set of God’s rejected.  Which are you in?  Are you one of His sheep or one of the goats that will be turned away?

# 8 – UNDERSTANDING THE SPIRITUAL SOURCE FOR HUMAN REJECTION

Mat 10:25  It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

I have been doing a very basic Bible lesson on the subject of rejection and how to deal with it.  We have already learned some very valuable information on this subject.  Let’s think some more about the implied truths found in Matthew 10:25.  Did you notice what Jesus was further suggesting in this statement?  Jesus was saying if we are accepted by God then we will probably be rejected by men.  This is just basic logic derived from analyzing the stated truths and the unstated antithesis truths that must also be true.  If we are God’s disciples then we must have been accepted by God.  If we are God’s servants then again this implies God’s approval has taken place.  Now learn how the world will treat those that are accepted and approved into the household of Christ Jesus.  Jesus said that they will be called names and rejected.  Therefore it is one or the other and not both.  What this teaches us again is that if we are accepted by God we will be rejected by the vast unsaved world.  And if we are rejected by God then we are more likely to be accepted by the same lost world. Therefore we should have learned to expect rejection after our acceptance from Jesus Christ.

As I have continued to teach we need to expect this rejection of men to occur in order to not be taken by surprise. Please understand that it is ultimately Satan that is using these people to come against Christians.  Satan will be directing the assaults by providing thoughts that blind their minds to receive the truth.   It is essential to know what Ephesians 6:12 says in this discussion of rejection.

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

Why did I include this verse in a discussion concerning handling rejection?  It is primarily because we need to know who is behind the rejection from the people in the world.  God very clearly teaches in the Bible in more than one scripture that we are in a spiritual battle with the rulers of the darkness of this this world.  Every unsaved person is a puppet in this dark world.  Most of them do not have a clue what they are doing and why they are doing it.  This is why Jesus could hang on the cross and ask God to forgiven them all because of their ignorant allegiance and obedience to the devil.   Jesus knew the ultimate enemy and it was not people.  People were who He came to the earth to save.   Jesus was clearly thinking spiritually and not naturally.  Wow, we really need to get a hold of this concept.  When a person comes and rejects us and calls us names we must realize that it is Satan inspired.  This is why we don’t ever retaliate with a person that is rejecting us.  You can however learn to speak to the spirits that are working in those people.  I would not normally do this to their face unless God instructed me to do so.  We can also pray to God and ask God to open the eyes of understanding for the person doing the rejecting.  These are two things that we can do when being rejected.  Remember that and this will further help you to overcome the rejection.   We can talk more about these in another lesson someday.

# 9 – OVERCOMING THE REJECTION OF MEN WITH THE ACCEPTANCE OF GOD

 What God declares in Matthew 10:25 is that rejection by Satan and the world is inevitable if we are Christians.  We will either be rejected by men or we will rejected by God.  That makes it extraordinarily clear to me who I don’t want to be rejected by.  I want to definitely be accepted by God.  We have already talked about denying Christ or confessing Christ as primary factors for rejection or acceptance but there are other factors that are stated in the Bible. This will be the next tot he last section in this lesson discussion to further expand out knowledge on becoming fully accepted by God.  We will need to learn as much as we can about this subject in a short overview format.

Rejection by men and women in the world will always hurt us emotionally and possibly physically.  I would love to be accepted by everyone that I teach or meet but I know this will never happen.  Also I do not wish to become a “man pleaser” just to have the friendship with the world.  It would be foolish of me to water down the teaching of God to just not to try to offend anyone.  These principles are clearly taught to us in the Bible.  Let’s review some N.T. verses about rejection and acceptance by God:

2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

We are told by God to come out from among them and be separate.  This Greek word translated as “separate” means to set a boundary between two things.  In other words God tells us to be very different from the world.  Being different from the world alone will cause many people in the world to reject us as fools.     We will be called names like intolerant hate mongers or even a boring unexciting person just because we don’t party, drink alcohol, smoke or take drugs like them.  We will be accused of propagating a message of exclusion and preaching a message of hatred simply for speaking of Christ’s love being the only way for their salvation.  What people in the world do not realize is that in their present condition they are far apart from God and on their way to hell.  We are instructed by God to tell them about a remedy for this condition that God has given to them freely.  If they will listen to this message then Christ said they will be saved from the rejection of God.

Go back and reread 2 Corinthians 6:17 again.   The verse ends with the declaration that we will be received by God “IF” we come out from among the world.  This Greek word translated as receive is G1523 and it means “to take into one’s favor” or in other words to “be accepted” and “approved”.  Wow, this is great information to learn.  God is telling you how to be accepted by Him.  This is clearly us rejecting the world’s ways and walking in God’s ways.  The reverse antithesis truth found in this verse is that if we accept the world’s ways we will be rejected by God and that will definitely be an unsatisfactory result for eternity.  What God is teaching us in the Bible is that there exist conditional promises.  Acceptance by God is conditional and never guaranteed unless we learn to follow the instructions that He has given to us in order to qualify.

We have just learned a basic principle for achieving God’s acceptance and avoiding His rejection.  We must proclaim Jesus before men and we must come out from among the world.  It sounds like a contradiction but this is the way of God.  We can tell the world about Jesus without looking like them, acting like them or sounding like them.  Being accepted by God is a partnership between God’s Grace and man’s faith.  We cannot earn this favorable position with God by our works.  Our works of labor will never make us accepted by God.  This is truly a paradox being presented to us.  If right works do not save us yet the wrong works could cause us to be rejected how do we deal with this?  Let’s view a perspective from the Lord Jesus on this part of the discussion:

Mat 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

We are called the lights shining to the world in this verse.  As a light we are told to do good works in order to give glory to God for saving us.   You see our good works certainly do not save us but yet they can be viewed by the world clearly to be seen as a different and new way of life.   There is a tremendous deception contained within the ways of the world.  The life of sin is very attractive at first but the consequence of sin will always come upon them suddenly and then this is when people might wish they had made better choices.   Let me give you a quick Bible verse that relates to this subject of enjoying pleasure for a short time and an eternity in hell for making that wrong choice:

Heb 11:25  Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

This verse is speaking of Moses if you read the context you will see this clearly.  Notice what God says about Moses.  God says Moses made a wise choice.  Moses chose to live in persecution and affliction rather than live the good life with the Egyptians for a season.  It is self-evident that we should not choose a short life of pleasure just to hang around the popular people, the aristocrats and the wealthy.   This is what God is trying to say to us all.  Come out and be separate from the world and this will cause you to be accepted by God but rejected by them.  However, this will result in far greater rewards than you can possibly imagine.

#10 – THE WITNESS OF GOD IS GREATER THAN THE WITNESS OF MAN

Now let me end this lesson with one more key verse when learning to deal with rejection found in the book of 1st John.   I am going to emphasize one more time that the acceptance of God should be our focused desire.  This goal will help us to deal with the certain rejection of people in this world:

1Jn 5:9  If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

I think this will be my last verse in this very important Bible lesson.  Here is God comparing two possible realities that I started out asking you in the lesson title.  Did you see them?  One is a natural reality and the other is a spiritual reality?  Which one is greater?   Can you comprehend the connection to the subject of “rejection”?   Let’s look up the Greek word G3144 which was translated as “witness”.  Witness is defined to be someone that gives evidence for or against you in a court of law.  Now do you begin to see the connection?  What happens when someone rejects you?  They usually will verbally speak something negative about you.  What happens when someone accepts you?  They usually will verbally speak something positive about you.  So how does this information apply to being rejected by men?

If a man rejects you God informs us very clearly that His acceptance will be greater and far more important to us in the end.  In other words the temporary acceptance of men will not be worth the eternal separation and rejection of God.  God is just confirming that His divine spiritual acceptance outweighs any natural rejection every time.  I think this will be very helpful to everyone that will learn to receive it.

After reading this Bible lesson on rejection let me ask the titled question again. Would you now rather be rejected by men or rejected by God?  This is a test just like in school growing up.  However, God’s tests are always open book tests with the answer found right after you search for them with your whole heart.  What does God recommend for this question?  God recommends that you make wise choices and become accepted by Him.  Then don’t worry about the rejection that the world will bring you because the acceptance of God will triumph over this dismissal by the world giving you great eternal rewards.

There is so much more on this subject of rejection in the Bible but it will have to wait for a follow up lesson.  I would recommend that you go back and reread this lesson more than once.  Print it out and take notes.  Share it with others so that they too will know how to deal with rejection.  I thank you so much for taking the time to read these Bible lessons.  I pray that the seeds planted in your heart from these lessons will sprout and bring forth much fruit in your life.  Until next time may God richly bless you and keep you in the paths that He would lead you in.  God Bless you!!!

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

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

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

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

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

GOD’S SELECTED WORD USAGE

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

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

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

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

STUDYING THE CONTEXT OF MARK 10:25

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

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

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

  •  Mar 10:17  And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

  • Mar 10:18  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

  • Mar 10:19  Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

  • Mar 10:20  And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

  • Mar 10:21  Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

  • Mar 10:22  And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

  • Mar 10:23  And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

  • Mar 10:24  And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT GIVING TO THE POOR?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

CONCLUSION

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IS ISAIAH 53 EASILY UNDERSTOOD?

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

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

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

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

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

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

ISAIAH 53:1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QUOTE

O.T. REFERENCE

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

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

  • Rom 10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
  • Rom 10:15  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

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

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

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

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

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

Is the Rapture of the Church Really Found in the Bible? Introduction to the Basics – Part 2

(ver 1.2) This is Part 2 in a series of advanced spiritual Bible lessons on the subject of “Is the Rapture of the Church a Bible Truth”.  If you have not read the first lesson I would highly recommend that you go and start the study with “Part 1” and then continue with today’s lesson.  During lesson 1, I took you through a brief explanation of what Rapture is using the dictionary.  From this word definition I derived a list of synonymous terms that can be interchanged with the word “rapture” to convey the same thought or message.  Some of the words were “caught up”, “taken away”, “removed”, and “to depart”, etc.   Seeking to learn the basics we looked at three to four messages taught by Jesus using different symbolic representations to teach very similar rapture concepts.  Of course none of these lessons contained the word “rapture” and that is why they are often ignored when studying the subject.  We examined the “Pathway Analogy”, the parallels given to us in the “Sheep and Goat Analogy” and the “Wheat and Tare Analogy” and finally we looked at the “Ten Virgin Parable”.  You should have easily observed that each lesson contained a central theme of the concept of division.  Division is nothing but the separation of two distinct groups.  One group can be separated from another group for many distinct reasons.  In the world today criminals are sent to prison to separate them from hurting others outside of prison.  Therefore, we can potentially call rapture the separation of the righteous from the unrighteous.  In today’s lesson I will continue to expand on the basic concepts using Bible patterns of rapture to confirm the basic concepts.  Here are some of the items that we will be covering today:

  1. Rapture is a separation of one person or one group of people from the others.
  2. Rapture is a change in location either physically or spiritually or both from one previous location to another new location.
  3. Rapture is usually the forced removal without scheduled notice and without any human consent.
  4. Rapture demonstrates the sovereign divine Power of God to transport a person or a people from one location to the new location.
  5. Rapture event timings are always determined by God and nothing you do or believe can change that.
  6. Rapture can be the exclusionary act of God upon the unrighteous that were not taken (not saved, left behind, those to be destroyed) separated from the righteous that were taken, saved and removed.

We have read several basic verses and have so far not officially determined the timing for any potential rapture event.    Many get distracted by the intimate details and miss the more important basic concepts.  I want to firmly establish the basics and then work towards the details in their proper order.  You might recall that in the first lesson I implied that there are at least 3 future raptures that must still take place and eventually we will readdress what those can be.  I also said that I can clearly see that there have already been around 6 previous raptures that have previously occurred in the Bible and we cannot ignore them.  These examples will conform to the basic factual rules that I just listed above.  I plan on exploring many of these historical rapture accounts in this lesson today to help further the establishment of the valid patterns for the future rapture concepts being taught in the Bible.

GOD REVEALING TRUTH

Too many people want to read the Bible and believe that God placed all of the truth in obvious plain view for anyone to easily find, see, read and understand.  However that is just not how God wrote the Bible and it is not how you should approach learning anything from the Bible.  We must all learn to see the true concealed nature of God in His Word and in the world around us.  Let me ask you, have you ever seen God personally?  Can you prove to anyone that God exists?  What evidence for God’s existence do you possess?  Obviously you have never seen God and cannot prove that there is a God to anyone here on the earth.  Yet God says in Romans 1:20 that the invisible things of God are clearly seen being made known in the things that God created.  Wow, there are some amazing parallels in that verse to what I am teaching you about the Bible.   How can the invisible God who has not been seen with our natural eyes, or made known or displayed to our physical senses, His presence being improvable in a court of law, lacking any clear evidence of existence still be found by searching and studying the things that were created?  It is simply because God in His wisdom hid clues throughout creation that clearly allow people to see the existence of a creator if they want to know Him.  If anyone does not desire to know God they will never see the truth that is plainly right in front of their eyes.  That is just how God designed everything.

Now ask yourself how many educated scientists today after studying the facts of creation have concluded and found that there is a God and a creator because of the overwhelming evidence found from what they are studying?  Not very many are there?  The majority of the scientists today are either agnostic or atheist in their beliefs of God.  Yet God still says I can be seen everywhere if you are looking for me.  What make you think that the truth in His written Holy Word will not also be recorded in the same type of secreted format?   You see I completely believe that the truth in the Bible can be easily seen, but only after you want to know it, are saved, then know what to look for and then extend the effort to look for it with great diligence allowing the Spirit of God to help you see it.   There is a principle discovered especially in the New Testament that is very important called “revelation”.  Revelation is God illuminating His Word to humans so that it can finally be understood.  Revelation is never man suddenly discovering what God has said using their individual human reasoning to figure it out.  Every human requires God’s revelation in order to understand the spiritual things that were written inside of the natural words and stories.

Rom 16:25  Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

You see Paul tells you that the previously hidden Christ has now been uncovered and revealed by God.  He states that this was a formerly hidden mystery of God.  Paul gives us a better explanation of this revealing process in Ephesians 3:1-5 if you would like to go and read how the mystery was not revealed to men prior to the Apostles but has now been given to us by the Spirit of God’s choice.  Wow, that concept seems to pass over the head of many Christians today and it teaches us so much about the nature of God.  The rapture of the church is just another one of those mysteries hidden by God in His Word.  Look up the definition for the Greek word translated as “revelation” here.  It means a “disclosure”, an “appearing”, an “enlightenment”, or “something that was previously hidden but has now suddenly been revealed”.  This Greek word G602 comes from another root word G601 that literally means to “uncover” or “take the cover off”.  It is like someone in the natural taking the lid off of a box to discover what was previously hidden inside of it.  That uncovering concept teaches us that we can look at the outside cover words all day long and still never understand what is underneath the surface until the cover has been removed.  Only God can remove the cover from His Word.  However, that is exactly what the Spirit of God is doing in the church today to those that want to know the truth.  There are literally hundreds of mysteries in the Bible and most of them you probably do not know or have any understanding of their existence because you are still looking at the covered text and not seeing the hidden spiritual meanings beneath.  Do not throw away the rapture teaching simply because it is not easy to find on the surface.  Wait until you at least ask God to reveal it to you and show you if it is true.  God is no respecter of persons.  If He revealed it to me, He will also reveal it to you so that you can see it also.

I read a couple of the internet lessons on the no-rapture theory just to see how they were explaining the verses that God showed me about rapture.  Nothing that they said swayed me in the least little bit since what they said conflicted with the voice of the Spirit of God and the real meaning of the verses in the Bible.  Their arguments were very cleverly written with many supposedly supporting Bible verses but they were totally blinded to what the scriptures said and how to apply them correctly.  These were nothing but examples of how natural men can “wrongly divide” the word of truth to produce a message that can be accepted easily by other carnal men.  What I say in my Bible lessons is generally not accepted by carnal minds because it is so spiritually based.  Natural people tend to be attracted by natural words and spiritual people tend to be attracted by spiritual words.  It is very much like the law of Genesis being restated everything producing after its kind.

You see I am certain to run into the same problem that Paul ran into with what I am teaching.  Paul was confronted with both natural thinkers and spiritual thinkers.  God gave Paul certain spiritual revelation and understanding that no other man knew in his day (Gal 1:12).  Paul then went about trying to teach this God given revelation to the others in the church with the only confirmation evidence that the hearers in the church possessed was from them listening to the Spirit of God that resided in them and the previously written Old Testament Words of God.  If they could hear and see spiritual things they were accepting, but if they were carnal thinkers, then they were rejecting the truth.  Here is what God says about the people in the early church that were faced with this great decision:

Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

God says that the people in Berea were nobler than the people in Thessalonica.  God informs us that the Bereans were first open to hearing something brand new from Paul implying the Thessalonians were not.  However, God then says that the Bereans did not just automatically accept the new teaching of Paul, but that they were rather wise enough to go and search their scriptures to find if what Paul was preaching was actually the truth that God had declared in His Word.  So regardless of which rapture category your beliefs fall into today at least be open to hear a new perspective on the subject and then to go to your own Bible to search for yourself to see if it is true or not.  Do not believe anything that I say because you do not even know me.  Who I am, is of no significance to you also what I say is only important if it is what God says.  If you do not see what I say in your own Bible then toss it away and believe what you do see.  You will not offend me if you reject what I teach.

BUILDING A STRONG RAPTURE FOUNDATION ON THE BASICS

We are going to continue in this Bible lesson with some of the basic foundational verses for the existence of the legitimate doctrine of the rapture.  We need to go to the letters written directly to the church and see what God records for us there and make sure that we clearly understand what God is saying to us correctly.  Every teacher that preaches a “no rapture” philosophy must explain away all of these verses that we will be looking at today or they must totally ignore them to teach what they teach.  They can be very creative in their attempts to explain them away and many people believe what they say without doing the necessary study to prove it in their own spirit which will result in deception.  Therefore you need to follow along with me in your Bible using your heart to see if God is giving you internal spiritual peace about what is written here and then verify it using the Bible.

We will go to the book of 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 and verse 16.  You may recall that this verse was mentioned in Wikipedia as a foundational scripture for rapture.  This is certainly not the only verse found in the Bible on the subject, but it is clearly one of the most prominent and important verses on the subject.  People want to discount one prominent scripture in the Bible and explain it away because they think one verse is not important without many other confirming verse witnesses.  That is very true that one verse cannot be taken as a complete doctrine of theological belief, but it is also true that it is still found in the Bible and that there are other confirming witnesses that can be found if you look and search for them.

I also want you to understand that the books of the N.T. Bible were not necessarily placed into the Bible in their chronological written order.  First Thessalonians was probably the very first letter written by Paul to any church.  Therefore, God saw fit to teach the church about rapture from the very establishment of the church.  Many today try to say that rapture is a modern creation of man not taught by the early church founding fathers.  But simple minded people clearly do not choose to see what the Bible says and must ignore what Paul taught and wrote to remain in their ignorance.  You do understand that what Paul wrote about in the Epistles to the churches were also the things that he taught to everyone in the church when he was physically present with them, don’t you?   Can you separate the two?  I cannot do that.  Let’s read what Paul taught about the rapture:

1Th 4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

1Th 4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Verse 16 begins with the description of the Lord descending from heaven.  Who was this Lord and why is it necessary for Him to descend?  What is the stated purpose for the descent?   This Lord was the God of heaven come to the earth in the flesh that died for all of our sins on a wooden cross and He is named Jesus in the English tongue.   We should remember from reading in Acts 1:9 that after Jesus died and was raised from the dead, He ascended back up into heaven where He has been seated for the past nearly 2000 years (Heb 8:1).  This statement of descent being described is simply the reversal of the preceding ascent that visibly took place on the earth with the early church disciples being witnesses.   I will also say that what was seen by a few in the church of Jesus going up will be seen by those in the church that He is descending to come back for.  Let’s start by just listing the basic facts given in the order of mention to us in these verses and then talk about them in more depth:

  1. Jesus descends from heaven with a shout.
  2. The voice of the archangel is the next observed mention.
  3. Immediately followed by the trump of God.
  4. The next mention is the dead in Christ that will rise.
  5. Then followed by those that are alive in Christ on the earth being caught up.
  6. Those alive on the earth are stated to be elevated to the level of the clouds in order to meet with the Lord.
  7. At the culmination of this event both the dead and alive in Christ will forever be with the Lord.

Those were the very basics from what I just read in the Bible.  What did you read?  Can you agree with them or is that why you don’t believe in rapture because that is just not what God says here?   I believe that there are both direct and indirect implied statements being made in these verses.  I just listed the direct statements of facts only.  First it directly says that the Lord descends from heaven to initiate the event with a shout.  We must determine the definition of heaven based upon the context of the statement being made and using the other facts of the Bible to correctly interpret the term.  For example, the Hebrew word translated as heaven in the O.T. is H8064.  This same Hebrew word can refer to up to three different locations and that same statement is true about the N.T. Greek word G3772.  Heaven is defined in the Bible in three different ways.  There is the immediate atmosphere surrounding the earth and this is often spoken of as what I will call the first heaven (Deu 11:11).  There is the universe of stars and solar systems in space and this is often what I will call the second heaven (Gen 1:17).  But Paul we will soon learn spoke of a “third heaven” (2 Cor 12:2) and this is the literal location of the spiritual throne of God.  The first two heavens are natural and the third heaven is completely spiritual. This heaven being described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is clearly the reference to the unseen third spiritual heaven.  We will get more confirmation for that as we continue.  Therefore I see two dimensions of existence being stated in these two verses.  Jesus is descending from heaven and is coming out of the spiritual dimension to re-enter back into the natural dimension to accomplish the rest of what is stated.

Surely you can see Christ’s descent from the spiritual heaven in parallel with a shout, the voice of the archangel and the trump of God are the beginning of something else about to occur.  I view verse 16 as starting in the spiritual realm and ending in the natural realm.  I then see verse 17 as starting in the natural realm and ending in the spiritual realm to complete the cycle and we will see this more clearly as we go.  But notice in verse 16 there is no mention of anything natural or physical until the end of the verse and then it speaks of death which is clearly natural only.  Every noun mentioned is a spiritual being or place until the last mention of the dead rising.  Therefore the archangel’s location is also implied to be in heaven being mentioned following Jesus descending from heaven.  Immediately following the archangel is the trump of God and this is also implied to originate from the location of spiritual heaven.

I believe that both the shout and the trump are announcements from the spiritual heaven for the coming event to occur upon the physical earth.  The Greek word translated as “shout’ is only used in this verse in the entire N.T.  However this Greek word G2752 comes from another Greek root word G2753 that means “to command”.  The source Greek word is less of an event announcement than it is the shout of an ordered command expecting some subsequent action to take place.  The root Greek word means a direct command has been ordered from heaven for the next expected action to occur.  I take this command to be given by God Himself personally.  Angels generally do not have the authority to give commands apart from God’s will.   It is interesting how this verse is phrased and worded, because the shouted command could be taken as being from the Lord or it could be a command given by the archangel.   However, based upon supremacy of rule, I teach it as originating from God and going through the archangel like the chain of command in a military hierarchy.

Let’ reconsider what we learned about from the earlier messages of Jesus on the separation of the sheep from the goats or the wheat from the tares.  Both of these lessons contained commanded symbolic servant workers (aka angels) that were given orders and instructions to separate the one group from another group.  I believe that we can see some distinct parallels being taught by the usage of this Greek word when the Lord commands and the voice of the chief angel in heaven is heard to possibly repeat the shouted order.  I believe that you need to resolve in your mind who is doing the original shouting and who the shout is directed towards.  I do not believe that the command order from heaven is directed to those that are about to be taken from the earth, do you?   Clearly the order is directed to those that are doing the taking and those can only be the angels of God.  This is clearly a chain of command type of military order being described.  The commander in chief God has given a direct order to gather and the order is shouted to every ranking member of the staff to be carried out.  If you have never been in the military you may not understand chain of command but most things in life work this way.  Every large or small corporation has a chain of command from the ranking CEO going down the chain.  Any way that is how I view the shout mentioned in this discourse and you can disagree and believe what you like if you see something different.

Let’s move on to the trump of God mentioned next.  The Greek word G4536 translated many times as trumpet or trump occurs in only 11 verses in the N.T. and it is a word that means a “vibration”, a “quavering” or a “reverberation” all descriptive synonymous terms for a loud audible sound.  Because the Greek word is only found in 11 N.T. verses it is easy to determine if any of these other verses play a role in describing the same type of rapture either directly or indirectly.  Also take note from reviewing these verses that they do not necessarily have to mean that a physical horn type of instrument is blown.  Many have the idea that the ram’s horn called a shofar is used for this event announcement.  I do not have a problem with that interpretation or belief but that is not technically what is stated in this verse or several other verses in the New Testament (1 Cor 14:8, Rev 1:10, Rev 4:1).  In these verses it describes voices being like a trumpet but, in other verses like in Revelation 8:2, 8:6, 8:13 and 9:14 it appears to be an actual literal trumpet.  However if you notice anything when reading the book of Revelation, you should immediately recognize that the majority of the book is cloaked in symbolism.  Therefore the trumptes mentioned in Revelation can possibly be a symbolic representation for a greater spiritual truth.  At least that is what I believe at this point in time with my current level of knowledge on the subject.

Let me reemphasize the initiator of the event in 1 Thessalonians 4.  Understand that Jesus is described as the originator of this unique event.  Clearly Jesus coming down with a shout starts the entire process.  Therefore this affair is a divinely initiated occasion that I believe is describing the bridegroom coming down to fetch His bride that we learned about in lesson 1.  How does this description in 1 Thessalonians 4 correspond or compare to the information given to us in the parable of the 10 virgins?  If you recall in Matthew 25:6 the bridegroom is implied to start His return at midnight when all of the virgins were asleep and an outcry or shout announces His coming before they ever see Him and the virgins are told to “Go Out” to meet Him in the parable.  There was the stated coming of the bridegroom first and then there was the subsequent shouted cry that followed to trigger the virgins to go out and meet their bridegroom.  That sounds very amazingly accurate to what we are reading about here in these verses in 1 Thessalonians 4 to me.  I know it does not match word for word but the similarities are too close for it not to be God telling the same story using different types and symbols in one and more literal references and descriptions in the other.  These types of writing styles of God make the Bible very complex to the casual reader.   I take them to be the same event because of the match of all of the recorded characters and actions mentioned occurring in the exact same order.  I also know that Jesus is the bridegroom and that we are the bride (virgin) in the Bible.  Do you see it?  Don’t you think that there could be some direct similarities between the description of 1Thessalonians 4 and the Parable of the 10 virgins?  I can see a very distinct pattern of resemblance.

Do not confuse this event description in 1 Thessalonians 4 with the Second Advent event when Jesus literally sets foot back upon the earth to rule for 1000 years with the saints.  There is no mention of Jesus coming that close to the earth in 1 Thessalonians 4 anywhere in this description.   In fact the way that I read it I can never find Jesus descending below the normal cloud level anywhere in this discourse.  In verse 17 it is clearly stated that those that are still alive on the earth surface of the earth go up to the clouds in the air to meet Jesus.   How far up are the clouds from the surface of the earth?  We might also consider the height of the earth’s atmosphere as being a stated factor.  We obviously can learn easily that these are known facts discovered during modern space exploration.  The reentry of a space craft from the realm of space first encounters resistance of the earth’s atmosphere at around 120 km (75 mi).  At this altitude above the earth, the air is extremely thin and there are no clouds.  The air continues to thicken as the craft descends and clouds eventually are able to form.

In order to determine where clouds normally reside in the atmosphere we need a deeper study of meteorological facts.  Clouds come in three general categories of high cloud layers, mid-cloud layers and low-cloud layers.  If you search the internet you will find that low clouds can range in altitude from surface level to upwards of 2 km.  Mid-clouds can range from 2 to 4 km in height.  Finally, high clouds can range from 4 to 8 km in height.  Therefore Jesus can legally meet us in the atmosphere depending upon if it is a foggy day or a normal day anywhere from 0 to 8 km up in the atmosphere.  I can personally see that if you do further study on the internet that NASA has spent time averaging maximum cloud heights over the course of the last 10 years and they have in their data found that clouds normally occur at a maximum average height of between 3 and 4 km and that is a long way up.  People in the “no rapture” belief camp have tried to explain this verse away stating that the Greek word translated as “air” is a sea-level only point of view in the Bible.  They completely have to ignore the “cloud” reference and overlook the term “caught up” to be in the clouds.  They must be assuming a foggy day for the return of the Lord back to the earth’s surface.  They have purposely closed their eyes to what the Bible is saying not using any factual evidence to support their beliefs scripturally or scientifically.

Act 1:9  And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

The Greek word translated as “clouds” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 only occurs in 22 verses of the N.T. so that is a very manageable number to go and read every occurrence.  What you will find in your search is God’s exact same usage of this Greek word here in Acts 1:9 where Jesus was described as ascending up and then the clouds are said to receive Him out of their view.  Have you ever watched an airplane take off?  How long can you view it until it disappears from your view?  I guess it depends on the clouds, doesn’t it?   But, that sounds like a very high altitude up in the sky to me.  What God is doing is describing two separate related events and He is connecting them together with the usage of the same Greek word G3507 translated as “clouds”.  Five times in the Gospels Jesus is found speaking of Himself and says that He will be coming in the clouds (Mat 24:30, Mat 26:64, Mark 13:26, Mark 14:62, Luke 21:27).  However every mention of this may not be all describing the same event or times.  For example, Matthew 24:30 could be speaking of the second advent after the tribulation or of another specific time.  In Matthew 24:3 the disciples asked Jesus 3 different questions and in this chapter Jesus answers them all but does not always tell you which answer is to which question.  Maybe we will talk about these in a future lesson.  In Matthew 26:64 the time frame is not directly given.  Mark 13:26 can also be considered a description of the same three questions that the disciples asked in Matthew 24.  Again in Mark 14:62 there is no time reference given other than it is after the ascent into heaven in Acts 1:9.  That leaves us with Luke 21:27 and this is a very interesting set of verses that appear to be a different timing than the Second Advent.  I believe from reading these verses that Jesus could very well be describing the rapture before the tribulation revealed by the wording of the statements.  We will get to those verses in more detail later in the series.

What is stated to happen on the earth first in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17?  We can see that there is a very clear reference to those that have already died (IN CHRIST) a physical death on the earth “rising” first.  Here is a good time to learn a basic truth.  Every Christian that has been born again by the Spirit of God is now in the universal group set called “IN CHRIST”.  However, God makes a new distinction in this discourse to differentiate between two sub-groups found within the global set of IN-CHRIST.   God says here in these two verses that one subset group called the DEAD IN-CHRIST is a little bit different than those that are still ALIVE IN-CHRIST.  One group is dead and one group is alive and this has been stated from the physical natural human perspective.  Why is that important?  Why does one group of DEAD “rise” and why are the others in the ALIVE GROUP “Caught UP”?  You really need to ask these types of detailed questions when you read and study the Bible.

This is the first mention of the natural realm and it represents a transition from the heavenly realm that initiated the event.  These dead bodies are identified to rise first because of their former experiences with natural death that has caused their old physical bodies to be left here in the dust of the earth.  If you examine the context of chapter 4 you will see that one of the primary subjects being discussed is about those that have died believing in Christ and how that they can still have hope of a certain resurrection like Christ’s.  When Jesus was resurrected from the dead, did He take His physical body or leave it here on the earth?  I think you know that Jesus took His body with Him.  There is no tomb with the body of Jesus on the earth.  Therefore, Jesus was fully resurrected from the dead physically and spiritually.  This is the hope that is given to all of those that have died in Christ.  These verses about resurrection were written to the church.  These dead people are the saved righteous believers in Christ Jesus.  They have died a physical natural death but when this occurred their spirits then departed the earth and went to heaven to be with the Lord Jesus (2 Cor 5:8).  Thus the reason for the unique wording of the dead “rising” versus the alive being “caught up”.  I’m really not sure if you are getting where I’m going here or if you understand yet what I am attempting to say.

The Greek word translated as “rise” in verse 16 literally means to “stand up” or “arise”.  This rising can be from any non-standing position seated, reclining or lying flat.  Since God is discussing the dead in Christ rising we can conclude logically that the original unstated position of those arising are normally found in a lying flat position like most dead bodies at a funeral.  This description is given to us from the human natural perspective and not the spiritual divine perspective.  Death in the Bible is many times described as what looks like natural sleep of the physical body and this is stated from the casual human viewer’s perspective.   People here in the natural world generally view things from the natural human standpoint.  That is what we see when we look at a dead body.  But the spirit of that person has departed their body and is either with Christ or is in hell right now according the Luke 16.

Jas 2:26  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Here in James is a statement of universal natural truth concerning natural death.  When the physical body dies, the spirit of the man or the woman that died has departed and is no longer present in the body.  Or we could say when the spirit departs the physical body, the body dies.  Both statements are accurate representations of the truth.  However also take note that if the spirit of the human departs the dead body, the spirit always remains alive.  Do you know the difference between natural things and spiritual things?  Natural things die, but spiritual things never die or cease to exist.  Humans are spiritual beings that live in a temporary natural body.

All of this information is just my attempt to explain why God’s distinction between the dead “rising” and the alive “departing” references that are given.  In verse 16 of 1 Thessalonians 4 it ends with the natural perspective of the human body that possessed the appearance of sleeping being resurrected or raised to stand up again in order to be joined back to the departed human spirit.  This resurrected body will be rejoined back with the human spirits of those that were already in heaven and this new eternal resurrected body will be their personal living place and the dwelling residence for God’s Spirit forever.   Then in verse 17 we see a contrasting difference being stated with those that remain here on the earth and are described to be alive being “caught up” to meet Christ in the air.  Can you seriously see the difference being stated here yet?  Why aren’t both groups “caught up”?  Why don’t both groups “rise”?  This is actually very important information.  When all of the puzzle pieces are put together correctly it makes such clear logical sense. God is in effect saying that when this event occurs the dead in Christ will descend with Christ from heaven to be joined with their risen resurrected bodies, but the living Christians on the earth will be personally “caught up” to be with Christ with a resurrected body in the clouds.  Now do you see it?  Do you now understand why the difference between the two stated experiences and why God describes it as two sub-events beneath the one greater event?  What God is doing is giving you a lot of unstated information by using distinct unique word selection.

Verse 16 was only the dead bodies rising and not the spirits of the dead people being “caught up” since the spirits were already present with Christ in heaven.  Verse 17 makes the radical transition from what happens to the dead bodies to those that are still living in a body.  Two separate verbs are selected by God to describe what happens to each group.  Verse 17 starts out by saying those that are “alive” and these are a clear reference to the people with a natural life existence on the earth given to us from the human perspective.  This Greek word G2198 literally means to possess life or those that live.  Again this viewpoint can only be from the natural perspective and not a spiritual or divine perspective since it is impossible to kill a spirit being.  Both the dead in Christ and the living in Christ on the earth are spiritually alive unto God.  If God was using His spiritual viewpoint in these verses He would have stated it differently.  What God is teaching is the difference of the locations of the living spirits affected during the event.  The dead in Christ were already in heaven and those living in Christ remained here on the earth during the start of this event.  At the end of the event they are all together with Christ in the clouds with their new resurrected bodies.

UNDERSTANDING BEING “CAUGHT UP”

These verses are simply comparing two types of believers. These two groups of believer types represent two new sub-sets of the whole set group called those “in Christ”.  We really need to understand basic math set theory when studying the Bible on many subjects.  God created math and mathematical laws which are used in the Bible repeatedly to teach us concepts that only could have come from Him.  Let’s stop here and define that Greek word translated as “caught up” and then dig much deeper to find out why God states it differently from the bodies that “rise”.

G726

From a derivative of G138; to seize (in various applications): – catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force).

