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Understanding Persecution: Beware the Rise of the Spirit of Saul – Part 2

persecution1(Ver 1.1) This is Part 2 in a series of advanced Bible study lessons concerning the increasing growth of the persecution of the church today.  I believe sincerely that this was a message that the Spirit of God spoke to me recently in the middle of the night.  This message of warning I believe was very clearly given.  Therefore, I feel led to pray for every reader to grow in spiritual discernment to be able to perceive this persecution that is already beginning to happen all around us and to stand strong in their faith in the face of it.  If you have not read this series of lessons from the beginning I would highly recommend that you go back and start with “Part 1” first.

Please realize that this Bible study subject is intended and I believe that it was designed by the Lord for mature spiritual Christians primarily. It may potentially address many advanced new spiritual topics that may offend, or cause fear or confuse a new or immature Christian.  It is my greatest heart’s desire above teaching what I believe that the LORD gives me to share, to never intentionally offend or cause fear to occur in any new Christian which cause them to fall away from seeking to learn more.  I believe very sincerely that it is essential for any Bible message being taught to not introduce a spirit of fear into any Christian’s heart (2 Tim 1:7).  I believe this even when the message concerns a coming increased level of hatred towards Christians that may occur.  When reading this message, fear should not be the end result.  If it is then I have failed.  Therefore, please perform a self-evaluation, praying first asking the Lord to lead you if you should continue to read and study this subject before continuing.  Thank you.

 

INTRODUCTION

In the first lesson God introduced the subject matter using a message revealed within the life of a man named “Saul” of Tarsus. Saul of Tarsus was a very religious zealot that believed he was doing well by persecuting and killing Christians when in actuality he was being deceived and used by Satan to do evil.  We can learn this from reading Saul’s own subsequent writings to us in the church where he describes to us that he was just the human flesh and blood game piece being played, influenced and manipulated by the evil unseen spiritual force called Satan.

As you should recall, Part 1 introduced the subject of persecution from the viewpoint of 4 different perspectives. One perspective was that of the human persecutor Saul.  Another perspective was from God’s viewpoint and another was from the observation of the one in the church being persecuted.  Finally, the last perspective was from Satan.  Satan’s viewpoint represented his beliefs based upon his versions of truth and reality.  However, I was only able to touch that part of the discussion very briefly.

Today I want to focus more in-depth on the actual spiritual enemy’s perspective and the reasoning given to us in the Bible behind why Satan is so highly motivated to persecute the church. I believe if we can understand why our enemy desires to hurt us we will better know how to resist, withstand and even overcome the attacks.

But let’s first be reminded of a good definition of what “persecution” is from the dictionary.

Persecution: hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs.

Persecution is the act of someone causing hurt, harm, injury or even death to another human simply because of a strong disagreement or differences between someone’s appearance, associations or beliefs. Persecution can be physical, mental or emotional and even all of the above at once.  You must also know that the roots of all persecution originate from seeds of evil planted from the kingdom of darkness and we will soon learn why these occur.  That was only a very brief overview of what was covered in Part 1.  Therefore, let’s get started on a new lesson about the subject of “persecution”.

 

SECTION 1: OBTAINING A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF WHO THE SPIRIT OF SAUL REPRESENTS

It may have been difficult for a few readers to understand the stated concept of the warning that I believe was given to us by the LORD concerning “beware, the rise of the spirit of Saul”. Is it possible that this was a direct reference to the external spiritual being named Satan?  This “spirit of Saul” statement could possibly be a reference to at least three different possible interpretations.  Think with me logically for a moment.  First, this reference could be the actual human spirit of Saul himself returning to the earth as we read about Samuel returning to the earth in 1 Samuel 28 to speak with the first Saul king of Israel.  If you have studied the Bible you should already understand that man was created by God as a tri-part being; 1) man is a spirit that possesses 2) a soul (a mind, will and emotions) and this spirit lives in 3) a physical body (1 Th 5:23).  That is one possible logical interpretation.

Second, a “spirit of Saul” statement could be referring to just the rise of a hostile attitude towards Christians without being related to any one person of direct responsibility. Please review this one dictionary definition of the word “spirit”:

spirit: those qualities regarded as forming the definitive or typical elements in the character of a person, nation, or group or in the thought and attitudes of a particular period.

Using this definition we could take the character, thoughts or attitudes of anyone on the earth similar to the man named Saul and say that is what is returning to the earth today and I believe that would be correct to a great extent. However, we must ask is there something or someone that is driving these things to reoccur today?   Is there anyone that can be identified to be directly responsible for the evil?  I believe the answer is yes.  I based this belief upon two important characteristics 1) the TRUTH OF THE BIBLE and 2) God’s created laws of physics.

I would be foolish to attempt to teach the laws of physics in a Bible lesson on persecution. But you may be wise to extend some effort to study this subject to learn more about the subject of causality. This basic principle of physics teaches us for every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction.  In other words even basic common sense teaches us that nothing good or evil happens without an originating cause.  Simply speaking we should understand that cars do not assemble themselves.  If you can see a car, you must logically assume a designer and creator of that car.

I believe this principle of causality is also the basis for the subject of persecution also. Persecution does not occur by accident or random chance.  It must be directly caused by a being capable to desire it, design it, initiate it and control it for an intended purpose.  This brings us to the third possible interpretation for the “spirit of Saul”.

The third possible interpretation for a “spirit of Saul” statement could be a direct reference to an independent external supernatural spiritual being influencing the natural man Saul. I believe very firmly that this was the way that it is being used by the Holy Spirit in the message.  In fact I believe it was an indirect reference to Satan and can be no other possible spiritual being.  If you also believe this is true then you just might wish to skip the remainder of this section of the lesson because it is going to be designed to provide other Biblical confirmations of that subject matter only.  The section following this confirmation in the Bible lesson will continue to get into new material on the subject of “persecution”.  You are free to move directly down to the next section if you feel led by the Spirit of God to do so now.

I will do my best to provide a couple of quick examples of this type of stated truth for the “spirit of Saul” utilizing additional associated subjects and related references in the Bible. Each new reference type given should help us establish the basic concept that the “spirit of Saul” can legally be referring us to a completely different independent responsible spirit other than the human spirit of the man being directly named.

The Bible contains multiple repeated patterns that can assist us to prove basic spiritual concepts. We can find these and use the occurrence of each Bible reality to support our understanding of possible types and examples which are similar.  For example, please read this next equally patterned verse that I believe was revealed to me by the Lord very carefully and see what God is saying about a spirit and two natural men named Elijah and Elisha:

2Ki 2:15 And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.

Here in this reference of the “spirit of Elijah” is found the exact same form of the principle and pattern as what was given within the “spirit of Saul” statement. However, in this revealed pattern there is a major difference in the transferred type of spirit that was now resting upon this man Elisha originally resting on Elijah.  The major difference is between good and evil.  Elijah and Elisha were men of God that do things that are good and Saul was a man guilty of doing evil.  This represents an antithesis truth comparison. Both are related patterns upon opposite ends of a truth spectrum.

I believe that this shifted spirit being transferred from Elijah to Elisha must be the good Holy Spirit. I believe very firmly that the Hebrew word H7307 which was translated as “spirit” in this verse should have been translated as the capitalized word “Spirit”. Translators capitalized this word as “Spirit” in over 30 other O.T. verses.  Therefore, it is a very legitimate way to use the word when it is recognized to be referring to God’s divine Holy Spirit.

This lower case translation as “spirit” just causes significant confusion and it conflicts with other verses found in the Bible. For example, I have found no verses in the Bible that reveal that a man’s human spirit can be transferred to or ever exist inside the body of a completely different named human being. We can easily observe this truth from reading a literal true story that Jesus taught to us.  For example go and read in Luke chapter 16 where Jesus tells us of the natural deaths of two actual men, one an unnamed rich man and the other a poor beggar named Lazarus.  Upon the death of each man, both human spirits depart their dead bodies and leave the earth immediately being carried away by the angels to two different locations under the earth’s surface.  Knowing this truth alone makes it impossible for the literal stated “spirit of Elijah” to represent Elijah’s actual human spirit.  The “spirit of Elijah” cannot come back or even stay on the earth to rest upon another human body named Elisha. That would be a very false teaching likened to “reincarnation”.

Also remember a related story found in Luke chapter 9 when Jesus was transfigured on the mountain top and both Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus talking. It is worthy to note that the Bible does not say that this was Elisha’s appearance.  Therefore the spirit of Elijah must be separate from Elisha in 2 Kings and afterwards in Luke 9.  It would be very logical to think that this is the way it was then and still is now.  We can further confirm this truth seeing the departure of Elijah’s body and his spirit when he was taken away from the sight of Elisha being separated by a fiery chariot in 2 King 2:11.

2Ki 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

The fact that both Elijah and Elisha appear together in repeated verses found in 1 Kings 19, 2 Kings 2 and 3 prove that both men are human and possess independent human spirits. The fact that Elijah is stated to depart the earth further proves that Elijah is no longer here to rest on Elisha.  Therefore, this referenced “spirit of Elijah” in 2 Kings 2:15 cannot be a literal interpretation for Elijah himself to remain here on the earth.

There are just too many implied controversies and conflicts given to us for us to believe that the human spirit of Elijah could possibly be transferred up and away from the earth but still remain here on the earth to rest upon the human spirit of Elisha. I’ll say it again in a different way, there is just absolutely no way that this belief of a human spirit transfer can fit any type of knowledge or understanding of central truth found in the Bible.  Therefore, God must be speaking of a different spirit that was transferred from Elijah to Elisha and this Spirit must be the Holy Spirit.  Let’s look at another related contextual verse to help us understand this more clearly:

2Ki 2:9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.

Here is a great new mini lesson to help verify that the “spirit of Elijah” in 2 Kings 2:15 must be translated as the “Spirit on Elijah” in order to not conflict with contextual Bible truth. First, notice that Elijah says “He is about to be taken away”.  That statement would be a clear lie if his spirit remained on the earth to rest upon Elisha.  Do you understand this?  A man is his spirit and a man is not his physical body.  The physical body is simply the house that the man’s spirit lives within.  Remember what Paul wrote us in 2 Corinthians 5:8 “to be absent from the body is to present with the Lord”.  Wow, I hope you can put this verse together to see the truth with the “spirit of Elijah”.

Also, notice that there is a potential major conflict found on the surface by Elisha’s request to Elijah.   Elisha asks for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.  Again I believe this word should be capitalized as “Elijah’s Spirit” to be seen correctly as God’s Holy Spirit that was resting upon Elijah.  You see God’s Spirit resting upon Elijah was just the unseen reality that Elijah possessed personally.  Then notice what Elisha asks for more specifically.  Elisha asks for a “double portion” of this spirit and again this can only be a double portion of God’s Spirit.

I have found no Bible references that infer that a man’s human spirit can increase in any measured capacity, quantity or status other than to grow in qualities like faith, strength and wisdom. I believe from years of Bible study that the human child that is formed in the womb of a woman has been given a fully formed and complete human spirit from God.  I believe that this human spirit is in its full presence and measured capacity.  I do believe that this spirit grows in knowledge, understanding and wisdom but I believe that this is not the increased size of the human spirit. Therefore, I believe that any stated increased “double portion” of Elijah’s human spirit presents another major Bible conflict.  However, if we translate and interpret this Old Testament request in this verse using revealed knowledge of the N.T. we will quickly learn the truth.  For example, read this:

Joh 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

As you read the context of this verse you can clearly see that this verse is speaking of Jesus. God declared in His written Holy Word that Jesus had been given the “Spirit of God” in complete fullness without any limitations or reduced amounts of capability to measure.  The Greek word G3358 translated in this verse as “measure” literally means “a limited or reduced portion of the complete or total” and by God placing the negative G3756 translated as “not” before this word it changes the meaning to say to us that there can be no reduced limits to the Spirit that was given to Jesus.  We could literally say God’s Spirit was given to Jesus in the fullest possible measured capacity.  Therefore, Jesus had the total possible amount of God’s Holy Spirit resting upon Him.  I hope and pray that you can see this truth because the unstated implications are also amazing.

This statement of truth about Jesus implies that every other human here on the earth can only possess the Holy Spirit in some much “lesser amount” or “reduced or limited portion” than what Jesus had. This truth teaches us so very much.  For example if you believe that you have all of the Spirit of God that you can possibly have just because you were born-again then you are very deceived.  There is always more of God that is available to come upon you, if you just ask for Him to come and receive Him by faith.

This means when Elisha asks Elijah for a double portion of his “Spirit”, Elisha could only be legally asking for a greater portioned amount of God’s Spirit than what was present on Elijah at that time. The increased amount of double of what Elijah had resting upon him was what was requested.  I hope you understood this basic logical truth.  I believe very clearly that God’s Spirit is the only single spirit that can be given and transferred to and from any human to another in greater amounts.  However, this does get more complicated by the fact found in the Words of Jesus when He declares that a demon can exit out of man and then return with 7 other demons that are more evil than himself (Mat 12:45).

I’ll end this small part of the confirmation by proving the Holy Spirit can “rest” on humans. This will help us further support the claim that the spirit of Elijah must be the Holy Spirit and no other.  And this fact will assistus to better understand how the “spirit of Saul” can also be transferred to rest upon other humans also.  In Acts 2:3 when the Holy Spirit falls upon the 120 in the upper room God declares that His Spirit “Sat” upon each of them.  That term “sat” is simply a synonymous way to say God’s Spirit “rested” on each human spirit present in a limited amount.  This was the exact same spiritual concept being studied in 2 Kings.

Num 11:25 And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.

We can use one of the basic interpretation principles called the “law of first mention” and find that the Spirit of God rested on other people in the O.T.  For example this truth is found in Numbers 11:25-26 where God clearly states using the exact same Hebrew word translated as “rest” as we have been observing in reference to Elisha. In these verses in Numbers God rested upon Moses and this same Spirit was then also transferred and given to rest upon the 70 elders that were called to help Moses govern and manage the people of the LORD.  That makes it very plain to me what God was speaking of in 2 Kings 2:15.

I’ve spent more than enough time on this rabbit trail study proving that the “spirit of Elijah” can only be correctly understood to be “God’s Spirit resting on Elijah” and it could only be His Spirit that can legally be transferred in an increased portion to rest on Elisha. These truths helps to support the claim that the “spirit of Saul” can also legally be understood to be Satan’s spirit upon Saul that is being transferred from one human (Saul) to another.

I will conclude this section of our persecution lesson with one further confirmation to how Satan can use multiple humans to bring persecution upon Christ and Christians. This will help us to see how one spiritual being can be transferred from human to human.  We will read four verses found in the book Luke.  I’m sure you have seen these before but they do teach us plainly about the root “spirit” that is truly behind persecution:

Luk 22:2 And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.

Luk 22:3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

Luk 22:4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

Luk 22:5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.

Please note in verse 2 that God says the religious leaders in Israel sought to kill Jesus. Also note that in John 10:10 Jesus claimed that Satan was the one that came to the earth to kill, steal and destroy.  I find that very interesting, don’t you?  It would appear to me that Satan had already entered into the hearts of these religious men in order for them to want to kill Jesus. Please recall who Jesus claimed was behind these rulers by reading these words spoken in John 8:

Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

You see Jesus informs these religious leaders that they desired to kill Him and that this was the desire give to them from their father. Who did Jesus say was their father?  Was it God?  No it was not!  Jesus was saying they were “of” their father the devil (aka Satan).  Wow, that is very strong language.  The root of murder according to Jesus is of the devil because he is stated to be the murderer from the beginning of the world.

Jesus was warning these religious human men concerning who birthed and controlled their 1) desires, 2) intentions, 3) thoughts and 4) their actions. But, these religious zealots completely ignored His warnings.  I believe that it is quite possible that one of our main subject’s Saul was standing in their presence when these words were spoken.  Wow, can you imagine that?

Go back and reread Luke 22:3 again. It is very clearly stated that Satan entered into Judas before Judas ever betrayed Jesus to the Jews.  Note the important concept being taught to us.  The spirit of Satan was not on or in Judas but then he came from somewhere or someone else to now be found present in Judas.  This statement reveals the very important concept that is being taught about spiritual transference.  The Holy Spirit, demons, devils and even Satan can be transferred from one human to another human as we have clearly observed in scripture.

The religious rulers of Israel were thrilled with this man Judas coming to help them trap, take prisoner, persecute and kill Jesus. This is no different than what Satan did through the man Saul to persecute and kill those in the church later after the death of Judas and the ascension of Jesus.  What I am saying is that the same spirit of Satan that came upon these religious leaders, Judas and Saul must be the same spirit that is now coming upon people in our world today to spread the same evil upon the church.

This is such valuable information to learn from. It teaches us the root cause behind the observed effect of church persecution is spiritual in origin and nature.  Judas went out and killed himself because of his great error in judgement to give into Satan and yet this did not end the persecution of believers.  Therefore, Judas cannot be the root cause of the persecution to Christ or Christians.  Judas was only a simple pawn chess piece that could be used to attack Christ and then be sacrificed and thrown away in a human garbage pile.  Satan could easily find another human to fulfill his further evil work on the earth.  Please see what Paul wrote about this unseen work of Satan:

Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Paul states very clearly “what is” the root cause source of evil in this world. Paul is a very wise and learned man from things he learned from the Lord Jesus and his personal life experiences.  Paul says there is a prince of the air that has the power and ability to work in men and women on the earth that willfully disobey the Word of God.

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

We could spend a lot of time just on this verse but I want to point out just a few key points found in this great truth statement. Satan is walking the earth just as we are informed he does in the first chapter of the book of Job.  The Greek word G666 which was translated as “devour” is a very interesting word to study.  This word literally means to swallow up as in gulping down a large glass of a beverage.  This is what Satan is trying to do to everyone in the world today.  Satan is an equal opportunity destroyer and it does not matter if you are saved or not saved.  He is looking for someone to drink in and use.  However this is only possible for people that open the door for him to come in to consume them.

Spiritual transference and influence is still true today in our world. Human terrorists are not our real root problem.  One terrorist blows himself up to kill people and then Satan has many other men, women and children to step into their role to be the next murderer.  I hope and pray that you will embrace these truths and take them to heart to see how persecution and the transfer of spirits work.   Let’s change the focus and learn more about why Satan wants to persecute you.

 

SECTION 2: ONE OF SATAN’S PRIMARY MOTIVATIONS FOR PERSECUTION

At the end of the first lesson in the series, I included a few verses from Revelation 12 that described how as the time of the end shortens, Satan’s fury and hatred increases. I believe this fury is growing exponentially as the end becomes nearer.  I also believe that this rage will continue to rise until after he is thrown down to the earth the final time having lost his soon coming war in heaven with God’s holy angels.  I believe these verses describe to us a spiritual being in tremendous panic mode.  Let’s reread a little to refresh our memory:

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

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

Prior to these two verses in Revelation chapter 12, Satan (the symbolic dragon) was stated to have swept down with his dragon’s tail one third of the angels (the symbolic stars). These evil angels have fallen to the earth with Satan from heaven and that is not good news for the people left remaining on the earth.  But, here in verses 7 and 8 we learn some very important information concerning Satan.  First, think with me and ask why would a created being of inferior powers and ability choose to come against his all-knowing and all-powerful creator?  Doesn’t Satan have any fear of God?  I believe sincerely that Satan has tremendous fear of God.  But, I also believe that he considers that he has no choice except to fight against God in order to try to survive what is prophesied to come.  Satan knows so very clearly by reading the end of the Bible that he is going to be cast into hell very soon where he will have to spend all of eternity in punishment, anguish and torment.

Remember that Satan has been in heaven, led worship around the throne of God and has lived the best life and seen such superior things which were far better than anything we could possibly imagine here on the earth. Satan was created a model of perfection, created in a realm of perfection with the perfect association to the creator God who was and is perfect.  Why he chose to willfully and purposely rebel against a good and loving God is certainly an amazing mystery to most of us Christians.  Let’s review Satan’s end:

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

As you can plainly read in Revelation, Satan has a very dismal prophesied future. This is exactly why I believe Satan is highly motivated to try to find any way possible to not go there.  Do not forget that when Satan was created, he was an example of perfection from God’s best and highest order of His creation.  Satan continued as the model of “perfection” right up until the time that “sin’ was found in him through his pride (Eze 28:15).  I believe that it was Satan’s pride that caused him to think more highly than he ought to think of himself and I believe that it is now his survival instinct that causes him to fight diligently against God and His great power here on earth and in heaven.

I hope that you understand these truths because Satan definitely does. Everything that a Christian is destined for in eternity with the Almighty God, Satan has already experienced and I believe he is not happy to say the least to lose it all.  Let’s take a quick little exploration trip down a new rabbit trail on the subject concerning demons and devils to better understand Satan’s knowledge.  Please, read with me in Matthew 8:

Mat 8:28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.

Mat 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

Jesus traveling through the countryside encounters men that were possessed by devils. Please notice what the devils shriek when they see the LORD JESUS coming at them. We can clearly see from their statements that these devils know exactly who Jesus is and even call Him the “Son of God”.  Being the “Son of God” was certainly the truth and one of His primary given names.   Did you know that devils know and can speak the truth at times? Please notice the beginning of the question asked to Jesus “What have we to do with you?”  That was a question displaying their great fear of Jesus.  This statements ends with still another fearful question that begins with “Have you come to torment us before the time?”  Wow, what great fear these devils exhibit!  Can you agree?

Reading the devil’s questions we see that these spirit beings in a human know the truth that there is coming a future “set time” that will begin their eternal never ending torment. They also speak this truth long before the book of Revelation was ever written.  We also learn by their questions that the timing for this torment described in the future written Revelation 20 was not during the first appearing of Jesus the Son of God upon the earth.  This extraordinary knowledge of truth was way beyond that of any human comprehension on the earth at that time except for Jesus’ knowledge.  Jesus never denies these statements of truth nor does He contradict them.  They are completely agreed with due to the silence of Jesus.  Let’s review the facts of truth just given:

  • Devils have a very great fear of being tormented.
  • Demons, devils and evil spirits know that there is an appointed time of eternal torment.
  • The timing of eternal punishment and torment is stated to be in the future.

 

All of these three observed truths declare that every devil possesses a very great fear of God and of the coming time of never ending retribution. Did you know that devils and demons possessed this very tremendous terror of God and His power even back at the appearance of Jesus the first time on the earth?  If the lower levels of devils feared God’s future plans for them way back then how much more do you think their leader Satan and all of them fear these never changing plans right now?  I believe that this fear is even greater today than it ever was back then.

Jas 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Notice what the half-brother of Jesus reveals to us in his awesome letter to the church. James commends us in the church for having a holy belief in the one true God.  Then James implies by his adjoining statement that this belief should cause a righteous fear of God to similarly be present in us.  We can conclude this, because, James says that we are doing well to possess this belief in one God since the devils “also” believe and they tremble in fear.  What I am introducing in this section of the Understanding Persecution lesson is what I believe is Satan’s number one reason for persecuting the church and it is called “FEAR”.  Satan fears the omnipotent God more than I can describe in this lesson and it is primarily this great terror that causes his excessive hatred and rage against us in the church today. Please take this summary statement to heart and never forget it:

  • Fear is the driving motivational evil force for everything wicked that Satan does to the church using persecution.

 

 

SECTION 3: INTRODUCTION TO SATAN’S NUMBER ONE GOAL  FOR PERSECUTING THE CHURCH

Wow, if it is true that Satan is primarily motivated by the fear of God to commit persecution, what is his primary goal and objective for persecuting, killing and destroying Christians on the earth for the last 2000 years? What benefits to Satan could this evil work of persecution potentially gain him?   I believe that is a great question to answer and understand.  And I believe the answer has not changed ever since Satan killed Abel in Genesis.

Always, remember that Satan has been in the death business since the world began (Heb 2:14).  He wants us in the church dead and not only us but also the entire nation of Israel.  Why is that?  If Satan is already defeated as we learn in the New Testament, why is he still fighting so hard to kill everyone that God has selected?  Why does the religion of Islam call Christians in America the great Satan and the nation of Israel the little Satan? It sounds to me like Satan is afraid of us both and even our existences here on the earth.  Both of these nations must possess something that Satan fears as much as God.  What could this be?

Again we know from reading the words of Jesus in John 10:10 that Satan came into the world illegally to literally 1) kill, 2) steal and 3) destroy us while Jesus explained that His purpose for coming into the world was the antithesis to give us life and that life more abundantly.  These were and are still two opposing forces that are fighting against each other to prevail.  Satan should be viewed as our enemy trying to bring us to death but Jesus the greater one came as our provider of life more abundant.  Satan is certainly evil and Jesus is so exceedingly good.

We should now know from just reading this lesson that these three evil acts of Satan were and still are “fear of God” motivated. Therefore, I’ll ask again, what possible profit does Satan potentially gain from killing Christians, stealing from Christians and destroying Christian and their works?  This will become the focus of this section and we will let God’s Word answer these very important questions.

There is a really simple answer to the introduction of this section’s questions if we think about it and begin to ask some additional direct questions. Of course asking the right direct questions would certainly help us.  How about beginning by asking this question, “How did you become a Christian?”  I believe that if we can correctly answer that question that we will begin to travel down the right pathway to finding the truth about what is Satan’s primary benefit for the persecution of God’s people.  I’ll start this section with a familiar Bible verse found in 2 Corinthians:

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

God contrasts two truths and one is given to be greater than the other. These are seen things verses unseen things and the unseen things must be viewed to take priority over the sense realm things.  The unseen things are clearly spiritual in nature.  If you are really a Christian that has been born again, you possess two very powerful unseen spiritual realities that Satan fears tremendously.  Every real Christian believer has these two unseen internal truths that speak to declare Satan’s greatest fear.  What are these two unseen internal and never ending unseen spiritual qualities that any real Christian possesses? These two unseen realities in us that Satan hates and fears the most are 1) the Spirit of God and 2) the Word of God.

1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

After becoming a Christian the Spirit of God dwells directly in us. That is why Satan fears you and wants to remove you from his worldly domain of darkness.  If there were no Christians in the world today restraining and resisting Satan what would be the moral condition of the world today?  I hate to imagine what would be happening based upon what is happening all around us already.

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

If you were born again, it happened because you received the Word of God into your spirit. It is the presence of this powerful incorruptible Word (seed) that is one of the major factors that Satan fears you.  This is so important that I can’t say it enough.  The Word of God and the Spirit of God are one and if you are a real Christian you have both in you in some measured portion which can be increased and even grow but I don’t have time to teach that today.  Let’s review a verse very quickly to see why the Word of God in you is so scary to Satan.

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

Wow, I love this verse of Godly truth. This verse represents a foundation for the second unseen reality that Satan hates about you as a Christian.  The Word of God should be in the mouth of every believer and we should be able to see that it is only this Word of Faith being in our mouth that represents our offensive weapon against Satan according to Ephesians 6:17.  Every time Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus spoke the Word of Faith to him “It is written” and after three attempts to get Jesus to fail Satan left him in defeat.  I believe very sincerely that this removal of the Word of God from your heart and from your mouth is the number one goal for all evil persecution.  If Satan can eliminate the Word of God from your heart with external threats and pressures from this world you will become no threat to Satan.

For the exact same motivation of fear that Satan attacks the all-powerful God in heaven in Revelation 12, he is coming against any real saved born again Christian now in the church. I believe that Satan is highly driven trying to save himself from going to hell as I have previously demonstrated and that this foolish behavior will continue to increase as the time for the end of this age is growing shorter.  I also believe that Satan’s chances for success are zero.  Yet I believe strongly that he will definitely still try to fight to win in order to attempt to change his inevitable outcome in whatever way that he believes he can do to help him the most.  If you do not believe Satan is still fighting to win over you and over God, then you may be very deceived.  Verses like Ephesians 6:11-12, James 4:7, 1 Timothy 6:12, 2 Timothy 4:7, and 1 Peter 5:9 to name a few all prove that every Christian is still in a spiritual battle until Satan is completely removed from this world.

As we learned earlier, Satan is not omnipresent nor is he omniscient. Satan does not come close to knowing what God knows or even understanding why God has done many things the way that He has done them.  God clearly uses seemingly foolish strategies in the eyes of Satan to defeat him (1 Cor 1:27).  Satan never understood why Jesus came down from heaven to the earth to become a human man.  The devils clearly thought it was to torment them before the time appointed.  I believe that Satan and his devils were all in terror when Jesus began to cast them out of people here on the earth using His anointed power. Acts 10:38 says “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and Power who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil”.  You see until Jesus came down to the earth, every devil practically had complete free reign to do as they pleased to humans if humans were tricked to open the door to let them in.  Jesus turned the world of the devils upside down so that they didn’t know what to expect next or what to do with Jesus to stop this major change to their long existence on the earth.  God reveals this to us in this truth:

1Co 2:7  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

1Co 2:8  Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

These two verses confirm the reality that Satan and all of his devils don’t know much about God’s ways. These two verses inform us that God had a very secret plan found within sending Jesus to the earth.  This plan literally included the voluntary death of Jesus on the cross and God says if Satan would have known this no devil would have allowed this to occur because I believe it sealed their doomed fate and destiny.

What did I say earlier was one of the things that we possessed now that Satan is in great fear of?   Remember one item was the “Word of God” as it is being mentioned in verse 7 of 2 Corinthians 2.  I believe this is the planned motivating goal of Satan.  He believes that if he can stop us from gaining any more knowledge of God’s Word that this will possibly extend, delay or even end the future plan of God to put them into hell.  However, we still have the Word of God that we can read further and learn more from:

Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

We should be able to easily learn from reading these verses that this death that Jesus experienced on the cross caused the triumphant defeat and the downfall of Satan and all of his unseen spiritual rulers of this world. This should be very excellent news for those that are still being persecuted by Satan today and those in the days to come.  It also should raise new questions in your mind.  For example, if Satan is a defeated enemy why does he still exist here on the earth and how is it that he still has any power or ability to persecute anyone?  I wish I had time to try to explain that completely, but I do not in this lesson.  In order to understand Satan’s goal for committing persecution we need to dive much deeper into the subject of the incorruptible word of God’s seed that I just introduced into the lesson.   We will do this by analyzing some familiar verses next.

 

SECTION 4: UNDERSTANDING PERSECUTION IN THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER

In a previous section I said Satan feared two truths, the 1). Spirit of God and the 2) Word of God in the heart of every born again believer. Then I taught that this fear was the primary motivation for all Christian persecution.  Now, I’m going to continue to confirm and expand this fact in this part of the lesson to help us better understand it. We will be turning to the most important parable found in the Gospels in order to better comprehend the reason(s) why the church is being persecuted.  This essential parable that I am referring to is often called the “Parable of the Sower” but we must begin to understand that it contains so much more information than just a simple message of a man coming to plant some seeds in what appears to be random types of ground.

We will soon discover by using a new look that this seed parable also contains our four perspectives concerning persecution. These were, 1) God’s perspective, 2) Satan’s perspective, and both the 3) persecuted church and the 4) persecutor’s viewpoint.  I will not include every verse of this parable in order to attempt to shorten the lesson today, but I would recommend that you go and reread all of the verses for yourself to refresh your memory to confirm what is being taught.

I will inform you upfront in this section that it contains some potentially brand new ideas that I believe the Holy Spirit just gave me concerning this parable. While I was studying the subject I believe that the Lord showed me how this parable fits my life in more ways than I thought.  I believe the Holy Spirit said to me in my spirit that this parable represents the ONLY true pathway to becoming a real saved mature born again believer.  I believe this is described from the beginning of our salvation all the way to the best possible end result of our salvation of producing a 100 fold spiritual fruit return on God’s investment in our hearts.  I will also inform you that this parable teaches us at least 6 things that Satan does to every hearer of the Gospel in order to keep that person from becoming a saved overcoming threat to his kingdom.

Let’s examine a very quick overview of the parable. In this parable a “sower” came to the earth spreading seed on 6 different types of ground (soil, hearts).  Three types of ground (soil, hearts) produced no lasting fruit for a harvest and three types of ground (soil, hearts) produced increasing levels of lasting harvestable fruit.  We should know from the explanation of the parable given by Jesus that the main seed being sown in heart to produce fruit represents the “Word of God”.  That is very important to know since I believe this is what Satan fears.  We should also know that the original man that sowed the good seed was sent down from heaven and His name was Jesus.  We can further understand that the soil represents 6 different distinct states of the internal unseen spiritual human heart.  Now, we should be able to logically deduce from just this amount of basic information alone that the end result of the seed (Word of God) sown is spiritual fruit and without this being found present it is impossible for us to be saved according to the Bible.  I’ll repeat this very important verse for further emphasis:

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

Jesus declared in John 3:7 “You must be born again” in order to enter the Kingdom of God.  Did you notice what God says about His seed here in this verse of first Peter?  God’s seed is confirmed by the inspired writings of Peter to be God’s Word and it is ONLY this successfully sown incorruptible good seed in a man’s heart that causes him to be born again.  I believe this is a good time for us to get into the divinely created natural birth process in order to better understand this concept of being born again.  God’s process of being “born again” spiritually is a direct parallel concept to the created natural process of being born in the natural human way.

Rom 1:20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

God gives us great wisdom in the New Testament concerning how to understand hidden and unseen spiritual truths. God clearly says for us to look at naturally created patterns of things to see and understand hidden spiritual concepts we do not see or understand.  This is why we are going to go briefly through the parallel process of human reproduction.

I will not be excessively graphic in this description because most of you should already know how human babies are made. However, for those few that don’t, the natural process takes two opposite humans to produce one new baby.  These two human requirements are always one male seed provider and one female seed receiver.  The human male always possesses the necessary seed for human conception and must sow it just as the sower of God’s word (a male named Jesus) possessed the spiritual seed that must be planted in a spiritual woman to cause a spiritual birth to potentially occur.  Both seeds (the natural and the spiritual) are implanted internally just in two very different ways for two very different intended destinations and results.  However, both successful seed processes produce the same end result called “fruit”.

Luk 1:42  And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

In the natural woman’s womb there is found an “egg” normally produced monthly that can be potentially implanted by the sown male’s seed. This natural sowing process to produce the human baby fruit as we just read in Luke 1:42 is a very real parallel to the parable of the sower that informs us not every seed that was sown takes root or produces fruit.  Both the spiritual seeds and the natural seeds have enemies that can try to prevent the seed sown from bearing any fruit. Some human couples take great lengths of time to produce a child in the natural and so it is with the spiritual re-birth process.  Some humans live all of their lives and get born again on their death beds if they are blessed to hear the gospel and receive it.  Just as having sex does not guarantee human fruit, so it is with hearing the Word of God.  There are so many that hear the truth of the Gospel and simply die and go to hell, not receiving it.

The womb of the woman is a direct parallel representation of the human heart (spirit). The female womb is an ever changing environment that goes in cycles of lesser degrees and greater degrees of fertilization and so it is with the human heart.  A human’s heart may be very tender and fertile to receive the word of God today but tomorrow it may be completely hardened because of life’s ever changing circumstances.

In the natural the male is always the sower of seed and it is only this seed successfully sown at the perfect timing that will potentially produce any fruit of a child. However, even as the parable indicates, there can be problems that cause the termination of the pregnancy and no child/fruit is delivered.  I’m sure some readers know this reality by great trial of experience.

That was only a very rapid overview of a naturally created and inspired process that was designed to be a view into the spiritual birth process. I pray that you will accept this as we continue to learn more and I encourage you to give this process some more thought and write me a good comment at the end of this lesson to share it with others.

As in the parallel of human reproduction, the “Parable of the Sower” reveals much more than just the planned attempt at producing good fruit. There is and always will be an enemy in this realm that will try to prevent the spiritual rebirth from taking place.  Satan does this in at least 6 different ways in the parable of the Sower.  If you allow Satan to steal the seed sown from your heart, there will be no new spiritual birth that will occur to produce any lasting or saving spiritual fruit.  Therefore, it is simple to see if there is no lasting Seed of God in the human heart, there will be no end result of any eternal salvation fruit.

The Holy Spirit reminded me as I was writing this lesson that I have personally been almost every type of the 6 different soil conditions mentioned in this parable by my own freewill choices. I believe that if you are a real born again Christian, then you have chosen to be most of these soil types also and endured to make the necessary changes and adjustments to go further.  I did not say you had to go through every soil type.  I believe you may have been blessed to bypass one or more soil types that do not produce fruit.  However, that does not mean you bypassed the attacks of Satan to try to steal the seed from your heart affecting those soil types.  Please, just begin to understand that it is the human’s choice which soil type that he or she wants to be.

For example, the Holy Spirit reminded me that I was the one that chose to be hard hearted pathway soil that allowed Satan to easily steal the Word of God that was sown in my heart as a very young man. The Holy Spirit then reminded me that it was my choice later in life that allowed the Word of God to come in on my shallow stony heart when I did receive God’s seed with gladness.  However, when Satan came as he does to every seed of God listener I became offended and turned away from God and produced no fruit.  As a result I failed to move into salvation to produce fruit.  God then reminded me of the phase of my life when I chose to receive the Word of God being more tenderhearted but I again allowed Satan’s evil seed to also enter in through the cares of this world to choke out the good seed and again there was still no Godly fruit produced for salvation.

I am now by my own determined choice, in a more lasting “fruitful” stage of my life having made the personal selections to not allow my poor past mistakes to keep me apart from producing any harvestable spiritual fruit. I am not saying that I am perfect now or that I have yet arrived at the one hundred fold return level of fruitful production but I believe that I am on the way to get there.  I hope this short testimony gives you a brand new perspective on what the parable of the sower represents and further helps you to evaluate where you might choose to be in this parable being described today.  I would be very excited to read your testimony of your path to salvation if you would care to share it in a comment.  It would be my great pleasure to read how you overcame the struggles and attacks of the enemy in any soil type.  Let’s start reading the “Parable of the Sower” in Mark chapter 4:

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.

Ok, heart condition 1 was called the “way side soil” and this soil type represents a very hard compacted trampled on heart condition which does not allow the Word of God to even enter into it to take any root. Therefore, there is no salvation that can take place for this type of person.  In this soil type the seed (the Word of God) is very easily stolen away by the enemy of God (Satan) because there can be no understanding of any of the Word that was heard.  I’ll say this again using a few different words.  The reasons given for the ease of seed theft is first, a hard-hearted condition by a personal choice which caused a second condition of no real hearing or understanding of the Word of God to be able to enter into it.  I very firmly believe that this “way side” soil condition represents a person that has never been saved even if they went to church over and over and over. I believe that this soil type is like a man having sexual relations with his wife but the sperm sown never reached anywhere close to the egg inside her because it is blocked by some contraceptive device or substance or even by some physical condition that does not allow the seed to be implanted.

Like I said earlier, this way side soil type represented me in the early years of my life. I was raised in church but I was not really interested in hearing any of the Word of God that was being spoken.  I let the words go in one ear and immediately exit out the other ear being closed minded and uninterested.  I placed no value upon the Word and treated it with disdained unimportance.  There was no priority of importance or value given to the message and therefore the seed being sown was very easily stolen from my hard hearted condition.

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.

The second soil condition is called “stony ground” and this was me when I was in my teens and early 20’s. My heart had started to have a very small amount of softness on the surface to receive only some basic concepts of the Word of God but, because I lacked any deep understanding and maturity I simply fell away when Satan persecuted or afflicted me with any pressure.   The main difference between the second type of soil and that of the first is that this soil has just a very small amount of loose soil (tenderness) that allows the seed to enter into it slightly.  But, because of no great ability of the seed to go deeper into the heart it simply dries up and dies unborn.  I believe this soil type can represent a woman that has a pregnancy occur but soon experiences a miscarriage because of some unforeseen circumstances from a natural enemy.  Perhaps you have experienced this and if so I am sorry for your loss.

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.

The third condition of the soil is called “thorny ground”. I believe that this was me in my late 20’s and 30’s.  I was easily distracted by the cares of this life and the pursuit of worldly things and these personal choices allowed these thorn seeds to also enter in my hear to grow and develop and their presence choked out God’s planted seed in my heart again to produce no fruit.  I believe this can be many, many things.  For example, reading fiction books instead of the Bible allows evil seed to come into the heart.  Watching worldly movies also can bring into a heart evil seeds that choke out God’s Word.  Desiring fame, riches, cars, houses, boats, etc. can all allow evil seeds into a heart that produce no fruit.

I will remind you again that this entire parable concerns the primary subject of human salvation also called being born again. It describes the process entirely from the beginning steps all the way to either a successful completion to produce some spiritual fruit or there is the other side likened to a crop failure where no lasting fruit is produced.  It also reveals there are spiritual enemies and plans to abort the entire process and all of their techniques are intended to terminate God’s designed saving process.  Real spiritual salvation always begins with the impartation of God’s good spiritual seed called the Gospel and ends with at least some real lasting spiritual fruit being produced.  Those that produced no fruit were not saved and those that produce even a little bit of lasting fruit are saved.  Remember that Jesus said “You will know them (saved or unsaved) by their fruits” (Mat 7:16).

According to the interpretation of this natural parable the sower’s goal is to plant spiritual seed that produces spiritual fruit and He does this by speaking the Word of God into all types of human hearts every chance that He has. The seed that is sown is clearly for an intended good return.  Therefore, without hearing the Word of God there is no hope for our salvation and Satan knows this.  Wow, we now are finally beginning to really understand the primary goal for human persecution.  Satan is doing everything in his power to get God’s seed out of our hearts so that there is no fruit produced.

I would like for us to pay close attention to verse 15 of Mark 4 again. Here in this verse Jesus said when the sower’s word falls upon the “way side” type of soil that Satan comes immediately after the word was sown (heard) in order to take away the “Word of God that was planted in their hearts”.  I’ll let you in on another secret.  We must understand that this technique of Satan happens for every type of soil, not just the “way side” soil type.  Jesus was only teaching us how easy it is to successfully steal away the seed that was sown in this soil type.   But, please believe me when I say that Satan will use any and every one of his techniques to attempt to get God’s spiritual crop to fail at anytime.

Please allow me to stop and explain the parable further using some additional depth. We should be able to see that there are only two constants in the parable that never change.  These two unchangeable realities are the “Seed” Word of God and the God that spoke the “Seed”.  Everything else in the parable represents a variable substance or in other words a temporary or changeable reality.  For example, Satan changed from a good being to an evil being. However, based upon the Bible, I do not believe that Satan can change back to be good being again.

Two other major variables given in this parable are the “soil types” and the 1) techniques used to steal away the 2) Word sown from the soil. The sower in this parable certainly has changed from Jesus to you and I, but we are all technically still the body of Christ.  We can also assume that the human “persecutor” being used by Satan can change but a persecutor is just another hard hearted soil type that is clearly stated to potentially change by their own personal human choices.  For example we have already seen the man Saul become converted to become a sower of God’s Seed named Paul.

I’ve already touched on this subject of the changing soil types, but let’s go deeper still into this part of the discussion. Who determines what type of soil that you are?  Does God predetermine your soil type before you were conceived in the womb or maybe during the time you were growing in your mother’s womb?  If you believe yes, that type of faith is very wrong.  This type of false belief is based upon an erroneous extreme sovereign God predestination doctrine that preaches nothing happens expect it be the will, purpose and plan of God.  In this type of extreme belief the human plays absolutely no role in being saved or being lost because that was all prearranged by God’s sovereign choice, power and divine will.  However, that is not the truth but rather a deception of Satan’s design.  I’ll tell you plainly again that it is you and only you that chooses to believe to be saved and you are also the only one that determines what soil type that you are represented to be from your childhood to the right now present time.  Here is just one confirmation to what I just taught:

Luk 10:40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

Luk 10:41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

Luk 10:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

I inserted these verses to help confirm the soil type is the human’s choice. Jesus clearly places all responsibility for listening and hearing the Word of God that He spoke upon the listener.  Mary made the clear right choice and Martha was distracted and burdened by making the very clear wrong choice.  Mary represented good ground by her wise selection and Martha in this story represents “thorny ground” because she was loaded down with the cares of this world that choked out everything that was being spoken in her house.  Wow, that is very powerful.

You can be as hard hearted as you can possibly be and yet you can also choose to change immediately to become as tender hearted as God wants you to become if you will ask and allow God to help you to change.  This was a perfect description of Saul.  Saul encountered Jesus and from that moment forward he never looked back on who or what he had chosen to be in the past, except to regret his previous bad choices. I would highly recommend that we all choose to become the best “good ground” that produces much fruit by applying God’s Grace and Word through our faith in Him and His Word.  Let’s reread some previous verses from the lips of Jesus again:

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.

Here again are the very essential verses concerning our primary lesson subject on persecution. As I previously stated this is often called the “Parable of the Sower” but technically remember that it is the story of the successful or unsuccessful salvation process.  God is using an exact matched discussion for the 4 different viewpoints that we have been studying about in this series on persecution.  In this parable there is the “sower” and this viewpoint represents God Almighty’s perspective.  It is God’s Word that is being directly sown into the hearts of all people on the earth by it being spoken to them.  What was God’s objective for sowing His Word?  The Word of God was given to mankind by God in order for them to produce fruit and the existence of this fruit is the primary recognized pattern that proves someone is a true Christian (Mat 7:20).

From God’s perspective He desires to sow His Word into the hearts of all people in order that they might be saved. Notice that I said that they “might” be saved.  Even though God is not willing that anyone perish (2 Peter 3:9), God does not force His Word of truth or salvation upon anyone.   Even though God desires every man, woman and child to be saved it is up to every person to choose to be a Mary type or a Martha type of hearer, deciding what type of soil that they want to be.

Satan is your stated enemy because of God’s sown Word found in your human heart and Satan causes persecution to come because of the Word of God. Maybe you have never realized this before but Satan does not fear you without God’s Seed in your heart.  But, when the Word of God (the Seed) and the Spirit of God is found within your heart Satan has a major problem.  It is the Word of God in your heart that Satan fears because it and it alone has the power to put Satan to flight.  But, only if you know it, understand it and are willing to use it against him by speaking it, does he fear you.   This is still the given number one reason found in the entire N.T. for every demonic attack on Christ followers.  If Satan can take God’s Word from your heart you are “ABSOLUTELY NO THREAT” to him.

There are definitely unstated and implied symbolic human “persecutors” in this parable of the sower as related indirectly in verse 17 of Mark 4. The unstated persecutors are like the man “Saul” we have been learning from.  This type of man was one of the hard hearted types of soil that failed to allow the Seed of God into his heart to produce any fruits of salvation.  Saul definitely qualified as a man that the Word of God fell on by the “way side” and Satan did come into his heart to take the seed immediately upon hearing it by using thoughts, ideas and suggestions of deception to distract him from seeing any truth.  I hope you understand this principle because it will be what Satan does to you also if you are not yet saved reading this lesson.

Just because “persecution” was only mentioned in one type of soil called the “stony ground” please do not get the erroneous idea that you will never be persecuted if you are choosing to be some other type of soil such as the “way side” or “good ground”. That would be very foolish to think that way.  Like I taught before, Jesus was only pointing out when “persecution” could be the most effective on this one type of rocky ground.  But, I believe that if you have heard and choose to continue to hear the Word of God, you should expect “persecution” from Satan to come almost immediately after hearing any new Words of God.  I firmly believe that persecution will be inevitable and will not cease in this age to those that live Godly (2 Tim 3:12).

We have only briefly touched on the subject of persecution using the 4 different revealed perspectives found within the “Parable of the Sower”. God’s perspective in this parable is certainly to save and empower all of humanity by planting within us His Holy Word.  Satan’s perspective was found to be fear motivated and this causes him to try to get the Word of God out of the hearts of all humans to render God’s powerful seed ineffective.  Satan accomplishes this using many given plans and devices including affliction and persecution.  The third perspective given is called the soil and this represents the human where the seed tries to fall to enter in after being heard.  This man has the choice to become saved and fruitful by enduring the enemy’s attack plans or to remain unsaved by allowing the enemy to steal the valuable seed from his heart.  The final indirect perspective was from human people being used to take the word from your heart as a pawn of Satan.  Wow, I hope you are receiving all of this great information because I believe that this section of the lesson was really good and essential information for every Christian.

 

SECTION 6: PERSECUTION TO THE CHURCH IS INEVITABLE

Just living a Godly and Holy lifestyle will bring you the reality of persecution, God guarantees it in His Word. Whenever you do not look like those in the world, talk like them, curse like them, drink like them, party like them, take drugs like them, have sex like them, etc. it make you stand out as being strangely different and even abnormal to them.  It just takes one person of light going against the entire flow of the dark world to get the full focused attention of persecution.

Joh 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

In the entire life of Jesus, he did absolutely nothing deserving of ridicule, persecution and death, yet all of these happened to him. He was completely sinless in His life on the earth and yet it was this lifestyle that was hated by most of the religious leaders of the nation of Israel.  According to the words of Jesus, we should be no different than Him.   They persecuted Him beyond human comprehension and all of this persecution was unjust. I am definitely not greater than Jesus and therefore, Jesus guarantees me to be persecuted.  He does you also if you are His.

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

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

According to Jesus, not everyone is qualified to be persecuted because many are not saved even though they say they are a Christian. If you are not being persecuted, I would ask yourself why not?  What am I doing or not doing before a person of the world that makes me fit into their model of normal?  Notice what verse 11 says.  Jesus says you are blessed “WHEN” men persecute you.  He did not say “IF”.

