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

Posted December 13, 2021 by bereansearching
Categories: Bible Studies, Uncategorized

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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 it 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;”

The enclosed Bible studies emphasize and focus upon 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, 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 is to merely share what has been learned from the Bible by this teacher, by God’s mercy, 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 ComfortEdify (“build up”), Encourage, Exhort, Establish, Perfect, Settle and Strengthen the faith of the Saints (true Believing Christians, the “Sheep”, the Church) 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.

Background and Understanding Upon Which This Bible Study Blog Is Based

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.”

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 December 12, 2021 by bereansearching
Categories: Bible Studies

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key
*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 Help”

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 knownbut “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 Help 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.

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 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 (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 seek after 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.

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 Help, 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 Help Different From Other Teachings?

This “Bible Study Help” 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 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 “Grammatical-Historical” method of Biblical interpretation.  Moreover, addtional 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 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 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 primarily the lower order 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 “Grammatical-Historical” method are such that the reader might actually miss the most important key, or higher order (aka: “deeper, spiritual”), Biblical meaning and hence true understanding which 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. 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 the 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). 

In Revelation 19:10, we also read where John records: “the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”  

The following “Bible Study Help” will elaborate 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: 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 a word” (because it is from the Hebrew דָּבָר (dāḇār)H1697, a masculine noun): but the honour of kings[is] to search out aword” (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.” This point is also found in Job 36:7, which tells us that God establishes the righteous, the believers made righteous in Jesus Christ, as kings exalted forever, “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))) 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”)): in the Lord will I praise his word (דָּבָר (dāḇār)).” 
  • 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.” 

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, Chapter 1, Verse 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 they are 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 help, 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 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 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, chapter 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 Help” 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 Help 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 Help 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 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 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 learning, that 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!

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 interpretation; the 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 parable: I 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: thewords 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 parablesThat 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)

* From the Hebrew, “chiydah or ‘gheedah,” (also used as dark sentences or speech) meaning “hard question, riddle, 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 “musterion” that means something that imposes silence by shutting the mouth.

*** The word “secret” here  derives from a Greek word (Strongs 2928) 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 and 2:1&2, 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.  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 of error.”)

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 numberedSacrifice 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 it, except 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 mystery, even 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 thereofFor 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 said, Behold, 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 treasuresThen 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 arehid 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 me, and 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 “sohd,” 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 of 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.)

            Psalms 25:14, “The secret of 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 [is] with the righteous.

             Proverbs 15:22, “Without counsel 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:

Psalms 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 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.

Psalms 64:2, “Hide me from the secret counsel 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 (Gen. 14:18, Gen. 32:30, and Jud. 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 ‘pilee’ (Strong’s H6383) which can also be translated as “wonderful” as we find in Psalms 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 ‘pala’ (Strong’s H6381) and closely linked to the companion word ‘pele’ (Strong’s 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 (pele), 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.” I 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:

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

Psalms 119:18, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous (pala) things out of thy law.”  Psalms 119:27, “Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous (pala) works. (NOTE: The “angel” that appeared to Samson’s parents also did “wondrously” (pala) 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) His 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 (pala) with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.

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

   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 “sahtar,” H5641 in Strong’s Concordance.  It is the same word as found just above in Psalms 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 (sahtar) thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.”  This is why the prayer of the believer is found in Psalms 27:9, “Hide 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 Psalms 119:18&19, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.  I [am] a stranger in the earth: hidenot thy commandments from me.” and in Psalms 143:7, “Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hidenot 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 meaning to “disclose,” “reveal,” or “declare plainly”) 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”.  II Corinthians 4:3 states, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hidto 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, 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 meThen 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

             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, except the 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 II Corinthians 3:2-18, 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 the Holy Spirit according to God’s sovereign good pleasure, using the process of searching and comparing scripture with scripture (comparing spiritual with spiritual) within the context of the whole Bible, will 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: https://bereansearching.com/2009/09/19/a-christian-study-of-the-book-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 Help 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”)

Appendix B:  Word Study, Parable of the Sower 

(See Matthew 13:3-23, Mark 4:3-20, and Luke 8:4-15)

The Sower and His Seed: (God and His Word)

            Isaiah 55:10&11 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shallmy word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it.

We also see in Psalm 126:5&6, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves [with him].  These verses can only be interpreted that it is only through the sowing of the precious seed is the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ, the Word of God, that can only lead to the ultimate joyful harvesting of saved souls for God.

            *II Corinthians 9:10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for [your] food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;

The  Wayside: (The World, that which is not in “the Way”.  Remember Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life)

            Psalms 140:5 The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah.

            *Matthew 20:30  And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, [thou] son of David.

* New Testament, only shown to reinforce illustration.

Fowls of the Air:  (Forces of Satan)

            I Samuel 17:44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.

            I Samuel 17:46 This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

            Job 28:21 Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close (concealed) from the fowls of the air.

Devour: (Destroy or Consume)

            II Chronicles 7:13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;

            Isaiah 33:11 Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble: your breath, [as] fire, shall devour you.

            Jeremiah 51:34 Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath swallowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled his belly with my delicates, he hath cast me out.

            Zephaniah 3:8  Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination [is] to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, [even] all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.

Stony: (Hard Hearted)

            Psalms 141:6 When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.

            Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Root: (Jesus Christ, the Root of Jesse)

            II Kings 19:30 And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.

            Isaiah 11:10  And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

Withered: (Dried Up, Scorched, as in the Fires of Hell)

            Isaiah 27:11 When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, [and] set them on fire: for it [is] a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour.

            Ezekiel 19:12 But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them.

            Joel 1:12 The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, [even] all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.

            *John 5:3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

            *John 15:6 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.

Thorns:  (Cares of This World, and the Snare of False Gospels)

            Genesis 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

            Judges 2:3 Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be [as thorns] in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.

            Proverbs 22:5 Thorns [and] snares [are] in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.

            Isaiah 32:13 Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns [and] briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy [in] the joyous city:

            Isaiah 33:12 And the people shall be [as] the burnings of lime: [as] thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire.

            Jeremiah 4:3  For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.

            Ezekiel 2:6  And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns [be] with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they [be] a rebellious house.

Fruit: (Good Fruit is the Evidence of True Salvation)

            Deuteronomy 11:17 And [then] the LORD’S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and [lest] ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.

            Leviticus 26:4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.

            Deuteronomy 22:9  Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled.

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

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

            Proverbs 12:12 The wicked desireth the net of evil [men]: but the root of the righteous yieldeth [fruit].

            Isaiah 4:2 In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth [shall be] excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.

            Isaiah 27:6 He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.

            Jeremiah 17:8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and [that] spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

            Ezekiel 17:8 It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine.

            Ezekiel 34:27 And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them.

            *Matthew 3:10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Other verses to ponder:

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

I Corinthians 10:11, “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Psalms 19:11, “Moreover by them is thy servant warned: [and] in keeping of them [there is] great reward.” (please, if at all possible, read all of Psalms 19 and 119)

Psalms 37:30, “The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.

Ecclesiastes 8:5, “Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man’s heart discerneth both time and judgment.”

Hebrews 12:25, “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more [shall not] we [escape], if we turn away from him that [speaketh] from heaven:  Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more (Judgment Day) I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.”

Ecclesiastes 1:18, “For in much wisdom [is] much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

Galatians 1:12, “For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 13:1&2, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (love, “agape” in the Greek), I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.  And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (love, “agape” in the Greek), I am nothing.”  If we don’t have the Godly love (agape) of Jesus Christ in us (which is synonymous with true salvation), we are nothing.

POSTSCRIPT:

While this Bible Study Help 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.  It is certainly true that there are at least three levels of interpretation, i.e., the “literal/historical,” the “moral,” and the “spiritual.”  This Bible Study Help is intended to instruct the reader in the highest level, the spiritual, which points to the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

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 US 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.  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.


 

A Famine in the Land

Posted December 20, 2022 by bereansearching
Categories: Bible Studies

Amos 8:11, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

There is a Spiritual Famine in Our World Today!

To say the least, we are living in unusual times, which are not at all unlike those spoken of by God to the prophet Amos (see above). Everyone is aware of the ills facing our world today…wars, famines, pestilences, natural disasters, political and economic turmoil, rampant crime and violence, and now, particularly, the abominable sexual perversions, including towards children. But there is more going on behind the scenes of which few are aware. That is that there is little speaking of, or the hearing of, God’s Word. That is the famine that needs to be considered.

In our world today, sin is not only not being punished, it is rather being tolerated, and moreover, even promoted! This is because God is bringing a judgment against our world in the form of Tribulation. There is a dearth in the world with respect to hearing God’s Word. It is a literal, spiritual FAMINE!

Literal physical famines are described many times in the Bible, for example: Genesis 12:10, Genesis 26:1, Genesis 47:4, Ruth 1:1, 2 Kings 25:3, Jeremiah 44:13. But the famine that we now find ourselves in is different. The world is being starved for lack of hearing the true Gospel of Salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. Biblical Christianity is increasingly being besmirched, while false religions and gospels are being growing in adherence. The Bible is now banned from nearly all schools and almost all public discourse.

Nonetheless, there is still a remnant of believers remaining faithful to God’s Word as we read in Luke 4:25&26, Jesus was teaching in the synagogue in Nazareth, “But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, [a city] of Sidon, unto a woman [that was] a widow.” Jesus was referring back to the famine spoken of regarding Elijah in 1 Kings 17:8-16.

Psalm 37:18&19, “The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

Psalm 37:25&26, “I have been young, and [now] am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. [He is] ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed [is] blessed.

The Great Tribulation is the Greatest Famine of All Time

And as for this world, God refers to it as “the Great Babylon” at the end of time in the Book of Revelation (at the end of the Bible), in Revelation 18:23), “And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” The Bridegroom is Jesus and the bride is the eternal church of God, and at the end of time, during the Great Tribulation (when the devil is loosed for “a little season” Revelation 20:3), the Word of God will essentially be silenced. The witnesses of God’s Truth will have been silenced and effectively killed, literally and/or figuratively. The Light of the World is Jesus, and without Him and the hearing of Him, the world will go completely dark. The lack of “hearing” of “The Word” (which is the “True” Jesus) means that the world will be starved for the lack of hearing of God’s Word and suffer the consequences of a spiritual famine.

Conclusion: Jesus is the Bread of Life!

John 6:35 “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

John 6:48, “I am that bread of life.”

John 6:57&8, “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

The Lord’s Prayer

We should also keep in mind what the Lord’s Prayer is really saying. It refers not just to physical bread, but more importantly, it refers to the “spiritual bread”…the bread of life! Who Is Jesus!

Matthew 6:9-13, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Only Jesus, as contained in the Bible in its entirely, Is The Word of God and the Bread of Life, Who can sustain the believers through this Great Tribulation and help us to endure until the end, Judgment Day, when Jesus returns on the clouds of Glory to judge the world and to retrieve His Church for eternity with Him in Heaven.

Postscript: Joseph was a “Type” of Jesus Christ during the Great Famine in Genesis 41-47

Remember how, back in Genesis chapters 41-47, when there was a great physical famine, we learned the following:

Genesis 41:55-57, “And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Josephwhat he saith to you, do. And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy [corn]; because that the famine was [so] sore in all lands.

But then, in Chapter 42 we see that Joseph’s brothers came to him from the land of Canaan to buy sustenance, Genesis 42:5&6, “And the sons of Israel came to buy [corn] among those that came: for the famine was in the land of Canaan. And Joseph [was] the governor over the land, [and] he [it was] that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph’s brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him [with] their faces to the earth.

Then later in Chapter 43, Genesis 43:1 ¶ “And the famine [was] sore in the land.”

However, later in Genesis 45:11 we read that Joseph, after having revealed himself to his brethren, told them that he had prepared a place for them during the famine, in the the land of Goshen (the “best of the land” in Egypt Genesis 47:6), “And there will I nourish thee; for yet [there are] five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.” and finally in Chapter 47, we read in Genesis 47:12And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father’s household, with bread, according to [their] families.