The Greek word “harpazo” (G726) literally means to seize or take someone or something by force.  It is only found in 13 verses of the New Testament and many of these are very significant connected verses to explore about the subject of rapture.  Begin by understanding that the definition of the word represents a divine orchestrated demonstration of power.   In other words this event in 1 Thessalonians 14:17 being described can only take place because there was a great external force of power behind it that causes it to occur.   This description of force corresponds to the direct controlled information given by Jesus of the angel reapers taking out from the earth the wheat and the tares as well as the separation of the sheep from the goats.  There are distinct parallels of external power being enforced in common in all of this imagery.  In these lessons the wheat, the tares, the sheep nor the goats have an influence or contribution on the separation that occurs.  In each instance the force of control is external to those that are affected.

No natural exertion of resistance, human effort, human force or any human power from the participants on the earth being raised or caught up was necessary or even mentioned during this event.  I probably did not state that last information exactly correct.  You see I believe that every human is required to have faith and believe in the rapture in order to participate in the event.  I cannot see where the Bible says that anyone that does not believe is still rewarded with the same prize of those that do believe.  Crowns of salvation are not handed out to everyone like Universal Salvationists like to teach.  I believe that rapture is exactly like salvation.  No one that has not already placed their faith and beliefs in Jesus Christ will be saved or can be saved.  Everything that God gives to His people through His divine sovereign Grace must be received by the people through their faith.  I don’t have the time to teach you faith, if you have not read my lessons on Understanding Bible Faith then do that to help clear up any conflict.  Let’s quickly review one dictionary definition for the word “rapture” to recall how it was defined:

RAPTURE: the carrying of a person to another place or sphere of existence.

To me this definition of the word rapture fits precisely with the Greek word definition of “harpazo”.  To carry someone away from one realm to another is clearly a display of power and force that must be present to move them.  The English term “rapture” is derived from the Latin term “raptus” also meaning to carry away or carry off.  I have concluded that “raptus” was a synonymous Latin term for the Greek word G726 “harpazo” that was translated as “caught up”.  This is one of the primary reasons for the legitimacy of the doctrine of the “rapture”.  The modern term was developed to help Bible teachers teach the subject using a simple one word title.  Do you understand “harpazo”?   It is a very well defined word that teaches a lot on the subject.  Harpazo is a show of external force and power.  It is a convention beyond the power of human resistance.  Even if you did not want to go the Bible teaches us that you are going.  No debate is offered.  No options are given.  Those being taken are simply gone being removed from existence upon the earth physically and spiritually.

All of this discussion so far today was just an introduction to the basic foundational concepts proving that the catching away of believers is a valid truth taught by God, Paul and the early church in the Bible.  The timing of the event has still not been fully developed or established and we will eventually get to that part of the subject as we progress.

HISTORICAL RAPTURE EVENTS IN THE BIBLE

Before we go into future rapture events and other verses about the subject, let’s prove to all of the skeptics that this harpazo or “catching away” by force has already occurred multiple times in the Bible.  In proving historical event occurrence, this will help us to define and confirm the possibility for potential repeated future event occurrences.  God simply says in the Bible “There is nothing new under the sun”.  He continues in this discourse to teach us “that which has been is that which shall be again” (Ecc 1:9).  Verses like this teach us that there are established patterns found in the Bible and that we need to learn them in order to see what might occur in the near future.  Discarding the past will cause you to not know the future.   You see for any doctrine to be legitimate it must be an established pattern throughout the Bible with more than one witness to the truth being stated.  God required for every word to be established in the mouths of two or three witnesses so that they all can be verified to be in agreement with the other witnesses.  This truth disallows the taking of any single verse out of context to prove one’s erroneous point.  Let’s go to the book of Acts and see one type of rapture example and a direct type and shadow of the coming rapture being described in 1 Thessalonians 14:

Act 8:39  And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

Was Phillip just raptured away so that immediately the eunuch after being baptized saw him no more?  Why did God take Phillip away?  Why didn’t God take the eunuch also?  You see this does not say that Phillip walked away or swam away under his own physical power.  The power of God literally takes Phillip away from the place that he was previously seen and places him physically and spiritually in a completely new location.  I mean if this description is not a type of rapture of a man from one physical point to another physical point you tell me what it is.  You see someone being raptured does not always have to mean that this someone was taken directly to heaven.  It can mean they were just physically transported from one part of the earth to another.   Rapture is nothing except a real divine encounter of a fictional Star Trek type of teleport or transport.  This rapture of Phillip is simply a change in his physical location and it is a valid pattern for what will happen to the church very soon.  Patterns can simply be natural events that will correspond to coming spiritual events.  Notice that Phillip had nothing to do with what just happened to him.  Phillip did not pray to be taken, Phillip did not ask God to take him and this is again a pattern of the coming church rapture.  Also note that one man was taken and one man was not and this again is a pattern for rapture.  Rapture includes the separation of one or more people from another group of people.

Notice that God brings this verse into the subject discussion by the inclusion of the Greek word G726 harpazo.  I understand that Phillip was not given a supernatural resurrected body during this event.  I also understand that Phillip did not leave the earth to go to heaven and then return in a new earthly location.  While that was certainly possible that is not what just happened to Phillip.  We need to learn not to put God in our box of human narrow minded limitations.  We need to see that almost anything is possible when God is involved.  I said almost anything is possible, because God is not going to do anything that violates His written word or causes Him to lie.  Keep that in mind as you study the Bible.  I am simply viewing the “catching away” of Phillip by the Spirit of God to be a natural pattern for the coming greater spiritual event.  If God can do this event to a man in the church then God can also take the whole church in a future event.  Let me show you another type of rapture event recorded in the Bible that is often ignored by rapture skeptics.

2Co 12:2  I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

I mentioned this verse earlier but I feel this is important enough to look at again.  This event is in a position of greater alignment with the normal concept of what most people believe is the primary type of rapture.  Here we have Paul describing an event about himself and saying that he was “caught up” to the third heaven.  “Caught up” is again the Greek word G726 harpazo.  So Paul was taken by force in this experience by the Spirit of God. He says he does not know if he was in his body or outside of his body and that is not the important point to take away.  However notice that Paul says that he was taken and this means his spirit went to heaven at the minimum.  What you must observe is that Paul’s spirit was literally transported from the physical earth to a spiritual heaven location and then you can read that he saw things that he could not even describe to us.    Clearly this is another example of rapture in the Bible.  The spirit of Paul was taken up by force to see things in heaven that he had never seen before.  This was another divine sovereign choice act of God.  Paul did not ask to be taken but it still occurred to teach Paul and the rest of us that it can occur.  Do you still not believe in rapture?  I seriously do not know how you can still be on the unbelief side of the fence after studying all of the events that have already occurred.  But, I’m not done yet and there are more.   Let’s go back and reflect on a story from the Old Testament of a rapture event and possibly the first rapture event recorded in the Bible:

Heb 11:5  By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Wow, so Star Trek really did not invent the “Transporter”, God did.   God clearly transports the living natural man Enoch wholly, completely and directly from this earth to an undisclosed, unnamed new location in this verse.  We are never informed of where Enoch went; we are just told that he vanished off of the face of the earth.  Did you notice that Enoch did not have to die naturally first?  There are only two men in the O.T. that did not taste of natural death that I know of and Enoch was one of them.  Enoch is a clear O.T. pattern for the church members that will be “caught away” alive in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.  Clearly Enoch was raptured from this world alive to the eternal spiritual realm being taken bodily so that there is no grave here on the earth containing his body.  How can anyone teach that rapture is not a valid Bible concept and truth?  Look up the Greek word translated as “translated” in this verse. It literally means to “transfer” or “transport” as in an exchange of physical locations.  This is so significant that I do not know how people miss it or why they choose to ignore it.  I’m beginning to see a Bible concept that I really like here, and I’ll call it the “Beam me up Jesus” method of spiritual travel.  I really believe that this is going to be an awesome experience when it occurs.  There is only one other man in the O.T. that was taken up by divine force without seeing death and this was the prophet Elijah.

2Ki 2:1  And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.

The Hebrew word in the verse translated as “take up” literally means to ascend.  This is not rocket science so everyone should be able to recognize another obvious pattern for human translation or transportation out of this world while still naturally alive by divine sovereign power.  If you study the context of this event you will also see that God reveals what is going to happen to Elijah before it happens.  That is also significant since God repeats that pattern by revealing to the church that rapture will occur before it occurs.  Elijah is again a pattern for the living church members remaining on the earth today.  They do not know the exact timing of the “taking up” but he knew it would occur before it occurred and he even knew that it would even occur very soon.  Clearly Enoch and Elijah are valid “harpazo” patterns.  These are two direct witnesses for the future.

Let’s talk about Isaiah chapter 6 briefly.  This chapter describes an event that took place that clearly resembles what Paul experienced of being caught up to the third heaven.  I’m not going to quote any of the verses or review them in any detail.  You can do that research for yourself.  I will say that what Isaiah describes is clearly not of this world in any form or fashion.  In verse 1 there is mention of a throne but then following this is the mention of winged creatures that are a special type of angel.  This creature had 3 sets of wings.  One set covered his face and one set covered his feet and with the final set he flew around.  That is pretty amazing stuff.  This experience is no doubt a type of rapture where Isaiah is taken to the throne of God to view and record some things that we need to see.   It does not say that Isaiah was there bodily, but he had to be there spiritually in order to come back to write what he saw.  I find that very interesting and also very relevant to our discussion of rapture.  I will not address this experience any further in this lesson other than to give it to you as fifth potential pattern reference for a type of rapture.

Act 1:9  And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

We could talk a lot about Jesus ascending into heaven in Acts 1.   I have already mentioned this example previously in this lesson in a direct reference connection to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.  Here we have Jesus ascending up into the clouds and disappearing and this is another pattern of what is described will happen to the living on the earth when Jesus comes back to the clouds to take us up.  I will point out one distinct difference in this verse.  This ascent is not “harpazo”.  In other words Jesus was not seized out of the earth by force or caught up by the Spirit of God or any angel.  No this Greek word is very different because this is the divine God himself going up under His own power.  This Greek word is always used in conjunction with self-control and personal extended effort of self-power.  This is clearly an example of rapture because God is controlling the ascension event.  However it is done indecently from external power and is the internal power of God within Jesus that causes Him to go up.  The first five examples of people being raptured were clearly events independent from human human power and they can only be displays of the power of God.   I really pray that you are receiving these parallel examples and seeing the possibilities that can occur from them?

Satan fights the teaching of the true rapture because he will be forced to present an explanation to what happened to the millions of righteous people in the world that simply vanish without a trace prior to the tribulation.  He will come up with an ingenious twist of the truth.  He will probably claim that the wicked people on the earth have now been taken out for judgment and now only the righteous remain to rule with him.  You see this explanation fits with the pattern of what is transpiring in the media today.  The media is blasting Christians as hate mongers of an intolerant message of God’s love.  The homosexual agenda is the most intolerant group of people that exists in the world and they are in direct opposition to God and what the Bible says on the subject.   However, they claim that Christians are intolerant ones for claiming the truth in the Bible and not embracing their sin as normal.  What we see developing is a dividing line between those that are on God’s side and those that are opposed to God.  I would think that it would be wise to remain on God’s side, but they have had their minds blinded to the truth so that they are unable to see it.

I think I will wrap up this lesson for now.  I have given you a lot of information to examine and to consider.  I thank you for your time in reading and studying the Bible.  There is so much more in the Bible on this subject and I will continue on it in a future lesson.  God Bless!

If you would like to continue reading in this series you may proceed to “Part 3” now.

Once Saved Always Saved, Eternal Security Versus Satan’s Factor of Deception! Part 5!

(Ver 1.1)  This is now Part 5 in the series of Bible lessons on the very popular misconception called Unconditional Eternal Security (U.E.S.) previously known as Once Saved Always Saved (O.S.A.S).   We have covered a lot of information found in the Bible and if you have not read this series from the beginning I might suggest that you go and start with “Part 1” first.   In the last lesson I talked about the ongoing Christian Responsibility revealed in the salvation process that is clearly laid out for us by God in the Bible.  God uses several metaphorical comparisons to describe our salvation to be like a process, like us having to fight a good fight (1 Tim 6:12, 2 Tim 4:7) or running a marathon type of race (1 Cor 9:24, Heb 12:1).  Both of these symbolic types represent our participation in set contests with competing opponents that are attempting to take from us our victory.  Clearly these examples give us the established truth that we can lose or fail or quit the contest.  Both of these competitions were clearly defined processes of endurance and not simply a onetime salvation event where we start and automatically win like many of the U.E.S. teachers want us to believe.   Both process examples have clearly defined beginnings, followed by many middle steps of conflict and struggle with a set well-defined ending.  Both examples are processes governed by defined rules of engagement to help guide the outcome but yet not to determine the outcome.  In other words, neither process has a pre-determined victor of the fight or the race.  In either of these types of contests any of the individuals competing can always grow tired or weary and quit or give up and fall short of the desired initial expectation for victory.  Do you start a race to lose it?  Do you start a fight to be defeated?  In any fight you might just believe that you are the winner from the start, right up until the point in time that your opponent hits you hard and knocks you down.   If you believe today that you are running a fixed race or fighting a fixed fight that you have already won, then you are clearly not very familiar with realities of fighting or racing.  I really hope and pray that you understand these really basic Bible concepts that God is using to teach us.

Today I am going in a totally new and different direction on the subject of Unconditional Eternal Security using a series of new subjects that I will introduce and connect together to teach the subject of the contribution of the “Deception Factor”.  Today’s lesson will be primarily focused on the potential role and effects of deception in the ongoing process of our salvation and how we are warned by God to avoid it.  However, it will take me familiarizing you with and reviewing other prerequisite subjects to get us to where we need to be to understand how deception is such a major factor to why we do not have eternal security.  Let’s start by first knowing that we have an enemy.

THE REALITY OF YOUR SPIRITUAL ENEMY

The subject of deception is specifically tied to the requirement that a deceiver must exist and be present, willing and able to deceive or deception is a non-issue for every Christian.  If no deceivers exist, then no deception is presented as being possible.  Was that just way too obvious?  Therefore I need to focus on the existence of a deceiver using the Bible.  I am going to introduce you to the existence of the primary deceiver who is also known as Satan.  From Satan comes every other deceiver, so if I can prove his existence in the Bible it should be easy to transition that others exist also.  Using my Bible program I searched for the key word “deceive” and found multiple verses on the subject.  Satan is described as the individual spirit responsible for deceiving the people of the whole world in Revelation 12:9, Revelation 13:14 and Revelation 20:10.  The whole world would be an all-inclusive statement not omitting any nation of people.  Remember what I just said!  Therefore, Satan qualifies to be the deceiver by definition from God’s Word.  Does Satan still exist in the world today?  If you said YES, then you are on the right track.  If you said no, then you do not understand that Revelation 12, 13 and 20 has not happened yet and only by studying God’s Word can we understand that God says Satan is still present to deceive people in EVERY nation.  I just said that again didn’t I?  Now, let me ask you do you still exist in the world today?  I think if you are reading this Bible lesson you must say YES again.  Therefore by God’s definition you have the potential to be deceived because the deceiver is still present here with you.  Also notice something new that you have not connected yet to the subject.  You see God teaches us in the New Testament that the church is a new “Holy Nation” of people (1 Peter 2:9).  However that still makes everyone in the church a potential candidate for deception because we are clearly defined to be a nation.  Now do you see why I emphasized Satan deceiving the nations?  If Satan is the deceiver of the nations, then we in the church are still the potential victims of his deception by our association to God’s definition of a nation.   The Bible is not that hard to see things if you can put them together correctly.

If you did not know it, the Bible declares that every Christian still has a spiritual enemy.  The enemy of the church is named Satan. Technically Satan was God’s enemy before he was our enemy but I won’t go there today.  Just understand that God’s enemies are now our enemies by covenant relationship.  There is an old proverb that says the enemies of my enemies are my friends and conversely the friends of my enemies are also my enemies.  Jesus taught us a similar variation of this proverb in Mark 9:40 saying “He that is not against us, is for us”.   This Bible fact of the existence of a spiritual enemy is declared repeatedly in the Bible both directly and indirectly (James 4:4).  We are first introduced to our enemy as a symbolic serpent in Genesis 3:1 and he continues through the Bible in many forms using many names, descriptions and titles all the way to the last mention in Revelation 20:10.  Satan is described as a spiritual opponent that is arrayed against us trying desperately to defeat us.  Many Christians have left me comments about Jesus’ outstanding victory over Satan (John 16:33, Col 2:15).  They have concluded from these verses that Satan was completely defeated at Calvary thus Jesus rendered him to be a defeated insignificant or trivial factor going forward.  However that is just not all of what the Bible says about Satan, the people on the earth including the church, Christians and their role with resisting Satan and many other statements of truth. 

Jesus also taught us that Satan was the ruler of a kingdom (Mat 12:26).  Jesus further taught us that Satan still had power (Luke 10:19).  Understand that this stated kingdom of Satan was not the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven, but a new separate dominion taken from man.  We learn this fact by observing what Satan told Jesus during the 40 day temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4:5-6).  If you go read Luke 4 closely you will see Satan offering Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world if only Jesus would worship him.   Satan told Jesus that these were given to him and since we are not told in the Bible that God gave them to Satan, they must have been taken from Adam.  You see according to Genesis 1:26 Adam was given dominion over all the earth by God yet we see Satan claiming to have control of it in Luke.   One of the first indirect mentions of this kingdom of Satan is also found in first book of the Bible in Genesis 1:16.  On the fourth day of creation God sets the moon (the lesser light) to rule the night and the sun (the greater light) to rule the day.  This verse was a highly prophetical statement using hidden symbolic information for the coming of the Son of God into the world.  This verse predicts the coming of Jesus into the world on a precise timeline and reveals to us one reason why Jesus has come.   The moon in this verse is symbolic of Satan, the Sun in this verse is symbolic of Jesus, the night is symbolic for the kingdom of darkness and the day is symbolic for the Kingdom of Light.  Furthermore, the “4th day” of creation is also symbolic for the time of the coming.  Jesus just so happens to come into the world after four days from Adam using God’s definition of a day from 2 Peter 3:8.  If you do not understand the significance of this information I have a more complete teaching on the subject called “Understanding Night and Day”.

Jesus came personally into Satan’s kingdom of darkness being born of a virgin to bring us light (John 8:12).  However this was not external light, but rather internal spiritual knowledge.  God’s plan was never to take over Satan’s kingdom of darkness or even to take it back into the light or to establish a rule over it here on the earth; no the plan of God was more precisely to create a new pathway out of Satan’s kingdom for all of those in the dark world that would believe on Christ.  The light of God’s day and this new kingdom of God would be formed internally in every believer.  This way the light of God would be present in every believer but still separate from the darkness of this world that still remained in Satan’s control.   God was in effect creating a new separate Kingdom of God that never existed before apart from Satan, his angels, his kingdom and He was offering all those on the earth the blessed opportunity to come out of their darkness to live in the light of God forever for free through His shed blood.   That was a very quick overview of some new things that you have probably never heard taught before and I do not have time to explain them all fully today.  However, go through the N.T. and see how many times this kingdom realm of darkness or night is mentioned and then observe the scriptures that say Christians are now in the light of God’s day.  Let me give you a couple of the key verses that may help you to understand:

Col 1:13  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

Jesus is being described as the one that has delivered us from the “power of darkness”.  There are three basic things that you need to grasp immediately from this incredibly important verse.  First, the kingdom of darkness still exists and has not been eliminated.  Second, notice that this kingdom of darkness still has power.  Then third, notice we that are saved are not in this dark kingdom anymore having been translated into the Kingdom of Light by Jesus.  This verse clearly implies that those that are not saved are still in the kingdom of darkness where some spiritual force of power still rules over them.  Clearly there is a distinction between two separate spiritual kingdoms of existence being stated in this verse.  These two kingdoms must still exist concurrently or this verse is a lie.  Clearly the kingdom of darkness still has great power and influence or no one in their right mind would still be in there right now.   Also understand by implied inference if anyone has come out from this kingdom of darkness by their freewill choice of salvation, then by the definition of antithesis, they can also potentially return back to that darkness by another freewill choice.  I pray you understood everything that I just said to you.  It was all extremely important.  Let me give you another great verse that contains vast knowledge about this kingdom and this enemy:

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.

Read this new metaphorical case closely, because God gives us another example of a spiritual contest between opponents with an implied winner and loser outcome.  To wrestle an opponent is a paradigm process that is very similar to boxing or racing.  In this verse in Ephesians you can see that just because Christians are not in the darkness this does not mean we are not still in a spiritual war of opposition with the darkness or the rulers of that kingdom.   Who rules the darkness?  Clearly this verse is another reference to Satan and his angelic followers as I mentioned earlier.  Clearly from this information we can see that these spiritual individuals still exist along with their kingdom if we are currently wresting against them.  There is absolutely no way that you can teach that Satan is a non-factor for any Christian today if you correctly balance these verses with the other verses that the exclusive U.E.S. Grace teachers want to focus on.

If defeated Satan had no more power or influence to do any harm to a saved Christian, then why are there so many warnings given to the church in the Bible to the contrary?  A truly defeated enemy would have no such supremacy, weapons, ability or present any further risk, but an enemy that still has power and ability to do Christians harm must still be a major danger if we do not know how to counteract his plans and attacks.  This spiritual war subject is not my main topic today and I have other lessons that you can go and read about how to be a victorious child of God.  Just realize that God has given you the potential for victory by Jesus’ victorious actions and accomplishments but now it is your God given responsibility to enforce the victory and to become the overcomer like I introduced you to in the last lesson.  Let’s change to a brand new subject called “Patterns”.

DIVINE GOD PATTERNS

If you learn anything from me today, please learn how God uses divine design patterns throughout the Bible to teach us.  I’ve already described to you three direct patterns of process in today’s lesson.  One was a race, one was a fight and one was a wrestling match.  These were all recognizable patterns of contests with opponents, rules, a beginning effort, a struggle, endurance, and an anticipated end.  Let’s get into what a pattern is using additional specific examples.  How would we define a pattern?  A pattern is normally a set of design templates and instructions used to prepare or to create a new copy of an existing original.  The actual copy can be totally different in appearance while being completely similar in design, concepts and principles.  That was of course my definition, but did you understand it?   Using my 3 metaphorical examples of contests, they appear to be radically different types of games on the surface but yet they all share a set of design pattern concepts that make them joined together with many common similarities.  That is exactly what pattern usage produces; copies of an original working model.  

Let me give you an example of a natural pattern application on the earth.  Patterns are used in sewing extensively and they allow the seamstress to turn out multiple new original creations that can be perceived to be similar to the original by observing the design pattern characteristics but not by necessarily observing the materials selected or the individual options being tailored or customized.  There is just a general rule of life that it is always easier to copy a working original piece than it is to create something completely new.  I learned this concept in programming computers.  Working code reuse is always faster and more productive than new code creation.  The creation of any original functional piece of work will always take significant trial and error to produce a great product.  It took Edison literally hundreds and hundreds of attempts to create a light bulb that worked.  But, now they can be copied very quickly and cheaply by the use of his patterned design.  Have you ever asked yourself why Adam was made in the image and the likeness of God in Genesis 1:26?  Do you understand that Adam was made from the direct pattern of God, his creator?  God took a working design and repeated the process to make a man.  This was a very significant example of the wisdom of God being displayed.  When God made man, God knew that He was coming to the earth as a man so why not make the man from a pattern of Himself an already working viable component?

Understand that the reuse of any design pattern is just a small part of the complete creation process.  Natural pattern usage only comes into play somewhere between the initial steps of conception, the design and before the full implementation.  Almost every defined process and pattern can be viewed as interchangeable concepts to some extent.  For example, any repetitive process producing a positive result can be viewed as a repetitive design pattern implementation and vice versa.  I really try not to get too technical in my Bible studies to allow everyone the opportunity to understand the concepts.  I try to leave out technical words and phrasing but I have been teaching you the subject of patterns and have had to introduce you to some new ideas to think about.   So hang in there and learn what you can about patterns.

Let’s talk briefly about another earthly natural pattern.  Any positive process is like making a cake.  A cake could be created using great trial and error like Edison making a light bulb.  However if the baker wants to forego the learning curve they can go and find an existing working recipe with the exact steps and ingredients used to create a great cake and in a short time they have a copy of one through the use of a known pattern.  Therefore the original cook must have recorded or documented the set of specific ingredients and recipe preparation instructions that must be followed exactly in order to recreate the original design, texture, taste and quality.  If you do it right the outcome is great and if you miss one ingredient or step then it will probably be a great failure. 

So why am I talking about processes and design patterns, templates, sewing, light bulb and cake recipes so much?  Patterns are what God used in the creation of our world to teach us about Him and spiritual things we cannot see.  For example, the Bible teaches us that all of the hidden qualities of God are clearly seen in the things that He has made (Rom 1:20).  This means that what we can observe on the earth around us was from a designed pattern of what already existed in heaven previously and these things reveal God to us.  It is also why we need to learn about the concepts of patterns to see what will be coming soon in the future.  What we soon realize is something that God teaches us in Ecclesiastes is very relevant to everything we can observe around us.  God says “the things that have been are the things that shall be again” (Ecc 1:9).  Ecclesiastes and Romans both explain to us that God uses divine design patterns to teach and to recreate the things we can observe.  God took working spiritual realities and used their patterns to create our natural world.  God then teaches us that these natural things will again be used as patterns for the new spiritual things that will occur again.   Let me show you another verse about patterns in the Bible to help you better understand:

Heb 8:5  Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

Here we have God describing to us that the things given to Moses on the earth were simply patterns for pre-existing unseen things already found and bound within heaven.  In this verse, the original spiritual things created by God in heaven were clearly greater or more significant than the temporary natural things created by the hands of men on the earth.  However these temporary natural things given to us by God on the earth also provide us a view into the existence of the spiritual things that we have never seen or experienced.  You can clearly see that God gave Moses patterns to use for everything.  These patterns will again be used in the design for the coming new heaven and the new earth.  Patterns are so very important in the Bible that I should probably do a more complete series on the subject.  For now try to understand the existence of patterns is a prevalent reality throughout the Bible.  Using our knowledge of divine patterns, we can easily learn about many of the unseen spiritual things found within our past, our present and our future. 

There are actually many different ways to name or title a Biblical pattern process using synonymous terms.  Some call them similarities, similitudes, resemblances, likenesses, patterns, types or shadows and I even have labeled them by all of those descriptions in my past lessons.  I believe that a natural type or a shadow from the Old Testament was usually given to us by God to help point us to a New Testament spiritual reality.  For example, Jesus told the Jews to search their scriptures because in them they thought they had eternal life and then Jesus said these were just the words that testified of Him (John 5:39).  But, yet you cannot find the direct mention of the name of Jesus, or the direct person of God in the flesh unswervingly mentioned in the Old Testament scriptures anywhere in obvious plain sight.  Since I have studied the Bible for many years I can now see Him in almost every chapter, but that is not how I started.  God’s use of patterns, similarities, types and shadows were just one of the wise methods of concealing Jesus in the characters and stories of others that are plainly revealed in the surface text.  I pray that you are beginning to understand the concept of patterns and how they apply to our Bible study because that is exactly where we are going next in this discussion of U.E.S.  Let’s begin to ask are there any patterns found in the Old Testament for U.E.S.?

ARE THERE ANY UNCONDITIONAL ETERNAL SECURITY PATTERNS?

If you examine the design pattern of Adam and Eve as recorded in Genesis 2 and 3  you should be able to find Jesus and the church.   I will use the pattern of Adam and Eve to help establish and confirm the false reality of the Unconditional Eternal Security teaching.  When God created Adam did God make him to be unconditionally and eternally secure?  It is very obvious to me based upon the Word of God that Adam was never created perfect or secure since he sinned, failed and fell willingly into the disobedience of God’s Word.   Whatever security that Adam thought he possessed, was suddenly completely lost.   If Adam was created with “freewill” to sin, to make mistakes and even to depart from the perfect way and will of God, then how can you or anyone else possibly believe that a Christian now does not have the same pattern of choice?  What about Adam’s wife Eve?  Was Eve created so that it was impossible for her to be deceived?  Again it is extremely obvious that the Bible says Eve was deceived (1 Tim 2:14).   I am talking about patterns found within creation to see if there are any ways that are still possible for the church to fall away from the Grace of God.  Were Adam and Eve created in the extreme Grace of God?  I believe they were.  They were created without sin, lacking nothing and placed in a near perfect world to live in.  Could it have gotten any better than that?  However in this great state of Grace, could they still make the wrong choices, of course they did.   I hope you are using your brain today to see what I’m saying to you.  How are we any different from Adam today in the church?  If Adam could depart from Grace then you can depart from Grace!

Let’s back up before the creations of man and ask what about Lucifer’s status in heaven!  Did God create the perfect archangel Lucifer with unconditional eternal security?  According to Ezekiel 28:15 Lucifer was created in a perfect state yet sin was still found to be in him.  Did this sin matter to God?  If we observe his destiny in Revelation 20:10 you will understand that even perfect Lucifer is revealed to have no unconditional eternal security when he is cast into the lake of fire.  Clearly perfection with no sin is not a statement for possessing security.  Where exactly in the Bible can we find anyone with the pattern of Unconditional Eternal Security?  Can you find me just one?   I’m talking about someone other than the church that you just think is unconditionally eternally secure!  If the church is eternally and unconditionally secure then there must be an existing pattern for this somewhere else in the Bible or it is not true for the church either.  How can I say that?  And why is this even important?  It is simply critical because God tells us to establish every word of truth using at the least two or three witnesses (Mat 18:16).  If we cannot find two witnesses that confirm unconditional eternal security as a divine pattern then the modern Bible teachers trying to teach us U.E.S. fail God’s requirement.  Now do you understand the importance of patterns?

WHAT ABOUT JESUS?

I have searched the Old Testament and I could not find any man starting with Adam that possessed eternal security here on the earth.  Adam never lost his freewill to depart from God’s ways or plan and this pattern repeats to every man born from Adam.  If you can find me even one man in the O.T. that God said could not ever fail, then show me the verse.   Ok, I’m about to blow your religious mind with a new question to think about.  Was Jesus Christ born in the Old Testament?  If you are an intelligent and observant Bible student, you already know that Jesus was born a man under the law of the Old Covenant (Gal 4:4).  Now let me ask you this radical question was Jesus Christ unconditionally and eternally secure as a physical man?  You see I believe that even Jesus possessed the freewill capability for failure, and many religious people will laugh and call me a heretic fool for that belief.  However, if Jesus had no potential for failure or sin then God becomes a liar.  The Bible says Jesus was tempted in every way just like we are but yet He was without sin (Heb 4:15).  The only reason that Jesus was without sin was because He chose to be without the sin as a direct act of His freewill.  You see if it was impossible for Jesus to sin, then He was never tempted like you or I.  Are you tempted?  Have you ever been tempted?  Do you fail or have you ever failed?  If say yes then you are potentially just like Jesus and Jesus was potentially just like you.   Otherwise He would not be able to identify with our weaknesses or our plight.  We clearly saw already reading in Luke 4 that Jesus was tempted, but he did not give into the temptations of Satan.  This is where Jesus succeeded where Adam failed.

Heb 2:17  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

Jesus is revealed in the Bible to be the God that became a man exactly like you and I.   This was a major paradox and stumbling block to why natural Israel did not accept Him.  They knew the Bible says God is not a man (Num 23:19).  However they made the major mistake of taking one isolated truth and then ignoring all the others that God is still powerful enough to become a man if He chooses by exercising His freewill.  This is the danger of separating one verse and thinking that it is the entire truth.  That is an extremely bad and dangerous approach to interpreting the Bible.  Do you understand what I am trying to say?  I am claiming that the God of creation who created everything has now become an intimate part of His creation and this changes everything.  What God was not, God became by His design.  Therefore, God as a man was no longer a perfect being incapable of failing or sinning.  I did not say God failed or God sinned I just said He had the potential to do that or He was not exactly like us as the Bible has declared.  You are going to have to make up your own minds on what you believe; I cannot do that for you.  You read the Bible and do the research and the study and see if Jesus was incapable of failure and see if He possessed Unconditional Eternal Security and then notice that even Jesus died on the cross and I believe He went to hell for 3 days to pay for my sins so I would not have to go there.  I don’t call that eternal security, do you?  Let’s shift our focus and establish Adam as a defined pattern for Jesus and this may help us reaffirm that Jesus was not infallible while in the flesh.

THE HIDDEN PATTERN OF JESUS IN ADAM

1Co 15:45  And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

Why exactly, is Jesus called the “Last Adam” in 1 Corinthians 15:45?  I think that is a very great question.  God by direct name association has just linked Jesus Christ to the first created man Adam.   This is just a very tricky way of God saying my man Adam was a set design pattern for my Son Jesus to come.  This is the beginning of the reality that if Adam could have sinned, then Jesus could have sinned but yet didn’t.  However, notice that both Adam’s still died.  So they obviously both did possess at least one direct equal characteristic and we will find there are many more if we look for them.  I find this study of Adam and Jesus as repeated patterns fascinating.  It has great potential for many overlapping truths.  Let’s go for another witness to what I am teaching that Adam was a pattern for Jesus:

Rom 5:14  Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

Romans 5:14 emphasizes this pattern usage point again to us even more clearly.  The Bible says that Adam was a created pattern of the man Jesus to come.  We already observed in Genesis 1 where Adam was defined to be a pattern for the creator spiritual God originally, so this is just a further perpetuation of the same God pattern to the physical God.   Look up the Greek word definitions and study these verses to understand what concepts are being revealed to you.  The Greek word translated as “figure” means a die as struck.  Do you understand what a die is?  A die produces an exact image of the same print repeatedly.  It is a modern copy and paste concept found in the computer design paradigm.  The original printing press created by Gutenberg was a die concept for printing one page of the Bible over and over.  We soon realize that God did a copy paste of the spiritual type of Himself into the natural form of Adam, which is then transferred as another copy and paste into the combined God man named Jesus. This verse in Romans clearly teaches us that we should be able to look at the man Adam in Genesis and see Jesus and this is exactly what Jesus said we would find if we searched the scriptures looking for Him.  Moses wrote down God’s words about Adam, but God’s words were more about Jesus than Adam. The two Adam’s were simply patterns for each other.  I believe God created the first Adam already knowing the second Adam was coming to save the day.  This is exactly why God did what He did in Genesis 2 and 3 with the first man and his wife.

Let’s stop here briefly again and consider that if the first Adam had a wife does that reveal that the last Adam (Jesus) has a wife also as a defined part of the pattern?  Most definitely He does.  I have a much more complete Bible study on the subject called the “The Bride of Christ Revealed”.  Therefore, I am not going to repeat any of that information in this lesson.  If you do not understand the church position as the bride then please stop and study to find that truth and establish it in your heart because it is essential to our pattern discussion today about U.E.S.   I will simply say the church is definitely the Bride of Christ and we are the ones that are united in eternal marriage covenant in Revelation 19.  Where I am going is that if Adam’s wife was capable of being deceived then the Lamb’s wife is also capable of being deceived by direct pattern association.   Pretty simple yet very difficult to find if you do not understand patterns.