I believe that it could very difficult to feel that you are blessed when someone is beating you, torturing you and putting you into prison for no good reason. It would be completely different if we were guilty of a crime.  The thief hanging on the cross spoke to the other one and declared that they were getting what they deserved but Jesus was not.  However, Jesus is still giving us some real positive encouragement to endure in verse 10.  He is declaring to us that we can stand through it all, if we look at the big eternal picture and can see that this life is a very short insignificant period of time.

Rev 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

I’ll end this section with this one verse found in Revelation. This is Jesus speaking again to the church.  He tells them very plainly they will suffer persecution to the extent of jail and even death.  Then Jesus says very clearly if you endure it there is a righteous reward in doing so and this is what we speak of briefly in section 7 of this lesson.  However, in conclusion I want you to see what Jesus said in Revelation 2:10.  Jesus is plainly informing us of the root cause of persecution.  Jesus clearly says it is coming from the devil even though Jesus is speaking indirectly of natural men and natural prison buildings that are used by Satan.  Wow, that is very important confirmation to the root cause of all “persecution”.

 

SECTION 7: THE CORRECT PERSECUTION CHRISTIAN REACTION

A Christian’s reaction to being persecuted could be many different possible personal choices. We could choose to be very angry and to even resist and fight back.  That is what most people in the world would certainly do.  However, that is definitely not what the higher Christian examples in the Bible teach us to do.  I’m going to end today’s lesson with two very quick examples of the correct Christian response to being persecuted.  I believe that if we are able to follow these two great examples, we will be significantly rewarded by the Lord in the life eternal to come as we just read in Revelation 2:10.

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

Jesus was our model of perfection that all Christian standards should be following after. While He hung on the cross He said something that goes against all human logic and reasoning.  Jesus said “Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing”.  This statement proves two incredible things to us.  First it proves that Jesus knew that it was NOT these people that did this to him and second he also knew that they were doing it all unconsciously being led to do it by the unseen spirit of Satan.  This truth completely supports the beginning foundation of the lesson series on persecution.  Remember when we learned that we (Christians) are not wrestling against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph 6:12).

Christians often believe so very wrong. Many Christians believe that Jesus lived an unobtainable life example that was far out of their reach to achieve.  However, that is just not the truth.  According to the writings of Paul in Romans 8:11 a Christian has the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead living on the inside of them.  This was God’s plan of salvation to come on the inside of every Christian to help them to live Christ’s example.  We are not doing it all alone.  We have a helper according to Jesus in John 16:7.  Wow, that is great news.

The second example in today’s lesson is that of a normal man like you and I that we talked about in the first lesson. His name was Stephen.  Hopefully you will recall that it was Stephen that was stoned to death as Saul watched and consented gleefully to his death:

Act 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Stephen was not Jesus. Stephen was not even one of the original 12 disciples of Jesus.  In fact Stephen literally came from the ranks of just basic Christian disciples like most of us.  Sure Acts 6 says Stephen was chosen by the 12 to administer some affairs of the church along with six other men, but that does mean he was better than you or I.

Stephen did absolutely nothing deserving death and here he was being stoned. What was the reaction of Stephen to his unjust violent and painful persecution of death?  Hopefully you can see that it was practically identical to that of Jesus’ reaction?  How was this possible?  How could a Christian disciple possibly ask and pray “Lord, do not hold this sin against these people” while he was being stoned?  This type of reaction defies all human natural thinking.

The first time Stephen is ever mentioned in the entire Bible is Acts 6:15. There is no record that he ever walked with Jesus or even saw Him in the flesh as Jesus ministered personally here on the earth for three and half years.  So who was this unknown man that had the power to follow exactly after the pattern of Jesus’ forgiving example?  Wow, I believe Stephen could just possibly be one of the men that got saved when Peter stood up and preached the Gospel in Acts 2.  It was probably a year or less from Acts 2 when Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit until he as stoned to death.  That was a very short time of being a Christian to endure such a death.

I firmly believe that God put the example of Stephen in the Bible to prove that if he could respond correctly to persecution then anyone could do it. This includes me, you and anyone else that will get saved from now till Jesus returns for us.  Do you think you will be able to do this same response when you are persecuted?  Can you follow the example of Jesus and Stephen?  The answer is yes, but will you choose to do so?  You will if you are committed to Christ.

What is the number one factor for choosing the correct reaction to persecution? I believe the answer to that question is love.  Jesus certainly had this great love and I believe Stephen had it also.  It takes a great amount of love to forgive someone while they are killing you.  If you don’t have this love, you can get it by asking Jesus to come into your heart, right now.  I believe that this is absolutely the only way to do respond correctly during persecution.  If you are not saved and believe you can die like this, please ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior right now.  It will be the best decision you have ever made and ever will make.  Please leave me a comment if you have enjoyed this lesson.  God bless you and thank you for reading this Bible lesson.

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

persecution-1

Persecution

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

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

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

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

 

Introduction to the Spirit of Saul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Persecutor’s Perspective

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

God’s Perspective

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

Christian Perspective

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

 

THE CONVERSION OF SAUL THE PERSECUTOR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Persecutor’s Perspective

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

 

God’s Perspective

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

 

Christian Perspective

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

 

 

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Understanding Bible Division — Introduction to Division a Divine Hidden Plan — Part 1

House Divided(Ver 1.3)  This is Part 1 of a brand new advanced Bible study series concerning the seldom mentioned or taught Bible subject entitled “Biblical Division”.  I have personally never heard anyone teach on this subject in the church but this is what God is directing me to share today on the internet to all those that are willing to receive the message.  However, I will warn everyone upfront like in many of my other Bible studies that this is a very advanced Bible Study series and it is intended primarily for only spiritually mature Christians to attempt to learn from.  This lesson series represents a very unconventional spiritual meat topic presentation and it may not easily be chewed (be received) well by many of my milk drinking younger or spiritually new born Christian brothers and sisters in Christ.  I do so hope and pray that you understand what I mean.

Biblical division is definitely a brand new topic to most Christians which has rarely been studied, known or understood.  Therefore this subject could be potentially judged controversial or even easily offensive and rejected by a non-serious Christian disciple.  People in general are usually closed minded to an unknown or a first heard Bible topic never encountered before.  For example, men like Martin Luther brought forth radical new teachings that departed from the normal traditional dominate Church doctrines of the 1500’s.  His thoughts and views were fundamentally fresh to most and very dissimilar to anything at that time period that was popularly taught and accepted.  Martin Luther was a Bible professor in Germany and he condemned the Catholic Church for their corrupt practices of selling indulgences (forgiveness of sins).  His writings were viewed as the catalyst for the Protestant church.  However, these seemingly new views have been determined to be very sound theological scriptural teachings and they have now been widely adopted to conform more to what Jesus and the early church actually taught.  Martin Luther was still branded a heretic by the religious church leadership and excommunicated from their church.  We can clearly learn from this example that religious deception in the church can occur even as it did in the popular church of Martin Luther’s day.

Even today, we must know that not everything that is taught by a modern church is always completely accurate.  The only way to prove any subject’s truthfulness is to let the Bible and the Holy Spirit on the inside of us; become our final authority.  That is exactly what I want you to do today as you read these lessons.  Please get your Bible out and then pray and ask God to open the eyes of your understanding to see what He wants you to see.  Prove everything that is stated with your own Bible research and personal relationship with Almighty God.  Never and I do mean never believe me or anything that I teach or anyone else teaches unless you can see it in the Bible with sufficient evidence and the Holy Spirit on the inside of you confirming that it is true.  The Word of God and the Spirit of God will always agree.  Please learn to verify everything and assume or accept nothing just because someone teaches it.  Don’t be a David Koresh or Jim Jones type of blind faith follower.  Let God be your guide and not any man.  It could be a matter of life or death.

While this subject of Biblical Division is a new revelation to most of you today it is actually a very old concept that existed with God from the beginning.  It is only becoming new to us today because God is revealing something that has seldom been studied much less noticed or mentioned in any modern church.  Of course the reason why it has not been mentioned is probably one of two reasons.  First, some Bible teachers have not made the subject of division a real priority to search for or search out to discover it in the Bible.  Second, some Bible teachers may have seen the subject while reading in the Bible before but did not consider it important enough to spend time on and therefore made no effort to understand what it could mean.  Either way the root cause for “Biblical Division” not being taught is human ignorance.   No one can teach what they do not yet know and have learned.  I hope that this Bible lesson on the internet will spur interest to learn what God has done.

Therefore I ask that each of you judge yourself before continuing to read in these advanced Bible study lessons.  I certainly do not want to offend anyone with any spiritual meaty lesson that I publish.  But, I do wish to help everyone grow and mature spiritually in the faith of Jesus Christ.  Thank you in advance for using your own sound judgment to being led by His Spirit to know how to proceed.  Let’s get started with the subject of Biblical Division.

INTRODUCTION TO DIVISION

bread_slicing1What is division?   Division is defined in one dictionary as the “action of separating something into two or more parts”.  In other words division is a deliberate and intentional act of taking one item that represents a whole and complete named entity and changing it by the thoughtful application of power, force and effort into 2 or more separate and distinct disjointed pieces. This would be very much like a baker slicing their whole and complete freshly baked loaf of bread and cutting it into separate and smaller edible slices.   Or division could be viewed like the cook taking their whole baked fresh apple pie and cutting and serving it in 8 individual slices for their guests to eat.  Therefore we learn from these examples that division always represents the creation of new individual pieces consisting of a reduced size or nature where each is less than the original greater whole portion before it was split.  It is also very important to note that each new divided part is of the same substance as before but just in a reduced portion.  Do you see and understand this?  This is exactly what division represents in the Bible.   There is absolutely no difference.  Here are four main points that you should have just learned from this basic definition:

  1. Division of One Substance
  2. Separation into New Individual Parts
  3. Reduction of Size from the Original Whole
  4. All New Parts are of Like Substance

Does this subject of division, separation and reduction have anything to do with anything found in the Bible, you might be asking?  That is a very excellent question to consider.  But God’s answer to that question will always include “division plays a very main role in the Bible even if we do not yet understand how it fits into God’s overall designed plan”.  That answer is very incomplete and just begs us to ask more questions.  We will soon discover that the subject of division has a very significant and strategic role while also being potentially hidden within the Bible.  However we must learn that the subject of division is covered by God from the beginning book cover to the ending book cover and we just have not always seen it very clearly.  I will tell you at the beginning of this lesson that God’s plan from the start of creation was not only to save man but also to divide man.  Also know that God will divide other spiritual and natural entities in the Bible that we will discuss later.

Perhaps you may not believe me when I claim that the subject of division plays a very major role throughout the Bible.  That is very wise of you to follow what I asked you before to do.  Remember I said don’t follow blindly.  So I’ll introduce you to this Bible subject using the Bible interpretation law of first mention.  Where, is the subject of division first mentioned in the Bible?  If you initiate your reading from the very beginning of the Bible you will only need to go forward three verses in order to find the subject. The very first verse containing a directly revealed, intentional and deliberate act of division by God occurs within the recorded creation event of the Day 1 creation of our world and you will find it in Genesis 1:4.  This first named division in verse 4 represents a divine sovereign display of His power and His will and it further embodies an act of God’s supreme intelligence, wisdom and ability.  Let’s take a quick look at this in case you have never seen this concept being mentioned so early before in the Bible:

Gen 1:3  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Gen 1:4  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Gen 1:5  And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

These three verses describe Day 1 of the 7 day creation event of our present world.  Six days God worked and the seventh day He rested (Gen 2:1-2).  How do we define work? Work represents an activity of mental or physical energy or power designed to achieve a specific purpose for a positive end result.  This is entirely what God was doing during the Genesis Day 1 description.  Did you notice what type of “work” God performed on this given Day 1?  God speaks “Light Be” and then “Light was”.  At this time of declaration darkness had already covered the earth in verse 2 so we know that God did not create any darkness on this day.  We know from Genesis 1:2 that darkness pre-existed Day 1 of the creation work thus stating the need for light’s existence in the earth’s current situation.  I need you to pay attention to what I am trying to say because this will become more important later in the series.  Darkness existed prior to Day 1 and God uses His power to make the light to shine on the earth in Day 1 to counter the pre-existing presence of darkness.

God then declares in verse 5 the reason for the introduction of light to our planet.  God had spoken the light to shine on the earth in order to “divide” the light from the existing darkness.  Next in verse 5, God gives each of these division results a new and separate distinct name calling them “day” and “night”.  Wow, this could really get very spiritually deep if I was going to attempt to teach all of the given implications found in these verses but I will save it for another lesson later.  Remember what we just learned, that the act of “dividing” light from darkness by God and naming the day and night was all called His own work by His own definition.  This divine work was the exact same concept as the baker cutting his loaf of bread or pie into new separate pieces.  There is no conceptual difference in the type of work being described by God here in Genesis.

What did God accomplish on Day 1?   Without the introduction of light on the earth there could have been no concept of time here.   In fact until God named Day and Night the earth had no way to measure time.  A day (the period of light) consists of 12 hours and a night (the period of darkness) consists of 12 hours which when combined represent one 24 hour period of time also called a day.  One day as you should know is a 24 hour period of time corresponding to one rotation of the earth.  This represents a single cycle of what God created to occur repeatedly.   It is very interesting to note we would have no concept or understanding of God’s work if He had not named the Day and Night and then called it Day 1.

While all of this is what I believe a literal reality, I believe God did this to teach us a greater symbolic spiritual truth.  But I do not have the time to go into this.  All I need you to do is to grasp that God’s Day 1 work was something that represents a constructive progress step to accomplish God’s plan for a good outcome for us.

Have we not just learned that even God’s “dividing” work can achieve a positive purpose and end-result?  Keep this in your mind that this divine work of dividing introduced to us by God here in Genesis 1 is good.  Then think of it as being like a parallel when a baker slices their loaf of bread to eat.  Isn’t the slice of bread much better than the entire loaf when you just want a sandwich?  Can we begin to now learn a little bit about the impact, value and positive purpose of God’s designed work to divide light from darkness from just this one single Day 1 creation reference?  Division appears to me to be very important just based upon this limited understanding so far.  Ask yourself “Why was it so important for God to divide at the very beginning of His 6 days of creative work?”    We will learn more about this as we progress to understand this subject better.

I just want us to begin to realize how much we potentially do not yet know or understand about the subject of division in the Bible.  Before I proceed deeper let’s at least examine the Hebrew word that was translated as “divided” in verse 4 of Genesis 1.  This word is H914 and it represents a base Hebrew root word that has the following Strong’s definition:

H914

A primitive root; to divide (in various senses literally or figuratively, separatedistinguishdifferselect, etc.): – (make, put) difference, divide (asunder), (make) separate (self, -ation), sever (out), X utterly.

This Hebrew word’s definition is in tremendous harmonious alignment with the English dictionary definition of “division’ that we examined earlier.  As you can read, this Hebrew word means “to divide asunder”, “make separate” and I also want you to see the phrase “sever out”.  All of these phrases are valid parts of our Bible subject study today even if we don’t yet fully understand them all right now.  However, even if we do not yet understand them completely, please do not let them slip from your minds.  Let me give you the list of important points from this Hebrew word definition:

  1. Divide Asunder
  2. Make Separate
  3. Sever Out

To conclude this short subject introduction I will tell you that there are actually at the very minimum 5 major named “divisions” that take place within the very first two chapters of the book of Beginnings also called Genesis and we will look at these in greater detail later in the lesson series.   What we just need to understand right now is that these divisions took place during God’s work within creation and therefore each of these divisions must have had a positive divine purpose for us to learn from.  Let’s review some of the major things that you should have learned about division:

  1. Division concerns one Substance Being Cut Apart
  2. After Division Occurs there are New Individual Pieces
  3. That which was Divided is a Smaller Portion of the Original Whole
  4. All New Parts are of Like Original Substance
  5. Division is Work
  6. God’s Work on Day 1 was to Divide by Speaking
  7. New Divided Parts can be Named

Since we have covered the basic introductions to division and its definition let’s start building a foundation for the subject now.

BUILDING THE DIVISION FOUNDATION

?????????????????????????A foundation represents the part of a building process that all of the other following parts are raised or built upon.  A foundation is the underpinning of the structure and the groundwork of the entire rest of the building process.  Nothing can be created structurally sound without a very firm foundation and so it is with Bible study subjects.  In the first section of the lesson I already gave you basic foundation definitions and those were very important.    But, let me stop right here and provide the main foundation Bible verse that these definitions apply to for the entire series of Bible lessons on this subject of Bible division.  Let’s turn to the book of Luke and chapter 12 to begin our construction process to read the foundational verse for the subject of Bible division spoken directly from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ:

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

This is my LORD Jesus speaking to me and He literally makes a very shocking and a very controversial statement here in this verse.  We must first understand who is speaking.  Jesus was literally God incarnate.   He is called by the Hebrew name “Emanuel” which meant “God with us”.  Whatever Jesus said were words that God spoke personally and directly to all of mankind.  Therefore God was teaching us about one of the key reasons for His personal appearance upon the earth and it is a very outrageous declaration to say the least.  He tells us in this verse “to bring peace on earth” was never His appearance objective but rather He had come into this world to divide it.  This announcement from the Lord is a potential major conflict to several other Bible verses and this should raise new questions in our minds.  For example let’s review some of the potential conflicts:

Luk 2:14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

We should be able to begin to see from this angelic announcement the rising conflict.  At the birth of the Lord Jesus in the city of David called Bethlehem the angels appear to shepherds tending their flocks and they bring them the great news of God’s appearance on the earth.  As part of this announcement they declare that there should be peace on earth because of His appearance.  However, that is definitely not what Jesus said He came to bring.  Both verses contain the same Greek word G1515 that is translated as “peace”.  So they both are related by God’s word selection.  But there is still the problem of an apparent conflict.  Let’s read another verse:

Isa 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

There are several Bible verses that appear to conflict with the Lord’s statement in Luke, but especially this one verse found in Isaiah 9:6 where Jesus is clearly called the coming “Prince of Peace”.  Isaiah informs us of a prophesied future “Prince of Peace” that will come to the earth and this was certainly an important title describing Jesus.  However, Jesus who was this Prince of Peace claimed that to bring peace on earth was not His objective at His initial appearance on earth in Luke 12:51.   Whoops I just gave you an important clue in that last statement.  I hope you did not miss it.

At least 5 times in the New Testament (Rom 15:33, Rom 16:20, Php 4:9, 1 Th 5:23, Heb 13:20) our God is called the “God of Peace”.  Wow, how should we even begin to understand how to resolve these statements of God being peace and Him saying I did not come to the earth to bring any peace?  How can the Prince of Peace and the God of Peace not appear here physically on the earth to bring us peace?  How do we resolve this conflict?

I think I have already given you the clue if you were paying attention for the resolution of the conflict of peace.  The answer that will become more prevalent is based upon timing.  Everything that occurs in the plan of God has a set time of appearance.  At the first coming of Jesus on the earth there can be no hope for any peace based upon the statement made by Him in Luke 12:51.  However, that does not mean that He cannot bring peace later to the earth at a future time and I don’t have the space in this lesson to go into any great detail to when this coming peace will occur.  But I want us to understand that when Jesus came to the earth the people of the city of Jerusalem were expecting a natural King but they only saw a spiritual King that did not come to rule them at that time on the earth.  It was not God’s timing to rule on the earth during His first appearance.  This truth of reality teaches us how to learn more about God’s timing for peace and I hope this will help us all to understand how to resolve what Jesus was saying in Luke 12:51 more clearly.  Here are the main three points that you should have learned in this foundation:

  1. Jesus Came to the Earth to Divide
  2. And Not to Bring Peace
  3. But No Peace Now Does Not Mean There Can Be No Peace Ever

Luke 12:51 is my foundational Bible division verse concerning the complete subject of Bible division.  Jesus very clearly teaches us that to divide was one of the main purposes for His arrival on the earth.   We will now continue this lesson by attempting to understand what Jesus said He did not come to do.  Jesus said He did not come to bring peace.  So what is peace?  I think we need to know more about what Jesus said He did not come to bring us.  So let’s find out.

WHAT IS PEACE?

peaceful-still-watersAs we continue learning we need to understand as much as we can about what Jesus said that He did not come to do during His initial earthly appearance.  Jesus informs us very clearly in Luke 12:51 that He did not come to bring peace during this specified time.  Therefore, we need to ask the question “What is peace?”  Peace in one English dictionary means “cessation from war”.  A cessation of war means there is no longer any aggression, no fighting, no conflict, and no longer any hostilities one towards another.  Peace can also mean “a place or state without any disturbance”.  Some synonyms of peacefulness could be calmness, tranquility, serenity or quietness and Jesus told us that these were not the purpose for His arrival.  We can learn what peace represents in order to better comprehend why Jesus came to the earth.   It should become apparent that if Jesus did not come to bring us peace then the opposite of peace was His goal.  Can we agree?  Let’s review the quick list of what peace represented:

  1. PEACE = No Wars, No Conflicts, No Fighting, No Hostility
  2. PEACE = Calmness
  3. PEACE = Tranquility
  4. PEACE = Quietness

If Jesus did not come to bring peace then I believe very firmly that He must have come to do the opposite.  What is the opposite of peace based upon just these 4 definitions?   Jesus must have come to bring a war, a storm of agitation or even a raging wave and force of noise to the earth.  I believe all of those that I just stated are true.  However, we also need to understand that according to Jesus the opposite of peace appears to be the stated purpose of “division”.  Division by the definition of the Lord Jesus is the opposite of peace.  Once we consider what division represents it becomes very clear that it is truly the antithesis of any state of undisturbed peace.  Please keep thinking on these concepts of what peace “is” and “is not” as we continue to learn why Jesus said He appeared on the earth.  Based upon the definitions of peace we can begin to see Jesus came to bring us the opposite and these would be:

  1. War
  2. Agitation
  3. Turbulence
  4. Noise

I’ll say this again; Jesus speaking in Luke clearly claims that one of His chief purposes for being here on the earth was not to bring anyone or anything peace, calm, quiet or tranquility during His first appearance.  Then Jesus claims that one of His actual purposes for being here was to “divide” or bring “division” to something or even someone unnamed here on the earth.  What exactly was this on the earth that Jesus came to disturb, to bring unrest to, to disquiet it and to interrupt it with a wave of force of noise and power to cause or effect a division to occur?

war-3We have just briefly covered the subject of peace exploring some synonyms and some antonyms in this section of the lesson.  But I believe that I introduced you to some new things to consider.  We should have learned that God came to disrupt whatever was considered normal here on the earth.  We should have learned that God came to divide the status quo and cause what God desired to occur.  We know this because we learned division is a positive work of God and God’s work will always bring about positive results with a purpose.  So we should have learned God’s appearance was to bring war on the earth and not any peace.  Any war is an act of force between enemies against each other.  War is a very clear separation by force and power and a strong division between factions and it will always result in a reduction of the former whole.  We should be able to see that war fits very well into the definition of “division”.

  1. Who is Jesus at war with?
  2. What does Jesus intend to divide with His appearance on the earth?
  3. What will be the positive result for this division after it has occurred?

Learning how to answer these questions will be what this lesson series will now be focused upon.  However we still need to increase our foundational understanding for the subject of division and we will do that by looking at the subject of “disunion”.

WHAT IS DISUNION?

Let’ review the Greek word translated as “division” that was used by God in Luke 12:51.  This Greek word was translated as “division” in this verse.  This is a very unique Geek word.  In fact this Greek word is only found one time in the entire Bible here in Luke 12:51.  This Greek word is G1267 and here is the Strong’s definition:

G1267 – From G1266; disunion (of opinion and conduct): – division.

The Greek word G1267 translated as “division” in this verse in Luke 12:51 literally means something has been divided.  It also literally means “disunion” (of opinion and conduct).  Wow, that is a new amazing and very essential declaration that Jesus is trying to teach us concerning His positive purpose to divide here on the earth.  A state of “disunion” is clearly the opposite of a state of “union”.  A union is a representation of two or more entities becoming one single entity with unified authority.  Therefore disunion is like the one loaf of bread becoming many individual slices of bread that was mentioned earlier.   Disunion conforms to what we have learned about division up until this point of the lesson.

Disunion is a word that literally means the breaking up of a federation or union.  Disunion comes from a lack of unity and agreement.  Whenever even one person in a group is not in full agreement there can result a state of disharmony, discord and conflict.  Disagreement is the root cause for much disunion.  I wish to introduce you to two new potential reasons for Jesus appearance on the earth to divide using Strong’s definition.  First, Jesus was saying I came to divide the opinions or “beliefs” of men on the earth.  Second He was further saying that He came to divide the conduct of men here on the earth.  Either of these acts of God would bring about a war like state of disunity.  That is so very important what I just said.  We will definitely be talking about that a lot more in this lesson later.  But we need to look more into the subject of “disunions” first.

Let’s talk about the concept of “disunions”.  The word “disunion” means to break up something that was a whole or complete named entity into smaller distinct separate pieces.  For example the disunion of an earthly sovereign federation will result in the division of that nation into smaller nations.   Take for instance the disunion of the U.S.S.R. that took place back in 1991. Do you remember what U.S.S.R. stood for?  The U.S.S.R. stood for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The U.S.S.R was one sovereign named union containing states that were broken apart to form the new D.S.S.R = “Disunion of Soviet Socialist Republic”.   Of course that was just a joke but what resulted from the disunion were several new separate smaller sovereign states.   The united nation of the U.S.S.R. clearly qualified to be a candidate for division and disunion.  Down throughout human history there have been many nations, empires and kingdoms that have risen to only become divided, conquered and fall.  Nation and kingdom partitioning is a very constant and prevalent example of divisions and disunions. Could this concept be related to something that Jesus was referring to that He came to do?  We will soon find out that it is exactly what He came to do but let us look at another prevalent type of natural disunion first.

The natural case of divorce from the divinely created institution of marriage also represents a form of very prevalent natural disharmony, disruption and disunion occurring in our world too frequently.  A divorce is the dividing into individual pieces and the separation from God’s defined condition of being in the state that God called a “One Flesh” union (Gen 2:24).  Marriage represents the “union” of two individuals (1 male and 1 female) into one new family unit but divorce is the clear antithesis state called disunion.  Divorce occurs when the one named married family entity becomes two separated, partitioned and disjointed individuals that can no longer be considered a sovereign family covenant union.  If Bob and Sally Jones get a divorce the Jones Household and family has become disjointed in disunity and can no longer even exist.  This will always result in two lesser named entities lacking completeness and wholeness.

I have only briefly introduced you to two types of “disunions” and “divisions” so far in this section.  One is that of a natural sovereign nation being divided and the other is the concept of a natural sovereign family being divided up by acts of force or power.   Both are differing levels of sovereign authority.  Both can be divided by force and power.  Viewing them to be a positive work is another dilemma since neither sound like positive end results and I would definitely agree with that for now looking only at things from a purely natural perspective.  But there are other ways that we need to consider and I will talk about them soon enough.

Let’s continue our Greek word study and move down a level to the root word.  The Greek word G1267 that means “disunion” comes from another Greek root word G1266 which means “to partition thoroughly”.  This just keeps getting better and better, deeper and deeper and more and more complex doesn’t it?  To partition means “to divide something”, “to split apart something” or “to break up something” using a stated or implied wall of separation.  Partitioning is an understood act of constructive building through a display of intelligence combined with a force of power to create the divide.  This concept of partitioning is further based upon a rule of authority hierarchy.  Those which are building the partition are of much greater authority than that which is being affected by the division.  What I just said was so important I want you to see it again:

PARTITIONING = an Understood Act of Constructive Building through a Display of Intelligence Combined with the Application of Force or Power to Create A Divide.

For example, a criminal after conviction is divided or partitioned from the mainstream population by a greater force of authority and placed behind a separating barrier which can be named or labeled as partitions or the prison walls of separation.  Within our society the greater government authority created these partitioning walls of separation.  The separating walls of the prison will keep the prisoners in but also will keep all others in the general population out.  We can certainly see some potential positive aspects of division in this example.  Therefore, we should learn that division is defined as an act of separating one whole and greater item (the general population) into smaller or lesser items (prisoners and free people).  Using my quick example, our population is being separated by an act of law and authority into those that are free and those that are incarcerated. This is just a natural concept that helps us in understanding the spiritual Bible concept more clearly and God’s stated plan of division.

What was Jesus partitioning through His physical appearance here on the earth?  What walls were being constructed by His appearance on the earth?   I’ll begin to answer these questions in the next section.  The information covered in this section  should begin to give you some major clues to why Jesus came to earth.  Jesus has built a dividing wall partition with His appearance on the earth.  Let’s review the list of points we learned in this section:

  1. Disunion is a Force of Disagreement Dividing Two or More Groups
  2. Disunion is the Division of a Single Kingdom
  3. Disunion is like the Division of a Whole Family
  4. Division is the Separation of Two Entities using a Partition or Wall of Separation

There were other good points made in this section but these are the ones that need to be carried forward into the next section.  We will now take a look at God’s plan of division and how it was prophesied to be implemented by the coming Lord of Glory.

GOD’S PLAN OF DISUNION/DIVISION

In the last section I talked about the disunion of a natural nation, empire or a kingdom as well as well as the disunion of a natural family.  Both of these types of disunion that were going to be implemented by God’s design and plan in order to protect the righteous from the unrighteous.  God came to the earth in the form of a man in order to divide His kingdom and to divide His family.  God does this primarily to separate and partition that which was good from that which was judged as evil.   I believe this is an excellent time to introduce you to a prophecy that applies directly to what God was doing in Jesus.  Please turn to the book of Malachi and read what the LORD says:

Mal 3:16  Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

Mal 3:17  And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

Mal 3:18  Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

These are verses prophesying a coming division.  Did you see it?  These are the works of the LORD that were coming through Christ Jesus.  God is going to separate the righteous from the wicked.  He is going to make it known (able to discern between) those that serve Him and those that do not.   The Hebrew word H996 that was translated “between” in verse 18 reveals to us this story.   This word means to make a “distinction” between two or more things.  It is a comparative stipulation that is used as a preposition to describe those that are named after the statement.  This Hebrew word H996 comes from the root word H995 which means “to separate” mentally.  To separate mentally is just another synonymous phrase of division that means God will divide them with a partition of thought so we can understand that there is a difference between them in our minds.  The ability to distinguish between good and evil and right and wrong is a mental partitioning process.   God actually warns us about this in the Bible:

Isa 5:20  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

We can clearly see these happening even in the world today if we observe the actions of people closely.  It has become increasingly difficult for people to “discern” between good and evil.  The lines have shifted to allow what we use to believe was evil to become good and vice-versa. God is warning all those on the earth that cannot discern between two opposites in this verse.   God says you are in trouble if you call good evil or evil good.  That is exactly what is transpiring in our world today.  It is everywhere on TV, in movies and on the internet.  Good is being called evil and evil is clearly being promoted to be good and normal.  God is teaching us about one of the walls of separation that will and is dividing us all.

The blurring of distinct lines of good and evil today is the devil’s plan to undo what God has already accomplished in Christ Jesus.  Satan wants us to not be able to recognize between good and evil and that is what is happening in this world.  Satan would like to get Christians to regress and become passive to accept sin, evil and etc.  I still believe that God’s plan will prevail in those that desire to follow Him as Malachi predicts.  Real Christians will know what is right and good and what is wrong and evil even if the world does not.

light-vs-dark (1)I want to stop here and teach you why things are named by God.  God gives things, people and places names to show that they are different.  Giving objects and people names are a form of the process of division.   When your child is born you name your son or daughter to give them distinction.  This new name separates them from the other children and makes them unique.  Do you remember what God did in Genesis 1:3-5 on day 1 of creation?  God spoke to introduce the light into the world which was then separated from the darkness and after God did this He named the light “day” and the darkness He called “night”.  Did you notice that in the verse in Isaiah 5:20  God also mentioned light and darkness?   Is that a coincidence?   No, it certainly is not.  Light represents good and darkness represents evil symbolically throughout the Bible.  This is God’s way of connecting the dots for us to learn His plan.  God was going to separate good from evil from the very beginning of creation.  Can you begin to see this?

This concept is exactly what God was doing here in these Malachi verses also.  God says there will be one separate group called the “Righteous” and another group called the “Wicked”.  Those are the names of distinction and separation given by divine appointment and purpose.  These represent the dividing lines between two groups of beings.  This certainly includes mankind but it also must include angelic heavenly beings also.

Wow, I just introduced so much potentially new information to you so fast that I pray that you understood it all.   We could go through other prophecies of division but I am trying to keep this lesson as concise as possible to not overwhelm anyone with too much information.  I hope to cover this subject in much more detail as the series continues.  So please be patient and kind and believe with me that God will say everything that needs to be said in His right timing.  Let’s recap what we should have learned from this section quickly.

God is going to build:

  1. A Mental Wall of Partition for Discernment in People
  2. A Wall Between the Righteous and the Unrighteous
  3. A Wall Between the Good and the Evil
  4. A Wall to Perceive Between Right and Wrong
  5. A Wall of Separation Between the Light and the Darkness

We could literally talk for many hours on these subjects but I just want you to begin learning the basics for and of division now.  I think today I am going to only go into one more introductory topic to help point us to future lessons.

CONFIRMING JESUS’ PURPOSE FOR DIVISION

I have already introduced you to the concept that God came to earth to divide His kingdom and to divide His family but we need further scriptural confirmation to assist in these statements and beliefs.  Both a nation and a family dissolution are very clear examples of types of extremely prevalent earthly natural disunions.  However, both of these natural examples of disunion have direct application to what Jesus said that He came to do here on the earth believe it or not.   Let’s look at a new verse that Jesus spoke about this direct subject of division to help us to confirm the reality of one of God’s primary purposes for sending Jesus into our world was to divide His kingdom and family.

Jesus actually talks about this subject of division much more than many realize.  It is very clear to me from learning this subject now that Jesus understood His reason for coming into the world far better than anyone else at that time including Satan and all his angels and demons.  We will now turn back to the book of Luke again and read a verse found in close context with our initial foundation division verse found in Luke 12:51.  Please, turn back to chapter 11 and begin to read in verse 17:

Luk 11:17  But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.

Jesus begins the statement with the word “Every”.  “Every” is the Greek word G3956 that literally means “every”.  I am just being funny with that last statement but that is exactly what the Greek word means.  The Greek word G3956 means “every”, “any”, “all” and “the whole”.  Therefore, G3956 is an all-inclusive adjective describing the noun “kingdom” that leaves no kingdom out of the statement.  Do you understand that?  There cannot be any “kingdom” in existence either past, present or future that is omitted from this statement of truth given to us by the Lord Jesus.  I cannot say that more plainly and this is such a very important concept to learn.  Jesus is not a liar and He would have phrased the statement differently if there were any kingdoms that could be excluded from being mentioned.  I do hope you understand what God is saying by His selective use of the word “EVERY”.

So we learn immediately from the mouth of Jesus that “any” or “every” kingdom named or unnamed directly or indirectly will fall if it is divided against itself.  Therefore we learn from the Bible what we already know from human history that any kingdom can be divided into two or more smaller pieces and even cease to exist completely.  For example the Roman Empire ceased to exist.  The Persian Empire has ceased to exist.  The Babylonian Empire has ceased to exist, and etc.   Today division of nations is still a very prevalent topic with the nation of Israel.  Peace talks are dominated with the division of Israel into two nations giving their land to a new nation called Palestine.   Satan is using God’s law of division to try to eliminate Israel and you should know that.

Did you know that this statement from Jesus absolutely must include the “Kingdom of God” and the “Kingdom of Heaven”?  You probably never thought of that, did you?  Does that sound offensive to you for me to imply that the omnipotent God’s kingdom can be divided, fall and possibly cease to exist? Please understand that I did not say it.  I just gained that knowledge from what Jesus said because He included these two kingdom references in the statement by selecting and speaking the word “EVERY” in union with the noun “KINGDOM”.  Wow, I think there could be a lot of upset religious people not very happy with this lesson after reading that but this statement is still true.

Do you remember that I talked about a whole pie being cut into pieces?  Let’s change the pie to a Kingdom and ask if it can be divided in the same way?  Jesus is speaking about a whole kingdom pie that will be divided if it is fighting against itself and He tells us that it will become desolate (a dry empty place) if it is experiencing any condition of discord, disharmony or even disagreement.  What happens to a pie after it has been cut and divided against itself?  It is usually dished out and served and the pie dish has been left an empty dry mess of crumbs.  That is what Jesus is describing that will happen to any kingdom that is divided also.  There is an old proverb that says “United we stand but divided we fall” and that is an accurate phrasing of what Jesus just taught us about God’s Kingdom.

These truths are precisely the reason that I mentioned the U.S.S.R. previously.  The U.S.S.R. was a very good example of a modern kingdom that has been divided against itself.  This whole nation was split into several smaller nations even now which are still fighting among themselves.  There was even recently reported heavy fighting in the Ukraine and Russia was blamed to be fueling the discord.  Note the fact what Jesus said again.  Jesus said “Do you think that I came to bring peace?  I say No but rather division”.  That was my paraphrase of the original key verse statement but it does represent an accurate message of the original.  No nation or kingdom that experiences division can or will experience any peace after it has been divided.  Now ask yourself what Kingdom is Jesus from?  Where did Jesus come down from to enter into the earth?  These are basic fundamental questions that you should be able to answer in your sleep.  Jesus came down from the Kingdom of God and from the Kingdom of Heaven in order that He might divide them with war and I believe this very firmly.

Now consider the second part of the statement made by Jesus concerning division in Luke 11:17.  Jesus declares that a house divided will also fall.  This Greek word translated as “house” means a dwelling where a family resides.  This is why I talked about the concept of divorce earlier also.   A divorce represents the destruction of a sovereign family unit.  The result of the family division is a whole entity that no longer exists or we could say a family unit that has been brought to the state of non-existence.  This is exactly why Jesus was making this statement in Luke because it concerns His purpose for coming to the earth.

We should be able to find out by close Bible study that Jesus has come down from the Kingdom of Heaven directly from the spiritual family of God to bring about a division to both realities.   We can begin to learn this truth simply by reading verses like John 6:50-51 where He describes His flesh as the bread that came down from heaven.   In these words are found the concept of the loaf of freshly baked bread that I presented earlier.  His body was broken and we must eat of it in order to live.  All those that do not eat of this bread will die.  That is a very clear division of separation being inferred.  There are many other verses but I will help you with one about the family of God next for you to know that God has a family that can be divided.

If you study the Bible by searching for the word “house” you will find more than enough verses that will confirm what we need to know about the existence of God’s spiritual family.  For example, in John 14:2 you will find Jesus talking about His Father’s house.  He claims there are many mansions in this location.  The Greek word in this verse is G3613 and it comes directly from the Greek word G3624 that Jesus spoke of in Luke 11:17 about a house divided.  Both words were translated as house and both words mean a literal family dwelling place.   I can give many other references but I do not want to take the time in this lesson introduction.  Just begin to realize that God has a spiritual family and this family can and has been divided by the plan, will and the work of God through Jesus Christ.

If this is true what Jesus is teaching us then the implication of both of these divisions will dictate God’s need for a new spiritual family and a new spiritual kingdom since both will be brought to the level of non-existence as Jesus has prophesied.  I hope you realize that Jesus was a prophet also and spoke what would come to pass in many of His recorded statements in the Gospels.  I warned you that this Bible lesson would take us into some really deep waters which may go over the heads of some weaker carnal Christians.  If this describes you please just stop reading and go to a different Bible lesson.  So let’s review the main points from this section of the lesson.  We learned these Bible facts:

  1. Every Divided Kingdom Will Be Made Desolate
  2. Every Divided Family Will Fall
  3. God Has a Kingdom Which Can Be Divided
  4. God Has a Family that Can Also Fall

All of these Bible facts of Truth point us in the direction for God’s personal appearance on the earth to divide.   These help us tremendously to understand a very complex hidden Bible subject.

CONCLUSION

I hope and pray that you have learned at least a little more on this subject of Biblical Division than you ever knew before.  I know there was a lot of new information given but I also know that there is a whole lot more to learn.  I would recommend that you go back and at least reread the main points from each section of the lesson. This will help us put the pieces of the division puzzle together correctly.  I will be continuing in this series with more confirming scriptures to help us believe in God’s Word.  Thank you for taking your time to read and study the Bible with me.  I do value your time greatly and I do not wish to waste any of it.  If you would care to leave me a comment or question I would appreciate it.  Also please share this website with your friends and relatives so everyone can learn more about the Lord and the soon coming King Jesus Christ.  God Bless you.

Click now if you would like to continue reading “Part 2“.

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.

Understanding Bible Faith! Part 18 –- Righteous Faith Speaks

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

INTRODUCTION TO SPEAKING THE WORD OF FAITH

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

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

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

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

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

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

G4102

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION TO THE RHEMA WORD OF GOD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RIGHTEOUS FAITH SPEAKS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LEARNING WHAT NOT TO SAY FIRST

….Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

Let’s talk briefly about what real mature Christians are not supposed to pray or say.  God only gives us two short examples in Romans 10:6-7 of wrong words but this should provide enough of a pattern that we can extend those two to other areas of words that should not be spoken if we can understand why they are not wise to speak.  The first statement of what not to speak tells us not to say “who will go up to heaven to bring Christ down”.  Why would anyone want to say this?  What kind of wrong thinking would cause someone to speak this way?  Someone could be thinking that if Jesus was only here on the earth that they would not be going through what they are going through right here in this natural realm.  In other words they could be thinking very naturally and not spiritually.  Someone could be thinking that if they could just bring the Lord Jesus who is sitting on the throne in the spiritual realm back to this natural realm that all of their natural problems would be solved.  But that type of thinking is very simple minded and is certainly not of faith.  We must realize that God’s power extends beyond His present location in Jesus Christ.  We must consider that the Spirit of God is already here right now living and abiding in us having been poured out from heaven to be our comforter (John 14:16), our helper (Heb 13:6) and our guide (John 16:13).

Therefore we do not need for Jesus to come back to the earth to fix anything.  The Holy Spirit is here and He is God omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent to solve whatever we are facing.  What God is trying to say is that simple naturally thinking people generally gravitate towards natural solutions without considering the spiritual presence and ability of God that is ever present and all-knowing and all powerful.

….Or say, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

Now consider the second statement of what not to say and this will help us understand the first statement much clearer.  In verse 7 God says for us not say “Who will descend into the lower parts of the earth to raise Christ again from the dead.  Why would God recommend that we not say this?   Perhaps you will recall reading the Gospels that after Jesus was resurrected from the dead He walked the face of the earth for 40 days.  During this time He met with many men and women followers.  Since they had all seen Jesus personally there was no need for any of them to have faith in His resurrection.  However, do you think that any of these eyewitness followers would dare say what God said not to say in Romans 10:7?  I personally do not believe they would.  Remember they were told by angels in Acts 1 that this same Jesus that went up into the clouds out of their sight would come back in the exact same way.  So this promise from God required their faith if they believed the message and I think they believed.

There is something so very profound found in this statement that was not directly stated.  God is saying that “we do not need to think or say that Jesus should die again or be raised again from the dead”; but rather we only need to understand that He did do these and then find out what was accomplished by these finished and completed acts of God.  I am a firm believer that not knowing what was given to us by His shed blood in His death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus is why we pray and say some very ignorant things like this.  If we would only come to understand that Christ gave to us His authority (Luke 10:19) on the earth we would not need to ask Jesus to come back to the earth or to be raised again to solve anything.

What God is teaching us is not to say things that are contradictory to His written report in the Bible. In other words have faith and believe and then have confidence in what He has spoken to you.  Both of these stated examples of what not to say were spoken words not based upon scripture or faith in God’s Word.  They are literally the opposite of what someone who had faith in God’s Word would say.   Do you understand this?  I know that some people will not comprehend what God just said.  God says the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God (1 Cor 2:14).  But these concepts should help many that will receive it and apply it to other things that they like to say.  I believe that we should think before we speak.  Think about what God’s Word says and then see if what you are going to say aligns with His Words.  This will become clearer as we continue learning.  Let’s move to what we should say next to see the contrasted difference from what we should not be saying.

CONFIRMING AND LEARNING WHAT TO SAY

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

I began the lesson talking about the last part of this verse.  But now we will back up to the first part of God’s statement to confirm what God is trying to teach us.  I have started and ended with the most important verse to learn today.  Paul starts writing “But what does it say” (NKJV).  Paul is of course talking about God’s word.  The “it” in this statement represents the spoken recorded words of the living God.  If you have not realized it yet these three verses of Romans 6, 7 and 8 contain partial quotations of verses found in the Old Testament.  In Romans 10:6-8, God is quoting in a paraphrased form, portions of some very obscure verses found in Deuteronomy 30:11-14.  We could learn a tremendous amount of information if I had the time to go talk about these original verses.  But I do not have the time today to talk about them.

However, I still want to emphasize that “it” was the recorded words (Rhema) of God and Paul takes these words that did not directly mention Christ and teaches us that they directly apply to Christ.  Wow, that is a powerful degree of knowledge if you want to do the study for yourself.  You go and read Deuteronomy and you see if you can find Christ plainly?  He is there but only if you see the commentary of the New Testament to help you explain them.  That is just how the Bible was written by God.  I call it “Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight” and if you have not read that series of Bible lessons I would strongly recommend that you do that soon.

Now we should realize from the opening statement that the next coming statement was given from God through His prophet Moses and it was written down in the Old Testament for all of us in the here and now in the New Covenant.  God’s next statement says “The Word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart”.  The Word is referring to the Word of God.  This Greek word is again “Rhema” and that is important. Where is the “Word” (Rhema) of God supposed to be?  There are two place mentioned directly by God, one is a natural external location that God referred to earlier as the wellspring of life and the other is the origination point from where these words spring up from in the internal spiritual location figuratively called the heart of man.  God is teaching us how spiritual things are supposed to operate.   Hear and get the Word in your heart and then learn to speak it out of your mouth.  This is the reason why we do not need Christ to be raised from the dead or come back to earth from heaven.  The word of God is the power of God (Heb 1:3).  This power should be resident in your heart.  You should place the Word of God in your heart daily to reinforce its firm foundation.  Otherwise Satan can come and steal this Word (seed) from your life if you let him.

The Word of God represents the “what” that is “right” or “correct” to speak as a mature Christian.  A new born Christian is incapable of speaking the Word of God because they haven’t heard it, don’t know it, don’t believe it or don’t understand it.  All of these conditions will cause the Word of God to be unfruitful in their lives.

CONCLUSION

Is the Word of God coming out of your mouth?  If it is then you are probably in faith and if it is not then you are probably not in faith.  I could give you many Bible examples of this but in conclusion I will tell you of one when God had instructed Joshua how to have good success in this life.  Are you interested in being a winner?  Are you interested in being victorious?  Are you interested in being an overcomer?  God told Joshua how to do it and Joshua did it and possessed the land that God gave to them.   Here is the key verse:

Jos 1:8  This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Wow, what an awesome set of instructions for our success in this life.  God told Joshua to put the Word of God in his mouth and then to meditate on it day and night.  This would build the Words of God into his heart.  God was telling Joshua what He said through Moses, “My Word is very near you, even in your heart and in your mouth”.  Joshua became the leader of the people of God after the passing of Moses and He was responsible for the law passed down from Moses to the nation.  Joshua had this Word and filled his mouth with it.  Filling his mouth with God’s Word gave Joshua faith in God.  We learned this from Romans 10:17.  Remember?  It is almost impossible for anyone to say the Word of God if they understand it and not have faith and success in this life.

Well we could talk for hours and hours on this subject of faith speaks but that is the end of this Bible lesson.  We were told by Jesus that out of our bellies would flow rivers of life producing water and this symbolic water can only be the Word of God.  We are told to speak the Rhema Word of God and this was just the words that were spoken from the mouth of God and recorded in His Precious Holy Word.   It is only the Word of God that will produce life.  Speaking the word of God are the right words to be speaking in every adversarial situation and circumstance.  I’ll just give you a couple more verse to help you see more right things to say:

Psa 107:2  Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,

Joe 3:10  Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’ “

These were just two verses that teach us God wants us to say positive things from His Word.  How can anyone say things that are not overwhelming real and apparent in the 5 physical sense realm?  This type of logic will contradict normal human reasoning, doesn’t it?  When faced with great weakness in your life how can we say “I’m strong”?  When faced with negative circumstances from and in the world, how can we say “I’m redeemed?”  These types of positive words are only possible if you believe God’s Word instead of your circumstances that you are facing.   So infant baby Christians stay silent or cry for their milk but mature Christians will speak to their mountain and cause it to flee before them (Mk 11:23).

This was an advanced Bible lesson on righteous faith speaks.   I hope you enjoyed this Bible lesson and learned a great deal.  But I desire more that you start applying what you learned to your life.  Make a sign like I said to do earlier and read the sign on the wall daily multiple times out loud saying “Righteous Faith Speaks” and don’t let this truth slip from the forefront of your mind.  Share the Gospel with your friends and recommend that they go read and study the Bible with me.  I appreciate your time extended to read and study the Bible and for any comments or testimonies of how God is working in your life that you would care to share with me.  Until next time may God continue to bless you with everything that you require to grow in spiritual maturity.

