Archive for the ‘Bible Studies’ category

The Truth Can be Difficult to Hear, but it is Always Good to Hear!

January 1, 2018

When we read the Bible, there are a few verses that we can come upon that can stop us in our tracks and cut to the bone (Hebrews 4:12).  They are not always easy to hear, even for those who know God, but they nonetheless are always True and Good. Some verses that hit home recently include the following:

John 2:15-17, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

In this world, when things are going well, we can so easily get caught up in the love of the things of the world, the material world, and all of its material enticements.  We can easily forget how ephemeral they all are, and how these things can so quickly pass from us apart from the good grace of God Who provides them.  We can easily take them for granted, and not focus on the God (the God of the Bible) Who is the Giver of every good and perfect gift (and the eternal “good and perfect gift” from God is the salvation of souls that only comes through Jesus Christ).

James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
The truth is that we are all earthly by nature, but we must focus on the heavenly, just as we read in 1 Corinthians 15:47-49,

The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” 

We must catch ourselves and repent (turn away) and hate and forsake the world and its enticements and remember that it is really all so much vanity and indeed it (along with our physical bodies) will soon fade away.   Just as we read in Eclesiastes 1:1, “The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?”  

When we stop to consider God’s Word, and what the Book of Ecclesiastes tells (along the same lines as we read above in John 1:15-17), we come to the end of that book and 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.
Ecclesiastes reminds us of what Jesus said in Mark 8:35-37, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
(see also Matthew 16:26 and Luke 9:25)
The bottom line is that we are instructed to take up our cross as Jesus commanded in Luke 9:23, “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
Let us all pray that God will be merciful to us who are unprofitable servants (as to one degree or another we are all unprofitable servants).  Please Dear God, grant us the desire and the ability to take up our crosses daily, and follow Jesus and deny ourselves in Your service. Help us to hate the world though we remain dependent on the material sustenance that God allows it to provide to us.  Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
Let us consider, and never forget, the message given in the “Sermon on the Mount, in Mathew chapters 5:1-16,  and 6:24-34, where we read where Jesus is described and quoted as follows:

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

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

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

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

13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

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

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

 

And later in Chapter 6:24-34, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

Dear Heavenly Father, Lord God, please give us the ears to hear, the eyes to see, the hearts to receive, and the willingness to be obedient to Thy Word.  In Jesus name we pray.  Amen

 

Proverbs 30:4; A Rhetorical Question,Canst thou Tell?

September 2, 2017

Proverbs 30 is a bit different from the other chapters in Proverbs, and sometimes a bit difficult to follow the thread, but verse 4 stands out as unique because it asks five questions that might be hard to answer.  That is unless you know God, and His Son, Jesus Christ.

“Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?”

Let’s look at each question in order.

“Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended?”  Who do we know who has descended and ascended up into Heaven?  Jesus is the only one to come to Earth from Heaven and return to Heaven to sit at the Right Hand of God the Father.

“who hath gathered the wind in his fists?” Jesus, as God the Creator, is the One Who can do this, and only Him! In Genesis 1:1 we read, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

“who hath bound the waters in a garment?” Once again, only Jesus can bind the waters and say no further…and this reminds us of what we find in Job 38: 8-14

Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed? Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.

Genesis 1:9 tells us, “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.”

“who hath established all the ends of the earth?” Notice how Job 38:13 (above) uses those same words, “ends of the earth.”  In both cases, these rhetorical questions do have an answer…God, Who is Jesus, is THE ANSWER! Remember in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus is the Word made flesh. John1:14, “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.

“what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?” The answer to this question is derived from what we are informed of from throughout the Bible… that the Name is God: The Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. and let’s not forget that we “canst tell” the answer by being blessed and informed by God’s Word (the Bible) by the Power of God, the Holy Spirit (Who testifies only of Jesus)!

There a lot more similarities with Job 38, but let’s leave it at that for now, simply remembering that, when in doubt, JESUS IS THE ANSWER.

 

 

Proverbs Chapter 8, Who Is It Really All About?