THE ROLE OF SATAN AND DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH

In the Grace message of eternal security there is a belief that Satan has no further influence or power over a believer to cause them to ever depart from their salvation.  The belief popularly states that Christians have been sealed with eternal security and thus Satan is no longer a factor to deceive them anymore.  Let me stop there and say that if you currently believe that you can never be deceived then you are clearly already deceived into believing a lie from Satan.  What exactly is deception?  How can we define it as it relates to the church?  I believe deception is believing in something that you think is true that actually is not true.   It is like my picture on this paragraph of the fish caught with a decieving lure.  The fish believed what he was eating was good food, but it turned out to be something deadly to him.  That is exactly the definition of deception for a Christian also.  Clearly no Christian in their right mid is intentionally caught seeking to find lies.  I believe that every easily deceived Christian is just presented the lie either intentionally or unintentionally by other well meaning ignorant Christians and they look attractive so they end up swallowing them and are caught like the fish.  Let’s take into account a scripture that has far reaching implications attached to it for our current subject discussion.  You will notice that in this next verse that Jesus is speaking, thus we have God in the flesh stating something very important that we must need to know.  Therefore, pay close attention to the words of my Lord and Savior:

Mat 24:4  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

We have to totally write this statement of Jesus off if we want to believe in unconditional eternal security after our salvation.  In order to teach security we must conclude that we are smarter than Jesus and that Jesus did not know what He was talking about when He warned us about not being deceived.  We either have to call Jesus a liar or we have to explain the verse as being non-applicable to people in the church today.  If you read the context of the statement Jesus was asked by the disciples to teach them of the signs of His coming and the end of the age.   Therefore the rest of the statements in this chapter are the answers of God in the flesh concerning the end of the age that we live in today.  Who are the people that Jesus is speaking of to not become deceived if not us?  Many people have tried to creatively explain it away as the Jews before salvation only, but they were not yet living in the last days so that makes no sense to me.  Since we in the church who know the truth are the people now living in the last days before His soon return then I believe that Jesus was certainly speaking about us and to us as those that can be deceived.  If we are these potential people that can be deceived, what are the consequences for being deceived?  Are there any consequences for being deceived?  There must be at least a possibility for us to lose our salvation from this warning from God or there would be no need for a warning from God to be given.   Do you understand what I just said?

Why warn people not to be deceived if it is impossible for them to be deceived like the eternal security teachers try to teach us?  It makes God look very stupid when you teach eternal security.  Of course people can easily twist the scriptures to say this information in Matthew 24 does not apply to us because Jesus was only talking to His Jewish disciples.  That is just so easy to do.  Let’s just ignore the words of Jesus as being not for everyone, but only for a select few that heard them personally!  We could do that type of reasoning with every verse in the Bible.  Is that a smart way to interpret the Bible and the words of God?  I really do not believe that is a valid approach to correct Bible interpretation.  In interpreting every verse of the Bible we must always inspect the words that are spoken, observing the target audience they are directed to, while simultaneously finding the context of all of the subjects being discussed.  First understand that these words in Matthew were spoken to more than just a few Jews.  These select Jews that were hearing are defined directly to be our founding church fathers so they must apply to the rest of the church by direct association since we are now a part of the same body of Christ that they were included in.  If you try to separate us from them, then we are a new body of Christ, a separate or different believer set from what they were and that really sounds like a scary belief to put your faith in.  These words were spoken in the time context of future prophetical events and not current events, so they must also apply to us and the times that we live in right now.  Finally, since these words spoken by Jesus do not state any target audience they must apply to everyone that reads them as a universal statement of truth.  If you want to see the truth in the Bible you will see what I am saying is correct, if you do not want to see the truth, then nothing that I say will change your mind.

If Satan and his deception were no longer factors for our further continued salvation, there would be no need to mention Satan again in the New Testament after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.  Many modern Bible teachers like to teach the total defeat of Satan by Jesus at Calvary, however if that was actually true we would not see that Satan was so heavily involved in attacking heaven in Revelation 12 and trying to take over the earth in the other chapters of Revelation.  The total defeat of Satan and the removal of his power is clearly not the reality of the text found in the Word of God.  In fact Satan is mentioned more times in the New Testament than he ever was displayed plainly in the Old Testament.  Why is Satan mentioned more frequently throughout the New Testament and especially in the book of Revelation than any other parts of the Bible?  There hast to be a reason for this!  I personally believe we find Satan in the New Testament to learn of his ways and his future plans so we are not found to be unaware.   I believe that Satan is much more than a non-factor on the earth in the church age and that he is clearly revealed to be the direct enemy and opposing spiritual force to the church.  His power and influence over the people on the earth are still quite evident and great.  His power to deceive people including even Christians is still as great now as it always has been.  This power of deception must be applicable for Christians or we would never find any verses in the Bible like these written to the church:

1Co 3:18  Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

1Co 15:33  Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

Eph 4:14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Eph 5:6  Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

Gal 6:7  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

2Th 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

1Jn 3:7  Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

These are all commandments of instruction from our God written to the church and each of them contains direct delegated responsibility for believers not to be deceived.  Do any of the verses tell you that God will not ever allow you to be deceived?  I do not believe God would warn you if it was His responsibility to save you from it.  These warnings were not written to unsaved people.  Do you see what these verses say to you over and over?  What is the central theme for every verse?  Every verse contains a cautionary statement from God that says “Do not be deceived”. If the church could never be deceived to lose their salvation from this deception then these verses become pointless and irrelevant commandments and should be viewed as only misplaced suggestions.  To believe in eternal security we must ignore these verses or conclude these verses to be non-applicable to us.  Either approach is failure to adhere to the truth which always results in a Christian being deceived.  These are not lies from God and we must see them to be clear notices to us Christians.  I did not go through the entire New Testament and give you every verse that I could have.  I only provided 6 or 7 verses to offer you more than enough witnesses to the truth that the church can still be deceived after initial salvation by many different methods.  If you cannot see this fact then you are in denial.  I will end this lesson with an example of deception that occurred in the N.T. church:

2Pe 2:20  For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

2Pe 2:21  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

2Pe 2:22  But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

Peter is writing some very important words to the church about certain former saved church members. The wording in these verses is very significant if you do the research and study.  God is speaking concerning certain people that “knew” righteousness.  Jesus of course is our righteousness (1 Cor 1:30) and He is even called the “Sun of Righteousness” in Malachi 4:2.   The term to “know” righteous is a sexual Hebrew description of the relationship that exists between a husband and his wife.  The people in the church are in covenant relationship with Jesus the bridegroom making them His bride.  God is saying these people were once an intimate part of my wife that I knew and they have departed from me.  God clearly says it would be better for them to either stay or to have never been married to him than to leave their salvation to fall back into the darkness.  Why is that?  It is because they will remember for an eternity their mistake that they made and only they will fully understand what they missed while they are in hell.  Lucifer is going to understand this better than anyone.  He experienced the goodness of God more than anyone in the church and while he is in hell for and eternity he will constantly be tormented for his mistakes.  These are patterns that teach us we do not have unconditional eternal security.

God calls the people who leave their salvation pigs and dogs.  Just as dogs return to their own vomit and the pigs to the mire this is the same result that Christians experience when they return to their previous filth and love it.  Clearly this is an example of deception being victorious over those that were saved.  Clearly these Christians did not heed the repeated warnings from God not to be deceived and are now suffering the consequences.  These are words that were written to you.  Are you receiving them?  I could give you several more examples of this in the Bible, but I really have gone too long in this lesson. 

THE FALSE SECURITY OF THE UNCONDITIONAL ETERNAL SECURITY DOCTRINE

I have systematically covered several subjects in today’s lesson connecting them together to help establish the fact that a Christian can be deceived.  We started with the concept that we have an enemy.  This enemy is described to be Satan the deceiver.  A deceiver is simply labeled that because he deceives people.  This is really not that complicated.  Sure the unsaved people in the world today are clearly deceived, but they don’t read the Bible and these words of warning not to be deceived were not written to them.  Therefore, the use of this weapon of deception by Satan is still actively targeted at the people in the church to take them from the church and the truth.  Based upon this information alone the doctrine of unconditional eternal security is revealed to be a major false teaching that should be recognized as another way that is designed to deceive you.  Do you understand the danger of the U.E.S. teaching?  U.E.S. promotes a false sense of security that we have to do nothing to stay saved or to keep from being deceived.  It allows Christians to let in whatever they come across without the fear of any consequences.  Fear is not always a negative emotion to avoid.  God created real fear for you to learn how to avoid something that is not necessarily positive or beneficial for you.  If you do not fear gravity and jump off a tall building you will soon be dead.  I am really not talking about fearing the devil as in being terrified of his power.  The Bible clearly teaches the fact that the Greater One is in us.  However, that does not mean that you do not respect his ability like you should respect the power of gravity.  These are just basic Christian life lessons to help you understand that you have an enemy and this enemy is not your friend, he has powers and abilities, and he is trying to take you out and down.

Finally, I talked a lot about Bible patterns.  This is a very important Bible study concept repeated in practically every chapter of the Bible in some form.  Fully grasp this concept and it will change your Bible study habits.  Look for confirming patterns of truth in the Bible.  For example, I showed you scriptures that teach us that Adam was a pattern of Jesus.  This was technically so radical that I could not fully teach everything on that one subject because it could turn into a series of lessons by itself.  However I gave you enough information that should help you to learn about Jesus from the pattern of Adam.  See what Adam had or was given by God before the fall and this will be a pictured view into what Jesus will end up with minus the evil, the sin and the rebellion.  Adam had one wife and Jesus will end with only one wife.  Very simple yet profound truths.

The pure existence of human freewill dictates that we view every one of God’s covenants with conditional application.  In other words if we choose to remain in the covenant we are good, but if we choose to leave it then we are screwed.  What I am saying is if God comes and makes a covenant with you, God is not the problem, you are.  You can become your own worst enemy when you believe a lie.  Just as natural Israel departed continuously from God’s covenant as a pattern for the church, the church also has that same opportunity to fall away.  If the recipient of God’s Grace satisfies the stated requirements and conditions they remain in the relationship with God’s Grace.  If they choose to disobey willfully and depart from God’s extended gift of saving Grace then they are lost without a chance for absolution.  Learn today that what you do going forward, matters tremendously.  Learn to have respect for your enemy and stay deep in the Word of God so that you are not deceived by him.  Your salvation is not completely up to God.  Sure He will be there for you and help you and will never leave you or forsake you.  But, your continued salvation is more up to you than anyone else so that you do not get deceived and decide to leave God or forsake Him.  You have a major role in the ongoing process of your salvation to remain faithful, to endure and to overcome.  Thank you for taking the time to read and study the Bible.  If you have questions or comments feel free to leave them.  God Bless as we continue to learn to grow in His Grace.

Once Saved Always Saved and Eternal Security Versus Man’s Responsibility! Part 4

(Ver 1.2) This is now Part 4 in the series of basic Bible lessons about an old religious philosophy labeled as “Once Saved Always Saved” theology.  If you have not read this series from the beginning I would suggest that you go start reading with “Part 1“.  The “Once Saved Always Saved” teaching has been in existence for well over 60 years so it is not a new Bible teaching.  However, this old religious philosophy has recently been transformed into a more modern Grace extreme theological message called Eternal Security or Unconditional Security or even Unconditional Eternal Security.  This has become a very popular message found on the internet and it is taught in many churches today.  Christians buy into the message simply because it proclaims a universally safe no fail no fault approach to being a Christian.  It makes being a Christian so ultra-simple.  However, the message of Unconditional Eternal Security (U.E.S.) completely ignores the fact that there are any spiritual enemies still left in the world that are now trying to deceive or defeat us.  The message of U.E.S. has total disregard for the fact that God gave to everyman freewill to choose to depart from their salvation at any time.  It ignores any further Christian responsibility to remain a Christian or to live a holy Godly lifestyle.  This teaching lumps every type of sin into a common category of all-inclusive forgiveness and makes them all irrelevant, inconsequential and removed from the equation of either the initial salvation process or the continued salvation process.  In fact it technically denies there are any processes defined to salvation at all.  They claim that by the removal of their sins by the shed blood of Jesus that God now provides us each with eternal security without any further attached conditions.  These types of Christian believers think they have no further accountability thus denying the existence of any future judgments from God.  They further deny human responsibility to do anything to remain saved.  In other words in their minds their salvation was a onetime decision point event on the timeline of their life on this earth and that this one event has now guaranteed them eternal security with God forever.  Since they have already accepted Jesus they assume that there are no further decisions to make, no more scriptures to learn, no need to hear from God, no need to listen to God, no need to be taught by God, no need to be led by the Spirit of God, no need to grow up spiritually and I could go on and on.   All of this human reasoning allows them to live independent from anything else that God has declared in His Word on any subject.  To me that logic does not make any sense and to base my eternal security upon anything so obviously shaky would really scare me.

I still run into this popular belief more frequently than I would like.  This modern teaching of Unconditional Eternal Security is just a new type of the older extreme Grace message called “Once Saved Always Saved”.  These teachings have departed from a balanced truth approach to Bible interpretation moving into the false realm of extremism simply by leaving out the other subjects that they do not agree with.  These Bible teachers take only specific scriptures of truth found in the Bible that they like to see to base their message explaining away all the other verses of a conflicting nature.  But, the problem remains that there will always be more than one or even two truths found in the entire Bible and we are required by God to take into account all of the stated truths given to us in the Bible so that we can know that we are preaching what God actually thinks of the subject of eternal security.  Rather than give you all of the verses that these Grace preachers so love to exclusively teach on, I am simply focusing on in this series, what else the Bible says about subject of eternal security so we can see that God says there is more to being a Christian than just us getting saved once in our lives.  I’m going to start today’s lesson talking about a subject called Christian Responsibility.

GOD’S DELEGATED CHRISTIAN RESPONSIBILITY AFTER SALVATION

Unconditional eternal security is a belief that is based upon the irrelevance of man’s future actions.  U.E.S. believes what a man does is independent from the process of their continued salvation.  This type of belief removes the obvious freewill participation of the man from any further relevance.  It also is a belief that proclaims that a man has no given responsibilities from God to do anything.  Maybe we need to stop here and define the word “responsibility” to give us an equal foundation.  How you view the definition of responsibility might be completely different to what I see it to be.  Here is a definition that I found easily on the internet:

  1. The state or fact of having a duty to deal with something.
  2. The state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.
  3. the ability or authority to act or decide on one’s own, without supervision

Here are three dictionary definitions for the word responsibility.  I agree with every one of them and I understand them.  But, do you understand them?   On Facebook recently one of my friends posted a sign on their wall about something that I really liked.  So I took the sign and put it on my wall and here is what it said.  It said “I’m only responsible for what I say; I’m not responsible for what you understand”.  Did you notice the word “responsible in that sign message twice?  That is exactly what I am discussing here today.  That saying from Facebook shows us I have a responsibility for what I say and you have a responsibility for what you hear.  According to the Bible, God will hold me personally responsible for what I say when I teach, so I’m very careful what I teach.  However, you are now also responsible to learn, but not to just learn what I said but more importantly to understand what I was saying.  Any parrot can be taught to say anything repetitively, but the bird will never understand the words that he speaks.  Don’t be a parrot type of Christian; learn to understand what is being taught and this will cause the knowledge to never be taken away from you.

Using the definitions of the word “responsibility” can you think of anything in the New Testament that God has spoken to you that reveals you as having any responsibility?  Look at the first definition.  It says you have to deal with something as a duty or a job.  Has God left anything here on the earth for you to deal with?  You bet He has!   The second definition states that you will have accountability for having done something or take the blame for having failed to do something.  Is that applicable for any Christian going forward?  If you do not understand the coming judgment of God then you do not yet understand your God given responsibility and your accountability for doing it.  Number three is also important to see.  It states there was given some task assignment along with the authority to accomplish that job.  How does that apply to us as a Christian, let me show you:

Luk 10:19  Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Here is delegated authority given to the church from Jesus personally.  The key word in this verse is the first Greek word translated as “power’.  This word is mistranslated and should have been translated as the English word “authority”.   This Greek word G1849 means “delegated influence”.  Real authority can only be transferred or given to anyone by a higher authority.   Since God is the highest authority this means He has the right to give us some of His authority.  Anytime anyone gives away part of their authority they have now delegated their responsibility to them from which they will be now held accountable.  For example, every police officer of a city is held accountable to uphold the laws fairly for that city.  Therefore the police officer has been given direct responsibilities from a higher authority.  If they fail to uphold the laws of the city then they will face the consequences for their failure.   This is the exact same concept being transferred to us by God in the verse in Luke 10:19.  You have been given responsibilities by God the highest authority and you will be held accountable for not doing them.  In other words Christians have been given specific gifts, talents, tasks and assignments and these are not optional, but rather our God given responsibility to fulfill or they will not get done.  Let’s talk about some more of our Christian responsibilities:

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

Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Let’s begin our thought process on responsibility by considering how we got saved.  Did we have any responsibility in the entire process of our initial salvation?  We should know that we began the process by hearing someone preach about Jesus.  We continued the salvation process by believing what we heard about Jesus or we ended the process by not believing and then walking away from Jesus’ salvation offer.  However if we choose to believe what was being preached the process continues.  For example we believed that Jesus was God in the flesh, that He died for our sins and that He was raised from the dead and we conintue on the path to being saved.  Next, we must confess Jesus as our Lord and according to Romans 10:9-10 and God says we are now saved!  So how did we just get saved?  It was a process!   In this process of initial salvation there are three realms of delegated responsibility that must be present and working together.  First the preacher was given the responsibility by God to preach the Gospel to us or we will not hear it.  Second the unsaved person was given the responsibility to hear, believe and confess or they will not begin to be saved.  Finally, the Holy Spirit has the responsibility to confirm the Word of God spoken by drawing the unsaved individual to God and then to come into the spirit of the unsaved person after they have heard, believed and confessed.  Clearly “initial salvation” is a multi-step and a multi-responsibility process.  Any one party could fail in the process and there would be no salvation.  Of course God will never fail you, so that is not the weak point or the weak link in the process.  However, the human factors that are participating can always fail.  Humans will always be the weak link in the initial salvation process.

I firmly believe that we must determine how we were saved in order to determine how we will remain in the state of our salvation.  In other words what got us into God’s grace will continue to be exactly what keeps you there.  If initial salvation and continued salvation are both mutually exclusive from each other that would represent a new scriptural inconsistency.   Ephesians 2:8 states that we are saved by Grace through faith.  Therefore salvation was conditional upon us believing in the finished work of Jesus with our faith.  Then in Romans 10:9-10 God says we must not only believe that God raised Jesus from the dead but we also must confess Jesus to be our Lord.  If we are required to do something like believe and to confess in order to be saved then that makes our initial salvation clearly conditional upon our faithful obedience.  If our initial salvation is conditional upon our obedience then by direct association our continued salvation must also be conditional upon our continued obedience or God would be very inconsistent.  Do you understand my logic so far?  Ephesians 2:8 told us that our faith was a factor for our salvation.  2 Corinthians 5:7 says we must continue to walk by our faith and not by sight after becoming a Christian.  Therefore faith is still an ongoing factor for being a Christian.  If continued salvation is only the responsibility of God like U.E.S. teaches, then initial salvation must also have been the full responsibility of God and that is clearly not the truth given to us in the Word of God.

The belief of unconditional eternal security after conditional salvation replaces the concept of any further human responsibility for continued salvation and places the full responsibility solely upon God.  However God was clearly not the only factor for our initial salvation, so God just cannot be the only factor for our eternal security.  If God was the only factor involved in our initial salvation then everyone would be saved today since 2 Peter 3:9 says God is not willing that any should perish.  That however is another clear erroneous doctrine of many Bible teachers that want to believe in the invented concept called “Universal Salvation”.  However when we study the Bible correctly we must balance more than one truth and see that just because God’s will is for everyone to be saved, that does not mean that everyone is saved.  Clearly even Jesus taught us that people will be in hell with the story of the rich man in Luke 16.  Clearly Jesus taught us that there will come a division between the sheep on the right hand from the goats on the left hand (Mat 25:32) and those not in His sheepfold will be lost and cast into the fire (Mat 13:40).

From my understanding and belief in a conditional salvation which is dependent upon my faithful obedience, participation and full acceptance causes me to believe in a conditional eternal security also based upon my further obedience, participation and acceptance.  Otherwise we would all be saved by our willing participation but now kept safe independent from our participation by divine sovereign control.  That type of belief would be completely illogical to me and very inconsistent with what I have observed in the scriptures.  If man has no further responsibilities after his initial salvation then God has taken something away from him that he had before he was saved.  If this is now missing from man, how can we claim we ever had it to begin with?  Let’s examine the subject of continued Christian responsibility after salvation observing a basic truth taught to us in Romans:

Rom 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

We need to begin to understand that we have been given the responsibility as a Christian to remain a Christian.  In order to do this we must begin to find our responsibilities given to us by God.  Here in this verse God says my children are ONLY those that are led by my Spirit.  Is that you?  Did you know that this being led by the Spirit of God was a conditional requirement for your continued salvation?  This verse was written to Christians and not to unsaved people.  Did you hear what I just said?  People sometimes simply don’t want to go to hell so they will get saved thinking that is all that is required to keep them from hell, but that is clearly not what God teaches us in His full balanced Word.  This verse in Romans displays two separate divisions of people.  The two divisions are those that are led by God and those that are not led by God.  We can restate this truth by saying it includes those that are His children and those that are not His children.   Therefore getting saved and not being led by the Spirit of God defines to us a new state of potential loss.  Do you see how conditional your salvation can suddenly become?  Today very few Christians understand this concept of even how to be led by the Spirit of God much less to be able to hear and obey Him.  But, suddenly in the Grace unconditional eternal salvation message this being led by the Spirit of God to be His child becomes a non-issue.  I don’t see it that way.  God clearly places responsibility upon Christina to be led.  If you do not know how to be led by the Spirit of God I have a Bible series of lesson on this subject “Understanding How to Be Led by the Spirit of God”.  Let’s go examine some words spoken by Jesus on the subject of responsibility:

Mat 7:22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Mat 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Jesus said I will look at some and say to them “depart from me for I never knew you” and these were clearly people that thought they were saved and were even calling Jesus their Lord and thought they were doing many righteous good things that we see people in many churches do today.  Do you understand that?  I mean use your brain and think with me for a moment.  Jesus is not talking to people who were in the bars, the night clubs and the strip joints of the world.  God certainly does not know those types of people, no Jesus was talking to people who thought they were doing good things for God and they did not understand they needed to be led by the Spirit of God in what they did.  In other words what they did for God they did independent from God and thus they failed to qualify for their continued salvation.  In Matthew 7:22-23 Jesus was not talking about people or to people that never got saved!  These are clearly people who got saved but went no further with their continuing salvation process to learn how to be led by God to become His child.   Let’s look at the following verses in the context of those that Jesus was speaking to saying depart from me to find why they are being instructed to leave:

Mat 7:24  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

Mat 7:25  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

Mat 7:26  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

Mat 7:27  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Read these verses very carefully for they are talking about two types of saved Christians again.  These two types of Christians are being compared and separated from each other in these verses.  You can try to explain them away as being saved people versus unsaved people but that is not what is being stated.  Both types of people had houses built and both heard the same Word of God.  These are two types of Christians.  First there are those that heard the Word of God and do what they heard and then second there are those that heard the Word of God but ignored what they heard.  Both of these people had to sit in the same church services to hear the same word of God being taught. The wise man in this description is stated to be the doer of the word of God and the foolish man is he that is destroyed because he chose to only hear.  If you cannot see the stated Christian responsibility given to you in these verses, of Romans 8:14 and Matthew 7:24-27 to become a doer and a follower of what God has said to you by His Word and His Spirit then you are deceived greatly.   God has placed conditions upon your continued Christianity and your continued salvation.  I could give you many other scriptural salvation conditions but I’m only going to end this lesson with some verses written directly to the church in Revelation spoken to us by the Lord Jesus:

Rev 2:7  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Rev 2:17  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Rev 2:26  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

Rev 3:5  He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Rev 3:12  Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

Rev 3:21  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

I just gave you seven verses from Revelation chapters 2 and 3 written to the church telling us that we must “overcome” something or someone in order to receive something else from God.  What does that teach us?  Any time that God promises you something and then tells you what you must do to qualify for it that changes the promise of God to a conditional requirement that is based upon your successful participation.  Let’s get the definition for this word translated as the English word “overcome” in order to understand what it means.  Here is the definition from the Strong’s:

From G3529; to subdue (literally or figuratively): – conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory.

Do you understand what subdue means?  It means you have an enemy opposed to you.  Do you understand what conquer means?  It means you have a responsibility to win.  Do you understand what “prevail” means?   It means you can fail if you do not learn what you are doing.  To be defeated as a Christian is as simple as you doing nothing.  You are guaranteed failure for your lack of participation.   The easiest way for any evil to prevail, is for good people to do nothing to prevent it.  Do you know what “get the victory” means?  It means God expects you to be a winner.   To “overcome” clearly denotes responsibility to be victorious over your enemy and you will be held accountable if you do not do this.

What exactly is there left for us in the church to overcome if Christ has overcome it all already?  I think that is a very excellent question that is being ignored by Christian Grace teachers of unconditional eternal security.  Clearly we have just been given a major conflict with the belief for unconditional eternal security for all the church if we have anything left to overcome in order to qualify.  God tells us repeatedly in these verses that we are to overcome in order to qualify for the participation of any further gifts.  This is clearly God’s delegated responsibility that makes God’s gifts conditional.  Several of these verses make it sound like even our salvation depends upon us being an overcomer.   Read them closely for yourself.  For example Revelation 2:7 says if you we overcome we get to eat from the tree of life.  What would be the opposite of that truth?  Would that be to eat form the tree of death if you don’t overcome?  Uh oh?  That is a potential problem isn’t it?  Read Revelation 3:12 and see what God says to those that overcome He will give His name meaning to those that do not overcome He will not.  Then understand that one name that is given to these overcomers is the name of the New Jerusalem and this is identified to be His bride in Revelation 21.  Clearly if you do not overcome you are not His bride.  If we don’t overcome, then Jesus implies we cannot eat from the tree that gives us life, we cannot be His bride, and we cannot have His name.  This is really not that complicated, but it is an unexpected problem for those that believe in U.E.S.

Clearly to me our continued salvation and eternal security is not independent from our future decisions or actions.  To me it is very self-evident that our continued salvation is totally dependent upon our continued faithful  participation and obedience to God’s Word and His Spirit for the rest of the process of our salvation to make us overcomers.  These truths that God gives us in the Bible make the reality of eternal security to be a completely conditional divine proposition.  I only gave you a few great examples of continued Delegated Christian Responsibility after salvation.  I could give you many others, but I believe I made my point and will move on to another topic that you need to understand in the next lesson in this series that I call the Deception Factor.  Therefore, thanks for your time in studying the Bible today and I pray that you learned something that will be a blessing to you.  Until next time if you feel like leaving me a comment, please do that.  If you want to find me on Facebook and be my friend you are welcome to do that also.  God Bless you until next time.

If you would like to continue reading and studying in this series, you may continue to “Part 5“.

Understanding the Hidden Spiritual Family Structure of God’s Household! The Hidden Family of God in the Abrahamic Covenant! Part 9

(Ver 1.5)  This is now Part 9 in a series of extremely advanced Bible studies about a subject that you have probably never heard anyone teach on before.  If you have not read these lessons from the beginning, I would suggest that you go back to “Part 1” and start there.   The Spirit of God revealed this information to me more than 10 years ago and I have been diligently studying it in the Bible ever since then to prove it was true.   Over these years I became totally convinced that this was accurate simply because I could see it plainly in the Bible and I knew that it was actually what the Bile said.  This is my introduction to one of the last lessons in this series of one of the most important and complex Bible studies that you may ever try to study or try to understand.  All of these lessons have come directly from my heart today to yours.  I can’t make you see anything in the Bible.  So my prayer today is that you may have an open mind, a receptive heart and may the eyes of your spiritual understanding become enlightened with the spiritual knowledge of knowing Him who was and is and will always be eternally faithful; my God of all Grace and all Peace, my Lord and my Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.

I was a computer programmer for over 25 years.  I have worked on the development of several complex large computer software systems for some very large corporations.  I will occasionally introduce computer terms in my Bible lessons and I may do that again today.  But, I have found the design of God’s Word system to be so much more advanced and complex than anything that I have ever seen created by man that it is at times overwhelming.  God’s extreme intelligence is clearly displayed in the design of His Word.  However if you have never worked on a large scale computer system before or approached the Bible with this way of study, you will not understand what I am talking about.  This is why not very many people on the earth today actually understand how to study the Bible.  Intelligent design is displayed in every word printed right in front of them, but many do not recognize the patterns being presented.  I have been studying the Bible faithfully for over 20 years using my computer and I am not any closer to learning everything that God says because of the vastness of what is covered in the Bible.  Having said all of that, God has taught me a few things since the beginning and I am closer to knowing the complete truth today than I was 20 years ago.  The things that have taken me over 20 years to discover, you can learn in a matter of a few days if you apply yourself and actually believe what you are reading and then search and see them in the Bible for yourself.  When you do this, Satan will not be able to come and steal them from you.

In the last lesson I reviewed three distinct hidden patterns of the family of 5 divided 3 against 2 using the Micah 7:6 prophecy as the foundation and the stories of Abraham as two of the repeated models or patterns.  Abraham was both the father and the son in the family in these patterns.  In each of these examples, the pattern of family division recurred as an arrangement of 3 against 2.  The patterns were always close enough that you should have been able to recognize that they came from the same Designer.  You could call these little hidden patterns just amazing coincidences or you could call them the work of God like I do.   Today I am going to show you another even more potentially controversial hidden pattern of the family of 5 divided 3 against 2 that is also found within the life of Abraham.  This will be the third witness of God’s hidden pattern found in the life of a single man in the Bible.  I do not believe that the existence of three very similar patterns found within the story of one man in the Bible can be called a chance occurrence, a happenstance or even an accident.  If you could determine the mathematical probability of this occurring I believe it would be way beyond random probability.  If you can find this pattern in the life of anyone else in the Bible please let me know about it, I would really be interested in hearing if you can find it anywhere.  I personally believe God is trying to teach us something that is extraordinarily complex and important for us to know about.  Today we are going to explore the Abrahamic covenant and what God has initiated in a cleverly designed hidden textual format that will probably amaze some of my readers and for others they will probably just walk away being perplexed and skeptical.   I cannot predict which one you will choose to be, but I will hope that you will at least give God a chance before you shut the door on what He has to say in His Word.

I am now going to take you back to Genesis again to some prominently featured Words of God in the Old Testament that are very relevant to the family of 5 being divided 3 against 2.  Of course all of this information has been very widely studied for thousands of years and yet no one could have understood what was being said because I believe that it was only intended for us to know before Jesus returns.  I want to specifically show you these hidden secret concepts found within the Abrahamic Covenant so get ready to learn something new.  We are going to be studying the verses found in Genesis chapter 15.  You may recall while reading in this chapter of Genesis that God comes to Abram and makes some very specific promises to him and to his seed and these verses are all very interesting.  Let’s start by reviewing the general themes found in this chapter.  Here is my list of the important themes found in this chapter.

  1. Abram is very concerned because he has no heir.
  2. God comes to Abram in a spiritual vision.
  3. God makes Abram certain promises.
  4. Land is a central theme in this chapter.
  5. God makes a covenant with Abram.
  6. The seed of Abram is a central topic to this entire chapter.
  7. The majority of the statements spoken by God are prophetic.

In reading and studying Genesis 15 these were some of the central themes being related to me.  God appears to be dealing with Abram personally, but also simultaneously speaking prophetically about many subjects.  The central theme concerning an heir and the central theme of the seed are both critical to understanding the purpose and the plan of God being revealed in this chapter.  I believe that we should quickly list the promises of God made to Abram in this chapter also to understand what is being promised as well as the prophecies being revealed.

  1. Your heir will come from your own bowels (Gen 15:4).
  2. Your seed shall be as the stars of the heaven (Gen 15:5).
  3. Abram will inherit the land (Gen 15:7).
  4. Thy seed will be a stranger in a land and they shall serve them and be afflicted in bondage 400 years (Gen 15:13).
  5. God will judge this nation and the seed will come out with great substance (Gen 15:14).
  6. Abram will live a long life and die in peace (Gen 15:15).
  7. In the fourth generation they shall come here again (Gen 15:16).
  8. God makes a covenant with Abram saying the land from the Nile to the Euphrates is given to you and to your seed (Gen 15:18).

These are the basic prophecies and the promises that were made concerning Abram and his seed from direct statements of God in the spiritual vision.  I believe these are very important to note, because we will learn more about them as we go further into the lesson.  I think we need to do some introductory concept analysis to exactly what a “seed of Abraham” is in order to understand who God is talking to and why.  I have done a much more extensive Bible series on the concept of Understanding Bible Seeds so I will not repeat all of that information here, but I may touch on some of it again in this lesson.  If you want to understand this subject more completely you can stop and read that series first and then come back to here and continue or you can wing it and try to catch up with what I am teaching just today about Abraham’s seed.

Before I continue let me make a point about something that God does in the book of Genesis as well as other places in the Bible that is potentially very confusing to many Christians.  God will speak about natural things and spiritual things within the context of the same chapter, even calling them by the exact same name and description and not ever tell you which one He is talking about or if He has even changed the subject or has shifted the realm of domain of the subject from what we were just reading about in the previous verse.  Wow, I’m not sure if you really understood what I just said.  Maybe you will as we continue through the lesson.  Also know that one verse may be from a participant like Abram’s viewpoint and the next verse may be given to us from God’s viewpoint of the situation.  Scripture view point is a complex subject analysis, but one that you need to be aware of in order to understand how to rightly divide the Word of truth.  For example, Abram could ask a purely natural question and God could give a spiritual answer and both should be viewed differently.  There is also another level of complexity built into the story of Abraham based upon what we learned from Galatians 4.  The story of Abraham was and still is an allegorical representation of the family of God.  This means God tells a natural story about a natural man and these are parallel references to the spiritual realm.  All of this makes the correct interpretation of Genesis 15 infinitely more complex.

There are many spiritual things mentioned in Genesis 15 as well as many parallel natural things.  For example the concept of “seed” found in Genesis 15.  “Seed” is mentioned directly 4 times in 4 different verses.  Is every verse speaking about the same type of seed?  Is every verse speaking of the same exact seed?  Is this “seed” natural or is it spiritual or is it both simultaneously?  Is the term “seed” used as a singular reference or is it used as plural reference meaning many or is it both again simultaneously?  When I studied the subject of “seed” in the Bible I found where God called at the very least 10 different things by the exact same Hebrew word translated as “seed”.  Which one of these ten is the type of “seed” being spoken of in this chapter?  Or is every reference a different type of seed?  The Bible is so much more complex than you think it is, so let me try to answer some of these questions.  Let’s go to Genesis 15 and start reading in verse 18 first.

Gen 15:18  In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

I am going to start by talking about the covenant that God makes with Abraham first and then I’m going to talk about the seed of Abraham and then finally end back up at the covenant at the end of the lesson.   According to my Bible studies that I have done, a covenant is a spiritual marriage in the eyes of God.  If God makes a covenant, he is proposing spiritual marriage.  If you do not understand this concept then you should go and read my lessons on “Understanding Bible Covenants first.  God says “Unto your seed I have given this land”.  God is speaking to Abram directly and speaking about his seed.  What or who is this seed that God is speaking of?  God actually does not define that in this verse does He?     People automatically assume it is only the natural children of Israel since they possess a small portion of that land today.   We can read in Romans 11:1 and 2 Corinthians 11:22 that Paul calls himself a seed of Abraham and Paul is very clearly speaking of a natural seed as being a physical descendant of the man Abraham.  You may recall that Abraham begat Isaac, Isaac begat Jacob and Jacob begat the 12 tribes of Israel.  We can also see in Hebrews 11:9 that Isaac and Jacob are described to be heirs of the promise.  So clearly we have some scriptures to lean towards an all-natural interpretation of Genesis 15.  We also know that Paul was born on the earth from the descendants of the tribe of Benjamin.  So there is clear precedence for a purely natural interpretation of the Seed of Abraham as being only a physical people.  This is a popular position that many Christians stand on.   But, is this all that the Bible says on the subject?  I think we are about to find out some new perspectives on this subject.

