Searching the Bible to Come to Jesus Christ: the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Posted February 11, 2023 by bereansearching
Categories: Bible Studies, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , ,

BibleIn 1 Peter 4:11 we read, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen“.

The Purpose of This Bible Study Blog

This blog is intended to serve as a venue to post several Bible studies that have been developed over the years, which are solely intended to show how God is glorified through Jesus Christ as revealed by God from the Bible.  It was created for the purpose of fulfilling Jesus’s specific command, which we can read in Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Moreover, with regard to that preaching, we are also informed [from the Apostle Paul’s epistle (letter) to Titus in Titus 1:2&3] that the preaching of the Word is to be accordingly done “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;”

Jesus made clear in John 5:39 that we are to “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. In Jesus’s day, the scriptures consisted of ONLY the Old Testament!  We therefore have a clear mandate to search in the Old Testament, to see how gloriously and amazingly God has embedded The Lord Jesus Christ within so many of the passages of the Old Testament, and The Road to Emmaus clearly serves to further underscore that mandate.

The enclosed Bible studies and expositions emphasize and focus upon where the scriptures do indeed testify of Jesus Christ in some specific Old Testament historical accounts, such as those found in Esther, Jonah, RuthJudges Chapters 4 & 5 (Deborah and Barak), as well as in the New Testament, such as The Road to Emmaus, Anna the Prophetess, The Mount of Transfiguration, and in some Jesus’s parables such as the Parable of the Sower, along with some generic studies, such as God’s Sovereignty, The Hearing Ear and The Seeing EyeIs Hell Real?.  The links to all of these Bible studies are provided in the right hand column of this Homepage.

A Three-Fold Outreach

The intent of this blog is merely to share some of the hid treasures that can be derived, by God’s mercy alone, from the Bible… and in the hope that:

1. It exemplifies a Faithful Witness, such that it might “Feed Jesus’s Sheepfrom the Word of God, the Bible, and thereby ComfortEdify (“build up”), Encourage, Exhort, Establish, Perfect, Settle and Strengthen the faith of the Saints (the true Believing Christians, the “Sheep”, the Eternal Church of Jesus Christ) and,

2. If, by God’s mercy, there are still any left who are still on the road to Salvation…e.g., those who are still earnestly seeking God (because He first sought us)… that they may be richly blessed in these last, very dark (from a gospel perspective) days.

3. All readers would come to know for certain that the Bible is the true and trustworthy Word of God, and that “Salvation” means being saved from God’s predetermined just penalty for sin, which requires an eternity in Hell come Judgment Day (please see: Is Hell Real?). Jesus Is The Only Means of Escape, because Jesus, as the “Lamb of God”, Is the ONLY acceptable sacrificial substitute for sin in accordance with God’s Law. Jesus is like the sharp two-edged sword that we read about in Revelation 1:16. Jesus will either Be your Eternal Savior or He Will Be your Eternal Judge.

As Jesus said in Matthew 7:13&14, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

There are only a few studies, but most are intended to be in-depth.  It is this Bible teacher’s greatest hope and prayer, out of heart- felt Christian love, that these studies may they be a blessing to anyone whom God leads here.  Most importantly, may God bless these readers with eternal life/salvation and the accompanying Holy Spirit, such that they will be counted among the few who come to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ, The Lord God and Savior.

The Basis for This Bible Study Blog: Background and Understanding 

The purpose of this Blog it to testify of Jesus Christ (The Messiah) by reasoning and opening from the scriptures, exactly as the Apostle Paul did as we read in Acts 17:2&3, “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.” Which also reminds us of Isaiah 1:18, where we read, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Jesus Is The Only Means by which we can be saved from the just penalty for our sins (which will otherwise be an eternity in Hell).

For anyone looking for proof of the validity of the hermeneutics that have been applied to the expositions found in these Bible studies, one proof can be found in the Book of Acts 8:26-35 (addressing the question raised by the Ethiopian eunuch concerning “Esaias” [Isaiah as translated from the original Greek] Isaiah 53:7&8 and its exposition by Philip),

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.  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,  Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.  Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.  And Philip ran thither to [him], and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?  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.  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:  In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.  And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?   Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

It is this teacher’s greatest desire to be just like Philip with the Ethiopian eunuch above, and similarly as the Apostle Peter and the other Apostles where we read in Acts 5:42, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”  

A detailed explanation of the hermeneutic (the methodology for interpreting the Bible) that is used in the development of all of the studies is provided here in The key of Knowledge.

Succinctly stated…The Old Testament is the New Testament CONCEALED, and the New Testament is the Old Testament REVEALED…and the whole Bible is really only all about Jesus Christ and God’s Magnificent Salvation Plan through Him!

So dear reader, may these Bible Studies be a blessing to you, and, if you have not done so already, PLEASE repent of your sins and cry out to God for His mercy through Jesus Christ, and He will show mercy! Eternity is right around the corner for everyone.

Exalting the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ: The Key of Knowledge* for Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible

Posted February 11, 2023 by bereansearching
Categories: Bible Studies


*Jesus referred to the “Key of Knowledge” in Luke 11:52

(A Fourteen Chapter Typological Interpretive Guide to Biblical Understanding)

The Purpose of this “Bible Study Guide”

The Apostle Paul, in Ephesians 6:19, makes clear his intent as an evangelist for Jesus Christ: “And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,” and earlier, in Ephesians 3:1-9, Paul describes the “mystery of Christ“, which, prior to the New Testament era was “not made known” but “is now revealed“…”That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:..to which Paul said he was given the grace by God to “preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

The purpose of this Bible Study Guide is the same for this author as it was for the Apostle Paul…to boldly proclaim the mystery of the gospel!  And that gospel to be proclaimed is that Jesus Christ is Lord, God, and Savior!…And that Jesus is the Only Way by which anyone, Jew or non-Jew, can have eternal peace with God in full payment for sins!  Moreover, rejecting Jesus (refusing to hear that gospel) leaves only one alternative…suffering for an eternity in Hell for that person’s sins!

This is the same gospel which can be found and described in detail throughout the Bible, albeit more obviously in what we know as the New Testament.  But the question is, why did Paul choose to refer to that clear and unequivocal gospel message as being a “mystery”?  It is because the greater part, or the bulk, of the Bible, which we know as the Old Testament (and all that was available to Paul in his day) is where that same gospel had been hidden, as a mystery, by God Himself.

Finally, the purpose of this book is to Praise Almighty God: The Father, The Son (The Word), and The Holy Spirit, Who mercifully calls us to eternal life through the redemptive Work of Salvation, Jesus’s Sacrifice and His Shed Blood, as the Bible makes clear to those who read it. Moreover, even if not a single human being left on Earth ever reads, or cares to read, what has been posted on this blog, the LORD willing, this believer will continue to strive to be faithful unto death to what was written in David’s Psalm of Praise as found in Psalm 145.

Introduction:  The Bible is “Holy Scripture”, Unlike Any Other Book!

Before we can begin to gain any wisdom, knowledge, understanding, or truth from the Bible, we must realize, and believe with our whole being, that the Bible, God’s Word, is as not only true, but is as Holy as God Himself is Holy.  God intimately identifies Himself with His Word as we find in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.“, and later in John 1:14, we see, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”  To quote another Christian author… In the Holy Scriptures, the Bible, that God has provided, “God reveals Himself, not merely information about Himself, but HIMSELF.”

The Bible is unique, not only because it is compiled from 66 manuscripts, scribed by over 40 different individuals, over a period spanning 1500 to 1600 years, but because the Bible was written entirely under the inspiration of the infinite Mind of God (The Infinite God Who created the Infinite Universe… as well as created you and me out of nothing) through God’s Holy Spirit, and is not derived in any way out of the intellect of any man (e.g. those individual humans who God used to write the Bible).  As a result, it should never be approached (as some teachers have advocated) as one would read “any other book or magazine.”  No other book was ever written under Divine inspiration and no other book has been the subject of Providential preservation

We must, therefore, try to instead approach the study of the Bible with the appropriate reverential awe that The Most High Holy God HIMSELF deserves.  God describes the manner in Psalm 2:11 and Isaiah 66:2 as with “fear” and “trembling.”  Because this, in reality, is impossible for anyone to do, in and of himself or herself (because everyone is by nature unclean, clumsy, presumptuous, and irreverent), it is only by God’s infinite grace, and longsuffering mercy, that He allows anyone to come to saving truth from the Bible.  We must, therefore, humbly, prayerfully, acknowledge our complete destitution apart from the Good Grace of the Almighty Sovereign God.  Those who are called to be the children of God, will not only do this, but will seekafter the wisdom and truth of God by searching the Bible.  That is why we read in Proverbs 2:1-6, “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;  So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, [and] apply thine heart to understanding;  Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, [and] liftest up thy voice for understanding;  If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as [for] hid treasures;  Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.  For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth [cometh] knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 4:7 states, “Wisdom [is] the principal thing; [therefore] get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” and Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy [is] understanding.” And finally, in Psalm 90:12 we read, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

The Bible is Alive!

Furthermore, the Bible is not a passive or idle entity.  The Bible is the “living” Word of God, and will bring about a reaction in the life of one who reads it, for better or worse, depending on the will of God (and no “other book” is able to read the reader!).  That is why we learn in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God [is] quick (meaning that it is “alive“), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Through the hearing of the word (see Romans 10:17) a man is either saved, or more greatly condemned.  This is why 2 Corinthians 2:15&16 declares (of those that bring, or preach, the word as found in the Bible alone), “For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one [we are] the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life…”  Also in Luke 12:48, we read where Jesus states that while those who remain ignorant of the word of God (the Bible) are not excused (they will still be condemned for their sins), they will receive a lesser condemnation than those who are familiar with the word of God, but who, nonetheless, do not become saved, “But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few [stripes]. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”  Bible study is not just an intellectual exercise!

It is this teacher’s most sincere hope and prayer that the words found in Ephesians, chapter one (every verse), will apply to whomever receives this Bible Study Guide, particularly verse 17, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,”  (Note also the use of the word “mystery” again in  verse 9, Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:“)

Chapter 1:  What Makes This Bible Study Guide Different From Other Teachings?

This “Bible Study Guide” is intended to assist the reader (particularly the student of the Bible who is seeking truth from the Bible beyond just the historical and moral lessons) to understand a different hermeneutic than that commonly being taught in the majority of seminaries, educational institutions, and churches today.  Today, the commonly taught principles of Bible study instruct us to read the Bible almost exclusively from a perspective that emphasizes: 1) the historical cultural context, 2) the literal meaning of the words and verses as they meant only to the people who were living when they were recorded, 3) the specific situation and setting (including geography) of the people to whom the verses were written at the time of the writings, and 4) how the specific passage being studied might relate to either the Old or New Testament Covenants.  That methodology is generally referred to as the “Literal-Grammatical-Historical” method (hermeneutic) of Biblical interpretation, which is largely based on the teachings of the leaders of the Reformation who primarily focused on the “plain meaning” of Scripture.

However, the reality is that there is only one true hermeneutic of the Scriptures, and this is because although the Bible record consists of “plainly understood” historical context (true historical accounts, which are all perfectly crafted and orchestrated by God with valid moral implications), nonetheless God makes clear that He has embedded the real Truth of the spiritual/gospel message throughout the Biblical texts including the historical record, all of which point (albeit allegorically in a veiled manner) directly to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus alone is our only means of salvation for our sins.

This correct hermeneutic recognizes that the Bible is unlike any other book, in that it is entirely “Spiritual“. The Bible is about God, and John 4:24 makes clear that “God [isa Spiritand they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.” Moreover, John 6:63 tells us that, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothingthe words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.

The Bible is always concerned with such spiritual issues such as sin, versus the Holiness and Righteousness of God. Romans 6:23For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” and Romans 3:10&11, “¶As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

God’s just Judgment (John 12:48He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” and Hebrews 9:27And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”).

God’s Salvation (2Co 6:2 “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now [is] the accepted time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation.)”),

God’s sanctification (1Thessalonian 4:3¶For this is the will of God, [even] your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:”), and service (Romans 12:1&2, “¶ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

On the other hand, the Literal-Grammatical-Historical hermeneutic, which claims that the Bible is written plainly and is easily understandable that anyone can understand because it only follows the normal rules of human communication, will only lead to confusion, stumbling, and wrong doctrines when it comes to understanding things like election, predestination, the role and means of water baptism, dispensations, and the end times, etc. For more background on this extremely important differences between the two hermeneutics, please see “the Refutation of the Literal-Grammatical-Historical Hermeneutic“.

Moreover, additional rules have been created that stipulate that we are not to “read into” a verse any more understanding beyond that which the people at the time would have understood the verses to mean (when those verses were first written). 

Other “principles” being taught today declare, “Don’t look for allegories in the Old Testament Narrative” and more dogmatically, “Only two percent of the Old Testament is Messianic.”  The problem with such humanly crafted and taught rules of Biblical interpretation, and why such rules are so insidious, is that, for the most part, they actually place mental and spiritual “blinders” on the reader, by limiting the reader to see only the earthly historical and moral lessons of the Bible.  While the lessons thus drawn can certainly be valid and profitable (as they can be fine, proper, and useful just as we read in 2 Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”), the extra restrictions imposed by the “Literal-Grammatical-Historical” method are such that the reader will actually miss the most important and key and Heavenly spiritual meaning from the Bible, and hence will not be able come to know, and have, a true understanding. That understanding shows how magnificently and perfectly the Bible was actually crafted by God to reveal the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Humanly crafted and taught rules effectively set limits (boundaries) to what The Infinite Creator and Supreme Omnipotent God could be saying to us in the Bible.  

Such rules thus lower God to man’s earthly level, rather than exalting and glorifying God at the supernatural Heavenly/Spiritual level from which He Reigns.  

Those rules prevent us from seeing that Jesus Christ is the Key of Knowledge, supernaturally interwoven through every portion of the Bible!  Anyone who tells you otherwise is like the blind lawyers of Jesus’s day that we read about in Luke 11:52, “¶Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.” Moreover, in Matthew 15:14, we are admonished to “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (and the ditch is an allegorical reference to Hell).

Whether or not that misdirection is a conscious or unconscious goal of those who teach and preach the Literal-Grammatical-Historical method of Bible interpretation does not matter, as the result will still be the same.  The reader thus taught will have become biased/prejudiced, such that it will prevent the reader (e.g., spiritually blind him or her) from ever understanding the Bible from a higher order perspective as was eternally ordained by The Author, Who perfectly crafted God’s Word, the Bible…and that Author is God Himself through the power of His Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost.  So the question is, should we read and interpret the Bible as taught by men?… or as taught by God?

Here’s what the Bible has to say on the subject…In 1 Corinthians 2:13-14, we read “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth: comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man (everyone in the unsaved state) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.” Key to this passage is “comparing spiritual things with spiritual things”…and given that the Bible is Holy, and entirely inspired by the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God, then that statement is telling us that that we should be comparing Biblical scripture with Biblical scripture to gain God’s Wisdom (which is actually coming to know the Lord Jesus Christ).

The Bible is its own interpreter, its own dictionary, its own Wikipedia! It is easy to think that a certain word or phrase has an obvious and clear meaning, but the issue is what does the Bible really mean by these words? The only correct answer to that question is to compare verses with other verses and see how the Bible defines its own terms. The Bible alone should limit our thinking about the words and phrases in the Bible. We must learn to abide by the Bible’s definitions and logic.

Anyone who claims to have knowledge from the Bible had better not be quoting men, but rather they had better be quoting scripture alone…but even then, you, dear reader, had better be checking out what those preachers and teachers are quoting for yourself, from the Bible alone, as the Bereans did in the first century in Acts 17:10&11, and earnestly search “the scriptures (the Bible) daily, whether those things were so.”

This “Bible Study Guide” will further elaborate on only a portion of what God, Who Is the Author of the Bible, provides for those whom He graciously blesses with the “eyes to see”, and “the ears to hear” such that they might testify of Jesus and worship God in the spirit of prophesy. See also: https://bereansearching.com/2021/12/29/the-hearing-ear-and-the-seeing-eye/ 

Chapter 2:  The Mystery of the Gospel: The Whole Bible Points to Jesus Christ, The “Word”

In Proverbs 25:2 (KJV) we find this extraordinary verse, “[It is] the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings [is] to search out a matter.” If we look carefully at the text as it reads in the original Hebrew using an Interlinear Bible or Online cross-reference like this: http://biblehub.com/text/proverbs/25-2.htm, we find that it can also read like this…”[It is] the glory of God to conceal word” (because it is from the Hebrew דָּבָר (dāḇār)H1697, a masculine noun): but the honour of kings[is] to search out a “word” (because the word that was translated into English as “matter” is also the same word found in the original Hebrew to be דָּבָר (dāḇār) H1697, which is translated more than eight hundred times in the Old Testament as “word.”)*.  It appears, therefore, that God is telling us that He is glorified by the concealing of The Word (Jesus Christ) in the Bible, and the believers are “honored” by being made able to search out The Word (Who is Jesus Christ) when reading the Bible.

NOTE: Jesus makes all believers “kings” and “priests”, as we read in Revelation 1:5&6, “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”  This is reiterated in Revelation 5:10, where we see from the preceding verses that Jesus, as the Lamb of God, has redeemed the believers by His shed blood, “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Note how this is also consistent with what we read in Job 36:7 when speaking of God regarding the believers, “He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous: but with kings [are they] on the throne; yea, he doth establish them for ever, and they are exalted.

And in 1 Peter 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;”

Ephesians 2:4-7, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

“Dāḇār” is also found in other key verses:

  • Note what is found in Proverbs 16:20 where the King James Version translation reads, “He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good:…” but in the original Hebrew it reads, “He who heeds wisely unto the word (דָּבָר (dāḇār))H1697 shall find good…” 
  • And in Psalm 56:10 we read (as also translated in the King James Version), “In God will I praise his word (דָּבָ֑ר (“dabar”))H1697: in the Lord will I praise his word (דָּבָר (dāḇār))H1697.” 
  • And in Psalm 33:6 we read, “By the word (דָּבָר (dāḇār)) of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” 
  • And in Psalm 145:5, “I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works (actually “words” (דָּבָר (dāḇār))H1697 in the original Hebrew).

Through the use of this Bible Study Help it is hoped that the reader will, by the grace of God, come to know The Word, the Lord Jesus Christ [Remember that we read in John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was GodThe same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” and in John Chapter 1, verse 14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”]. In 1 John 1:1 we find, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;” And to make the connection between Jesus (the Son of God) and the Word as unmistakable as possible, we read in 1 John 5:7, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”

It is also hoped that the reader might see that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the “Mystery”, and that Jesus Christ is the “Secret” and the “Hidden Wisdom” of the whole Bible that everyone, Jew or Gentile, so desperately needs for salvation from sins and eternal life with God in Heaven.

Chapter 3:  The Key to Biblical Understanding: We Must See Jesus!

Anyone earnestly seeking for truth in the Bible must ultimately come to the Person and Work of Jesus Christ, for Jesus is, according to John 14:6, “the way, the truth and the life.”  In John 5:39, we read where Jesus was admonishing the Jews and said, “Search the scriptures (only the Old Testament in that day); for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and theyare they which testify of me.”(The “me” being Jesus Christ Himself!)

It is most certainly true that many places in the New Testament speak plainly concerning the loving Gospel of Grace through Jesus Christ: about His suffering and death on the cross as the only acceptable, and therefore perfect, sacrifice/peace offering to God for sin; about His resurrection and exaltation at the Right Hand of God The Father; about His building His church by the power of God the Holy Spirit, and about His return to Judge the unsaved of the world on the Last Day to an eternity in Hell, and to create a new heaven and a new earth for His Eternal Kingdom prepared for those whom He came to seek and to save.  HOWEVER, the diligent Bible student should also be aware of the greater portion of scripture that is the Old Testament where that same message is often veiled in “a mystery” (and it is most certainly not limited to only two percent). The Bible itself uses such terms “mystery” and “parable” to explain how it has been uniquely crafted by God in a magnificent, and yes, even a mysterious supernatural way, to serve God’s purposes.  In Mark 4:11+12 we read, “And he (Jesus Christ speaking to His disciples) said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all [these] things are done in parables:  That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and [their] sins should be forgiven them.”  It is my prayer that all who God has called to read this study guide, and the examples that follow, will be spiritually made alive and/or fed through the “hearing” of His Word (Romans 10:17, “So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.“) that they might all know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.

God commands us to both search and study the Bible (both the Old and New Testaments*) so that we might have eternal life.  In John 5:39, Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me (Jesus Himself).”  In 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

God provides some exemplar proofs for the validity of this typological hermeneutic,  which has been applied in the expositions found in these accompanying Bible studies in the Bereansearching Blog.  One proof can be found in the Book of Acts, Acts 8:26-35, “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.  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,  Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.  Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.  And Philip ran thither to [him], and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?  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.  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:  In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.  And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?   Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.”  The focus was solely on Jesus!

This “Bible Study Guide” is primarily for the purpose of providing that exact same guidance, in that its focus is only to preach unto the reader Jesus.  It might also be viewed as “strong meat” to those who desire to grow in the knowledge and understanding of the Word of God which is Jesus (See John 1:1&14).  In Hebrews 5:13+14 we read, “For every one that useth milk [is] unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”  Of course, in so doing, it will cover many of the more basic biblical principles as well.