August 31, 2017

This is short for now…Please read Proverbs chapter 8 …I was awed by how clear this chapter points to only One Person.  Wisdom is the theme, and “she” speaks truth and dwells with prudence. Wisdom was there with God at the beginning of the creation of the Universe, and rejoicing always (daily) before God.

Note that it says that we can sin against widsom (How can we do that)?  And who hates wisdom? (We are told that only those who love death)

Please check this chapter out…read it for yourself and think as you read…Who is it all about?  You will be blessed for doing so.

Is There an Eternal Hell?

January 30, 2017

Is There an Eternal Hell?

There are many so-called “Christian” denominations that claim that the Bible is the Word of God, yet they totally ignore all that the Bible declares regarding Judgment Day and the associated punishment from God that will be meted out to everyone of the unsaved of the world on that “great and very terrible day of the LORD” (see Joel 2:11). It has become most unpopular to talk of God’s wrath and punishment for sin, eternal damnation, or the fires of an eternal hell. Are these just euphemisms, or are they an integral part of God’s magnificent salvation plan?

In order for someone to claim that he is “saved,” or that Jesus Christ is their “Savior,” he must have a clear idea of what he has been saved from. If he claims that he is escaping the just penalty for his sins, he is correct, for the Bible clearly teaches that “the wages of sin is death.” (see Romans 6:23) However, the Bible doesn’t stop there, because it talks of the “second death” which is the just end that awaits all sinners who remain unsaved; those whose names are not written in the “book of life.” In Revelation 20:14-15 and 21:8 we read that the second death means to be cast into “the lake which burns with fire and brimstone.” In reference to this same fire, Jesus declared three times that the unsaved would “go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” (see Mark 9:43-48) In Matthew 3:12, John the Baptist declared that Jesus would “throughly purge his (threshing) floor, and gather his wheat (the believers) into the garner (harvest house); but he will burn up the chaff (the unsaved of the world) with unquenchable fire.” We also know from Revelation 14:11, that “the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night.

The Bible specifically mentions hell 54 times (see below) of which Jesus is quoted concerning its reality 15 times, but it is clearly alluded to many more times in other words. As Jesus taught in Matthew 15:14, “when the blind (false prophets and false teachers with their false gospels) lead the blind (the unsaved), they both fall into the ditch” From Psalms 7:15, a ditch is equated to a pit, and from Isaiah 14:15, we know that a pit is equated to hell reserved for Satan and all his dominion (see also Psalm 143:7 and Psalm 9:17). This was determined by comparing scripture with scripture. The Bible is its own interpreter or dictionary. The interpretation is therefore God’s alone and not man’s (i.e. not of our private interpretation). Other times God refers to hell as outer darkness as in Matthew 26:30, where Jesus in a parable declared, “And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” More explicitly, in Matthew 10:28, Jesus warned: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him (God) which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell.”

It should also be remembered that Jesus not only gave his life as “a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28), but He had to endure the wrath of God on behalf of all who would believe on Him because God’s justice demands that the penalty for the sins of the believers had to be paid in order to make their salvation possible. Jesus not only died for those whom He came to seek and to save, but He had to endure the equivalent of an eternity in hell for them (something which is humanly incomprehensible).

Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men;” 2 Corinthians 5:11.

The Bible verses that discuss “Hell”:

Deuteronomy 32:22 For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.

2 Samuel 22:6 The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;(Compare with Jonah 2:2-6)

Job 11:8 It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?

Job 26:6 Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering.

Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

Psalm 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Psalm 18:5 The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented (went before) me.

Psalm 55:15 Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.

Psalm 86:13 For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.

Psalm 116:3 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.

Psalm 139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

Proverbs 5:5 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

Proverbs 7:27 Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

Proverbs 9:18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

Proverbs 15:11 Hell and destruction are before the Lord: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?

Proverbs 15:24 The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.

Proverbs 23:14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

Proverbs 27:20 Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

Isaiah 5:14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.

Isaiah 14:9 Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.

Isaiah 14:15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Isaiah 28:15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

Isaiah 28:18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.

Isaiah 57:9 And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase thyself even unto hell.

