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GOD IS LOVE – Pt 3 – GOD’S VERTICAL LOVE GIFT FOR THE HORIZONTAL HUMAN WORLD

(Ver 1.1) This is Part 3 in the essential advanced Bible study series, about the subject “God is Love”.   If you have not read from the beginning, it is highly recommended that you begin the study with “Part 1”. This lesson will continue the first two lessons and will build upon them, but it will not repeat all of the same subject details. We should know by now that LOVE, is the most important of the subjects found in the entire Bible, because this represents God. We agree with this based upon the foundational truth from 1 John 4:8, where God declares “He is love”, which can also be mathematically stated as “GOD = LOVE”. This means these two subjects are mathematically identical, equivalent and interchangeable. Therefore, we have learned that our God, clearly reveals Himself, as LOVE. And in reverse, anytime we see GOD’s example of LOVE displayed, we can know this was our God manifested!

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

This verse is describing the LORD Jesus Christ. It is interesting to observe that Jesus considered Himself to be equal to GOD. This would make Jesus mathematically equivalent to LOVE also. By the Algebraic law If A=B, and A=C, then B=C “. This would be like us saying “If God = LOVE and God = Jesus, then Jesus = LOVE”. The Jews got extremely angry at Jesus in John 5:17-18. Here Jesus just claimed to be doing the works of His Father, and the Jews wanted to kill Him because He had made Himself equal to God. Wow, if they had only known who He was. The main point in this opening, is we much conclude that Jesus was equal to God, and this made Jesus equal to LOVE.

HOLY SPIRIT =
GOD = JESUS = LOVE

Now for a quick review of the series so far.  We should now know that we were introduced in lesson one, to two divine LOVE manifestations, expressions or we can also say, examples. The first in this lesson, occurred in the Old Covenant (Exodus 12), and this was God’s foundational and prophetical natural pattern, called the Passover. This was the sacrifice of a natural lamb, to save the family’s firstborn from death in Egypt.

Our New Covenant divine LOVE example, was the much greater spiritual fulfillment of God’s Old Covenant Passover shadowed display.  This one occurred when “God is Love” became a physical part of His creation by manifesting as a human male child, and growing into a man.  This man was called the Lamb of God in John 1:29,36, 1 Corinthians 5:7, and 28 times in the book of Revelation. Our New Covenant Lamb of God, was named “Jesus” by an angel from heaven (Matthew 1:21, Luke 1:31). This name was selected, because the angel of God claimed He would save His people from their sins. Therefore, we learn Jesus was manifested as LOVE, in the flesh to die in substitution for His lost, and separated human creation. God did this to offer every human salvation from an eternal spiritual death from Him. This salvation was a free gift (Ephesians 2:8). But this gift of LOVE, while available to everyone, is only receivable to a human that believes (John 3:15).

In lesson 2 we learned an introductory overview, of the plan of salvation from start to finish. In this divine plan of LOVE, God designed, created, and initiated the strategy and determined the ending long before humans, Satan, and sin had been joined together in covenant (Isaiah 28:15-18). In fact, if we read in Hebrews 4:3 God declares all of His works were finished from the foundation of our world. That is an amazing supernatural concept to fully grasp.

Nevertheless, we have seen where God’s words were seeds (Genesis 8:22, Luke 8:11) that produced the final outcome of human salvation and fruitfulness. This plan will take a total of 7000 years to fully complete.  It has been, and still is in progress. It was planned by God, to occur in phases of progressive steps. I compared this to be like a smart phone type of hardware and software release strategy, that was designed to keep people engaged, interested and participating with anticipation for the next greater version.

Today we are going to go back and expand on the lesson 1. We will be building upon the two examples of manifested LOVE, given to us by “God is LOVE”. Our goal is to learn something completely new, about the blood that was offered as payments in both displays.  We are going to review the two lambs, two bloods and the two trees. Hopefully we all remember the two lambs were one natural male animal, and the other greater was the LORD Jesus Christ. The blood of application came from these two sacrifice victims. So, we will focus in this lesson specifically on the two trees. What two trees, some will ask?

One tree was the doorposts, and the other tree was the much greater cross.  We will be focused upon some potential new hidden details, that may have been missed in reading these two LOVE presentations. We will attempt to observe, God’s selections, and directions, to help us find His intentions and messages found in each design. I will add a message at the beginning, that this may not be accepted by some people, and that is OK. Some may not be able to receive the message of this lesson, because it could be something that they have never heard taught before. Hopefully, there will be many that do see what God can teach us from comparing a doorpost to a cross. Let us get started.

#1 – INTRODUCTION

What we are about to discover, is at least some of the potential great reasons, why God instructed Moses to apply the blood of the natural lamb victim:

  1. on every post, and
  2. in two physical directions simultaneously.

We will soon discover that these God instructions, for “the how” that this was to be done, was spoken by God in Egypt, as a prophecy to teach us about His continuing plan, of Salvation. These spoken words declared:

  1. the current human problem created by sin,
  2. what was needed to temporarily fix it in the Old Covenant,
  3. what was potentially to happen in the future, for all of humanity, in Christ on the cross as our solution.

In both applications of LOVE, the blood was being applied on every post, in the exact same two physical directions. What we want to learn, is “how” this was potentially seen from God’s viewpoint. God’s instructions in Egypt, was NOT spoken to Israel at the first Passover, just for a temporary solution, to only deliver them from a problem of the death of their firstborn. This would have only been a temporary salvation, ignoring a far greater needed solution, for deliverance from eternal death, and ever-lasting separation from God.  No, God had a far greater positive divine outlook, and purpose for His instructions. His Exodus 12 commands were given to them, foreknowing His future heavenly plan of LOVE, to save the entire world.

Act 2:23 – Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 

Notice these words that Peter preached in Jerusalem, to the children of the Old Covenant Passover people, shortly after Jesus ascended into heaven. Those that were listening, were the offspring of the physical people that were delivered from Egypt. All of these people celebrated this event annually. It had just been celebrated 50 days earlier.

Now, remember in Lesson 1 of this series what we should have learned? Jerusalem, where Jesus was crucified is called by the name spiritual Egypt in Revelation 11:8. There are some very startling parallels to these two events hidden in scriptures.  Now let’s look at some of the key words found in Acts 2:23.

The Greek word G1012, translated as “counsel”, has the implied meaning of “purpose”. This word choice, teaches us that God had a design and a purpose for the cross. The Greek word G4267, that was translated as “foreknowledge”, means God “knew”, the cross was coming, long before it happened. Revelation 13:8, clearly teaches us that Jesus was already planned to be slain, before God created the foundation of our world. Therefore, the cross was not a sudden demonic surprise attack, that almost destroyed God’s plan of LOVE. It was rather the major part of God’s plan of LOVE, all along.

We will soon learn, that the natural Egypt lamb’s blood, was only a selected 2-D shadow of the spiritual Egypt sacrifice of the real Lamb of God. As a shadow it had outlined similarities, but not the 3-D realities of the real. Therefore, how did the shadow of the slain “natural” lamb in Egypt, represent the “real” divine LAMB, slain outside of Jerusalem?  What changed between these two chosen symbols made from wooden trees?

In determining this, we need to ask some questions. What were the differences in the designs of the two trees, with blood applications placed upon them? Always remember that God uses natural created things to teach us, greater unseen spiritual realities. Jesus taught us this truth, very plainly saying, “How can I teach you spiritual things, if you do not yet understand natural things?” (John 3:12). Jesus places a very strong emphasis upon understanding the naturally created things of this world, to be potentially powerful ways to understand greater and higher spiritual things, and that is what this lesson of LOVE, is focused upon today.

Let us get started, if everyone is ready to learn what I believe the Spirit of the Living God wants to say.  Please pause, pray, and ask the Holy Spirit to give you an open, receptive, and understanding heart. Ask the Holy Spirit of God, to illuminate your mind, having your spiritual eyes, and ears opened to be able to receive everything, that He is speaking to us. Finally, resist the devil’s plan to distract you, by demanding that he remove any preconceived blinders of demonic doctrines, that could be obstructing your ability to see what God, wants to say. Let us get started with our Bible lesson.

#2 – THE VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL DIRECTIONS OF GOD’S LOVE

As noted by the title of today’s lesson, we will be learning about, “God is LOVE”, and His divine LOVE given to us, and for us, and to be received by us, and applied in us, in two directions. We will call these directions, His “Vertical LOVE” gift, given for His “Horizontal LOVE” manifestation. Our subject today will be God’s blood and Love being alive, and active in these two dimensions of human existence. This will cause us to ask; what does “vertical”, and “horizontal” represent in the Bible? Hopefully, these will be answered as we study, and learn.

But we need to go through some basic foundational information, to get everyone on the same page of understanding. Please do not allow some of the technical details of these natural things, that were created by our God, to cause you to be discouraged, if you do not follow them all immediately, or understand how they will apply later. Everything that will be covered in this section, will help us to understand the Word of God on LOVE. 

It is most interesting, to see and learn about one very unusual detail given to us by God’s Word. This is concerning the blood of the natural lamb, and the spiritual Lamb, that were found within both of these implementations of His, divine love displays. What we will discover, are the concepts of direction, given to us as types of sign posts, hidden in two blood sacrifices. These essential details, are found in the divine directions given to us in the Bible. These will be used by God to reveal, the potential meaning of the blood sprinkling of the lambs, that were directed by God, to be placed specifically upon the Passover wooden doorposts, and the cross. 

God knowing how Christ would die in the future, told the Israelites to apply the blood in a very exact way, on specifically chosen known wooden objects. I believe that God did this on purpose, to provide us all with visible signposts. These were given, to point us into turning from the path of selfishness, evil, and hate that we were on, leading us to destruction. These signposts, would help direct us, to now go into the pathway of “Knowing LOVE”.  When we choose to look for, and turn to LOVE, we would be able to recognize, LOVE in hidden Bible messages. We will be able to see “how” God applied the blood, in the Old Covenant Passover, to His New Covenant sacrificed Lamb’s blood. We will be discovering that the “how” blood application, was a direct prophecy, that teaches incredible revealed parallels, when it was fulfilled in Christ’s blood in the New Covenant. For instance, both the Old and New Covenant blood applications, were applied in a vertical direction, and in a horizontal direction, during the same timed event.

This information should make us wonder, why was it necessary for the lamb’s blood to be applied in two coexisting right-angle directions? Also, what do these two directions represent to God?  I believe we can learn the most about any Bible subject by paying close attention to the smallest details given to us, and then asking God why He did it that way. These answers are usually the hidden pearls of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom that God would like for us to know about Him. Absolutely nothing in the Bible is there by accident, or without meaning or purpose to either teach us, about who Jesus is, or who Jesus is not. God’s Word is Him, revealing Himself to us, for us to know Him (John 5:39).

Let us stop and define the word “direction”. This word can be thought of as: 1) “the spoken words of a leader for correction, instruction, or guidance given, to an individual, group, team, nation, etc., to help them achieve the desired positive outcome”. That is one very good definition for what we will be learning today. However, another definition of this word represents: 2) “a line leading us to turn in a specific movement for a desired location or destination”. This could be like someone receiving instructions on how to arrive at Los Angeles, driving from New York City.

Those that have driven an automobile, can relate to traffic signs that say; “Interstate Highway 10 West”, “Do Not Enter”, or “One Way”. These are just examples of three types of signs, that clearly show us a correct or incorrect “direction” to turn or travel. Wow, could these definitions, be related to the blood applied to the doorpost of the Passover house, and the cross?  I believe, they do. Notice what God said during the Egypt Love event of Passover:

Exo 8:23  And I will put a division between my people and thy people: tomorrow shall this sign be. 

Notice what God says will happen in Egypt. God made a division between His people and the people of Egypt. God used the Hebrew word H226 that was translated as “sign”. It is translated this way 33 times. That is a “sign” that we are on the right path in our study. There are many verses in both the Old and New Testament that demonstrates God’s usage of signs.

We should go over some additional concepts of “directions”, before we continue.  We have already seen a couple of the definitions, and applications of the word “direction”. But there are others, within our current world system created by God. This system that we are living within, consists of the basic concepts, of space and time. Many scientists, consider these to be four dimensions of space-time. Within these dimensions, we have the movement of direction, which can be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Within all of these, we have multiple directions of differing sub-movements, these being, backward, forward, upward, and downward. We also have the unique quality of “time”, which is normally seen as a continual “forward” movement.

Here is another dictionary definition of the word “direction”. It is defined to be: 3) a noun, that means “the position in which someone or something faces (implied to be standing still)”. This definition also implies potential movement, for a possible travel route. Clearly all of our definitions, relate to personal choices, to travel within physical, mental or spiritual space. This traveling or facing direction in the physical realm of concept, can and does usually correspond to a human compass on the earth.

When viewing a compass, the needle pointer will always direct us towards magnetic north. Directly 90 degrees to the right of the direction north, is the direction east, and the opposite 90 degrees left of north, is the direction west. Finally, the 180 degrees from the direction north, is the direction of south. Almost everyone understands these concepts given to us by compass directions.  It is important to note that the 4 compass pointers form a shape like a cross.

When looking at a map of the world, these directions are beneficial to understanding “where” a place is, in relationship to “where” our current location is now. These directions are given to us in the Bible in several verses. For example, notice in 1 Chronicles 9:24 “In four quarters were the porters, towards the east, west, north and south”. Wow, that is an amazing verse that is related to our Bible study.

In 1 Chronicles 9:24, a “porter” is defined as a “gate” or “door” keeper. God is informing us that there are implied doors at each of these four directions of travel, that require a gate/door keeper.  Now remember what happened in Genesis 3. Adam sins, being rebellious against the command of the LORD, and submits to Satan to be his god (2 Corinthians 4:4). In rebelling, Adam turned over the authority of, all of the kingdoms of this world to Satan (Matthew 4:8).

After this occurs, God casts Adam out of the Garden of Eden, placing him back on the ground that He was taken from. Guess what direction this movement was?  Genesis 2:8 informs us that God planted a garden “eastward” from where Adam was created. The man was then moved from the “west”, into the garden that was planted to the east called “Eden”. Therefore, when God cast the man out of the Garden, he was again moved back to the “west” where he was created (Genesis 3:23). Wow, that is amazing. We have just been introduced to a new concept of “horizontal” movement.

But why did God choose east, and west as the location for these movements?  Also ask the question, why was it necessary in Genesis 3:24, for God to place cherubim on the east of the garden with flaming swords, to guard the way to the “tree of life”. Wow, these are amazing details that God included in the descriptions of sin’s origination on the earth. What we will soon discover in many verses of the Bible, is that “east and west” movement represents a symbolic “horizontal” human direction of travel. But there are literal physical movements recorded in all directions:

Mark 1:45 – But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter

Here in Mark 1:45, the news of Jesus coming, brought people to him from the east, west, north and south. It is interesting that God places all four directions in the word “quarter”. God’s design of these directions is amazing. We learn many places in scripture where 4 main directions are mentioned.

These 4 directions of movement, east, west, north, and south, are just fundamental knowledge about pointers and compass directions for potential movements, travels, schedules, routes, course corrections, etc. But this is important information, to help us to understand God’s vertical and horizontal applications, of love. Let us talk about the concepts of vertical versus horizontal directions, next.

Vertical is an adjective, and it is normally defined as a line, that is at a right angle to the horizon. Therefore, we normally do not understand the concept of “vertical”, without first understanding what the “horizon” means to us. The word horizon is a noun, that is normally defined as the human perspective of the line where the earth meets the sky, or the heavens. Wow!  Can you potentially begin to see, how these two lines we call vertical and horizontal, represent an intersection point?  Could a point of intersection, represent God’s plan to come down from heaven, to meet with humans on the earth?  I believe it does, and this information, just shouts LOVE to me. Maybe those that do not understand what an intersection is, are not as excited. So let us go over quickly, the concept of what an intersection is next.

An “intersection” represents a place, occasion, or position, where two lines cross. An intersection literally means a location where, two or more individuals, or groups can meet, or join together. The antithesis of “intersecting” lines, would be called “parallel” lines, where the two lines never cross. In this environment, there are no points of direct meeting.  Here are some important synonyms for the word “intersection”: “the connection point or subset”, “a joint location”, “the joining juncture”, “the union point”, “the common point or occasion”, and the most interesting one is, “the cross point”. Wow, remember that last one, because in one of our subjects, we are talking about a “cross”. Now we need to begin to understand more clearly, the concepts of “intersection”, “vertical”, and “horizontal” from a Bible view. Take a look at this verse, found in Psalms:

Psalms 53:2 – God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God

This verse announces the divine desire, for an intersection point for God’s LOVE expression. God, who is LOVE, said that He sits in the heaven above (the Vertical height of heaven), looking and searching downward (to the Human Horizontal), for anyone that seeks to know Him. Here we have the concept, of many humans on the horizon of the earth, with God sitting in a vertical position, a far distance above in heaven, seeking and searching for anyone to desire to know LOVE. Notice the order of mention. God is first. God’s action of looking down is second. God’s location is heaven third. Fourth, we then find God’s focus for searching, was to find just one human. Fifth, God’s purpose and desire was to find anyone, that was seeking to understand and seek Him. It should be self-evident, that God wanted a point of fulfilment of His desire for man to know Him as LOVE.

God shows us in this verse, that He is looking for those that are here living here in the Horizontal natural realm, that are looking up, for Him, in the heavenly spiritual Vertical direction. Therefore, I believe the direction of “vertical” represents, the God to human relationship that we may have noticed in other Bible verses.  We will see this in the design of the Passover doorposts and the cross, as we continue to learn. Now consider this verse found in Hebrews:

Hebrews 7:19  For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. 

I think this is very relevant to our Bible Study on LOVE. It demonstrates the concept of God’s great desire to be “NEAR” His human creation. In the Old Covenant, God came nearer to man to be with them, by coming down from the heights of heaven, to live with them on the horizontal earth realm in a tent tabernacle. But Hebrews 7:19 claims this was far from a perfect experience for God or humans. Reading the book of Hebrews, we find that our New Covenant with Jesus, was so much better, and gave us greater hope of always being with God.

We will soon further confirm, how this vertical line represents a pointer guiding natural humans to look up, into the spiritual heaven, to search for God, as we saw above in Psalm 53:2. But this directional pointer, also shows us how we needed God (the Spirit), to come down from heaven, to interact with the natural people on the earth first. We learned in the previous lesson, that this LOVE connection access, was made available by the shedding of animal blood at first. We learned this “Knowing LOVE” plan, was a process of divinely order steps.

We will also soon find, and confirm that the horizon line of direction, represents 1) man’s realm of existence, and 2) our natural limitations. We will additionally discover, that the horizontal line of direction, represents the human-to-human (natural-to-natural) relationships. These would include successful relationships with God, or failures, without God’s vertical participation. It was our fallen human nature, before salvation, and all of the massive displays of evil found in the world, that causes the LOVE of God, to become so desirable and needful.  Now let us continue through some additional created concepts of directions and dimensions.

We all should know from Genesis 1:1, that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  In this first Biblical statement, we have a stated beginning of the direction of time, moving forward towards, the future end of time. Time began from the beginning of creation in Genesis 1:1, and will continue to the end of time occurring in Revelation 22. But we also have the concept, of 3-dimensional space creation, joined within this statement of time creation. All of this introduces us to some new directions of possible movements, within the physical realm other than vertical and horizontal.

Within the 3-dimensions of space, we have the concepts of length, width, height, and depth. Two of these pointers, can be synonymous terms for our 2-D vertical, and horizontal directions.  The vertical, can be labeled as the height, or the depth; and the horizontal, can be labeled as either the length, or the width. These are the basic 2-dimensional God ideas, of a more complex reality of 3, 4 or more dimensions, that are not necessary to understand for this Bible study.

Let us look at another reference of confirmation, to the subjects of height, width, depth and length.

Proverbs 25:2 – It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter

Proverbs 25:3 – The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable. 

I literally love Proverbs 25:2. This verse should cause everyone, to become a Sherlock Holmes type, of diligent investigative Bible student. God informs us plainly, that He hides information about Himself, in His Word. God plainly says this divine hidden information, is intended for “kings” to search for. This should be describing, every reader of this lesson.

Now notice the next connected verse. Connected to God hiding information, and us finding it; is God saying the direction of height, is directly associated to the location of heaven. Then the next direction, “depth”, is then labeled to be directly associated, with the earth. Height, points us up, and depth, points us down. This clearly describes a “vertical” connection pathway and point of intersection, from heaven (the spiritual) to the earth (the natural), and vice versa. We can see this pathway being described, in a vision given to Jacob, in Genesis 28:12.

One last concept that will help us transition into our next subject, is the word “perpendicular”. This word can be defined as the line standing at a right angle to the horizon. Clearly that means this is a synonymous term, for the word “Vertical”. It also means, there is a 90-degree intersection point between these two lines of vertical and horizontal. This represents the “point” of commonality between two lines. This word “commonality” means a point of union, harmony or peace. Our English word “perpendicular” comes from the Latin language. It is noteworthy to analyze this for our Bible study.  The root words are “per”, meaning “to go through”, and “pendere”, which means to “hang”.  That sounds like a “door”, and or a “cross”, doesn’t it?

This has been a quick overview of the basics. Let us go on to the applications found in the Bible.

#3 – THE BLOOD AND THE O.T. DOOR POST DESIGN

Exodus 12:22 – And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. 

This is our key verse, for this section of our new topic on “GOD IS LOVE”. We should remember from the last lesson in the series, that we were introduced to God’s plan of salvation, being implemented in phases. In these phases, God went from walking, and talking with man personally in the garden, to being separated from His creation, because of the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). This initial Adam sin, caused an eternal separation from our Holy Creator God, for every human (Romans 5:12). It was this eternal separation of spiritual death, that is being described by God’s LOVE, in the chosen Passover doorpost design.

God knowing and understanding the human sin dilemma, has already designed the solution, into His creation, as we learned in the last lesson. God in His omniscient compassion and love, must provide ignorant humans, some visible symbolic signposts. These were given, to help teach us, what was needed to reconcile us, back to God, because of His extreme Holiness.  God knowing the future plan of His death on the cross, has chosen a simple set of doorposts, as the Old Covenant shadow of the greater reality, of the New and better Covenant, found in the coming cross design. Therefore, let us first, study the doorpost design in some depth.

Please reread Exodus 12:22, to see the design of a doorpost, being given to us in a word picture. We will note initially, that the blood applications are described to only be applied by God’s instructions, in two dimensions. These are implied as 1) height or vertical, and 2) width, or horizontal. But we will soon discover that there is much more covered by God’s LOVE than just its two-dimensional height and width. I believe God intentionally limited us to two dimensions in Exodus 12, to emphasize and teach us LOVE. I also believe two dimensions are figuratively used, to teach us that these Old Covenant instructions, are just shadows of the coming reality in Jesus. I believe everyone now understands, that shadows are only two-dimensional outline representations, of the much more complex and greater 3-dimensional reality, that is casting the shadow? Let us continue to examine the shadow text.

In the first Passover, the blood shed by the natural innocent victim lamb, was placed upon the upper horizontal “lintel” post, as well as the two vertical doorposts. One of these vertical posts, was holding the nailed door. Every post had blood applied to it. How many posts were there? If you counted the posts mentioned in Exodus 12:22, you should have come up with a total of three door posts. They are described as the one single “Top” post, and the two “Side” posts. This description even gives us the implied design, of how they are laid out to form the construction. Believe it or not, this door design description, is a picture representation of the Old Covenant.

The door design of a Passover house, is illustrated in the above diagram. The key components of our study have been labeled. These are the “Top Horizontal” post, the “Vertical 1” side post, and “Vertical 2” side post. In the Egypt Passover, going through this blood sprinkled door post frame, where the door was hung, provided each person, temporary natural life, peace and safety.

Therefore, this application of blood was sprinkled, in two different directions simultaneously, and these were the “vertical”, and the “horizontal”. How many posts did you observe that were mentioned, that needed blood? There were three different wooden posts in total, and by the ordered command of God, He decreed that each one of them, required blood.  Why was this necessary?

Now notice there are at least two, very distinct parts of the design of a doorframe, that need to be understood. There is the TOP horizontal Lintel post, that uniquely:

  1. Separates,
  2. Limits, &
  3. Connects.

Then there are the two vertical SIDE posts. These two vertical posts are in parallel to each other. This truth symbolizes, that whatever these two posts represent, they are eternally separated. Then notice, without the presence of the dependent TOP connection post (called the Lintel), there is no pathway to each other. WOW, did anyone just see Jesus? God just described Him, using a shadow form. This is exactly the role of Jesus in the New Covenant. But here in the Old Covenant, this is an inferior shadow implementation, of the far better New Covenant.

Perhaps it will help us, to review some information we learned in the last lesson. In this lesson we should have seen God’s planned Phase 3 of the salvation process, where He personally came to live with humans in covenant with Him. In order to make this part of the plan work, there was a divinely created system of law, a temporary tent tabernacle location for the dwelling of the LORD, and a priest intermediary that went between the 2 separated Old Covenant participants. These two participants were:

  • the Old Covenant people of God named Israel,

<-the chosen mediator high priest->

  • God Himself.

Please attempt to see, that this just described the Passover doorframe, with great precision.  Did you see it? How many posts were there? The correct answer is still, three. How many participants were there, in the Old Covenant relationship system? The answer is three.  This makes a great match so far. Let us look at it, in more detail. Notice what God teaches us, about the Old Covenant compared to the New Covenant in Hebrews:

Hebrews 8:3 – For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. 
Hebrew 8:4 – For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 
Hebrews 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. 

These are critical verses to examine for our subject of LOVE in two directions. Anytime we find the subjects of earth and heaven mentioned together, try to find how God is making a comparison of Heavenly Vertical realm to the lower human horizontal realm. Pay close attention to verse 5, because God clearly states the Old Covenant system of human covenant fellowship with the divine, was only a shadowed example type, of the real that is found in the spiritual heavenly domain in Jesus Christ.

Then notice in verse 3, that God required gifts and sacrifices in the Old Covenant. We find this offering was a man presenting God with blood in other verses. This matches the Passover door offering of a lamb’s blood. Then in verse 4, God says Jesus would not be able to offer His gifts to be a priest under this outdated law system. If we go back and read Hebrew 7:12, we find where God says the New Covenant system required a change of the Law, for Jesus Christ to be our New Covenant High Priest, and this will be the focus of the next lesson in the series, the Lord willing. Let us continue, going through our door diagram.

Notice, we have God on the right Side 2, of the three doorposts. This represents the Holy God, living in a physical tent on the earth. We have the sinful people on the left Side 1, that are in covenant with Him. But there is only one way to get from the left sinful to the right Holy, and this was by going through, the single man mediator, called the high priest. Wow, this is awesome, if you see it?  Now what made all of this possible? It was the application of the blood, on every post. Is this what God said to us in the Bible? Let us, take a look.

We can begin with Moses, sprinkling the blood of a sacrificed victim animal, on all of God’s covenant people in Exodus 24:8. That would be an example of placing the blood, on Side Post 1 of our Passover door frame. This same type of animal blood was further offered by the high priest, on the temple altar outside of the inner Holy place, for all of the people in Leviticus 16:15. This is also representative, for the side door Post 1.

We can then find, in Exodus 29:21, where the blood of the animal victim is sprinkled upon the high priest, Aaron and all of his clothing. This was done to cleanse himself from his sins. This blood would make the priest clean, and permit him to enter into the presence of the Most Holy God without the fear of death. That is, if everything was done according to the law correctly. This process represents the top connecting “Horizontal” post blood application.

Now finally, when the tabernacle was built, and the Spirit of God inhabited it, there was an inner Holy area, where God dwelt. This area behind a protective veil (Exodus 26:33), contained the Ark of the Covenant. This inner Holy dwelling place of God, was also called the “Mercy Seat” (Exodus 26:34). The High priest, after he had cleansed himself, and the people with blood, would take the blood and sprinkle it upon the “mercy seat”, seven times. This is described to us, in Leviticus 16:14, and it is interesting to notice that the High Priest is told to do this, while standing facing “eastward” towards the “ark of the covenant”. This would cause the high priest, to be standing on the west side of the ark of the covenant. So far, we have a continuing match to our doorframe design diagram, as being a picture representation of the Old Covenant.

Looking at our door diagram design, we should see, where the Side Post 1 could represent “West”, and God’s dwelling in the vertical Side Post 2, could represent “East”. This would mean the top of the vertical door post was “North”, and the bottom of the doorpost was “South”. And if you did not know it, the direction “north” is also a representation for the location of God, in the vertical heaven. We can read about this reality, in Psalm 75:6-7, to name one reference. But notice, in this Old Covenant diagram, there is no pathway to heaven. The two covenant partners, are still eternally separated because of sin.

Ok, here is the last point in the design of the doorposts. There is only one Horizontal post. This horizontal post, is located at the top of the doorframe. It represents, the limited nature of this type of covenant method, to be below heaven, at the earth’s natural level. Remember, horizontal comes from the word “horizon”, and this is the earth’s surface level for normal human existence. It teaches us, that this Passover method blood design, was only available for God to human, and human to God relationship within the natural realm. This was a severe limitation, and it was very inadequate for what God had pictured in His mind, for the complete salvation of humans, from His enemy. 

This was a very quick, but important description, of the doorpost design found in Passover. It can teach us some very profound hidden truths about the mind of God. This doorpost design was clearly known by God, when He selected it, to represent His “cross” shadowed type. We need to keep this information in our minds, when we review the cross design, in more detail. Now, let us sum up, what we have just learned.

Through someone entering the blood covered Passover house’s door frame, they were temporarily, and physically saved. This represented the individual’s entrance into the physical location to gain temporary life, peace and safety. This blood offering that was applied, was a natural lamb’s life that was taken, in exchange “for” the human life, that was spared and sustained.  Remember this safe location was only accessible by them entering into the door, that was nailed to the posts, where the applied lamb’s blood was visibly seen, on the three physical external wooden posts.

These three wooden door posts represented a temporary covenant system of law, that would permit God to live near His covenant people. It required blood to be applied in three locations, to satisfy access for one human male to enter into His Holy presence, on the earth. This man was the high priest, called a mediator. It was a better system than what was available up until this point, but it was nowhere close, to what was coming in the future with God’s real spiritual manifestation of LOVE.

#4 – THE BLOOD AND THE N.T. CROSS DESIGN

As we have learned in the first lessons, we now know that Jesus represents the type found in the O.T. Passover door.  We know this because Jesus claimed to be the door of His sheep (Christians) in John 10:7. Jesus defines sheep to be humans in John 10:9, by saying “I am the door, if any man enters through me, they shall go in and out and find pasture”. Notice Jesus restates the initial Passover plan and claims to be the door for the New Covenant salvation fulfilment. Finally notice the term “find pasture”, implies that those that entered Him will be fed by Him also. This is a direct comparison to the Passover lamb blood that saved them, and the body of the lamb that fed them the same night (Exodus 12:8). Wow, if this is not exciting and amazing to you, your wood must be wet.

We also know that Jesus our spiritual door, was hung on a wooden cross using nails, where the blood of the sinless Lamb of God (Jesus) was poured out from His body on two wooden crossed posts. But we should take notice that His blood was also applied to the wood posts of the cross, in the same two directions, like the Passover lamb was. Let us review a picture diagram of the cross design, and see if this represents, our New Covenant reality in any form?

Let us quickly understand the type of cross that Jesus was crucified upon. There were two basic types of crosses, used by Roman soldiers in the days of the LORD Jesus upon the earth. The first type, was in the shape of a capital “T”. The second type of cross, was in the shape of a lowercase “t”, without the bottom fishhook. There are arguments for either design being selected. But the majority of Christians in the world today, believe it is the lower-case “t” design, that was chosen by God. I have never seen an upper case “T” piece of jewelry design representing, the cross of Jesus. Neither, have I ever seen an upper case “T” design, that was hung on the top of a church, or found on the inside of a church, or placed in the ground outside of the church?

Also, please understand, that according to scripture, Jesus had to be crucified upon the cross, in the form of the lowercase “t”. We know this because, in Matthew 27:37, Mark 15:26, and Luke 23:28, there is given to us the fact, that above the head of Jesus, was hung a potentially large sign.  It had to be large enough to be seen, and read by the people, that were standing away, watching the event. This would require letters large enough to be readable.

In Luke 23:28, God said this sign was written in Greek, Latin and Hebrew, and it said “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS”. Wow, is that not incredible? First, notice the sign was written in three languages and one of them was Latin. Latin was an established world language, during the time of Jesus’ death on the cross. Greek was another common world language, used in the known conquered world. Alexander the Great, a Greek King, conquered much of the world and spread this Greek language.  Of course, the massive Roman Empire helped to spread the Latin language to the world also. This causes an interesting connection to help us ensure, that our word definition of Perpendicular coming from the Latin language, is a legitimate application for our Bible study.

The main point here, is for us to realize that it is a requirement of the vertical post to be extended above the head of Jesus and the horizontal post, in order for there to be a large sign, written in 3 languages, hung “above” Him. Why is this important? It is essential for us to understand the correct type of cross design, in order for us to understand the symbolism for each component of the design. Remember, God foreknew the cross that He would be hung upon. This caused Him, to intentionally select the house door, and frame as the perfect type of application for the symbolic lamb’s blood on the first Passover in Egypt. And all of this information, literally means something very profound.

It is very noteworthy to understand the ancient Hebrew alphabet. There were 22 letters in this alphabet. The ending letter was the “tav”, and in the ancient Hebrew it looks like a lower-case “t” cross design. I do not know of any ancient Hebrew letter that resembles a capital “T”.  Since Jesus claimed to be the Alpha and the Omega, in the New Testament, we know He was saying “I am the Alef and the Tav”, because I believe He was speaking Hebrew, when He said it. This appears to say to us; “I am the End, as well as the Beginning”. It also confirms to us, that the cross, plays a very significant ending role in our human salvation.

Notice our diagram of the cross above. Does this design have any direct meaning, and application to our New Covenant? Oh, yes it does! Like the doorpost of Passover being a picture diagram of the Old Covenant, the cross has the same hidden messages associated with it, containing new meanings. Notice, there are a number of similarities to the Passover shadow door post design, as well as there being significant prophetic modifications and transitions, that were given to us that changed from the door posts to the cross-design.

The first major similarity that is noteworthy, is that both designs, were made from wood and trees. It is also important to notice, that the wood being used in both, came from a tree, that use to be a living and growing thing, before it was cut down. Now the dead wood that was used to build both, became a non-living, corruptible or decayable substance. That sounds a lot like our current human body. Therefore, I see this to be God looking down for a non-living human that wants to know Him, and enter into a covenant with Him. There are too many verses to list here that compare humans to be like trees. One very interesting fact about trees and humans, is the fact that no two are identical. Every tree has a natural fingerprint that makes it uniquely beautiful. If you are interested, you can go, and search for trees and read about them.

Next, we will immediately notice, there are only two posts in our cross design. This eliminates one of the vertical Posts from the Passover door design entirely.  Or does it?  Could it be a different meaning than God just eliminated it? I believe there is something profoundly different that occurred in this New Covenant, and we will see this soon enough, in our next design comparison section.