Please also note that these were the same brothers that threw Joseph into the pit and sold him into slavery in Egypt. Nonetheless, Joseph, like Jesus, was merciful to them and said to them first in Genesis 45:5, “Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” and second in Genesis 50:19 ¶ “And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for [am] I in the place of God? But 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. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.” Jesus was put to death for the sins of all of God’s elect, His brethren, but God meant it for good that all those who would believe on Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

An Exposition of Nehemiah Chapter 8

Posted December 19, 2022 by bereansearching
Categories: Bible Studies

Nehemiah Chapter 8 takes place in Jerusalem after the restoration of the Temple and the rebuilding of the walls of the city following the Great Captivity in Babylon roughly 450 years BC. In Nehemiah chapter 8, we read where the long forgotten word of God, the “book of the law of Moses” was brought before the people by Ezra (meaning help in time of trouble), the priest and scribe who stood before the people on a pulpit (or tower) made of wood for the purpose.

Note to the Reader: This study should be viewed in conjunction with another study of Nehemiah focusing on the role of Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem as an allegorical “Type” of the Lord Jesus Christ building His Church, the New Jerusalem.

Ezra “read therein” and in verse 4, beside him stood 13 men, six at his right hand and seven at his left hand (13 total, which together with Ezra, made a total of 14). Nehemiah 8:4 ¶And Ezra the scribstood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and HashbadanaZechariah, [andMeshullam.” Their names provide us insights on their spiritual significance.

These 13 men and the meaning of their names are as follows:

Ezra (“Help”) is the Priest in the middle

On Ezra’s Right Hand: The God Man Is in View…The Prophet

  1. Mattithiah (“Gift of God“) Romans 5:15But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, [which is] by one man,Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
  2. Shema (“Hear” or announcement (report)) John 12:38That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled,which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report?and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
  3. Anaiah (“God Has Answered”, and that which is humble, lowly, meek, and poor or afflicted) Isaiah 53:4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
  4. Uriah (“God is My Light”) John 8:12Then 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.”
  5. Hilkiah (“God is My Portion“) Psa 142:5 “I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou [art] my refuge [and] my portion in the land of the living.
  6. Maaseiah (“Work of God”) John 6:29Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

On Ezra’s Left Hand: The Son of God Is in View…The King

  1. Pedaiah (God Has Redeemed), rescued, ransomed) Job 19:25, “For I know [that] my redeemer liveth, and [that] he shall stand at the latter [day] upon the earth:
  2. Mishael (Who is What God Is?) Psalm 18:31For who [is] God save the LORD? or who is a rock saveour God?
  3. Malchiah (God is My King)  Psalm 47:7For God [is] the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.”
  4. Hashum (Of great wealth, rich) Psalm 50:10For every beast of the forest [is] mine, [and] the cattle upon a thousand hills.
  5. Hashbadanak (Considerate Judge) Hebrews 10:30For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
  6. Zechariah (God Remembers) Psalm 105:7-10, “He [is] the LORD our God: his judgments [are] in all the earth. He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word [which] he commanded to a thousand generations.Which [covenant] he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, [and] to Israel [for] an everlasting covenant:
  7. Meshullam (Friend) John 15:13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

From this analysis it would not be inconsistent with scripture to conclude that at Ezra’s right hand were those who God wanted to portray Jesus Christ as the man (featured by the number six, for mankind of humble birth who would be the Savior and Sacrifice and Prophet of God). On the Left hand were those who God wanted to portray as Jesus Christ as Divine (featured by the number seven, perfection) at His second coming who would return as both King and Judge. It can also be said that from the people’s point of view they had Jesus Christ portrayed in front of them as Prophet (the six at Ezra’s right hand), Priest (Ezra in the middle), and King (the seven at Ezra’s left hand) We should also remember that Ezra stood on a “pulpit” (or tower) of wood made for the purpose. Does that not bring to mind that Jesus was erected on a cross, made of wood “for the purpose”, on which Jesus was both the sacrificial Lamb of God and the High Priest Who offered the Sacrifice.

13 More Men

In Nehemiah 8:5, we read “And Ezra (representing God as our Help) opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people; and when he opened it all the people stood up:” and also in verse 7 that there were 13 more men (evidently tribal elders) and the Levites who”caused the people to understand the law:” In verse 8 we read, “So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense (meaning), and caused them to understand the reading.”

  1. They read the Word “distinctly
  2. They gave the “sense
  3. They caused the people to “understand”

Those men were:

  1. Jeshua (Salvation/Savior). The same as Joshua given what we read in Nehemiah 8:17 “Jeshua the son of NunPsalm 37:39But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: [he is] their strength in the time of trouble.” 2 Peter 3:18But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.”
  2. Bani (My Building) “1 Corinthians 3:9-11. “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, [ye are] God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilderI have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 
  3. Sherebiah (God has scorched, parched, set free) Isaiah 61:1The Spirit of the Lord GOD [Is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound;
  4. Jamin (Right Hand) Revelation 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
  5. Akkub (Supplant/usurp) We are all Jacobs, Genesis 27:36And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?
  6. Shabbethai (My Sabbaths, hence “Rest”) Mark 2:27And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
  7. Hodijah (God is Majesty)  Hebrews 1:3Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
  8. Maaseiah (Work of God) Ephesians 2:10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
  9. Kelita (Crippled, lacking, Assembly). Sam as Kelaiah (dishonored of God, voice of God?). Ezra 10:23 We are all by nature lacking like Mephibosheth
  10. Azariah (God has Helped) Hebrews13:6So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
  11. Jozabad (God has Endowed) Hosea 2:19-20 “And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.
  12. Hanan (Gracious/Merciful Giver) Hebrews 4:16Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
  13. Pelaiah (God does Wonders) Hebrews 2:4God also bearing [them] witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

It would seem that these 13 men represent all of the believers throughout time, who are viewed by God as His Eternal Church and Bride and are a viewed as a living reflection of Jesus and His attributes. Moreover all believers are commanded by Jesus in the Great Commission to go into the world and preach the gospel as we read in Mark 16:15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” And, based on what we have learned in Nehemiah chapter 8, the believers should preach the Gospel/the Word “distinctly“, and give the “sense“, and make it to be “understood“.

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.

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;”

Jesus Opens the Book, Jesus Closes the Book

Posted December 5, 2022 by bereansearching
Categories: Bible Studies

Jesus Fulfilled the First Half of Isaiah 6:2 in Nazareth in Luke 4

In Luke 4:16&17 we read where Jesus came to Nazareth, Jesus’s home town, and on the sabbath day He stood up and opened the book of Isaiah (Esaias in Greek) as we read here, “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the bookhe found the place where it was written,

Jesus then began reading from Isaiah 61:12 as is recounted in Luke 4:1821, said, “The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave [it] again to the minister, and sat down. 

And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”  It is clear that after Jesus spoke the Word, that the eyes all the people were locked on Jesus (Jesus is the “Word made flesh” John 1:14) and Jesus spoke into their ears.

Jesus Closed the Book Half Way Through Isaiah 6:2

Very interestingly, what was not read by Jesus in the Luke account, but which is recorded in the second part of the verse of Isaiah 61:2, “To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance (Naqam נָקָם) of our God; to comfort (Nahum נָחַם) all that mourn;”  Jesus stopped before making reference to the day of God’s “vengeance” (Naqam נָקָם), which will be Judgment Day…and it most certainly was not fulfilled on when Jesus was reading in the synagogue. That Day of Vengeance (Judgment Day) is still to come…albeit shortly.

We should all pay close attention to these three points… 

1) In the Luke account, It was Jesus Who “opened the book” of Isaiah in verse 17, because it is really only Jesus, as the Son of God, Who can “open” “the book” (as we also read in Revelation, chapter 5); 

2) and it was Jesus Who “closed the book” half way through the second verse of Isaiah 61:2, after which Jesus said “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”; and 

3) The reason that Jesus “closed the book” at that point is because the rest of the verse is pointing directly to Judgment Day, at which time Jesus will bring vengeance for God’s enemies and comfort to the believers.  Jesus had to “close the book” if He was going to say the prophesy was “fulfilled” in their ears that day! 

Jesus could not go any further in the text, and had to stop mid-verse, because Judgment Day is only going to be fulfilled at when Jesus comes back from Heaven the “end of the world”!  That is pretty amazing if anyone stops to think about it! 

Remember also that in Revelation 3:7 we read that only Jesus has the “key of David” and only Jesus Is The One Who “openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;” and in Revelation 5:5, that Only Jesus “the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book“. And regarding God’s sovereignty, these two verses are both consistent with Job 11:10, “If he cut off, and shut up, or gather together, then who can hinder him?

What is also a comfort for the believer, is that Jesus said that He would send the “Comforter” the “Spirit of Truth” Who would lead His sheep into “all Truth” and He would speak of Jesus (John 15:26, and John 16:13). Believers are given the promise that Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, would open the book (the Bible) for us to see Jesus.  In Luke 4, Jesus specifically said that He would open the eyes of the blind…”recovering of sight to the blind.” See also: Proverbs 25:2Proverbs 20:12Psalms 119:18. Similarly

Finally, it is most interesting that, in Isaiah 34:16, God tells us directly to read “the book” (the Bible),

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.

Note to the reader: This post is excerpted from the-hearing-ear-and-the-seeing-eye/

The Hallmarks of a True Christian

Posted December 4, 2022 by bereansearching
Categories: Bible Studies

Introduction

In our world today, there are many people who claim to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, sadly, they exhibit sufficient faults in their personalities and daily life conduct, such that they can lead others to denounce and attack them for any real or perceived hypocrisy.  The end result is that it can lead many to question Christianity itself.

First we must understand some realities.  No one, no matter how devout and committed a Christian that a person might be, is ever without sin.  To begin, we need to understand that all humans are by nature sinners, as we read in Romans 3:10-20: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” 

However, the true believer in Jesus Christ is nonetheless cleansed from all sin (along with freedom from the penalty for it) because Jesus paid the full price of that penalty by sacrificing Himself as we read in Romans 3:21-26,

But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God [which] is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

The Conflict of Two Natures

Does this mean that a true believing Christian is no longer a “sinner”?

No! 1John 1:8-10, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

And according to Romans 7:14-25,

For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

The Difference Between Spiritual Life and Spiritual Death

Every human being is by nature a sinner, being descended from Adam, who committed the original sin of disobedience to God in the Garden of Eden. And while physically alive, every human being is by nature “spiritually” dead.  The transition from naturally existing in spiritual death to eternal spiritual life in Jesus Christ requires the eternal life-giving empowerment of God the Holy Spirit  (which is commonly referred to as being “Born Again”).

This is why we read in Ephesians 2:1-10 whereof Paul is writing to the believers in the church of Ephesus, “And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. ¶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. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

So, a true believing Christian differs from everyone else as being someone who, by the grace of God alone, responds to the call to repent and cries out to God for mercy through Jesus Christ and to whom God shows that mercy by granting eternal life in Jesus through Jesus’s atoning sacrifice to pay for that person’s sins. The Christian remains in a physical, natural, body, which remains under the curse of physical death. That body remains at odds, or as Paul wrote, at war, with the Holy Spirit, Who is the Gift of God, Who instills that person upon regeneration. The Christian becomes embroiled in a battle to subdue his natural inclinations that lead to sin and death.  That battle is determined to continue until physical death, or the end of the world, whichever comes first.

Christian Fruits of the Spirit

Moreover, a true Christian does not want anything to do with sin in the inward being, but rather desires to obey God, fear God, and keep His commandments.  That means the Christian will approach life differently than the unsaved of the world (those who are not true Christians) because the unsaved are not engaged in an internal war.   They are spiritually dead and therefore cannot be in opposition to the body of sin and death.