When reading the Bible it is important not to mix apples and oranges just so that you can call them all fruit.  This would be an example of trying to take the Word of God and make it all natural or to make it all spiritual by lumping both of these into a general basket category that you want to call the Truth and that would work if God wrote the Bible that way.  However God makes us divide the word of truth into categories of either spiritual or natural sections in order to understand it clearly.  What I am getting at is that there are many things that are spoken by God in this one chapter and if you think that God is only talking about one covenant, one people or even one man then you are in a position to be very confused.  You are going to have to read the Bible with a more open mind and then learn to use the Bible to interpret the Bible.  You are also going to have to discern the differences between natural things and spiritual things.  Here in this verse in Genesis it appears that God is speaking only to a natural man named Abram and that He is making a covenant which includes some physical land on the earth.  There is an explicit region described that goes from the Nile in Egypt to the Euphrates river going through Turkey, Syria and Iraq and this land has been directed to the seed of Abram.  I really do not have a problem with that general interpretation of this verse.  It is usually best to always take the Bible literally first and then stick with the literal interpretation when you can.   I said when you can, because there are some other places in the Bible that appear to expand our definition of what God was talking about in Genesis 15.  For example, read this verse in Galatians 3:

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

Here we have a major new conflict brewing with the pure natural interpretation of Genesis 15.  You see in Galatians 3:29 it appears that God is calling all Christians the “seed of Abraham”.  God also calls us the “heirs” of the promise.  Which promise, is God speaking of and what is it that we are supposed to inherit?  This is obviously a very different new type of seed being spoken of than what we originally thought from reading Genesis 15:18.  Galatians 3:29 must be referring to a “spiritual” type of seed and not a “physical” seed since I am not a naturally born Jew and neither is the majority of the modern church today.  Since I’m not in possession of the natural land of Israel, this also means there is a potential spiritual inheritance that is different than the natural inheritance that was given to natural Israel by God in Genesis 15.  All of this new information makes correct Bible interpretation infinitely more complex for us immediately.  We are going to have to learn to rightly divide the Word of Truth if we are ever to correctly understand it.  We are going to have to balance this new spiritual information with the old natural information that we previously thought to be the entire truth.  It is important to note that this scripture implies a plural type of spiritual seed, meaning many spiritual individuals being called the seed of Abraham.  Everyone that belongs to Christ is now called the spiritual seed of Abraham.  This is the same pattern that existed when we read in Genesis 15:18 and there were many implied natural descendants of Abraham called his natural seed.  What I begin to see developing is a natural pattern found in Genesis 15 that has occurred first to help point us to a spiritual pattern that has occurred after Christ was raised from the dead.  I know I added the words “spiritual” and “natural” before the words “seed” in my interpretations but that is the only logical way to differentiate them in my view point.  Let’s back up in this chapter of Galatians and see what else God says about the Seed of Abraham.

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

Here is another verse that complicates our efforts tremendously when interpreting any verse found in Genesis 15 with a reference to the seed subject.  Here in Galatians, God is speaking directly about the promises that were made to Abraham and to his seed and this time God clearly comes out and says that the seed in Genesis 15 is a singular reference to Christ and that it is not a plural reference meaning many.  Do you recognize how this presents more complex problems in interpreting the seed and the promises of God found in Genesis 15 correctly.  At the very least it appears to imply that God has made simultaneous promises to the natural and the spiritual seed of Abraham.  Here in Galatians 3:16, God says this promise was only made to the one seed of Abraham called Christ (Heb 2:16).  So we have a continual increasing conflict developing.  We just read in Hebrews 11:9 that Isaac and Jacob were called heirs of Abraham and God now directs us to Christ as being the only seed that was spoken of.  We have now gone from many to one and this is a totally new perspective.  I believe that we are seeing more parallels being revealed.  Abram had only one natural son that God recognized to be his natural heir.  This heir was Isaac and he represents a natural pattern of the spiritual Christ to come.  Let’s read another verse found in the New Testament from God’s commentary about the seed of Abraham:

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

These are vastly ignored verses in the Bible.  They clearly say the promise was not made to those natural seeds that were under the law, but that the promise was to the spiritual seed that would inherit the world through the righteousness of faith.  This is obviously a major problem for the exclusive natural seed interpretation of Genesis 15.  Here in this verse it does not name the specific region of the Nile to the Euphrates any more, it rather states it in the general term called the “world”.  The Greek word translated here as world means “an orderly arrangement”.  It denotes a place with structure and organization.   When God spoke to Abram in Genesis 15, the known world was centered between the Nile and the Euphrates.  That was the world back then.  I believe that this is what God is saying to us from these verses using patterns found in design and speech.

What I see developing is two realms of parallel existence.  The natural realm occurred first and Abraham produced a nation of natural seeds.  But, God then reveals that there is another type of seed that has also come from Abraham and this seed must be viewed spiritually from God’s point of view.  These verses in Romans and Galatians clearly inform us of another parallel type of seed that is spoken of by God and too many Christians want to ignore them to focus only on the natural descendants of Abraham.  There is an implied reference that the land between the Nile and the Euphrates was only a symbolic representation for the greater reference of the “world”.   Notice in Romans and Galatians God is speaking of the fulfillment of prophecies and He mentions the promises, the heirs and the seeds in these verses and this proves conclusively that God is speaking directly about what we are studying in Genesis 15.  Practically every major theme of Genesis 15 is explicitly satisfied in these verses.  To ignore God’s definitions, God’s perspective and God’s words of explanation will cause you to wrongly interpret the Bible 100 times out of 100 attempts.  I hope you are learning something today.

2Co 4:18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

I believe that one of the primary goals of the New Testament is to cause Christians to transition away from looking at the temporary things of this world to try to teach us to look at the eternal things of God within the greater spiritual realm of domain.  Both in Galatians and Romans, God is attempting to shift our focus off of the natural things found in this world in an attempt to get us to see the supernatural spiritual things that He has accomplished in the unseen realm.  My mentioning these verses will probably not make me a very popular Bible teacher to a select number of people who believe that natural Israel was given the land eternally.  However, I am not going to ignore these important verses in the Bible that speak of Jesus and the church as the spiritual seed of Abraham in order to satisfy their personal private interpretation of Genesis 15.  Too many people read the fifteenth chapter of Genesis in isolation and think that God is speaking only to the natural people that will forever possess the physical land in the Middle East named Israel.  However, when we read the New Testament more closely we found some additional insight that is too important to ignore.    The New Testament appears to say that the seed of Abraham is not the natural seed, but that it is rather the spiritual seed who will inherit the promise of God.  Do not get me wrong, I’m not abandoning the natural nation of Israel.  I fully support them to get saved and come into the reality of Jesus Christ.   Let’s go through the rest of the verses in Genesis 15 that speak about the seed of Abraham to see how they might fit with what we have just learned from God in the New Testament.

Gen 15:2  And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?

Here in verse 2 it is very interesting to note that Abram is speaking to God and telling God what God already knows.  It is not news to God it is only the sound of Abram complaining.  But, one hidden word stands out to me in this verse.  The word translated as “steward” is actually two Hebrew words and the translators omitted one of them.  The Hebrew word left out is “H1121” and it means “a son” and “a builder of the family name”.   Abraham is clearly saying to God I have no son; my only family builder is my servant.  So Abram desires a son.  This hidden son reference is not a coincidence.  This is the exact same Hebrew Word that Jesus used when He said “I am the Son (H1121) of Adam (man)”.

Gen 15:3  And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

Here in verse 3 of Genesis 15, the term “seed” appears to be a singular natural and physical reference and it is spoken by Abram from Abram’s perspective of his personal situation.  Try to see how Abram is asking God a natural question and the answer that God gives back to him is precisely not the exact same question that was asked.  As you can see Abram is focused entirely on the singular fact that his wife Sarai has given him no children.  Abram desires to have an heir to inherit all that God has blessed him with.  Abram is seeking God for the very basic human need of a sole physical heir.  It is also interesting to note that Abram is blaming God for not having this heir.  Abram has been married to his wife Sarai for a while now and they have had no children but not for a lack of trying to have children.  Abram has only a servant in his house that is currently his sole heir if anything would happen to him.  There is a possible voiced discouragement in his question to God.   From this information so far we see a singular focus for a solitary son to be the natural physical heir.  To me this relates indirectly to another spiritual heir named Christ we saw in Galatians 3:16.  You see when Isaac was born to Abraham; God called Isaac his only son (Gen 22:2).  Jesus the Son of God is also called God’s “Only begotten” in John 3:16.  Are you seeing the parallel being established here with Abraham being a type of God the father?  Isaac is definitely a type of Jesus the future spiritual Seed of Abraham and the promised heir.  Let’s examine God’s response to Abraham’s natural problem.    Abraham tells God you have given me no seed.   This “seed” that Abraham is talking about is clearly a physical son.   Can we agree so far?

Gen 15:4  And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

As you can see God is telling Abram that this servant born in his house will not be his heir.  God then tells Abram that his heir will come directly from his own internal bowels.  From this statement we could automatically assume that God is indirectly speaking of a new second type of “seed” called sperm.  You can see this type of seed mentioned in the Bible in verses like Leviticus 12:2, Leviticus 15:16 and Numbers 5:28.   The sperm of a human male is definitely called by the same Hebrew word translated as “seed” in those verses.  Since this type of seed originates internally and then is produced externally we could think that God is speaking of this seed in Genesis 15:4.  If we do that the number of human male sperm cells (seeds) passed to the female can vary.  The number of sperm cells can range from 20 million to 400 million individual cells.  Yet this amount is a very countable number so keep that in mind.  Abraham was asking God about one natural seed called a child and God seems to confirm that this child will come from his own body (bowels) and that he will be produced from one of the millions of seed cells that were in him.  However that is a very human natural viewpoint of another actual spiritual situation and circumstance being spoken of in the New Testament. The word translated as “bowels” is more likely to mean the “womb” as in a female reference to a woman’s natural body part that produces children.  Obviously Abram does not have one of these, or does he?  You can look at this verse two different ways using the Bible.  There are specific verses that say Sarah’s body is Abraham’s body and that they are now one flesh (Gen 2:24).  So what his wife has Abram also technically possesses.  Then there is another aspect that is also highly applicable to our subject of having children.  These are called the spiritual children that will be birthed after the resurrection of Christ.

Gal 4:19  My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

Here is a very confusing verse for many people.  A human male named Paul is writing about being in labor with soon to be born children and clearly he is not speaking literally or more specifically physically.  Paul must be writing about a spiritual process that is taking place.  I believe God is speaking spiritually in this verse in Genesis also while people are thinking naturally.  Abraham is called the “father” of the church in Romans 4:16 and James 2:21.  This cannot be speaking naturally and it can only be revealing a spiritual fatherhood that has transpired as a result of Abraham’s faith.  Do you see how complicated these subjects found in Genesis can become?  So far we have two different types of natural seeds being spoken of and one new third spiritual kind being implied in this chapter and it is about to get even more complex in the next verse.  Genesis 15:3 was a natural question and verse 4 was a potential natural answer that I believe can simultaneously apply to the spiritual realm.  These are God’s words of promise to Abram with definite spiritual applications.  We also saw a seed transition occurring; moving from a singular reference to a potential plural reference. Now let’s see what God says next to Abraham.

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

Here in verse 5 of Genesis 15 the subject of “seed” seems to shift dramatically beyond the concepts of anything natural or singular.  Reread this verse very carefully and see if you can see how God has shifted the focus and the perspective has changed from a naturalistic human way of thinking to a purely spiritual divine point of view.  Notice how these words seem to be coming from how God see’s things happening up in the spiritual realm.  To me it appears that God is looking down from heaven at a new and different type of seed.  Remember that the last verse spoken by God could be taken either naturally or spiritually, but here in this verse it is practically impossible to take it naturally at all.  God is still speaking directly to Abram and this is still the same answer to his natural question about a singular natural heir (seed).  However, God is now comparing the concept of Abraham’s “seed” to be like the number of the stars in the heavens.  Do you have any idea how many stars there are in the heavens?   Using modern telescopes we have determined that there are so many that we cannot even begin to count them all.  Modern scientists have only been able to estimate the astronomical number of heavenly bodies.  This number is way over the trillions of stars level.  Therefore here in Genesis 15:5 God has escalated from one seed or even millions of seeds all the way to a range of uncountable seeds.   So obviously what God is saying to Abram is something way beyond what a natural human mind could conceive.  The current earth population is around 7 billion and this is still a very countable number.  Even if every human on the earth got saved today, we would not come close to the number of stars in the heavens.  Are you following me so far?  I know you can look at this verse other ways and reason that God was only speaking of people seeing stars with the naked human eye in order to determine the number of seeds to come.  However, since the knowledge of this is going forth in a day when we can see way beyond the naked eye constraints, I believe that God is answering Abram from a prophetical spiritual way of thinking and seeing?  Let’s estimate the count of the stars visible by the naked eye on a clear night to be somewhere in the range of the low thousands maybe even tens of thousands.  Is that all of the seed that Abraham will produce?  Even if you count to a million, there are 7 billion people on the planet.  There are currently over 4 million natural descendants of Abraham living in Israel today.  Neither of these numbers is in the thousands.  There is no logical way that God is talking about a number that low to be all of the seeds of Abraham.  After all God knows how many stars that He created.  I personally believe based upon what we learned in Romans and Galatians God was thinking eternally all along while simultaneously speaking of both natural and spiritual things.  Let’s skip down quickly to verses 13 and 18 to see the last two times the “seed” of Abraham is directly mentioned in this chapter.  One of these verses we already looked at, but it won’t hurt us to see it again:

Gen 15:13  And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

Gen 15:18  In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

Here in these two verses we have what appears to be the usage or a reference to the fourth type of the Hebrew word translated as “seed” of Abraham found in Genesis 15.  This time God has seemed to shift back to the plural natural perspective of the nation of Israel being the natural seed that are to be captive slaves in Egypt for a period of 400 years and that was not what Abram was asking about in verse 3 or even what God was talking about in verses 4 or 5.  This “seed” in verses 13 and 18 appear to be plural and it is definitely natural on the surface.  Yet we are still talking about the same subject of a singular seed heir of Abraham.  This makes it very complex to interpret all of these scriptures correctly.  When the children of Israel were freed from Egyptian bondage scholars estimate their numbers to be around 1 to 2 million people.  This would involve all the men, women and children that came out of Egypt.  This reference is somewhere beyond the number one, but way below the number of the stars in the heavens.  So this is why I stated that this appears to be a fourth type of seed referenced in this chapter. We have seen multiple seed references and multiple numbers associated with each reference.  Going back to Galatians 3:29, God said “If you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed”.  Based upon what we just read in Genesis 15 of the 4 different types of possible seeds mentioned, which seed type is Romans 4:13, Galatians 3:16 and 3:29 talking about?

  1. Seed of Abraham = the son Isaac a solitary seed/heir (Genesis 15:3)
  2. Seed of Abraham = the sperm in his bowels in the range of millions of cells (Genesis 15:4)
  3. Seed of Abraham = something as the stars of the heavens an uncountable number (Genesis 15:5)
  4. Seed of Abraham = the natural nation of Israel in bondage 400 years 1 to 2 million people (Genesis 15:13, 15:18)

Since the majority of the church does not qualify to be seed type 1, 2, or 4, we must be found somewhere in the seed type 3 by default or we are another parallel seed type that is not directly mentioned.  We also saw that Jesus was called the singular seed of Abraham.  Which one of these seed types fit that pattern?  I believe Jesus was a pattern of the seed type 1, Isaac.  That was an introductory analysis of the very complex subject of the “seed of Abraham”.   I just showed you 3 or 4 different things that are called the seed of Abraham concurrently.  Yet God said none of these are the heirs in Galatians or Romans.  How difficult is this?  A physical heir was what Abram sought from God and Galatians 3:16, 3:29 and Romans 4:13, tells that Jesus Christ and the church are these revealed heirs of Abraham.  Yet we (the church) were not held captive 400 years in Egypt.  However, you may be able to see that according to Bible typology, the human race was held in symbolic bondage to Satan for 4000 years until Jesus Christ came and died and provided us freedom from the bondage of sin.  There are many distinct parallels given to us in the Bible about the natural nation of Israel being a pattern of the church for us to learn from.  I will not expand that part of the subject any further today, but I thought I would throw you a couple of new clues to think about.

An heir is one of the major themes of the entire story of Abraham found in Genesis 15?   A physical heir was what Abraham desired and it was a spiritual heir that God desired.  When God was telling Abraham what He would do in this chapter, you need to understand what Jesus said about this chapter in the Gospels.  Moses wrote the book of Genesis and in John 5:46 that Moses wrote about Him.  This was a very key statement to understanding anything in the Book of Genesis.  It is ulitmately about Jesus.  The truth of the Bible is rarely found on the surface text, it will only be clearly understood when we dig deep beneath the surface and find out what else God says about the subjects being discussed.  I am now ready to talk about the Abrahamic Covenant and its hidden meanings.  So far in this lesson I skipped over the primary verses that I wanted to talk about in an attempt to explain how things in Genesis 15 were given more from God’s spiritual point of view rather than they are from Abraham’s natural point of view.  What I am going to say now will further confirm that if you can see it.   We can fairly easily understand that God is doing something much greater than just making a covenant with Abraham in this chapter if we perceive the underlying messages being revealed to us.  Let’s go to verse 7 in Genesis 15 and begin to read there next.

Gen 15:7  And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.

Gen 15:8  And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?

Here we have another direct promise given to Abraham to inherit the land.  Notice in Genesis 15:7 God says to Abraham I brought you out of your former land to give you this land to inherit it.  I can see spiritual implications on that statement.  We as Christians have been brought out of our previous natural land to become the spiritual heirs within a new heavenly spiritual domain.  I think we need to look up the definition of the word translated as “inherit” in this verse to learn what it means.  I think we need to analyze this statement.   Did Abram ever possess the Promised Land?  Uh oh?  Abraham certainly sojourned in this land but there is no way that you could say that Abraham inherited it!  I think you will be surprised to find that “to inherit” does not mean what you automatically assumed that it meant.

H3423

A primitive root; to occupy (be driving out previous tenants, and possessing in their place); by implication to seize, to rob, to inherit; also to expel, to impoverish, to ruin: – cast out, consume, destroy, disinherit, dispossess, drive (-ing) out, enjoy, expel, X without fail, (give to, leave for) inherit (-ance, -or), + magistrate, be (make) poor, come to poverty, (give to, make to) possess, get (have) in (take) possession, seize upon, succeed, X utterly.

This Hebrew word represents a wide range of possible meanings and uses.  It would appear to me that many of the meanings are an aggressive action of force against an enemy.   It also appears that there is a double edged sword of blessings and cursing attached to the very definition.  The occupying people would be blessed and the occupied people would be cursed.  To occupy is a conquering term where one nation overtakes another nation.  It denotes the seizing control of, the casting out of the previous occupants, or to make the previous owners poor, consume them, destroy them, ruin them, to take possession and to seize control away from someone or something.  This is not what we normally think of when we say I inherited a house from my uncle.  Using this definition that would mean you kicked your uncle out of his house by force and you took it over to live in it for yourself.   Did Abraham ever do this?  I do not see how Abraham ever fulfilled this prophecy until after his natural descendants did it hundreds of years later when Joshua led his children into the Promised Land again to possess it.  Did you know that this story of Joshua and Israel taking the Promised Land was a type of Jesus and the church today?  Do you know what Jesus’ Hebrew name was?  The Greek word transliterated as “Jesus” is the exact same Hebrew name transliterated as “Joshua” who led his people into the land to possess it.  Do you think this is a coincidence?  I can see the parallels being given to us again, can you?

Wow, I could spend a lot of time talking about that but, perhaps I better not today.  Just take note that God is speaking here about a pending battle that will take place in the future.  God is denoting future responsibility and action that is required by Abram and his seed to inherit the Promised Land.   Then look at verse 8, where Abram says “Lord how will I know that I will possess (inherit) it”.  What is God’s answer to this question?  I am about to blow you away with God’s proof text answer.  This is the surprise that I have been building to today in this lesson.  Here is God’s reply to Abram’s question.

Gen 15:9  And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.

Gen 15:10  And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.

I can read these two verses now and see how that Abraham is given the task of dividing the Spiritual Family of God very plainly.  Can you see it?  You are going to have to learn to look beyond your natural thinking and begin to look for the spiritual pattern characteristics from what you have learned before.  In these two verses there is no mention of a family, a father, a mother or a mother-in-law, a son, a daughter-in-law or even a daughter, yet they are all right there in front of you in plain sight.  I call this the display of God’s intelligence and His ability to hide the truth in plain sight.  It is like I taught you earlier, when you are sewing together dresses from a single pattern, one dress can be made to look totally different than another dress by the simplest choice of options or the material fabrics selected.  One dress might be made from black silk with white pin stripes and the other dress could be made from a linen or cotton red polka dot pattern.  They can appear totally different on the surface.  However, the expert will always be able to recognize the reuse of the same pattern in both.  The designer can make specific selections to change the entire look and feel of a dress and still be using the exact same pattern.

In object oriented computer programming this is a cool feature called “inheritance” that exists that is related to our subject today.  One computer object inherits the characteristics and patterns of another object and the new object can make little additions or modifications to individualize the new component.  However the original pattern is still available and is clearly recognizable to the expert.  Did you notice this computer technique was called “inheritance”?  Did you notice that inheritance was one of the primary subjects within the Abrahamic Covenant?  You should really learn more about computers if you want to learn more about God’s word.   Sometimes the parallels are amazing.  I am teaching you God’s object oriented technique of inheritance today found in His word using patterns.  God reuses natural patterns to convey hidden spiritual lessons.  When you learn these things it changes how you study the Bible.

Did you notice how many animals that God has instructed Abram to use in this covenant?   It just so happens that there is exactly 5 animals used in this covenant.  Uh oh?  Since we are not directly told that there are five you are going to have to count them for yourself and this is just a small effort on your part to help you to recognize the same familiar pattern found in Micah 7:6.  How many family members did Jesus tell us were in the family in Luke 12:52?  Was it not exactly five?  Do you think that the use of 5 animals is just another strange coincidence?  I certainly do not believe that.  Now let me show you what else is revealed here in the Abrahamic covenant.  Did you notice that 3 of the animals are divided?  Do you think the number three is another coincidence?  Did you also notice that these 3 animals are given specific ages as well as their specific sexual genders?  One is specifically masculine and the other two are specifically feminine.  A “Ram” is always a mature male sheep.  A “Heifer” is a mature female cow.  The “She Goat” is also a mature female goat.  These are three very specific types of unique animals with great detail given to each of them.  It clearly tells me that a ram is not a cow and a goat is not a ram and a cow is not a goat.   We have three very different creatures even though they are all within the global animal kingdom.  But, that makes three animals with specific genders being divided.  Is that an accident?   There is absolutely no way that this occurs by accident.  What we are seeing is the Father, the Mother and the Mother-in-law in the family of God being divided and we will get to this in more depth very soon; one male and two females.

The specific genders of the two birds are not revealed within the text, but we now know from our understanding of Micah 7:6 that one bird is a male and the other bird has to be a female.  But, since they are not divided we learn some very new information about how the family of God is being divided.  It is essential that you notice that 3 of the animals are divided and 2 of the animals are not divided?  Does any of this sound familiar to you?  Isn’t this very similar to the patterned words of Jesus again from Luke 12:52 when He said the house would be divided 3 against 2 and 2 against 3?  Is this not another reoccurrence of the pattern of the house of 5 divided 3 against 2 with a slight new variation?  In every pattern given, God is revealing new details of the family division.  I’m telling you God is so smart that He can write something in the Bible for thousands of years and no one understands it until He reveals it to us and then it is so obvious that I wonder, why I didn’t see it before?   Let me give you a new picture diagram of the Abrahamic Covenant and show you how it fits the pattern of God’s family of 5:

This is the third time in Genesis that God has used something in direct association with Abraham to display a repetitive pattern of the 5 in one family divided 3 against 2.  The first time I showed you this pattern, Abraham was a type of the son.  The next time I showed you this pattern, Abraham was a type of the father.   Now we have the covenant that God is making with Abraham with another new variation of 5 being divided 3 by 2.  Keep in mind that this is God’s answer to prove that Abraham will inherit the world/land.  God is saying to Abraham this is all of the proof that you need, but it was certainly spiritually encrypted or encoded evidence that was not understood by Abraham or anyone else since Abraham until now.  I can clearly see the spiritual implications being revealed to us and I hope that you can also.

I need to address a subject here for the sake of argument.  You might can look at my diagram of the family of 5 and can see how Satan has taken it to possess it for a symbol of himself.  You see, I believe that Satan figured this truth out a long time ago and this is why there are so many satanic symbols today that are viewed as an upside down five pointed star with the head of a dead ram on it.  Do you think this is also a coincidence?  I believe there is absolutely no way that this is a coincidence.  I believe Satan purposely selected this symbol to discredit the truth and to present himself as God.  I do not believe that Satan is stupid.  Satan is very intelligent and very tricky.  However, I believe that God is smarter and He is definitely going to win this battle.  What battle?  You will have to read Revelation 12 to see the coming battle in heaven.  Satan will take on God in heaven with all of his might and he will be thrown down to the earth.  Let’s get back to the Abrahamic covenant.

The animals selected by God are not specifically revealing on the surface except for the Ram.  The ram is a symbolic representation for God the Father and He is always the father of the Lamb.  A lamb is of course a type of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  When Abraham took Isaac to be sacrificed, Isaac asked his father “where is the animal to be sacrificed”.  Abraham’s answer was “God will provide himself as the sacrifice” (Gen 22:8).  Now we see that a ram and not a lamb is caught by his horns nearby where Abraham was and Abraham goes and gets this animal and he becomes the sacrifice instead of Isaac.  Therefore God as a Ram in my diagram is a very easy association for me to make.  I personally believe that God chose these five animals to teach us some new truths while also using them to hide the pattern in more depth of surface complexity.  I do not ever recall Jesus being called a bird, but a dove did descend from heaven upon him when He was baptized by John.  So I can see an association of Jesus to a bird using this reference alone.  I personally believe that God did not tell Abraham to use a lamb because this would have given it away and made it way too obvious for everyone to focus on the Lamb of God.

I do not believe at this level of the discussion that the identities of the female animals, the heifer or the she goat are important for today’s lesson.  I could have flipped them and the result would still be the same for what I want to say about them.  The same is technically true of the given two birds; one is described to be a turtledove and the other a young pigeon.  However there is an interesting part of the Hebrew definition of the “young pigeon” that I will mention briefly.  This Hebrew word means “nestling” and it is referring to a very young bird without feathers.  In other words a newly hatched baby bird that just came into the world!   I do not see how this type of bird fits with a type of the Son of God, but the newborn/reborn church I can make that fit very logically.   What I want to teach you about briefly is what God uses in the Old Testament as a type of Jesus and the church.  This may be too much information in this lesson, but I’m going to try to show it to you anyway so that you can see the usage by God of these two birds as a type for Jesus and the church more clearly.  We are going to the book of Leviticus and we will read in the fourteenth chapter:

Lev 14:2  This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest:

Lev 14:3  And the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper;

Lev 14:4  Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:

Lev 14:5  And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water:

Lev 14:6  As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water:

Lev 14:7  And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field.

I read these verses and come near to tears when I thought of them.  If you do not see what they are saying then perhaps you should get saved.  God uses the law of the leper cleansing to reflect the redemptive works of Jesus Christ on the cross.  Practically everything mentioned in these verses are symbolic representations of something much greater in power and spiritual authority.   Two birds are used and that is not a coincidence, especially knowing who the two birds are in the Abrahamic Covenant?  One bird sheds his blood in order to free the other bird after the living bird is dipped into the blood and the water of the dead bird.  There is a direct mention of an earthen vessel, cedar wood, scarlet thread and hyssop and each of these are very significant to the story of Jesus.  Jesus came to the earth in an earthen vessel to shed His blood for us.   Jesus was hung on a cross of wood.  The Roman soldiers gave Jesus a drink of vinegar and hyssop on the cross.  When Jesus’ side was pierced by the soldier’s spear, water and blood poured out onto the ground.  The scarlet thread represented the blood line of the savior from Abraham to David to Jesus.

I personally believe that leprosy is a hidden type of sin in the Bible.  Leprosy is a physical state of uncleanness that reveals to us a greater truth about a spiritual state of uncleanness.  Did you notice what the priest was instructed to do with the two birds?  One bird is killed and his blood is collected in a pot with running water.  The living bird is dipped into the pot and then is set free to fly away after being symbolically cleansed.   I of course can see Jesus as being the type of the bird that has shed His blood to cleanse the church that is represented by the living bird.  In other words we in the church, do not have to shed our blood to be made clean from our sins.  It was only Jesus’ blood that causes our spiritual cleansing from our sins (1 Jo 1:9).  Two birds are definitely a hidden pattern for Christ and the church so these 5 animals are beginning to fall into place very nicely.

The ages of the three animals that are divided are specifically given and they are said to each be 3 years old.  That of course makes life more difficult for me to try to explain.  God the Father is an eternal ageless spiritual being and has no age.   The Heavenly Jerusalem was the elder woman first created in covenant with God as the type of Sarah.  So the Heavenly Jerusalem has a birth or a start creation date, even though I do not know when this occurred.  The Earthly Jerusalem was a much younger woman and she was a type of Hagar.   We do technically know when this approximately occurred from reading in the Bible and calculating the dates.  The covenant of Abraham was made approximately 2000 years after Adam and 2000 years before Christ.  So we generally know the age of one woman in human terms she is technically near 4000 years old earth time.  However here in this verse God calls them all three years old.  I personally believe this is symbolic and certainly not literal ages.  It also emphasizes the number 3 to us to help us to see that this is an important number to recognize in this verse.  I do however believe that this number teaches us that all three animals were called mature and not newborns.  A three year old cow, ram or goat is old enough to have children and that is in stark contrast to the young pigeon that is not yet old enough or mature enough to have children.   I believe personally that the number 3 signifies a triune characteristic of each.  God was God the Father, God the Word and God the Holy Spirit at this time in the covenant.  The nation of Israel was mankind made in the image and likeness of God and they were spirit, soul and body.  Ok, here is where I get to speculate a bit.  I believe the angels in heaven were also triune beings made in the image of God.   The number 3 given to each animal could be representative of other things as well, but I do not have time to explore them today.

So why are there three animals split down the middle in this covenant while two were not divided at all?  The birds could have very easily been divided with great ease compared to a much larger cow, ram or goat.   I told you that this lesson today was going to get very controversial so here I go again.  I’m going to start with the easier one first.  If the woman Heavenly Jerusalem consists of every angelic being including Satan and his angels, I can logically see how this female in Heaven can be divided to eliminate all of the evil while preserving all of the good angles.  Therefore I have concluded that to divide the she goat is God removing sin and evil while keeping the good.  Now we get to the younger woman called the Earthly Jerusalem and things get a little more complicated because of the vast numbers of religious beliefs that are not based upon a complete spiritual view of the Bible.  I believe the same division of good vs. evil is occurring in this woman also.  You see the controversy come in when you find scriptures in the Bible that people take to say that God will come to the rescue of the entire natural nation of Israel to save them all.  I know that this is not what the Bible actually teaches us.  The Earthly Jerusalem is only the natural people of the descendants of Jacob that are under the law.  She was a type of Hagar and I showed you in the last lesson that Hagar was cast out of the family of God by allegorical interpretation.  Therefore none of natural Israel will be saved ever.  But, that does not mean they cannot become spiritually born again in order to be saved.  It does make the salvation of natural Israel conditional.  According to what God says in the book of Romans we have to balance every scripture about Israel giving each equal priority.  Here is God quoting from Isaiah:

Rom 9:27  Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved

A remnant is not many based upon the sands of the sea concept that it is being compared to.  We must realize at this time that God is saying the natural house of Israel on the earth will be divided and a remnant will be saved and others will just miss out.  We of course know very clearly how they can be saved.  God says everyone that believes God raised Jesus from the dead and confesses Jesus as Lord they will be saved (Rom 10:9).  Those that do not believe or do not confess Jesus as Lord will be damned.  This is still not good news for a lot of people.  That really saddens me tremendously but this is the way that God has established salvation to work.  I guess I should change the subject off of natural Israel and get back to the rest of the family of God again before I make some new enemies.

We are getting progressively more complex as we continue up to the top of the spiritual food chain.  The Ram being divided is clearly a type of God.  This is going to make life and your understanding of the Bible infinitely more complex to try to comprehend.  How can you divide God?   Are you beginning to see my problem?  I guess I should say God’s problem, and not mine.  In every other family member I believe there was a division of the good from the evil and how do you make that fit with our understanding of a good God?  Technically you cannot divide God.  We know that the triune God is described to be “One” (Eph 4:6)!  Yet even in mathematics you can divide the number one and get fractions.  According to the Abrahamic Covenant God says He is divided here by association to a ram.  I think I mentioned this in other lessons, but it needs to be readdressed for this discussion.  If God the Father does not die on the cross and experience death for all mankind, we (the whole earth) are in serious trouble.  This would mean God the Father is still in covenant with all of the angels.  This means God is still in covenant with natural Israel.  This would also mean God’s son does not have anything to inherit.  You need to understand that God is not evil.  However, the Bible informs us that God was in covenant with evil and this represents a major problem for God.  The only legal way to end the covenant with evil is through experiencing death to separate Himself from His old wives.  The N.T. talks a lot about us being the heirs of an inheritance. An inheritance only occurs after someone dies to leave their possessions to another.  When Jesus was raised from the dead He makes this statement that is almost universally ignored:

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Why does God the Father have to transfer ALL power in both heaven and the earth to His risen Son Jesus?  I think that is an excellent question.  I also think since no one could answer it they ignored it.  It is very clear to me from this statement that God has transferred all spiritual authority to the Son Jesus Christ who was raised from the dead.  Why didn’t God do this before He died on the cross?  The term “power” in this verse means “authority”.  We know that God by definition is almighty and all powerful so it is impossible to transfer His power, but to transfer His authority to another member of the Godhead is a different concept entirely.  Authority is the rule or the government of a nation.  This transfer of authority tells us that whoever was running the Kingdom of Heaven is not the same one who now is running the Kingdom of Heaven in the eyes of God.  I told you this was deep and controversial.  But yet it is written in the Bible so do not ignore it.  I could give you many other Bible verses that reveal the death of God but I really do not have the time today.  I think I will end this Bible lesson here and perhaps continue it on another day in the future.  If you have understood anything that I have taught tell me.  If you have doubts and questions tell me.  I do not know what needs more explanation and what does not until someone raises the issue.  I know this was a long Bible lesson and I really could not cover everything that I wanted.  I tried to shift your focus from natural things to spiritual things and this will help you if you can do it.  I thought this was going to my last lesson, but I will probably need to do another to show you the other patterns found in the life of Abraham and his son Isaac.  So until next time, may God continue to bless you and keep you in your study of His Word.