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

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

INTRODUCTION TO REJECTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

# 1 – REJECTION IS NORMALLY DONE FROM IGNORANCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

# 2 – LOVE & PROACTIVE FORGIVENESS WILL OVERCOME REJECTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

# 4 – UNDERSTANDING REJECTION CAUSES PAIN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

# 5 – CHRIST’S INSTRUCTIONS – EXPECTING REJECTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

# 7 – UNDERSTANDING HOW TO BECOME REJECTED BY GOD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

# 8 – UNDERSTANDING THE SPIRITUAL SOURCE FOR HUMAN REJECTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Things That Satan DOES NOT Want You To Know About! Part 2 The Kingdom of Darkness! Learn God’s Word Applying the 5 W’s of Bible Study.

darkness2light(ver 1.1) This is now Part 2 in the series of Bible study lessons concerning our unseen spiritual enemy Satan. These lessons contain some of the most significant things that Satan does not want us to learn or know about him.   If you did not read “Part 1” I would recommend that you start with that lesson before you continue with this one. However, if you do not have the time to do that, the truths found here in this lesson should still stand alone and be helpful to your Christian walk in this life. Today’s lesson contains basic Bible truths that every Christian needs to know. If you are a very mature Christian you might already know many of the things that will be taught in this lesson. Please just allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart as you read with an open mind.  I will warn you up front that this lesson will be long.  But you can read it one section at a time and this will help break it down for you.  Thank you before we begin for your dedication to study the Bible.

INTRODUCTION

I recently read a comment that someone made and I could not disagree more with what they said. They said that we should not be concerned about learning anything regarding Satan since he was defeated by the Lord Jesus Christ. However, they ignored the fact that Satan still exists, is still present here in this world and that he is stated by God to still be our adversary that we must exercise our authority over in order to keep Satan from running or controlling our lives. Consider this warning from God when asking this basic question if should we learn about Satan:

2Co 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

To be intentionally ignorant of Satan means someone does not know that Satan is their opponent or does not consider him as a formidable adversary. But, God clearly tells us in this verse that Satan has implied power which he can utilize to gain an advantage over us if we allow him to. Paul then wrote to the church in this verse that we “should not be ignorant”, unlearned or uninformed about Satan’s devices. This statement of God written by Paul contradicts directly with my reader’s comment. I firmly believe that the more we know about our enemy the least likely we are to permit him to take this advantage over of us. These truths go a long with what God said to us in Hosea 4:6 which is one of my favorite Bible verses. God says in Hosea 4:6 that His people are destroyed because of their ignorance a word meaning “no knowledge of” or “insufficient knowledge of”. I hope that you can see these are very good reasons to learn everything that you can learn about this enemy.

In the first lesson we quickly went through 6 important things that God has shown us in the Bible about the spiritual adversary named Satan. Satan has tried to stop these things from being preached and taught to the body of Christ.   Perhaps you have noticed this reality if you have observed the lack of meaningful spiritual lessons that should have been taught in all churches. It is obvious to me that Paul taught about this adversary based upon what we just read in 2 Corinthians 2:11. What we must begin to realize is that we have a spiritual foe that is trying to kill, steal and destroy us (John 10:10).

These days there are too many Christians that want to look only at natural flesh and blood as the source of all of their problems in this world but this is not what the Bible teaches us that we are fighting against.   If you read in Ephesians 6:12 you should be able to plainly see a spiritual opponent truth being stated.   Not knowing that Christians are in a spiritual battle with an unseen spiritual force causes many of them to be easily distracted by the natural world and then to be easily defeated by the spiritual world. Not understanding how their spiritual enemy operates causes another portion of Christians to be easily attacked and overwhelmed.   Then not knowing how to fight against this spiritual adversary will cause others to be effortlessly beaten. What we do not know is Satan’s greatest advantage over us.   The goal of this lesson series is to inform Christians about their enemy and give them as much good Biblical information to help overcome Satan’s many assaults.

In this Bible lesson today I will be teaching something new that was not covered in detail in the first lesson about Satan. This new truth will be a complementary important fact that Satan is trying to stop you from learning about. I have taught on today’s subject in other lesson series but this one will be a little different with some new verses to consider.

If you recall in the first lesson I taught that one method of deception that Satan uses is distraction to keep people away from seeing God’s truth. Satan does not want the truth of the Word of God to be planted firmly and unmovably in our hearts. When the Word of God is confidently implanted in our hearts with solid deep roots it will produce spiritual fruit that causes Satan’s hold on our lives to be greatly diminished.   The more truth you know from God’s Word the less likely you are to ever be deceived or overcome by Satan’s schemes. This knowledge of the truth is exactly what God wants you to achieve and it will become a great threat to the kingdom of darkness. The kingdom of darkness happens to be my key subject today. Satan will do everything in his power to keep you from knowing about this subject. One of the primary reasons for Satan wanting us not to know this is because no one will ever try to escape from a prison if they do not first know that they are in one.

As a final note for the introduction I will mention that in this Bible lesson I will be using at least 9 or 10 different basic Bible study laws to help us understand what God teaches us. Here is a quick list overview of these essential Bible Study techniques and rules. We will be using:

  • the Law of Self-Interpretation
  • the Law of Spiritual Definitions
  • the Law of First Mention
  • the Law of Contextual Application
  • the Law of Antithesis Truth
  • the Law of Synonymous Association or Relation
  • the Law of Mathematical Equality (If A=B & B=C, then A=C)
  • the Law of truth building upon truth
  • the Law of Truth never contradicting Truth
  • the Law of 2 or 3 Witnesses

 

I have covered these Laws of Understanding the Bible in more depth in other Bible lessons but I will emphasize them again today for anyone that is new to my website that has not yet read every Bible lesson.  Today I will be going over a lesson using a specific style of Bible study that I call the 5 W’s study method. This method will focus on answering the questions of “Who”, “What”, “When”, “Where” and “Why”. In this study we will focus on the following questions:

  • Who is the main subject about?
  • Who does the main subject affect?
  • What is the main subject about?
  • What does the main subject mean to a Christian?
  • What does the main subject mean to a non-Christian?
  • When did the main subject come into existence?
  • When does the main subject end or cease to exist, if ever?
  • Where does the main subject take place or exist?
  • Why is the main subject even in the Bible?
  • Why is the main subject important to learn, understand and know?

We will be studying the Bible to answer these questions concerning the main subject of the “kingdom of darkness” today. We will also be touching on the related antithesis subject of the kingdom of light. I hope you will take the time to continue and read the entire lesson. Let’s get started.

NUMBER 7

7. Satan DOES NOT want you to know that he still rules a kingdom and you might be in it.

This is the seventh truth that Satan would rather you not learn. Since Jesus defeated Satan as we all should now know, does Satan still have a rule of authority over anything or anyone in the “here and now” present world? The answer to that question is a resounding yes. There are at the very minimum 4 different spiritual kingdoms mentioned to us in the Bible and you may not be able to name them all right now. Understanding spiritual kingdoms is a difficult seldom taught Bible subject but yet a rewarding subject to study nonetheless. There are a number of confusing factors that challenge us when we study about spiritual kingdoms. One spiritual kingdom in the Bible can be called by several different names, symbols or titles but these are still the same kingdom. Another spiritual kingdom can be a similar name or type or even have a similar appearance but God can be speaking of a completely different kingdom within a different time or even a different realm with an entirely different spiritual ruler of that kingdom. The Bible is much more complex than many Christians understand. However, today I am only writing about one specific spiritual kingdom in this lesson and this kingdom is called the “kingdom of darkness”. The kingdom of darkness is Satan’s independent empire. Satan is the sovereign ruler of this dark empire. This kingdom is not a part of any other kingdom. It is also not a sub-kingdom of God’s spiritual empire.   This kingdom of darkness is vast and has many subordinate individuals that are within it right now.

Understanding the Kingdom of Darkness – WHO!

I’ll explain this section title later in the Bible lesson. Also I will say at the beginning of this section that I believe after the death of Jesus and His resurrection that Satan’s kingdom was greatly diminished from where it was at one time but we will still learn in this lesson that Satan has significant rule and power. For example in Revelation we learn that Satan potentially rules over 1/3 of an innumerable number of angels that appear to follow him (Rev 12:4, Heb 12:22). Then in other scriptures that I am going to get into in this section we learn that Satan rules over many millions and even billions of unsaved people in this world. Let’s begin this study by looking at a N.T. verse that informs Christians that they were once within this same vast kingdom of darkness to help us establish its manifestation, presence and existence:

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

There are two separate and very distinctly different spiritual kingdoms being referred to concurrently in this verse.   One kingdom is directly mentioned and the other kingdom is indirectly described by God. First the indirect kingdom is being associated with the “power of darkness”. This is of course Satan’s kingdom of darkness. But, God then informs us that we have been translated from out of this darkness into the directly named “Kingdom of His dear Son”, Jesus Christ. The Son’s Kingdom was the establishment of a new spiritual kingdom that never existed before that I alluded to earlier. You may not understand that last statement right now but please don’t throw it away because you don’t understand because it is an advanced Bible truth that I do not have the time to teach fully today in this lesson. This “Kingdom of His dear Son” is also known by other names called the “Kingdom of God”, “the Kingdom of Light”, “ the Kingdom of the Day”, “the Kingdom of David” as well as by several other descriptions. This verse clearly teaches us that we (the Christians) have been “taken out of” and “removed from” the kingdom of darkness that belongs to Satan who is the implied unstated power of this realm. Christians now reside within a new spiritual Kingdom founded, established and confirmed by the Lord Jesus Christ. I think I will give you another verse to help settle this:

Act 26:18  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

These words in Acts 26:18 were written in red ink in my Bible and this means Jesus is speaking again.   Notice that there are two antithesis spiritual kingdoms being mentioned directly in this verse. These kingdoms are called “Darkness” versus “Light”. There are also two opposing rules of authority established in this verse being called the “power of Satan” versus the power of God. Satan is directly associated to be the power of darkness that was indirectly mentioned in the previous verse and God is only called the Power of Light.   Both of these two previous verses directly mentioned the very important hidden kingdom subject keyword “power”. God will often talk about a subject using a related keyword and you need to become aware how to connect it to the current subject that you are studying.

This Greek word is G1849 that was translated as “power” holds the meaning of “delegated influence, authority, jurisdiction, power and strength”. Notice the implications from this definition. It means this individual that holds this “power” has the ability to make independent rules of law over those that are under them. This literally means that one power does not exist together with the other power or there would be no delegated power that was given to them. Nor can this power being mentioned be ruled or controlled by the other power. Think about this in terms of the United States and another country like Russia. The Russian government cannot pass a law to imprison the citizens of the United States and this is true for the United States not being able to imprison the people of Russia. Both are independent sovereign rules of law.

In fact the mere names of the kingdoms light and darkness denote a clear separation of powers. Wherever light exists darkness is not found and wherever darkness exists light is never found to be present. These are just basic natural laws that were created by God to teach us how these spiritual realities work. In the natural we can walk into a very dark room and be overwhelmed with the darkness until we turn the light on and then suddenly there is no more darkness. It is just amazing how that works, isn’t it. Now consider another N.T. verse that is relevant to teach on this subject:

1Jn 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

God is clearly declared to be light in 1 John 1:5 and in this verse it further says that “IN HIM” there is no darkness found in this Light. This reality of God being called light without any darkness denotes an implied antithesis truth that within the darkness of Satan there is no Light of God found. However this becomes greatly complicated when we consider the “omnipresence” of God. I do not believe that there exists a place where God cannot be found present.   Psalms 139:7 teaches us this truth using the voice of a man asking, where can I go that you are not found?

However this verse in 1 John still teaches us that there must be a huge separation of one from the other using an implied dividing partition. Light and darkness cannot coexist in the same room without a partition to block the light. I personally believe that God is teaching us that He is not evil. We will begin to learn more of this as we continue to study that evil exists in Satan and goodness and mercy comes from God. We need to know this and never forget it when reading and studying the rest of the Bible or else we will become confused how to understand what is being stated by God.

I am not going to teach anything else found in this verse of Acts 26:18, because that would take too long. You can take the time to meditate and think on this verse to see what else God reveals to you about it if you wish. Please just begin to embrace and believe in the basic concepts of the powers of light versus darkness being separated, detached, divided, disconnected and disjointed from each other. Both kingdoms will not stand or coexist together. Clearly the Kingdom of Light is superior to the kingdom of darkness. Darkness can never prevail over light or drive out the light. But God still declares the kingdom of darkness to exist with power and this teaches us that God is not present there. These verses also teach us that Christians were once found to be a part of the darkness and have now been removed from it. But yet this truth implies those that are not Christians right now are still residents within the power of darkness. I know there will be some Christians that do not believe me.   But normally this is because they have never studied to find these truths in the Bible. I’m not able to give you every verse that exists on this subject but I will mention a few more that apply. I have taught on this subject in other Bible lessons. Let’s read the words of the Lord Jesus again to continue with learning about this spiritual kingdom of darkness truth:

Mat 12:26  And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?

Jesus makes an amazing statement here that should not be discarded, thrown away or ignored because you don’t believe it. Jesus Christ is God in the flesh and the creator of everything seen and unseen that was created (John 1:1-3, 14) and He declares that Satan is not fighting or even working against himself.   Jesus also teaches us very clearly that Satan has his own independent kingdom apart from the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven mentioned repeatedly in the Gospels.   There is a very basic truth established and confirmed with this message that there exists another spiritual kingdom that is separate from God’s domain. This would have been a great opportunity for the Lord Jesus to tell us how this kingdom of darkness was sovereignly ruled by God but He does not even imply this to be true. In fact Jesus in describing this kingdom referred to Satan using the third-person pronoun “his” which means that this kingdom is possessed, owned and controlled by him. This clearly denotes separate ownership of this kingdom being mentioned which must be different from the Kingdom of God that I just mentioned. In other words Jesus did not say “my” kingdom He said “his” kingdom and we need to see this.  Jesus is not Satan and Satan is not Jesus.  Therefore whatever Jesus rules over was not what Satan ruled over.  Let’s go into another New Testament verse revealing who rules this kingdom of darkness:

Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

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

God starts in verse 11 by revealing that we are in a spiritual war and have need of His spiritual armor. This spiritual opponent is called the devil. This is just another title for our enemy Satan. If we look up the meaning to this Greek word G1228 translated as “devil” we will find that it means a person who is a traducer.   Do you know what that is? This is literally someone who tells lies about another person. This is very revealing information about what type of battle we are in. The battle is raging in a spiritual court and we are the defendants that are being accused by the devil. It is a clear battle between what is truth versus the words of lies being thrown at us. We need to know this because it will become very important due to our fleshly sin nature.

Please observe our primary subject related “keyword” in this verse translated as “rulers”. Remember the primary subject is concerning the “kingdom of darkness” and this kingdom certainly must have a “ruler” in control of it. This Greek word is G2888 and it literally means a “world ruler”. Any natural kingdom of the world has a leader that reigns over it. This is normally like a royal family that inherits the throne from their parent after they die.  Much like King David’s son inherited the kingdom when David died.  These natural concepts will apply to the subject of spiritual kingdoms also.  But that is a different Bible lesson.  What we should be learning is that the ruler of the spiritual darkness is Satan.

Please allow me to give you a couple of further confirming witnesses to the reality that unsaved people and fallen angels are revealed subjects of this dark empire of Satan.   We will look at some additional words of Jesus to see who He claimed to be and why He came into the world and this is vital spiritual information and truth to know:

Joh 12:46  I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

What is Jesus claiming to be here? Jesus asserts to be the “Light”. This statement literally means Jesus has called Himself “God” using the symbolic title “Light”. Do you remember that we read previously in 1 John 1:5 that God is stated to be “Light” and in Him is no darkness at all? This verse in 1 John was a spiritual definition for the Greek word translated as “light” and we need this information in order to understand what Jesus just said in John 12:46. Since Jesus was not speaking literally He must have been speaking figuratively. Therefore in order to understand figurative light we need a God given definition for the word. This is the correct way of “Rightly dividing the Word of Truth” and “Letting the Bible Interpret itself”. Both of these verses use the exact same Greek word G5457. Therefore they are linked by God’s direct word selection design to teach us about the subject of spiritual light. Light is the antithesis for darkness and this further confirms that God does not dwell in darkness here in John 12:46. Perhaps you do not understand the divinely created laws of mathematics. I have made mention of this law in other Bible lessons, but I will review it briefly for the new readers on my website. In 1 John 1:5 God = Light. Then in John 12:46 Jesus = Light. Therefore by the laws of mathematics “Jesus = God”. This is just a very basic Bible study principles and I hope you learn how this works today.

Now notice what Jesus claimed for one of the reasons why He has appeared in the flesh here in this world. Jesus claims to be the spiritual  light to show us the way out of the darkness that we were stated to be in.   Most unsaved people still do not realize that they are in this darkness because they do not see it. I will emphasize once more that Jesus is not claiming to be a natural light. He is claiming to be a spiritual light and that will become greatly significant as we continue on in this study.

What we have been learning only concerns the subsidiary subject of “who”. The “who” subject study is nothing but a sub-category study within my primary subject of the “kingdom of darkness” study. We have discovered the existence of two spiritual kingdoms in this section. One was called “Light” and the other was called “darkness”.   We have discovered that Satan rules the kingdom of darkness and God in Jesus Christ rules the Kingdom of Light. We have discovered the implied existence of a separation of powers and a partition of division between these two kingdoms. We have also further understood the existence of subordinates within both kingdoms. As Christians we were told that we were once in the kingdom of darkness but have been removed from it by the Grace of God and taken into the kingdom of light by Christ Jesus. This literally means that those who have NOT been saved remain in the darkness and there are several other verses in the N.T. that we can find to confirm this. Let’s move on to the sub-category study of “what” now.

Understanding the Kingdom of Darkness – WHAT!

What is the Kingdom of Darkness? What does God reveal to us about this kingdom realm? Is it spiritual or is physical or is it both? We should have established in the first section the beginning basic truths of “who” is in the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. We found the ruler of this kingdom of darkness to be Satan. Satan was directly linked to the possession, ownership and control of this kingdom of darkness. I should have told you that no created being like Satan is capable of establishing their own kingdom of authority without it being given to them by God. We can learn this simple truth from a statement that Jesus made to Pilate in the book of John:

Joh 19:11  Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

The Greek word G1849 translated as “power” in this verse means a literal “right of authority”.   Jesus speaking to one ruler named Pilate was telling him there is no power/authority except it came from God. Jesus was declaring the sovereignty of God as well as the important fact that He is omnipotent and without God willingly giving us anything we would be completely unable to take or possess anything like power from Him. No human ruler on the earth is able to have any authority unless it was given to them from God.   This is certainly true of Satan as well as for us. Satan’s kingdom of darkness and authority had to have been given to him from God. God has a reason and a purpose for whatever He does even if we do not yet understand it.

Then we further learned that the citizens in this kingdom of darkness were the unsaved people of the world. In addition to the unsaved people of the world there are also the fallen angels that reside in this realm. I could have given you Jude 1:6 to read concerning the angels that have fallen which are now held in the realm of darkness but I did not give you this verse in the previous section. There are just so many Bible verses to be found but we must search for them. Now we need to learn what this kingdom of darkness represents. What exactly is it? Why is it called “darkness”? Is this darkness symbolic of something else? What could this symbolic darkness represent?

If the kingdom of darkness consists of both fallen angels and unsaved people this kingdom has the potential to be both physical/natural and spiritual. This is because unsaved people live within a natural domain and fallen angels exist within a spiritual domain. It does become a bit distorted when we learn that unsaved people are really just spirits that reside in a natural body. When the unsaved person dies it is just like the saved person when they die. The spirit of the dead body departs the earth at the time of natural death. The saved person goes up to heaven and the unsaved person descends to be in hell. So far I have concluded that the kingdom of darkness can only be spiritual but we still need more evidence to draw a conclusion.

Hopefully you already understand about what was taught earlier that darkness represents the absence of light. Since God was called Light, the kingdom of darkness represents a realm of domain apart from God. In other words the name darkness implies that there is no God (Light) within the kingdom of darkness. However that is a difficult concept to embrace because it conflicts with the known divine quality called the “omnipresence” attribute of God stating that He is everywhere at every time. We will hopefully come to a conclusion as we continue how these two truths can co-exist where both can be true simultaneously. Let’s begin our study of what darkness is using the information found in the book of John to help establish what occurs in the domain that Satan rules and how this differs from a realm where God is in full control like in heaven currently.

Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

I indicated the fact in the previous section that whatever God (Light) is the darkness is definitely not. That type of subject study for what God represents would take many, many days to complete so I will not attempt to write an entire book about what God represents including His revealed personality, His revealed character, His reveal moral values and even His revealed names. I will keep this type of complete subject study for another series of lessons in the future. However we must understand a few of the simple and basic principles about God in order to comprehend what the kingdom of darkness represents and how it is different from the Kingdom of Light.

Jesus said here in John 10:10 that the thief (Satan) came to primarily do three things and these were to kill, steal and to destroy but then Jesus reveals His antithesis purpose for coming to the earth saying “I have come that you may have life and that life more abundantly”. This single verse confirms the contrasting reality between the kingdoms of darkness verses light. Jesus clearly reveals to us that the kingdom of darkness brings to us death and the kingdom of light brings to us life. Then Jesus said the kingdom of darkness takes away from us and the kingdom of Light does the opposite.   Finally Jesus said the kingdom of darkness “destroys” and the opposite of that would be to create something good and worthwhile that has a positive purpose.   I think that is very plain and self-evident which kingdom realm that we should desire to be in and remain a part of, don’t you? Just ask yourself would you rather die or live life fully and abundantly? This is not a difficult question.   Let’s take these truths found in John 10:10 further into a new confirming dimension of study, reading in Ephesians:

Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

These verses are teaching us the clear separation points between two opposing kingdoms. These principles contain the rules of basic opposition between hate versus love, evil versus good, condemnation versus mercy and death versus life again. Life and death are simply a repeat of John 10:10 but the subjects of steal and destroy are also found in the term doing evil. These are strong and distinct negatives versus positives. Such straightforward truths are presented to us by God in the Bible and these should be known and believed by every Christian.   We need to know these simple truths in order to conclusively apply this knowledge to what we read in the many other verses found in the Bible and in our life situations. God will not contradict these uttered truths in any other part of the Bible. If we think there is a contradiction then it is simply our misunderstanding or our misinterpretation that needs to change. God’s Word will not ever change.

In this section we have just barely started to touch on this sub-category study of the “what” found within the “kingdom of darkness” study. I could have taught for many pages on this subject but I am trying to move through the more complete study of the basics for how to study the kingdom of darkness subject. We should by now at least understand what the kingdom of darkness represents. Darkness represents symbolically whatever is evil in the world.   We should also know that the kingdom of darkness represents whatever is contained within the realm of the dead and death. We should further comprehend that the kingdom of darkness represents whatever is of condemnation. We should have just learned that the kingdom of darkness represents whatever the concept of “hate” represents. These were all opposites of what God’s kingdom of light represents and offers to everyone. Knowing these basics should help motivate us to tell others about this and help them to come out of this satanically controlled kingdom of darkness. You should not want your worst natural enemy in this kingdom. I hope you will agree and tell them how to get saved. Let’s move quickly into the sub-category of “when” next and learn when the kingdom of Satan came into existence.

Understanding the Kingdom of Darkness – WHEN!

In order to understand the kingdom of darkness more clearly we now should investigate when this kingdom originated and when Satan obtained the official rule of this kingdom. These are two different dates within time past as we should be able to learn as the lesson continues. Ask God, did the kingdom of darkness always exist or did the kingdom of darkness have a beginning? We should remember from studying previous sections that Jesus declared in the Gospels that Satan possessed this kingdom at the time of His appearing on the earth. Jesus was born of the virgin approximately 4000 years after Adam’s creation and this has occurred approximately 2000 years from the present date for a total of nearly 6000 years.   These numbers will become more significant in learning about the kingdom of darkness when I tell you about what God reveals in certain verses on this subject. I will warn you up front that in this section there are potentially controversial hidden Bible realities presented. These can be complex and intended for more mature Christians. I did not expect for this lesson to become advanced but this part of the topic will cause a transition from milk to meat to occur. This sub-topic study will be much more unconventional in nature than any of the previous sections. It will require more thought and study and potentially a deeper understanding of other Bible basic truths that will not be taught here. Therefore, if you are reading this lesson being a new Christian, you might want to skip this section for now. Thank you for judging yourself in your ability to eat more meat than milk.

Many times in the Bible, God does not present all of the information in plain viewed terms for everyone to automatically see and understand and this part of the study will certainly be an example of one of these. The time of the origin of the kingdom of darkness is not directly stated and can only be found by searching and studying the hidden clues that are concealed by God using natural symbolism and metaphorical terminology. We must find these hidden clues with the Holy Spirit’s help and then allow Him to teach us what they exactly mean for our subject study. I will probably get several negative comments about how my Bible study methods do not fit within all of the rigid set of man’s created exegesis standards, methods and steps. However, I cannot help how or where God shows me what He wants to say and if you wish to ignore what He is saying then I have no problem with that. Just please don’t leave me any negative comments if you do not see it or agree with it. My salvation and your salvation does not hinge upon when the kingdom of darkness came into existence. Therefore this is not a subject that is needed for our initial or continued salvation.

Let’s begin our study of “when” the kingdom of darkness came into existence with some strange verses that you may not directly associate with this spiritual kingdom of darkness subject study:

Isa 45:7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

This is a very controversial and easily misunderstood verse of the Old Testament.   Many Christian people believe that it tends to say on the surface that God created both darkness and evil for an implied purpose. In other words people use the extreme sovereignty of God teaching to believe that God designed darkness and evil to fulfill a divine purpose to intentionally accomplish something wicked in our world. However, this type of belief would violate and contradict other revealed truths that God is good and in Him is no darkness (evil). So how can evil come from a God that is only good?   “Create” in this verse is the Hebrew word H1254 and it certainly means “to create” something. But, were these words “I create darkness and evil” what God intended for us to emphasize from this verse? Even I will admit that it does say that God created darkness and evil in half of the phrases in this verse but that is not the entire phrase statement and taking a small part or even half of a statement out of context will normally produce an erroneous interpretation and understanding. Here is another rule for sound Bible interpretation, “Study the context and apply the surrounding word meanings to understand the meanings of the words being focused upon”. I hope you understand this rule. This is exactly what we are about to do.

The term “create” is H1254 and it is used by God to describe His verb action that was placed upon the noun “darkness”. This term is used by God repeatedly in this way in the O.T. including in the first verse of Genesis 1 where God says “In the beginning God created (H1254) the heavens and the earth”. Therefore I do not deny that “darkness” appears to be a created substance from God. However we must realize that there is more than one way to create something. Wow, I’m not sure if you understood that last statement yet. It was a very deep statement. A process of creating is so diverse and can be accomplished in so many ways that it boggles the mind to comprehend them and place them together as acts of creation. For example, to create can be any of the following:

  • To Make
  • To Generate
  • To Produce
  • To Manufacture
  • To Assemble
  • To Form
  • To Fabricate
  • To Craft
  • To Build
  • To Construct

 

Most of these terms represent someone taking one or more existing substances to produce a newly designed substance or article. For instance a cotton shirt is created first by a farmer picking the cotton from the field. The cotton is then cleaned, processed and dyed and becomes thread. The threads are loomed together to make fabrics. The fabrics are then shaped, cut and assembled to create the shirt. These are all creative steps of a more complete process and this is something you need to consider when reading anything about creation or creating in the Bible. Determine what was created and then back up to see what was used to create it.   There is also another challenge to consider about creation of objects.

You see darkness is not technically a created substance. We cannot package and sell a substance of darkness to anyone like it was gold, silver, oil or whatever. If we could sell darkness, the person buying it could open our package and see that there was nothing present because any light would cause the darkness to vanish. I also want to say that there is a satanic line of thought going on that claims darkness is the greater substance and light only exists because the darkness is not present and that is stupid. As we continue please remember that darkness is nothing but the absence or the removal of Light and this is so critical to understand.

Let’s go back to the beginning phrase and study this initial statement for the contextual application to the secondary verse statements. Reread the entire verses statement all together. Did you notice the antithesis of two opposing realities in this verse? Both light and darkness are being mentioned as they have been in many other verses that we have been studying. Now ask God “Why didn’t you say “I create the Light” here in this verse anywhere? Did you notice that God used a different Hebrew word (H3335) for the verb action that He applied to the noun light?   Why is that? You are going to have to get into the details if you ever want to understand the Word of God. If you are not asking God deep questions when you read His Word you will never find any deep answers. Do you understand this? Now let’s allow God to show us the deep answers.

We have previously seen that God declares Himself to be Light in 1 John. Remember God equals Light by the stated law of spiritual definitions and the laws of mathematical equivalency. In other words whatever qualities exist for God these must also exist for Light and this is basic applied logic and math. Was God created? If God was not created then Light was not created either. Because God always existed, Light always existed. God did not ever change from darkness to light at any time and does not change from light to darkness at any time. This comes from the Bible truth found in Malachi 3:6 where God declares to us His never changing consistent nature.

God did not use the term “create” for Light in Isaiah because Light always was in God. The Hebrew term (H3335) translated as “formed” is a new word that means to form or shape an existing substance and that is totally different than creating any brand new substance. Forming a substance would be like molding clay as a potter. In other words God is saying the clay (light) existed but that He applied the pressure to the existing substance (light) to direct it into a new form for a very specific shaped purpose.   Did you hear what God just said? Did you understand it? What happens to light when it is focused? Think of a dark theater with a man singing on the stage. A light appears at the back of the theater but this light does not usually light the entire room. Why because it is highly focused. This is called a spotlight or spotlighting and it is used to direct focused illumination upon the person that needs your attention and in this way it will cause our vision to only see him and this is basically what God is saying in this verse in Isaiah. Now are you beginning to understand who this focused attention represents? Who is the majority of the book of Isaiah about? Is it not Jesus Christ? God just said that by Him directing or focusing the light the darkness was created so that we could see Jesus Christ. Wow, I think that was pretty awesome if you understood it.

Think in terms of created natural light concepts because these contain hidden spiritual light concepts. The sun produces our main source of natural light. The earth turns and one side of the planet has the light visible and the other side has only the presence of darkness visible. This is exactly the process of focused light occurring. It is also the process of an object blocking the light from shining to create a dark place and this must also be considered. What I want you to learn here from this verse in Isaiah is that Light always existed and darkness is nothing but the absence of light because the light was either blocked by an object or was focused (formed) by God to direct us to a new focus. I do not have the time to go into this verse in any more depth today so let’s move on in this study to a new set of controversial verses:

Psa 136:8 The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:

Psa 136:9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.

These are either some of the strangest verses in the Bible or they mean something that we do not yet comprehend. Why would God mention two antithesis realms of natural reality using kingdom terms in direct succession? There are also two opposing kingdom rulers mentioned here in these verses.  Did you notice that?  If you will observe there are at least 5 important keywords in these verses that are critical to link to our spiritual kingdom study. When studying a Bible subject we need to look for hidden verses that are about our subject but do not mention the subject directly and these verses are hidden examples of this principle. I call this the law of synonymous association or relation. God will often hide information for us to find anywhere in the Bible using natural symbolic phrases that are directly related to a subject like darkness but never mention the word darkness anywhere in the verse. He will hide the connection to darkness by selecting a word like “night” instead which is dominated by darkness. These types of verses are little concealed clues that present information that we may not relate without His guidance and direction. If you will observe closely in this verse God is speaking of two opposing realities again. One is called “day” and the other is called “night”. Of course day is where sunlight prevails and night is where there is no sunlight and darkness prevails. Did you notice how this information conforms to what I taught earlier? Day is not night and night is not day. They do occur simultaneously together but rather night becomes day as we have been learning about from verses in the New Testament.

sunrise1Do you remember this concept of Christians being brought out of the spiritual darkness into the spiritual light? This is the exact same natural concept of night becoming day when the sun rises. I hope you have read all of my other Bible lessons on this subject. According to the N.T. salvation is the rising of the Sun of Jesus Christ in our hearts as revealed by God in 2 Peter 1:19. In this verse God describes the spiritual Day Star (Sun) to be rising in the spiritual hearts of all those that believe in Jesus Christ. This was taken from the concept of the natural sun dawning or breaking forth and becoming brighter and brighter at the beginning of every day. This daily natural concept occurs in the Spiritual realm and it has not been widely taught or understood by Christians. However this was hidden within creation and revealed by God for us to learn from. What we have just learned is that light and darkness can be synonymous terms for day and night.

Now notice in these verses that there is a Hebrew word, Strong’s number H4475 which was translated as “rule” in the English language. This Hebrew word is very important. It is a word that means “to rule”, “to govern”, “to have power over” and “to have dominion over”.   These are clearly “kingdom” terms where a kingdom potentate like the king oversees his subjects. Why is this relevant? Do you already see the connection to the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light that we have been learning about in the New Testament?   God simply uses the approach of applying new synonyms for calling what is light and darkness by different names or titles in order to hide this information in these verses for us to find.

This Hebrew word H4475 was first used by God in the book of Genesis. This is called using the law of first mention where God takes us to a subject introduction to teach us overall important subject principles. The first mention of “rule” occurs in the very first chapter of Genesis during God’s description of day 4 of creation. If you have read my other Bible lessons on Genesis and creation you already know and understand that each day of creation represents a “day” period of natural human history. God created our world in 6 days and then rests on the seventh day. Each of these creation days represent a 1000 year “day” period of time and I came to this conclusion by using what God revealed to Peter in 2 Peter 3:8. In this verse Peter quotes an O.T. verse from Psalms 90:4 and this verse informed us that to God a spiritual day can represent a 1000 year period of time. This is again called God’s spiritual definition of a day and it helps us to understand how certain verses within creation can be interpreted to be understood from both a spiritual and a natural perspective concurrently. Please do not misapply what I just said.   I believe that almost every verse has a natural literal interpretation and that God uses this natural information to give us a view into something else within the spiritual realm.   However, this is a very advanced spiritual topic. So I will move on. Let’s review some spiritual explanations of day and night using the New Testament briefly:

1Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

1Th 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

1Th 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

1Th 5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

1Th 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

We could go over a lot of detailed information in these verses but I will give you the quick overview only. God is teaching Christians that they abide in the day and are walking in the HIS light. God just connected day to be equivalent with light and this light is the Word of God and His voice that leads us. Then God teaches us that those that are not saved are sleeping in the night and living in darkness. God just connected night to be equivalent with darkness and this is why I could find those verses about night and day in the Old Testament and they related to my subject study. All of these are very clear descriptions of two opposing kingdom realms. Christians should be living and acting differently than those that are not saved because of the presence of Light (God). God further declares that those in the light will obtain mercy and those in the darkness will obtain wrath and this is so important to know. It saddens my heart tremendously to think of people who do not want to know the truth.

We should be beginning to see how these subjects of “day” and “night” apply to our study of the kingdom of darkness. Let’s go back and read the first chapter of Genesis from the beginning to end. As I said day 4 is when God sets the Greater light (sun) to rule the day and the lesser light (moon and stars) to rule the night. Again these are opposing spiritual kingdom symbolic representations with opposing symbolic rulers. What God is telling us is that after 4000 years of human history He will separate and establish a rule of the spiritual light/day which is different from the rule of the spiritual darkness/night and this occurred when Jesus came to the earth to save us. Please take note that I did not say that the kingdom of darkness came into existence on day 4 during this 4000 year time after Adam when Jesus came to die for our sins. I only said that Satan was given the rule of this kingdom of darkness and night which God called different from the rule of Jesus over the kingdom of Light and Day.

Now if we go back and refer to light and darkness in Genesis chapter 1 to find the initial references to our subjects, we can apply God’s law of first mention again to discover these two entities were to be separated by God on day 1 of creation.  In this verse God says He called the light day and He called the darkness night further connecting the two together forever.  Therefore whatever night is darkness is by the law of mathematical equivalency.  However you will still find in Genesis that prior to the beginning of day 1 that darkness already existed in verse 2. God appears to give us this fact when declaring that darkness covered the earth at the beginning and I believe that this was a hidden way to say that the earth was already dominated by the kingdom of darkness when the earth had been destroyed completely. Remember what John 10:10 said? Jesus said that Satan (the ruler of darkness) only came to kill, steal and destroy and this is clearly the status of the earth before Day 1 of creation begins. It is safe to conclude that Satan had destroyed the earth.

However, we should then begin to see how from Days 1 through day 6 that God continues to give life one day at a time and this further matched what Jesus taught us in John 10:10 where He said I came to give life and give you that life more abundantly. We can clearly see after 6 days of creation that now life dominated the earth without the introduction of any death into this new world.   Let me say this again a little differently. The world began in darkness and then notice on Day 1 of creation God says “Light Be” and then light was. God was symbolically giving us more clues that He was coming to the earth to create a new kingdom of light separate from darkness in order to give us life. Go back and review day 1 closely. In verse 4 of Genesis 1 you should see where light is separated from darkness and in verse 5 God calls the darkness night and the light He calls the day. These are all symbolic representations of two opposing spiritual kingdoms moving through transitions during the 6000 years of human history.

I know this will not be received by all Christians. But that is OK, your salvation and my salvation does not depend upon when Satan’s kingdom came into existence so please do not call me a false teacher that leads people to hell simply because you don’t agree with me. Perhaps if you knew what I knew you would see why I believe this way. I also think if you continue to study the Bible deeply that you will find that there are other Bible verses that give us more clues of clarity to this being a reality. I am just not going to try to explain this in any detail in this lesson. The details of these truths are found in other lessons on this website.   Find them and read about what God has hidden.

What I have done in this section is to review in a very quick format the timing of when the kingdom of darkness was established. The moon in this verse in Psalms 136:9 and Genesis 1:16 is a symbolic representation for Satan. Night is a symbolic representation for the kingdom of darkness and this is ruled by Satan according to Ephesians 6:12. The sun in Psalms 136:8 and Genesis 1:16 is a symbolic representation for the Lord Jesus Christ who is called the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2). The kingdom of Light is found within our spirits according to 2 Peter 1:19.   God is establishing a separate Kingdom of Day through Jesus Christ apart from Satan’s kingdom of night. If this was not important I would not be teaching this repeatedly in several lessons. We need to understand when God does things, why God does things, who it affects and even how God accomplished them.   I will recall that I call this the “Who, What, When, Where and Why method of Bible study. So far I have answered the first three questions of who, what and when by studying what God has revealed and given to us to know in His Word. I will now move on to the subject of “where” is the kingdom of darkness?

Understanding the Kingdom of Darkness – WHERE!

darkness5Where is the kingdom of darkness at this very moment? Has it always been there? Is it in one location or in multiple locations? Will the location ever change? Is it within a physical location or within a spiritual location or even both? These are the basic questions we will focus upon using the Bible in this section. We have already learned from the Bible that the kingdom of darkness exists and that Satan a created spiritual being is in control of this realm but, how do we define its present location? If someone asked you to describe where the kingdom of darkness is right now, what would you tell them? I have already given a brief introduction to this subject of where earlier. In that introduction to the subject we talked about that the kingdom of darkness could be spiritual, natural or even both at the same time. Hopefully we will learn more about how to resolve these questions as we continue in this section.

This will probably be the last of the “W” questions that I will answer in this 5 W Bible study because I am running very long. In order to find where the kingdom of darkness exists today we will need to search the Bible for scriptures about darkness and see if any of these hold direct clues for us to learn from about this location. However, there is also another technique for searching the Bible to find where the kingdom of darkness is located and this is by us searching where the Kingdom of Light is located and knowing wherever light is located the darkness is not there by God’s created laws of antithesis truth. Perhaps you have never heard of this law either but it is a very basic rule of understanding created by God. For many subjects that we study in the Bible we can easily find the opposing subject which can be of greater, equal or even lesser magnitude to learn what our subject is not. The opposite of good is evil, the opposite of alive is dead, the opposite of being present is being absent and on and on we could go. There is always more than one way to learn about any given subject so we must be open to however God wants to teach us. We will begin this section with the words in red spoken from Jesus Christ.

Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

I know this verse does not mention light or darkness but it does mention “kingdom” and “God” and since we have determined in this lesson that Jesus is God and He rules the kingdom of Light then this verse fits with what we need to know and apply to the location of the kingdom of darkness. Jesus is talking to the Pharisees answering a direct question about when the kingdom of God is coming to the earth and Jesus answers this question with a mysterious response. Jesus does not say when but rather He says where and this answer probably just confused the hearers. The natural Jews were looking for a physical natural kingdom of God led by a great physical messiah to establish this kingdom here on the earth. But Jesus shakes the foundation of Judaism by saying stop looking on the outside in the natural because the kingdom of God will be on the inside in the spiritual. Wow, that is a very tough concept to understand for natural minds. How is it even possible for a kingdom to be internal and not seen by the physical eye? You can clearly read in the context in verse 20 that Jesus says it will not be found in any visible place. Jesus was teaching them and us about spiritual kingdoms and this is a key to understanding the kingdom of darkness also. We must begin to realize that the kingdom of darkness is not a natural kingdom nor can it be seen either.

This is where correct Bible study becomes a little trickier. We need the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to correctly be led how and when to apply the laws of interpretation. Also learning when and how laws apply to interpretation will become clearer as you continue to learn more Bible subjects. Truth will always build upon truth and will fit together rightly without conflict. Truth will never contradict truth and these rules always apply to whatever you study. If the kingdom of light is spiritual and not natural as Jesus implied does that mean that the kingdom of darkness is natural by the law of antithesis? After all natural is the opposite of spiritual in many viewpoints. We could easily make that wrong assumption but still we would need confirming witnesses to determine what we believe no matter what laws we apply. One law of interpretation that is always in effect is the law of 2 or 3 witnesses that God says we must follow to establish any truth. Therefore if the kingdom of darkness is a natural location we should be able to find at least 2 scriptures to point us to that conclusion.

I’m going to take a brief bunny trail side trip journey on another unrelated subject for a moment just for the benefit of my serious students and readers. I received an ignorant comment from someone that I will not identify and he said most of my Bible lessons violate my own rules of interpretation. He failed to ask any questions assuming his own ability to perceive what I knew and in his pride and arrogance made himself unwise. I do not always give 2 or 3 witnesses in every Bible study on every subject that I mention. If I did this I would probably have to double the size of every Bible lesson and would publish far fewer lessons and less frequently. I must balance all of the words that I could say with your time and ability to study them. Just because I don’t show 2 or 3 witnesses to every statement made does not mean there are NO OTHERS that are available. Before you criticize someone it would be extremely wise to find out what they know and what you don’t know by asking basic questions instead of assuming you know everything that God has taught me. Let’s go back to the kingdom of darkness study.

We should have learned from this that one primary location of the kingdom of light is inside the human spirit. But is the kingdom of darkness the same? Let’s look at a new verse that we have not covered to see what God said to us on this subject of location.

1Pe 2:9  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

If Christians have now been called out of the darkness into the Light of Day Kingdom then this could change the antithesis truth focus to a brand new perspective. If you are a Christian let me ask you this question, were you previously in a physical dark kingdom or a spiritual dark kingdom? I believe it is obvious that I was in a spiritual dark kingdom.   I hope that you believe that you are now in a spiritual light kingdom because the kingdoms of this world are those that Jesus said for us to not look at. However the concept of light and darkness sounds like the cycle of day and night when the sun rises every morning.

What I am attempting to do is to cause you to think in a brand new way from a different spiritual perspective. A natural kingdom in the natural world can be in darkness for approximately 12 hours and then it would transition into the natural light of the sun for another 12 yours. This day and night concept teaches us a central or single point of change reality. In other words the physical location did not change because it was only the entrance of the light on the location that changed to bring it into the day to leave the night. Wow, I don’t know if you got that or not but this is exactly what we need to know.

This new information about one physical location being changed should cause us to begin to think differently about spiritual kingdoms. The Kingdom of light should be viewed to be the same location as the kingdom of darkness but now with the entrance of light. This means we need to know what light represents in the Bible and that becomes an entire study in itself. If you have read the other Bible lessons that are on my website you should have already learned that God’s light is us knowing his word. We can learn this simple truth by reading Psalms 119:130 for example.

Therefore, the kingdom of light and darkness must be a spiritual condition within the same internal unseen part of the human spirit where God’s word is now present where it did not exist in the darkness before. What I am saying is that the kingdom of darkness are those people that do not have the light of God’s word and the kingdom of light are those that have the light of God’s Word.   Did you understand what I just said? What God is saying is that if Christians have now been transformed into the kingdom of light then it was the same internal region that had previously been darkened until the light arose. Therefore it is only the non-Christians or the unsaved people of the world that are those that are in the kingdom of darkness right now because they have not let God’s light inside their hearts.  Here is a new verse to help us further understand this reality:

Eph 5:8  For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (KJV)

Eph 5:8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (NASB)

I included two different translation versions to help us understand it more clearly. The KJV translation seems confusing and contradictory that we can flip between light and dark at almost any time. But the NASB states it differently to say that we have changed once from darkness to light and the light is now present so we must choose to believe it and walk like the light is present by faith since we do not see any literal light. Practically everything that we have received from God in the N.T. is faith based and you should already know that. I am going to provide a new verse that regresses to the subject study of what the kingdom of darkness is to help us learn where the kingdom of darkness is located. Read this next verse very carefully:

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

Notice that God links the Genesis 1 symbolic topics of speaking light into the darkness in this verse and this information directed us to learn about the subjects of day and night during the creation event. God just gave us a huge clue that the Genesis account meant more than just the natural appearance of our world. Now notice the spiritual application of this creation event where the Light is commanded to shine in the New Testament. The light is shining in our hearts (spirits). Wow, Wow, Wow!!!   This is called symbolic typology where God uses naturally created things in the seen world to teach us about unseen spiritual things in the N.T.   Again this is all a “where” reality but now notice the inclusion of the “what” reality being connected directly to the subject of “where”. Spiritual Light is defined by God to be the “knowledge of Jesus Christ”. Knowledge is a very deep subject that I do not have the time to fully cover in this study. However this knowledge can only be the knowledge of the Word of God. So we have a second witness to what I just said before. I get really excited about the Word of God and how it comes together.

I have really only introduced this subject of where the spiritual kingdom of darkness is located but I just can’t teach the entire subject in a sub-section of a bigger lesson topic. Let’s further confirm the internal location of darkness with a new verse that has not been mentioned so far. We will turn our Bibles to Ephesians chapter 4 and start reading with verse 17:

Eph 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

Eph 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

What is natural blindness? Natural blindness is the inability to see natural light. What is spiritual blindness? Spiritual blindness is the inability to see spiritual light. What was spiritual light according to the definition we just observed in 2 Cor 4:6? Spiritual light is God’s Word and this means spiritual blindness is not being able to see God’s Word. These are just more spiritual basics that every Christian must become aware and learn. What we have seen is a spiritual way to think about two kingdoms that were in the same location but do not exist at the same time in that location. This location is the human spirit and we are all either in one kingdom or the other based upon if we have received the Word of God or not to bring us light.

Now let’s end this section with a new and different perspective on where the kingdom of darkness is located. We should have just learned that the kingdom of darkness resides in the spiritual realm from the several verses that we have encountered on this subject. However, have you ever considered that even spirits have limits to their realm of travel?   There are many Christians that believe spirits can go wherever they like but that is not what the Bible teaches.   We will be going through a few of these verses to demonstrate the limits that God has imposed upon spirits.

Rev 5:13  And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

Have you ever read this verse and observed what was stated? In this verse there are several domains or realms of existence mentioned. Within these realms there are specific “creatures” that exist in each realm.   The three main realms given to us by God in this verse is first heaven, second on the earth and third under the earth. It is implied that the creatures of these realms do not normally travel from one place to the other places. It is interesting to note that the land and sea of the earth are mentioned and these are also two realms that do not normally cross over into each other. People can go underwater for a limited time with proper breathing equipment but normally fish and other sea life cannot live upon the dry land and I think this is an interesting natural concept that relates to the spiritual realms mentioned.

Let’ talk about the realms of heaven and earth to begin. We should know from reading several Bible verses that angels do come from heaven to enter into the earth realm and then can return back to the heavenly realm. We can see this for example in Daniel 10:13 where God sends Gabriel and Michael from heaven with a message to answer a prayer that Daniel prayed. We can also read in Job chapter 1 where Satan and his angels can even go back to heaven from the earth. Maybe you will remember that this reality was expressed by God in Genesis 28:

Gen 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

Hopefully you can see that God tells us the angels are capable of traveling or moving between heaven and earth with what appears to be a staircase like access portal of transportation. The Hebrew word used for ladder can mean something like a “stair case”. This verse implies that there is a way for God to remove the ladder and close this method of transportation between the two realms, but I do not have a direct verse for that right now so that is just my opinion. Now let’s briefly talk about the realms of earth and under the earth mentioned in Revelation 5:13.

Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Here is an example of the realms of earth and under the earth and their participation to how the two interact with each other. Two men on the earth die in this story and Jesus said Lazarus went to Abraham’s bosom and the rich man goes down to hell after their death. This is direct information from Jesus about how the people of the earth traveled after death to below the earth’s surface before the resurrection of Jesus. Both went below the earth but to two different locations.  However after the resurrection of Jesus the Christian people no longer go down to Abraham’s bosom but rather go up to be with the Lord in heaven as described by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:8. But there is more information found here in this story concerning the rich man and Lazarus that should be considered. For example the rich man if you read down in the chapter asks Abraham to send someone back to the earth to warn his brothers not to come to this place of torment. This literally means that the rich man was unable to return to the earth to do this even desiring to return and that is very important to know. It appears from this that people in hell are limited to that location indefinitely. But, we can also learn clearly that people in the realm of Abraham’s bosom can return to the earth if God permits based upon reading the account of the Mount of Transfiguration where Elijah and Moses show up on the earth to talk with Jesus in the flesh (Mark 9:2). The disciples witness this event and want to build a tabernacle to honor the occurrence but Jesus ignores them.