The Christian is led by the Holy Spirit of God unto good works, bearing good fruit by manifesting the following attributes and by leading others to eternal salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Galatians 5:22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”

Ephesians 5:9(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

Matthew 7:16, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapesof thorns, or figs of thistles? 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.

Some Hallmarks of the Christian Life

“Charity” or Brotherly Love

There are a number of instructive hallmarks for any true believing Christian. 

First and foremost, all Christians must love the Lord our God, then others as themselves. 

Matthew 22:37 ¶”Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Among them, 1Peter 4:7-11,“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, [even so]  minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 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.”

1 Timothy 1:5 “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and [of] a good conscience, and [of] faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;”

And regarding “charity”, it is more correctly translated in our day as meaning true brotherly “love”, 1Corinthian 13:13 ¶And now abideth faithhopecharity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

Romans 14:13, “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in [his] brother’s way.

Romans 15:1-2, “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please [his] neighbour for [his] good to edification.

1Co 14:20 “¶ Brethren, be not children in understandinghowbeit in malice be ye childrenbut in understanding be men.

Even in the Old Testament there are similar directives for a child of God. Zechariah 8:17 , “And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oathfor all these [are things] that I hate, saith the LORD.”

Lowliness and Meekness

In Ephesians 4:1-4, we are instructed by Paul, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. [There is] one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

Paul writing to Titus with instructions for the establishment of churches and admonitions for the believers Titus 3:1 , “¶Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every goodwork, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, [but] gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

The Christian’s Walk

Unchecked Copy Box Ephesians 4:25-32, “Wherefore putting away lyingspeak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin notlet not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour,working with [his] hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Other Admonitions

A true believing Christian will be a student of the Bible to know what it contains because we know, according to 2 Timothy 3:16&17,  that, “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, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

A Christian will strive to follow this direction as found in 2 Timothy 2:22-26, “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

A Christian is a follower of God, having child-like faith as we read in Ephesians 5:1-4, “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. ¶But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

A Christian must exhibit brotherly love (“Charity”) because as Paul scribed in 1 Corinthians 13:1, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

A Christian must have reverential awe (“fear”) of the Omnipotent Holy God of creation as we read in Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.”

1 Timothy 6:20 “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane [and] vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

Ephesians 5:11-14, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them]. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”

Profitable Attributes

A long list of key Christian attributes can be found in Romans 12:9-21,

[Let] love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. [Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly lovein honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. ¶Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. [Be] of the same mind one toward anotherMind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. [Be] not wise in your own conceits. ¶Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all menIf it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed himif he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

All of Romans Chapter 13, Romans 13:1– being subject to earthly government and showing love to others. The last two verses read, “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof].

Jesus said in Matthew 7:12, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

James 1:19, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”

1Thessalonians 5:22Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

Psalms 34:13-16, “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears [are open] unto their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

The Christian should be willing to lay the life down in worship and obedience to The Mighty and Powerful God of all creation. 2 Corinthians 5:11, “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.

And then, in 2 Peter 3:12, we see that the believer must continue in the faith and in the work of sharing the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ Alone until Jesus comes back on Judgement Day, “Looking for and hasting 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?”

For more on what it is to be a Christian in this earthly existence, please see:A Good Employee: A Christian Credo

POSTSCRIPT

From another author…describing sincere/unfeigned faith and love from a pure heart that should exemplify the life of every believer:

Deep sincerity — tear-filled sincerity — is an essential marker of spiritual health and the aliveness of our affections, and critical to our gospel mission. The apostle Paul’s ministry is exemplified by his sincere love 2 Corinthians 6:4: “But in all [things] approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,

He calls us to an earnest trust in God as he celebrates Timothy’s “sincere faith” (2 Timothy 1:5). It is in this sincere faith that we all must express sincere love for others: “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and [of] a good conscience, and [of] faith unfeigned:” (1Timothy 1:5; see also Romans 12:9; 1 Peter 1:22).

And even if ridiculers turn out to hate knowledge, we live under the authority of divine truth in sincerity, as James 3:17 says, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

The Holy Temple of God, Will It Ever Be Rebuilt?

Posted November 24, 2022 by bereansearching
Categories: Bible Studies

The New Jerusalem?

There are many who have been taught that when Jesus comes back on the clouds of glory that He will establish a new Jerusalem; a literal, physical city, in what we know today as Jerusalem, which is currently also the capital city of the restored nation of Israel. Many Christian theologians and some Hebrew scholars contend that near the end of time God will allow the rebuilding of the Holy Temple of God in Jerusalem (for a third time on the site currently occupied by the Islamic “Dome of the Rock”). Many of these same people contend that, with the restoration of the physical building of the temple, sacrificial rites will also be restored including the sacrifice of “red heifers”, etc. Let’s see what the Bible has to say regarding this issue.

With regard to the possibility that this earth will even exist beyond Jesus’s second coming (Judgement Day), In 2 Peter 3:7, we read, “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men.”  Further on in verse 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.”  God reiterates this point in verse 12 and finally in verse 13 we read, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

In Revelation 21:1, it reads, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”

Regarding the new Jerusalem, however, in the very next verse we read, “and I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”  Later, at the end of verse 9, one of the seven angels told John, ” Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”  And in verse 10“and he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain and shewed me that great city, holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.  We can readily see that the city, the new Jerusalem is not some literal, physical, city, but rather the kingdom of God encompassing the body of all true believing Christians, the true eternal Church, which God looks upon as the bride of Christ!

To see that the new Jerusalem is a spiritual representation of the kingdom of God that is made up of the body of believers, the church, we just have to turn to Revelation 3:12, where we read, Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall no more go out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, [which] is new Jerusalemwhich cometh down out of heaven from my God: and [I will write upon him] my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches.”  This truth is also evident in Galatians 4:25&26 which contrasts the earthly Jerusalem and her children (the Jews of national Israel), described as being in bondage (to the works of the law), with the heavenly spiritual “Jerusalem which is above is free (through the grace of God), which is the mother of us all (all true believing Christians).”

Also we are told in 1Timothy 3:15, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

In Hebrews 11:10 we read how by faith Abraham looked forward to the new Jerusalem, “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker [is] God. And then again in Hebrews 11:16,But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Additional support is found in Hebrews 12:22-23 , where we read, “But ye are come unto Mount Si-on and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,”.

As to the timing of the fulfillment of the coming of the new Jerusalem we are told in Matthew 24:29-31, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

The Holy Temple of God, Where is it Now? It is a Spiritual Heavenly House, Not and Earthy House!

This brings us to another problem.  There are those in various religions today who claim to have access to a literal, physical, earthly holy temple of God.  As was indicated above, the holy temple of God is a spiritual structure made up of true believing Christians (described as “pillars” in the temple) coincident with the new Jerusalem with God in Heaven.  This is entirely consistent with what we read in 1 Peter 2:4-8, where God equates the true believers to “lively stones” that are part of the spiritual temple of God of which Jesus Christ is the “Chief Corner Stone.”  “To whom coming, as [unto] a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, [and] precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.  Wherefore also it is contained in scripture, (Found in  Isaiah 28:16 and Psalm 118:22behold I lay in Si-on a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.  Unto you therefore which believe [he (The Lord Jesus Christ) is] precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” 

Jesus is the Chief (Head) Corner Stone of the Temple of God

Psalm 118:22,”The stone [which] the builders refused is become the head[stone] of the corner.

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

Isaiah 28:16, “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner[stone], a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Matthew 21:42, “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

Mar 12:10&11, “And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:

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

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

Romans 9:33, “As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

NOTE To Reader: It is particularly important to note the frequent use of the word “lay“. We should therefore all be mindful of the fact that Jesus’s body (during the 3 day and 3 night Atonement) was laid in a tomb, as we read in Matthew 27:59&60, “And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.” and Moreover, in 1 John 3:16, we read that Jesus laid down His Life for us (as we must similarly be willing to die for the brethren’s sake, “Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.

The Believers are Both the Lively Building Stones and Co-Laborers with Jesus Christ, Who is Both The Chief Corner Stone and the Chief Master Builder

And 1 Corinthians 3:16 we are explicitly told that a physical temple, like the one that was destroyed in 70AD, is no longer in view as we read, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are.”

The believers are also not only the “lively stones” in the wall, but are also “co-builders” of that wall with Jesus Christ, as we are informed in 1 Corinthians 3:9-11. “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, [ye are] God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilderI have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Note how this is also consistent with the last words of Nehemiah 2:16…as “the rest that did the work” is historically referring to those co-laborers with Nehemiah in building the earthly wall of the physical Jerusalem, who spiritually represent the believers with Jesus Christ in building the eternal church encompassing the New Jerusalem.

1 Corinthians 3:12-17 goes on to add, “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. ¶Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are.” The holy temple of God is now being made up of people, some will be the precious elements and stones dedicated to God and endure the trial by fire come Judgment Day, while others, who will come in the the external body, the corporate church vice the eternal church, who are not part of God’s elect, will be burned and lost forever.

So that there can be absolutely no doubt that the holy temple of God could never, ever, again be defined by physical stones and mortar (whether in Jerusalem or anywhere else for that matter), we read in Ephesians 2:19-22, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God: And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone: In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

In 2 Corinthians 6:16, we read, “…Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said (see Ezekiel 37:26 &27), I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

And note this harmony showing the difference between and earthly, temporal abode and an eternal, heavenly abode as we read in 2 Corinthians 5:1&2, “For we know that if our earthly house of [this] tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

Hebrews 8:1&2 “¶ Now of the things which we have spoken [this is] the sum:We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Jesus is our High Priest after the order of Melchizedek Psalm 110:4.

Acts 7:48-50, “¶Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven [is] my throne, and earth [is] my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what [is] the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things?

Acts 17:24God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

The Earthly Temple Was Only Intended as an Allegorical “Figure” of the True Eternal Temple of God Surrounded by the New Jerusalem Consisting of All Believers Throughout Time

Finally, we are instructed by God beginning in Hebrews 9:11 and continuing all the way to the end of the chapter Hebrews 9:28 that the earthy temple was just a “figure” (“type”) of the eternal Temple of God in Heaven can never be built with human hands. “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with handsthat is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us]. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And 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. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament [is] of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first [testament] was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle,and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. [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. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, [which are] the figures of the truebut into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 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.

Conclusion: The Role of the Earthy Temple of God Permanently Ceased with Jesus’s Death on the Cross!

To more clearly understand why there could never again be any need for an earthly, physical temple of God following the death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, we have only to search the scriptures to review what happened at the precise moment of His death.  We read in Matthew 27:51, Mark 15:38, and Luke 23:45 that, at that very moment, the veil of the temple was rent in twain (torn in two) from top to bottom.  The result was that the “Holiest of all,” (see Hebrews 9:3) the tabernacle altar of God (where only the high priest, alone, could venture once a year to make an atoning sacrifice of blood on the Day of Atonement) which had heretofore always been hidden from outside view by the veil, had now been fully exposed by God to show that the sign or figure that the “Holiest of all” of the temple represented had been perfectly fulfilled in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ; as He was both the sacrificial Lamb of God and the High Priest that offered the perfect atoning blood sacrifice.  God was showing that the function of the earthly temple had come to an end! (Read all of Hebrews chapter 9 to see that this is so).   Although the Jewish high priest (Caiaphas) no doubt rushed in to repair the torn veil so that he, and the other Jewish high priests that followed him, could continue the yearly atonement sacrificial rite until the physical temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., the priestly action would have been pure vanity and rebellion against God.  They could not have had any effect or substance so far as God’s plan of salvation was concerned.  In fact, (according to Isaiah 66:1-4) they would have only been an abomination in God’s sight (because by carrying out those rites, the Jews were continuing to deny that Jesus Christ had come to fulfill the law of sacrifice, which had all along been the sole focal point of the blood sacrifices that were carried out in the temple before Christ died).  This is the most likely reason why God finally allowed the physical temple in Jerusalem to be destroyed for the second (and last) time, and why he scattered the Jews (until our day).  Additionally, because God also subsequently allowed the Islamic Dome of the Rock to be built on the temple site in Jerusalem, the Jews have been, and will continue to be, prevented from rebuilding the temple ever again (despite the fact that the Jews have had political sovereignty over Jerusalem since 1967) right up to the time of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ on the clouds of Glory that will herald Judgment Day.