Beginning with one of Jesus’s parables, this Bible Study Guide will establish the criteria by which a few familiar (hopefully) passages of Biblical scripture will later be reviewed to search for the higher order or “typological” meanings of those passages.   Hopefully,  in the process, the reader’s faith might be strengthened if already a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, and, if not, that the reader might be blessed with that saving faith.

May all who read this Bible Study Guide be as the Greeks in John 12:20&21 that came up to the feast to worship and say, “we would see Jesus.”

*II Timothy 3:16+17, “All scripture[is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Chapter 4:  The Bible Was Largely Written in Typological (Allegorical) Form

Contrary to what anyone may have previously told you, the Bible is, for the most part, not an easy book to read.  Of course, it is true that the Gospel of salvation through the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ alone is plainly stated in a number of New Testament passages, such as John 3:16-18, “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.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.   He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”  Nonetheless, to a very large degree, the rest of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, relies heavily on the more difficult “typology” (which, to be understood, requires Holy Spirit led comparison of scripture with scripture (“spiritual things with spiritual”) in accordance with God’s directive as found in 1 Corinthians 2:13). 

Today, many theologians readily dismiss the idea that the majority of the Bible was written in typological/allegorical/symbolical or figurative form.  When confronted with that truth, these same theologians will simply say that any such interpretations are fancifully derived, or even “fantastical”, and have no basis in reality and are therefore no more than figments of the interpreters’ imaginations.

The argument goes like this, “Interpreters who allegorize can be very creative, with no control based in the text itself. It becomes easy to read one’s own beliefs into the allegory and then think that they have scriptural support.”

However, the fact that God uses temporal/earthly/carnal “allegory,” “figures,” “shadows, “patterns,” “similitudes,” and “ensamples” (“typos” in Greek meaning “examples” or “types“) to convey eternal/heavenly/ spiritual truth (albeit many times in a veiled, mysterious, or secretive manner) is, nonetheless, plainly stated in the Bible as we find in:

Galatians 4:22-31, concerning the typology of the two sons of Abraham, Ishmael (born of the bondwoman, Hagar (Agar in Greek), typifying the result of fleshly works under the law) and Isaac (born of the freewoman, Sarah, typifying the result of Heavenly promise under grace).  Galatians 4:24Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.  But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.”

Romans 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.

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

Hebrews 9:8&9, “The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:  Which [was] a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;

Hebrews 9:24, “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

Hebrews 10:1, “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, [and] not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

Colossians 2:16-17, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath [days]:  Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Christ.

Hebrews 9:23, “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

In 1 Timothy 1:16 we see how Paul was used of God as a “pattern” for a sinner saved by grace, “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”

Hosea 12:10, “I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.”

1 Corinthians 10:11, “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples (“typos” in Greek, meaning “types”): and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 

Romans 15:4, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learningthat we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Chapter 5:   Understanding God’s Word, the Bible: God’s Word is a Mystery!

God the Holy Spirit Is The Means by Which “Parables” and “Dark Sayings” Are To Be Understood

In Psalm 78:1&2, God calls upon all believers to, “Give ear, O my people, [to] my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.  I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings* of old:” (yet immediately thereafter only a straightforward Biblical historical account is provided!)  Why is that?…It is because the historical account itself is a parable (or riddle or allegory)…It points to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ throughout time and space! And it was most certainly not written to be “plainly” understood.

In Proverbs 1:5&6, we read, “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretationthe words of the wise, and their dark sayings.”  And in Psalm 49:3&4 we read, “My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart [shall be] of understandingI will incline mine ear to a parableI will open my dark saying upon the harp.”

In 1 Corinthians 2 (the whole chapter) we learn more of the means of understanding God’s Holy Word, the Bible:

a) in verse 2, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”

b) in verse 5, “that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

c) in verse 7+8, “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory:  Which none of the princes of this world knew:…

d) in verse 10, “But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

e) in verse 13, “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth: comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

f) in verse 14, “But the natural man (everyone in the unsaved state) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

In John 6:63 we read, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.

Remember, the Bible makes it clear that Jesus always spoke in “parables.”  In Matthew 13:34 we read that:”All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables;  and without a parable spake he not unto them:  That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret*** from the   foundation of the world.” (and this is a reference back to the prophetic statement we find in Psalm 78:2, “I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:”)

Moreover, dear reader, please be aware that Job also spoke in a parable, as we are told in both Job 27:1 and Job 29:1. And a careful spiritual scrutiny of Job Chapter 28 makes clear that Job was serving as a “Type” of the Lord Jesus Christ in that parable precisely as crafted by God the Holy Spirit.

Jesus explained to His disciples why He spoke in parables to the multitudes.  In Mark 4:11&12, we read: “And he said unto them, Unto you (the elect) it is given to know the mystery** of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without (the non-elect), all [these] things are done in parables:  That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and [their] sins should be  forgiven them.“(God reiterates this explanation in Isaiah 6:9&10, John 9:39&40, and Acts 28:26-28… PLEASE read these verses to see the perfect reinforcement that they provide). This study on the hearing ear and seeing eye is helpful as well.

* From the Hebrew word חִידָה (ḥîḏâ) H2420 (also used as dark sentences or speech) meaning “hard question, riddle, enigma, or puzzle,”  and is synonymous with the word “proverb” or “parable”. But “parable” itself is derived from Hebrew word “mashal” which has the meaning of a “metaphorical adage requiring mental action.”  Ezekiel 17:2 tells us that a parable and a riddle are the same, “Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel;

** Note that in the New Testament, “mystery” derives from a Greek word μυστήριον (mystērion) G3466 that means something that is hidden, secret, a mystery, a hidden purpose or counsel of God: the secret counsels which govern God in dealing with the righteous, which are hidden from ungodly and wicked men, but plain to the godly. Something which imposes silence by shutting the mouth. Note how this ties in with Ephesians 6:19And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery G3466 of the gospel,” and Colossians 1:26[Even] the mysteryG3466  which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

*** The word “secret” here  derives from a Greek word κρύπτω (kryptō) G2928, that means “to conceal or hide”.

Chapter 6: The Unveiling (Unlocking) of The Mystery is God’s Work Alone!

In 2 Peter 1:20&21, we are told, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.and in 2 Peter 2:1&2, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.”  These verses are saying that if anyone gives forth an interpretation out of their own intellect or from the carnal minds of others that have taught them, they are false teachers and the truth is not in them.  (Even more ominous, they will receive the greater condemnation from God for that sin.)  But how are we to know which interpretation is out of a man’s mind as opposed to what God is really saying?  God provides us the answer, out of His Word, the Bible, as follows:

The Bible is a spiritual book.  Referring again back to I Corinthians 2:13, we read, “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  And we know from II Samuel 23:2, “The spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word [was] in my tongue.”  Clearly the word of God, the Bible, is spiritual, as it was written under the direction of the Holy Spirit.  So if we want to learn the true meaning of any verse, then we need to compare scripture with scripture (spiritual things with spiritual).  Furthermore, any revelation of truth from God’s word (which can only come through the use of this methodology) is solely the work of the Holy Spirit.  That is why in I John 2:27 we read, “But the anointing (of the Holy Spirit) which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”  This is entirely consistent with what we read in John 16:13, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” See also John 15:2627, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. 

Note that in John 14:17 that we also read, “[Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” and in 1 John 4:6, “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit oferror.”)

The Gift of the Holy Spirit is Required

The Bible requires spiritual insight to understand it.  That faculty is only obtained as a Gift from God, through the indwelling (or anointing) of His Holy Spirit, The “Spirit of Truth“.  That action is God’s alone, and is synonymous with the Gift of salvation (Acts 5:32, “And we are his witnesses of these things; and [so is] also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.“).  Just as salvation is a Gift of God (Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:“) so are our spiritual eyes and ears a Gift of God (because we have His Spirit in us witnessing to our spirit).  That is why we read in Proverbs 20:12, “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.”  We must have been given the wisdom of God, by God. (James 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.“)  This will come when we are truly seeking Him (because He first sought us, see John 6:44) and fear (have reverential awe of) Him.  We are told in Psalms 111:10 that, “The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom:“, and in Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  The more we study God’s word, the Bible, the more, by God’s grace, our faith grows and the spiritually wiser we can become.  In Romans 10:17, we find that, “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  Furthermore, in Isaiah 50:4, we read, “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to [him that is] weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” (This is also consistent with Psalms 40:5&6, “Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.”…and immediately following in verses 7-9, the messianic verses talk about Jesus coming in the volume of the book (the Bible) and His fulfilling work and finishing sacrifice as the sole means by which only we can hope to obtain God’s Salvation.)

Side Note:  It is quite interesting to find in Exodus chapter 31, when God looked for a man of wisdom and understanding and knowledge, that God told Moses the following starting in verse 2:

See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: 3 and I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, 4 to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, 5 and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.”

God called the man and and God filled the man with His Holy Spirit in order for that man to have “wisdom” and “understanding” and “knowledge” to do the service of the Lord in the building of God’s Holy Habitation (represented by the earthly tabernacle).  It is a parable that we must heed, because, just as we are told in Psalms 127, verse 1: “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build itexcept the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” That house (and city) represents the Church, as Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 , “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

BTW…Bezaleel (which means in the shadow of God; i.e., “under his protection”), the son of Uri (which means “my light”), the son of Hur (no known definition, but from the Bible (Exodus 17:10-12) we know that Hur was the only other person to accompany Moses and Aaron up the hill and helped Aaron in supporting Moses’ arms), of the tribe of Judah (meaning “Praised” and Jesus was from the tribe of Judah ).  We see therefore that Bezaleel ultimately represents the Lord Jesus Christ.

Chapter 7:  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Mystery and Hidden Wisdom, Kept Secret Since the World Began

Since Proverbs 1:20-23 (“Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.) and 1 Corinthians 1:30 describes Jesus Christ as Being Wisdom,(“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:“). Then in 1 Corinthians 2:7 (“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mysteryeven the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:“) is really saying,”We speak Jesus Christ in a mystery.”  This is a repetition of 1 Cor. 1:18 (“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.“), which says that those who are perishing (the unsaved) do not truly understand Jesus is the Savior they need.  Those who are saved do know who He is, for they see Him in the Bible (John 5:39, where Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.“). 

To confirm that this is not man’s interpretation but God’s, all we have to do is look at Romans 16:25, which reads, “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,“.  Additional support is found in Colossians 2:2&3, where we read, “… to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God (God the Holy Spirit, Who reveals the mystery), and of the Father (God the Father), and of Christ (God the Son, Jesus);  In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”  The believers can see how God pre-figured Jesus and salvation through Him alone in all the Old Testament historical accounts (doing the Will of God the Father by the Power of the Holy Spirit).  Such examples can be found when we look at the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Barak, Boaz, David, Mordecai, Nehemiah, Jonah, Job, etc.  However, for the rest (the non-elect unsaved who are spiritually blind), such wisdom is “hidden,” because God hides the truth of the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ from them (God leaves them in their blindness!). This is made unmistakably clear in 2 Corinthians 4:3, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

It should also be noted that at the very end of time the mystery of God will be finished (fulfilled) as we read in Revelation 10:7, “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

            It should also be noted that the Book of Revelation begins with the words, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified [it] by his angel unto his servant John:“.  A few verses later, in Revelation 1:8, Jesus declares that, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

             The Book of Revelation is God’s revealed summary testimony of the previously veiled gospel plan to glorify Himself through Jesus Christ’s victory over Satan, sin, death, and hell.  He reviews His loving, gracious gospel plan to make ready a people (His Church) to worship Him in spirit and in truth.  It emphasizes that the consummation of this already effectuated gospel plan will take place very soon in the historical time context.

Where is Wisdom Found?

In Job 28 we read of Job’s “parable” (Yes, Job spoke in a “parable”, see: Job 27:1 and Job 29:1) regarding where Wisdom can be found…Job 28:12 &13, raises the question, “But where shall wisdom be found? and where [is]the place of understanding?Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.”   This is reiterated in Job 28:20&21,”Whence then cometh wisdom? and where [is] the place of understanding? Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air.”  Note that it is “hid” from the eyes of all living…it is hidden from all of mankindEXCEPT to those God chooses to reveal.  Those are God’s chosen, the elect of God!

God Knows Where Wisdom Is Found and He Declares It to Mankind

Regarding “Wisdom”, in Job 28:23 we read, “God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof. For he looketh to the ends of the earth, [and] seeth under the whole heaven; To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure. When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder: Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out. And unto man he saidBehold, the fear of the Lord, that [is] wisdom; and to depart from evil [is] understanding.

Chapter 8:  Diligently Seeking and Searching for Jesus Christ

            In the Introduction to this paper it was shown how God makes it clear that we are to seek Him, and seek Him diligently.  In Proverbs 2:1, we read where God says, “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;  So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, [and] apply thine heart to understanding;  Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, [and] liftest up thy voice for understanding;  If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as [for] hid treasures;  Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.” 

Note well this correlates with what we find in Job 28:14-19 describing Wisdom, “The depth saith, It [is] not in me: and the sea saith, [It is] not with me. It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed [for] the price thereof. It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it [shall not be for] jewels of fine gold. No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom [is] above rubies.  The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold.

We saw in the previous section that in Jesus Christ are “hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”  Therefore, to seek out wisdom is to seek out Jesus Christ.  Furthermore, I Peter 1:10 tells us that seeking out and searching for Jesus is finding salvation and vice-versa, “Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace [that should come] unto you:  Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.”  In Hebrews 11:6 we read, “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 seekhim.

Additional verses that speak to the issue of diligently seeking for Jesus include:

Psalms 119:2, Blessed [are] they that keep his testimonies, [and that] seek him with the whole heart.

Jeremiah 29:13, “And ye shall seek meand find [me], when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Isaiah 55:6, “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

In Acts 17:27, we read that on Mars’ hill, in Athens, Paul informed the Greeks that God had determined for all mankind, “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:”  Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”  But also remember that we will never truly seek Him unless He first seeks for us, as we read in John 6:44, where Jesus says, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Hebrews 9:28, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

For additional insights on what it means to have spiritual ears and eyes to hear and see what God has wrought, please see: https://bereansearching.com/2021/12/29/the-hearing-ear-and-the-seeing-eye/ 

Chapter 9:  Jesus Christ is “The Secret”

            In Amos 3:7 we read, “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”  A few Bible students (including this author) have erroneously referred to this verse to argue that God will reveal the timing of Jesus’s return on Judgment Day to the believers because of the context of the preceding verse, “Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done [it]?,” (which clearly does relate to the warning of the Judgment to come).  However, we know that Jesus Christ is the personification of the Word of God.  He and His Gospel of Grace must, therefore, be the primary focus of this verse.  Could Jesus Christ be “the Secret” whom God reveals through His word, the Bible?  The word translated as “secret” (note that it is in the singular) is from the Hebrew word סוֹד (sôḏ)H5475 in Strong’s Concordance.  Let’s look at a few other verses where this same word is found:

             Job 15:8, “Hast thou heard the secret סוֹד (sôḏ)H5475of God? and dost thou restrain wisdom to thyself?”  (Job (who is another type of Jesus Christ) did hear the “Secret” of God, the “Secret” is the word of God Who is Jesus Christ.  Please see Matthew17:5.)

            Psalm 25:14, “The secret סוֹד (sôḏ)H5475of the LORD [is] with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant”  Jesus is with those that fear God; He makes known to them His everlasting covenant which is His gospel of grace.

             Proverbs 3:32, “For the froward [is] abomination to the LORD: but his secret סוֹד (sôḏ)H5475[is] with the righteous.

             Proverbs 15:22, “Without counsel (סוֹד (sôḏ))H5475 purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.”  The word translated as “counsel” is the same word translated above as “secret,” and so we can see that without Jesus Christ there is only failure, much as we read in: Psalm 127:1, “{A Song of degrees for Solomon.} Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh [but] in vain.”

Ezekiel 13:9, “And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of (סוֹד (sôḏ))H5475 my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I [am] the Lord GOD.”  Again the word translated “in the assembly of” is the same word for “secret.”  Therefore, unless a prophet is in Christ, he will see only vanity (and not Jesus Christ), and he is a false prophet, and God’s hand of judgment will be upon him.

Psalm 64:2, “Hide me from the secret counsel (סוֹד (sôḏ))H5475 of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity:” Clearly, we don’t want to fall prey to false Christs (see Matthew 24:24).

Chapter 10:  Jesus Christ is the “Wonderful” Secret

In Judges 13:9-14, we read where the “angel” (messenger) of the Lord appeared to the mother and father of Samson.  There can be little doubt that this “angel” was actually the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, Who had at times appeared in human form to saints of Old Testament times (Genesis 14:18, Genesis 32:30, and Judges 6:22). 

Verses 18 and 22 indicate that this messenger was Jesus. Judges 13:18, “And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it [is] secret?” 

Judges 13:22, “And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.”  The word “secret” in verse 18 is translated from the Hebrew word (פִּלְאִי (pil’î ))H6383  which can also be translated as “wonderful” as we find in Psalm 139:6, “[Such] knowledge [is] too wonderful (pilee) for me; it is high, I cannot [attain] unto it.”  It is also derived from the prime root word פָּלָא (pālā’) H6381 and closely linked to the companion word פֶּלֶא (pele’)H6382 that are also both translated as “wonderful,” or “wondrous.”

In Isaiah 9:6, God declares in this well known prophesy of the first coming of Jesus Christ that, “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 (פֶּלֶא (pele’)H6382), Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father*, The Prince of Peace.

*NOTE the intimacy between Jesus and The everlasting Father that is reiterated later in: John 14:9, “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Shew us the Father?” John 10:30, “I and [my] Father are one.1 John 5:7, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

It is not surprising therefore that we read in:

Psalm 119:129,  “Thy testimonies [are] wonderful (פֶּלֶא (pele’)H6382: therefore doth my soul keep them.

Psalm 119:18, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous (פָּלָא (pālā’)H6381) things out of thy law.” 

Psalm 119:27, “Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous (פָּלָא (pālā’)H6381) works. (NOTE: The “angel” that appeared to Samson’s parents also did “wondrously(פָּלָא (pālā’)H6381) in Judges 13:19.)

The prayer of all mankind should be that God might deal “wonderfully” with them and grant them the eyes to see the Person of Jesus Christ in the scriptures of the Bible; to understand or know Jesus Christ (Who is “the Way”) as Savior and Lord; to talk of, or declare, the gospel of salvation effectuated by the work of Jesus Christ; and, in Christ, to keep (desire to be obedient to) Jesus’ commandments.

Joel 2:26, “And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously (פָּלָא (pālā’)H6381) with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.

Chapter  11:  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is Hidden From the Non-Elect

The Old Testament is replete with examples of how God prevents the non-elect from seeing the Spiritual Truth and Wisdom that are reserved for the Elect of God, Jesus’ Eternal Church.

One example can be found in Isaiah 29:10-12, which is primarily a testimony by God against the prophets, seers, and rulers (the Priests and Pharisees, the “learned ones”) who during the Old Testament era claimed to understand the word of God, the Bible, but who really had no understanding at all.  Today also, in the New Testament era (when so many new Bible translations/interpretations have become available that have tampered with God’s Word) many theologians, academicians, and religious leaders who claim to have an understanding of the Bible, nonetheless lack the spiritual insight to separate truth from error whereby they preach a “false gospel”.  To all of them, this “book” is still “sealed,” even though they may be “learned” men.  They neither desire nor seek righteousness by grace through Jesus Christ alone, but rather by their own efforts, through the keeping of the Law or pursuing and pushing a “false gospel” using false doctrines”.   We have, for example, some who are called “dispensationalists”, who claim that there is more than one Gospel, as though the Jews are still under a works gospel and the Gentiles under grace. Such thinking identifies them as “false prophets”, and the Light of Christ is not in themThey do not have the Holy Spirit to guide them to the Truth (Jesus Christ) that leads to eternal life.  They are “spiritually blind” and therefore still dead in their sins and under the wrath of God.  Such false teachers will all be destroyed in Hell on Judgment Day. Matthew 15:14 makes clear that we are to, “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” The ditch (or pit) is a Biblical metaphor for Hell. See also the Sealed Book.

In Proverbs 25:2 we read, “[It is] the glory of God to conceal a thing(“word,” thus: Jesus Christ): but the honour of kings [is] to search out a matter (“word,” thus: Jesus Christ).”  The word translated as “conceal” is from the Hebrew word סָתַר (sāṯar) H5641 in Strong’s Concordance.  It is the same word as found just above in Psalm 64:2 that is translated as “hide.”  It can also be translated as “secret,” as is found in: Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret [things belong] unto the LORD our God: but those [things which are] revealed [belong] unto us and to our children for ever, that [we] may do all the words of this law.

In Isaiah 45:15 we read, “Verily thou [art] a God that hidest (סָתַר (sāṯar)) H5641 thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.”  This is why the prayer of the believer is found in Psalm 27:9, “Hide (סָתַר (sāṯar)) H5641 not thy face [far] from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.” and Psalm 119:18&19, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.  I [am] a stranger in the earth: hide סָתַר (sāṯar)) H5641 not thy commandments from me.” and in Psalm 143:7, “Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide סָתַר (sāṯar)) H5641 not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit (Hell).