The next significant part of the cross designs that stands out to me, is the “Horizontal” post is not at the top of the vertical post(s), like it was in the door design.  Could this mean, that there was something new, that has taken place? I believe it does. Finally, notice that the cross design has no terminating points, or any limitations of ending. With the exception of the vertical post being buried and terminated within the natural ground. Does any of this have a significant meaning, and application to our New Covenant? I believe it all does.

Was God’s Lamb blood sprinkled upon both of these wood cross posts, like it was sprinkled upon the three door posts? I believe this is exactly the same, on the cross, as it was on the door posts. It should be obvious that the blood of Jesus was sprinkled on the single vertical post, as well as the single horizontal post, simultaneously, as the body of Jesus hung there bleeding. Jesus had to have had at minimum, three nail wounds where blood was applied to the wooden cross posts. Three is an interesting number, because this is how many posts were found in the Passover door. There had to be two nails on the Horizontal post, in the right hand, and one in the left hand. Then there had to be at least one nail in the vertical post for the feet. This blood application is amazingly equal to the instructions that God gave to Israel during the first “Passover”, to apply blood in both the vertical, and the horizontal directions.

What we have seen so far, are God’s designs of two types of doors, hanging from wooden posts, utilizing nails, with blood spread in two directions. This section has been a quick overview of the cross design. Let us now do a review, of a post-to-post design comparison, between these two types of covenants, and see if they teach us anything new, that we might have missed.

#5 – COMPARING POST DESIGNS

We are now going to do a quick overview comparison, between God’s Old Covenant doorpost design, and His New Covenant cross reality. We should begin to notice how similar, and different the Passover door posts and the cross posts details were. I believe this information is very revealing. For example, let us go through the obvious similarities first.

  1. Both designs have only one post in the horizontal world direction.
  2. Both designs have at least one post, rising in the vertical perpendicular heavenly direction.
  3. Both designs had blood applied to them, in both the vertical and horizontal directions.
  4. Both designs had blood applied, to EVERY wooden Post that was present, and available.
  5. Both designs were made of decayable wood.

Now let us go through some of the fundamental differences of these two divinely selected designs. We learned a normal door frame had 2 longer vertical posts, and 1 separating and joining shorter horizontal post. Therefore, there were three wooden posts in total. We also learned, that the two vertical door posts, are parallel to each other, and that they never touch. This means that they have no common point, for an intersection of union. I believe that is a very important detail. We also noticed the position of the horizontal separating post, is at the very top of the two separated vertical posts. A human walking through the Passover door on the ground, was always below the horizontal post in order to enter the house. I believe all of this information has significant symbolic typological meaning. Let us list the clear differences found in these two designs, next:

  1. The cross has one less vertical post than the door
  2. The cross had one balanced common center point, of intersectional union between the vertical, and the horizontal, and the doorposts had only vertical and horizontal end-point connecters, that kept and held, it together.
  3. The door of Passover was designed for a spiritually dead human to enter, to be temporarily saved from physical death; and the cross was designed for one living man to die a physical death so that, every human could be saved from a permanent spiritual death.
  4. The cross vertical post had only one bottom direction, that was terminated, with all others being open ended; and every post of the Passover door, had only termination points.
  5. The cross was lifted higher above the earth’s surface, while the door post was meant for only human earth level access.
  6. The posts of the Passover door, were covered by an animal lamb’s blood, and the posts of the cross, were covered with only one male human’s blood called the Lamb of God.

That was only a few of the significant differences, and we will talk more about these as we go. Let us move our study to the specific single “Vertical” cross post next.

#6 – THE VERTICAL N.T. CROSS POST MEANING
GOD PRESENTING DIVINE LOVE TO MANKIND

After study of this subject of LOVE in the Bible, I have come to the conclusion that the vertical post represents, God’s LOVE in heaven being extended (poured out), to mankind on the earth below. In the Old Covenant, we discovered that the left post represented sinful humans on the earth, and the right post represented the Holy God, coming down to the natural earth, for His Spirit presence to be nearer, to those that were in covenant with Him. In this example of the Old Covenant LOVE, God needed a Horizontal post mediator, a human go-between, to bridge the gap of sinful division. God implemented this, using the blood of an innocent animal to pay the penalty of human sin, temporarily.

Therefore, in the Old Covenant, one post represented the Holy God on the earth, and the other post represented, the eternally separated sinful covenant humans. This would indicate that the Old Covenant people had some hope of knowing real LOVE with God, but it was not perfect enough, as we read in Hebrews 7. However, now with the cross in the New Covenant, there is only ONE vertical post.

I told you earlier, that this one vertical cross post, does not represent the removal of the sinful human, but rather it represents, the two posts of the Old Covenant which were: 1) the one Holy God, and 2) the sinful human, becoming one new man, in the man Jesus Christ. This does not sound very religious, but it will work out, and be confirmed with the Word of God.

The cross design had only 1 longer vertical post crossed at a central point by one shorter horizontal post. This design provided us with ONE single intersecting “crossed” point of union. Do you remember we mentioned this, when we were defining the words, vertical, horizontal and what perpendicular showed us? I believe this center point of union represents Jesus Christ, our spiritual door. But in order to confirm what this central union point represents; we need to better define, the meaning of the wooden new covenant vertical post.

I believe the single vertical post found in the cross design, represents the LOVE of God, being manifested in the form of the man named Jesus. Jesus was the Spirit of GOD (who is LOVE), becoming a man in the flesh (John 1:1-14). This also teaches us, that Spiritual LOVE became flesh, and dwelt among us physically. How do I conclude this? There are a lot of Bible verses that can confirm this truth.  For example, notice this verse:

John 3:13 – And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 

This is a radically powerful statement, that Jesus is making a claim to. It is clearly a statement of God’s vertical heavenly: 1) descension, and 2) ascension. This description, corresponds to our vertical cross post design. The TOP of the cross, points us the way, to heaven where Jesus came from, and the bottom of the vertical cross post, was buried into the ground, indicating that Jesus would die, and be buried for us as a human. This sounds, like an accurate description of Jesus so far. Now let us analyze the statement of Jesus in John 3:13, in more depth.

If this statement is not true, then Jesus is insane.  Because for any natural human, this is a crazy claim. Jesus states first, that no man had ever ascended up to heaven, the day when He spoke this on the earth approximately 2000 years ago. So far that is a believable statement. But the next statement is where things get crazy. Jesus then says; “except he that came down from heaven”. Jesus is speaking of Himself as a human male, using a third-person reference, has just claimed that, “He” has just come down from heaven, after previously ascending up to heaven. That sounds impossible, doesn’t it?

Now comes the final, and most outrages claim. Jesus calling Himself to be “the Son of Man”, says “He is still in the vertical Heaven”, while speaking this statement on the natural horizontal earth. Wow, this is amazing truth, being revealed. Jesus is claiming to be an intersection point between the natural and the spiritual. The Spirit of the Living Most Holy God, became a human male on the earth, and He legally was walking, and talking with sinful humans, in the form of a Man with the Spirit of God on the inside, and no one became a corpse, or a pile of ashes, in His presence. God designed a living flesh temple organism, that was a safe sanctuary for Himself, the Holy Spirit to personally interact with sinful humans. This statement teaches us that Jesus claimed, that He was God manifested in the horizontal human realm, equally with the Spirit of God in the heavenly vertical realm. And He claimed to be in both dimensions of existence, simultaneously. Jesus has just claimed to be God’s center point design of a divine union, with man, causing a new intersection that is only found in the cross design, but not the door design. This is the union of the “One God” who is “LOVE”, with One Man who was “LOVE” manifested.  Wow, this represents a God and human intersection reality, that is still in effect today.

This is a great time to let you in on another Old Testament symbolic prophecy type, given to us by the intelligent design of God. These instructions from God, are found in Numbers chapter 2. God instructed Israel exactly how to camp around the Tabernacle containing the Holy Spirit’s presence, while living in the wilderness. God just so happened to tell 3 tribes to camp to the east, three tribes to camp to the west, 3 tribes to camp to the north, and 3 tribes to camp to the south of the tabernacle. Did you notice in the diagram above, that this camping pattern looks like a cross? Of course, this pattern is only clearly seen and known by someone, that is looking down from heaven. Wow, God knew exactly what He was trying to vertically communicate to His human creation living in the horizontal world. This was clearly a hidden prophecy for the coming New Covenant union of intersection named Jesus.

Notice how all of these tribes in arrangement, created lines that met at the center point of intersection, where God was living with them.  This tabernacle was not accessible directly to them, but only by the High Priest as we have learned. But, because God became our High Priest, we are able now to enter the door to come boldly to the throne of Grace directly. I hope and pray that everyone can see how God works in plain sight using hidden ways. These O.T. instructions, clearly show God’s design of becoming the center intersection. But now let us move forward and look at some more New Testament verses that must be seen, and applied to what the single post, of the cross, confirms to us in the New Covenant.

Ephesians 2:11 – Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands
Ephesians 2:12 – That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 
Ephesians 2:13 – But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ
Ephesians 2:14 – For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 
Ephesians 2:15 – Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace
Ephesians 2:16 – And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby
Ephesians 2:17 – And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh
Ephesians 2:18  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father
Ephesians 2:19 – Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God
Ephesians 2:20 – And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 
Ephesians 2:21 – In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord
Ephesians 2:22 – In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit

Found here in these verses of Ephesians, are a lot of awesome words of truth and LOVE. These words, contain several subjects, but there are about two or three essential topics for our current study of, “GOD is LOVE”. The first subject, is that there were people in the Old Covenant, that were being separated from God, and were afar off from Him because of sin. These people were literally being called God’s enemies, in Ephesians 2:15. God uses the Greek word G2189, that was translated as “enmity” in the KJV Bible. This word means, there was a hostility and a hatred between God and these sinful humans. But it must also be noted in verse 16, God says this hatred for sin has been slain in the body of Jesus on the cross. That was one of the most awesome displays of divine LOVE, that was manifested on the vertical post of the cross, that anyone has ever observed. The God in heaven came down to the earth, as the Son of Man, and He was joined in complete union with the Son of God. This single union of intersection, was the cross common point, that was designed to die for our sins, to eliminate the divine hostility for all human transgressions. This allowed the divine God access to all humans, and all humans access to God.

These total enemy people, that were being spoken of, were all of those that lacked a covenant with God. This was the original condition, of every human on the earth, after Adam’s sin. But God chose one nation in the Old Covenant, out of all the nations of the earth, to make His own. This is important to remember, because this is the same pattern that is repeated in the New Covenant.

This brings us to subject number 2, in the Ephesians 2 passage. God came to a man named Abram, and began a different process of covenant relationship, to save us ALL. God continued to work the process of salvation, by establishing a relationship with the direct descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. These people were called the natural nation of Israel, and they were the participants in the Old Covenant, that we saw in picture form, found in the Passover Doorpost design.

In this subject 2, the Old Covenant people of God were called the “circumcision” in Ephesians 2:11. This covenant, brought God nearer to His people, living on the earth to be with them as described in Ephesians 2:17, being spoken of as those people that were nigh (made near). In this covenant God introduced, and utilized a brand-new concept. This new way of relationship, was to select one man as His human to divine, and divine to human mediator. This one chosen man was able to come into His Holy presence to represent the other sinful people that were in the covenant.  This covenant design, left every other nation of the world, “far” from God, without any hope, as we can read in Ephesians 2:12. These people without any hope, were called “Gentiles”, or the “uncircumcised”, by the Jewish Old Covenant people in Ephesians 2:11. So we have found two groups of sinful earth people being mentioned so far. These two groups of humans on the earth were divided by God into:

  1. A People in a Temporary Covenant with a Temporary Home and a Temporary Hope, to be near the God of LOVE, and
  2. All other People in the world that were not in any Covenant, were far from God’s spiritual home, and from being His spiritual Family, and were without any Hope of Knowing LOVE.

But now in the New Covenant, there is a new third group of people, that have been brought even nearer to God, and these are comprised of people from both of the above sinful groups of people. Therefore, we notice in Ephesians 2, that we have found two groups of sinful people, and they have now become “one” new man, by entering into the door of Jesus, our door of the New Covenant. This choice of entering into the Christ door, now gives those that believe in Him, a new Hope (Romans 15:13), and a new Home within the Family of LOVE (Ephesians 2:19). This Old Covenant pattern that excluded Gentiles, is duplicated in the New Covenant, to exclude everyone, that does not believe in Jesus Christ to enter the door of salvation. All of these unbelieving people are lost, without any eternal hope of knowing LOVE (2 Thessalonians 2:12).

Remember, in the Old Covenant we had two vertical doorposts. These two separated vertical doorposts (God and Israel), were joined by a temporary human mediator horizontal post. The two-separated-vertical become one single unified vertical, in the New Covenant cross. But this single unified vertical cross post, represents a more inclusive covenant union.

In the New Covenant, God not only allowed the Old Covenant people to be unified with the risen from the dead Christ (Romans 7:4), but He also was joining the ability for every other lost human on the earth, to be in full relationship with God in Christ (Colossians 1:26-27). Jesus Christ, is the center unified point of the cross. Since no sinful human, was able to fulfill the role of the required permanent high priesthood, God Himself became the needed center point unifier, between the vertical Holy divine and the horizontal sinful human realms. Therefore, this unified vertical “cross post”, has included the ability for everyone else, in the world, that never was in any covenant with God, to know Him, and love Him.

Did you notice that we just discussed the fact, that we MUST enter the door of Jesus, in order to be saved in the New Covenant? Where was this door hung, on the cross posts? Remember, in the Passover Post design picture, the door was nailed hanging to the God side of the doorframe, below the Horizontal Top Post. Therefore, in the Old Covenant, there were no nails placed to hold the door, in the left human side, or the top lintel human representative side of the door frame. Wow, doing this would have made the door unable to open.

We can conclude that this Old Covenant, was a severely limited divine encounter, bound to the human dimension of space, and time, to provide a temporary divine relationship at the human ground level, with no human access into heaven, to be with God. Many may wonder, where is this in the Bible? Jesus actually declares this need for a change of direction of human love and worship, in John 4:23.

In John 4:23 Jesus said “The hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers of the Father, shall worship Him, in spirit and in truth, for the Father seeks such to worship Him”. This is a very clear reference to God desiring something greater than the Old Covenant method of worship.  In the Old Covenant, people were always on a Horizontal level of relationship with God. But, now in the New Covenant we can have a far greater Vertical Spiritual encounter with our Heavenly Father. Jesus said that hour for this to happen was coming forth, as He was speaking. Wow!

We can also find the Old Covenant Horizontal relationship with God, where there was no heavenly access, described by Jesus in Luke 16.  In these verses, Jesus describes a beggar named Lazarus, and a rich man, who both died. Lazarus died and went under the earth’s surface to a temporary place called “Abraham’s bosom”. The rich man died, and was carried beneath to a place in hell with flames. Both regions were close enough to see and talk with each other.  But neither were close to God’s throne in the Vertical heaven. It is very clear that neither of the men, went above the Horizon of the earth after death. This information plainly describes the need for a change, while declaring the Old Covenant was temporary (Hebrew 8:13).

All of this information can help confirm, that God’s Old Covenant doorframe design, and divine choice, was a covenant containing a message of incompleteness, and inadequacy. This information should have given those in the Old Covenant, a greater desire for a permanent way of knowing LOVE. There should have been the hopeful longing of a desired access to an eternal heaven, and fellowship with LOVE after death in every human heart that experienced God’s deliverance. This access was only provided to them, by the cross. Clearly God knew all of this, when He selected these objects, to represent the shadow temporary door, and His New Covenant permanent door access.

Everyone who has believed in Jesus, knows Him now, that He is our New Covenant door, as He was hanging there nailed, to both of the cross posts, the vertical and the horizontal, simultaneously. Because Jesus was nailed to both the Horizontal (human) and the Vertical (spiritual divine), the New Covenant sacrificial blood payment, could cover everyone, including the mediator human man named Jesus (Hebrews 2:17), who was made sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). The divine blood payment for sin further covered, every human sin in the horizontal earth realm including, all physical horizontal earth space locations, and all time from Adam (Romans 3:25), to the book of Revelation (Revelation 1:5). Finally, the blood payment for forgiveness, and redemption also, extended upward into heaven, and covered the vertical spiritual human realm payment in the heavenly Most Holy temple (Hebrews 9:23). The entire blood payment for all human sins, came at the same time, from the same man, named Jesus, during the same event located on the cross, outside of Jerusalem.

Please take note, that our door named Jesus, was also “raised up” from off of the ground level, as He was hanging on the cross. We learn this by reading John 3:14. Jesus said “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up”. Do you understand what this means? The serpent on the pole in Numbers 21, was a temporary example of natural salvation. It provided them again temporary restoration to health, and forgiveness of sin. This was another inferior shadow symbol of the much greater work of Jesus’ gift of eternal salvation on the cross.

By God telling Moses to lift up that serpent on a single vertical pole, it was raised up vertically higher, than all of the heads, of the old covenant people who were probably laying on the ground horizontally about to die. By them looking “up” to view the serpent, God was again teaching them the source of real grace came only from heaven. Notice, that this was only a one-time work as was the cross.

Now, compare this Old Covenant event to the people that were standing around to watch the hanging of Jesus higher than them on a cross. All of these people were on the lower horizontal ground level. Remember Jesus was hung not only on a cross, but also on a hill higher than the observers.  This would have included the Jews that cried out to demand His crucifixion, as well as the Roman soldiers that carried out the act. This was Jesus clearly, offering Himself for everyone in the world to witness, Jew and Gentile as we read in Ephesians 2. Everyone who received Jesus as their savior, would have to look up by faith into the raised heavenly direction, as they did in Moses’ day, with the serpent on the pole.

We learn from Jesus in the next verse John 3:15, that this lifting up represented Him becoming our spiritual door of salvation, through our believing in Him, by our faith. This spiritual belief (Galatians 3:2), grants us access into the vertical heaven. It is also representative, of Jesus becoming our spiritual Head, who is now seated in the vertical spiritual heavenly realm reigning (Hebrews 10:12). But we are blessed to enjoy the same, by the church becoming His body, living here on the horizontal physical earth (Colossians 1:18), reigning with Him in the Horizontal (Romans 5:17). This was all possible, because of the nails going through the body of Jesus hanging on both posts as our intersecting, New Covenant union (Ephesians 2:17). By this work, the divine life blood of God was being sprinkled, in both directions simultaneously, being a onetime blood application, in the combined vertical, and the horizontal dimensions.

Ok, let us go deeper still into the cross design. Notice that a cross design looks like a simple childlike drawing of a human stick figure. We have the focused center of union containing the heart of LOVE, that joins the divine vertical realm with the horizontal human realm. We saw this principle in God’s Israel camp design in the Old Testament. The entire nation camped in a crossed pattern centering upon the focal point of LOVE found in the Tabernacle. This looks like the decision point for human choice, and we will talk about this more soon.  

We have the top section of the cross, that could represent a human head. We should realize that this represents Jesus as being the head of all created things as revealed to us in Ephesians 1:22. It also causes us to see how Jesus was made the head or LORD, over both Jew and Greek (Romans 10:12). Jesus was also raised up, and given a name that is above every other name (Philippians 2:9). Jesus being the head caused Him to have preeminence over every spiritual being, whether on the earth (the Horizontal), or in heaven (the Vertical, Colossians 1:18). This design shows how God planned in Jesus on the cross, to make Him the LORD of ALL.

This helps us to confirm that the top of the cross represents the spiritual heaven realm route of access. With Jesus coming down to earth as a man first, to die on the cross, He gave us the opportunity after He was raised from the dead, for us to enter into Him by faith, to go up into heaven where He is also seated right now (Ephesians 1:20). By Jesus becoming the only way to get to the Father (John 14:6), this also limits access to all evil from entering into heaven, that the first Adam joined himself to. This was a brilliant design of the “Most High”, and wise God.

Then we see the head joining the shoulders with the two arms extended outward to each of the horizontal human sides. I believe this represents 3 different acts of love, that we will talk about soon. From this we can see how the human torso (body) that is going down, is being connected from the head to the shoulders, with the legs and feet tightly placed together, as if standing at attention. There were the two hands of Jesus (the Left and the Right), that were nailed to the opposite sides of the Horizontal post (the East and the West). Then there were the feet of Jesus, which was clearly located toward the south side of the cross, nearest to the earth.

The North Top part of the cross assuredly, represents the heavenly realm, where Jesus came down from. It also represents an opened ended invitation for every human to come up and be with God after death. How is this heavenly access made possible, without any blood being taken into heaven by a High Priest, like in the Old Covenant tabernacle?  We can find this answer in the New Testament, in Hebrews chapter 9.

In this chapter, we are told that Jesus took His own blood personally into heaven. This is when He performed a one-time act of offering blood to God in the Highest Vertical, fulfilling and initiating His everlasting role, as our eternal High Priest. This heavenly precious blood offering (1 Peter 1:18-19), was offered by Jesus in person, after He arose from the grave (John 20:17). This superior offering was only required to be presented once as our heavenly vertical payment, for all of our sins (Hebrews 9:26). And this one-time blood offering, provided us eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12). Finally, this blood offering in the heavenly also established eternal peace (Romans 5:1).

There is a very interesting fact, about the blood of Jesus, found in Hebrews 12:24. Here in this verse we are told that the blood of Jesus that was taken into heaven, is still there speaking for everyone today. This far better blood of God is speaking better things than the blood of righteous Abel. This is an amazing, and an eye-opening revelation. Did you know blood speaks? God clearly informs us that the blood of a man that was killed by his brother nearly 6000 years ago is still speaking, even today. How much better than Abel’s voice, is the voice of God’s spoken words, coming forth from the eternal blood of Jesus today for us. The answer to that question, is more than you can imagine. Thank God for the Blood of Jesus that is speaking for us all.

Let us get back to our Cross Stick Figure representative. Almost forty days after the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Jesus ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9-10), and sat down at the right hand of Majesty (Hebrews 1:3). We now have our Kingly High Priest (in the order of Melchizedek, Hebrew 7:21) seated in heaven reigning (Hebrews 10:12). Therefore, how does this truth relate to our cross design? We read about it, in the previous paragraphs.

We can relate this information to the cross, because of this awesome truth: Christ is called the Head (Ephesians 1:22), and we (the Church) are called the Body of Christ (Ephesians 1:23). Now put this information into context with this verse in 1 Corinthians 5:14, where God says: “Since Jesus died for everyone, we all died with Him on the cross”. Ok, that was my paraphrase, but this is exactly what Paul claimed in Galatians 2:20, when he said “I was crucified, with Christ, nevertheless I live, but not I, but Christ lives in me”. Wow, these are more radical claims of being in two places at the same time, like we saw in Jesus’ claim in John 3. Let us see this principle again in another verse found in the New Testament:

1 John 3:24 – And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. 

Here is an awesome verse of truth about how God dwells in a human, and we live in Him, if we keep His commandments. This would appear to indicate, that staying in Christ, is our choice of obedience. I believe, this is why, Jesus said in Luke 6:46, “Why call me LORD, LORD, and do not do what I say?”. God has given to us His Spirit, and He lives in the temple of our physical body. And according to this verse we are with Him, in the heavens, if we do what He says. Sounds like a contradiction, but it is not. This is not an inconsistency; it is rather a statement of joint union of two becoming One, as written in the Genesis 2:24, law of marriage covenant. We are NOT saved by our works of the flesh, but He is our LORD, if we do what He says. Otherwise, we become like the first Adam, and become rebellious.

What we are learning, is that when a person becomes a Christian, Christ comes inside of them, and personally joins to become one spirit (1 Corinthians 1:16), to live in their body. This causes the human body, to become the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:17, and 6:19). Romans 12:4 says; “There are many members in One body”. God was communicating, how that many are called ONE, using the analogy of the human body.

The human body is an amazingly created complex living organism. How a new one comes into being, is from the union of two separate living cell contributors. These two separate living cells become joined together, to be one, and they then begin to multiply exponentially, over a short period of time. When a human is fully grown, modern scientists have estimated one human body contains approximately 30 trillion unique individual cells. These 30 trillion unique human cells, were designed by God to work together in LOVE. But since the advent of Satan, certain cells have been introduced into the world to cause some to be motivated by hate, to destroy the others. This is a perfect picture of our spiritual condition being in Christ today. There are some people, even in the body of Christ, that are yielding to the devil, and allowing hate, to fight against God’s LOVE design, and purpose for all humans.

We also read about this concept of many being ONE, in our opening verses of this section, found in Ephesians 2:21. In this discussion, the church is called to be built stones, being joined together upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophet stones, together with Christ being the chief cornerstone of the Holy Temple of LOVE. These are amazing facts of spiritual truth realities. God has established a clear law that states, many can be called by “one” name.

Now let us get back to our stick figure representation of the cross. The head of the body, Jesus Christ, who is LOVE, ascended up into heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God. Before leaving the earth, He gave His body, His spiritual authority (Luke 10:19), and left us here to reach out to the rest of the lost world, with the Gospel (Mark 16:15). How does this information relate to the cross design? You may have already figured it out. The top of the cross above the horizontal post, represents the initial head’s access into heaven, followed by the rest of the attached body on the earth as they die. Since Jesus was raised from the dead, every other human has been given the same opportunity, to be raised up from the dead with Him, by faith (Colossians 2:12).

Therefore, the spiritual body of Christ on the earth, is potentially represented by the lower part of the cross, at and below the horizontal post. These people are in the process of salvation and still have the choice to go up to be with the LORD, or go down and end their lives in hell. But another difference, will be for us to realize, is that not everyone in the Horizontal post realm of existence, will be saved, and we may talk about this more soon. Salvation still requires entering the “door” of the cross, and getting into Christ in the vertical, to be back in potential full fellowship with God.

We have been going through just some of the possible meanings for the Single Vertical post of a cross design. This method of death was specifically selected for God’s method of Lamb sacrifice (Acts 2:23). Satan probably thought this killing of Jesus, was his guarantee for, success, self-rule, and kingship (Mark 12:7). But Satan soon learned that this act was His defeat (1 Corinthians 2:8).

What we have learned from the two vertical posts of the Old Covenant Passover door, being compared with the single vertical post of the cross is very profound. The Old Covenant appears to be closed ended and temporary, with no eternal heavenly access. These two vertical posts, appear to say humans were nearer to God, but still far enough away to motivate them to desire to know God more closely. It also taught us, that the mediator of the Old Covenant was temporary, his offerings were inferior, and the endless repetition had to create frustration for at least some. We further learned this Old Covenant was designed to be temporary, for a greater solution that was needed in Christ.

I am going to say something that maybe some have not understood now. Why does the vertical post on the Passover appear to represent sinful humans, when they never had an opportunity to actually die and go to heaven? After all, the God side of the door frame, post 2 was in heaven, wasn’t He? How could God be in heaven in two places and not the sinful, vertical human side post 1? I just asked a very deep question, one that may go over the head of many readers. 

What is the answer to why the O.T. Passover Door was vertical and not lost in the Horizontal? Ok, here is the quick answer. You can go and read the Bible study that I wrote called “Bible Answers: Solving the Mystery of God’s Chosen Son Versus God’s Covenant Wife”.  In this Bible lesson, I reveal, how Jesus was in Adam, Abraham, Noah, David, and every other human male that was listed by God, in the Luke 3 Genealogy of Jesus.  Because Jesus was equally human, a Son of Adam (Man) (Matthew 16:13), a Son of Abraham, a Son of David (Matthew 1:1), etc., while being the Son of God (Matthew 16:16), Jesus was in both vertical Passover doorposts in “Seed” form. Wow, this is what gave humans in covenant in Israel, hope for the future permanent salvation. I do not have the time to explain this further today. But it is amazing, when you see it.

Then in the New Covenant, we find only one combined single vertical post in the cross. This was a dramatic shift of post designs, that was pre-ordained before creation. We should now begin to understand that Jesus, the Word of God who created the world, placed Himself in the form of a “seed” in the created man Adam. Jesus was already pre-planned to save everyone that believed upon Him, before the world began (2 Timothy 1:9).

I am still amazed every time, I see the cross, how we have not seen this reality of Christ at the center, that provides us a point of intersection and union with God, and God with humans. We may be talking about this more in the next section of the lesson. But Christ Jesus has opened a new direct single-entry way of salvation, and extreme personal closeness with God by becoming God’s needed single human mediator, also known as the High Priest.

That was enough detail about the vertical post design meanings, from a Bible God perspective of LOVE. God came down to the earth, to die on a cross, and to be buried in the ground for 3 days. Then He arose from the dead, after shedding His blood for the forgiveness of our sins, and then He ascended into heaven to reconcile us back into full and normal fellowship with our Creator God. Let us now do an overview of the Horizontal Post meanings in more depth.

#7 – THE HORIZONTAL CROSS N.T. POST MEANING
GOD REACHING OUT HIS LOVE FOR HUMANITY

I believe, the horizontal post of the cross, represents multiple meanings. I will list them first and talk about them as we continue. The potential meanings of the horizontal post are:

  1. Divine vertical LOVE, coming down to the Horizontal human realm, to reach out to all of humanity
  2. The timeline within the human realm, containing the window of opportunity to make the right choice for our eternity
  3. God’s correct pattern for human realm social relationship
  4. The human limitations of environment, circumstances, and cross-road decisions for eternal outcomes

That was just the short list of subjects, that we will hopefully touch upon in this section. As we now know, in the cross design, there were no posts used for separation. Nor were there any posts that were being separated. There was also not one horizontal post, used as a connection bridge, between two far apart vertically separated posts. What changed and why? I believe, a lot of you have already seen the answers, in the diagrams, and from the verses given. In a cross design, there were only two posts, with a single intersecting, and overlapping point of unified connection. I know you all remember, we mentioned this before.

I believe sincerely that the vertical posts in both designs, represent spiritual beings. In the Passover, there were 2 separated doorposts, these were the human spiritual beings in covenant on the left side, and the Spirit of God on the right side. We just learned that Jesus was in these chosen people found on the left side of the covenant post configuration. Notice that we find, in the Passover covenant doorpost design, Jesus is never found in the top horizontal connector post. This is because Jesus did not descend from anyone in the tribe of Levi, where the high priests came from. Because Jesus descended from the natural tribe of Judah, He was legally found present in the left vertical door post.

But now in the Cross design, these two Old Covenant vertically separated posts, being connected by one horizontal post, have all become ONE unified vertical and horizontal center cross point (1 Corinthians 6:17). Because God made the New Covenant one with a single man named Jesus, who became the High Priest, we have a unified solution that will never fail. The sinful human component was permanently removed and we can now be saved by entering the covenant door that was hung on the cross, who was also named Jesus.  Wow, this NEW Covenant is all about JESUS!

This also truly represents God who is Spirit (John 4:24), becoming human flesh (John 1:1-14). The Spirit of God became a man, so that we could become a living spirit in union with Him. These are both great realities of two becoming one.

But we now need to understand the Horizontal post of the cross in much more detail. How does this portion of the cross, represent LOVE?  Let us discuss, potential meaning number 1, divine love coming down to reach out to save humanity. I believe everyone should already understand that the horizontal post of the cross, was where the hands of Jesus were nailed. Each of His arms were outstretched, and His left and right hands were placed upon opposite ends of the horizontal post. One side of the horizontal post could have pointed to the east, and the other to the west. Let us take a look at an interesting verse, that could apply to our subject of the Horizontal post of the cross.

Romans 10:21 – But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people. 

Clearly Jesus, hanging on the cross, would have had both arms opened wide to be nailed to it. It is also interesting to note that Jesus was crucified about the 3rd hour of the day, and died shortly after the 9th hour of the day. This would be representative of Him hanging with outstretched hands a majority of the day. This verse implies that this was an act of LOVE, for Him to even allow this to happen to Him.

The Apostle Paul was quoting Isaiah 65:2 in this verse. It should be easy to see the heart of God, that was hurting for the Old Covenant people of Israel that were rebelling against His LOVE. In verse 20, directly before Romans 10:21, God contrasts a nation that was not called by His name becoming the majority of His New Covenant people. These were popularly, called the Gentiles. But everyone should see that this gift of LOVE was offered to anyone Jew or Greek (Romans 1:16). We learned this in the last section of the lesson about the vertical cross post, when we read verses in Ephesians 2.

Now let us go over potential meaning 2, the timeline of human history to make an eternal decision to receive LOVE. One of the key factors that can be used for understanding the horizontal post of the cross, occurs when we read about Jesus being crucified between two thieves. This would result in a total of three crosses that were present. It would also mean, that there was a total of six posts, when adding together 3 crosses multiplied by 2 posts each. The number six has long been thought of in the Bible, as the number for “man”. I find that very interesting, since everyone hanging, was a male about to die a human death.

But what was the configuration, and relationship of these three crosses?  We learn from Matthew 27:38, that there was one sinner crucified on the left hand of Jesus, and the other one being crucified on His right hand. Wow, that leaves Jesus on His cross, in the center. Do you believe, God knew this also? Do you believe that God could have utilized these details in His hidden symbolic presentation of the plan of salvation on a cross? Why do you believe, God wrote these details in the Bible text? Do they mean anything important? Or was God just filling up the Bible with things that do not mean much. I definitely believe that this was all foreknown by God, and all of these details carry significant hidden information, about what was happening.

It is also very interesting to see, where later hanging on the cross (Luke 23:42), that one thief believed in Jesus to be his Messiah, called Jesus LORD, and received salvation, and the other did not.  This description of their cross experience, would clearly signify the only two choices to make, for every human sinner right now, while still physically alive (Hebrews 3:15). Once they both died, the opportunity to make the right choice, had passed (Hebrews 9:27). I believe that these words, were all intentionally selected, to either teach us a strong message of hope for salvation and eternal life, or condemnation to eternal death.

Keep in your mind that on judgment day, Jesus described that there would be a clear human division, used by God for separating good from evil.  For example, in Matthew 25:32-46, Jesus said “His saved sheep would be placed on His right hand, and the lost goats on his left hand”. Those on the right hand entered into heaven, and those on the left, went to hell. This is not a coincidence. This message is repeated in the description, for the separation of the wheat and the tares, found in Matthew 13:23-30.

What we are observing in the Bible, is a concept of division, that has been occurring ever since the beginning of creation and Adam. The two thieves, that were hanging on a cross to the left and to the right of Jesus, represent a clear horizontal decision point of human freewill choice, to believe in Jesus or not to believe in Jesus. Jesus being in the center, means there are no other choices given, that mankind may be saved by (Acts 4:12). I believe this is a further confirmation, that the two bleeding hands of Jesus, hanging on the cross were correctly reaching out in LOVE, to save “all” of the lost humanity (John 3:16). This would include those that would be saved by believing and receiving on His right hand, and those that would be lost, by not believing on His left hand, and be damned (Mark 16:16).

What I see from the design of the cross, is a center point line of decision, where the left side represents everyone that is eternally separated from God. I then see the right side of the cross to represent those that choose to be saved. This is only one potential meaning of the horizontal post, now let us move to another.