Understanding Healing, Sickness & Disease? The Heart of the Prodigal Father! Part 3

(Ver 1.2)  This is now Part 3 in a series of advanced Bible lessons about Where Sickness and Disease Came From.   If you have not read this series of lessons from the beginning, then I would suggest that you go back to Part 1 and start there.  I have already revealed a lot of information in this series, so today I will try not to repeat those statements that I have already uncovered.   What I want to do is to give you a different perspective on this subject of healing, sickness and disease using some scriptures that you possibly did not understand how they even applied to the subject.  So today I want to talk about a story that Jesus taught us in Luke and in this story He reveals a great number of spiritual truths about some things that you should be aware of.  This story is popularly called the parable of the “Prodigal Son” and I want to shift the focus off of the son and reveal what else this story teaches us.  First off, many people call this lesson a parable and I am not totally convinced that this is actually accurate.  You see in most of the parables that Jesus taught, He would almost always say “the kingdom of heaven is like…” and then reveal what it is like.  He does not say that in this story.   Regardless of if this is a parable or not, the truths given are still present and relative to my subject.  However, I still believe that this story is a literal account of a hidden spiritual truth and if this is true, then it has more direct meanings than that which can be observed from the normal surface reading of the text.  Almost everyone who teaches on this subject of the “Prodigal Son” teaches the story from the perspective of the son.  They focus only on his arrogant attitude, the bad choices that he selfishly chooses and his coming into poverty and despair and finally his humility to return back home.  This is a classic sinner story and people teach it this way predominantly.  However, I believe that this story is more about the Father of the son than it is the son and people generally ignore this information.  You might question in your mind what does the “Prodigal Son” have to do with sickness and disease?  Here is a story that has nothing to do with healing directly, but in understanding this story you will soon learn that it has everything to do with healing.  We are going to go through most of the story verse by verse for your benefit to see what we can learn from it and I want to start with Luke 15:11:

Luk 15:11  And he said, A certain man had two sons:

This is the beginning of why I said this is not a parable.  Nowhere does Jesus say Heaven is like a man with two sons.  There is no direct comparison statement of anything being like anything else, but instead Jesus says there is a “certain man”.   When you understand how the Bible was written, you begin to see how God leaves it open to many possible interpretations of who Jesus is speaking of.  You can think completely naturally and think Jesus is speaking of just an anonymous man on the earth that he knew, but wouldn’t want to tell us who it was.  You could also think that Jesus is just speaking in parables of no one in particular and only trying to teach some life lessons in this story.  Or you could think like me and try to see that God is describing His family in the terms that we could relate to.   I want to stop here and review what the term “certain” means or at the least implies.  To me the word “certain” means it is this way and not any other way.  It is a very specific and unique adjective that implies Jesus knew exactly who he was speaking about.  This means Jesus is not speaking of an anonymous man just to tell a natural story that has a spiritual lesson, but Jesus has someone in mind who He is talking about and this man with the two sons is actually the primary subject that we need to focus on in this lesson.  It is true that Jesus never names the individuals or tells us directly who or what it is that He is speaking of.  However, this is a common way that God spoke of Himself using an anonymous third party type of reference.  In fact if you read my last Bible lesson that I posted, you will know that Jesus often times called Himself a man without saying He was this man.  For example, there is the time in Matthew 19:4 where Jesus makes this statement:

Mat 19:4  And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

Who is “He” that made them in the beginning?  You can clearly see that God is speaking and He is saying that some anonymous male created them in the beginning and whoever this was made them male and female and God the creator was the one that was personally speaking these words.  So God was telling a true factual story without claiming to be the creator even though that is clearly who He was.  So this is the way the Bible is written many times.  Jesus will tell you a story of a “certain man” and this is actually a story about Himself, but He could not say that or He would have been stoned on the spot by the religious zealots who did not understand who they were listening to.  Let me give you another example of this technique used by God:

Mat 25:14  For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

You really need to learn this technique of Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight that God uses very often.  The translators actually messed this verse up with the words “the kingdom of heaven is as”, this verse actually says “for a certain man traveling into a far country…” in the original Greek language.    Again Jesus is speaking of an unnamed man who travels into a “far country” that is actually referring to God in the terms of a man.  You see God was this man who had left heaven to come to the earth in person.  God had previously given this world into the hands of the man Adam to tend and work His garden and Adam sells out the garden to Satan and allows God’s enemy to take control of it and this is more than I should have said on that.  I am going to try not to get off of my mainline subject too much, but I want you to understand that if this is God being described to be this certain man in Luke 15, then God has more than one son.  You see the NIV translators have made a huge blunder in scriptures like John 3:16 when they say Jesus is the “One and Only Son” of God.  Christians are called the sons of god in several places in the New Testament and even angels are called the sons of God a few times in the Old Testament.  So it is clear to me that God has more than one son.  I do not have time to explain any of this here so either accept it or ignore it and let’s move on.

Luk 15:12  And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

The younger son, or you could call him the second born comes to his father and asks for his inheritance before his father has died.  So this is an impatient obnoxious son who thinks he deserves his wealth right now.  It sounds like a lot of children in the world today.  This is a difficult subject to actually understand if you think it is God who is the Father in this story.  Because you cannot read the descriptions of either son mentioned and easily apply them to Jesus the normal Son of God that we all think of.  However, the translators obviously thought this was a story of God since they capitalized the title “Father”.  Anyway let’s continue on in the story:

Luk 15:13  And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

So the younger son takes his money and goes to a far country where he squanders all of his fortune.  Did you notice that the son is leaving his father’s house and going into a far country?  Didn’t that sound similar to the story that Jesus told in Matthew 25:14?  There are some pretty amazing little details found when you start comparing stories that Jesus used to teach with.  This verse in Luke in the modern world would be like a son taking all of his dad’s money and moving to Las Vegas and then gambling, drinking and partying until he is broke.  I see people like this on TV all the time.

Luk 15:14  And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

So the son’s timing was not so good for him.  Either he made the wrong choices to begin with or his short sighted thought process did not plan for any future.  This is often the attitude of people in the world.  He has spent all that he had and now a famine strikes the land.  Doesn’t it seem like when things can’t get any worse, they suddenly do.  Of course a famine is a symbolic reference to not having any spiritual food.  God actually calls His Word the Manna from Heaven and this is spiritual food, but I guess I won’t go there either today.  You see even though I do not believe that this story is a parable, I do believe that it has vast amounts of symbolic language imbedded in it.  I guess in a way that means it could be viewed as a parable.  I am not opposed to calling it a parable if that is what you would like.  Regardless of what you want to call it, every noun still has a symbolic representation of a spiritual reality.

Luk 15:15  And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

I wish I could tell you more about what the implied symbolic references in these verses mean, but that would just confuse you since I am mainly talking about healing, sickness and disease.  Just take note that when you join yourself to someone, that is a covenant relationship.  A covenant is a marriage type of relationship between two individuals who are joined to become one flesh.  That means what one of them has is what the other one has and vice versa.  If you do not understand Bible covenants then you should go and read my lessons on “Understanding Bible Covenants”.  I will also mention that feeding swine is a Jewish Law and a traditional no, no for any covenant man of God.  The Old Covenant people of God were steered far away from pork and even today in kosher meals this is strictly forbidden.  But, here this younger son was found working with that which was forbidden.

Luk 15:16  And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

As you can continue to read in Luke, the son is becoming fairly desperate so that he begins to eat the pig food to stay alive.  There is no man that will help him.  It is a classic example of how popular you are when you are rich with money and how much you are a nobody when you are at the bottom as a homeless man.  This is true today in our world also.  This is why this story is taught so much from the sinner perspective.  It is actually a perfect example of many people in the world that each of us know.

Luk 15:17  And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

So the young son finally has a G.E. light bulb brilliant idea and remembered where he came from.  In his father’s house the servants ate better than he was eating.  He decides that it would be better to be a servant of his old family than to die lonely in a foreign country.  How can you not see what this story is saying?  Is the son afraid of his father?  Does the son think that his Father will hurt or harm him?  The son has no one that cares, but has decided to take a chance and go back home to the last person that cared for him.  I think that more Christians today need to have the same light bulb moment about their Father.

Luk 15:18  I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

Luk 15:19  And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

Here is where it is really starting to get very relevant to sickness and disease.  You see in the last lesson I taught on this subject I talked about sin was one of the primary causes for sickness.  Jesus taught us this in at least two great examples.  When He saw a crippled man that was healed, Jesus told him “sin no more least a worst thing come unto you”.  So Jesus taught us sin was a cause and sickness was an effect of the sin.   Here in verse 18 of Luke, the son clearly admits to the fact that he has sinned against his Father.  So this young man has determined that he will repent and tell his Father that he has sinned and ask his Father to make him His servant.  As you can see, this son has had a major change of heart from the beginning of the story.  He has become humble, repentant and he clearly regrets his choices that he has made.   All of this actually sounds a lot like me and if you are a real Christian it probably sounds like you also.  I can easily put myself in the shoes of the young man, but that is not my message today either.

Luk 15:20  And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

So the son is going back home to his Father’s house.  That is actually a great example for us.   This is actually why I said this story is about the Father more than it is about the son.  You can clearly see that the Father was looking for his son’s return daily.  The Father was in faith, expecting his son to return home and this is based upon the extreme Divine Love of the Father for His son.  Before the son could get home, the Father runs out to meet him so that He can beat him, curse him down and bring him to the pit of despair for wasting his money and all of the sinning that he has done against Him.  This is the attitude of many very confused Christians in the world today.  They believe that God is out to curse them, punish them, judge them, teach them a lesson, make them sick with cancer or wipe them out with a giant tsunami or some other natural disaster because of their sins.    Is that what this Father does to his lost son?  Did this Father ever send out one of his servants to hurt his child?  Did the Father ever go out and try to find His son to hurt him?   It appears to me that the Father really just wanted to love His son back into His house with open arms.

Luk 15:22  But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

Here is God the Father’s heart being revealed to us from His own mouth.  God says bring out the best for my son who has returned home.  Of course this son was foolish and of course this son sinned and of course he deserved to be beaten or punished, but this was not the heart of the Father.  Do you understand how crazy it is to say that God puts sickness and disease upon people just because they make a mistakes and sin?  It makes me want to cry when I read this story and think of the people accusing God as being the one who is teaching, judging or correcting, them with sickness and disease.  This prodigal son did not get what he deserved; he got what the Father’s heart wanted to give him.  This was based upon mercy and compassion and the deep love of the Father for His child.  Do not ever entertain a place anywhere in your mind that your sickness is from God.  If you do this you are foolishly misdirecting the consequences of your own actions.  You see the Father had nothing to do with the seeds that the prodigal son had sown and reaped.  The prodigal son was getting exactly what he had planted until he turned his mind back unto his father who loved him.  There are many “Predestination Theologians” who will try to tell you the “Prodigal” was predestined to fail, but you see God in His love allowed the son to make his own freewill mistakes and learn from them and that is what a loving Father does.  I mean a loving father will always try to teach the child the way to go, but if the child wants to go his own way then that is their choice.  I know I have been there.  I guess I could go on in the story to show you how the older son gets angry with the father for not passing judgment on the mistakes of the younger brother.  You can see this spirit and attitude still exists in the church today when I try to write about a loving father’s heart and they want a God who kills people with cancer.

Get to know your Father God and learn to see His heart for you.  When you do this you will see that God wants to bless you with the fatted calf and a feast of great proportions.   God wants to cloth you with the robe of righteousness and put the ring on your finger.  God desires to have you come and sit and take your place at the table like you never left or did anything wrong.  This is the forgiveness of the Father’s heart and all it takes is for you to start back towards His house and He will see you a far off and run to meet you.  There are still consequences for the son’s actions but, the Father’s heart is consistently dedicated to bless the son the best that He can.   You have to just ignore verses and stories like these in the Bible or explain them away if you want to teach a Gospel that brings sickness from God to judge, correct and teach His people for their sins.  There are just too many conflicts in the New Testament for me to believe that God ever puts sickness on people, but yet I get comments about this way too often from people who want to focus in on the Old Testament verses that they quote to me over and over like I never read them.  I only wish they knew the same Father that I knew.  Maybe when they finally come to themselves and turn back to the Father’s house they will also see Him running towards them also.  I guess right now they are still living in Vegas and thinking everything is under control.  Oh well?  I hope that you enjoyed my Bible lesson and learned something that will give you hope to know your Father’s heart.  God Bless!

If you would like to continue reading in this series, you can go to “Part 4“.

Understanding Bible Faith! Great Faith? Even Dogs Eat the Crumbs from the Masters’ Table! Part 11

(Ver 1.3)  Today is Part 11 in a series of advanced lessons on Understanding Bible faith.  If you have not been reading this series from the beginning I would recommend that you go and start with “Part 1”.  I think I shocked people with my last Bible lesson on faith and sex.  It is amazing how many people read it but did not comment.  What do you think when God said you can clearly see the invisible qualities of me in the things that I have made (Romans 1:20)?  When I read that verse it made me start looking around at the things that God has made and then I would attempt to learn about God from them, but I guess many people close their eyes and ignore the fact that God made things like sex and marriage and they pretend they don’t exist.  As a result they miss the obvious spiritual things in the Bible that God is trying to teach them.  You need to start becoming a Sherlock Holmes type of Christian detective and start looking for God in the clues that He has created all around you, for you to find.  These are the invisible things of God hidden in plain sight.  If you like this series of lessons and have learned something, be brave and leave me a comment.

Faith is a complex subject found in the Bible.  God teaches us something about faith in practically every book of the Bible.  Faith is a predominate theme of the Bible.  Yet so many people do not understand it or they would understand that God says that without it you will never please Him (Heb 11:6).  This subject of Bible faith is complex because it involves many other dependent factors and subjects that are also taught in the Bible.  In previous lessons, I taught you that everyone in the world has faith in one thing or the other.  But, few people have faith in God and His Word.  If you believe that Buddha is your way to the state of eternal happiness, then you will soon be very disappointed, but you at least do have faith in Buddha.  Jesus the God of the Bible taught us that there is a very narrow way to God that few find and He taught us to search for this path (Mat 7:14).  Since we know that Jesus is this path (John 14:6) and that He was the only way to the Father we can have confidence in His words as being faithful and true, if we have believed in Him.  Today I heard the national news report on an upcoming book written by a self-proclaimed man of God.  You must realize that just because a man says he is a Christian and writes a book, does not mean what is written is based upon the truth.  This preacher is teaching people in error and has written a book that claims there is no hell.  What an ignorant deceived blind man.   Here is what God says about this man’s opinion:

2Ti 4:3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

We are living in the last days as this scripture is being fulfilled right now.  The sinners of the world are departing rapidly from sound doctrine and they want to exalt men who will teach only what they want to hear.  A spirit of tolerance and acceptance is what they are after and they will flock to a deceiver whose lies scratch their itchy ears.   Beware when a man ignores a large part of the Bible to teach you another part while misapplying it.  The word “hell” occurs over 50 times in the KJV Bible.  It is also referred to many other times in other scriptures while not being directly named.  For example, Jesus spoke frequently about it, telling you there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth there (Mat 8:12, Mat 13:42, 13:50, Mat 22:13, Mat 24:51, Mat 25:30 to show you 6 references found in only 1 book of the Bible).  This blind man is teaching that a loving God would not send people to hell.  We obviously understand from scripture that God is love and I do not deny this fact.  However, this man has exalted one truth in the Bible and has made it the entire truth and this is a very dangerous type of man to follow.  You see he is ignoring the Holiness of God, the Wrath of God, the Power of God, and the Judgments of God in favor of only the Love of God.  If you do not balance your theology and teaching with every truth in the Bible you are falling into error and deception.  You see, I do not deny the fact that God so loved the world that He gave Himself as a sacrifice for us.  What I am teaching you today, is that there is more in the Bible than Love.  I’ve already written other Bible lessons on this subject of “Why Do People Go to Hell”, and “The Biblical Evidence for the Existence of Hell”.  So if you want to know the truth go and read about it, otherwise I’ll miss you in heaven.

I’m sorry I got off the subject of faith, but liars and deceivers cause me to get into righteous anger.  I do not appreciate people who are leading others down a path of destruction simply to sell a book and to make some money.  Somebody needs to stand up and tell the truth regardless of what it costs them.  I have determined to try to do this.  Today’s lesson is about “How to have great faith”.  If you have read this series you know that your faith is measureable.  You also know that your faith level can vary from none to overflowing.   Jesus only looked at two people in the Gospels and told them they had great faith.  This was not a derogatory put down; rather it was a praise of the highest magnitude from the Supreme Spiritual Power of the Universe.  Jesus tells us very clearly in the Gospels that He was looking for people with faith while He was here on the earth.  It further goes on to say that He will be looking for people with faith when He returns for us (Luke 18:8).  So it must still be important to learn how to have great faith today.  When Jesus ran across individuals who possessed a level of faith that exceeded His expectations, Jesus would stop and marvel saying “I have not found so great of faith in all of Israel”.  Therefore, we are going to examine these people that marveled Jesus to find out, why they had such great faith and see if we can become a God marvel also.  We will begin with this verse about a woman that caught God’s attention:

Mat 15:28  Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

I want you to notice in this verse that the Bible says because of this woman’s great faith, her daughter was made whole again.  The Greek word translated as “made whole” means to cure or heal.   We can therefore conclude the daughter was sick or diseased.  The majority of the time when people came to Jesus asking for help it was because they needed physical healing.  So today’s lesson is about how to receive healing from God and you might need to know this also, because He is still the same today as He was back then (Heb 13:8).  This is actually a very good faith lesson found in the Bible to learn from.  We will back up in the chapter and go verse by verse through the information to learn from the context of how this woman possessed such great faith.

Mat 15:21  Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.

Here is Jesus going into the outer fringes of Canaan into the Gentile population.  In these days the Jews mostly settled in and around Jerusalem, but the cities outside of this realm were heavily populated with the Gentile nations.  I want to point out that Tyre and Sidon are not even close to Jerusalem.  The cities were on the Mediterranean coast nearly 30 miles from the Sea of Galilee through mountainous terrain.   Jesus was obviously getting far away from the Jews to be in such a place.  It also had to take Jesus significant time to travel to reach this area.  You might recall that I have said before that God will move heaven and earth to get to someone with faith and I believe that Jesus is not in this area by chance or accident.  Keep this in mind as we continue through the lesson.

Mat 15:22  And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

Now we are told about the woman for the first time.  She is being described to us as a person that is from the coast.  She is also described to be a Canaanite which is the greater region’s name sake.  Canaan consists of a broad stretch of land and is often called Palestine by many non-Jewish people.   This is a wide land area that encompasses land from south of Jerusalem all the way to the north where Tyre and Sidon are located.   We know from Genesis 9:18 that Canaan was a son of Ham, one of the three sons of Noah saved in the ark by God.  So the Canaanites were descendants from this branch of the family of Noah.  It is also interesting to note that in Genesis 9 that Canaan is cursed to be a servant of his brothers by Noah.  These are just interesting Bible background facts that are good to note.  When I read this story of the Canaanite woman in Matthew, I wondered how the description and message of Jesus had reached a woman all the way on the coast.  It is obvious that news traveled in this land even without cell phones.  Also note that she is not a Jew, but she calls Jesus the Son of David a covenant title of respect and honor.  It also implies that she understood what God had said to David in the O.T. that David’s Son would sit on his throne forever.  God had told David that his son would build God a house for His name and He would sit upon your throne.  I also wondered how she knew it was Jesus.  Was it the presence of the disciples with Jesus or was it what He was wearing, or how He was acting or speaking?   Jesus obviously did not walk around with a giant name tag hanging around his neck saying “I’m the Son of David Your Messiah”.  Neither was Jesus identifiable by a halo around His head.  The angels of the Lord did not surround Him with a visible wall of protection and His appearance had to resemble every other man.  It does not say that Jesus has spoken or taught anyone directly in this area.  I could only find the following scripture about Tyre and Sidon in Mark:

Mar 3:8  And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.

It would appear that information about Jesus spread by word of mouth.  I could not find a direct reference where Jesus ever taught in these cities, yet it clearly says the people there heard of Him and came looking for Him.  So when a stranger comes to your town, do you automatically assume it is Jesus the Messiah?  I honestly do not know how to answer that question.  There was something that this woman must have heard about Him to cause her to know it was Him.  We have learned that the Bible says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.  So we can easily assume that since Jesus said this woman had faith, she must have heard the Word of God at some time in her recent past.  We are told that she comes to Jesus and asks Him to deliver her daughter from a devil.   What was Jesus’ reaction to the words of this woman?  This is where the story starts to really get good to me.

Mat 15:23  But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

Silence was the answer from the Master.  That is not what she was after, was it?  The disciples who were with Jesus asked Him to send her away.  They think that they are the reason for her presence, but they are clearly confused.  She had not said anything to them at all.  I want to introduce you to a new factor for having great faith and a new partner to receiving anything from God.  What does it take to come and ask anyone for help?  In the world we live in there are homeless people everywhere you turn.  What does it take for them to ask for help?  Wow, that is a tough question for people with pride to answer.  You can clearly understand that it takes humility to come to ask anyone for help.  Of course if you are desperate then you might say people act out of desperation.  But, even desperate people can die with pride and not ask for help.  No, you have to humble yourself to ask anyone who is capable of helping to help.  There is no room for having pride if you need something from God.  If you are too proud to ask God to help you, then you are truly in trouble.  The Bible says that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).  So if you are need of anything that God can do for you, please learn to come to Him in reverent humility.  Watch the actions and words of this woman and see what you can learn about what your ways should be.

Mat 15:24  But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Jesus finally speaks and says something very strange.  He tells the woman that He was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.   That is a very revealing insightful statement about many things, especially since we see the fact that Jesus purposely left the lost sheep of Israel to get to where this woman was.  What is a lost sheep of Israel?  First, the name implies that they are no longer in the house of Israel, because they have wandered away and become lost.  Do you understand the conflict that is arising in what Jesus has said?   Where is Jesus right now?  Who is Jesus speaking to?  Jesus is in a Gentile costal village of people who He just said He was not sent to.  Wow, is God confused?  I don’t think so!   What we understand from this lesson is that faith will cause God to go out of His way to help someone no matter who it is or how far He has to go.  Next notice this, what was the woman’s reaction to the words of Jesus?  Jesus had basically told her I was not sent to help you.

Mat 15:25  Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

Here is where her humility begins to kick in and to shine.  Notice how she remained focused, persistent and confident that she was in the right place at the right time.  This woman did not give up, nor did she throw away what she had heard because of what she is experiencing right now.  You should learn from this woman all that you can to duplicate her efforts.  Also notice she is worshipping God.  If you want to receive from God, learn to worship Him.  If it could not get worse for this woman, it suddenly does:

Mat 15:26  But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.

Jesus calls this woman a dog and that would cause most religious people to get angry and start yelling about “Who do you think you are?”  “Who do you think you are calling a dog?”    If Jesus called you a dog, what would have been your reaction?  Here is a golden opportunity to get offended at the word of God.  Do you know that people getting easily offended is one of the greatest enemies to why they do not possess the Promises of God?   I guess I didn’t teach on this enemy before.  Offense is a powerful weapon of Satan.  Take and learn from this woman, she is not angry, upset, offended nor does she get up to walk away from her answer.  This woman was too smart and wise to allow the words of God to offend her and she says this:

Mat 15:27  And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.

This woman simply agrees with God and said you are right I am a dog, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the masters’ table.  WOW!  Was that a great reaction or what?  You see if you have ever had a dog in the house while you are eating supper you know exactly what she is saying.  Children and people accidently drop things off of the table and before you can bend over and pick it up they are gone.  A crumb falling from the table is not there long enough to be a problem.  Learn what she is saying today.  The dog is so focused on getting anything dropped, they do not care what it is and it can be a very small crumb and they are all over it.  Do you see why this woman is about to receive from God?  She is the dog looking for the crumb.  Always agree with God and always stay on God’s side.  If He calls you a dog, you just smile and agree.  Of course if you are His child now, He is not going to call you a dog, just learn what is happening here and do not get easily side tracked.

What is Jesus teaching us in this faith lesson?  Do you remember what the woman came for?  Her daughter was being grievously vexed by a devil.  What does that mean?  By looking up the words “grievously vexed by a devil” in the Strong’s we learn that the child was possessed by an evil spirit that caused her to be greatly sick or diseased.  We understand one of the reasons that Jesus came to the earth was to do the following:

Act 10:38  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

The Bible tells us very clearly that Jesus was anointed by God to heal those oppressed of the devil.  So when a woman comes to Jesus because her daughter is possessed by a devil that makes her sick, this is one of the reasons we are told that Jesus was here.  However, notice again what Jesus said in Matthew 15:26.  He said “I have the children’s bread and it is not for dogs”.  Remember she is asking for Jesus to heal her daughter and Jesus says this “bread” is only for the “children”.  Do you understand what Jesus is saying?  Jesus is saying healing is the children’s bread.   This of course is a hard saying of Jesus to fully comprehend.  The woman is talking about healing and Jesus is talking about bread.  How did He make that transition?    It is clear to me that Jesus is not speaking of physical bread, butHe  is speaking symbolically of something spiritual.  Therefore we must determine what this spiritual bread is?  This is why you have to use the Bible to interpret the Bible or you will be totally confused.

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.

Here is Jesus teaching us using another radical shift with the transition of words.  Here we have God in the flesh beginning to talk about natural bread and then moving into the spiritual realm and telling you that the Word of God is this true bread from heaven that will cause you to live.  Jesus is basically revealing the definition of spiritual bread in this verse.  God’s word is proclaimed to be this spiritual food.  Of course Jesus is simply quoting this information from an Old Testament prophet Moses found in Deuteronomy 8:3.  If you read this verse you will know that the bread from heaven was a type of food given to the children of Israel called manna.  This was equivalent to a spiritual food source and Jesus teaches us that this bread comes from the mouth of God when He speaks.

Joh 6:32  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

If you read the context of this verse you can clearly see that Jesus is comparing two things.  Natural things are being compared to spiritual things.  Jesus is calling natural things false and spiritual things to be the true.  I hope you can see this.  Here is God telling you something very significant about spiritual things.  Jesus is saying I have come to bring you the words of life.   Jesus is inferring His words have life in them that causes people to live and even to get healed.  Here is an Old Testament scripture that will fit in very nicely with our study today:

Psa 107:20  He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

As you can again see from this verse, God says “I sent my Bread and the bread Healed them”.  So when Jesus is telling the Gentile woman that healing is the children’s bread, He is referring to His words as being the bread of life that brings healing.  Jesus then told the woman these words are only for the children at the table.  But, the woman makes a statement that truly astounds God.  She said it won’t take but a crumb from the table to heal my daughter.  This is so powerful if you can see it.  The woman did not ask for any of the bread, she only needed a crumb and God called this having great faith.  The woman recognized that the Power of God was in His Word and that it did not take great power to heal even a significant disease.   Change your perspective today to see your disease as insignificant compared to the power of God which is far superior.  Many times people are so consumed by their circumstances they lose sight of the power of God’s Word.  Shift your focus so that you understand that it does not take very much power to heal any disease.  You only need a crumb like this woman needed to fix her problem.  God called this great faith.  If you noticed this story of the woman, she went away to her home and her daughter was healed already when she got there.   Here is a review of the key factors we learned in this faith lesson today:

  1. Humility, Stay Humble to Receive God’s Grace.
  2. Persistence, don’t give up even if it looks worse.
  3. Not being offended when you are called a dog.
  4. Worship the God who can solve your problem.
  5. See your problem as being small and insignificant.
  6. See the Word of God as Powerful and capable of solving any problem.
  7. Expect a Crumb to solve Your Problem.

Today’s study was another very different faith lesson found in the Bible about the faith of dogs eating crumbs from the table of the Master.  Remember what Jesus said?  Jesus told us that “Healing was the children’s bread”.   Are you one of His children?  I know that I am.  The Bible calls us His children in several places for example: Romans 8:16-21, 9:26, Galatians 3:26, Ephesians 5:8, 1 Thessalonians 5:5 and 1 John 3:10.  If God calls us children and God says “healing is our bread” now, then why don’t we have it?  You better learn to partake of the true bread from heaven.  I hope and pray that you learned something from this lesson today and that you can apply it to your situation.  If the Word of God is not relevant to you today then it will never be relevant to you at any time.  You may not need healing, but there is always something that can be challenging you.  The Bible faith concepts work for whatever the situation when applied correctly with the right attitude.  God Bless!

If you would like to continue reading in this series of lesson on understanding Bible faith you may go to “Part 12“.

Understanding Bible Faith! Your Faith is the Determining Factor to You Being Made Whole! Part 2

(Ver 1.3)  This is Part 2 in a series of lessons on understanding the basic concepts of faith found in the Bible.   In the first lesson I gave you the overview of the origin of faith and how that God used faith to create the world; so therefore I taught you that faith was not a new concept found only in the New Testament.  I showed you conclusive scriptures from Hebrews 11 that described Old Testament faith examples even though God never emphasized or taught this to be a requirement.  In reading Hebrews 11 you can clearly see that there were many people included in the Bible because of their faith.   I told you that Faith is a rudimentary subject of Bible theology which is foundational to being a real Christian.  I also showed you that faith was an essential element to become saved.  I then taught you that “Salvation” is a word than means to make whole the spirit, the soul and the body.  We have not yet fully defined what faith is, where it comes from or how it works, but we will eventually get there just probably not today.   Today I want to talk about faith being the critical factor for anything that you receive from God.   I want to reemphasize the importance of you having faith so that you can begin to understand why you need it.  This of course means that you must understand that just because God has given you something like salvation for free, that you must do something to receive it.  There are many Christians who do not understand that concept who have obviously never had anything in the world given to them.    However, in the Bible you can read story after story of how God gave man something by His grace and how that man was required to receive it by his faith.  What we see is a spiritual partnership being established between God and man.  God is trying to give you something by His grace and teach you how to receive it by your faith.  If you have not read from the beginning of this series I would highly recommend that you go and start reading with “Part 1”.  Otherwise turn to your Bible and read with me:

Mat 9:2  And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

Here in this story of the lame man is revealed a lot of profound spiritual truths.  Jesus is teaching a large group of people in a house that will not permit the lame man to get to Jesus.  So the lame man’s friends take him onto the roof top and they cut a large hole in the roof so that they can lower him down to Jesus.  The Bible says something very amazing here and if you are not careful you miss it.  The Bible tells us that Jesus saw their faith; the faith of the friends to help and the faith of the lame man to get up on top of the roof to get to Jesus.  This revelation clearly tells us that faith is visible and observable externally in our actions.  You need to remember that as we go through this lesson on Bible faith.  The next thing you need to take note of is that faith is the only thing that Jesus observed, so it must have been a very important part of determining if this man would get healed or not.  Do you see anything else mentioned in this verse?  Why can’t people just read scriptures and see what they say?   There are certainly other things to learn in this verse, but I will skip them to move on with our subject of faith today and give you another example of Jesus and the faith of people to receive:

Mat 9:22  But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

Here in this chapter of Matthew is the woman with the issue of blood who has been sick for many years.  But the Bible says that she pressed through the crowd in order to touch Jesus and she got healed.   Nowhere does it say that Jesus knew this was going to happen or that He caused it to happen.  So even though it was God’s power that healed the woman Jesus reveals to us the determining factor that caused it to occur.  Jesus makes another statement that is essential to our subject today.  Jesus turns to the woman and tells her that it was “her faith” that made her whole.    “Made whole” is the Greek word “sozo” and this is the same word translated as “saved”.  So Jesus clearly tells us again that faith was a determining factor for her salvation.  What we can observe from this story is her faith was set in motion by her actions and the two of these caused her to become healed.  You can clearly see that in the context of this story that the disciples say the crowd was touching Jesus on every side.  But, the Bible does not say that any of them got healed.  So it was not because she touched Jesus like the others did that got her healed.  It was because she touched Jesus in faith that caused the healing to come from Jesus.  Of course it was the power of God that was on Jesus that healed her, but it was received by her faith and that is how Bible faith works.  It is a joint partnership between God’s grace and man’s faith.   Let’s look at another example of this in the Bible:

Mat 15:28  Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy  faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Here is another example of a verse that Jesus directly mentions a woman’s faith to be the key factor of her receiving her daughter’s salvation and deliverance.  Jesus does not mention anything else, so I conclude that this is the only reason that she got her answer from Jesus.  Why was Jesus so obsessed with only faith?  Why didn’t Jesus ever say anything else?  Jesus never looked at anyone and told them “It was my power that healed you” as most confused Christian in the world think.  You need to understand that faith is being emphasized more than anything else and that this is by God’s design and purpose to teach you that faith is the important part to learn about.  There are many Christian who believe that God has the power to heal, but do not understand how to get God’s healing power to work for them.  They want to pray and leave it all up to God and that is not what we find in the Bible that actually happens in the majority of the cases being presented to us as examples:

Mar 10:52  And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

This is now the fourth example found in the Bible of a blind man who Jesus said “his faith” made him whole, saved him, healed him and delivered him from blindness.  Jesus never took the credit for it being His power alone.  In fact Jesus never mentions His power as being a factor to whether people got healed ever.  Again we see the same Greek word being translated as “made whole” which is later used for our salvation.  Therefore we understand again that it is our faith that is the determining factor for if we receive from God what God has given to us by His grace.  I’ll give you one more example found in the Bible, even though this is not the last example that I could give you of faith being mentioned:

Luk 17:19  And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Here in this chapter of Luke Jesus is on the way to Jerusalem and is passing through a village where he is met by ten lepers.  These men ask for Jesus to heal them and Jesus tells them to go and show themselves to the priest.  As they were going one of them notices that he has been made whole and comes back to Jesus to worship and thank Him.  Jesus again mentions that it was “his faith” that made him whole.  Every time Jesus only mentions one thing and every time it is the same thing.  Jesus never commends anyone for anything else other than when they had faith.   What you should do is go through and reread all of the Gospels and see if you can find anything else that Jesus ever emphasized to be a determining factor for anyone being saved, healed or delivered?  I know there are times in the Bible that Jesus does not mention anything as being a factor, but every time that I saw Jesus mention anything, it was always the faith of the people that was the determining factor to if they got healed or not.  This is the way the Bible was written and it gives man the choice to believe it or to reject it.  But, if you can see it and understand it, I believe that it will dramatically change your perspective on what God thinks is important.  If Jesus who was God in the flesh says that faith is a critical spiritual reality to possess, then I believe that we need to study the subject to find out what it is that we are missing.  I’ll end this lesson with one more scripture found in the New Testament that is very revealing.

Luk 18:8  I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Here is a key verse that describes to us about when Jesus comes back to the earth, what exactly He will be looking for in His people.   You can again see how faith is being emphasized as being a critical factor to possess.  It also seems to put the responsibility in our court to whether we have it or not.  Why would God be looking for something that He knew we already had?  It really does not make any sense, if it is not our responsibility to get this faith before He returns for us then Jesus would not need to look to see if we have it.  If it is not up to us to get it, then Jesus does not need to check for something called faith to exist when he returns.  I hope that you understand this logic.

Let me end this lesson by giving you some more scriptures where Jesus emphasized faith to be the determining factor for man to receive from God:

Mat 9:2  And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

Mat 9:22  But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

Mat 9:29  Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

Mat 15:28  Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Luk 7:50  And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

Luk 18:42  And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.

These are some of the major scriptures found in the Gospels that reveal faith to be the determining factor for receiving from God.  It is very clearly the only thing that God was looking for and it is the only thing that pleased Him to allow the people to receive.  Reread these verses very carefully and you will begin to understand the importance of faith today to receive from God.  The Bible instructs us to let every word be established in the mouth of two or three witnessess (2 Cor 13:1).  I have just given you two different writers and six different verses and that satisfies the requirement exclusively.  If you choose not to beleive them then that is your problem and not mine.

Here are the key points from today’s very important faith lesson so that you can go back and review:

  1.  Faith is visible and observable in the actions of people.
  2. Faith is the determining factor for salvation, healing and deliverance.
  3. Jesus never mentions any other factor for a person being made whole, other than their faith.
  4. Jesus is expecting to find faith when He returns for us very soon.
  5. Do you have the faith that Jesus is looking for?

Faith appears to be a critically important subject in the New Testament and it is certainly taught to be the determining factor of whether or not you are a Christian and whether or not you are ever to be made whole.  Jesus rebuked his disciple constantly for having no faith or little faith.  Then Jesus would look at people who got healed and tell them that it was their faith that caused it to come into reality.  Jesus obviously thought faith was important and you need to understand this importance in order to figure out what Bible faith is.  We will discuss more about Bible faith in the next lesson, so please continue to grow in the knowledge of God.  God Bless.

If you would like to continue reading about Bible Faith, you may continue to “Part 3“.

Understanding the Collapsing Timeline of the End of the World!