The New Testament provides additional insight into this issue of God, and His “secret things“, being hidden from all those except the believers (the “elect”* of God…those whom He Wills to save).  In Luke 10:21-24, we read, “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.  All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and [he] to whom the Son will reveal [him].  And he turned him unto [his] disciples, and said privately, Blessed [are] the eyes which see the things that ye see:  For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen [them]; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard [them].

In John 14:21 Jesus states that, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest (from the Greek ἐμφανίζω (emphanizō) G1718 meaning to “disclose”, “reveal,” “declare plainly”, or “make known” ) myself to him.”

For the believers, God makes His words (the Bible) “plain”, as we find in Proverbs 8:8, “All the words of my mouth [are] in righteousness; [there is] nothing froward or perverse in them.  They [are] all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.”  For the non-elect, God’s words are “hidden”.  2 Corinthians 4:3 states, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”  Ephesians 3:9, “And to make all [men] see what [is] the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:Colossians 1:25, “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;  [Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest (made known or revealed)to his saints:”  Colossians 2:2, “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;  In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

*NOTE: Regarding the issue of election, remember that Jesus also prayed in John 17:9, “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.  And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.”  While it is correct to understand that Jesus was referring specifically to His disciples at that point, we later read in the same chapter, in John 17:20, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”  For more on this issue, please read Romans, chapter 9, particularly verses 11-24; and Romans, chapter 11, particularly verses 5-8.

Chapter 12:  The Testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophesy” (as Guided by The “Spirit of Truth”)

We also learn that if anyone is a true prophet (one who is declaring God’s word faithfully), then certain criteria must also be met.  All true believers, who are today’s the true prophets, must have the testimony of Jesus Christ, and no one else.  That is why we read in Revelation 19:10, “And I fell at his feet to worship him.  And he said unto me, See [thou do it] not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”  You see the Bible is the word of God, and Jesus Christ is both God and the Word made flesh (See particularly John 1:1 and John 1:14).  Revelation 19:13 reiterates this point, “And he (Jesus Christ) [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his (Jesus’s) name is called The Word of God.”   Note also that in John 15:26, Jesus told His disciples, “But when the Comforter (the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit) is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify ofme (Jesus Christ):” and also John 14:16-18, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Chapter 13:  The Whole Bible (That Begins With the Entire Old Testament) is About Jesus Christ and God’s Salvation Plan Through Him Alone! That is the True Gospel of Grace!  God Makes This Point Clearly and Unequivocally in the New Testament!

            In John 5:39, we read where Jesus was admonishing the Jews and said, “Search the scriptures (only the Old Testament in that day); for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and theyare they whichtestify of me(Jesus Christ). In John 5:45&46, we read, “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is [one] that accuseth you, [even] Moses, in whom ye trust.  For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.”  Also in Hebrews 10:7 where God explains Psalms 40:7 (“Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book [it is] written of me“) as saying that the book (the Bible) is talking about Jesus Christ, “Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,to do thy will, O God.” The “me” is all the above is unequivocally referring only to Jesus Christ!

             Remember also in Luke 24:27 where Jesus, after His resurrection, was walking on the road to Emmaus with the two companions who did not recognize Him.  There we read, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”  Later on, in verses 30-32, we read of Jesus braking bread and giving it to the two disciples, “And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed [it], and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?.”   We see this repeated again later in verses 44 & 45: “And He (Jesus) said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me.  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,”

This point is also reiterated in Acts 3:18, “But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.”   Again in Acts10:43, we read where the Apostle Peter declared, “To him (Jesus Christ) give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”  In John 1:45 we read where, “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”  Finally, in Romans 1:1-3, we read, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;And declared [to be] the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:”. And remember that this is referring back one thousand years to when God was prophetically speaking to king David in 2 Samuel 7:12-14, ” ¶And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:

             We can see, therefore, that effectively the entire Bible has been precisely crafted by God, by His Holy Spirit, into one cohesive, consistent whole, from beginning to end and was written as a “parable,” in that only if God has given the reader “eyes to see” can the Bible truly be understood and applied to his heart, otherwise the Word remains hidden to that individual.  It is the only way to “hear” Him (see Matt. 17:5).  Because this is so, we can also see how it should be possible to “see” the Lord Jesus Christ (He is both the Word and Wisdom) on each and every page, whether it be in the New, or Old, Testament.  In I Corinthians 13:12, we read, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

             Remember how Jesus taught in John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” and that John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” Colossians 4:3, “Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:” and in Matthew 7:13, Jesus also spoke these words, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”  Finally, in John 6:44, Jesus explicitly told us that, “No man can come to me, exceptthe Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” Jesus emphasized this later in John 6:65, “And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

Chapter 14:  The New Testament Speaks Plainly of the Gospel (“Good News”) of Jesus Christ, Which Previously Had Been Veiled in the Old Testament

            In 2 Corinthians 3:1 -18, we read how God compares the New Testament to the Old Testament.  We see a clear comparison between the glorious gospel of grace (for both Jew and Gentile!) through Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life that is openly revealed by the Spirit through “great plainness of speech” to the gospel of works by man that can only lead to condemnation and eternal death, but which was nonetheless glorious because it pointed to Jesus Christ in a veiled manner and which veil was removed by the person and completed work of Jesus Christ.  “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:  [Forasmuch as ye are] manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.  And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:  Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency [is] of God;  Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.  But if the ministration of death, written [and] engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which [glory] was to be done away:  How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?  For if the ministration of condemnation [be] glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.  For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.  For if that which is done away [was] glorious, much more that which remaineth [is] glorious.  Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:  And not as Moses, [which] put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:  But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which [veil] is done away in Christ.  But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.  Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.  Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty.  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.

 Conclusion

             The conclusion of the matter is, only if (by the grace of God, alone) we have the Holy Spirit indwelling in our hearts (because we are called and chosen by God, and are therefore spiritually raised from the dead…and hence are “born again” by the Spirit), then our spiritual eyes and ears can be opened to the hidden Truth of God (in concurrence with being given the necessary faith hope and love and the desire to be obedient to Him!).  Because that Truth is of God, and about God…then “spiritual” discernment (not carnal, earthly, human) is required.  In Romans 7:14 we read, “For we know that the law (the whole word of God, the Bible) is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Therefore, only if we are being guided by God the Holy Spirit, as a Gift according to God’s Sovereign Will and Good Pleasure, and by God’s Grace Alone, using the process of prayerfully searching and comparing scripture with scripture (comparing spiritual with spiritual) within the context of the whole Bible, can the veil be removed, such that we can begin to see Jesus Christ and His work of salvation for His people that God has inextricably interwoven throughout all His word, the Bible.  Jesus really is the Child of Promise and The Way, The Truth, and The Life.  May all who read this be as the Greeks in John 12:20&21 that came up to the feast to worship and say, “we would see Jesus.”

And please, dear reader, never forget that “Salvation is of the Lord” (Please see the study of Jonah), and “salvation” means being saved from the just penalty for one’s sins, and that penalty would, apart from salvation, require an eternity in Hell come Judgment Day.

Appendix A:   Understanding Parables: A Biblical Proof-Text for Typological Interpretation

            In Mark 4:10 we read that Jesus, when He had just finished telling the parable of the Sower, was asked by His disciples what the parable meant; “And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.”  In Mark 4:13, Jesus gave the following response, “And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

            Why did Jesus imply that His disciples should have known what the parable meant?  Could they have known before Jesus explained it to them?  Also, He indicated that if they did know the meaning of this parable, then they would be able to know the meaning of all parables.  What did that mean?

             When we do a word study of the Parable of the Sower, using a concordance such as Strong’s or Young’s, comparing scripture with scripture (comparing spiritual things with spiritual things); we find that if we search just the Old Testament (the only scriptures available at the time of Christ) we can derive essentially the same meaning of the parable as Jesus gave His disciples.  By applying the same principles to the rest of the Bible, trusting God’s Word, by faith, being led by the Holy Spirit, we ought to be able to learn the meaning of “all” parables.

            However, please remember that the information in this Bible Study Guide is not to be viewed as some kind of a cookbook “recipe,” by which we can automatically come to truth.  God is Sovereign, and in complete control of the revelation of saving truth from His Word, the Bible.  Intellectual knowledge will never save anyone (it could actually add to greater condemnation).  May we never be as those God describes in II Timothy 3:7, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”   (Remember also that Jesus is The “Truth”)

POSTSCRIPT:

The point of this study is intended is to instruct the reader regarding the truth of how the Bible is crafted by God to reveal the spiritual Truthwhich involves allegories, types, and shadows, which all consistently point to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. And that spiritual level of understanding, which is only possible with the Gift of God the Holy Spirit, cannot be perceived with carnal eyes.

The events recorded in the Bible are not myths or legends upon which the gospel message is derived.  All of the historical events recorded (including all of the Old Testament narratives) are literal, and can be trusted as true facts.  From those historical facts we can derive moral lessons.  The Bible also contains specific laws and codes of conduct that provide the best means to govern and benefit human society.  The framers of the United States Constitution wisely drew heavily on those lessons and laws. The proverbs teach us valuable moral lessons.  While such lessons will certainly benefit anyone in this temporal earthly life, neither a knowledge of biblical historical facts, or biblical morality through obedience to God’s laws, will bring that person to salvation.  Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all of the historical events, moral lessons, and Levitical laws and ordinances, which are all only temporal/earthly “types” and “shadows,” and therefore have no lasting substance in themselves. The historical events that are found in the Bible, which are all factual and actually occurred, were precisely recorded/inscribed crafted by God, The Holy Spirit, in the Bible to convey spiritual truth, and are all, therefore “historical parables”.

The majority of the Bible (both the Old and New Testaments) contains these historical parables, and, in one way or anothe, all of them point to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ  We know from Proverbs 1:5 that, “A wise [man] will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.” And Jesus spoke in parables so that those who only had carnal eyes, would see and not perceive, and moreover, in John 3:12, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you [of] heavenly things?

Therefore, only if we are being guided by God the Holy Spirit, as a Gift according to God’s Sovereign Will and Good Pleasure and by God’s Grace Alone, using the process of prayerfully searching and comparing scripture with scripture (comparing spiritual with spiritual) within the context of the whole Bible, can the veil be removed, such that we can begin to see Jesus Christ and His work of salvation for His people that God has inextricably interwoven throughout all His word, the Bible.  Jesus really Is the Child of Promise and The Way, The Truth, and The Life.  May all who read this be as the Greeks in John 12:20&21 that came up to the feast to worship and say, “we would see Jesus.”  

Eternal salvation is only a Gift of Grace by God obtainable through the hearing of, and responding repentant faith in, the Gospel of Jesus Christ for God’s purpose to build up the Eternal Church, the Kingdom of God.

The Believers (The “Saints”) Will Be With Jesus in Bringing Judgment on Judgment Day! 

Posted May 31, 2023 by bereansearching
Categories: Bible Studies

This is an excerpt from a much larger exposition on Judges Chapters 4&5 that provides significant insights on what we can expect on Judgment Day

In Judges 4:14, we read the following, “¶And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this [is] the day in which the LORD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.

In that “Historical Parable“, as God provides us in Judges 4&5, it has been shown in a previous detailed exposition that Barak, which in the original Hebrew (בָּרָק (bārāq)H1300) means both “Lightning” and “Glittering Sword”, is unequivocally representative of the Lord Jesus Christ as He will come down from Heaven (typified by Mt. Tabor) on Judgment Day to the earth (as typified by the Valley of Megiddo, which is also known as “Armageddon”).

The 10,000 men who come down from mount Tabor after Barak allegorically represent all of the “saints”, the “believers”, the “saved”, the “sons of God” who will come down from Heaven with Jesus on Judgment Day (we know this is consistent with what we find in Jude 1:14&15, regarding Judgment Day “…Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.“).  

It is the eternal Church, the body of believers, of which Jesus Is The Eternal Head, who will come with Jesus to “execute judgment” on Judgment Day.  It is clear that the physical destruction of the host of Sisera was by the “physical sword“, and, in the historical account,  it could not have been done by Barak alone, that Judgment by the “physical sword” would have had to have also been done by those who came with Barak.  

Repeating what was said earlier…the last words of Moses, before his death in Deuteronomy 33:2&3, were, “And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saintsfrom his right hand [went] a fiery law for them.  Yea, he loved the people; all his saints [are] in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; [every one] shall receive of thy words.” Remembering also that just previously in Judges 4:10, we read how Barak “called” Zebulun and Naphtali (the believers from out of the Gentile nations) and he “went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went with him.”  Again, we must remember that Barak is used of God to provide a clear and unequivocal “Type” of the LORD Jesus Christ!

Remember also what we find in the clearly Messianic verses of Zechariah 14:4&5, where the verses end by declaring that on Judgment Day, Jesus will come with all of His saints with Him, “and the LORD my God shall come, [and] all the saints with thee.”

If we turn to Psalm 149:5-9, we read that, “Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.[Let] the high [praises] of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, [and] punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.”  

God graciously grants this participation in the Judgment as an “honor” to His Saints. Given that we are all frail human beings in our temporal bodies, it is difficult for us to fathom, and disturbingly hard to imagine and/or look forward to, participating in the destruction of anyone. However, on Judgment Day, the saints will become like Jesus in their new glorified bodies at the resurrection, and then the saints, “the sons of God”, will see things perfectly like Jesus does now. We know this because of what we find in 1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yetappear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Additional corroboration can be found in these prophetic verses, in 1 Corinthians 6:2&3, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

Please also see again 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. ¶For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (not go before) them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

The “TwoEdged Sword

And what is the “twoedged sword”? It is the Word of God, and therefore a “Spiritual Sword”! The Bible tells us so here in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Also in Revelation 1:16 where we read about the twoedged sword coming out of the mouth of Jesus (“the Son of man“), “And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength.”  Everyone who is unsaved will be judged on the basis of God’s Word, Who is Jesus, and it is the saved believers who are the attendant messengers and witnesses of that Word, both now and forever.  Finally, we know from John 12:48 where Jesus said, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

The Word of God (Jesus is both The Word and the Bringer of the Word) is also the Spiritual “Twoedged Sword” by which God will both Judge and Destroy all of the unbelievers on Judgment Day.

But why is the “Word of God” specifically identified with a “twoedged” sword?  It is because the Word of God brings both life and death, both salvation or condemnation, “comfort” and “vengeance” (see: https://bereansearching.com/2022/07/20/a-christian-perspective-on-the-book-of-nahum-comfort-and-consolation/) .  We read in 2 Corinthians 2:14-17, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who [is] sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

Conclusion

Judgment Day will be the last event in history when the Lord Jesus Christ will come back in the clouds of Glory to destroy all wickedness, and send all of the unsaved of the world to an eternity in Hell, and put an end to this entire creation, which is under the curse of sin and death.  It will mark the end of time and the beginning of eternity wherein righteousness will dwell in new heavens and a new earth forever.  In 2 Peter 3:10 we read, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” But thankfully in 2 Peter 3:13 we read, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Barak is an allegorical “Type” of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will be the Ultimate Judge at a battle that perfectly typifies the Ultimate Judgment that definitely will come on the Last Day, Judgment Day

In 2 Corinthians 5:11, we are admonished, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.”  Given that God has recorded such a clear and unequivocal prophetic warning of the final judgment that is so assuredly coming; it is incumbent on everyone to search his or her own conscience (and heart) and ask himself or herself the big question: Am I ready to meet God?  It is my sincere prayer that whosoever reads this review will undergo that self-examination and be able to answer in the affirmative.  If not, it is still possible to cry out to God for mercy, for it is still the day of salvation.  (Please also remember that Barak was just a pre-figuring “shadow” of Jesus Christ, not the “substance.”  Only through the Person and Work of Jesus Christ is there any hope of salvation. Acts 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.)

Today’s Application: Are You Ready?

Jesus is the only Way of escape from the just penalty for our sins. All other ways that man can devise will lead only to Hell come Judgment Day. You are either with God or against God.  Have you made peace with God through Jesus Christ?  Please pray to God for mercy through Jesus Christ and He will show you mercy. Judgment Day is for any individual only a heart beat awaybut for the world it is coming very soon, given all of the signs of the times that we are currently all living in. Judge for yourselves if these things are so or not.

Death in the Pot! (A Christian Exposition of 2 Kings 4:38-41)

Posted May 24, 2023 by bereansearching
Categories: Bible Studies

Above image caption: Wild Gourds as Found in the Arabian Desert

Introduction

2 Kings, Chapter 4, verses 38-41 Provides Another “Historical Parable” Pointing to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ to Save His People for Himself

What Are “Historical Parables”?

Historical parables are factual historical events that are found in the Bible, which were also precisely crafted and recorded/inscribed by God in the Bible, via God The Holy Spirit, in allegorical manners that convey important Spiritual Truth. And that Spiritual Truth is that Eternal Salvation is only a gift of grace by God, paid for in full for the sins of God’s Elect by Jesus’ eternal Sacrifice and obtainable through the hearing of, and responding repentant faith in, the Gospel of Jesus Christ; which is the true purpose and lasting substance of the Bible.

The majority of the Bible (both the Old and New Testaments) contains these historical parables, which, in one way or another, all point to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Moreover, that truth is not always readily apparent, and can even be deliberately hidden by God to an unbeliever. It will also be hidden to a professing Christian, if the Bible is read by that person in a careless manner, or if such persons are basing their understanding on the wisdom of men rather than the Wisdom of God.

There are many “historical parables” in the Bible, found in both the Old and New Testaments, which can be easily missed in casual reading. This is because the majority of them are veiled in “allegory”. Some of them are more intrinsically obvious than others. Here are just two examples of fairly obvious ones:

  1. Abraham when he was about to sacrifice Isaac, his only son from Sarah, said in Genesis 22:8, “… My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering:…” The specific phraseology tells us that God would “provide Himself” (in the Form of Jesus) as the Lamb as the Only Acceptable Sacrifice for sin.
  2. Joseph (who was raised from a pit and prison and servitude up to the right hand of Pharaoh) provided bread to his unworthy brethren who had thrown him in a pit and sold him into slavery in Egypt in Genesis 50:20But as for you, ye thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as [it is] this day, to save much people alive.” Those sad events served to create an historical parable for the purpose of pointing to Jesus’ Atoning Sacrifice in Hell, and Jesus’s Resurrection to the Right Hand of God the Father, to provide Salvation for His erstwhile enemies.

Some of the historical parables in the Old Testament have the benefit of New Testament exposition. The Brass (Brazen) Serpent is one such example. And Galatians 4:21-31 not only points us back to Sarah and Haggar, but specifically states that those two women were used of God to serve as an “allegory”, Which Things Are an Allegory“. Nonetheless, the majority of historical parables require diligent, prayerful, comparison of scripture with scripture to be understood, in accordance with 1 Corinthians 2:13-14, “which the Holy Ghost teacheth: comparing spiritual things with spiritual“. In all cases, however, a “True” understanding of historical parables is entirely dependent on God Alone, through His Holy Spirit.

It should also be noted that the parables spoken by Jesus are not to be considered the same as “historical” parables, in that Jesus’ parables cannot be related to a specific factual historical account as is recorded in the Bible, but rather were “earthly stories” intended to teach a “Heavenly/spiritual” lessons. See for example The Good Samaritan, the Talents, the Sower. Nonetheless, all parables, whether historical or not, ultimately lead to the same understanding and conclusion. They all lead us to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ and the role of His saints in honoring and serving Him.

We know from Proverbs 1:5 that, “A wise [man] will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.

And Jesus deliberately spoke in parables, so that those who only had carnal eyes, would see and not perceive. In Mark 4:11+12 we read, “And he (Jesus Christ speaking to His disciples) said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all [these] things are done in parables:  That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and [their] sins should be forgiven them.” 

Moreover, in John 3:12, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you [of] heavenly things?

For more on Biblical understanding, please see the The Key of Knowledge for Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible.

Elisha and the Poison Pottage

In 2 Kings 4:38-41 we read, “¶And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and [there was] a dearth in the land; and the sons of the prophets [were] sitting before him: and he said unto his servant, Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets. And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred [them] into the pot of pottage: for they knew [them] not. So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O [thou] man of God, [there is] death in the pot. And they could not eat [thereof]. ¶But he said, Then bring meal. And he cast [it] into the pot; and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. And there was no harm in the pot.

If one looks only at the “plain sense” of this text in only a cursory perusal, the text will provide the reader with a general “feel good” sense that the God of the Bible works miracles through His Prophets. And while there is not question that God, through Elisha, did miraculously heal, or purify, an otherwise poisonous soup by the casting of some “meal” into the pot. But is that all there is to this historical account? Is there something more than just the “plain sense” would indicate? Let us look more closely at the key elements of this short text by comparing scripture with scripture (“spiritual things with spiritual“).

1. Elisha

It is interesting to note that Elisha in Hebrew (אֱלִישָׁע (‘ĕlîšāʿ)) H477 means “God Is Salvation”, somewhat similar to Elijah (אֵלִיָּה (‘ēlîyâ))H452, which means “God of Jehovah”, from whom Elisha received his mantle. More significantly, Though Elisha is clearly differ in its spelling and pronunciation, “Elisha” does effectively have nearly identical meaning as that for “Joshua”, hence “Jesus”, as described below.

2. Gilgal

Elisha came again to Gilgal.” Clearly Elisha had been there before. We also know that this is the case, as we read a little earlier in 2 Kings 2:1 “¶And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.