Let us review the concept of meaning number 3, about correct human to human relationships. It is also interesting to note that before the crucifixion, two disciples asked Jesus to sit with Him, with one being at His right hand, and the other at His left hand. This is an entire teaching lesson in itself, but please note the position of Jesus in the center, with two humans requesting a position at each side of His hands.  I further believe, that the one-man Jesus, hanging on the cross, between two human men, represents a correct human-to-human relationship. Two humans in relationship, without Jesus in the center, will fail, but those that will be successful, will always make the choice to have Jesus (LOVE), in the center of them.

We can call all of this, God’s designs and plans for horizontal human decisions, choices and connections. God’s ultimate design would be for every human relationship, to be a Christ centered relationship. But this information also teaches us, a comparison between the two choices. The Jesus kind of LOVE, could only be correctly found to be in the center, if both individuals chose to make Jesus their LORD. But if only one individual, made Jesus their LORD, the other would be permanently, separated from them forever. Can you see how the choices we make, are only available, while we are here in the natural horizontal realm of earthly existence? Once both thieves on the cross died, there were no other opportunities given to them for relationship with Jesus, or with each other. Only one human thief, was told that he would be with Jesus in paradise that day, that they all died. I hope this is well received. This is what I believe the LORD is teaching us, about the meanings of the horizontal post of the cross.

While physically alive in the horizontal earth realm, we have only one possible successful choice for life to select from, and His name is Jesus. Making Jesus our LORD (Romans 10:9-10), grants us access to God the Father in the vertical Heaven, and grants the Holy Spirit access to live on the inside of our physical body in the human horizontal realm. This was God’s correctly designed and wise method for a divine vertical relationship, between a Holy God and the imperfect human. God desired this to happen (John 4:23). All other vertical choices of relationship with false gods, or evil spiritual beings, will only lead to death.

Likewise, there is only one successful choice for lasting human relationships. Everyone, we meet on this horizontal earth, we will either be with them forever, or apart from them, never to see them or hear from them again. This is a thought-provoking reality. I honestly, do not observe many people or Christians, coming close to the examples, that Jesus set before us to follow. Not treating everyone with the God kind of LOVE that we meet, will potentially be very regrettable.

There are two binary directions of choice, for a good or bad relationship. This choice is laid out in the cross design plainly in front of your eyes. But only one correct choice can be made, to possess success in both the vertical and horizontal realms of existence. Remember, on the vertical cross post, there is one open ended top pathway, that leads us to life eternal, and there is one bottom termination point, that only leads us to eternal death, and separation from God. Do you understand, that because Jesus was hanging at the center position of the cross, a location where He was not yet in heaven and not yet in hell, this made Him, and only Him, the focal point for the only available choice, for any direction that you want to go? This is the amazing truth of any door design. A door entered into, makes available the blessing behind the door, and the personal choice of not entering, leaves that person, by default, without these benefits.

You might remember a game show that showed three doors to two contestants. They called this the big deal of the day. One chose one door, and the other one chose another door, leaving one door not selected. Each door was opened to reveal which gifts they were potentially going home with. But only one contestant received their gift, and the other left with nothing. All of this was very similar to our eternal decisions to which path and door we choose. I think that is interesting.

Please think of the vertical cross post, to represent a highway leading people either north (heaven) or south (hell).  Then think of the horizontal post of the cross, to be a highway that leads through the timeline of human existences on the earth. Now consider the fact that the center union of these two highways is found the Jesus intersection point for the human choice decision. We can read about this in 2 Corinthians 6:2. In this verse the LORD says “At a time of welcome, I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation, I have succored you. Now is the time of loving welcome! Now is the day of salvation!” (WNT Bible).

Did you notice in 2 Corinthians 6:2, that God uses the “present” time to be the point for a decision for your salvation? Do you know the present time is a constant moving travel? By the time you read this sentence, the present moment when you started reading about that decision is already in the past, and “now” you have only another fleeting opportunity to decide again? Why is this? No scientist can explain this concept of time adequately. No one can return to the past to accept Jesus, so that leaves that time out. No one but God foresees the future, so that leaves that time out of the decision point realms of opportunity. This leaves us only “NOW”. You see, God says in His Word, we are not guaranteed a tomorrow (James 4:13-16).

By making the right choice, at the right time, everyone can be assured to be permitted to entered into Christ our door of Salvation. Making this choice in the horizontal path of life, will allow the turn lane for the vertical highway northward leading to heaven to be opened. By ignoring this “NOW” decision point, there is only one default highway that has an opening leading south to “hell”.  Now is time to choose.

Finally, let us discuss potential meaning number 4 of the horizontal cross post, the human realm of limitations. I believe the Horizontal post of the cross represents the human carnal realm of our natural life on the earth. This is signified by the term “Horizon”, the physical location where the sun rises every day, and sets every day (Ecclesiastes 1:5). This is the earth’s surface, where humans normally reside by God’s designed purpose. Remember, the English word “horizon” comes from the Greek word “horizo”, which is G3724. This word has the meaning of a boundary or limitation.  This is why the horizontal post on both the door and cross designs, can have the meaning of human limitations, and boundaries. These features represent God’s human physical realm of existence. This is our 3-D space-time created world. But it also can be more specific, to the dry ground, places where breathable air is found, food, water, warmth, light, and etc., are available.

This is why I believe, this information further confirms, why those entering into the door of the Old Covenant, had no access into heaven. I also see that on the Passover door, the horizontal post had two points of termination. This might mean this was a covenant of limited and short-term duration. Applying these concepts to the cross horizontal post design, we see something different when applying these standards. For example, the cross horizontal post was lower than the vertical post top. The cross horizontal post also had two open ended points, and this would indicate this New Covenant, was available to everyone, anywhere, at any time, in the horizontal realm of human natural duration. Can you see how this is possible, based upon the design of these two God selected natural objects?

Now remember we just learned that Jesus was hung at the center of the horizontal post on the cross, and I believe this represent the “NOW” point of decision. If this is true, then the horizontal post of the cross, represents the domain of natural existence while physically alive on the earth, past, present and future. Everyone before Jesus was raised from the dead, we learned went under the earth’s horizontal surface. But these people were preached to by the LORD Jesus the gospel (2 Peter 3;19), and He led captive these captive people vertically to heaven (Ephesians 4:8). This would represent the fact, that everyone on the left hand of the horizontal timeline (east) would have had the opportunity to be saved, by God’s divine grace.

If the center of the cross represents the present “now”, that only leaves the “west” right hand of the cross to represent the coming “future” time line.  These are people living at this moment, and those that will be born in the future. All of these people that are alive have the horizontal opportunity to hear about Jesus the door of Salvation at the “NOW” center point of choice. However, west is the direction that the “sun” sets.  Jesus is the “SUN of RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Malachi 4:2), and the opportunity to enter the door, is setting very soon.

Because the left of the horizontal post is open ended, this represents the fact that every person born from Adam to Jesus, had the opportunity to be saved. Because people at the time of the Lord’s crucifixion on the cross, had a chance to hear about Jesus’ death and resurrection, they all had the “now” moment to believe and receive salvation. Ever since Jesus was raised from the dead, the Gospel has been preached, and is still even “now” in this Bible lesson. Therefore, if you are reading this you can still choose to enter the door of salvation, before it shuts (Matthew 25:10). We do not know exactly when the right hand of the horizontal cross will set and close, therefore a decision point should be made with it being your greatest priority.

Let us review some of the key points from the Horizontal post representations that we have just learned.  While a person is alive in their physical body in the horizontal realm, they can move, travel, as well as decide and make choices. It is during this timeline of horizontal natural existence, that a person can be saved by entering into the door of Jesus. As we may have seen earlier; some humans, in the horizontal realm will choose, to enter into the “door” that God raised up and hung on the cross (aka Jesus), by placing their faith in Him (Ephesians 2:8). These people have now entered into an access point, leading into the vertical heavenly realm. This access is signified as an intersection point (aka Jesus) of the horizontal and the vertical cross posts.

Wherever there is a traffic intersection, there also represents a human choice or decision point. At any time on the horizon life line, a human has the right to choose, to enter into Christ, to not enter into Christ, to remain in Christ, or choose to leave the narrow path. The vertical post intersection, represents the choice of human eternal destination. Staying in Christ, will lead us to the upward direction of heaven, and departing, leaving or rejecting Christ, will lead us to the downward path to hell. This decision is always available as long as a person is alive on the horizontal cross time line. Once someone dies, the choices made before their death, predetermines the direction of spirit travel after death.

Please note, that making no choice, is the default path leading to eternal death and separation from God. This default choice, was made for you by your father Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22). This occurred, when he made the evil choice of eternal death, you were in him and made that choice also (Hebrews 7:9-10). While you had no way to vote for Adam’s first wrong choice, you have been given the right to make the most important choice to enter into Christ to be saved. I pray that everyone has already chosen to enter the Christ door (called the Last Adam, 1 Corinthians 15:45) and will stay in Him, so that you will travel up on the extended vertical post to heaven, when you die, or when He returns to take us to heaven.

We have been learning about the cross, with an emphasis on the Horizontal post and its potential meanings.  We found earlier that the word Horizon comes from the Greek word G3724. It is interesting to note that this Greek word G3724, is used in Acts to describe Jesus dying on the cross:

Acts 2:22 – Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 
Acts 2:23 – Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 

Notice that these verses are describing the LORD Jesus Christ being crucified on a cross. The Greek word translated as “crucified”, literally means, to be hung and fastened by nails or impaled. That can accurately describe what is done to a door, using hinges, and nails. Also, notice the declaration in this verse, that this was done, by the “foreknowledge” of God. This confirms to us that this was not a surprise, but rather a precisely planned event. In other words, God planned and knew, the precise way, the precise location, the exact year, the exact month, the exact day, the exact hour, and the precise minute that Jesus would give His life.

All of this planned precision, is confirmed by the next part of verse 23, where God uses the Greek word G3724 (horizo). But it is translated as “determinate”. This English word means “to have defined limits”. This word G3724, also carries the implication that, what is being described to happen, is occurring based upon the divinely created law of “cause and effect”, at a specific time, and a specific place of location. Another way to say this, in more Biblical terms, is that this crucifixion event, was the “fruit” produced from the “seeds” of God’s Word, that were coming forth by God’s design. Wow, this is getting really deep. What I believe God is saying to us, is that He foreknew everything that was happening, including the cross design, and He is using this to communicate to us, His LOVE!

Because Jesus redeemed us from Satan’s kingdom paying the ultimate price of His life, and blood for every human sin, anyone that chooses to believe, and enter God’s “door”, is able to become the physical temple of the Spirit of God, here on the earth (1 Corinthians 6:19).  Now post resurrection and ascension, God’s plan of finally living and dwelling with humans personally and intimately on the earth without any separators has come to be fulfilled and available to everyone.  God’s Kingdom in Heaven, now permanently resides in you and I, if we remain in Christ, and we allow Him to live in us. Wow, wow, wow!  This represents Adam’s sin problem being finally resolved and God’s desire to intimately and personally fellowship with each and every human without an intermediary component. This gift has been provided and made accessible and available through the blood of Jesus to anyone.

Therefore, after the completed fulfillment of the cross, humans now have been restored to an unobstructed single vertical two-way spiritual portal into the presence of God.  God lives inside of us here on the earth, and we are seated with Him in the heavenly realm simultaneously (Ephesians 2:6). There is the human full Horizontal access to God here, and now in the earth physical dimension, by His Spirit being One on the inside of us as His temple. Then there is also made available our full Vertical access of our spirit in union with God in heaven, because of us being in Jesus (Romans 8:1), and Him being seated at the right hand of God’s throne, we can come boldly to Him at any time (Hebrews 4:16). We can see all of this implied being made available now by the single vertical post, being in union with the single horizontal post of the cross.

#8 – CONCLUSION

We have been going long enough in this lesson, but we have potentially seen, and learned a lot of new things about LOVE, that we never saw before in the application of blood on the designs of door posts and cross posts.  All of this information concerning the vertical posts separation in the Passover door, and the transformation to be joined in unity in the one vertical cross post, teaches us how God chose designs found within humanity, to reveal to us, how He solved His separation from humans, that He loved. Sinful humans had a problem coming to a Holy God, and the Holy LOVE God, had a problem coming to sinful humans. God solved this problem, by Himself choosing to become a Man, then choosing as a Man to hang, and die on a cross to pay the penalty for all human sin. It was because of the human inability, to keep a covenant at the level of perfection that was required, that caused God to become “one of” us, to keep it, “for us”. This was a tremendous demonstration, of how much He LOVED us.

Now, humans have returned back on a unified path of communion with God, by God’s designed plan, through the manifestation of His divine LOVE.  LOVE created a way containing the plan of salvation and forgiveness for every sin, to “remove” the obstacles separating us “from Him”. God in heaven came up with this ingenious plan, to come down vertically to the horizontal earth as a human, to become a unified Son of Adam equally with being the Son of God. It was this quality of the O.T. Law, that gave Jesus the legal right to be our “near kinsman Redeemer” as described in the book of Ruth.

God did all of this, in order for Him to save humans, from eternal separation from Him.  He did this in LOVE, by giving us a door, to go back and forth “to Him”, and “through Him”. By Him doing this, He opened the only way for humans on the earth, to go where “He is”, and be with Him forever, and vice versa, and this was by us entering the door Jesus.

It is very interesting to learn this vertical and horizontal connection. There are so many verses that have this concept in them that there are too many to list. But please pay attention when you read the Bible and notice words that say above, and below. Look for verses that relate to “heaven” and the earth. All of these verses and more teach two dimensions of existence. One above in heaven is the vertical, and one below on the earth is the horizontal.

Thank you very much for taking the time, to read and study the Bible with us. We love you all, more than you know. But we should all love God much more “NOW”, than we did yesterday. This is because our love increase, will be accomplished by us learning about Him. We obtain more ability to receive His loving grace by spending time with Him in prayer and in His Word. 2 Peter 1:2 says “Grace and Peace, are multiplied through the knowledge of God and our LORD Jesus Christ”. By us learning about what God has accomplished and given to us freely in His Son Jesus, we can grow immeasurably in His loving favor. If you do not know Jesus Christ and His LOVE, you can ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Please do not delay, a tomorrow is not guaranteed for anyone. He is coming back, much sooner than you think.

In the next lesson of the series, we will expand our foundation of the vertical and the horizontal gifts of divine LOVE. We will do this; the LORD be willing.  God bless you!

Are You Saved? Do you Know Jesus? Life is Short! Jesus wants to Know You! Please come and get to Know Him!

GOD IS LOVE – Pt 2 – REVEALING THE “KNOWING LOVE” PLAN OF SALVATION

(Ver 1.2) This is Part 2 in a very important Bible study series about the subject “God is Love”. If you have not read from the beginning, it is highly recommended that you begin the study with “Part 1”. This lesson will continue the series, building upon our subject LOVE. But it will not repeat the same exact points in the previous lesson. It is possible to read this lesson and gain new understanding from it, as a stand-alone subject; if you do not have the time to read from the beginning. Today’s lesson is long and could be split into 6 sections of reading, if that will help you.

LOVE is one of the most imperative subjects found in the entire Bible. It could possibly be stated that it is “THE MOST IMPORTANT” subject. God tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:13 that “Faith”, “Hope” and “Love” will abide (remain) forever, but the greatest of these three, is “Love”.  This lesson series is built upon God’s foundational truth from 1 John 4:8 where He declares “God is love” which can be mathematically stated as “GOD = LOVE”. This means these two subjects are precisely indistinguishable, equivalent and interchangeable.  

Based upon these truths we can conclude LOVE is essential to know because LOVE is God. As a reminder to those that may desire to read this lesson independently of “Part 1”, every time the word “LOVE” is typed in uppercase in this lesson, we can replace it with “GOD” and it does not change the designed meaning. This would be true for the opposite. Every time we find “GOD” in this lesson in all uppercase letters, we can legally replace it with LOVE. That will be the standard for this Bible lesson series.  But I would also remind everyone that this is true for the name of God in the Bible also. Replacing the name of God for “Love” would be a legal reading.

Let us get started, if everyone is ready to learn what I believe the Spirit of the Living God wants to say to us today.  Please pause, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give you an open, receptive and understanding heart. Also ask the Spirit of God to illuminate your mind providing you the spiritual eyesight to comprehend and receive everything that He desires to speak and reveal to us.

#1 – INTRODUCTION TO GOD’S “KNOWING LOVE” PLAN

Too often we want to limit God’s loving plan of salvation to be a simple recipe, combining God’s ingredients of 1) His death on the cross, 2) His burial in the grave for 3 days and 3) His resurrection from the dead. 1,2, & 3 sounds very simple. But, are these the entire works of divine human salvation? These three significant parts of God’s plan of salvation took place in less than 4 days.  But we are about to find out that this was not everything that occurred to save us. We will definitely be learning and hopefully begin to know that these few days of Jesus being manifested on the earth to die, required a much longer process of time even going back before Adam was created and sinned.

Act 15:18  Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world

Notice what God says here in the book of Acts.  God has revealed a truth that nothing He has accomplished on the earth occurred based upon an instant idea at the moment in our time. God is informing us that what He has done, was already determined and preplanned from before the beginning of our natural world. This truth further implies that His works to save us were very extensive and potentially a series of steps or phases placed together in a series.

One initial point of this lesson, is that the potential accumulated steps of God’s plan to save humanity, was designed by Him, before time existed for us. He did this, to save us from us not knowing Him! We will find when we study the Bible, that God is omniscient. Meaning God knows the end, from the beginning (Isa 46:10). We understand from this, that God already determined the solution for all sin, before sin existed.

We can see in John 1:18 that God declares “No man has ever seen Him at any time”. Colossians 1:15 and 1 Timothy 1:17 declare the fact that God is invisible to humans. Therefore, whatever it is that has never been seen by a human, is challenging to be thought of in the correct and proper way that they truly are. Is God kind, good and loving; or is God mean, evil and hateful? Down through human history people have concluded, that their perceived reality of the truth, can be or fall in either view. However, what people forget is that there could be another spiritual being that also exists, and is an enemy to God. In this light we must understand that this potential enemy is also an unseen spiritual being.  I am speaking of Satan (originally Lucifer). He was a created perfect, but fell and took 1/3 of the angels (Rev 12:4) with him to fight against God. Now he is deceiving all of the people in the world (Rev 12:9) into believing, it is God that is doing to them all of evil and hurt that is occurring in the world.

We are about to learn how the Plan of God to save humans, was a designed process of phases, where one event and step led to the next. We will also learn that each step reveals God’s desires to reveal Himself as LOVE in greater, and increasing measures. Some of the key points of the plan of LOVE to save humanity to look for in this lesson will be:

  1. A provision and an offer to humanity for an easy path out of being eternally separated from Him.
  2. The divine desire to reveal His true nature to His creation.
  3. The divine desire to come closer to His human creation and to development a personal relationship with each of them.
  4. The divine desire for His creation to know Him as being absolutely good and loving.
  5. To establish and follow every necessary legality for each phase of the plan of salvation to prevent Satan from accusing Him of being unjust.
  6. To communicate to humans clearly through the entire process, their need for a final completed phase of salvation, because of all of the inadequacies found within the previous phases.

This is just some of what God had planned from the very beginning, before Adam and his wife were even placed in the Garden of Eden, where his sin was first dealt with personally by God.

Rev 13:8  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world

What we discover in the Bible, is that Jesus had already died for every human sin, even before the creation of our world (Rev 13:8). We know this because Jesus is referred to as the “Lamb” in this verse. A lamb was only necessary to be the substitutionary victim sacrifice, to provide life for someone else. We learned this in the first lesson in the account of Passover in Exodus 12. Therefore, if Jesus was called the “Lamb” before the world existed, God had already planned His death.

If we read Revelation 17:8 God reveals there is a book of life with names written in it. In this verse God says these names were also recorded from the foundation of the world. This would indicate that God made a plan that already included the known end, and He did this before He ever fashioned our natural environment. Wow! This teaches us that this plan was well thought-out and prearranged before human sin, and was put into action immediately after Adam’s sin. We should learn soon, that this plan does not conclude until end of the book of Revelation. What is awesome to know is that the first 3 chapters of the Bible, and the last 3 chapters are bookends with everything else in between being a description of God’s working plan about Jesus. Therefore, we can conclude that God’s plan of salvation lasts 7000 years of accumulated human history.

Therefore, we should discover that God’s plan of human salvation is currently in progress. This would make it to be progressive in nature. It had to be comprehensively thought-through even before the effects of human sin needed a solution. “Progressive” is not a bad word. It has only been perverted by the devil to make people that are not like God try to appear as gods. The word “progressive” simply describes something or someone that is “moving forward”, “onward advancing” as in a “motion that brings growth, improvements, new advances, new developments that will help improve the lives of those participating”.  

Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me

This is an amazing verse, but we will only focus on the last part of the statement. God claims that we should live our lives by the faith of the Son of God. God then says “He loved us and gave Himself for us”.  Please notice the key word “for” at the end of Galatians 2:20. The preposition G5228 translated as “for” in this verse is a word representing “substitution”. We just saw this subject being referred to as the “Lamb”. Therefore, we are progressing in the flow of the subject of God’s plan of salvation.

This word “for” was defined by Strong to be “for the sake of” or “instead of” or “in the place of”. Thayer says this word can also mean “in behalf of” someone else. “Behalf” simply means one person represents another or is a proxy for the other. 

Therefore, “Jesus giving Himself for us” indicates that what He has accomplished, performed or experienced was something that was given to us or exchanged for us, in our place. Therefore, since He accomplished it, humans would potentially not have to repeat it, experience it or go through it personally. For example, we should all know, that because Jesus spiritually died after His death on the cross (Mat 27:46) and went to hell (Mat 12:40), we are not required to pay for what was already accomplished and paid for, “in” and “by” Him.

It is like if someone said, “I’ll make dinner ‘for’ you on Friday night at my house, see you there”. Clearly the person that is receiving the dinner invitation does not have to labor to make this dinner. No, “for” indicates the recipient is the one that comes to freely enjoy the food without extending any cost or the labor that was completed by the preparer and provider. No, the recipient only needs to believe (have faith in) that this cook is their friend and will be honest and trustworthy to do what they said. Then the receiver needs to act on that faith by going to their friend’s house, enter their door, sit down at the table and eat the already prepared food.

That is the basic conceptual idea behind God’s plan of revealing Himself to be LOVE in planned stages. God desired to help us, to “know to trust” Him and His “faithfulness”, so that we all could be saved. Notice how in the example that both the provider of the meal and the recipient of the meal had a progressive set of steps that were needed to work in cooperation together. When these two are working in unison at the appointed time to accomplish the free gift transfer there is not much anyone else can do to stop it from happening. This description sounds a lot like the “Passover” in Egypt experience, doesn’t it? This information was covered previously in “Part 1”.

However, a good dinner with tasty food is not an instantaneous outcome. Instant TV dinners, canned food or even drive through fast food hamburgers, or pizza delivery can never be as good as the home cooked meal. Some dinners made from scratch for family and friends, take all day or more to prepare. So, it is with God’s plan of salvation for every human. What we will find when we read and study the Bible closely, is that God’s love strategy for salvation was an extremely analyzed work and a specific strategic solution set into motion long before humans were created, sinned and needed a savior.

God already had all of His menus pre-planned. He already had all of the available ingredients prearranged in creation that were necessary for this dinner.  God began to prepare His dinner while He spoke the each day of creation. Then, immediately after Adam sinned, He continued to declare the outcome.. He already had written in His book of life, the personal names of every human, to be sent the invitations to His dinner. God sent out His invitations to everyone to come to His Salvation Wedding Dinner (Mat 22:2-14, Rev 19:9). But not everyone responded kingly to His kind invite to come and know LOVE (Matthew 22:1-14). Many names of people that did not want to know Him, had to be blotted out of the Lam’s book of life (Rev 3:5).

Immediately after God confronted the sin of Adam in the garden of Eden, He continues, the preplanned solution, by speaking more words prophetically. God decreed the future solution, for His finale outcomes to each participant in the rebellion. No one but God understood fully what was going to happen next, and no one had a clue when anything was going to actually occur in what order.

This is why Satan had to kill Abel using Cain (Genesis 4:8, 1 John 3:8).  Abel could have been the prophesied one. This is why Satan tried to pervert the human blood line, by having fallen angels take the daughters of men as wives in Genesis 6:1-4. This is why male children of Israel, were thrown into the Nile at the time of Moses’ birth (Exodus 1:22). This is why Satan had Herod kill all the children living in Bethlehem in the time that Jesus was born (Matthew 2:13). This is also why Satan is killing as many children as possible using abortion today. There are just too many examples, found in the Bible of Satan’s attempts to stop the plan of God from happening, to mention them all. But they begin in Genesis 3 and go all the way to Revelation 20:10.

God’s LOVE plan of salvation would patiently unfold and grow out of the direct “seeds” planted by the spoken words of God in creation and the Garden of Eden. At every opportunity Satan attempted to stop it from taking place. Like natural seeds have natural enemies, God’s spiritual seeds also have spiritual enemies. Each planned step could also take time to develop and grow to produce the desired outcome. Observable results could be very far out from the initial seed planting. Please let us get out of the “microwave” and “instant fast-food, drive through”, “instant delivery” type of thinking and let us begin to see things as God has created them.

After God’s prophetical decrees in Genesis 1, 2 and 3, His designed future determined outcomes were planted and started to grow. Now the Holy Spirit began to work to accomplish the divinely spoken Word plan of LOVE. We can see that we are being introduced to a potentially new way to view God’s plan of salvation. This design of LOVE, was well planned and provided for. God actually places it into full motion during the 6 days of creation, before man existed. God’s description of His world creation process in Genesis 1 and 2, provides a nice overview of things that would occur during the plan of Salvation. The plan was immediately activated after sin entered into the world. Every step was a phased in method growing over time. Our Creator God then patiently and carefully, implemented the plan over the movement and process of time, and this is still, taking place today (James 5:7).

Some of the planned “knowing LOVE” steps took place in the first 2000 years of human history. Other plan of “knowing LOVE” steps were initiated and took place in the next 2000 years of human history. Every pre-planned step of LOVE prior to the final completion showed and taught us, increasing signs for the greater need of an enhanced next phase of the divine solution. Then comes Jesus.

The next phase of God’s “Knowing HIM” plan of salvation, was found at the beginning of approximately 4000 years of human history. This corresponded to the “Day 4” of creation. This phase was initiated with the physical appearance of God in the flesh. He was called the “Sun of Righteousness, rising with healing in His wings”, in Malachi 4:2. This part of the plan only lasted 33 ½ years.  This was one of the shortest phases of the plan of God for human salvation, but by far it had the greatest positive impact.

Next God initiates what many call the church age of His divine Grace (Romans 5:20). The church is prophesied to live and reign on the earth for 2000 years (Hosea 6:2, Luke 10:35).  Then, we will be taken out of the world (1 Thessalonians 4:7), victorious over Satan (Luke 10:19, Romans 16:20, 1 Corinthians 15:57, 2 Corinthians 2:14). But the final “completeness” of the divine LOVE plan for human salvation, will not be fully observed, until the completion of the final 1000 years of human history. We call this soon coming period of time, the millennium. This is when God makes a new heaven and new earth (Rev 21:1), completely void of “sin” and “rebellion” (Rev 21:27).

Therefore, the finale of the planned divine LOVE solution, has not been totally fulfilled. We do not read about the elimination of all “evil”, and “hate” until the end of the book of Revelation. We also do not read about the full manifestation of completed fruitfulness until the very last chapter of Revelation. God’s first command to humans was for them to be “fruitful”, as in become “full of fruit” (Gen 1:22). While many Christians today have great “fruitfulness”, I do believe spiritual “fruit” capacity has a lot of room to grow, to be at its most full ability. I believe that this full fruit production, in full bursting capacity is finally fulfilled in Revelation 22:2. God’s desired beginning in Genesis, will be His purposed and prophesied ending, revealed in Revelation 22. Only then will it be a time that Satan, sin, curses, hate and death have been completely eliminated from the face of the planet and a new world (Hebrews 6:5), new heaven and new earth will be manifested fully.

Just like a cook’s meal takes a well-thought-out menu with planning, preparation, recipes and ingredients, and time to produce the final outcome to enjoy, so it is with God’s invitation and plan of salvation for humanity.  Next, let us go over a quick understanding of this lesson’s approach to describe the “Knowing LOVE” plan to save humans.

#2 – GOD’S PROGRESSIVE LOVE PLAN
THIS LESSON’S APPROACH TO DESCRIBE IT

We will be learning about “God is LOVE” today, by learning about His divine “Knowing LOVE” project for: 1) human salvation and 2) intimate relationship. This only means that God wanted us to know Him as LOVE, and He will work this plan slowly over the course of time using multiple progressive steps to reveal His love. I believe God could have possibly planned it this way, because humans could have been overwhelmed with too much information about Him all at once. We could find that this is possibly what caused Jesus to be killed by humans. It could be that because Jesus revealed too much of the true nature of God as being loving, compassionate, and kind, that this information, did not fit the picture of what they believed their Messiah should look and act like.

Please understand, that I do not want to lower God’s plan of salvation to be like an inferior type of human software project, dinner menu, or farming system. No, God is still LOVE, and He is the Creator of everything amazing that we can see all around us in this mind-blowing vast universe. He is the most intelligent and powerful Spirit being ever. What people call a “genius” on the earth, is like a two-year-old compared to God’s abilities. Lucifer made this mistake and he is soon going to regret it for an eternity.

I am attempting to teach this complex, and extensive divine “Knowing LOVE” plan of God, using simplified and hopefully familiar terminology that many people can understand. I will base this approach, upon our end time knowledge of technology. We will be utilizing advanced electronics and software engineering concepts, that are hopefully understood by a lot of people today. For example, if anyone owns a smart phone, a tablet or a computer, they should understand the concepts of how software versions are planned, developed and phased into implementation, over the course of time. Many times, smart phone creators implement new designed phones every year. Also, during the course of the year new software versions can continually be downloaded to run on every phone. These new versions constantly introduce designed improvements to help make the device more powerful, secure, useful, productive, feature rich and user friendly.

Now, just go on your smart phone and look for a selection called something like “Settings”. Select the “Settings” choice that looks like “About Phone”, and then select a choice like “Software Information”. Selecting this option usually gives you a list of software designed components and their version numbers. It should inform you of things like your UI version is 2.5.  It may tell you that your “Baseband version” is like G984993. It may tell you that your “Kernel Version” is like 4.14.117945”, etc. All of this information is simply revealing to us that what we have on our phone today, is potentially not what we may have had yesterday, or what we are able to receive tomorrow. In other words, this is what I believe is a simplified example of what God has done with His salvation plans. without giving us any direct version numbers other than Him saying, “this is the first of something or this is the last of something, this is the new something, this is a better something, or this is the second, etc.”.

From observing and studying God’s ways in His Holy Bible we, can learn how God implemented things in a phased in approach. This type of approach, might be compared to be like a modern-day technology hardware and software development project with multiple new releases. Or we could say to be more Biblical, God’s ways were like planting “seeds”. In Genesis 8:22 God declares as long as the earth remains there will be seed, time and harvest. This simply teaches us that developing and cultivating life, represents a process of steps. It also implies that everything that begins small, with God from a “seed”, can and will grow larger and stronger over the process of time. The end goal of every seed is to produce something potentially multiplied and very good for those that participate in it. I pray in today’s modern times that people still understand basic divinely created “farming concepts”.

Farming is not an instant result methodology. Sure, humans go to the grocery store today buy everything instantly. But this final transaction of receiving took a lot of time and work before, to make it available. Farming is an organized designed set of progressive steps. One of the greatest parts of successful farming is the God created dimension of time.  But within the needed time period between beginning to plant and eating the fruit, is a long series of progressive dependent steps. One step being completed is the requirement for the next step to be initiated and implemented, with potential time in between.

This will be my approach at describing God’s plan of “Knowing LOVE” today. I will be presenting the lesson in separate phases that I will be calling a step, phase or release. Here are the basic steps that will be covered:

  1. Knowing LOVE 1.0 – God’s Desire to be Known by Humans
  2. Knowing LOVE 2.0 – God’s Plan and Two Purposes for Using Blood
  3. Knowing LOVE 3.0 – God’s Desire to Live with Humans
  4. Knowing LOVE 4.0 – The Improved Knowing God in the Flesh Application
  5. Knowing LOVE 5.0 – The Vastly Improved Knowing God in the Spirit Application
  6. Knowing LOVE 6.0 – The Fruitful Grand Finale of Knowing LOVE

We have been going through a quick introduction to the concept of progressive steps and phases. Let us spend our time now to get a big picture overview of the problem that God was faced with and the progressive plan of God implemented to solve it. So let us get started with learning God’s “Knowing LOVE” plan.

#3 – KNOWING LOVE 1.0
GOD’S DESIRE TO BE KNOWN BY HUMANS

What was God’s problem to solve on the earth, after Adam’s creation?  We should all know that it was “sin” and Satan. We know God is Holy (Lev 19:2). We read later in the Bible, that a Holy God could not always be in the presence with an unholy and unrighteous sinner, without a provision to make them clean again, at least temporarily. This is first indicated in Genesis 3 after Adam sinned. Most teachers believe that God shed the blood of innocent animals in the garden of Eden to clothe Adam and Eve after sin (Genesis 3:21). If this is what occurred, then the blood of that animal would have certainly been shed. While this is not clearly stated, it is possible, since the son of Adam named “Abel” also offered God sacrifices of blood, from innocent animals in Genesis 4:4. Where did Abel learn to do this?  And why is he called “righteous” in Hebrews 11:4?

God indicates to us that before sin was on the earth, the voice of God could simply come down and walk and talk with Adam and Eve in the garden “one on one”. We learn this by reading Genesis 3 after Adam sinned, and he heard God’s voice was walking nearby, and he and Eve went and hid from God (Gen 3:8). It is very obvious, that Adam knew exactly what this sound of God was, and who it was that was walking in the garden to talk to them. This implies greatly, that there were a lot of previous meetings that had taken place, between God and His creation.

This hints to us that direct human relationship was God’s desired goal and it certainly demonstrates His initial LOVE for His creation. It further indicates that God wanted for His creation to “Know Him” as LOVE, because of His personal involvement with them. God appears to extend some specific effort, to come to them personally without sending a messenger angel, or other possible ways to communicate. This appears to teach us that God, desired a personal relationship with them. We can further conclude that God loved them, because everything God created was “very good” (Gen 1:31). Humans could easily observe His LOVE for them, being seen in His handy work, given to them (Romans 1:20). However, until Adam and Eve had their own children, they may not have appreciated this as much as they should have.

I have called this, God’s first or initial release or the phase 1.0 plan of “Knowing LOVE”. I believe this first phase of Knowing GOD, only lasted a few years. We are not told exactly how long it took Satan, to inspire them to sin and rebel against God. But after sin’s appearance upon the earth, God indicates that He required some significant changes by Him covering them with “skins” in order for Him to continue a fellowship with humans. Uh oh! This teaches something new was coming next. Let us explore Phase 2.0 of God’s divine “Knowing LOVE” plan.