(Ver. 1.2)  This is Part 1 in a series of advanced Bible Lessons about the signs of the end times.  Many people in our world do not understand that we are at the end of the end of our age.  A time called the end of the “last days” on earth.   The door to this Age of Man’s dominance upon the earth in conjunction with the works of Satan is closing rapidly.  Most of the world proceeds in the darkness and grows more evil for they do not know the signs of the time.  It is true what the prophet Hosea said “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge”.  No doubt if people only had the right knowledge, they would also be able to see the times of God’s seasons are concluding quickly.   However, I heard a TV preacher the other day make a statement that I agreed with 100%.  This pastor of a church here in the U.S. prophesied a coming reveal of God’s Word; his statement said every mystery of God will be revealed in the next 2 years.  While I do not know if 2 years is the time frame for Christ’s return or not, I believe that there are countless numbers of mysteries in the Bible to be discovered by God’s people and that God will reveal them by His Spirit to His people before Jesus returns.  I mean think about it, why would God hide information in His book if it was not going to be revealed?   What do we need with mysteries and hidden information from the Bible in heaven?  I had a commenter say that it will sure be nice when we get to heaven and God can teach us all the things that we missed out on down here.  Why can’t God teach His people the truth, here and now?  Do you think that God is incapable of teaching His people what the truth is in the Bible?  All it takes is for God to show us some little keys and suddenly the whole book could unfold right before us like a giant puzzle solved.  You see when we get to heaven, there will be no enemies up there, no evil, no crime, and no deception and then what will we need with the truth?  From my vantage point on the earth, the church needs to know the truth now so that we can become one body in harmony and accord with each other.   That means we have a lot to learn in a very fast time frame.  If you are interested in learning these secrets of God with me, then get involved with what God is doing in these last remaining days on the earth.

1Th 5:1  But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

Why did God not have to write about the times and the seasons to these His people?  What the Bible does is reveal something that implies we will be able to see these times and seasons and understand that the coming of the Lord is at hand.  You can certainly look at the world around us and see many of these things mentioned in the Bible about the end are happening all around us.  There have been earthquakes, wars, rumors of wars and many going here and there saying peace, peace!   The signs of the times surround us every day.  Technology, computers and the internet have made it possible for the Anti-Christ to take control of the world’s finances like never before.  The Arab nations are building nuclear weapons and the nation of Israel is in perilous times.   There are terrorists and people killing people and people dying all around us.  In our calendar year, the seasons are used to determine the times of planting and reaping.  God has been planting seeds for the last 2000 years.  The knowledge of God has exploded like never before, but there is also a coming time of harvest, where God says that’s it, it is finished!  How do you tell people this and not sound crazy in our world today?  You sound like a chicken little saying the sky is falling!   You come across as a fool, but at least you can be a fool for Christ.

1Th 5:2  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

So we have a verse that contradicts the previous verse.  This verse says the coming of the Lord will be like a thief in the night.  You just never know when a thief will show up.   But, what we have here is the same event from two perspectives.  Those who know Christ will be able to see the coming times and for those who do not know Christ it will happen suddenly without any warning.

1Th 5:3  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

We certainly see everyone today in the world calling for this illusive peace.  What they do not understand is who is behind these wars, the spiritual forces that manipulate and control people in doing the evil that they do.   This verse is again given in contrast to other verses in the Bible that reveal the church is not appointed to wrath.  Sudden destruction is not coming to the church, if you think it is then you are very confused in who wins this spiritual war.  Sudden destruction will come upon the evil people in the world who do not want to see the coming of Jesus.  The church of Jesus will be taken up and out of this destruction before it happens.

1Th 5:4  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

Here we have the previous verse to verse conflict resolution given to us very clearly.  We the church, are not those who are in the darkness.  The destruction is only for those in and of the darkness.  Those who walk in the darkness are those who have been blinded not to see the truth of God.  These are those who have been deceived into believing lies.  These verses in 1 Thessalonians 5 are contrasting the end events from two perspectives, one is light and the other is darkness.  Do you understand this?

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.

We again see that the church of God is those who walk in the light of God.  Anyone who has light can see what is happening in the world because of the light that God is shining upon us.  This is in stark contrast to those in the darkness who cannot perceive the times or the seasons.

1Th 5:6  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

God says let us therefore be awake while we are in the light of day.  This is a spiritual statement and not a physical statement.  People still sleep at night and work during the day physically.  But, these natural realities correspond to spiritual realities that we must understand clearly.  To watch and to be sober is another contrasting statement to those who like to party during the night and get drunk.  These concepts are not that difficult to grasp if you have eyes that see spiritual things.

1Th 5:9  For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

For God has not appointed us to wrath.  I spoke of this verse earlier because I wanted to show you that God is not angry at the church.  Wrath is a coming time of punishment for being evil and rejecting the truth.  Wrath will never be given to anyone who has been delivered from it by the blood of Jesus.  Jesus became sin that we might become the righteousness of God and this makes us saved from the impending doom of the world.  The Bible says that we (the church) have been reconciled back to God.  That means to be brought back into right relationship with Him.  I do not understand how people ignore verses like these in order to teach a mid-tribulation or post-tribulation rapture of the church.   The church will not be here during the time of wrath and that means we will be taken out of here very soon.   Jesus almost 2000 years ago said this about the times that we are living in:

Rev 22:20  He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

In being able to recognize the times and seasons, it requires that you understand the Bible and what it teaches on these subjects.  If Jesus could make this statement of coming soon almost 2000 years ago, how close do you think that we are today to the return of Jesus?  How could Jesus say this and it be a truthful statement?  To human perspectives 2000 years is almost an eternity.  But, we of course understand that God lives outside of the dimension of time in an eternal self-sustaining mode of existence.  God is called the ancient of days in the Bible, so time to God must be completely different than time to us.  To man 2000 years is a very long time since man only lives to be a 100 years old, but to God, it is just a yesterday.  If I said to you today, “I’ll see you tomorrow”, is that a long time to you?  To most people, tomorrow is not a long time.   We are simply talking about at the most 48 hours.  So when you see Jesus speaking of 2000 years as a short time you must find God’s definition of what time is in order for you to understand the real truth of the Bible.  This is called letting the Bible interpret itself:

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 by God’s definition of time on the earth, one day can represent a time period of 1000 years to Him.  What God is doing is changing our definition to His definition so that we can see things from His perspective.  This is one of the most important concepts for correct Bible interpretation that you can find.  This definition gives us a reference to time that was hidden in the Bible.  When you start analyzing the Bible using this information you can begin to see why Jesus could say that He would see us at the end of the day tomorrow and it be nearly 2000 years on our timeline.  Therefore 2000 years would not be a long time in God’s eyes.   Seeing things the way God sees them is one of the most important keys to understanding the Bible.  Let’s break down this information we just read for a future point of reference:

1000 / 24 = 41.6667 years = 1 God Hour.   So One hour in God’s timeline would be just over 41 years of our calendar.

41.6667 / 60 = 0.6944 years = 1 God Minute.  One minute to God would be approximately .7 of a calendar year to us.

0.6944 * 365 = 253.47 days = 1 God Minute.  One God minute is just over 8 months of our calendar.

253.47 / 60 = 4.2245 days = 1 God Second.  101.388 hours = 1 God Second.  6083.25 seconds = 1 God Second.

While I have not found a reason why these numbers are significant, the concepts behind them are what I am trying to convey.   To hear when God tells you to wait a minute, that it could mean wait up to 253 days for the answer.  Even God’s Wait a Second, could be over 4 days long.  It is a radical shift in our perspective of time concepts.  It causes us to come up to a higher dimension of spiritual understanding.  It forces us to renew our minds with some new spiritual facts and knowledge.   What I am attempting to show you is that many times in the Bible God is defining words differently than we do.  Do you understand that any verse in the Bible can change dramatically depending on the definitions of the words found in the verse?  If we use man’s definition of the word found in the verse, there is a high probability that we just got it wrong.

By the law of first mention, we must go back to Genesis 1:5 to see the first time the word “Day” is used in the Bible.  God goes through a series of 7 days of creation, doing something new every day that is unique to the world that we live in.  This is a God week by definition and according to the definition of what a day is it means a period of 7000 years.   However, we must also change our perspectives to see what else is hidden in this information.  I do not believe that it took God 7000 years to create our world; I believe that God is trying to teach us something else about these days of creation.    If you have read my other blogs, you already know that these 7 days of creations are prophetic statements of the history of man on the planet.  Every day of the creation account has symbolic meaning of something that transpired in the earth during that millennium.   The 7th day is a representative pattern of the coming millennial reign of Christ.  This is God’s day of rest upon the earth where we have no enemy to fight or defend against.  The first 6 days of creation are days of work for man, where we definitely have a great challenge presented to us by God.  Our enemy Satan has come with great fury knowing that his time is very short.  So while we do not know the exact day or hour for Christ’s return we can clearly see that the harvest season is fast approaching.  There is no way to know how long of time that we have exactly on the planet.  Our year 2010 is a corresponding year of 5771 in the Jewish calendar.  The Jewish people have supposedly calculated from the time of Adam’s creation to today and they think it has been just under 6000 years by a few hundred years.  I think that they are close but that it is much closer to that magic number of 6000 years than we think.  There is no way that God is going to wait over 200 years to come back to the earth, people would not survive that long.  If I had to guess a number I would say that the Jewish year is closer to 5985 to 5991.  But, that is just me pulling numbers out of the air that mean nothing.  It is only logical to see that Biblical prophecy is falling into place very rapidly around us.  I do not think that the coming of the Lord can wait more than a very few years.  If God does wait, then we are in trouble.  The world’s economies are declining and the wickedness in the world is increasing at rates that are off the charts.  I’m not going to explain the 6 day time line of creation like I have tried in other blogs.  So please if you do not understand these concepts go and search my website for additional information on this subject.  Using this information let’s look at some Bible verses that certainly apply:

Mat 17:1  And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,

When you realize that Jesus did nothing by chance or accident, you begin to see important prophetic verses in the Bible with hidden double meanings within them.  In this verse it says Jesus went up to a mountain top and took with him Peter, James and John.  The symbolic representations in this verse are very clear.  If a day is as a thousand years then after 6000 years (6 God Days) of time on the earth Jesus will come to take His church up to be with Him.  This is what I see that this verse implies, you of course can believe whatever you like.  While on the mountain top Jesus meets with Moses and Elijah.  These are also two symbolic representations of those who were dead (Moses) and those who were caught up alive (Elijah) to be with Christ.  This whole story in this chapter of Matthew is giving us a prophetic confirmation of God’s timeline on the earth in hidden terminology.   I hope and pray that you can see it and how it fits together with other Bible verses.

Mat 24:37  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Here Jesus is telling us some more secrets about His impending return.  It says that as it was in the days of Noah it will be again in the coming of the Lord.  So how was it in the days of Noah?  In Noah’s day, the people mocked Noah for building an ark.  They laughed because they knew not the impending coming disaster nor could they discern the times or the seasons because they were in darkness.  They lacked “knowledge” of the truth and perished because of this lack of knowledge.  Jesus says in this chapter of Matthew that they ate and drank and had parties.  They married, built houses and went about their ways ignoring the coming disaster.  This is a very important lesson for the coming of the end of the age that we are living within.   Noah was considered righteous and is a type of the church family of God.  Noah knew exactly when the disaster would start and how it would end.  Noah was prepared for the disaster, so Noah was saved from the disaster.  Noah escaped the wrath of God, and so it will also be with the church.  This is a clear pattern of the true church in the world today.  These are those who can read the signs of the times and understand the seasons.  The Lord’s coming will not come as a thief in the night just like the rain did not come as a thief in the night to Noah.  If you are prepared for Christ’s return then you will know and see His return clearly.  In the parable of the 10 virgins, there were 5 who were foolishly not prepared and went away for oil.  These are types of the people in the world who do not know God.  They will not perceive that the time is too short to try to get more oil.  While you are away Jesus will come back and those who are ready will go up.  This parable is an attempt by God to tell you to get ready now before you realize the time is too close at hand to get more oil.  Noah was 600 years old when the flood came, do you think that this could be a symbolic indication of the coming 6000 years of Christ’s return?   I certainly do.   Let’s look at one more verse about the end of time in relation to a historic type:

Luk 17:28  Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;

I take these verses very literally.  When Jesus says the coming of the son of man will come like it happened in the days of Lot, what does that tells us?  The righteous were taken out and the destruction began to rain down immediately upon those cities.  This again gives us a picture of the pre-tribulation departure of the church.  God does not appoint the righteous to His wrath.  This verse says those in the earth will be eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building and their consumed focus on these activities will cause them to miss the coming of Jesus.

Joh 2:1  And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:

God gives us little clues in the Bible in vastly spread out verses.  Here we have a reference to a real event that occurred during the days of Jesus on the earth, but God uses it to inform us of a spiritual event that is coming.  These types of verses are allegorical and they are real events that happened on the earth, but they show us a spiritual reality.  After two God days (2000 years) there is coming a wedding feast that will occur in heaven on the third day.  While the earth is experiencing the vials of Revelation, the church will be in heaven getting ready for a wedding feast.  Verses like these are very interesting and potentially controversial because it appears that I am pulling something out of context to teach a spiritual prophecy.  However, God uses this technique throughout the Bible in symbols, types and shadows and allegories.   I mean think about it, God could have used any number of days in this verse and it could have been accurate, but God chooses to use 2 days and then Jesus went to a weeding.  Do you think this is an accident?  I certainly do not!

Joh 4:43  Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee.

Again we see that Jesus could have stayed however many days that he wanted, but it is recorded that Jesus stayed here 2 days and then the departure occurred.  Is this another coincidence or is this a prophetic picture of the coming departure of the church?  Only you can decide what you believe, it is.  I will believe that it is a prophecy.

Joh 6:40  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Approximately four times in this chapter, Jesus uses the term the “Last Day” in conjunction with a time of resurrection and new life.   What is the last day of the week?  The “Last Day” of the week would be to the Jewish people the Sabbath, also called the day of rest.  The God Sabbath is also called the Millennial Reign of Christ.  We can very clearly see that Jesus is saying that there is coming a God Last Day where some things will change dramatically for us.  There are a bunch of verses like this one in the Bible that make much more sense when viewed in the context of the prophetic creation week.   When you apply God’s definition correctly you can understand how they are telling us our time on this earth is closing to an end, when we return to reign with Christ on the 7th day.

Joh 7:37  In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

Wow, there are so many verses that we could go into that give us this repetitive clue of the coming “Last Day” when the feast will come.  This of course will be the covenant marriage feast of the Lamb of God to His bride, the church.  You must search your Bibles for these little hidden clues and then you will begin to understand them.  God uses some very tricky methods of hiding information in the Bible in plain sight.

Joh 12:1  Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.

Again we see an amazing coincidence of 6 days and then a feast.  The Passover was a representative symbolic meal of covenant between God and Israel.  This is a pattern of the coming Marriage Supper when the church eats and drinks with Christ.  So God could have put any number of days here in this verse but, chooses 6 as being significantly important for us to see.  This verse also speaks of being raised from the dead after these 6 days, so that is again too amazing to be an accident.  These are just more prophetic pictures of the coming to the end of our current earth age.

So while the Bible does not give us exact dates and times, it gives us enough information to discern the times and seasons that we are living in.  I hope that you are beginning to understand the concepts being taught and can see the references to the soon return of Christ.  God Bless!

If you would like to continue reading in this series you may go to “Part 2“.

Understanding Symbolic Sheep in the Bible! Are You Once Saved and Always Saved?

(Ver 1.2)  This is Part 3 in the series of lesson on the subject Once Saved Always Saved and what others have called unconditional eternal security.  If you have not read all of the lessons from the beginning I would recommend that you go back and start reading with “Part 1“.  Today is a response to a reader’s comment, who thinks that I know nothing about sheep in the Bible among other topics that I may get into later.  However, this man wanted to chastise me for not following his steps of hermeneutical Bible study.  He claimed that I clearly did not know what I was talking about when I taught on Predestination and Once Saved Always Saved, because He had figured out the magic formula for Bible interpretation.  However, this man failed in one minor detail, he gave me no Bible verses for his method of interpretation so therefore I categorically reject his methods completely.  You can read from my other Bible lessons how I interpret scriptures based on other scriptures found in the Bible.  This is called letting the Bible interpret itself.  There are many basic laws of interpretation given to us in the Bible and I am totally guilty of following these the best that I know how to do.  So you can find many blogs on my methods of Bible interpretations so go and read them and learn.  Any man can invent rules for Bible interpretation and that is the problem with most of them that you find on the internet.  The Bible says that no scripture is of any private interpretation and this is what most people are guilty of.  Today’s lesson will be an obvious example of how two people can read the same scriptures and get two opposite interpretations and why.  You see all you have to do is ignore certain key words in these next verses and you can get the exact same interpretation that he gave me.  However, if you try to do it correctly and pay attention to every word you come up with a major difference in perspectives.   Here are some of the Bible verses that this man said I do not understand:

Joh 10:27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Joh 10:28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Joh 10:29  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

Joh 10:30  I and my Father are one.

In this chapter of John and John is one of my favorite books of the Bible which I have studied more than any other except maybe Genesis, I find a very interesting set of statements being made.  This man said that these verses prove that people are “once saved and always saved” by God and can never lose their salvation because that is just what it says.  However, if you look very closely and examine the wording and context that is not what it says at all.  Sheep are of course symbolic of people in this chapter.  The sheepfold is the symbolic world that we live in.  Jesus is of course the Chief Shepherd that is in charge of all of us sheep.  These verses start with the statement that “My sheep hear my voice”.  So right there we learn the first lesson.  Not everyone is “His” sheep.  You do not have to qualify the noun “sheep” with the adjective “My” if all sheep can hear His voice.  Do you get it?  So let me ask you a simple question, are you one of His sheep?  How can you tell if you are one of His sheep?  Is it just because you say you are?  I believe our current President proves that is a lie in his actions every day.  Saying you are a Christian does not make you a Christian ever.  You might recall in the book of Acts that some men came up to a demon possessed man and said “In the name of Jesus that Paul preaches come out of him”.  However, the demons said to them “Paul we know and Jesus we know but who are you” and they made them sorry that they confronted a being more powerful than they were (Act 19:13-15).  These were examples of men who were not His sheep, but tried to act like it anyway.  So you either are one of His sheep or you are not one of His sheep!  What is it that determines this fact?  It really is not that complicated, if you can hear His voice then you are, if you do not hear His voice then you are not.  So let me ask you this, do you hear His voice?  I know for certain that I hear His voice on a daily basis, what can you say about this?  So the first thing that you learn is not everyone is His sheep and then only His sheep can hear His voice.  So let me ask you this, if someone speaks and you are not paying attention do you ever miss what is said?  My wife accuses me of this every now and then.  She says something and I am sometimes distracted or not paying attention like I should and I miss what was said.  Has this ever happened to you?  Just because you can hear does not mean that you heard.  This is proved every day in church.  People sit in the congregation listening to the preacher and I would guess that only a small handful actually hear what is being said and understand it.  So hearing is not the complete answer given here, I believe it takes more than just hearing.  You can learn this from the Parable of the Sower when Jesus taught on the 6 types of soil, 3 types of soil produced some fruit and 3 types did not produce any fruit.  But, they all heard the same words of the sower who was planting the seeds.  So obviously there is much more involved than just hearing.  Do you get it?

So the next statement that Jesus makes is “I know them and they follow me”.  So if you hear His voice Jesus says “He knows you”.  However, then He says “They follow me”.  Uh oh?  Is that another potential problem?  What if they don’t follow Him or His voice?  Do sheep ever have a “freewill” choice of whether they follow the Shepherd or ignore the Shepherd’s voice?  I mean come on, do people ever lose the right to choose?  You see you clearly do still have a choice to make even after becoming one of His sheep.  There is a clear implied meaning given to us here in this verse that sheep still have choices to make even after being saved out of this crazy world.  I mean come on and think a little bit with your brain!  If they choose to follow Jesus they can choose not to follow Jesus also.  The only way that this would not be possible is if God tied a rope around the neck of every one of His sheep and then dragged them wherever He went whether they wanted to go or not.  That would be forced “predestination” and forced “eternal salvation”.  Does God forcibly enforce His will upon all Christians and all people in the world?  There are many confused Christians who think that He does.  If this is the type of God that you serve then you are highly deceived and very ignorant.  God is not forcing any of His sheep to follow Him.  If you know anything about being a good shepherd, they always walk ahead of their sheep calling to them and the sheep normally follow them.  The sheep are therefore highly trustworthy of their master that He is not going to lead them to the wolves.  However, sheep do still have a choice not to follow.  Once Jesus told this story found in the Bible that is very relevant to our current subject today about sheep:

Luk 15:4  What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

Is Jesus talking about sheep in this parable?  I don’t think so!  Jesus is again using sheep as an example of people.  However, it is very clear and self-evident that sheep can wander off and away from the voice of the shepherd that was guiding them.  This tells me that Jesus the Great Shepherd is not in complete control of everyone on this planet and what they do.  Any sheep at any time has the choice or chance to walk away.  Do you get this concept?  This is called “FREEWILL”.  These are saved people who have walked away from Jesus’ voice and no longer are able to hear it.  Do you GET IT?  Of course Jesus says any good shepherd will leave the 99 and go and look for the 1 that is LOST!  So here we go again.  Does this mean the shepherd when He finds this lost sheep drags him kicking and screaming back to the flock by force?  If you think it does then you again do not know the loving compassionate merciful God who allows His sheep to do as they will.  Sure a sheep could wander off accidently and be totally glad to get back to the safety of the flock and the shepherd.  But, still people are not sheep, they are people and they can do what they want, when they want, to who they want at any time.  If a sheep wanders off and commits suicide there is no getting that sheep back even if the shepherd wants it back really bad.  If while away from the safety of the shepherd a wolf comes and eats that sheep, it is also gone forever.  These are basic sheep principles of shepherds and their flocks.  People want to think that God is in control of everything, but if this was true and God is the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient Almighty, He would have never let one of His sheep get lost in the first place.  In this parable, it is clear that a sheep got away and the shepherd did not know about it until He stopped and counted and said I only have 99 and I started with 100 so one got lost.  Wow, what do you do with people who ignore what the Bible says for their version of reality?  It sure makes it difficult if you can’t see the words that written on the pages, doesn’t it?

Let’s further examine the emphasized subject in verses 28 and 29 of John 10 that we were looking at first.  If you can see, then you can understand that both of these verses are about the Power of God vs. the power of Satan.  Both of these verses say that God is able to keep those that have chosen to follow Him.  Remember that choosing to follow was an important prerequisite to the next two verses.   So the next two verses are only applicable if you continue to follow by your freewill choices.  As long as you are with the shepherd you are clearly SAFE and no one including Satan can come and force you away.  This would be the opposite of forcible salvation; it would be called forcible damnation.  If it is illegal for Satan to force you to hell, guess what it would be illegal for God to force you to go to heaven.  This MUST be a two way street that goes both ways and the only determining factor which way you go is by your own choice of continuing to follow your faithful Shepherd.

So did we learn anything today?  I bet my commenter didn’t hear a thing that I said and that is really a sad state of the world that we live in.  My Bible says “Whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not”.  It is almost impossible to get a blind man to see.  What you must determine is a basic question; do sheep still have any freewill choices to make in the real world after being saved?  Can they do what they want rather than do what God says?  Before you answer this question you should go and read your Bible and see if there are any people in there who God said not to do this and they ignored it and went and did it anyway.  There is Balaam, there is all of natural Israel, there is even Moses who God said speak to the rock and he hit it instead.  There are too many examples in the Bible of people disobeying God’s voice.   Why did God pick sheep as a type or symbol of people in the world?  You should study more about sheep and learn how they are a picture of people.  For example, sheep are pretty dumb animals, I have to admit that and that speaks a lot for God’s opinion on what people think in the world.  You should be smart enough to first see that God’s intelligence is so far above your intelligence that it is barely comparable to a man vs. a sheep.  So having said that your opinion is worthless!  What you think about the Bible is totally irrelevant!  There is no significance to your thoughts unless they become God’s thoughts.  So what have we learned about sheep today?

  1. People like Sheep are DUMB!
  2. Sheep still have a free will!
  3. Not ALL Sheep belong to God!
  4. Sheep still have to pay attention and understand the words of the Shepherd.
  5. A Sheep can Get LOST accidently or on purpose!
  6. God will try to go and find the lost sheep!
  7. Not every sheep has to follow the Shepherd!
  8. No one can force a sheep away from His Shepherd as long as it hears and follows.

These are the basics found in these verses about sheep in the Bible.  You of course can disagree with what I just said and ignore the facts if you want to.  But, please do not write me any more ignorant comments about my lack of understanding of the Bible and go pull the plank out of your own eye before you try to take the speck out of mine.  God Bless!

If you want to continue reading about Once Saved Always Saved and the Eternal Security subjects you may go to “Part 4“.

Understanding the Difference Between Being the House of God and Being In the House of God!

(Ver 2.2)  Today I will teach on a Bible basic truth that every Christian should know.  There is an interesting difference between being in the house of God and being the House of God that many preachers that I have heard must not clearly understand.  I have been in numerous church services where either the pastor or the worship leader gets up behind the pulpit and says “It’s good to be in the house of the Lord”.  I guess I know what they are trying to say, but technically speaking that is a very false statement and directly contradicts what the Bible says in so many aspects.  That statement also portrays a false reality to unsaved people that is easily taken wrong or misunderstood.  Those types of statements leave people with the impression that if they come to church, they have satisfied their religious obligation to God.  However, the Bible says that the church building that you are meeting in is not the house of God!  You see the Bible clearly says that God does not dwell in the buildings made by the hands of men anymore.  We know this is what God use to do in the Old Testament when God told Moses to build Him a temple and the Ark of the Covenant.  Jesus in Matthew taught that David entered into the house of God to eat the show bread.  But, these were all natural symbolic representations for a much different spiritual reality that was to come.  Here is one of my key verses for today’s lesson and I hope you can see what it says:

Act 7:48  Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,

So here we have a major problem with the statement that too many preachers make.  God clearly tells us in the Bible that it is impossible for man to build or make anything that is worthy of God’s dwelling place.  If you read the next verse and the context you will see what I am talking about.  God does not dwell in your man made church building; so when you say He does you leave a very false image in the minds of your listeners.  However, there is another reality that God may show up at your church service if you invite Him in and then choose to let Him come in.  I’ve heard ministers describe the presence of God at their meetings appearing like a cloud that would roll in over the people and then amazing things would happen.  However, some people saw the cloud and others did not see the cloud.  There are many examples of this type of cloud in the Bible if you look for them (Exo 16:10, Exo 19:9, Exo 24:15).  I gave you 3 instances found in Exodus but God appears as a spiritual cloud several other times in the Bible as well.  Then there are also literally many church buildings around the world that God does not ever show up in, because He is not welcome.  Oh, sure they pretend that they are doing the right things and singing the right songs and acting out the parts pretty well.  However, they neither know God nor are known by God so they worship with their lips, but Jesus said their hearts are far, far away.  Jesus warned some religious people like this in Matthew 23:27 calling them “whited sepulchers that are beautiful on the outside but inwardly were unclean and full of dead men’s bones”.   So God is not interested in your external religion or your outward religious ideas of being righteous.  Just as God did not show up in the Jewish temple anymore, God will not show up at your church if your heart is not right before Him.  These are examples of how important it is to be precise in exactly what you believe and to know what the Bible says.  So where is the house of the Lord now?  Or maybe I should have asked who is the house of the Lord now?  If you study your Bible you will find that it says the people in the church are now this house of God:

1Ti 3:15  But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

As you search the Bible you find verses that read much differently than what some men preach and teach.  Here is one of those examples.  You of course can take this verse literally or figuratively.   I believe that this temple is symbolic based upon the scriptures that I will show you in a minute.  First, let me ask you what is the church of God or again I should say who is the church of God?  Let me give you a few quick scriptures that hopefully will make my point that you can see for yourself:

Rom 16:5  Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.

Here is God calling the people that meet in the house the church and not the building where they meet.  This can get more complex than this, but this is the basics of the lesson today.  You see the people that meet together in a building can be holding church services, but technically this is not the church.  God clearly calls the people in the building the church and never is there any physical building called by this name or title in the Bible.  This is really a very important difference to recognize.

1Co 1:2  Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

Again we have the people living in the city of Corinth being called the church of God and not a building.  It further qualifies that not everyone in the city is the church, but only those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus.  So it is much more important to be in Christ than it is to be in a building with a name on the outside.  This is the mistake that pastors are leaving people with when they tell them they are in the house of the Lord today.  They should be saying it is good to be in Christ Jesus and be the house of God.

1Co 15:9  For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

This is the last verse that I will show you today that says the church are the people that Paul persecuted and Paul did not burn down buildings or deface a building.  When Jesus appeared to Saul on the road and said “Saul why do you persecute me?”  Jesus was telling him He took it personally because these people that he persecuted were the church and the body of Christ where God lives today:

1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Here is the main reason that I wanted to get to today that clearly tells us where the Spirit of God is today.  You can clearly see that God is not living in the buildings that are made by the hands of men anymore.  God has designed and created our bodies to be His temple and dwelling place.  So wherever we go God goes.  Where ever we are the church is, if you are a true Christian.  You see when you become a Christian the Spirit of God comes inside of your body to live and to bear witness with your spirit that you are now a child of God (Romans 8:16).  This is exactly why when you tell people they are in the house of God a building made by man’s hands that it contributes to a lie.  You can hold church in a hotel and God will be there if He is inside of you.  You can hold church in a tent and God will be there if God is inside of you.  God is not interested in your building projects, however God will help you build one if that is what you like.  I have to say that it is much nicer meeting in nice churches with climate controlled environments than sweating or freezing outdoors.  Just build your church building and don’t call it the house of God.  I am the house of God and you are the house of God we are a spiritual building made of living stones being built up into an eternal spiritual city of the Most High God.  Here is a Bible verse that says what I just tried to say:

1Pe 2:5  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

The term “lively stones” literally means stones with life in them.  This makes us complexly a very unique chosen building material for God’s house.  You can clearly see that we are being “built up” to become a spiritual house for God.  This is one of the key accomplished works of Jesus Christ.  Why was it necessary for God to build a new spiritual house?  I have taught on this before, but I’ll say it again for those who do not understand it yet.  You see you only build a new house if you have something wrong with your old house.  Heaven was the previous spiritual house of God where there were an enumerable number of angels dwelling.  So what do you do when some of your angels have been found with sin in them?  You should really think about that before you try to answer it.  God is a just God and God is God who does not lie and break promises with those in His family.  So God’s old spiritual house and family has a major problem occurring internally within it and this causes God to decide to build/create a new House through His Son Jesus Christ.  I’ll talk and teach more on this subject soon, so please keep a look out for it, the Bible says some very important things on this subject for Christians who desire to understand.

Let’s get back to God’s new spiritual building project where you can clearly find in the Bible that Jesus is building this new house for God using us the church.  We know in 1 Peter 2:5 that it says we are being “built up” a spiritual house.  This implies a foundation and then subsequent building layers.  Who is the spiritual foundation for this new spiritual house?  Of course it is God Himself to some degree who is our foundation as well as a few other chosen individuals that are mentioned in this verse:

Eph 2:20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Again we can clearly see that we the people of God in the church building are being built upon a foundation that consists of three spiritual entities.  Jesus Christ is clearly called the most important stone in the new building and He is described as the “chief corner”.  This was usually in ancient building projects the first stone that was laid and one that all other stones are aligned from.  So the first thing that you should grasp is that Jesus Christ is also a stone in this new spiritual house.  God became one of us so that we could be made again like one of Him.  The next thing that you should observe in this verse is that the Apostles of Jesus and the prophets of God from the O.T. are also living stones that makeup the foundation for this new building.  Do you understand this?  This is very important that you see.  Here is another verse that gives us an additional perspective on the subject:

Rev 21:14  And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

In this chapter of Revelation God describes another place or actually the same place that we have been discussing but in different terms.  In this chapter God describes a spiritual city called “New Jerusalem” and “Holy Jerusalem”.  Both of these are the names given to the new spiritual dwelling place of God.  If you noticed in this verse that this city contains a foundation of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ.  That sounds very similar to what we just read in Ephesians 2:20.  What we can see are some amazing parallels that are certainly not found here by chance or accident.  Both Ephesians and 1 Peter spoke of a building project that is being created by God.  We are called the temple of God in the letters written to the church, however in Revelation God speaks of us in terms of being a city.  Both are structures with walls and foundations and are built with stones.  Here is another verse that certainly applies to our subject today concerning this city found in Revelation 21:

Rev 21:3  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

This verse is pretty amazing.  It speaks of us as being the tabernacle of God.  Tabernacle is a term meaning God’s tent.  Isn’t this what Moses built God in the Old Testament?   Moses built a tent which clearly meant a temporary dwelling place.  What Moses made was a temporary dwelling because it was made by men.  Anything that a man makes will be temporary.  However, we are now found to be an eternal dwelling place for our God made not with the hands of men.  When we leave this planet we will be given eternal glorified bodies like the one that Jesus possessed after His resurrection.  This will be a body that will never fail or fade.  Therefore it will be a permanent dwelling place for the Spirit of God.  God is saying in Revelation 21:3 that God’s new house will be “with” men.  The term “with” in this verse means to be joined to Him in marriage and become one flesh with Him.   What we see today is a small taste of what we will see in eternity.  The Spirit of God being in us today is a pattern for what we will experience forever in eternity.  Therefore, God’s New Jerusalem is a spiritual city of People in covenant with Him where He lives and dwells throughout eternity.  We will be His people and He will be our God and according to the Bible no eye has seen nor have we even begun to imagine the great things that He has planned for us (1 Cor 2:9).  I hope and pray that you enjoyed my short and basic Bible lesson on God’s spiritual building project and have learned that we are that project here today and right now.  So the next time when you go to church remember you are not going to the house of God, YOU ARE THE HOUSE OF GOD who is going to a building to meet with the rest of God’s house for fellowship, praise and worship of Him who is In US!  God Bless!

Understanding Angels! Protecting Angels! Part 7

(Ver 1.1)  This is now Part 7 of a series of studies about the spiritual reality of angels found in the Bible.   We have covered a lot of information that is not going to be repeated, so if you have not read all of these lessons from the beginning, I would recommend that you go back and start with “Part 1” and read forward to this lesson.  In the past we have been discussing the physical makeup of angels, where angels come from, the dimensions of angels, the assignments of angels and we have learned that they are intended to be a beneficial spiritual force that works for us and with us.  Christians and the angels of God are on the same spiritual team and we have the same God.  But, we have also seen battles, conflicts and the realities of other angels that are not working for God.  These evil or unclean angels are God’s enemies and we will discuss them more in the future.  Today I want to discuss a different purpose of angels of God found in the Bible.  I believe that God has assigned specific tasks and responsibilities for angels to follow.  These are generally followed for our benefit, but angels never override your will unless there is eminent danger.  If you recall we studied the story of Lot in Sodom and God sent two angels to his house to get him and his family out before the city was destroyed.  These angels practically had to drag this family away from the city by the hand, because they did not want to leave.  I do not know if it was a case of core unbelief or just the fact that they thought they belonged there in the city.  We did see that Lot left two daughters in the city that were married and they would not leave with them, so this might have contributed to the hesitation.  However, if they would have stayed in Sodom they would all have been killed that very day by the falling fire and brimstone from heaven.  Of course the only reason they were saved was because God talked with Abraham and Abraham asked God to spare them.  So really Lot had nothing to do with his salvation other than allowing the angels to guide them out.  He was very fortunate that he had an uncle that knew a God who was merciful.   Many times angels will do this for your unsaved relatives also if you ask them to.  So what we learn from God’s story of Sodom is that angels can protect people from a pending disaster, either natural or supernatural.  Therefore, one of the key assignments of angels given to them by God is to protect those who are heirs of salvation. 