Now, “Gilgal” (גִּלְגָּל (gilgāl))H1537 in the Bible is a name of great significance, because it is the name that God Himself gave to that specific place where we learn of the following:

  1. It is the first encampment of the people of Israel after crossing, and “coming up out” of, the River Jordan into the Promised Land (pointing to the Salvation of the saints of God coming through untouched by the Flood (representing Hell) and up into Heaven, because the Ark of the Covenant, representing the Body of Jesus Christ, was there the whole time).
  2. It occurred on the tenth day of the first month! The children of Israel came up out of the River Jordan on the very day that the Passover Lamb was to be selected for the Passover according to Exodus 12:1-3, (and the same day that Jesus triumphantly entered into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday about 1500 years later). See also Ezra 10:16.
  3. It is where Joshua erected a monument of twelve stones (representing the twelve tribes of Israel) as a memorial to Israel’s deliverance and salvation (which points to the Eternal Israel’s Salvation).
  4. It is where the children of Israel who made it through the wilderness were circumcised (which points to the Eternal Israel’s Salvation by the shedding of blood, Jesus Christ’s blood).
  5. It is where they observed the Passover Feast (again pointing to the Sacrifice of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ).
  6. It is where the manna ceased, marking the end of the wilderness sojourn period (pointing to the fact that in Heaven we only need Jesus, the Bread of Life of which the manna was just an earthly “Type” but not the substance).
  7. It is where God announced that He had “rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off” national Israel (which points to the eternal salvation of the eternal Israel in Christ Jesus)

Gilgal Is Intimately Linked With the Salvation of God’s People by the Atoning Sacrifice of The Lord Jesus Christ!

The very first place in the Bible where we find the name Gilgal is in Joshua 4:19, where we read,

¶ And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho. And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal. And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come,saying, What [mean] these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over. That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it [is] mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.

More information is provided by God later in Joshua 5:8-12, where God specifically declares that Gilgal is where God “rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off” national Israel. We read : ¶And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole. And the LORD said unto JoshuaThis day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day. ¶And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho. And they did eat off the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched [corn] in the selfsame day. And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.

Gilgal, which literally means “wheel”, or “wheel that rolls”, and as noted above, Gilgal is spiritually identified by God with the rolling away of the “reproach of Egypt” from off of His people. And of course, the phrase, “the reproach of Egypt“, is a typological/allegorical representation of fallen mankind’s spiritual enslavement to sin and Satan. Egypt (the land of Israel’s captivity for 400 years) is notably identified in the Bible as the “iron furnace” in Deuteronomy 4:20, 1Kings 8:51, and Jeremiah 11:4 and is therefore a typological/allegorical spiritual reference for Hell.

Rolled Away

Do not the words “rolled away” also bring to mind something else that the Bible tells us was also rolled away? Yes, it was the stone that sealed the tomb where Jesus’ Body lay, as we read in both Mark 16:4, “And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.” and Luke 24:2And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

Yes, the reproach of Egypt (Hell) was eternally removed from off the Eternal Israel, as was exemplified by the rolling away of the stone that sealed the tomb of Jesus’, showing that Jesus had been resurrected and that Jesus was the “first begotten of the dead.”

Revelation 1:5, “And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,” and

1 Peter 1:3, “Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

The Spiritual Symbolism of Gilgal

Gilgal thus symbolizes the Atoning Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, by which God provides salvation for His people, and thus spiritually represents the place where God removes the reproach for their sin together with the death penalty in Hell that the payment for that sin requires.

The Circumcision in Gilgal

And just as national Israel received the physical circumcision at Gilgal, so to does it symbolize the spiritual “circumcision of the hearts” by God for (Deuteronomy 10:16) of all His children of the eternal Israel. The shedding of blood and the cutting off of the foreskins pointed to the fact that a transition had taken place and those who were circumcised had come under the Abrahamic covenant by the shedding of blood related to the “seed” and ultimately Blood of Christ, because Jesus had to be cut-off and was the Seed of Abraham and David. Jesus is also typified by the Passover lamb sacrifice, which also was partaken of in Gilgal. But what are the other spiritual implications of circumcision? The physical circumcision of the flesh avails nothing, because God talks of the spiritual circumcision of the heart.

In Deuteronomy 30:6, we read, “And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.” God provides the exposition of this in describing how the saints are made complete in Christ, “Colossians 2:11-13, “¶ In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” So the “rolling away of the reproach of Egypt” is intimately linked to circumcision at Gilgal.

This is also why Joshua, during much of his campaign to conquer the promised land, set up his camp in Gilgal. It was from Gilgal that Joshua was used by God to save Israel from its enemies, and from which Joshua “ascended” (compare with Ephesians 4:7-16) as we find in the following verses:

Joshua 9:6, “And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us“.

Joshua 10:6 &7, “¶”And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, Slack not thy hand from thy servants; come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us: for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the mountains are gathered together against us. ¶ So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour.

Joshua 10:9, “Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, [and] went up from Gilgal all night.”

Joshua 10:15, “¶And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.

Joshua 10:43, “And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.”

Joshua 14:6. “Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal:and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the LORD said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadeshbarnea.”

Joshua, of course, is a clear “Type” of the Lord Jesus Christ, The Savior.

Please note that Jesus (Ἰησοῦς (iēsous))G2424 is Greek for the Hebrew, Joshua (יְהוֹשׁוּעַ (yᵊhôšûaʿ)) H3091, which means “Jehovah is Salvation” (or “Savior”) and therefore effectively is the same as Elisha, which means “God Is Salvation”.

3. Dearth in the Land

2 Kings 4:38 informs that there was a “dearth” in the land. The Hebrew word translated as “dearth” is רָעָב (rāʿāḇ) H7458 is most generally translated “famine”, and famine in the Bible is used as a metaphor or allegory for a period in which the Word of God is lacking.

We know this, because we read in Amos 8:11, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine (רָעָב (rāʿāḇ)) H7458 in the land, not a famine (רָעָב (rāʿāḇ)) H7458 of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:” There, God was warning Israel of the 400-year period during which God did not send any more word to them at all. And it is quite notable that of the 101 times we find this same Hebrew word for “famine” in the Old Testament, this is the very last time and therefore further corroboration of the interpretation.

A dearth in Gilgal thus refers to the period when the true Word of God, the Gospel of Salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ Alone is largely, if not completely, absent from the earthly representation of God’s Kingdom, the corporate church. That was the condition prevailing in Israel when Elisha succeeded Elijah as the prophet of God. It can also be expected to be characteristic of the short end-time period that immediately precedes Judgment Day. For more on the spiritual meaning of a dearth in the land and the end times implications, please see: Famine in the Land

4. The Great Pot

The word “pot” appears five times in these four verses. We are told that it was also a “great”pot. The word translated as “pot” is the original Hebrew word (סִיר (sîr)) H5518. That Hebrew word is found 34 times in the Old Testament and is translated into English variously as pot (21x), caldron (5x), thorns (4x), washpot (with H7366) (2x), pans (1x).

In Psalm 58:1&2, God is pronouncing judgment on the “wicked congregation” where we read, “¶[[To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David.]] Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men? Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.” And then in Psalm 58:9, “Before your pots (סִיר (sîr)) H5518 can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in [his] wrath.

God would seem therefore to be referring to a congregation, and in this instance, the congregation of the wicked, and likening the congregations to vessels. In Ecclesiastes 7:6 we also see, “For as the crackling of thorns (סִיר (sîr)) H5518 under a pot (סִיר (sîr)) H5518, so [is] the laughter of the fool: this also [is] vanity.” This would seem to indicate that the condemnation is upon the fools who do not see the imminent judgment, they being both the thorns and the pot. In Isa 34:1-15, we see God’s condemnation of apostate Israel, especially in verse 13 associating them with “thorns”, which will be consumed by God’s wrath. “And thorns (סִיר (sîr)) H5518 shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, [and] a court for owls. (note that the thorns, nettles and brambles remind us of the curse upon Adam in Genesis 3:18, “Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

In Jeremiah 1:13&14, God refers to Babylon as the “seething pot”, referring to that angry nation, that God was about to use to bring judgment upon Judah. “¶And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot (סִיר (sîr)) H5518; and the face thereof is toward the north. ¶Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.

And in Ezekiel 11:1-3, the “cauldron” is again a reference to a pot under judgment. “¶Moreover the spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the LORD’S house, which looketh eastward:and behold at the door of the gate five and twenty men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. Then said he unto me, Son of man, these [are] the men that devise mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city: Which say, [It is] not near; let us build houses: this [city is] the caldron (סִיר (sîr)) H5518, and we [be] the flesh.

Ezekiel 24:3-14, God declares a parable of judgment against Jerusalem (the day when Babylon attacks it) in which Jerusalem is compared to a seething pot (סִיר (sîr)) H5518.

Although in both Psalm 60:8 and Psalm 108:9 where we see that the cursed nation of Moab is called a “washpot” by God, “Moab [is] my washpot;” The word translated as “washpot” is the same word in the original Hebrew for “pot” (סִיר (sîr)) H5518.

Finally, the very last time that the word translated from the original Hebrew as “pot” is found in the Bible is in Zechariah 14:20&21, “¶In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots (סִיר (sîr)) H5518 in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot (סִיר (sîr)) H5518 in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hostsand all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.” These prophetic verses indicate that there will be dedication to God in His Holy Temple involving the pots and a seething sacrifice that ensures a cleansing for the people.

It would therefore seem fair to say that, overall, the “pot” refers to all vessels of humanity, which are, by their nature, cursed and under the judgment of God, like Babylon, especially because of the poisonous cursed ingredients, producing the death in the pot. However, we shall see that the “meal” (actually flour, see below under “Meal”) refers to the foundational element of bread, which we know refers to the Body of Jesus Christ, such that when it is added to the pot, makes the pot free from the curse of sin and death and destruction on the evil day, Judgment Day.

5. Pottage

We soon learn that the “sons of the prophets” were “sitting before” Elisha. Given the context of this historical account and the meaning of the name Elisha being essentially the same as Jesus, that Elisha, much like his predecessor Elijah, is being used by God as a “Type” to represent Jesus. Moreover, the “sons of the prophets” are representative of all of the true believers. They were representative of the children of God sitting before Jesus to seek for spiritual food from Christ, even as Mary (Martha’ sister) sat at Jesus’ feet to listen to Him speak (Luke 10:39).

To underscore this point, let us look at the very last words of Moses before his death in Deuteronomy 33:2&3, “And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand [went] a fiery law for them.  Yea, he loved the people; all his saints [are] in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; [every one] shall receive of thy words.” All the saints are also the sons of the prophets who are sitting at the feet of Jesus for His Words.

Elisha subsequently said to his servant, “Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets.” Elisha told his servant to boil some kind of soup, or stew, in a pot (like a kettle/cauldron) for the men to eat. This is representative of how when believers humbly come before God, prayerfully expressing their hunger for His Word, God will see to it that we are spiritually fed from His Word. And that will be the case even when the majority of corporate Christian congregations are beset by a famine of the hearing of the Word.

The believers are assured in Psalm 33:18&19, “Behold, the eye of the LORD [is] upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.”, and in Psalm 37:19, “They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

6. Field

The word translated as “field” is from the original Hebrew word, שָׂדֶה (śāḏê)H7704, which is first found in the Bible (where God was cursing Adam for his original sin) in Genesis 3:18, “Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field (שָׂדֶה (śāḏê))H7704;”

In the 2nd Kings chapter 4 account, we read that one of the servants went out to gather herbs, or vegetables, for the soup/stew to seethe in the pot. But that servant went to the wrong place. He went into “the field”, which, according to the Bible, is a picture of “the world” as we are told by Jesus in His explanation of the Parable of the “Wheat and the Tares” (see also the Parable of the Sower).

In Matthew 13:38, Jesus said, “The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one];”

And in John 4:35, Jesus said, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and [then] cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fieldsfor they are white already to harvest.” The fields are those parts of the world in which the remnant chosen by grace have been scattered. Hence, He tells us to ask God to send out workers into the harvest field.

But we must remember getting back to the Parable of the Wheat and Tares that the time is growing short because the ultimate Harvest is at the end of the world. In Matthew 13:39 Jesus said, “The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

7. Wild Gourd From a Wild Vine

Nevertheless, the sin-cursed world is not the right place to find food for believers. Not surprisingly, therefore, all this servant could gather were wild gourds from a wild vine. The word translated as “wild” in this account is from the original Hebrew word, שָׂדֶה (śāḏê) H7704, which is translated as “field” 292 times in the Bible and only eight times as “wild“. As was noted above, In Matthew 13:38, Jesus said, “The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one];”

The “True Vine”, Is Jesus Himself, as we read in John 15:1-8, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every [branch] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruitof itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye,except ye abide in me. ¶I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

Contrariwise, a wild vine represents something that is sinful and opposed to God. Remember the apostle Paul says in Romans 11:2 is addressing the Gentile believers, “For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural [branches], be graffed into their own olive tree?

Parable of the Vineyard: Another source of “Wild” Fruit

Similarly we read in Isaiah 5:1-7, where God was lamenting over Israel’s failure to bear good fruit despite God’s loving care,

Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard:I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; [and] break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down. And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged;but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

It should be noted that the single word translated as “wild grapes” in the original Hebrew is בְּאֻשִׁים (bᵊ’ušîm) H891, is only used these two times in the entire Bible. The word actually means, “poisonous berries“, but given the context, it makes sense that they were translated in the King James Bible as “wild grapes”.

This parable is already explained for us by God in the last verse above. Israel and Judah were represented by “the vineyard” and “the vine”, respectively, and they should have brought forth righteousness, but instead brought forth poison in the form of rebellion, which, according to 1 Samuel 15:23For rebellion [is as] the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness [is as] iniquity and idolatry.” God makes clear that He will bring judgment upon them for their iniquities.

There was clearly no shortage of such “wild gourds” or “wild grapes” in the world back then, and that is still the case in our world today. The lone servant, who went out into the world, was able to gather a lap full (a garment full) of of “wild gourds”. By shredding them into the pot of pottage, he effectively introduced worldly, and therefore unBiblical, ideas into that from which the church would normally, faithfully, feed the flock.

8. Deadly poison (“Death in the Pot!)

And they knew them not.” When false prophets first begin to infiltrate the various congregations of the corporate church and bring in heresies and false gospels that are injected and mixed into the church’s teaching, the people in the pews will not often realize it. The devil is very cunning. 2 Corinthians 11:14&15 tell us, “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Thankfully, and most mercifully, God protects His own from being snared by such false gospels. Describing believers as His sheep, Jesus says in the Parable of the Good Shepherd in John 10:5And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers“.

In other words, true believers, having the indwelling Holy Spirit as their Counselor. and Guide, know that and gospel other than that of the Bible will not bring salvation, but rather lead only to eternal death and destruction. Therefore, when “the sons of the prophets” began to eat off the pottage, they cried out, “There is death in the pot!” They realized immediately that there was poison in the food. They had Spiritual Discernment.

9. Meal 

To provide the necessary cure, Elisha asked for “meal” and then cast the meal into the pot. What does that represent?

The Hebrew word translated as “meal” קֶמַח (qemaḥH7058 is sometimes translated in the Bible as “flour”, and in the Books of Exodus 29:2 , Leviticus 2:1 and Numbers 6:15 are typical of many verses where God commands the children of Israel to offer “fine flour” or cakes baked from “fine flour” as offerings. Like the lambs and bulls and grains and other sacrifices offered at the temple, the “meal” is a symbol pointing to the body of the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.

Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus is the “true bread from heaven” (John 6:32), “the bread of life” (John 6:35). Partaking of the Word of God will keep us from being harmed by any false teaching. Thus, God declares in Mark 16:18, “They (the believers) shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

10. No “Harm” in the Pot

This historical account, which is indeed another “historical parable”, ends with this marvelous statement: “And there was no harm in the pot.” It should be noted however that the word “harm”, as is translated into English by the King James translators, is actually derived from two key words in the original Hebrew.

The first word is רַע (raʿ)H745, means “evil“, and it is the very same Hebrew word that we found all the way back in the beginning of the Bible in Genesis 2:9, “And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil (רַע (raʿ)) H7451“.

The second word in the original Hebrew is דָּבָר (dāḇār)H1697, which means “word(s)“. (To see just how important that the word “dabar” is in the Bible, which is translated over 800 times as “word” or “words” (and over 200 times as “thing(s) and over 60 times as “matter”, but sometimes erroneously as is shown in the Appendix Below.)

So then, God is telling us that when it says “no harm”, when we look closely at the original Hebrew, we find that “no harm” is really saying that there are “no evil word(s)” in the pot. Is that not most interesting? Since when do “words” go into a pot? This is why at least one translator (e.g., Young’s Literal Translation) felt compelled to substitute “thing(s)” to say “no evil thing” in the pot, because it would seem, from a human perspective, to better conform to the “plain sense”. However, such a translation effectively nullifies the “spiritual sense”, which God has imbedded in His Word. This is just more evidence of how God has perfectly, magnificently, and supernaturally crafted the historical events of the Bible, and the recording of them, to convey spiritual truth to those to whom God graciously grants the eyes to see and the ears to hear.

And as a result, we can more clearly see how this historical parable is really telling us that, even in a time of famine, the “sons of the prophets” were nonetheless adequately and safely nourished, just as in the Final Tribulation, the true believing Christians will be spiritually fed with the True Word of God (Jesus Christ) and that there will be no evil, or false, words/gospels to poison them.

Conclusion

The historical account in 2 Kings 4:38-41 is more than just another intriguing miraculous story in the Old Testament. And the truth that it reveals is highly pertinent for anyone who believes that the Bible is God’s Word and that Jesus Christ Is our Only Hope for salvation from sin.

We are living in a day when there is indeed a famine in the land, “a dearth in Gilgal”. By and large, the corporate church has ceased to faithfully proclaim the whole counsel of God. The True Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ Alone, along with the key doctrines from the Bible on which it is based, have become so perverted that most congregations are, for all practical purposes, just playing church with worldly ideas.

For the unsaved, these congregations offer nothing but “death in the pot”. But true believers will not be fooled. It is not that they are any more intelligent than other churchgoers. Rather, God Is Faithful. Jesus Christ has promised that He shall not lose any of the children that the Father has given Him. John 6:39This is the will of him who sent me: that I should lose none of those he has given me but should raise them up on the last day.”

Meanwhile, we must sit humbly before God, ever seeking wisdom from His Word. Instead of believing everything we hear from the pulpit, we must strictly rely on the Bible itself to bring us truth (and be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11,”These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.“)

By the grace of God, thankfully, we will then be well equipped by God to go through the Final Tribulation period, and we can confidently hope to see Jesus face to face immediately afterwards on Judgment Day.

APPENDIX: Jesus is the Personification of The Word

In Proverbs 25:2 (KJV) we find this extraordinary verse, “[It is] the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings [is] to search out a matter.” If we look carefully at the text as it reads in the original Hebrew using an Interlinear Bible or Online cross-reference like this: http://biblehub.com/text/proverbs/25-2.htm, we find that it can also read like this…”[It is] the glory of God to conceal a word” (because it is from the Hebrew דָּבָר (dāḇār)H1697, a masculine noun): but the honour of kings[is] to search out a “word” (because the word that was translated into English as “matter” is also the same word found in the original Hebrew to be דָּבָר (dāḇār) H1697, which is translated more than eight hundred times in the Old Testament as “word.”)*.  It appears, therefore, that God is telling us that He is glorified by the concealing of The Word (Jesus Christ) in the Bible, and the believers are “honored” by being made able to search out The Word (Who is Jesus Christ) when reading the Bible. Remember what we are told in Acts 10:43, “To him (Jesus) give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” And let us not forget what Jesus said in John 5:39: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me

POSTSCRIPT:

The above study provides an allegorical interpretation of the 2 Kings text, and it shows how if we prayerfully read the Bible to search beyond just a surficial level…not stopping at only the “plain sense”, then, by God’s grace, alone, the deep richness and hid treasures of God’s Word can be revealed. Those hid treasures will consistently point us to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus’s own exposition of Old Testament Scriptures validate this point, as we find in the account on the Road to Emmaus.  In Luke 24:27, we read of Jesus teaching his disciples, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. Please see this exposition: The-Road-To-Emmaus

NOTE To The Reader: The above exposition builds upon a study previously published by Jesse Gistand in 1992.

“The Brass (Brasen) Serpent”: Another Foreshadowing of The Substitutionary Atonement for Sin by The Lord Jesus Christ!

Posted May 18, 2023 by bereansearching
Categories: Bible Studies

Introduction

The Biblical account that we find in Numbers 21:4-9 of the brazen serpent lifted up on a pole, is a somewhat bizarre and unexpected one when viewed initially from a Christian perspective. However, this historical account forms another “historical parable“, which clearly points us to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Furthermore, we can rest assured of the correctness of that interpretation, not because it is a generally accepted understanding by Christian theologians and academics (which it is), but rather because God provides that correlation “plainly” to us later in the New Testament as is stated by Jesus in the Book of John.