#4 – KNOWING LOVE 2.0
GOD’S PLAN AND TWO PURPOSES FOR BLOOD

For the next approximate 2500 years of human history, from Adam until Moses, sin and death continued to reign in the world (Romans 5:14). We know the first death after sin was “Abel” being murdered by his brother. This initial death must have opened the eyes of Adam and Eve, and caused much sorrow. But God displays love and mercy even during this time. God appears to use the pattern of bloody animal sacrifices, to temporarily make humans clean enough, for Him to come down temporarily from heaven to still visit with them provisionally. I’ll call this the next step, phase or release 2.0 in the multi-phased plan of human salvation. We can also call this phase “Knowing LOVE 2.0”.

I believe this next phase of the plan of salvation was a significant enhancement helping us, to come to know Him as LOVE even more than Adam in the beginning. Without this revealed feature in God’s relationship plan with humans, we were under the control and influence of predominantly Satan. Hebrews 2:14 informs us that it was Satan that held the “power” of death during this time of human history. This meant dealing with sin, Satan and death, had to be a significant part of the plan to restore humans, back into us being able to know God. Satan became the literal “god” of this world in Genesis 3 and this is stated clearly in 2 Corinthians 4.4. Satan’s plan against God caused Adam and his wife to know two new concepts called “evil” (Genesis 3:22) and “death” when they had previously only known God’s “very good” and “life” (Genesis 1:31). Adam had no idea what he had gotten himself and us into, by his sin.

I view this new phase 2.0 of God’s pre-planned LOVE agenda to be like the release of a smart phone operating system, containing enhanced security features. You see, security enhancements on a smart phone are normally designed to keep our enemies out of our phone. Satan represents the ultimate enemy hacker of the entire human race (Jn 10:10). By God instigating blood substitutionary payments for sin, He placed severe limitations upon Satan’s abilities to willfully hurt humans.  God accomplished this by temporarily removing the immediate death sentence from the consequences for sin through inferior blood sacrifices. This too is a pattern we found in lesson 1 about “Passover”.

In this phase of the release of the divine plan “Knowing LOVE”, God introduced a new use to humans for innocent animal blood. This innocent animal blood would limit what was legal for the devil to do to us. This blood offering system enhancement was provided for us proactively, because God loved us.  By Him doing this, we could all see a side of “LOVE” that had never been necessary for us to know before sin. Therefore, by realizing what God had done for us, the human factor of “Knowing TRUE LOVE”, could potentially increase significantly.

This improved new feature of “Knowing LOVE” simultaneously provided us two complementary views of God = Love. First, humans gained the ability to learn to appreciate God’s power of protection from our enemy Satan. This gift was given to us by God through the principle of substitutionary blood/life exchanges. Because an innocent animal’s life could be substituted and their blood used as payment, our blood and lives were not immediately required for payment for our sins. This meant this inferior blood of this animal offered humans temporary grace through temporary atonement. 

Also, humans should have begun to realize that we needed this blood to regain our temporary access “for” our continued fellowship with God. However, these temporary protection and connection benefits paid “for” with inferior animal blood, should have also begun to teach humans that we needed a greater future solution for these new problems. Humans should have seen the need for the total removal of the consequences of our sin, and the permanent removal of this new unknown enemy and our added need for the ability to fully regain total access to knowing our creator God.

Think about your smart phone again. Most good phones have strong security built within them. One feature of the phone is the ability to set a security code, pass code or even a human biometric like a fingerprint or facial recognition. This feature was like God’s blood sacrifice system. By entering the correct code, the clean blood of an innocent animal, we could keep out, all the others that wanted to look inside our phone, to steal our personal information. But also, by entering this blood code, we gained access to the feature that allowed us to speak with the manufacturer (also known as our Creator). Wow, that is pretty amazing.

This pattern of new animal blood sacrifice in Genesis should have been viewed as an indicator, for a needed new future blood requirement and provision for permanent salvation, relationship and permanent safety. But this limited version of God’s plan still should have brought thankfulness to the human heart, for the features that were freely given to us in this release. We can observe from Adam to Moses where people were still able to walk with God long before the mention of any LAW that implements a more formal substitutionary blood sacrifice system. All of these examples of “Knowing LOVE” before Moses’ Law were humans interacting with God after sin was found present on the earth.

For example, we first saw God walking with the first man Adam in Genesis 3 without sin, in God’s “Knowing LOVE 1.0” release. We should also notice in Genesis 3 that the “serpent” enemy just freely showed up in the garden uninvited.  Obviously, this teaches us that there was no God security system to prevent this from happening. However, God did give man dominion over the planet (Genesis 1:26) and He commanded him to guard it (Genesis 2:15). So, it appears that God left the human’s security to the humans alone. This implies that Adam had this authority to choose this and do it. I believe this is why this version of “knowing GOD” failed fast. Man needed to call on his relationship with his creator before he made a decision to eat of the forbidden fruit.

Yet, we can find in Genesis 4 where God was still interacting with Adam’s children Cain and Abel, even after sin entered into the world. Here in this description, God was taking notice of their peace offerings. God clearly says Abel’s blood sacrifice was more pleasing, because he offered God his first and best animals (Genesis 4:4).  This caused Cain to become jealous, and he followed Satan’s plan to murder his brother (1 John 3:12). What we learn from this is that Satan has initiated a new strategy of attack against God’s plan of human salvation.

The next time someone is said to walk with God is Enoch in Genesis 5. This man walked with God so closely that God just took him off the planet in a rapture like experience. While there is no mention of direct sacrifices with Enoch, he is mentioned in Hebrews 11:5 as being a man that pleased God, and this certainly implies that blood was involved somewhere. We can also find Enoch in Jude 1:14 being described as potentially the first human “prophet” of God. Enoch appears to have had either a dream or a vision of Jesus returning to the earth with all of His saints. Wow, I do not believe that this man could have experienced God at this level of intimacy, without a lot of blood being in his life.

The next time we see someone walking with God is Noah. We should all know that God used this righteous man to save the planet from being totally void of humans. It is also clearly stated in Genesis 8:20 that Noah built an altar unto the LORD and offered clean animals as sacrifices. Again, this indicates to us, like Abel’s offering, the kind of sacrifice offered to God greatly mattered. Where did Noah get this type of wisdom? How did he know what a clean animal was and was not without the LAW? It had to have been passed down from Adam or directly from God, or from someone like Enoch, his great-grand-father.

Sometime in the course of early human history after Noah and before Abraham, we find “Job” being mentioned by God in heaven. God speaking to Satan called Job a perfect and upright man. We can clearly read how Job offered animal blood sacrifices of burnt offerings to God without any LAW requiring him to do so. God also reveals in Job 1:5 that Job performed these sacrifices in order to “sanctify” his children. This Hebrew word simply means to “make clean”. Again, WOW. How did Job know how to do this, and why did he think that this blood was even necessary without knowing something about the Holy God? Job must have known, that he personally needed, protection from the consequences of sin. It would appear that humans had figured out a lot more than we are told directly in the Bible about how to know God.

All of this is teaching us that God desired to have a relationship with His creation and He and we, both needed “blood” to gain this temporary access. This blood would also increase our level of protection. Satan in the book of Job complained to God about His “hedge of protection” that was placed around Job. It appears that “blood” definitely caused this hedge to be in place. But later we know from Job 3:25 that Job claimed it was the things that he feared, that came upon him. This teaches us that it is more than just “blood” and the quality of the offering, that is required to activate it and make it effective in our lives. It appears to indicate that it is also our “faith” in the blood that causes it to work, but that is a different lesson.

All of this appears to be God’s phase 2.0 approach at having a divine “LOVE” connection with His creation. This part of the Plan of God for humans to Know the true LOVE, must be considered to be a greatly inferior shadowed type of the coming planned steps of God in the future. There are many other examples of God’s EARLY LOVE types in Genesis that you can go find and read about.  But we will end this section with a quick review of the lesson 1 information found in Exodus concerning the first “Passover”.

We should now realize that God used a similar display of “Knowing LOVE 2.0” during the initial “Passover”, when the nation of Israel was being held captive in Egypt. Please understand that Israel was still being held as captive slaves in Egypt, when this plan of deliverance was given by God. Therefore, there was no law yet provided to Moses. This simply means God was still working with His phase 2.0 of “Knowing LOVE” plan, before Mt Sinai and His Law entered the earth.

Here in this Exodus example, we can clearly read about God’s direct mention of His early protection plan. God told the people of Israel to obtain a lamb and keep it in their house for 4 days. We talked about what the four days could represent in “Part 1” of the series. Also remember God specifically states that this lamb had to be perfect in outward appearance without any flaws. This is now the third mention that I know of, that stipulates the sacrifice type and quality mattered greatly to God.

Then the head of the house was supposed to take the innocent lamb victim and kill it. Then they were to place its’ blood on the doorposts of the house. God would then come near to the family and pass over them (Exo 12:13), not allowing death to enter their door because of the observed blood substitution. This clearly represented substitution protection to the family.

God was teaching humans several important concepts that existed in their world and their need for a relationship with Him. First, humans had an enemy that they needed protection from. We know this because Job the oldest book in the Bible was the first mention of Satan by name and it strongly describes what was taking place with Satan gaining legal access to temporarily destroy even God’s good man. Next, God wanted people to understand that they could depend upon Him for conditional protection from this enemy.

One of the major parts of the conditions for safety and protection from the enemy was blood, and the quality of their offerings was also critical. What we learn from this is that God is teaching us all, that only His “quality of sacrifice standard” could work permanently. We will learn soon that it was only the life and blood of Jesus that met God’s high standard. Let us stop and review a list of blessings and limitations of this phase of the “Knowing LOVE” plan:

Benefits:

  1. Temporary blood sacrifices of innocent animals gave the Holy God the opportunity to come down to earth to visit and/or walk with His creation after sin.
  2. God could temporarily protect humans from Satanic destruction, if they met and satisfied the requirements for innocent blood substitution.

Limitations:

  1. God still lived in Heaven far apart from His creation.
  2. Up to this point the majority of humans had never witnessed or met with their creator. 
  3. Sin separation from God, made knowing and experiencing God very challenging and only a few people in the O.T. are listed to have achieved a type of inferior but close relationship with God.
  4. There was no knowledge of sin because of the absence of law, but death was still dominating every human because of Adam’s sin.
  5. Humans learned the hard way that the quality of their offerings and their faith to God mattered tremendously.
  6. This level of protection from the enemy’s attacks were very inadequate and many suffered because of it.

All of this in Phase 2.0 of “Knowing LOVE” was some initial types and shadows of divine LOVE protection plan that was going to increase in future steps of revealed LOVE. Let us move to God’s phase 3.0 of His plan for “Knowing LOVE” next.

#5 – KNOWING LOVE 3.0
GOD’S DESIRE TO DWELL WITH HUMANS

Next God introduces a significantly improved approach to His plan of salvation. God demonstrates how He wanted to reveal more of His love to humanity in this release. In this phase, God desired an increased level of consistent closeness to His people. I call this “Knowing LOVE 3.0”. In this part of the plan of God, the people had a slightly increased opportunity to know and experience Him personally. It represents a significant enhancement, but definitely not the final desired outcome of God’s love project.

Psa 103:7  He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. 

In this phase of God’s release plan of “Knowing LOVE”, we can read here in Psalm 103, how God turned up the level of knowing Him significantly, for every human that was participating. Notice that this verse says “God made known His ways to Moses”. This indicates this phase of the plan greatly improved the level of knowing God, to at least one man named Moses. But notice that the general population of Israel could also be witnesses to God’s awesome works personally. This number in the nation of Israel, could have been from 1 to 3 million people. There appears to be a great quantity of new people, that are being introduced to “LOVE”.

Compare this to previous releases of someone “Knowing LOVE”.  Adam and Eve were just two people.  Enoch was only one man that was taken up by God. Noah, his wife, and his three sons and their wives were the only 8 people saved in the ark. Job and his wife were the only two that got to receive God’s blessings of restored protection and provision. Abraham had only his wife and his nephew and his wife that left to find the promise of God. It just seems like in Phase 2.0 God had severe limitation to the number of people that He could reveal Himself to.

But now in Phase 3.0, Moses learned personally about God’s ways, and the up to 3 million people of the nation of Israel could witness His miraculous works, to personally save them and provide for them in the wilderness. This sounds like a lot of new release features that were going out to a lot of new users. Let us look at one more verse about what God thought of this phase of His plan:

Hosea 6:6  For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. 

Wow, this verse described the heart of God and His motivation for this phase of the “Knowing LOVE 3.0” plan.  As we can see, this verse clearly states that all of the temporary sacrifices and burnt offerings that were implemented in this phase, were not what God really wanted. God plainly reveals His heart’s desire was for His selected people to grow in the “knowledge” of God. This would confirm to us that this was God’s heart and plan for the entire project and not just this single phase.

We should be able to see how this phase 3.0 of the “Knowing LOVE” Plan of Salvation, is like a new software release version containing things that had not previously been known or experienced by humans. However, while God’s new progressive step 3.0 phase of “Knowing LOVE” was meaningfully enhanced, it is still considered an inferior shadowed type of complete salvation and it continued to contain limitations (Hebrews 10:1).

This new phase 3.0 step of God’s plan was 1) providing humans with new opportunities to know about God, and 2) introduced additional opportunities to desire more of what could be possible in the future coming next phase of God’s plan. Every phase of God’s plan of Salvation had these qualities so far. There were always new and better features in each release. But with the new “good”, there also came a revived troublesome longing, of the need for coming improvements, and enhancements found within the next phase.

Have you ever desired and looked forward to the next release of a smart phone? There is so much advertised hype in the phone world to cause this “got to have it” feeling of desire.  A new phone design with new improved features often causes people to wait days, or for many hours in line to be the first person to get one. There is such an intense level of desired excitement for certain brands of phones with specific features that people literally go crazy to try to get one, no matter what the cost may be. But, God’s “Knowing LOVE” new releases were so much greater than having the latest smart phone, that it does not compare. Nevertheless, people have set their desires so low and are missing the incredible blessings of “Knowing the One that Created everything, including smart phones”.

We are now being exposed to the next new and enhanced presentation of a new version of divine “Knowing LOVE”.  God’s desire was then and still is now for a closer relationship with humans. God wanted more than just coming down from heaven and walking and talking with them occasionally. Sound familiar? God wants more of us every day, rather than just how some people only think of God one time on Sunday at church. We are about to find how God’s 3.0 next pre-planned step of “Knowing LOVE” was designed, to actually live with His creation personally on the natural planet earth, in the physical realm:

Exo 25:8  And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them

There were amazing enhanced features added in God’s phased release 3.0 plan of “Knowing LOVE”. This release of God’s LOVE plan changes things up dramatically. Instead of God just coming down to the earth occasionally to visit humans, God desired to end the long-distance relationship, to make it a closer friendly relationship between Him and His creation. God desired to live together on the natural earth for His people and Him to be nearer to each other. God said this part of His plan would require a “sanctuary”.  This is just another name for a “tabernacle” or “temple”. And it was initiated by God with a portable temporary “tent” designed system, that was made from a heavenly design, that was given to Moses directly from God on Mount Sinai.

This concept of God being near and with His children was described by Jesus when He was here in the flesh.  Jesus declares this was God’s desire to be very close to His children in Matthew 23:37 when He says:

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 is figuratively speaking of God to be like a hen that gathers her chicks under her wings. This was done by a hen, to give the children comfort, covering and safety from any predator type of bird. This is clearly speaking of natural people on the earth as being under the wings of the “Most High” God. We can learn about this, by reading what God wrote and implied to us in Psalm 91. In Psalm 91:1 God says “He that dwells in the secret place (hidden under my wing) of the ‘Most High’, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”. Then in verse 4 God gets more direct with the connection to Jesus’ words in Matthew:

Psa 91:4  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. 

This verse contains a very similar pattern to the words spoken by Jesus in Matthew. These words represent the heart of LOVE desiring to be very close as a covering to His children. This is God’s desire to hide them from their enemies. This was God offering them a greater level of loving protection. This is clearly what God has desired from the beginning. But because of sin and Satan, God had a challenge in keeping humans ‘holy’ enough to be that near to Him and Him not kill them because of His great Holiness.

We will also find that God’s desire was to dwell with His creation as their covenant Husband (Jer 31:32), and for them to live with Him as His faithful wife. God’s plan was for an increased presence of covenant relationship, utilizing an amended temporary solution for the next approximate 1500 years. This designed improvement of “Knowing LOVE” was for Him to come down from heaven to be present and as close as He could to them without defiling Himself and harming them.

God needed an increased covering from their human sin, until the time He could implement His future far better solution through Jesus. For the temporary system, God implemented a structure based upon law, containing ordinances and promises. He put these into place with a temporary high priest interacting with a temporary blood offering substitution system, and bringing this blood into the presence of God.

The high priest would offer sacrifices of blood for himself, and he would act as a “bridge” type of representative of the people to God. This temporary high priest, would go between the one-sided cliff of sinful covenant people, and the other side of the sin gulf, containing the cliff of God’s infinite Holy presence. This high priest system was required to offer the blood of inferior, temporary, and unblemished animals for his own personal sins. This blood came from the outside of the inward Holy places, and then the blood was brought into the innermost Holy level alone. The high priest, would then apply the blood to the “ark of the covenant” (aka the mercy seat), where the Spirit of God abided temporarily in this phase.

The high priest after cleansing himself, would then do it again for the corporate sins of the entire nation. This high priest would perform this annually on the day of atonement, to make himself and the nation temporarily clean and sanctified enough for God’s glory to continue to live among, and near them without killing anyone. These separate sacrifices would allow the high priest and the nation to live another year in temporary “peace”, until more sacrifices for their new sins were required. Much of these sacrificial instructions were given to them in detail by Moses in the book of Leviticus.  We will not go through this for the sake of time.

However, we will mention Leviticus 10:1-2. In these verses, were two sons of Aaron, the first temporary high priest. These are two priests that do not follow the commandments of God accurately and they offered to God “strange fire”. This indicates it was not what God instructed for them to offer Him. It represented potentially an inferior quality offering. The consequence for this act of disobedience and rebellion, was their immediate deaths. Leviticus 10:2 clearly states that fire came out of the LORD and devoured them.

Please just understand that in this lesser Old Covenant system that I am calling “Knowing LOVE 3.0”, God utilized law. The Law was put into place to, 1) Give humans the knowledge of sin (Rom 3:20), and 2) to act as a school master to prove to us, that no human could be perfect enough to meet God’s standards (Gal 3:24). We also know from reading the promises of blessing in Deuteronomy 28, for people that kept the law by obeying it, these commandments would protect the people from the curses of disobedience. Finally, if we read in Joshua 1:8, we will find that meditating on God’s law, both day and night to see to do it, would cause great success and prosperity to come upon them that would obey God. Therefore, we can see that there were conditional provisions for obeying or disobeying God’s Laws.  One side of the coin was great blessings and the flip side was tremendous consequences.

Here we can see that sin, still had major costs, in this phase of the plan of GOD.  If the blood offerings were not properly followed, and sin was not at least at a minimum covered, many bad things happened.  

In this temporary Law system, God created a tabernacle tent arrangement containing an 1) outer fenced courtyard area, that contained a brazen altar to sacrifice animal burnt offerings. This area also had the washbowl to allow the priest to get his external body clean. Next came an 2) inward tent Holy location that contained a lampstand, a place for the shewbread, and a place for incense.  All of these tabernacle outer items could be accessed by the priestly order almost daily for their outward temple duties.

But one location named 3) the Holy of Holies had a separating veil for safety and protection, and only one representative man was made clean enough by blood offerings to actually enter into this Most Holy center place. This man was the selected mediator “from” the covenant people that was selected “for” the covenant people to represent them before God. This temporary high priest was a pattern for the coming permanent High Priest named Jesus (Hebrews 4:14). This Holy of Holies place was the one inner room where the Spirit of God chose to reside on the earth, to be as close as He could to His covenant people that He LOVED, without hurting them. But if any sin entered into His Holy of Holies presence without following the laws of sacrifice, that human life was ended immediately, as we just read.

God introduces in Release 3.0 of “Knowing LOVE” what we could call “God’s manifested presence on the earth” feature, but it still had severe limitations. It was still inferior to God being with Adam in the beginning Garden of Eden before sin, in the “Knowing God 1.0” phase.

Sin in the nation of Israel remained a constant separating power, that kept God from His covenant bride. In this Old Covenant Law system there were layers of divine pre-planned separators implemented by God’s design using walls, partitions, a veil, rules, processes, procedures, laws, offerings, sacrifices, and a lot of innocent blood, etc. All of these new features, patterns and promises in 3.0 were designed by God, to leave an empty desire for God’s people to want to know Him more, and to hopefully help them to desire to invite Him to come closer. Let us review some of the list of benefits and limitations of this release:

Benefits:

  1. No longer did God need to come down from Heaven to visit with any of His covenant humans occasionally.
  2. God lived in the physical center of the covenant people that He was married to.
  3. The people could personally witness the glory of God and His wonderous and loving works much closer, than when they were in the wilderness with Moses up on Mount Sinai alone.
  4. One man had the right, when all of the requirements were satisfied correctly, to go into the most Holy presence of their Covenant God.

Limitations:

  1. The people had the requirement for a “high priest” mediator type of bridge, between them and God.
  2. The people required animal blood sacrifices continually to appease the consequences of their sin for a Holy God.
  3. The people had a long list of commandments and laws that had to be obeyed, to meet the conditions for the continued blessings and protection of God.
  4. Disobedience opened the door for their enemy to come in and bring curses upon the people.

There were still so many limitations of full access in phase 3.0. So many restrictions and requirements to follow. It seemed like this phase of the LOVE plan was only designed to cause humans to work and learn that they needed something new, that was not yet available. Let us move to the next phased release, and learn what new features God had planned to release on the world for us to personally know Him more.

#6 – KNOWING LOVE 4.0
THE IMPROVED KNOWING GOD IN THE FLESH APPLICATION

The next planned phase of the “Knowing LOVE” app, represented a radical and totally unexpected event in human history. Most humans lacked any understanding of how this type of work of God could be possible. There were some people that suspected it could be, and saw glimpses of it, but only a very few that had any belief it would take place. Some of the people that believed in this phase were the limited Old Testament prophets including John the Baptist, Joseph and the mother of Jesus named Mary. God spoke to a few wise men that came following a star to give Jesus gifts. Angels appears to a few shepherds and made an announcement. But almost no one else knew who Jesus really was. I am not that convinced that even Satan or his angels fully understood who Jesus was either, at least at first.

But God was adding some major new features for “Knowing LOVE”. God desired to assist humans to move from “knowing less to knowing more about His LOVE”. God also wanted people to move from “a distant occasional relationship with LOVE, to Him becoming a closer personal relationship type of knowing LOVE firsthand”. This phase of the plan came much closer to solving these issues, than any of the previous phases. 

In this phase of the plan of “Knowing LOVE”, Jesus who was the creator God (John 1:3, Eph 3:9, Col 1:16) manifested as a “human” (Rom 8:3), “neighbor” (Mk 6:3) and “resident” (Jn 1:14), of the nation of Israel. Jesus Christ the man, was the physically reachable and touchable (Mat 14:36, Mk 5:30) version of LOVE. This part of the plan of salvation, I will call “Knowing LOVE 4.0”. This phase occurred nearly 4000 years after the original sin of Adam. This phase was an ever-improving new prophesied strategy of God (Gen 1:16). God implemented this phase for several good reasons. But one benefit was that, it had practically eliminated the sin separation force, that kept humans from touching their Holy God physically. It was also designed to remove the divine Holy defilement problem with the Holy God being in close proximity to sinful humans. God did all of this by entering into a physical body, so that He could have an intimate direct presence with all of His people.

This phase of the plan of God, was one of the greatest blessings that the natural people of Israel had ever imagined could have happened. Yet it would cause a vast majority of them to stumble because it did not contain the features that they thought they wanted. Uh, oh?

Isa 8:14  And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem

Have you ever gone to the smart phone store and bought a newer version and thought, what happened? This model is just not as good as the last version, that I thought was so great. I know, I have. Many years ago, I had a great phone with a lot of great features that I really liked. It is like my previous phone let me change the battery and put in a new one, and this new version removed this feature.  Then there was a phone that did not allow me to increase the memory by adding a SD card.  It seemed like this new phone that I bought suddenly took away features that I really liked and they vanished. We can all too often gain too much familiarity with the old features, that we miss the new features. This can cause us not to be so fully appreciative of the new features, that were added for us, providing us things we never had before. That is exactly what this version of the plan of God did to many of the Jewish people.

For example, the leaders in the temple set up exchange stations for commercial transactions for the people to purchase the “Law” required temple offerings. The people of Israel could simply bring some money and buy a lamb, dove or whatever offering type they needed instead of bringing their own from home. Think about what was happening in this O.T. system of offerings. People were abusing the system and ultimately disobeying the intent of the Knowing LOVE system. Many people got too accustomed to this abuse, and when Jesus came, he drove out these money changers from the temple, and they wanted to kill Him (Mk 11:18). Let us get back, to our prophetical verse of Jesus.

Notice in Isaiah 8:14 what God prophesied about Jesus. We should immediately notice that Jesus was prophesied to be a “sanctuary”. This is the same as a temple containing an outer court, an inner holy court area, and an inner interior Holy of Holies, where the Spirit of God lived.  God was literally informing people of something absolutely vital to understand and we will talk more about this soon. But notice the rest of the verse claims that Jesus will also be a “stumbling stone” and “rock of offence” to the people of Israel. Wow, this is exactly what we can find in the Gospels. These descriptions describe people that did not like the new release of their LOVE smart app. God is saying to us, that this walking and talking sanctuary will be mostly hated by these people.

As a major portion of this phase of God’s “Knowing LOVE” plan, God made a willful decision to make a personal appearance on the earth. He did this by manifesting in the physical form of a mortal human male named Jesus. While most Israelites were expecting a physical Messiah, this model of Messiah found in Jesus, did not match their expectations. That was one of their major problems. A lot in the nation of Israel were looking for a strong and conquering type of Son of David to be their Messiah. But when Jesus appeared as a lowly, meek and mild man (Mat 11:29) they became easily offended. However, notice this verse:

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

Clearly Jesus was called by this name to reveal exactly who He was. This human natural birth was the fulfillment of a prophecy from hundreds of years earlier from Isaiah 7:14. As is restated in Matthew 1:23. This name “Emmanuel” literally means “God with us”. Therefore, we learn that Jesus was the manifested presence of God on the physical earth in a completely legal and safe form. In this form, God could be much more than just near to humans like He was in tabernacle in the wilderness.  This appearance of God could even eat with people and He could touch humans physically. All of this, without the consequences of death for being in His presence or corruption to divine Holiness. Sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it?

Col 1:15  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 

We can confirm in Colossians 1:15 that Jesus is literally declared to be the “image of the invisible God”. This Greek word G1504 translated as “image” simply means that when people saw Jesus, they were witnessing the divine character, morals, attitudes, emotions, words, ways and actions of their LOVE God. No one had ever seen or known this God in this close way. Perhaps Moses came the nearest to this experience.  But yet Moses was never allowed to see the face of God while speaking with Moses. 

Jesus in the flesh had become a living human containing the hidden, and invisible Spirit of God. It was almost like Jesus came to show everyone the True nature of God as being loving. This comparison is similar to the wizard in the Wizard of Oz movie. The wizard would normally hide behind a curtain to keep his true self from being made known to people that visited him. This is similar to the character of God. We are told that God hides himself from us in Isaiah 45:15. But in the movie, the curtains were drawn back, so that the people seeking him could finally see him. In this movie, one man controlled the big scary image of what everyone wanted to believe that the wizard was. But when the curtain was removed, this type of wizard was not at all what anyone expected. This is very similar to the reaction that Jesus received when claiming to be the “Son of God” (Lk 22:70) and the great “I am” (Jn 8:58).

Why was this new and different revelation of God, so troubling to the people of Israel? It is probably because they had all read and heard the stories of experiencing God in His rescue of the nation from Egypt. Remember in this experience the people had just witnessed the Red Sea parted and they walked through on dry ground. These parted waters soon closed after they had crossed totally destroying the pursuing Egyptian army. They had been led by a pillar of fire at night and very large cloud by day.  They had seen 3000 people swallowed up by the earth after Moses came down from meeting with God on Mount Sinai.  They had witnessed so many awesome manifestations of God, but none were exactly like this humble carpenter man from Nazareth.

Now, during Jesus’ manifested times on the earth for 33 ½ years, instead of God speaking through other normal sinful humans, like prophets, priests or kings, God could speak directly and personally to anyone in His physical presence. Jesus verified this in John 14:9 when He told Phillip, “When you have seen me, you have seen the Father, why are you asking me to show you the Father?” This was such an awesome approach at revealing LOVE to the nation of Israel. Jesus showed the people such an extreme picture of a loving, kind and compassionate God. He did this by healing so many sick people (Mat 12:15), raising dead people back to life (Lk 8:54-55) and casting out devils (Mat 8:16) to name only a few. All of these examples of LOVE were God personally protecting His people from their unseen enemies.  Wow!

Jesus as a physical manifestation of God in the form of one man had a lot of human limitations. He could only be in one place at one time with only the few people that were there at that location. For example, Jesus was in His house in Mark 2:1-12. His house was already full of people and no one else could get in to be near to Him. We are told that a small group of 4 men brought a lame man to Jesus to get healed and they found no way into the house. They decided to climb on the roof and make a hole in it, to lower the lame man down to see Jesus.  Because of their faith and hard work this man was healed.  But this clearly demonstrates a major limitation that Jesus faced with people reaching out to know Him and experience His LOVE, mercy and compassion.

Jesus plainly had to travel by foot (Jn 1:36), donkey (Jn 12:14) or boat (Mt 14:13) extensively to try to see the people that He could be led to see. Jesus had normal human things to do like He needed to eat (Mat 9:10, Mat 26:26), sleep (Mk 4:34) and go to the bathroom (Mt 15:17). Jesus often stood in a boat and taught people on the shore to allow more people to hear Him (Lk 5:3). There was just one limitation after the other recorded in the Gospels. Also, God desired to reach out and save every person from every nation in the world, but physical Jesus was literally only sent by God to minister to the nation of Israel (Mat 15:24).

We can clearly see where the “Knowing LOVE” plan version 4.0 was better than anything previously. This release had awesome improvements and features.  But simultaneously it had severe constraints. Fortunately for God and humans, this release for “Knowing LOVE” only lasted for 33 ½ years. This was one of the shortest durations of time in the entire plan of God for salvation. The only other short duration in the plan, was phase 1.0 in the time of the first Adam (Romans 5:14). But these few years of God physically living with humans for us to “Know Him” would bring about the most radical next phase changes in His LOVE plan in the entire human history. No human, angel or devil had ever witnessed or imagined what was coming next in God’s agenda.

Let us talk briefly about what made Jesus (Knowing LOVE 4.0 – God in the flesh), legal to be manifested here on the earth without having people dropping dead all around Him when He touched them! Have you ever thought of this? Everywhere in the O.T. when a human came into the presence of their Holy God without the necessary blood sacrifices, death resulted quickly like Passover in Egypt. The Egyptians clearly regretted not listening to Moses and just letting these people leave their nation. Also in 2 Samuel 6:7 there was a man named Uzzah that was killed by the LORD for touching the ark while it was being moved. God clearly warns Aaron the High Priest in Leviticus 16:2, to not enter into the Holy of Holies at all times or he would die.

So, what gave Jesus who was the most High and Holy God living inside flesh, the right to be here on the earth walking and talking with people, without any consequences? Also why did the devils on the earth constantly question Jesus’ right to be there casting them out (Luke 4:34). If demons knew Jesus was the Holy One of God and wondered how He could manifest here on this sin filled earth and still be legal, I think we should find the answer. What is the answer? We briefly mentioned the correct answer at the beginning of this section.  Now we are about to see it being stated by Jesus next.

Joh 2:19  Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 

While Jesus was here on the earth in the flesh, He claimed to be the manifested temple (temporary tent tabernacle and sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit. He told the Jews “Destroy this temple, and in 3 days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). We are told in John 2:21 that the Jews thought He was speaking of their physical stone temple building, but Jesus was speaking of His body instead. This is a clear example of a major misunderstanding from two radically different perceptions of word definitions and viewpoints.

Wow, we have just learned that the physical body of Jesus was the improved fulfillment of the superior type of temporary temple of God found in the Old Covenant Phase 3.0 plan of God. What we are finding is that God took an inferior pattern from a previous release and enhanced it with awesome newly designed divine workings. Acts 7:48 teaches us that God’s ultimate plan was to not dwell in temples that were made with human hands. This simply tells us that it was God’s plan to live in human bodies that He designed and created making it all legal for God to manifest in a man’s body named Jesus.

Reading in John 1:14 Jesus is described as God coming into our physical world. Jesus came into our world, so that GOD could “dwell” among us. This is exactly what God said He desired to do in Exodus with the freed people of Israel. This Greek word G4637 translated as “dwell” actually means “to tent camp”. In other words, this is the same description as God “tabernacling” with His people in the O.T. except with Him being in a far greater living form of the old temporary tent. This redesigned old temple pattern, allowed God much greater and closer contact with sinful people than had ever taken place before.

Instead of God only allowing one high priest into the Holy of Holies to represent every human on the outside, Jesus could walk up to anyone and talk to them (even the worst sinner), without any consequences for Himself or for them. This was all possible and legal because Jesus was a fully self-contained temple for God. Every component and design of the O.T. temple had a parallel to the greater temple in found the body of Jesus.

Jesus asked the Pharisees a very tough question one day in Matthew 22. Jesus said to them, “What do you think of Messiah? Whose son, is he?”  They all answered to Him, “He is David’s son”. Now Jesus brings out the really tough question next. Jesus quotes Psalm 110:1 to them and says “If David by the Spirit, calls him LORD, how can he be his son?” Not one of them knew the answer to this riddle. If we can understand this mystery, it will help us to know, how the Holy God in Jesus was legal to be found on the earth, without any sinful contact consequences.

This answer is probably known by many Christians.  Jesus had two parents, one was His Father GOD and the other was His mother, Mary. God the Father, was completely Divine and Holy, and His mother was completely human. Mary’s genealogy was provided to us by Luke in chapter 3 of his Gospel. This information shows how Jesus descended from Mary, David, Judah, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, Noah, Methuselah, Seth, Adam and God, to name just some of the key participants. This information shows how the man named Jesus came to be both human and divine in unison.

The temple body of Jesus, contained the complete high priest mediator system created by God in Leviticus. He could work outwardly to interact with the sinful people, and inwardly to speak to the Spirit of the Holy God. Physical Jesus was the “bridge” representative between the Spirit of God and the external humans. The physical body of Jesus, also internally possessed the ultimate, precious, substitutionary blood payment offering that was needed to sanctify and forgive them. This is why Jesus could legally forgive human sins while manifested in the flesh, prior to shedding His blood on the cross. We can see this demonstrated by Jesus in Matthew 9:2. This was when Jesus saw a lame man that was let down on ropes, and said to Him, “Son be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven you”.

When the Pharisees questioned Jesus about His ability and authority to forgive human sin on the earth, Jesus said to them “Why do you think this evil in your hearts?”  These men of the Law were being inspired by Satan to question Jesus’ right to be there. The Pharisees obviously did not know who Jesus was, being God incarnate. But the evil spirits working in these religious people knew. Jesus answered their question in Matthew 9:6 and told them “That you might know the Son of Man, has authority on earth to forgive sin, (Jesus turned to the lame man) and said; Arise, take up your bed and walk”. Wow, can you see how the Hight Priest Jesus, just used the power of His internal blood and decreed a message from the Holy Spirit’s mercy seat inside of Him, and said ‘you are forgiven’?