If you have not yet figured out what I am doing I am going through the recorded interactions between three different realms of stated reality in the Bible. We can find where heaven participants can come to the earth. We can find where earthly participants can go up to heaven. We can find where under the earth participant from Abraham’s bosom can come up from there to the earth and we can find where earthly participants can die and go down to under the earth. We have pretty much covered the general terms of interactions between these realms. However, we still need to notice something else found in Luke 16 to help confirm what I taught on spiritual limitations and boundaries being found present. Read this verse very carefully notice what God says through Abraham:

Luk 16:26  And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

Wow, this verse claims that spirit beings can be limited to one place never able to go to the other place. Abraham very clearly states there is a great gulf fixed between us. What this verse claims is that God can put up an implied partition that prevents even spiritual beings from traveling from that place that is being referred to or even to that place. Do you understand the implications of that statement? It is implying that those in hell will not be getting out.   It also implies that those that are saved will not be able to visit hell to see their relatives, friends, spouse or even children in hell. What this further implies is that even with a glorified body, people will not be able to go wherever they think they want to go. Now let’s move into a new realm of thought concerning these three different dimensions of existence. Read this next verse very carefully and determine what is missing and not included:

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

One of the three stated realities is missing from this statement that Jesus spoke of. Why was the realm of under the earth omitted from the rule of Jesus’ authority?   Why didn’t God give Jesus authority over the underworld? I guess I should have explained that the Greek word translated as “power” means authority. This word translated as “power” denotes delegated control over both on the earth’s surface and in heaven.   What this statement implies is that the location for the kingdom of darkness is not in either of these two realms of existence called in heaven or on the earth. The kingdom of darkness cannot be anywhere that the kingdom of light exists and the kingdom of light is definitely all of the realms of Jesus’ authority. What we are learning is the final location of the kingdom of darkness.   God is teaching us by indirect reference that wherever Jesus does not rule, Satan will rule. We have already seen that Satan controls the hearts of unsaved people. Now we are seeing that these unsaved people will reside in hell and this is where they will be ruled for an eternity.   Let’s look at another Bible verse about this truth found in 2 Peter.

2Pe 2:4  For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

Hell is described to be a place that exists under the earth. I have another series on the reality of hell so I will not repeat all of those verses in this study. This verse contains more confirmation and further information of the inability to come out of the realm of hell. The angels that sinned are those that have fallen with Satan and these are further reduced to mean that those that had sex with the daughters of men in Genesis 5. These were the angels that have been bound in a realm of darkness using a symbolic representation of chains keeping them from leaving that realm. We have just observed God’s ability to limit even angels from moving place to place. These were angels that previously walked in heaven but now have left their place there to be cast into hell.

I have just introduced you to the subject of where is the kingdom of darkness. It is presently in the hearts of men and women that have not heard the Gospel or did not believe the Gospel because of the blindness of their hearts. These people have the chance of leaving that kingdom of darkness to enter into the kingdom of light if they receive the knowledge of Jesus by faith before they die and then as we have observed there is no second chance given to them.

CONCLUSION

We have been going through the 5 W’s (Who, What, When, Where and Why) of the kingdom of darkness. We did not cover the subject of why the kingdom of darkness exists. That is a very complex deep and controversial subject and would probably take more than what I wrote here to describe it. This could be your homework if you want to extend the effort and if you are brave I would like to hear about what you find in the Bible. Please do the homework and share your answer with everyone to “why the kingdom of darkness” exists.

I thank you so very much for being a faithful reader and serious Bible student.   If you have enjoyed learning from these lessons please tell your friends about the website so more can come and see what God is doing.   Until the next lesson may God continue to bless you and keep you strong spiritually, mentally and physically as you grow in His marvelous grace! God Bless.

Bible Answers: When did Satan Fall from Heaven?

Lightning194(ver 1.1)  This will be a detailed advanced Bible answer to a very difficult question that I received from someone after they read the Revelation 12 series of lessons found on this website.  This is an advanced Bible study designed to be only for spiritually mature Christians.  Spiritually mature to me is defined as anyone that has been born again and Spirit filled more than 5 years that has studied the Bible continually during this time to allow spiritual growth of the fruits of the Spirit to occur.  You may or may not agree with that definition but this is generally how God has taught me to view it.  This Bible lesson will go over some very technical concepts even though I will attempt to describe them as simply as I can.  This Bible lesson will introduce some new concepts you have never heard before and thus it will be controversial in nature.  I ask you to be the judge of your spiritual maturity.  If you feel that you do not qualify to meet the criteria for an advanced Bible study I would recommend that you go study a different Bible lesson on my website.  I try to warn new Christians of this at the beginning of many of my advanced Bible lessons so that I do not offend anyone with a meat lesson when they are in need of a milk lesson like Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 3:2.

The root of the reader’s question was “When did Satan fall from heaven?”  The reader’s question arose from the specific part of the Revelation 12 lesson that taught us everything after chapter 4 of Revelation is future tense and has not yet occurred.  This part of the Revelation 12 teaching was established upon a literal interpretation of God’s statement to John from the voice speaking from heaven in Revelation 4:1.  This voice told John to come up to heaven so that he could be shown things that would soon happen after being taken up to heaven.  The clear conclusion drawn from this statement is that nothing that is recorded by John after Revelation 4:1 has yet occurred or the voice from heaven would have been made a liar.  Since the Bible declares that it is impossible for God to lie, I just choose to believe what He said.

Why was this question asked about when Satan fell?   There is a potential conflict brewing with two different verses of the New Testament.  First, reading in Revelation 12:9 you can see that Satan is cast down to the earth never to have a place found in heaven again.   This would indicate that the casting down of Satan from heaven is a future event and has not transpired based upon Revelation 4:1.  But my reader was prompt to point out that in Luke 10:18 Jesus claimed to have seen (translated as beheld a past tense English word) Satan fall from heaven like lightning and this would cause a major conflict with what I taught in the Revelation 12 series if they are speaking of the same event fall.  The statement that Jesus makes in Luke appears to indicate that Satan has already been cast down from heaven.  So which one is it?  Did Satan already fall from heaven as stated by Jesus in the KJV or will Satan’s fall occur in the future as indicated by Revelation 12?  Or has Satan already fallen once in the past and then in the tribulation he will fall from heaven again for the last time?  There are just so many possibilities and difficult questions to answer and learn about.

IS EVERYTHING AFTER REVELATION 4:1 IN THE FUTURE?

This section will be a review of what God said in the previous lessons on the “True Identity of the Woman in Revelation 12”.  If you have read that and do not dispute what I taught then you could skip this section of review.  However if you would like to learn some new things concerning this and how we resolve this significant Bible conflict please continue to read.  A potential scripture conflict is the reason for the rest of this Bible lesson today.  It is impossible for the Bible to be in direct opposition to itself when every verse is interpreted correctly.  Therefore, if anyone wants to learn when Satan was thrown down from heaven please continue to read otherwise you can go find another Bible lesson on this website concerning a different subject that you are interested in learning.  I hope that you understand the problem and want to learn the resolution.  Let’s review the verse in Revelation 4:1 to begin our study to resolve another Bible controversy on whether Revelation 12 is future tense or past tense or both:

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

The Greek word G3326 which was translated as “hereafter” is also many times translated as “after” or “afterward”.  If you are observant you will notice that the verse begins with this word.  In this usage it indicates a position of time beyond the current/present timeframe using a logical order of expressed or implied events in their proper arranged sequence.  I hope that did not sound too technical.  I’ll try to explain.  For example if event A occurs first, followed by event B next and these are followed finally by event C, then B would come “after” A and C would be “after” both A and B in their collated sequence.  Do you understand the concept of ordered arrangement and sequence?  These are God created patterns and models and they represent His intelligent design of our world.

Keep in mind that this same Greek word is used several times in this exact manner to state a preceding event followed by another subsequent stated event like in “after (G3326) 6 days Jesus takes them up” (Mat 17:1).  Using this definition that I just gave you it is very plain that at the conclusion of a 6 day event a new event of going up with Jesus is the stated to occur.  Now take this information back to what was given to us by God in Revelation 4:1.  God’s usage of this word in Revelation 4:1 means after the event where John was taken up to heaven he will be shown more events that will come in the future and this is actually a very important concept for the rest of this lesson.  This is not rocket science but people still refuse to believe what God just said.  Let me give you the sequence of events given to us in Revelation 4:1:

  1. After things recorded in the first 3 chapters
  2. John is taken to heaven
  3. John is shown the future
  4. The future is given in ordered logical sequence

There were four ordered steps given by God in this verse.  I have concluded in step 4 that the future is given to John by God in sequential order because of the establishment of order from the preceding steps.  In other words the revealed future events are simply an extension of the previous steps given.  Therefore, nothing in the future could be random, unordered or chaotic when shown to John to write down.  Knowing these facts, any attempt to interpret any recorded event of Revelation 5 through 22 as a “past tense” historical event renders God as a liar.  Was God incapable of understanding the difference between future tense events and past tense events?  I personally do think so and just choose to believe what God says, don’t you?

Now let me quickly get into this point about Revelation 4:1.  The apostle John was a prophet of God, yes?  Wasn’t John just shown the future before it had occurred?   Could this have been given to him by a divine spiritual vision from God?  I believe firmly that it was a divine vision of the future.  After this vision of the future what would John’s description of these events have been to those that he was speaking to in the natural?   Do you understand what I am asking you?   John talking about the woman in Revelation 12 would have said “I beheld a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet” and this would have been a past tense statement even though it had not yet occurred.   Now do you see it?   John the prophet could speak like it had happened even though it was still yet to come.   I want you to keep this in mind as we study what Jesus said about seeing Satan fall from heaven like lightning.

The fact that Revelation 4:1 states that the things following are future events causes many Bible teachers great turmoil and confusion simply because they cannot or do not yet understand how some of these recorded events in Revelation can be events that have not already occurred.  For example the vast majority of Bible teachers teach that the pregnant woman of Revelation 12 is the historical account of the birth of Jesus.  These Bible teachers simply believe that some events like this one in Revelation 12 concerning the pregnant woman were recorded by John “out of sequence” from the stated timeline of reference given to us clearly by God.  However, just because someone does not understand how an event can happen in the future does not mean that it will not happen and you need to know that.   One natural woman giving birth to a natural male child named Jesus in the Gospels does not mean that this same type of event can not or will not spiritually occur again in the future?  I probably just lost a lot of readers making that statement.  You see the woman in Revelation 12 is a spiritual woman and not a natural woman as I have already taught you in that lesson series on this chapter.  She is symbolic by definition because she is wearing symbolic clothing and standing on a symbolic figure of Satan.  This symbolic woman cannot be Mary.  This symbolic woman cannot be natural Israel either.  I’m not going to teach this again so if you do not understand it go read those lessons and believe what God says.

There are just so many Christian people who are not thinking spiritually in this world.  I wish people would quit pretending that they understand the whole Bible because only God knows it all and the rest of us are still learning.  Please stop making assumptions in your mind that limit what God is capable of doing.  If you did not just comprehend what I said, I will say it again using different words to help everyone realize that I believe firmly that everything after Revelation 4:1 happens in literal chronological order and has not yet occurred because the beginning of the 7 year tribulation period has not yet begun.   If you still do not understand what chronological means, it is a word that defines a situation where one event comes after another event and they do not and cannot occur out of the ordered sequence of time.

Here is the problem with many teachers’ interpretation of the book of Revelation.  They are viewing things from a narrowed perspective of traditional theological teachings filled with error and not thinking or taking into account the facts provided by God.  Also they do not rightly divide between which verses are literal statements and which are symbolic or figurative statements.  Further they do not discern correctly between spiritual realities and natural realities.  Many Bible teachers must ignore Revelation 4:1 in order to teach an out of sequence series of events.   They are very creative in doing this and it often appears legitimate until we read the verse in Revelation 4:1 and actually begin to believe what God literally said.   One of the number one rules of correct Bible interpretation will be for us to take the Bible literally when it makes sense to do so.  Revelation 4:1 is an example of this type of verse that states a literal truth that needs to be incorporated and balanced with the rest of the book of Revelation.

I will point out that I have heard Bible teachers revert back to the first chapter of Revelation in order to explain how things later in the book occur out of sequence.  They use a statement made by Jesus to help justify what they teach about Revelation 12 being out of timed sequence.  I will give you this statement by the Lord Jesus to help you better judge this attempt at believing an out of sequence book of Revelation:

Rev 1:19  Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

It is clear that Jesus tells John to write these things for us to read.  Therefore the entire book of Revelation is a revealing of God’s wisdom from the lips of Jesus Christ.  You need to understand that “revelation” in the Greek language means “uncovering” or “to take off the cover”.  Therefore God has placed information in this book that is very important to understand the rest of the Bible.   But, then Jesus divides these written things into three separate categories of timed events or references of time.   These three categories were the things that were “past”, the things that are “present” and the things that shall be hereafter in the “future”.  However did you just notice that these three timings were listed by God in the chronological order that they occur and they were not given to us out of sequence?   That is the first very important thing that needs to be understood.  Jesus is giving us an indirect clue to how things are ordered and arranged in the book of Revelation.  Jesus confirms with this statement that the entire book is in chronological order.   Then notice that the Greek word for the future events (G3326; hereafter) is the same Greek word used by God in Revelation 4:1 for the same future events.  In other words God is very consistent in the definition of this Greek word for “hereafter” in the book of Revelation when it is used in this manner.

I have heard at least one Bible teacher try to take this verse attempting to explain how the book of Revelation contains past, present and future events which is a true statement.  However they make an error when then they say these events occur in random order in the book.  They misapply this verse to explain why certain chapters appear to have information that they think are not chronological.  They claim that since Jesus said this book contains every category of timed information that it may legally display these in any random order.  However, that would be an erroneous assumption based upon ignorance and it would still contradict with what God said in Revelation 4:1.  Which is true?  Is Jesus speaking in Revelation 1:19 true or is the voice coming from heaven in Revelation 4:1 true?  I will tell you plainly that both statements are correct and are the truth but they both do not apply to the whole rest of the book.  The statement of Jesus is true for the first three chapters of Revelation and the statement of God in Genesis 4 is true for the rest of the book being future tense.  This is not that complicated people.  Please pray and ask God to open your spiritual eyes so that you can learn the truth.

ASKING JESUS WHEN SATAN FELL

The previous part of the lesson was just the introduction for the answer to the real question.  The question asked by the reader was based upon the fact that if the later chapters after chapter 4 of Revelation are future tense “how could Jesus’ state in Luke 10:18 that He saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” be also true?   I think I have already given you the answer to this problem but we will verify that answer using the Bible to confirm the truth.  Perhaps it would be wise to give you the exact verse in question that appears to contradict with the statement of Revelation 12 to help us understand the apparent predicament:

Luk 10:18  And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

Here is Jesus making the statement that He personally “beheld” (past tense) Satan falling from heaven.  If this is a correct translation then it causes us major problems to determine when this occurred.  Since Jesus spoke these words prior to the implementation of the New Covenant it is logical to concluded that this must have occurred somewhere in the Old Testament.  I looked and I could not find any verses that said this.  But, perhaps you have seen a verse somewhere in the Old Testament that I have not seen.  Perhaps you can share it with me so that I might learn if you know of any past recorded Bible event prior to the Gospels where Satan is stated to have fallen from heaven?  Do you know of any?  I believe that I found O.T. prophecies of this occurring in the future but that is not the same as a historical event.  I believe us not finding any verses prior to this statement that Satan has been cast down from heaven makes me think it has not occurred and thus we need to resolve why this verse was translated as past tense like it had already happened.

What my reader was asking was how could Jesus have already seen this event describing that it had previously transpired when Revelation 12 has not yet occurred?  This is where we must learn the correct way to study the Bible.  God gives us many hidden clues to find truths if we can locate them and use this information to correctly join and fit them together correctly.  I’m really not sure if you understand what I just said or not?  Everyone wants to see the truth easily without any extended effort and that is not how we find the truth by God’s design.  I am going to show you many of the keys to understanding and resolving this conflict.  Please, continue reading with an open mind and you will see it also.

Personally I have only found a limited number of scriptures concerning Satan falling from heaven.  One prophecy is found in Revelation 12 that points us to this future event occurring during the tribulation.  Then you can also find this prophecy of Satan falling in the book of Ezekiel if you read Ezekiel 28:16.   I think I will give you this prophecy so that you can review what God says about it:

Eze 28:16  By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

The covering cherub being referenced in this verse is believed to be Satan.  God declares that he will be cast out of the mountain of God.  If you do not understand that this is a reference to God’s kingdom in heaven, I’m sorry but I don’t really have the time to try to explain it in depth today.   The translators clearly state this to be a future tense statement and I firmly believe this to be very accurate.  If you study you will find that the book of Ezekiel was written close to 600 years before Christ’s appearance.  Now using Ezekiel’s prophecy we must logically determine that this casting down event has not yet occurred before Ezekiel wrote this book.  We are definitely narrowing the scope of time when this event could have possibly occurred.  I hope you can agree that Satan could not have fallen or been cast out of heaven prior to the writing of the book of Ezekiel, but still you could have seen something I have not.  Let me give you another verse of prophecy concerning Satan’s fall:

Isa 14:12  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

Here is another verse that is probably mistranslated.  Again the translators changed the Hebrew word H5307 to “fallen” a past tense variation of the word.  This Hebrew word is defined as “to fall”.  That sounds future tense to me.  If you read the context of this statement you will find more information about it happening in the future.  For example in verse 15 God says “You shall be brought down to hell, the sides of the pit” and this was translated as future tense.  Then in verse 24 God makes a statement that is very profound and important to note about what has just been spoken previously through the Prophet Isaiah:

Isa 14:24  The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:

God tells us clearly these are His thoughts spoken and that these will come to pass.  Therefore I am still a firm believer that Satan has not yet been cast out of heaven but will be as established by the Word of God.  We could spend a lot more time going through O.T. prophecies but I think I will move on.  Let’s go back to Luke 10:18 and look into this verse in some more detail.  We need to ask did Jesus really say this had already occurred in the Greek language?  Let’s review the Greek word translated as “beheld” to learn its definition in the Strong’s:

G2334

From a derivative of G2300 (perhaps by adverb of G3708); to be a spectator of, that is, discern, (literally, figuratively [experience] or intensively [acknowledge]): – behold, consider, look on, perceive, see. Compare G3700.

If you can read and understand the definition it should become evident that this word is normally a present tense view of something that is currently happening right now.  The person performing this verb is stated to be a current observer.  This Greek word occurs in around 55 verses of the New Testament.  In 40 of these verses it is clearly translated in the present tense version of “see”, “seeing”, “seeth”, “beholding”, “looking on”, “behold”, “beholding” and etc.   However I will agree that it can also be legally translated as a past tense observation and either way could potentially be correct.   But, this determination is also more complicated than this as we will soon learn.  What we need to determine is Jesus seeing the event as He is speaking or has He seen the even at some time in the past?   Both are technically possible since Jesus Christ is God in the flesh.  But just because Jesus has seen the event does not still necessarily mean that it has transpired just like John saw the future in Revelation.  Please understand that God is omniscient and has seen everything even before it occurs.  God can show a human the future before it occurs and it is in God’s sovereign control to do so.  Uh oh, now you can begin to see where I’m going, can’t you?  Let’s review another statement that Jesus declared about this potential event:

Joh 12:31  Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

I believe that there are at least three events that can be confused as one event within prophecies.  These three separate events are 1). the rebellion of Satan, 2). the casting out of Satan from heaven and 3). the casting out of Satan from the earth into hell.   This statement here in John could be either of the last two.   Confusing or combining multiple prophetic events into the same event is a very common cause of error.  We can see this in multiple instances.  For example the rapture of the church is often confused with the second advent of Christ but these events must also be viewed as separate or confusion will abound.

Here in John 12:31 Jesus is talking about Satan calling him the prince or ruler of this world that will be cast out.  This statement does not appear to be translated as past tense and should be regarded as a future tense prophecy.  It is not stated directly when Satan is to be cast out from this verse.  It also does not state directly where Satan will be cast out from.  It could be taken as the world that is being referenced or it could be heaven or even both.  I personally believe that this prophecy could be the same prophecy as we have already observed in Ezekiel or it could also be a reference to the prophecy in Isaiah 14:15 where Satan is cast into hell.  This is why studying prophecy is so complicated.  Let’s look quickly at another verse that is interesting and many teachers attribute this verse to Satan falling from heaven:

Rev 9:1  And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

If you do not understand yet that the symbol of “stars” in much of the Bible normally represents the angels in heaven then this is the first thing you need to learn.  We know that stars represent angels by reading in Isaiah 14:13, Revelation 1:20 and Revelation 12:4 to name three witnesses to this fact.  This verse is describing an angel coming down from heaven at an implied fast rate of speed.  However, this angel cannot be Satan because this angel holds the key to the bottomless pit where Satan will be cast later in Revelation 20:3.  It is logical to deduce if Satan is thrown into this pit by force later in Revelation that it cannot be him that holds the keys to it coming down from heaven.  As I have stated before, I also firmly believe that Revelation is in chronological time order and if Satan falls from heaven in Revelation 9 then it conflicts with him falling from heaven in Revelation 12.  I hope you can agree with this basic logic.  Let’s review the verse in Revelation 12:9 that would need to become a past tense out of chronological sequence event to potentially be harmonized with the statement of Jesus in Luke if they are speaking of the same event.

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

My reader made a valid interesting point that Luke 10:18 appear to contradict with what Revelation 4:1 and Revelation 12:9 appear to say.  But perhaps we have not considered all of the facts before assuming there is a controversy.  You see it is impossible for the Bible to contradict the Bible if both verses are accurately interpreted and accurately translated.  Also if Jesus had already seen Satan fall from heaven then it must have happened sometime after the book of Ezekiel and before Jesus was born in the manger.  You do understand the existence of verses in the O.T. that state that Satan has access to heaven, don’t you?   For example, Satan is clearly seen to be in heaven in the book of Job.

Job 1:6  Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

Here is a great example that Satan and his angels come to present themselves before God’s throne in heaven.  This is a spiritual location and not a physical or natural one.  If God allowed Satan to be present in heaven then the final fall of Satan from heaven has not yet occurred.  Can you agree with this?  If Satan has access to heaven in the Old Testament can we ask if he still has access in the New Testament?  Let’s go and read Revelation 12:8 next to see what is stated by God about Satan:

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

Didn’t God just declare that Satan’s place is now no longer found in heaven after this war?  That statement literally means that Satan had a place in heaven right up until this war event concluded, doesn’t it?  Can we agree that Satan had a right to be in heaven before this statement?  Perhaps you don’t see it yet, but that is what God just said.  I think we need to read down to verse 10 to help confirm what God just said in this verse 8 statement:

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

Please read this verse very carefully and consider what God just said.   Notice the phrase “Now is come..”.  Then notice that this is being spoken from heaven.  This phrase indicates multiple time periods with “past, present and future” implications occurring.  God is stating something that use to be that has changed at this stated present time and this will cause something different to occur in the future.  Pay particular attention to the last part of the statement.  God says “for the accuser of our brethren is cast down which did accuse them before our God day and night”.  The accuser of our brethren is Satan.  The brethren are those in the church.  Now do you see it?  This verse said that Satan was in heaven standing before God to accuse Christians, doesn’t it?   Uh oh, I thought Jesus said that Satan had been cast down from heaven like lightning? How then could Satan still have access in heaven to accuse Christians before God?  A little light bulb should be coming on in your brain right about now.   This verse claims that Satan continued to do what he did with Job in the book of Job going before God to accuse God’s righteous ones. If this is true and it is, then it is impossible for the statement of Jesus in Luke 10:18 to be fully interpreted or understood in the way that my reader with the question wanted to understand it.  In other words Jesus was telling us of an event that had not occurred even though he had already been given a vision of it occurring.  Let me prove to you that Jesus claimed to be a prophet of God:

Mar 6:4  But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

Here is Jesus speaking about the people of his own hometown where he was raised.  Jesus claims to be a prophet of God and he says no prophet is given any honor by those that knew him.  If Jesus is a prophet what is that?   How do you define what a prophet is and what they do?  I will give you the fast definition.  A prophet is called a “seer”.  A seer is someone who sees and foretells the future before it occurs.  This literally means that Jesus’ statements must be judged correctly to whether they are past, present or future references.  Jesus is capable of speaking of the past in many verses.  Jesus is also capable of speaking of the present time in many verses and finally Jesus can also speak of things that have not occurred in many verses.  I am a firm believer that the statement of Jesus in Luke 10:18 is a future account of an event that has not officially transpired.  But you can believe what you like if you disagree.

CONCLUSION

God is a self-existent being with no stated beginning and no stated ending.  God lives inside the dimension of eternity outside of the created dimension of time.  The Bible very clearly states that God makes known the end from the beginning (Isa 46:10).  If God knows what the future holds then God can and will tell us of it before it occurs as proved by the Bible consistently.  Reading Luke 4:24 Jesus claimed to be a prophet.  A prophet will always tell us of the future before the future occurs.  A prophet is also called God’s seer and voice.  A prophet will see things in visions before they literally occur in our reality and write them down for us to learn from.  This is exactly what Jesus is saying in this verse:

Joh 13:19  Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.

Did you see what Jesus declared?  Jesus teaches us that He will tell us of things to come so that when they occur people will believe in Him.  All of the evidence that I have found in the Bible about Satan being cast out of heaven points us to an event that has not occurred.  This event will take place after the war in heaven between Michael and his angels and Satan and his angels somewhere directly before the Great Tribulation period described in the book of Revelation.  Satan will continue to accuse Christians until this occurs.  He will dispute our righteousness because we are imperfect people that have been saved by the divine grace and mercy of God.  I thank you for taking the time to read this Bible lesson.  I hope and pray that you received some new knowledge that you did not know before on this subject.  If you have any questions or comments you are free to leave them with me and I will do my best to get to them all.  God Bless you until next time.

Understanding Isaiah 53 The Savior Jesus Christ Described in Extraordinary Detail – Part 2

Isaiah-Bible-Series(ver 1.1)  This is Part 2 in the Isaiah 53 Bible lesson series designed to help discover, learn and understand the prophesied coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.   In this series we will see who Jesus was stated to be, what He was stated to accomplish and how we are to be affected by these prophesied divine works.   If you have not read “Part 1” I would recommend that you go and start with the introduction to this subject in order to understand the foundation for the rest of the Chapter.  In the first lesson I focused mainly upon verse 1 and gave several verses found in the N.T. to help explain why this chapter is so important for us to understand.  We will now continue to go through verse 2 in Isaiah 53 to see what was described for the concealed unnamed individual that was foretold to come.  The book of Isaiah was written approximately 700 years before Jesus Christ was physically born on the earth.  That gives us a perspective that these written words were a distant prediction and we will soon see additional confirmation within the New Testament that this person being spoken of was definitely Jesus Christ.  In the first lesson I believe I clearly showed you that this chapter was used to preach the saving Gospel in the book of Acts even to get a Gentile man from Africa saved and baptized.  This man from Africa came to Jerusalem searching for truth and God sent to him a preacher to explain the words of God that he was reading directly from Isaiah 53.  That was a very important Bible lesson to help us to begin to see who this chapter was designed to be about and the chapter’s primary subject theme to be salvation of all mankind.

So often people want to read the chapters and verses found in the Old Testament and believe that they can understand all of the words without first understanding the God given words that explain them in the New Testament.   That is an example of complete foolish human pride to think that way.   Why would God give us a New Testament full of divine revelations, explanations and definitions if they were not all important for us learn from and apply to what was hidden in the Old Testament?   Did you know that the Old Testament is quoted in almost one in every 22 verses of the New Testament?   That means that God took what was previously written before and brought everyone brand new light to it for us to understand something that no one knew before.  I hope that if you learn nothing else from this Bible series that you will learn to study the Old Testament using the vital information revealed within the New Testament.  If you are reading the Old Testament in complete isolation then you are exactly like the Ethiopian man who was sitting reading while wondering what the words meant because he needed a New Testament preacher to explain them to him.   Wow, I hope and pray that you understood what I just said.

In this Bible lesson today one of my primary goals will be to show how Isaiah 53:2 was fulfilled in the New Testament writings to further demonstrate to us that Jesus was the focused subject of this chapter.  One of the other goals of this study will be to teach you how much detail you can derive from just a single O.T. verse.  In this series I will be going over what the verses in Isaiah say and then will be reviewing N.T. verses that will show us the hidden Jesus of Isaiah. But before I do this since it has been so long from the first lesson I will do some brief review of the first lesson concerning the message of salvation.   In the first lesson I explained to you that these saving works of God recorded in Isaiah 53 were received by men and women using their faith.  We also connected faith to believing from Isaiah 53:1.  We learn from God’s Word in Roman 10:17 that faith can only come by hearing the Gospel preached by a preacher.    Many Christians do not put the puzzle pieces together correctly.   God teaches us so much in a distributed manner and we are required to join each of them together correctly to understand how they all work together.  For example let me give you the verse that goes along with what I just said and how it was necessary for a preacher to come to the Ethiopian man in Acts for him to receive Christ:

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

This verse describes precisely how the Ethiopian man in Acts was saved.  Did you understand the connection between the three essential elements of preaching, hearing and believing?   This was a divinely created design given to us by the wisdom of God almighty for salvation.  We must begin to understand this in order to comprehend why people cannot normally read the O.T. in isolation and know what it means.   It would be good for you go back and reread Isaiah 53:1 again.  God is clearly talking about humans believing the Gospel here in Romans 10 and He tells us that we need to hear a preacher with the Gospel of Jesus in order to believe it.   Remember “Who will believe our report?”

This is so important that I believe I need to say it again.  You see from this lesson in Acts we learned that reading the Old Testament is not always the answer for our salvation unless the reader comes to understand the words on the pages correctly.  How did the Ethiopian man come to understand them?  He was told them by a God sent preacher and that required him to hear and believe.  That is what faith represents.  The Ethiopian had no new words to read and could only believe the report that was told to him about Jesus.  That is called believing without any evidence and that is exactly what faith is.  You see in Hebrews 11: 6 it clearly says that without faith it is impossible to please Him.  How then can a man be saved without having any God pleasing faith?   Do you understand the necessity for a preacher now?  I hope that you understand that God will usually only explain the O.T. words by teaching them to people through a N.T. preacher.   That is the system that was planned by God and we are to follow it.   Trying to do it some other way is clearly a pathway to deception.

In the first verse I showed you how it was quoted in the New Testament to bring out a new way of existence for the people on the earth to learn to live by, to follow in and to walk accordingly.   This radical new way of existence is revealed to be the human transition or transformation from walking by our sight into a life based upon us walking by faith and believing in God’s Word (2 Cor 5:7).  This life of faith is based only upon us believing as it was clearly stated in verse 1 “Who has believed our report?”   When a person hears a preacher speak the Word of God, the listener has the immediate opportunity and responsibility to believe it and accept it or doubt it and reject it.   Hearing and believing is the essential foundation for possessing faith as I stated earlier.   I would also like to emphasize that the Bible in Romans 10:10 teaches us that believing is of the heart (spirit) of man.  This makes faith and believing a spiritual reality and not a physical one or even a mental one.  Therefore, heart faith in His Word is found present in the spirit of man by God even though that person possesses no physical evidence to prove to others that God exists.   Nevertheless God declares that they are saved by believing the report through His Grace (Rom 10:10, Eph 2:8).   Faith is a vital lesson to learn in the Bible.  I hope that you all have studied the series of lessons on this website about this subject.

We have therefore concluded that Isaiah 53 must contain the basic essential Gospel message that was necessary for every human salvation to occur and I taught that this is the foundation for understanding the rest of the chapter.   We still desire to learn more about the descriptions concerning Jesus spoken of in this chapter and how they apply to Him.   We additionally want to learn about what was prophesied to transpire as well as how these subjects, relationships and applications of each prophecy apply to us in the church today.  How do these ancient words written so long ago affect us in the right here and now?   Why are they important to learn?   Are they still relevant and rich with any spiritual content for us to grow with?    We will soon find out as we continue to study in this series.  In the first lesson I primarily focused on the first verse of Isaiah 53.  In today’s lesson I will be mainly concentrating on the second verse in the chapter.  Let’s read the second verse carefully and see what God says.

ISAIAH 53:2

Isa 53:2  For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

Read this verse wisely and observe the very unusual words and descriptions given to us concerning two unnamed or anonymous men.  At first glance it almost appears to be a brand new subject entirely from verse 1 but that is only because we do not understand the application and significance.  God uses a very unusual way of hiding the truth in plain sight that I call the “anonymous third person” writing style.   By referring to Himself using this style of anonymity it appears it could refer to anyone.  However I have discovered that the primary focus of the entire Old Testament is the Lord Jesus and that is what this verse is clearly about.  Just notice that this second verse of Isaiah 53 is speaking about two uniquely different men (males).   One is an observer and the other is the participant of the observation.  Those are opposite roles being described.  This is the first significant fact to write down and remember from this verse.

As you can read this verse says “He (man 2) will grow up before Him (man 1)” and that is plainly speaking concerning someone who grows and someone who observes the growth.   I labeled the second man mentioned the first man and the first man mentioned the second man for a logical reason.  There is no reference for the observer as needing any growth so the observer must already be grown and mature.  There is direct stated basic logical need for the first mentioned man to grow and mature.  Therefore the order of implied age dictates that the observer is older than the one implied younger man that will grow up.  Nothing else makes good sense for the correct interpretation of this verse.

Please do not get too distracted by this divine mystery of anonymity because these two men are simply symbolic references for the Spirit of God called the Father in heaven and Jesus the Son who was born on the earth to grow up to be seen by His Father in heaven.  I do not have the time to teach the full subject of “The Trinity of God” in this lesson.  God is described as being only one God in the Bible but He is also revealed to humans as three separate personalities (1 Jn 5:7).  So if you do not understand this or believe it you need to go read and study the Bible lessons on my website about this subject.   We need to understand this fact of the Father and Son relationship in Isaiah 53:2.   When my son was a growing child I clearly observed his growth and development.  That is exactly what is being spoken of in this verse even though it was not directly mentioned.   But in order to know this we next need to understand what type of “growth” is being spoken of concerning this coming individual.  We will begin to focus on the meaning of growth next.  But before we go there also notice that this statement being made by God is very clearly presented to be a future tense event.  In other words the verse did not say “He is growing (present tense) or he has grown (past tense) but rather “shall grow” (future tense).  That truth comes from just basic observation and represents the nature of prophecy.  Before we proceed to the meaning of “grow” let’s take a moment to speak about literal Bible statements versus figurative Bible statements.

There are actually several symbolic or figurative (non-literal) descriptions being used by God in the verse in Isaiah 53:2.  Any symbolic statement needs to be correctly interpreted in order to discover their meaning and application to this coming described man 2.   Too often people want to make the Bible entirely literal or entirely figurative and both are extremes of error that will cause only confusion.  Being able to recognize what is literal and what is a figurative or symbolic statement sounds simple but it is not consistently agreed upon by many Bible teachers much less their Bible students.   However this is what God called “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (2 Tim 2:15).   Learning how to do this is an essential part of correct Bible study.  I wish I had a magic formula for how to do this.  But most of the time it is the Holy Spirit inside that will guide us into which is literal and which is figurative.   Being open to God’s leading will cause you to see it correctly if you are studying the Bible using your faith.   Bible study performed by faith is the only way to please God.  This simply means that you read a verse without completely understanding everything immediately but believe that God will show you everything that you need to know about it as you continue to study it.  Having confidence and trusting God to show you is part of a “faith study”. Never go into studying any verse thinking that you fully know and understand it all.  Be open and ask God to teach you and then expect for Him to do it.  God can show you something brand new from any single verse that you have read a thousand times.  Believe and expect God to unfold it to you and He will.  Let’s start breaking down the second verse in Isaiah 53.

HE SHALL GROW UP BEFORE HIM

We will divide the second verse of Isaiah 53 into at least three or four distinct phrases.  I’ll select the initial study phrase as “He shall grow up before him” to be analyzed first.   The primary verb in this phrase is “grow up” (H5927).  The English dictionary defines “growth” as the process of increasing in physical size.   We should be able to understand that any type of growth represents a process of becoming more mature.   Therefore the observer in this phrase is seeing the other man developing, increasing and maturing and this will be the visible signs of his growth.   We can conclude several different potential meanings and applications from this single statement concerning the normal development, growth or maturing process.  There is always the natural human application of a child’s physical development when born into the world.  Every new born baby has the potential to grow to be a man or a woman over the course of time by God’s design.   Therefore, physical or natural growth is certainly a prime application for this described process found in Isaiah 53:2.  There is also the mental application where every human baby must grow and increase in knowledge, understanding and wisdom which none of us are born with automatically from birth.  Finally there is the spiritual application which must be applied to a Christian as they gain spiritual maturity.   Spiritual maturity is covered in other Bible lessons on this website so I will not be getting into that part of the subject fully today.  What I want you to understand is that there at least 3 realms of potential maturity present in every human and these were physical, mental and spiritual growths.

The Hebrew word H5927 which was translated as “grow up” literally means “to ascend”.  It is very similar to a person climbing a very tall mountain like Mt Everest.  This Hebrew word presents to us the image of the initial human status to be a state of lowliness which needs to be increased or raised to a much higher level in altitude, stature, importance or it can also be used for the recognition of increased power, knowledge or ability.   Those definitions actually describe Jesus in many distinct ways.   What we learn from this one statement is a view into a sensitive subject that is widely debated in the modern church.  Was Jesus fully divine or fully human at His birth?   And I must begin to tell you clearly that He was both simultaneously to some extent.   What many Christians try to teach us is that Jesus was born here on the earth in His full deity power but that is clearly not what the Bible just taught you.   If Jesus was God in His full deity power there would be no need for him to ascend higher to grow or increase because this would be impossible for God to do in a full power manifestation.  The simple fact that Jesus must grow and increase is evidence to the fact that He was here on the earth in a predominately human capacity in order to fulfill a divine purpose that will be further confirmed as we continue to study this chapter.  Are you with me so far?

What we will discover as we continue to study the Bible is that the supreme God of heaven lowered Himself by divine choice to come to the earth in the form of a created human baby to grow in order to become a man that could die for the sins of the entire world.   Again it would be impossible to kill Jesus if He was God in His full deity power.   I really hope and pray that you can agree with those statements because they are very relevant to understanding the rest of the New Testament.   It was only after the death and resurrection of Jesus that He was raised back up into heaven and again exalted to be Supreme (Mat 28:18).  This as I have just stated is a highly controversial topic.  Whenever God is described to lower Himself from His supreme position of authority to become a human as it was clearly indicated in the fact that He must grow (ascend) people recoil and think God must have misspoken or not meant what He said.  There has been so many false teaching and false gospels written by devil inspired men.  These writings claim the child Jesus did many miracles of a nature to prove his divinity.  That is not what the real Bible says so please do not be easily misled by these lies.

I can see how this information is potentially offensive to many Christians but please bear with me until you see how this part of the prophecy was actually fulfilled in the New Testament.  I’ll begin with these verses found in Luke about the very young child Jesus.

Luk 2:5  To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

Luk 2:6  And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

Luk 2:7  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Here is a partial description of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.   We can clearly read in verse 5 concerning the natural human child development process taking place within the body of Mary.  The Greek word G1471 that was translated as “great with child” means to swell.  That is a self-evident growth statement.  Mary is described to now be “great” or “swollen” because of the child inside.  This simply means it has been nearly 9 months of development in earth’s time and this child that has come from the union of her physical egg and God’s Word has now grown and developed into a boy child that is about to be delivered in verse 7.   Clearly this is an example of the natural human growth process that occurs every day on the earth which was designed and created by God.   We must understand that God the Spirit has taken upon Himself human flesh and come to the earth in the form of a developing embryo within the physical womb of Mary (John 1:14).   Now please consider the implied meanings of this act of God.  This reality would make the developing baby child in her womb a non-speaking human which is totally unable to defend himself.  What did I just say?   I can see the religious people picking up their stones to throw at me right now.  What I just said was that Jesus while in the womb had taken the form of extreme vulnerability and lowliness.    If you do not believe me then you are living in a fantasy reality that ignores the millions and millions of abortions that take place on this planet.  Truly if any baby child in the womb was able to defend itself there would be no abortions but since they occur so frequently this was the same situation that Jesus found himself to be in.  Even after a child’s birth they are unable to take care of themselves and must be fed and cared for.  Jesus did not come out of the womb speaking so that is stupid to believe He was fully divine in full power manifestation.

You should be able to understand that before Jesus was born on the earth this child that was definitely God in the flesh was primarily protected by first and foremost the element of surprise since no other human except for Mary and Joseph understood the exact timing of the event even though God had predicted the birth to occur in amazing hidden ways in the Old Testament.   Do you remember when Mary delivered the child in Bethlehem?  The angels announced the child to shepherds (Luke 2:8).  That was the first time that anyone else on the earth during this specific time period found out who had just come into the world.   Later the wise men were guided to the house of Joseph and on their journey there they went through Herod first and that caused every child to be killed that was in or near the country around Bethlehem.    If Jesus would have remained in Bethlehem he too would have been killed.  What we see is divine protection taking place, yet this was certainly not initiated or requested by the little non-speaking child.  Do you understand this?

There were also other recorded interventions by God using angels to help the child to be safe on the earth.  For example in Matthew 2:13 you will find Joseph having a dream where an angel appears to him and tells him to take the child to Egypt.   However, even this intervention just further proves that Jesus was not God on the earth in His full deity power if angels were required to help protect Him.  I hope that you are thinking clearly with me about this subject of growth and seeing what is being taught to us in the Word of God.  What I am attempting to do is demonstrate how Isaiah 53:2 was fulfilled by Jesus in the Gospels.  The first phrase that “He will grow” is clearly being fulfilled here in Luke 2:5-7.  Jesus grows physically and that is the basis of one part of the description that is necessary to accomplish that portion of the prophecy.   Let’s go see some more applications of the spiritual and mental growth process being described to us in this same chapter of Luke:

Luk 2:40  And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

As you should be able to see in this verse Jesus is literally described to be in a state of “growth” within the natural physical realm.   The first part of the verse describes Jesus as being a literal “child” in the normal development cycle and this certainly has direct application to the physical body of our savior.   The Greek word G837 that was translated as “grew” means to “increase”.  That is again a transitional passing or ascension from a lesser form to a more advanced or mature form.   The Greek word for “child” is G3813 and it means “a half grown or young person”.   If you go back to verse 12 in this chapter to compare when the angels tell the shepherds in the field about the birth of Jesus, He is called a “babe” which is a completely different Greek word G1025.   This Greek word G1025 means a literal “infant”.  What we have just witnessed in less than 40 verses is the physical change of Jesus from conception to becoming a twelve year old boy.   This is a big part of the normal child growth process and this was the direct fulfilment of this first phrase of Isaiah 53:2 very precisely.

However, verse 40 also describes Jesus as growing strong in spirit.   Have you ever asked yourself how an omnipotent God could grow any stronger in spirit?  Uh oh?  Obviously this verse contradicts with the modern belief that God was here in His full deity power.   Then notice that this verse says that Jesus was being filled with wisdom.   How could the omniscient God obtain any more wisdom?   Both of these descriptions imply a transitional state from a much lower position of lesser spiritual strength and either no wisdom or less wisdom to a much higher degree of both.  This is clearly a statement used to define His intellectual and spiritual ascent from an inferior childish state.   There are three Greek words in this verse that you should study.   The first Greek word is G837 and it means to increase or enlarge in proportions.   That is a very accurate description of what is occurring.  The next Greek word is translated as “wax strong” and this word is G2901 and it also means “to increase”.   The third Greek word in this description is G4137 and this word means “to fill to overflowing”.  All three of these words teach a transitional phase of increasing from the lesser form to a greater full capacity.  This is absolutely impossible for a God in His full deity power to accomplish.

What I am teaching you from the Bible is that no one can grow in physical size, spiritual power or intellectual wisdom if they already have ALL physical size, ALL spiritual power and ALL wisdom.  This is just a very plain and simple way that God teaches us that Jesus was born as a natural human without His full divine power, knowledge or abilities.   So many people want to say God was here on the earth in His full deity power being fully omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent but that belief would contradict so many verses just like this one.   We must realize that God chose to become a man just like one of us so that we could be raised to be made like Him.  I call this the great exchange where God gives us everything and we get all of the benefits since we have nothing worthy to offer in exchange.  What I wanted you to see in this chapter of Luke was that Jesus was fulfilling Isaiah 53:2 by just growing up in this world physically, mentally and spiritually.   I’ll give you one more verse that helps us to see how the Lord grows or ascends up to fulfill Isaiah 53:2:

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

I mentioned this verse earlier but it is so important that I felt led to reemphasize God’s message again. Here we observe a statement that confounds religious human comprehension.   Why was it necessary for the Lord Jesus to be given ALL power both in heaven and on the earth after His resurrection?   We are still talking about God in the flesh here, aren’t we?   You see Jesus makes a claim that He did not yet possess ALL of this power before this occurred and that confuses many Christians.   But we must consider that either Jesus was a liar or we need to hear and learn about what He just said.   Why was it necessary for this power to be given to Him after His resurrection and why didn’t He possess it before the resurrection while He walked the earth in His ministry to natural Israel?   I really do not have time to go into this fully.   Just notice the implied statement of ascent from a lower position which corresponds to what we read in Isaiah 53:2.  It is just very clear to me if Jesus was given all authority on the earth and in heaven that He did not possess it before that time.   This would go with so many other verses in the New Testament and I can’t get into them all today.   Let’s go the next phrase found in Isaiah 53:2 and see what else God is saying.

AS A TENDER PLANT

tender_plant3In the next phrase of Isaiah 53:2 man 2 is described to be like something that is totally crazy.  God called him a “tender plant”.  A “tender plant” cannot be literal and must be a description of a purely symbolic nature using a common component found within creation.   What is the intended message and purpose from God’s usage of this figurative expression?   You should already understand that in any symbolic figurative expressions the object being selected represents attributes that are applied to the subject being described.  For example the symbolic great dragon found in Revelation 12 is not literal but displays the attributes of the unseen spiritual being that a human can visually or mentally relate to.   I sure hope you understand the concepts of symbolism because you should then be able to ask yourself why Satan was described as a great dragon using a symbol of power for his appearing on the earth and then ask yourself why the omnipotent God was calling himself a “tender plant” for His appearing on the earth.  Do you see what God is doing?

Therefore, what are the natural attributes of a “tender plant”?   A “tender plant” represents any new growth implying the need to mature.  A “tender plant” also represents an object of extreme vulnerability.  There are many enemies and forces within nature that can kill a “tender plant”.  We should be able to learn from this symbolic information that this coming man was designed to die.  We should also learn from this description that this coming man is not here in His full deity power so that He cannot be killed by enemies.  Any tender plant can be killed by too much water, not enough water, too much heat or temperatures that are too cold, insects, animals, etc.  Usually when God selects a figurative expression of a natural object almost everything applies within the natural having a meaning and an application to the person being described.  This is the way God designed creation.  He said very clearly that there are things that were created that show us God plainly (Rom 1:20).

This title “tender plant” just cannot be taken literally and must be considered to be a symbolic figurative expression.    Can we agree with that?   Figurative representations and descriptions are simply symbolic terminologies used to tell a greater hidden or unstated message about the subject being spoken of and knowing this will become essential in order for us to understand their meanings.   People use figurative expressions to describe other people almost every day.   Take for example the expression “Joe is a real teddy bear”.  This expression should not be taken literally but rather it projects an image of Joe of great significance using few words.  The expression “teddy bear” can represent someone that is cute, loveable, and easy to hug.  This is exactly what God is doing in this expression of Jesus being a “tender plant”.

What does the term a “tender plant”, represent in a figurative language application?  The Hebrew word H3126 translated here as “tender plant” is only found in this verse in the entire O.T.  Therefore we will not be able to use other verses to help us define this phrase.   Since Isaiah 53:2 is the only time that this Hebrew word occurs and it was translated correctly in this form of the word phrase “tender plant” we will need to look at the context first to find the definition and implied meaning.  If you look up the definition of the word in Strong’s you should be able to see that this word would also be correctly translated as a “tender shoot” as in a type of brand new plant growth.  If you examine the context beginning statement this matches what we observed in the created process of natural growth.  God is simply using the new plant shoot symbolism to teach us how Jesus will need to grow and increase in maturity over the course of time.

It is interesting to note that the meaning of this Hebrew word can also mean “a sucker”.  The term “sucker” can be applied more than one way.  For example in the plant world “a sucker” plant can be used for plant propagation.  But this term can also mean a young child and both are correct.  Consider the application of propagation because this fascinates me.  I can see this as God’s plan.  In the process a brand new sucker plant can be generated from the roots of another plant to produce a new plant.  I believe that this is exactly what God is doing in Jesus.  Keep this in mind as I continue through the verse.