Ezekiel 31:16 I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth.

Ezekiel 31:17 They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen.

Ezekiel 32:21 The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hell with them that help him: they are gone down, they lie uncircumcised, slain by the sword.

Ezekiel 32:27 And they shall not lie with the mighty that are fallen of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to hell with their weapons of war: and they have laid their swords under their heads, but their iniquities shall be upon their bones, though they were the terror of the mighty in the land of the living.

Amos 9:2 Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:

Jonah 2:2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

Habakkuk 2:5 Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:

Matthew 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Matthew 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Matthew 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

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.

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.

Matthew 18:9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

Matthew 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

Matthew 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Mark 9:43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

Mark 9:45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

Mark 9:47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

Luke 10:15 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.

Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.(this is from a parable, but speaks the truth about Hell as being a place of eternal torment)

Acts 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Acts 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

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

Revelation 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Revelation 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

 

Please also see this useful reference:

https://truthingrace.com/2013/12/02/fire-fire/

 

 

 

Who can find a virtuous woman? Proverbs 31:10-31

January 24, 2017

This will be the next study to be undertaken…so it is just a work in progress…but please think about what this verse (and the rest of it through to the end of the chapter) means from a spiritual perspective.  Feel free to offer comments before we begin. Look carefully at the key words and think about what they mean when viewed in the context of the whole Bible. But here is one hint as to what we must consider to understand these verses correctly…The virtuous women (from the spiritual perspective) is the eternal Church, the Bride of Christ as God views her, and the husband (from the spiritual perspective) is the Lord Jesus Christ.  When we search out where all the descriptive words are found everywhere else in the Bible, this exegesis will be more clearly borne out.

10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 

11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Please bear in mind that there are only two other verses in the Bible that use the phrase “virtuous woman.”

And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
A virtuouswoman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as
rottenness in his bones.
House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudentwife is from the Lord.

 

 

 

Anna the Prophetess

January 22, 2017

Anna the Prophetess

In Luke 2:36-38 we read about Anna, a prophetess, and in those three short verses there is a lot of information to be gleaned by any believer willing to take the time to search the scriptures for the wisdom to be found there as if they were filled with hidden treasure…because that is exactly what the scriptures are…just as we are exhorted to do in Proverbs 2:3-3: “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.

So what exactly are the hid treasures to be found in the three verses which discuss Anna the prophetess? Please let’s look together.

We read in Luke 2:36, “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; 37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”

Anna

To begin, let us start with the very name, Anna, and search out its meaning. Anna is a Latin form of the Greek name Ἅννα and the Hebrew name Hannah (Hebrew: חַנָּה Ḥannāh‎‎, meaning “favor” or “grace”)! Grace! What a perfect name for a true believer! Anna is in fact an allegorical representation of all true believers who are blessed to come under the Grace of God through the Person and Redemptive Work of the Lord Jesus Christ! We know that this is true because we read in Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Prophetess

We read that she was a “prophetess.” This means that she was qualified by God to declare the scriptures, the Word of God! She was preceded by other prophetesses in the Old Testament like Meriam in Exodus 15:20; Deborah in Judges 4:4; Huldah in 2Kings 22:14; and succeeded in the New Testament by the four daughters of Phillip, the evangelist, who was one of the seven deacons, as we read in Acts 21:8-9. It is clear that as a “prophetess”, Anna is being used to spiritually typify the “Church” which is the spiritual “Bride of Jesus Christ.” She spiritually represents all of the believers in the world who are mandated to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ as declared in the scriptures. (Please note that there are many cases in the Bible where God uses women to spiritually  represent the church. For more on this, please also see the attached commentaries found on this website which address key women in the Bible like Esther, Ruth, and Deborah.)

Phanuel

We read that Anna was the daughter of Phanuel. Phanuel means “Face of God”. By naming Anna as his daughter we gain additional insight to the fact that the Face of God had looked upon her and she was a saved individual for we read three time in Psalm 80:3, 7 and 19 the following, 3 “Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.” 7 “Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.” 19 “Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.”