The Brass (Brasen) Serpent

The first time we read about the “serpent of brass” is in Numbers 21:4-9. There, speaking of the children of Israel with Moses in the wilderness, we read, “¶And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for [there is] no bread, neither [is there any] water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the LORD sent fiery serpents (שָׂרָף (śārāp̄))H8314  among the people,and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. ¶Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents (נָחָשׁ (nāḥāš)) H5175 from us. And Moses prayed for the people. ¶And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent (שָׂרָף (śārāp̄))H8314, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent (נָחָשׁ (nāḥāš)) H5175 of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent (נָחָשׁ (nāḥāš)) H5175 had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent (נָחָשׁ (nāḥāš)) H5175 of brass, he lived.

The children of Israel spoke against God and Moses (Moses is a “Type” for the Law of God) and complained about the manna from Heaven [their “soul” “loatheth” that “light bread” (manna), and remember Jesus identified Himself as the Manna from Heaven in John 6:41-58].

“Fiery”

Therefore, God brought judgment upon them in the form of “fiery serpents” (שָׂרָף (śārāp̄))H8314 and people were bitten and died. This showed the children of Israel that they were the ones in sin, and they then came to Moses to confess that sin and ask for God’s mercy. When Moses prayed for the people, God instructed Moses to make a brass serpent, and to put it upon a pole, so that the people could be healed from the bites of the serpents by beholding, or looking upon, the brass serpent. There was no other way by which God would heal them from the deadly poison from the fiery serpents.

We must remember as it is stated in Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” and as we read in 2 Corinthians 5:21For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

We should also note the other places that the word “fiery” or “fire” (אֵשׁ (‘ēš)) H784 or “flame” (לָהַט (lāhaṭ)) H3857 can be found in the Bible, as they always are used by God in the Bible to denote “Judgment“.

Psalm 104:4 makes clear that that “O LORD my God” is the One, “Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming (לָהַט (lāhaṭ)) H3857 fire (אֵשׁ (‘ēš)) H784:

God refers back to Psalm 104 in Hebrews 1:7And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame (φλόξ (phlox)) G5395 of fire (πῦρ (pyr)). G4442.”

In Daniel 7:9-14, where we see the foreshadowing account of Judgment Day, “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery (נוּר (nûr)) H5135 flame, and his wheels as burning fire (נוּר (nûr)) H5135A fiery (נוּר (nûr)) H5135 stream issued and came forth from before him: thousands thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” The Ancient of Days would have to be God The Father, while the Son of man is clearly Jesus Christ.

The last words of Moses before his death in Deuteronomy 33:2&3, “And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand [went] a fiery (אֵשׁ (‘ēš)) H784 law for them.  Yea, he loved the people; all his saints [are] in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; [every one] shall receive of thy words.

Moreover, the words “flame/flaming” and “sword” are used together almost as bookends in the Bible being present in both Genesis and Revelation (but interwoven throughout all of the Bible).

Regarding Adam and Eve after having been driven out of the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3:24 we read, “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming (לָהַט (lāhaṭ)) H3857 sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”

Then in Revelation 1:14-16, which is speaking of Jesus, “His head and [his] hairs [were] white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes [were] as a flame (φλόξ (phlox)) G5395 of fire (πῦρ (pyr)). G4442; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength.”

“Serpent

Upon seeing the word “serpent”, a believing Christian (even one having only a minimum of Biblical understanding today) would immediately think first the serpent being related to the devil (who precipitated the Sin and Fall of Adam). This is because the first use of the word in the Bible is in found in Genesis 3:1, “Now the serpent (נָחָשׁ (nāḥāš)) H5175 was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.”  Then, reading on, we find in Genesis 3:2-6, “¶And the woman said unto the serpent (נָחָשׁ (nāḥāš)) H5175, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. ¶ And the serpent (נָחָשׁ (nāḥāš)) H5175 said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.¶ And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” And we all know what happened next. Sin entered into the world and the whole of creation came under the curse of sin and death.

We can see therefore how this would be perplexing to a Christian. How could God use a symbol, that is Biblically associated with the devil and, therefore, the sin that followed, to be something that could be used in any way to heal someone? It is naturally quite counter-intuitive to a Christian.

However, the solution to this conundrum is found in the following “typologies” (And, again, God provides the corroborative proof of these typologies/allegories to show that this historical account is also an “historical parable”):

“Brass”

The use of the words in the original Hebrew for brass (or brasen) comes from the word: (נְחשֶׁת (nᵊḥš))H5178 that is translated 103 times in the King James Version as “brass”, and never “bronze” as is the case in most modern day translations.

This teacher finds it rather odd that the modern translators, those who reject the King James Version reading of “brass” (נְחשֶׁת (nᵊḥš))H5178 that is translated 103 times in the KJV as “brass” and never “bronze”, have consistently substituted the word “bronze”. This is odd because we know from the New Testament that Jesus is intimately identified with “fine brass” (polished or shiny, and not dull like bronze) as we find in Revelation 1:15, “And his feet like unto fine brass (χαλκολίβανον (chalkolibanon)) G5474 as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.” and Revelation 2:18And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet [are] like fine brass; (χαλκολίβανον (chalkolibanon)) G5474

The words “fine brass” refer to a purification by fire. The unmistakeable point being that the Lord Jesus Christ, The “Son of God”, who is pictured in Revelation as having feet that are of “fine brass” as if they “burned in a furnace”, is to remind us of Jesus’ Sacrifice and His having had to endure the purifying Judgmental flames and fires of Hell for His Elect, the Believers.

Remember the Fiery Furnace account, where Jesus was there to endure the flames on behalf of the three others in that fiery furnace heated “seven times hotter”.

We are thus assured that the meaning of the Hebrew word in the Old Testament (which is correctly translated as “brass” by the King James Translators) and of the Greek of the New Testament, where it is translated as “fine brass”, is to inform us that the featured associated object in focus, 1) the serpent on the pole in Numbers, and 2) Jesus Christ in Revelation, are both spiritually being pictured as having come under, and through, the Judgmental fires of Hell.

Jesus Identifies Himself with the Brass Serpent Pointing to His Death and Atoning Sacrifice

Earlier it was stated that the typology/allegory of the brass serpent being representative of the Lord Jesus Christ was made manifest by God Himself. Here are the proof texts.

In John 3:12-15 Jesus said, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you [of] heavenly things?And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

Additional clarity on the point and the meaning of being lifted up is explained in John 12:27-33, ” ¶Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father,save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice fromheaven, [saying], I have both glorified [it], and will glorify [it] again.The people therefore, that stood by, and heard [it], said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.¶Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.

Looking Unto Jesus

We are told in Hebrews 12:2 how the believer should be “looking”. We are to be “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We must be like the certain Greeks in John 12:21, “The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.“!

Finally, remember what we read in Galatians 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Jesus became a curse, just as God cursed the devil (the serpent) in Genesis 3:14¶And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:”

And let us not forget the clearly Messianic verse, Zechariah 12:10¶And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn.

And to show that there is no difference between the serpent and the devil that was cursed in Genesis 3, we read in Revelation 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.”

So the conclusion of the matter is that either Jesus bore the shame and punishment and became cursed (like a serpent) and paid the full penalty for a person’s sins (by going to Hell as indicated by the brass) or that person will be cursed like the devil and be sent to Hell instead.

The Idolatry of the Brass Serpent (Nehushtan)

The word Nehushtan (נְחֻשְׁתָּן (nᵊḥuštān))H5180 occurs one time in the Bible, in 2 Kings 18:4-6, where king Hezekiah removed all the idols, because “He trusted in the LORD God of Israel“… “He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen (נְחשֶׁת (nᵊḥš))H5178 serpent (נָחָשׁ (nāḥāš)) H5175 that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan. He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor [any] that were before him. For he clave to the LORD, [and] departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses.” (NOTE that “clave” is like that in a marriage as is found in Genesis 2:24)

While it might be understandable how such an item that brought miraculous healing could become an object of idolatrous worship (hence the burning of incense to it), it was still blatant disobedience to God’s commands (Exodus 20:4&5) The brass serpent was God’s method of deliverance only during the account recorded in Numbers 21. There is no indication that God ever intended for the brass serpent to ever be used again. The message is that we must never worship the tools, or the people, God chooses to use, but to always and only bring the honor and glory to God Alone.

Interestingly, the word Nehushtan appears to simply mean “thing of brass.” Perhaps it was named “Nehushtan” to remind people that it was only a simple thing/piece of brass and nothing more. The brass serpent had no intrinsic value or power in and of itself. Moreover, even during the Numbers 21 account, it was Only God who healed the people from the bites of the fire serpents, NOT thatthing of brass“.

And to wrap up this issue, let us remember what we find in Romans 1:21-25, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. ¶Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

The “Fiery Serpent” is a Tool That God Uses to Mete Out Judgment

In Isaiah 14:29, we read after God condemns king Nebuchadnezzar (who represents the devil, who was used by God to bring judgment on Judah) in Isaiah 14:12-23 and Assyria (led by king Sennacherib) who was used by God to bring Judgment on Israel, “Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice (“hissing tongued viper”), and his fruit [shall be] a fiery (שָׂרָף (śārāp̄))H8314 flying serpent (שָׂרָף (śārāp̄))H8314.

This verse is apparently telling us that “Palestina” (which would seem to represent the whole Gentile world at large) had God’s “rod” broken (much like the “hammer” and “axe“, that were previously tools of God’s judgment also broken). Nonetheless, a time of Judgment was still coming, when God would bring again a “fiery flying serpent”, like those that bit the people in the wilderness of Moses’ day, upon the entire earth. This is more clearly foretold in Revelation 20:3 and Revelation 20:7. There are many reasons to believe that this may now b the case for the world today in 2023.

Conclusion

The “serpent of brass” (“Nehushtan“) is another one of God’s magnificently crafted “historical parables”, which, through allegory, give us greater insight on Who God Is, and how He Wrought Salvation through the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ Alone. Just as anyone who was bitten by a fiery serpent (a tool of God’s judgment, like the cursed devil) in Moses’ day could be healed by simply looking unto the brass/brasen serpent that Moses lifted up, so also can anyone look to Jesus Christ (Who was “lifted up” on the cross as the only Atonement for sin and “being made a curse for us“) to be spiritually healed and eternally saved. In order to avoid the fiery Judgment flames of Hell, The Lord Jesus Christ must have had to endure the fiery flames of Hell on behalf of everyone who believes on Him and looks to Him Alone.

The subsequent account of king Hezekiah, who destroyed the brass serpent (“Nehushtan” in 2 Kings), also serves as a powerful reminder to everyone that any earthly or carnal thing (even something or someone that at one time was used by God for our good) can become an idol. The worship of such an idol is not only blatant disobedience to God, it can never be a substitute for the worship of the True Eternal God. Our praise, worship, and adoration must be directed to God alone. Only The Lord Jesus Christ Alone, because of His Eternal Atoning Sacrifice for sin by enduring the fiery flames of Hell, can heal our sin sick souls and mercifully grant us eternal life.

Daniel in the Lion’s Den, A Picture of the Lord Jesus Christ’s Death, Burial, and Resurrection

Posted May 11, 2023 by bereansearching
Categories: Bible Studies

Source: https://seedsoffaith.cph.org/2016/06/01/lesson-1-daniel-in-the-lions-den/

This Biblical historical account is often dismissed by the world at large to be just another fantastic story that could never have taken place.  They similarly ascribe the label “fantasy” to the Book of Jonah or to Daniel’s Fiery Furnace.  It could even have been said by some skeptics that Daniel in the Lion’s den is nothing more than a children’s story, not unlike Aesop’s fable, “Androcles and the Lion”

Is that the case?  Absolutely NOT!

But it is another “Historical Parable”!

The Context

Daniel Chapter 1

The Book of Daniel begins by telling us about Jerusalem and the tribe of Judah having been taken captive into Babylon by king Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel 1:1 &2 ҦIn the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.

Then in the next two verses, Daniel 1:3&4, we read, “¶And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring [certain] of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as [had] ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.” Daniel was the first named among the four male Jews specifically identified  in chapter 1.

Then we read a bit further in verse Daniel 1:9, Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.” And the “master” (also interpreted in other verses as “great”) of the Eunuchs was named Ashpenaz (אַשְׁפְּנַז (‘ašpᵊnaz)) H828 , and that name appears only once in the whole Bible) which one concordance states to mean, “I will make prominent the sprinkled“.  IF that is indeed the case, it would make perfect sense from a spiritual perspective. This is because it reminds of the care of the Holy Spirit for God’s beloved (as we saw with regard to two other eunuchs in the Book of Esther (Hegai and Hatach) who were clearly “Types”spiritually representing the Holy Spirit) and that regarding God’s Beloved, His Church, God states in Ezekiel 36:25,Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

Reading through the rest of the first chapter of Daniel, we see that Daniel is recognized and was indeed well favored. After Daniel requested to abstain from daily eating the king’s meat and drinking the king’s wine in order to not become defiled, the prince (also “chief” or “captain”) of the eunuchs named Melzer (מֶלְצַר (melṣar)) H4453 (meaning “guardian” or “prefect of the treasury”) granted the request and instead provided “pulse” (evidently meaning sown vegetables) to eat and water to drink to both Daniel and his three companions, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (whose names were changed to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego). Then later when they were all four brought before king Nebuchadnezzar, we read in Daniel 1:20, “And in all matters of wisdom [and] understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians [and] astrologers that [were] in all his realm.” The last verse, Daniel 1:21, tells us, “And Daniel continued [even] unto the first year of king Cyrus.”

Daniel was chosen to serve in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar and, under God’s blessing, proved himself to be a wise counselor to the king, even rising above the king’s Babylonian advisors. This created jealousy against Daniel. In this foreign country of Babylon, people did not worship the one true God. Even in the midst of false worship and persecution, Daniel remained faithful to the true God and continued to pray and worship Him alone.

Daniel Chapter 2

Daniel is Promoted

King Nebuchadnezzar had his first dream that troubled him greatly, but he could not remember the dream, but nonetheless expected that “the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans” to both recount the dream and give the interpretation of it. When none of them could determine the dream or the interpretation thereof, the king ordered that all such wise men in the kingdom (which evidently included Daniel and his three companions) would be slain.  Then we read in Daniel 2:14&15Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch (אַרְיוֹךְ (‘aryôḵ))H746 the captain of the king’s guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise [men] of Babylon. He answered and said to Arioch (אַרְיוֹךְ (‘aryôḵ)) H746 the king’s captain,Why [is] the decree [so] hasty from the king? Then Arioch (אַרְיוֹךְ (‘aryôḵ))H746 made the thing known to Daniel.”

Note: Arioch (אַרְיוֹךְ (‘aryôḵ))H746 means “lion-like”, and it is also the name of an earlier Babylonian king mentioned in Genesis 14:1&9

The Secret is Revealed by God to Daniel

Daniel 2:16-19,”Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation. Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise [men] of Babylon. Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.”

We later read in Daniel chapter 2, after Daniel was the only person capable of interpreting a dream of king Nebuchadnezzar, by God’s mercy alone, because it is Only “God in heaven that revealeth secrets” (Daniel 2:27Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise [men], the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visionsof thy head upon thy bed, are these;

It was not by Daniel’s own intellect or any other man

Daniel 2:30 makes clear Who the Author and Reveler of secrets Is.  It was NOT Daniel, but rather The Source Is Almighty God!   Daniel told king Nebuchanezzar, “But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for [any] wisdom that I have more than any living, but for [their] sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.”

God Is The Only Reveler of Secrets

The king then promoted Daniel as we read in Daniel 2:46-49, “¶Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth [it is], that your God [is] a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret. Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise [men] of Babylon. Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel [sat] in the gate of the king.”  Remember that Boaz in the Book of Ruth and Mordecai in the Book of Esther both also “sat in the gate” and they were both allegorical “Types”, who spiritually represented the Lord Jesus Christ.

We should also remember what we are told in Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret [things] belong unto the LORD our God: but those [things which are] revealed [belong] unto us and to our children for ever, that [we] may do all the words of this law.

Daniel Chapter 3 

Please see “The Fiery Furnace

Daniel Chapter 4

Note that we see a repetition of some of the events and declarations from Chapter 2 are also in Chapter 4. In Daniel Chapter 4 we see that king Nebuchadnezzar has another dream, this time involving a great tree that is cut down and only a stump remains.  Daniel is able once again interpret the dream when no other man can. First is the request by the king to Daniel (Belteshazzar) in Daniel 4:9O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods [is] in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof.  Then, after hearing Nebuchadnezzar describe his dream (unlike the earlier dream of the statue), Daniel ended his interpretation with the admonition in Daniel 4:27Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.”  Daniel was allegorically saying that the king needed to repent and turn away from his sins and show mercy to others, just as all believers do, and then to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the “poor” (unsaved) of the world that they might have salvation and eternal life.

Later in Daniel 4:29-31 we read, “At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word [was] in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, [saying], O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.”

After enduring God’s condemnation for his (King Nebuchadnezzar’s) pride, the king’s final words in the Bible are at the end of Chapter 4, in Daniel 4:37, “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.” (See for example: Psalm 75:7But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.“)

Daniel Chapter 5

King Nebuchadnezzar had evidently died shortly after the end of Chapter 4, because we next read in Chapter 5 that king Nebuchadnezzar’s son, Belshazzar, is now king (who allegorically was represented by the remaining stump of the hewn down tree in Chapter 4). Daniel 5:1  tells us that this son, Belshazzar, held a great feast,  “Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.” and moreover in Daniel 5:3m, we read that he used the golden and silver vessels from the Holy Temple in Jerusalem to drink from, “Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which [was] in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.”

As a result God sent a vision of a hand, writing on a palace wall, which writing required interpretation as we read in Daniel 5:5-10.

Then the queen told  king Belshazzar, that there was a man who could explain the meaning in Daniel 5:11There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom [is] the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I [say], thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, [and] soothsayers; Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.

Then the king summoned Daniel and said in Daniel 5:14-16, “I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods [is] in thee, and [that] light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in theeAnd now the wise [men], the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not shew the interpretation of the thing: And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and [have] a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.”

Daniel told king Belshazzar, Daniel 5:2But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know:and the God in whose hand thy breath [is], and whose [are] all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:

The meaning of the handwriting on the wall was interpreted to mean that the kingdom would be taken from Belshazzar, and, moreover, that the kingdom would be divided among the Medes and Persians.  That very night king Belshazzar was slain, and his kingdom came under the authority of King Cyrus of Media, as we read in the last verse of Daniel, Daniel 5:31And Darius the Median took the kingdom, [being] about threescore and two years old.”

Daniel Chapter 6: Daniel in the Lions’ Den

In Daniel 6:1&2, we read that King Darius established his kingdom and those to whom he delegated lesser authority to princes and presidents, which included Daniel. ¶It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel [was] first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.

But there arose a conspiracy of jealousy against Daniel (being from Judah and neither a Mede or Babylonian) in Daniel 6:3-5, to wit, “Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he [was] faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find [it] against him concerning the law of his God.”

They conspirators went to the king to lay a trap for Daniel by asking the king to make a decree (that could not be annulled or changed, Daniel 6:15), whereby Daniel, because he was found being obedient to God in prayer, would be cast into a lion’s den. King Darius was not aware of the intent of the conspirators, or he evidently would not have agreed to such a decree. Nonetheless, upon finding out that Daniel would have to be thrown into the lion’s den, we read the following in Daniel 6:16, “¶Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel,and cast [him] into the den of lions. [Now] the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.

Then king Darius “passed the night fasting,” and had no sleep, and he “arose early in the morning” to the lion’s den as we read in Daniel 6:18-20, and then, “And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: [and] the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?” To which Daniel replied, “Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.”

Daniel 6:22My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.” “Innocency” (זָכוּ (zāḵû)) H213 is from the Hebrew and is used only once in the whole Bible. before God…Here Daniel is clearly a “Type” to represent Jesus Christ, but also all believers in Christ.

We should note that while Daniel is an allegorical Type for the Lord Jesus Christ in this account, Daniel was still a man placed in this difficult temporal account.  It is similar to what happened to the three of Daniel’s companions who were thrown into the Fiery Furnace in Chapter 3. There we saw how Jesus was literally present with them, keeping them all safe, and here in the Lions’ Den we hear that God sent His Angel (Messenger), Who we must assume is also pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ.

God Is the One Who Stops the Mouths of Lions

Psalm 22:21,“Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns”.

In Psalm 91:13 we read prophetic statements that describe Jesus, and by implication, also the believers in Christ, “Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.”

In Hebrews 11:33 we read of the great men of faith,“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

Ezekiel 22:25, [There is] a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof.

1 Peter 5:8,Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”  Resist him in faith.

2 Timothy 4:17&18, “¶Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and [that] all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve [me] unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Daniel “Trusted in his God”. Daniel “Believed.” Even if we are faithless, God is faithful 2 Timothy 2:13, “If we believe not, [yet] he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

1 Corinthians 1:4-9¶I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and [in]  all knowledge;Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:Who shall also confirm you unto the end, [that ye may be] blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Peter 3:13,”¶ And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy [are ye]: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For [it is] better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.”

A Stone Covered the Entrance to the Lions’ Den With Daniel Inside

Daniel 6:17, “And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.”