This term “tender plant” informs us that whoever is being spoken of in Isaiah 53 will come into the world like a child that sucks his mother’s breast.   This is actually a very accurate description of Jesus from the natural perspective that we have just witnessed in Luke but it also has certain spiritual application.  Spiritually speaking Jesus being born into the natural world needed the written Words of God to grow in knowledge, understanding and wisdom as we previously read about Him in Luke 2:40.  So Jesus obtained His physical natural growth food (milk) from His mother’s breast as well as His spiritual food (milk) to grow from words previously given to natural Israel through the prophets by His Father.  Perhaps you missed what I just said.   Remember what Peter writes the church by the inspiration of God in 1 Peter 2:2 asking the church to desire the “sincere milk of the Word” that you may grow thereby?   God is teaching us that there was both a physical supply of food (natural milk) and a spiritual supply of food (milk from God’s Word) that caused Jesus to grow in both areas.   What we observe from this is an intelligent design scenario that was initiated from God’s original thoughts.  God planned this out from the beginning and it was fully carried out by God until it was completed.

AS A ROOT OUT OF DRY GROUND

root_in_dry_ground1Man 2 is then described to be a “root” that springs forth from “dry ground”.   This is certainly more symbolic descriptions being used by God to convey a much greater set of spiritual truths.  Consider what a root and dry ground represents in the natural and then apply this figurative information to the spiritual message being taught about Jesus.   Dry ground provides humans a place to live and walk on the earth.   However, where there is no rain or water present on or near the ground it is called a desert place.  Any desert place is not normally an inhabitable piece of the earth.   Since wet ground is the antithesis of dry ground we need to learn the differences between dry ground and watered ground.   Water is definitely a factor in this description.  This phrase is again God using a natural plant life description to describe the coming Jesus.

Everyone should know that the concept of water is essential for any life to exist here.   People need to eat and to drink in order to survive.  The presence of pure water is absolutely critical for natural growth.  What is God saying in this part of the verses?   How can a man like Jesus be compared with a root that comes out of a figurative piece of dry ground?  We need to begin to think spiritually and consider the meanings of these phrases by asking some basic questions.  What is a root symbolically speaking and how does it relate to the concept of dry ground symbolically?  Let’s analyze the meaning of “root” first.  The Hebrew word translated as “root” is H8328.   It has both a literal and a figurative meaning attached to it.   Literally speaking every tree is basically 4 parts.   These four parts are three parts above the ground and one main unseen part below ground.  That right there should give you a clue to where I’m going next.  Clearly Jesus is called the root and that is the unseen part of the tree analogy.  A root is the source and supply for life for the other three parts of the tree.  Without roots there is no tree.  The other three parts are representative of us physically here on the earth.   We the people of God are the figurative trunk, branches and limbs and we are dependent upon our food and water source coming from the root in order to live, grow and produce any fruit.  Wow, I just said so much in one sentence.  You see Jesus clearly told us without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).  Jesus further tells us in John 10:10 that He is our source of life.  What He was saying was I am the root that supplies all of your life.

Let’s take the root, tree and tender plant analogy introduced by God a bit further.   Consider the term “family tree”.  A family tree is nothing but a figurative symbolic representation for a family using a known natural entity.  We should be able to understand that within any family the “roots” represent those that produced all of the family that came after (trunk and branches).   The branches in the family are those that were produced from progressive generations from those family roots.   I believe that these are also basic figurative descriptions of what God is teaching us in Isaiah 53:2.   Jesus being called the root is informing us of His preeminent existence which produced us and gives us life.  Let’s find the fulfillment of Jesus being the root in the New Testament.  He is clearly called the root of Jesse in Isaiah 11:10.  Later in Romans 15:12 Paul confirms that Jesus is the root of Jesse.   Now let me give you another verse in the New Testament that is directly related to the topic that confirms that this root being spoken of is Jesus:

Rev 22:16  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

You can clearly read that Jesus is claiming to be both the root of David and the offspring that comes from David.   That is a very perplexing dilemma, a major paradox and a very significant puzzle to resolve.  From a natural perspective this is entirely impossible but from a spiritual divine perspective this is completely within the capability of an ALL POWERFUL GOD!   What we are observing from this information is that Jesus claimed to be the root that produced both of these men Jesse and David as well as He claimed to be a certain branch descendant that came from both of them.   You can clearly go and read back in Isaiah 11:1 again where Jesus is called the Branch of Jesse and then later in verse 10 He is called the root of this same man named Jesse.  These concepts boggle the minds of carnal people who do not wish to learn about who God is and what He is capable of doing.   What God was saying was that He was the creator of Jesse and that He then came from Jesse or through Jesus to be here on the earth.   I hope that you are beginning to understand the differences between a root and a branch and how that Jesus could still be both simultaneously.  I’ll give you another O.T. verse about a root that you should know about next:

Pro 12:3  A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.

I technically do not have the time to explain this verse entirely.  As Christians we have been given the righteousness of Christ.  This verse in Proverbs is speaking of the ones that are called righteous and we are those people by the Grace of God.  However the primary subject of this last statement is the root that shall not be moved.  I think you can see where this must be Jesus again.   Only God’s Word will never change and Jesus was this Word.

We next need to understand the association of water or the lack of it if Jesus is declared to be the symbolic root supplier of this symbolic water and He is then described to be growing out of the dry ground that lacked this water supply.  What can the water represent within this context?  Do you understand the unstated significance of water in this part of the verse?  Roots definitely carry water to the rest of the tree or plant.  Yet dry ground does not allow or permit plants to grow there.  That is just another major predicament of contradiction to solve.  Notice that the last part of the phrase “root out of a dry ground” presents a comparison.   Jesus being called the root is coming out from a place where they lacked any water.  How would we explain this?  What could that possibly mean? I think we need to look at the definition of the Hebrew word H6723 translated as “dry” next.  This word literally means a parched arid place.   This is accurately describing a desert wilderness where water does not exist.  This definition confirms the absence of water where Jesus was raised up in.  I hope that gives you a bit of a clue to what the water represents.

Symbolically “water” in the Bible widely represents the Word of God.   Water also has other symbolic applications which may also apply and be useful for this discussion but I will probably not get into these other symbolic references in this lesson extensively. I thought I would at least mention that others exist.  I can give you many verses of the Bible to help us confirm what is being spoken about in this verse in Isaiah.  Let me give you a few verses to help confirm that water represents Words from God:

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

Here is a hidden reference to the word of God coming out of the mouths of humans.   God’s words in your mouth will produce life for yourself as well as for others that choose to hear it.   This verse also has application to speaking in tongues but I’m not going to go there to try to explain that since it will take more time than I want to spend in this lesson.  Just understand that words spoken will exit the human mouth coming from the inner spirit and these must be the Words of God in order to produce any life.   I have other Bible lessons that address this part of the meaning if you are interested in reading about them.   What I wanted to demonstrate from this verse was the symbolic meaning of water to be words.   Let’s move on to another verse that helps to explain how life giving water originates from God’s spoken word:

Joh 15:3  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

How do we get clean in the natural?  Normally we wash with natural water and this process removes the dirt from our body.  Jesus is clearly using this natural water washing concept to apply to a spiritual washing parallel process.   Jesus was very clearly saying that the words that were coming from His mouth had the power to make them clean.   Natural things were designed and created by God to teach us about spiritual things and this is so plain.  The Words of God has to be comparable to water for this cleaning process to occur in the unseen spiritual realm.   As the Word of God is the type of water that gives us life, I believe that this statement that Jesus just made is also applicable to Jesus being called the “root” that supplies the water for all human life.  Did you see it?  Jesus said he spoke and out of His belly was flowing rivers of living water to wash his followers.   I think the root analogy is one that is very profound and I pray that you are seeing how it still applies to us in the church today.  I’ll give you one other verse for this part of the lesson about water:

Eph 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Hopefully you can again see the explanation of becoming clean with God washing us with His Word.  The word of God is not literal water but it is certainly called figurative water.  Without this Water of the Word of God we would all die spiritually.  There would be no possibility of spiritual life without this source of spiritual living water.  Now let’s consider what it means to be in a dry ground.  We can find a very good explanation of this in the writings of David:

Psa 63:1  A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

Wow, what an awesome verse concerning spiritual water that can come only from God.  David is stating his thirst but it is not a lack of natural water.   This is just David saying “I need you God and I need your Word” to quench my soul.  Did you see it?  Physical water can never quench a soul.  Only spiritual water from the mouth of God can fulfill this type of thirst.  I think we need to observe one more verse to confirm this very important reality:

Psa 1:2  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Psa 1:3  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

tree-and-riverA man that is meditating on the Word of God is compared to be like a tree that is planted by rivers of life giving water.   This type of abundant water supply is what causes this symbolic tree to grow and increase in might and strength.  The lack of this type of spiritual water supply is what is being spoken of in Isaiah 53:2 where there is dry ground.  This dry ground represents a person that does not mediate on God’s Word.  These are types of people that do not value the life that is found from God’s mouth.  These were people that were dying of thirst and did nothing to drink from the well of life.   Do you remember what Jesus said to the Samarian woman at the well?  Jesus said “If you knew who was speaking you would ask of me to give you a drink”.  How was Jesus going to do this?  He was going to speak to her and tell her the Words of God.

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

There are literally many applications and lessons that can be taught from the root supply of life giving water to the symbolic plant concept.  This verse in John is a prime example of the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:2 where Jesus the root would supply the waters of life to anyone that was a thirst.   I do not wish to go into all of these in this lesson but I will mention this one more for reapplication to Jesus being our present day root supply.   We all know that Jesus is not physically present on the earth today except in the form of the church body who is the only visible representatives of His outward presence here on the earth.   However, the unseen root is still spiritually present because Jesus is on the inside of every true believer and if they are led by the Spirit of God then Jesus can still be seen in manifestation right now.    Consider yourself to be God’s plant, His branches that are here to bear fruit for the world to observe.   There is a popular saying that is applicable to what you do today and it says “The only Jesus some people will ever know is the one that you show them in your actions, words and daily life”.   I think that is an important thought to embrace and remember.  I believe that is enough of an introduction to Jesus being described as the root source of water so let’s move on to the last part of the phrase description found in Isaiah 53:2.

HE HATH NO FORM NOR COMELINESS

Jesus-Face-Painting-Gray-Eyes-WallpaperThe last phrase that I will address today is “He hath no form nor comeliness, and when we shall see him there is no beauty that we should desire him”.  Often in artist paintings of Jesus, He is portrayed as a highly desirable handsome male figure and even has extremely movie star or rock star like characteristics.  Many times this type of Jesus is even pictured with a divine halo or a radiant glow that many believe would attract people to Him like moths to a flame.  You will discover from reading and studying Isaiah 53:2 that Jesus was not prophesied to come into the world in an attractive looking manner and in fact the opposite of this reality is stated.  We will need to read how this was fulfilled in the N.T. and this time it may become more difficult because there is barely any mention of the physical appearance of Jesus in the Gospels that I have found.  If you know of any verses that I have not encountered on this subject, I would welcome your comment giving us the verses.

What any serious Bible student must realize is that they can learn at the very least in two different ways from God, we can learn from what is directly stated by God and/or we can also learn from what was never stated by God.  Do you understand this advanced concept?  If there are no direct references of the physical appearance of the Lord Jesus by God in the Gospels why would this information not possibly be important enough to mention in God’s Word?  Before we research the N.T. we will first review the definitions for the phrase keywords found in Isaiah 53:2.

The first Hebrew word is H3303 that was translated as “form” in this verse and this word should have been translated as “beautiful” as it was correctly translated this way to describe Rachael in Genesis 29:17.  Rachael is described to be the opposite of what Jesus is said to be.  It was Rachael’s outward beauty that attracted her future husband Jacob to her.   The first time this Hebrew word was used in Genesis it was used for another beautiful woman named Sarah in Genesis 12:11.  You might remember that Sarah was so beautiful that Abraham did not want to tell anyone that she was his wife because he was concerned with being killed so that they could take her from him because of her attractiveness.  That is two examples of what this word H3303 means.  The Holy Spirit inspired Isaiah to teach us that Jesus did not possess any physical beauty by the inclusion of the Hebrew negative word H3808 that was connected directly to this other Hebrew word meaning beauty.   The Hebrew word H3808 is a negative antithesis of the positive beauty and it means “No”, “Not” or “Without” beauty.  God was clearly saying that Jesus had no beauty that could be observed using these two Hebrew words.

According to this Hebrew word combination whoever being spoken of in this verse could not called extraordinarily good looking, striking, handsome or even attractive.  The absence of beauty does not necessarily mean that Jesus was completely born ugly but at the minimum it meant that He was very ordinary in appearance like most humans and certainly did not possess any looked-for qualities of many popular people today.   Take for example Obama.  I have heard people tell me that they voted for him because he was so good looking.  One was a woman speaking to me about her reasons why she voted for him.  Being attracted to someone like Obama because of their looks will get you into serious levels of deception and that is not what God came into the world as.  You cannot find anywhere in the Gospels where it says people were attracted to Jesus because of His physical appearance.

The next key word in the verse confirms this with the description of there being no “comeliness” to His appearance.  This Hebrew word translated as “comeliness” is H1926 and it literally means “magnificence” or “splendor”.   This is shocking information that the supremely magnificent God would humble himself to take on the common form of a plain and ordinary human.  When I read this I was so impressed at the humility of God’s character to think this way and to do this.  I think this is one of the key factors for why natural Israel missed the coming of their Messiah.  They expected a radiant powerful looking King and got a plain nobody from what they thought was from the city of Nazareth.   They of course ignored the fact that He was born in the city of David the king as a direct descended from David’s seed but their ignorance of the facts was caused by their own downfall because they did not ask the right questions to find the truth.

Now let’s review the Hebrew word H4758 that was translated as “beauty” in Isaiah 53:2.  This word is different than the Hebrew word H3303 that was translated as “form” but should have been translated as “beauty”.   This Hebrew word H4758 means “to view”.  It confirms that God is speaking of the outward physical appearance of the Lord Jesus.  It can also mean “good or pleasant to look at”.  However this Hebrew word H4758 is again joined to the Hebrew negative H3808 to change the definition into the opposite again.  God is again saying that Jesus was not a movie star type of looker that you wanted to watch.  I believe this is very important descriptive terms being given by God and every Christian would benefit from knowing them.

I challenge you to go through the Gospels and read about the life of Jesus on the earth very closely.   Notice for the first thirty years of His life there is very little description given about Him.   Barely a mention of Him is revealed.  Only at His birth and at the age of 12 are we given a brief glimpse of His life.  At 12 years old His family left Him at the temple as they were returning home.   Technically speaking only His mother and Joseph her husband understood how He came to be on this earth.   Every other human on the earth believed Him to be a normal child growing up looking like everyone else.   If you go and read about Him in later life when He had returned to His hometown the people were in amazement of Him.   Start reading in Matthew 13:54 through the end of the chapter.  You will find out that they were impressed with His wisdom but did not believe that He was a prophet sent from God because they had watched Him grow up normally before them.  Jesus marveled at their unbelief and was unable to do any miracles among them.  You should be able to clearly see how normal that Jesus’ appearance was to these people that knew Him so closely for the longest time.

I want you to fully understand that this final statement in Isaiah 53:2 represents the outward physical appearance of the prophesied growing man 2.  This part of the verse literally means “God” was found in their presence using a non-majestic appearance that no one expected Him to use.  No one was looking for a Messiah to rule them that looked ordinary at best.  As you can read very clearly because of God’s choice to appear on the earth normally like a very ordinary human, the people had no desire to automatically follow Him.  Do not misunderstand what I just said.  There were great numbers of people following Jesus in the Gospels.  But you need to ask the question why were they following?  There are no references to it being because of His looks but you can find references for their desire to be healed.  Healing was the primary reason for people flocking to Jesus.  You can read about this in Matthew 4:23-25 to see why they followed was because of His healing power.  Because Jesus healed people the word about Him quickly spread to everyone and this is also important information to understand correctly.

Have you ever asked yourself what would have happened if God appeared like God in a superior state of class and being?    The people on earth would have had no choice but to receive Him as their King and Lord and they would have never hung Him on a cross.   Do you see the wisdom of God in His actions?   God desired to save us, so He chose to become one of us to die for us.   We have never yet fully realized or fully comprehended the extreme love of God to do this for us.

I want you to understand the significance of this description and why it is meaningful or even mentioned in the prophecy.   This prophecy in Isaiah 53:2 is only different from my birth appearing because of the implied appearance of who this is speaking of.  Please understand that the vast majority of the people born on this earth are very normal looking individuals just like this description.   Based upon this, I must ask the question “Why is this description of a normal person’s appearance different than mine” and then I must answer that it is not.  I certainly do not have the appearance of great magnificence so that people desire to flock to me.  There are people like rock stars today that have this ability but that is clearly not who Jesus represented and it is not who you should represent either.   No, you begin to finally realize why this was written based upon your new knowledge now to who these words were written about.   The supreme God of all splendor, power and amazement would come and appear to be at the best ordinary.

Before I get away from this subject I want to prove that Jesus did not walk around with a glow coming from His appearance.  We can learn this simple fact by observing what God wrote about Him in the book of Matthew.  Read this verse carefully and notice the detailed description of the appearance change that occurred in this verse:

Mat 17:2  And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

If you read the context you will find that Jesus took three disciples up on a high mountain.  While there Moses and Elijah appeared before them with Jesus.  This verse also states that the physical appearance of Jesus was “transfigured”.   This Greek word G3339 is the word that we get “metamorphosis” from.  Do you understand the concept of “metamorphosis”?  This is the process that occurs when an ugly caterpillar is transformed to become a beautiful butterfly.  That is exactly the process that is being described about Jesus here in this verse.  Jesus was transformed from the very ordinary looking man that He was on the earth into a radiant glowing man that exemplified great splendor having magnificent qualities here in this verse.   What this verse does is confirm the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:2 for you.  It clearly implies that He was not the way that He was just transformed into.

CONCLLUSION

I have covered a lot of new significant information about Jesus found in Isaiah 53:2.  You may have never heard this message or even understood that it existed in the Bible but I hope that you learned to see how it applied to the one that came from heaven to save you.  This prophecy is so amazing when you see it clearly.  It becomes much more understandable why everyone in the world did not automatically flock to God in the flesh.  It also become more understandable why He could be easily killed and lose all of his followers.  If you go and read in the book of Revelation you will again see that Jesus appears like He did on the mountain with the three disciples in the presence of Moses and Elijah.  Jesus when raised back to heaven was again exalted to His supreme position.  But you should know now that this was not the way that He came to us in the world to save us.   I thank you all for taking the time to read and study te Bible with me.  I appreciate you all very much.  In the next lesson in this series we will plan to go through the next verse in sequence to find what is furthered described about Jesus if the Lord chooses to lead me that way.  Leave me a comment if you like this lesson.  Learn to be a blessing to others and God will make sure you are blessed to do this.  God Bless you!

BIBLE ANSWERS: Was Jesus the ONE and ONLY Son of God?

One and Only Son of God(Ver 1.2)  There is a popular false teaching going around in many churches that Jesus was the one and only Son of God and that is NOT what the Bible says.  In fact that is not even close to what God says in the His Word.  Why don’t we learn the truth and see what God actually wrote us in the Bible instead of believing preachers or teachers that don’t know how to read?  This false teaching that Jesus was the One and Only Son of God has even crept into several modern Bible translations and thus it appears to become more legitimate than it truly is.  Many Christians will read an erroneous modern Bible translation and think this is what God really said but they have to ignore the details of the correct writings of God in the original language word meanings to believe this way.  This false teaching is destroying the truth to project an image that there are no other children of God except for Jesus.  This leaves Christians with the impression that we are “a nothing” and “a nobody” and this is exactly what Satan wants you to believe so that he can condemn you.

Please understand this very basic truth, only the original scriptures in the original languages were God inspired and at no time were any of the TRANSLATIONS that were created by men ever inspired by God.  Every translation produced by a human introduces some new version of the personal opinions of the translators that must be weeded through in order to find God’s intended accurate truth.    I literally mean that you can find many translation errors in the KJV Bible, the NIV Bible, the NASB Bible and every other translation if you go back and study to find the truth from the Greek and Hebrew.  This of course becomes highly controversial in many Christian circles.  This Bible study will be potentially discarded simply because people do not seek to learn, know or understand what God says.  Being a “concrete” or “firmly set, dry and hard” Christian will cause you to miss the truth and I hope this is not you today.  I am a detailed oriented type of person.  I was a computer programmer for over 25 years.  You cannot write a computer program without paying attention to the details or it will not work.  This same detailed oriented approach is how God taught me to study the Bible.  Please learn to pay attention to the details found in the Bible and this will help you to see the scriptures more from God’s perspective that spoke them.

Also please do not read this lesson and believe that I am saying there is more than one Son in the Trinity!  I am not claiming this and do not intend to do so.  I know this Bible lesson will be controversial and I know that people will potentially take the message wrong very easily.  People become so narrow minded  when hearing something new.  People like to take hold of one truth and abandon all others.  I have said this more than once; there is more than one truth in the Bible.  Jesus is the primary truth and the greatest reason to study the entire Bible but God teaches us other things like this lesson that should also be made known.  This Bible lesson is not taking away from the message of Jesus Christ being the only begotten Son of God within the Trinity.  Do not read this and believe that at all!  I teach the Trinity of God very strongly.  I teach the fact that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God very strongly.   I teach the fact that God came to the earth personally in the flesh and died for our sins to give us His gift of righteousness.  Before you criticize me on one Bible lesson go read everything and then ask questions.

The main focused scripture today in this Bible study is one that we have all heard at some time in our Christian life.  This verse is one of the most popular verses learned by many children at an early age in Sunday school.  This verse is one that Satan would like to remove from the Bible and this is the reason for his attack to pervert it.  Here is the main verse in question that will be answered:

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

John 3:16 is the focused controversial verse that I will be talking about in this lesson today.  I started with the basic KJV translation of the verse since I believe it to be one of the most accurate.  However, this verse was translated by men in several different conflicting ways.  For example the WNT, CEV, ESV, BBE and NIV Bible translations all get parts of the translation very wrong changing the original language into “Only Son of God” or “One and Only Son of God”.  The KJV, NKJV, NASB, Webster, YLT, AMP, ASV, Darby, LITV and the MKJV translations all translated it correctly saying “only begotten Son”.  While “Only Begotten Son” is more accurate, this English word “begotten” is not well understood to what the term means.  This of course was not a complete list of all the available Bible translations but it gives us a clear view of why there is a controversy and asks the question who is correct?    For your review comparison here is the NIV translation of John 3:16.  Please note the differences given:

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV)

Both the KJV and the NIV translations cannot be correct since they simply mean two completely different things.   “One and Only Son of God” and “Only Begotten Son of God” cannot be considered identical because one set of modern translations completely left out one important word “begotten” when the other set included it.  The NIV further convolutes the truth to add the word “One” before Son and this just brings further confusion since the word “one” does not even appear anywhere in the original Greek language.  Now consider the English grammar found within John 3:16.  What does the term “only begotten” represent and how does it relate to the noun “Son”?  You should begin to understand that the term “only begotten” represents an adjective modifier to the noun “Son”.  An adjective is only required to limit the scope of the discussion of the types of nouns being referenced.  In other words if there is only one sun in the sky then there is no need to modify that noun to qualify which one you are speaking of.  The same is true of the moon in our sky.  When only one exists the need for qualification is eliminated.  Now what would happen if there were two moons in our night sky?  Then we would need to qualify which one we are referring to.  This is exactly what God is doing in John 3:16 with the adjective “only begotten”.   Now what does “begotten” mean and why is it found in so many translations?  Why was “begotten” omitted from many other translations to change the meaning?  We need to learn the facts in order to determine the truth and this is what we will attempt to do in this lesson.

Someone might try to ask if it is even important for us to believe the Bible correctly.   Aren’t you just being too nitpicky to think that it makes a difference how we believe John 3:16?   I would answer that question with this reply; does it matter if you believe the Koran or the Bible is the truth?  They both can’t be the truth so does it matter which path you chose to be on?  Of course it does.  Jesus very clearly said that He was the only way to be saved (John 14:6).   So now take that truth to the next level.  Does it matter if you believe that Jesus was just a man like those in Islam because according to the Koran He was just a prophet of Allah when He died or should we believe what God says in the Bible that He personally came down in the flesh to save us?  I hope you are getting the point.  If it does not matter greatly what we believe then God would not have given us His Word to study and learn.  Therefore, if the Koran or the Bible belief matters then it also matters if Jesus was the “One and Only Son of God” or the “Only begotten Son of God”.  We just can’t omit one word that God included and think that it does not matter.  What I am getting at is that we need to learn as much accurate Bible as we can so that we are not deceived by someone that comes along with a message of one lie mixed with several truths.  How can we recognize the truth if we ignore the details of God’s Word?

I will warn you that this is an advanced Bible subject intended for spiritually mature Christians only.  It is not a rudimentary lesson that is designed to feed baby Christians the milk of the Word of God.  This lesson is definitely a meat subject that can cause immature Christians to choke.  If you do not feel like you are very spiritually mature then please just go read another lesson so that I do not offend you with something that you are unable to receive.  I will also warn you up front that this is another long Bible lessons with a lot of spiritual content.  My subjects tend to grow lengthy because there is so much that needs to be taught from the Bible on any given subject.  I usually do this using a series of Bible lessons but these Bible Answer responses to reader questions are usually stand alone.  I hope you understand and will continue to read to the end.

In this lesson I will be using a minimum of 3 primary rules of sound Bible interpretation to verify the truth.  I will also introduce you to a concept that you have probably never been taught before.  This concept found in the Bible will teach us that there are at least 4 unique types of individuals that are called “sons of God” in the Bible.  I can already hear the gasps being loudly raised by that last statement.   People might be resistant to anything new simply because they have never heard it taught before.  But please do not reject the message without first reading what is taught with an open mind.  Then only after reading what is taught here do I ask that you become an Acts 17:11 type of noble Christian and verify everything that is being taught using your own Bible study.   This is the only correct method to confirm what the Spirit of God wants you to know.  Work within God’s methods and grow or work apart from them and fail to see the truth.  It is your choice.

CORRECT RULES OF INTERPRETATION

driving-in-manilaI am going to begin this Bible lesson by introducing some of the basic rules of valid Bible interpretation.  I will not be covering every rule that exists but these three will be used in this lesson for us to find the truth to what was written by God in the John 3:16 verse that needs to be understood.  Can we begin by agreeing that rules are good?  What would be the outcome if driving on the road was freeform with no rules to govern the actions of the drivers?  How many drivers would still be alive after a few days if driving was based upon a chaos random approach of  actions that allowed people to go however they wanted, where ever they wanted, how fast they wanted and whenever they wanted type of driving style?  If governments permitted unstructured driving methods to how fast they could go or where they could drive it would be an extremely dangerous environment.  This same principle of a no rules approach to Bible interpretation represents the same level of dangers except restricted to a mental or spiritual environment.  I hope that you can agree in this introduction with the need for good Bible interpretation rules.

I will use three rules of Bible Interpretation that the Holy Spirit taught me to use.  I did not learn these rules in any seminary so they may not adhere to your version of hermeneutics.  But I would rather follow God than man’s rules because only God’s will give the correct truth.  Please read these rules and then I will try to explain each briefly to help you learn how they work and why they are important to follow:

  1. Find and Use Original Word Definitions
  2. Compare an Original Word’s Usage with Other Occurrences in the Bible
  3. Search for Direct Bible Contradictions to Balance Scripture Harmony

ORIGINAL WORD DEFINITIONS

One of the keys to correctly understanding any translated Bible verse is to judge each translated word using the comprehensive definitions of the words found in the original transcripts of the Bible.  Without studying the original word definitions you must trust and rely on an imperfect translator that was not inspired by the Spirit of God in what they wrote.  Also many translated English words like other languages transform or mutate into new or different applications and meanings as the world changes around us.   For example in the KJV Bible the Greek word that was often translated as “charity” would be almost always misunderstood by the majority of modern Bible readers.  The modern application of “Charity” is not what the word means in the original Greek.  This word was “agape” which represents the unique God kind of love.

These original word definitions are critical to discover.  Without them the original meanings were often lost in many of the modern translations.  I have heard some claim that the KJV Bible was God inspired and that no other Bible translation should ever be read.  These types of proponents often claim there is no need to study the original Greek or Hebrew words.  This is entirely a wrong belief based upon ignorance.  These types of people have been so deceived that they may never know or see the truth of God unless they learn to dig deep and study to find it.  I have discovered so many errors in the KJV Bible that leaves me no doubt that the original language study is indispensable to knowing the real truth.  You are free to disagree with me, but by you ignoring the original language this will help us to resolve why we differ on what any one verse means.  Let’s move on to another rule of correct understanding of the Bible.

OTHER BIBLE OCCURRENCES OF THE WORD

Another key to understanding specific original words is to go and look for God’s usage of the same Greek or Hebrew word in the rest of the Bible.  To do this we need to use our computer devices, smart phones or tablets to search in our Bible for all of the places where God uses only the exact same Greek or Hebrew word that we are trying to learn.  In doing this we obtain a more complete understanding of  this one word that we wish to study.  I need to emphasize that we do not search the Bible for the English translated word because more than one Greek or Hebrew word can be translated to the same English word.  For example the Greek language has at least 3 different words that mean a type of “love”.  But only God’s selection of the one can be compared correctly to learn how each verse usage is related.  If we attempted to mix the Greek word “philedelphia” (G5360) and the Greek word “agape” (G26) we would be mixing apples with oranges and only causing confusion.

This rule of interpretation allows us to see how one word in one verse relates to the other occurrences of the same word in other found verses.   This type of study method is what I call doing a “word study”.  There is also a type of study that I call a “subject” study that goes into considerably more detail but also take more effort to perform.  There are at least two different ways of doing a word study or a subject study.  First in a word study you can restrict your search to only using the direct Greek or Hebrew word in question.  This will shorten and limit the study considerably.  The Subject study would need to include the matching Hebrew word for the Greek word in question as well as include every other word that is a synonym of the word in question and this can take significantly more time but can also give great benefits to new truths.  Today I will only be performing a very basic word study for “only begotten”.

This word study technique of understanding the Bible introduces us to the concept of consistency and uniformity.  I have found through many years of Bible study that God is normally very consistent in His selection of words, their usage, their application and what they mean.  In other words if God wanted to say something differently in one verse from another verse, He would have used a different word.  I call this God’s “Intelligent Design” of His Words.  God knows every word and what they each mean better than you do, so do not attempt to change a word’s definition based upon some random human speculation or reasoning.   Keeping a Greek word’s definition consistent will help bring stability and balance to our understanding of every word being selected by God.  In review this step of correct Bible interpretation involves at minimum finding every occurrence of the Greek or Hebrew word being studied and reading each verse closely to see how it was used by God.  We then compare each verse to every other verse to understand how they are related attempting to understand why God chose this single word in each.  In doing this we attempt to balance every word’s usage into a single definition and application.  This can be simple or it can be complex based upon the number of times any word is used by God.  Some words are used less than 10 times (simple) and other times they are used many, many hundreds of time (complex).  Let’s move on to the next guideline for correct Bible understanding.

NO VERSE CONTRADICTS ANY OTHER VERSE

The next method of understanding correct Bible interpretation is for us to utilize the basic fact of truth that NO one Bible verse when correctly interpreted will EVER conflict or contradict with any other Bible verse when both are correctly interpreted.  Do you understand this rule?  This is another essential part of understanding absolutely anything in the Bible.  Realize that God is not stupid.  Then understand that God does not change or flip flop on truths, word definitions, thoughts, concepts or ideas.  God is not here today on this word’s definition and then there tomorrow on the same word.  God is not a Dr. Jekyll or a Mr. Hyde type of God.  God is a God of never changing goodness, purpose, character and qualities.  What God says today will never change tomorrow.   What God said in the beginning will remain true at the end and what was said will not reverse, disqualify or eliminate anything else that was spoken by God in between.  I do not know how to explain this rule more clearly.   If one verse says God has only one son and another verse says God has many other sons then one verse is clearly NOT TRANSLATED CORRECTLY.   There can be no conflicts within the Bible when understood correctly.  The only time a conflict exists is when a human does not correctly comprehend the truth of what was spoken by God.

I am going to apply these three basic rules of correct Bible interpretation and understanding to answer the question “Was Jesus the One and Only Son of God”.   After you see what God and the Bible actually says about this subject you must agree that Jesus was not the one and only son of God.   I will begin with the rule of searching for the original word definitions to find what God meant by them and then this will help guide us to what the word means in the verse that we are questioning.

G3439 ORIGINAL WORD DEFINITION

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten (G3439) Son (G5207), that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV)

This verse has become very controversial by Satan’s design. This verse was previously held up in football games like the Super Bowl until it was banned by the NFL again by Satan’s design.   It has been cried loudly on street corners to passing people that walked by indifferently and ignored the message.   It has been preached on TV and in many churches by countless preachers.  It is one of the first verses that a child learns and memorizes in Sunday school.  However this verse has stirred up a modern dilemma and debate asking was Jesus the One and Only Son of God as the NIV and many churches claim?   The translation that I opened with was the KJV Bible and it is stated to say “only begotten”.  However you already observed in the NIV how it was changed to say something almost completely different.

While the NIV change on the surface seems to be insignificant to many, the underlying application of the subtle difference is very profound.  If Jesus was the one and only Son as the NIV Bible states then this verse translation invalidates a great number of scriptures in the rest of the Bible.  This NIV translation purposefully causes a direct conflict within God’ Word and that teaches us that we need to determine the resolution to the conflict in order to correctly understand this part of the Bible.  We will do this by beginning to see what the original Greek word means as defined in the original language using the Strong’s dictionary:

G3439

From G3441 and G1096; only born, that is, sole: – only (begotten, child).

The Greek word translated into English as “only begotten” in the KJV Bible is “G3439” and it is a single Greek word that is created from the combination of two other Greek root words.   The first Greek root word designates the single or solitary occurrence of something, someone or somewhere.  This Greek word is where the translators got the application of the English word “only” which is correct so far.  However, the second Greek word designates something that was made or caused to be.   Let’s stop there and consider what is stated when something was caused to be or made?  Anything made was not in existence previously and that only means that Jesus was a new type of Son and nothing else can be assumed from this definition or it would be adding to it or changing what was given by God.  These two Greek words literally mean that Jesus was uniquely made and did not compare with anyone previously created or anyone that was subsequently created.  However it does not mean that there are no other types of sons that came into existence in some other way.  Do you understand this so far?

Let me use an analogy of an automobile.  There are many types of automobiles, but yet someone can also create or make one unique auto that was created as a special custom model that is unlike all the others.  People do this all the time.  This new custom car could be called this type of “only made” (G3439) model of cars.  That is exactly what Jesus is being called in this definition.  This definition does not mean that there are no other sons of God; it only means that this one named Jesus was made especially unique unlike every other son.   Think about it before you reject it.  Was Jesus uniquely made?  I personally do not know of another human that came from a virgin woman, do you?  I think that makes Jesus especially different than me and you.

The Strong’s dictionary further defines this Greek word as “only born”.  What does this mean?  I think this part of the definition also applies to Jesus very well.  Were there any other naturally born sons of God?  Not according to the Bible as we will soon learn.  The New Testament is very explicit in declaring Jesus to be the only naturally born Son of God.  This is the literal definition for “only begotten’ in John 3:16.  To be called the “only begotten” means that Jesus was God’s only naturally born child.  Again this does not disqualify other sons or children of God from existing using this correct definition.  Did you know that God is all powerful?  God being “omniscient” and “omnipotent” simply means that God is able and knows how to make a new unique child if He so desires to do it.  This was God’s design of Jesus.

In the Thayer dictionary he makes the point that this Greek word G3439 is only used to describe a son or a daughter when viewed within their relationship to the stated parent(s).  That is a very important part of the meaning and we will discover this as we continue through the other rules of interpretation.  When using the Thayer consideration we must now deliberate who the parents of Jesus Christ were.  Any serious Bible student will say that Jesus was both the Son of God and the son of a natural virgin woman named Mary.  But we must eliminate Mary from this “only begotten” participation since in John 3:16 it is only speaking of God the Father who gave His Son to save the world with no mention of Mary.  We should also know from further Bible study that Mary had other natural children born from the union with her husband Joseph.  Therefore, Jesus was not the “only begotten” son of Mary.  Nowhere in the Bible is Jesus called the only begotten of Mary and there are a lot of people that need to learn that fact.  What I am introducing you to is what this Greek G3439 word means.  Jesus was the only naturally born son of God and this is the only way that this can be correctly interpreted based upon the definition and the contextual subject matter.  Uh oh I just introduced another important rule of correct Bible interpretation that was not one of the 3 that I was going to use today. This new rule states that no one can take any verse out of context to make it say what it was not intended to say within the context.

You see in John the 3rd chapter Jesus is speaking to a natural man named Nicodemus that asks Jesus how to be saved.  Jesus tells this man that he must be “born again” in order to enter into the kingdom of God.  Clearly Jesus was teaching Nicodemus about birth types in this chapter.  Jesus is using two contrasting types of birth to explain salvation.  Jesus was saying to Nicodemus that there is a coming spiritual birth that must occur after the natural birth occurs.  We will soon discover in this Bible lesson that there are many spiritual births that have occurred since Jesus was raised from the dead.  However, please note that up until this point in John 3 that no man was ever born again because the sacrifice for their sins had not yet taken place on the cross.  It is within this context of the subject of births that we find this Greek word G3439 that was translated as “only begotten”.   It makes logical sense to conclude “only begotten” son of God is related to the contextual subject of birth types.

Therefore, the “only begotten” son of God could only represent Jesus coming into the world through a natural birth experience and could not be related to this coming spiritual birth that Jesus described.  This again is what this “only begotten” Greek word means.  God only had one Son that was naturally born and His name was Jesus Christ.  God’s usage of this Greek word to describe Jesus teaches us that only He could be called the naturally made, created or born Son of God.   However, that still does not mean that there are no other types of sons of God that were spiritually born or created by some other methods.  I hope you understand this but if not it should become clearer as we continue through the other verses found in the Bible on this subject.

OTHER VERSES WITH THE GREEK WORD G3439

If you search the New Testament you will find this Greek word G3439 that was translated as “only begotten” in John 3:16 is only found in 8 other verses.  Five times it is used to describe Jesus in relation to His Father God but 4 times it is used to describe other naturally born children that were the only begotten son in direct relation to his earthly mother.  For example, in Luke 7:12 God describes a man being carried out at a funeral and he is called by this name G3439 as being this mother’s only born son.   What this means is that this dead man was her only child that she actually conceived inside her and gave birth to.  Notice that only the mother is mentioned in this verse because of her presence.  I would also like to point out that the KJV translators made the same mistake as the NIV translators did in John 3:16.  In the KJV, Luke 7:12 says that this man was her “only (G3439) son (G5207)” but they intentionally leave out “begotten” part of the definition and that makes it an error.  This woman could have had other adopted sons but that would be ignored by the translators from what God intended it to say.

What I want you to begin to see is that an “only born son” is always given using the relationship to only the specific parent being mentioned and does not necessarily apply to the other parent involved.  There is no mention of the father in Luke 7:12 and he could have had many children through other women like Jacob did in the O.T. before he died.  People like to put God into an oversimplified human box of limitations.  However the Bible says very clearly that what is impossible with men is possible with God (Mat 19:26).   So while a natural woman may have had only one naturally born son it is entirely possible for God to have other types of children that were not naturally born even though Jesus is still called His only begotten.  Do you understand this?

I am certainly not teaching you that God had other naturally born children other than Jesus.  Jesus by definition from the dictionary and word use application was the only naturally born Son of God that ever existed.   Just please do not limit God to say this is the only way that He can produce children.  That would be very foolish if someone believes their limits placed upon God effects what God is able to do.  If we continue to look through the book of Luke we will find two other examples of this Greek word G3439.  In Luke 8:42 a ruler of the synagogue came to Jesus asking Him to come and heal his “only born” daughter.  I will just tell you that this is the same type of translation error example as seen before in the NIV.  The daughter being described is not the only daughter in the nation born but she was this man named Jairus’ only born daughter.   Again the KJV translators get it very wrong and leave out the word begotten.  In fact the KJV translators in this verse added the word one to further confuse people.  Instead of being consistent and making the word “only begotten” they changed it to “one only”.  This just proves that there are errors in the KJV Bible the same as other translations.  Now let’s look at the next word occurrence also found in a verse in Luke:

Luk 9:38  And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child.

Here again is an example of a very wrong translation.  It should not say “only child” it should rather say “only begotten” or “only born”.  The word child is not found in the original Greek word.  If God would have wanted the word child to be included in this verse He would have added the Greek word G5043 that is normally translated as “child” in several other N.T. verses, for example:

Luk 1:7  And they had no child (G5043), because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

Here in this verse God is saying that this couple does not have a child.  The woman Elisabeth is said to have been barren.  What we can learn from this truth is that God has other words in the Greek language that literally means a child.  So if God wanted to say “only child” in Luke 9:32 it could have been accomplished using other specific Greek words that actually mean that.  The translators thought they were making a good assumption but this simply produces inconsistences that were not stated by God.  God selected by His choice to say “only begotten” or “only born” and this was the correct original meaning.  It is just so obvious to me that if God wanted to say “only child” that He would have said G3441 (only) followed by G5043 (child) and this would have matched what the KJV translators thought.  However since God did not say this why did the translator not understand what they were doing was changing God’s word into something that was not stated causing a potential confusion to occur.

The last occurrence of G3439 not being used to describe Jesus is found in the book of Hebrews.  In this verse God is describing Abraham and his “only begotten” son named Isaac.  Let’s examine this verse and consider the implications given by God on this subject of Jesus:

Heb 11:17  By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

Notice that God calls Isaac the “only begotten” of Abraham.  Uh oh, that is a major problem since Abraham had several other children.  The first born of Abraham was a child named Ishmael and this child was born from Hagar.  God does not consider this child to be an heir of promise.  Also if you read in and study in Genesis I believe that you will discover that Abraham had other children later after Isaac.  Yet God still calls Isaac the “only begotten”.  What this teaches us is that God could have had other children before Jesus Christ as well as other children after Jesus Christ and that the existence of these other children still cannot disqualify Jesus to be called the “only begotten”.  I know that this is potentially complex information but Abraham is a type pattern that was given by God in the Old Testament to teach us about spiritual truths.  You see if you read in Galatians 4 carefully you will discover that God teaches us that the life of Abraham represents an allegory of spiritual truth that is much deeper than the natural story.  I am not going to go into this allegory in depth today because that will take too much time.  You should go and read my other Bible lessons to discover what this allegory represents.

I believe we need to be consistent when viewing this Greek G3439.  I believe we can clearly see that every time it is selected by God in the New Testament that it is in reference to an “only born” child in reference to a single parent.  You can go through every reference in Luke and see this very clearly.  You can find this pattern again in Hebrews when God only speaks about Abraham and his only begotten son Isaac.  Consistency is an important factor.

ARE THERE ANY “ONLY SON OF GOD” CONFLICTS IN THE BIBLE?

The next rule of correct Bible interpretation involves researching for potential conflicts to any given statement.  If the NIV Bible translation is correct claiming that Jesus is the ONE AND ONY SON OF GOD then there better not be any other verses found in the Bible that contradict with that statement.  If only one verse is found that can be shown to disagree directly then there is a major problem with one of the verses being read.  So here we go with discovering the conflicts of the statement “One and Only Son of God”.  We will begin with Genesis 6:2:

Gen 6:2  That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

Here is another potentially ontroversial verse.  Many have tried to explain away this verse as not saying what God describes.  There are two separate types of individuals being described by God in this verse.  There are the “sons of God” and the “daughters of Adam”.  If the father of the sons of God is God then the father of the daughters of men must clearly be Adam.  Perhaps you do not see it so clearly.  If you research the Hebrew word translated as “men” in this verse you will discover that it is the Hebrew word H120 and this is the exact same Hebrew word as H121 that was translated as “Adam”.  Therefore these women originated from Adam and these other beings had to originate from the spiritual creator God and they cannot be the same because of the two different associated fathers being described.  Perhaps I need to tell you that this Hebrew word translated as “God” in this verse is one of the most popular names for God in the O.T. Bible.  This Hebrew word H430 is found in over 2200 verses in the Old Testament.  Nine times out of ten it was translated as “God” starting in Genesis 1:1 where it was first used to describe the creator.  The other Hebrew word used in conjunction with this name of God is H1121 which was used to describe a “son” is defined to be a male builder of the specified family name.  The family name here is God and the sons are clearly his spiritual children within His personal family.  In order to confirm who these “sons of God” represent in Genesis 6, we need to look for other examples of these same word combinations in the Bible just as we did with our search for the “only begotten” Greek word.  If you do the search you will find some important verses that help to reveal who these sons of God are:

Job 1:6  Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

In the book of Job, God again describes the “sons (H1121) of God (H430)” but this time using some new contextual realities.  The previous Genesis 6 setting was definitely set upon the earth with human female interaction but this time in Job this same group of beings are found to be in the very presence of God in heaven.   What type of beings can be found both here on the earth and up in heaven in the presence of God?  If you do not understand that these are angels then you will need to go study the subject of angels in more depth before continuing.  I will give you a verse from a dream that God gave to Jacob and this will help establish that angels can travel between these two separate dimensions:

Gen 28:12  And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

These sons of God must be angels based upon the logical facts given.  There are other verses that we could explore but I need to move on.  Please notice that Satan appears with the “sons of God” in Job 1:6.  This is actually a very interesting concept given by God and implies a great deal of hidden information.  The Hebrew word H8432 that was translated as “among” in Job 1:6 literally means that Satan was in the center of them.  This Hebrew word represents a bisection of the group of “sons of God” with one half being on the left side of Satan and the other half being on the right side of Satan standing before God.  This places Satan as the implied leader of the “sons of God”.   We know from reading in Ezekiel and Isaiah that Satan was one of the chief angels if not the chief leader of them all.  Also notice that the position of Satan being in the center of the “sons of God” means that Satan was also one of this group of sons by association.  Did you know that Satan and the angels were called “sons of God”?  Let me give you some additional proof:

Isa 14:12  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

Here in this verse the individual named Lucifer is called a literal “son” of the morning.  The morning is actually a poor translation because this Hebrew Word H7837 means “dayspring” or more literally “early light” or even “first light”.   The emphasize detail in this definition is the light and the timing of its appearing. Who is called The Light in the New Testament?  God is clearly called “Light” in 1 John 1:5.  Also Jesus claimed to be the light in John 8:12, John 9:5 and John 12:46.  But since Jesus was God in the flesh both are equally the Light.  I think I need to give you another key verse to this puzzle:

Luk 1:78  Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,

You can clearly see from this verse that Jesus was called the “dayspring” from on high.  This literally means that Jesus was God but it also confirms who Satan was as a revealed son of God in Isaiah 14:12.  If you look up the definition of “dayspring” you will see plainly that this Greek word in Luke 1:78 has the meaning of the early light of dawn and it is a perfect match for the Hebrew word definition of “morning” or “dayspring”.   What God is revealing to us in these verses is that Lucifer was one of the first created beings that God produced.  Early light in the context that God is Light simply means the preceding order of time which is a difficult concept for us to grasp about a God who lives outside the dimension of time.  God is clearly indicating to us that Lucifer was His son before Jesus became His son.  I know that is hard to grasp for many people because it is new information.  Just keep in mind that Jesus was God who created everything and that He had children called angels before He ever had a Son name Jesus.  All of this will become clearer as we continue to discover who are represented as the other “sons of God” in the Bible.

I want you to notice in Isaiah 14:12 that the Hebrew word H1121 translated as “son” is repeated in this verse the same as in Job 1 and Genesis 6 for the “sons of God”.  God claims that Satan is a builder of His family name.  The name of God is His family and God of course is the head of the family being the Father of all spirits.  Perhaps this is a good time to introduce a New Testament confirmation verse that is related to this subject of sons and fathers:

Heb 12:9  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

Here is a very revealing verse for the discussion of spiritual fathers and spiritual sons.   God is being named the spiritual Father of all spiritual beings.  Is Satan a spiritual being?  Is every angel a spiritual being?  You must understand that created Satan and every created angel are both eternal and spiritual beings before you continue to learn more complex Bible truths.  I try not to teach anything without at least giving you a reference for what is being stated so I will give one about angels being spirits to help you see it:

Heb 1:14  Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Reading this verse in context you will discover God speaking of angels.  God declares His angels to be ministering spirits sent to minister for those that are heirs of salvation.  I know this is talking about me because I’m an heir of salvation.  Therefore God’s ministering spirits (angels) will be there for me to help in this world.  What I have just done is establish a basic truth of angels being called “sons”.  Since God is clearly called the Father of every spirit in the Bible.  I hope you are beginning to learn how poorly translated the NIV Bible was in John 3:16.  We have just witnessed the reality that every spiritual being is called a child of the spiritual God who is called Father.  This literally means that we should find this father and son theme in the Bible in other places.

I have only introduced you to the second type of a son of God found in the Bible.  Jesus was my first type called the “Only Begotten” but before Jesus we found that angels were previously called God’s sons as the second revealed type of a son.  Technically speaking angels existed first as sons before God became His own Son in the natural form of Jesus.  Did you notice what I just said?  God created everything and everyone and He clearly self-existed eternally.  However, the eternal God chose to become His own son before the foundation of the world to redeem us from our sins as well as accomplish many other things that I can’t get into in this lesson.  God becoming a Son being born 4000 years after the creation of Adam was clearly a mystery that took Satan by complete surprise.  However the wisdom of God prevailed and we find that truly “All things are possible with God”.  I hope you understand this truth of the eternal Spirit of God manifesting as a human Son because this defeated Satan and set you free from Satan’s rule.