Between the external sinful lame man, and His internal Father’s Holy Spirit there was a human High Priest mediator, named Jesus of Nazareth. This was just a vastly improved, totally ingenious, new and different concept while being practically the same as the Old Covenant priest and temple system.  Jesus was God on the earth living with His people in human form utilizing a far superior way to dwell with His people that had never occurred in this way before. This was totally awesome.

We can now see God’s direct connection to the temporary inferior Jewish temple and tabernacle that was given to them by God through Moses. This Old Covenant design, was by far an inferior type pointing us to the greater new manifestation of God in the body of Jesus. We should be able to understand that the temporary dwelling of God in the wilderness, was a prophetical type of the coming Jesus in the flesh. But this manifestation of human Jesus, was also a temporary tent dwelling of God with His people. However, Jesus offered humans a closer one on one relationship with God, without a sinful human priest, that was designed to be a bridged gap remover, between God and sinful humans. God, Himself became the needed human gap provider. But Jesus was really much more than all of this. All of these laws were designed by God to give Jesus legal access into the world without killing sinners that came near Him or their sins corrupting Him.

You see the body of Jesus like the temporary Mosaic tabernacle, contained a coat of external skin that kept people on the outside from defiling the presence of the Holy God on the inside. In the design given to Moses from God on mount Sinai (Exo 26), He was instructed to make 4 layers of coverings for the tabernacle as protection for the internal ark. The inner layer was hand crafted beauty and the outer layer was the least beautiful covering.  The outer layer represented a human skin covering. The inner layer represented the Heavenly Perfection and Holiness of God. One of the center layers was made of ram skins dyed red. It is interesting that a Ram is a symbol of God the Father, and a Ram was used as the substitutionary sacrifice when Abraham was offering Isaac (Gen 22:13). All of this corresponded to the body layers of a human, with God on the inside of them.

We can see that Jesus had the Holy Spirit on the inside of His body. We also know that Jesus internal Spirit, was clothed with an outer organ of external human skin.  It was this skin, that kept humans that came near Him, from being killed by the awesome presence of God on the inside. What made all of this possible? It was the living blood of GOD/LOVE. The external layer of human skin covered the flesh and bone layers of Jesus, and all of this covered, the most center internal Holy of Holies, that contained the Spirit of God. But flowing between the external skin, and the internal Spirit, was the living blood of the Holy God. This blood was NOT inferior animal blood. This blood was the “precious” Holy blood of God Himself (1 Pet 1:19).

The fact that this was God’s blood and not just the blood of a natural bull, goat or lamb, made this offering “infinitely” greater. This blood was powerful enough to accomplish things no created animal blood could ever do for us.  As we all have seen in past releases, God values the quality of the gift being sacrificed to Him, and this Jesus divine blood gift offering, was the ultimate presentation that could only be offered by God Himself. Thus, God in the flesh of Jesus was a complete self-contained safe environment for walking and talking with sinful humans.

What we find in the Bible is that Jesus is stated to be our High Priest (Heb 3:1). We also find that His Body was the manifested Tabernacle of the Most Holy God (Jn 2:19). We further discover that His flesh body was consider to be the veil that was torn, to later give us all permanent direct access to the Holy Spirit of God (Heb 10:20). We also can see how Jesus was our substitutionary sacrifice, and His blood was soon going to become the permanent payment for human redemption (1 Cor 5:7).

Jesus was a walking, talking and living tent tabernacle for God. He was designed to be a safe method of face-to-face relationship with His creation. This was very similar to when God could walk and talk with the first Adam in the garden. But this manifestation took into consideration and solved the sin separation problem. This made this release of LOVE significantly greater than any other phase of the plan, after sin entered the earth. But, a lot of people and devils, did not like this type of God manifestation, and they killed Him. This too was a part of the plan for Jesus to become God’s bleeding sacrifice. This pouring out of His blood was one of Satan’s greatest mistakes (1 Cor 2:8).

Jesus in His mortal flesh, had totally eliminated the barrier of sin separation between God and humans, when walking the face of the earth as a living natural man. Jesus could have lived on the earth indefinitely in this manifestation. Jesus was designed by God to be a manifested self-contained temple unit with a built in Prophet, King and High Priest. However, Jesus purposefully came to die, and He only tabernacled with humans for 33 and ½ years. During this time, He did not kill one sinner. Everyone that personally saw Him was totally safe.

Benefits:

  1. This was the closest to God any sinful human could be to Him so far.
  2. God manifested as a man named Jesus could demonstrate the character, nature, compassion and love of God like no other phase of God’s plan so far.
  3. The people in the world could personally witness the wonderous, miraculous and loving works of God face to face.
  4. There was never any risk of any human dropping dead, because their sin in the presence of the Holy God in Jesus.
  5. There was never any need for a blood sacrifice of an animal to talk with God face to face in Jesus.
  6. There was no need for any human temporary bridge to act as a “go between”, for us to desire to speak with God personally. God in Jesus, directly became our “High Priest”.

Limitations:

  1. God stripped Himself of His deity powers to die for us on the cross. It would have been impossible to kill an omnipotent God manifested in the world. This is why God had to anoint Jesus with the Holy Spirit to do miracles (Acts 10:38).
  2. God in Jesus had human physical limitations of being in one place at one time with only the people that could get near enough to be with Him.
  3. All human sin and its consequences had not been dealt with in this manifestation of God on the earth with His people.

All of these new features, seemed so great in God’s much-improved version of the divine “Knowing LOVE” application. No one had ever imagined this was even possible, except for God Himself. Surely there would be millions of people standing in line to get to experience this new version of face-to-face LOVE. But what made people reject this version of God’s LOVE? The main answer was it was not what they expected, and this version still did not have what God had promised that was coming next.

#7 – KNOWING LOVE 5.0
THE VASTLY IMPROVED KNOWING GOD APPLICATION IN THE SPIRIT

2Co 5:16 Consequently, from now on we estimate and regard no one from a [purely] human point of view [in terms of natural standards of value]. [No] even though we once did estimate Christ from a human viewpoint and as a man, yet now [we have such knowledge of Him that] we know Him no longer [in terms of the flesh]. (AMP)

God reveals to Paul, in the second letter to the Corinthians, that a change to “knowing LOVE”, had taken place. In the previous release, Jesus Christ made the TRUE living God physically apparent to people. Paul claims that we got to “know” Him in His flesh. But Paul, then claims this is not how we “know” Him anymore.  What changed? In this next phase of the “Knowing LOVE” plan of God, God is now able to come to every human on the face of the earth with His Holy Spirit, and speak to, walk with, and live in us all, Spirit to spirit.

There were only about 120 people gathered in an upper room in Jerusalem 50 days after Jesus was raised from the dead. Only these people wanted to possess and experience the next most awesome version 5.0, of His “Knowing LOVE” plan. In the mind of some people this may have been a great disappointment. But God knew and saw things differently. God knows this is how someone begins to plant seeds in a garden. God understood how things were created, and He knew that almost everything that becomes large, must begin with a small seed and grow. If you recall, Jesus claimed to be the single seed in John 12:24, that will produce more fruit containing more seeds. In this verse, Jesus speaking of Himself said, “unless a grain of wheat dies and fall into the ground, it remains alone, but it if dies, it bears much fruit”.

God planted a new single seed, named Jesus as a new sinless garden. Jesus was also the gardener of this garden. The first Adam, had it this way also, but he allowed sin to corrupt it. The first garden of this world, was in the first Adam, and sin caused this one to be cursed to produce thorns and thistles (Genesis 3:18).  But Jesus came to the earth as the new guaranteed “living Spirit”, to produce the insured fruit of God (Romans 7:4). Where the first Adam failed, the Last Adam succeeded (2 Corinthians 15:45).  Therefore, Jesus had to die, and this seed was buried in the ground for 3 days, and then arose to begin to bring forth new spiritual fruit bearers called the church (John 15:5). 

This church began small, but would grow significantly over time and this is what God knew would happen. For example, let’s do some math. We already know in Acts 2, the people that had a “I’ve got to know Him” heart to receive the next greater experience of His LOVE, began with 120. But in the world in the year 2021, there were around 2.5 billion professing Christians in number, and growing. Of this number there are almost 300 million professing to be Pentecostals, exactly like the early upper room church.

That is one of the factors of this phase of God’s plan of salvation, that Satan completely did not expect. He could not have imagined that he would have been far better off, only dealing with one living God temple in Jerusalem and Israel. Rather than now, with him trying to deal with more than 2.5 billion living, and moving God temples all over the globe. Let us now get introduced to some more of the details to God’s greatly enhanced release of “Knowing LOVE”. This phase of the divine plan is what is now available to receive freely by faith and participate in, and I have called this phase 5.0 for the sake of reference.

Hopefully everyone is fully excited and engaged with learning about God’s work of designing and implementing a divine plan for humans to know Him as LOVE.  God performed this work using phases and releases each coming from the awesome intelligent Designer, Creator and Giver of everything Good and Perfect (James 1:17). This was phase 5.0 of God’s plan. This phase contains such new radical improvements and enhancements, and these were so far above any of the previous phases that came before. I am very shocked today, when I do not see very many people that have a desire to rush out to experience this level of knowing His LOVE release personally.

This part of the divine plan, offered the most intimate and personal, fellowship and relationship between GOD and humans so far. This part of God’s plan made available things that could only be imagined by a few in humanity. In the past, only a select few humans could encounter God at a much lower level of knowing Him. It had taken over 4000 years to release this much higher level of His plan, but the effects of it will last for eternity to those that receive it. This phase of His plan involved Him being not only near every human in covenant with Him, but He actually planned to live “in” (John 14:17), every human in covenant with Him at the same exact time. This removed every separation and limitation that was previously found in every other phase of His plan.

This plan was only able to be made available for release, because in phase 4.0 Jesus came to not only make God known, but also to come here to die, be buried for 3 days, and then rise from the dead to implement the next phase of the plan. You see where humans throughout history had failed to meet the terms of God’s covenants, Jesus fulfilled the requirements, and now we can get into Him (John 14:20) as imperfect humans and obtain His same benefits for free.

Because Jesus died and offered His personal life blood as a permanent ransom sacrifice price, He could rise from the dead, to take back to heaven His blood, to place it on the true eternal altar, to pay for sins once and for all (Hebrews 9:12). This offering made eternal peace between God and humans (Colossians 1:20) and it gave His Father the legal right to send the Holy Spirit back to the earth in Jesus’ name (John 14:26) to be distributed to all of us.

Jesus declared in John 16:7 that this next phase 5.0 of the plan of “Knowing LOVE” would occur, when the Holy Spirit would come to live “in” potentially ALL humans. Jesus said this was so much better (significantly enhanced) then Him just physically living with a few people in the flesh in phase 4.0. Wow, this was a mind-blowing concept. What a radical transformation upward in powerful features. This was a divine revolutionary change, that could be made available to any human on the planet, being Jew or Gentile, bond or free, male or female (Galatians 3:28).

This radical unexpected change would be implemented using a new spiritual birth, that had never occurred before (John 3:3). This birth would change the spirit of the unclean physical natural human with sin limitations, into a brand-new, spiritually clean, new creation human (2 Corinthians 5:17).  God also said in 1 Corinthians 6:17, that when this occurred, our new clean, sinless spirit would be joined with Christ to be One Spirit with Him. Wow, all of this is occurring while humans were still living on the current earth, in the physical natural realm, where Satan is still a god (2 Corinthians 4:4).

It is essential to understand that this phase 5.0 part of God’s plan, was not possible until Jesus died, and after He shed His blood outwardly upon the cross, for the permanent one time, sacrifice payment for cleansing the entire whole world, from our sins. It was this superior Lamb offering in step 4.0, that allowed the implementation of this step 5.0 of God’s knowing LOVE plan. His personal blood sacrifice would permit the Holy Spirit to come, and legally live on the inside of thousands, millions and even billions of forgiven sinners without killing anyone. Jesus claimed that the internal presence of the Holy Spirit was far better for each born-again person because He would be our ever-present personal helper (John 14:16), guide (John 16:13) and teacher (John 14:26).

This phase of God’s plan of Grace, increased the human ability to experience a level of God’s heavenly power, presence, light, one-on-one fellowship and love influence, that had never been possible, after sin, and Satan had entered the world. Now any person, could hear directly from the Spirit of Truth, without any filters of earthly bridges like priests, scribes, preachers and teachers or the distractions from an external seen enemy, trying to deceive them. The people that were living in a dark hateful world, could allow the God of TRUTH, LIGHT and LOVE to become their internal counselor.  This was God’s awesome step in the “Revealing and Knowing LOVE” plan for human salvation. It is currently still available to anyone. No one but God could have imagined how great this part of the plan was going to be. This was actually prophesied in the Book of Jeremiah:

Jer 31:31  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 

Jer 31:33  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people

Jer 31:34  And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more

Wow these are some radically spoken words, that were hard to understand for the Old Covenant people of Israel.  God is clearly speaking of a need for a NEW and different Covenant. One that had never before occurred. This covenant would not be like it was in the wilderness with Moses, where only one man could hear from God and be in His Holy presence. This New Covenant speaks of a people living in a significantly higher condition where everyone “knows” God personally, and this would only be possible, if the Spirit of God comes to dwell on the inside of every human’s body. This is the exact promise that Jesus gave to us in the Gospels while personally visiting His people in the flesh.

This is also exactly why, when the Roman soldier pierced the side of Jesus, and blood and water flowed out of His body, the veil in the Jewish physical temple was also ripped into two pieces from top to bottom. The ripped veil, represented the removal of the hidden place of limitation, where only one representative could come near to God’s presence.  But by ripping open the veil, God was saying “I have opened the door for all to access me” and “anyone can now come in to know me personally”.  We also discover the body of Jesus was the fulfillment of this Old Covenant natural woven “veil” within the natural tabernacle in Hebrews 10:

Heb 10:19  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus

Heb 10:20  By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh

Heb 10:21  And having an high priest over the house of God

Christians now have complete confidence, because of the blood of Jesus to enter the ripped and torn flesh opening made by Jesus’ body (our door). After Jesus had risen from the dead Jesus looked at Thomas and told him to put his fist in His side, proving this door to the Spirit of God on the inside of Him had been permanently opened to allow anyone to still come into God’s presence by faith.  Because of the shed blood of Christ, and this new flesh opening, any forgiven and saved human can come into the Holy presence of God without fear of being struck down dead (Hebrews 10:19). Jesus has become our permanent High Priest over the “House of LOVE”.  WOW! Thank you, Jesus!

Joh 14:20  At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

Think about what Ephesians 2:6 says and then notice what Jesus in John 14:20 says.  In Ephesians 2:6, God claims that people that have come “in Christ Jesus” are also sitting in heaven in Him, in a place of authority right NOW!  Wow! Wrap your mind around that truth. While I am typing this lesson to give to you, I am sitting in heaven in the body of Christ Jesus.  What does that mean?  It means more than you can imagine right now. It means first that you have two addresses, one in the physical and the other one in the much greater heavenly Spiritual dimension. Because we are “In Christ”, who is seated at the “Right Hand of Majesty”, we can be in the same presence completely safe from being struck down dead because of our current human imperfections.  God through Jesus, created a permanent safe environment.  He lives in us on the earth today, to help us become like Him, and we live in Him in heaven, to gain safe access to pray and fellowship with the most Holy God Almighty. Please tell me you are seeing the power of this release of “Knowing LOVE”.

Humans today can enter into Jesus to become a born-again new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and this makes us a part of a New Covenant family of Faith and Love. While we are still in our mortal bodies on the earth, we also become the combined temple of the Holy Spirit as stated in 1 Corinthians 6:19. Paul writes that our natural bodies are also like God’s temporary tent tabernacle (2 Corinthians 5:1). This combined mass of people body tents, were like the one tabernacle that He lived in alone in the Old Covenant. However, because we (the Church), were taken out of His side on the cross to be His covenant bride we are one Body with Him and His bride combined. This is exactly the repeated pattern that occurred in Adam in Genesis 2. God removed a natural woman, taken from the body of the first Adam, and God removed a spiritual woman taken from the body of the Last Adam. Now the church is One flesh and One Spirit corporately with Him (Ephesians 5:31-32).

Do you see the parallels, to God’s temporary tent tabernacle dwelling in the wilderness with the nation of Israel, to the church? We can read in Exodus that God instructed the external tabernacle skin to be made from “badger” skins. It took a lot of animals to make this unified covering. So it is with the Body of Christ now (1 Corinthians 12:27). We are all many members of One Body.

But God and Christians have it so much better than the children of Israel did living in the wilderness. Christians do not have God just being near us, with us being on the outside, we all have become His personal tabernacle, and He now lives on the inside of ALL of us that believe. Wow, wow, wow and wow!

Benefits:

  1. Total elimination of us speaking to anyone else except directly to God.
  2. God is available to everyone 24x7x365.
  3. This is God’s ultimate closeness to humans, and this permitted everyone on the planet, to be in His presence simultaneously.
  4. Every human can personally speak with God intimately and personally, all at the same time.
  5. There are no limitations of physical distance.
  6. There are no limitations of physical location.
  7. There is no limitation of physical space or size of the meeting place.
  8. There are no limitations of time, dates, days, months or years to meet with God.
  9. There was never any risk of any human dropping dead because their sin was in this close presence of the Holy God in our body.
  10. All human sin had been fully paid for once and for all time.
  11. The same power of God that raised Jesus from dead, was now resident inside of everyone of God’s believing people.
  12. God could use any believer in Jesus to do the work of Jesus anywhere on the earth.
  13. Every believer could be in the natural realm and the Holy spiritual realm of existence at the same time.

Limitations:

  1. Humans still have a physical body subject to death.
  2. Humans still have a spiritual enemy trying to gain access into their mind to deceive them.

While this release of God’s “Knowing LOVE” version 5.0 plan is totally awesome, this is not the end of the plan of salvation either.

#8 – KNOWING LOVE 6.0
GOD’S FRUITFUL GRAND FINALE

Our God has certainly exhibited great power, wisdom, and skill to get us to this point of human salvation. But God still has to deal with the exclusion of all enemies, the removal of all curses, and the elimination of the threat of death. We could call these solutions to these problems, release 6.0 of “Knowing God”. We are not able to cover this phase in depth today. However, we can get a quick and basic overview. Let us begin with a verse in 2nd Peter:

2 Peter 3:13  But having faith in his word, we are looking for a new heaven and a new earth, which will be the resting-place of righteousness. (BBE)

For this verse, I selected a Bible translation, that I do not normally use. I believe it says what God, desired to say in the English language, more clearly. Here, Peter by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is writing about a future time, that Christians are patiently waiting for. One of the main problems that all humans have today, is the fact that Satan, death and evil, still are legally present. Peter wrote about a future time where “righteousness” would rule to give people a type of “rest” from evil. This will certainly occur to the fullest measure, during the 1000-year reign of Jesus upon the earth. We call this period of time, the Millennium. There will be no presence or influence of evil spirits during time period (Revelation 20:2). However, Satan will be released from the pit, to tempt all of the people that were born during this time period (Revelation 20:7-8).

Notice in 2 Peter 3:13 that God declares, His people are waiting for a new heaven, and new earth to come. This represents one of the promises of salvation, that are yet to be fulfilled. There is coming a time in the future when the heavens and the earth are destroyed by “fire” (2 Peter 3:10). In this verse, God not only declares the earth to “pass away” by the melting of the elements, God also says, all of the works in it the earth, will be consumed in the same way.  This implies the evil works of Satan to corrupt our human world, have been completely removed.  But what else, has not happened yet?

There are a lot of things that Christians are still waiting for God to complete. One of the first, is found in Romans 16:20. In this verse of prophecy, God says “He will bruise Satan, under our feet shortly”. Since, it has been nearly 2000 years later after this verse was written, and this has not happened, I am expecting it to occur, very soon. This fulfillment, would cause the church, to go out of this world victorious over their enemy Satan, before the tribulation.

There is also this death problem, caused by sin. People, still die every day. After death, unsaved people, have no further hope (Ephesians 2:12). Christians, still die every day. Christians, when they die, depart and go to be with the LORD (2 Corinthians 5:8). But currently there is the issue of leaving our physical bodies here on the earth. To solve this, God promises Christians, a coming “resurrection from the dead” (Romans 6:5).  This is not a spiritual resurrection, but rather a physical body redemption (Romans 8:23). We, who have entered into the door of Jesus Christ, we are all going to get a new resurrected body that will never die (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). This will be the final fulfillment of the Old Covenant type of the permanent dwelling temple of God, that Solomon built for Him in Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 6:10). This is just more prophetic typology of templates, and patterns, revealing God’s phased in plan for His final spiritual union with humans in the here and now, and in the soon manifesting eternity to come.

We need to understand that there have been placed curses upon our world because of human sin. Some try to claim that Galatians 3;13 teaches Christians, that Christ has redeemed us from all curses. However, this verse only states, that we are redeemed from the curses of the Law. Before there was Law in Genesis 3, God places curses, on the ground (the earth), Adam the man and Eve the woman. It appears from studying the Bible, that these curses have not been removed, until Revelation 22:3. This appears to be one of the last corrections caused from the sin fall. This happens, after the new heaven and the new earth occurs.

Rev 21:1  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. And the sea no longer is.

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. 

We can see how God says it will be at the end of our world. Here we can begin to understand, what Peter wrote of about the rest in righteousness. For during this time in Revelation 21, there will be the full elimination of all unrighteousness, with God’ re-creation of a new heaven and a new earth. Now Satan, sin, sickness, evil and everything not good has been eliminated from human interaction. This, was how God desired it to be with His relationship to humans in the Garden of Eden. Let us back up two more chapters, to see what happened before this anticipated new heaven and new earth:

Rev 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 

Notice that God back in Revelation 19:7, informs us that the Lamb’s (Jesus’) bride (the church) has made herself ready. This is a truly revealing statement. It shows a people, that are loving God, with their obedience in return for the Lamb’s love for saving them. It shows a people that are excited to be with Him, forever. This was the heart of God at the beginning, and it is the ending that He planned, and planted, to obtain through, His spoken Word.

If we read in 1 Corinthians 13:8, we find one of the most amazing statements about LOVE ever found. God says here “LOVE NEVER FAILS”. By our beginning mathematical statement, we know “GOD NEVER FAILS”. This simply teaches us, that God will never be defeated by hate or evil. It also says, His faithfulness to His people will always, keep and protect us from these enemies if we abide “in Him”. This revelation of LOVE, which is divinely given to us, should draw us closer to Him. If we choose to continue to walk and remain in this LOVE, we will also never fail. Amen.

#9 – CONCLUSION

This has been a very rapid, but long overview of the plan of God to dwell in and with His creation and for them to KNOW HIM and HIS LOVE. This process of humans “Knowing LOVE” came about through a slow phased-in process, with multiple steps, that reveal it was not a “one and done work of God”. God’s plan for humans to “Know Him”, was rather a well thought out, perfectly designed, and powerfully implemented work that would be completed using a progressive set of multiple steps of ever-increasing developments. With each phase, containing new and improved features. These steps would consistently open the eyes of those that desired to know Him. And they would display His LOVE in radical surprising, new ways to those that were looking for them. Each of these steps, were built upon a foundation of the previous phase, to help us to understand things that were freely available to us from God in growing levels of features.  Each revealed detail of God’s plan of LOVE, was designed to help us to know Him better, and personally as LOVE.

Act 12:24  But the word of God grew and multiplied. 

Act 19:20  So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed. 

Notice what these two verses teach us about the early church in the book of Acts. The early church started in Acts 2 with only 120 people in an upper room. The Holy Spirit was initially poured out from heaven on just these few people. This was God’s amazing promise being fulfilled, declaring all people could personally know Him as LOVE. I called this phase of God’s progressive plan “Knowing LOVE 5.0”. Our Creator God moved through the past 6000 years of our human history making improvement after improvement allowing people to fellowship with Him in deeper ways. God went from Him knowing one man named Adam and his wife, and this one man and his wife knowing Him, to now being able to live inside of over 7 billion people at the exact same time, and for all of us to “Know Him”.

This awesome work of God for human salvation, was a designed process of steps. This plan for people to know Him as LOVE, was conceived before it was ever needed. All of the ingredients of this plan were pre-built into the design of creation, and could be accessed and released by God whenever His proper time occurred. This plan went through every transition necessary to legally give God full access to the entire natural human realm, that was ruled initially, completely by Satan. God did this to provide humans salvation from this enemy Satan. God did all of this in such a massive unexpected way that Satan could do nothing to stop it. And of course, we still know that “LOVE (our GOD) NEVER FAILS”.

Thank you for reading and studying the Bible at Agapegeek.com.  Please take the time to like and share this Bible lesson with anyone you know. Our heart is to reach the lost world and to help teach the body of Christ, His awesome word. We love you all and will be praying for each of you as the LORD leads.  We appreciate your prayers in return as the LORD leads you. Possibly in the next lesson, we will discuss this subject again revealing some new information about “GOD IS LOVE”, that some may have never seen before, God willing.

God Bless you. If you would like to continue reading in this Bible study series, you may go to “Part 3” next.

Are You Saved? Do you Know Jesus? Life is Short! Jesus wants to Know You! Please come and get to Know Him!

“GOD IS LOVE” PT 1 – TWO DIVINE LOVE EXPRESSIONS

(ver 1.1) This is Part 1 in a series of new Bible lessons on the most important subject found in the Bible. Many may try to say this must be about the subject of salvation. But without today’s main subject, salvation would not be possible. This Bible lesson as seen by the title, is about God’s KIND of LOVE. But that does not fully express the complete truth. God does not have love like many humans believe, because God is LOVE! Or we can also say, God is AGAPE using the Greek language. We understand that this Greek word is not the same as the English word definition of love. In the English dictionary the word “love” is mainly stated to be a “strong feeling of affection for someone”.  But there are 3 or 4 Greek words that relate to the subject of “love” types in the Bible and the English has only one primary word.  This makes it challenging to know what kind of love is being spoken of. I will let you know up front that none of the English dictionaries or definitions, come close to describing the God definition of LOVE. We will hopefully be able to learn this later in the series, God willing.

The God created law of “mathematical equality” (=) states that two objects, quantities or expressions declared to be equal, can be replaced or substituted one with the other legally, without any change in the final solution, outcome or end answer.  For example, in 1 John 4:8 God teaches us that if anyone on earth does not love another human or Christian, then they do not “know” God, because “God is Love”.  In this statement God uses the law of equality to exchange two expressions, while stating and proving the equality of the statement simultaneously. God declares the equality by saying “GOD = LOVE”. Then God applies the equality proof definition by stating, any human that does not love other Christians and humans, does not know Him.  God established this by saying, LOVE = GOD and GOD = LOVE and since GOD LOVES every HUMAN (Jn 3:16), a real Christians that say they know God, will do the same.

The Bible is an amazingly complex book. But God applies created laws, logic and rules defined in the Bible, so that we can learn what is permissible for a good understanding of His Word with the help of the Holy Spirit’s internal superior guidance and knowledge. I have learned that by using fundamental rules found in creation, Christians can begin to understand so much more about what He hid for us to know (1 Cor 2:7).

The Lord began to teach me this truth after reading Romans 1:20. In this verse God says very clearly that His amazing power and Godhead are clearly revealed in the things that He has created. He also says humans are without excuse for not knowing Him because of these created observable qualities and laws. I have learned that since “God is Love”, He would be unjust if everyone was not able to come to know Him, if they chose to seek Him. Therefore, God uses divine methods to hide Himself and His truth in the Word, but He also uses defined rules with the Holy Spirit’s help to allow us to find Him and know Him intimately and personally. This also applies for how we find all of His truth in His Word (Jn 16:13).

 What I suggest is that whenever we read the Bible and see the name “God” mentioned in the Old or New Covenants, replace it with the equal expression “LOVE” to see how it might add value to what God is saying or teaching. The same method is also possible whenever we see the word “LOVE” replace it with the equal “GOD” because God is love and love is God. Go back to 1 John 4:8 and do this.  “whoever does not God (love) his brother, does not know love (God)”. This may or may not make sense to you but it is very interesting and we can learn a lot if we can see how it applies.

In my example, God is simply saying, He will be in a Christian and because He is LOVE inside, the Christian will be able to LOVE everyone. In other words, if a Christian does not have love for their neighbor, they do not have “God” because God will always be LOVE on the inside available to shine on the outside. Later in the lesson series, we hopefully will apply this principle of equality to help us learn some other new concepts about GOD IS LOVE.  Please notice that whenever I use the word “LOVE” in all CAPS, I am speaking of GOD and vice versa.

#1 – INTRODUCTION TO TWO “GOD = LOVE” MANIFESTATIONS

Today the focus is LOVE = GOD and GOD = LOVE being expressed or manifested from a completely fresh perspective. This is one of the primary goals of today’s lesson. This lesson’s main subject on GOD IS LOVE will be an introduction and an overview of two Bible described expressions or manifestations of GOD and LOVE in saving humans from death. This first Bible lesson in the series on the subject of GOD IS LOVE is written to everyone that desires to know and experience God by learning about two of God’s extraordinary demonstrations of divine love. I believe it was given by the Lord to remind Christians that demonstrated LOVE is GOD and this LOVE when observed, expresses His fundamental appearance, essential nature, primary characteristic and His plan for every Christ follower that they also will be able to express His same LOVE to all others.

I believe God being love was the compelling reason for Him saving lost humans.  And this observable LOVE expression should be the compelling reason for a human’s desire to know and love God.  1 John 4:19, reveals that we love Him, only because He loved us first. Now ask some questions.  How and when was “GOD is LOVE” personally revealed to humans? Why doesn’t everyone want to receive Him, experience Him and know Him once He showed Himself to be LOVE for ALL? Hopefully we will learn more to help answer these important questions today.

Part of the answer is found in Genesis creation. Reading in Genesis 1, God challenges us to see that everything that He created in the world was declared to be “very good”. God supplied the created human male and female with everything they needed preloaded and available. All that was necessary to do was for humans, just to enjoy it. If they were hungry, they just went to a tree and picked some fruit and ate it. This is where we start to learn that God is good all the time and all the time God is good. It was only after Satan entered into the world and Adam’s sin, that evil came into the world to be a counter manifestation to LOVE’s initial exhibited creative God. We will learn more about Adam’s poor choice and God’s LOVE solution as we go today.

We have recently been through the season for the celebration of two similar Covenant expressions of divine LOVE. The first was the Jewish people going through Passover, a celebration of LOVE’s deliverance of one nation named Israel, saved and delivered from their captivity in another nation named Egypt. The second, was a Christian celebration that some call Easter (Acts 12:4 KJV), but I prefer to call the “Resurrection of Jesus Christ” celebration (1 Pet 3:21). This day was LOVE’s ultimate expression to deliver the people of every nation in the world from the bondage of Satan and eternal death.  Both were great displays of divine loving deliverance. The first being a natural physical salvation with great spiritual benefits to learn about LOVE and the last being primarily a the ultimate spiritual salvation with great natural benefits to know LOVE personally. Let us get into the introductory truths behind these two divine realities of divine manifested LOVE.

#2 – INTRODUCTION TO THE OLD COVENANT LAMB

Passover Lamb

One of the greatest of God’s Old Covenant divine LOVE displays (manifestations) was called “Passover”.  This event as we know, was the time of Israel’s deliverance and freedom from captivity and slavery within the ancient nation of Egypt. It began on the first month and the tenth day of the month (Exo 12:2-3). This event lasted for 7 days or 1 week (Exo 12:15, 19).  During this final tenth plague of Egypt, a lamb was selected by each family and for each house (Exo 12:3). The lamb (or goat kid, but we will focus on the lamb only in this lesson) was required to be a male less than 1 year old and be without any spot or blemish (Exo 12:5). The lamb will be kept in the house for four days and then will be killed (Exo 12:6).  The blood of the slain innocent lamb must be applied to the doorposts of every family’s house (Exo 12:7).  These were the basic protection directions given by God, being spoken through Moses to keep the “death” angel from killing the firstborn of their family (Exo 12:12). Learn from the principles of LOVE that could have been heard, followed and obeyed by everyone in Egypt and then learn from what actually happened:

  1. ANYBODY IN EGYPT COULD HAVE CHOSEN TO BELIEVE AND OBEY GOD
  2. ONLY A MINORITY PEOPLE LIVING IN EGYPT, NAMED ISRAEL CHOSE TO BELIEVE, OBEY GOD AND BE SAVED
  3. THEREFORE, EVERYONE IN EGYPT DID NOT BELIEVE AND OBEY GOD AND THE MAJORITY PERISHED

Moses spoke God’s instructions to the people and it can be implied that these words were available for “everyone” in Egypt to hear, follow and obey. This would include all of the Egyptians and all of the people of Israel. First this judgment only came upon the nation of Egypt because of Pharoah’s refusal to set the people of Israel free. If Pharaoh would have listened to God and obeyed the command, no plagues would have been necessary and no one would need to die. It was Pharaoh’s hard heartedness (Exo 8:15) and pride that caused Him to resist God.  This is why Pharoah represents a type of Satan and the nation of Egypt represents a type of the world.

I do not believe it would be possible for over a million people in Egypt to take lambs, kill them and put its blood on the outsides of their homes, in a hidden way where no one in Egypt would not have noticed it taking place.  Just the fact that there were lambs living in the houses of the people of Israel for 4 days alone had to be something that someone in Egypt would have taken notice of.  I believe someone in Egypt would have asked their slaves, what are you doing and why are you doing this?  This answered information would have certainly been spread to others in Egypt. Therefore, “anyone” in Egypt could have chosen to listen, believe and obey God and be saved from the coming death by ignoring Pharaoh. But during the first Passover as far as we know, only the people of Israel chose to hear, believe and obey God.

The Egyptian people represent a negative “whosoever” type of world unbelieving people that had the choice to hear the same words, believe and obey them. But they chose not to do it. They must have been focused on other priorities, idols and gods. Or they may have just been following the normal and the majority of the nation, bowing to leadership or peer pressures to conform and be accepted. Sounds a lot like what is happening in the world today. The nation of Israel represents a positive type of “whosoever” believing saved people with faith in the Word of God.  While Israelites were slaves under extreme evil oppression, pressure and influence, they chose to believe GOD, by taking an innocent lamb and obeying LOVE (Exo 12:28). This knowledge confirms the truth that life or death was a human choice that God sets before everyone (Deu 30:19).

It is very important to note the fact that Israel kept the lamb in their house for 4 days (Exo 12:3). We will talk about what this means more soon. But this gave the family, especially the children the time to fall in love with this cute, gentle and innocent lamb before it was killed. Imagine if God asked you to kill your cute little puppy you just got 4 days ago? This is what was happening in the home of the people of Israel in Egypt. Nevertheless, 1) this loved lamb had to be slain, 2) the blood of the lamb had to be applied to the exterior door supports to be seen by the death angel and the world, 3) the lamb’s body had to be roasted in fire and 4) then it had to be completely eaten by everyone in the house.  Seriously, think about what was happening!  Could you do this today to your loved puppy? 