Finally, so there can be no doubt whatsoever regarding the Future of the Holy Temple of God, we read in Revelation 21:10-21 about the New Jerusalem, “that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,” and that, within that magnificent City (having light, and walls of gold and precious stones that typify the believers), there was “no temple”, because as we read in the next verse, Revelation 21:22, “¶And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.“!!!

Postscript: Revelation 14 also mentions the temple (and altar) as being in Heaven as we read in: Revelation 14:17&18, “And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.” Similarly, we read in Revelation 15:5, “And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:”

The Road to Emmaus

Posted September 26, 2022 by bereansearching
Categories: Bible Studies

Tags:
An Ancient Road, Source Unknown

The Road to Emmaus: Coming to Know Jesus, The Way, The Truth and The Life

In Luke 24:13-35, we are confronted with a most interesting account where two of Jesus’s disciples (one of whom is named Cleopas*) did not recognize Jesus after His Resurrection when He met them along their journey on the Road to Emmaus.  Jesus’s Identity was initially withheld from those disciples.

In Luke 24:13 & 14, we read where two of Jesus’s disciples were walking and talking together about the recent events (Jesus’s crucifixion on Friday, and His body being found to be missing on the morning of that very same Sunday morning when the disciples were heading (evidently downhill, from Jerusalem) to Emmaus, “And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem [about] threescore furlongsAnd they talked together of all these things which had happened.”

A few things to note here.  The two disciples were on their way to the village of Emmaus. Emmaus means “hot springs/warm springs”, which, when we view this account from a spiritual perspective, could be viewed as an allegorical reference to hell. Moreover, “threescore” is sixty, which contains the number “six” which is associated with mankind having been created on the “sixth” day. So yes, the disciples, prior to “knowing Jesus” were being used in this account to represent all of mankind, who apart from Divine intervention, would otherwise remain in sin darkened blindness, travelling together down the road to hell. The Good News is that, as we will learn more below, Jesus met them along the way and their eyes were opened and they knew Him indicating that they were among the elect and and therefore also represent all who are to be saved through the faith and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ!   

In Luke 24:15, we next read that, “And it came to pass, that, while they communed [together] and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.” 

As we noted previously in the study of the Book of Ruth, when the Bible says that “it came to pass”, it is almost always alerting us to the fact that something significant is about to unfold. The significant event developed while the two disciples were communing together and reasoning together on the road to Emmaus.  The word “reasoning” is translated from the Greek word, G4802 συζητέω syzētéō, which means to “enquire”, “discuss”, “dispute”, and it is not unlike what we read in the Old Testament in the translation from Hebrew of Isaiah 1:18, “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.” We also know, from Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Their eyes were holden

In Luke 24:16, we read where even though Jesus drew near to them and joined with the two disciples on that road, we read in “But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.” They did not have “the eyes to see” that it was Jesus, and, therefore, they could not know Him. [For more on “eyes to see”, please see the-hearing-ear-and-the-seeing-eye/]

However, a bit later we read in Luke 24:27, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”  Later on, in verse Luke 24:31, we read, “And their eyes were opened, and they knew him;.”  We see this repeated again later in Luke 24:44&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 meThen opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,”  

None of us can “understand the scriptures” if we do not have our eyes opened by God to see that Jesus is the Fulfillment of all the Old Testament scriptures.

This point is 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 Acts 10:43, 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

We can see, therefore, that effectively the entire Bible has been precisely crafted by Godby 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 Matthew 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.

It would appear that God’s intent was to initiate a discussion between Jesus and the two disciples to create an account that provides the believer with insights on how God intervenes in our lives to lead us into truth from the scriptures. At the outset, the disciples were “blind” with respect to “seeing” and “knowing” Jesus from the Old Testament scriptures.

Proverbs 20:12, “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them. God must give the person the spiritual eyesight to see Jesus in the Old Testament.

Psalm 119:18, “Open thou mine eyesthat I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” Jesus is the “wondrous” thing to behold in the law (the scriptures of the Bible).

Luke 24:17, “And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?” Jesus enquired of the disciples to explain their bewilderment and the associated sorrow it was causing.

Luke 24:18, “And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?” The disciples were astonished that this person could not be aware of what had just happened in Jerusalem and therefore wondered if he was a stranger.

*Cleopas (G2810 Κλεοπᾶς , meaning “of a renowned father”) may or not be the same person as Jesus’s named uncle on Jesus’s mother’s, Mary’s, side, Cleophas (G2832 Κλωπᾶς, meaning “my exchanges”). Please see John 19:25. At a minimum, we can say that, based on Luke 24:18, the disciple, Cleopas, was representative of all of the children of God, Who is our Renowned Father in Heaven.

Luke 24:19, “And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:”

Luke 24:20-22, “And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.” The disciples believed that Jesus was the Messiah, the Redeemer of National Israel, but yet instead of “saving” them, Jesus was put to death by cruxifixction! The disciples’ faith and understanding was carnally focused, and not spiritually focused, and moreover, they were looking for a “political” savior/redeemer and did not understand that Jesus was the Eternal Spiritual Sacrificial Lamb of God, Who came to save the eternal Israel from all sin.

But the disciples were also baffled because they also wondered that perhaps Jesus could have been resurrected from the dead on that very morning, Resurrection Sunday morning, because of what these disciples report next, but it is clear that they still were doubting.

Luke 24:22&23, “Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.” The tomb was empty, Jesus’s body was not there, the “certain women” (“Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary [the mother] of James, and other [women]” according to Luke 24:10. Salome was another of the women, Mark 16:1) who told the apostles what had happened but, according to Luke 24:11, “their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

Luke 24:24, “And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.” John 20:1-10 provides the most detail regarding the reaction of Peter and John, who ran to the sepulchre and also found the tomb empty along with the burial cloths. Notably, we read in John 20:8&9, that “Then went in also that other disciple, which came first tothe sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” They saw and believed that the tomb was empty and Jesus’s body was gone, but nothing more than that.

Luke 24:25, ”Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Jesus was rebuking the disciples, in calling them fools (from the Greek, ἀνόητος (anoētos) G453 ), which meant that they were unwise and lacked understanding (of heart to believe) all of the scriptures. Apart from the direct intervention of God, everyone in the world is exactly the same as these disciples. We are all “unwise” and “lack understanding” unless and until the Holy Spirit of God opens our spiritual eyes and ears to understand the scriptures. We must also remember that the two disciples Road to Emmaus encounter with Jesus was prior to Jesus’s Ascension, and before the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is required to quicken the believer, which means to make alive, also known as the new birth in the Spirit. When that happens we can see Jesus with our spiritual eyes and hear with our spiritual ears and become His true disciples.

Remember that Jesus said in John 14:15&16, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [eventhe Spirit of truthwhich proceedeth from the Fatherhe shall testify of me:” …And…

John 14:26, “But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” …And…

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.

Luke 24:26, “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?Isaiah 53:1-12 makes this clear, but so do many other scriptures as is indicated next with Jesus expositions of the scriptures.

Luke 24:27, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophetshe expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” It is worth repeating once again that, 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 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 Acts 10:43, 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” And finally, remember that Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 , “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” Jesus Is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament scriptures!

Luke 24:28 & 29, “And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.” But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.” Abide is from the Greek word, μένω (menō) G3306, which means to “dwell” or “sojourn”, and the word “tarry” is the same Greek word. We want to be like Jacob at “Peniel” (“the face of God”) in Genesis 32:26-30 where Jacob was named Israel by God and where Jacob would not let God go without first receiving God’s blessing.

Jesus is the Bread of Life, He was broken for the believers, and Jesus imparts it to the believers to open their eyes to know Him out of the Old Testament. 

Luke 24:30&31, “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 he vanished out of their sight.”  Note the introduction again, “And it came to pass”!

Note how well this account meshes with Luke 24:35, “And they told what things [were done] in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

The key point so clear here is that Jesus has to “break the bread” for the believers.  Jesus also has to first bless the bread for the believers. Jesus has to give the bread to the believers. Hallelujah!

We know that Jesus is the “The Bread of Life” according to John 6:35, “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” And in John 6:48, Jesus said, “I am that bread of life.”  

Moreover, Jesus Himself had to be broken, remember where the communion was instituted at the Last (Passover) Supper, Jesus gave the disciples pieces of broken bread and said according to Matthew 26:26, “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed [it] and brake [it], and gave [it] to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.”

In Luke 22:19 we read, “And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake [it], and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.”

In 1 Corinthians 11:23 & 24 we get some further important elaboration from God via Paul, “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the [same] night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake [it], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.” 

So Jesus was saying that He is that Bread of Life that was broken for the believers, and given for them as a substitutionary atoning sacrifice, and that they must eat in remembrance of Him.  And when the two disciples received the bread from Jesus in the Road to Emmaus account, “their eyes were opened and they knew Him.” The two disciples recognized Jesus for Who He Is and they knew Him!  

Remembering in John 1:14 that Jesus is the Word made flesh, “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.” Therefore, when Jesus had opened the Word of God unto the disciples, “beginning at Moses and all the prophetshe expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” Jesus was exposing Himself, symbolized by that broken bread, as their Lord God and Savior and they had their spiritual eyes opened to see Him!  

Although Jesus immediately vanished out of the physical sight of the disciples, Jesus remained in the spiritual sight of the disciples and the following was the result…

Luke 24:32, “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?

They recounted how their hearts burned within them!  That should be the exact same feeling that every believer should have when Jesus is expounded out Moses (the first five books of the Bible), and all the prophets and all the scriptures concerning Jesus Christ! Jesus is the essence and fulfillment of all the Old Testament scriptures as 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.” It cannot get any more plain than that! The Bereansearching Blog (https://bereansearching.com) is dedicated to this exact same purpose.

The account describes two disciples who were on a path away from the Holy City who did not see that Jesus had to fulfill the requirements of the Old Testament sacrificial laws…that He had to be both the Lamb of God and the office of the High Priest that offers up that Sacrifice, the Kinsman Redeemer (as in Ruth), the Saviour in Psalms, the Fulfillment of the Types of the Great men of faith as listed by example in Hebrews 11:32. But once Jesus expounded and opened up to them out of all the scriptures concerning Himself, they understood that something new and amazing was going on. They begged for Jesus to dwell with them and then, when Jesus broke the bread for them, they suddenly “knew” Him.

Jesus Follows-up Immediately Thereafter with All the Disciples

The two disciples went back to Jerusalem that same hour to the eleven remaining disciples to tell them what had just taken place and then we read how Jesus similarly opens the understanding of the disciples to the Old Testament scriptures concerning Himself:

Luke 24:33-36, “And they rose up the same hour, and returned toJerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.And they told what things [were done] in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread. ¶ And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you.” And then after showing He had risen from the dead, and was not a spirit as they supposed, He ate some broiled fish and honeycomb in front of them and then in Luke 24:44-49, we see Jesus opening their understanding to the Old Testament scriptures, “And he 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, ¶And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning atJerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” The Gift of the Holy Spirit being promised by Jesus, which was fulfilled on Pentecost 33AD.

Conclusion

The meaning of the Road to Emmaus…and it is the Key to Unveiling the Mystery of the Bible…is that the entire Bible (both the Old Testament and New Testaments) is all about the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ to bring salvation to sinners! Moreover, unless God “breaks the bread” by opening the Bible to us, the law of Moses, the prophets, and in the psalms, and the whole rest of the Bible concerning Jesus, we will remain in ignorance of the Truth.