What I have just given to you is the realization that before Jesus physically existed that there were other spiritual beings called angels that are referred to by God as His spiritual children.   This is enough of a conflict to cause us to reconsider the NIV translation of the verse in John 3:16.  But there are many other verses that also cause additional conflict.  Let’s look at another important verse:

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

Here is an additional verse that was written to the church (me and you if you are a Christian) that conflicts with the belief of “one and only son” of God.  This verse indicates that those that are led by God’s Spirit will also be called God’s children.  Are you a spirit?   Do you remember that God is called the Father of spirits?  God has made you a son when you were previously not His son.  How did these people being led become God’s children?  We have to do further research in order to answer that question and this answer is found here in this verse:

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

Do you believe in the name of Jesus?  Have you received Jesus Christ?  If you have done both of these then you qualify to be called a son/child of God.  Now consider what else this verse says.  This verse clearly indicates that we were once not His child but have become this son by God’s plan of salvation.  Uh oh!  That raises too many questions that just cannot be answered fully in this Bible lesson.  You see you were a spirit being before being saved but yet you had to become saved in order to become this new son of God status.  If God created our spirit and He was previously our Father then how did we lose this son status in order to need this again?   The Bible is a highly complex book of spiritual information and this is just one mystery of the many that God solves by His extreme wisdom.  I will not answer this question in this lesson so if you want to know this you will have to leave a comment and ask for the answer or go find it for yourself.  However, I will give you this verse since it is found in the context of my main subject of John 3:16 to help confirm what I have just said:

Joh 3:3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

In the context of John 3:16 we find Jesus telling a man that he must be “born again”.  Uh oh again!  What does this mean?   Nicodemus thought that it meat that he needed to reenter his mother’s womb and be born naturally and that was not what Jesus was teaching.  Jesus was teaching a spiritual birth and not a natural birth.  Notice what Jesus confirms here.  Unless you are born again spiritually you will not enter into the kingdom of God.  That means before we were born again we were not in God’s family and needed to be saved (born again) to become a member of His family.  Being a son/child of God is essential to being saved.  We were once not His children but now being born of the Spirit of God have become His children and this is the new third type of son being described in the Bible.  This son type differs from every other son type previously mentioned and yet there is still a fourth type of son that has not yet been mentioned.  Let’s discover the fourth type of son of God that was not like the only begotten Jesus, the angels or the born again church.  Here is where I will start next:

Luk 3:38  Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

This is another controversial verse that is ignored by most non-serious Bible students.  This is the genealogy of Jesus Christ recorded by the author Luke given to us by the inspiration of God.  This genealogy proceeds in reverse order all the way from Jesus back to Adam and then finally concluding with God the Father of every spiritual being.  Every named pair represents a father and his son relationship however the Greek word for “son” is not included so many believe that this was omitted to allow God not to be called the Father of Adam.  However that is just the deception of Satan trying to keep you from learning the truth to what is stated in this genealogy.  Let me go back to the top of the list and show you the beginning:

Luk 3:23  And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,

Notice what God says here.  God says Jesus was SUPPOSEDLY the son of Joseph.   Any learned Bible student knows that God is correct to state it this way since God was His Father and not Joseph.  Now consider the end of the list of names using the light of the beginning.  If Adam was not the Son of God then God would have said “SUPPOSELY” again and since He did not do that we know that Adam was a created fourth type of a son of God.   Now to confirm this we need to go back to read Genesis 2 where God created the man named Adam.  Read this chapter in full if you like.  I will not quote it all because I want you to focus on verse 26 primarily:

Gen 2:24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

This verse was written about Adam leaving his Father to be joined to his wife.  Who then was his father that he left if not God?  It has to be God that was the spiritual Father of Adam.  I know this because of what we read previously in Hebrews 12:9 where God is declared to be the Father of every spirit.  If you go back up in the chapter at Genesis 2:7 you will read where God breathes the breath of life into Adam.  This Hebrew word translated as breath is the same word that means “spirit” and this word teaches us when and where Adam received his spirit directly from God his spiritual Father.

We have now discovered 4 types of sons of God and there is at least one other type but that is sufficient overwhelming evidence that John 3:16 cannot be correctly translated as “ONE AND ONLY SON”.  This erroneous translation simply conflicts with too many other verses in the Bible that teaches us about other “sons of God” that existed before Jesus came to the earth and after Jesus returned to heaven.  I received one additional question that I will end with in this lesson.  I received a question about Jesus having brothers and who these brothers were.  I have alluded to this truth in some of my other Bible lessons but never fully explained it.  I may not be able still to fully explain it here but I will at least introduce the subject for your consideration.

If there are multiple types of sons of God as I have demonstrated and God is the Father of them all, then  it makes good logical sense that Jesus has brothers/siblings.  If Jesus is a Son of God which He clearly is then every other son of God must also be His brother.   In many of the parables taught to us by Jesus there is more than one son given.  Even within Old Testament typology there are many examples of multiple sons. For example, Isaac was a half-brother of Ishmael.   Isaac was accepted and the older brother Ishmael was cast out.  This is a common pattern found in the Old Testament types.  For example, there was Cain and Abel the first two sons of Adam mentioned by God.  Abel was killed by his older brother Cain.  Abel’s offering was accepted by God but Cain’s was not.  Then there was Jacob and his older brother Esau.  Again Esau the firstborn was rejected but the younger Jacob was chosen by God.  Abel, Isaac and Jacob are all clearly types of Jesus Christ.  Yet who are these brothers a type of?  I personally believe that they are types of Satan.  I have other Bible lessons where I address these subjects so I will not repeat it here.

What I am doing is teaching you that Jesus had spiritual brothers.  We now know that Adam was a brother of Jesus since God was both of their direct spiritual Fathers.  We should also now know that Satan was a brother of Jesus since he was called a son of the early light in Isaiah.  We also know from reading that we Christians are also called spiritual brothers/sisters of Jesus if we have become “born again” by the Spirit of God and being led by His Spirit.  How do we know this?  Well we know this because Jesus was called the “firstborn” from the dead in Colossians 1:18.   That verse teaches us that this means Jesus was given preeminence by God’s design being the first to be born again from the dead.  Wow God teaches us some pretty hard things for us to grasp.  Who understood that Jesus was talking about Himself being born again in John 3?    If Jesus was the first then there are others that followed Him being called second, third, fourth and etc.   There are many other verses that teach us that we are called brothers and sisters of Christ.  For example we are called “joint heirs” with Christ Jesus in Romans 8:17.  What is an heir?  An heir is normally a child that inherits what is left after the Father/Parent dies.  Who died to make us an heir with Jesus?  It was Jesus who died to allow us to become an heir.  This is just another divine mystery.  God died and became the first heir and this act of God allows us to become the same in subsequent numbered positions.  This is a very complex spiritual subject that is not known or understood by many Christians.

Today in this Bible lesson I want to reemphasize the fact that I am not taking away from the deity of Jesus Christ nor am I reducing His most significant Son of God status with the existence of other created sons of God.  I always capitalize Jesus as the Son of God and any other being like Lucifer was but a mere son of God.   I fully acknowledge Jesus Christ as being Supreme.  Just because I taught you that there are other types of sons of God that exist in the Bible that does not disqualify the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit within the trinity.  These three are the One True God.  If you perceived any other message from this Bible lesson than what I just stated here then you need to go back and reread this lesson again and again.

My website is called “Advanced Bible Study”.  This is one of those types of lessons that have been designed for spiritually mature Christians.  I went over many things that will be rejected by a lot of immature people who call themselves Christians but yet that is the nature of teaching advanced subjects to students who are only capable of understanding simple basic subjects. I used 3 to 4 basic rules of good Bible interpretation to confirm the truth in this lesson.  You should have learned these rules so that you can apply them in your Bible study.  If you disagree with this lesson please do not leave me any nasty comments.  I really am not going to change what I teach if you are incapable of understanding spiritual truths.  I thank those that can see the truth and understand why it is important to learn.  I could not include everything in this lesson so if you have questions I am willing to hear them and see if I can help you to understand anything that was not covered sufficiently.  In conclusion I will give you the list of 4 types of sons of God:

  1. Only Begotten (natural born) Son (Jesus Christ)
  2. The angelic beings are called the sons of God created before the world existed
  3. The born again church are called sons of God if they are led by the Spirit of God
  4. Adam created as a son of God who left his Father to be joined to his wife

I hope that you enjoyed this advanced Bible lesson and will leave me a positive comment or question if you learned anything that you can share with others please do that also.  Also please point others to this website to help the Word of God to be spread to the entire world.  Post links to my Bible lessons on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site where people can learn about Jesus. I thank you and may God continue to bless you as you are led by His Spirit with me.  God Bless!

Understanding the Book of Job. Did Job Ever Have Faith in God? Part 4

job-theodicy_on_trial(ver 1.1)  This is now Part 4 in the series of advanced spiritual Bible study lessons on Understanding the Old Testament Book of Job.  I have not taught on this subject in a very long time but I received a question that needed to be answered.   I believed that there are many that can benefit from this response and I hope that you will receive this message with an open heart and mind.   If you have not read the entire series of lessons from the beginning then I would highly recommend that you go back and start with Part 1 since I cannot repeat everything about a subject in every lesson.  I have covered a lot of new information in this series that is often ignored or overlooked when studying the Book of Job.   Too often Christians study a book, chapter or even a verse of the Old Testament without any consideration for the commentary, definitions and explanations of God given to us in the New Testament and that is a tremendous mistake.   God in the New Testament revealed so many hidden concepts and these new revelations will shed a significant amount of light upon the story of Job but only if we understand how they fit into these Old Testament descriptions.  For example in one of my last Bible lesson I taught on the subject of Biblical Typology.  Typology is such a deep subject that it sometimes goes way beyond the comprehension of many Christians.   But, today I believe that I will introduce you to Job as being an Old Testament type for us in the church to learn from.  Let’s allow the Spirit of God to teach us through His Word about what the Bible means.   This principle of using the Bible to interpret and understand the Bible is what I have been trying to teach people to do in almost every Old Testament Bible study that I have ever published.  I hope that many are at least beginning to familiarize themself with how this is achieved and then they will be able to incorporate these ideas into how to study the Bible.

The question that I received about Job was concerning if Job ever possessed any faith in God.   Faith is a central theme subject dominating the entire New Testament.  But was faith ever a factor for these people of the Old Testament like Job?   We know from reading in Hebrews 11:6 that without faith it is absolutely impossible to even try to please God.  We also know from reading in Malachi 3:6 that the Lord God does not vary or change in any way at any time.  Therefore we know that if the Lord required faith in the New Testament then the same requirement is necessary in the Old Testament in order to be pleasing to Him or Malachi 3:6 would become a lie.  We should be able to recognize from reading in the first chapter of Job that it appears that God is very pleased with His man named Job.   In fact if you read verse 8 God declares to Satan that there is no other man like His servant Job on the earth.  Therefore, we must conclude that God was very well pleased with Job in chapter 1 and that this means that Job had to have had a measure of faith in God that was pleasing to Him.  This is just basic logic established upon reading the New Testament and asking the right questions and then finding the right answers.  We have just established a basis for Job’s faith and now in the rest of the lesson we will confirm this reality using other Bible verses found in the Old and New Testaments.

If Job possessed faith this raises the valid new question of how Job could have fallen into fear, speaking wrong words and having no inner peace simultaneously with having this unstated faith that pleased God in chapter 1?   If you understand much about the concepts of faith there appears to be a major contradiction between all of these concepts being present within anyone at the same time.   That was actually a very wise and excellent question to ask about Job by the commenter.  The person that asked this question if Job had any faith certainly understood a lot about the subject of faith and the partners of faith that must be found present in order to be pleasing to God.  We will now attempt to explore this new subject of Job’s faith by using more of the New Testament to help us understand what God says about Job and this subject of faith.  We will also verify the fact that this faith existed using the Old Testament descriptions found in the book of Job and in other verses where Job is mentioned.   Are you ready to learn some more new things about the mysterious story of Job?  I will warn you at the beginning that this will be a long lesson on Job and the subject of faith.

DID JOB HAVE FAITH?

We still need to confirm the fact that Job had unstated faith in the Old Testament.  movie_film_art_2014But, it might also help us if we begin to realize that the book of Job represents only a short film clip of his entire life movie.   Did you understand what I just said?   Have you ever considered or studied the implied timing and duration of this short Job story event written down for us by God?  Job is reported to be a very mature man that has already had 10 mature children by the time the story begins in chapter 1.  How long of time does it normally take to have 10 children and allow them to mature?   How old would Job be after this has occurred?   We are not technically told but Job could have been at least 25 to 30 years old before he got married and ever started having any children with his wife.  It then could have taken up to 20 years to have given birth to these 10 children.  If all of Job’s children were now grown the duration of time for the youngest to grow up might have been at least another 20+ years from the time of their birth.  All of this would mean that Job could be at least 70 to 80 years old minimum in the beginning of chapter 1.  This could make his oldest son close to 40 years old and his youngest son around 20 years old.  The first seventy to eighty years of Job’s life is a lot of time that is not being reported on in the Bible by God.  What we learn from this quick analysis of Job is that not every detail of the early life was given to us by God.  We do know that in Chapter one that Job is successful, prosperous and is very blessed by God.  But we do not know how or why Job obtained this blessing from God at first glance from the material being given.   This will be why we need to study the Bible in more depth to learn more about the fine details to what pleases God.

We are not technically provided how long of a period of time that the story of Job takes place from chapter 1 to chapter 42.  I have heard some say as long as 7 years (84 months) and others only a few weeks or months.   Either way the story time period was relatively short compared to the human range of life spans found during the book of Genesis.  I personally place the story of Job somewhere after Noah but before Abraham.   For Job to occur before the flood would raise the question of how the book survived the flood to be given to us on the earth today to read.  Next we find by reading Job that there is no direct mention of God’s covenant with Abraham or the Law of Moses in the book of Job.  So this would lead us to believe that Job lived in the time period before Abraham.   Using this logic, this would place the story of Job somewhere after chapter 10 of Genesis and before the middle of chapter 11 of Genesis.   Many people during this time period of chapter 11 in Genesis lived from 200 to 300 years and even that is a long time compared to just 84 months or 7 years at the most of the story of Job.   In fact if you read the end of Job in chapter 42 and verse 16 you will find that after God restored to Job more than he had at the beginning of the story that Job still produced another 10 children and lived another 140 years.  Using this information we can say that Job was probably at least 70 to 100 years old when chapter 1 begins.   What I am teaching in this part of the introduction is that this book of Job like most of the rest of the Bible is incomplete but God gives us this specific part of the complete story for a purpose to teach us.

We will endeavor to determine the purpose of Job by using the revelations given to us by God in the New Testament.   Like I said before, I will always use the New Testament to explain the Old Testament because this was a part of God’s design and I have learned to follow it.   Without the New Testament the Old Testament is a very confusing book of historical information as proven by all of the crazy opinions found on the internet to what it all means.   To begin this study we need to search the New Testament to find if Job is ever mentioned directly by God.  Doing this search, you should find that the man Job is only directly mentioned one time in one verse in the whole New Testament.   However this single reference point will begin to open the door for us to see how to understand if Job ever had any faith.   I have talked about this verse in the very first lesson briefly but I did not go into it in any detail.  What we will soon discover in the New Testament is that Job’s virtue of patience was revealed by God to be the main emphasis (purpose) of the entire book of Job.  Let me give you the verse again so that you can review what is stated within God’s critical commentary on the story of Job:

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

I am not going to attempt to teach everything that this verse says but I will again emphasize that it was only Job’s patience and endurance that was being highlighted by God as the main subjects found in the O.T. book.   Have you ever considered why so many pastors today teach only negative things from the book of Job and God only speaks of positive qualities?  I mean think about how many funerals quote Job as saying “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord”.  Why isn’t this statement ever quoted by the apostles in the New Testament anywhere but yet it is overemphasized by Bible teachers in the church constantly?  I think those are all excellent questions to think about.  Let’s talk about what patience is briefly to help us better understand this new subject.  We will do this by asking some very basic questions.  Why is patience a virtue?   When does a human ever have need of any patience?  What exactly is patience?   What is the opposite of having patience?   If you can begin to answer these questions then you are far ahead of many other Christians.  Let’s look up the definition of the Greek translated as “patience” in the Strong’s:

G5281: From G5278; cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy: – enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).

The Strong’s dictionary defines the Greek word G5281 which is translated as “patience” to be “cheerful” or “hopeful” endurance.  Wow, that is an amazingly important definition for a word that is so neglected and misunderstood by Christians.   By the inclusion of the words “cheerful” and “hopeful” within the definition this denotes the characteristic of someone choosing to have a positive attitude  in spite of the implied presence of adverse circumstances that are being faced by the person being described.  Do you understand this?  Being hopeful is not required when you are at a pleasurable event of good circumstances.   In other words if you have millions of dollars in the bank you do not need to have any cheerful hope that your bills will be met because they have already been met.   Let me give you a quick definition for the word hope.  Hope is the confident expectation or desire for a certain good thing or event to occur.   Does that help?   We do not need to hope for what we already possess.   This is actually a very good quality and relates to having faith tremendously.  Let’s briefly move on to the quality of being cheerful next.

Making a willful and purposeful decision to be cheerful is not necessary during a time of great pleasure, prosperity or positive experiences either.   Almost everyone can be happy and cheerful during a party celebration. I do not believe that is what is being defined here in this definition of patience.   The definition for the word “cheerful” is someone who is noticeably happy and optimistic.  Being cheerful, happy and optimistic is easy when everything is going great.   However, the presence of choosing to be cheerful within the definition of being patient can only be correctly understood as occurring during a set of very negative circumstances.   We can see this by Strong placing the adjective “cheerful” joined with the noun “endurance” which changes the word’s application to a completely different set of negative circumstances and we will discover this as we continue through the lesson.

I hope that you understand what all of this means so far.  We will next look at the word endurance but before we go there let’s look at another part of the patience definition that teaches us an additional important concept concerning why patience is necessary.  You should have observed that the definition of patience includes a direct companionship with the term “waiting”.  To “wait” can be defined as “to stay in a certain place until a very specific anticipated event occurs”.   Any time that a person “waits” for something to transpire or to be given to them this means they do not yet have it or can even see it coming.  This would mean that there must be a time delay or an extended interval of duration that occurs before what is desired can be proven to exist.   I hope that you understood that time is an essential part of the word’s meaning because it was very relevant.  Now let’s talk about “endurance”.   Notice in the definition of G5281 that was translated as patience is found the term “endurance” and “enduring”.  How is endurance a factor with waiting?  What is “endurance” and when or why is this quality ever required?    Let’s find the definition of endurance in a dictionary:

Endurance:  the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way

Endurance is defined to be going through an extended unpleasant situation which again denotes the passage of time through a set of negative circumstances.  This is a very good description of the short story of Job, isn’t it?  Endurance is only required when someone is in an event of significant length when not quitting or giving up is required to remain in it.   For example a runner in any long distance marathon event needs to possess the quality of endurance.  No runner in any 100 meter sprint requires endurance because the end of the race is always in the view of the runner.   Did you see the difference?   In other words hopeful endurance is only necessary if the person participating does not or cannot see the end of the race for a very long elapsed period of time but yet they know the end is coming so they optimistically expect to get through the whole race to finish at the end.  Wow, again!   Did you know that every Christian after being saved is in an extended endurance race not able to perceive the end of their course?   Let me prove this to you using your Bible:

Heb 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

There is an amazingly complex figurative explanation of the newborn Christian life found in this verse.   Too many Christians want to take everything in the Bible literally and this verse if taken this way will only confuse the reader.   There can be no logical application that God is describing a literal physical race in this verse.  Therefore this described race must be taken as a symbolic, figurative or metaphorical account of an unseen spiritual event.   Do you understand this?   This symbolic description is often missed or ignored by many modern extreme Grace Bible teachers.   Let’s determine who the runners are for this race to begin.  The key to understanding any verse begins with seeing what is actually stated.   There are two plural pronouns given that will point us to who the runners represent.  These pronouns are “we” and “us”.   Both of these words are statements written by Paul that included himself as one of the runners.  The remainder of this runner group has to be the church which he is writing the letter to.  Therefore only the church body as a whole can be the target runners.  Now let’s determine what makes a person a runner in the race.   Since the reason for the race is not directly given to us in this verse I will tell you that being a runner in the race occurs when we are born again.    This was inferred by the statement of us laying aside every weight and sin that does beset us.   I am a firm believer that repentance is a forerunner to accepting salvation.  Repentance occurs when one realizes that they are a sinner and have need of salvation.  Normally when this occurs, the person realizes their need to turn away from their sins and this would again match with what was stated here in Hebrews.  I really do not have the time to explain this in detail in this lesson.  I hope that you can agree with the Spirit of God and we can continue.

Since this verse was written to the church and we are the runners being described we must now determine what kind of race this applies to.  Let’s analyze the Greek word translated as “race” to learn what God meant by selecting this word.   The Greek word translated as “race” is G73 (AGON).    This word from the Strong’s dictionary has the meaning of a contest where people are gathered together to compete.  This Greek word is found in only 6 verses that were all written to the church in Paul’s letters.  It is only translated as “race” in Hebrews 12:1.  In other verses it was translated as “conflict”, “contention” or “fight”.  In every case this word designates a human struggle to overcome or win in the contest.   In any designated opportunity to win there is always an antithesis opportunity to fail, quit or to be defeated.  This is such an important concept that I can’t stop teaching it.  If you do not believe that you can ever be deceived then you are already deceived.    If you do not believe that you can ever quit your salvation and walk away then you are in serious trouble.  Knowing that you are in a conflict is the beginning to overcoming it to win.  I think I am getting off topic here so please allow me to move on.

Let’s continue to define the race.  In Philippians 1:30 Paul tells the church that they are in the same conflict (race) as he is.  Within the context of this statement Paul refers to the persecution that they are enduring for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   In 1 Thessalonians 2:2 Paul again speaks of preaching the Gospel in the middle of great violence that was being done against it.  What we are observing is a pattern for defining what the contest represents.  The contest being described appears to be a Christian life of preaching to others to get them saved while enduring persecution, ridicule and even up to death as many in the early church endured.   In preaching the Gospel the Christian will encounter persecution and many evils that are sent to silence them.   This gives us a pretty clear definition for what the race represents.  This race must be the Christian life of following Jesus’ example to reach the world.   I hope that you can agree with this conclusion.

God describes the Christian way of life to be as a long race of endurance that requires the noble quality of patience to get through it.  This literally means that we all have the same opportunity to quit or give up before the end of the race is achieved.  Consider the fact that every natural race has a starting gun that begins the event and an ending finish line that terminates the event.  The race being described here in Hebrews 12:1 begins when the sinner repents, believes and accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  That is the individual’s starting point to begin to run and the end of that race is certainly not seen or known.   The duration of the race is our life span on the earth where we must endure things that try to make us quit preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   What God calls every Christian to do is to witness and preach to help get others into the race.  This is the ministry that we all share together.  So far do you understand God’s description of the Christian life race?

AAA 400Notice that this race is being witnessed by an audience which observes as the runners run.   Then think and consider that these witnesses are not in the race.  There is only two possible interpretations for these race witnesses.   They can be those that we are trying to get into the race.  Or they could also be those that have already finished the race.  Now remember that it is the spiritual church which is racing here within this natural world which is bringing the opposition to them.  This seems to indicate that those that are bringing the opposition to those of us who are running to win the race are already a part of the field where the competition is occurring and therefore cannot be in the grandstands as witnesses to the event.   We can confirm this by observing the stated figurative position of the cheering audience members.  The audience is described to be compassed about the event and that is clearly a figurative stadium setting but it is also a circular reference like the shape of our globe.   This helps to confirm that the earth is the symbolic stadium and the observers are not here on the earth.  These witnesses that encircle the earth’s view cannot be earthly participants or natural observers but rather these must be heavenly witnesses and that will certainly include God, the angels and those that have already finished running their race and gone to be with the Lord.   Again the race being described here represents the human events, struggles, challenges within our human life on the earth.    The main point that I wanted to get to in this verse is the fact God says we must run life’s race with patience.  That simply means that we are running the race with hopeful endurance until the end of the race comes.  There are only three exits from this race that can be possible.  The first exit is the rapture of the church, the second exit can be the natural death of the runner and the third exit from the race can only be the resignation of the runner from the race.   Even when we do not see the end we know the end is coming and that will be when we will receive the prize being spoken of in the N.T. (1 Cor 9:2).  I’m not going to go into any more of the details of this race concept in this lesson because I believe that you can get the main points from what has just been described.

I reached this verse in Hebrews 12:1 by searching for the keyword “patience” being used to describe Job in James.  Do you remember how we got here so far?   The next thing that I want you to understand is that this verse in Hebrews 12:1 is directly preceded by Hebrews chapter 11 which is entirely dominated by the subject of faith listing many of the Old Testament faith heroes.   This again is a critical part of the lesson for us to begin to learn the direct association between the subjects of having faith in Chapter 11 which is immediately followed by the subject of patience in chapter 12.  The book of Hebrews was not written with chapter and verse separations.  Therefore these two subjects flow together in harmony and must be taken to be related topics.   We will confirm this truth by using other scriptures, but this is a very important beginning view of these two subjects.  Why do I say that?  It is because my subject today is about Job and Job is certainly an Old Testament man.   Hebrews 11 confirms to us today that faith was a factor for even the men and women named in the Old Testament.  God names over 10 individuals and Paul then writes that there are too many others to name them all.  What we must conclude from this information is that Job could have had faith.   I would suggest that you go and read chapter 11 of Hebrews every chance you get.  There is so much information given to us here that it astounds me.  I have concluded that while Job’s name is not directly mentioned in Hebrews 11, it can be indirectly associated within the group of unnamed O.T. saints by God’ selection of the word G5281 translated as “patience” that follows having faith in Hebrews 12:1.   I would also like to make this point that there is an implied association with those names listed in chapter 11 as Old Testament faith heroes as being the chapter 12 witnesses that have gone on before us.   I hope you understand this logic.  Let’s examine another verse found in James that goes along with the one that I previously used about Job.

Jas 1:3  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

Here is a very important verse to apply to Job.  It appears that patience is mentioned more than once in the book of James.  In this verse is found the exact same Greek word that we previously looked at as being used by God to describe Job.  But this time this Greek word is connected directly to the factor of having human faith.    This is the first verse that we have looked at that has made this direct connection.  It will certainly not be the last verse.   What we will discover in this study is that patience is a direct partner to faith and they both must be present or neither is necessary.  I would like to introduce you to the keyword that is translated as “trying” in this verse.  This Greek word is G1383 and it means “to test”.  This would be a very accurate description of what is occurring in the book of Job.  Job is being tested and we learn from this verse in James why these tests occur.   Also do not erroneously conclude that God is doing the testing because that belief contradicts other New Testament verses that I have already covered.  Therefore the tester is Satan as we can clearly see being named in the first chapter of Job.  From this verse in James we begin to see why Job endured and survived these tests and this is because of his faith and patience.   This is the second verse that helps to establish the faith of Job as being a present factor in the story.

WHO IS JOB ASSOCIATED WITH?

I think this is a good time to learn the associations of Job in the Bible.  By seeing who God groups Job with in the Bible it will help us determine if he is qualified to be called a faith man.   I think it is fairly obvious that Job is not directly grouped with anyone in the book of Job.  There are no other mentioned men of God in this book.  In fact if it were not for Job praying for his friends, his friends would be in serious trouble with God.   I hope you understand the importance of association.  This will become increasingly more important as you study the Bible in depth on many other subjects.  In the last section I talked about the Hebrews 11 Faith Hall of Fame list that God gives to us.  These were all faith men and women that achieved notoriety by God to an elite level of association.  We learn from this list that God does associate like people together.  We can use this now to learn who God associated Job with.  In order to do this I’m going to give you the preceding verse to the one in James that mentioned Job:

Jas 5:10  Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.

Ok, this verse is really very informative.  By God placing this information within the direct context of the next statement, Job is being placed within some very elite company.   I personally believe that Job was a prophet of God.  I derive that from the fact that I believe Job wrote the book of Job.  But I also derive that from this verse that speaks of prophets and their examples of suffering affliction and their patience.   That is a very excellent description of the book of Job.   Here in this verse is the introduction of Job being an example for the church to follow.  God’s usage of the Greek word G5262 teaches us this fact.   This Greek word literally means these men were given to us by God as a pattern for us to learn from.  That is the classic definition of what a Biblical type is.  If Job was a type of man with patience being associated with so many other great prophets that we can read about then we need to learn this in order to understand the book of Job more clearly.

One of the greatest prophets of God was Moses.  Moses wrote down the Law of God.   He was used by God to deliver the children of God out of Egypt.  This is the kind of company that Job is being placed within by this verse statement in James 5:10.  Moses was also directly mentioned in the Faith Hall of Fame and that helps to determine where Job potentially belongs by direct association.   What we will do is see if we can find further confirmation for this in the Bible.  We will do this again by searching for the name of Job to determine if God places him with anyone else by association.  We already know that Job is not found anywhere else in the New Testament but we did not previously look for him in the Old Testament and that is our next place to search.

If you did the search you should have found one more reference to Job outside of the book of Job.  The name of Job is only mentioned in the Old Testament in the book of Job and in the writings of one major O.T. prophet.   You will find the name of Job mentioned in Ezekiel 14 twice.  These verses are Ezekiel 14:14 and 14:20.  Here in both of these verses Job’s name is directly mentioned in unison with Noah and Daniel.  Both of these men were also prophets of God.  This information helps us to confirm where Job fits within God’s associations.   If you read the context of these two verses you should see that God is speaking to the house of Israel and He tells them to turn from their idols or be destroyed.  God clearly calls men like Noah, Daniel and Job to be righteous examples and these are the types of men that will be saved while the others in Israel that do not repent will be destroyed.   This is actually essential information to learn from about the story of Job.  It gives us such a profound reference point to who God viewed Job to be like that it helps us settle why this book even exists in the Bible.   You see Noah was directly mentioned in Hebrews 11:7 as having faith.  Daniel was indirectly mentioned in the same chapter as having stopped the mouths of lions in Hebrews 11:33.  Therefore we have Job being included with some pretty amazing company that would seem to indicate that Job’s righteousness was also obtained by the same level of faith in God that these other two men possessed.  I would recommend that you take the time to go and read Ezekiel 14 to insure that this is what God is saying.  I believe that you will be able to see it now that I have pointed you to this information.  This information will help confirm the presence of faith in the life of Job but we will continue to find other witnesses to the truth as we study further.

FAITH AND PATIENCE

As we have observed in Hebrews 11 and 12 there appears to be a partnership between faith and patience which is tied together by God’s design.   What relationship does faith have with patience?  Are there any other direct connections between these two factors given to us in the New Testament?    This is where we will begin to get into the subject of why faith is joined to its partner called patience.   I can’t teach the entire subject here but I will give you a quick overview of how they are linked together.  But first we will continue by reading another verse found within the context of Hebrews 11 and 12 that directly applies to our lesson:

Heb 10:36  For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

Did you just see what God did?   God just made us a faith sandwich placing the meat of faith (Heb. 11) between two slices of patience (Heb 10:36, Heb 12:1).   Uh oh, I hope that I didn’t offend anyone with my faith sandwich analogy.  Let’s consider the book of Job when reading this N.T. verse.  Did Job end up better than when he started?   Through all of the hardships that Job experienced in 41 chapters was the end of his life blessed more than the beginning of his life by God?   I hope that you will read and see that Job’s end was greater than Job’s younger years and certainly was better than his life during the book of Job.  Would it not stand to reason that Job “received the promise” of God in the end?   Maybe you do not understand that receiving anything from God requires human faith.  I do not have the time to teach or prove this in this lesson so you will need to go and study the subject of faith in my Understanding Bible Faith series.   I will definitely tell you that everything that comes from God’s Grace is received by a man’s faith and obedience.   This includes salvation, healing, deliverance, God’s blessings and on and on I could go.   I’ll say it one more time for those that do not yet understand that nothing positive is received from God without their faith being present.    Let me give you another verse that certainly applies to the subject of Job:

Jas 1:12  Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

God makes a statement here that could be talking about Job directly.  Did you see it?  There is a direct mention of endurance and this applies to having patience.  Now do you see it? The Greek word that was translated as “temptation” is a poor choice of English words by the translators.  This Greek word G3986 literally means “an experience of evil”.   While this definition could mean a temptation it goes way beyond that to include many other things.   This Greek word could apply to any adversity brought against someone by an enemy.   Let me ask you this, was Satan Job’s enemy or was Satan Job’s friend?   It would very stupid not to call Satan the adversary of Job since he was clearly trying to kill him.   Do you know what the Hebrew name “Job” means?   This name means “hated”.  Who hated Job?  If God was pleased with Job then it stands to reason that God’s enemy Satan would hate Job.   Therefore Job was hated by Satan.   This helps us put into perspective who is responsible for which actions in the book of Job.

Now go back to James 1:12 and go further with what is spoken by God.  God says that after a time of endurance through an attack that this person being attacked will receive that which God had promised them.   Why does God allow Satan to test His people?  It is certainly not for God’s benefit so it must be for our benefit or to provide evidence to Satan that those being tested will be true and faithful.  Both factors derive benefits for us in the future.   Adversity builds human character.  It teaches a person that they can overcome it and be victorious.  Isn’t all of this what happened to Job?   Job endured such a major attack of Satan that it almost wiped him out and yet God’s blessings still prevailed because why?  Do you know what receiving is?   I need to do an entire faith lesson on this important faith word.  Jesus would frequently tell the sick and diseased to “receive” their miracle.  What was Jesus saying to them?   Jesus was saying you better take it if you want it because the ball is now in your court.  I just used a tennis analogy to help you see how grace and faith works together.  God’s grace will serve the promise but it is man’s faith that is required to receive it.   If Job was mentioned with Noah and Daniel then he certainly obtained a crown of life that was mentioned in James 1:12.  I believe someday soon we will be able to walk and talk with Job and find out what else we did not learn from this book.

All of this initial information that I have just given to you is on the subjects of faith and patience and they teach us that Job had to have had unstated faith at least to some degree that allowed his end of life to be better than his beginning.  God very clearly told us that Job had patience in James.  Why then would Job need this patience if he had no hope for anything better to come?  I want you to chew on that for a while.   I’ll give you another N.T. verse that helps us to connect faith and patience together:

2Th 1:4  So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

We are back to the subject of endurance working with our faith and patience.   Here is Paul writing to the church and this verse could very easily be talking about Job’s tribulations equally.  Both the early church and Job endured great adversity and troubles within a stated time of duration here in this life.   Both of these troubles were certainly brought upon them each by their enemy Satan.  Job appears to me to be a O.T. type of the church using Biblical typology.   You have probably never heard anyone teach this but it makes very good Biblical sense based upon the comparison of common features.  Both of these examples of the early church and the O.T. life of Job persevered and endured through great tribulations, trials and tests.  Both certainly needed patience to possess the blessings of God’s promises.  But also notice what God says that they both also needed faith.   I personally do not believe that God would have included the story of Job in the Bible as a positive role model for the church if this man did not possess any faith.  God would have omitted his life story or the end result of Job’s life would have been entirely different than being fully restored apparently victorious over Satan’s attempts to kill, steal and destroy him (John 10:10).  All of this evidence that I have presented you so far raises a new question that must be answered, if Job had faith why didn’t God talk about it in the book of Job?   The answer to this question can only be found by asking why didn’t God talk about Job’s patience in the book if that was the clear emphasis that was being taught to us in the New Testament?   Do you understand that there were hidden Bible subjects in the Old Testament?  Let me help to prove this to you:

Gal 3:23  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Actually you will find out very soon that God did talk about Job’s faith in great detail in the book of Job but we normally do not understand it or it is easily mistaken for something else since it was never directly referenced by name.   This was the same for Job’s patience.  God tells us a story of part of Job’s life that demonstrates the qualities of patience being found present but yet never mentions these directly by name either.  We will discover that Job’s connections to faith were hidden within other descriptive words found in the book of Job.   Did you see what God said in this verse in Galatians?   I used this verse in the first lesson of my faith series because it is critical to understand when and where faith originates.   Faith is definitely not a brand new N.T. invention.   Faith is a divine central theme of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation.   However God says here in Galatians that the hidden subject of faith was only revealed to us in the church after Jesus had come tot he earth.  To be revealed means that the subject of faith was previously hidden from view for natural Israel.   Once you learn what faith is then you will begin to see faith or the lack of faith in almost every story found in the Old Testament.  I really hope and pray that you are learning this subject because it will be essential in your life.

FINDING JOB’S FAITH IN THE BOOK OF JOB

Reading in the book of Job initially, God appear to give the impression that He is well pleased with His man Job at least in the first chapter.   How can God ever be pleased with a man that has no faith?  Is that even possible?   It is not possible according to the New Testament as I have already alluded to previously.   I think I need to give you this verse to confirm that faith is a requirement in order to be pleasing to God:

Heb 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Did you see what this verse says?   If our faith is required and is not optional in order to be pleasing to God then we need to conclude that Job had to have had the same faith at least initially in the book.    However, there is another part of this verse that also applies to the story of Job that must be applied equally.   Read the last part of the verse again and see that God says “to those that believe in God’s existence” that He will reward them if they seek after Him diligently.  This is another portion of the requirement for having faith that must be met.  Did Job believe in God?  I believe you can clearly see in the story of Job that he believed in God very strongly.  Had Job ever seen God?  God says in John 1:18, “no man has ever seen God”.  Therefore Job had to believe in God without any evidence of His existence like you and I today.   Now ask yourself did Job diligently seek for God?  That becomes a little more difficult to see but you can find that in the first chapter that Job was offering sacrifices to God.   That sounds like a person that was diligently seeking the face of God to me.   Did Job receive any rewards for believing in God and seeking after God?   Let’s think about the rewards that Job obtained at the end of the book again.   At the end of the book of Job, he is blessed more than at the beginning and let’s review these verses:

Job 42:12  So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.

Job 42:13  He had also seven sons and three daughters.

If God rewarded Job at the end of the book with more than he had at the beginning of the book and this teaches me that faith was found to be present of God’s blessings would not have been received.   I do not see how anyone can receive God’s blessings without possessing any faith.  If you know of anyone in the Bible that was ever blessed by God without having faith please tell me about them because if you can find me one man or one woman without faith that is blessed by God then you have just made God a liar.   Since it is impossible for God to lie, I will stand by my statement with confidence that you cannot find one person present in the Bible without faith that is rewarded by God.

I’m going to go through the first verse of Job to begin to show you God’s hidden descriptions of Job’s faith being present.  I hope that after you have studied this section of the lesson with me that you will understand that faith was always present in the life of Job.   Please read verse 1 very slowly and carefully not missing any of the words selected by God to describe His righteous man Job:

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

In this first verse Job is described by God using four very flattering positive key descriptive words that were selected by God’s inspired choice.   These words will help us to understand God’s perspective and viewpoint of this man and why Job was so pleasing to God.  We must understand when reading the Bible that God could have selected any description that was true to use to teach us.  But when God selects only four specific words then those words must have a meaning that is needed to be understood.  Start by asking the question why were these 4 words selected and why were they used together in a list?  Please allow me to identify these key words for you in a list:

  1. Perfect (H8535)
  2. Upright (H3477)
  3. Feared God (H3373)
  4. Eschewed Evil  (H5493)

Those are four qualities that demonstrate God’s pleasure because they prove the implied presence of faith in God.    All of these qualities could be used to describe a Christian today that pleased God.  These qualities help to establish the fact that Job is a model for the church to follow.  Let’s research these words one at time beginning with the first called someone who is  “perfect”.  That is a very strange word for God to use to describe a human, isn’t it?

BEING PERFECT

To be “perfect” does not mean that someone never makes a mistake or sins.   Only God can be perfect and no human has ever achieved this.  Therefore to be perfect is not what you think it is using modern definitions.  A perfect diamond is one that is defined to be flawless and this cannot be a human since God says “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23).  Since being perfect is unachievable we need to discover what God meant by this word.  By looking in Strong’s dictionary for the meaning of the word we should find that to be perfect is a term that means someone is “complete” or “lacking no good quality” in the eyes of God.   Was faith a good quality to possess according to Hebrews 11:6?   If you answered yes, then faith is part of the complete package that God is looking for in any human.   This Hebrew word translated as “perfect” is H8535 and it is not used in very many verses of the O.T.   However, I will point you to one key verse that is important to note on what perfect represents to God:

Gen 25:27  And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.

Here is a verse that is easily overlooked and ignored because most of us do not read in Hebrew.  This verse has the same Hebrew word that was translated as “perfect” in Job 1:1 but this time it is used to describe Jacob as being a “plain” man.   I do not believe that people always understand the confusion that translators present them by changing a word’s definition but this is a major problem with correctly understanding the Bible.  The main point here is that both Jacob and Job were both described to be “perfect” men and they were connected together by God’s choice of word descriptions.  Therefore if you understand how typology works then what one man has the other should also have to some degree of comparison.  Why is this important?   Well it is important because Jacob was also mentioned by name in Hebrews 11 as having faith.   Therefore we can logically conclude that if Jacob had faith and he was called perfect by God then Job had faith because he was also called perfect by God.   This is very basic applied logic which surrounds the members in the common set of human called “perfect” defined by God.  Let’s continue to the next word description of Job in verse 1.

BEING UPRIGHT

“Upright” simply means someone that is standing straight up not leaning to the left or to the right.   This is a figurative expression that teaches us the condition of Job’s human thoughts within his mind as being level headed or in other words as thinking decently, right, honest, pure and not wavering back and forth from the left or to the right.   Being upright expresses Job’s moral compass on the inside that was directing his ways and his actions.   Do you recall what God said to the prophet Samuel?  When God sent Samuel to anoint the next king of Israel the sons of Jesse came before him one by one.  God told Samuel not to look on the outward appearance in 1 Samuel 16:7 because He looks on the heart of the man.  What this teaches us is that God declares what is on the inside to be more significant than what we see on the outside of a person.   What this teaches us is that Job had to be pleasing to God on the inside in order for him to walk the walk that was pleasing to God on the outside.   Again to be a good person outwardly is pleasing to God but yet a good person without any faith on the inside can still never please Him.  Also too many Christians today are doing good things without having good and right intentions in their heart.  That is a major problem to God.   Let me take you to a New Testament verse that mentions the word upright to help define what this word means:

Gal 2:14  But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

This is going to be a lesson using stated antithesis or opposites.  Sometimes to learn what something is you must learn what it is not!   Here in Galatians Paul is writing about people that were being the opposite of what Job was in verse 1.  These were Christians that were being inconsistent.   Paul was speaking of the Jews living like Gentiles but simultaneously wanting the Gentiles to live like Jews.   That represents a conflicting mindset of inconsistencies.   What Paul was telling us, is that the Gentiles did not need to get circumcised in their flesh in order to be saved like many of the Jews were trying to teach them.  Knowing the truth and being consistent applying the truth is what God was trying to say that Job was doing.   That according to God’s definition is what being upright is.   We should be able to learn how to apply this to what God says about Job.   It clearly meant that Job did not try to live like others while requiring them to live like him.  That would actually be a good Bible study to do but I will not spend the time today to do that.  Perhaps it will help if I give you the Greek word definition for upright here:

G3716

From a compound of G3717 and G4228; to be straight footed, that is, (figuratively) to go directly forward: – walk uprightly.

This word literally means to walk a straight line.  But, as you can see this word can be applied figuratively to mean moving directly forward as in not wavering from your purpose.   To move directly forward means not to move to the left or to the right as I have tried to teach you about the Hebrew word found in Job 1:1.  What is the opposite description of walking upright?   The opposite would be to walk staggering or swaying from side to side.   Do you understand this?  Have ever heard the modern expression he walked the line?  To walk the line figuratively meant that a person did not change their mind frequently to vary what they do.   There is an old Johnny Cash song that is called “Walk the line”.  In this song Johnny sings “Because you’re mine, I walk the line”.  That only meant that when he sang this song to his wife that he was not cheating on her with other women.   It is very much like the figurative phrase “walking the straight and narrow”.   Being upright is simply a person that is well balanced not changing their mind frequently between two opposing extremes like between being good today and evil tomorrow.  So what does being upright, have to do with if Job had any faith?   Well the application of truth will teach us the answer if we go and read the book of James in the New Testament:

Jas 1:5  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Jas 1:6  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

Did you see what God just said here about faith and wavering?   If man does not walk upright or in a straight line then he is wavering from one position to another.   God in this chapter calls this a double minded man with more than one thought process taking place simultaneously.   I hope and pray that you understood this very quick overview of the subject of walking uprightly.   I simply cannot teach every subject encountered in a Bible study in the depth that I would like or it would take me 100 times as many words to teach any subject.  What I wanted to show you here in James was the connection of not wavering (called walking upright) to having faith that receives from God.   It is still clear to me that since Job did receive a greater blessing from God in the end that he was at the very least back to not wavering like he was at the beginning of the story.  Let’s move on to the description of quality 3 called the fear of God next.

THE FEAR OF GOD

The next term that God used to describe Job in verse 1 was that he “feared God” and this is another critical positive human characteristic that is critical for anyone before they can ever possess any faith.  No one is going to believe God or even in God if they do not believe in His omnipotent power or if they have any great fear (respect) for His great abilities.   What I am going to do is give you another Hebrews 11 example of an Old Testament man that was directly compared to be like Job:

Heb 11:7  By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

We of course understand that Noah had faith, but before Noah could believe God to have this faith it is said that he also had to fear God first.   It would have been very stupid for Noah not to fear God but yet this was still his right of free choice.   This becomes very self-evident that the fear of God is required before anyone will believe God’s spoken word.  This is in fact the number one reason why atheists do not believe in the Bible or in God.   Atheists do not possess any fear of the living God that created them and can kill them just as easily.   These people are called fools by God and I will concur.  Where there is no fear of God their can be no faith in God.  The fear of God is a necessary precursor for having faith.  Since God describes Job to possess this fear this description qualifies him to possess faith.   We could talk about this subject for a long time but that was a quick introduction and we will move on the quality four called “eschewed evil” used to describe Job.

TURN FROM EVIL

The last quality of Job was “eschewed evil”.  This Hebrew word translated as “eschewed” literally means to turn away from following after or doing any evil.   To turn away from evil is an indicator of a repentant heart that desires to do right and good.   Again this word indicates that faith is found present in the life of Job because the N.T. says anything that is not of faith is sin (Rom 14:23).  Did you know that the lack of faith was evil?  Did you know that having no faith was sin?   Many Christians do not have a clue about either of these concepts.   Let’s quickly establish that sin is evil in the eyes of the Lord:

1Ki 15:26  And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.

Here is a man being given as a negative example for the people of God not to follow and this man sinned before God and God called his actions evil.   This Hebrew word translated as “evil” is H7451 and this is the exact same word used in Job 1:1 to describe what Job was not in the eyes of the Lord.  Therefore Job lived a life of choosing to steer away from what was sin in the eyes of God.   This is really very amazing since the period of Job occurs before there was any written Law of Moses to describe what sin was.  Somehow Job was so in tune with the Spirit of God and His ways that he knew what sin was and avoided it.  Perhaps we need to connect the dots more clearly between turning from sin and having faith, patience and walking upright before God:

Mat 3:8  Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

Here is John preaching to the Jews and he tells them directly to produce fruit for repentance.   Repentance is simply the human turning from their sins and the fruit is a reference to coming fruits of the spirit that are described by God in Galatians:

Gal 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Gal 5:23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

The KJV Bible is not as well stated as some of the other translations.  I want you to focus on just two of the nine fruits mentioned.  The first is translated as “long-suffering” and this is certainly applicable to what Job went through.  This Greek word literally means to be “patient”.   It is the opposite of being demanding and wanting everything right now like fast food.   Any quality restaurant will serve food far beyond fast food but it requires patience in order to receive it.   The second Greek word in this is translated as “faith” and that again is the word that we are exploring in the life of Job.   Since we got here by the subject of “eschewing evil” let’s see where this is used in the New Testament:

Act 26:20  But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

Here is an excellent verse that demonstrates the message that Paul preached to the Gentiles.   Paul told them to repent and then to turn to God.   This is clearly what Job had already done as a Gentile.  There are many other example verses that teach similar concepts for salvation in accordance with repentance occurring first.   This simply means that the human heart must be turned away from evil in order to allow the goodness of God to take its place.

FAITH CONCLUSIONS

These four positive qualities presented to us in verse one of Job were used by God to help us to understand the characteristics that allowed Job to have faith in God to receive  the blessing in his early years.   Every quality named can be associated with faith directly or indirectly using the New Testament. These same qualities also helped sustain Job during the tough times of Satan’s attacks to propel him to overcome the adversity.  Job’s faithfulness and patient endurance during the negative times causes him to be blessed even greater by God at the end of his life.  Keep in mind the four qualities being described by God they were 1) being complete, 2) walking upright, 3) fearing God and 4) turning from evil.  No one is going to have faith without first having any reverential fear of God!  No one is going to fear a God who they do not believe in.  No one is going to have faith without turning and departing from doing evil!  Sin will always be a moral distraction from receiving the blessings of God.   As far as being called upright by God I again believe this to mean that Job was not double minded trying to decide between good and evil.  I also believe that Job’s confidence in God was not shaken or swayed just because negative things were occurring.  Finally to be called perfect (complete) by God implies that faith had to have been found present or Job would have been lacking the one essential God pleasing quality.   It is just so obvious to me by the way that God describes Job in verse 1 that Job was pleasing to God.  This absolutely requires faith to be present.