It was necessary for the people of Israel to possess a greater fear of God and the warning of death in the family, than to allow their emotional attachment to temporary things of this world to guide or overrule their decisions. They could have let their emotional attachment to a loved little lamb take preference over the command of God. People always have the freewill right to choose. God will never force salvation or deliverance upon anyone. I believe that God wanted people to see that He knew best and they did not.  And if they did not obey Him, they would have to face the consequences of losing someone of greater value, that may have had a longer and closer relationship to them, someone that they loved significantly more than an innocent lamb. God clearly says in Hebrew 11:26-28 that Moses made these choices correctly.

Egypt did not have this fear and respect for LOVE and they soon regretted their choices. But Israel believed in their hearts the words of LOVE and activated an externally displayed faith in God’s Word. These faith actions could be seen by the unbelieving Egyptians and were definitely ignored. I believe the Egyptians must have thought these people of Israel were very foolish and crazy people. But the believer’s obedience to obey and apply the lamb’s blood to their doorposts saved them and the unbelievers’ firstborn died.  Who looked foolish the next morning?  Who was weeping for the loss of their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters after the sun came up?  Who had to plan funerals for their family members?  It was not the million+ believers who obeyed God. Therefore, we can see how by their own choices and decisions, not everyone was saved.

It was this kind of faith, belief and obedience that saved and delivered the entire family behind the bloody door. They were blessed by LOVE, removed from not experiencing the pain and sorrow of the physical death of the firstborn (Exo 12:12).  This natural salvation from a physical death through believing the Word of God and in the power of a natural sinless lamb’s blood was a designed pattern used by LOVE to reveal a much greater expression and celebration to come.  This greater display of LOVE would occur when Jesus died to save and deliver all of humanity.

We will soon learn that GOD/LOVE became a human child born in Bethlehem (Mat 2:6). This manifested LOVE grew to become a man named Jesus of Nazareth (Mat 21:11). LOVE came into the world to be God’s Lamb to save anyone that believed in Him (John 1:29).  Jesus’ Hebrew name Yeshua, came from the Hebrew word H3091 and it is defined by Strong’s as “Jehovah Saved”. Jehovah is the Hebrew word H3068 and is one of the primary O.T. names for God. Jehovah is the recorded name of God seen speaking to Moses in Exodus 12.  We can clearly see the message being given to us, by analyzing just the names of God that are chosen by LOVE.  Jehovah (LOVE) in heaven becomes a Son name Jehovah Saved (Yeshua) in the flesh. Therefore, Jesus was His Father’s Heavenly LOVE in physical manifestation on the earth (John 1:1-14).

Jesus was slain so that humans could be saved from their slavery and captivity within the kingdom of Satan also known as the kingdom of darkness (Col 1:13). We will find that all of the Old Covenant Passover displays of LOVE demonstrate types, shadows, patterns and outlined forms of infinitely greater displays of God’s love, mercy and grace in the New Covenant (Heb 10:1).  We will learn that Egypt was a type of the world.  Pharaoh was a type of Satan the ruler of the world. The people of Egypt are type of the unbelieving people in the world. The people of Israel were a type of the saved believing Church. Moses the deliverer of Israel was a type of Jesus the spiritual deliverer of all humans. The slain lamb also represents Jesus. The number of days has a symbolic meaning and on and on.  Next, let us go through the introduction to the New Covenant Lamb to learn more about this amazing divine greater expression of LOVE.

#3 – INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW COVENANT LAMB

Behold the Lamb of God

It was potentially 1500 to 1600 years after Israel’s first LOVE Passover deliverance from Egypt that Jesus the Christ was led into Jerusalem on the 10th of Nissan. This occurred during Israel’s annual Passover feast celebration. This day was the normal God chosen time for Passover lamb selection. God’s Lamb would need to be inspected and observed for at least 4 days by the people of Israel and this is why He entered Jerusalem on this day.

I believe this timing was an amazing event that was prophesied by GOD through the captive people of Israel in Egypt when they selected and carried their young natural lamb into their houses for four days. The four days of observation and inspection was specifically designed by God in Exodus 12 to teach us multiple parallels of coming truths. 

I would like to shift into a brief explanation for why God could have chosen 4 days of the lamb being in the house for inspection. Four days was a very specific God choice of words based upon what we learn from reading in 2 Peter 3:8. In this verse God declares His definition for a spiritual day. This verse is not applicable to every reference to a day in the Bible. But it does apply to many prophetical predictions of future events. In this verse God says 1 day is a thousand years and 1000 years is 1 day.  This is another example of mathematical equality in the eyes of God. If a lamb is housed for 4 days what is that teaching us?  What happened potentially 4000 years before this Passover with Jesus riding into Jerusalem? 

Every word selection in the Bible is purposefully chosen by extreme intelligent design. This proves the Bible could have only been written by God. Anyone can find this intelligent design with diligent search, study and the help of the Holy Spirit. This is why I love God and His Word. There is no other book in existence that even compares to the Bible. What am I saying?  I claim the entire Bible is about Jesus from cover to cover.  It begins with Jesus and it ends with Jesus. This is why Jesus claims to be the beginning and the ending in Revelation 1:8. Since we all should believe this, we should be able to find Jesus in every book, chapter, verse, word and even letter (Hebrew alef to tav, to Greek alpha to omega). So, let’s ask the question again?  What happened 4000 years before Jesus?

I believe Adam was created 4000 years before Jesus. It was Adam’s rebellion and death penalty that caused the death of every human descendant (1 Cor 15:22). Also, Romans 5;14 teaches us that Adam was a “figure” of Christ to come. What does this mean? The Greek word G5179 translated as “figure” means a model or a pattern. This means Adam was not Christ, but he displayed qualities, features, characteristics, signals and activities that reveal what Christ would be and do. In other words, Adam was like a natural stone statue without life. Yet looking at the statue’s appearance we can get a picture of what Christ would be like in the future.

We can observe the shadow of an object and understand it is not the real object, yet we can still learn a lot by studying and analyzing the shadow to learn about the real. This is God’s intention for the Adam to Jesus reality also. This typology is exemplified in 1 Corinthians 15:45 where God says the first Adam was made a living soul and Christ the Last Adam came as quickening Spirit. In this verse Christ is called the “Last Adam” and the Genesis 1-4 Adam the first Adam. Clearly the first of the two Adam’s was a lesser example of the greater final Adam to come.

Knowing this revealed information from the New Testament, we can now see a lot about Christ from learning what God wrote about Adam. In fact we can begin to see the outline of the divine plan of LOVE to save mankind by what is written that happened to Adam. I will provide a short list of some of these patterns and parallels of truth:

ADAM JESUS
Gen 2:7 God formed man (Adam’s body) from the dust of the earth.Heb 10:5 Wherefore when he (Jesus) cometh into the world…, a body has thou prepared for him.
Gen 2:8 God planted a garden eastward in Eden and there He put Adam who He formed.John 18:1-2 Jesus went forth to a garden where he went many times to pray and speak with His Father.
Gen 2:15 And the Lord God put the man into the garden to work and keep it.John 5:36 Jesus said “the works that my Father has given me to finish, bear witness that the Father has sent me”. Mat 13:37 He that soweth the good seed (works in the garden) is the Son of Adam (Man, Jesus)
Gen 2:16-17 And the Lord God commanded the man not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.Mat 5:17 Think not that I came to destroy the law (God commands), but to fulfil. (Where Adam failed Jesus succeeds).
Gen 2:18 The Lord God said “it is not good for man to be alone”.John 12:24 Unless a corn of wheat (Jesus) falls into the ground and die, He abides alone…
Gen 2:20 and Adam gave names to the beasts of the field
Gen 2:23 Adam said she shall be called woman because she was taken from Adam. Gen 3:20 Adam called his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
Mat 16:18 Jesus said “thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build by church (bride). Gal 4:19 little children, whom I travail in birth until Christ be formed in you… Rev 2:17 Jesus gives a new name to overcomers in the church
Gen 2:20 …but a suitable wife was not found for Adam (the 1st bridegroom)Mat 9:15 … the day will come when the bridegroom (last Adam) will be taken away …
Gen 2:21 The Lord God caused Adam to fall into deep sleep…John 19:30 Jesus said it is finished and gave up the ghost (died, aka slept).
Gen 2:21 …and took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh…John 19:34 one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side and there came out blood and water.
Gen 2:22 and with the rib taken from the man, made him a woman (wife) God brought her unto the man after he was awaken…John 20:20 Jesus showed unto them his hands and his side (rib) and they were glad when they saw the LORD. Eph 5:26 Church bride was made clean by the water of the Word. 1 Jn 1:7 The blood of Christ purified the church from all sins.
Gen 2:23 Adam said “this is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh…”Eph 5:30 For we (the Church Bride) are members of His (Jesus) body, His flesh and His bones
Gen 2:24 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall be one flesh (body).Eph 5:31-32 for this reason shall a man be joined to his wife and become one flesh. This is a great mystery but I speak of Christ (Last Adam) and the church.
1 Cor 6:17 He that is joined to the LORD is one Spirit.
Gen 3:22-23 The Lord drove Adam from the garden to prevent him from eating from the tree of life also.Rev 2:7 Whoever overcomes I (Jesus) will give to eat of the tree of life (where first Adam failed, Jesus the Last Adam succeeds)

These revelations are truly amazing. The parallels between the God relationship with the first Adam who failed to God’s relationship with the Last Adam who succeeds, are astonishing.  God laid out the outlined plan of victory for Jesus the Last Adam, from his birth, to His sacrificial death, including His plan to take His bride out of His side and His plan to give us all life using the words describing Adam in Genesis 2. The word selections and descriptions were specially designed to convey two amazing truths simultaneously. Genesis 2 is an accurate description of the creation details within Genesis 1, as well as being the prophesied spiritual descriptions of what the Last Adam would accomplish and correct. This is what I call “hiding the truth in plain sight”. None of this was unplanned, coincidental, spontaneous, or just came to be by accident. This is confirmation that God’s Word contains vast intelligent design, beyond the human ability to create it in isolation without divine inspiration. Think about what is being said.  Then realize it was said by 4 or 5 different writers over a period of 2000 years.  Wow, thank you Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

What we have found are two Adams. I believe the first Adam was a similar age when created, as Jesus the last Adam was, when He started His ministry.  I believe Jesus read the prophet Moses and knew exactly why He was born to give His life, and to pay for the first Adam’s original sin. Jesus being our Passover lamb was God’s solution for the original “law of sin and death” (Gen 2:17).

Jesus died in our place and implemented a new law called the “law of spirit and life” in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:2). In the Last Adam we have been set free from the first Adam’s sin penalty. I’ll stop this part of our learning from Genesis, by saying, there were two lambs and now we see clearly why there were two Adams. The first Adam and the first lamb were natural and died a physical death.  The Last Adam and the Last Lamb named Jesus was killed physically, but arose from the dead to spiritually give us eternal life.  We have just observed a great potential reason why there were 4 days of the lamb being taken into the house at Passover.

To briefly confirm this pattern, we can also learn from Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Jesus purposefully waited where he was and did not go to where Lazarus was buried until after he was dead for 4 days. Ok, why was there a 4 day delay? Then see the parallel to why God waited 4000 years before coming into the world in the flesh. Everyone at Lazarus’ tomb said, he stinks when Jesus said to roll away the stone. I sincerely believe this was a plan to show how God after 4000 years came into the world to raise from the dead, all of us sin stinking humans.

Now consider the Genesis 22 story of Abraham being told to sacrifice Isaac. I believe this is another example of the type of Passover Lamb and 4 days of time passing delay. Abraham was told by God to go and sacrifice his only son (type of Jesus) in a place where God would show him. Abraham traveled 3 days before God showed him the mountain from a distance, but it was still very far to travel to get there.  We can logically assume that it took at least another day for Abraham and Isaac to get to the mountain with Isaac carrying the wood (type of cross), climb it and to build the altar. This would make the time passing to be 4 days. Then notice that God stops Abraham and provides a ram, to be a substitute for the sacrifice of Isaac.  The ram is the father of a lamb and this was a symbolic reference for God coming to the earth personally to die for all sin. Most Bible scholars believe the mountain selected by God was the exact mountain that Jesus would be crucified on.

After completing the sacrifice, Isaac is not mentioned for a time. And Abraham is immediately, focused on getting Isaac a bride that he has never seen before.  All of this is a symbolic representation of God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit’s work in the Son’s bride the church.  That is a lot to consider and think about. But we will now talk more about just the two LOVE covenants and the two selected lambs.

For Jesus to be selected as the Lamb, He needed to fulfill prophecy by entering Jerusalem riding on a donkey (Mat 21:9) with shouts of “hosanna” from the people. This was prophesied in Genesis 49:11 and Zechariah 9:9. Zechariah 9:9 prophesied that the people of Israel would be shouting and rejoicing at His arrival. The people of Israel in Jesus’ day must have truly loved their LAMB of God riding into their city this day. This must have been similar to the pattern of the families of Israel in Egypt, when they received the little innocent lamb into the house. Can you imagine the excitement of all of the young children in the Passover home in Egypt? The first day the lamb came inside to live had to be so thrilling. They must have been so happy to have this cute little new lamb in their house and they were probably shouting with joy.

In Matthew 21 Jesus was criticized by the Jewish leaders about these people’s joyous reactions and Jesus quoted Psalm 8:2 back to them saying “Out of the mouths of young children and nursing babies, God has perfected praise”. Jesus was claiming this was just how normal children at the Passover were supposed to act when their innocent Lamb first comes into their house. Reading the passages about Jesus’ days before His crucifixion Jesus was seen in the temple every day to teach the people. This was a parallel to the Exodus 12 account of the lamb being in their house for four days to be observed.

Reading in Luke 19:45-46 we read about one day in the temple where Jesus overturns the tables of the money changers and drives them out with a whip. It is amazing that Jesus quotes Isaiah 56:7 about this being God’s house and it should be a house of prayer and not a den of thieves (Jer 7:11).  Wow, this is directly related to what was happening in the Passover homes of Exodus 12. Israelites were supposed to remove all of the leaven from their houses during Passover.  Leaven represents sin and wrong Satanic doctrines from the Word of God.  We also know Satan is referred to as a thief in John 10:10. So we see the parallels to God’s temple house having become a type of Satan’s house that needed serious clearing. We can clearly see how the first and only begotten Son of the Father in Heaven came to clean His Father’s house. Wow, we could spend books writing about all of the things God is saying here.

But after four days of cleaning the fathers house with righteous teachings and driving out sinful thieves, the Jewish leaders could not take anymore.  Jesus was put on trial and like a lamb taken to slaughter, He kept silent (Isa 53:7). However, it is very important to notice that the man holding the trial named Pilate, said to everyone “I find no fault” in Him (Jn 18:32). Nothing was found in Jesus for Him to be worthy of this death.  However, this truth made Him worthy in the eyes of God to pay for Adam’s sin that fell upon all the descendants of Adam.  Wow, thank you Jesus.

Jesus was slain outside of the gates of Jerusalem as a lamb prepared for slaughter (Acts 8:32) and His blood would be poured out on a wooden cross as an outward display of LOVE for the whole world to observe. This could not have been a very happy time for God’s future family and children during this Passover. The once beloved Lamb was being killed and its blood being shed. Can you imagine the dramatic shift in emotions being experienced by these children? They go from joy to sadness eating their pet? 

There are many N.T. Jesus’ blood and LOVE parallels found in types recorded in the O.T. Passover lamb’s blood on the doorposts and they are all extraordinary.  I will not list them all today:

1.) Two Lambs Born for the Ultimate Purpose to Die

a. The Jewish Passover lamb was specifically selected for the ultimate purpose to shed its blood, die and experience death for the people in the house (Exo 12:3, 6).

b. Jesus (God come down from heaven) was also born in this natural world specifically for the ultimate purpose to shed His blood, die and to experience death for everyone (Mar 8:31, Heb 2:14).

2.) Two Lambs Selected

a. In Exodus 12:3 God instructs each house to select a lamb.
b. In Matthew 12:18 Matthew quotes from Isaiah saying “Behold my servant I have chosen, my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased…”. God was specifically confirming His selected LAMB. John the Baptist was also selected by God to introduce His selected LAMB to Israel. John confirmed Jesus was the Lamb in John 1:33-34.

3.) Two Lambs Spotless w/o Blemish

a. The lamb of Passover in Egypt had to be without observable physical blemishes, spots or imperfections (Exo 12:5).
b. In John 1:29, Jesus is seen by John the Baptist and John calls Him “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world”. Clearly this is a confirmation to Jesus being God’s selected New Covenant Lamb. This was prophesied in Isaiah 53:7. Jesus was the far superior pattern of the O.T. Passover lamb. God’s New Covenant Lamb also had to be spotless and without the blemish of sin, defect or imperfection (Heb 4:15, 1 Pet 1:19).

4.) Two Substitutionary Deaths

a. Because a natural lamb in Egypt died for every house that believed, the firstborn human’s death in the family was exchanged for the prearranged judgment and death of the innocent lamb (Exo 12:21, 23). This was a clear expression of LOVE, used as a “substitution” of one death for potentially many lives.  This occurred when the innocent little lamb died to satisfy the penalty to save the life of the firstborn human(s) within the household. God’s righteous justice system demanded that He treat everyone equally without favoritism or partiality, bias or prejudice. God must kill every firstborn from every family, both in Israel and Egypt in order to satisfy and be impartial to everyone. If God would have only killed the firstborn in Egypt, God would have violated His own nature of impartiality to save everyone in the coming New Covenant (Acts 10:34). But God offers a solution to the death sentence for everyone, called “substitution”. This free offer of mercy is obtainable by anyone, but only became effective to the someone that would believe Him. The people of Israel chose to believe and obey God who would save them from His firstborn death requirement. Because Israel accepted His substitute by faith, they exchanged the life of one innocent lamb that did not deserve this death, and their firstborn(s) in the house lived.  Wow! Now think about the Egyptians that did NOT believe and obey. Their first-born children were slain and the living became separated from their firstborn(s). They would suddenly not be able to see them alive again after that night.
b. Because the Lamb of God died on a cross every human that believes in Him obtains eternal life (1 Pet 3:18, Jn 3:16) and escapes eternal death (Mk 16:16).  Everyone that does not believe in Jesus will die and be forever separated apart from God’s family (Jn 3:36).  Jesus Christ’s death on a cross was another clear expression of a substitutionary LOVE exchange.  This trade consisted of the death of one Lamb (Jesus), in exchange for saving the lives of many people that believe (2 Cor 5:21). Thank you, Jesus.

5.) Two Doors of Salvation 

a. The children of Israel had to enter into the door of the house and remain behind the blood which was outside on the doorposts in order to be saved (Exo 12:22).
b. In John 10:7 Jesus claims to be the door of the sheep in the New Covenant.  God’s sheep aka His people have to enter into Jesus the doorway to see the Father God (Jn 14:6) in heaven to be saved. It was Jesus’ blood being poured out from His torn flesh that opened the only possible way to be saved (Heb 10:19-20). It was this shedding of blood and tearing of His flesh being hung on wooden posts of the cross that parallels the Passover precisely.

6.) Two Doors Hung by Nails

a. Doors in the O.T. houses were naturally hung on wooden doorposts using nails (1 Chr 22:3). This is a prophetical picture of the future coming Christ door for eternal salvation.
b. Jesus our New Covenant door (Jn 10:7) and described torn veil of entrance into God’s Holy of Holies for salvation was naturally crucified by Romans using nails to hang Him on wooden posts (Mk 15:25, Jn 20:25).

7.) Two Sets of Posts Covered with Blood

a. The O.T. slain lamb’s blood was placed on the wooden doorposts holding the door of the house of the family desiring salvation and deliverance during Passover in Egypt (Exo 12:7, 22)
b. Jesus the Spiritual Lamb poured out His blood on wooden posts outside the gates of the city (Heb 13:12) of Jerusalem making peace between all humans and God (Col 1:20).

8.) One God, Freeing Two Nations of Israel, from Two Captivities, in Two Egypts, using Two Bloods

a. God spoke to Moses to deliver the nation of Israel from their bondage of slavery in Egypt (Exo 3:7). God used the blood of a natural lamb to save all Israelites from natural death. The freed natural people of Israel were declared to be God’s natural nation of priests and to be His holy nation in Exodus 19:6. This was a natural nation named Israel being freed from a natural nation named Egypt. By God using the blood of a natural lamb to save them from a natural death.
b. Notice that Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified is called spiritual Egypt in Revelation 11:8. This is not a coincidence. Through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus being slain outside of Spiritual Egypt, a new spiritually free people from every nation held captive in the world (Jn 8:36) becomes God’s New Covenant holy nation with a new royal priesthood of people (1 Peter 2:9). These people are called Christians (Acts 11:26) and have been set free by Jesus from their spiritual bondage in the kingdom of Satan (Col 1:13). Christians are also labeled “the Israel of GOD” in Galatians 6:16. That is not a coincidence either. Through the shed blood of Jesus on a wooden cross Christians have been delivered from an eternal death. Praise the Lord.

9.) Two Applications of Blood using Two Applicators

a. The blood of the slain lamb in Egypt at the first Passover was applied to the doorposts using hyssop (Exo 12:22). Hyssop represents the applicator for the activation of the power of the blood to save. If the blood had not been applied as directed by God there would have been death in the house. In other words, without the head of the house obeying and placing the blood on the post using the hyssop, the firstborn would have not been saved. This natural hyssop applicator is a symbolic reference to a spiritual blood applicator needed in the New Covenant.
b. During this crucifixion event, Jesus said, “I thirst” (Jn 19:28) and was given vinegar to drink while hanging on the cross (Lk 23:36). This fulfilled a prophecy found in Psalm 69:21. The Roman soldiers used an applicator of hyssop to reach the mouth of Jesus (John 19:29). Jesus tasted the vinegar offered and did not drink it (Mat 27:34). God makes a new connection of the O.T. applicator of blood by placing it in the mouth and tongue of our Christ.  I believe God was teaching us that this is how Christians must apply and activate the power of the blood of Jesus in the New Covenant. Revelation 12:11 teaches us that Christians overcome Satan by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.  Therefore, Christians must apply the blood of Jesus by faith to be saved from the kingdom of Satan.  Christians are saved by hearing and believing the Word of God about Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection and by confessing Jesus as Lord we are saved (Rom 10:9-10).  The hyssop represents the tongue in the New Covenant and by a Christian speaking with this applicator about the Blood of Jesus they overcome every enemy.

10.) Two Lambs that loved their Family to the End

a. If you have never seen how lambs act around children and their shepherd owners, please go and watch some videos.  There are countless numbers of videos showing frolicking, leaping, and excited lambs that come immediately when called by the people that take care of them and feed them. It is so very close to how a dog reacts to their owners and family. The unconditional love that a natural lamb displays was clearly a God created pattern for the coming Jesus.  A lamb loves their family even when they are being killed by them (Isa 53:7). We get this picture of love and loyalty by reading Psalm 23. The LORD is my shepherd and I shall not want…
b. John 13:1  Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. Notice what LOVE says about Himself. The LAMB of GOD knew He was about to give His life and He continued to love everyone that GOD had given to Him. It is truly an amazing parallel.

11.) Two Lambs going through Flames of Fire.

a. The natural O.T. lamb was killed and its flesh had to be roasted completely in fire (Exo 12:9). After roasting the entire lamb’s flesh, it had to be completely consumed and eaten by the saved family.
b. The body of the Lamb of God was killed and the Spirit of the Lamb (Jesus) went to hell (Mat 12:40) a place of flame (Luk 16:24). Believers in Christ must now eat the body and drink the blood of the Lamb of God to receive eternal spiritual life (Jn 6:54-56). Like Psalm 34:8 where God says “taste and see the Lord is good”, Jesus was speaking metaphorically about Christians consuming the Word of God.

12.) Two Rising New Sun Lights and 2 New Days of WALKING Out to Freedom

a. The children of Israel left the house after the sun was risen in the morning and they exited Egypt with great wealth and health (Exo 12:34-41).
b. Jesus is called the Sun of Righteousness rising with healing in His wings in Malachi 4:2 and He is called the Day Star that rises in people’s heart in 2 Peter 1:19. After the resurrection of Jesus, the Spirit of Jesus arose from hell and went to the grave to get His body.  People receive Him now to arise in the hearts of those that believe in Him. Then we continue to walk by faith (2 Cor 5:7) and to be led step by step by the Holy Spirit.

13.) Two Kinds of Darkness during Two Times of Death

a. All the people of Israel remained naturally safe while remaining behind the blood. Both peace and safety from natural death were available as long as they were in the house eating the lamb.  But outside the house there was the darkness of night and the presence of death. The blood caused death to pass over them and it only fell on everyone without the blood in the land Egypt (Exo 12:22). The Israelites were saved from a physical death by the blood of one lamb on their house doorposts.
b. Jesus hanging nailed to the cross from the third to the ninth hour bleeding.  At the sixth hour darkness covered the land of Israel and His death to save all humans, came during the cover of darkness before the ninth hour (Mat 27:45-50, Mark 15:33-39). But Jesus’ bloody and painful death saves every human that believes in Him the experience of spiritual death which is a separation eternally from God in hell.

That was just a short list of comparisons between two amazingly similar parallel events that occurred in the past 4000 years of human history. Every human was destined for hell because of the sin of just one man named Adam 6000 years ago (1 Cor 15:22).  But, now because of Jesus’ death 2000 years ago, “whosoever” believes in this one-time LAMB substitution sacrifice offered by God will be spiritually saved from spiritual eternal death (1 Cor 15:22, Jn 3:16). The Passover was a supernatural salvation from a natural death. But the supernatural salvation implemented in Jesus is a far superior Covenant with greater promises (Heb 8:6).

The Old Covenant first Passover clearly corresponds as a representative shadowed patterned event for God’s saving Jesus LAMB sacrifice. The original first Passover has significant natural pointers by God’s intelligent design, showing us the way to the greater New Covenant. By, seeing the lamb in the Passover as being an expression of God’s love for natural life and believing that this represents the coming Jesus sacrifice for eternal life, it will help us individually to receive the free gift that was offered to everyone in the world. By having faith in Jesus and His shed blood, we become a wise and positive example of a God kind of “whosoever”.

Remember what John 3:16 says? This is where Jesus declared “For God (LOVE) so loved the world (Everyone) that He gave His only begotten Son (the LAMB), that WHOSOEVER (Anyone) believes (the individual Someone who chooses to have faith) in Him (the LAMB) will not perish but have eternal life (will be saved from spiritual death)”.  Israel enjoyed a physical life free gift and any Christ believer receives the divine free gift of spiritual life for an eternity to know Him.  These were just some of the New Covenant parallels found in the Jewish Passover. But the comparisons are truly amazing.

CONCLUSION

I hope and pray that you enjoyed the lesson today and learned a little more about the God who is LOVE and how He LOVED us. Let us review the main concept that GOD IS LOVE and LOVE has provided us a door to enter Salvation to know His LOVE:

  • ANY HUMAN IS ABLE TO BELIEVE IN GOD’S LOVE SACRIFICE
  • SOME HUMANS WILL CHOOSE TO BELIEVE IN THE MANIFESTATION OF LOVE THROUGH JESUS THE LAMB OF GOD & BE SAVED
  • EVERY HUMAN WILL NOT BELIEVE AND THOSE THAT DO NOT WILL BE ETERNALLY LOST

We should know like in Egypt at Passover, not every human in the world will choose to believe and place their faith in Jesus (the Lamb of God) and His shed Blood. God gives us this warning in the Passover story and Jesus confirmed this in Matthew 7:13-14.  In 1 Corinthians 1:18 God says that for everyone that perishes (who chooses to not believe), the cross is foolishness to them.  However, this saving faith in God’s willing sacrifice is totally available to the entire world and can save any human that wants to embrace the LOVE made available by entering Jesus. Like Israel in Egypt the people of the world will probably call believers in Christ ignorant fools. To be called a fool by the people in the world is normal, but this ridicule should not be placed in high regard as being important enough to cause us to not apply the blood and miss out on God’s gift of free saving life.  What is lost here in this world is far outweighed by what is gained in eternity knowing LOVE (Heb 11:25, 1 Cor 2:9)

Only the wise “whosoever” that believes, will be saved from an eternal experience of spiritual death (an eternal separation from God) and damnation in hell (Mk 16:16, 2 Th 2:12). This personal sacrifice given to humans by God’s Lamb named Jesus was the most expressed radical example of divine LOVE that has ever taken place and can be witnessed, heard or experienced by any human.  “All” that choose to receive this free gift will be grateful to Jesus for shedding His blood forever.  I know I will be, please join me. Thank you for reading and studying the Bible with Agapegeek.com.  God willing this lesson series will be continued.

If you would like to continue reading in this series of lessons, go to “Part 2“.

Happy Thanksgiving

1Ch 16:34  O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. 

(Ver 1.1) Here in the United States we celebrate a special day of thanks to the LORD for all that He has blessed us with. We thank Jesus first and foremost for forgiving us and saving us from the darkness of this evil world. We thank Him for the freedoms to worship Him. These are what I am thankful for the most. His love for you and I is beyond our full comprehension. So I pray that you have a blessed day and will join us wherever you are on the planet to give thanks to Jesus for saving you also. I love you and thank you for your prayers. Be blessed in Jesus name. Agapegeek International Ministries

Ten Reasons Based Upon the Book of Revelation to Believe in the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church

Rapture Of The Church1(Ver 1.1) This is now Part 7 in the important Bible study series concerning the “Rapture” also called the “Catching Away” of the Church.  We have not studied together in this lesson series for a long time.  But I felt led to share some new thoughts on this subject.  I believe in the light of everything that has been occurring in the world recently with the coronavirus pandemic this subject should gain an increased value for our focus and awareness.  Personally, I believe we are rapidly approaching the end of the church age. There are too many signs that are happening in rapid succession for us not to realize Jesus is coming back to get us very soon.  Today’s subject is focused upon the catching away of the Church by Jesus Christ.  The Church is His Bride, His Body and His Building (Temple) and we should be looking forward to His soon appearance coming in the air to take us up to heaven.

I will warn you that this is another long Bible lesson.  Therefore, you may want to read and study it in sections.  There are approximately 13 section topics.  There are three foundational sections to begin the lesson, followed by ten reasons from the Book of Revelation to believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. Each section could be divided into a single day devotional if that is how you would like to study it.  Others might just like to read the entire lesson like a book.  However you choose to study, please be blessed as we learn to understand the awesome Word of God!

 

THE BLESSED HOPE IN TIMES OF EVIL

We will begin with a truth written by the Apostle Paul to a Pastor named Titus.  Paul was an encourager.  Paul had endured extreme persecution like few have ever had to endure.  Yet, Paul remained optimistic and positive throughout his life.  What caused this hopeful optimism?

Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

hope_titus_2_13Christians are experiencing and observing such a rise of evil in the entire world.  But in the center of every evil, like Paul we can remain optimistic to expect Jesus could come and get us at any moment.  What kind of evil had Paul been going through serving Jesus that caused Him to be so cheerful and positive writing to Pastor Titus?  We can read in 1 Corinthians 11 that Pau had been given 39 stripes on his back, 5 times by Roman guards.  Three times Paul had been beaten with iron rods.  Paul was stoned at least once and dragged outside the city being left as dead.  Three times he was sailing in a ship that was shipwrecked.  Paul had to tread water for a long night and day in at least one of these shipwrecks.  Paul was threatened by robbers repeatedly.  Paul informs us that he had been in the condition of severe hunger and thirst frequently.  He also described experiencing extreme conditions of cold and being without clothes.  Paul wrote about all of this while in prison chained to guards.  These were not all the listed trials and troubles that Paul endured, but these words were written to help us to be encouraged to endure.

How many of us today have come close to what Paul had to go through?  Isn’t it amazing how encouraging Paul was despite all the evils that had been done to him?  Notice in Titus 2:13 how Paul encouraged Titus nearly 2000 years ago.  Paul instructs Titus to place his confidences in an unusual concept that was called the “blessed hope”.  Paul defines this as the appearance of Jesus Christ our Savior.  What does this mean to you?

Please allow me to tell what it means to me.  “Looking for” is the Greek word G4327 that means “to wait patiently with confidence”.   “Blessed” is the Greek word G3107 that means “to be supremely blest and happy”.  “Hope” is the Greek word G1680 that means “confidently expecting”.  “Appearing” is the Greek word G2015 that means “to come into visible manifestation”.  And “Savior” is the Greek word G4990 that means “a deliverer”.  So, what is a deliverer?  A “deliverer” is the person that provides something that has been promised and is now expected to arrive at any moment to fulfill the commitment.  Wow, why is this important?  This is what the verse means to me:

Paitiently waiting for the great God Jesus Christ, my supreme blessing with all of my confidence expecting His glorious promised personal appearance to rescue me at any moment!

I_will_come

That is exactly what I believe God is saying to us in this verse.  But can we confirm what was the promise given to us by the LORD Jesus that will be delivered, honored and fulfilled soon?  I believe we can.  Here is one essential promise made by the LORD Jesus that will be fulfilled to the church very soon to answer our blessed hope:

Joh 14:3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 

Jesus, our bridegroom tells us that he must go up to His father’s house to prepare a place for us.  Before He goes, He promises us (His bride) that He will return for us.  And then when He returns, He will “receive” us up to be where He is.  Jesus does three things and tells us that we are the focus of what He will do three times.

1.    I go (ascension into heaven)
2.    And prepare a place (at my Father’s house) For you
3.    I will come again (at the trumpet sound) For you
4.    And receive (rapture, take) You
5.    So that where I am (in heaven) There you will be also

Where is Jesus right now?  According to New Testament Jesus went up to heaven (Acts 1:9).  Now notice the word translated as “receive”.  This is the Greek word G3880 and it is a compound word containing G2983 that literally means “to take” as in “to get hold of”.  This verb implies a divinely forced departure and that sounds a lot like the rapture to me.  Now remember what the angels told the church leaders while they were watching Jesus go up:

Act 1:11  Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

joyful-hope1No matter what you are experiencing today in the world, after reading this entire Bible lesson you should have this same confident joyful expectation of His soon appearance to take us up to be where He is away from all of this evil in our world today.  Let us all divert our eyes off of the temporary troubles, trials and tests of this world to focus them on the eternal things and Jesus Christ.  Let us move to the next reason to believe Jesus is coming soon.

 

 

SHOULD THE RAPTURE
TAKE CHRISTIANS BY TOTAL SURPRISE?

1Th 5:2  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
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.
1Th 5:4  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

surprise-faceWe have been experiencing a crisis in 2020 that literally has engulfed the entire planet very suddenly and unexpectedly.  People on earth have been dramatically affected in one way or the other.  The number of reported deaths from this plague seem to still be growing all around us.  I believe we are witnessing a significant warning sign of things that are prophesied to happen during the tribulation.  Major unexpected disastrous events and lawlessness will continue to arise with greater intensity and frequency. There will be plagues, famines, earthquakes, volcanos, droughts, floods, tsunamis, hail, tornados, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons, meteors, etc.   These will be occurring more frequently leading up to and during the tribulation.  Here in 1 Thessalonians, Paul is writing to Christians in the church (you and I) and he says this time of tribulation will not come upon Christians like a thief as it will the rest of the world.  This is because Christians should be aware of the Bible prophecies that inform us of the general timing of this end.