(Please see also: https://bereansearching.com/2021/12/12/exalting-the-person-and-work-of-jesus-christ-the-key-to-unveiling-the-mystery-of-the-bible-a-typological-interpretive-guide-to-biblical-understanding/)

Post Script:

For a more flowery, but no less valid summary account of the meaning of the Road to Emmaus, it is recommended that the reader also take a look at this dissertation by Spurgeon from the 1880s in England:

Spurgeon on the Road to Emmaus Part 1

Spurgeon on the Road to Emmaus Part 2

“Widows”, “Fatherless”,”Strangers” (and “Poor”): A Spiritual Understanding of the Biblical Books of Ruth and Esther: Jesus Is in Both Books!

Posted September 16, 2022 by bereansearching
Categories: Bible Studies

Tags: , , , , ,
The casting of “pur” or “lot” in the Book of Esther is like the rolling of dice, but as we know from Proverbs 16:33, “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.

The Only Two Books With Women’s Names

It is far more than mere coincidence that the only two books in the entire Bible which are named after women, Ruth and Esther, also happen to provide historical accounts of women who are, respectively,  “widows” (Ruth and Naomi, and Ruth was also a “stranger”, and because they were destitute they were also most certainly “poor”) and “fatherless” (Esther was an orphan raised up by her elder cousin, Mordecai).  Why is that?  We can begin to find the answer by searching God’s word, the Bible, to find that in Psalm 68:5, God declares, “A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, [is] God in his holy habitation.” Then in Jeremiah 49:11, “Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve [them] alive; and let thy widows trust in me.”  In Zechariah 7:8-10 we read, “And the word of the Lord came unto Zechariah, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.” Also in Psalms 10:13&14, “Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require [it]. Thou hast seen [it]; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite [it] with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.

In Psalm 146:9,The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.”  

Moreover back in Deuteronomy 10:17-19 we read, “For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

We also read in the New Testament in James 1:2, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Moreover, God classifies them together with the “stranger” as we read in Deuteronomy 27:19, “Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen.”  Finally we read in Jeremiah 20:13, “Sing unto the LORD, praise ye the LORD: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.”

In each of the two historical accounts provided in the books of Esther and Ruth, we will see God’s mercy and providence bestowed on those who would otherwise be entirely destitute and without any hope apart from God’s mercy alone.  Moreover, God is not mentioned once in Esther and only alluded to a few times in Ruth.  The best explanation is that God deliberately chose to remain hidden from direct view when dealing with those two women, who each are chosen as allegorical representatives of God’s beloved eternal Bride (the elect of God, His church).  Nonetheless, God’s providential care, mercy, and love for His Bride shines forth brightly for all to see.

Those two earthly, historically accurate, accounts of God’s providential mercy and lover for the destitute “fatherless” orphan (Esther) and “widows” (Naomis and Ruth, and Ruth as a “Moabitess“, was also a “stranger”) were provided by God in the Books of Esther and Ruth to typify His magnificent salvation plan, in which God displays His eternal spiritual mercy and love, by grace alone, to destitute sinners, who would otherwise be entirely without hope apart from the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Each book displays God’s complete mastery over time and space, involving supernatural ironies and challenges to faith, that glorify God in the process, and give us insights into Who God Is, and about His love for His saints, His Bride (the church), as made possible only through the intercessional and substitutional sacrifice of His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus came to save sinners, and all of us are sinners, who are by nature (due to the original sin)…and destitute spiritual “widows”, “orphans”, “strangers” and “poor”.   However, by God’s grace alone, through the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ alone, salvation is obtained for those whom God the Father draws to Jesus according to John 6:44.

A detailed exposition on the Book of Esther has already been produced that can be found here: https://bereansearching.wordpress.com/2009/09/19/an-exposition-of-the-book-of-esther/. In that exposition it is shown that Esther, as an otherwise destitute “fatherless” orphan, was established by God as a typological representation of the body of believers from throughout the world (both Jews and Gentiles) who would ultimately co-share in God’s Kingdom as the Bride of Jesus Christ. In this historical “parable”, Mordechai, Esther’s elder, and nearest living relative, served as a nurturing savior to Esther, and guided her and her people in a time of great affliction to safety from their mortal enemies.  Mordechai, who was eventually elevated to the right hand of the King in glory and honor, is shown in that exposition to have been clearly and unequivocally established by God as a typological representation of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But what about Ruth?  It has already been pointed out by another writer, Warren W Wiersbe,[1] that there are some amazing twists and counterpoints when the two books are viewed together from the purely historical perspective.  Wiersbe correctly points out in one example that first, “The Book of Ruth tells the story of a Gentile who married a Jew and became ancestress of the Messiah (Jesus Christ),” while, “The book of Esther introduces us to a Jewess who married a Gentile and was used of God to save the Jewish nation from destruction so that the Messiah (Jesus Christ) could be born.” Both accounts are miraculous and glorify God in the events and the recording of them.

[1] Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Committed: An Old Testament Study- Ruth And Esther, SP Publications, Inc, 1993 (ISBN 1-56476-067-7)

But what about the spiritual perspective as was already exposited for Esther?  Are there similar parallels that we might find in the Book of Ruth?

Yes!, Indeed there are! Please see the newly completed study of the Book of Ruth here: https://bereansearching.com/2011/09/21/widowsstrangers-and-poor-a-spiritual-understanding-of-the-book-of-ruth/

A Christian Perspective on the Book of Nahum: “Comfort” and “Vengeance”

Posted July 20, 2022 by bereansearching
Categories: Bible Studies

The Nergal Gate seen guarding the ancient city of Nineveh.
Restored by Saddam Hussein and Destroyed in by ISIL in 2016 (Credit: Lachicaphoto/WikiCommons)

Prophecy of God’s Just Judgment against Nineveh, the capital of Assyria (and its king Sennacherib?); Comfort for Those Who Trust in God, but Vengeance for God’s Enemies

The Book of Nahum begins with these words, “The burden of Nineveh.” And we next read that it is a book of the “vision” provided by God to Nahum (נַחוּם (naḥûm) H5151) meaning “Comfort” and “Consolation” (but sometimes ruefully and with lamentation), the Elkoshite (אֶלְקשִׁי (‘elqšî) H512), meaning “gathered” or “ensnared” by God. The “burden” of the “vision” is that the book is a prophesy of judgment against Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, in punishment for its destruction of Israel and all of Judah except Jerusalem. But it is also a book of “Comfort” to all those whom God “gathers” or “ensnares”. Remember that Jesus said in John 6:44, “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.” And in Ephesians 1:10, “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; [even] in him:” or in Matthew 3:12 where we read of John the Baptist talking about Jesus coming on Judgment Day, “Whose fan [is] in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garnerbut he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” And as we will see, Nineveh is an historical allegorical “type” representing all of God’s enemies, the unsaved, who will be destroyed by fire on Judgment Day.

Note: Interestingly, Noah נֹחַ (nōaḥ) H5146, whose means “Rest” or “Consolation“, also relates in a way to Nahum (נַחוּם (naḥûm) H5151 as we read in Genesis 5:29, “And he called his name Noah, saying, This [same] shall comfort נָחַם (nāḥam)  H5162 us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.” This word for “comfort” נָחַם (nāḥam)  H5162 , which is used here to pertain to Noah, is the root word from which Nahum (נַחוּם (naḥûm) H5151 is derived.

Historical Context of Nahum:

The Book of Nahum is from approximately 700 BC, or perhaps around one hundred years or more after Jonah (When Nineveh was first spared by God, by His Grace, when the people repented upon hearing the preaching of God’s Word by Jonah His prophet…please see: https://bereansearching.com/2009/09/19/a-christian-study-of-the-book-of-jonah/). However, the more recent pronouncements of God against Nineveh via Nahum are entirely judgmental, foretelling only destruction.

Sennacherib Was God’s Axe Against Israel

1) Isaiah chapter 10 (about the same time as Nahum, ~ 700 BC) describes how God used Assyria as an instrument of Judgment in his hand. Verse 5, “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.” Isaiah 10:15 also tells us why God would violently remove Sennacherib…because Sennacherib was like an axe boasting against the Hewer Who used it, as opposed to God raising up Sennacherib and using Assyria as an axe to punish Israel and the majority of all of Judah, except Jerusalem (for apostasy) “Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? [or] shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake [itself] against them that lift it up, [or] as if the staff should lift up [itself, as if it were] no wood.” The book also pronounces the just judgment and the related destruction of Nineveh (and it being forever only as a place of only beasts grazing (which is still the case today) and as later also foretold in Zephaniah 2:13-1).  King Sennecherib, the King of Assyria, was defeated upon besieging Jerusalem by the Angel of the LORD during the reign of King Hezekiah (2Ki 19:35-39, Isa 37:36–382Ch 32:20–23 ). The Bible tells us in those passages that Sennecherib subsequently returned to Nineveh and was murdered by two of his sons. The timing is not entirely clear, but it was roughly around 700 BC more or less. Later, in complete fulfillment of Nahum’s prophecy, Nineveh was ultimately completely sacked and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar around 612 BC.

Inside the Old Walls of Nineveh in 2019, currently occupied by squatters, no paved roads north of the Korsr River (Credit: Levi Clancy/WikiCommons)

However, Jeremiah 50:17 & 18 tells us of the latter’s (Babylon’s) fate as well, “Israel [is] a scattered sheep; the lions have driven [him] away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones. Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria.

God Used Evil Kings Against Israel Three Times, But Later Destroyed Those Evil Kings

Note also that just as God raised up Sennacherib in Assyria to bring judgment/punishment to Israel and Judah, and then later disposes of that ruler, it is consistent with God raising up Pharaoh in Moses day to serve God’s purposes (Romans 9:17 & 18, “For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.”), and then later similarly with Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. The Bible student should in particular note the clear comparison with what we read in Isaiah 14 we read in verse 4, “That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar), and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!” and then in verses 12-15, that the king of Babylon is likened to the devil because we read, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” The devil in his pride sought to be like God, yet we know from Proverbs 16:18 that, “Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

God states that it is a “proverb” because in all three cases, all three of these rulers were used of God as tools in His Hand, and because they were full of pride, they were all then were brought low, and, ultimately, they and their kingdoms were destroyed. Isaiah 14 teaches us that God was using them as allegorical lessons to show us what God has done with the devil and what God will do to the devil on Judgment Day. This is the comfort and consolation to the saints of God. There is mercy to God’s chosen people, and also judgment and justice brought upon God’s (and the believers’) enemies on Judgment Day.

2) 2 Kings 19:5-7, “So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.” Please also note that this wording is identical (word for word) to what we read in Isaiah 37:5-7, “So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say unto your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.” Another very similar, but not identical recount, can also found in 2Chronicles 32:9-22.

As mentioned above, not only was the king of Assyria, Sennacherib to be eliminated, but the capital of Assyria, Nineveh, would also be laid completely waste as we read in Zephaniah 2:13-15, (about 70 years later in ~630 BC) “And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, [and] dry like a wilderness”. And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work. This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand.”

The Exposition of the Book of Nahum

Chapter 1: It begins with “The burden of Nineveh”

The “Burden of Nineveh” is a sign that God is about to pronounce a judgment against Nineveh. However, Nahum, means “Comfort” or “Consolation” from the Hebrew word נַחוּם (naḥûm) H5151 and is derived from the Hebrew root word נָחַם (nāḥam) H5162 and he is an Elkoshite (meaning “Gathered” or “Ensnared” by God). Nahum was from an area that is not specifically known. However, Capernaum, which literally means “Nahum’s village”, is located on the northwest shore of Galilee. Capernaum was the home of Peter, Andrew, and Matthew and Jesus moved there after leaving Nazareth. We read in Matthew 4:13, “And leaving Nazareth, he (Jesus) came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:

(First SIDE NOTE: Nehemiah, for whom the Book of Nehemiah concerns, also is derived from the Hebrew root word for comfort, נָחַם (nāḥam) H5162, and his name means “Jehovah Comforts”. Please also see: Nehemiah.