Of course it is always much more complicated than trying to make that simple of a statement trying to say that an angel’s job is just to protect us.  We can clearly see in the world that even Christians die in plane crashes and terrorist attacks.  In fact children are killed every day in our world and they have not yet come to the age of accountability to make a decision for Christ.  So where are all the protecting angels for these children?  These are very difficult questions to try to answer since we do not know all of the facts or circumstances surrounding any one’s death that occurs in our world.  So how can we attempt to explain why something happened if we do not know all of the information necessary about what caused this to occur?   That is our challenge, since the Bible says that we are looking through a glass darkly and only see partially the spiritual realm, we must do the best that we can from what information God hsd given to us.  I do not believe that we can know everything unless God somehow shows them to us and many times these things are personal items between God and that person and God will not tell you their secrets just because you want to know them.  God says in Deuteronomy 29:29 “that the secret things belong to the Lord” so don’t go asking God to reveal to you things that do not concern you personally.  So today I ask the question do people have guardian angles assigned to them by God?  Here is an interesting statement that Jesus said about angels:

Mat 18:10  Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

Here we have a verse where Jesus is speaking about the little children that have been brought to Him to be blessed.  Jesus tells us that these little children all have “their” own angel.  These angels go from here to heaven and when in heaven they check with God and see what God says for them to do.  Since God does not show any favoritism to anyone we must logically conclude from this information that every child born on the earth has an angel assigned to them.  The population of the earth is currently less than 7 billion and in the book of Hebrews God tells us that the total number of the angels in Heaven are innumerable.  Men can easily count to a billion and even a trillion if they had enough time or could just use a computer.  According to Revelation 12 we know that 1/3 of the angels have been cast down with Satan to the earth.  Therefore, we can clearly observe that even taking away 1/3 there are potentially more than enough angels to go around to watch over 7 billion people.

Let me tell you about some personal experiences that I believe that angels have come to my aid in my past.  One day as a young man I sat in my car at a red light in the left turn lane waiting for the light to turn green.  I was the first one in line and just sat waiting for a green light to go.  Suddenly a dump truck ran over the front of my car and crushed it.  It seems this truck was coming down the hill to my left and lost his brakes and the driver of the truck could not get it to stop when the light was changing.  I never heard anything or saw anything that was about to happen.   So the driver came down the hill without brakes, without sounding his horn and he was trying to weave and dodge everyone as he came down the hill without any brakes.  He missed most everyone except my car.  However, if I was 5 or 6 feet closer into the intersection or the light had turned green I would not be here today.  A man I knew saw me right after the wreck of my car and stopped to talk to me.  He said I was very lucky to have escaped harm and he was right.  You see I did not see any angels present that day, but yet looking back on it I can see the hand of God that spared me so I conclude that an angel was at work that day doing something to help me.   It could have been just to cause the light to stay red long enough for me not to go forward.  It could have been to tell me to stop and not inch any closer into the intersection.  It could have been helping the driver of the truck to know how to turn and when to turn the wheel to keep from killing anyone.  I mean we do not know all of the possibilities that could have been affected by an angel’s help.  It is very difficult to know when something like that happens all of the factors that went into that day’s activities for everyone involved.  I mean I could have been a few minutes later and missed everything or I could have been a few feet forward and been killed.

Then later in life I was attending a church gathering at a large convention center in downtown Dallas Texas.  It was very late at night and the service was still going on, but I decided to take my kids home to get them into bed.  So we left early and started for where I parked my vehicle about three blocks away.  I noticed as I walked down the sidewalk that there was no one else around anywhere and that concerned me.   We had to go close to 3 blocks to get to my car and it was very dark except for street lights.  Suddenly I noticed two teenaged punks up ahead of me nearly a block away on the other side of the street.  Then I noticed them looking at me and taking something out of their ankles like knives or weapons of some sort.  I knew this was not a good situation to be in with two small young children.  I was carrying my youngest child and my eldest son walked by me.  I saw that the punks crossed the street so I crossed the street at the same time in the opposite direction.  They suddenly realized that I had changed my course as they were coming towards me.  I remember praying to God and “pleading the blood of Jesus” over my situation.  I grabbed the hand of my son and we turned to walk back towards the convention center down the middle of the street.  Suddenly a group of people appeared out of nowhere.  There were probably four of them, two men and two women so I started walking towards them and arrived at them at the same time as the two teenaged punks so I turned and stood by them and we all stopped to look at the punks.  The teenagers were outnumbered at this point so they asked some dumb questions acting all innocent and then ran off.  I walked with this people for a little while never saying anything to any of them about what just happened.  Suddenly again one of the women turned to me and said “Thank you” and they went on into the night and disappeared.  So why was someone that I did not know telling me “Thank you” with me not saying anything to them at all?  I have asked myself that question many times and can only come to the conclusion that it was because I prayed and ask that God cover us with His shed blood.  So were these angels sent from God or were these just people who happened to be at the right place at the right time for me?  I don’t know!  I just believe that God answers prayer and how He does it is not up to me.  I cannot tell this story without tears coming to my eyes thinking about it.

So those were just two examples of how angels could have affected a positive outcome in a potentially negative set of circumstances.  One time I saw nobody and the other time there were people involved that I saw.  I have heard many times a minister of God say this, “People are looking for the spectacular and all the time missing the supernatural”.  In other words they read their Bibles and want God to do something like part the Red Sea for them or appear in a burning bush and God does not have to do something like this to cause a supernatural event to transpire and save your life.  I’ll give you one more example of someone I knew.  He was working very late one night at the office and he had his little daughter with him there at work.  They decided to go home and of course it was dark and everyone else was already gone.  As he loaded his daughter in the car and put her in her car seat a man with a gun came up and told him let’s go back inside the office building.  This man that was being robbed with his daughter was the type of man that carried a licensed firearm with him for protection, but it was in his brief case in the front seat of the car.  So he told the gun man I have my wallet in my brief case and reached in and his hand fell on the gun in the exact perfect way so that he just grabbed it and pointed it and began to shoot it at the robber.  The man was hit several times but did not go down.  The robber pointed his gun at the window of the car where the daughter was and pulled the trigger and guess what, the bullet bounced off of the window.   The car did not have bullet proof glass and this should not have happened.  So was this a chance accidental occurrence that everything just worked out like it did for the child?  You have to be pretty blind to think that it was.  I am confident that the angel of God was present there to help and to save the little girl who is still our friend today as a 13 year old young lady.  Can angels stop bullets?  I believe that they can, what you believe is your choice.

Psa 34:7  The  angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

So God tells us in the Bible that the angels of the Lord are present around those that have respect for God.   Therefore, those who do not fear God might have a problem.  It would be good to hear God say that we have an angel that is with us, but it also much better to hear Him say that one of their assignments is to help deliver us from something?  What we need to figure out is what it is that they deliver us from?  I believe that we only need deliverance from something that is intended to do us harm or hurt.  Do you understand this?  What is this trying to tell us?  If angels can deliver you then other angels can also do things to you to cause you harm.  That is just a basic reality found within the spiritual realm.  Satan wants to kill you and God wants to save you and we have the classic battle of good vs. evil in our world transpiring all around us every night on the evening news.  So how does Satan cause things to happen to take you out of the world?  Many times Satan influences and uses people to hurt other people.  Just as good angels can influence good people to do good things, Satan can influence and suggest that evil people do bad things to hurt other people.  We have not discussed demons and evil spirits yet, but the Bible says they exist and we will definitely talk about them later.

Exo 14:19  And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:

You can read another story of angelic involvement with the children of Israel leaving Egypt.  In this story God says that an angel appeared before them to help guide them.  The children of Israel make a camp and the angel moves to the rear of them for protection.  We can clearly see that angels give God’s people a layer of protection from their enemies of Egypt who were pursuing them to take them back.   This is not ministering “to” them; this is another example of angels ministering “for” them.  We can clearly see that “protection” is one of the primary responsibilities for angels.  You can also assume that Satan was influencing Pharaoh to pursue God’s people to do them harm.  This is another example of how angels can affect the outcome of what happens in the world.

Exo 23:20  Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.

So I hesitate to mention this verse, because it says the angel was guiding Israel in the way that they should go.  However, it will be a good opportunity to teach you something about the role of angels in the church.  Angels can clearly give people direct messages from God.  We can seen this happening repeatedly in the Bible.  These words from God can be considered guidance.  You can even see this in examples found in the New Testament.  However, many times these angels brought news from God about pending disasters.  For example, Paul’s ship wreck in Acts 27:23 was foretold to him by the angel that he would live through it.  But, here is the problem; I have not found a verse of scripture that tells us to pray for angels to lead us.  The Bible in the New Testament says that those who are led by the Spirit of God they are the sons of God (Rom 8:14).  So it appears to me that today we are to be primarily led by the Spirit of God that lives in us.   This does not mean that God cannot still send you an angel if He chooses to do so.  However, it is God’s choice and not yours.  Do not put God in a box and think that an angel is the only way God can do anything for you, just leave the option open if God so desires.  I have heard stories of people who prayed for angels to appear and Satan shows up to give them a message like it was from God and this was nothing but a way to deceive them into doing something not in line with the will of God.  The Bible clearly says that Satan can disguise himself to appear as a messenger of light (2 Cor 11:14).  So if you pray and ask for angel and are not promised one in the Word of God, then you are asking and praying for something out of the line of God’s purpose and plan and this normally just opens the door for Satan to come in to deliver his message of deception.

There are many verses in the Bible where angels are used by God to protect and deliver His people, so I will not go through all of these.  I will briefly talk about Peter being thrown into prison by Herod in Acts 12:5.  In this chapter you can see that Peter was being persecuted for preaching the truth.  Thus we have Satan influencing Herod to do God’s people harm and Herod later finds out this was a mistake that he should not have made.  In verse 5 of Acts 12 you see that the church was praying for God to deliver Peter and they continued to do this until Peter showed up at their door one night.  God ends up sending an angel to wake Peter in the jail and this angel walks him to the house where the church is meeting.  The angel is able to bypass the guards, release his physical bonds and open doors supernaturally to get Peter out of prison.   This is a supernatural event of the divine intervention of God of how an angel can be used to deliver anyone from harm.  Peter would have been executed the next day if not for the angel of God and the prayers of the church.  This is another example of how angels are sent for the words of people on the earth.  If there had been no prayers or words spoken there would have been no deliverance for Peter and we would have a few less books of the Bible to read today.  Please notice that spiritual angels can affect an change physical things and outcomes.

I’ll end this lesson with another example of how angels can potentially work in the earth and you not see them or know of their involvement.  In an earlier lesson I told you that the towers in NY on 9/11 were amazingly empty compared to normal capacity.  My wife knew one man in NY that was supposed to be in the tower giving a presentation for his company.  This was a very important meeting and one that he should never have missed.  However, something transpired that day that was not expected at home and he was forced to stay home with his family that day.  Because he stayed home we can only assume that this saved his life.  The company that he worked for and the company that he was presenting to both vanished that day and do not exist anymore.  So what appeared to be important that day turns out was not very important in the grand scheme of life.  Were angels involved in this one case, again we do not know but yet something happened out of the normal course of life that caused a dramatic different result.  I personally believe it was an angel, but you can believe whatever you like.

So I am personally convinced that angels do supernatural things to help people when someone asks God to help them.  It doesn’t have to be you praying for yourself either.  It can be like Peter when it was the church that prayed for his deliverance or Abraham speaking to God for Lot’s benefit.  Ask God to get involved in the lives of your friends and relatives and see what happens.  I am a firm believer that we are not done with evil in the world.  I believe the terrorist and evil people of the world are hard at work coming up with new ways to hurt people.  By releasing the angels of God to help protect us is one of the best defenses that we can possess against this spiritual evil.   If you have personal stories of how angels helped you out of a bad situation I would be very happy to hear about them.  I’ll end this lesson here for today and pray that you have a very blessed day.

If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons on angels you can continue with “Part 8“.

The Predestination Fable vs. Freewill Theology!

(Ver 1.3)  This is now Part 3 in a series of advanced Bible studies concerning the erroneous doctrine of extreme “Predestination”.  If you have not read from the beginning I would suggest that you go and start with “Part 1“.  It seems that there is not a shortage of ignorant people in the world or on the internet.  Today I will address a very deep topic that I have addressed previously but I will do it today in a more detailed way for these people who refuse to believe the truth.  There are so many levels of deception in the world.  There are so many variations of the same lies that it is almost impossible to address them all.  I had a reader write me a new variation of an old deception about “Predestination”.  His claim was that everyone will be saved who wants to be saved, but God still predestined some people for hell because the Bible says Jesus chose Judas to betray Him.  I guess according to this man’s reasoning Judas didn’t want to be saved and this was why Jesus chose him.  I really do not know what people are thinking when they say some of the things that they do.  Hopefully by writing this I can help someone in the world not to fall into this level of deception, for you see I do not believe that you can help people who do not want to be helped.   It is very difficult and even impossible to help everyone.  If you noticed while reading your Bible even Jesus could not help everyone.  That statement might shock you, but you do realize that some of the Jews hung Him on the cross?  Did Jesus not preach and teach the same words to these people as He did everyone else?   How is it that some accepted and others rejected and the same words were spoken to each?  I guess according to this guy it was because of God’s predestined purpose that everyone did what they did.  After all God controls what every human on the planet does every minute of the day.  We are all just God’s puppets and we only do His will.  That is why there is so much good in the world and love towards each other.  Heck, I haven’t seen enough love in the church, much less in the world.  Why does the church bicker and fight within their own ranks so much?  I guess it was all just God’s will and Jesus doesn’t get His prayers answered.  Remember in John when Jesus prayed and asked His Father to “Make them one as we are one”?  Has this ever happened in the last 2000 years?  I think one of the few times that I saw it was in the Bible in Acts 2:1 when there were only 120 in the upper room and they were all in one accord.  It seems to me that once the church grew beyond the 120 it became increasingly more difficult to remain in harmony.  Why is that?

Today I’m going to speak about “Predestination” vs. “Freewill”.  What is predestination?  According to definitions that I have found it is the theology that states God has foreordained every event in the course of human history including the end result of salvation for every man, woman and child.  This was a popular teaching that originated from “Calvin” I believe and it has continued in many ignorant and deceived churches to this day.  This teaching has many problems and ignores many other Bible verses.  It promotes a theology of “Limited Justification”, where only those selected by God have been atoned for by the Blood of Jesus.  Therefore the Blood of Jesus is not all encompassing or powerful enough to save everyone.  It further promotes the theology of “Once Saved Always Saved” where a God selected Christian can do nothing to lose their salvation.  This philosophy is based upon the fact that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent and can do whatever He desires, so therefore they make the erroneous leap that God controls everything that happens to us in the world.  Just because God can they think that God does.   If it happens in the world then that is or was the plan of God in manifestation.  This teaching comes from the minds of heavily deceived individuals who do not see or understand the Bible.  Why do they not understand the Bible; primarily because they do not know the author of the Bible who is God!   To understand the Bible you must first and above all else come to know Him (the Author) and allow His Holy Spirit to guide you into all of the truth (John 16:13).  By knowing God you learn His character, His Integrity, His Nature, His Ways and His Personality.  God’s integrity and character is the highest moral standard that exists above everyone else.  For example, the Bible says it is impossible for God to lie.  You can clearly see that makes His character way beyond mine.  It is entirely possible for me to lie to you.  It is entirely possible for any human on the earth to lie to you.  In fact I do not know of another being natural or spiritual that exists that cannot lie.  The existence of Satan proves that even angels can lie.  That is why we MUST see what God says in His Word in order to find the truth.

Whether you realize it or not we have a significant problem within the Body of Christ, a major conflict, a battle of theologies between the “Predestination” Theology and the “Freewill” Theology.  Many may have never heard of either of these teachings.  Therefore they do not understand what they mean or know that there is a conflict being debated.   If you do not understand these subjects then you need to learn quickly which one is the truth and which one is a fabrication.  But, hopefully you will better understand them as I go through the rest of this lesson.  What we have on the surface is the theology that God is in control of everything that happens vs. the theology that man has a freewill to choose his own destiny.  This is the root of the battle.

So this reader of mine who ignored everything that I said in the last lesson on the subject of predestination (“Many Called and Few Chosen”), wrote me a long comment why I was so wrong giving me lots of his misunderstood Bible verses about how God prophesied every major event in the Bible before it ever happened in the world.  Therefore according to his brilliant reasoning “Prophesy” proves “predestination” or a “predestined plan” that cannot be changed.   I have written in other Bible lessons that God lives outside of the boundaries or constraints of time.  Do you believe God is limited to time?   If you think God is limited to the dimension of time where was God before the “beginning”?  Scientists clearly understand that our known universe had a beginning, a clear starting point in time called the “big bang”.  We must logically conclude that if God created time God existed before time.  Can we agree upon this factual conclusion?

crossroads2Jesus said “I am the beginning and the end” and this clearly tells us that God pre-existed in a self-existent perpetual state before and after either of these two points of reference in time.  Let’s consider the nature of prophecy.   The Bible clearly says that “I make known the end from the beginning” (Isa 46:10).  Therefore God definitely knows the end before it happens.  We are therefore at a crossroad point of decision to choose to believe one of two paths of opposing theology.   The first path is the belief that just because God knows the end and everything in between that also means God orchestrated and caused it all to happen this way.  This belief alleviates all other source or influences of freewill choices.   Or the second path that we could take is that God did not cause it all to happen this way but rather only reports to us in the Bible what will happen based upon foreknowledge.  This approach keeps the positive or negative influences of human freewill and other spiritual beings.   Just because God knows what will happen does not mean God causes it to happen that way.   Let me ask you this, do you believe that God is in control of everything that happens?   Can you show me a Bible verse that says this?  I simply do not know one and if you do then I would be happy to learn about it.  However, you cannot take a prophecy and say God caused it to happen unless you see the words “God caused Judas to betray Jesus”.  Otherwise your theology is based upon assumptions of human reasoning and that is a very dangerous place to put your confidence.  The Bible says many things that will counter this theological theory that God controls everything and we must see these clearly to understand the real truth.  I mean can you read?  Here are some Bible verses that you should pay very close attention to:

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

Jesus is teaching a parable that relates a spiritual truth about the Kingdom of God.  The first thing that you need to note is the fact that God says He has an enemy.  Not an evil puppet, an enemy.  You can find this reality multiple times in the N.T.  God says in Hebrews “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies thou footstool” (Heb 1:13).    Do you know the definition of an enemy?  According to God your enemy never does what you want them to do; if an enemy did what you desired then they would not be your enemy.  We are fighting terrorism in the U.S., because why?   Terrorists call the U.S. their enemy.  Therefore, we are forced to defend our nation and to try to defeat them because they called us the enemy of their god Allah.  Do you have a different definition for an enemy?  You should go through the Bible and see the references to what God calls an enemy.   An enemy is never one that under the control of those they are opposed to, unless they have been totally defeated.  In this parable of God’s garden or farm, God is said to have sown wheat seeds and an enemy has come along in secret and sown “tares” in God’s garden.  It doesn’t sound like God is in complete control of His own garden, does it?  You cannot read a story like this and believe in “predestination” unless you twist it to believe that God’s enemy is just a part of God’s planned design.  If you believe that, then you have to change the definition of what an enemy is.  If Satan is doing exactly what God wants him to do, then he is a friend of God and not an enemy.  You can clearly see this is true or it makes Jesus Christ out to be a liar.  You see in John 15:14 Jesus said this to His disciples “You are my friends, if you do what I command you”.   So if Satan is doing what God wants he would not be called an enemy he would have to be called a friend of God.  I mean are you blind or can you read?  Go through your Bible searching and tell me where it says that Satan is a friend of God?  Knowing this fact alone blows extreme “Predestination” out of the water.  There is no way to believe in predestination unless you change God’s definition of a friend and an enemy.  By clear definition it is impossible for God to have enemies and be in total control of everything.  You really need to study your Bible more before you make wild theological statements like God has predestined some to hell.  Let’s see another new perspective that counters the theology of extreme “Predestination”.

Gen 6:5  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

In the book of Genesis God is telling us of a time when man was morally corrupt.  It is easy for me to understand that this is why America is in the dilemma that we are in today.  Liberals want to remove God from our government and our schools and then expect things to get better.  However, the Bible proves this is not what happens in our world without God’s involvement.  Without churches, a Bible and God being intimately involved you can see what God says happened in the world.  The rise of “wickedness” and “evil” in the thoughts and minds of humanity in our country has caused a generation of people who are not better than we use to be, but much worse.  If you take God out of your schools you teach ignorance, children grow up without any moral character, standards and integrity.  Therefore, they do what they want to do to who they want to do it and whenever they think they can get away with it.  Take a look at this next verse in Genesis:

Gen 6:6  And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

Ok, I’m going to ask you again, Can You READ?  What does this verse say?  It says “God was sorry that He made man because He saw the wickedness that was running rampant in the earth.  I thought God caused all of this wickedness to occur by His designed plan?  After all how would God use Noah to save humans if God had not caused the evil in the world to be present in the first place?  So this is the reasoning of predestination theology that you have to say that God purposely caused the “Evil” so that He could implement a plan of “Salvation” for us all.  That is what extreme “Predestination” is preaching.  But, how can you cause something to happen and then regret that it happened?  Does that make any logical sense to you?  You see you cannot do this if you have any morality and integrity at all.  You do not ever go to your car in the drive way and purposely break it just so you can fix it, that would be called insanity.  You see this is a major problem for extreme “Predestination” theology.  If God wanted something different than what was happening on the earth, God would have controlled it to make it occur differently.  God would not have allowed “wickedness” if it was all up to God.  You can see that, can’t you?  These verses just don’t make any sense in the extreme “Predestination” world that God caused it to be this way so that God could regret that He created man to be evil.  Wow, this is some very powerful stuff if you can accept it as the truth!

Let me give you another verse of scripture that is directly opposed to the exreme philosophy of “Predestination”.  You see according to “Predestination” theology God has foreordained that some people would go to hell and some people would be saved.  If this is true, man would have no choice to ever make to obtain either one of these end results.  So how do you deal with a verse that says something like this?

2Pe 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

I have heard many opinions to what this verse means and most of them are wrong.  There are those who claim this verse teaches that everyone will be saved because God always gets His will done both in heaven and on the earth.  This is the theory of “Universal Salvation” and it is another lie from Satan.  Then there are others who must ignore this verse to teach “Predestination” theories.  This verse very clearly says God desires everyone to be saved.  This verse countermands the philosophy of “Selective Atonement” that other deceived Christians want to buy into.  In the “Selective Atonement” philosophy God only paid the price for the sins of those that were chosen.  The others have their sins carried with them to hell forever.  But, you can read and see that God is speaking in this verse about being patient towards us on the earth because His will is for “everyone” to be saved.  If it is therefore possible for everyone to be saved by the shed Blood of Jesus then Jesus paid the price for ALL sin with His onetime blood sacrifice.  Where many Christians get confused is in the fact that salvation is not totally up to God.   The reality is found in the Bible that God saved everyone but this does not mean that everyone is saved.  For those who want to leave salvation totally up to God is how they created the belief of extreme  “Predestination”.  For those who can see the truth, they know that man has a part to receive through faith everything that God has given to them by His grace.  Can you help explain to me what God needs to have patience if He is controlling what is happening in the world?  It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

1Co 15:22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Here is another popular verse that “Universal Salvation” teachers try to exalt to the total truth.  Since everyone was condemned to die by Adam, we can now clearly see that by Christ everyone will live again.  But, the problem with that is this is not what it says.  This verse says only those “IN CHRIST” will be made alive and that is totally different.  If you do not understand what it means to be “IN CHRIST” you should go and read my lessons on “Understanding Seeds”.  What we have seen in these two last verses that I gave you is that the Bible says it is possible for everyone to be saved, but that it is not an automatic occurrence just because this is the will of God.  So we are uniquely challenged by God to take every verse we can find in the Bible on a given subject and then to balance the information given to us in order to come up with the correct interpretations.  One of the keys to doing this is by allowing God and His Word to interpret itself.  This means getting God’s definitions for every word.  This means reading God’s commentaries on the given subjects that we are learning.  There are many factors to understanding the Bible and one of the greatest errors that men make is to take a single verse or two and try to make a single truth found in the Bible the complete truth and this is a major mistake.

Let’s go into another Bible verse that is often overlooked by “Predestination” teachers.  In the Gospels the disciples of Jesus come to Him and ask “Lord teach us to pray as John taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1).  If extreme predestination was really true, then Jesus’ response should have been “You don’t need to pray and ask God for anything because God’s will is always done”.   However, this was not Jesus’ response was it?  This was Jesus’ response to His disciples:

Luk 11:2  And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

Obviously Jesus thought praying to God was important enough to teach His disciples how to do it.  This fact alone discredits “predestination” completely.  Why do you pray to God?  Do you pray to find out the will of God for your life and that is all?  If you pray and have to ask for the will of God to be made known to you so you can do it then you are obviously not doing the will of God already.  Do you understand that logic?  In this verse Jesus is teaching His disciples to “pray” that the kingdom of God should come.  Wow, that was a very heavy duty statement for God to make.  If God’s will is always done on the earth then there is absolutely no need to pray for the Kingdom of God to come.  Jesus then continues to pray that the “will” of God be done on the earth like it is performed already in heaven.  Right there we have another MAJOR conflict to the extreme “Predestination” theology.  Jesus who is God in the flesh is speaking to us and teaches us to pray and ask Him for God’s will to be done on the earth.  This clearly means the will of God is NOT currently done on the earth if we have to pray for it to be done.  Jesus says very clearly that in heaven the will of God is done, but on the earth we have a different situation occurring.  Do you understand this?  Is God stupid?  Did God lie?  Many must think that God is either confused or that He just wants people to believe that they are praying for something that is already going to be done on the earth to make them feel important.  I tell you the deception occurring in the people who do not know how to read, seeing what it says and to those that try to explain verses like this away to hold on to their fantasy reality is just so incredible to me.

Let’s talk about foreknowledge next.  Since God obviously did have a laid out plan for man, does that mean God must control everything to make it happen?  Extreme predestination means that God is in control of everything that happens in the world and nothing happened unless it was part of God’s plan.  This means Adolf Hitler was God’s plan.  This means the terrorist who flew into the World Trade Center was part of God’s plan.  This means the death of little children in the world was a part of God’s plan.  The level of deception and ignorance to believe in something like that borders on insanity, if it does not cross well over that boundary line.  If you believe that God is killing people in the world as a part of His divine plan for man you are a fool.  You first off do not know the definition of what “LOVE” is.  God who is LOVE (1 Jn 4:8) must demonstrate this highest level of LOVE as an example to us or we are following the wrong God.  If God does not abide in LOVE then we are all in major trouble!   If people want to redefine LOVE as it if it is permissible to kill people in mass, then we should all be taking up guns and doing exactly like God does.   However the Bible says “Thou Shalt NOT Kill” (Exo 20:13).  This Hebrew word translated as “kill” means to commit murder.  So according to many ignorant theologians God is in clear violation of His own governing laws that He gave to man to follow.  When Jesus Christ was born a man through a virgin named Mary (Gal 4:4), God placed Himself under the very laws that Theologians claim is Ok for God to violate.  Completely foolish people think that God is some how separate from His Word.  In other words God can say one thing and do something that is completely opposite to what He said and it is OK because God did it.  Can you tell how much I dislike ignorance and stupidity?

I do not think I ever got to talk about the “foreknowledge” subject in the last paragraph.  “Foreknowledge” is the specific knowledge of an event, planned outcome, or schedule before it happens.  However, this is very different than man’s definition of “foreknowledge” and let me tell you why. Humans even have a variation of foreknowledge in limited degrees based upon planning.  You see you might know that there is supposed to be a party tomorrow at 2:00 PM in the meeting room where you work.  You know this because someone planned it and invited you to it.  We can clearly see that just because this event is scheduled and planned that it does not necessarily have to occur, because in this world unexpected STUFF still Happens!  The day the terrorists flew into the World Trade Center probably caused many parties to be canceled un-expectantly.  We need to take this example and apply it to God, if we can.  Extreme “Predestination Theology” wants us to believe that everything that occurs in the world is because it was “God’s Planned Event”.  Then they have to further say that God does not allow anything else to interrupt His plans since He is in ultimate control of everything.  Wow, these are really deep thoughts!   What confuses many Christians is trying to determine the difference between foreknowledge and predestination.  Just because God knows what will happen, when it will happen, to who it will happen and where it will happen does not mean that God caused it to happen or that someone cannot do something to change it from happening?   What does the Bible teach about this?

You might recall that in the O.T. the prophet comes to the King and says get your house in order for God says that you shall surely die (2 Kings 20).  Who said this and is it set in concrete?  If understand the Bible you know the prophet was just a messenger for God and that God said it therefore God knew what was going to happen before it happened..  Is the king being told the set firm willed plan of God?  Or is the King being told one possible outcome?  Isaiah leaves the King and the King gets in prayer with God.  God then sends Isaiah back and tells the King God has heard your prayer and you shall live another 15 years.   So here is where people come up with more stupid interpretations.  I have heard ignorant people claim that God has a secret will and God has a revealed will.  So God’s secret will was for the King to live another 15 years because this is what happened.  But, this is more crazy human reasoning trying to makeup explanations for spiritual things that they do not understand.  I tell you stories like this just baffle me to how people can believe in the concepts of extreme “predestination”.  Either God changed the predestination of the King or the King did something to change his outcome in life or God just lied.  God said you are going to die and the King lived another 15 years after he prayed.  So what is it?

Let’s continue to look at what else God says in His word and see if we can determine the truth.  By the way “Freewill” theology is one that teaches that man has a freewill choice in their destiny of going to heaven or to hell.  “Predestination” means God has already determined who goes to heaven and who goes to hell and therefore man has no clear choices to make.  If “Predestination” was true why get up in the morning and do anything that day?  Why preach the gospel to anyone?  Why even eat food and live?  What are we doing here?  Let’s go back to the beginning in Genesis 2 and 3.  In these two chapters God reveals the fall of man.  The Bible says God has created a Garden called Eden and has placed His created man in this location.  God tells the man that it is OK to eat from every tree.  But, then God says “Don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day that you do, you shall surely die”.   Right there is a major problem for predestination theorists.  Why would God tell the man anything if man was already going to eat from the tree and fulfill the real plan of God?  You see according to “Predestination” the man Adam has no choice in what he does, so obviously when Adam fell it was God’s plan all along.  So the warning of God to Adam makes no logical sense and is incompatible with the doctrine of “predestination”.  Why warn someone they are going to die if they eat this fruit, if this is what God wanted them to do anyway.  So that is the basis of the major downfall in the theology of “Predestination”.  Why does God write us this book called the Bible to every human that is full of warnings?  If man has no choice in fulfilling their destiny, this makes no logical or theological sense?  The existence for the entire book of the Bible makes no sense in the theology of “Predestination”.    God does not have to speak to people who are already programmed to do what they were created to do?  You see in order to believe in true absolute “Predestination” you have to believe in a “preprogrammed” humanity.  If man has no choices to make then whatever they do in life is what they were designed by God to do, good, or bad or in different.   This is just a real philosophy that is not found in the Bible:

Deu 30:19  I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Bible verses like this one have to be totally ignored by “Predestination” deceivers.  God who writes this verse for us, says “I have set before two choices, one is Life and the other is Death, therefore choose life so that you can live”.  Why would God give a choice to a man who had no choices to make in their eternal destiny or earthly existence?   That is clearly very STUPID to think that man does not have a choice to make!

Pro 1:29  For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:

Here we have another example of how ignorant people fail in our world and teach errors like “Predestination”.  Because they “hated” knowledge and ignored the truth they have not chosen the fear of the Lord.   Does God say we have a choice to make?  Does God say we can choose to be ignorant?  Does God put the ball in our court as being our decision to make?   It sure looks like that to me.

Isa 56:4  For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;

Does God again say that these men had a choice in what they could do?  Doesn’t it say that they could have done like others and not pleased God?  “Predestination” says man has no choice to make.  They are pre-designed to please God or to be thrown in hell.  If this is the case why does God not believe this?  Didn’t God know He just lied to us in the Bible?  What is God stupid or are people stupid?

Php 1:22  But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.

I have blogged on this verse before.  In this chapter Paul is in a quandary trying to decide to stay on the earth and continue his ministry to the people or to leave the earth and go and be with Christ which he called “FAR BETTER” for him.  Paul says very clearly that this is his choice to make and that he does not know yet which way he will decide to go.  Wow, there are hundreds of verses found in the Bible like this one that throws “Predestination” into a downward spiraling airplane that will soon crash and burn.  If man has no choices then why does God say that we do in the Bible?  No, you see the problem is that people want to take part of the truth of the Bible and exalt it to be the complete truth and this is just a huge mistake.  Yes, God has a plan for man!  Yes, God know the destiny of every man!  No, God did not intend you to go to hell if that is where you end up.  In my first blog on this subject I clearly showed you that God had written everyone’s name in the Lambs Book of Life and that the Bible says that God was forced to blot out those who would not receive His free gift of salvation.  So if God had predestined you to hell already from the beginning, why would your name be recorded in the “Lamb’s Book of Life” and then be blotted out?  Do you understand the problem in that question?  Doesn’t God already know who makes it and who doesn’t?  After all if God “Predestined” you for salvation then He would just have a book of names that He predestined to be saved and would not have to blot out anyone else’s name who was not predestined.  Predestination and foreknowledge are very similar but yet totally different concepts.  If I know that you are coming to my house tomorrow, that is different than me making you come to my house tomorrow without inviting you to come.  So God can very easily get accused of doing things that He is not guilty of doing.  Just because idiots want to teach “Predestination” does not mean it is the truth.

Then there is the difficulty of the fact of “prophecy” found in the Bible.  Clearly, God has prophesied many things in the Bible that will happen even in future events to come.    I can understand if God prophecies something that He is responsible for fulfilling.  This only makes sense to me.  God says I will do this and that in this time frame and then it happens.  But, when God prophesied things concerning other people, places and things it makes you think that God is controlling these people, places and things to cause them to also occur.  However, we have the factor of “foreknowledge” that is not being taken into account correctly.  Because God knows how you will react to something, can mean that He can use this knowledge for something that He needs accomplished in the earth.  You see a reader pointed out to me that Judas was “predestined” to betray Jesus and to die.  In the “predestination” mentality they believe that God created Judas so that he could betray Jesus.  Did you know you can’t find that statement in the Bible?  If God does this then He is the master designer of a Heavenly Matrix system that puts every man into the specific role they are destined for.   The necessary level of control is beyond our imagination for this to occur;  God would have to use the power of suggestion, mind control and even mental and physical manipulation would not be off the table for predestination to occur.  Is God capable of this, yes I believe that He is?  However, is this the God that you know?  It is not the God that I know and it is certainly not the God found in the Bible.

So we have covered a lot of different angles found in the Bible that to me clearly dispute the philosophy of predestination.  I have given many verses that states man was given choices to make in life.  You must therefore decide which way you want to believe.  You cannot believe both ways like some would think.  You must either choose to believe in the fantasy of predestination and ignore all of the verses that I gave you today or open your eyes to what I have tried to clearly teach from the Bible.

If you want to continue to read the follow-up to this lesson series on Predestination you can go to “Understanding Sheep“.

You can also go and read “Part 4” of the lesson series to study this subject further.

 

Understanding Spiritual Warfare! The Battle within and the Battle without!

(Ver 1.3)  This is “Part 1” in a series of lessons on the subject of “Spiritual Warfare”.  This is a new subject for me and a lesson designed for the benefit of those who have been attacked by Satan and do not understand why it has occurred or what to do about it to keep it from happeing again.   Many new Christians are immediately attacked and persecuted because Satan wants to stop God’s Word from developing in their spirits and becoming mature and fruitful.  New Christians are the most vulnerable and usually do not know what to do about this and do not generally understand why God even allows this to even happen to them.  There are many complex factors involved in understanding this problem and I will attempt to at least give you an overview of what is happening in the spiritual realm and why it can occur and what you can do to overcome it.