Christians should be wiser than the unbelieving world and be able to observe the indicators that are occurring around us (Mat 16:13).  Christians must desire God’s illumination, receive His light, understand His light, love His light, and walk in His light in order to recognize these world events and to not be deceived by Satan’s attempt at darkening our minds.

I do not believe the church will leave this world as a beaten and defeated bride.  But I believe that we must be ready and expectant of Jesus’ return at any moment.  I pray we can agree and look forward to His soon return.  This Bible study will stand by itself if you would like to read it alone.  But, if you have not read this series from the beginning, you may want to go back and start with “Part 1”.  Let us get into our lesson on the catching away of the church and why we can believe and have confidence that this will happen before the Revelation description of the tribulation event begins.

 

INTRODUCTION:
AS IT WAS IN THE DAYS OF LOT!

sodoma and gomorraToday’s lesson will focus on ten key reasons from the Book of Revelation that the Rapture is a precursor (indicator, pointer, forerunner) event to the Tribulation and not an event that occurs during or even after the tribulation.  I believe that we the people in Christ can come to the firm belief that a “catching away” of the church must occur before the seven years of God’s judgment and world tribulation can commence.

I know there are other good people that believe differently.   I have heard several Bible teachers that claim the church is going through the tribulation either partially (mid-trib) or fully (post-trib).  But those beliefs just do not balance with what the LORD has shown a lot of other Bible scholars.  Even if you do not believe every reason that is given in this lesson, please at least keep an open mind and go and study what is stated here to see if this is what the Bible actually says.

Please allow me to provide a simple overview of basic end time eschatology as I understand it from my studies.  Jesus Christ is the Bridegroom (Mat 9:15, Mar 2:19) that has gone up into heaven to His Father’s house (John 14:2) to prepare a place (John 14:3) for His bride (the church, 2 Cor 11:2, Eph 5:32). Suddenly without warning He is going to come back for us (1 Cor 15:52), and the church is required to make herself ready (Rev 19:7) for His unexpected appearing (Mat 25:10).  Shortly after the catching away of the church the antichrist is revealed to the world (2 Th 2:3) and tribulation is initiated (Mar 13:19).  This time of tribulation will continue a total of 2520 days, which is equivalent to 84 months (Rev 11:2 + Rev 13:5), which is equivalent to 7 years.  While this judgment of the people on the earth is taking place (Rev 6:17), the wedding supper of the LAMB happens in heaven simultaneously (Rev 19:9).  Then Jesus riding on a white horse returns to the earth with the church saints riding behind Him to rid the earth of all evil (Rev 19:14).  Satan, the beast and the false prophets with all those that have taken his mark are cast into hell for 1000 years (Rev 19:20, Rev 20:2) while Jesus and His Saints rule a new kingdom of peace upon the earth.  Satan is then released from hell to deceive anyone that he can (Rev 20:7-8).  Satan with his new followers are finally defeated.  The Great White Throne Judgment of all unbelievers takes place (Rev 20:11) with a permanent end to the surface earth dwelling of all evil being thrown into hell (Rev 20:15).  This completes God’s recorded judgement of evil.   And then the earth and the heavens will be burned with fire (2 Pet 3:7) and a new heaven and new earth is established (Rev 21:1).  That was a lot of general overview information of end time events lacking many details.

But some believe that even though Jesus knows about the judgement that is coming upon the earth during the tribulation, He is going to permit His future bride (aka His body) to stay here on the earth to be raped, beaten, or even killed by a brutal evil world ruler.  They claim that “This will be used to test the bride before He can come save her”.  What loving husband who is knowledgeable and who could save His bride from His own judgments upon the unjust world would sit idly and allow this to happen to her?  Would any loving and caring husband who judges evil righteously do nothing to save His already justified and forgiven clean future wife?  What kind of sadistic husband would this make our God and Jesus our covenant husband?

These are incredibly good questions to consider.  Is God Love? Yes (1 John 4:16). Does Jesus Love His Bride? Yes! (Eph 5:25). If a sane natural husband would not permit this to happen to his future wife before the wedding, why would an infinitely greater supernatural God who is all knowing and all powerful not be far more gracious and kind?

Do you remember what Abraham asked God when he was negotiating for the life of his nephew Lot?  Abraham asked God “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”  Wow, do we NOT know that this statement still applies today to the subject of the church bride and the tribulation?  Abraham asked God in Genesis 18:24 and 25 these questions:

Gen 18:24  Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
Gen 18:25  That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? 

What wisdom Abraham displays before our LORD.  Abraham is pleading his legal case before the supreme court of heaven and says to our JUDGE “To slay the righteous with the wicked, that be far from thee to do, shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”.  Wow again!  Yet we have Christian ministers even on TV that claim God will not do right and will commit or at least permit this kind of evil on His bride during the tribulation.  What kind of God are we serving today?  Is there a perverted justice system in heaven now?  Has the Judge now changed to be a different kind of God than Abraham’s God?  If our God has changed, then Malachi 3:6 is a lie.  Malachi 3:6 says very clearly “I am the LORD and I change not”.  Also, according to Jesus, we need to learn God’s commentary on this story of Lot.  He says something that is truly relevant to our discussion of the rapture:

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;
Luk 17:29  But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Luk 17:30  Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

According to the words of Jesus our LORD and Savior, He claims “as it was in the days of Lot, so shall it be when He will be again revealed to the earth”.  Jesus very clearly states the righteous were first taken out of the city before ANY judgments of God would begin.  This is a noticeably historical clear pattern of the righteous being removed the judgement of evil people.  This means this must be what occurs in any similar future situation before the judgment and demise of the unrighteous in the tribulation.  I believe that is an excellent foundational reason to believe in a “Pre-Tribulation” rapture and we have not even started to read and study in Revelation.

Let us go and explore some more good reasons found in the book of Revelation to believe in this Pre-Judgment catching away by force (G726=Harpazo) of God’s righteous saints.

 

REASON #1
CHURCH NOT MENTIONED BY NAME AFTER CHAPTER 3

missing_word_1The church is explicitly mentioned by name 19 times in the Book of Revelation.  Eighteen times the Greek word G1577 transliterated as “ekklesia” occurs in 18 verses of chapters 1, 2 and 3.  This word literally means “a called-out people”.  But suddenly this called out woman named the church is not referred to by name again until chapter 22 five verses before the end of the entire book. Therefore, the church is mentioned directly before the tribulation and directly after the tribulation at the end by name but never during the tribulation.  Ask yourself this basic question.  What happened to the church after Chapter 3 until chapter 22?  Why is the Holy Spirit suddenly no longer speaking directly about the “ekklesia” after chapter 3 by name?  Is this a hidden clue and indication for what happened to the church?  I believe this is exactly what is happening by God’s design.

I believe this is very important and we must remember there are 18 direct named references to the church on the earth (called “ekklesia”) in the first 3 chapters of Revelation and then not again until the end of the book after tribulation is completed. Could this be a sign and a hidden clue for what will happen to us? I believe it is.

Also remember that there are 7 specifically named churches by physical location given to us in chapters 2 and 3.  All the other references are general “church” or “churches” references.  I believe that the direct mention of this name is a revelation that confirms the church is physically present on the earth before the tribulation commences but not after.

There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus was speaking to physical born-again people in these 7 letters to the churches.  But beginning in chapter 4 a dramatic change takes place and none of these names or locations are referred to again.  Not the 1) “ekklesia” in general or, 2) not the specific local church in Ephesus (Rev 2:1), 3) not the specific church in Smyrna (Rev 2:8), 4) not the specific church in Pergamum (Rev 2:12), 5) not the specific church in Thyatira (Rev 2:18), 6) not the specific church in Sardis (Rev 3:1), 7) not the specific church in Philadelphia (Rev 3:7) and finally 8) not the specific church in Laodicea (Rev 3:14).  What must have occurred in the future prophecy starting in Revelation 4:1, for there to be no further direct physical mention of the church on the earth in the book of Revelation?

Ok, we are going to explore something new that also applies to our study.  If we search the Bible, we will not find the literal name “church” in the Old Testament either.  Why is the church name not found anywhere in the Old Testament?  However, maybe you have read O.T. verses and can see that many of these do apply to the modern church.  In fact, we should know that we can find many O.T. quotations in the New Testament that the Holy Spirit used to explain church principles, concepts and doctrines.  But the church is never directly named in the O.T.  This seems to indicate that the church was hidden and concealed in the O.T. and I believe this too is a pattern for why the church is not mentioned directly by name during the tribulation.

The only logical explanation that I have found for there to be no direct mention of the “ekklesia” after Revelation 3, is that the church has been taken up and off the earth into heaven by a divine forced sudden departure.  This lack of mention of the church appears to be an indicator for the sudden exit from within the natural realm to now be only seen within the hidden spiritual realm.  The lack of any further mention in Revelation provides us the foundation to believe we are hidden and concealed from natural human view and can only be seen by those in the spiritual dimension.  Let us get back to Lot and end this introduction.

A pre-tribulation rapture fits perfectly with the pattern described to happen to Lot being taken out of Sodom first by angels.  We could say Lot was saved by angels using a pre-fire and brimstone taking out.  In other words, if Lot had been removed out of the fire by angels during the middle of the fire and brimstone falling none of them would have survived.  Nor could Lot and his family be taken out after the end of the fire and brimstone judgment because survival would not have saved them.  I hope we are seeing something new in this that we have never seen before.

Therefore, these parallels from what has happened to Lot in the past teaches us that the church must be removed prior to the tribulation.  If this does not occur the pattern for what has occurred in the past does not align correctly with what must occur in the rapture of the church in our future (Ecclesiastes 1:9). I believe the church will be taken up into heaven by angels to be raised into an elevated new spiritual perspective.  If we read the story of Lot after the angels removed them from the city of Sodom, they were also told not to stay in the plain to be destroyed but rather “to go up” into the mountains.  Within typology “going up” into a mountain is like going up in a rapture event (Gen 19:17).  They were also told never to look back at the destruction.  I believe this is another of the direct parallel typology for us in the church while in heaven not being able to see the judgement that will be occurring on the earth.  Finally, in Genesis 19:22 the angel informs Lot that the destruction of Sodom cannot begin until they have fully departed.  All of this is types and shadows of things that will happen to us.

We will end this important foundational section with one final point.  The Greek word G1577 “ekklesia” is formed by combining two Greek words.  The first is “ek” G1537 and this was often times translated as “out”.  This word represents a prepositional term that means “origin” as in the point where motion or action proceeds.  I hope that did not pass you by.  We need to understand that a rapture is a “motion event”, moving us from point A on the earth to point B up in heaven.  The second Greek word “kaleo” G2564 literally means “to call aloud”.  It comes from another Greek root word G2753 “to incite by word”.  Two synonyms for incite could be to 1) “initiate” or 2) “cause” something to happen by speaking.  This is like a king giving a command and expecting it to be carried out immediately.  Is this name an accident or a divine design?  I believe it is the later.  We have just learned that the literal name of the church “ekklesia” signifies a rapture event.  That just cannot be a chance occurrence.  God is teaching us that our name “church” represents someone (God) giving a royal command to take us out of this world.

God’s word is filled with intentional connected design patterns.  And all this information is one of the most profound revelations that teaches the church has been physically removed from the earth and has gone up into heaven to be hidden with our Bridegroom after the end of chapter 3 of Revelation.

 

REASON #2
WHAT THE SPIRIT SAYS DIRECTLY TO THE CHURCHES
ENDS IN THE LAST VERSE OF CHAPTER 3

Rev 3:22  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

stoptalkingThere are 7 verses in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation where John writes a command to the churches.  We can read this spoken command in Revelation 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:29, 3:6, 3:13 and 3:22.  This phrase always starts with “He that has an ear, let him hear”.  Who are these people that are supposed to hear? We find out the answer by continuing to read the end of the verse command.  “What the Spirit says to the churches” is how these verses all ended.  Therefore, we in the church are required to hear what the Spirit is saying to us here on the earth right here and now. Some people who believe they are Christians do not believe the Spirit of God ever speaks to them.  According to these verses He is speaking if we choose to tune our ears to listen and hear Him.  That sounds like it is a personal choice to listen.  It also implies God is speaking and trying to get us to hear even if we are not listening.  Why are we going over these verses and why are they important to us learning about a pretribulation rapture?  Great questions, I am so glad you asked.

Think about how the book of Revelation was laid out and designed by the Holy Spirit.  There is not one word given that is there by random chance.  Many Bible teachers and scholars believe that the list of 7 churches selected by Jesus to write to in Revelation 2 and 3, fit the pattern description of the entire 2000-year church age.  If Jesus had listed the churches in any other order or selected any different church, the pattern would not match according to these teachers and scholars.  While this is not firm evidence it is a significant matter to consider.  If this selected church pattern is true, it would cause us to easily believe that the church age has ended after chapter 3 and what follows is a different dispensation of time outside of God’s ordered period of Grace.

Think with me and consider this fact from Romans 5:20 where God declares “where sin abounds, Grace does much more abound”.  Where in reading the book of Revelation, does it ever appear that Grace is abounding to hold back the judgment of evil?  Can we see the potential conflict, if the church remains on the earth during this 7-year time?  Please do not misunderstand what was just said.  There are elements of divine grace being displayed many times in Revelation, but these are provided during a time of the simultaneous descriptions of divine destructive judgements like we read about in the story of Lot.  Did Lot have to hide in the city while the fire fell?  Did God have to put a divine umbrella over Lot before or while the fire fell?  No, the LORD took him and his family completely out of the city and then judgement started.

If the church is present during the book of Revelation judgments of God, that would appear to nullify verses found in Romans 5 and 6 and 2 Corinthians 8:7 and other that claim the Church is under God’s Grace. Let us continue and read another verse that will assist us in solving the issue of God’s grace versus His judgments and where the church is during this time of judgment:

Rev 13:9  If any man have an ear, let him hear. 

Here is another one of the main points that we need to see and understand.  The phrase “He that hath an ear, let him hear” occurs a total of 8 times in the Book of Revelation.  It occurs once in each of the letters to the seven churches where God includes the ending phrase “what the Spirit of God says to the churches”.  But there is a similar phrase that is used by God in Revelation 13:9 where the complete phrase has been modified significantly.  Let us analyze the two phrases to find the exact changes taking place by the Holy Spirit’s choice.  I will give Revelation 3:22 with all the Greek words first from the KJV.  Then we will see Revelation 13:9 from the KJV with all Greek words and then we will read from the NASB with all the Greek Words:

REV 3:22 He who has(G2192) an ear(G3775), let him hear(G191) what the Spirit says to the churches. (KJV)

(KJV)REV 13:9 If any man(G1536) have(G2192) an ear,(G3775) let him hear.(G191) (KJV)

REV 13:9 If(G1487) anyone(G5100) has(G2192_ an ear(G3775), let him hear(G191_ (NASB)

In Revelation 13:9 God adds at the beginning of the phrase a new word that means “whosoever”, “anyone” or “any man”. Then He completely removes the ending phrase “what the Spirit says to the churches” at the conclusion of the verse.  This is a radical change to who this verse is being written and spoken to.  It completely shifts the target audience that is instructed to listen and hear and converts the phrase to a conditional announcement with “If” in front of it.

In Revelation 13: 9 of the KJV God added one new Greek word G1536 and it is a composite of two other Greek words G1487 and G5100.  G1487 occurs in over 300 verses and it is most often translated as “if”.  If is a word that introduces conditionality to the next statement that follows.  Conditionality simply means there are requirements for one or more instructions to be met.  Wow, this was NOT the message given to the churches in the 7 church letters of Revelation 2 and 3 that had no conditions.

G5100 is the next compound word of G1536 and it is a word that is often translated as “any man”.  The Strong’s definition says it means “any” or “some”.  God appears to be asking “if any man” as in, “is there anyone that can still hear what I am trying to say on the earth?  This is what I believe, is God’s plea for a human still living on the earth to seek His love, mercy, and grace to be saved.

Revelation 13:9 informs us that God is no longer speaking direct words to His saved church and has shifted His message to anyone else on earth that still desires to want to listen to Him.  This clearly implies that the church is not present on the earth to hear these pleas but, it does indicate God is still available to save if any desire to hear Him.

What is God teaching us with this?  It must be the fact of truth that the churches are no longer physically present on the earth to be spoken to during this 7-year time of tribulation.  That is the only logical explanation of this clue that makes any common sense.  The only people that could possibly hear what the Spirit was saying on the earth during Revelation 13 would be those that needed to hear and wanted to listen to potentially get saved by believing in Jesus.  I believe this is the only valid interpretation for the shift of the intended audience from the exact same phrase “has an ear let him hear” being repeated 8 times in the book of Revelation.  I pray that everyone will see and agree.

There is truth in every verse of the Bible but often it is overlooked because of our lack of understanding of God’s designed requirement for us to search for it (Prov 25:2).  I do want to make a quick final point in this section.  I believe some people will get saved during the tribulation.  We can see indications of this in Revelation 7 when God speaks of 144,000 being sealed from 12 named tribes.  There are also other verses that indicate this like Revelation 20:4 describing people who had their heads chopped off for having the testimony of Jesus Christ.  Salvation will still be made available for anyone who has not taken the mark of the beast (Rev 19:20, Rev 20:4).    Let us move to reason 3.

 

REASON #3
JUDGMENT BEGINS AT THE HOUSE OF THE LORD

judgment_begins_house_of_GodToo many Christians today emphasize the Grace of God without balancing the Justice and Judgment of God.  We are living at the end of God’s Church Age of Grace.  However, the Bible clearly teaches that there are still consequences for Christian sin in the church today (Gal 6:7, Rom 6:23 1 Jn 5:16, Jas 1:15, Rom 6:16, etc.).  A lot of people ignore these verses and that is sad.  I could list many others for you, but I will focus on only a couple of scriptural examples that stand out in contrast to the extreme unbalanced Grace message.  Acts chapter five reveals 2 Christians named Ananias and Sapphira that fell down dead in a long church service being preached by Peter.  Extreme Grace teachers attempt to explain this away as two people that were not saved.  That make this God’s judgement upon unbelievers and we should read Revelation to know this judgment will not occur until these 7 years.  But if that were true and God judged sinners and liars in the world today, then everyone that ever lied or sinned would be dead and no one be available to get saved.  This unfounded interpretation that these two were not saved Christians would mean God would be unjust if He did not judge everyone that committed the same sin with the same verdict of immediate death.

No, these two people had to be saved, born again people that made a huge mistake while a gift of the Holy Spirit (a Word of Knowledge) was in manifestation.  I believe that Judgment fell on them as an example to other saved Christians in the church to not repeat the error.  As a result, a great “fear” of God came upon everyone that witnessed this judgment or heard about it.  This should include you and I also.  You see a fear coming on the church would not result from a sinner’s death.  If you do not believe this interpretation is correct that I just gave you, please keep reading to find out what Peter wrote about it in his letter to the churches.  I will go into that after one more example.

Another judgment of a saved Christian in the church of Corinth took place in 1 Corinthians 5.  Paul was not present in the flesh but still heard about a man that had taken his father’s wife so that he was committing fornication with his stepmother.  Paul was writing about this to the church as a warning for us in the church to not commit the same immorality.  Paul said I have turned him over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh that his soul might be saved (1 Cor 5:5).  Paul was speaking about a Christian man that was being judged for his sin while alive on the earth.  Paul claimed that he was going to die young before his old age as a consequence for his sin.  This is how God in the church age of grace operates.  If you go and read and study 2 Corinthians, you may learn that this young man changed and repented and did not die young.  This is a great example of how 1 John 1:9 works in the age of grace.  Sin can be confessed to Jesus and God is faithful and just to forgive us.

Yes, God does show us grace.  But God still says that sin has consequences if not confessed.  Ok, this information is potentially offensive to a lot of Christians.  I do not want to offend anyone.  But like Peter and Paul taught us we in the church must be warned.  Let us review a particularly important verse that applies to what this section is about.  This verse applies directly to the example we reviewed in Acts 5 because the Apostle Peter was present then and this is what he wrote about judgment falling on the unsaved world.  Uh oh, I mean the church.  Read this verse very carefully and see how it applied to Acts 5 and 1 Corinthians 5:

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

God is warning the church through the Apostle Peter that the time to be judged for our willful intentional sins has already commenced during this age of Grace.  God is simply saying Christians should not be like the world.  We should not be doing what the world is doing. According to this verse the world will not be judged during this age of grace, but the church will be judged for doing what they do.  Wow, this is important.  We all need to analyze what the world is doing and make sure we are not following them.  Christians should be following the direction of the Holy Spirit and the Bible.

Notice what Peter wrote.  He divided people into two categories.  Those in the house of God and those not in it.  Therefore, we know that God’s judgment begins in the house and family of God long before it is initiated to those that are not in God’s family.  In fact, Peter implies that if it is hard for believers in Christ to be saved, how much harder will it be for those that do not obey at the end of age during the tribulation.  Wow, again.    Let us read another verse that comes to us from the next letter written by Peter.

2Pe 2:9  The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 

Here is another verse that compares God’s different types of dealings between the righteous opposed to the unrighteous.  This verse again confirms that the righteous will not be judged and punished with the unrighteous people.  Did you notice the timing of the unrighteous judgment?  Peter wrote and called it the “day of judgment”.  That phrase is used 9 times in the New Testament from Matthew to Jude to describe God’s time of judgment during the tribulation.  Some might try to say this is the Great White Throne Judgment after the tribulation has ended, but that is a very limiting and restrictive definition of the phrase “a day”.  A day can many times represent more than a 12-hour period of daylight.  Figuratively a day can represent an entire period of time even up to a period of 7 days of years (one week of years).

Rev 14:6  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

Notice we have a revealed angel that we will talk more about later in another reason.  But he is going about the earth to preach the gospel to Christians.  Whops, that was a sarcastic slip.  No He was present on the earth to preach the gospel to “those that dwell on the earth”.  This is a frequent term used in  Revelation for people that are not saved.  This angel is preaching to every nation, race, and language of unsaved people.  That statement tells me the church is not here on the earth to hear this message.  Let us read the next verse:

Rev 14:7  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

Notice what this angel, says to the people that are left here dwelling on the earth during the tribulation.  This supernatural being flying in the air about the earth uses the exact same Greek word G2920 that we read about in 2 Peter for “judgment” day.  Here we have a more narrowed viewpoint on the timing for God’s judgment to be limited to an “hour”.  I believe this still represents a greater expanse of time than just 60 literal minutes.  I believe this is also a figurative expression connoting a longer time but a time that is significantly shorter than a day that we read about in Peter’s letter.

Notice that this angel during the tribulation claims the “judgment of the LORD has come” to the earth.  That makes it sound like it is something new.  But this is the same type of judgment that we were told which first started at the House of God way back when Peter wrote this in his letter nearly 2000 years ago.  The only difference what is happening in the church today and what will happen in the tribulation then is the fact that the future judgment in the tribulation is only against the unrighteous (unsaved).

We just went through a lot of information that was not found in the book of Revelation to help us understand what the book of Revelation is saying.  God is informing the church that we will be judged long before this end time 7-year tribulation judgment of the unsaved world begins.  This is just another presentation of the evidence of God’s truth in His Word to say, “the righteous church will not be judged at the same time as the unrighteous world”.  That belief would be unjust and would not align with Lot’s removal from Sodom.  However, as we have seen that does not mean that we in the church will never be judged.  It only means God is working on His bride now here on the earth to help clean us up so that we can be ready for his catching away.

I would highly recommend that you go and reread chapters 2 and 3 of the Book of Revelation.  These 2 chapters contain the 7 letters written to the physical churches on the earth. Notice in the letters how Jesus speaks of what is good in the churches and what is not.  If any changes are required to cause them to fulfill their purpose and call, Jesus is very direct in warning them to repent.  For example, check out what Jesus says in this verse to a church:

Rev 3:19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

I am amazed at some modern extreme grace teachers who claim Christians never have the need of any repentance.   Jesus very clearly teaches us that if He loves us, He will rebuke and chasten us.  When Jesus does this to anyone, we need to listen, hear and obey to do what He says and be very quick to repent.

 

REASON #4
JESUS PROMISED US WE CAN BE SAVED
FROM THE TEMPTATION TO COME ON ALL THE WORLD

Rev 3:10  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

I_will_come

We have looked at this verse before in a previous lesson, but it is so incredibly good that we will review it quickly as another confirmation from the book of Revelation for our belief in a pre-trib rapture.  This verse was written to the specific church of Philadelphia in Revelation chapter 3.  But it technically applies to every church as does each of the letters because of the statement “what the Spirit says to the churches (plural)”.  Notice what Jesus just said to this church in Philadelphia!  This is a very profound promise.  Jesus says because you have kept the Word of my patience, I will also keep you from the hour of temptation that will come to try them that dwell upon the earth. Remember we learned in the last section that “them that dwell on the earth” is a phrase that refers to unsaved earth inhabitants.  That information alone separates the church from the unsaved to be treated differently.

We learned in Part 5 of the series that God is not the tempter or tester of humans.  I will not repeat all the verses that were provided to prove that statement.  Here we understand Jesus is speaking of saving us from a coming time in the future and we can begin to read about this in Revelation 6:

Rev 6:15  And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath (G3709) of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand

These verses describe a horrific time to be alive on the earth.  It includes everyone physically alive by the description of every bondsman and every free man.  That leaves no one out.  What do these people cry?  They are crying for the mountains that they are hiding in to fall on them.  Why would anyone that is sane want such a thing to occur?  The answer is given to us in verse 16.  They say, “Hide us from the face of Him that sits on the throne”.  We could think that this is our Almighty God in general or God the Father in particular.  But, the focus of who is sitting on the throne is narrowed to the “LAMB” by the Holy Spirit’s choice.  Uh oh?  Isn’t He the One the church is in covenant with?  Isn’t He the Bridegroom of the church?  It appears to me that “wrath” coming down from heaven, from the LAMB and occurring in the first 42 months of the tribulation proves His church bride is not present on the earth to be judged with the unrighteous.

We must see this because this is essential.  The LAMB of God is pouring out His justice upon the earth and all its people.  But He is our covenant making and covenant keeping faithful Husband.  Does this sound right for Him to be pouring out wrath upon us with the world?  What is He mad and angry with us about?  I just do not understand why someone would claim the bride of the LAMB would be treated the same as the unsaved world.  Let us confirm this with scripture:

1Th 5:9  For God hath not appointed us (the church) to wrath (G3709), but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ (the LAMB),

Either God is a liar (NOT), or the church cannot be on the earth when Jesus our sacrifice LAMB pours out His wrath.  The exact same Greek word G3709 for wrath is used here in 1 Thessalonians as was selected by the Holy Spirit in Revelation 6:16 describing the wrath of the LAMB.  So, either Jesus Christ is not the LAMB (NOT), or the church is not in the flesh on the earth during these 7 years.  Which one do you believe is the truth?  Notice the Greek word translated as “salvation” in 1 Thessalonians is G4991 and this word could be translated as “rescue” or “safety”.  It comes from another Greek word G4990 that is used for titles of the LORD Jesus and it was translated as “Savior” and “Deliverer”.  We were introduced to this word in the first section of the lesson.  This word translated as “salvation” informs us that we will be removed from the place of danger and hurt like Lot was rescued and taken to safety prior to the destruction of Sodom.  Ok, Let us look at another verse that describes Jesus as “Savior” and confirm that we belong to Him.

Php 3:20  For our citizenship is in Heaven, from which also we are looking for the Savior (G4990), the Lord Jesus Christ,

Are you looking for your “Deliverer”?  Are you expecting your “Savior” to come and get you?  Are we expecting a “Rescue” out of the coming judgment wrath of the LAMB on this earth or are we expecting to be judged with the unrighteous?   Those are great questions to ask and answer while we still can.  I believe He is coming sooner than we think.

I would highly recommend that you go back and read “Part 5” in the series for more details on this subject of the church being saved from the tribulation to come.  This belief and interpretation will align very well with the patterns that we have found describing Lot being taken out of the city before the judgment fell on the ungodly.  God will NOT judge the righteous with the unrighteous.  That behavior would violate HIS character and nature and would cause Him to be unjust.  Since the judgement and penalty of our sins have been taken out on Jesus Christ on the cross, we will be spared from any future tribulation judgments.  To judge the church again would represent “double-jeopardy”.  God’s justice system demands that He does what is right and not judge the righteous with the evil people that have not accepted Jesus as Savior.  I will end this section with one more confirming verse:

Joh 3:36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. 

Notice what Jesus says here.  There are two different types of people being compared.  One is called “believers” and other is called “unbelievers”.  The believing group has “eternal life” and the unbelievers do not.  Now notice the mention of our subject of “wrath”.  This is the same Greek word as the previous verses.  The Holy Spirit writes very clearly that it is ONLY the unbelievers that will have the wrath of God abiding on them.  This is just another way of teaching us the church cannot be present when God’s wrath is being poured out.  Remember this is Jesus speaking to us.  Are you a believer?  If you are not yet a believer, you can become one right now.  Let us move to the next reason.

 

REASON #5
COME UP HITHER!
come_up_here1

Rev 4:1  After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

This is one of the strongest reasons for believing in a pretribulation rapture.  I believe this is a major factor for trusting in the LORD to rescue His church before the tribulation of God’s judgment.  Recall the design of the book of Revelation that was mentioned before.  The book begins in chapter 1 with the revealing of Jesus and is then followed by His praises, directions, and admonitions spoken directly to His churches in chapters 2 and 3.  After this , suddenly the references to the physical church on the earth stop.  The church by no further direct references can be said to disappear from the book until the end.  Wow, I believe this is a great general overview for the pattern of the entire church age.  Let us see if this fits with the life of Jesus on the earth.

Jesus was born and revealed to the world in a manger in Bethlehem.  After this He grew up in Nazareth in wisdom and age, was baptized by John when he was 30, and then he went about teaching, preaching, and healing everyone that would come to Him.  After this, He died, arose from the grave and after 40 days went up to heaven.  Does this seem to be a similar pattern for the church and the book of Revelation? Yes, I believe it does. Now let us see what God says by analyzing some of the details of Revelation 4:1, to learn how it could possibly fit into the pattern of the church age.  Let us read the beginning of verse 1 in chapter 4:

Rev 4:1  After this ….

Notice how Revelation chapter 4 begins by God’s design.   Verse 1 opens with the phrase “After this…”.  I want us to focus and ask the question about the first two words of the verse asking “After WHAT?”  This phrase “after this” indicates something that had previously happened has been terminated and something new is about to be initiated.  “After this” represents a progressive sequenced order of events.  This is like I did in the paragraph above describing the life of Jesus on the earth.  What has just happened before this statement?  Remember there are no chapter and verse divisions in the original writing.  The answer is Jesus was just speaking to His church and suddenly stopped.  These two words imply heavily what is about to happen next occurs only after Jesus has finished with His “church”.  This implies that the church age is done, finished, and completed.  The age of Grace has ceased.  Uh oh!  These two words appear to represent an important transition.  Let’s continue to the next phrase.

Rev 4:1  After this I looked,….

I just want to focus quickly on the word “I looked”.  This is G1492 and it means became aware, I saw, or I observed something.  It is generally used in the past tense.  It implies in this verse that John had observed something new that had not previously been seen or known to him.  We also get this impression by noticing the next word in the phrase:

Rev 4:1  After this I looked, and, behold….

Now notice the word translated as “behold”.  This is the Greek word G2400 that is used in 213 verses of the N.T.  It is a word that denotes a measure of surprise or awe.  Perhaps you noticed that I like to use the word “Wow” in my Bible lessons to express the same amount of emphasis and wonder.  In many of God’s usages of this Greek word we can clearly see the immediate supernatural involvement of God or angels sent by divine direction to do something that is unexpected, new, and amazing.  This word usage in Revelation 4:1 appears to imply that God is about to cause a departure from normal human affairs to do something supernaturally spectacular.  I would recommend that you go read through these verses to get the concept being described.  The idea being given to us by God in these combined initial phrases in Revelation 4:1 appears to say something sudden and unexpected is about to divinely occur at the end of and after the Church age.  I wonder what that could be?  Let us continue to read and find out:

Rev 4:1 …a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither,…
Rev 4:2  And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

Notice what just happened unexpectedly.  God provides us a description of five-steps in a process:

1). a door in heaven will be opened,
2). a voice like a trumpet sounds
3). shouts “Come up here”
4). immediately John was in the spiritual realm
5). Having been “taken up” to stand before the throne of Jesus.

Wow, that is amazing! Why is all of this mentioned directly before beginning the description of the seven years of tribulation? Does any of these words help us in the church to understand God’s timing of events?  I believe it does and that this literal past event that happened to John close to 2000 years ago, represents a prophecy of the soon coming event we call the “rapture” of the church.  God does this repeatedly in the Bible.  He uses one historic real and specific event to be a type, or we could call it a pattern of a greater future spiritual event that has not yet occurred.  Asking good questions is essential to understanding the Bible.  Therefore, let us ask some more good questions.

Why did God do this catching up of John?  Was it necessary for God to give John this vision of what would be happening later at the end of the church age in heaven?  Obviously, it was not necessary.  For example, we can read about Peter receiving a spiritual vision of future a future event on the earth, while he was praying on a rooftop in Acts 10:9-10.  There is no mention of Peter being taken up to heaven during this message from God. We need to understand the difference between these two visions within the early church leaders. Peter’s vision was given from the church’s perspective on the earth in the physical realm.  But John’s vision was given to him from the perspective of the church being transformed into the spiritual realm standing in heaven with Jesus personally.  Wow, that sounds important to know.

Also, I do not recall any O.T. prophet that was caught up into heaven to be shown what was going to happen to Israel in the future and then returning to the earth to write about it?  Moses going up on a mountain to meet with God is the closest event like this that I know of.  Can we see how John’s vision is a major change of how God had dealt with prophets many times before?  I believe that is a significant clue.  I will admit that Paul was caught up into the third heaven in 2 Cor 12:2-4. I believe that this was a confirming pattern of human experience for a future rapture event that could suddenly occurs to the church.  In fact, these verses use the exact same Greek word G726 (harpazo) that that we have been looking at in this series.  I believe 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 was given to us as a proof text to the fact that raptures have occurred in the past as well as it provides us evidence that they can and will happen again in the future.  But I still believe that Paul’s experience was for a different divine purpose and experience than John’s in Revelation 4:1. I believe this because Paul was not permitted to write much about his experiences in any detail.  I believe John’s experience of being taken up was for revealing God’s detailed plan for the timing of the rapture more than to just prove that a sudden going up could occur.  We all have a choice to believe this or not, but I choose to believe it this way.

God’s placement of this catching up of John is at the perfect location in the book of Revelation to reveal a pretribulation rapture.  I believe I have said this before but please notice that this catching away event occurs immediately after Jesus had finished dealing with the churches and before the beginning of the tribulation.  I believe that there cannot be any better placement within the book of Revelation that God could more clearly represent a “pre-tribulation” catching away of the church without just openly stating it in the plain text.