(Second SIDE NOTE: Jesus pronounced a judgment against Capernaum later in Matthew 11:23, “And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.“)

God’s Vengeance Upon His Enemies

Next we read in verse 2 that God is “jealous” and “furious” and that God will “take vengeance”(נָקַם) against His adversaries/enemies. We know that this is consistent with what we read in many places in the Bible such as Deuteronomy 32:35, “To me belongeth vengeance (Naqam נָקָם), and recompence; their foot shall slide in [due] time: for the day of their calamity [is] at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.” and 32:41, “If I whet my glittering sword (Barak H1300 For more on Barak, please see: https://bereansearching.com/2009/09/19/the-battle-of-armageddon-the-earthly-version-already-happened/), and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance (Naqam נָקָם) to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.” and 32:43, “Rejoice, O ye nations, [with] his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance (Naqam נָקָם) to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, [and] to his people.” Next in Isaiah 34:8, similarly we read where in the context of the end of the world and Judgment Day, “For [it is] the day of the LORD’S vengeance (Naqam נָקָם), [and] the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.” Also in Isiah 63:4, “For the day of vengeance (Naqam נָקָם) is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.” Micah 5:15 also says, “And I will execute vengeance (Naqam נָקָם) in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.”

In the New Testament, in Luke 21:22, we read that Jesus said just before the end, during the great tribulation in the advent to Judgment Day, “For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” We are reminded of this in Romans 12:19, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” We get a little more insight on this in 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9, “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

And we can derive additional confirmation when we look at these verses speaking prophetically of Jesus Christ coming as Judge on Judgment Day in Isaiah 59:17&18, “For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance (Naqam נָקָם) [for] clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke. According to [their] deeds, accordingly he will repayfury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.” This is corroborated in Jeremiah 46:10, “For this [is] the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance (Naqam נָקָם), that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice* in the north country by the river Euphrates.

* The reference to the LORD’s sacrifice is interesting because we also see in Zephaniah 1:7&8 that there is similar wording, “Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD [is] at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD’S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.” It appears very likely that God is declaring that Judgment Day will also be to Him “the day of the LORD’S sacrifice“. Other verses that support that view can be found in Ezekiel 39:17-19, “And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field,Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, [even] a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.” But the reader should read on the end of the chapter to see that the eternal Israel of God will nonetheless be fully restored as we read in the last verse, Eze 39:29, “Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

We also know from Revelation 14:10&11 that the wicked, who worship the beast rather than God, will burn forever at Judgment Day like a sacrifice on an alter, “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

God’s Comfort to His Church

However, we are also reminded in verse 3, and provided this “comfort” and “consolation“, that “The LORD [is] slow to anger, and great in power,” and that God is just because He, “will not at all acquit [the wicked]:” Interestingly, God tells us in Isaiah 35:4 that, “Say to them [that are] of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come [with] vengeance (Naqam נָקָם), [even] God [with] a recompence; he will come and save you.” We again see here how God promises and provides comfort and salvation to His people, the believing Christians, because God will utterly destroy His enemies with a recompensing “vengeance.”

So then, regardless or where we look in the Bible, we continue to see this amazing consistency with what we know is true for the enemies of God (the unsaved of the world), whereby their recompense is eternal death in Hell, while the comfort for the believers is the promise of eternal life in Heaven with God as we are told in Romans 6:3, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Although much of the rest of Chapter 1 is more about God’s wrath and judgment, God also makes clear by Nahum that the only place of safety from that wrath and judgment is with Him. In verse 7, we read more comfort and consolation, “The LORD [is] good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” It is also useful to go back to read Psalm 103, all of it, but verse 8 reminds us again that, “The LORD [is] merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

Finally, specifically dealing with the word “Comfort” in times of trouble, we find these “comforting” words penned by the Apostle Paul under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit in 2 Corinthians 1:3&2, “Blessed [be] God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

Breaking the Yoke of Bondage

Note however that God seems to indirectly mention the King of Assyria, Sennacherib (and therefore allegorically the devil) because we read in verse 11, “There is [one] come out of thee, that imagineth evil against the LORD, a wicked counsellor.” and later in verse 13 is the comfort (historically to Israel and Judah, and spiritually to all believers in Jesus) that, “For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.” Jesus Is the Only One to break our bonds to sin, death, and the devil, and to plunder the devil’s house of bondage, as we read where Jesus, reading from Isaiah 61:1-2 in the synagogue in Luke 4:18-21, said, “The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave [it] again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Isaiah 61:2 is the Book of Nahum in a Nutshell

Very interestingly what was not mentioned in the Luke account, but is at the end of Isaiah 61:2, “To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance (Naqam נָקָם) of our God; to comfort (Nahum נָחַם) all that mourn;” There it is!… just like we are learning about the Book of Nahum, it is a book of God’s “comfort” (Nahum נָחַם) to the believers and God’s “vengeance” (Naqam נָקָם) to the unbelieving world.

NOTE TO THE READER: We should all pay close attention to three things…

1) In the Luke account, It was Jesus Who “opened the book” of Isaiah in verse 17, because it is really only Jesus, as the Son of God, Who can “open” “the book” (as we also read in Revelation, chapter 5);

2) and it was Jesus Who “closed the book half way through the second verse of Isaiah 61:2, after which Jesus said “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”; and

3) The reason that Jesus “closed the book” at that point is because the rest of the verse is pointing directly to Judgment Day, at which time Jesus will bring vengeance for God’s enemies and comfort to the believers.  Jesus had to “close the book” if He was going to say the prophesy was “fulfilled” in their ears that day! Jesus could not go any further in the text, and had to stop mid-verse, because Judgment Day is only going to be fulfilled at the “end of the world”!  That is pretty amazing when you stop to think about it!

Remember also that in Revelation 3:7 we read that only Jesus has the “key of David” and only Jesus Is The One Who “openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;” and in Revelation 5:5, that Only Jesus “the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book“. What is also a comfort, is that Jesus said that The Father would send, in Jesus’s Name, the “Comforter” God, the Holy Ghost (John 14:26), Who is also the “Spirit of Truth” Who would lead His sheep into “all Truth” and He would speak of Jesus (John 15:26, and John 16:7-13. Believers are given the promise that Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, would open the book (the Bible) for us to see Jesus.  In Luke 4, Jesus specifically said that He would open the eyes of the blind…”recovering of sight to the blind.” See also:   Pro 25:2Pro 20:12Psa 119:18

Lastly, it is most interesting that in Isaiah 34:16 God tells us directly to read “the book” (the Bible), “Seek yeout 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.

Bringing the Gospel of Peace and Comfort to a Sin Darkened World

Finally there is the promise of comfort and consolation for the believers who are used by God to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ in verse 15, the last verse of Nahum, Chapter 1, “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.” Note how God cross-references to this in Isaiah 52:7-10, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

Finally, in Romans 10:15, we are provided additional spiritual context with regard to preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Chapters 2 and 3: Prophesies that Focus on Nineveh’s Judgment and Destruction

Nebuchadnezzar Was God’s Hammer Used to Destroy Nineveh

Verse 1, of Chapter 2, says “He that dasheth in pieces is come up before thy face…” but it can also be translated as a hammer that dashes in pieces. This seems to suggest, correctly that God would use Babylon to means by which God would destroy Nineveh (and hence Assyria) as we read how Babylon is called the “hammer of the whole earth” in Jeremiah 50:23, “How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!” The prophesy was fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar, in the first year of his reign in Babylon, in conjunction with Cyaxares, or Ahasuerus, king of the Medes, conquered Nineveh, and made himself master of the Assyrian monarchy. Nonetheless, we should also remember Jeremiah 23:29, “[Is] not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer [that] breaketh the rock in pieces?” that Jesus is the “Word made flesh” and He is like a consuming fire and a hammer that will smash God’s enemies into dust on Judgment Day.

[NOTE: Jeremiah 50, verses 17 and 18, also make it clear that the same destruction that befell Sennecherib and Nineveh (Assyria’s capital), will likewise befall Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon, “Israel [is] a scattered sheep; the lions have driven [him] away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones. Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria.” And it is also noteworthy that both Nineveh and Babylon are uninhabited to this day]

And more corroboration can be found in Exodus 15: 6 we read, “Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. Jesus Is frequently described as Being the “Right Hand” of God the Father, and there are many verses that show this, but these help to clarify…Psalm 118:16, “The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.”; Psalm 138:7, “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.”; and Psalm 139:10, “Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” And we also know from 1 Peter 3:22, that Jesus, now in Heaven, “is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him“.

Verse 2 is a difficult verse because the language can be interpreted multiple ways. The King James Translation reads as, “For the LORD hath turned away the excellency of Jacob, as the excellency of Israel: for the emptiers have emptied them out, and marred their vine branches.” The word “hath turned away” is from the Hebrew word “Shoob” (שׁוּב) and is found over 1000 times in the Old Testament and can mean variously “return”, “return again”, “turn”, “turn again”, “recover”, “recompense”, “withdraw”, or “requite”. And then the word “excellency” is from the Hebrew word “ga’on” (גָּאוֹן)H1347  found roughly 50 times in the Old Testament which can mean variously “pride”, “excellency”, “majesty” or “arrogancy.”

Some negative examples to consider include Psalm 59:12, “[For] the sin of their mouth [and] the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: H1347 and for cursing and lying [which] they speak.” and Proverbs 8:13, “The fear of the LORD [is] to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, H1347 and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” and Proverbs 16:18, “Pride H1347 [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

Some positive examples to consider are Exodus 15:7, describing Jesus, “And in the greatness of thine excellency H1347 thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, [which] consumed them as stubble.” and in Psalm 47:4, “He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellencyH1347  of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.”

So then, it may well be that we are seeing two things conveyed at once…much like bringing comfort and vengeance at the same time. This verse might be interpreted as saying either that God is returning, or coming back to Israel (and hence also Jacob), to restore its former “majesty”, or that God would “recompense” Assyria for its sin of “pride” and “arrogance” because “the emptiers have emptied them (Israel) out” and “and marred their (Israel’s) vine branches.” Assyria sacked and destroyed Israel and nearly all of Judah. Assyria “emptied” them. And it most certainly marred (the Hebrew word is most commonly interpreted as “destroyed”) Israel’s “vine branches”.

But then what about “vine branches”. This word phrase is also complicated. In the original Hebrew text it is “zᵊmôrâ” (זְמוֹרָה), which can be translated as something pruned, such as a “branch”, “twig”, “shoot”, or “slip”. And apparently, the word has a primarily negative connotation, because it refers to plants used in some form of idolatrous worship. We can see this in Isaiah 17:10, “Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips:” In Ezekiel Chapter 15, God describes Jerusalem as a useless vine fit only for the fire and in the last verse (15) declares, “And I will make the land desolate, because they have committed a trespass, saith the Lord GOD.” The key verse to consider is verse 2, which says, “Son of man, What is the vine tree more than any tree, or [than] a branch (zᵊmôrâזְמוֹרָה) which is among the trees of the forest? So it may be that God is reiterating that Israel and Judah were destroyed by the Assyrians (and later Jerusalem by the Babylonians) because of their idolatrous activities, and that everything associated with those activities was also destroyed.