The Original Greek word for Phanuel actually comes from Peniel as we see in Genesis 32:30, “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Just as Jacob/Israel had seen the Face of God and had his life preserved (he was saved), so too is Anna’s (eternal) life preserved…she too is saved. She can also be likened as a friend of God even as Moses in Exodus 33:11 where we read, “And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.

Aser (Asher)

Asher means “Happy and blessed” as we read in Genesis 30:13 “And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.” Asher was the 8th son of Jacob. The number 8 reminds us of the circumcision because all males were to be circumcised on the 8th day as we read in Luke 2:21:“and when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”

Anna received the circumcision of the heart and was a “true Jew”.   God makes this clear in both the Old and New Testaments by comparing and contrasting the earthly outward physical circumcision with the inward spiritual circumcision. In Deuteronomy 30:6, we read, “And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.” And in Romans 2:29, “But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

 The blessings of Asher by Jacob in Genesis 49:20 apply directly to Anna (“Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.”) because she is being richly fed by the Word of God Who is Jesus, as we know from John 1:14: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” And then in John 6:35 we read “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 Isaiah 55:10-11, 10 “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 shall my 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.” Moreover, Anna is provided with food suitable for royalty (the dainties) as all believers are considered to be kings and part of the royal priesthood (1Peter 2:9). Anna is also like Martha’s sister Mary who sat at the feet of Jesus and was fed directly from the Master (Luke 10:39), in being able to behold the Christ child, she saw God, face to face.

The blessings of Asher as prophesied by Moses in Deuteronomy 33:24-25 also apply to Anna. There we read, “And of Asher he said, Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil. Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.” As a typological portrait of the church, Anna represents all true believers who are blessed with spiritual children (the elect) who are brought into the church through the preaching and hearing of the Word. Anna, like all believers, also receives spiritual blessings as we read in Ephesians 1:3, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” As a believer she was accepted, “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” The oil represents the Holy Spirit (this is made clear in other studies) and He is in control of her paths (Proverbs3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

With the further blessing of Asher, then Anna, described as having shoes, meant that she was not naked spiritually (barefoot, see Isaiah 20:2-3), but rather she was shod with the preparation of the gospel as we read in Ephesians 6:15, “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;” Anna’s shoes being “iron and brass” meant that as she prophesied, the words were the savour of life unto life to the elect, and death unto death to the non-elect (2Corinthians 2:16) as they bring judgment to us…one way or another there is judgment to be encountered. Iron relates to bondage to sin and brass represents the judgment (Revelation 1:15) and together they relate to hell and punishment from which the believers will escape (because Jesus paid the price) and the non-believers will not. The gospel is a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4: 12). Anna was of great age (as a widow having been married 91 years earlier, she was likely well over 100) so her life of many days reflects the strength of her faith. While Moses prophesy pertaining to Asher, in the first instance, is really speaking of Jesus Christ, it also refers to Anna (and all believers) as she represents the body of Christ.

Great Age

As mentioned above, Anna was of great age. This is considered a blessing if one is a believer according to the Bible as we read in Psalms 92:12-14,“The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;” Anna flourished in prophesying, please see Matthew 21:43 “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” And Psalms 126:6, “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Finally, Anna being in the Way of Righteousness (in Christ), her old age was a crown of glory as we read in Proverbs 16:31, “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

Husband

Anna, as a typological portrait of the church, is a wife which in the spiritual sense means she is the bride of Christ. 2Corinthians 11:2 says, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” And in Revelation 21:2, 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.”

Virginity

Anna was a virgin at the time of her marriage. This means she was chaste in her life walk. Spiritually speaking, true virgins are qualified to marry the High Priest (Jesus Christ). Anna was also typifying the daughters of The King (God) who were virgins (2Samuel 13:18, “And she had a garment of divers colours upon her: for with such robes were the king’s daughters that were virgins apparelled. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her.”) Anna represented the five wise virgins in the parable of Jesus in Matthew 25:1-13 who had sufficient oil (The Holy Spirit) in their lamps (The Holy Spirit breathed Word of God… Psalm 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”) who went into the bridal chamber.