Please stop looking for every truth to be plainly stated.  That is NOT how God wrote the Bible.  Jesus proved this by informing the Jewish people to “search their scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life, but these are they that testify of me” (John 5:39).  We can see from this one statement that the truth of Jesus was hidden and had to be searched out to find Him.

Rev 4:1  After this …. must be hereafter.

Ok we need to notice how the beginning and ending phrases of verse 1 match.  Notice these were translated as “After this” and “must be hereafter”.  The ending phrase “be hereafter” is identical to the beginning phrase “after this” in the original Greek.  Both phrases come from two Greek words G3326 (meta) and G5023 (tauta).  This phrase occurs several times in the Bible and it is often translated as “after this”, “after that” or “after these things”.  This phrase teaches us the truth concerning a series of events limited within the fourth dimension of time that must occur in a precise determined order.  We can learn that something new or different is about to happen that has followed something else that just concluded.  In other words what will happen next is something fresh that occurs after what has past, and these previous things are now implied to have ended.

I am going to ask again to make sure no one missed it.  What are the things that have ended that God was just talking about in chapter 2 and 3?  The easy answer from what we read must be God’s dealing with the church on the earth has ended.  That makes great logical sense to me.  Then at the end of the verse God uses “meta tauta” again to say, “after this event”.  What event did God just do to John?  God took John up in a rapture into heaven to stand before the throne of Jesus.  Therefore, what comes after this rapture by God’s design, begins to teach us of something brand new that has never previously occurred to this extent or in this order. These words and the combining of them with named precise events are describing the separate distinct and ordered pattern of events in succession that must occur.  I believe this is the plan of God.

  1. Jesus deals with the Churches
  2. After this the Church Age Ends
  3. Followed by the Rapture of the Church
  4. Followed by the 7 years of Tribulation and Judgment of Israel and the world

Let us review some other important descriptive facts found in Revelation 4:1 to add to our consideration of why this verse represents the church rapture.  If we read verse 1 carefully it appears to parallel the pattern description of the rapture found in 1 Thessalonians 4 because of God’s specific word usage and selection.  Read this verse in 1 Thessalonians 4 and see if you can agree there is a divine connection between these two verse event descriptions:

1Th 4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump (G4536) of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (harpazo) together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 

God uses the exact same Greek word translated as “trumpet” both in Revelation 4:1 and here.  This Greek word is G4536 and it is only found in 11 verses in the entire N.T.  It occurs 4 times after Revelation 4:1 in chapters 8 and 9 dealing with 7 angels with 7 trumpets.  These are called the trumpet judgements.  After these verses, this Greek word is NOT used in any other verse of Revelation.  Uh oh?  I thought a great number of people believed in a mid or post-tribulation rapture?   Why would there be only a mention of a trumpet rapture event before the tribulation begins describing someone going up into heaven?  I think that should be a potential problem for believing in anything but a pretribulation catching away of the church.  We could talk a lot more about this, but we will move on to another connection to consider.

Notice the fact that in conjunction with a trumpet being mentioned a shout occurs.  1 Thessalonians does not mention the shout phrase but it does say clearly it occurs.  Now notice in Revelation 4:1 the actual shout is given “COME UP HERE!” but we are told it is a shout.  That appears to confirm another very profound parallel to the same descriptions.  Let us move quickly now to a rapture reference found in 1 Corinthians:

1Co 15:51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump (G4536): for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 

Notice the profound process being described here by the Holy Spirit.  God writes this is a mystery.  This teaches us that the message has been and potentially still is hidden. We all understand this because there is still such a great debate occurring in the church with us wondering when the rapture will occur.   Notice what Paul writes. Paul says not everyone will die a natural death.  But we shall be changed.  Changed is a Greek word that means made different and we know this is speaking of becoming incorruptible and immortal by reading the context.  Then the Holy Spirit says in a moment or a twinkling of the eye this change will take place.  The Greek word G823 (atomos) means something that is indivisible.  That is a description of such fast rapid event that we cannot even fully imagine it.

Notice the word selection of the Holy Spirit to select and use the exact same word found in Revelation 4:1 for “trumpet”.  This word was translated as “trump” in Thessalonians, but it is the same Greek word we just read here. God is connecting these verses by designed divine word choice.  Also note that this reference to the G4536 trumpet in Revelation 4:1 is the last trumpet blast used to call up people into heaven used by God.  That would appear to match what we are reading here in verse 52 of 1 Cor 15 saying the “last trump”.  The Greek word G2078 translated as “last” is not used this way in the book of Revelation at all.  It occurs 7 times in Revelation, twice to describe last plagues and 5 times to describe Jesus Christ as the “first and last”.

What I am trying to say is that Revelation 4:1 appears to be the “LAST” trumpet to call up anyone in the book of Revelation.  The other trumpet references appear to be judgments being released on the earth.  This information just appears to help confirm the timing of the rapture to occur before the tribulation begins.  Can we begin to see these parallels?  I do not believe this is an accident.  I believe all of this is a divinely designed pattern of repetition given to us by God to teach us.  Let us move on to the next reason.

 

REASON #6
CHURCH IS REWARDED IN HEAVEN
AT THE BEMA SEAT DURING THE TRIBULATION

1Co 3:12  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward (G3408).
1Co 3:15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Receive_a_crown1According to the New Testament there is coming a judging of the works of Christians.  While works cannot ever save us, they do appear to cause us to be rewarded after this life is over.  The Greek word G3708 that was translated as “reward” literally means “pay for service”.  God is teaching us that we will receive a payment for what was done for His glory on this earth to fulfill His will.  Many theologians view this rewarding like a prize for running our race of life well on this earth as Paul wrote of in 1 Corinthians 9:24. That could be a part of it.  But these verses also speak of human works that will be burned up and consumed as if they did not matter to the reality of our eternal reward.  For example, many people are doing nice religious things, but I believe they are in vain to just make them look important. A lot of Christians do not ask or want to know what the will of God is to hear His plan for their life.  It is like the old joke, Jesus is Coming, look busy!  Ok I will give you a list of a few of these earthly types of works that will cause a heavenly reward.

  1. We Endure Persecution or False Accusation While Rejoicing (Mat 5:11-12)
  2. When We Love Others that Hate Us (Mat 5:46)
  3. When We Give to Others or the LORD in Secret (Mat 6:1)
  4. When We Pray Privately Hidden from Public View (Mat 6:5)
  5. When We Fast Secretly Not Making It Known Outwardly (Mat 6:16)

There are a lot of other examples given to us in the Bible.  None of these are normal human behavior that comes naturally.  I believe these works are totally different than the types of works we do in the natural and must be learned and acquired by repetition.  People go to work at a company and want to be acknowledged and praised by everyone.  Natural humans are proud of their accomplishments, promotions and enjoy the recognition of other people.  But, God’s reward system for what we will receive in heaven is far different.

When does this judgement of fire for rewards occur?  There are some who believe it occurs after the tribulation.  There are two main judgements described in the book of Revelation.  The final judgment occurs in Revelation 20:11 and it is called the Great White Throne Judgment (GWTJ).  This is the judgement that occurs for all unbelievers that have rejected God’s gift of salvation.  Their names are not recorded in the book of life (Rev 20:12).  This GWT Judgment is for the spiritually dead and not for the spiritually living.

We also should know that there is a judgment for believers.  This is called the Bema Seat Judgment (BSJ).  This judgment is for believers in Christ Jesus only.  These believers are the symbolic “wheat” and “sheep” that are gathered to be saved.  They are compared with the rejected tares and the goats in the parables that Jesus taught on about the division of people on the earth (Mat 13:25-31, Mat 25:32-33).  The righteous are described to be on His right hand and the unrighteous were on His left hand and these are the ones that will be judged in the GWT Judgment and then cast into hell.  It appears that we should all seek and learn how to be in those that are on His right hand.  So, let us analyze if there is any indication from scripture when this Bema judgement occurs.  Here is an especially important verse to learn:

Rev 11:18  And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward (G3708) unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

God describes the church being judged, during the tribulation here in Revelation 11:18. It would be logical for Christians to conclude that the church must already be present in heaven for this described event to occur.  How do we know we are there?  We can use the words given and search for them in the N.T. to see if the church is ever called by these names and titles or described with these characteristics.  For example, the Greek word G40 which was translated as “saints”.  This word is referred to multiple times in the New Testament and it is used to describe Christians.  Paul uses this word in almost every letter written to church members as a title and description of their character.  I would recommend you do a search and read these verses. But I will list a few to get you started.  Read Romans 16:15, 1 Corinthians 1:2, 6:2, 2 Corinthians 1:1, Ephesians 1:1, 3:8, Philippians 1:1, Colossians 1:2 to name a few that confirm how church members are called “saints”.

Next notice the key word G3708 that is again translated as “reward”.  This word alone connects us directly to what God described in 1 Corinthians 3.  Here are the “rewards of payment” for our labors on the earth being given out to His servants and saints.  The Greek word G1401 translated as “servants” is used in Acts 16:17 by a demon possessed woman screaming near Paul and other Christians.  She cried, “these are servants of the Most High God who show us the way to salvation”.  I can imagine that she was saying it in a mocking way and not in a complimentary promotional way.  But nonetheless she has labeled them correctly as servants of Jesus the exact same word used to describe those being rewarded in heaven in Revelation 11.

Paul calls himself a servant in Romans 1:1 and Galatians 1:10. I believe we can see the connection between Christians being labeled as “servants” and “saints”.  Finally, the last phrase that should seal the truth that God is speaking of the church rewards is G5399.  This Greek word G5399 means to “fear or revere as in awe”.  It describes a person with a respectful attitude for God’s omnipotence (power). G5399 is the opposite of people who take God’s name in vain swearing or cursing Him.

G5399 is used directly in Acts 10:2 to describe Cornelius the centurion that was sent and angel messenger from God to go and get Peter.  Servants of Cornelius came to the house where Peter was receiving a vision of God instructing him about the people that were coming to see him and why.  Peter followed them and went to Cornelius house.  Peter preached Jesus to Cornelius and his family and they were the first Gentiles saved in the book of Acts.  Therefore, we know God is speaking of people who honor and believe in Him and are saved.  Christians are commanded to fear God in Colossians 3:22 and 1 Peter 2:17 to provide just two confirmations of how the church should be in awe of God.

Ok, I am going to go over quickly another important factor on this subject of timing.  This Bema Seat Judgment appears to be referenced somewhere near or after mid-trib.  The beginning of chapter 11 to verse 18 describes the event of God sending two witnesses that stand in the streets of Jerusalem prophesying the Word of God to everyone still on the earth.  We will talk more about this later in reasons #6 and 7.  But understand that the two witnesses preaching spans the entire first half of the tribulation.  Therefore, chapter 11 represents a new overview from a different perspective during the same time found in the description of chapters 4 through 10.  God simply singled out a specific event which overlaps with the entire 42-month first half tribulation period.  What I am trying to say is that when the tribulation begins God sends two witnesses and they remain through all of the events reported previously in chapters 4 through 10 when they are killed, and their bodies lay in the street for 3 ½ days and then they are raised from the dead to stand up and then they slowly are caught up into heaven after God says “Come Up Here”.  This calling up to heaven is remarkably like what we read about in Revelation 4:1 for John’s catching up.  However, this description uses the Greek word G305 which implies a slow ascent that can be visible to any human that is looking on them as they go up.  Also, notice in chapter 11 there is no mention of any trumpet.  Therefore, this event is not the “harpazo” for a sudden unseen disappearing.  This event just does not match with the description of the rapture as we have seen.  We just cannot say with great confidence that this going up slowly of the two witnesses represents a type of the rapture of the church.  We will see this more clearly as we continue to study.

Therefore, we can conclude that somewhere in the middle of the tribulation it appears Christians will be rewarded for their works done on the earth.  This does imply that our works were completed and that we are present in heaven to receive them.  Some will try to stretch these 2 witnesses going up to heaven to represent the church is raptured at mid-trib but there are too many issues that do align with scriptures to cause that belief to be accurate.

 

 

REASON #7
RAPTURE OF CHURCH TO HAPPEN SUDDENLY

Pleasant_surprise_comingThis reason is an extremely basic common-sense explanation for a good belief in a pre-tribulation rapture event using the type and pattern of John’s sudden unexpected rapture in Revelation 4:1 as our representative. Did John expect to be shouted up into heaven in Revelation 4:1?  If He did it does not say it. No, I believe Revelation 4:1 was a sudden unexpected departure from earth.  We should know that John wrote the book of Revelation at close to the age of 92 while a prisoner of Rome on the penal colony located on the Isle of Patmos.  It was while he was a prisoner that this vision of the future was given to him.  While we might expect John was anticipating removal from the island, I don’t believe he was expecting it to be a direct trip to heaven without seeing physical death first.

This concept of sudden unexpected removal is based entirely upon the dominate belief from basic church doctrine called “Imminence”.  That is a word that we do not use very often in modern conversations or hear preached often from many pulpits.  This basic doctrine teaches us that Jesus’ coming in the air to catch away the church is not dependent upon any other Biblical event that must happen first.  Imminence means Jesus’ coming is close, near and could happen at any unexpected moment.  This means it could literally happen while you are reading this Bible lesson.  Did the Apostle John the writer of Revelation, believe in the doctrine of Imminence?  I believe if you read what he wrote you will say that he did:

Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

John begins the book of Revelation with a reminder that this prophecy will be fulfilled in a time that is very near.  This Greek word G1451 that was translated as “at hand” literally means “it is near”.   If it was close 2000 years ago can you imagine how close it is now?  That was the beginning of the book of Revelation and at the end Jesus gives us a further confirmation:

Rev 22:20  He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

The Greek word G5035 was translated as quickly and it is defined as “shortly, without delay, suddenly and soon”.  Therefore, the book of Revelation begins and ends with the warning of this prophecy coming upon the world quickly and unexpectedly.  It is also important to understand the rapture of the church is NOT the 2nd coming of Christ.  These are two separated events that occur 7 years apart.  In the rapture Jesus does not set foot on the earth and the church is called up to meet Him in the air.  This is also not a yo-yo rapture trip where we are called up to quickly come back down to rule during the millennium.  No, the rapture event is the only prophesied event that is not dependent upon anything, the 2nd coming is completely dependent upon many other prophesies that must be fulfilled first.

If we do not believe in “imminence”, that could be a major problem that distorts our belief of Revelation.  This non-belief in imminence would also allow Christians to live any lifestyle they want or desire without the fear of God.  If everyone knew when the rapture would occur, we could all just fall on our knees and repent a few seconds, hours, or days before and then expect to be taken up to be with Christ.  But if we do not know when it will occur there is no other way but for us to focus and stay ready, prayed up to be following the Holy Spirit every second because He could come when we did not expect Him.

Mat 24:36  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Mat 24:37  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:38  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
Mat 24:39  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:40  Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Mat 24:41  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Mat 24:42  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come

This is only one passage that confirms the Church “Doctrine of Imminence”.  But it is always one of the clearest references to being ready, that I know of.  This passage of scripture should not be overlooked concerning the rapture of the church.  Notice Jesus said He did not even know when He would return exactly.  This makes me laugh at all the preachers and teachers that try to calculate dates and times.  You may recall a few years ago a man that I will not name predicted May 21, 2011 as the return of Jesus day.  Wow, that day came and went, and this man looked very foolish to many that were paying attention.  His belief denied the existence of the “Doctrine of Imminence”.  According to this man all the days between his day of prophecy and that specific calendar date had to pass before Jesus could come.  Do you understand the basic “Doctrine of Imminence” better now?  Can you see how this will fit within our knowledge of the outline of the book of Revelation?

four_horsemen_1Please go and read the entire book of Revelation again from beginning to end.  God gives us the description of the entire seven-year tribulation period in graphic detail using an ordered sequence of events.  In Revelation 6 we begin to see Jesus opening a scroll with seven seals in heaven.  Each seal in the numbered order is broken and each triggers an event occurrence that is not good for the people left on the earth.  During this opening there are also four horsemen described, one white, one red, one black and one green.  Each is released in the specific order to bring on other specific events of judgments on the earth. All of this is required to happen in the first half of the tribulation.

Now, remember what we read in Revelation 11?  We read two witnesses had to preach for exactly 42 months and then they were called up into heaven and then the Bema Seat Judgment commences.  But this knowledge defeats the belief of mid-trib and post-trib raptures because they both fail the “Imminence” test.  If mid or post-trib was when the rapture occurred, we would all watch the two witnesses for 42 months, see them get killed, lay in the streets for 3 ½ days then we would know that we needed to repent and get right with God to be taken up and judged.  We could literally almost set the date of departure and judgment.  God gives us the precise number of days the two witnesses preach.  This is 1260 days.  Just get your calendar and start marking the days. But that is like the preacher saying Jesus is coming on May 21, 2011.  That does not work with the solid “Doctrine of Imminence”.  The conflict completely disqualifies a mid-trib or post-trib rapture.

When we read the entire book of Revelation.  We need to notice in Revelation 7:1 that God gives the identical phrase “meta” + “taupa” again?  This teaches us God’s standard of a specific ordered sequence of events is still taking place throughout the first half of the tribulation. Next in chapter 8 after the seventh seal was opened and 7 angels were given 7 trumpets, and this begins another set of judgements upon the earth.  These also are given to us in the order that they will literally occur.  There is considerable hardship and death described in the book of Revelation and it will be a time like no other in the history of mankind.  Finally, we get to Revelation 16 and the 7 bowls of God’s wrath that will be poured out again in ordered sequence.  The term “meta” + “taupe” (after this) occurs in Revelation 7:1, 7:9, 9:12, 15:5, 18:1, 19:1 and 20:3.  All of these references describe events that occur in chronological order within the seven year time frame called the tribulation.

We could map out and link together one event after another from all this information and many have done this.  Using this specific timeline of events we may not be able to place the mid-trib or post-trib rapture of the church to an exact minute or second, but we could get it close enough to know when we needed to get ready for Him to come.  But before this, we just need to sit back, hide and wait for Him.  I think that is a major problem with NOT believing in an unexpected imminent appearance of Christ to take us out of the world.  Can you see how believing in a mid-trib or post-trib catching away becomes dependent upon so many specific events occurring within the dependent given order?  If these events listed in Revelation have not occurred, we could just sit by and wait for them to happen and then get all ready.  Only a pre-tribulation rapture which could occur at any given moment in time makes any sense to believe in.

Perhaps you still do not believe in a sudden unexpected departure?  I would recommend that you go and read the parable story of the 10 Virgins in Matthew 25.  Because this is another example of an unexpectant imminent rapture event.  In this parable a man that is a type of Jesus suddenly comes to his bride and only half of them are prepared to meet Him with full burning lamps, and only they enter into the open door before it is closed.  This is a perfect example of a rapture based upon the parable typology and the traditional accounts of the Jewish wedding ceremony.  This coming of the bridegroom happens while the other virgins went away to get ready by buying lamp oil for the groom’s (Jesus) sudden coming at midnight.  Ok, lamps are symbols of the church.  Oil in the lamps are a symbol of being full of the Holy Spirit.  However, when the foolish virgins return to the wedding the door is locked, and they are no longer able to enter the wedding feast.  Even when they knock, Jesus says depart I never knew you.  Wow, that is a perfect example and pattern of a door in heaven suddenly opening and only John going up to enter into it.

The traditional Jewish wedding is the same process.  The man sees a woman that he is interested in and approaches her to make the proposal.  Gifts and payments are made to her family.  A marriage contract is entered into and the groom goes away to prepare a place for his wife.  The woman prepares herself to be ready because at any unexpected moment he may come to take her into the wedding feast at his father’s house.  This Jewish wedding feast continues for 7 days or one week.  This is the reason why, in John chapter 2 Jesus was called upon to turn water into wine by Mary because they had run out of the wine that was supposed to last all week.  This was a very quick overview of the traditional Jewish wedding, but it fits the marriage of Jesus and His bride perfectly.  There are so many N.T. verse that confirm this and I’ll give you a homework assignment to go and find them all.

Remember what Jesus taught us in Matthew 24 about only one being taken and the other left as they both slept.  Or one was taken and one left from the two that were grinding at a mill.  Or one was taken and one left as they were working in a field.  Again, these examples are a 50% parallel reaffirming the 5 wise virgins and 5 foolish virgins’ percentage.  I am not making any predictions, but it is possible that only 50% of people who say they are Christians could be taken and the others may be left on the earth.  Also notice how these people that were taken were on two sides of the planet and everyone that was qualified was taken simultaneously whether sleeping in darkness or working in the daylight.  Finally, notice that there is NO way that any of this description fits anything that is happening during the 7-years of tribulation.  Everyone being described by Jesus is living life doing normal everyday activities like it was during Noah’s day before the sudden destructive flood of judgment.

This is another reason why I know this coronavirus is a quickly passing pandemic.  I do not see how everything we have just read that was spoken by the LORD Jesus or is found in the book of Revelation could fit anything but a pre-tribulation rapture event based upon the “Doctrine of Imminence”.  The sound doctrine of imminence nullifies the pattern a MID-TRIBULATION or a POST-TRIBULATION catching away event because of the stated events that must first occur that everyone will see in plain sight.  So, if anyone is a mid-trib or a post-trib believer it must be a very sad day because it is impossible for Jesus to come back today!

 

REASON #8
WHY SEND TWO WITNESSES?

Rev 11:3  And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

two_witnesses_of_revelation_1Here is another great reason why I believe the church must be raptured up to heaven before the beginning of the seven years of tribulation.  God sends two witnesses that some believe are Enoch and Elijah and others believe they are Moses and Elijah.  But whoever they are they appear in the streets of Jerusalem for exactly three and half years, also known as forty-two months, or it can even be known as 1260 days.  These are all the same way to describe the first half of the 7 years of tribulation.  God very clearly informs us in Revelation chapter 11 that He will send two witnesses to the city of Jerusalem in order to prophecy to the world.

Now may I suggest that we all think about what is being revealed by God in this verse?  What was the great commission given to the church right before Jesus ascended into heaven?  Didn’t Jesus command the church to go into all the world and preach the gospel (Mar 16:15)?  It appears to me that the only logical reason that God would need to send His two witnesses back to the earth from heaven would be because the church is no longer on the earth to preach to anyone on the earth.  Wow, I do not know how anything else could possibly be true.  Did the church suddenly all get murdered?  Did the church all go into silence and hiding in bunkers?  What else can it be?  Think about it!  For 42 months these two witnesses are declaring the Word of God to the people of Jerusalem and the earth.  Suddenly they are killed, and their bodies lie in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 ½ days and then what happens?  The world sees them be raised from the dead and then they go back up slowly into heaven.  If the church is still present on the earth, then the word of God is still being preached but if not, then what happens in the book of Revelation next after the two witnesses? Does the gospel of Jesus just stop?  We will find our answer in Revelation 14:

Rev 14:6  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 

Why would God almighty have an angel preach the Gospel if the people in the church were still on the earth?  This just does not make any logical sense.  The only reasonable explanation for this need to preach from two witnesses or an angel must be because the church would not be here on the earth to do what Jesus commanded us to do.  That is what I believe.  So, we have just learned of two different types of preachers that are found on the earth during the tribulation besides the church.  There were the two witnesses that preach the first 42 months and there is the angel preaching to humans somewhere in the last 42 months.  This is profoundly amazing.  The church must be gone!  Praise the LORD!

 

 

REASON #9
THE BOOK OF REVELATION IS THE JEWISH 70TH WEEK

To correctly interpret the book of Revelation there is a dependency to first understand the book of Daniel.  The book of Daniel was written years before Jesus’ first physical entrance on the earth.  But these words were hidden and sealed from understanding until the time of the end (Dan 12:9).  However, the book of Revelation we are told was not sealed because the time was near at hand (Rev 22:10). Therefore, the book of Revelation helps us to unveil the book of Daniel and vice versa.  Too many Bible students fail to go back to understand the Book of Daniel.  In chapter 9 of Daniel it contains key information that informs us of important details of the tribulation period in Revelation.  Daniel teaches us that this period of time during the tribulation is a length of seven years and that it is primarily focused upon God’s dealing with the natural people of the nation of Israel.  Knowing this information provides us a good foundation for why the church is not explicitly mentioned by name after chapter 3.  This also helps us to understand that the “rapture” of the church must have already occurred.

Let us talk very briefly about why these two books are intimately connected.  One distinct connection are the references to a beast with 10 horns.  We see this in Daniel chapter 7 and in Revelation chapters 13 and 17.  The horns we are told represent kings but that is not important for this lesson.

There are several direct connections but one that is significant is the connection of the term “Time”, “Times” and “Half a Time” (aka dividing of time).  This phrasing is an incredibly unique terminology that I have only found in the books of Daniel and Revelation.  Most scholars that I have heard teach on this subject, agree that this phrase is speaking of 1 Year + 2 Years + half a Year.  Adding those together we get 3 ½ years total.  That matches perfectly with the references to 1260 days (Rev 11:3, 12:6) and 42 months (Rev 11:2, 13:5) and 3 ½ years (Rev 12:14) all found in Revelation.  We can also read this specific phrase “time”, “times” and “dividing time” in Daniel 7:25 and in Daniel 12:7 where we find “time”, times” and “a half” and this matches Revelation 12:14.

Rev 12:14  And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. 

Now let us read one of the key verses that is required for understanding the seven-year tribulation we can also labeled as God’s last week dealing with nation of natural Israel:

Dan 9:24  Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people (natural Israel) and upon thy holy city (Jerusalem), to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

There are a lot of Bible scholars and teachers that agree this verse is speaking of seventy weeks of years and not seventy weeks of days.  A Week is a representation for the number 7.  Therefore, if we multiply 70 times 7, we arrive at 490 years of total time that God is referring to for the nation of Israel.  However, these 490 years do not occur in consecutive order.  You see in verses 25 God begins to describe that there will be 7 weeks of years before the city of Jerusalem will be rebuilt.  Next will follow 62 weeks of years (=434) and then Messiah will appear in the city Jerusalem.  In fact, someone has done this calculation and found that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey on the exact day when these 469 years were fulfilled.  Now let us look at the specific tribulation week that we are concerned with in Revelation.  It is being described by Daniel in chapter 9 and verse 27:

Dan 9:27  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. 

This verse is concerning a prince called the anti-Christ.   Most educated Bible scholars agree this verse is teaching events that occur within the 7 years of tribulation using the term “one week”.  We are told that this man will make a covenant with the Jewish people on the earth and this is presumed to be a peace treaty of some type.  But, according to this verse in the middle of this 7 years (3 ½) he appears to break the covenant and bring desolation upon the earth.  I am unable to go into every detail in this very quick overview format of the book of Revelation.  Therefore let’s wrap this section up.

Please just understand the connections being made and how Daniel was a book written about God’s dealing with the natural nation of Israel for a total of 490 years.  I believe that this information helps us to understand why the church on the earth is not mentioned after chapter 3 by direct name.  I believe since God is dealing with natural Israel primarily in this book of Revelation the church must have been taken into heaven before this week of years can begin.  We know this because we have just seen that God sends two witnesses to stand up and preach in the city of Jerusalem for 3 ½ years.  Now remember what happens to them at the end of these 42 months.  These two witnesses are suddenly killed, and their bodies lay in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 ½ days and then they are raised back to life.  This seems to correspond to what we just read in the book of Daniel about the anti-Christ breaking the peace covenant and this is when the “Great Tribulation” breaks out and angels are then revealed to be preaching the gospel.  Wow, this sounds like we are now understanding more of why the church is not mentioned after chapter 3.  Let us go to the final reason in this lesson for why I believe the church has been raptured from the earth while these 7 years are taking place.

 

REASON #10
THE CHURCH MUST RETURN TO THE EARTH WITH CHRIST
AT THE END OF THE TRIBULATION
HOW AND WHEN DID WE GET THERE?

This reason is another common-sense revelation.  This reason for believing in a PRE-TRIBULATION rapture is based upon what was given to us in Revelation chapter 19 and then what is implied but was not explicitly stated to how it occurred.  We will begin reading in verse 6 and then go through verse 14.  The passages begin by describing the church in heaven at the marriage supper of the lamb in verses 6 through 10.  Then this is immediately followed in verses 11 through 14 with Jesus coming back to the earth with the church riding behind Him to rule and reign with a rod of iron for 1000 years.

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

Rev 19:6  And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Rev 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
Rev 19:8  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
Rev 19:9  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
Rev 19:10  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. 

The Rider on a White Horse

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.
Rev 19:14  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean

OK, we just cannot go through every verse and every word found in the Greek because it would take too long.  Focus on verse 7 to begin.  We have the marriage of the Lamb and the mention of His wife having made herself ready.  This corresponds very well with Jesus’ description of the bridegroom coming suddenly to the five wise virgin that had made themselves prepared and ready for His coming.  It also corresponds to Ephesians chapter 5 in discussing husbands and wives where God speaking of this as being a great mystery concerning Christ and the church.  In Ephesians 5:26-27 Paul writes of Christ sanctifying and cleansing His bride with a washing of the water of the Word of God.  I cannot teach that subject fully either.  You can go and read about the bride of Christ in other series on this website.  Notice how this woman is described in Revelation.  She is clothed in fine white linen in verse 8.  Then notice these people are clothed in the exact same garments that are coming back riding on white horses with Jesus in verse 14.

I believe verse 11 is also relevant to take note of.  Verse 11 teaches that heaven must be opened for Jesus and the church to return.  That sound like the parallel to the 5 foolish virgins knocking on the door after it was locked shut and Jesus saying, “depart I never knew you” (Mat 25:12).  I would recommend you read and study the subject of weddings in the Bible.  The wedding feast is also described in a parable given in Matthew 12:1-14.  We don’t have time to read and study that either but know this is message spoken to Jews about a King (God the Father) inviting the Jews to come to the wedding of His Son (Jesus) and they did not come so He commanded His servants to go and invite others (Gentiles) to come into the wedding feast that had been prepared.  In this parable one man comes into the wedding without the proper wedding attire and he is promptly discovered, questioned and cast out to regret not having the proper wedding clothes.

If these people being described in Revelation are wearing the proper wedding garments we can easily believe they are the church and we are coming back to the earth with Jesus after this wedding feast.  Therefore, how and when did the church go up to be with Him in heaven?    We had to be there in heaven for longer than a quick snack and rapid return?  In other words, a POST-TRIBULATION sudden taking up and an immediate coming back down just cannot fit what many teach.  In fact, a MID-TRIBULATION 3 ½ year pattern of going up and coming back does not fit the wedding feasts Bible pattern either.  Let’s quickly establish verses that teach the church is coming back with Jesus to rule:

1Th 3:13  To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

God clearly describes the church will be returning to the earth with Jesus in this verse.   Holiness is a pattern description for a pure bride wearing white and clean garments that we were reading about in Revelation 19.  Also, it is interesting to see the word “all” describing His saints.  This Greek word means the whole.  There is another New Testament prophecy concerning this return to the earth found in the book of Jude:

Jud 1:14  And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
Jud 1:15  To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 

I believe these verses are describing the exact Revelation 19 return to the earth of Jesus and His church, but only in greater detail. It is remarkably interesting to note that we are coming with Him to judge the ungodly sinners.  This is just further confirmation that the church is not present on the earth to be judged with them.

When did the church get to heaven to return to the earth with Jesus in Revelation 19?  I cannot find a catching away in the mid-tribulation theory found in Revelation.  I certainly cannot agree with a post-tribulation catching up of the church to be immediately returned either.  Neither of these beliefs match the typology of Noah’s flood or Lot’s taking out of Sodom.  In both examples the righteous were taken out before any of the judgment of the wicked began.

The only legitimate answer that fits typology and and patterns found in ancient Jewish wedding feasts is the pre-tribulation catching away of the bride.  In the ancient Jewish wedding ceremony several things occur in a specific order.  I will list this so that we can see how they match the pre-tribulation rapture.

  1. The Groom approaches the Bride and proposes marriage
  2. Gifts are given to the bride’s family
  3. A legal contract agreement is accepted by both husband and wife
  4. The bridegroom promises to go to his father’s house to prepare a place for his new wife.
  5. He leaves her and does not see her until the father instructs him he is ready to go and get her.
  6. He leaves the father’s house to go and get his bride
  7. The bride never knows when he will return for her so she must be constantly ready and expecting him with eager anticipation.
  8. The bridegroom sends his servant ahead of him to announce his appearance.
  9. The bride rushes out to meet him and they immediately depart for the father’s house.
  10. A wedding feast then commences at the father’s house.
  11. This wedding feast normally lasts for 7 days where they eat and drink and celebrate the marriage has come.
  12. Now the bride and the bridegroom leave the father’s house to enter into their new house to be together forever.

This was just a fast overview of the process.  But, please notice the parallels that are given to Christ and the church.

 

CONCLUSION

The only balanced timing for the church rapture event that matches all of the patterns given to us in scripture is found in Revelation 4:1 (pre-tribulation).   God provides us a profound clue to the timing by using John being caught up into heaven before he was shown the future events transpiring in the tribulation.  This was a divine pattern for the “PRE-TRIBULATION” rapture.  I have become convinced that this is only event time that matches typology taught by Jesus in Matthew 24, the doctrine of Imminence, God’s dealing with Israel during the 70th week and the end of the church age of God’s divine Grace.  We have just read 10 direct and indirect reasons that help us establish an incredibly good solid foundation for the belief in the PRE-TRIBULATION rapture!  We could have found others.  For example, we did not speak of the Jewish wedding pattern.  Weddings in Jesus’ days on the earth were usually a 7-day feast celebration with food and wine.  This is why, Jesus was asked to turn water into wine in John 2 by Mary.  Jesus turns 6 very large containers full of water into wine because there were more days to celebrate than the day He performed the miracle.  Seven days is a week, right?  Why does God call this a week of years in Daniel?  Is this another clue to our covenant marriage event occurring in heaven?  Could it be that our Covenant Wedding feast will be celebrated for the entire week of tribulation on the earth?  I believe it will.

I pray you were blessed and are willing to go read and study these verses for yourself to confirm if this is what the Holy Spirit is saying to you.  If you believe there are any challenges to what was written here, then please share them in a comment.  If the Holy Spirit bears witness with your spirit, this is truthful, then please leave that as a comment.  God bless you and let us all know that Jesus is coming soon!

 

~WHAT WOULD HAPPEN, IF I DIED TODAY?~

Today, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Savior or you do not have the full confidence that you KNOW what would happen if you died suddenly, it is time to get your life in order.  I believe NOW is time to resolve your fear of an uncertain eternal destination after this life ends and before it is too late.  Some might think I’m not a bad person and have not committed any bad crimes, but God says our righteousness is like filthy rags compared to His standard of Holiness.  By default, without making a choice we are all headed to a lake of fire that burns very intensely to be separated from a loving God that already forgave us.  That is a very sad reality.    One wise man has said NO ONE is ready to live, until they are ready to die.  Please go to “Salvation” and read and pray the prayer to receive the free gift of forgiveness & eternal life.  This will be the greatest decision that you will ever make.  Thank you and God bless you.

 

 

 

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.

If you would like to continue studying in this series, please click “Part 4” now.

 

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.