Verse 3 reads as follows, “The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots [shall be] with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken.” Once again we have a difficult verse to understand. However, it does appear at this point that this verse is pointing towards the earthly judgment against Nineveh, as well as the upcoming supernatural Judgment Day at the end of the world. We know through comparison of scripture with scripture (spiritual things with spiritual things) that “mighty men” refers most often to those in league with God. The word for mighty in Hebrew is gibôr (גִּבּוֹר) H1368 which is found about 158 times in the Old Testament. When we look at Ruth Chapter 2:1, we read, “And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name [was] Boaz.” From our study of Ruth we know that Boaz was used of God to be a “type” of the Lord Jesus Christ. We also know that this same word is used by God to directly describe Jesus in Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mightyH1368 God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” In Zephaniah 3:17, it is absolutely clear that God is the “Mighty” One, “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee [is] mightyH1368; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

We also know that the words “red” and “scarlet” can be associated with blood, but also sin. It is interesting to note that the name Adam, the first man, means “Red”. Although the word for scarlet in this verse is unique, as seems to be referring to clothing having been “dyed red”, we do know from Isaiah 1:18 that, “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.” We also see references to red being likened to wine (and blood) from a winepress in Isaiah 63:1-4 and Revelation 14:19, and 14:20, “And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand [and] six hundred furlongs.” and Revelation 19:15.

And what about the “fir trees”? In Isaiah 60:13 we read that the fir tree represents the believers, “The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.” See also Isaiah 41:19 and 55:13.

In Hosea 14:8, we see: “Ephraim [shall] say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard [him], and observed him: I [am] like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.

But what about the chariots with “flaming torches”, the word for flaming in the original Hebrew is “‘ēš” (אֵשׁ)H784 meaning “fire”, and it is the same Hebrew word here in Genesis 19:24, “Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire H784 from the LORD out of heaven;

So it would seem, therefore, that God is bringing judgment with His mighty host with chariots of fire against Nineveh typifying the world and the believers are “terribly shaken”. This is consistent with what we read in Psalm 119:119,120, “Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth [like] dross: therefore I love thy testimonies. My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.

Verse 4

In verse 4 we get a clearer indication of the judgment being pronounced, because it evokes what we have found earlier in Judges, Chapter 4 where we learned about Barak and Deborah’s husband, Lapidoth (under the heading of “Barak, a Portrait of Jesus Christ as the Ultimate Judgehttps://bereansearching.com/2009/09/19/the-battle-of-armageddon-the-earthly-version-already-happened/). The same two words appear together again where similar decisive judgment is being pronounced against Nineveh, “The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches (lapid H3940), they shall run like the lightnings (barak H1300).” Although the literal, historical aspect of this prophesy was fulfilled about 612 BC, when the chariots of the Babylonians and of the Medes that would be going through the streets of Nineveh and bringing destruction to Nineveh, spiritually it was pointing to the end of the world on Judgment Day when Jesus will come as we read in Matthew 24:27, “...as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” And we also know that Jesus coming on Judgment Day was described by the Prophet Daniel in a terrifying vision in verse 10:6, “His body also [was] like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning (barak H1300), and his eyes as lamps (lapid H3940) of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.

Verses 5-10

These verses seem to make clear that God is going to destroy Nineveh completely. It appears that God will remember (“Recount”) the military men of Nineveh who will hastily attempt to defend the city at the wall, but they will “stumble. And then God would seem to be suggesting that a great river flood would wash away much of the city, including the palace. The Tigris River is immediately adjacent to Nineveh, the remaining ruins of which are today protected from flooding by a large dam upstream. The city would become defenseless and easy prey for the invaders to conquer and sack. The captives, labeled “Huzzab” meaning “to stand”, would in effect make their last stand and then be taken away as captives. We then see the name of the city clearly mentioned, Nineveh, which is compared to “of old like a pool of water.” From what it is possible to glean this phrase looking at the Hebrew etymology it seems to imply that the pool of water is polluted water. The cry goes out to “Stand, stand;”, “but none shall look back”, so effectively no one regards it. Then in verse 10, we read that all the gold and silver and all the things of desire within Nineveh are taken away and the city is left desolate.

Verses 11-13 describe Nineveh (the capital of the Assyrian Empire) as metaphorically having been the dwelling place of fearless, ravenous, young lions that devoured their prey (Israel and most of Judah), but the last verse makes clear that God had had enough of Nineveh and the Assyrian exploits and would completely destroy Nineveh, “Behold, I [am] against thee, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword shall devour thy young lions: and I will cut off thy prey from the earth, and the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard.” This is also consistent with what we read in Zephaniah 2:13-15, “And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, [and] dry like a wilderness. And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; [their] voice shall sing in the windows; desolation [shall be] in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work. This [is] the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I [am], and [there is] none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, [and] wag his hand.

Chapter 3 is a reiteration of the judgments promised in Chapter 2. Some notable points include the woes to Nineveh the “bloody city” and the judgments for its abominable whoredoms and witchcrafts that will involve the “glittering spear“(barak H1300) that result in dead corpses everywhere. When we read in verse 12, “All thy strong holds [shall be like] fig trees with the first ripe figs: if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater.” This is reminiscent of Judgment Day as described in Isaiah 34:4, “And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling [fig] from the fig tree.” The nakedness of Nineveh’s sins are exposed and there is no healing for the grievous wounds. The chapter ends without hope and everlasting destruction to Nineveh.

Conclusion

In the book of Nahum, Nineveh is used as a type for the world today prior to Judgment Day. Although the prophesy of destruction was made and fulfilled against Nineveh in roughly 621 BC, it is a prophesy that must be heeded today, as it is another of many prophesies pointing to the end of this world and Judgment Day when Jesus returns on the clouds of glory from Heaven to met out vengeance against all those in league with the devil. “Vengeance” is indeed coming from God to the unsaved of the world as we read in Psalms 58:11, “The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. So that a man shall say, Verily [there is] a reward for the righteousverily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.” Moreover, the book of Nahum also, by its very name, “Nahum”, means “comfort” and “consolation”, and it offers comfort and consolation to all believers, the ones made righteous, who are promised eternal salvation. And is not this comforting and also consistent with what was pointed out above earlier…that Jesus said that The Father would send, in Jesus’s Name, the “Comforter” God, the Holy Ghost (John 14:26), Who is also the “Spirit of Truth” Who would lead His sheep into “all Truth” and He would speak of Jesus (John 15:26, and John 16:7-13.

Regardless of what some might think, this book is not some useless minor book of prophesy with little relevance to the world today. It offers both “comfort” and “consolation” to the believers in Jesus Christ and promises of “vengeance” to those who never become saved. It is a chilling testimony of the realities that the Bible makes clear to anyone who has been given the spiritual eyes to see and ears to hear.

The End of Mockery 😐

Posted February 28, 2022 by bereansearching
Categories: Bible Studies

There are several verses in the Bible that relate to “mocking” (and despising, scorning, laughing at), and there is a clear end for those that mock, despise, scorn, or laugh at the things that pertain to God. When Jesus returns in the Clouds of Glory, all mocking will cease.

What do you think?

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

Job 12:3, I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn.

Genesis 19:4, “And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.

2 Kings 2: 23-24, “And he (Elisha) went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

2 Chronicles 36:15-17, “And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy.Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand.

Proverbs 30:17, “The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.”

Isaiah 28:22, “Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.”

Acts 17:32, “And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.”

Jude 1:18, “How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

The Hearing Ear and the Seeing Eye

Posted December 29, 2021 by bereansearching
Categories: Bible Studies


(Note to the reader, this study should be viewed as a cross-reference to another post, Isaiah Chapter 29: “A Book that is Sealed” https://bereansearching.com/2018/02/16/isaiah-chapter-29-a-book-that-is-sealed/)

In Proverbs 20:12 we are told something that is extremely important. “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them.

If a person is not physically deaf or physically blind at birth, or later by disease or accident, does not everyone have ears that hear and eyes that see? So what is the point of this verse?

The answer is that God is NOT talking about physical ears and physical eyes. God is talking about spiritual ears and spiritual eyes, which are NOT innate capabilities that form part of any natural human being’s anatomy. They have to be bestowed on a person by the grace of God (the Lord) alone to impart the new birth when a person is “born again” through the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit. The abilities to spiritually hear and spiritually see are solely the gift of God to whomever God chooses. And we know from Matthew 22:14, that Jesus clearly said, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” This means that there are going to be only a relatively few who have been given such spiritual ears and spiritual eyes because that gift is synonymous with salvation.

Moreover, God tells us plainly, in three passages in the Bible, why Jesus spoke in Parables:

  1. In Matthew 13:10-17 we read, “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.For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias (Isaiah 6:8-10), which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men 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.”
  2. 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.
  3. In Luke 8:9&10, we read , “And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

One has to wonder, “How this can be?”, given that God states so very clearly and plainly how He uses parables to veil the mystery of the kingdom of God from unbelievers. It makes absolutely no sense from the perspective of normal human reasoning. This is because it depends entirely on the supernatural intercession of God as He sees fit. Moreover, Jesus openly explains one of His parables (The Parable of the Sower as found in Matthew 13:3-9, Mark 4:3-9, Luke 8:5-8) which anyone can physically read in Matthew 13:10-16, Mark 4:14-20, Luke 8:11-15 (Please see the parable of the Sower here: https://bereansearching.com/2018/03/20/the-parable-of-the-sower-the-bibles-rosetta-stone/)…Nonetheless, it will mean nothing to an unbeliever beyond the merely intellectual. That is why at the end of the parable, Jesus said respectively in Matthew 13:9, Mark 4:9, Luke 8:8Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

The answer to this conundrum is that even if a parable is clearly explained to a person who remains an unbeliever (one whom God does not intend to “hear” or “see” or “perceive” or “understand” the meaning), then the salvation imbuing essence (The Holy Spirit) will not be manifest…and the Word of God will still remain completely veiled or hidden to that person. On the other hand, if God so chooses to save a person, then that person will be given the Holy Spirit and with Him the spiritual ears and spiritual eyes and have the Word of God applied to his or her heart. We also know that salvation through Jesus Christ is 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 also tells us in the Bible that the unbeliever, due to the Fall of Adam, is by nature rebellious, and therefore, by nature…apart from God’s direct intervention…will be completely unable to spiritually see or hear God through His Word. They are compared to those who are physically blind and deaf. Ezekiel 12:2 makes this clear when God told the prophet Ezekiel, “Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they [are] a rebellious house.

It is particularly important to remember back when Moses was lecturing Israel for its unbelief…even though the Israelites had seen many, many miracles in Egypt and in the wilderness with their “physical eyes” in Deuteronomy 29:4…”Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.” Those Israelites remained spiritually deaf and blind in unbelief. This is reiterated in Romans 11:5-8, “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.And if by grace, then [is it] no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if [it be] of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. ¶ What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (According as it is written [Deuteronomy 29:4, see also and Isaiah 6:10], God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear; ) unto this day.

And then Romans 15:21 makes clear to us that while the Israelites remained spiritually deaf and blind, the Gentiles would “see” and “hear” and “understand”, “But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.” Paul was referring back to Isaiah 52:15 which reads, “So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for [that] which had not been told them shall they see; and [that] which they had not heard shall they consider.

And when Jesus was speaking about the ears that could not hear and the eyes that could not see, Jesus was referring back to what we read in Isaiah 6:8-10, because Isaiah was talking about Jesus (He is the “I” and “me”)…”Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here [am] I; send me. And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

Paul reiterated this point in Acts 28:24-28 …”And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet (Isaiah 6:9)unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.¶ Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and [that] they will hear it.” The Gentiles would be ingrafted into the family of God through the “hearing” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

In Psalm 146:8 we read, “The LORD openeth [the eyes of] the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous:

In Psalm 147:19, God tells us that He shows (reveals) His Word to His people, the Elect, the believers, typified by Jacob and Israel, “He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel.

Isaiah 29:9-14“Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.”

Isaiah 29:18, “And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.” We must remember that Jesus PHYSICALLY fulfilled this prophesy during His Ministry as we read in Luke 7:22, “Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.” But, because of Jesus’s Ministry and Sacrifice, each and every one of the named miracles (that include the deaf hearing and the blind seeing) continued to be fulfilled SPIRITUALLY throughout the whole New Testament era. Remember also that Paul was guided to refer back to Isaiah 49:8 when he wrote in 2 Corinthians 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.)

Isaiah 32:3, “And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken.

Isaiah 35:5, “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.”