Widow

Widows are addressed in depth in the study of Ruth (both Ruth and Naomi were “widows indeed” like Anna). Anna was married for seven years, but at the time of Jesus’s first coming she was a widow for her earthly husband was dead and evidently had no other family. While being a true widow, and hence desolate, she trusted in God and continued in “fastings and prayers night and day” just as we read in 1Timothy 5: 3 and 5, “Honour widows that are widows indeed. Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.”

Departed not from the Temple

The true Temple of God, in the spiritual sense, is the body of believers. She did not depart from that assembly. The Greek word for “departed” is “aphistemi” is translated “fall away” in Luke 8:13 in reference to those who are not steadfast in faith because they had no root (Jesus is the Root of David, Revelation 5:5) as we read,“They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.” Anna was steadfast and was well rooted in her faith and did not depart the temple or fall away.

Served God with Fasting and Prayers Night and Day

True fasting has to do with declaring the gospel to loose us from the bondage to sin and the devil…this is clear when we read Isaiah 58:6, “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” Anna was prophesying the Word of God and hence the true gospel and serving God in the process.

Spake of Him

Anna was speaking of Jesus! The Greek word that was translated “spake” is also translated “preach” six times elsewhere in the Bible. (in Mark 2.3, Acts 8:35, 11:19, 13:42, 14:25, and 16:6). This means that Anna was “preaching” about Jesus, just as we read in 2Corinthians 4:5, “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.”) Moreover, Anna had been expecting Jesus’ first coming just as believers are expecting and preaching/declaring His second coming soon.

To All Them Who Looked For Redemption in Jerusalem

Everyone who is a believer is looking forward to the day of redemption by that Great Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ.   The word translated “Look for” is “prosdechomai” which is used in Titus 2:13 where we read that the believers are, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Anna is a typological prefigure of all believers who are as in 2Peter 3:12, “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?

Redemption is the Greek word that is use on three times in the Bible, but in Hebrews 9:12, we read, “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. That eternal redemption is the completion of the believers’ salvation with the second coming of Jesus Christ.

 Finally, there are only two Jerusalems, the one on earth that is located today in national Israel, which remains in bondage to the law, and the heavenly one that is above that is free from the law, as we read in Galations 4:25-26, “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.” Those with whom Anna spoke were in the literal physical Jerusalem and were expecting the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ as their Redeemer, but as believers they would also be looking for that eternal redemption, as they also knew that there was a better place ahead, the spiritual new Jerusalem of which they would all be part as we read in Reveleation 21:2.

The message

This study, like all others on this website, is meant to share insights on the magnificent crafting of the Bible by God, which He provides us to gain insights on Who He is and how He has controlled time and space for His Glory and for the enlightenment of His church. As we read in 2Timothy 3:16, “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.” Sometimes this is easier to see in some places in the Bible than in others, but in each case it requires at least a bit of time and effort in the scriptures to search things out.  In this case, it seems clear that Anna is a prefigurement of all believers, as she was a faithful witness ,and she typified the believers with all of her attributes as expounded in the above. She was a prophetess who faithfully witnessed about Jesus Christ. Anna is one more role model that God has set forth in His Word for our exhortation, and to strengthen our faith in Him and our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is coming again soon.  Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.

The Earth as Described by God

January 17, 2017

The Old Testament provides us with unusual information about the earth and the universe at a time when that information was not scientifically discernible.  The Old Testament provides us with some amazing insights that are accepted fact today, but they were compiled thousands of years before Galileo, Copernicus, and Isaac Newton were able to scientifically derive them.

We can read that the earth is round in Isaiah 40:22 where it says, “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

In Proverbs 8:27, “When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:

In Job 22:14, “Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven.”

All three of occurrences of the original Hebrew word (“Chuwg”) Strong’s Number: 02329 in the Bible are used as either circle, compass, or circuit and are shown in the above three verses.  They all refer to something which is a circle or round in shape.

Finally, Job 26:7, “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.”  The earth indeed hangs on nothing in the vast vacuum of space! Only God could know this to be the case at the time of this writing…More proof that the Bible is the Holy Spirit inspired Word of God!