Does not this sound reminiscent of what we read concerning the burial of Jesus in the unused sepulchre of the rich man, Joseph of Arimathaea, which we read about in where in verse Mark 15:46?  There we read, “And he (Joseph of Arimathaea) bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.” Then later, on the third day, in Mark 16:1-4, we read, “And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the [mother] of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first [day] of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

The New Decree (A Typological Reference to the New Testament, or New and Everlasting Covenant)

Daniel 6:25&27 “Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he [is] the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion [shall be even] unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

The eternal “new decree” of “Peace” is what God has done for the world with the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. It is all about the New Covenant that we read about in Hebrews 8.

Hebrews 9:15And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions [that were] under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”  The first testament is the Old Testament or the Old Covenant.

Hebrews 13:20Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,”

Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

And we saw this same kind of new decree in the Book of Esther, where we find in  Esther 8:17, “And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.

Does not this sound exactly like the conversion that happened at the beginning of the New Testament era starting at Pentecost* in 33 A.D. when the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ was first proclaimed?  The New Testament did not annul the Old Testament Law, but it offered the Good News of the Way of escape through Jesus Christ from the penalty of the Law, “the wages of sin is death“.   This is clear as we read in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Didn’t many of the people obtain the necessary “fear” of God and become Christians (the true “Jews”), thereby obtaining peace with God, as a result?  Again, is not this is exactly what was declared in Revelation 14:6&7, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and peopleSaying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

The New Decree Declares Peace!

Isn’t it a fact that Jesus Christ is “The Prince of Peace” (see Isaiah 9:6) and that in John 20:21 we read, “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace [be] unto you: as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”  We can also read in Psalm 85:8, we learn that, “I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.”  and in Psalm 122:7&8 we read where God is referring allegorically to the body of believers (Jerusalem, the city of God), “Peace be within thy walls, [and] prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace [be] within thee.”  In Acts 10:36, “The word which [God] sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)” Finally, what we find in Psalm 29:11, “The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.”

Conclusion

Daniel Chapter 5, that provides us with the historical account of Daniel in the Lion’s den, is another of the Bible’s  historical parables, in which in this case, Daniel is set up as an allegorical “Type” to represent the Lord Jesus Christ.  On the one hand, God, who listened to Daniel’s prayers and saved him from the power of the lions, saves the believers from sin, death, and that prowling lion, the devil, through His Son, Jesus Christ. He invites all to call upon Him, and promises to answer our prayers for Jesus’ sake. On the other hand, we know that Jesus, like Daniel, was falsely accused (by accusers who represent the devil and his host who will be destroyed on Judgment Day, see Haman and his 10 sons in Esther) of being disobedient, while He remained faithful.  Jesus went to the cross willingly, just as Daniel was willing to die for his faith in the One True God.  Jesus’s body lay in the tomb, like Daniel did in the Lion’s den, which in itself is a picture of being placed in hell where there is no apparent escape.  Nonetheless, God stopped the mouths of lions, and he came up out of the lion’s den unscathed just like Jesus up from the grave, without corruption.  In both cases a stone was placed over the top of both the lion’s den and the tomb where Jesus’ body lay.  In both cases, those stones did not prevent God’s will from being done.  Hallelujah! Praise God that Jesus arose from the tomb to loudly proclaim, that through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection that the believers will not be harmed by death or hell, and that the believers are guaranteed eternal life with Jesus!

 

How old was Jehoiachin when he began to reign? 18 or 8 years old?

Posted March 30, 2023 by bereansearching
Categories: Bible Studies

Second Kings 24:8 declares, “Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he began to reign,” while 2 Chronicles 36:9 says, “Jehoiachin was 8 years old when he began to reign.” Skeptics and critics are quick to use this apparent contradiction as clear evidence of an error in the Bible. Those who hold to the inerrancy of the Bible vehemently disagree with the conclusion that the Bible is in error. So, why do these two verses have different numbers for Jehoiachin’s age, and which verse is correct?

The best explanation in regards to the apparent discrepancy in Jehoiachin’s age in 2 Kings 24:8 and 2 Chronicles 36:9 is that 2 Chronicles records Jehoiachin’s age when he was appointed co-regent with his father, and 2 Kings records Jehoiachin’s age when, after his father’s death, he became king in his own right. Other kings also used co-regents. David appointed Solomon king while David was still alive (1 Kings 1:33-40), and, when Uzziah was afflicted with leprosy, his son Jotham became co-regent (2 Chronicles 26:21). While there is no specific mention of a co-regency in regards to Jehoiachin, this is a plausible explanation for the difference between 2 Kings 24:8 and 2 Chronicles 36:9.

God’s Word is infallible.  The key for me has always been that such “apparent contradictions” can usually be explained with some study.  In this case, the most likely being that God is telling us that there was a ten-year period of a co-regency.  Especially given that when Jehoiachin was captured in 2 Kings along with his wives it says that he was 18, while the wives were not mentioned in 2 Chronicles which says he was 8 when he began to reign…which can only be reconciled as a co-regency at 8, then the father died when he was 18, then Jehoiachin ruled for ~3 months, was then captured and taken into captivity in Babylon. 


Second Kings 24:8
 declares, “Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he began to reign,” while 2 Chronicles 36:9 says, “Jehoiachin was 8 years old when he began to reign.” Skeptics and critics are quick to use this apparent contradiction as clear evidence of an error in the Bible. Those who hold to the inerrancy of the Bible vehemently disagree with the conclusion that the Bible is in error. So, why do these two verses have different numbers for Jehoiachin’s age, and which verse is correct?

The best explanation in regards to the apparent discrepancy in Jehoiachin’s age in 2 Kings 24:8 and 2 Chronicles 36:9 is that 2 Chronicles records Jehoiachin’s age when he was appointed co-regent with his father, and 2 Kings records Jehoiachin’s age when, after his father’s death, he became king in his own right. Other kings also used co-regents. David appointed Solomon king while David was still alive (1 Kings 1:33-40), and, when Uzziah was afflicted with leprosy, his son Jotham became co-regent (2 Chronicles 26:21). While there is no specific mention of a co-regency in regards to Jehoiachin, this is a plausible explanation for the difference between 2 Kings 24:8 and 2 Chronicles 36:9.

God’s Word is infallible.  The key for me has always been that such “apparent contradictions” can usually be explained with some study.  In this case, the most likely being that God is telling us that there was a ten-year period of a co-regency.  Especially given that when Jehoiachin was captured in 2 Kings along with his wives it says that he was 18, while the wives were not mentioned in 2 Chronicles which says he was 8 when he began to reign…which can only be reconciled as a co-regency at 8, then the father died when he was 18, then Jehoiachin ruled for ~3 months, was then captured and taken into captivity in Babylon. 

The co-regency makes particular sense as Jehoiakim (Jehoiachin’s father) would’ve likely appointed his son as co-regent in the event that he, Jehoiakim (Jehoiachin’s father), would be captured and killed, because Jerusalem was under threat for two reasons:

1)Jehoiakim had rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar after serving Nebuchadnezzar for three years (2 Kings 24:1) and then was besieged by four nations sent by God, and

2) given that Egypt’s land around Jerusalem had been captured by the Babylonians (2 Kings 24:7 ), and it would have appeared (correctly) that Jerusalem was also soon to be overrun by the Babylonians. 

Another reason that it makes sense for Jehoiakim to have established his son, Jehoiachin (who is also known elsewhere in the Bible as Coniah), as a co-regent is because Jeremiah pronounced a curse upon King Jehoiakim by saying there would never be a descendant of Jehoiakim to sit on David’s throne (which typologically made clear that no apostate evil king would sit on Christ’s throne). Jehoiakim , being an evil king, would have thought that he could defeat that pronouncement by making his son a co-regent, but while Jehoiakim  may have temporarily done that via a co-regency and his son did reign for ~ 3 months, his descendents did not lead  to Christ (Jesus descended  through David’s son Nathan via Mary).

We see this in Jeremiah 22:24– Jeremiah 22:30 which finishes by saying, “Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man [that] shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.” And we also know that subsequently the pronouncement was  ultimately fulfilled ,temporally, when we read in Jeremiah 37:1 “And king Zedekiah the son of Josiah reigned instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, whom Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah.

Nonetheless, Jehoiachin was not killed in Babylon, he died naturally, as we read in Jeremiah 52:31– Jeremiah 52:34

We must remember what God tells us in 1Corinthians 14:33For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”



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The co-regency makes particular sense as Jehoiakim (Jehoiachin’s father) would’ve likely appointed his son as co-regent in the event that he, Jehoiakim (Jehoiachin’s father), would be captured and killed, because Jerusalem was under threat for two reasons, 1)Jehoiakim had rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar after serving Nebuchadnezzar for three years (2 Kings 24:1) and then was besieged by four nations sent by God, and 2) given that Egypt’s land around Jerusalem had been captured by the Babylonians ( Kings 24:7), and it would have appeared (correctly) that Jerusalem was also soon to be overrun by the Babylonians. 

Another reason that it makes sense for Jehoiakim to have established his son, Jehoiachin (who is also known elsewhere in the Bible as Coniah), as a co-regent is because Jeremiah pronounced a curse upon King Jehoiakim by saying there would never be a descendant of Jehoiakim to sit on David’s throne (which typologically made clear that no apostate evil king would sit on Christ’s throne). Jehoiakim , being an evil king, would have thought that he could defeat that pronouncement by making his son a co-regent, but while Jehoiakim  may have temporarily done that via a co-regency and his son did reign for ~ 3 months, his descendents did not lead  to Christ (Jesus descended  through David’s son Nathan via Mary).

We see this in Jeremiah 22:24– Jeremiah 22:30 which finishes by saying, “Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man [that] shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.” And we also know that subsequently the pronouncement was  ultimately fulfilled ,temporally ,when we read in Jeremiah 37:1 “And king Zedekiah the son of Josiah reigned instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, whom Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah.

Nonetheless, Jehoiachin was not killed in Babylon, he died naturally, as we read in Jeremiah 52:31– Jeremiah 52:34

Remember this, in 1Corinthians 14:33

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”

Dialogue For and Against the Allegorical Method of Biblical Understanding

Posted March 29, 2023 by bereansearching
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The following is derived from a series of recent communications between a representative adherent to the Literal-Grammatical-Historical hermeneutic and this representative of the Allegorical hermeneutic, which has has been elaborated and illustrated on the https://bereansearching.com website.

It is hoped that it will be enlightening and edifying to all who are interested in both 1) Biblical Hermeneutics and 2) the basis for their variances, which are also discussed further here in this post.

Interlocutor  (representing the Literal-Grammatical-Historical Biblical Interpretation Viewpoint)

In https://bereansearching.com/2009/09/19/the-battle-of-armageddon-the-earthly-version-already-happened/, I can certainly see how Barak foreshadows Christ, and the victory over Sisera anticipates Christ’s ultimate victory over the devil and all his works. I appreciate any approach to Scripture that sees Christ as the central theme. Also, the article contains several valuable word studies. Where we differ is the allegorization of every detail of the Old Testament stories and the symbolic interpretation of Revelation. 

The Bereansearching website is devoted to an allegorical/typological interpretation of Scripture, which will disagree with (or at least find wanting) any studies derived using the literal-grammatical-historical hermeneutic.  Given the website’s commitment to a different hermeneutic, we do not need to spend more time evaluating the expositions.

BereanSearching.Com (making the case for the Allegorical Method of Biblical Interpretation)

I very much appreciate your taking the time to read the entire study of Judges 4&5.

I would only ask that if the word studies were valuable, that you please consider them for future reference going forward.

I am deeply sorry that there is no further interest in the other studies, such as Esther and Jonah, as I believe that there are insights of significant value there as well.

The section in the Judges 4&5, which shows how it could be proven from scripture, using the Allegorical hermeneutic, that “Abinoam” unequivocally represents “God The Father”, which has never been published anywhere on earth previously to my knowledge. And that is why I offered it for your review and critique.

If it can be shown that anything in the study is in error, then please tell me how it is in error?  If it is correct, then how is it that the literal-grammatical-historical hermeneutic cannot provide the same derivation?  Do the studies glorify God? or do they cause anyone to stumble?  

This is eternally serious business, and I only want to bring to light the full Truth of the scriptures that point to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Interlocutor 

That’s the problem with an allegorical hermeneutic, there is no way to point out an error. Allegorical interpretation is inherently subjective. When anything can refer to virtually anything, how could anything be proven to be incorrect unless it is explicitly incorrect?

BereanSearching.com

Regarding the point you just raised, “There is no way to point out an error. Allegorical interpretation is inherently subjective. When anything can refer to virtually anything, how could anything be proven to be incorrect unless it is explicitly incorrect?

The allegorical method is only “subjective” if the interpreter derives a Biblically unsupportable claim from scripture, then yes, “anything” in the Bible “can refer to virtually anything” that the interpreter wants it to mean…but then that sin is entirely upon that person’s head for having derived it out of his or her’s own intellect and biases. The Bible is its own interpreter and any interpretation must be entirely supportable by the Bible alone, by itself, and not derived from any human’s carnal intellect or bias.

1 Corinthians 2:13 makes clear, “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. We are to compare Holy Spirit inspired Scripture with Holy Spirit inspired Scripture.

To claim that there is nothing more to scripture than that which is found only on the surface sets human limits upon The Almighty Sovereign God, and such a claim brings God down to humankind’s level. That is man’s wisdom.

The presumption would seem to be that God never crafts history into historical parables that point to God the Father’s Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, but are merely texts with surficial meanings as they appear only in the literal typeface, nothing more.  Without realizing it, those who make such claims undercut, and belie, Jesus’s own exposition of Old Testament Scriptures as we find in the account on the Road to Emmaus.  (Luke 24:27, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.) Please see the study on The-Road-To-Emmaus/

The expositional Bible Studies provided on the https://bereansearching.com website, such as that provided in Jonah, Esther, Ruth, Judges 4 & 5 are all self-validating using the Bible alone as the ONLY cross-reference. The studies are consistent and academically reproducible, if one only trusts that God Is The Author, and that the consistent theme is to glorify God by pointing to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that the expositions found there are objective and irrefutable, as they were derived solely by searching out and comparing scripture with scripture (spiritual things with spiritual). Please search them out yourself, as a Berean, to see if this is a valid claim or not. Remember what Jesus said in John 5:39, where He was admonishing the Jews said, “Search the scriptures (only the Old Testament in that day); for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”(The “me” being Jesus Christ Himself!).

IF at all possible, I would humbly ask that you not give up on me, and please do take the time to review some other of the expositions and any errors that you might find i will address immediately and correct if necessary.

“Come let us reason together.”

Interlocutor 

I am truly interested in your response to this. How am I, or anyone else, to judge an allegorical interpretation of Deborah and Barak? How could I disprove that “this person represents this person, this person represents this other person, this event points to this other event, this event actually is talking about this”? None of that can be proven or disproven. Is it possible? Yes. Can it ever be conclusively demonstrated that it was God’s intent for the passage? No. You say the grammatical-historical-literal interpretation method limits God. I disagree. There are examples of God explicitly using allegory in Scripture (see Galatians 4:21-31). If God desires us to understand His Word, wouldn’t He inspire the authors of Scripture to write in a way that could be easily understood? In this conversation, are you not interpreting my words in a way that they would normally be understood? Following the “rules” of communication is essential to understanding what a person is saying. Could there be “hidden” and/or allegorical meaning in Scripture? Yes. But does that mean we should abandon the rules of language and ignore what the text actually says? Absolutely not.

BereanSearching.com

I am truly grateful for the opportunity to answer your questions.

The historical events and accounts in the Bible are indeed real, literal, and historical events that really happened as recorded in the Bible. So in that respect, the literal-grammatical-historical hermeneutic is therefore valid so far as it goes. However, the Bible makes clear that those events were both carefully crafted by God, and recorded by God by His Holy Spirit, to convey spiritual truths that are otherwise hidden if one casually reads the Bible at only a surficial level…stopping at the “plain sense” as some have said. 

I sincerely believe that those who hold to the literal-grammatical-historical hermeneutic are self-blinding to the deeper spiritual information that God has hidden in the scriptures. To say that those deeper spiritual things are not there is the same as saying that God did not put that information there, and that they are therefore only figments of the mind of the interpreter (in this case, me).

1) So then, to answer your first question regarding whether it is possible to prove or disprove.  I addressed this in the Judges 4&5 account.  In discussing the allegorical “Types” provided by both Barak and his father Abinoam, I provided a proof.  As I have said before, it used scripture with scripture to validate the “Types”.  And yes they are valid, as they are supported by the entire Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Please take a look at the Abinoam “Type” derivation.

Also please take a look at the “Types” in Esther, as they are all based solely on Biblical scripture as the only cross-reference.

The Road to Emmaus exposition is helpful with this as well: https://bereansearching.com/2022/09/26/the-road-to-emmaus/. Jesus expounded out of Moses and all the prophets and the Psalms and all the scriptures concerning Himself.  What was Jesus talking about?  My studies seek to show how God is Glorified through the searching of the scriptures to see Jesus. John 5:39.

2) In answer to your second question, “If God desires us to understand His Word, wouldn’t He inspire the authors of Scripture to write in a way that could be easily understood? In this conversation, are you not interpreting my words in a way that they would normally be understood? “

My short answer is no, God does not use the same rules of language that we use in our normal daily lives.  The Word of God is “alive” and reads the reader  Hebrews 4:12.  No human rules of language can account for that.  And why would Jesus speak in parables/riddles if what He was saying was meant to be readily understood by everyone?  It is because Jesus never intended to save everyone. Mark 4:12

I provide the more complete explanation on why God hides information in the Bible in Chapters 4, 5, &6 in https://bereansearching.com/2023/02/11/exalting-the-person-and-work-of-the-lord-jesus-christ-the-key-of-knowledge-for-unlocking-the-mystery-of-the-bible/

I also speak to the need for the Holy Spirit to provide the insights in this exposition: https://bereansearching.com/2021/12/29/the-hearing-ear-and-the-seeing-eye/

Finally, I also point out in Chapter 2 in the “key of knowledge” post:

“In Proverbs 25:2 (KJV) we find this extraordinary verse, “[It is] the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings [is] to search out a matter.” If we look carefully at the text as it reads in the original Hebrew using an Interlinear Bible or Online cross-reference like this: http://biblehub.com/text/proverbs/25-2.htm, we find that it can also read like this…”[It is] the glory of God to conceal a word” (because it is from the Hebrew דָּבָר (dāḇār)H1697, a masculine noun): but the honour of kings[is] to search out a “word” (because the word that was translated into English as “matter” is also the same word found in the original Hebrew to be דָּבָר (dāḇār) H1697, which is translated more than eight hundred times in the Old Testament as “word.”)*.  It appears, therefore, that God is telling us that He is glorified by the concealing of The Word (Jesus Christ) in the Bible, and the believers are “honored” by being made able to search out The Word (Who is Jesus Christ) when reading the Bible.”

The Word of God is not surficial for the Believer.  We are effectively told by God to search for wisdom (via the scriptures) like “hid treasures”.  I pray to God before reading the Bible just what the Psalmist prayed in Psalm 119:18

What I have shared with you and the world via the internet are the “hid treasures” that God has allowed me to find. The purpose for doing this is spelled out carefully in  https://bereansearching.com/2023/02/11/searching-the-bible-to-come-to-jesus-christ-the-way-the-truth-and-the-life/

Nonetheless, ultimately, regardless of how well (or not) those discoveries are presented and published, it is only God, and God Alone, Who must open the eyes of the reader, and give them a heart to understand and accept.  I just pray that God will bless the work.

That’s it.  I am open to any and all questions and comments that you might have, and it is my sincere prayer that you might be blessed through the reading of the studies.

Thank you again, and please let’s continue our reasoning together if at all possible.

Interlocutor 

Can you appreciate the fact that we are not comfortable trying to find allegories behind passages that clearly have a normal meaning on their own? If Scripture, in the literal-grammatical-historical hermeneutic gives us so much we can learn and apply to our lives, why do we need to seek an allegorical interpretation? And, if it is as you said, that all allegories must be backed by other Scriptures, why do we even need the allegories if we have the other Scriptures? And, don’t you find it strange that we must verify the accuracy of allegories by comparing them with passages that are interpreted with a literal-grammatical-historical hermeneutic?

BereanSearching.com

I appreciate all your efforts to continue our dialogue.

I have sincerely tried to answer all of your questions to the absolute best of my ability, with in depth answers and cross references, and I hope that my responses along with the following will be helpful to you.

Regarding your questions:

1) Can you appreciate the fact that we are not comfortable trying to find allegories behind passages that clearly have a normal meaning on their own?

Yes, I can appreciate the fact that you are not comfortable identifying allegories that are not clear on the surface.

But, isn’t it interesting that the very allegory that you point out in Galatians chapter 4 wherein God (through the Apostle Paul) described the revelation of the two covenants, namely, that of the works of the flesh (man) and the works of Heavenly grace (God). There is no other place in Scripture, where these two theological principles of the doctrine of works, over and against the doctrine of grace, are explained, except through the use of allegory.  No one, not the Pharisees of the Old Testament, or even the Jews today, could use the historical/grammatical hermeneutic to go back to the Ishmael and Isaac account and see any of that allegory or its meaning (or “prove” it)…and yet it is entirely true. 

2)  If Scripture, in the literal-grammatical-historical hermeneutic gives us so much we can learn and apply to our lives, why do we need to seek an allegorical interpretation?