Isaiah 42:7...”I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.”

Isaiah 43:8, “Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.

Jeremiah 5:21…”Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not.”

Matthew 13: 13-17…“Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men 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.”

(And please remember that Jesus was referring back to Isaiah (Esaias in Greek) 6:9-10, “And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.“)

Note that in Mark 4:23 we read where Jesus explicitly said, “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” which is repeated again in Mark 7:16, “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

Luke 9:44&45…Jesus specifically declared to His disciples what was about to happen to Him, and they heard it not because “it was hid from them“, “Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men. But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.”

Luke 18:31-34… Again Jesus tells the disciples in detail what will happen next, “Then he took [unto him] the twelve, and said unto them,Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge [him], and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”

Please let that sink in! The words that Jesus spoke had no impact at the time because it was supernaturally “hid” from the disciples!

Luke 19:41&42…Jesus wept over Jerusalem where we read, “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things [which belong] unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.

John 8:43…Jesus speaking to the Pharisees said, “Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

John 12:16…Note that it was not until after Jesus’s ascension that the disciples understood that Jesus was the fulfillment of all the Old Testament scripture and prophecies…”These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and [that] they had done these things unto him.”

John 12:38-41…”That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.” See also Mark 9:31&32

In Acts 26:18, we are told how Jesus miraculously appeared to Saul (Paul) on the road to Damascus and commissioned Paul to preach to the Gentiles for this specific purpose…”To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” Hallelujah!

2 Corinthians 4:3-6, “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. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

The Flock Hear The Voice of The Good Shepherd:

We should also bear in mind these Words of Jesus, the Good Shepherd ( as given to us in John 10:27-30, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perishneither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father’s hand. I and [my] Father are one.”

Jesus is The Good Shepherd Who lays down His life for His sheep: John 10:11I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” John 10:14I am the good shepherd, and know my [sheep], and am known of mine.

And then what did we read in Matthew 17:5, “While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said,This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleasedhear ye him.

The Hearing Ear?

God tells us Isaiah 55:3 (But please also read the whole wonderful chapter to see the blessings for the believers there), “Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

And note that having an ear to hear is mentioned 7 times in the book of Revelation with respect to what “the Spirit saith unto the churches.

  1. Revelation 2:7He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God“.
  2. Revelation 2:11He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death“.
  3. Revelation 2:17He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
  4. Revelation 2:29He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
  5. Revelation 3:6He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
  6. Revelation 3:13He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
  7. Revelation 3:22He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

And please let us not forget Psalm 119:18, where we are instructed to say to God, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous (pale) things out of thy law.” And we know that Jesus Christ, The Saviour, is “Wonderful” from Isaiah 9:6H6382 פֶּלֶא peleʼ, peh’-leh; which is derived from H6381 פָּלָא pâlâʼ; a miracle:—marvellous thing, wonder(-ful, -fully). And why do we need to have our eyes opened?…well it is because of what we read in Isaiah 45:15, “Verily thou [arta God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.”

We need God to give us the “spiritual ears to hear” and the “spiritual eyes to see” that Jesus Christ Is our Only Hope for salvation, as it explained throughout all of the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments.

And finally in Revelation 13:9…”If any man have an ear, let him hear.”

Admittedly, this is all hard for the general reader to accept on the face of it, but God also shows us how He can and does hide anything from anyone as He sees fit. Look again at the example that we are given in Luke 18:31-34, where Jesus point blank told His twelve disciples that He was going to Jerusalem to be put to death and rise again from the dead on the third day in fulfillment of prophesy, “Then he took [unto him] the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge [him], and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.“, but then we immediately read next, “And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”

NOTE: The reader should also be aware that the whole of Chapter 9 of the Book of John is the account of the blind man, blind from birth, who Jesus opened the man’s eyes on a Sabbath day that the man could see. While the account should be read in its entirety, some key points are these: 1) When the Pharisees asked the man how he could see, the man explained that Jesus put clay (made with the spittle of Jesus, see verse 6) and then washed in the pool of Siloam as directed by Jesus and then could see. 2) the Pharisees and some of the Jews refused to believe that it was possible, even though they asked the man three times “How were thine eyes opened?” and his parents once. The formerly blind man answered, “one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.” and then when questioned the third time said, “Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and [yet] he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.” The Pharisees became incensed and cast the man out of the synagogue. 3) Later Jesus met the man (whom Jesus had healed and who was cast out by the pharisees) and we read in verses John 9:35-41, where, after Jesus affirmed to the man that He is the Son of God, “And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heardthese words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sinbut now ye say, We seetherefore your sin remaineth.

Moreover, in Mark 7:31-35, Jesus similarly healed a deaf man, “And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.

So then, once again we are assured that what we read in Proverbs 20:12is true, “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them. And the key takeaway from these historical literal accounts, is that they are there to teach us that we are all from birth born spiritually deaf and blind, but God The Father, in His mercy, through Jesus Christ His Son, by the Power of His Holy Spirit, can make us to hear Him spiritually and to see Him spiritually by His Word. Romans 10:17,So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Remember that only God can make anyone to hear or see, both physically and spiritually, as we read in  Exodus 4:11, “And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?” And then we we go to Matthew 20:32-34, “And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion [on them], and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

And remember also in Luke 24:44&45 where Jesus was with the disciples after His resurrection, “And he 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,

And finally lets take a look at Matthew 13:10-17 , “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. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive. For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed [are] your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous [men] 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].”

It is this writer’s prayer that this may be the same for all whom God has brought to this website, that they might be spiritually quickened (made alive) by the Holy Spirit such they would have the “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” so that they will have peace with God through His Dear Son, Jesus Christ our LORD. This prayer is exactly the same as Paul wrote to the Ephesians in Ephesians 1:17 &18, “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,”

ONE MORE THING

Jesus Fulfilled the First Half of Isaiah 6:2 in Nazareth in Luke 4

In Luke 4:16&17 we read where Jesus came to Nazareth, Jesus’s home town, and on the sabbath day He stood up and opened the book of Isaiah (Esaias in Greek) as we read here, “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the bookhe found the place where it was written,

Jesus then began reading from Isaiah 61:12 as is recounted in Luke 4:1821, said, “The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave [it] again to the minister, and sat down. 

And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”  It is clear that after Jesus spoke the Word, that the eyes all the people were locked on Jesus (Jesus is the “Word made flesh” John 1:14) and Jesus spoke into their ears.

Jesus Closed the Book Half Way Through Isaiah 6:2

Very interestingly, what was not read by Jesus in the Luke account, but which is recorded in the second part of the verse of Isaiah 61:2, “To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance (Naqam נָקָם) of our God; to comfort (Nahum נָחַם) all that mourn;”  Jesus stopped before making reference to the day of God’s “vengeance” (Naqam נָקָם), which will be Judgment Day…and it most certainly was not fulfilled on when Jesus was reading in the synagogue. That Day of Vengeance (Judgment Day) is still to come…albeit shortly.

We should all pay close attention to these three points… 

1) In the Luke account, It was Jesus Who “opened the book” of Isaiah in verse 17, because it is really only Jesus, as the Son of God, Who can “open” “the book” (as we also read in Revelation, chapter 5); 

2) and it was Jesus Who “closed the book” half way through the second verse of Isaiah 61:2, after which Jesus said “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”; and 

3) The reason that Jesus “closed the book” at that point is because the rest of the verse is pointing directly to Judgment Day, at which time Jesus will bring vengeance for God’s enemies and comfort to the believers.  Jesus had to “close the book” if He was going to say the prophesy was “fulfilled” in their ears that day! 

Jesus could not go any further in the text, and had to stop mid-verse, because Judgment Day is only going to be fulfilled at when Jesus comes back from Heaven the “end of the world”!  That is pretty amazing if anyone stops to think about it! 

Remember also that in Revelation 3:7 we read that only Jesus has the “key of David” and only Jesus Is The One Who “openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;” and in Revelation 5:5, that Only Jesus “the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book“. What is also a comfort, is that Jesus said that He would send the “Comforter” the “Spirit of Truth” Who would lead His sheep into “all Truth” and He would speak of Jesus (John 15:26, and John 16:13). Believers are given the promise that Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, would open the book (the Bible) for us to see Jesus.  In Luke 4, Jesus specifically said that He would open the eyes of the blind…”recovering of sight to the blind.” See also: Proverbs 25:2Proverbs 20:12Psalms 119:18

Finally, it is most interesting that, in Isaiah 34:16, God tells us directly to read “the book” (the Bible),

Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read

Conclusion

Everyone thinks that they have “Ears to hear” and “Eyes to see“, but the reality is that it is only possible to spiritually hear and spiritually see IF God Wills anyone to be so blessed, otherwise everyone would remain deaf and blind to the Truth, Who is Jesus. The result of such blessing is synonymous with Salvation as opposed to eternal judgment for sin. In John 9:5, Jesus announced, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” after which he immediately healed a blind man, “born blind”. We see similar references to physical healing that point to the spiritually healing culminating in Matthew 11:4&5 with, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” Then we read later in John 9:39, ”And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

And please also remember that it is only through God’s mercy alone, that, just as it was for the people before and below the prophet Ezra (whose name means “Help” and served as a “Type” of Jesus) in Nehemiah 8:8, that we can still be so blessed…”So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused [them] to understand the reading.” Hallelujah!

It should also be noted that after explaining the “Parable of the Sower”, Jesus spoke forth other parables pertaining of the “Kingdom of Heaven”, such as the “Mustard Seed”, the “Leaven”, the “Wheat and the Tares” (which Jesus also explained to the disciples), the “Hidden Treasure”, the “Pearl of Great Price”, and the “Fisher’s Net”, Jesus asked the disciples if they understood. We read in Matthew 13:51&52, “Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord. Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe [which] is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man [that] is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure [things] new and old.”

We should remember that, according to Nehemiah 8:1&2, Ezra was both a scribe and a Chief (High) Priest of the Levitical priesthood via Aaron (see both Ezra 7:1-5 Ezra 7:11) and (and while Ezra was established by God as a “Type” of Jesus Christ, Jesus being of the tribe of Judah (not Levi) was the Ultimate High Priest (after the Order of Melchizedek Psalm 110:4), but that we, as believers in Jesus Christ, are also considered by God to be “Kings and Priests” in Christ (according to Revelation 1:6 and Revelation 5:10). The scribe is a believer who is a teacher and expounds the Word of God (the Bible) as “his treasure” from both the Old and New Testaments. See Isaiah 33:5-6: “The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on highhe hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness. And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, [and] strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD [is] his treasure.

And is it not interesting that God tells us directly 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.” And also remember what we are told in Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy [is] understanding.”

And is it not also interesting that we read in Colossiansl 2:2&3, “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.”

And finally, in Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.” For more on what it means to “Fear God” please see the verses listed here: https://www.blueletterbible.org/search/search.cfmCriteria=Fear+God&t=KJV#s=s_primary_0_1

Nehemiah 8:5-8, “And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with [their] faces to the ground”. Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people [stood] in their place. So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused [them] to understand the reading.” The scribes and priests cause the people to understand what the Bible says!

Postscript: Man’s Wisdom Will Perish

Just as we read earlier in Isaiah 29:14, “Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, [even] a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise [men] shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent [men] shall be hid.“, we also read in Obadiah 8, “Shall I not in that day, saith the LORD, even destroy the wise [men] out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau?

And in 1 Corinthians 1:17-31, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written (Isaiah 29:14), I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. ¶ Where [is] the wise? where [is] the scribe? where [is] the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishnessBut unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.¶ For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called]: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written (Jeremiah 9:24), He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Matthew 5:8, “Blessed [are] the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”

Finally, in 1 Corinthians 2:9-14 (where Paul refers back to Isaiah 64:4),we read, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spiritfor the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. ¶ Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teachethcomparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spiritof God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

And remember the dire warning from God in 2Thessalonians 2:1-17, particularly verses 11 and 12, “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness”.