Within any battle that we face it is always best to first recognize that we are in a battle.  Not knowing that we are in spiritual battle is the number one reason why Christians do not fight the enemy.  This is the basic fact that allows us to prepare and face this enemy that we cannot see with our physical eyes.  Since we are born physical beings on this planet and we grow up dominated by our flesh realm senses we are forced to learn about the reality of spiritual things in order to become effective in this hidden unseen realm.  Too often we find that our senses rule our world and guide our lives.  If something hurts you physically you learn not to do that anymore.  If something feels good or tastes good you learn to do that again.  However there is an unseen part of you that is the real you and this being is your spirit inside your physical body.   If you are a Christian this is where God resides also.  The spirit world is more real than the natural world the Bible says.   God tells us that the natural world is “temporary” and the things that are unseen in spiritual world are those that will be eternal (2 Cor 4:18).   One of the first things that you need to understand is that we are in a spiritual battle and not a physical battle.  People many times want to protest abortion clinics or homosexual events and act like this is doing some good.  These people who are doing these ungodly things are just deceived individuals who are being guided by spiritual forces that are behind them.   Therefore, your picket signs and protests are not doing anything to solve the real spiritual problem.  It is like a doctor who is treating the symptoms and ignoring the cause of the disease.  Your focus is on the wrong things.

2Co 10:3  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

You can clearly see that God tells us that we are in a war.  However God does not tell us that it is a physical war with guns and swords.  We as Christians should be fighting this war differently than people in the world fight wars.  This is the greatest deception that Satan has over many Christians, they are focused on external things and ignoring internal things.  God tells us in this verse that “terrorism” is not our war as Christians.  The United States has been in a war against terrorism for almost 10 years now.  We will never win that war with guns.  If you go and kill a few terrorist, there are soon 10 more to take their place.  This is because of the spiritual forces that are backing them.

2Co 10:4  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;

God tells us that we have spiritual weapons of war at our disposal.  However, God tells us that these weapons are clearly NOT physical weapons like guns.  Your gun will not do you any good against a spiritual enemy that you cannot see.  Satan has too many ways of fighting you supernaturally and no physical weapon will do you any good against these spiritual war techniques used by Satan.   I recently heard about a man in the U.S. that was obtaining natural guns and weapons to help Jesus fight the devil when Jesus returns.  This man’s ignorance of spiritual things will only make Christians appear as extremist fools to the world.  Let me give you a scripture that informs us when this spiritual battle that I have been talking about begins.

Heb 10:32  But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;

God tells us a key battle technique of Satan.  Satan attacks you when you are the weakest and most vulnerable.  Sometimes it appears to you to be seemingly overwhelming opposition and this is by design.  Since new Christians do not understand why they are being attacked many times they give up and turn back to their old life styles and ways of thinking and then Satan has won.  This verse in Hebrews tells us that a new Christian when first given “illumination” is attacked the hardest.  This is when they are the weakest, simply because they do not know how to fight this enemy.  Jesus tells us in Mark 4 that Satan comes immediately to steal the word of God from the hearts of people who have just heard the good news (gospel) of Jesus.  By attacking them early and often with overwhelming force they are many times easily overcome.  Mature Christians should be smart enough to know this and help new Christians overcome these attacks, but many Christians are too self-centered to see what is going on beyond their four walls.  Ignorance is a Christian’s greatest weakness.  Keep Christians ignorant and they will be no threat to Satan.  Let’s research the spiritual weapons at our disposal in this battle that I mentioned earlier.  I’ll begin with a verse Romans 13:

Rom 13:12  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

One of the other most important things to know is that there are two kingdoms of operation in our world today.  This is the root of all spiritual battles that we face.  There is the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light.  These are the kingdoms of Satan and God respectively.   As you can see God tells us in Romans 13:12 to put on the armor of light.  Light is of the Day and darkness is of the night.  I wrote a series of lessons on the subject of “Understanding Night and Day” and if you do not understand these spiritual kingdom concepts you should go and read them quickly.  The weapons of Light are the spiritual weapons of our warfare being spoken of in this passage.   It is important to realize that Christians are no longer within Satan’s kingdom of darkness, but yet we still war against this spiritual kingdom daily.  When this transfer of spiritual kingdoms occurred was when you believed in Jesus Christ and confessed Him as your Lord as it stated in Romans 10:9-10.  Because of the transfer of kingdoms we have a new ruler and Satan no longer rules our life unless we permit him or allow him to do so either intentionally or unintentionally.   Being in the Kingdom of Light gives you new power over the kingdom of darkness.   Light always conquers darkness in the natural realm but you need to learn how this works in the spiritual realm.  We fight this kingdom of darkness in the spiritual realm by taking up God’s spiritual weapons of light which we will now get into in more depth:

Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

God again commands us (Christians) to put on His armor so that we can fight and win this spiritual battle that we are clearly in ALL together.  I want you to go and read 1 John 1:5.   This verse declares that God is Light and in Him is no darkness.  Therefore when we put on God’s armor we are putting on the armor of Light.  Do you understand this?    Satan is the devil and the lord of the darkness that we are arrayed against and it is clearly not the people of this world that we fight against.  However Satan does use people to get to us and we may talk about that in more depth in the future.  This verse in Ephesians teaches s me why killing terrorist is not the complete answer to our evil problem in this world.  You see God wiped out everyone in the world 4500 years ago in the flood of Noah except for 8 righteous people and because we still have Satan in the world, evil and wickedness is almost as great as it was in the days of Noah.  However, do not make me out as a pacifist either.  I believe that we must defend our country with guns and weapons at the same time that we use these spiritual weapons of God to attack the root causes of the problem.  If you want to be a pacifist you will soon discover that evil doers will not be afraid of coming to your city to do you harm.

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.

Again God tells us very clearly that people are not the root cause of the evil problems that we face on the earth.  God again tells us that the rulers of the darkness of this world are those that we are at spiritual war with.  These are clearly spiritual enemies and not physical ones that we can perceive with our 5 senses.   If you notice this verse  says that we fight against the rulers of the darkness of this world.  Those are simply Satan, his demons and the fallen angels that rule kingdom of darkness.   I would also like you to notice the Greek word “powers”.  This Greek word is G1849 and it literally means superhuman force or power.  This is obviously not any natural or physical strength or power and must be considered to be a spiritual power of great ability.  Not knowing that your spiritual enemy has any spiritual power is probably a good reason why Christian people are not fighting against him.  If we keep reading in this chapter we find out what these spiritual weapons of light consist of that we are to put on to use against our spiritual enemy Satan:

Eph 6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness

The first weapon is the weapon of truth.  This means you are at least required to learn the truth.  Only by you knowing the truth, will you not be easily deceived.  To know the truth is more involved than you just reading your Bible.  It requires you studying the Bible and you digging into the deep things of God’s Word.  You can very easily know some basic truths and not understand the more advanced things that will get you out of the jams that you are in right now.  Learning always starts with reading, but study is necessary to gain understanding.  Only by you gaining understanding can Satan never steal the truth that is in you.  The next weapon on the list is called the “breastplate of Righteousness”.   This first involves you knowing who you are in Christ.  You need to go through your Bible and read the New Testament letters written to the church and see what you have and what you are in Christ.  Christ is your Righteousness!   It is only by His Righteousness that we have any righteousness.   Go through the letters written to the church and learn and memorize the words that say “In Christ”, “In Whom” and similar words of association.  This will help to identify your position and the free gifts of association being given to you as an heir of salvation.

Eph 6:15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Every weapon of our warfare if you haven’t noticed goes back to the Word of God in some form or fashion.  God’s Words are always at the root of everything that we do, say and live.   I think I said this already, but the spiritual battle is over the Word of God being resident in you.  Look at this verse speaking of your feet.  God says put the “Gospel of Peace” on your feet.  The Bible tells me that God waits for His enemies to be made His footstool (Heb 1:13Heb 10:13).  Where are God’s feet in the earth today?  These feet are in the Body of Christ who is the church and the spirit of God is within us.   So if God is going to “bruise the head of the serpent Satan” with someone’s feet today, how is God going to do that?

Rom 16:20  And the God of Peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

This verse written to the Church informs us that it is our feet that God will use to bruise Satan’s head before Jesus returns for us.  This implies we are to go out from this world as victorious.  How is the God of Peace going to do this?  Only by us putting the Gospel of Peace upon our feet will He do this.  You can see that we are back to the Word of God again.  The Gospel of Peace is certainly the Word of God being preached to the world.  The message of salvation, the message of deliverance, the message of emotional and physical healing and the message of safety.  These are key definitions of the Greek word “Sozo” (G2982) that is translated as “make whole”, “save”, “deliver” and “heal”.

Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

The next weapon in the Armor of Light is the shield of Faith.  This is supposedly the most important weapon to defend off the satanic attacks.  Faith is probably one of the top three subjects to study in the Bible in my opinion.  But, what is Faith?  Faith is based upon believing the Word of God.  So we are again back to reading and studying the Bible.  The Bible tells us that “Faith” comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God” (Rom 10:17).  When the devil attacks you God says you should be firmly grounded in the Word of God for all of your defensive armor of God.  We can now look at the final two items found in the Armor of Light and one of these is the only offensive weapons we possess if you exclude the Gospel of Peace on our feet.

Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

To take the helmet of Salvation means to “receive” salvation which was freely given to us.  I’ve aready told you the definition of “salvation” from the Greek.  Again we are back to the basics of the Word of God.  You heard the Gospel which was the Word of God preached for Salvation and you accepted it and believed the truth and now you are saved.  Finally, the last weapon is called the Sword of the Spirit and this is plainly called the “Word of God”.  You have to study the Bible to figure out what this means.  Jesus said the “Words that I speak they are Spirit and they are Life” (John 6:63).  So the words that Jesus spoke were the Sword of the Spirit from his mouth.   In Revelation 1:16, 2:16, 19:15 and 19:21 Jesus is described as having a sword coming from His mouth that He uses to eliminate those that oppose Him in the end of the world.  We can clearly understand that this symbolic sword represents the Words of God being spoken.  To take the Sword of the Spirit in our armor means to speak what God has written in His book called the Bible.  When you speak the Word of God your words carry the same power as if God spoke them.  For example, if someone is coming against you in an attack, you could say “No weapon formed against me will prosper” (Isa 54:17).  This is putting the Word of God in your mouth to counter what Satan is trying to do against you.  You do not go up and say this to a human being, remember they are not your problem.  You say this in the privacy of your home to Satan who is the root cause of the attack.  Do you understand this?

Eph 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

The very next verse in this context is also a key part to the successful spiritual fight that you are in.  When immersing yourself in the Word of God you also pray the Word to get God’s wisdom and assistance on the matter you are facing.  This next verse in Ephesians says “Praying Always”.  That means never ceasing to pray.  Pray when you study the Bible, and pray when you are not studying the Bible.  There should not be a time during the day when you are not open to pray to God or open to hear from God.  I have been doing a series of lesson on Angels and today I stopped that to answer a reader who was being attacked by Satan.  But, there are multiple times in the Bible, where God sent angels only after people prayed.  This means that if they had not prayed, there would have been no angels sent.  I believe prayer is an essential part of your continuing relationship with God.  This verse also places special emphasis on a particular type of prayer that is called “Praying in the Spirit”.  This of course is not a popular subject in some churches in America and they have no clue what this even means.  Some think it is just an extra praying with added emphasis, ability or time.   However, this is not what it means.  Praying in the Spirit is praying in tongues and if you have never done this you are missing out on one of the most powerful ways that God has to communicate through you the perfect will of God.  You see God is smarter than you are and since you do not know everything and do not know how to pray perfectly in every situation that you face, God gives us a method that will never fail.  You of course have the choice to not believe me and do it your way and remain at the level that you are at right now.  However, if you want more of God and to know Him better, then ask Him to fill you with His Spirit and see if it does not radically change your life, like it did mine.

I guess that is enough for one day on how to counter the attacks of Satan.  I know I did not cover everything in complete detail and I did not include everything that you should learn.  However, I try to do the best that I can in the limited time and length format that I have.   Please allow me to quickly recap the spiritual weapons of your warfare:

  1. The Belt of Truth (The Word of God is truth John 17:17)
  2. The Breastplate of Righteousness (Jesus the Word of God is our Righteousness)
  3. Gospel of Peace upon our feet (the Word of God given for our salvation)
  4. The Shield of Faith (Rom 10:17 Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, there get faith in God’s to build your shield).
  5. Helmet of Salvation (By grace ye are saved through faith Eph 2:8 again pointing us back to hearing God’s Word).
  6. Sword of the Spirit (plainly defined to be the Word of God).
  7. Praying in the Spirit. 

Understanding that you are in a spiritual war is the first place that you need to arrive at.  Understanding who your enemy is, is the next place to step up to.  The next thing is for you to take up the armor of God that you has been given to you and make good use of it.  The next thing that you should clearly understand is that the Battle is all about the Word of God.  Satan is attacking you to take the Word of God from you.  If he allows the Word of God to get in you, then you are an extremely dangerous person that can use this Word to come against him.  Therefore, spiritual warfare is fought with spiritual weapons against a spiritual enemy.   Finally praying is another key element to the spiritual fight that will allow you to be successful in life.  I hope and pray that I have given someone out there some level of help in what they are facing in life today.  It would be the greatest testimony of all if I can do that alone.  God Bless!

Myths about Jesus in the Gospels! PT 2 An Omnipotent Jesus vs. an Anointed Jesus?

(Ver 1.2)  This is Part 2 in the series of advanced Bible Study lessons discovering the real Jesus of the Bible.  These studies also spend time countering the myths of the false Jesus taught in many churches today.  If you have not read the first lesson in the series I might suggest that you go and start with reading “Part 1“.  There are a number of things taught about Jesus from the Bible that are clearly fabricated by Satan to discredit the real Jesus found in the Bible.  In my last lesson on the real Jesus, I discussed a poor Jesus vs. a Jesus with money.  I know I did not fully cover the subject, but I gave you some key scriptures that are very important to note when discussing the subject.  I believe that Satan wants to portray the Jesus of the Bible as a homeless man who owned nothing and then he tries to use this image to imply that the followers of Jesus are never supposed to rise higher than their master the teacher.  So if Jesus owned nothing Christians are supposed to own nothing and I do not follow that religious philosophy simply because that is not the Jesus of the Bible.   I believe there are many scriptures in the Gospels that dispel the fact that Jesus owned nothing and I gave you many of these for your consideration.  Please do not accept anything that I teach without you seeing it in the Bible.  Verify everything that I say using your own Bible to confirm it.  This is the only way that you are insured that someone is not deceiving you.

Today I want to attack another myth taught in many churches using the truth in the Bible.  These churches teach that Jesus came to the earth as God in His full omnipotent Godhead power and they claim that He proved it by demonstrating to us countless miracles and supernatural signs like speaking to the wind and waves and walking on water to name a couple of prominent examples.  I am going to start this discussion with a scripture that you probably do not associate as being important to this subject of Jesus’ omnipotence found in the book of Acts:

Act 10:38  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

So I will not debate that Jesus was God in the flesh, if you do not know this already you should go read and study your Bible to find this for yourself.  I have written about it in other Bible lessons, if you want to go read them.  This verse in Acts is very clear, yet totally ignored by those who profess an Omnipotent Jesus theology.  Omnipotent means “all powerful” capable of doing anything in His full Godhead strength.  Was this the Jesus of the Bible when he was born in a manger and grew to be a man?  If it was why did God have to anoint Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and Power?  This verse implies that if God had not anointed Jesus, he would not have been able to heal anyone.  It clearly says that it is the spiritual anointing power that healed the people and not the man Jesus of Nazareth.  If Jesus is God in the full manifestation of omnipotence there is no need for any anointing, is there?  If you do not see this, you do not know how to read.  It just isn’t that difficult to see.

Do you know what “Christ” means?  Jesus is called the “Christ” in the Bible.  This is the Greek word for a Hebrew word translated as “Messiah” in the Old Testament.  Do you know what “Christ” means?  What is the definition of the word “Christ”.  This word “Christ” means “anointed”, to rub or smear with oil.  When David was anointed to be King by Samuel he poured oil over David’s head (1 Sam 16:13).  This was an outward symbolic representation for an internal spiritual process that was taking place.  This is also what happened to Jesus.  Do you remember when Jesus was baptized in the river Jordan by John the Baptist and the Holy Spirit in the form of Dove descended from heaven? (Mat 3:16)  This was God anointing Jesus of Nazareth the man with the Spirit of God and Power that we just read about in Acts 10.  So why was it necessary for God to descend from Heaven if the Spirit of God was already in the body of Jesus in full omnipotent power?  I hope you are seeing the problem with the erroneous teaching of many ignorant people in the church.  Let’s verify this belief based upon the words of Jesus himself:

Luk 4:18  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

Here we have Jesus speaking to the people in the temple.  Jesus opens the scroll and finds the place it is written about Him in Isaiah 61:1 and He begins to read.  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me”.  In this verse Jesus is claiming using prophecy what we just observed in the Baptism of John.  This claim was given that the Holy Spirit had descended upon him from the heavens in the form of a dove to rest.  Jesus is very clearly stating that God has anointed him to do certain things and He begins to list these things that He is anointed by God to do.  So if Jesus could do everything using full omnipotent deity power, Jesus must have lied and He did not need to read a verse about being anointed, does He?   I thought God could do anything, especially an omnipotent God in full Godhead power.  I hope you are beginning to see the falsity of what many try to teach you on the internet and in some churches.  It is absolutely critical to see and understand the real Jesus so that you can understand the real you.  God used this anointing power throughout the Old and New Testaments to give His power to men.  God still anoints people to do things today in the world.  But, my lesson is not about God’s anointing on us, it is about why it was necessary for God to anoint Jesus so let’s continue.

There are many things in the Bible that are difficult to explain with a single lesson because there are more than one inter-related subjects to also discuss or we do not understand what is being taught.  In the Gospels we find that Jesus went around and healed many people but, what was the “determining factor” for why some got healed and some did not.  First let me ask you did you know that Jesus did not heal everyone that was sick?  I will prove this to you as I go.  Was it God’s choice on who to heal and who to leave sick, lame and crippled or was there other factors involved that we do not yet understand?  The Bible says very clearly that God does not show “favoritism”.

Lev 19:15  Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

Act 10:34  Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

Jas 2:9  But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

Does God ask people to do things that God does not do Himself?  I don’t think so, if it is a sin to respect one person over and above another, then God commits sin if he heals one person and does not heal another.  So we clearly have a problem, when reading the Gospels, since Jesus did not heal everyone.  So there must be another factor that can explain this situation and not leave us confused.  Do you recall when Jesus was walking in Mark 5 with one of the rulers of the synagogue named Jairus?   Jesus was on the way to his house to heal his daughter and there was a very large crowd of people following Jesus and touching Him.  In this chapter is an incredible story within a story.  Why is everyone touching Jesus on every side?  Was Jesus just a man with rock star status to them or were they all after the healing Power that Jesus told everyone that He was anointed with?  You are going to have to make up your own mind why people are touching Jesus, because the Bible does not directly tell us.  However, while everyone is touching Him and He is walking to the house of the sick girl, a woman with an issue of blood comes up and forces her way through the crowd and touches the hem of His garment.  Jesus stops and turns and asks a very funny question for an omnipotent and omniscient God to ask, “Who touched me?”.  Was this a blunder by Jesus or did He not know who it was that touched Him after all the disciples said “Master the crowd is touching you on every side”.   In other words the disciples see people touching Jesus everywhere, but they did not understand what just happened and only Jesus and this one woman knew what just transpired.  However it is clear that Jesus felt the power leave but did not know where the power went based upon the question.

So I am going to make a longer story a shorter story for the sake of time.  The woman with the issue of blood feels the power of God go into her and heal her and Jesus feels the power of God go from Him and heal her, and yet Jesus does not know who it is that got healed.  Why is this?  It only make sense if you understand the Bible correctly, otherwise it is just a point of confusion.  Jesus we have seen was anointed by God with the Holy Ghost and Power (Acts 10:38).  Jesus told us that the Holy Ghost had anointed Him in Luke 4:18.  We also saw the Holy Ghost descend upon Jesus like a dove in Matthew 3:16.  So we have 3 witnesses that say that Jesus was anointed with the Spirit of God.  So Jesus had the power of God clearly upon Him with the anointing.  But what was it that caused one woman in the crowd of hundreds to receive this power while the others did not?  That is a very important question to understand the answer to.  Fortunately Jesus gives us the answer:

Mar 5:34  And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

Jesus gives us the answer to the million dollar question of why this woman received her healing and the hundreds of others who touched Him did not.  Jesus said that the determining factor was her “faith”.  So now we have a new problem what is “faith” and why did she have it and the others did not.  Since that is not my primary subject, I’m not going to get into that fully in this lesson today.  What I want you to see is that yes Jesus had Anointed Power, but that this power was only accessed by one woman with her individual “faith”.  So apparently it was not all up to sovereign God in what happens in the world, is it?

My primary subject today is the myths concerning Jesus’ deity power, so I’m going to continue with teaching on this line of thought and leave “faith” to another day.  I told you earlier that Jesus did not heal everyone and we clearly saw an example of this with the crowds touching Him in Mark 5 with only one woman getting healed.  So now I’m going to show you a much stronger witness to the fact that Jesus was not God in His omnipotent power on the earth.  If you continue reading in the book of Mark you will find starting in chapter 6 verse 1 that Jesus is said to come into his own country.  This is the home of Jesus, the place where He lives in a house like I showed you in the last lesson in this series.  He enters into the synagogue and begins to teach the people and the people automatically begin to question, him saying where did He get this wisdom?   You see all of these people saw Jesus grow up and watched Him from a time of a child and knew Him and his family intimately.  Why is Jesus teaching the people?  I think people who do not understand “faith” don’t understand that before healing comes, teaching comes first.  Jesus would always teach the people from the Bible, that God has anointed Him to heal and if they believed it, they could be healed and if they did not believe it they could remain as they were.

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

Jesus is the prophet in this verse that is without honor in his home city.  The people were too intimately familiar with Jesus and His natural life to allow the new “anointing” to work.  These people let the old natural Jesus influence who He was to them today.  Little did they know that this was the Messiah spoken of in their Bible.  These people let their ignorance rob them of the blessings of God.  They did not know He was born in Bethlehem and they did not know His father was God.  They just assumed they knew him and they made the wrong conclusions.  This is one of the greatest danger that many people face today.  I see this attitude in and out of church.

Mar 6:5  And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.

The Bible does not say that Jesus would not do any mighty works there; it literally says it was impossible for Jesus to do any mighty supernatural healings in this setting.  In other words, no blind people came again seeing, no crippled people walked again, no deaf people could hear, nothing occurred but Jesus laying His hands on a few minor sick people to be healed.  So obviously the Omnipotent Jesus was on vacation during this chapter of the Gospels or people just ignore the real Jesus to make up their fictitious version of Him.  You can clearly see that Jesus was not omnipotent in this verse or He would have been able to heal everyone regardless of what they believed.

Mar 6:6  And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.

When Jesus saw their unbelief He was amazed.  So what is the opposite of “faith” that got the woman healed in the chapter before this one?  You can see that the woman with the issue of blood believed what she heard and these people in the Jesus home town did not believe.  That is probably the most important thing that I will teach today, but that is not my primary subject, so I will continue.

What I have demonstrated to you is a version of Jesus that the Bible depicts as being the real “Emanuel” God with Us!  This was a man who was God, but clearly was not God in His full Godhead power.   Do you understand that it would be impossible to kill the man Jesus if He was here in His full Godhead power?    If Jesus was the omnipotent God in person on this planet no would have been able to crucify Him and no one would be saved today.  It is very clear to me that God stripped Himself of His divine powers when He choose to manifest on the earth as a human being like you and I.  I am going to end this lesson on this note about the resurrection of Jesus.  Did you know that after Jesus was raised from the dead He never did any more supernatural signs or wonders here on the earth?  Jesus walked the planet after being raised from the dead for nearly 40 days and never did one single supernatural act to prove His divine nature.   I mean why didn’t Jesus appear to everyone that just crucified Him and say look I told you so?  You see after Jesus was raised from the dead He was again the omnipotent God.  But then He told His disciples “that all power in both heaven and in the earth had been given to him”(Mat 28:18).  So why is it that people teach that Jesus already had all power before He was crucified if Jesus said it was given to Him after being raised from the dead?  Can’t you read and see that Jesus said this power wasn’t fully given to Him until after He was raised from the dead?  You cannot have it both ways!  Jesus had to be a man with human limitations before the crucifixion and then the power was returned back to Him after His resurrection or you just have to ignore more parts of the Bible that do not agree with your ridiculous fantasy.  If Jesus had all power before His crucifixion then there is nothing to give to Him after His resurrection and Jesus is a liar.   Wow, I don’t know if you really understand the things I teach or not, but it would be great if you did!  God Bless!

If you would like to continue reading in this series of lessons about the Myths of Jesus in the church you may proceed to “Part 3“.

Understanding Seeds in the Bible! How are Spiritual Babies Conceived? Part 9

(Ver 1.4)  I have been doing a series of Bible lessons on the significance of understanding how Seeds work.  Only by understanding how natural seeds work, can we really ever focus on how spiritual things operate.  God gave us the natural things in our world to teach us about the unseen spiritual things using the wisdom of His intelligent design.  Using many Bible verses and the Seed laws from Genesis 1 I have explored several subjects applying the knowledge of seeds to other scriptures in the New Testament.  We have discovered that the Bible says there are multiple things that are all referred to by the title of a “seed”.  This is just one of God’s techniques of concealing the truth in plain sight.  God calls many things by the same name, title or description.  This makes it more difficult for the reader to determine what type of seed He is talking about.  From our study we have seen that there are natural seeds, like fruit seeds or grass seeds mentioned in the Bible.  We have seen children called seeds all over the Bible.  We have seen the male sperm called his seed.  We have seen spiritual spiritual things like God’s Word being labeled as the seeds that are spread by teachers in the spiritual soil of man’s heart.  We have discovered that there exists two types of seeds in the Bible; one is the Good Seed and other is called the Bad or Evil Seed.  By pattern association we can conlude these can be representative of the good words from God versus evil words from Satan.  The Good seed was always sown by God exclusively and the evil seed was always sown by his enemy Satan.  These are such important concepts to fully grasp.   If you have not been reading this series from the beginning you should stop and go back to start reading with “Part 1” first.  If you haven’t read from the beginning you have just missed more than I can possibly teach you in my simple introduction.

Today I want to discuss the previous seed concepts and seed laws in more detail to apply them to how a person becomes a Christian.  I have alluded to this subject before in other lessons, but I will address it more completely today filling in some gaps.  We have already seen that Jesus told us that the most important parable to fully understand is the Parable of the Sower.  From this parable we should now know that God’s Word was the seed that the sower was spreading.  We also learned that the soil in this parable was always the hearts or spirits of the men and women in the world.  There were 6 revealed types of soil presented to us in this parable; 3 types of soil did not produce spiritual fruit and 3 types of soil did produce spiritual fruit in varying degrees of multiplication.   This parable demonstrates Salvation to us very clearly and fully describes how you became a Christian.  Those that hear the Word of God and allow other factors (spirits, natural attartions, etc) over rule their decision to be a Christian are those that were not saved.  Those that hear the Word of God, understand it and choose to believe it, they are the ones that are saved and born again.  All of this is really not that complex to me but I guess many people have not understood it and therefore do not apply it to the subject of how people become Christians. 

So based upon the intimate knowledge of this parable of the sower, it would appear to me that the more Word of God we know the more fruitful we will become.  Conversely the less you know about God’s Word seals your fate to hell.  You do understand this don’t you?  Jesus teaching the parable of the sower was Jesus spreading the Word of God to the entire world.  Every man, woman and child born from Adam represents the symbolic soil that is responsible to allow or permit  God’s seed to be planted.  It is much more the human rejection of the Word of God (the Seed) from the soil (the spirit) that causes people to go to hell than anything else that they will ever do.  People like to think that sin is the key factor for going to hell, but this is simly not the case based upon the Word of God.  The Bible says that everyone has sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:22).  If everyone is a sinner there must be another factor for who is saved and who is not and it basically boils down to what type of soil we each choose to be.  Do you realize that only you make the choices in your own life and for your life?  I can’t do it for you, your wife can’t do it for you, your mother can’t do it for you and even God can’t and will not do it for you either.  Do you also know that you have a spiritual enemy that is helping you to make the wrong choices?  Only by studying the Bible can we better recognize the devices, plans and traps of this spiritual enemy.  Only by continuing to study in the Bible are you able to grow and mature to being the overcomer that God has designed you to be.  God is expecting to come back for a victorious church and not a defeated church.

So the Parable of the Sower gives us the basic overview for the whole plan of God for our Salvation.  Jesus told us to “Go into all of the world and Preach the Gospel AKA the Word of God” (Mk 16:15).  By preaching the Word of God you are sowing the Seed of the Word of God into the hearts of more people who can choose to let it grow.  This is salvation or damnation in action.  The soil decides its outcome and what kind of fruit that it produces.  Let’s look at this in action in the Bible:

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

The Apostle Paul is writing to the church at Corinth and to you and I.  Paul says that He has planted.  So what does it mean to plant something?  What was planted?  As you can clearly see these are seed concepts that are repeated for us.  Maybe you do not understand these concepts fully because you have never planted a natural garden in your back yard, but I have.  You always start the process by putting seeds in the soil and you then conintue the process by watering the soil and they grow over time into something that you desired to have.  If you look back at the previous verse you will see that Paul and Apollos were “ministers”.  A minister is anyone that sows God’s Word by God’s design.  If you hear someone speak in church that is not teaching from the Bible they are not a minister of God.  If you go to a church and the speaker is teaching from a Reader’s Digest you need to find another church that works like God said it should.  Paul sowed only from the Word of God to the people in Corinth and they believed it.  Then there came along another preacher named Apollos and he watered the seed that was in the hearts/spirits of the people  with more of the Word of God and this helped the seed to continue to grow.  But, it says that it was God that gave the increase.   In other words God caused His Word to Grow!  Therefore only God gets any glory in the salvation of any man.  Do you understand that no farmer can take credit for what is grown in his field?  Does the farmer understand how corn is produced from seed?  Did the farmer create the seed that produces the corn crop?  I think you can see that he did not.  Neither a farmer or a minister created the seed they are sowing or invented the growth process that takes place, only God did this.  They just plant the seeds, water them and watch them grow like it was magic.  However, this is just the designed seed process from God using His created Seed.   This is a really amazing concept of how the spiritual New Birth process works.  It is a partnership effort with God working through men and women who preach to spread the Seed of the Word of God.  So the man that is planting the seed is not that important, it is only the word of God being planted that is the critically important part of the process.  It is really a paradox and a puzzle, without men and women sowing the word of God no one would ever be saved.  However, without the Word of God no one is saved either.  If you are sowing seeds of Buddhism no one will be saved no matter how much you teach on it.  If you are sowing the seeds of Islam you are sowing words that never produce salvation.  If you are sowing the words of Judaism you are also not going to be saved.   It is not very good news for any world religion out there; God made only One Way into the Kingdom of Heaven and that was through His Son Jesus Christ.  So do not throw stones at me, I’m just a farm messenger.  I did not write the Bible!

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

So I think I have given this verse before in another lesson on seeds, but it bears repeating for our current discussion on how people are born again.  The fact that we have been “Born Again” is attributable to us receiving the incorruptible Seed of the Word of God into our spirits.   There are two terms given to us by God in this verse that are critical to understand.  These are “Corruptible” vs. “Incorruptible”.   The term corruptible means able to “decay” and you can state this to be equivalent to a man’s mortal body.  The natural realm is a temporary realm of decaying particles.   The laws of thermodynamics dictate that everything around us is decaying and not reorganizing like evolutionists like to believe.  If you build a new car today and never drive it; it will become a pile of rusted metal in the course of time.  The opposite of mortal is immortal.  We have been born again from an immortal seed.  You may recall that Jesus said “heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Mat 24:35).  So the Word of God is immortal, and not capable of being eliminated.  The Word of God is the incorruptible SEED that causes us to be born again spiritually.

Corruptible seed can be viewed as either a physical or a spiritual type of seed.  The sperm of a man is a corruptible natural seed.  But also the spiritual words (seeds) of Satan are also considered to be corruptible towards the human spirit.  Jesus never says that the words of your enemy Satan will stand forever.  So every false teaching and false religion will be eliminated someday.   So we now have a dilemma of sorts of how to discuss natural things so that we do not offend anyone by comparing them to spiritual things.  You see if being Born Again is s comparable pattern to being born in the natural the first time, then how are natural babies conceived?  You can begin to see my difficulty, can’t you?  God created sex for a reason and it wasn’t just to make you feel good.  Sex is a part of the reproductive pattern of new life on our planet.  So sex must be related to new spiritual life also.   So how does natural sex relate to the spiritual New Birth?  That is where we are today in this discussion.  Get ready for a new concept that you may have never though of:

Gen 4:1  And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.

We are informed that Adam “knew” his wife Eve and she conceived his physical seed.  This is God’s definition of natural sex in the Bible.  By the law of first mention, God again gives us the definition of what it means to conceive revealed in terms of spiritual information and descriptions.  God could have described this act differently, but He specifically chose this Hebew word translated as “knew”.  The definition of this word is therefore very critical for us to understand in order to see how it applies to spiritual things like being born again.  The Hebrew Word translated as “knew” means “to ascertain by seeing”.   This is truly complex because men are visual types of people, they like to see.  Women are not visual people and they do not want to see anything generally speaking.  There is a widely used term for natural sex that is called “carnal knowledge” and this phrase is more in the line with the spiritual realm information that we need to apply correctly instead of thinking of the human term “intercourse”.  We need to correctly transfer God’s definition of sex as “knowling” into the spiritual New Birth process.   We should be able to see using our knowledge of the Parable of the Sower that in order for any human to be born again, they must have “spiritual knowledge” with the Lord God’s Word (Seed).  This is not sex as you are thinking right now is it?  However it is still spiritual sex according God’s definition of the act.   The human ability to “see spiritually” God’s Words causes them to conceive it.   However don’t forget there still exists an enemy to that salvation process trying to steal the seed from being sown.  The success or failure of the salvation seed process is completely dependent upon the fact that some people understand the Word of God and some people do not.  This enemy’s method of causing some people not to understand is revealed more clearly in the New Testament scripture that says “the god of this world has blinded the minds of them that believe not” (2 Cor 4:4).  You see spiritual blindness is the inability to see or literally understand spiritual things.   If you recall in the parable of the sower, Satan came immediately to steal the Word of God that was sown in their heart and he was able to do this only because they did not understand it (Mat 13:19).   Therefore, spiritual eyesight is the key to having spiritual knowledge and understanding.  I could talk a lot more about that part of the subject, but I’m running long in this lesson.  I do pray that you are following me on these points and beginning to understand how people are born again.  Let me end this lesson with one more verse from Paul:

Gal 4:19  My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

So here we have another very difficult complex deep scripture to try to swim through.  The apostle Paul is not a natural female yet he speaks in the terms of being a spiritual female.  Can you see this?  Only females give birth, yes?  According to what I have seen in the Bible God created only females to give birth.  So what exactly is Paul talking about?  Paul is saying I have spread God’s seed into your hearts by teaching God’s Word to you and I am now waiting for Christ to be formed in you as a result.  What is the key to this spiritual birth happening?  It was the spiritual ability to see or the  “spiritual knowledge” of the person who heard the word of God that will determine whether they will conceive Christ and be born again.  Paul can sow all of the seed he wants to, but none of it will grow unless the soil of the hearer allows it to stay by understanding what was said.  You can easily see how that you can read verses in the Bible and totally miss what is said, can’t you?   You can also see that there is an implied reality that Paul is a part of a spiritual woman, called the Bride of Christ.  So the complexity of the Bible is so great that it causes many people to stumble.  People will never see the spiritual truth of God’s Word trying to figure it out using only their natural minds.  What we can see is that Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus was not the be all and end all for his Christian experience.  He was now responsible for getting more people born again by sowing the incorruptible seed of the Word of God.  Getting more people Born Again of the Incorruptible Seed, that is the goal of every Christian.  This is the expansion of the new spiritual family of God and the multiplication of the Spiritual Seed of God by sowing the Incorruptible Seed into new soil.  Today’s lesson has been some of the basic Bible ideas of how people are born again using the laws and concepts surrounding Seeds in the Bible.  I know I did not cover everything that I could have, I know I left out many verses that could have been included, but I did the best that I could in a limited time and space forum.   God Bless you to see and to unders