The use of allegory is a God ordained principle used over and over.  e.g., God is the Potter, we are the clay or “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman“., etc.  None of Jesus’s parables were “plain” to those who heard them, that is why the disciples asked Jesus why he spoke in parables (hence, in a veiled manner).  Matthew 13:10&11 “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.”

And we know from Matthew 13:34,

“All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.”    And BTW, this refers back to Psalm 78:2 “I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:” But immediately following that verse, all that is provided are “historical” accounts.  So where is the parable?  Where are the dark sayings? The literal-grammatical-historical hermeneutic has no answer. 

The understanding of the hidden meanings woven in the Scripture is for the edification of the true saints, and not in any way for modifying or contradicting the basic message. 

3) And, if it is as you said, that all allegories must be backed by other Scriptures, why do we even need the allegories if we have the other Scriptures? I explained that if someone claims that there is allegory in a particular passage of scripture, then they must validate it entirely with scripture alone, because we are told in 1Corinthians 2:13 that we must compare “spiritual things with spiritual” which for us is “scriptural with scriptural”… “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

4) And, don’t you find it strange that we must verify the accuracy of allegories by comparing them with passages that are interpreted with a literal-grammatical-historical hermeneutic?

I’m not entirely sure what you mean, but the scriptures that I used to show how Abinoam represents “God The Father” are not interpreted using the literal-grammatical-historical hermeneutic as the basis:

This is a portion of that proof:  Abinoam means “father (abi) of beauty (noam)”

Zechariah 11:10-13*, “And I took my staff, [even] Beauty (Noam), and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it [was] the word of the LORD.  And I said unto them, If ye think good, give [me] my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty [pieces] of silver.  And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty [pieces] of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.” 

Note, specifically, that it was the “poor of the flock that waited on me” (the LORD)… it was the believers who knew that it was the Word of the LORD! The believers who wait upon God must “know” that it was Jesus who was cut asunder, and that the price paid by the chief priests was thirty pieces of silver, because Jesus is the Word made flesh as we read in John 1:14.”  The literal-grammatical-historical cannot provide any insights on this connection, and its adherents can only say that this is some kind of coincidence with no other validity whatsoever. If you are comfortable with saying that then so be it.

Now that I have answered your questions, I have to say the following.  

It is inconceivable to me how anyone could read the expositions such as that of Esther (and I mean read carefully it in its entirety) and not stand amazed and rejoice and praise God for His mastery over time and space in the crafting and recording of the historical account of an actual period in history, recorded and written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that has been incorporated into God’s Word the Bible for the edification and consolation of His people.  This is because it perfectly mirrors, harmonizes with, and validates all that we know about God’s Magnificent Salvation Plan through the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps just as significantly, the Book of Esther is also a book of Prophesy, because it culminates with a picture of Judgment Day at the end of creation and the eternity in Heaven that will follow for all who are counted among the people of Jesus… and the eternal death and destruction in hell for all those who are not.  

The Literal-Grammatical-Historical hermeneutic is entirely mute on this.

The Conclusion of the Whole Matter

I have come to realize that trying to explain God’s amazing use of allegory throughout the Biblical Scriptures, pointing to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ, is much like trying to describe a rainbow’s colors and their vivid richness to someone who is colorblind.  

We can both see the shape of the bow, but no matter how hard a person tries to explain the different colors, the colorblind can only see shades of gray. 

The colorblind person is saying that he sees the rainbow, and so therefore what difference does it make if he cannot discern the colors? Moreover, perhaps what is even worse in this case is that the colorblind person is willfully colorblind and has no interest in seeing the colors!

And the rainbow is a particularly useful analogy, because it too is a Biblical allegory, as it is a physical creation of God, that is meant to serve as a memorial symbol of God’s Covenant of Grace that Glorifies God and Honors God though His Son, Jesus Christ…And make no mistake, because of that symbology, the likeness of the rainbow will be seen throughout all eternity in Heaven, as it will shine with all its colors around the throne and the head of The Lord Jesus Christ as we read in Revelation 4:3 and Revelation 10:1

Just as God Is The Only One Who can make it possible to physically see the colors of the rainbow, so too is it the same with spiritual eyes…exactly as it says in Proverbs 20:12.

God makes plain in Isaiah 55:8&9

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

We are told in 1 Corinthians 2:14

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

I would hope that you will carefully ponder all of the points made, pray about them, and that you would take another careful look at the expositions on the Bereansearching blog and not harden your heart. 

I have humbly told you the truth of what God’s Word is and how I and others study it, and the amazing richness that it contains for the seeker. 

If you want to know more, then I am willing to show you, but, otherwise, there is no benefit in our going any further. 

The Reality

The reality is that there is only one true hermeneutic of the Scriptures, and this is because the Bible record consists of the historical context (true historical accounts, perfectly crafted and orchestrated by God), within which God has embedded and interwoven the full truth of the spiritual/gospel message which point to, and focus upon, the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ… Who is our ONLY means of salvation for our sins.  The Literal-Grammatical-Historical hermeneutic, which claims that the Bible is written plainly and is easily understandable, will only lead to confusion, stumbling, and wrong doctrines when it comes to understanding things like election, predestination, the role and means of water baptism, dispensations, and the end times, etc…as well not lead to the true meaning of the Books of Ruth, Esther, Judges 4&5, Jonah, Nahum, the Parables, etc., …and notably also the Book of Revelation (which is so relevant in our day). I say this not to ridicule, but rather to instruct. 

IF anyone really cares at all about knowing the Truth from the Bible, as God Himself ordained, I urge you to please read the expositions and prove for yourself once and for all who really has the true understanding.

But please do not take that to mean that the posts are a substitute for reading the Bible, as they are only a supplement to help with understanding.

Isaiah 34:16 admonishes us to, “Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.”

The studies of the parables of the Sower and Talents are useful for new understanding as well.

As Jesus said, “Let him who has ears hear.

Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

POSTSCRIPT:

Another way that the literal-grammatical-historical method of interpretation falls short is in the understanding of the numbers that God uses in the Bible. The Adherent to that method says simply, “Often a number in the Bible is simply a number. God does not call us to search for secret meanings, hidden messages, and codes in the Bible.” 

This can quickly be proven to be false, because such an Adherent cannot begin to fathom the meaning of the following two lessons involving two significant numbers when using the literal-grammatical-historical methodology. The meanings will be completely lost in such casual reading. And please also remember that numbers are the only language which is universally understood, in the sense that it does not matter what language you speak, the numbers still have the exact same meaning. Ten is 10, and nothing else, in every tongue on earth.

Lesson #1) The 153 fishes caught in the net by the apostles

In John 21:11 “¶Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.” Remember what Jesus said in Mark 1:17And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.” (see also Matthew 4:19). Therefore the fishes spiritually allegorically represent mankind. Jesus said so! So then what does the number 153 represent? No, it is NOT some random number indicating a lot.

God instructs us to search out the Word of God like hid treasure. The number 153 is very significant but it takes time to search out the otherwise hidden meaning. The Number 153 breaks down like this: 3 x 3 x 17. The number 3 represents the purpose of God (as in the Trinity) and the number 17 (a prime number that cannot be broken down further) represents Heaven in the Bible.

Moreover, the number 17 is also particularly highlighted by the number 153 in another VERY unique manner. If we add 1 +2 +3 +4 +5…..+17 we find that the sum equals 153! So then the spiritual meaning that God has crafted into this account is that the Apostles, led by Peter, would bring in the souls of men by Jesus’s Words into Heaven. It strongly reinforces what Jesus said in Mark 1:17 while also telling us that Heaven is the purpose for fishing among mankind.

Lesson #2) The 276 souls saved in the shipwreck with Paul onto the island of Melita

We also know that the promised land (typifying Heaven) was frequently described in the Bible as a place flowing with “milk and honey”H1706.  And it should be noted here that when Paul was shipwrecked, that the “certain island” that Paul prophesied about in Acts 27:26 was named Melita (now known as Malta) in Acts 28:1.  Melita means “Honey” and it was also used in this event to portray “Heaven”… to where all 276 souls on the ship were saved, even though the ship (representing the corporate church just before judgment day) was destroyed.  Some swam,”And the rest, some on boards, and some on [broken pieces] of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.”  

The ship was destroyed yet every soul was saved. That is the plain and simple understanding, so there is no argument there. But why was the number 276? Is there some kind of hidden meaning as in the case of the 153 fish? Indeed so!

The number 276 breaks down like this 3 x 4 x 23. As indicated above the number 3 represents the purpose of God. The number 4 is universality (like the four points of the compass). The number 23 is another prime number than cannot be broken down further) and it represents the Final Tribulation, which occurs just before Judgment Day, when God’s wrath is poured out on the apostate church and the abomination of desolation takes over because God looses the devil as we read in Revelation 20:3&7.

And just as we learned above how the number 153 was unique, so too is the number 276 unique! This time the number 23 is highlighted in the same unique manner. If we add 1 +2 +3 +4 +5…..+23 we find that the sum equals 276! So then the spiritual meaning that God has crafted into this account is that the Jesus (represented by Paul as a “Type” of Christ) would bring into Heaven the souls of all the believers who were in the corporate body, but escape from the apostate church that God destroys in the Final Tribulation.

It strongly reinforces what Jesus said in Mark 1:17 while also telling us that Heaven is the purpose for fishing among mankind.

Conclusion Regarding the Meaning of Numbers

Both of these lessons show that numbers indeed do have important meanings, and sometimes they can have very unique meaning by which God can emphasize that meaning if He so desires. These two numbers were not included in the Bible by accident or happenstance. Moreover, these particular numbers were embedded within some extremely important historical and spiritual Biblical accounts. Each number highlighted a particular prime number that has an important spiritual meaning that conforms with the rest of each account, and which can be further verified to see how those prime numbers are consistently used in other portions of scripture to convey the same spiritual meanings.

The Porter’s Watch, Mark 13:34-37

Posted February 22, 2023 by bereansearching
Categories: Bible Studies

What is the Mark 13 Account All About?

Mark 13:34-37, “[For the Son of Man] is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watchWatch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Watching does not mean looking out the window, or standing at the door and staring off into space. It means that we are to remain vigilant in our preparing for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ on the clouds of Glory. We read in Matthew 24:48-51, “But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite [his] fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunkenThe lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for [him], and in an hour that he is not aware of. And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  

What Does It Mean to “Watch”?

Remember a similar warning in 2 Peter 3:3-9, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. ¶ But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Note how this harmonizes with Psalm 90:4-7, “For a thousand years in thy sight [are but] as yesterdaywhen it is past, and [as] a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are [as] a sleep: in the morning [they are] like grass [which] groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.” Moreover, we can determine that the thousand years is allegorically typifying the New Testament era when we correlate the “watch in the night”, that is associated with a thousand years, with what we learn in Revelation 20:1 “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” The devil was bound at the cross, and here we are at the end of a literal period of almost 2000 years of the New Testament era (typified by the thousand years), entering into, or quite possibly having already entered into, the little season where the devil would be loosed in the lead up to Judgment Day when Jesus returns to Judge the world and establish the new heavens and the new earth. Apart from the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ,  mankind is in darkness, and the only light that does shine is the New Testament Gospel going forth to save sinners, and the watch in the night being, likewise, the sending forth of the same in the darkness of this present world, the New Testament era.

This same Greek word is translated be vigilant in 1Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” which sums it quite nicely.  The Greek word translated as “Vigilant” is the same Greek word for “Watch” (γρηγορέω (grēgoreō)),G1127.  And when we look at where we find that same word translated from the Greek as “watch” in the Bible, we find clear and unequivocal references to Judgement Day and the Return of the Lord Jesus Christ from Heaven!:

Matthew 24:42-44 “WatchG1127therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched,G1127and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

Matthew 25:13 “WatchG1127therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”

Luke 12:37, “Blessed [are] those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watchingG1127: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.”

2 Peter 3:10-12,  “¶But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness, Looking for (waiting in expection) and hasting (earnestly desiring) unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”

And finally, we are told that at the end of the plagues, just after the 6th Vial of Wrath is poured out and just before the 7th Vial of Wrath is poured out on Judgment Day (when the world is destroyed with thunders and lightnings and a great unprecedented earthquake in Revelation 16:18 ) that Jesus declares in Revelation 16:15¶Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.¶ And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” The Final Battle of Armageddon is Judgement Day as prefigured in Judges 4&5!

What About the “Night”?  “Night” and “Darkness” is Where God Is Not…Jesus (and the Believers in Him) Is the “Day”and the “Light of the World”

Is it not interesting that in Proverbs Chapter 7 we are warned by God to obey His commandments, to effectively write them on the tablets of our hearts and to treat wisdom and understanding as our sister and kinswoman, and then in Proverbs 7:5 we are told that they are the means to keep us from falling prey to the “strange woman, from the stranger [which] flattereth with her words.” Note how God explains how these false gospels and the false churches can be compared to a harlot (a prostitute) that entices the unwary person (a man without wisdom or understanding) into her house. And particularly, as we read in Proverbs 7:9, that it was “In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:” And what did the harlot say in Proverbs 7:19, “For the goodman [is] not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, [and] will come home at the day appointed.” Does not that sound exactly like the account Jesus describes in Mark 13?

Moreover, note what the end of that matter is as we read what God warns in the concluding verses in Pro 7:24-27, “Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong [men] have been slain by her. Her house [is] the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

This is a warning by God to hold fast to the Truth of God’s Word, and to beware of false gospels being taught in false churches that will only mislead us to Hell. Note that the misleading is done in darkness, in the night, where no light is. Jesus in the Light of the World that is missing in the night and in darkness! Note that we are also told not to follow “her paths”. We know from Psalm 119:105 “NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” and from Psalm 23:3, He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” And remember that we are instructed in Proverbs 3:5&6, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Other instructive verses regarding the night and darkness:

Psalm 16:7 “I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.

Isaiah 9:2 “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great lightthey that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Isaiah 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.”

Isaiah 9:19Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother.

Luke 22:52&53 “¶Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves? When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

1Thessalonians 5:2, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

John 8:12  “¶ Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

John 9:4, Jesus said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can workAs long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

John 11:10 “But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.

John 13:30…we read where Judas Iscariot fled from Jesus to betray Him, “¶ He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

Ephesians 5:8 “¶For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lordwalk as children of light:”

Ephesians 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].”

1Peter 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:

The Watchman’s Duty

The Book of Ezekiel provides us with three instances (in addition to Ezekiel 2:1-10) that make it clear that the duty of a watchman is to warn the people of impending danger…to issue the warning of the coming Judgment (typified by “the sword”).  The Believer’s duty is to warn and apply the talents gifted to him or her ((The Gospel of the Light of Life) and to let the world know that there is a way to make peace with God through Jesus Christ Alone.  We should be mindful of Jesus’s teaching in Luke 14:31-33, “Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” Jesus is the only means of suing for peace with God for our sins to stave off God’s vengeance on Judgment Day. We need Jesus to be our Ambassador, Intercessor, and our Advocate before the Father as we read in 1 John 2:1, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins] of the whole world.

Ezekiel 3:16-21, “¶And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israeltherefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. ¶Again, When a righteous [man] doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous [man], that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.

Ezekiel 13:1-3 “¶And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD; ¶ Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!

Ezekiel 33:1-9 “¶ Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning;his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warningshall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take [any] person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. ¶So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked [man], thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.”

The duty of the watchmen is to be warning to the world, both the Sword of Judgment to come and the Way of Escape in Jesus, rather than sitting and gazing!  (And please remember how God exemplified Jesus through Barak (meaning Lightning and Glistening Sword) coming on Judgment Day in Judges 4&5 . And it is NOT incidental in Revelation 1:16, Revelation 2:16, Revelation 19:15, and Revelation 19:21 that a sword came out of Jesus’s Mouth! The Word of God will judge the unsaved on the Last Day! Jesus made that clear in John 12:48He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”

But we also should be mindful that according to Psalm 127:1 [[A Song of degrees for Solomon.]] Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh [but] in vain.” God Alone does the saving! And God Alone is Sovereign. Note the similarity with Job 12:14, “Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again: he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening.” See also: The Real Inconvenient Truth.

What Does It Mean to be “Sleeping”?

To be sleeping is to be as one who is oblivious to the temporariness of life, and who is without the desire to serve God by serving others in faithfully bringing the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that they might have eternal life in Heaven. The ones who are not asleep will remain sober and vigilant, and they will not be asleep at the wheel (slumbering) while they should be on the “Watch”.

Here is a quick word review on the implications on the word “slumber

Psalm 132:4 “I will not give sleep to mine eyes, [or] slumber to mine eyelids, “

Proverbs 6:4 “Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.

Proverbs 6:10 “[Yet] a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

Proverbs 24:33 “[Yet] a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come [as] one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.

Isaiah 5:27 “None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken:” The context is where the believers are bringing judgment. And in order to do that, the the believers must put on the whole armor of God as we read in Ephesians 6:13-17, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. ¶Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Isaiah 56:10 “His watchmen [are] blind: they are all ignorant, they [are]all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. The context is where the unsaved pastors and teachers are not watching (not faithfully preaching and teaching) and are like someone who sleeps, or is like a dumb dog that is unable to bark.

Romans 11:8 “(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.” The context is describing the Priests and Pharisees of Paul’s day, but also the unsaved pastors and teachers of our day who are not remaining faithful to the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Occupy til I come”: Spreading the Gospel Message So That The Seed Continues To Be Sown In Order to Bring About a Great Harvest of Souls

As we have been shown elsewhere, the seed of the sower in the Parable of the Sower is (just like the talents in this parable) represents “the Word of God“…through, and by which, the Gospel Message of Salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ Alone is preached and taught. To be a profitable servant, the Gospel Message must go forth from each and every believer!  We must also hold fast to that which we have been entrusted and as stated in Luke 19:13 “And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

Working in the Fields of Harvest is Occupying

A believer must be awake, working, doing, and not sleeping. That means continuing in the faith and continuing to share the Gospel in this otherwise dead and dying world. A couple of verses to show how God expects us to be diligently serving Him.

Proverbs 10:4 “He becometh poor that dealeth [with] a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

Romans 2:7 “To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

Philippians 2:12&13, “¶ Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

James 1:22 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

James 2:18 “¶ Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” 

James 2:20  “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”

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

Matthew 5:15 “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house“.

Luke 11:33 “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth [it] in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.

Ephesians 6:6&7 “Not with eye service, as men pleasers; but as the servants of Christdoing the will of God from the heartWith good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

Galatians 6:9 “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

2 Thessalonians 3:13 “But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.”

1 Peter 2:15 “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:”

Revelation 2:24-26, “But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:”

Also remember Jesus teaching (particularly regarding false teachers coming as wolves in sheep’s clothing) in *Matthew 7:17-20, “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

Finally, the title of this study quotes from Luke 12:48, which states, “But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few [stripes]. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”  Please also see: The-Parable-of-the-Talents

Believer’s will hopefully be convicted to pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, in the Name of The Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Beloved Only Begotten Son, have mercy on me, for I am still a most unprofitable servant.  Please bless me with the Holy Spirit (Thy Anointing Oil) that I might be profitable for Thee, as a faithful watchman, to effectively share the true Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ to multiply the talents given to me for Thee.  And to use Thy Word to bring many others to salvation (as bountiful fruit into Thy harvest house), so they too can escape the just penalty for their sins, which is only possible through the Person, and Atoning Work, of the Lord Jesus Christ, and be saved before that Great and Terrible Day of Judgment at the end of the world when Jesus comes again on the clouds of Glory.

Refutation of the “Literal – Grammatical – Historical” Hermeneutic (and Dispensationalism)

Posted February 8, 2023 by bereansearching
Categories: Uncategorized

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The Helix Nebula NGC 7293, Credit: NASA, ESA, C.R. O’Dell (Vanderbilt University), M. Meixner and P. McCullough (STScI)

Introduction: There is Much More to the Bible Than Meets the Physical Eye

This Post, which is a modified excerpt from a longer one, “Exalting the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ: The Key of Knowledge for Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible“, is intended to assist the reader (particularly the student of the Bible who is seeking truth from the Bible beyond just the historical and moral lessons) to understand a different hermeneutic than that commonly being taught in the majority of seminaries, educational institutions, and churches today.  Today, the commonly taught principles of Bible study instruct us to read the Bible almost exclusively from a perspective that emphasizes: 1) the historical cultural context, 2) the literal meaning of the words and verses as they meant only to the people who were living when they were recorded, 3) the specific situation and setting (including geography) of the people to whom the verses were written at the time of the writings, and 4) how the specific passage being studied might relate to either the Old or New Testament Covenants.  That methodology is generally referred to as the “Literal-Grammatical-Historical” method of Biblical interpretation.  Moreover, additional rules have been created that stipulate that we are not to “read into” a verse any more understanding beyond that which the people at the time would have understood the verses to mean (when those verses were first written). 

And it should also be noted that both of the great Reformists, Martin Luther and John Calvin, were evidently also opposed to the typological/allegorical hermeneutic and according to one report (referenced below), “Calvin similarly rejected allegorical interpretations. He called them ‘frivolous games’ and accused Origen and other allegorists of ‘torturing scripture’, in every possible sense, from the true sense.” Calvin also wrote in the preface of his commentary on Romans “it is the first business of an interpreter to let the author say what he does say, instead of attributing to him what we think he ought to say.”