We have explored briefly the association of faith and patience using several verses of the New Testament.   I believe that I presented sufficient evidence to confirm when one quality of faith is present the other quality of patience should also be found and vice versa.   One without the other makes the other irrelevant.  But, working together I believe that faith and patience will cause the blessing of God to be made manifest here in the natural realm.   Always remember what patience is and why it is necessary.   Patience is only required when you expect better things to come than what you are experiencing right now.   This is clearly what Job came to realize.  If you can’t see yourself as a type of Job then you have not been a Christian for very long.   If you remain in the faith, Satan will come to you eventually to test your faith in God and that is exactly what occurred in the book of Job.    When Satan approached the throne of God to accuse Job God said “Have you considered my servant Job?”.   This did not mean that God turned Job over to Satan.  This only meant that God knew why Satan was present and brought up the subject before Satan could mention it.   God is not stupid people; God had placed a hedge of protection around Job to keep Satan from attacking.  It was Job’s ignorance that caused the hedge to come down and this was the reason for the initiation of the satanic attack.  I really do not have the time to explain all of this in this lesson.  I have talked about a lot of this already in previous subject lessons.  Let’s change back to the New Testament and end with this verse:

Heb 6:12  That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Faith and patience will receive the promises of God.   The promises of God are found in the Word of God.   Every Old Testament positive example given to us by God went through this.   There are no examples of people in the Old Testament that did not have major times of tests and trials.  This included the greatest prophets of God.   Moses was tested in the wilderness.   Elijah was tested and asked God to kill him.  Noah went through tremendous persecution for preaching about the coming end.  David was hunted and had to hide not to be killed.  We could name them all but you get the point.  All of these examples were like Job who endured but they also had faith in God with corresponding acts of patience to see the deliverance of God’s hand.

Can you see now how faith was indirectly taught by God while never being mentioned by name?   This is an extremely clever method used by God of hiding the truth in plain sight in the Old Testament.  God teaches us what faith is and how it receives His blessings while never mentioning the concept directly.  The wisdom of God is way beyond normal or natural human comprehension.  I hope that you learned something new about the positive life examples of Job and how they might help you even today as a type for your walk with God to follow during your test and trial of Satan.   We have been given very significant evidence that we should believe in God and believe in His ability to bless us in spite of the negative circumstances being presented to us by Satan.   Believe me I know this for sure since I have been going through a time of tests and trials like never before in my life.

I will say in conclusion that Job made certain mistakes at the beginning of the book and certainly in the middle of the book that were corrected by the end of the book in order for God to restore his life back to more than he had at the first.  This teaches us that even Christians can open the door for Satan to attack them.  These tests and trials will cause you to have to demonstrate faith and patience in order to receive the promise of God that will also cause you to be blessed.    I went through some pretty new radical concepts for many people today.  I hope and pray that you understood them.  If not please go back and reread this lesson so that they are built into your spirit and how you live before God.   The book of Job is a great lesson to learn from.  However it matters that what you learn is in alignment with the New Testament revelation of the Lord God.  Thank you for reading and if you enjoyed this please leave me a comment.  God Bless!

BIBLE ANSWERS: Understanding Biblical Typology! Does God Use O. T. Typology to Explain Spiritual Things in the New Testament?

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(ver 1.1)  I received a very disturbing comment from a potentially confused reader concerning the latest Bible study lesson given to me by the Holy Spirit.  This lesson was regarding the subject of the Rapture that has been hidden by God within O.T. Typology.   While I generally ignore critics, I felt led by the Spirit of God to answer this comment publically in order to potentially help someone else that this person might teach these untruths to.   A few of my critics are some of the unsaved people of the world but the majority of them are very carnal Christians that do not understand the spiritual meat found in the Bible.   Anyone with a growing level of spiritual maturity should be able to see the truths of the deep spiritual knowledge that God is sharing.  I certainly realize that there are still many milk drinking Christians that are not capable of receiving meat.  That is why I try to regress into milk subjects occasionally to help everyone grow.

According to this commenter’s beliefs the use of “Typology” is not an established, valid or sound method of Exegesis or Hermeneutics.   I would have laughed at their comment if it was not so saddening.  There is a major problem occurring within the body of Christ today where people who think more highly of their personal knowledge and abilities come to correct others before attempting to learn what was stated.  This is happening constantly on Facebook and on many other internet websites.  People that come to teach others without asking ANY questions to the teacher is a display of their human pride in their own knowledge and understanding of every verse in the Bible.   People just might discover their ignorance if they would only open up their minds to think and learn to find answers to a few simple questions in order to understand why what was stated was taught.  By the nature of this man’s comment I understood that he was un-teachable and I did not reply to him.  If they read this article that was their response I would be shocked.

I have said this before but it is worthy of repetition.   My favorite non-Bible quote is by Will Rogers when he said “We are all ignorant, just about different things”.   That was so profound and accurate that I cannot say it enough.  I am a Bible teacher not because I know everything or because I agree and teach what you want me to say.  I’m called by God and only accountable to Him and I will be judged for the content of my message according to if I have heard from Him correctly.  Therefore I take this responsibility with great concern and respect.  I do not publish free Advanced Bible lessons because that is what I wanted to do.  If the Spirit of God does not lead me to teach a subject then I am silent on that subject.   Why then does anyone judge me or anyone else to correct us using their own limited knowledge (Romans 14:10-13)?  Have they appointed themselves to be my judge (1 Cor 6:6)?  Of the gifts of the Spirit listed in the New Testament, I do not recall any that are referred as the judge’s anointing.  Don’t you realize that the world is watching your arguments and laughing at them?   Christian arguments are placing stumbling blocks before those that do not believe but still need to be saved.     I personally believe these argument stumbling block people will be judged very severely for not helping others to come into the kingdom.   If you do not like my Bible lessons, just go somewhere else and find someone you like.   I’m not going to argue with you or debate you on any subject!  Let’s let God be true and every man a liar.

Today I am going to teach those that want to know the truth that God believes in O.T. Typology, Types and Shadows and He calls them clear and valid methods for exegesis (aka Bible interpretation).  God also believes in symbolism, symbolic representations, parables and metaphorical interpretation.  God further believes in allegory, spiritual names and the other methods of sound exegesis that have been placed in the Bible by God’s design.  These are just some of the revealed truths found in the New Testament that God used to teach the hidden spiritual message from the Old Testament to Christians in the early church continuing to us today.  These methods were clearly taught to Paul by the Holy Spirit and by Paul to the early church through the direction of the Holy Spirit.  We in the church today can still benefit from this knowledge by learning to observe it in what God wrote through Paul and the other Apostles.  Therefore my commenter must not believe the New Testament since it is founded on these principles.  This Bible study will prove beyond any reasonable doubt that God created the method of Typology and that I have done nothing in my Bible lessons but observe their presence.  After I learned about these truths in the Bible I believe that it would be totally foolish of me to deny they exist just because someone from seminary says they are not valid.  I pray that you will also do the same.  In this Bible lesson we will seek the answers to the following questions from the N.T.:

  1. What is Typology?
  2. Why is the use of Typology a valid form of correct Bible Interpretation?
  3. How did God conceal Typology in the Old Testament?
  4. How is Typology revealed by God in the New Testament?
  5. Why did God use Typology in the Bible?

I will definitely warn you at the beginning that this Bible lesson will be one of the most advanced complex deep spiritual subjects that is found on my website.  The title on my website is “Advanced Bible Study” and this will be one that qualifies for this category of lessons.   If you are a brand new Christian or not a very mature spiritual Christians then I really do not recommend that you try to study this subject.  I am going to need to go over some very advanced concepts and some very technical definitions.  This is just a word of warning of what will come next.

WHAT IS EXEGESIS AND HERMENEUTICS?

Before I begin today in this Bible lesson to teach that Typology is a divinely created reality found and taught to us by God in the New Testament, I would like to go through some foundational basics on the subject.  I will go into sufficient detail to what the Bible says on this subject of typology but I first want to show everyone an explanation of what Wikipedia says about the word “exegesis” to help establish the correct understanding and definition of what this potentially unknown theological term represents.   This was the complaint of my commenter that typology does not conform to sound exegesis and I believe that there are at least some Christians that actually know very little about what this word means.   Don’t allow an unfamiliar word to sway you to one side of belief or the other until you at least find out what it is defined to be:

  • The terms exegesis and hermeneutics have been used interchangeably.  However, hermeneutics is a more widely defined discipline of interpretation theory: hermeneutics includes the entire framework of the interpretive process, encompassing all forms of communication: written, verbal and nonverbal, while exegesis focuses primarily on the written text

As you can read both words exegesis and hermeneutics deal with Bible interpretation methods.   But the most important word in this description that must be observed is the given term “THEORY”.   Does God have any theories?  I do not believe that He does since He knows everything.  Is the Bible a book of theories? Again I do not believe it is simply because the God of infinite knowledge and wisdom is the author.   Therefore, if God is not the source of human theories then we need to ask “Why do humans resort to theories?”  Let me give you a definition of a theory.  A theory should be defined as any subject being discussed which is based entirely upon human ignorance of all of the known true facts of the subject.  In other words if we knew and correctly understood all of the true facts of any given subject we would have no need for any further theories or theoretical discussions.  Do you understand what I am teaching?   A theory is completely derived from the lack of sufficient evidence or proof to support it.   A theory is also totally originated from human speculation, rumor, assumption, conjecture and guesswork.   All of these are synonyms for what a theory represents.   People today often believe theories to be science and that is not accurate.  The theory of evolution lacks any sufficient proof for its existence to be taught but yet is widely accepted by ignorant students to be a fact.   Just because a subject is widely accepted does not make it a truth. This is the same that is true for man’s theories of exegesis.

Human theories are always based upon inadequate fallible human reasoning and thought which attempts to teach or explain something that is not completely known or understood by the speaker.  Therefore according to Wikipedia “exegesis” and “hermeneutics” are both human attempts at theories for interpretation based upon the lack of sufficient known facts to prove or verify their accuracy.   That is the primary purpose of the rest of this Bible lesson today.   I am here to relieve your ignorance and present you with the God given Bible facts on this very important subject of Typology so that you can depart from your exegesis theories and believe the truth of God.   The main point in this part of the lesson is that man’s theories of exegesis are always trumped and overruled by God’s facts every time.  I seriously hope that you believe what God says in His Word and will choose to ignore what ignorant men say in order to not be led astray.

What I have been attempting to introduce you to is the fact that human theories of exegesis are only necessary today because people have not yet discovered or do not completely understand ALL of the true facts for the subject of correct Bible interpretation revealed by God in the Bible.   God gives us an amazing set of lessons in His word concerning correct Bible interpretation.  He defines very specific rules for interpretation.  He defines very sound methods for correct Bible interpretation.  He even gives us many great examples of each type of interpretation for us to learn from and apply to our study.  This will be the focus for the rest of the Bible lesson.  But before we do that let’s talk briefly about hermeneutics.

According to Wikipedia, the subject of hermeneutics is a more inclusive discipline for interpretation including the entire framework of the interpretative process.  I found that statement to be very oxymoronic and contradictory to their previous statement of it being a theory of human work.   This statement of the “entire framework” clearly “assumes” in error that they know and understand the complete process.  To state that a discipline includes everything means that they know and understand it all and that is clearly not the case.   What is being stated here is the fact that they just said it was a theory and then they changed positions attempting to define it to be all-inclusive and all knowing.  There is absolutely no way that is possible.  You need to be careful when you read human explanations for what words mean.  If there are contradictions then there are problems.

But here is another very interesting point to consider about the subject of Hermeneutics.  This word is derived from a pagan Greek name of a mythological god called “Hermes” which was their false messenger god.      It would stand to reason from knowing this fact that anything to do with Hermeneutics is potentially a demonically inspired distraction from obtaining the real truth of God in His Word.  What did I just say?   I said if Hermes was a Satan inspired distraction from the true and living God then “Hermeneutics” could be the same.   What we should observer by the review of Hermeneutics and Exegesis is that they are both man’s attempt at creating rules to define how to understand a God that they clearly do not understand.  This is one of the main reasons that I avoid any manmade rules and theories of Bible interpretation.  I long to only know what God says on the subject of interpretation and I will follow only Him completely and whole heartedly.    I could have talked a lot more about those two words but this was a brief overview and certainly not a detailed book discussion of the subjects.

BUILDING THE TYPOLOGY FOUNDATION

We began by exploring the words of exegesis and hermeneutics in order to establish their origins and definitions.   We clearly saw them to be theoretical works of men that conform to their own incomplete understanding of the subject of Bible interpretation presented to us in the Bible.  Please allow me to do the same type of research for the word “typology” as a comparison.   Is Typology based upon human guesswork, reasoning or speculation?   Is Typology a manmade theory?  We need to answer these in order to see how typology fits into correct Bible study.  I believe you will quickly discover as we research this subject that typology is the opposite from what exegesis was defined to be.  Both exegesis and typology are based upon rules but the origin of these rules will become apparently different.   Let’s start this part of the subject study with a dictionary definition of the word “typology”:

  • TYPOLOGY
  • 1. The study or systematic classification of types that have characteristics or traits in common.

I thought this was an excellent definition.   Can you see any differences between this and exegesis with your first review of the word typology?  First understand that typology is NOT defined to be a theory.   It is not based upon indeterminate human speculation.  There is no reference to it being a theoretical effort of work like we saw in the definition of exegesis.  Next, I would like to emphasize what this word means.  Begin with the initial part of the definition to see that Typology represents a “STUDY” or a “CLASSIFICATION”.   Right there this teaches us the fact that it is a clear effort of human labor which is predominately based upon observation.  Study implies that someone is attempting to discover, learn and understand the known facts from either God or from any human subject teacher.   Bible Study should be defined as the “acquisition of Bible knowledge” and Bible knowledge should be defined as “any established facts of truth found within the Bible context”.  Therefore we have no theories involved in true Bible study.  Did you understand what I just said?  Typology is not a theory, but rather it is a study method and that is extremely insightful.   If a person studies the subject of how automobile engines work they are seeking to learn the established facts of these machines and there should be no desire to learn from any speculative theories or opinions from people who have never built one, worked on one, repaired one or learned how they work or can even operate one personally from experience.  Did you understand that automotive analogy?   What I was attempting to say is that any serious Bible student should not need to learn from any man that teaches on the basis of theories because the true facts can only found in God’s Word.

Let’s shift into a Biblical spiritual discussion about “study” for a moment.  What does God teach about the subject of “Study” in the Bible?  Are we required to study the Bible?  In other words is it necessary to study the Bible to understand it?  Is typology a part of God’s study method?   If you do not remember the answers to those questions I will show you the key verse that God gives to answer them:

  • 2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

According to God “study” is a personal effort of labor.    The Greek word that was translated as “workman” in this verse is G2040 and it literally means “a toiler”, “a worker” and “a laborer”.  This Greek word comes from a root word that means “to work”.  I believe that it is now self-evident that study is a level of extended effort way beyond just reading the text on the pages.   Reading has never been studying, but studying does involve reading.   God very clearly says here in this verse that if we do not study the Bible that we may fall into a negative state of shame someday.   Therefore Bible study is a requirement given from God by N.T. command.    This is very good and important information to consider.

I could spend a lot of time talking about study, how to study and how study works and the application to the spiritual man but that is not my main subject here in this lesson.   I will briefly teach an overview of spiritual study to help you get started.  The human spirit is incapable of any Bible study without the engagement of the human mind’s comprehensive application.  Why is this mind and spirit interaction a necessity?  It is because of the divinely created triune state of a human.  The triune nature of a human is first the visible exterior body layer, the next layer of the human makeup is the invisible interior middle layer called the mind or soul and the final unseen layer is the innermost center of the living being called the spirit or heart.  In Matthew 9:4 Jesus said to the people “Why do you think evil in your hearts”.   The heart of man is the spirit of man and Jesus was connecting the two interior human realms together to teach how they work in unison.   From that statement in Mathew Jesus just revealed that the heart of man can be in one of two states, either evil or good.   All humans by nature are evil from the age of accountability which came from the works of their father Adam being passed down to his every descendant.  How then do we get the evil out and allow the good to enter to replace it?  Romans 12:2 will provide a clue to this answer by God commanding us to “be transformed by the renewing of our minds”.  I personally believe this is like computers and the old computer programmer saying that went “Put Garbage In, Get Garbage Out”.    In other words what you allow to be placed into your heart through your mind’s eye is what will be produced outwardly.    Like I said this is a very deep subject to even try to mention here in a paragraph so please read some of my other lessons or ask questions if you do not understand the nature of a human and how the parts work together.

Now let’s research the term “classification” found within the “typology” definition.  According to the dictionary this word means “the act or process of classifying things based upon common qualities or characteristics”.  Again we are not concerned with any theories simply because classification is only dealing with the observable facts between two or more objects.   What we are witnessing is that classification is a formalized approach to organization.  Did you notice God’s inclusion of classification within the verse we just read in 1Timothy 2:15 about study?  What does it mean to “rightly divide” the Word of Truth?  Rightly dividing is a synonymous work of classification.  God is literally saying that we need to organize the truth into proper like groups in order to understand it and that is called typology whether you believe it or not.  This means when we study a subject in the Bible we may need to correctly observe the facts and then organize these facts in order to understand any of them.  Perhaps, it will help if we first understand the definition for the term “classifying”.   This word means “the systematic arrangement in groups or categories according to fixed established criteria”.   Again this is a form of division and organization.  To organize anything you must divide it up within known like categories.   This is exactly what God was saying in 1Timothy 2:15 when he said to rightly divide the word of truth.   To rightly divide God’s truth it must be classified into like categories.   The antithesis truth to rightly dividing is wrongly dividing and this simply means that people can easily put truths in improper groups or categories of organization.  I really hope that you are grasping these deep complex concepts found in God’s Word.

Organization is just a bad word to many people because it involves work again.  Clearly we learned from God in 1Timothy 2:15 that work is involved in correct Bible study.  This literally teaches us that organization must be a part of the same effort.  Therefore if you are a lazy Christian you will never study the Bible.   What I have observed from my Bible study is the fact that God is a highly organized being.  There is no unorganized chaos found within God or His creation.  Look around you and you will observe order everywhere you look.  Order and organization do not originate from or appear from disordered chaos.   It only stands to reason that if God operates in the realm of order and has created order then His Word must also be organized in some manner that would reflect His own divine qualities.  This is one of the main reasons why I believe in Typology so strongly and we are about to learn many other great reasons soon.

What we are doing here is discovering the basics to what typology represents to God and man.   Placing like items or objects together is the study of the arrangement, classification, grouping or organization of similar forms, kinds, types, etc.  This method of classifying is based upon observing each object’s participation in a well-known and well-defined common set of like features, patterns, characteristics, qualities, abilities, etc.  So far knowing these definitions we can make the claim that typology is the study of the “systematic” classification of types that have the same traits or characteristics.  Wow, that is still a potential mouth full, isn’t it?    Do you really understand what this typology means?  Have you ever worked at filing in the days of the old file cabinets?  Every old office paper filing system was organized by a defined rules based system to enable organized storage and facilitate the fast retrieval of the filed information.  In a large stack of office papers it could take someone days to find the right paper if there was no organization applied to it.  But with proper planned organization it is found in a few minutes.  This old style manual filing organization was normally done by placing documents in alphabetical order based upon the name of a company or an individual’s last name.  A paper filing method was always a “rules based” system of defined storage and retrieval and this is actually directly related to what God has done in the Bible using typology and rightly dividing the Word of Truth.   I guess we need to look up the definition of “systematic” next.  I know we are going through some really basic technical information in this part of the lesson, but I believe this will help you understand why God uses typology:

  • Systematic:
  • Done or acting according to a fixed plan or system; methodical.

Systematic represents anything that is created, performed, established or done according to a defined set of never changing rules, standards and methods.  Systematic also represents a repeatable discovery or process by continuing to follow the same rules.  In other words a systematic discovery is one that is not accidental or unknown to how it was achieved.  Thomas Edison went through a systematic process in discovering the light bulb.   Every time that he discovered a light burning filament process that didn’t work that one was thrown out until the one that did work could be repeated consistently.  The discovery of the defined process for creating light bulbs created a new systematic process that remained for many, many years of reliable service.    If you understand this definition then you need to ask, does God have a plan before He does something?  Does God follow any set methods of design before doing something?   Does God use any set patterns when creating?  Because people are so uninformed, they usually do not know to ask these questions and they certainly do know the answers to these very important questions.     Let me repeat the definition of classification because this is just essential:

  • CLASSIFICATION:
  • The action or process of classifying something according to shared qualities or characteristics.

Like I have tried to say before,” classification” represents the human work of organizing and grouping like objects together based upon observable common features, characteristics, patterns, or any other standard observable qualities of similarity.  Is classification a good or an evil system or method of work?  Surely you can see that it is all good.   Where did classification originate from man or God?   I am firm believer that if you can see that classification is good and not evil then it had to have originated from God based upon what God said in James 1:17.  Go read that verse and you should see what I mean.

I have talked about this concept of classification in several of my Bible studies on this website.   Classifying like objects together is based upon basic mathematical set rules.   Every object of a like nature can be grouped together in a common set and can be referenced by the superior group label or title.  Each object in the set is unique but they are capable of being organized together because of the common feature being associated together.   For example, the mammal classification or set of created beings will have in common certain observable facts that they are all 1) warm blooded 2) vertebrate 3) animals.  Therefore any animal that fits this rule based description can be included in the set called mammals.  That is what classification represents.   Is this too complicated for a Bible study?

Concluding this part of the technical discussion we have learned that typology is the study of the systematic (rules based unchanging well defined methods) of classifying (organizing and grouping together) like or related individual objects (people, places, events and things) sharing common features or common characteristics.  What this teaches us is that by learning about one object in the defined set we can apply this knowledge to learn about every other object in the set in some limited degree of defined classification.    I might be going over the heads of many of my readers with this technical discussion about how types work but we need to learn this or remain ignorant.   We need to learn these are God given facts and that in order to understand many things found in the New Testament correctly it requires us to obtain correct knowledge of the given Old Testament types.  God’s use of Typology contains very specific classifications of like subjects, actions, individuals, groups, people, created objects, etc. that help us to understand spiritual things that we have never seen before.  Are you beginning to grasp the significance of this subject?   Let’s start an introduction to the subject of types found in the Bible.

BEGINNING TO SEE HEAVENLY TYPES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

Gods Image BearersLet me take you into the classification of created man to help you understand that God declared the existence of types all the way back in Genesis 1.  In Genesis 1:26 God says “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness…”.    Man being the literal image and likeness of Almighty God is a mind blowing concept that is ignored by many Christians.  The angels of God could look at created man and immediately see the features and characteristics of God being demonstrated and repeated.   Man being made in God’s image is the definition of the word found within types and typology.  The created man possessed the common qualities and features of God by God’s design and purpose.  This Bible fact makes created man a literal “type” of the God class of beings using these common observable characteristics.  I know that is not very religious sounding but it is what the Bible says.

By observing the original created design in man we can perceive the unseen qualities of God and learn about Him in so many ways.   I do not have time to go into this subject fully today but I will give a quick overview of it.  For example God is described in the Bible to be a triune being.  Man was also created as a triune being consisting of three distinct and separate parts that comprise the whole as I mentioned earlier in this lesson.  God is described with a mind and man was created with the same likeness of mental capacity with reasoning and thought.  God speaks words audibly and man was created after this same pattern as a speaking individual.  I hope that you will do more research or even ask questions if you do not understand how that God can be observed in a created being called man.   Also do not misunderstand what I was saying about man being in the God class of beings.  I was not declaring man to be equal to God so put down your stones.  What I am beginning to teach is that spiritual things existed before there were any natural things and these naturally created things came from existing spiritual patterns, types and objects that were found present in the spiritual realm.   I could teach this subject for a long time but I will not do a comprehensive inclusion of every characteristic of man as a type of God in the Bible.  The primary point from Genesis 1:26 was that God existed eternally before man existed but yet when God created man He placed Himself as the pattern within the man.  One of the main points from Genesis 1:26 is the fact that anything with like characteristics represents a type and fits within the typology definition.  We will learn a lot more about this from the New Testament as we continue to study so do not yet give up or despair that you are not grasping it fully yet.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI will now go over another O.T. prevalent subject quickly that God revealed to me about the existence of types.  This subject is mentioned in many of my other Bible studies because of the importance of this typology revealed by God.   If you search the Bible for the name of the city called “Jerusalem” you should find that it occurs in over 700 verses directly.  This city is also indirectly labeled and named by many other titles of a symbolic nature and the total verse count is actually much greater than 700.  Are all of these verses about the same city here on the earth?  You may be surprised to discover that they are not.  Have you ever considered that there may have been a heavenly version of this city named Jerusalem before the earthly city was ever conceived by God?  I know that I have, especially after reading what God wrote to us in the New Testament.  If you go and read in Galatians 4:26 you will find where God declared that there exists a city called “Jerusalem Above” which is a totally different city than the one that is now presently here on the earth.   Let me give you two main verses to consider concerning these two different cities both named Jerusalem:

  • Gal 4:25  For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
  • Gal 4:26  But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

There are just not very many Christians that understand this truth because it was a new revelation from God sent to Paul for us to learn from in the last days.   This city “Jerusalem Above” is called the spiritual mother of the church and I do not have time to explain that either.  Notice in the verse before that God speaks of the earthly city of Jerusalem as a separate physical entity.   It is very obvious to me that these two cities named Jerusalem are types of each other.  It might not be as obvious to you but I have studied this subject for over 16 years and it becomes very apparent when you dig into it and allow God to open it up to your spiritual understanding.  If you need to learn about this city in more depth, it is covered in several other Bible lessons on my website.  What God has just revealed to you, is called hidden typology within the Bible.   God implies that the earthly city Jerusalem here in the Middle East has been patterned from a city that already existed in the spiritual heaven.  This is called typology where two cities are grouped together based upon common features and characteristics.  God has just demonstrated a superior classification called “Jerusalem” where exists more than one individual types of the city in the set.    Ok, God says for us to let every word be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses and I will give you another N.T. verse about this heavenly spiritual city:

  • Heb 12:22  But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

This is another extremely important verse to learn.   It directly teaches us that there is another city in heaven named Jerusalem where the angels of God reside.   When were angels created?   That is a very difficult question to answer since we are never directly informed of this event in the Bible that I know of.  There are several verses that indicate to us that angels were created long before man existed.  I do not have time to teach them in this lesson but they are in some of my other Bible lessons on angels and creation.   What we are observing is the realization that spiritual things existed before natural things but they can also both exist concurrently at the same time.   We are also beginning to understand that some of these natural things have been modeled after the original spiritual things and even named the same.   The Jerusalem that is on the earth is certainly not the Jerusalem just mentioned that was found in heaven.   But by God calling them by the same name this teaches us the valid existence of typology.   Also if you go and read back in Galatians 4:24 you will discover that both of these cities represent covenants with God.    That gives them common features causing a likeness that can be grouped or classified together.   Wow, I am hoping that you can understand and apply the typology concepts here to this information given to us by God.

What I am trying to say is that both of these cities belong to the classification called “Jerusalem cities”.  Therefore we can learn about one of them and this knowledge will teach us many things about the other one and vice versa.   If the Jerusalem below had a temple then the city above has the same type of feature.  If the Jerusalem below has a high priest then the city above will contain the same type of feature.   If the Jerusalem below was the home of a nation of God’s people then the city above will have the same characteristics.   We could just go on and on with this subject of Jerusalem for a very long time but that was enough to get you started thinking.  I will end this part of the introduction to this O.T. Bible typology discussion by trying to emphasize again that the naturally created things here on the earth will always point us back to the unseen spiritual things that existed before (Rom 1:20).   This is what God reveals to us in the New Testament and we will now explore more examples of this divine use of typology in the next section.

DISCOVERING MORE OF GOD’S DUPLICATION OF EXISTING HEAVENLY PATTERNS

I have been going through the introduction of two hidden examples of Old Testament natural patterns that were concealed projections of existing heavenly spiritual patterns.  Both the natural and the spiritual shared common features and characteristics allowing them to be legally grouped together within our typology study.  This was the nature of typology by definition.  As we continue to learn more about what has existed in the spiritual heaven has now been repeated by God here on the earth as types of heaven we will be able to learn about spiritual things that were never conceived within our human minds before.  In fact it would be impossible for us to know of the existence of these spiritual things without God giving us the natural things to observe.  We will also learn that these natural types on the earth will return back to the spiritual realm as in a full circle.  All of this was a hidden concept taught by God in the Bible.  Paul obtained the revelation of these truths and God is now making them known to us in the church in these last of the last days.  What I want to do is to help confirm what I just introduced you to by using what God says in the Bible about these subjects.   What will be doing is confirming that these O.T. things came from existing heavenly spiritual objects.   Let’s start with a verse in Acts:

  • Act 7:44  Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen.

Have you ever considered the information given by God in this verse?  God is informing us that Moses had a spiritual vision of heaven in order to see this preexisting pattern that he was to build.    God was telling Moses to make the articles of the temple on the earth after the pattern design that was found in heaven.  I know this verse can be taken other ways.  For example God could have shown Moses what to build and these could have been completely new designs.  However that interpretation does not match with what else God says in the N.T. and we must take into account every scripture that is given to us about this subject.  If what I said about these earthly temple articles being heavenly patterns is true, this literally teaches us that the design of the temple in heaven was transferred to the earth through Moses and everything that was found here was a man made duplication of the divinely created spiritual realm.   Obviously this means that the natural objects were not spiritual object but the resemblance could be seen if you knew both like the angels of God did.    I will give you another verse that explains this more clearly next:

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

Please read this verse very carefully.  There are three key Greek words that need to be defined in order to understand that this is God using Typology to teach the people.  The three Greek words are G5262, G4639 and G5179 translated in this verse as “example”, “shadow” and “pattern” respectively.   But before we explore these Greek words let’s observe that this verse in Hebrews is a partial quotation of an Old Testament verse from Exodus and go and read it:

  • Exo 25:40  “See that you make them after the pattern for them, which was shown to you on the mountain.

God again tells Moses directly that the objects of the temple will be made after the “pattern” that was given to him on the mountain.   If you do not understand the concept of patterns in creation you will never correctly understand the Bible.  A pattern is a creation technique and/or a device that causes duplicates to occur.  A pattern is used to recreate any original work of creation.   This is used in manufacturing, the garment creation industry, construction, automotive manufacturing and many other human work efforts.   Man did not invent this method of work, God did!   Please take a look at the definition for the Hebrew word H8403 translated as “pattern”.

  • H8403
  • From H1129; structure; by implication a model, resemblance: – figure, form, likeness, pattern, similitude.

Does any of this definition sound familiar to what we have been covering in this Bible lesson?  Take what I taught first in the previous section about Adam being made in the likeness of God.   That was a different Hebrew word in Genesis 1:26 but the meanings are very synonymous.  Both Hebrew words mean a resemblance or a model from a pattern.    Strong even places the word “pattern” as a legal definition and that is what was translated in KJV Bible.  Let’s go back to Hebrew 8:5 and look up the three Greek words that I was telling you were important to this subject.   The first word is G5262 that was translated as “example”.  What is an example?  According to the dictionary an example is “a thing characteristic of its kind or illustrating a general rule”.   Wow, that is the definition of a type within typology if I ever heard of one.   God is teaching you some very profound truths located in the Bible and I pray that you are not letting them slip away from your mind.   Again in the Strong’s definition we see concretely the words “likeness”, “model”, “resemblance” and “pattern”.  Learn these words and remember them.   See how they apply to Adam and God and then we will continue to learn how they apply to other types to come.

The next Greek word that I would like to point out is G4639 which is translated as “shadow” in this verse of Hebrews.   This Greek word being included within this verse context is one of the main reasons why many teach that “types and shadows” are synonymous terms referring to the same concept within Typology.   What is a shadow?   A shadow is usually a place where the light does not fully reach, right?   This means a shadow is where there is some level of darkness found to be present.  In other words there is something that is blocking the light from being seen directly on that spot.   I find that concept extremely informative to why people do not see or understand typology.   It also implies that God withheld certain levels of detailed information within typology so that he could reveal them later.   When Jesus came into the world in the flesh, He declared himself to be the light of the world (John 9:5).   Jesus literally taught many new things that were hidden from the foundation of the world.  This was Jesus being a light to the world explaining things that were never revealed before to man.  If you have ever seen a television studio you know that it has a lot of lights in it.   Bright lights cause shadows and that is not good for TV so they add more bright lights to eliminate the shadows.  That is exactly what Jesus was doing taking the shadows of the Old Testament and bringing more light to them.   Let’s review the Strong’s definition of this word:

  • G4639
  • Apparently a primary word; shade or a shadow (literally or figuratively [darkness of error or an adumbration]): – shadow.

This Greek word is defined to be a “shade or a shadow” literally or figuratively and in this case in Hebrews 8:5 it is certainly a figurative usage.  The word in this definition that I found the most interesting is probably a word that you have never heard of.  Do you know what an “adumbration” is?   This word means to “give a sketchy outline of something”.   It literally means to provide “a sketchy, imperfect, incomplete or even a faint representation” of something else that is not given directly by reference.  In other words it means that you can only know what is being stated if you understand the complete subject but otherwise you will not have a clue what the vague outline is about.  This is a good description of a shadow on the ground.  Unless you know who or what is casting the shadow the sketchy outline will be useless information to you.  An adumbration also means the “vague foreshadowing” of a plan, event or a person.   All of this information that we have discovered is completely relevant to the subject of Typology and God’s purpose for using it.  Please tell me that you understand these vital concepts?  The last Greek word that must be understood for this subject in Hebrew 8:5 is the Greek word G5179:

  • G5179
  • From G5180; a die (as struck), that is, (by implication) a stamp or scar; by analogy a shape, that is, a statue, (figuratively) style or resemblance; specifically a sampler (type), that is, a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning): – en- (ex-) ample, fashion, figure, form, manner, pattern, print.

duplicatedThis Greek word is also one of the most important found in the verse and is the best description yet of typology.  Please observe the concepts given in the definition.  Do you know what a “die” is?   This device is used in the manufacturing process to create duplicate objects.  It is usually made of metal and hollow on the inside where other metal or plastic can be poured into it to harden and become a new identical piece.   There are other types of these tools that are also used as stamps to leave an impression of an identical image.  This is a common type of tool used in leather work.   The idea that the one tool leaves a repeatable image in something represents another description of what Typology is to God as you can observe by continuing to read the rest of the definition.    The key word in this definition is the word “TYPE”.  It means that you can look at the thing being spoken of as a model of something else that is not normally revealed.   Patterns are also found in this definition.   We now have three different Greek words to search for in our Bible to learn how God uses them.   These are essential elements to understanding Bible Typology.  We have just covered the foundational basics for the subject and will now begin to explore the dynamics of some of the other aspects found within the New Testament.

GOD’S DETAILED USAGE OF O.T. TYPES AND SHADOWS IN THE N.T.

I have presented Biblical evidence that the naturally created things on the earth were patterned after unseen heavenly spiritual realities that pre-existed before the natural.  We are now going to discover that the next step to this designed process is to see exactly how God has placed in the Old Testament very specific natural patterns, types and shadows that point us again to unseen New Testament spiritual types.   God has taken this reality of patterns in a full circle from the spiritual to the natural then back to the spiritual again.  What you will begin to discover are some of the reasons that God did this but probably not in total coverage in this Bible lesson.   There are literally a great number of very specific natural types and shadows found in the O.T and these were designed to teach the church about the coming complex unseen spiritual truths found in the New Covenant.   Without the existence of the natural realm the church would have no comprehension of the spiritual realm.  As I have stated God created the natural world as a hidden reflecting window into the spiritual world.   God very clearly said in Romans 1:20 that “The invisible things of God even His godhead and power are clearly viewed in the things that He has created so that men are without excuse”.   I believe this verse teaches us something so very profound about the existence of typology.  I believe God was saying that which has been in the past is that which is seen now and that which is seen now is that which shall be again in the future.  If that doesn’t sound familiar you need to read Ecclesiastes to discover what God has said to us about this subject:

  • Ecc 1:9  The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

Hopefully you can read and understand that God says there is NOTHING NEW under the sun.  Nothing is a very comprehensive word and does not omit anything that can be observed in the natural.  What does that teach us?   That literally means everything that we see here right now in this world was modeled after what existed previously in the spiritual world.   I am totally convinced that this is the concept of types and shadows used by God as repetitious patterns.  These patterns found in the Old Testament bring us light to know what is occurring in the spiritual New Covenant.  Let’s explore some more of the specific types revealed by God to us in the New Testament that were hidden by God in the Old Testament.  I’ll begin this section of the lesson with a verse that is found in Romans 5:

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

This is God’s commentary on the creation of Adam in Genesis 1 and 2.  In this N.T. explanation God very specifically reveals that Adam was a “TYPE” of the coming Lord Jesus.  We can further confirm this truth by observing how God called Jesus the “Last Adam” in 1 Corinthians 15:45.  What we are learning here in these two verses is further confirmation that God can use duplicate names like Adam or Jerusalem to establish a valid type set comparison and relationship.  This concept was exactly what I taught you previously about the name of the city of Jerusalem.  God will often repeat the name of an O.T. reality calling it HEAVENLY, NEW, LAST or by using some other adjective modified form to cause it to be known that it is not the same object as the one mentioned previously but is rather a new type of that one.   If you continue to study this subject of typology you will soon discover that God will use a natural named reality found in the Old Testament to teach us about a spiritual reality again and again.  The Greek word that was translated as “figure” in this verse in Romans is the repeated key word that was covered in the last section concerning the temple that Moses built in Hebrews 8:5.  Do you remember the Greek word G5179 that meant a “die” or a “stamp”?    How can Adam be called a stamped pattern of Jesus?   By not understanding this word and how to apply it to Jesus will cause you to totally miss the very important message being taught by God concerning the legitimacy of typology.   Can we agree to at least try to learn and understand what God wants us to know about this subject?

If you recall from the definition of G5179 it was based upon an engraving process, a printing press process, or even a modern “model” building process.  When I was a kid I use to like to build models.  I would buy them and then put them together trying to follow the instructions with glue and the finished model would “resemble” a real airplane that could be flown in the Air Force.  It was such a great lesson of what is happening in this God example given to us in Romans 5:14.  God is saying Adam is not Jesus but the resemblance and characteristics that he possessed clearly point us to Jesus using typology.   It is exactly the same as the model airplane is not the greater real airplane but it teaches us and points us to what the real airplane looks like.  That is obviously one of the greatest values for the existence of typology in the Bible.  God says by us using typology that we can learn about Jesus from reading about a naturally created man named Adam.   Wow, I wonder, how this Adam truth of Biblical typology fits into your theoretical rules of correct hermeneutics and exegesis.   According to some believers and Bible teachers today God is incorrectly interpreting His own scriptures by using typology.   Who among us believes that God knows what He is doing here?  I choose to believe this very strongly and that is why you cannot talk me out of it with your manmade exegesis rules.

I can still hear many questioning how this reality is possible that Adam was a type of Jesus.   I really do not have time to teach that in depth in this lesson today since that is not the main subject of this study.   I will tell you that if Adam had a wife that came out of his side then Jesus will also have a wife that will come out of His side.  That is one of the most profound hidden truths concerning the Adam typology.  I will tell you that the law of marriage given to natural Israel in Genesis 2:24 is quoted in Ephesians 5 where God is talking about husbands and wives.  In this chapter of Ephesians, God clearly reveals the wife of Christ Jesus to be the church.  If you do not understand how this typology is possible either, ask questions or go read some more Bible lessons where I talk about this very important subject.  I hope that I can challenge you do a study of Adam now with a new set of Jesus spiritual viewers on.   God has just concretely confirmed the existence of O.T. types and shadows.

Jesus revealed in John 5:39 that the natural Jews needed to search their scriptures because these were the words that testified concerning Him.   Jesus was teaching them that He was the predominate subject of their Holy Law.   If they had to search in order to find Him, then He was not found plainly or easily in the surface text of the words written on the pages or scrolls.    It was not until God reveals to us in the New Testament how Jesus could be found there that anyone could possibly know that Adam represented a “TYPE” or “PATTERN” of the coming Jesus.   This single fact alone teaches the validity of using TYPOLOGY in correct Bible interpretation.   Are you receiving this?  I’m not done teaching so that is not all that I have to say on this subject but I have already given you very significant Bible evidence that should help you to begin to learn the truth about Typology.   Let’s examine another type of Jesus found in the New Testament that confirms the reality of Typology:

  • Heb 7:15  And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,

Here we have a new and different Greek word but yet it means the exact same things as the ones that we have looked at previously.  All of these Greek words G3665, G5179 and G8403 are very synonymous in their definitions.   Here in Hebrews 7:15 God declares that Jesus is a priest “like” Melchisdec.   The Greek word G3665 that is translated as “similitude” is the key word from this verse that must be understood.   If you read the context of this verse you will discover that God relates the story of Abraham meeting the priest Melchisdec and how he gave to him a tenth of the spoils.  What God is doing in this verse is teaching us that Jesus is again a spiritual type of the natural O.T. high priest Melchisdec.  In doing this Jesus has become our high priest for the people in the church today.  Perhaps we need to review the Strong’s definition for this Greek word in order to comprehend the typology connection completely:

  • G3665
  • From G3664; resemblance: – like as, similitude.

This Greek word comes from a root word that means “similar in appearance or character”.   Again we see the definition of what typology represents.  This is the exact same concept as I gave you concerning the creation of man in Genesis 1:26.   Man being made in the likeness and image of God is what God is saying about Jesus being made in the likeness and image of Melchisdec.   Do you need me to repeat the definition of typology?   Remember that typology was defined to be the systematic classification of similar objects based upon common characteristics.  There are a lot more types of Jesus found in the Old Testament than these two witnesses that God just gave to you.   What you will discover is that God has left many more types of Jesus for us to discover by teaching us of their existence using the examples of Adam and Melchisdec.   I’ll give you one more N.T. example of typology which is more difficult to find but was written to the Hebrews who clearly knew the Law of Moses:

  • Heb 3:1  Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
  • Heb 3:2  Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.
  • Heb 3:3  For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.
  • Heb 3:4  For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.
  • Heb 3:5  And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
  • Heb 3:6  But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Nowhere in these verses does it say specifically that Moses is a type of Jesus by using the 4 key Greek words that we have already found, but yet the description given to us is exactly within the context of the Typology subject discussion.   Both men are said to be faithful.  Both men are said to be “servants”.  Both men are said to be builders of houses.   Those few characteristics give them commonality that can be classified together.   This is the definition of typology again.  Can you see it?  Of the two being referred to Jesus is clearly called the greater.  This again is the repeated pattern of creation coming full circle.  The greater God created the lesser man named Adam and then the greater God became like a lesser man Adam who died and has now been raised up to life again and exalted back into the realm of greatness.   I am trying to teach the effectiveness and validity of Typology using as many examples as possible in this limited format lesson.  I hope that you can seeing these for what they really are and learn how to apply them to your Bible Study going forward.  Let’s talk about another aspect of Moses being a type of Jesus before we leave this part of the study.

If you recall the story of Moses he was chosen by God and deemed to be the “deliverer” of the natural nation of Israel.  Again these were all types that pointed us to what Jesus did.  Jesus was chosen by God and He was the “deliverer” of the whole world from Satan’s kingdom of darkness.   The whole O.T. story of the deliverance of the people of natural Israel from Egypt is an extremely important lesson using Typology of how God brought the N.T. people out of the realm of control from Satan.  Natural Israel was captive for 430 years in Egypt and the people of the earth were held captive to Satan for 4030 years.   The natural story occurs in Exodus as a type but the greater story of deliverance was given to us by God in the Gospels and then revealed in the letters written to the church.   If you still can’t understand these concepts after all of this I am beginning to think that I can’t help you.   I would suggest that you go to Ephesians 1:16 and pray the prayer that Paul prayed for the church at Ephesus for God to open the eyes of their spiritual understanding to see the wisdom and revelation of Christ Jesus.  If you pray this for yourself I know God will answer it because that is what He did for me.

Always remember that before these N.T. church letters were written there were only the Old Testament scriptures to find Jesus in.  Acts 17:11 teaches us about a part of the church that was found by God to be more noble than others.  These church members were open to what Paul was preaching but then they used their Old Testament scriptures to verify everything that was spoken was actually written in the Holy Book.   The letters written to the church simply taught the people how to find Jesus and explain the many techniques that were used to conceal Him there.  I write about this frequently because this is one of the number one problems that I face on my website.   The only way that I have figured out how to get people to overcome not seeing the truth is by teaching it frequently over and over.  Eventually people will either get tired of me saying the same thing and leave or finally get it into their spirit to believe.

We could talk about typology for a very long time since it is so dominate within the Old Testament.   I will not even attempt to give you every possible type found in the Old Testament but I will quickly provide an overview of some that I found very interesting.  We have already looked at Adam but the first two sons of Adam were Cain and Abel.  Notice the fact that Abel was the younger brother because that will become a pattern within itself in many of the types found in the O.T.   Cain’s offering is rejected by God and Abel’s offering is accepted.  Cain gets angry and kills his younger brother.   Abel is a type of Christ in this story.  Christ came to the earth and was killed by Satan on the cross.   God certainly accepted the Lamb’s sacrifice that was shed on the cross and God had already rejected Satan’s offerings.  The blood of Abel was “like” the blood of Christ.  Perhaps you struggle with my conclusions but what I say is based upon scriptures and not my own reasoning.  Take a look at this verse and see the typology being mentioned between Jesus and Abel:

  • Heb 12:24  And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

Why would God even mention Jesus and Abel in the same verse if they were not in some related classification together?  Both were killed and both had their blood poured out on the ground during the commission of the act.  God is giving you a clue about how typology works in this verse.  God does not tell you everything that the type reveals so that you can still go and read it and discover more.  This is called TYPOLOGY people and it is right in front of your face if you will just read it and see what it says.

Let’s consider the O.T. man Isaac next.  This was the promised son that God told Abraham would come.  However Abraham got impatient and listened to his wife and they had an Ishmael through a maid servant.   God specifically told Abraham that this Ishmael was not his heir.   Years later the promised son was given and Isaac was born.  The maidservant and her son were cast out of the family and God reveals in the New Testament that this is an allegory of a far greater spiritual truth.   Remember when I talked about Jerusalem above versus Jerusalem below?   These were revealed using a form of typology called allegory.  Allegory is simply a real natural story that reveals a hidden spiritual story of greater importance.   If you go and read Galatians 4 you will find that Sarah was a type of the city Jerusalem that was above.  Hagar was a type of the Jerusalem that now is here on the earth.   I’m not going to teach this lesson again here so I do not have to explain it over again.   Just try to conceive what God has done in the Bible using typology.  The promised son Isaac is a very specific type of the Lord Jesus Christ the promise made to the whole world.   When Abraham took his son to sacrifice him a ram was conveniently caught by the horns nearby.  The Ram is symbolic of God coming to the earth in the flesh take the place of Isaac.  The typology within this story is rich and very deep with spiritual content.  Every player in the story of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael and Isaac has a role in the greater spiritual story.  God the father is the type of Abraham.  Isaac was a type of Jesus Christ.  As we have seen the city of Jerusalem in heaven a type of Sarah and the city of Jerusalem in the middle east a type of Hagar.  I’m not here to teach this whole allegory, so we will move on.

The subject of typology is found throughout the New Testament but let’s go back to chapter 7 of the book Acts.  Earlier I gave you one verse from this chapter that was about Moses being given the heavenly patterns from God on the mountain.  The rest of this chapter is also about hidden typologies found within the Old Testament.   The man Stephen is speaking to the leaders of the synagogue and Stephen uses much of their law to try to explain why Jesus had to come to the earth.   These are clearly all typology comparisons that were inspired by the Holy Spirit to teach them they were not seeing their scriptures correctly.   These words are still true today for those that use private exegesis rules that disallow the use of Typology.   If Typology is an invalid interpretation method then chapter 7 of Acts is from the devil.  Please read this chapter carefully and learn what is being stated.   Solomon is being stated by God to be a type of the coming Jesus in verse 47 who builds God a new spiritual house like Solomon did in the Old Testament.   Also King David in the preceding verse is used to represent a type of God the Father in heaven.  I’m just not going to spend the time to go through this whole chapter.  You can do that for yourself.

I hope and pray that you are beginning to understand typology’s significance in the correct interpretation of the Old Testament.   I could have told you about many other types of Jesus found in the Old Testament but I gave you enough to prove the reality that it should make you change your perspective to how you read the Old Testament.   Learn from early church Bible teachers like Peter, Stephen, Paul and John who write and taught initially from only the Old Testament foundational verses about Jesus.   Try to understand how they applied the O.T. scriptures to mean what they were revealed to them by the Spirit of God to mean in the New Testament.   When you read the Old Testament if you are not looking for Jesus primarily then you are probably missing the main reason that the words were written.  Then when you find a type of Jesus if you are not looking at the other named individuals that interact with the type of Jesus then you are missing another of the main reasons that they were also included in the text.   God’s intelligence is way beyond what you can comprehend.   God will take words within natural stories and teach you such profound spiritual knowledge and wisdom that it is staggering to the human mind.   If you learned anything from this lesson I would enjoy hearing about it.  These positive comments will counter the negative comments that will also surely come.   God Bless you and if you keep studying the Bible to find the truth, Jesus said that it will be found (John 8:32).  Thank 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.