It has also been claimed that there is even a “Golden Rule of Interpretation” regarding literalism as follows: “When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise.” Furthering this argument, such advocates even state that the Bible should be read like a legal document much as one would read the United States Constitution.  (Reference: http://lester.wcbc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Woods-Dispensational-Hermeneutics1.pdf)

How utterly absurd is that!  To claim that Almighty Omniscient and Omnipotent God, through His Holy Spirit, would craft the Bible the same as some men would craft any legal document, such that there is no difference, should be reason alone to doubt the validity of the “Literal-Grammatical-Historical” hermeneutic as a means for Biblical interpretation. The Bible is “Holy Scripture”, and is unlike any other book, and it focuses us entirely upon the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Other “principles” being taught today also state, “Don’t look for allegories in the Old Testament Narrative” and more dogmatically, “Only two percent of the Old Testament is Messianic.” 

The Problem With the Literal-Grammatical-Historical Hermeneutic 

The problem with such humanly crafted and taught rules of Biblical interpretation, and why such rules are so insidious, is that, for the most part, they actually place mental and “spiritual blinders” on the reader, by limiting the reader to see only the earthly historical and moral lessons of the Bible.  While the lessons thus drawn can certainly be valid and profitable (as they can be fine, proper, and useful just as we read in 2 Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”), the extra restrictions imposed by the “Literal-Grammatical-Historical” method are such that the reader will actually miss the most important key, or higher Heavenly spiritual, meaning from the Bible, and hence will not come to know and have a true understanding. That understanding shows how magnificently and perfectly the Bible was actually crafted by God to reveal the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Bible is always concerned with such spiritual issues such as sin and the righteousness of God (Romans 6:23For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” and Romans 3:10&11, “¶As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.“), judgment (John 12:48He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” and Hebrews 9:27And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”), salvation (2Co 6:2 “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now [is] the accepted time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation.)”), sanctification (1Thessalonian 4:3¶For this is the will of God, [even] your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:”), and service (Romans 12:1&2, “¶ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

On the other hand, the Literal-Grammatical-Historical hermeneutic, which claims that the Bible is written plainly and is easily understandable that anyone can understand because it only follows the normal rules of human communication, will only lead to confusion, stumbling, and wrong doctrines when it comes to understanding things like election, predestination, the role and means of water baptism, dispensations, and the end times, etc… as well as not lead to the true meaning of the Books of Ruth, Esther, Judges 4&5, Jonah, Nahum, the Parables, etc., …and notably also the Book of Revelation (which is so relevant in our day, and explains why God would loose the devil just prior to Judgment Day). And it should also be noted that the Book of Revelation is not written in a serial fashion, as is the case for almost “any other book”, but rather reveals different aspects of the lead up to Judgment Day from multiple perspectives…which can never be understood if Revelation is read only read “plainly”.

Humanly crafted and taught rules effectively set limits (boundaries) to what The Infinite Creator and Supreme Omnipotent God could be saying to us in the Bible.  

Such rules thus lower God to man’s earthly level, rather than exalting and glorifying God at the supernatural Heavenly/Spiritual level from which He Reigns.  

Those rules prevent us from seeing that Jesus Christ is the Key of Knowledge, supernaturally interwoven through every portion of the Bible!  Anyone who tells you otherwise is like the blind lawyers of Jesus’s day that we read about in Luke 11:52, “¶Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.” Moreover, in Matthew 15:14, we are admonished to “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (and the ditch is an allegorical reference to Hell).

Whether or not that misdirection is a conscious or unconscious goal of those who teach and preach the Literal-Grammatical-Historical method of Bible interpretation does not matter, as the result will still be the same.  The reader thus taught will have become biased/prejudiced, such that it will prevent the reader (e.g., spiritually blind him or her) from ever understanding the Bible from a higher order perspective as was eternally ordained by The Author, Who perfectly crafted God’s Word, the Bible…and that Author is God Himself through the power of His Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost.  So the question is, should we read and interpret the Bible as taught by men?… or as taught by God? 

Here’s what the Bible has to say on the subject…In 1 Corinthians 2:13-14, we read “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth: comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man (everyone in the unsaved state) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.” Key to this passage is “comparing spiritual things with spiritual things”…and given that the Bible is Holy, and entirely inspired by the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God, then that statement is telling us that that we should be comparing Biblical scripture with Biblical scripture to gain God’s Wisdom (which is actually coming to know the Lord Jesus Christ). The Bible is its own interpreter, its own dictionary, its own Wikipedia!  Anyone who claims to have knowledge from the Bible had better not be quoting men, they had better be quoting scripture alone…but even then, you, dear reader, had better be checking out what those preachers and teachers are quoting for yourself, from the Bible alone, as the Berean’s did in the first century in Acts 17:10&11, and earnestly search “the scriptures (the Bible) daily, whether those things were so.

God commands us to both search and study the Bible (both the Old and New Testaments*) so that we might have eternal life.  In John 5:39, Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me (Jesus Himself).”  In II Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

God provides some exemplar proofs for the validity of the typological/allegorical hermeneutic, which has been applied in the expositions found in these accompanying Bible studies in the Bereansearching Blog.  One proof can be found in the Book of Acts 8:26-35, “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.  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,  Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.  Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.  And Philip ran thither to [him], and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?  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.  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:  In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.  And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?  Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.”  

Philip’s focus, being led by God the Holy Spirit, was solely to preach Jesus!

Today, many theologians dismiss the idea that the majority of the Bible was written in typological/allegorical form.  When confronted with that truth, these same theologians will say that any such interpretations are fancifully derived or even “fantastical”!  However, the fact that God uses temporal/earthly/carnal “allegory,” “figures,” “shadows, “patterns,” “similitudes,” and “ensamples” (“typos” in Greek meaning “examples” or “types“) to convey eternal/heavenly/ spiritual truth (albeit many times in a veiled, mysterious, or secretive manner) is, nonetheless, plainly stated in the Bible as we find in:

Galatians 4:22-31, concerning the typology of the two sons of Abraham, Ishmael (born of the bondwoman, Hagar (Agar in Greek), typifying the result of fleshly works under the law) and Isaac (born of the freewoman, Sarah, typifying the result of Heavenly promise under grace).  “(4:24) Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.  But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.”

Romans 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.

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

Hebrews 9:8&9, “The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:  Which [was]a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;

Hebrews 9:24, “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

Hebrews 10:1, “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, [and] not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

Colossians 2:16-17, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath [days]:  Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Christ.

Hebrews 9:23, “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

In 1 Timothy 1:16 we see how Paul was used of God as a “pattern” for a sinner saved by grace, “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”

Hosea 12:10, “I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.”

1 Corinthians 10:11, “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples (“typos” in Greek, meaning “types”): and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”  [Note how this is also in harmony with Romans 15:4For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”]

A “Bible Study Guide” is available that expands on the above and elaborates on only a portion of what God, the Author of the Bible, provides for those whom He graciously blesses with the “eyes to see”, and “the ears to hear” such that they might testify of Jesus and worship God in the spirit of prophesy. See also: the-hearing-ear-and-the-seeing-eye/  Please remember that in Revelation 19:10, we are told where John records: “the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” 

Dispensationalism Is Based Heavily on the Literal-Grammatical-Historical Hermeneutic Leading to Misinterpretation of the End Times

According to Wikipedia, “Dispensationalism maintains that history is divided into multiple ages or “dispensations” in which God acts with humanity in different ways. Dispensationalists generally maintain a belief in premillennialism, a future restoration of Israel and in a rapture that will happen before the second coming, generally seen as happening before the tribulation.”

Moreover, “Premillennial dispensationalists affirm a future, literal 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ” (which is based on Revelation 20:2-7). Because the “1000 year reign” is rigidly perceived to be literal, the adherents have no choice but to conclude that anything contrary to the dispensational viewpoint is incorrect. As a result, they have permanently placed blinders on themselves, which make it impossible for them to see beyond the literal, even when there is so much more to see and know. The Truth will remain hidden to them.

There are NOT multiple dispensations, but rather there are “types” and “shadows”. Old Testament National Israel was created by God as an allegorical “Type” for the Eternal Israel of God, the church made up of both Gentiles and the remnant of national Israel chosen by Grace, and made effectual through the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ (Who is also the literal promised descendent of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and David). Jesus is the One and Only Messiah who could meet all of the demands of the Mosaic Law. For more details and proof that God is finished with National Israel, for anything other than an end-times time marker, (Israel is represented by the fig tree in “the parable of the fig tree “), please review the allegorical role of Queen Vashti in the study of the Book of Esther study, and the study on the Holy Temple of God.

Moreover, the historical events recorded in the Bible are not myths or legends upon which the gospel message is derived.  All of the historical events recorded in the Bible (including all of the Old Testament narratives) are literal, and can be trusted as true and factual.  From those historical facts we can derive moral lessons that are plainly understood even to the casual reader.  The Bible also contains specific laws and codes of conduct that provide the best means to govern and benefit human society.  The framers of the United States Constitution wisely drew heavily on those lessons and laws. The proverbs teach us valuable moral lessons.  While such lessons will certainly benefit anyone in this temporal earthly life, neither a knowledge of biblical historical facts, or biblical morality through obedience to God’s laws, will bring that person to salvation. 

Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all of the historical events, moral lessons, and Levitical laws and ordinances, which are all only temporal/earthly “types” and “shadows,” and therefore have no lasting substance in themselves. The historical events, which are precisely recorded in the Bible, were precisely inscribed in the Bible to convey Spiritual Truth, and are all, in effect, therefore historical parables. And that Spiritual Truth is that Eternal salvation is only a gift of grace by God obtainable through the hearing of, and responding repentant faith in, the Gospel of Jesus Christ; which is the true purpose and lasting substance of the Bible.

It is interesting to note that “dispensationalists”, who claim to take the Bible at its face value, will readily denounce as being “fantastical” those who can show how God uses allegory, but then they have no problem is publicizing the view that the Believers will be suddenly raptured just prior to the Final Tribulation as found in various storylines around the concept of “Left Behind“. That is a pretty “fantastical” idea in itself, if anyone really stops to think about it (in light of the entire Bible when it is viewed as one cohesive whole). The dispensationalist concept is that God would rapture away His Eternal Church and leave this sin cursed earth to the devil, as though the human world could possibly continue to function after such a supernatural event as the rapture? It is only possible in fiction novels and Hollywood movies.

The fact is, that God will indeed loose the devil on the whole world just prior to the end of time, for a “little season“, as a judgment against the world for its apostasy, both in the churches and in the civil societies at large. Moreover, it may well be that we are already be in that “Great Tribulation”, which Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:21. There are several historical precedents that God provides in the Bible to show how this would be the case (and Esther is one), but perhaps the best is found in Judges 4 & 5, where the end of the world, Judgment Day, also known as the Battle of Armageddon, is clearly pre-figured. May God grant that your spiritual eyes and spiritual ears be opened.

Conclusion

While this Post may give the reader the impression that this author dogmatically believes that there is only one method or level to Bible interpretation, that is neither the case nor the intention of this study.  The point intended is to instruct the reader regarding the most important level, the spiritual, which involves allegories, types, and shadows consistently pointing to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ to build up the Church, the Kingdom of God. And that spiritual level, which is crafted by God the Holy Spirit, cannot be perceived with carnal eyes.

The events recorded in the Bible are not myths or legends upon which the gospel message is derived.  All of the historical events recorded (including all of the Old Testament narratives) are literal, and can be trusted as true facts.  From those historical facts we can derive moral lessons.  The Bible also contains specific laws and codes of conduct that provide the best means to govern and benefit human society.  The framers of the United States Constitution wisely drew heavily on those lessons and laws. The proverbs teach us valuable moral lessons.  While such lessons will certainly benefit anyone in this temporal earthly life, neither a knowledge of biblical historical facts, or biblical morality through obedience to God’s laws, will bring that person to salvation.  Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all of the historical events, moral lessons, and Levitical laws and ordinances, which are all only temporal/earthly “types” and “shadows,” and therefore have no lasting substance in themselves. The historical events, which are precisely recorded in the Bible, both happened and were precisely recorded/inscribed within the Bible to convey spiritual truth, and are all, in effect, therefore historical parables.

The majority of the Bible consists of these historical parables, which all point to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ and we know from Proverbs 1:5 that, “A wise [man] will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.” And Jesus spoke in parables so that those who only had carnal eyes, would see and not perceive, and moreover, in John 3:12, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you [of] heavenly things?

Therefore, only if we are being guided by God the Holy Spirit, as a Gift according to God’s Sovereign Will and Good Pleasure and by God’s Grace Alone, using the process of prayerfully searching and comparing scripture with scripture (comparing spiritual with spiritual) within the context of the whole Bible, can the veil be removed, such that we can begin to see Jesus Christ and His work of salvation for His people that God has inextricably interwoven throughout all His word, the Bible.  Jesus really is the Child of Promise and The Way, The Truth, and The Life.  May all who read this be as the Greeks in John 12:20&21 that came up to the feast to worship and say, “we would see Jesus.”  

Eternal salvation is only a gift of grace by God obtainable through the hearing of, and responding repentant faith in, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

APPENDIX I: Arguments against the Typological/Allegorical Interpretive Hermeneutic by the literal-Grammatical-Historical Hermeneutic Advocates (with Rebuttals)

The following Question and Answer Dialogue is drawn from an actual discussion with an adherent to the the Literal-Grammatical- Historical method of interpretation

(NOTE to the reader: another dialogue, with a different interlocutor, can be found here: Dialogue)

#1. The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the interpreter. Its charm lies in its flexibility. The interpreter can change the literal and grammatical sense of Scripture to make it coincide with his own system of interpretation. The text becomes swallowed up in the personal theology of the interpreter, rather than allowing the one’s theology to be built from the text.

Rebuttal: The allegorical method is only subjective if the interpreter makes an unsupportable claim from scripture, then yes, “anything” in the Bible “can refer to virtually anything”, and then that sin is upon that person’s head.  The Bible is its own interpreter and any interpretation must be entirely supportable by the Bible alone, by itself, and not from any human’s carnal intellect or bias. To claim that there is nothing more to scripture than that which is found only on the surface is to set limits upon God and such a claim effectively brings God down to humankind’s level.

#2. With the Allegorical method, the Scripture itself is not being interpreted. The issue becomes not what God has spoken, but what the interpreter thinks. In other words, the text becomes servant to the interpreter, rather than the interpreter being subservient to the text. Such interpretations will only lead to “all manner of fanciful speculation”. It does not draw out the legitimate meaning of an author’s language, but rather foists into it whatever the whim or fancy the interpreter may desire.

Rebuttal: The presumption would seem to be that God never crafts history into historical parables that point to God the Father’s Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, but are merely texts with surficial meanings as they appear only in the literal typeface, nothing more.  Without realizing it, those who make such claims undercut, and belie, Jesus’s own exposition of Old Testament Scriptures as we find in the account on the Road to Emmaus.  (Luke 24:27, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.) Please see this exposition: The-Road-To-Emmaus

#3. The Allegorical Interpretive method does not provide any means by which conclusions of the interpreter may be tested. In such an environment, there is no way to determine whose interpretation is correct because there is no longer an objective standard that personal interpretations can be compared to. 

Rebuttal: This statement is completely false, because all one has to do is review the examples set forth in the expositional Bible Studies provided on the https://bereansearching.com website, such as that provided in Jonah, Esther, Ruth, Judges 4 & 5 to see that they are all self-validating using the Bible alone as the ONLY cross-reference. The studies are consistent and academically reproducible, if one only trusts that God Is The Author, and that the consistent theme is to glorify God by pointing to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. I sincerely believe that the expositions found there are both objective and irrefutable, as they were derived solely by searching out and comparing scripture with scripture (spiritual things with spiritual). Please search them out yourself, as a Berean, to see if this is a valid claim or not. Come let us reason together. Remember what Jesus said in John 5:39, where He was admonishing the Jews said, “Search the scriptures (only the Old Testament in that day); for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”(The “me” being Jesus Christ Himself!), 

#4 This allegorical method of interpretation, which involves “spiritualizing”, is to open the door to almost uncontrolled speculation and imagination, while literal interpretation properly constrains the dictates of the carnal imagination by allowing it to roam only so far. 

Rebuttal: IF the person doing the interpretation of the Bible is using his own carnal mind to derive meaning, then, yes, there would be no limit to the falsehoods that would ensue.  However, the Bible provides us with the necessary constraints, as was mentioned earlier above. In 1 Corinthians 2:13-14, we read “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth:comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man (the carnal man, everyone in the unsaved state) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.” We must compare scripture with scripture and use the Bible is its own interpreter, its own dictionary, its own Wikipedia, but we must also prayerfully rely entirely on God the Holy Spirit to lead us in our searches as we are instructed in Psalm 119:18! The Bible (which is all about Jesus) is God’s Wisdom, not man’s. May God be Glorified!

APPENDIX II: The Revelation of the Spiritual Level is God’s Work Alone!

In 2 Peter 1:20&21, we are told, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost., and in 2 Peter 2:1&2, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.”  These verses are saying that if anyone gives forth an interpretation out of their own intellect or from the carnal minds of others that have taught them, they are false teachers and the truth is not in them.  (Even more ominous, they will receive the greater condemnation from God for that sin.)  But how are we to know which interpretation is out of a man’s mind as opposed to what God is really saying?  God provides us the answer, out of His Word, the Bible, as follows:

The Bible is a spiritual book.  Referring again back to I Corinthians 2:13, we read, “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  And we know from II Samuel 23:2, “The spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word [was] in my tongue.”  Clearly the word of God, the Bible, is spiritual, as it was written under the direction of the Holy Spirit.  So if we want to learn the true meaning of any verse, then we need to compare scripture with scripture (spiritual things with spiritual).  Furthermore, any revelation of truth from God’s word (which can only come through the use of this methodology) is solely the work of the Holy Spirit.  That is why in I John 2:27 we read, “But the anointing (of the Holy Spirit) which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of allthings, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”  This is entirely consistent with what we read in John 16:13, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” See also John 15:2627, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. 

Note that in John 14:17 that we also read, “[Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” and in 1 John 4:6, “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit oferror.”)

The Gift of the Holy Spirit is Required

The Bible requires spiritual insight to understand it.  That faculty is only obtained as a gift from God, through the indwelling (or anointing) of His Holy Spirit, The “Spirit of Truth“.  That action is God’s alone, and is synonymous with the gift of salvation (Acts 5:32, “And we are his witnesses of these things; and [so is] also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.“).  Just as salvation is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:“) so are our spiritual eyes and ears a gift of God (because we have His Spirit in us witnessing to our spirit as we read in Romans 8:16 “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:“).  That is why we read in Proverbs 20:12, “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.”  We must have been given the wisdom of God, by God. (James 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.“)  This will come when we are truly seeking Him (because He first sought us, see John 6:44) and fear (have reverential awe of) Him.  We are told in Psalms 111:10 that, “The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom:“, and in Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  The more we study God’s word, the Bible, the more, by God’s grace, our faith grows and the spiritually wiser we can become.  In Romans 10:17, we find that, “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  Furthermore, in Isaiah 50:4, we read, “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to [him that is] weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” (This is also consistent with Psalms 40:5&6, “Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.”…and immediately following in verses 7-9, the messianic verses talk about Jesus coming in the volume of the book (the Bible) and His fulfilling work and finishing sacrifice as the sole means by which only we can hope to obtain God’s Salvation.)

Side Note:  It is quite interesting to find in Exodus chapter 31, when God looked for a man of wisdom and understanding and knowledge, that God told Moses the following starting in verse 2:

See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: 3 and I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, 4 to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, 5 and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.”

God called the man and and God filled the man with His Holy Spirit in order for that man to have “wisdom” and “understanding” and “knowledge” to do the service of the Lord in the building of God’s Holy Habitation (represented by the earthly tabernacle).  It is a parable that we must heed, because, just as we are told in Psalms 127, verse 1: “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build itexcept the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” That house (and city) represents the Church, as Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 , “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

BTWBezaleel (which means “in the shadow of God“; e.g., “under his protection”), the son of Uri (which means “my light”), the son of Hur (no known definition, but from the Bible (Exodus 17:10-12) we know that Hur was the only other person to accompany Moses and Aaron up the hill and helped Aaron in supporting Moses’ arms), of the tribe of Judah (meaning “Praised” and Jesus was from the tribe of Judah ).  We see therefore that Bezaleel ultimately represents the Lord Jesus Christ.

Plain Sense?

As was mentioned earlier, the adherents to the Literal-Grammatical-Historical method of interpretation claim that if the plain sense makes sense then we are to seek no other sense. So one would have to question how such a person would deal with 1 Coritnthians 15:22, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” The plain sense is simple…in Adam “everyone” dies under the curse of sin brought into the world by Adam, and in Jesus Christ “everyone” goes to Heaven. Is that correct?

NO, Absolutely NOT! We have to compare scripture with scripture to see that the “all” in Jesus Christ refers only to the “all” who God “predestinated” to be saved Ephesians 1:11. Moreover, in Matthew 7:13&14, Jesus explicitly states that “many” go to destruction, but a “few” find the gate that leads to eternal life (and the Gate (“Door”) is Jesus John 10:9).

So, therefore, interpreting scripture using “the plain sense” will only lead to error and confusion.