BIBLE ANSWERS: What Does the Bible say About Church Governance and the Proper Structure of Authority?

Question-marks(Ver 1.1)  I recently received this question and felt led to respond to it publically.  The question was asked, what is the correct organized structure of authority for church government?  My answer from the Bible may or may not conform to what you believe is true or the way that your church does things.   But, my answer will definitely be spiritually Word of God based and that will automatically cause many to reject it.  You are welcome to give me any specific Bible verses that teach what you believe represents the truth for this answer.  What I will not accept is your denomination’s doctrinal statement created by ignorant men that does not conform to any Biblical truth.   If that is what you want to give me don’t waste your time or mine.  I only base my beliefs on the Bible and I leave out the opinions of all others.   You would probably be wise to do the same.

Too often Christians want to read the Bible and find all of the rules for life, the church and for being a real Christian in a neat set of itemized instructions.  People like to over simplify everything and live by a list of prioritized “do this” and “do not do this” in order to believe that they are on the correct path to pleasing God.   They often feel like their good works permits them to be worthy to be in God’s presence.  Possessing any feelings that you are pleasing to God because you have satisfied a very small part of what you think you know about the Bible is a very foolish attempt at exalting yourself to match God’s established standards and know everything that God knows.  If this approach did not work for Lucifer it will never work for us either.  What I am attempting to do is to point us to a new spiritual way to think about church government.    Quit thinking like mere men and consider the thoughts and ways of God and make these your priority in the church.  Today I’m going to list at least 3 key factors for establishing correct church government and structure.  Without all of these three spiritual factors being involved nothing that we do will work.

#1: BEING LED BY THE SPIRIT

What I have noticed about God in the Bible is that He rarely does the same thing twice exactly as He did before with anyone.  One time in the wilderness when the people desperately needed a drink of water God told Moses to hit the rock with his staff and the water would come.  The next time this exact same event occurred God said “speak to the rock” and the water will come.  If God addresses the same problem in two different ways why do people want to make every church organization look exactly the same?  That mindset does not make any sense to me!   A one solution fits all approach to Christian life and church government is not how I have ever viewed that anything really works successfully.  What works well in one church may not be what God wants to happen in another church at another time and another place.

There is a very profound statement made to ALL Christians in the New Testament that is sometimes rarely followed in many church organizational structure designs.   This essential concept is found in Roman 8:14 where God says “Those that are led by His Spirit, they are the sons of God”.   This verse is very clear to me and it says for us to seek God’s direction and He will guide our steps into the correct paths when organizing our church governments.  God knows how it should be setup and who should be in every position.  Ignore God’s leading and you will get what you will get and that is your best effort to satisfy God in your ignorance.   I believe Romans 8:14 applies directly to us right here and right now in establishing and organizing any church.   Therefore what God might lead for one church might not match exactly for another church.  There are just too many variables and  factors that are involved in creating and managing a church.  The location can be different, the culture can be different, the people can be different, the leadership can be different, the community outreach can be different and all of these play a role in God’s decision on how to direct.  Of course the Spirit of God is never going to contradict His written Holy Word.  Whatever God directs us to do with His Spirit will align perfectly with the Words in the Bible that apply to this subject.   But we need to be careful with following the traditions of men who thought they knew the answer while possibly ignoring the leading of the Spirit of God for what He desires will work best.    Consider the fact that God knows more than you do.  Then realize we need to ask for this wisdom or we will potentially fail.  Therefore the number one factor for establishing correct church government is to be led by the Spirit of God.  Can I get a witness?

GOD IS A GOD OF ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURED AUTHORITY

I saw in my Bible studies that angels are a highly organized group of spiritual beings separated into tiered levels of organization with varying levels of authority.   Angels appear to be organized like a large military body.   Jesus said that He could call down 12 legions of angels in Matthew 26:53.  That statement implies a high degree of organization with a precise arrangement containing a direct hierarchical structure of authority.   Therefore if God has structure and established levels of authority in heaven it makes perfect sense for the same to be present here on the earth in the church.  Do you agree with this?  What I also observe from reading and studying the Bible is that God is a very detail oriented being.  He pays attention to the least little details to even number the hairs on our head (Mat 10:30).   I use this information to confirm that every church needs to be organized and have the same great attention to every detail within the church.

In the ministry of Jesus on the earth you can clearly observe an organized structure of authority.  Jesus was the leader and the next group under His authority were the 12 disciples that I call His inner circle followers.   Jesus would spend extra time and effort with those of the inner circle to explain the plan of God and what He taught to others in parables only.  Within the group of 12 not everyone has the exact same role of responsibility.  Peter, James and John would go with Jesus when the other 9 did not always go.   Judas held the money bag and acted as the treasurer for the group.  Therefore the other 11 came to Judas for financial matters.  Clearly there were roles of designated responsibility to each follower.  Underneath the second tier of12 within the Jesus ministry organization came the 70 (Luke 10:1).  This is now the third tiered level of authority with new responsibilities and roles.   These 70 were assigned the task to go ahead of Jesus and the twelve and prepare other cities for their coming.

It is just very clear based upon just these two examples given to us by God that every church requires at least the same basic organization, structure, designed roles, responsibilities and varying levels of authority and accountability.  This should be very basic common sense and I pray that you see the need for such to exist.

#2: JESUS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH

I do not agree with the Catholic Church philosophy of church government.  The Catholic Church is the largest group of people that call themselves Christians on the earth and they are extremely organized with varying degrees of authority rising to their ultimate leader called the Pope.  Nowhere in the Bible is one man designated to be the head of the church other than JESUS CHRIST.   Ephesians 5:23 leaves no room for misinterpretation clearly stating that Christ is the Head of the whole Church.  This truth represents the church past, present and future and there can never be any other head than He.  The church is clearly called the body of Christ and Jesus is clearly called our head (Col 1:18).   How then can any individual body part of the church claim to the leader of the body?  I think we need to learn the truth and stick with only that.  When we are led by the Spirit of God we are being led by the Head of the Church.  The Spirit of God will not speak of Himself but what He hears that will He speak (John 16:13).    I just paraphrased a portion of that last verse in John to make a point that the Holy Spirit speaks to us and directs us into things to come.  Go read the verse for yourself and see how it applies to setting up church governments and being led by His Spirit.  Recognizing the Head of the church to be Jesus Christ is the number two factor for establishing correct church government.   Ignoring the Head of the church will just result in man’s attempts to please a God that they do not know.

CHURCH ORGANIZATION, STRUCTURE AND AUTHORITY

There are certain and specific church offices of differing roles and responsibilities mentioned in the Bible.   For example, in Ephesians 4:11 God lists what many call the “5 fold ministry”.   These five are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.   I personally believe that those are listed in the order of church authority.   It is essential to know and understand that not everyone is called to be in these offices.  In fact in the body of Christ there are mostly disciples and they can later be promoted to one of these 5 specialized callings by God’s choice.  When a person is called by God to stand in one of these offices they are anointed by God to fulfill that role.  Therefore God enables them with gifts to do the role.  Each role of office is important and necessary and we as Christians need to give proper respect to those in these offices.  I am not going to go through what every role entails in detail.  But I will give a quick overview.  An Apostle is one that is sent by God for a specific purpose.  The 12 Apostles were clearly given leadership roles that others under their authority should revere.  Apostles are clearly called by God.  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:1 that he was a called apostle.

The Prophet is also another major role within the church body today.  God calls certain individuals to be His voice on the earth.  These people hear directly from God and speak His words to the people of God.  They are often given revelation knowledge and can even hear from God about coming events on the earth.   Paul stood in the office of both an Apostle and Prophet since Paul was given special revelation from God and Paul wrote about things to come as direct prophecy in his letters to the church.

The third ministry office is called the Evangelist.  The primary role of the Evangelist is to preach the Gospel to the lost world to turn them to receive Christ as their Savior.   While every Christian has this basic role, some are called by God to do this as their service for God.  Phillip was an evangelist in the early church and this office still exists today.  The Evangelist is not so much a teacher as he is an exhorter to call people to repentance.  John the Baptist held a role very much like this found in a modern day Evangelist.  John called people to the kingdom of God pointing them to one that was greater than he was.

In a local body congregation the leader of that body is always a Pastor.  A pastor is the designated shepherd of the flock.  Peter was a shepherd and an apostle.  Jesus asked Peter to feed His sheep (John 21:17).  Feeding the sheep is the primary role of the pastor.  They take the Word of God and feed it into the spirits of their congregation.   Every Pastor shepherd is usually always a teacher also.  They go hand in hand to some extent.   Peter was a teacher as well as an Apostle.  Paul was a teacher as well as an apostle and a prophet.  One person can be in multiple offices but rarely is it more than 2 or 3 offices at the most and then not every office is in continuous manifestation in everyone full-time.  One person might be a teacher on occasion and an Apostle full time.  Another person might be an Apostle full time and part time prophet.  One person can be a pastor full time and a part time evangelist.  All of these offices can teach on occasions but not all may be called to teach full time.  Again this is called Jesus is the Head of the church and you are not!  If the Spirit of God leads someone to do a specific task then they just do it because God desires it and not because they asked to do it.

Jesus was the only person that I know of that held every office role concurrently.  Jesus is called an Apostle and a Prophet in the Bible.  Jesus said He was the Great Shepherd meaning a pastor of all.  He also demonstrated that He was a teacher and an evangelist.  Therefore, Jesus clearly showed us that He could fulfill multiple roles being the head of the church.   It is essential for you to learn what your role is in the body of Christ.  Everyone has a purpose and a place.   God has a planned reason why you are here no matter what you think about it.  It does not have to be a role where you stand in front of thousands to teach the Bible.  No it could be simply a behind the scenes ministry position that supports the pastor’s role.

Churches as they grow need increased levels of support to oversee the work of God.  A pastor in a small church can do several roles but in a large church that becomes unmanageable.  One pastor in a large church should have an inner circle of associate shepherds to help lead the flock in manageable numbers.   There are needs for many other leadership positions and roles especially in large congregations.  One Pastor or Shepherd cannot adequately maintain a flock of 5000.  Even Jesus taught this when He designated the inner circle 12 to have the authority to go and feed the flock of 5000 the 5 loaves and the 2 fishes.   Jesus stood back and watched while the under shepherds did the feeding.  Don’t misunderstand what I am saying we all know that Jesus taught the whole group but when it came time He appointed others certain  roles to play.  You can clearly see that Jesus did not even try to do it all Himself.  Let’s talk briefly about the other Biblical roles in a local church’s government.

Correct church organization for leadership should include what the Bible calls “elders”.  Church Elders are not just mature looking people on the outside.  It is more important to be a mature spiritual Christian inside regardless of what your appearance is on the outside.  A spiritually new born baby that has an appearance of maturity externally is not fit to be called an elder of the church.  God very clearly tells us that He does not look at the outward appearance of humans but rather He judges them and calls them according to their hearts (1 Sam 16:7).  People tend to judge how the person looks externally in order to determine if they should become their leader.   But that is certainly not being led by the Spirit.  That practice is walking by your sight or by the appearance of others and that is clearly not a spiritual way to do anything in the church.

I personally believe that a spiritual elder is someone born again and spirit filled for at least 10-20 years.  These people should also display the fruits of the spirit in observable clear ways even under pressure.  An elder of the church should have wisdom that is needed to fulfill their role of responsibility.  God can give people anointed gifts in certain areas of church administration that are needed to wisely manage the church’s affairs.   It is very clear that elders played a role in the early church’s organization.  However, in the spiritual food chain of authority they are always under the authority of the other 5 church offices.   Elders do not hire or fire the pastor, God calls the pastor to be the pastor.  This makes God the head of the church and not the elders.

The other major church role mentioned in the Bible is often referred to as the “deacon”.  This is a very interesting term because it denotes someone called to serve another.  That clearly means they are not in the top command of authority or it could mean that they purposefully lowered themselves in order to serve someone that is in need regardless of their called position.   Jesus demonstrated this concept when He set the disciples down and washed their feet.   He lowered His position to become the least among them even though He was the greatest one present.  Any church office within the Body of Christ is called to be a servant of God.  In the church we all serve Christ first and others second.  If people would gather this knowledge and implement it the church would become a great place to be a part of.

RESOLVING CHURCH CONFLICTS CORRECTLY

Within any large church congregation there will always be potential conflicts.  Most of the time these are human carnal jealousy based factors.  People see what others get from God and think this should just automatically apply to them.  I am not going to address every church problem and the reason for them.  I am only going to give one quick example of God establishing a structure of church administration in the early church.  These verses are found in the book of Acts chapter 6:

  • Act 6:1  And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
  • Act 6:2  Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
  • Act 6:3  Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
  • Act 6:4  But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
  • Act 6:5  And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
  • Act 6:6  Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

I am not going to go into everything these verses say in great detail.   I underlined most of the key words that need to be understood on this matter.  In verse 1 we see the problem being stated between two carnal groups of disciples.  Disciples in the church organization are the lowest in the church authority so this is why I called them carnal thinkers in need of spiritual growth.   The twelve represents the apostle group that holds the ultimate responsibility and authority for church administration.  Did you notice what they said?  They acknowledge the need but said it was not their responsibility to leaven teaching the Word of God to feed the body of Christ with natural food.  In a small church they could do this, but in a large growing church it becomes impossible for even 12 to do everything.   Therefore they said that there should be a selection of 7 men with wisdom that were honest.  But foremost they must be filled with the Spirit of God and that goes back to them being led by the Spirit of God.

This is just an excellent story for how church government should work and be established.  We do not create positions just to create positions.  We only create new positions when new needs arise to solve problems.   As soon as any new need becomes a distraction to the pastor in a church so that he is unable to spend adequate time in prayer and study to preach the Word of God that is when new areas of church government needs to be expanded.   As the church grows and more needs arise, more roles of responsibility can be established.  It is also important to note how this was done.  After they have been selected, the hands of the leadership are placed upon them and this is done for what reason?   You see this represents a transfer of authority and anointing.  What the leader was anointed to do is passed down to the next level for them to perform as the representative of the pastor.  God teaches us so much in this example and I hope that you will take the time to study it and see how God wants things to work and grow in church governments today.

#3:  THE NEW TESTAMENT LAW OF LOVE

I’m going to end this Bible study lesson talking about the third spiritual factor for establishing correct church government.  What is your motivation for creating this church government?   There is only one commandment given directly by Law from the Head of the church to the church in the New Testament and this is the God established Law of Divine Love.   The Law of Love governs every action of every church member from the disciple to the apostle.   Jesus very clearly said a NEW COMMANDMENT I give thee (John 13:34).   If a church’s government is not founded, established and ruled by the law of love then they are not within the church’s prime directive and will fall short.   Therefore we must permit love to govern our motivations and our actions.   God is defined to be LOVE in 1 John 4:8.  Therefore when we are led by the Spirit of Love we are being led by God.    Do you see how all of these three factors for correct church government establishment are connected together?   Christ is the head of the church, Christ is Love personified and we all answer to follow His desired directions of love.

Love rules the church!  Love governs the church!   Love leads the church!  Love teaches the church!   Love preaches to the lost!  Whatever is not done in love is not by the leadership of God.   This is just the spiritual basics for what we do as Christians.   I have said this before but it will apply here again.  I like to teach WWLD.  If you have heard this before then take it as a courteous reminder.  Before doing anything in this life, ask What Would Love Do?   When reflecting on God’s love in order to make a decision this will help guide you into a closer relationship with the Head of the church.  Are you love dominated and love controlled?   If not then you are in serious trouble.

I have just given you three directives for establishing correct church government.   I will recap them one more time for those that need it.   When creating a church government do the following:

  1. Recognize that Jesus is the Head of the Church and no one else takes His place.
  2. Be led by the Spirit of God who is the Head of the Church when creating your government.
  3. Be led by the Spirit of Love in Love extended towards all others.

Only those that will submit to authority correctly can understand how to be in authority correctly.   All others not submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ will be establishing their own church to benefit themselves.  Run from these people quickly or be consumed with their selfish motivations.  My subject today was not authority and what it is defined to be by God, but it does apply and you need to learn this subject.   Being faithfully submitted to God’s authority will give God the privilege to promote you to higher authority levels.    Thank you for reading my Bible studies.  May God continue to lead and guide you into higher spiritual levels of understanding His Precious Holy Word!

Bible Answers: What is the Human Soul? Is the Soul the Same as the Spirit?

theSoulMan_final_logo#8DB3F2(Ver 1.1)  This Bible lesson is a response to a good question that I received from a reader.   This is a very easily misunderstood topic in the Bible and I have addressed it at least in part in several other Bible lessons but this is a more direct topic discussion on the subject.   When I first started writing this response I thought it would be a quick and easy Bible lesson to do.  I very soon realized the broad scope of information on this subject in the Bible and it quickly grew way beyond what I could feasibly address in one lesson. This question is also potentially complex because of the very common misunderstanding that surrounds it.  I am going to have to overcome all of the false teachings that have already gone out on this topic and that is going to be challenging.  The subject of the human soul is mentioned directly or indirectly in literally thousands of different verses.  The Bible is covered with parts of this subject throughout and there are so many verses that I cannot even begin to list them all.   I will attempt to list the verses that I feel are important to help introduce the subject and focus on those.  I will learn based upon the follow-up questions and comments that I receive, if there are other lessons that need to be added.   Please feel free to leave your questions and comments and I will address them as I am led.  I’ll start by giving you a dictionary definition of the word soul.  I do not agree with this definition but it is at least a starting point:

soul  –  Noun

  1. The spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.
  2. A person’s moral or emotional nature or sense of identity.

This definition of the soul is a result of the confusion behind the word’s popular usage.  It is literally a muddled attempt to define something that they know nothing about.   Let me start by saying that I agree with parts of the definition but certainly not the entire wording or the connection of the stated phrases.  The soul is definitely an immaterial part of a human; however it is not the spirit of a human as it is commonly assumed.  Both people and animals have souls but animals do not have spirits as we will observe from the Bible shortly.  The soul of the human is not the immortal spirit of the human and we will see scriptures that will confirm that also.  The soul of a man or a woman is related to their identity from a non-physical aspect or perspective.  We could call the human soul their personality and that becomes a much closer definition to what God reveals of the soul in His Word.  This dictionary definition also leaves out many other parts of the soul that are not mentioned, unknown or just ignored.   We will soon see some of these as I continue to go through the Bible lesson.

Even Bible translators struggled to know and understand how to accurately translate many of the original language words on this subject in the Bible.  For example the Hebrew word H5315 which is commonly translated into “soul” is found in 682 verses of the Old Testament.  If you study the original language translation closely you will find this same Hebrew word H5315 is translated into several different English words because of the pre-established confusion.  Here is a list of some of the popular ways that this Hebrew word was translated in the O.T. 1) soul, 2) souls, 3) creature, 4) life, 5) one 6) yourself, 7) body, 8) beast, 9) person, 10) mind, 11) heart, 12) breath, 13) will, 14) ghost, 15) appetite, 16) pleasure, and 17) desire to name some of the basic words used by translators.  That was not a complete list but we should be able to see from this diverse set of definitions this Hebrew word could be potentially all over the board.  We need to learn which words being used to describe the soul are correct and apply to the subject and which words do not?  Technically I will tell you that each English word in this list has a linked association to the subject and thus the reason for the wide misunderstanding.   I personally believe that many of the translated verses use very inadequate choices of English words to describe what is being communicated by God and perhaps I will attempt to go through a few of these examples to demonstrate what I mean.  This subject is a Bible basic truth that is essential to correctly know and understand.  You may already think that you know everything about this subject but I would challenge you to read the whole lesson to ensure that what you think you know agrees with what the Bible actually says.  In this Bible lesson I will attempt to answer the following reader questions on the subject of souls:

  1. WILL YOU DO A MESSAGE ON THE MEANING OF SOULS?
  2. WHAT THEY ARE?
  3. WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM AFTER DEATH?
  4. AND CAN A SOUL BE EATEN UP AND DESTROYED WHILE ALIVE?

In addition to these questions I will also address what the soul of man is not.  I will begin this lesson by stating the subject of the soul of man is popularly confused with the subject of the spirit of man and we saw this in man’s dictionary definition of the word.  People want to take a dictionary definition for a word that God defines to be something else and that is a foolish approach to trying to understand the God of the Bible.   Often in churches and on the internet the term soul of man is used in error interchangeably for the term spirit of man causing a general misunderstanding for the body of Christ.  What I have observed is that many people because of this confusion believe that they are the exact same things just called by two different names.  Every time the soul is used instead of the correct term spirit or vice versa, it just makes it that much harder to understand which is which.  For example, have you ever heard anyone speak of God saving 6 souls in church last Sunday?  I will guess that you have.  Do you know exactly what they were talking about?  Did you also know that Jesus did not come to die to save your soul?  Uh oh, I think I just put some people into shock.   But that is the problem because people do not know what a soul really is.  This will become much clearer after you know what a soul is defined by God to be.  Let me give you a New Testament verse to help prove my introductory point:

    • Jas 1:21  Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

What does God say in this verse?  Does God say your soul is already saved?  If you can read you will find that is not what is stated.  God tells the church to receive the engrafted word which is ABLE to save your soul.  That is a future tense conditional promise.  If you receive the Word meekly the Word is able to make your soul whole again.   Once you begin to learn what a soul is verses like this will make so much more sense.  Knowing the basics of truths just opens the door for knowing the more complex truths of God’s Word.  I hope you can see my point from this verse.  God states your soul is not saved yet, but it can be if you continue in the Word.

GOD”S CREATION OF THE TRIUNE MAN

I never switch these two terms soul and spirit casually since I try to be a very detailed oriented person that likes to call things by their specific correct titles for clarification to what I am saying.  If I speak of the soul then I am speaking of only a soul and if I speak of a spirit then I am only talking about a spirit and they are definitely not the same thing.  Also I would like to say that my reader asking a specific question about “souls” may have intended the question to be about spirits but did not know the difference.   I run into this frequently and I will touch on both subjects in this lesson to help everyone learn the differences between spirit and soul.  In order to understand the human soul we need to understand the full created human composition and structure in the correct order of importance.  In order to understand this original human composition we need to back up to the account given by God concerning creation and see what He has to say on the subjects.   I do this to establish the foundation for the pattern transition that took place between the triune Creator God creating the triune man in His own image and likeness.  I pray that you already know what a triune being is.  If you do not understand that God is a triune being go to my Bible study on that subject and read it, I’m not going to prove the trinity of God fully in this lesson.  We will start with Genesis 1 and read concerning the revealed creation of man at the end of day 6:

  • Gen 1:26  Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Notice this verse begins with the title of God and this is the Hebrew word H430 that is used in over 2000 verses in the Old Testament as His divine name.  From the frequency of usage you can tell that it is a very common Hebrew name for God but what you need to know about this name is that it is also a plural name for God.  Hebrew words can either be singular or plural and this name is definitely a plural form of the Hebrew word H433.   Next, notice what the plural God says “Let US”.  God speaks of Himself in another plural pronoun form through the word “US”.  These are just two clues to the trinity of God.  But I said I wasn’t going to fully teach that part of the subject, but I just did an introduction to challenge you to think.   God then says “let us make man”.   So God is speaking of man as being a new part of creation that did not previously exist.  The next part of the verse is the main part that I wanted you to see.

The Hebrew term in this verse translated as the English word image means “a figure of”.   Michelangelos-Statue-of-DavidA figure of something else would be like a created statue or a sculpture that represents something else which is greater.  For example, the artist Michelangelo created a sculpture of David and while the sculpture was great it was not as great as the original David.  I personally believe that what God was saying is that the original man was a precise representation of the greater God.   I believe the angels in heaven could look at the created man and see a lesser view of the Supreme God.  This clearly states that Adam was not God but yet had the image of his Creator upon him.  Now take the Hebrew word translated as “likeness” and know that this word means Adam was a similar instance, example, illustration, pattern, design or a model of the Supreme God who created him.   In other words what God was, the man must also be in a lesser form.   You see man is definitely not omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent as God clearly is, however what was present in Adam had to resemble the pattern of God or he was definitely not made in His image or His likeness.   I believe that God was a triune being and that this means man would also have to be a triune being.  I believe that whatever qualities that God possessed the  man must also have a lesser version of that feature.  Therefore we need to understand who and what this Creator God is, what qualities He has revealed to us, in order to know who and what the created man is and what he centrally consists of.

  • Joh 4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

We know from reading scriptures that God is a Spirit first and foremost.  At least 31 times in the Bible God is referred to as the “Spirit of the Lord”.  At least 22 times in the Bible God is called “Spirit of God”.  At least 7 times in the KJV Bible God is called “Holy Spirit”.  At least 89 times in the KJV Bible God is called “Holy Ghost” and that is just a common mistranslated way to say “Holy Spirit”.  God is conclusively revealed to be a Spirit by the overwhelming evidence of scripture.  Therefore man must also be a spirit being or man was not made in the similar image or likeness of God.  This is where most people begin to struggle to understand the basic human composition.  You see I previously stated that Michelangelo created an image of David and we all know that the created image was stone and the other was flesh.  So clearly a created image does not have to be made from the exact same materials to be a good representation.  That is true, but we just need to learn some more facts instead of isolating one truth in the Bible thinking that is everything that we need to know.   It is also clear from simple observation that humans are outwardly flesh based carbon creatures because this is what we can see and touch.  However, God also called man a likeness of God and that additional word changed man to be a pattern of God.   Since we cannot verify the existence of the human spirit with our senses there is no evidence from a natural perspective in this world to support its existence.  But, we should also know from reading the Bible that God is not a man (Num 23:19).  Therefore, God is not a flesh based carbon unit.  How then can man be made in the likeness and the image of God if God is a Spirit and man is only a created human body?  Those are excellent question to consider and to find the answers in the Bible.

Here is another interesting point about God.  God is described to be invisible in Colossians 1:15, 1 Timothy 1:17, and Hebrews 11:27.  If God a Spirit is invisible are there any components of the human man which are also hidden and invisible?  I believe that there is and we will find out why very soon.  People in the world seek to know the external temporary body and neglect to seek to find the truth about the more real eternal internal invisible spirit.  The majority of the unsaved world believes a human is only a physical body, a soul and nothing else.  In thinking in these terms they believe man does not differ from all of the created animals of our planet in any way.  In fact they have been deceived to believe that man simply evolved from these lower forms of animal species and that is not supported scientifically, by DNA evidence, any missing fossil linkage, the Bible or any other evidence but people still believe a fool’s theory.  There is no evidence supporting this deception of evolution.   Creative fiction taught with authority causes the majority of the acceptance of lies.

  • Gen 1:20  And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

Here is where I think it might be good to introduce you to a concept that is important to know about humans and animals.  You see if you do a deep study of the original Hebrew word (H5315) that was translated into “soul” and the many other various words, you will find that this word has application to both man and animals equally.  Why is that?  For example here in the first chapter of Genesis is the first mention of the Hebrew word but it was translated as “life” instead of soul in this verse.   God is definitely teaching us that created animals have life or AKA souls.  I believe that this is an example where the translators would have been more accurate if they used the word soul instead of the word “life” but they both do apply.  Since created animals breathe air and have a similar form of life as men on the earth they both must possess the same type of “soul life”.  However, there is another truth in the Bible that is also very important to know about the difference between human souls and animal souls.   In several verses in the O.T. the term soul is joined together with another Hebrew word that means “dumb”.   In these verses a “dumb soul” or “dumb life” is referring to animals as being non-speaking living beings on the earth.   This fact distinguishes created man to be a completely separate class of being and a different type of soul than the created animals simply because of the existence of “speech”.   This significance or dissimilarity will become more evident as we continue to dig deeper into the truth.  Men speak words, words have power and authority and this feature reveals man to be like God where the created animals are not.  We may get into this more later, but if not just remember what I said.   Let me take you to a very important verse to study about this subject of the soul of man:

  • 1Th 5:23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This Bible verse clearly identifies all of the key parts of the basic created human composition.  The three main components are listed in their proper order of sequenced priority.  This order is from the greatest or most important human feature descending to the least important part of every human.   Not very many Christians put humans into this order but that is what God says, learn it.    This verse declares every human is to be first, a spirit that second has a soul and third lives in a physical body.  Spirit, soul and body represent three different realms of human existence that require our attention and God’s attention according to this statement.   Consider the declaration being made by God closely.  God says He desires that your whole being be made holy and then He lists three separate areas for this act to take place.  Did you see what God just said?  God just told you that you were designed to be a triune being and that you definitely have a spirit using the exact same Greek word that was proclaimed as God’s Holy Spirit in many other verses.  The fact that God chooses to use the same word for spirit to describe Himself and man makes man the likeness of God.   Do you understand that point?

Right here in this single verse we have just confirmed the existence of two unseen features for the created man being made in the image and likeness of God.   Using this foundational information we understand that the human spirit is not the human soul, the human soul is not the human body, the human spirit is not the physical body and all of these in the vice versa.   To emphasize this point again I’ll restate it using basic math terms.  The human spirit is not equal to the human soul, the human spirit is not equal to the human body, and the human soul is not equal to the human body.  These are very simple truths and this is very profound information for us all to learn.  Each component is a separate and distinct part of the whole man and that is why I never use the terms soul and spirit interchangeably.  This triune pattern revealed as a whole man is the repeated design from the trinity nature of God.  Like I said before I’m not going to teach the subject of the trinity of God in this lesson; I have other lessons on that subject.  Therefore, if you still do not understand that God declares Himself as One God in the form of three unique titled personalities then you are in need of knowing the truth.

Perhaps this will be a good time to introduce confirmation for the location of the human soul.  I just stated that the soul and spirit are the unseen parts of humans and we will need to find Bible verses to help establish this or we should change to believe what the Bible does say.   Even though we do not yet fully know what the soul is, we can still learn where it is located to help us understand the subject.   I’ll give you a verse that helps to point us to the location of the human soul.

  • 1Pe 3:4  But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

Here we have the Apostle Peter writing about a part of the human that is reported to be of greater importance than the outward human body mentioned in the preceding context verse.   God through Peter says that this internal part of the human composition is hidden from natural view.   This simply means it is not perceivable with the five physical human senses.   Clearly there is a part of humans that is invisible which is very similar to the Spirit of God.    What part of man do you believe this is speaking?  I believe it is speaking literally of the human soul and the human spirit.   In this verse it points us to the core of a man called his heart.  But we will need additional verses to confirm this belief.   Let’s go back to the Old Testament and review a verse that might help clarify this location for the soul.  Please read this next verse and if you would like, look up the Hebrew word definitions to expand your knowledge and understanding of what is being communicated:

  • Psa 103:1  A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Begin by understanding the Hebrew word (H5315) translated as “soul” is the same word that we previously defined to be at the least 16 different English words.   We should be able to then look at the next most important Hebrew word and find H7130 which is translated as “within” means the center of something.  In other words the center of an apple is the core.  The center of something means something else surrounds it.  In my apple example, the skin of the apple surrounds or covers the internal parts.  That is the concept being communicated by the Spirit of God in this verse in Psalms.   Therefore the soul of man is an internal component and not an external quantity.  This again points us to the center heart.  Do you understand that?  Perhaps you do and perhaps you don’t.   Using the list of 1 Thessalonians 5:23 human components we can see that the human soul was mentioned second.   I also said that this list was given to us in the order of importance.   Either way the soul being in the middle of the other two words means it is surrounded by something else.   However that is not exactly the best description of the three components of man.

spirit_soul_bodyDo you understand what a bull’s-eye target is?  This target is a series of concentric circles with a center circle usually given the highest point achievement to hit.  This type of target is popular in shooting sports, darts, archery and other types of recreational activities.   Don’t let the word concentric cause you difficulty.  Concentric only means every circle has the same center point.   I personally believe the human composition of man is like this target design.   For example, in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 God lists the center circle of man first called his spirit, I believe this represents the bull’s-eye.   The bulls-eye is the ultimate goal that God and Satan are after.  The spirit center circle is followed by the next circle called the soul and finally the outermost circle would be last, called the human body.   You will find this concept throughout the Bible and it is important for us to understand.  Let’s go back to Genesis again and see another reference commentary to the creation of man:

  • Gen 2:7  And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

In this single verse is found all of the three stated created triune components of man revealed for us in 1 Thessalonians 5:23.  Every part of the specified composition of a man is mentioned here in this verse but they are easily confused or missed.  By contrast, in this verse God shifts the order of the mentioned priority to reveal more essential information concerning creation.  Understand that God’s order of mention always teaches something, reveals something, or states the sequence of importance, precedence, priority or authority.   You see in many secular schools there has always been the classic debate held about which came first the chicken or the egg?  The debate begins with a conclusion that a chicken always comes from an egg therefore the egg must have existed before the chicken.  However, the opposing side of the debates begins with this counter argument and states where did the egg come from?  Since the egg comes from a chicken the chicken must have existed first in order to produce the egg.  Thus we have a classic circular reasoning debate without end and without any clear winner.  However, God reveals by His phrasing exactly which came first here in His Word and ends the debate.  I guess people want to debate because they do not desire to believe in the Bible or the existence of a great creator God and thus they produce man made logic to explain away the truth.

This verse in Genesis starts with the revealed fact that God first created the complete mature body of the man from the dust of the earth.  What was the first created part of the man?  By definition it is the body.  Without a physical body there are no humans, man or woman.   When the body of a human baby is formed from the union of the female egg and the male sperm cells that action produces the body for the human spirit and before this occurs there is no human spirit and if you can read you will see that is what this verse in Genesis is teaching.   After the man’s formed body was produced by the work of God’s hand, what happened next?   The Bible says God “breathed” into his nostrils (body).  Let’s stop there and interpret this verse based upon what we have previously learned about God.  In John 4:24 we learned that God is an invisible Spirit and therefore God does not breathe air like a natural human being takes in the oxygen based atmosphere into the lungs and then exhales the carbon dioxide mixture back out.  In fact, have you ever read any verse that says air exists in heaven?  I personally believe air is a created substance and therefore the creator existed before air.   Therefore God did not need air to exist.   Surely you can see that spirits do not need air to be a spirit or to have life.  If God does not breathe air what then is God saying to us here to us in Genesis 2:7 that he breathed into Adam?

This is the introduction to the potentially complex part of the discussion on the human composition.   We learned from reading in the New Testament in 1 Thessalonians 5:3 that man is definitely a spirit first and foremost.  But here in Genesis 2:7 God creates the man’s body first and so far there is no mention of any direct spirit either God’s or man’s.  Where then did this spirit mentioned in 1Thessalonians 5:3 come from?  Are spirits created by God from nothing or do spirits originate from another spiritual being?   Did you ever ask yourself why God a Spirit is called by the direct title of “Father” repeatedly in the Bible?   In fact over 200 times in the Bible God is revealed by this title.  In order for any being natural or spiritual to be labeled a father they must procreate to produce a child.  What is the basis of procreation?  Naturally speaking it is sex, but how is that related to a spirit like God?  How does God procreate?   According to Genesis 2:7, God breathed and man became.  Analyze what natural human breath is.  Breathing is a process of inhaling or the intake of air followed by exhaling, outtake or exit of the air?  That process of breathing represents air flow or more specifically air movement.  So if God created natural things to give us pictures into spiritual things what does God breathing into the nostrils of the man represent symbolically and spiritually?  I believe that God breathing out from His Spirit and into the body of the man was God’s Spirit moving from God into the body of His creation to become Adam’s spirit.  What else can it be?   This would answer the question where the spirit of man came from.  Let’s look at a verse that Jesus spoke when teaching His disciples to pray:

  • Mat 6:9  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Here Jesus says to pray “Our Father”.  This does not say “My Father”.  The term “Our” is a statement of inclusion not leaving the disciples out.  If God was their Father as well as the Father of the Lord Jesus then this is important information to remember.   This verse in Genesis 2:7 that I have been using to teach specifically says that God blows something out from His Spirit that enters into the body through the nasal air passage of the man to cause life to be first observed.   The nasal air passage is just one human gate to the body of man.  Gates can be two ways or one way.   In the case of the nose and mouth these are two way gates that allow air in and out.   Please allow me tell you briefly about a testimony of a man that I knew.  This man died as a teenager and went to hell.  This man was about to enter into hell when a voice spoke from heaven and he ascended back to the earth.  When his spirit came back into the room where his body had died, he remembers his spirit entering back into his body through his mouth.   It seems that there is a direct connection between the air passages and the internal invisible spirit of the human that resides in the body.   I haven’t proved that yet, but maybe I will get to that part later.  If not and you want to know where this is in the Bible you can ask a question.

Here is a basic simple question, was the body of the man Adam living or alive before God breathed?  If you are smart you must agree that Adam’s body had no life before God breathed.   If it was not alive then it was technically dead.   Isn’t dead the antithesis to being alive?  I am simply using the term dead to mean there was no life present until God breathed.  Here is another very interesting point to observe from the creation account in Genesis; ask yourself, why didn’t God breathe into any of the nostrils of any of the other created animals to cause them to become alive?  Have you ever thought about that?  Actually I should ask did you notice that God did not breathe into the animals.   What this proves is a basic fact that man was not created as an animal and did not originate from the animal class of species.   It conclusively proves that man’s life came directly from God’s Spirit and that makes man a very unique and a very special created being.

What does the Bible say is the reason for the life of the flesh or the body of a man?   Realistically there is more than one answer to that question but I’m going to focus in on only one part of the answer for now.   We are going to interpret the Bible using the Bible so that we can understand what God is saying in Genesis 2.  Read this verse and tell me what it says and why it applies to what we just read about in Genesis 2:7:

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

This verse clearly says that when the human body dies, the spirit of that man departs, exits, or leaves the body.   To be more precise this verse says if there is no human spirit, then there is no human life!  This verse is the stated antithesis of what occurred in Genesis 2:7 and it teaches us what happened to the man in that verse to cause life to enter his body.   The man’s spirit had to have come from the Spirit of God in order for the man’s body to become a living being.   Are you getting the connection?   Where did the spirit of man come from?  The spirit of man could only come from the Spirit of God and this is not that complicated and it must be this way for every human.  Spirits come from the Father of Spirits and this is told to us by the verse in Hebrews 12:9.  Go read it and see what it says.  I’m spending a lot of time on the spirit of man component because this is the most important part of every human being.  The spirit of man is the eternal part that never dies, never ceases to exist and will be judged someday standing before the throne of God.   The human spirit is the part of the man that was made in the direct image and likeness of the Creator.

Earlier I told you that the human soul is not saved yet and that God has given us His Word to save our souls.  Therefore, the human spirit is the only  component of God’s salvation that was reconciled back into relationship with God’s plan of salvation.  You see at the point of salvation your physical body does not change one bit.  You have the exact same body before receiving salvation as you do after salvation.   Remember the order of priority given to us by God?   God thinks about you internally to externally in that precise order.   When God offered you salvation He did it through a preacher proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This Gospel message should have included the message of the identity of Jesus as being God in the flesh and His voluntary sacrifice to die for our sins.  But it did not end there, Jesus was then raised from the dead and that act was the key difference between every other human death and when we believe on all of this that Jesus accomplished that saved our spirit and God’s Spirit enters into our body to witness that we are now again His children.

  • 1Co 6:17  But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

To be joined with the Lord is a marriage covenant phrase first given to us by God in Genesis 2:24.   After receiving the Lord Jesus as savior the Spirit of God becomes one spirit with your spirit and you are conclusively saved by His Grace through your faith (Eph 2:8).  Therefore, God’s Spirit joined with your spirit is the result of salvation.  The rest of you still needs to be saved and I’ll show you why next when I begin to describe the human soul.

INTRODUCTION TO THE SOUL OF MAN

I needed to spend considerable time upfront emphasizing the spirit of man because that is not the soul part of the human composition.   The spirit of man comes from the Spirit of God, but the soul of man does not.   Ok, I probably just confused most of you with that statement.  Let’s spend time analyzing what the soul of man represents.   I do not currently know of one verse that accurately describes all of the parts of the human soul.  If you know of one, share it.  I will go through and give you some verses that list specific parts of the human soul and then we will need to put the pieces together to define the whole

  • Pro 2:10  When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;

Here we have two references to two different parts of the human composition.  The heart of man can normally be viewed as the spirit of the man and the soul is the Hebrew word H5315 that I have been focusing upon in this lesson.   Wisdom goes into the spirit (heart) of man.  Let’s define wisdom as being, knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do.  I believe we could also define wisdom as being, saying the right thing when you think you don’t know what to say.  Wisdom directs good words and good actions to come forth from a man, but the lack of wisdom causes a man’s acts and words to appear foolish.  According to God wisdom is what we all should be trying to obtain.  But, God also says knowledge is a positive ingredient for our soul.  Therefore, ask yourself how do you get knowledge and where do you retain this knowledge?  Do you believe that knowledge is tied to your mind and your memory?  If you agree with me that getting knowledge is a part of your mind’s function, then the soul of man contains your mind.   Let’s consider another verse that brings in a new aspect of the soul:

  • Pro 14:10  The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.

This verse is easily missed because of the translation error.  The term “own” here is the Hebrew word H5315 that should have been made “soul”.   This is one of those poor examples of Bible translations that I referred to earlier.   Change the word to soul and reread it.  The heart (spirit) knows his soul’s bitterness”.   What is bitterness?   If you look at the entire verse you will hopefully see bitterness is being defined as the antithesis of joy.  What is joy?  Joy is a human emotional state.  It represents a very happy moment in life.  Therefore, bitterness could be the opposite the sad, discouraged, disappointed times of life.  What we are observing is the inclusion of the human emotions into the soul realm.  So far we have found the mind and the emotions to be two parts of the soul.

  • Pro 15:32  He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.

Here is another interesting verse about your soul.  What is the main subject of this verse?  If you did not know God is focused on the human soul in this verse.   We can see from the last word in the verse that God is talking about us getting understanding?  How do you understand anything?   Isn’t that with your mind again?  People get knowledge and then they can grow to understand what they know with their minds and that is an intricate part of the human soul.  However, God introduces us to a new aspect of the human soul called choice.  The right of human choice that we all possess is called our human freewill.   If we refuse to take instructions we have made a negative choice and God says we despise our souls.   This is an act of a vile person, an ignorant person and it is not a positive description to be associated.  What we have learned from this verse is that the human soul is comprised of their will or right to choose.    We could go through many more confirming verses but that was a quick introduction to the three main human soul sub-components.

WHERE DOES MAN GET HIS SOUL?

The human soul is one sub-realm in the triune whole design of man (spirit, soul & body).  We previously looked at God as being the source for man’s spirit, but where did man get his soul?  The soul of man is comprised of three main specific entities called 1) the mind, 2) the will and 3) the emotions.  These soul items were created patterns, models and qualities that God possessed but they were not God’s personal mind, God’s personal will, or God’ personal emotions present in man.  In other words man was an independent spirit possessing an independent soul, an independent mind, an independent will and an independent set of emotions all being separated from God’s soul.  Did you know that God had a soul?  Ask yourself does God have a mind?  If yes, then ask does God have a will?  If yes, then ask yourself has God ever displayed any emotions?  If yes, then God has a soul and man’s soul was modeled after God’s.  However, the created man did not come preloaded with all of the knowledge of God, the understanding or the wisdom of God after creation.  The created man was not fully packed with all of the memories of God.   The created man was not told anything specifically about the will of God except “do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or you will surely die”.  This was one of the only details of knowledge revealing the will of God that the man possessed.  Therefore the man was not pre-conditioned or pre-programmed to do the will of God.  How would the man even know what death was?  There is no way that he had ever seen death or experienced death because God created everything very good.  Adam did not find out what death was until after he sinned and his son Cain killed his other son Abel and that was the first recorded natural death that occurred in the Bible.

Soul_Empty_containe2rWhat I am attempting to teach is that the created man did not auto-magically possess the full knowledge of God, the thoughts of God, the ways of God or the emotions of God.  He could learn these from walking with and listening to God but they were certainly not automatically transferred to his soul when he was given God’s spirit life.   I view the human soul to be an empty large container in need of filling.  A human learning something is their empty mind being filled with knowledge.   Consider a new born natural child.  Does this new born baby possess all of the knowledge of their parents directly from birth?   Can they speak intelligently about the facts of life or the experiences of their parents?  Obviously a child is an empty container in need of an education and individual and personal experiences of their own in order to grow up and mature.   Why would you think that Adam and Eve were different than any new born babies in need of the same?   Let me let you in on another Bible pattern.   The Bible teaches us that Adam was made in the image and likeness of God in Genesis 1:24 but these two same exact words were used to describe Adam’s new born son named “Seth” in Genesis 5:3.  What I am attempting to say is if one pattern is not identical to the other pattern then God just must be confused to use the same words.  No what God is teaching us is that the same image and likeness that Adam was created with was also transferred down the life chain to every human descendent that came from Adam.  Let’s move on and talk more about the soul.

Consider the human mind to continue our soul analysis.  The human mind is comprised of both mental reasoning facilities for thought processing and knowledge retention capabilities also called our memory.  Memory is used for human learning and for experience and information storage, which demands there is also recall capabilities later for these memories to be reused for other decision making or expression.  Perhaps I need to stop and verify the existence of God’s soul using scriptures.  Start by looking at Jeremiah 5:9 and Jeremiah 9:9 to see the Lord speaking directly of His personal soul.  This is the same Hebrew word used for man’s soul an animal’s soul, etc.  I think verses like these confirm that God is in possession of a soul.  Let’s consider what God says about the “mind of Christ” in 1 Corinthians 2:16 and we will certainly verify from this verse that the Lord God also has a mind.  Now consider the prayer that Jesus taught to his disciples to pray in Matthew 6:10.  Jesus said to pray “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven”.  Therefore, God definitely has a will.  We really haven’t fully defined what a will is, but this is the inward desire part of the spirit being.   I also said that the will was the part of a being that possessed “the right of choice”.  The inner desires usually help to determine the choices that a person makes.  Therefore, the will is another factor for decisions.  We are just going through a few of the key components of the soul to verify their existence in God.   Now consider the mind’s thought process for thinking and read Isaiah 55:8 and you will see a direct connection being made by God where He says “My thoughts are not your thoughts”.   God basically declares we both have minds that think but you are not thinking like I think.  If you continue to read in Isaiah God says “Your ways are not my ways”.  This again states the will of God to be separate from the will of man.   God was clearly saying the choices that you make are not the same as the choices that I would have made.   Are you learning anything about the related and connected parts of man’s soul to be like God’s soul?  Let’s move on to the emotional part of the soul of God.  Does God have emotions?  What are emotions?   Sadness, anger, joy, disgust, fear and surprise are all common emotional qualities found in normal humans and I did not attempt to give the complete list.  Does God ever display any of these qualities?   Read Exodus 4:14 to begin and you should quickly see that “the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses”.   It appears that God does possess emotions.  Nehemiah 8:10 states the “joy of the Lord is our strength”.   Clearly God displays joy and anger to name two emotions.   I could give you other verses but that is enough to confirm that God has a soul and that man’s soul was modeled after it.

We can read in Genesis 2 that the created man definitely had extreme thought and reasoning capabilities and he must have possessed incredible memory abilities in order to name all of God’s created animals.  Modern scientists still do not know exactly how many species exist on the planet but it is estimated to be between 9,000 and 10,000 different types.  Let’s see how long it takes you to come up with original names for each one of these groups and then remember them all.  Where did Adam get these names?   Notice in this chapter that God brings the animals to Adam and says “whatever the man calls it that is what it will be called” (Gen 2:19).  This statement implies that it was an independent man only naming operation that transpired.  God would direct the animals across Adam’s path and Adam would use his independent reasoning abilities to name them all.  This teaches me that Adam used his own personal mind, thoughts and reasoning abilities to name all of the animals and God did not contribute His abilities or thoughts into Adam’s mental thought process.  There is no stated time for how long this took Adam but the fact that it happened is good enough for me.  I want you to see that it is clear that Adam must have had a desire to name the animals or he would not have done it.  This displays the unique quality of drive, initiative, curiosity and desire; in other words Adam’s human will was a contributing factor in this Animal naming process.  Therefore the second part of the triune soul called the human will was a confirmed factor that Adam had to possess.  The fact that Adam did something without being told to do it demonstrates not only intelligence but also his freewill choice and the right to make a decision.

Consider all of the mentioned components of the soul of man; each component of the human soul has some significance in the story of Adam in Genesis 2.   God says in Genesis 2:6 that he formed the body of the man from the dust of the ground and then breathed a spirit into his body and Adam became a living soul.  This confirms that the soul of man exists only after the spirit is introduced.  This makes man the unique part of God’s creation.  You can see that every animal has a soul but without any spirit.  The fact that Adam shows interest in God’s creatures demonstrates a unique human quality that is unlike any creature that was displayed before Adam.   No other animal looked at Adam to attempt to name him.  What God was teaching Adam by parading His creation before Adam was the fact that there was no one else like him on the planet.  God showed him the whole of his work in this world and nothing that God created on the planet was Adam’s equal.  That is why God created the woman because